The importance of leading with intention instead of fear, on and off the yoga mat…
My guest today is an old friend and all-round powerhouse of a woman! There are so many powerful lessons in this episode friends, I can’t wait to share it with you!
Zaz Grumbar from Yoga with Zaz, grew up in Trinidad and Tobago, and came to the UK in her early teens, settling in London, after moving around A LOT with her family. She discovered yoga due to back injuries, after a motorcycle accident in her early twenties left her depressed and in pain and added to her eating disorder struggles.
She fell in love with yoga from the first breath on the mat, and not only regained mobility and body awareness but also discovered a greater sense of connection to herself, peace and inner strength with every practice.
It took her nearly 16 years as a student – and an epiphany that her Nanny was taking home more money than her mortgage – before she dared to change careers entirely from working as a marketing manager with luxury fashion and beauty brands to following her heart and becoming a yoga teacher.
Listen in as Zaz describes how leaping from her high heels to the yoga mat in front of a room full of students has been the most fulfilling thing in her life – apart from her two kids of course – and the challenges that she’s had to face along the way.
Zaz shares such powerful lessons about failure, growth, the pressure to be perfect, celebrating our wins, systematic self-care and the importance of putting away our ego to truly open up to what we need.
Zaz’s online courses, Level Up Your Yoga, and Prepare to Unfurl, will guide you to find your best self, challenge your self-limiting beliefs, and discover what they might be capable of. Find out more at Yoga With Zaz.
JUMP OVER TO MY INSTAGRAM PAGE & TELL ME: what’s one action you’re going to take from listening to this episode?
Links mentioned in this episode:
- Find out about Zaz’s Level Up Your Yoga e-course
- Sign up to the Yoga with Zaz mailing list, and receive not only a code to try out a free class, but also regular content to inspire you in your practice and life, PLUS you’ll also receive two free yoga pose tutorials.
- Discover Zaz’s schedule of yoga classes
- Subscribe to Zaz’s videos on YouTube
- Follow Zaz on Instagram
- Start YOUR own podcast with a FREE trial of my course for business owners: Practical Podcasting for Beginners
- Read my book: The Happiness Habits Transformation
- Hit reset in your life and work with my online course Reboot Your Life in conjunction with #ThisIsMyEra
Want to listen to more episodes? You’ll find them all here
Michelle (00:00): You're listening to the ideal life club podcast, episode 72, what does Burberry, Trinidad and Tobago, leading with intention and yoga have in common? Let's find out...
Voiceover (00:15): Welcome to the ideal life club podcast, where it's all about fast-tracking your ideal business and life with more clarity, courage, and consistency. Join your host business coach and author of the happiness habits, transformation, Michelle Reeves for inspiration interviews and practical tips to finally claim success on your terms.
Michelle (00:43): Have you ever met someone and just known from the get go that you were going to be firm friends? Today's guest Zaz Grumbar from Yoga with Zaz is one of my oldest friends and goodness, we could have just chatted in this interview for hours. I can't wait to set today with you because we cover a ton of things. Yes, we talk about her background, which is fascinating in itself, but we talk about limiting beliefs. We talk about entrepreneurship, the importance of self-care, her fantastic new course, that's coming up and everything in between, including all the challenges that she's had to face along the way, this was a complete joy to record. I can't wait for you to hear it, enjoy it. So friends, gosh, I'm so excited for today's episode. And I know you hear me say that every episode, but today really is very, very special because I am joined by a very special person who is not only a yoga teacher, an entrepreneur, but also a very good friend of mine. Huge welcome to Zaz Grumbar from Yoga with Zaz.
Zaz (02:08): Thank you so much, Michelle. I'm so excited to finally be here with you.
Michelle (02:13): I am crazy excited. It has been so long that we've been planning this and I'm really, really excited to have you on the show. I know there is so much that you're going to be able to share for our listeners. Um, but let's kick off. I know your story really well, but I really want you to share that story with our listeners because it is a very inspiring one. So tell us a little bit about you take us back to the beginning, cause you haven't always lived in the UK. You haven't always been a yoga teacher. So tell us a little bit about your story.
Zaz (02:44): Absolutely. It's kind of a bit real kind of mixed beginnings. Um, so I am, well, gosh, I'm French Trinidadian and spend a lot of my time in England, but basically I was in Geneva, Switzerland, and then I grew up in Trinidad and Tobago in the West Indies and my parents were, I guess, fairly, bohemion spontaneous. Um, you know, when, when I was about six years old, they suddenly on the spur of the moment decided to move the whole family to a neighboring Island and to, um, resurrect bring back to life, uh, an old luxury hotel that had once been home to the Beatles and, um, Marilyn Monroe and all these amazing people who would come there and film. And we lived there for five, six years, which was a real adventure. Um, before we left due to the political situation in Trinidad changing. And we came to London in my early teens.
Zaz (03:46): And so I came to London with my mom and dad and my sisters. And we moved around a fair bit until finally coming to settle back in London. So I've been here now for Oh 33 years. So that's a good inkling into my age. And um, I started off working in the fashion industry and I worked as a buyer and then I changed over to marketing and I worked with luxury brands and in fashion. And then also in beauty perfumes, um, sort of did marketing manager, lots of beautiful luxury brands and lots of travel, lots of, you know, glamorous parties, all that good stuff. Um, had, um, along the way, I also got married, had two children. And, um, somewhere along the line, I really realized, um, it was when I was working for Burberry that I realized like, wow, I am spending an hour 35 a week with my children.
