I am CEO

CEO Shares the Benefits of Hot Yoga

Full Episode from I AM CEO Podcast - IAM2019

In this enlightening episode, we have Patricia Gavin. A yoga instructor and an author.

Patricia shares her journey from military service to becoming a globally-renowned yoga teacher. She highlights the benefits of yoga, such as enhancing circulation, promoting better sleep, relaxation, detox, and improving concentration.

Patricia also shares her experience with injury and how yoga hastened her recovery. Towards the end, we learn about Patricia's approach to teaching yoga and her outlook on practicing yoga as a form of communication rather than a religion.

The journey through hot yoga fosters self-awareness and mindfulness, promoting mental and emotional well-being.

Entrepreneurs can particularly benefit from the mind-body connection that yoga cultivates, as it supports problem-solving, clarity, and balance.

Embrace the transformative power of hot yoga and embark on a journey to physical and mental wellness, one breath at a time.

Website: YogaNationalUSA

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Full Interview:


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Patricia Gavin Teaser 00:00

So, by training in the hot room. One of the things it does is it elevates and promotes circulation in the body because all your pores open and your skin is your largest organ. So it helps your body to detox. And so I think that there are so many benefits. I could go on and on, but sleep, better sleep, deeper relaxation, detoxing more focus on concentration.

Intro 00:28

Are you ready to hear business stories and learn effective ways to build relationships, generate sales, and level up your business from awesome CEOs, entrepreneurs, and founders without listening to a long, long, long interview?

If so, you've come to the right place. Gresh values your time and is ready to share with you the valuable info you're in search of. This is the I Am CEO Podcast.

Gresham Harkless 00:57

Hello. Hello. Hello. This is from the I am CEO podcast. I have a very special guest on the show today. I have Patricia Gavin, Patricia excited to have you on the show.

Patricia Gavin 01:05

Thank you for inviting me.

Gresham Harkless 01:06

Yes. Super excited to have you on and talk about all the awesome things you're doing.

I'm excited that we get to do this live from Intelligent Office in Alexandria, Virginia, so we can hear about all those awesome things. So I guess to kick everything off, what I wanted to do is rewind the clock a little bit, hear a little bit more on how you got started and how you start doing all the awesome things you're working on.


Patricia Gavin 01:25

I started here in Alexandria in 2012 training at Bickram, Alexandria. They moved the studio after COVID to Falls Church, but they have a studio near Bethel Metro. And so I started there, a friend of mine from the military had recommended it so I went ahead and trained there for two years, and then in 2014, I went to teacher training in LA, and I spent 60 days as a yoga teacher in training with Vikram Choudhury at the medical school.

What was the rest of now at the airport with 300 other people from across the globe. Yeah. I like to say it's the United Nations. So, we practice twice a day and then we get classes noon to three and then in the evening from six to nine. Nine ish. Yeah. So it was full, nine weeks and a hundred classes in the hot room.

And Because there were 300 of us, we had nine lines. So it was in a ballroom that was heated 105 degrees. And 40 percent humidity, sometimes a little bit hotter than that. But yeah, it was a good experience for me. We had posture clinics usually in the afternoon. And then lectures that followed that in the evening.

And the posture clinics were really designed to memorize a 90-minute dialogue. Okay. I say monologue, really, because There's no one talking back, people are doing the postures and that's the reply.

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Gresham Harkless 03:00

Oh yeah, you're practicing for it if you had people there.

Patricia Gavin 03:05

We had basically broken everybody down into groups of 30. So we would break it up into groups of 30 and we had little cabanas outside near the pool and we'd go out. And practice each of the postures and go through them and through repetition, memorize the dialogue, because teaching a class for 90 minutes and talking for 90 minutes is the, we call it moving meditation.

But it's the method that Vikram yoga is taught, what we often call the 26 and 2, it's 26 postures, basically two breathing exercises, and 12 standing postures and 14-floor postures that are repeated twice.

So 26 postures and repeated, repeated in twice in 90 minutes. Oh, wow. So it's a pretty strenuous class that works all the muscles in your body. And it's designed so that people can do it at any age. And the depth that you go in the posture really is reflected by how long you practice.

So you can, start at any time and then as you improve your postures, you improve your repetition and frequency and precision. Yeah, so I would say that training in my 50s after military service was a big benefit for me as I just, I had an accident, so, I tore my meniscus and I would say I would be in a lot worse shape if I didn't have had, had I not had the yoga.

Yeah. And so, even to heal, a lot of the postures are helpful for that purpose.

Gresham Harkless 04:43

That makes so much sense and sorry I obviously hear about your injury. Thank you, of course, for your service as well, too. I tore my Achilles and then not completely, but enough To make it not a very great injury.

