Updated: Apr 3
Welcome to our very first episode!
Hosted by Lisa-Marie Wakenshaw & Alex Rodoni of Prague Yoga Collective & Asanaetc.com
Asanaetc.com, Is it another Online Yoga Platform?
Yes, and no, it’s just so much more!
What about calling it our Online Yoga Community? That’s what we had in mind when 2020 had us sit down and question how we could best serve our community online.
Let’s be real though, we’ve dreamed of creating an online presence & community for much longer than this pandemic has been in our lives, but last year definitely pushed us into creating-mode.
But before we jump into that story, who are ‘we’?
Prague Yoga Collective | (Alex, Lisa, & Betti)
Alex is our handstand & inversion master goddess! She probably spends more time hanging out upside down on her hands than on her feet. She loves to laugh and is always up to help you out in your handstand too! Alex has a great passion for yoga and sharing it with others.
Lisa has traveled the world teaching yoga, and she spreads joy and light wherever she lands. Whenever she teaches, you feel like anything is possible in her classes! She’s the one who brought Rocket Yoga into our lives, and we’re forever grateful!
Is a modern-day Audrey Hepburn flowing with grace, poise, and badass strength! There is no pose that Betti can’t do, and she’s even better at teaching others how to do it too! She loves to incorporate her dance background into her yoga practice for a unique twist (pun not intended).
Got together with Juliann & Kuba:
Kuba (Czech Republic)
He’s our mastermind behind all these beautiful videos. He makes us look damn good! We could not live out this dream without his insane skills. Side note: he’s a natural at handstands, and we’re a little jealous at how easy it came to him.
Juliann is our dreamer but also our doer and the backbone of all the beautiful designs & marketing around everything we do. She’s also a badass at yoga, has a passion for the healing powers of essential oils and without her knowledge and expertise, we wouldn’t even be halfway to where we are now!
When we were locked down the first time in March 2020 we just naturally formed this awesome team of 5 people with the goal of finding a way to continue serving our community online while the world was under different stages of the pandemic. We also realized that even without the pandemic in mind, we have met so many wonderful people from all over the world and by creating an online yoga platform we could continue to serve our global community as well as our local one here in Prague. Because that’s where we are, in Czech Republic, and that’s where all of this began to take form.
In today’s podcast (and may we proudly say, our very first one!), you’ll hear from all 5 of us, chatting about the origins of us, our family, our community and our hopes and dreams. And just as all our projects, studios built, classes taught, workshops planned and parties thrown, this venture into the online yoga world starts humbly as well. We are never striving for perfection here at asanaetc.com, because we are all human, and wonderful the way we are, so here goes:
We humbly, but proudly, present ourselves, our pod, our blog and our addition to the practice, everything that is asanaetc.com
Um, so here we are trying to figure things out. How are you doing?
I'm doing pretty well. And you?
Yeah, doing good, too. We, we're trying to launch this podcast and we don't really, we don't really know how to start. But... uh...
But we're going for it. We're really excited about this project. And we're trying to figure out what it's going to be. We have a few ideas. So yeah, here we are.
Here we are. Great. Um, so we just want to like, I guess, introduce this project. We are, we're having or we've built an online platform in the past few months called Asana, etc. .com. And this podcast right now at least is named Asana, etc, as well. And we just wanted it to be like a supplement to that online platform to sort of bring our community together a little bit more, right. Yes.
Yeah, exactly. So we want to just talk about all things, all things yoga, but also more than that, just our lives off of our mats. And even outside of our little yoga circle that we are always involved in, and we want to bring in some other guests and different people to chat in different topics as well. And yeah, I think we would love to hear from you guys that are actually listening to this.
If someone is. Oh, well. Yeah, yeah, definitely. We'd love to hear from you guys. Any ideas, anything you want to hear. Or if you like, that name of that podcast is rubbish. You need to be called this. Just let us know. We are super open to all suggestions and everything, right?
Absolutely. Yeah. So if there's something you want to talk about, or doesn't matter what it is just anything under the sun, even if it's a little bit racy or controversial. We like to, we'd like to explore so yeah,
Yeah. Yeah, we're all about the controversial, right?