Zaz (04:53): And you know, and I'm like, my nanny takes home more than the mortgage. And I just thought, this is crazy. This is ridiculous. Um, and for that reason, I, when my contract came up for renewal at burbs, I declined and sort of sat there, looking at myself, going now, what do I do? I've never, ever not worked since I was 16 years old. I've always done something, you know, part-time jobs and so on. And, um, it was quite bizarre, but I decided at that point to do my yoga teacher training, I had already been practicing. You'll go for, um, 16, 17 years had never thought that I would be worthy. Let's say to stand on a teacher's mat, but something I guess just said, it's okay now is the time you can it's okay. You can step into that part of yourself, that passion. And, um, and so I signed up for a teacher training program, um, and the, the really bizarre thing, the really bizarre thing, two things really weirdly happened around my yoga teacher, my yoga teacher journey. One is that when I got off the phone to the teacher training college, when they called to say, yes, you've been accepted. And I was like, great, that's amazing. I put the phone down. I thought, how am I going to pay for this?
Zaz (06:27): So I've never really, you know, I've never sort of saved up, um, you know, sort of has a huge savings. And so I felt like, ah, this is a huge luxury. This is like thousands of pounds is teacher training. Um, and when people know that, but yoga teacher trainings are like between two and 4,000 pounds and for basic teacher training and I literally stood there going, how am I going to do this? And I think that there is this thing that I really believe in that when you make a commitment to yourself and you step forward with intention, not fear, but with intention and real belief that I am going to do this thing that the universe moves to support you and your dreams, you know, and about 30 seconds after I had hung up the phone while I was standing there going, how are we going to pay for it? The postman came, dropped a bunch of mail through the door. I walked over to pick it up, found one of those horrible Brown window envelopes from HMRC and thought, Oh God, last thing I need and I'm not lying. I opened it up and found a tax rebate check for exactly 4,000 pounds.
Michelle (07:46): No,
Zaz (07:48): And I was like, this can't be real. I just said, this is what God wants me to do. The universe wants me to do, you know, somebody out there wants me to do this and this is right. I jumped up and down and screamed. And so when my yoga journey, I started my teacher training.
Michelle (08:05): That is so incredible. I never knew that part of the story that's really, really exciting. Well, the other, the other thing
Zaz (08:13): I was going to mention kind of links to how we met Michelle, because we obviously met when we were on the blogging scene. As, as we start, we had both started blogs, chronicling our early days as, as moms, as mothers and how that felt. And I think we both probably did it in a know for different reasons, but the one similarity was that needing to find a place to be heard and seen as an individual as well as, as a mother. And, um, I was still doing my blog at the time. And I had just started teaching after my teacher training. And I was teaching like, I don't know, maybe one private client a week and one studio class a week. You know, it was, it was pretty, it was pretty basic. And I was on my blog. I was kind of earning, okay, little bit of money, not a huge amount.
Zaz (09:12): And I thought this is crazy. Um, I'm not getting any joy out of doing the blogging anymore. It feels like I'm forcing it. Like I'm really forcing myself. And I said, you know what, if you're going to be a yoga teacher, you're just going to have to commit your energy to this because the blogging is starting to take away energy. So you're going to have to commit yourself fully. As two days later, literally two days later I had about four emails in my inbox offers of, could you teach this class? Could you do this thing? Would you like to come here? Would you like to do this festival? I'm like, what? Just like that. And it was again, the universe going, okay, you decided to dedicate yourself fully to something I will support you. Um, and six years later, this is my full-time job as a yoga teacher,
Michelle (10:12): Such an amazing story. I come, what I love most about your story is the way that you, you know, you committed wholly, you know, your whole self to, you know, your, your, your not only your yoga practice yourself, because one of the things I love most about you is the way that you continually push yourself in your own practice. I love that, but you, the way that you stepped into your, um, your teacher training sort of journey, you really threw yourself into it a hundred percent and you know, and it's not easy to make that decision. And it led me to a question actually, how, how did you, what did you find most challenging about, um, you know, making the switch from working for somebody else to working for yourself now, obviously, you know, the money's an issue, et cetera, but, you know, were there any kind of limiting beliefs that came up for you around, you know, stepping into the role as a business owner?
Zaz (11:16): Absolutely. Absolutely. There's there's all of a sudden, all these questions that start coming up, like, how am I going to be able to contribute fully to paying the mortgage, to paying the bills, to pulling my weight, to not feeling like I am dragging somebody down or being dependent on someone. Um, am I sure that what I'm doing is a value? I'm not sure that I should be doing this. Um, you know, a lot of, a lot of self limiting beliefs, you know, you know, things like saying, gee, there are so many people out there that do this already. Why would, why should anybody come do my classes? Um, and, and every single class, even now I think can be like, it's a bit, a little bit like throwing a party. Like, you know, when you're a kid at school and you would invite everybody to come to a party that you were throwing at your house and then you'd have all the chips and everything out and all the drinks.
