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#147: Elizabeth Cutler, SoulCycle Co-Founder

After having two kids, Elizabeth Cutler had a friend suggest she try spin classes as a way to lose weight and less than a year later, she and her business partner Julie Rice launched SoulCycle. After the pair sold the multimillion-dollar company in 2016, Cutler decided to take her family on sabbatical, pulling her kids out of school so they could take classes online as they traveled all over the world, and all the while she tried to keep a regular morning meditation routine.
This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
For abc- ten percent happier Vodka Dan. this way. What is the deal with so cycle? Why are they so popular in certain circles, wise, my wife addicted? Do they really speak to everybody? and he is the sole part of it. When I mean by that we're gonna talk to one of the founders of very impressive woman who who found a cofounded so Saigon. then it to a massive brand. This is his fits into our serve broadening or pivot of the podcast to conversations that aren't just meditation focused, but the Elles with color is a meditate or other weak. We we don't get to that really till the back half the interview, but its there's a lot here to listen for trust me both We get to Ms Cutler one piece. business and then we're gonna. Take your calls the peaceably is this has to do with you. I guess listener
we are setting up a survey. We want a figure out. I talked about how we ve been toying with broadening the focus of the I guess beyond just meditation. So work gonna to get a sense from you, whether you're you're down with that and whether there the things we should do better. So, if you have the chance you'd be that's a big service if you went to ten percent happier dot com, slash survey, and we want to know what you're looking for the show. How can we do things better, other things interested in learning about who else you want to hear from any other formats? You might enjoy Gerda survey you can submit theres many idea is it you want over the next couple of weeks and then will start operational, rising them right, that's the business! Let's do the phone calls the ears I've got you know it. I am not of the mental health professional, not meditation teacher, just a reporter who likes edit aid in the Amazon about it. I have not heard these calls in advance, so I just do my best to answer here is never one that in our friends your home,
then they can proceed everything you're doing I am. I know you give yourself a lot of fact, for you get enough job to connect people to meditate with your first book, but that really was what let me on the patent the four years ago, so kudos Logan. I really appreciate it. My question is about to be going on my first retreat and seven and seventy eight. We are currently meditating between thirty and forty five minutes today, but just from undervaluing Treatin spatially hoping to get any ideas or advice on how to hold onto those benefits. Someone's I leave their treatin have breeds are realised. Anything you can now that would greatly appreciate. Thank you. First of all, congratulations you for establishing such a robust habit and for taking the leap and going on retreat. That's just that mean you. You should just
a really good about that and clearly its doing a lot for you. And so I want to say that up front. Before we talk about the end of the return. You should be figured my friend about brazen yourself forgot going in. That is the much my experience that the much more challenging thing than leaving I've written about this have spoken about this. I find meditation retreat to be incredibly useful, but also really challenging, though it. That would be a nice way to put it. I often think of the first couple days of work treat as like up you. If you're on a plane and the landing gear is not working and you have to crash, to the runway and they foam the roadway, that's, but a few like to me, you we are leaving the busy as an active nature of your daily life and in your walking in this environment were haste lily, silent and all your doing is, sitting in walking and eating in a meditative fashion all day
every day, and it can. It's like a bad case of jet lag that that being said, this the fact that I've been very open about the many difficulties and torturers aspects of going? I retreat I've gotten the ton out of it. It is just do it again. You know how I feel I feel like it but upon me to say to anybody listening who feels like they are never gonna do a retreat. If you that you, if you feel like I'm, never going to do it I'm feeling slowly and alienated that you're even talk about this, let me just say that you don't need to return You can still be an ape less meditated, no big deal, but if you're do it, I think, there's a lot to be said for it, because you're just taken the practice to a new level and you're that's all you're doing and eat you just interesting things happen when you up the dosage in that way, you just get an expert of your mind that that you all I have never had before it might not be awesome
this is. Nobody said this process is going to be easy, but- It is really worth it again in my experience, but so too to your actual question. I am not an expert in RE entry issues. I've done it many times having come offered in my I've never really found. This is not to say good things about me I just Julie, hop right back into the stream of the data stream and you know, check by emails and learn about what's happening in the news, etc, etc. So I probably have a lot to learn and probably not much to teach about how to do re entry, but in terms of holding onto the benefits, I think just making sure that you are continuing with your daily practice is a great way to stay in touch with the thing and also to you know keeper a steady frequency of retreat scene. I
I kind of was episodic in my retreat. Attendance was going every other year on seven to ten day retreat and under There are some gentle pressure from my meditation teacher and I really I am now going up to at least once a year, and I think that is you know I've seen we had some previous guests Richard it's in and Danny Gorman they wrote a book called altered traits where they really surveyed all of the site. Sir, I'm meditation in one of their take away was that the real Heavy hitting impact of meditation often happens on retreat. So I think the fact that you are doing this is great. I think if you come out of it and feel like it was worthwhile, for you then I would be looking towards establishing a regular rhythm and then what last thing about the actual retreat. The one thing I it took me a long time to learn what about to say to you, and maybe you can just do it right away- is that I actually didn't fully commit to the retreat experience. I rebelled against it.