So I know how much physical therapy, stretching, yoga, all those things are rehabilitation process.

Patricia Gavin 05:00

Yeah, I had moved to Key West during COVID to teach outdoors and then, I came back after having an accident because Alexandria has some of the best physical therapy, I will say.

Solutions is one of the local people I'm seeing now. And I have another chiropractor I'm seeing. Okay. So both of those are very helpful. I'm trying to, I haven't actually returned to the area to fly with American and I was having feet problems and I didn't realize I had a torn meniscus.

So, yeah, so I had the feet problems, got those diagnosed and was in treatment for the feet and then I realized that they had a deeper problem and the feet were just a symptom. Oh, wow. So, yeah, it's been a challenge, but the yoga is good for healing as well as just for keeping fit.

Gresham Harkless 05:44

Yeah, absolutely. And I imagine healing and probably even the emotional mental part as far as like having that piece as well, too. I imagine it helps out a lot. So I wanted to drill down a little bit more. Can you tell me a little bit more on how you serve clients, how you work with them and what that process looks like?

Patricia Gavin 05:59

It's very different. For all kinds of different teachers, I would say for me, I had traveled after getting certified as a teacher, probably one of the first things you need to do is get your CPR and first aid and AED and then you get insurance, obviously. So I was an investor for the insurance and they offer insurance for yoga teachers and most teachers have waivers that you sign when you come on board for class and so.

That's the steps, when you come out of teacher training I traveled a lot because Bikram had 1300 studios, basically, or people who were running Bikram studios across the globe. So I taught in Thailand, and I taught in Mumbai, before COVID, and then I went to teaching in a tiki hut on Sunset Island in the U. S. after COVID, I went to Florida, so, yeah.

I guess that's been my path is, I've done more retreats and taught as a guest instructor in various places. I did teach for the Kirov Ballet here in town when they were open here at Catholic University. I taught their summer program. They have a paraprofessional program that they held to help play dancers in companies.

And so I taught a hundred ballrooms in a gymnasium. . . It actually was because they're athletes, and they're very flexible, very strong, but they also have a lot of injuries. Dancers are prone to a lot of injuries.

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Yeah. So, I've had some unique experiences with teaching Vikram Yoga.

I recertified in Acapulco in 2018. So I flew to Mexico for that. And spend a week with Bikram and then probably we'll do that in Thailand this year because he's back teaching in Thailand. So that's my path. There's for teachers who taught 10 years, which I'm coming up on. There's a 500-hour certification through Yoga Alliance that is reciprocal.

From teachers that is taught in Spain and a lot of Spain. So that's in April. So it's given me travel opportunities that I wouldn't have otherwise had. , And a method of traveling that I wouldn't have otherwise had in my 15 years. . And so for that, I'm very grateful. Locally, I'm teaching for residential community platforms.

Which is here in Alexandria and the SIR, and there are large residential communities that have amenities between me and a gym where they're offering yoga in the gym. So those are typically people who haven't been introduced to hot yoga before, so I have people coming who are looking for maybe a stretching-type class, right?

And so they're learning the postures and it's a great introduction, I think.

Gresham Harkless 08:54

Yeah, absolutely. And I think that you being able to meet people in so many different places and areas is. It's amazing.

Patricia Gavin 09:00

The difference between exercise and yoga is breath. So breath control is a big part of yoga, so you are never breathing through your mouth.

Except when you're exhaling. Because when you come into the yoga room, you do an exercise called pranayama breathing, which is designed to shift your breathing from your sympathetic nervous system, which is fire plank. . To rest and digest, which is your parasympathetic nervous system.

So imagine a Bengal tiger chasing you through the jungle. You're right. Inhaling through your mouth. So the goal is to get you to inhale slowly through your nose and exhale through your mouth. Long and slow. Deliberate. While you're doing the postures. So they become effortless. And your breath is controlled.

So, by training in the hot room. One of the things it does is it elevates and promotes circulation in the body because all your pores open and your skin is your largest organ. So it helps your body to detox. And so I think that there's so many benefits. I could go on and on, but sleep, better sleep, deeper relaxation, detoxing more focus. Concentration increased ability to, sit like in a meditative state or in front of your computer for extended period of time.

Gresham Harkless 10:16

Yeah, that makes sense. Do you feel like that might be part of what I call your secret sauce? It could be for yourself or the work that you do. Is it your kind of how many is the word holistic awareness over like yoga and all the things that are involved with you for like that sets you apart?

Patricia Gavin 10:32

I think that there's a buzzword mindfulness. I think it makes you more aware. They call it self-realization in the yoga world. It raises your self-awareness because you're focusing on controlling your body, your mind and your spirit and bringing them all in one place. And so I think that the yoga, because it's, people say it's a workout.