Zaz (12:11): And then like, is anybody going to come over? I'm like going to just be all on my own. And sometimes it is a little like that, you know, um, in my, in my teaching. And it's sometimes you, like, you turn on the screen or you go to this space that you you've, you've hide out this space. So whenever we are a studio and you think, gosh, is anybody going to come? And then it's just, it's pure delight and joy when you welcome people and people come again and again. Um, and I think when you start to, when you start to look at yourself as though, and talk to yourself as though you is somebody that you can fall, which sounds a bit weird, but talking to yourself as though you would talk to your really good friend, I think has really helped because, you know, sometimes, sometimes your really good friend is going to be like, come on, you can do a bit more, you can try a bit harder.
Zaz (13:06): And sometimes your really good friends is going to go, babe. It's okay, you've got this. You're doing really, really well. Sometimes we just need somebody almost an external point of view to validate how we're feeling and what we're doing. But I remember initially before it was actually teaching and when I was in my training, so I had just gotten off from, you know, jumped off the wagon, jumped off from my high heels, into being a yoga teacher, trainee, um, training teacher. And, you know, you'd go to go to dinner parties and stuff, and some, you know, previously, what do you do? Well, I'm a marketing manager for Burberry and people like, Ooh, wow, glamorous, blah, blah, blah. You have these lovely conversations. And now it's like, what are you doing? Well, I'm training to be a yoga teacher or, you know, I'm a mom and people kind of go, Oh, okay. And they look past you to see if there's somebody more interesting in the room and you just have to really hold your nerve. Um, and it's really easy to hold your nerve and believe in yourself when everything is going really well. It's a lot harder to believe in yourself and your project and your new business when things are going less well. Okay.
Michelle (14:21): Isn't that the truth? Isn't it? You know, I've been talking a lot on my Instagram feed this week about failure and how, you know, it can be so painful to, to fail, but it's, you know, it's one of those things that as, as business owners, as entrepreneurs, you know, it's just comes with the territory. You know, we're going to fail multiple times if we're stepping outside of our comfort zone and doing the things that we to do to build and grow our businesses. However, that doesn't mean make it any less painful,
Zaz (14:57): Completely, and any kind of growth involves risk and involves taking a chance. And I think that if you, so if you were to start a business and immediately it was phenomenally successful, everything's perfect. I would be a little worried. I'd be like, when is something going to come and bite me in the? You know, when, when is the growth going to come? When is the learning going to come? Because there always is learning. And if it's all smooth sailing, or it seems like it's smooth sailing, you know, that to me feels like is that like the roller coaster ride that very calmly and gently takes you up that steep incline before you drop off the edge of the cliff.
Zaz (15:44): And that's not like I'm, I'm looking for the negative, but I, I think it's funny because it's funny that you've been talking about, um, failure on your Instagram. I've been talking about balance and imperfection on my Instagram, um, because there's this pressure to be perfect. Whereas when you're imperfect, that's when the opportunities are there. That's when you get to grow and learn and get better and bigger and stronger. So rather than seeking for everything to be perfect, maybe, maybe we're actually, you should be seeking for, okay, there's, I'm looking for what, what can I learn from in this? What what's, what can I work on and tweak to keep learning? So I'm looking, I'm not looking for faults, I'm looking, and I'm not looking for, I guess, imperfections, I'm looking for opportunities to grow.
Michelle (16:36): Mm. I love that. And I, and it's interesting because I know personally, I, you know, when I fail a lot, most places say this, do you know if I staff and it doesn't work and then we try something else. It doesn't work. But I, I know personally I have to step back from that failure just for a little while before I can approach it as a learning opportunity, I have to wait for my ego to kind of catch up. And it strikes me that there's probably some similar similarities there with, with the yoga mat.
Zaz (17:07): Most definitely most definitely. And I think that when you come onto a yoga mat and I've, I referred to this, and I haven't even, I even wrote a blog post on my yoga, um, website called the messy room. And it's about seeing that when you come to yoga, you come to it, like you would come into a messy room and it's not going to be tied it up in one fell swoop, and you have to trend it lightly and carefully because otherwise you can hurt yourself. Right. Um, and the analogy with the messy room for me is that we come into it wanting to tidy up something like, I don't know, like being calm or wanting more flexibility or something. That's, that's the mess. Let's call that the mess. Um, and then as you start to do that, that you come to do all those things because your ego is telling you that those are the things that you are seeking.
Zaz (18:07): And then when you put your ego aside, after a while, and learn to operate from a place of self love and acceptance, you start doing the real work and listening and discovering what's actually there. And then, you know, with the messy room analogy, you can start to tidy up and discover things in that room. You go, Oh, Hey, I didn't know. I had that. I didn't know. I was so resilient and committed that I would come back to my mat and try to do this pose again. And again and again, I didn't know I had that in me. So if you're resilient and committed on your yoga mat, you are resilient and committed outside in your life. If you're playful and you laugh at yourself, if you make a mistake and you come back to it anyway, then maybe that's also how you will be in your life.
Zaz (18:59): And it gives us the opportunity to find out, you know, w w you know, we see people all the time, especially as a yoga teacher and doing stuff, and you go, Hey, spend your knees a little bit and put your hand on a block. And there's some people like, I will not put my hand on a block because they're like, no, my, I refuse. So the ego won't let them do that part. And I was like, okay. And then you go, right. I, you start, you get a sense of the type of person. They always, maybe it's somebody, who's a little bit of a control freak, and they realize, and then over time that, okay, I will put my hand on the block. Oh, now I can do the pose. And now I can learn to eventually wean myself off the block. And then actually I discover that maybe in life I can access, support and help and gently find my way to deal with things without that. And it's, you know, your practice, the way you are on your mat is how you are in your life, basically. Um, that is, that's a really common analogy in the yoga world.