for my first many many retreats was only my most recent one last year, where I I really do they tell you, do everything everything even current called behind the scenes when you're in your room and nobody's looking everything at a slow and mindful pace and too, but I was actually in my room out just acting like I was at home and I would the running and suchlike, bad and you know during you know it during the brake periods on the last retreat. I stopped all exercise, I literally every step I took you know you were there. I was out of my rumour in my room. I was going in slow motion like you're supposed to do it. I was really trying to pay attention and I found that that had a really. That was an accelerant to my progress during the retreat, and so that would be my big advice rather than what to do on the back. But again to those of you who hate the fact that were even talking about meditation retreats, because that you're never
Do that your life doesn't wouldn't accommodated or you just don't wanna Europe one to two to five to ten to fifteen a day meditated and that's it- the nose. a man that game it doesn't matter, is it's totally. You are getting a lot out of what you're doing and and there's no pressure to to go further. If you want to go further, I think it's great, but it's not a must all right call number two I then my name is Lily and I am so grateful for your book. I think has made such an impact on so many people, especially me. Listen to your protest, everyone
Anna we look forward to it and hearing all that different and wonderful people who are being positively impacted by meditation from a question to you is, I have recently started meditating on towns. I find that the press is good for me, but too many facts enter. I can't stop them like the floodgates are hoping, and perhaps I really do feel like a failure. I dont know that much about him, but I found that just focusing on the sound and my surroundings were not attaching any judgment which it hard, but just whatever the round me, birds, chirping, car traffic, conquering, I'm or silence, even a fan whatever it is. It really useful and really helped me to just now my focus on that. I don't hear you talking a lot about meditating on site.
The new funding for I want to get your thoughts on it thanks so much and am now keep doing what you doing fathom. Thank you for your doing sounds awesome. I don't talk about meditating on sound that much because it's not a huge. emphasis in my meditation that its outset never do it, but I don't feel qualified to talk that much about it, although I I think again in my own experiences incredibly valuable. What I have done it and we have a number of meditations on sound in the ten percent happier APP and my co author on my last book, which was called meditation for fidgety sceptics, Jeff Warren. The great meditation teacher Jeff Warren has did some great writing within that book about medicines. On sounds and though I
how much to say to you other than to the extent that it meaningful say that it sounds like you're doing you're doing great, that's great practice and I think it's a really important for everybody. Listening. There are you know the meditation bizarre be aisy. A are, as you know, is big in and noisy witches servers, so kind of, maybe not the right word to use, given that most of meditation is pretty quiet, but it's big and noisy and there's a lot of people hockin lots of wares and lots of styles and station, and I think what you know it's it's good, you're out slowly and methodically what works for you and you just you know went through that processing and stumbled upon or maybe stumbled would not be the right one. But I found the thing it is working for you and I think it sounds like you. You ve had This really well so go forth all right, let's hear from those with color shoot
who is, as I mentioned, when the co founders of soul cycle. So psychology, I didn't explain what it is at the top. It is a chain, of indoor cycling, Stew He rose and so into recycling had been around for a long time. These came around and turned it into a much cleaner air cofounder Julie, Rice turned it into a much more boutique ii. a high and experience, and they are now all over the country and beyond their expensive, which one of the knocks on them, but when people get into it, they love it, and I have watched this happened with my wife. I actually dragged, and I talk about this with Elizabeth. I dragged my wife dragged my wife to a so cycle class almost exactly a year ago and she didn't I want to go and walked in she whispered in my ear that she's gonna kill me and we walked out and her I've. It is just amazing to watch a brands
thoroughly colonise an individual with whom I live a she has just. It has changed her life. That is not an overstatement in a great way, and yet There are people who are there. Are critics have so cycle until so we're gonna talk to Elizabeth about about some of the critics of the brand, but they ve done really interesting work and- I've been super successful and they sold Elizabeth enjoyable, both left so cycle and after having sold it. equinox, and so there was a very successful exit, that's that to use them- the business speak for they made a lot of money, and she's, a really interesting person, really smart, successful person and shield there was a meditative, as I mentioned at the top. We didn't you usually Starwood meditation on this pike S, but in this time were were really we dive into sort of what what those cycles all about in their story of building the company in that we get to meditation toward the end. So I think there is a lot to learn here and
I hope you enjoy it hears Elizabeth Color while foresaw. Thank you for coming on for shared. Thank you for having me pleasure to be here. Yes, oh, I would add, my wife is that's all cycle right now. She was gonna, come really say when I heard what you heard, that Can we talk to you, but she decided to do a double class today, give her and she so the backstory is, I have done general regulars then classes for many many years and at you add Equinox withdrawing its own. Aren't you guys and had a bad attitude about so cycle, just thought it was. It happens, didn't really, I want it to happen, but it has had a bad attitude. I thought it was first all I have lots of them this and I know it's possible interview views look I'll get it. I am very interested in wax thing. I would do saucer spin. It would acts and thought so cycle, just Madeira,
