Hear the story of how Prague Yoga Collective (PYC) came together, with Betti, Alex & Lisa telling all about it.
If you don't know PYC, or have never been to Prague, this is the story of our origins at Asana Etc. Asana Etc was born from the foundations of PYC and the wonderful people who met and grew together there. So tune in today to hear the full story on how we became this awesome team of awesome people :)
Hey, you guys, and Happy Monday, welcome to our fourth episode of Asana, etc. Conversations About Yoga. So today's conversation about yoga, I will be speaking with Alex and Betti, and we will be having a conversation on how we met. And just like rounding it all off from the past couple of weeks of talking to Betti and Alex separately, and now we're gonna have a conversation together on on who we are and where we're from, and where we're going. And all these things. We did record all these podcasts or all these conversations back in January. So this one was recorded before the conversation I had with Alex that you guys heard last week. So some of the things might be a little bit referring back and forth. But I think if you've heard everything you will, you will understand where we're going with everything. Anyway, guys, I hope you are enjoying the stuff that we're putting out and hearing our stories. And if you feel like giving us a review or reaching out and asking us questions, or letting us know what you would like to hear more of, then please don't hesitate to do so. You can follow us on Asana underscore, etc at on Instagram, or you can go to us asanaetc.com and you can also contact us there. Alright you guys, let's get into today's conversation. Enjoy.
Alright, cool. Hi, guys. We're just sitting here is really funny because we we have been trying to do this for quite a while. Right. And it's been I think we've all been a little bit nervous about it. Just sitting on zoom talking about stuff. But here we are. So it's Lisa and Betti here there somewhere. Right.
I'm here. Hi, guys.
And Alex. Hi, guys. Hi. How are you guys doing today?
Good. I feel tired but good.
Yeah, it's the third week of January. I heard on Monday that like it's called Blue Monday this week or something because it's the third week, the third week of the new year. And this is when Okay, this is going to be a little bit morbid, but when most suicides occur on Blue Monday so that the third week of January is like when people they've sort of started the new year and they doing everything right. And the third week hits and everybody's just like, Oh, god, it's a new year, and I don't know what I'm doing anymore. You guys.
None of the resolutions work out.
Yeah, yeah. Yeah.
That's awful. We don't need that kind of energy. This is 2021. This is a new beautiful year.
Yeah. That's your statistic. Static statistic oriented mind Lisa, actually.
I'm sorry to start off on that. Yeah, this is always this is always the way we work together. I always have some sort of bad statistic when we talk.
Some worst case scenario.
Yeah, exactly. Worst case scenario. It's like, what if there's a fire and the whole building burns down and then Alex shouts at me. That's how it works.
I just close my ears and start running away. I don't want to listen to it at all.
And I'm just laughing.
Betti's like, whatever, we'll be fine. No. So you guys are not feeling like that this week. You feeling like it's a beautiful week? And how's it going so far?
Yeah it's been snowing and it's been lovely outside and yeah, it's been like romantic winter. It's been proper winter here in Prague.
It's a beautiful January. Yeah. weather-wise,
As you guys are saying that the sun is just shining in through my terrace window. It's beautiful. I'm looking forward to spring.
Yeah. All right. So we, we've gotten together today because we sort of want to kick off our podcast with with a little check in with the three of us and I was actually talking to Betti the other day. So about just how, how Prague Yoga Collective came, came to be in the beginning. And we're probably not going to be hearing that episode until after this one. So maybe we should just speak about that together a little bit. If you guys want to Begin and just, I don't know, talk about how you personally ran into Prague Yoga Collective and why Why are you doing this? And what's what's going on with that?
Maybe Betti you begin since I came in a little bit later.