Michelle (20:04): I love that. And totally, that's how I totally identify with that person. I am that control freak. Oh my goodness. That when I first started vetted, that that really reminds me of when I first started meditating. And I know I wrote about this in my book, but when I first came to meditating, I, I had to literally force myself. You know, I was, I was sitting there saying, right, clear your mind of thoughts. Now, like now I say, of course, the first thing that happens is, you know, your mind tumbles with 50 million thoughts. And then you start thinking about thinking about the thoughts and the whole thing falls apart. And yeah, it was, gosh, it was a long before, and I still work in it every day, but it was a long time before I realized that, you know, the, the awareness of the thoughts is the practice. And I guess it's the same with yoga, isn't it, it's, you know, it's being aware of how your body is on any particular day. And it will be different every, every day. That is the practice.
Zaz (21:07): That is the practice. And also it's about the other thing that's part of the practice is, is really, really interesting. How, who, how people come to it. And at the beginning of a practice, I'll say to people, you know, check in with yourself and, you know, often in a yoga class, you'll say, Hey, does anybody have any injuries? And people put their hands up and maybe somebody will whisper something to me or on online, they'll type a little message. And it'll be, I've got a dodgy knee, or my wrist hurts or, or hip or back or whatever it is. But nobody says I've got a broken heart. That's because, you know, because your practice has to reflect also and serve you. When I say, how are you feeling? I don't just mean how your body is feeling. How are you feeling? You know, and really, I, I say this in almost every class, tend to yourself, greet yourself, call yourself by name.
Zaz (22:02): Hi, Michelle. Hi, how are you? And then don't be that person at the dinner party who asked that question and then turns away or carries on the conversation before you've had a chance to reply. If you ask yourself, how are you reply, respond to yourself? And if you just go, yep, I'm fine. Just really gently go really? Are you really fine? And if it's like, yeah, I'm really fun. And then great. It's like, well, actually, you know, I'm kind of thinking about this or my heart is hurt or whatever that thing is. And then you practice in a way that serves that energy, because there's no point like going to do a load of, I dunno, big heart openers, backbends. When you feel like you need to curl inwards, you know, you have to recognize what you need and give that to yourself. Um, and you know, yes, my classes encourage people to challenge themselves and their minds perceptions of what they're capable of. And so there's, it's a, it's a strong practice. You know, I have beginners and intermediate and teaches, but it's really about practicing in a way that really, really serves you. So being in a crazy handstand is advanced practice being in child's pose when you knew you needed, that is super advanced because that's when you're going, I'm going to put away the ego and recognize that this is actually what I need right now. And that's the beauty of the practice. I think
Michelle (23:38): I love that. And incidentally, um, guys listening to this, if you want to do a bit exploration about how our ego can come up, particularly in, in business, and this is something I've been working on this year, because the w as, as has been saying about, you know, how you bring your ego to the mat and, you know, the way that you come to the mat is the way you are in your life. I think similarly, you know, the way we do something is the way we do anything. And so if, you know, we bring ego into our work, for example, it can really limit us in terms of stepping into things that we might, you know, be risky for us. Things that might be scary for us, you know, our ego will limit us. So a really good book on this is, um, ego is the enemy by Ryan holiday.
Michelle (24:30): I thoroughly recommend it. I'll put the link in the show notes, but it's, it's a really great one for exploring how our egos can impact, um, what we do in our life and particularly, you know, how it can impact in our businesses, um, that, um, you know, it's really, really, um, interesting. You've talked about how, you know, exploring how you're feeling when, when you come to the mat and something that I always recommend to clients is to do that, you know, for our time in our business as well. And I use the practice of journaling for that, for myself to explore kind of what's been going on in the day, what's worked well, what hasn't gone well, you know, wherever I, you know, stepped into my values wherever I helped people and, and where have things not, not gone quite so well. And maybe, you know, why that might be, is that something that you've found helpful at all? Is journaling something that you've done?
Zaz (25:25): Um, a while ago I was on a mentoring course and we were asked to do morning pages, you know, from the artist's way. Do you know that book? Yeah, I love it. Yeah. So I started doing the artist's way, started doing the morning pages. And for me personally, I discovered that it didn't work interestingly or rather what it brought out for me was a lot of darkness. And for some people, it worked really well, but I wasn't the only person in that group. Um, for me, it brought out a lot of dark stuff, actually. Um, interestingly, what I found is when I do a meditation in the morning, for instance, that after I've done a meditation, I'll write something down. And that feels, that brings me to a much better place. Um, and that can just simply be something that I've picked up, something that maybe that I'm thinking about stillness and what does stillness mean to my life and balance.