The whole soul aspect of it that that word itself was kind of off putting to me in and the candles- and I just start I didn't like any of it. The to me I'm I'm constitutionally sort of allergic to. Legally and now you're doing a bug has called ten percent many ways in which shows a driver who will get into many of them. So so, I had this bad attitude, but so cycle, except one we every summer I spend time in maintop witches. Were the uninitiated on the furthest eastern Tipp of Long Island, and my wife's families, but going there since she was a kid there's this also go there and I wanted to exercise- and I went to this whole cycle and continue to have a bit. attitude about it because, as our say later: I was doing wrong, but me
I wife who is had trouble extra, getting an exercise habit together for a long time. One day I asked her, do you want to come and she I was very surprised. She said yes and we want again and for those minutes all cycle before there is allowed music playing a lot of people, and it's like my first, your greeted by lovely human beings. But yes, yes, but fervour for us. We walk in the people. quite a bit younger than us to shopping, and then it's still in bustle in my wife says in my ear get me out of here, and so I'm thinking You have just made a big mistake, my wife. What this thing is you're happy ending to this the class she's in the back. I'm kind of front is Adam. thinking. I'm worrying the whole time we're in this class that she'd go through the stages of grief, and she's angry at me and all the stuff look out there and I'm ready did you know, get the vis rated by while, while by my wife- and she says you know what I really liked it
and she became an incredibly avid source. I closed the first time. In our ten or eleven years together were she's, had a really abiding commitment or on health, and we go together all the time. We know these doctors, we have our favorite instructors. We it's just a great thing for us to do as a couple and new we she comes in the UN she's right now is taking a little time from works. If you come to me and when I travel- and so we're gonna allay tomorrow and we will go to those I will serve. We figure it out in advance where we're gonna go when we gonna go says become a great thing for us and I think for her the big. The reason I should like it is dark and yes that she didn't feel judged and the all the positive action
patients from the teacher which for me a hard to deal with sometimes sometimes not an increasingly I'm up open to them. But for me, as a sceptic and cynic in an adjective irony a little hard, sometimes video, that wasn't certain wasn't Sunday the drew me in, but for her she finds that really meaningful at times to you ass, a whole lot, but he made a big difference for us. That's amazing! It's great! That's a great story. Hence really attaching to hear about that leave then a little bit away from them and business where the last or two, and now it's just it's. It's lovely. To see that people were may continue to the experiences that Julian I set out to provide an the idea. You can find a safe place to walk into even if you're nervous and may take the rest to do it and you again take that resting. on the bike and to go on a journey with other people mostly for yourself and you can find irony in the rules and you can find
whatever it is that you wanted to tap into and that's what his rooms or really designed to provide was not only great time and the physical aspects of it. So you can have this kind of you, a fantastic work out a few it'll added. She escaped the night before But you can also find a place where you can take. something that matters to you. So and I just fine like particularly around the things that you talk about we're all having such this human experiences, there there's a lot that happens in everyone's life and people need a secular space to be able to feel whatever that is and its sole cycle and be that it can also be achieved. Cheesecake burning factory, which is good. and so it says wonder or you can just get lost in the music of the music sent ass, Dick men, and so anyway, I love to hear a that couples go together. That's really cool to deal with here. The first is that you
of an it's great, that she's found something. Madge she's allowed her self to become committed to at such a nothing thing with fitness and changing any habit is so difficult that to define something that six years. That's really call so thank you for I've never seen somebody sort of embrace a brand. The way she has machine has all the here. She just knows but all the instructor she'll go across town is theirs. Doktor she likes it such it's really it s, somebody who's personally, trying to the brand around ten percent happier its instructive on levels to to watch what is it that speaks to her and said what are the, what ways in which shall engage, and it's just so. It's also just speaks to you the success. So you had an and making this brand some meaningful to so many people, and so lucrative Franklin All those things and I think really the main thing that comes from inside you
Julian. I wanted to create an experience that mattered to people and, if you start with, that is a baseline. It matters. If my clothes, I need to get new clothes, I guess there's a ten percent business that is needed is the fitness apparel. and when we started the company there was nobody creating fitness apparel. I mean. Obviously there are a lot of things we started, two thousand Saxons six that's a long time now, but at the time was. It was unusual to see. A lot of the things that that you see everywhere now, but we really It is a service as much as anything, of course, like your business, also in needs to be profitable but there, but the real, quality around everything that we did was really to be in service of our riders and to be in service of the community in and we will build soul cycles of hospitality company. now a finnish company, and so I think that looking at things for that lands and through that kind of heart, that's what makes a difference in terms of people's experiences and how they are they connect with one another.