Sure. Um, so the the whole Prague Yoga Collective story started in my case, like, I came back from Asia after doing my teacher training, and then traveling around seeing the world teaching a little bit here and there. And then and then I met Lisa, and then the story there is gonna hear in the other podcast, so I'm not going to spoil it now. Right. But, but there was this, I had this dream already when when I just returned to Prague that, Okay, I will teach yoga, I'm not going to back to work in the office and, and at some point, I will have my my studio and it seemed to be like a faraway dream. And I, I had it in the back of my mind, but I didn't even think of it, then it's something that could be realized any soon. And then I met Lisa, and we were hanging out and and then one day, she called me to come in and have a look at this place there is there's a place that could be could be a potential yoga studio for us. So I went and we checked. And it was, it was a really humble place. But we said, Yes, let's try. And then and then we tried. So the dream came way faster true than I expected. And starting my like only Professional Yoga teacher career. In August or September, or very November, we opened our our studio, and we call it producer collective. And it was a little a little funny, because we were sitting with Lisa and I was I was about to initiate the brainstorm what's going to be the name of our yoga studio. And then Lisa I was like, Prague Yoga Collective. It's okay. It's like quite simple, I guess. But I still feel better than you know. It's just like putting one of your favorite Asana names out and call it the downward facing dog yoga studio. So it's like, better. I have no better idea. So I'm not going to say no. Okay, let's call it Prague Yoga Collective. Shall we buy like a domain or something is like, Oh, I already have it. Right. Right. Probably This is not the time when I saw that we started brainstorming, but it's something that happened earlier in her head. And then she just put out pictures. Like, I was thinking of this logo. I'm like, Okay, so we have a logo. We have a website. Let's let's do then the business.
Oh my God, is that how you how you read it? Oh, my God.
But it's so good. You know, because then it was done. There was no time wasted and stuff. I'm like, Yeah, of course. Let's do it this way.
Yeah. May I explain myself? I actually because before we did all of this, and before we decided to just do this together, Betti, I, I was sort of set on doing my like, my my own thing. And then I was like, I need to do something. And also I wanted to do it regarding because I used to teach this baby yoga, baby Mama yoga. And I did that before. And I was like, I need a name for myself. So I can like, put myself out there under something so so this is actually something that I that I brainstormed out myself. I was like, Okay, so this could be because collective could mean most anything, because I was like, I don't only want to be baby yoga, because that's not all I do. So I wanted something that I could like, go off and do other things. And then when we got together, I was like, but I bought the domain already. I've made a logo and it's already existing. So why don't we use it so that
I remember I remember to be over time as you are now mentioning it. This is how it from where the roots are coming actually. Yeah.
So I'm sorry about that.
No, no, no, don't say sorry. It's just funny to remember how it started as you ask. Yeah.
I've never heard this story before. I mean, it's totally fitting right. Like, Lisa always being the planner and thinking a step ahead in that way. But it's just so funny. Like I just have never heard it like this before. Like it was ready to go laid out for you. Yeah.
Yeah. Yeah. me and Betti just talked about that on the other podcast that you guys will hear but when we when we did the other studio, the first studio we had a we had like a projector that we borrowed from Betti's ex boyfriend and we projected this logo up onto the wall and then painted it by hand. And it was Yeah, it had this Mandala in the background and there was just lines up on lines. It took like three days to paint
Oh my goodness. Yeah.
It was the Flower of Life. Right. It's a super technical painting for sure. Yeah. Because that circles on circle.
That's nice. But we like our logo as it is now. Right?
We love our logo, I think.
Yeah, this one's made from our juliann, our social media, social media guru. Uh, she, what's the story of this one? She just like, I think she said, she looked at a yoga mat. And she's like, I don't know what to do. And then she just like, did this with her finger, the swirl that we have, and then all of a sudden it was there. And we all just loved it.
Yeah, we could give her a lot of ideas. Like, I don't like it. I don't like it. I don't like it. You know, like, three girls sitting down trying to figure out what's the best. And of course, they cannot find the agreement. And then this came out from is like, oh, whatever. Oh, yeah, this is it.
Yeah, right. Right. Because it was so many bad. So many super bad options that came up before. We were like, no, this does not work. But this, this logo is timeless, I think. Yeah. Alex, do you want to? Do you want to go ahead and tell your your side of the story? Maybe in short, because we're going to get your long story as well on your own, which has been short.