Zaz (26:34): And what does balance mean? Because it's not about just standing on one foot. Um, although again, coming back to my yoga analogy is standing on one foot. You know, I'll write about things like that because, you know, if you, if you were to do something really simple right now, and whoever's listening to this, just try it just in a safe place. But if you stand on one foot, if you bend down, bend your knees, bend down, hold onto one ankle and then lift one foot up off the ground and stay there for a minute. And you're going to feel that I'm doing this while I'm talking to, you
Michelle (27:08): Can tell, but
Zaz (27:10): You're going to feel the muscles and tendons and ligaments in your foot and in your ankle, moving and fighting and working really hard for balance. And so balance in our lives is not a static thing. It's not work-life balance. It's a destination, gray, you STEM my visa. I'm here, I've arrived at this destination. It is something that is constantly ebb and flow and working towards. So that's the kind of thing I'll write down. Um, interestingly, I just finished teaching a three week workshop called prepare to unfurl where part of that was the focus of it was really to kind of look at how we verbalize our intentions. We think of our goals and desires and how we verbalize our intentions and plant a seed, which will unfurl over time to come to our fullest highest potential. And as part of that workshop, every week, we did that for three weeks. We would have journaling prompts and spend 10 minutes journaling. Um, and I think for me having a discussion first or reading something first and then journaling and writing down my intentions, my, what am I desires? What am I hopes my dreams? And then, right. So those are my hopes and my dreams here are my intentions. And that kind of works for me as a process.
Michelle (28:42): I love that. And I think, you know, the thing with journeying is the same money. There's no wrong way to do it. There's no, you know, I think it's, it's more about processing what's going on in the background. You know, for me, there's so much that we just leave, um, to fester and, you know, the things that festival come back to bite us in the, but in my experience, I know we need to kind of process. So for me, it's about processing the day. Um, and it's about celebrating the wins. You know, I think as much as we, um, you know, need to talk about failure and become comfortable with failure as entrepreneurs, we also need to celebrate the heck out of our wins. And we know I'm big on that. You know, I love celebrating, um, you know, even the smallest tiniest step forward.
Michelle (29:34): And my goodness, you know, as we record this, we're still in the throws of the COVID-19 pandemic. And the UK specifically is locked down. And, you know, some of the wins are really very small right now, but each one of those winds is a step forward in the right direction. And again, you know, the parallels with, with yoga are amazing, you know, that, that, you know, maybe that forward bend where you couldn't touch the floor and then one day you find you can, you know, that for some people that might seem like such a small thing, but the repercussions within your body are going to be huge.
Zaz (30:12): Absolutely. And also, you know, we shouldn't judge them to our wins as big or small, they're just wins. They are wins. And in the context of a pandemic, my gosh, you know what, getting up and even putting on some lipstick is a major win. It's a huge win stuff that was so basic in the quote unquote normal world pre COVID era, you know, means that actually right now, everything we're doing because mental health is a huge deal right now. And recognizing that by showing up and by, by being present and by drying again and again, and again, my gosh, you, you know, you could say we're, we're freaking superheroes right now. I really think that we as superheroes or we need to acknowledge all that we've done. And, you know, as you were just saying, thinking about what you've done in a day, what I delight to do is to write a list of what I've accomplished, because I think it's really easy to be like, Oh, I didn't do this thing.
Zaz (31:15): And my list of things to do is so long because I got distracted. Well, okay, you can write down and say, Hey, I accomplished the ironing or I did the homeschooling, or I did all my admin. I'm made a start on this plan that I wanted to do. All that stuff is stuff that you did, you fill that your day in need. And if you, the stuff that distracted you is I sat on the sofa with a magazine and a cup of tea that is also a wind because that is self-care and self-care is vital right now.
Michelle (31:48): Yeah, there's, there's a lot of, I'm starting to see more and more, um, particularly women. And this is just, I guess this is a parallel conversation, but I'm seeing a lot from female business owners really struggling right now with the juggle of running a business and doing homeschool. And I know there's a lot of dads out there doing it too. So, you know, shout out to all the dads as well, but I'm noticing a lot of pent up, um, overwhelm that is starting to spill out is trying to do all the things. And, you know, it's hard enough in the best of times to juggle parenting and running a business or in some cases, you know, two businesses or whatever. Um, but right now I feel like the expectation is for, um, you know, everyone to carry on as normal. And, and, and to a certain extent, you know, we, we do tend to pile that we can pull that pressure on ourselves a bit as well. Um, but in terms of limiting that expectation a little and being kind to ourselves, you know, I think there's, there's probably, again, another parallel there with that self care that you're talking about, you know, how do you, how are you managing to sort of juggle everything as an entrepreneur, as a mom of two, um, how do you make space in the day for yourself?
Zaz (33:20): It's really hard, isn't it? It's, it's super hard. We deprioritize ourselves massively. Um, yeah, we really deprioritize ourselves. And for me, what I do, there are basically ice for a long time, for a long time. Actually, I just gave kind of surrendered to that feeling of rest. I need rest so very badly and I let myself have the lions in the morning. However, I found that it meant that I wasn't getting enough time for me, conscious time for me in, during the day, let's say, because of course the day is caught up with doing all that other stuff. So as a, as a mom of two, and also, uh, you know, trying to run my business, which isn't just, you know, teaching classes, there's a huge amount that goes on in the background with running a yoga business, um, on, on multiple levels is also, I basically, I wake up, um, like an hour early.