It's a work in, so It's a walk in because you're doing inner engineering. Sadhguru is, I think, in McMinnville, Tennessee, and he's developed a program there. He calls it Inner Engineering. Where he's teaching yoga. It's yoga means union, body, mind, and spirit. So, it's really bringing together all those things.

People think of it That's maybe sometimes a religion, or I would say more. It's a science. I would say less of a religion, more of a physical science, like physical fitness or PT or, if you're studying kinesiology movement in the body. Dance. I wouldn't really put it more in that category than I would a religion.

There are people in obviously India, India are Hindu and Muslim, but there's also Christians there. They all practice yoga, so it's not exclusive to any one group. , so it's not like you don't have to believe in the yoga. You just have to do the postures.

Gresham Harkless 11:56

Yeah, that makes sense. I love that you have that awareness. Did you consider that to be what I would call like a CEO hack and that could be like an Apple book or even a habit that you have?

But is it that ability to understand like yoga being the interrupter? Do you feel like that's part of the hack that you would lean on?

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Patricia Gavin 12:14

Yeah. Like when I feel stuck, I feel a little frustrated. Going to yoga always is like a big exhale. You always feel like that's like they use the expression like, oh, stuff.

So it's a way of cleaning the house. If the body is the temple, right? It's like cleaning the house. And I think that I think athletes, have a better understanding of their bodies. Because they know how they feel after they've worked out and the relief it provides.

Gresham Harkless 12:47

I love that. And I don't know if that might be cause let me, cause I'm curious if I was going to ask you for a CEO nugget, which is a little bit more of a word of wisdom or piece of advice.

I almost wonder that you talked about yoga being like a science. I almost wonder. Yoga and even, I always feel like business entrepreneurship is like that journey. I almost feel like yoga is a journey as well, too. As you said, you start where you are. Do you feel like you find that as there's a lot of parallels between you growing and building and maybe people that are growing and building, certain things like a business.

Patricia Gavin 13:18

I got an MBA in e-commerce and I'm thinking back about it now and the idea, what was e-commerce and hospitality, but I'm thinking back about it now. There are a lot of skills that I learned doing the MBA. I learned how to exchange currency across, country borders. Everything I learned as a yoga instructor, traveling and teaching.

So, I think that from a business standpoint, I think it's a way of solving problem solving. Because if you go into a meditative state and you think about something, sometimes you have to make space to process things. And I think that the body is basically space, . So in yoga, you're just rearranging it, the body itself, right?

So you're rearranging the space inside you to make room for whatever it is that you're trying to resolve outside you. So I think it's very good for that. I know Steve Jobs was a big follower of Paramahansa Yogananda, and at his funeral they gave out this book on a biography of yogi. To all the attendees of the funeral memorial service, it was given out, and I think it was something he probably used quite a lot when he probably built Apple.

So, I think the idea is that the yoga, Helps you live a better life. A better quality of life. But at that point.

Gresham Harkless 14:47

Yeah, absolutely. I wanted to ask you now my absolute favorite question.

Yeah. Which is the definition of what it means to be a CEO, and our goal is to have different quote-unquote CEOs on this show. So what does being a CEO mean to you, Patricia?

Patricia Gavin 14:59

I think that charting a course for yourself and then for other people. Requires great communication, and I think that communication is, they say, 70 percent body language, 23 percent tongue, and 7 percent words.

I think that is up to 100. So what I would say is, if the body is 70 percent of the communication process, and you're ignoring that and just using your words. You aren't being a very effective communicator.

That's what I would say. You're missing over half of the message. In terms of being able to control your expression to others.

Gresham Harkless 15:40

Yeah. That's powerful. Truly appreciate that Patricia. For people who are listening to this, what's the best way for them to get ahold of you?

Patricia Gavin 15:47

I think that the classes right now that I'm teaching, you can really go to yoga.

There's the original hot yoga association that has studios that teach the hot yoga in the hot room. Locally, just following my Instagram feed, you can find out, what's going on and where we just had a U. S. A. Yoga is a nonprofit that promotes you as Olympic sport more of a competitive, endeavor.

Gresham Harkless 16:14

Yeah, absolutely. And we'll have that information shown us as well, too, so that everybody can follow up with you. But thank you so much for your time. All the awesome work you're doing.

Outro 16:22

Thank you for listening to the I Am CEO podcast powered by CB Nation and Blue 16 Media. Tune in next time and visit us at iamceo.co. I Am CEO is not just a phrase, it's a community.

Check out the latest and greatest apps, books, and habits to level up your business as ceohacks.co. This has been the I Am CEO podcast with Gresham Harkless, Jr. Thank you for listening.


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