Thousand, the bran I using you say, hospitality company, because I get that I get. I get that now should have thinking about my experiences. That's all cycle through that. Is that the people the front desk, I get to know your name, the teacher you get to know you. They call you out in it really does feel different. Then straight up impersonal, work out. Yes, will that's there, that's that you know, that's the key to a right as we wanted to build a company where you had my husband's a banker and or was a banker, and I think it drove him crazy for me wake up in the morning being so sake to go to work, and I, Oh two, working at source, I loved, building that company, I loved the people that we worked with. I love the teams that we built. I love the riders. I love the whole thing for me to the people who took care of the studios. Everything and
I think we wanted to create that Cairo Marmot for everyone who worked there so that we felt that if you inspired people to feel that way, their lives and their jobs. Then the people who walked through the front door as customers would feel that and if we could create that kind of virtuous circle, that. We could really change a lot of the way that things had been done and that's really what we set out to do, and you know I think I think the idea of people feeling motivated because the people around them are motivated, it's the very economical he can lead to a lot of things are sort of unexpected both in how we manage the company and in how we saw the community's grow inside of of business, corners and everybody would lock into place and you feel like my soul cycle- is diesel cycle, and then you go to LOS Angeles for the weekend and you there are new you feel at home, because that's all cycle
these holes, like up that community, where its awesome bracing to you suit. So we can tell me that. creation story, how did how did this company come bow wow? came valid and a lot of different. ways, but mainly the way that it happened. For me, anyway, was I got her. I had two children I lived in here for a long time and Julie. My business partner had lived in away and when I'm of two New York. I we have these two kids and I Don't turn away, and one My best girlfriends was, I hadn't, sixty pounds to lose and she said you have to cardio? If you don't get cardio you're, not contained that weight off, and she Is Willie send me straight, which was great because fiend There were very people, my life, I thought, would really say it's me so and so always had the gratitude to her that she just was honest with me.
And since you took me to this class- and I did the classic, I could do the class a clause of what I spend class. As things evening, I went to Lego, Esben Class indoor, cycling in your second class and- and I have always been hi carcass, I lived in Colorado and I thought about it as working out as I would just hike with my girlfriends and are my friend my dog or whatever, and by the time your dying, you you know, talked about it things are talked about your boyfriend or any of this thing, or that thing are worked out that problem and by the time I got, I didn't really think about it as exercise So I was really looking once I realise that it needed to get cardio. I don't like to work out. I don't like exercise. And I was really intimidated by the offerings that were out there. I didn't know how to use Jim Equipment, and I try to I just I tried a lot of things. I just didn't, resonate with me at that time, and so no I can do this one thing I kind of felt like it. Well, if I could do it, then really anybody can do it and then Julie and I met
the teacher that we are both riding with, and we realise that we shared a lot of common values. What were you doing them at this time? We have you also had spent some time in the summer and eastern Long Island, and there was a studio. Long time ago there and my friend had taken me to that studio and Armed Julia's riding here in the city at the Reebok Club gathered where I was doing the office and will be that of a K. Me right, and anyway we just weren't finding the classes that in our neighbourhoods and at the time that we wanted and the experience that we want a address. So we just decided to create it. I am, and so we met in the end. of two thousand five and we were open in April two thousand sex. So we don't really quickly found our first location on Craigslist we at most was on the uproar sediment upper West side of my hand on the subway, as it was a former danced studio that was teeny tiny,
and we had thirty three bikes in there, and I know there were days when there was one person riding in a class, but we do lake we were so excited to see the people who had walked through the front door, because we had no sign agent, Kai, Hanno weave your way back there, they finally find the studio, and That's really where the hospitality aspect was born, because by the time we got to the front ass, we really were so grateful and excited to seek that. We wanted you to have a great experience, and so we worked hard to provide them how was the type of, in or indoor cycling that you were teaching different from what was being tat. What was your innovation? the innovation was manifold. We know it's ever one thing, it's a hundred things, but I would say it of the few things that are or sort of frightened centre. One was creating fitness careers, fur fitness profession also at the time most people who worked and fitness would pick up like a class here, a class there class here you didn't have health insurance, they didn't have allowed to stability and they were too.
By the time they got to the class kind of phoning it in and the gems. You know, unfairness This was something that was a profit Lawson or finance certain it's they had provide, not somebody they really. I mean they wanted to provide it, but it wasn't something that they really cared about because- they had spent money on it. So for us we felt like if we change the model where this was our focus and it was our profits and are we charged per class and did a paper class model, then we would be able to pay the instructor better than anybody in the market provide them helping. Torrents and a lot of us and as we grew in and more profitable, we they clothing. answers and variety of other things that we thought would be of value to to them and People who work for us, and so we really thought about creating fitness careers which were dead, That was one thing. The second thing happier instructors happier
more inspired they made playlists they were. They were required to make playlist for each new playlists reach classic prior to that, like sometimes instructors will have five playlists and they would just rotate through them didn't matter if they were six years old. We just felt like music, but something that was music appreciation is something that's a cornerstone of of the work that we developed source. I gone. We really wanted people to be able to connect with amused. In addition to creating an environment for these instructors too, like a freedom, framework where they could be play, who they were not phone again, so in a way could be ironic, and they could be funny and they could be. It could be poignant because there could be something going on in everyone's feeling and enough for everyone to feel that together can is- important to acknowledge, and at least we thought- and so we really you know, we really worked hard to find a way to tat help these instructors feel they had a platform to express themselves in and to connect with the people who,
where their riders, because that's actually what we wanted to experience, so in doing that. Think when you do that, combining it with hospitality, obviously cleanliness as an extra godliness images from a variety of different things around technology, so that you know that a time, their Willie wasn't environment in New York City, where you could click on a bike unreserve it in plain your fitness said, became part of your life The sooner the first one stated that around at their now, what I would imagine was a website where you could reserve your bike exactly that. But this is pre apps. You that's right But she said to me, as a writer of the innovation is really much. The innovations are much more to check on everything. You just said I agree, those are innovations as well, but to me, as a writer who had up you know spin career proceeding so cycle that the innovations are much more technical, which is that the actual riding experience is different.