Keep things interesting.
Yeah. I guess you guys are gonna get access to what we actually talk about. Behind closed doors sometimes, right?
Alright, so for this first podcast that we're putting out into the world, we are going to share a conversation between myself and Alex and Betty and Juliann. We are four of the co-founders of Asana, etc, platform, there's also a fifth one, his name is Koba, and we will introduce him as well. But for this first pod, we just want to share the origin story. And what else are we sharing in that recording? Alex? I don't remember.
Yeah, we're just talking about just how we all got to know each other a little bit about ourselves, and just kind of what we're doing here. So we all come together really early in the morning, we recorded this podcast, so it's a little bit silly, but, but worth listening to. So yeah.
Yeah. Do you want to like do a grand, super grand introduction to, to that interview? Do you want to do it?
In what way?
I don't know. Just like that. That is exactly. Okay, one more time.
Juliann, Betti, Lisa, and Alex, all here for you in the morning. 6am. Here comes our first episode.
All right. Hi, everyone. I'm Lisa. And I'm sitting here with Juliann, with Alex and with Betti and welcome to our first episode of Asana, etc. podcast. Hi.
It is it is 6am on a Wednesday morning, because this is the only time that we could sort of find time to get together. Do this. So I think we've all just rolled out of bed this morning. Why don't we start with just just saying a few words of how it's going so far today? Juliann, you want to start?
Well, I didn't just roll out of bed. I was too... maybe excited for this first podcast episode recording. So I woke up way before my alarm, thinking that I had missed it. And you know, just real life. But, yeah, I'm super, super pumped for this next phase of Asana, etc.
And the others, Betti?
I am one of those who just rolled out. I was, I like to say I was not excited. But I was definitely sleeping around 3am and came out to my kitchen. I was so happy that there was some leftover coffee in the pot. I could I could take now immediately, like straight into my veins. But yeah, looking forward. To have an interesting early morning chat very 6am chat with you girls.
I also just rolled out of bed. But all as well. I also have coffee. Got to brush my teeth. This is a nice luxury. Yeah, ready to go.
Awesome. So we're coming together to sort of introduce this project, I guess that we that we just launched in January, which is online yoga and movement platform. But also, I think we are calling it a little bit more. Not just a bunch of yoga videos online, but but a yoga community online. Because it's something that we were sort of missing last year when we were and we are still missing because we are still in lockdown, but during lockdown. So we just really wanted to create a space online for for all of us and all our people to come together and sort of practice together. Offline sometimes or not, not in real time, maybe is what I mean. But but then that's where we're at. And now we're sort of ready for them for the next phase. And what's this next phase? You guys? What are we doing? What is all this?
“But I think our community and support is already growing to be where we're like, Okay, well, how can we create that sense of community online? When we have some people in Australia, some people in the United States? And I don't know, it's kind of a fun challenge of how do we show up in a genuine way so that people feel welcome and accepted and get that sense that we have in the Prague Yoga Collective studios of just like, everybody's welcome.” - Juliann
Well, I'm in my mind, we're I mean, obviously we're launching a podcast. But I think our community and support is already growing to be where we're like, Okay, well, how can we create that sense of community online? When we have some people in Australia, some people in the United States? And I don't know, it's kind of a fun challenge of how do we show up in like a genuine way so that people feel welcome accepted and get that sense that we have in the Prague Yoga Collective studios of just like, everybody's welcome. So like, how do we present that online? So I feel like that's the next phase is really trying to create that, that community, whether it's through this podcast, or or blog posts, or just showing up in some other ways. We have talked about some future dreams, right. So we'll see, we'll see how that comes out. But that's kind of my my understanding of the next phase. So I hope that all of us are on the same page.
We're sort of on the same page, right? Um, how about how about where we came from, I know that sometimes I know that a lot of our followers have followed us from our physical studios, which are here in Prague in the Czech Republic, and how we've grown in the city here, but also now we're growing online, so maybe everybody doesn't really know where we are coming from. And do you guys want to talk about that for a bit?