Gotcha. Yeah. Well, I came in a few months after these girls did the first studio. I had met both of you guys. I met you at Yoga Blue Art. I think we all met at yoga, blue art. This is a hot studio in Prague that we were all teaching at. And I met you guys separately. I also came in with the vision I've always wanted to open my own studio. I was very set on it. I just wasn't sure if I was going to do it by myself. Or if I I've kind of felt like I needed a Czech person with me because I was a foreigner in a different country. And I wanted someone to help navigate. And then yeah, Lisa, I met you. And just right when we met, just kind of like hit the ground running like we did a retreat. And we started this teachers meetup thing. Yeah, yeah, we did that together. And then this was during a time that I was traveling all the time. So I wasn't really in the country for more than half the year at all. So I had left. And in the meantime, you guys built that little studio, set it all up. And I think I was then I came back from Costa Rica. And then I was already involved with both of you guys. And you guys just asked me to be a part of it. And it all seemed right. That's what it was. We were gonna do the yoga school together all of us. And then it was like, kind of confusing to do this piece or to do that piece. Having it broken up. So I got formally invited to be a part of Prage Yoga Collective. And that's the short version of it. We built two studios afterward and and did the whole yoga school and got a new platform going and Yeah, lots of accomplishments with you, ladies.
Oh my god, guys. He just came to my mind one more thing that that tied us together at the very beginning to remember the teacher training that we did together in Czech. Oh, yeah. Oh, God, how we're traveling with Alex by car Saturday morning, prove that we are like legitimate yoga teachers.
We were always late, remember? Yeah. Because came in and everybody looked at us and rolled their eyes at us.
Yeah. Because we are holding our fresh coffee in our hands. And that was the reason why we were late. So we were a little cheeky, let's
Yeah. That was that. That was an interesting experience that definitely different than other teacher trainings I've done. Certainly.
Yeah. Goodness. Well, it's funny that you mentioned that thing, Alex, because when I met you, I forgotten about this. The thing that you said about you needed a Czech person to work with. I remember you telling me that the first time we like talked about working doing a retreat and stuff. And it was it was kind of a no, I'm not going to do this with you. You know this like, No, no, no, you can't speak Czech. I need a Czech person.
She did the same to me.
Betti, Betti invited me out for a drink to talk about likeideas and dreams and I was like, Well, I think I need to get with somebody Czech. You know.
We didn't even go out for a drink. I have the same dream Do you want to hang out and talk about is like no, I need somebody who speaks Czech.
I was I was very stuck on this idea. And now look where we are. It's quite funny to think it's really funny.
Yeah, I think I think that there's a strength to the three of us, like we, we we all are super different as people. And I mean, the Czech is a different different aspect. Alex's like our Czech speaking person. And I think me and Betti are trying to learn at least a little bit but but the fact that we are such different People, we've sort of we sort of weigh each other up pretty well. Don't you guys think?
Yeah, absolutely. It works out. Totally.
Yeah. So. So for anyone who's never been to Prague Yoga Collective, how would you guys describe it? What's what's our places like? What's our community like?
Fun. Amazing, happy, joyful and sociable. You get to walk in and like talk to people, sometimes I feel not trying to blanket statement anything here in this country. But sometimes it just don't feel welcome when I walk into a place. And so I know that I personally really wanted to change that about the studio. So anytime you walk in, you'll definitely be welcomed with open arms with all of us and feel like you're a part of it right away. And it's true, this isn't some cheesy statement that I'm making. It's a real true feeling. And I really value that. That aspect of the studios.
Hmm, I think we have a, we have a mutual understanding between the three of us that even though our studio might be a little bit famous for doing a stronger version of of the yoga practice and sweaty and handstands and stuff, but we, we do have a common ground where everybody is welcome. And we always want everybody to feel welcome with us. Even if you'll never be able to do a handstand, you know, that you can come in and be yourself and just do your practice and as you want, as you need, you know?