I was one in my aunt. I saw cycle phase one of my big reasons, aside from the sort of all of it all was that I thought I was too easy. Way to easy, and then I realized I was doing wrong because you guys do rhythm writing and most soul The spin clauses that I've been taking it every soul, spin closet I've been taken up until then was really about was much more regimented where this music is playing. But it's not completely disconnected from the ride. But you you're basically told us if the next thirty seconds you good sprint and they recover thirty seconds Brent and then recover, but in so cycle actually the whole time you're writing to the rhythm of whatever song is playing. You may use sprinting, but when you recover, you were coming back to the baseline of the when I realized that I have been doing wrong, the rights became much harder because today on the rhythm for every song, the whole class
whereas in regular been class. Actually you your recovery, you can be writing incredibly slow. That struck me as a big. since the other one. Is you actually have on the bike choreography since not just riding the bike actually doing these kind of crunches and what you call tat backs all which are sort of abdominal exercise when done correctly at first, I thought those were complete nonsense and I still have some questions. but I really ever tethered. Actually, if you do that, when the right form that it is another, in fact very hard to do on the I m sure it save about that. But if you do with the reform, you actually are getting an abdominal work out. So that's the like those strike me as it innovations well my mind. The right you absolutely are, and of course I would forget the course to mention that just out of really what's all cycles about, which is a full body work out. I mean that's too rain and writing to the veto, the rhythm. So yes, he waited got any
we are now is a safety as it should be as it yes, so that was really That was a big turning point and innovative thing that we we did feel strongly. It's so funny. It's like second nature. I think that's value I I neglected to mention I'm sure loser she would set she would have, but basically- Yes writing to the beat of the rhythm and staying stand, connect, with the music, is also like incredible for your brain, so what happens? Is that and I'm not a scientist There are very many scientists who have come to souls like home. Rewriting told me amazing stories about what happens to your nervous system when you, when you, and especially in a tribal environment when, in this whole area, is doing it together, and we just kind of like a way, was more fond way to ride and be it will allow us to develop something that would be a full body work out, which we thought was important. Because we wanted so cyclopes be something that was efficient. I people are so busy and they they need to be able to check a future from boxes when they come to work out.
I'm so you're thousand percent right I mean the rather mind was and remains the state to be super critical to the way the people ride. And if you are doing the choreography and you have enough resent society are really listening to your instructor says like the right is very difficult, can be very, very challenging news is that if you are a beginner, you can also do I back and Lake be it's in the dark. can be in the back and you can figure it out. You know you don't have to know exactly what you're doing day one, and find your way and it's not so difficult to find her way once you you go for a few times, which I think it makes accessible, which which I feel- is very important. I mean have significant aspect: am I going on, and people need everyone needs. Cardio like human beings need cardio so in over. We just want people that TAT get cardio and if they can find a place in that room, that safe and and be able to do it as great as some of these aspects
if a girl like what the order. So let me just ask out we're going to talk about that. If we argued as I go about his broken by our ideals of badly, I would have regulated No, no! No! No, we were gonna get the medication and we started on this alarming to stick with its so here's. My brandy thing here is my personal question, which is, I still think. I still think that, as I like, no question about it. I, like a soul cycle class better than I like, a sort of a generic splint spin class, but I still think even though I turn my resistance up high. It is easier because of is less speed. you don't have the monitor in front of you. That's telling you the most also cycle, sorry most spin classes, indoor second cousin, actually tell you what you are speed and our pm, and all that is you ve got this number in front of you that actually I find make me miserable. So I dont like it, but it does motivate me to work.
murder. Are you see how many calories your burning euro do any that which I love, that you don't do, but still and and tell me, I'm around? but I still suspect, with no evidence but somehow I I'm not working as hard as I was before. Am I completely wrong? Will you might not be, but the thing is That's really on you. So I mean I know when I worked hard at some and I know when I doubt you don't need the monitor. I dont need to monitor how me, if I'm not doing my best, I need to just ass myself. Are you really doing your best, and I know if the answer is So if I want to work harder than on me, I can actually do that. Museum aid show me that, and I I think it is very high, or an actually an, and there is a place for experience it you're describing and a lot of people like it, and they should continue to like it. For me, and for a lot of people what is special one other aspects, that has never one thing. It's a hundred things, but one of those things is that we,
are so plugged in every of everyday scant, coming back to the medication right and so to be able to do your work out where the lay person that you are really accountable to in that room as you and have that be what it that's my motivate like I'm accountable to me right now for these forty five minutes, I'm not distracted by the ink does it mean headset? I am getting from my phone or The needs of other people or me know, misery that I heard about on my way over here. My time in that room is to work that out so that I leave here a stronger, better, smarter, like my best self, and then I can go out and make my life like a more impact for better. It's better thing, better life, an end from and and for both me and Julie. I we feel very strongly that those kinds of three sides are so few and far between now and so hard,