Where we're coming from in terms of PYC, yeah?
Yeah. Yeah. Like we're who we are and where what what is all this. Why did we get together?
“We wanted to continue [with Asana], like Juliann said to expand and grow our community to reach all of the people that aren't actually physically here.” -Alex
I don't know. It's just chance, just fate that all worked together. It's all just continued to just work together in perfect... Well, sometimes not always perfect chemistry. But yeah, I don't know. We started these studios started from this little CrossFit studio, rented a little spot and just kept on going from there. built our first studio all by ourselves, which was crazy experience, but very valuable experience and opened another beautiful studio last year. And another perfect location. And we wanted to continue, like Julian said to expand and grow our community to reach all of the people that aren't actually physically here. We have like Just people that travel through and come visit us or they're here for a year or two and, and they move back to their respective countries or to a new place. They want to keep that relationship going and find and find these different ways. So now we're here doing this giving this a try.
Yeah. And how's it feel, Betti? How do you feel?
I was just thinking the other day that if lockdown hadn't come, and we were still, like, full out working in the two studios, there was that idea of Asana Etc for a while already in the back of our minds, but but basically, this is maybe one of those few fields where COVID actually had a positive effect or the lockdown, like gave us something positive because it worked as a as a catalyzer. Because we are, we were missing so much of the in person collective, they were like, okay, let's, let's put it online. Let's make an online collective because we need something something else. And then and then here we are, and it became I think a little bit faster, based on the fact that we cannot be present in person as much as we did before. So maybe maybe Assa etc, is something that benefits a little bit, at least in their, like, a borning process from from quarantine and being locked down.
Yeah, I mean, there's a lot of stuff that's come out of having been locked down. And I don't know, a lot of a lot of things are sad. And I think at this point, we are here in the Czech Republic, at least, we're more than five months into our second wave locked down. So we're all a little bit depressed in our own ways, I think but but there are a lot of positives, also, that have come out of this. And I think this project is one of them. Is there anything else that you guys have sort of found in this in this year 2020 2021 of, of having to reevaluate stuff, something positive that you want to share?
Well, I... for me, personally, it was very much a time to shift my priorities and like what I was working for, as far as like building up my web design business and and I took, you guys know, but I took a like a six month love coaching course, that ended up transforming, I don't know, in all areas of my life, and my career as well. So it really allowed me to kind of step back and process all these things and prioritize and then get creative and work towards, I think also just really making space for this project as well. Because whenever I'm working on Asana, etc, stuff. Really, the overall sense is, is it brings me joy, to be able to create. So the I mean, the pandemic is horrible, and all the grief and sadness. And just the hardships that everyone is experiencing, that's horrible, but at the same time it it's almost forced, forced us to kind of step back, right and to slow down and really, really count what is important. But even like I was telling Lisa the other day, that the the small joys in life, it's like I had to go down and take out recycling and then go get buy almond butter. And that was like my main event of the day. And I was so beyond excited to go do that. And I'm like, wow, what qualifies as joyfulness in my life at this point, is a bit different. But so I hope I'll hold on to some of these things going forward when life gets busier and stuff.
Yeah, I think when we had that conversation, I was, I think I was like, I had an errand to run in an old town. And in Old Town, there's, um, there's a Starbucks and I was like, I'm gonna get myself a Starbucks. Just and just walk around with it. And it was a glorious day. So that there's beauty in the little, little small things, I think these days as well, that we might not have noticed before, when when everything was sort of served to us and sort of just available to us whenever we wanted, right?
Yeah. What about you guys, Betti and Alex, have you fallen asleep?
No, not yet. Um, yeah, I what I've noticed is we had like, or I have like my little pod of people here that I hang out with, and you guys are obviously in that, but it's been really nice because I've just gotten so much closer with those same, you know, seven people that I see over and over again, and somehow we still managed to like be creative in the way that we meet up and hang out and do stuff, even when we don't have so many options right now, and I don't know, we've created like our own little net safety net here and community that just feels really nice. And I'm very thankful for those humans and those people. And they've really carried me through all of this I like I keep to myself all during the week, and there's like, one day a week that we get to, like, go outside for a big giant hike or have dinner together or do something like that. And I just, I look forward to it the whole the whole time. So I'm thankful for that.