Zaz (34:27): So I wake up probably around seven o'clock so massively early. So I wake up an hour early so that I can do a 20 minute meditation and a 14 minute yoga practice. So it's not an hour's yoga practice, but it's fine. At least I know that I've moved my body. I've gotten on my mat. I've had some space for myself, some breathing room. Um, I've also made, I also make sure that I'm, I'm really hot, you know, sort of, I'm really hot on doing the five a day, making sure we get a five a day and everybody eats super healthily. We all eat together at lunchtime. Um, and I make sure I go out for a walk by myself because actually you need a bit of time to yourself and it's Hey to have a bit of time for yourself. And maybe, you know, for some people maybe who have children who are much younger or for whatever reason, they're unable to leave them.
Zaz (35:27): You know, it's not a sin to pop them down with a book or something or a TV show, and then have yourself a cup of tea and sit and your eyes and be in the bedroom. Even if you have to be in the bathroom. I used to, I used to close the door, take a box of L'Oreal hair dye and go, gee, I'm sorry guys, but you can't come in for half an hour because the smell is not good for little children. So I would have half an hour to myself in the bathroom to die.
Michelle (35:59): Oh gosh. I remember those days of needing to disappear just for 10 minutes to take some deep breaths. I remember those days really well, but it, but, but your point is, is so sound that we do have to find that space in the day for, for ourselves. And, and particularly, I think when you run your own business, it's so easy for that business to become 24 seven. And you know, for us not to take time out and not to take space. And even if we love what we do, even if we, you know, 100% passionate about our businesses and, and I know you are crazy passionate about what you do, we still need to have time away to, to brainstorm and have ideas. And, and those things, you know, our brains don't work creatively when we completely overwhelm them all the time. We have to have that little bit of space and that you know that little bit of time.
Zaz (36:53): Well, if you, if he was, if we even just think about brains, almost like a mobile phone or the car, it runs out of juice, it runs out of a battery. It runs out of petrol. What do you do? You go in, you fill it up. You know, you charge it at midnight. It's insane that we look after our cars and devices better than we look after ourselves. I often say to people the absolute best way for you to commit, to keep some kind of self care routine is to make an appointment. We respect appointments with other people. We, you go, Oh, I've got a doctor's appointment. I have to be there this time. And you make sure you're there at that time. You make sure you say, sorry, kids, or, you know, family, please can somebody help look after the kids. I got to go to the hospital or I got to go to the doctor, or I've got to go to the grocery because we need food.
Zaz (37:46): Why is having time for ourselves any less important? If you said for some whatever reason you had to have a hospital appointment or something every single day, you would make that happen. But when you go, Oh, it's just for looking after myself, suddenly it's less important. It's, it's crazy. So I think making an appointment with yourself and going, right, I am going to make sure that there's a, like a diet. I dunno, a diary alert in my phone or something that rings and says Bingbing time for, you know, I used to just put Zed out in my work diary once a day, every single day, it just had Zed out and I would go out and either walk around on my own to a park, go to a gym and go for a swim. Eventually I would team secretary was that once this Zed out thing that you do every day and I'm like, Oh, it's just me time to, you know, but of course saying just me time, devalued it immediately.
Zaz (38:51): And she was like, Oh, in that case, we're going to move Zed out by half an hour to put another meeting. And then I was going to push it back another half hour, another half hour, another half hour until it didn't exist anymore. You know? And by making an appointment for yourself that you will keep, if you don't have, if we don't have enough respect and love for ourselves to treat us as the way we would an inanimate object, like a car or a mobile phone or ourselves go into a hospital appointment, why should anybody else respect us and give us that time? Because they're very powerful. There'll be like, Hey, you don't think it's important. So then it's not important. You know, we meant people's expectations of how we want to be treated. We stay late at work all the time. Well then the boss thinks, Hey, she's cool with staying late at work all the time. You leave bang on time, say, look, I have a commitment to do X, Y, Z, the boss goes cool. That's your commitment. I get that. You're committed to something. We have to show ourselves that we're committed to ourselves.
Michelle (40:01): That's a really good point you make, because I think, you know, when we, when we move from a corporate role to running our own businesses, it's quite easy to stop honoring that commitment because you know, the guilt is there in terms of, well, if I'm, if I'm not running my business, then I, you know, I, I should be doing stuff with the family or if I'm not running my business and I'm not putting a hundred percent in and I need to make money. And, you know, everyone gets really worried about, you know, not being 100% on, you know, I've got to be on social media and I've got to be on Instagram and I've gotta be on Facebook and Pinterest and LinkedIn and all the things all the time. But it's really interesting how, when you do take a step back and have that little bit of space for yourself, how you then are able to show up, not because you feel you should, but because you actually have something to say
Zaz (41:03): There, that is such a great point, having something, you know, that when you show up, you actually have something to say is such a powerful point, actually, Michelle, because it's this just showing up for the sake of showing up or showing your face, um, just to show your face, to say, Hey, I'm still here at the party, but if you don't have anything to say, it's sucking energy in the energy out of you. And I think that that's also where I got to with my blogging was feeling that I was exhausted from it and depleted, and I don't have anything to say, but I'm showing up to write so that there is constant content on here, whereas it wasn't following my heart and my passion anymore. And I think that the other thing that we want to do more of, um, this is a bit of a segue in our businesses as well as in our lives.