The access and, honestly, I understand, while we're all super addicted to or to our stuff, like everybody is. But if this is a place where we and unplug and really feel our humanity. That is something that's very powerful and not that easy to access. So just because of all the distractions at her out there are so that is. That is really why there's no clue turn the room. Why we do keep it pretty analogue and can use the digital stuff around it, of course, but that that's why and and the truth is that there are people who need them who those numbers. I need manner and there's nothing with that and their ways for them to do that through you note whereabouts and things like that, so that they can, they can check what they ve done in the class and and then they'll they'll be able to know like where their baselines aren't things like that. If they need that kind of data, I find that moving. The data makes me much more much happier, but I do have this nagging
compensation and myself like, am working hard enough- and I know there's a resistance, not you can turn up your resistance, and I try to be pretty tough on myself about that. But anyway, let's not go to our view. I think, if I think to clean it up so you know if you use it, if you use the data that you get, that is easily accessible, whether it's like on or not, there's lots of different. I don't use it. So I'm not really the right person to to talk. but I know that a lot of people do so, if you have that, then you just know. I did that and then its then you don't have to have the nagging the neck The nagging can be quiet and Never forget that. I now I know so. You talked Byron tribal aspect which I think is a really powerful word and actually apparently powerful in practice too, because again, my previous spin experiences were here. You are in a room with other people, but is not as crowded most so cycle. It's not dark it debt and the teacher
as I have the same kind of atmospheric sir, and it's not trying the most of those clauses that I experienced personally worth. Trying is hard to create a search, showed a sense of unity, and I do that lastly, as it turns out, he is quite powerful, at least in my experience- and you are as mentioned before this sort of secular- I don't know if you use, use the word secular, but I don't know if you use the word, I'm about to use it, you're. Twenty ESA, my jewish friends, recalled so cycles spinner Gug. Let that end. It should talk a little bit about the spiritual aspect of it that it can be It can be quite powerful for many people in that way, and also, I think at a time. I know we're at a time the data show were at a time were organised, religion has less of hold on the average American than it used to and do think things like. Source icon also crossfire
and many. These others are boutique. Fitness companies are feeling that gap. Will there feeling a gap. There is no question about that and for us it was amiss. Console cycle. So was tat intentional. I think you know, I don't know I know that we wanted it to become what it is, but we I I don't know that We sure that we are going to be. There is a lot of you know health climb, no pun intended, but I Personally, I know Julie fills this way to we. It's not like. I was him before I think, We do need a secular place, and I think that it is true that people in a word weren't on we're tribe travel, we are human beings are they have been for tens of tat? of HUN. Maybe I don't know on time and it's interesting that it
This point we people are sort of moving away from organized religion, but yet still people have a need to find something. That's enough connected with hard or connected with spirit, or can It was something that is is bigger than they are and also it's nice? What I like about this whole cycle room is like it's, it's dark and its is low so it's also, but is also required, so you can be alone together without her Maybe you can say it can be really vulnerable, but you and I cried on the right tons of times but in star its loud. And what can you hear me and it this kind of nice to be able to feel safe to kind of let that go whatever. It is an. just in others is somewhat suffering that I just I mean all seeing in trying to figure out how to process and just knowing about so much more. of what's going on and an end, so many great things as well. I do think that
that fitness is filling a role for that in many ways, and I A lot of it has to do with the teachers and the people who are running these places in the kind of intention that they said and how they were kind of an environment. Because cultivated but it will be really interesting to see what happens going forward as it does seem like. We all need something that is secular. But not off putting and then there's a lot, that's it's interesting and and and in some ways enough, it is a very easy way to do that because you can opt in or out. How are you feeling that day? Louis you, a slightly tricky question. You taught you said earlier: everyone needs cardio. We have this epidemic of. I assume you referred to the epidemic of obesity and say really health crisis, yet a health crisis. I think there's no question about it.
but do you, I wonder, do think so cycles. Reaching a diverse enough audience made it expensive for one thirty bucks, a class you most of your if not all of your outpost stir in pretty well The old neighborhoods around the country There was a honor, you know the comedian Michael J he's answer, yeah probably tell you guys, I happened the other day to be watching one of his Netflix specials and he was on a ran about the power of white women. I can't do it justice, but it was very funny and one of the EU dropped within that ran a soul cycle, References- and it is true, I think, just based on my own unscientific sampling, but quite a large dataset. It's mostly white women in the classes and should have thought about that and demanding there's a way. They are their ways to change it. You need to change it. Are you thinking about it, etc, etc? Well, I've always been to wait. We did an