And I'm looking around in my apartment, and having a look at my plans. And they are almost all of them really beautiful. And at least, you told me that when you are at home, and you breathe on your plans, and you live with them, then they they appreciate it. And these plants are, I think, super happy for having me here at home. Because really, my living room looks like a greenhouse. And it's wonderful. But yeah, I agree with Alex that the, the number of people who meet is really limited, but the connection to those few people is getting stronger and stronger. Because as they are the only people for me to meet, I'm also one of those rare ones who they see. So it's like a mutual sided, strengthening connection week by week and program by program. So it's it's a nice feeling to develop and, and instead of going into a horizontal line and get to know more and more people and network around, you rather keep it in a vertical and deepening path, how you are connected to those few people around you.
Right. So maybe even that's something that is positive that's come out of this that we can keep going even if we get out of this pandemic at some point, right? These little things that we've learned that could be something to build on later. Right?
So going back to how we all kind of got together here, though, we already explained how the three of us have met me, Betti and Lisa through Prague Yoga Collective, but Juliann, tell us about you. You've been with us from the beginning, and how did that all come about?
“And so I opened the door [to Prague Yoga Collective], and I was enveloped in this warmth. And I just felt so good.” -Juliann
Yeah, so um, I go into this in in greater detail, I think, here in a few weeks, but I was I had just moved to Prague, and I was depressed as hell and questioning all my life decisions, like Did I make the right choice moving to Prague and, and I just saw an ad on Facebook, that said yoga and English and I had been a part of a yoga studio up in Copenhagen and in order to kind of maintain or manage the winter blues up there. So I knew how valuable yoga was in my life to be in a studio. And so I saw saw this and I was like, great. And so I I literally dragged myself out of bed on a cold November evening, it was dark, I didn't know where I was going and, and I show up to the original studio, which was above a CrossFit gym, but like the parking lot, if anybody has actually physically been there. It's It's so scary, especially at night. And I thought I was gonna get kidnapped because I was like, I was I was so new to this, this country. And I and I guess I, you know, being a single woman walking alone at night back home, that's maybe not necessarily the best idea. And so I mean, here, it's so safe. Mom realized that at that point, so I almost turned around, but I was like, No, I've come way too far to turn around. And so I opened the door, and I just like was enveloped in this warmth. And just I felt I felt good. As soon as I stepped through the door, which also is kind of like a tribute to Joey and CrossFit committed how they that's like a really good community there. And so I just walked up the stairs, and I opened the door and there was Betty. And she was talking in Hungarian too. And a girl who I let it later became friends with. And I got really nervous. I'm so shy and new in new situations and but like I just threw my money at Betty and I was like, I want the intro pass. And, and she was shocked, I think. And I just I took advantage of those. I think it was 15 days for the intro at that time. And so I think I went almost all 15 days, which I don't know how physically I did that because like you guys do strong classes. Because Yeah. Betty, I think you went a little easier. Because basically it was like private classes for 15 days or with article. But still, it's like, you can't hide Whenever you're the only one in the class, you can't, like take a secret Child's Pose or something like that. And the teacher won't, won't notice secret. But it was it was so good. And it helped me kind of set down some I didn't know at the time, but set down some really strong roots. And I, I latched on to you guys like you guys became my family here very quickly. And then it kind of blossomed into rebranding prog yoga collective and then I. Yeah, I did all of that. And then I took over the social media and then, but that's never enough. We have to dream we have to do more. And, and then, yeah, this dream between all of us is turning into a pretty cool reality. So I'm so glad I didn't turn back that that fateful night in November.
(Blue arrow show where the PYC studio was, and the red arrow shows the scary parking lot...but imagine it's completely dark.)