Zaz (42:00): And I, and I also feed this through in, uh, your, in my yoga classes. When I say, Hey, you know, let's, let's do this. We're going to do some little jumps here. We're going to try this on balance. And they go, okay, hold on. Are you leading with fear or with intention and with everything that you do in your business, in my business, am I, am I putting this out with fear or with intention because the universe knows the difference. I know the difference and I moved differently and I operate differently when I operate from a place of fear or a place of lack versus a place of intention or a place of abundance. Um, you know, when you try something out, you think, well, we're going to see how this goes. I'm going to put it out there. We're going to see how it goes to all. Maybe I'll kind of give this a bit of a go and what, what do you guys think is not that great, but what do you think, you know, if you were to present a new product for your business, go guys, I've got this thing. It's not that it's not really that great, but what do you think it's going to be like? Well, that it's crap.
Zaz (43:14): No. And, and I, it's something that I think when we lead with intention, the results are very different. We, when we, I was saying this morning in a class, it's like when, when Lewis, Hamilton goes into a, into a crazy band at whatever, 160 miles an hour, and he sees a corner coming up, if he hesitates and goes, I'm not so sure about this, then it's not going to end well. Whereas if he goes into that curve with intention and power behind him, that's why he is where he is because he leads with intention. All the people that we admire that we look at, it's not the fear doesn't exist. Of course it exists. And of course you question yourself in this self doubt and I'm not sure, but when you go, you know what thank you fear for talking to me. Um, and I, and I'll be totally honest.
Zaz (44:18): I, I got this from Elizabeth Gilbert's book, you know, she wrote, eat, pray, love. And then she wrote big magic. And she says, you know, the fear gets to come along for the ride. If we're going on a road trip, fig fair is coming along for the ride because it's part of us, but it does not get to read the map and decide the route. It certainly does not get behind the wheel. It doesn't even get to choose the radio station and the other playlist, it gets to come say it's piece. And then you're like, okay, be quiet. Now I'm going to move forward with intention because that's how I want my life to be. And when I'm stepping off the pavement across the road, I'm stepping with intention. If I am folding forward in a forward fold, I'm doing it with intention and awareness of my body. If I'm kicking up into a handstand, it's the same intention. And I feel it in my body. If I'm kicking with fear, if I'm leading with fear, instead of intention, I knew it's not going to work. And of course it doesn't work and you come down with a thud and you try it again.
Michelle (45:33): So, so interesting. The parallels I'm actually going to title this episode lead with intention, I think, because it really sums up so much of what we've been discussing today. And, um, there's so much going on for you in your business right now. I know there's loads of exciting stuff, um, that you're doing. And I love having been in your classes myself. I love the playfulness and the fun and the creativity and how you hold space to people is very, very special. Tell us a bit about what you've got coming up this year, because I know you were talking about prepare to unfold. What are you excited about in your business right now?
Zaz (46:16): Oh, gosh, well, prepare to unfurl was the program that I had been thinking about for over a year, but a year and a half, two years. And I didn't, I, and I led with fear. I wouldn't put it out because I was so fearful and then I really looked at it and I continued to think about it. I thought, you know what? It's still here. This idea is still here. And this concept is still here. And it means a lot to me, it's part of my heart. It's part of my passion for encouraging people to unfurl and become and see their potential and be the best person they possibly can be, um, through intention, setting through manifestation and through their yoga practice. And so together this program, and we just finished this first program, uh, three weeks. And the feedback already is, gosh, it's incredible.
Zaz (47:11): You know, we were a group of, it happened to be all women, a group of women. And, you know, it could have easily been mixed, but it was just people talking about their intentions. And then we looked at how to, what is an intention and how do we set that? How do we find that? So that was, uh, you know, we discussed that we had guided meditations that were on the theme of each week and the program is themed along the life cycle of a plant, a seed. Um, so there's the process of clearing the ground and fertilizing it and then planting your seed and then allowing it to activate, you know, it's to draw the nutrients from the sky and from the soil and to grow into your full potential. Um, and then we embedded all of that with a short yoga practice at the end of each session.
Zaz (48:00): So it was absolutely beautiful and so powerful. I literally had people coming back to the session after the following, after the second week and going so after my 90 minute session of unfair last week, I went into my work the next Monday on Monday morning, and I told them, this is what I'm going to do because I'm ready to unfurl. And somebody else went back to their parents said, right, I've decided this, and this is what I'm going to do and made concrete steps to change their lives. So it was just extraordinary that something like this could be life changing. So it is definitely going to happen again this year, I'm going to rerun, prepare to unfold. Um, I'm also creating an on an e-course, which is called level up your yoga. Um, I'm super excited about that. And this is where basically it's a program for people who have started yoga.
Zaz (48:55): I've done a little bit of yoga and they're now thinking, okay, I want to go deeper. I want to maybe learn what is yoga about a little, a little bit about the philosophy I want to get to, um, explore some more poses, maybe. So it's going to be like having your own toolkit of workshops and you're going to learn and have drills to prepare your body, to be able to access these postures and create a foundation from which to grow. And so there'll be, um, a course section on backbends of course, section on hip openers and hamstrings leading to big poses, eventually like, you know, things that people maybe don't imagine they can do, how they could access something like the splits, how are they going to access a full wheel, how they can access, um, an arm balance and, and how they can expand on it and roll from it and develop it so that they really discover that you can, you can really learn and turn into, you know, deepen your load, your yoga price and level it up essentially.