Absolutely. And I feel how our community like I mean, the community of our teachers is growing, this is always the priority, then a teacher comes to make a demo class with us. And, and the most important thing is the atmosphere what he or she can create on the class, how she behaves to the students or to us and, and it's like smiling without smiling, but smiling approaches is there around him or her? That's more important than how, how hard class she's teaching her how perfect her cues are. And I think this is this is like a filter that if you have this, this need and will to, to smile and shine, then then you are very welcome, then Luckily, there are a lot of people who are like this.
Yeah, yeah, for sure. It's sort of ties into now during lockdown. We've been doing this online yoga platform, it's Asana etc.com. If you guys haven't heard or seen it yet, you can go check that out. But we've been creating something online. And we've we've also sort of wondered how could we bring this community to an online one way, communication, which is videos online. And, and I think that the statement that we just discussed, which is if you have a body, you can do yoga, which is tied to arson, etc, is something that we're trying to also do like, even if it's not, we don't get to meet you guys in person, if we meet you on zoom, or if we meet you on like a one way communication, which is over social media or over, over this platform that we also can portray this community in that you are, you are good the way you are. And you are, you are awesome the way you are, you know? What do you guys think about that?
Yeah, I definitely agree. And, and just to add on to that, too, it's what's been so fun, as is being, you know, open are with both of these studios for the past couple of years, as watching the people that have been with us that have come in, from the beginning, not knowing anything about yoga, or anything about the postures or having much body awareness, and just watching this improvement. It's just amazing, you know, what we can do when we stick to it. And it's all something that we know, we've heard many, many times, but to actually see it in real life and watch those results. It's incredible. So I'm very happy to have been able to grow also my own practice with these people over the years. So everybody is welcome. And we all start you know, we all have to start somewhere. And yeah, and it's only up from there. So
Sometimes it'll be the class in person. And like you used to have a class in person, they go in and go into teach and start a class and look around and I see that I don't know 15 pragma collective members who are practicing with us for for more than a year and and now they are already at a very higher level in their practice, compared to where they started and there are two new comers usually before we start I just started, everybody started at some point and it doesn't matter what's your background, and don't be intimidated by the fact that you look around and everybody is flying upside down because because we are here to support and not to show off in front of each other. So just just take it easy and and if it means like two centimeters, how high you Left and it's two centimeters and to get there, don't worry about it.
Yeah. It's super important. It's super important. I think that's like the foundation of what, or who Prague yoga collective is. If Prague Yoga Collective was a person, it would be that right.
So, so what about what about 2020? Guys? What about this past year, we've opened our second studio on letna, during this year, when we were able to be open in the summer, and then we've been, we've spent around six months now, with our studios close and being online, and how is how has that affected you guys? How do you guys feel about all that? It's a big question, isn't it?
Awful. If I could just be real, it's been, it's been a hell of a year. But again, when I look back at it, it's amazing what we have accomplished in, in 2020, what we've gotten done again, opening a second studio, even if it's been, I think close longer than it was actually open. We still did it. And that place is beautiful. And I'm very proud of it. Very happy with the results. And we've gained a new skill, you know, being able to still connect to people be comfortable in front of the computer. You know, sometimes as much as I fight it, men tend to get a little bit old school, it's still the way of the future. And I'm thankful that I am comfortable to be able to do this, because it just opens up more of the world to us, even if we are able to come back together. And and practice in person again. So yeah, but it has definitely been difficult. I think it's obviously it's been difficult for all of us. And I think we all feel quite the same way about 220 10 or 2020. Excuse me in general.
Every time when I go into into the new studio, and I know that we have opened the doors for public for a couple of months, basically in them in the whole year, right. or longer, I think like three, four months, we were open. And now we are closed again. And when we go there, for example, during the shootings for us, and etc. The first thing always comes to my mind that this is such a cool place. And we didn't build this for ourselves, I want to share it with people. So it's, it's great that at least with the videos, we can share the place and we have, we have something where we can shoot and we can show it, but they will be so nice to them to freely welcome as many people and as many matches as possible. So I'm looking forward to 2021 and bring back this type of freedom into our everydays
Yeah, goodness, I missed that like shoulder to shoulder sweaty, energy, loud music. I don't know, I miss it so much. It's like It's like, and I'm reminded of it sometimes because I go up to the studio, sometimes alone to practice. And I'll turn up the music real loud. And I'll just move and it's just like, it's like this, this this need or this want that's like, Oh my god, I haven't practiced with people for months. And it's it's sometimes it's it's not just to feel like I miss it so much. But I can't have it right now. You know?