Yeah, yeah. CanI ask you, Julian? I've always wondered what people sort of thought in the beginning, because you guys were the first few people that came up, and you had private classes in this in the studio that we had up there. And I always wondered what people sort of walked away thinking like, what are these girls doing? Or was it like, Oh, I wonder if this is gonna grow? Or what? What were your initial thoughts about? p yc? What do you call it? 1.0? Is that what you call it? The first version?
Let's just clarify too when we say private lessons, it's because nobody was coming yet. Right? So yeah. It was Juliann was like our only like student and maybe this other girl, we're talking about, Aniko. But yes. Okay.
“I feel like it was an instant connection, instant, genuine community [with Prague Yoga Collective]. And I just knew I wanted to be part of it.” -Juliann
That's true. Yeah. Yeah. I knew, I think from the very beginning, how fortunate I was to essentially be having these private classes. And I don't know, I just saw immediately it was like, I have found something rare, and good. And I don't think I've been to any other yoga studio in the city. Like, I am loyal to you guys. And I think one time I went because Alex was teaching elsewhere. And, and you guys move the class, it was in the early days, and there was nobody, but me showing up to the other one. And she was teaching at another place. And so I went over there. So that's the only time I think I've been elsewhere. So I think I mean, anybody I ever talked to, it was nothing but good things. And you guys talk about the carpet that was in there, and that we could hear the crossfitters downstairs. And honestly, it didn't bother me. Like, it was I was just very happy to be there. And it was cool to see you guys grow so quickly. I think it's rare that a new business grows that quickly. Because you guys, you guys became too big to be in that space. And so that's when you guys built the other studio. But I think, I don't know I I just looked back on it. That you guys seem like you knew what you were doing? Like it. But I feel like it was a an instant connection instant, genuine community. And I just knew I wanted to be part of it.
It's nice there. Yeah, because I don't know sometimes. You know, when you travel, I don't know, when you travel, I say but like I've traveled a lot and gone to different yoga studios all over. And sometimes you'll go into this little small place somewhere and you'll be the only one. I especially remember one time I went to this like nice studio in Dubai. And then it was just me and I felt so weird. And then there are other places where you go and you're just like, you feel really at home, I guess even if you're the only one or there's two of you or something. So that's nice to hear that. That that was the feeling that we invoked in you.
Yeah, most definitely.
It's cool. And what about what about our only man who's in this project? And who is also not present today? Our Kuba. Is there. anybody who'd like to do a presentation on this? This? This guy?
Betti, do you want to take that one away? Oh sorry, Juliann, go for it.
“This project wouldn't have happened [without Kuba]. Kuba was the one who said, Yes, we can do it. He's such a big dreamer. And he's so talented to back up those dreams. Kuba was a huge influence in making this dream into a reality.” -Juliann
Well, I was just gonna say like, this project wouldn't have happened. Like we each bring something so special to this project, I think. But Kuba I think was the one who was like, Yes, we can do it like he's such a big dreamer. And he's so talented to back up those dreams. That during the first lockdown, he just rolled with the whole Let's film Let's film, let's edit. And so I don't know, I just have to give props to Kuba. And Betti, you probably should take this take this further. But yeah, I think Kuba was a huge influence in making this dream into a reality.
Yeah, I agree. I agree. I think how it started during the first lockdown when we just went to the studio and start to film. And he didn't have much idea about yoga before, I think he has been like, two three yoga classes, maybe five in his life. And then then he came up with with ideas, and especially later when we were talking more about Asana Etc, he had some some visions how a movement platform could look like and, and really, without any experience, he he basically describes a very, very precise picture of what we are doing right now. without having any anything from from his past on this field. So we I think we are really, really lucky with with him having having him on board. And, and his ideas. I know he is all his experience and talent. And probably he's sleeping right now. I get a message from him around 1:30am that Oh, good night and like, okay, it's probably you're not going to join at 6am to. That's another thing that I think it's really good that this we can work together. But at the same time, maybe even more important how different things we bring into this project, as is the five of us from, from four different countries. And he is the local here, and he's the only man as Lisa mentioned, and he's the one who is the least connected to yoga, but the most connected to the online worlds, where we are maybe lacking a little bit more of an experience. And he is on the other side of the camera and sees the things with a very different eye and these different eye brings the puzzle into into something whole and becomes a real picture of what you can put on your wall. So see, I think his his added value in this project is is really special. And, and something something very, very big and different. That turns us also into another direction and we look at stuff with a different I look at my own things differently, thanks to his input, if it makes sense. It definitely does.