Zaz (50:01): Um, so that's going to be launching, um, I think it's going to be an April domain there's yeah, there's lots going on. And all of it is on my website, um, on yogawithzaz.com where also in addition, I'm offering, when you sign up to the mailing list, you get two free yoga pose tutorials, um, that I've created specifically for people joining. And then on the emails that go out, I share all sorts great content, whether that's music, some people come to my classes to enjoy the music. Um, I have information about the classes is five classes a week with these fun and playful sequences to challenge you and to give you space for self love and acceptance, and also some drills in the newsletter. There are drills or links to YouTube videos that I offer as if there's a lot of stuff happening and I'm super excited about it.
Michelle (50:54): That sounds amazing. I'm loving the sound of that really, really cool. So guys, I will put all of these links in the show notes. Don't worry if you are, I don't know, on the treadmill in the car, cooking, listening to this while you're doing something else, which I know a lot of you do, don't worry as always the show notes are there for you at michellereevescoaching.com/listen Where you'll also find all the other episodes from this areas and the previous series as well does. Oh my goodness. Such a pleasure having you on the show. Can we just finish up with one thing I would love to know if someone's listening to this show today and they're totally inspired by your journey and frankly, why wouldn't they be? But what's one piece of advice that you'd give them to get started. If they're thinking about taking the jump and starting their, their own,
Zaz (51:50): I, you just have to jump off the cliff. You'd have to jump off the cliff. You have to go for it because what is the worst that could happen if you go for it and try to make it happen, believing that if you jump off that cliff and I fully believe that if I jump, the universe is going to catch me, I just know in my heart, I am not going to end up in a ditch somewhere or it, or in a sleeping bag at the side of the road. I know this in my heart that I will do whatever I need to do. I will work so hard to make my dreams happen, but I want to give it a shot because the biggest thing is you don't want to live your life with regret. You don't want to go, Oh, if only I'd done X, Y, Z.
Zaz (52:44): And I know it's scary and do it as a side hustle and then grow it, but do it, just, just do it, commit yourself to saying I'm going to try and do this thing. If, if I want to, I don't know if I want to do a cake baking business, I'm going to do it. I'm going to just do it. Why not? Why would I not do it? I know sometimes people like, Oh, I haven't gotten around to doing my website and doing my thing. And I feel like I can't do because of this. Like, Hey, it'll take you five minutes to set something up. It may not look perfect. It may not be incredible, but you can come back to it and tweak it forever, but just do it, just take the jump and lead with intention. Don't let fear hold you back. So that in 50 or 60 years, you're like, Oh, I wish if only I'd done X, Y, Z, just to get your life in your hands.
Michelle (53:42): So, so powerful, you know, not living a life of regrets. I love that. And, and it's, you know, it's, it's so true. Life is so short. And I think right now for so many people, you know, that is, that is true. You know, we're really seeing so much, um, at the moment, so much difficulty, so many struggles, so many challenges that people, you know, are having across the world. And, and doesn't, it really bring home how short life is and how we need to really make the most of it and grab our dreams and our goals while we can. So I totally love that. Zaz it has been such a pleasure having you on the show. I've loved chatting with you. My goodness. We could talk for hours and hours and, um, and we often do
Michelle (54:26): It's been my absolute pleasure. Um, guys, as I said, I will put all the links in the show notes, and please do go check out theirs on, um, Instagram. Her Instagram account is incredible. Her stories inspire me every single day. So please do go and check that out too. Zaz I will chat to you really, really soon, but it has been great having you on the show. Thank you so much.
Zaz (54:47): Thank you so much, Michelle. You always, always inspire me and completely light me up after our chats. So it's so fantastic to be here. Thank you so much for having me.
Michelle (55:03): So they have it. My interview with Zaz from Yoga with Zaz, so many powerful lessons about failure and growth, the pressure to be perfect, celebrating our wins self-care and the importance of putting away our ego to truly open up to what you need. I hope you enjoy listening to it as much as I enjoyed recording it. And Hey, if you did enjoy this episode, would you do me a favor? Would you head over to iTunes and leave a comment and review for the show? It really does mean that more amazing women will be able to find us. Now, before I go, I have a question for you. Have you ever wondered what it might be like to have a podcast just like this one to promote your business? If you have, you might have also put it off because you're just not sure how to get started.
Michelle (55:57): If so, then the free trial of my online program, practical podcasting for beginners is for you. In fact, one of my students launched into the top 100 on iTunes in her niche. There are step-by-step videos in the program, covering all aspects of creating and launching your podcast, plus access to me for help and support when you need it. Even if technology is not your best friend, what could a podcast do for your business? Find out more and start your free trial with no credit card required at Michelle Reeves, coaching.com forward slash podcast free. Okay. That's it for me today, friends. Thank you so much for tuning in. I know how valuable your time is, and I really appreciate you taking the time to join me. I'd love for us to continue the conversation in the ideal life club, Facebook group, our community on Facebook for ambitious women who want to grow themselves as well as their business. Find out more and join us by heading over to Michelle Reeves, coaching.com forward slash ideal life club. In the meantime until next time, be positive, be powerful, be productive and keep fast-tracking your ideal business and life. Bye for now.
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