Yeah. It'll come back though.
Yeah, for sure. And I think this, this, that's the spirit in, in the three of us in our community that we don't know how long this lasts, but but this strongly, unquestionably believed, and we're going to get back there. And the meanwhile an online platform is growing, which is amazing, because we can, we can stretch out and we can step out farther than, than the borders of Prague, and we can collect even more people into this beautiful, huge family. But that little little light that little flame inside who wants to sweat elbow to elbow with it stays there, and it will, it will bring back that that power? once once we are allowed to be present in the here and in the now all
together? Yes, of course. Of course. It's just that thing of, you know, you go from, from ego to, to not ego, or whatever you call it, but like, all you want is for everything to be like you want it to be. And then you're like, oh, but I understand that the world needs to do this right now. And then that's, that's at least for me, has been the last year I just go from one extreme to the other going, I hate this and then I understand it's okay, you know, so I don't know about you guys, but that's that's what my year has been like, I think.
Yeah, when something affects our, our personal everyday so intensively it's really, it's really challenging to step out from our from our own position and have a look at the bigger picture and see what serves like a greater If I just if I just keep my own hamster wheel and moving on the, on the same track every day, and I feel like I'm punished for something but I do not deserve but I have to. I have been tried to look at it from a different angle to see like it brings, it brings some something else it takes away something but it brings something out something new something better. So let's try to focus on on that side, even when, when something is really hard to see the brightness in this.
Yeah, for sure. For sure. So what about you guys? Personally, if we don't, I mean, we can look at 2021 and we know what we wish for we wish for the world to come back to a new normal and, and to be able to meet people and open our studios and go back to doing the things that we love. But what about personally do you guys What are you guys, guys's goals are? What do you want for 2021 for yourself? That's a big question. Sorry. No,
there's I mean, lots of goals. I would like to find I know that people keep saying that, you know, there is no return to normal. But I would really like to return to my routine, you know, seeing my friends going out for walks you know doing my own yoga practice back in the studios with people like you said, it is such an amazing thing to be able to, to practice and sweat next to each other and I would love to return to that I miss traveling. I've always been a traveler and it's crazy to be just feeling stuck here. So just these simple life you know, pleasures I would like them back as far as the bigger picture. I'm you guys know this I'm talking about all the time I'm super was like set on this retreat center. So I really want to open VYC Retreat Center. I think it's gonna be a five year plan, but I've been looking at properties and my eyes are open for the right place. It's gonna be amazing. So um,
Yeah, so if you guys are listening in and you have the perfect place to sell to us,reach out. We can't afford it right now. But maybe in the year.
Yeah great we can't give you some free yoga and you can give us a retreat center.
Oh my god, Betti. That'd be great. That'd be wonderful.
Planting the seeds planting the seeds for this too. So just getting that ready.
Yeah, of course. Back to Back to routine or back to a new normal, new normal life. It's it certainly there on the top of my my list of wishes for 2021 I would like to travel I would like to, I would like to get back into culture, going to cinema, going to theater, watching shows performances, I want to dance I miss dancing so much I can do I can do yoga at home I can do yoga in the studio, I can teach them but tensing that's something different. I don't start to do my, my own contemporary class just for self esteem. And so that's something that I really really miss. And and yeah, I think these are the the most most important things that are like most significant things that are missing shriveling and and culture. Because the people I like legally legally we meet with people and I know that at the beginning of the lockdown I felt like I'm becoming socially awkward. And I just don't want to meet people and when I meet more than two people I feel uncomfortable and stuff but but like going out having works and meeting people outside more people it helps me to maintain the the social aspect even though we are we are locked down. So that one is at this point not that intensively missing as the other two what I just mentioned before
I feel I feel like there's some there's those little things just like both of you guys just mentioned yesterday, the three of us were in the studio because we were filming some stuff for us and and and I brought my boys up there because I picked them up from school and I when we got home Phineas was like, Mom, I was so much fun going to the studio. Can we go again tomorrow? I want to hang out with Kuba. And I was like oh yeah, yeah, but but I just realized that this kid or my both of my kids, they get to do nothing. We you know, we sometimes we go to the park, we go outside but we don't. We usually take our boys we go to the museum and we go swimming and we go do all the things all the time. And we go to the library and like all these things and there's my kids go to you know, they're lucky enough. They get to Go to school and to, to daycare to see other kids. But then there's nothing to do. It's winter and you can't be outside for longer than three hours in a row with little kids, they're gonna get cold, you know. So I think that's something I really want for 2021. Just like, take swim takes plenty of swimming or just, I don't know, go just hang out with other children without being scared of not wearing a face mask. And I don't know, you know?