“And he [Kuba] is on the other side of the camera and sees the things with a very different eye. This different eye brings the puzzle pieces into something whole and becomes a real picture of what you can put on your wall. So see, I think his added value in this project is really special.” -Betti
I think we were sitting with Kuba. So last year, we were locked down around this time. So we're in the beginning of March as we're speaking now. And and the day after we had to close our studios, Julianne and Koba and Betty came to my house because Alex was stuck in South America. So I think she would have been there otherwise, but but, and we were just talking about what to do and what to provide. And it was, it was sort of, I think we were kind of questioning what we could do. And then Kubo was like, yeah, we could do videos, and we could just put them out every day. Yeah, I'm down. Let's just do it. And I think me and Betty and Juliana, we're like, oh, okay. Okay, well, let's just do it. And I think he was sort of the missing piece of the puzzle, like, like you guys mentioned in this project to make this work. Because I don't think the four of us are I know that the four of us would have never been able to make this happen without without Kuba and and to clarify Kuba as a videographer, right, Betti?
I don't know if he is happy for like, classifying him only into one thing, but he is doing videography as well. Let's put it this way.
Okay. Yeah. So he's like, behind the camera and the filming and everything that's up there. That's content wise, and photography and stuff. That's, that's all Kuba that we have. We've got a few podcasts coming up. And we're going to be launching one every week from from end of March. So if you are listening at home and you're like, I wonder about the the deeper the deeper stories between these people, and how did they come together? And what's brought to the collective and blah, blah, blah, these things will be answered, answered, your questions will be answered in a little bit in a little bit of time, but But for now, we wanted to see if we could bring out some other things in us to make you guys get to know us a little bit better. So Alex had the brilliant idea of just preparing three random questions for each other. That doesn't have anything to do with yoga per se, or the project that we're doing but just to get to know us a little bit deeper into our souls I guess. So maybe I'll So I'm gonna give you the word first, if you don't mind.
I don't know if these are gonna be soul-opening questions, but we'll see where they go.
Okay, so let's make it easy to begin here. All right, I might know the answer for Betti because we've come up to this situation before. But do you guys like scary movies?
No! I guess. I guess this was the answer. But you guessed from myself like oh my god, no. Oh guys, remember reminds me who what's them? Jesus, I'm sorry. 6am already 630. But that very, like, epic old horror movie when the guy was born in in a slaughter house. And he was at the super
Texas Chainsaw Massacre?
Yes. So we were in the army, sitting in the darkness watching this movie, I watched the first five minutes and then I had to go out to the bathroom. And the bathroom was at the end of the corridor. And as you can imagine, in the army, this is not like a like a five star hotel very go out. So the corridor is dark. The bathroom is concrete. There are no like Windows or, or even tires. And, and. And then I was walking on the corner door and there and the electricity went out and it got completely dark. And I'm like, I'm not going to watch this anymore. And I think I'm not going to pee either just let me find the safe way back to my bed and no more horror movies. And, and, and just just me and my blanket, rather under the blanket. So yeah, that's a that's all about me and scary movies.
I think that answers it Betti. Was that the last time you watched one?
No, I did a second try. And it was daylight. I was with a bunch of girls around. And it was not so scary. And I guess if it was dark, and there were like different conditions, I would be scared. But we were already a little tipsy. It was in the middle of the day. And I was rather laughing than being scared. I was loving how the girls around me were screaming. So I I didn't really like you know, sink into the atmosphere of the movie. So I get this self protective layer with my behavior around.
Right? I don't know where it can be found. Yeah, I can't deal with it. It's gone. No, no, not at all. It's not my thing at all.
Not even with Trygve?
No, no. Trygve doesn't like it either.