I think it continues today and that it does so with leather reference, the faggot you you got ye, you unduly left they again exactly two thousand seventeen. Sixteen reluctance, ok for two, so dancer indirectly, we always thought about it and from the very beginning, we really tried to think about like how how we can this and one of the things that of all the best things that happen, I think, are the things that come out of authentic lay out a community's right. So what what ended up here? in the car to is that we started soul. Scholarship programme, which goes to basically high schools and the kids later on in high school, and we make the city is available to them. In the light of the people, the instructors teach those classes in their kids I mean we do the tonnes of mentoring inside their resume building and, like other scale, sets as well to help these kids and
The amazing thing is: is that, though, thence rate. Was you know in the high ninety percent, like nobody will off these classes and even if a kid was or injured, like they would still come to hear the music and feel the energy of being in that kind of a room. Is they really value being it? So you know, look, it is true in our case in York, city in the neighborhoods in which we started, and you have moved across the country that we are r n convenient neighborhoods for people who are. You know what in full time and how busy lives and have disposable income. and it is also true that you know sometimes you just got a glance at the weather with with people who are organised start something start starfleet. changing their habits right so that we have looked at so we anyway would do that programme, which is a fantastic programme, and it has a huge amount of impact at a heavy statistics on it. But I know from her
participated in volume, be having been a mentor in it, that it has been a very touching action, for me to be involved with, probably just as much are more than them than with those kids I think we will try to make things as accessible as we can, while still operating business. I've done this interview backwards because I always start with meditation, but just because I'm geeky out because I'm sitting face to face with a personal invented, the brand that has become a part of our family life. I started talking about so cycle, but let me now, finally get to meditation till you ve been doing it for awhile. How did How- and why did you start? I register it so funny because ratification of that part of my life for a long time actually in it not not consistently. So I am not a lifeline. Potato, although at times I've really aspired to that, but in I got introduced you in high school and they
when I was in college, I did is celebrated program that happened to be a Buddhist studies programme. It happened to be in a monastery were in India in Bulgaria, India of how you did that marine. Yes, I do that previous guess who ve been that programme have you half a guy India place where the Buddha got enlightened. Yes and now, like a sort of em, a Buddhist mecca of Antwerp were all the different schools of Buddhism from many different countries come and set up, That's and Sir David Jealous was a writer for the New York Times. This is right. If they are times in his written about meditation is also a personal friend of mine. Did that program and get really the and consequent. So that's amazing that you did that I had no idea. I have never leave people who ve done that programme. That's that's are, of course like you would find them and so on. So I did that cause I love that programme. I learned a lot about the different styles and traditions and
if it will impact on me and then it was really interesting. I came back from that trip and my ants father had said- tell me: why are you so interested in Buddhism? Buddhism is for old people, you're supposed to go and fall in love and be crazy and do all these things, and it was funny because I loved it, and then I did, but it was really hard- it's really hard to sit meditate for forty five minutes and to do these many day retreat. It's an Iphone. I've really struggled it was, did not come naturally or easily to me, and I just thought that was a really funny common sense really for old people who need to combat crime and it so funny, because when we're doing when we are building the business Julie, both found like our meditation on the bank. We would find those like three minutes, of stillness inside of other the noise, chaos of all these spinning wheels in this crazy, Riad, amuse, Acre, whoever they are were playing that day, probably than hip hop. We were fighting like our views for Mamma, which is funny and
we were always like find that quieted and I think a lot of people do, and so that really became our meditation. But I felt like I needed more meditation. Just of the training that I have had in my kind of missed it, and also things were so busy and so I we were scheduled on the twenty minutes where I was just there was always so much going on. I really felt a draw to that that I said getting back into it, and I thought it be fine fine Furthermore, what I actually did think it would be fine to start Oliver, so we decided, and have meetings once a month. as a company really want and everybody is it connected, and so we would do this group meetings is I teleconference meetings with all that studios he and studio managers and Oliver, country out same time, I'm ready the other, and we would start them hearing with a three minute meditation.
So everybody you, whether you are in Dallas or whether in Chicago or LOS Angeles or New York or wherever you are, everybody would sort them obviously, never really would we set the agenda and all that, then we would meditate for three minutes and we used a joke that it was the longest three minutes of the months because it felt like it went forever. I was like so self conscious that I was making all these hundreds of feet for other sit or asking not me. What kind of making actually sit in silence, but I always noticed after the three minutes rob that things were just stood a different. There was a, From vibration that happened as a result, if you look around the world, How things felt before we started in and weary finished, and I just I loved that and funny. I've talked a bunch of friends of mine who owned companies use and things and a couple people have.
