podcast ep 38: yoga business school with ava taylor

You can listen below, and you can also listen in iTunes and Google Play and pretty much anywhere else podcasts are played, including Spotify!

It can be an uncomfortable topic, unless you’re speaking with someone as ebullient as Ava Taylor. The founder and chief catalyst of YAMA Talent, Ava is optimistic and pragmatic about the business of yoga, and she shares her story, what it’s like working with yogis, and the qualities that make a successful yogi.

We discuss…

- Ava’s background, including the impact of inherited trauma from her great-grandparents’ slavery, and how she got into yoga to re-direct

- The yoga scene in the 90s in California, and how Ava saw that yogis needed help figuring out the business scene

- No, it turns out, some people will not sign contracts during Mercury Retrograde

- What’s the next big thing in yoga? We talk about the increasing and needed role of niche-yoga, but what’s the potential for yoga teachers in the future

-       Ava’s best advice for yoga teachers who want to refine their promotion skills and the qualities successful teachers share

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About Ava

Ava Taylor, Founder and Chief Catalyst of YAMA Talent, is a tenacious entrepreneur and avid yogi. Committed to running an ethics-based business, her personal mission is to be a Catalyst for Better Living, and to bring the tools of wellness to communities of all kinds.

Since 2010, Ava has pioneered the development of the booking, management, and consulting business models in the yoga space, as well as instituted the professional infrastructure needed to support the explosive growth of a previously “mom & pop” industry. In doing so, she’s become the go-to strategist for top professional yoga teachers, studios, and brands looking to increase their relevance in the yoga space.

Lovingly known as the “Ari Gold of Yoga,” Ava is a sought-out contributor in the media known for having her finger on the pulse of this rapidly expanding industry. She’s well-connected, in the “right place at the right time,” has been featured in The New York Times on multiple occasions, was recently placed on a short list of influencers by the Yoga Alliance, and has even landed a few magazine covers of her own! Her agency has co-produced the annual Yoga Garden at The White House, as well as both of the world’s largest yoga classes.

 As the creator of The Catalyst: Online Business School for Yogis, Ava taps into her unparalleled market knowledge, as well as the latest in data and trends, to bring fellow entrepreneurs the necessary tools and techniques to support and cultivate their own businesses in the yoga and wellness worlds.

Ava loves people, art, food, culture, and history. She lives & OMs in Cologne, Germany with her wife Sonia Taylor Bach, and their very handsome Rhodesian Ridgeback named Jai.

podcast ep 37: alex crow of yoga physics

You can listen below, and you can also listen in iTunes and Google Play and pretty much anywhere else podcasts are played, including Spotify!

The sharp, warm Alex Crow has an impressive gallery of fancy yoga postures, but she travels teaching programs entitled "Deconstruct to Reconstruct", encouraging teachers to offer a more holistic approach to yoga. She talks about her evolution, including how "having it all" wasn't all it was cracked up to be and how it didn't represent a holistic picture of her as a person and teacher.

podcast ep 36: future you is so much happier!

You can listen below, and you can also listen in iTunes and Google Play and pretty much anywhere else podcasts are played, including Spotify!

Looking to change some habits? Pretty much anyone who practices yoga is invested in improving their discernment, discipline, and cultivating healthy ways of living. Following up from last episode on willpower, we talk about the psychology of habits, the yoga philosophy of them, and even touch on a summary of Gretchen Rubin's habits read "Better Than Before".

We discuss…

- the Amy Schumer skit about a clothes shop where you shop for your "future size" inspired the title of this episode

- what I forgot to include about willpower last time around, especially the theory of "ego depletion" (running out of willpower)

- karma, samskaras, and other yoga philosophy that should inform how we proceed with behavior in the world

- The Psychology of Habit by Charles Duhigg, what we learn from mental energy and habit formation and what he and The Willpower Instinct reference that may not be true

- a summary of Better Than Before by Gretchen Rubin, provided by my friend and peer, Erin Bidlake

- a story to sum up why we're cultivating excellent spiritual practice even in our householder lives (since we may feel like the practice isn't that spiritual!)


Erin Bidlake Yoga

Ego Depletion May Not Be True

Everything is Crumbling (Why Ego Depletion May Not Be True)

The Way of the Householder (The Story of Kaushika the Sage and the Butcher or The Vyadha Gita)

The Four Tendencies Quiz by Gretchen Rubin

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podcast ep 35: the universe doesn't have your back... but it's OK

You can listen below, and you can also listen in iTunes and Google Play and pretty much anywhere else podcasts are played, including Spotify!

Yoga philosophy does not characterize the universe as a glorious place designed to fulfill all your wishes if you ask it nicely. That doesn't mean goal setting is bad - quite the contrary - but this is a cheeky exploration into the difference between new age spirituality pop religion and yoga philosophy. We go into some psychology on willpower and self-control, too!

Give that it's the new year, we talk about...

- Where the phrase "the universe has your back" came from and Gabrielle Bernstein (who is a heck of a lot more popular on instagram than I am)

- How heavily influenced by latent Christian culture new age spirituality can be, including evangelical movements

- How this differs from yoga philosophy, which does not see the universe as omniscient and providing

- Why goal setting is a good thing for yogis to do and participate in, and some interesting facts about willpower from The Willpower Instinct by Kelly McGonigal

And more!


Heart rate variability from Harvard

podcast ep 34: disagreeing yogically

You can listen below, and you can also listen in iTunes and Google Play and pretty much anywhere else podcasts are played, including Spotify!

Disagreeing with people can be uncomfortable, but it's a part of life and one that often helps further understandings of other people's experiences and opinions. Culturally, we're getting worse at disagreeing with each other, and the popular perception of yogis often makes disagreeing more difficult. Let's talk about disagreeing in conversation, and then a little bit about disagreements in the yoga world right now.

- I talk about generally disagreeing with people and frame it within the yogic system of ego/preference

- What happens to us on a physiological level when we disagree?

- Some of the critiques being leveled against the Ashtanga system right now, and a brief note about Sri Pattabhi Jois' abuses toward his students

- Why disagreeing around Ashtanga is so personal


Pattabhi Jois Was Not a Great Yogi - Karen Rain on J. Brown Yoga Talk