Yeah, definitely. Yeah.
That would be wonderful. I think maybe we should just go hang out more in the studio. Finance would be happy to come. Alright, so anything you guys want to add? This is our first first episode of our podcast. Is there anything that you want to sort of ended on anything you want to have set here? That's also a big question. All these questions. Guys. I'm so sorry.
You didn't take it easy today Lisa.
I'm working on my journalism. Okay.
I feel pretty good about Yeah, this is a great start for us. And I'm happy to see where this project goes. Yeah, it'll be fun. And bring different people on here and get to know others. Through this medium. It'll be nice.
I really enjoyed the fact that I know you guys are I thought I know you better than my own hand as we say it in Hungarian. And now there was just a story popping up with Alex hasn't heard before, like, Oh, yeah, that can be so many stories like this, like this, like small things that you think is not important. But actually these small things are making your day more shiny. So I'm looking forward to listen to the tiny things from other people's head.
Yeah, right. Yeah, you guys should listen to each other's each other some episodes as well. Maybe you learn something new.
For sure, for sure.
Okay, my last question is because we maybe we will have once this podcast comes out, but I'm gonna put it in here anyway, because we haven't realized a name for it yet. My husband has suggested chat-uranga. Like chatting, which is really stupid. But do you guys have another one? Just at the top of your head? What comes into your head here?
Oh, man. No. I'm so bad at this stuff. Yeah. So you should ask the listeners if you guys have any if you guys have any.
If we haven't named it yet, or maybe we could rename it if our name that we've chosen when this comes out is really bad, then you can definitely send us a suggestion of of a name. Yeah, Betti. You have anything?
We could start like a... What do you guys think should be the name and then I'm pretty sure that people can be way more creative than the three of us now here. Sitting by my kitchen table, talking walking, yoga chat.
Yeah, right. Well, let's end on that guys. And if you are listening in if you want to hang out with us spiritually, just come take a zoom class, we can also have chats there. And and if you don't have time for zoom classes, you can always tune in and go visit our new platform, Asana etc.com, that we've been talking about for a while. There's lots of nice teachers there, not just me, myself, me, myself and Betti, I was gonna say Betti, myself, & Alex but not just the three of us, but also other beautiful teachers from Prague. And there's more coming. There's more coming all the time we're filming so so check that out. And thanks for tuning in today. Thanks, guys for coming. Yeah, thank you.
Thank you. Have a beautiful day, guys.
Alright, you guys, thank you so much for listening in today and hearing all the way till the end of the episode. I think like I always say thank you for making it to the end of the episode. But I really do thank you for for making it. These are my children in the background, by the way, if you can hear them, and they're listening to the lego movie soundtrack. These past few weeks have been a bit difficult to get away and record things on your own. So there's a little piece of my life for you guys right here. Anyway, finishing off if you'd like to reach out to us and do go to atham etc.com that is as a na etc.com or you can reach out to us at Asana firstname.lastname@example.org. COMM if you have any questions or you can also follow us on Instagram, and our tag is Asana underscore, etc. And we look forward to hearing from you guys. Also please do go into Apple podcast or Spotify and give us a review or a rating that would be really nice. Alright, have a wonderful week and for hear from us again next week. Bye