Are you using those in their meetings and I think that's. I think I think that's pretty cool and what about? What about your personal practice? Do you talk about inconsistency which, by the way is super common maniacal? dont think something to get too self conscious about. But are you are you? Are you at a moment now where you have a regular practice? Yes am thank God. I love it. I I have been sitting in the morning and what is your right when you? you said in the morning what what is it what's interesting eyes too, I said for twenty two minutes: and at a time of Thy set high MA. Am I and I made a fine of a better gone, because it is really not a good one. you do in your mind, for those twenty tonight breathe. I am, I know it's funny. I started when I got back and
I started with head. Space are really like one Andy suing on any honeycomb Hedda had space out loud ram loved that love your future guest on this broadcasting and I've been emailing, oh god, oh god, yeah he's lovely. Am I what I really of about is its super accessible, and I was looking. for some tools to share with our team. Really really like that. I had met him and just really like loved him so I started with that- really liked it like the idea of starting with ten minutes and then slowly increasing it, because it's it's hard to set for twenty minutes. At least found it was with without some practice, so start with that and then I just realized that I just needed a timer and what I like to do is just to watch my breath, and sometimes I call repeating some kind of sound, whether it some kind of homer some kind of down comes to mind, but mainly it's funny,
One of my friends Jai Ash more. who has opened armor. That programme in India with her, and she is a very well known. I meditation structure should teaches a lot in Europe and in India is not well known in this country, but she's somewhat known, she's, fantastic and amazing. I should be very interesting person how I'm your past my anyway. She talks about the space behind the thoughts and I ll fat, and I realized actually that I find that space behind the thoughts that I really to sink into a place that justice. It feels really good and my boy in feels really happy and that's that's the economy, that's my hook and I want to continue to do it on a daily basis and and rising. Also there, the brain changes that it can in fact so
there's also woman named Sarah got freed She has written a bunch of bucks on hormone cure. A book called younger age is written, probably for five bucks and she she's a functional medicine specialist and she does to those in Berkeley, and I met her at a conference and She was just talking to me about when you get into those brainwaves or what it actually does for your brain and as one of those things where one fuel savings you that they don't need to say twenty acres, She was talking about that place, which I realized is the place behind the thoughts and when, when I started to like feel that again after all these years, I realize like that's where, where I need to be at its also really great for your brain, I want my brain to be healthy for as long as it possibly could. He had placed by the thoughts John Cabbages, the famous meditation future talks about the mind as a waterfall. I use this analogy lot to so. If you think about the
water as are nonstop stream of consciousness Please me me me thoughts. The space behind the thoughts is otherwise known, as mindfulness is like the crevice in the rock face behind The waterfall that allows you to kind of step out of that stream and to view all of your thoughts with some non judgmental mental remove so that they don't own you, and that is the fruit of mindfulness meditation, which is the ability to see your thoughts as just thoughts, not necessarily fact and till you're, describing it beautifully what what what would you say, the impact on your daily life has been of having a more abiding practice. What are you What's really interesting, is I notice when I don't do it? How I don't feel well- and I didn't expect that my but we ve been traveling quite a bitten
I find it hard, sometimes with travel, to set a nine. I realise that I had gotten out of practice, and I just I don't old something's not right in, and I realise that was what was not right and so just to get back in. and said- and I I also realise like I make time for, social media and soon, as I realise that immediate Manfred social media, I just put put my phone away said the time aren't so that I can set ended. Allow me just kind of like ever any everything that it was before will still be there when I get back to it So I really realised that it does just how better I do feel and how grateful I am for that and how easy it is because it's just so accessible if you just make it time, that's right and I often say to people that, because people Mary, a lot about falling off the wagon and- and I get it but one of the benefits of falling off the wagon. Is you conceive more clearly the benefits of medicine?
yeah, you do your inner, whether becomes a lot more of noxious and tests to be able to see that it can be quite powerful. So what tat set them a little bit about your life today? You you left happening today, sixteen. Why and what are you doing now? Well, I'm it's ok, so Julian around the company for ten eleven years and we had taken partner, who was a majority partner and they wanted to Equinox yeah and they a bunch. Things happen and they wanted to buy most the rest, the company, and so we stayed for a year to help you know make that is as good for them as possible and then became time for us to go so It must be so weird mean. I started accompany a cofounded accompany two years ago, which actually is in competition with Andy. We teach meditation through an app and I and it's called tempers unhappy. I can't imagine at some point stepping away from my baby
yeah! No, I didn't realize that it was a baby when we sold with a majority of it. People kept on it's not a child in a you, have your children and that you have never felt something because This is a very big child and a very important child and love child with Julie and so was hard, super hard. Oh, my god, it was really really hard for both of us in different ways, but definitely hard and about it. Funny how things work out a it ended up. I end up having a lot of gratitude for the timing right in both of my parents were sick last year. My dad actually passed away a year ago today and it it's just it's like really trusting. How I would never have really been able to have the space or time to have attended To them in the way that I really needed to, if I had been meeting to you, know, take care of
companies and employees and shareholders, and and and that, so it really it's it's so funny how it is worked out so beautifully for me personally, then for Julie Lake, Do you like a shark that has to swim or shall die like she's that we were just than we are then a second but anyway, so she says she went back and his in some amazing work at we work and is really enjoying that communities in building some cool things ourselves to build stuff with both do but I needed to attend to some personal stuff and and she's working in and thriving in and getting to do things that she should be doing. So it's actually, oddly great how things have worked out. We may sell cycle everyday, its views of our heart and your stone aboard no, not a year so if you walk into a so, do you still go to also well? This is the thing I've been back in town. I am. I took my famine,
a fat, we decided on a family sabbatical, and I got back yesterday. Both and how long have revenge gone for six months we've been gone and we're gonna go. Away formula but more, but I just kind of felt like hey my kids out of school there going the score online. They were gonna. Forget it. He now where'd, you go, try some different things: we ve been traveling wee wee. I lived in Colorado for a long time, so we went back to Colorado and rid ourselves there. I joined a curling team, but with terrible, earlier, but I had a great time doing it and we speed, but there's no conditions were fine, but can now get conditions and fifty years, but we are entirely right and that the people there are amazing to me they made. sea mountain, so fantastic in spite of the conditions So we skied lot and we wake randomly travelled. Like one day my husband said: I want to go
in Japan and I'm like, I'm checking my five, whether apps and there's gotta be powder their next Friday. Let's go this: what happens when you so company right and when you have miles exactly now, we certainly got it. We have money which is extremely helpful, but we are but just made the time and space to do it and took the rest. It might advocated high school. Like most, we will take the sophomore in high school out risk right, she's been going to they both in going to school, online and kind of living differently. We just got back from them doing, Theatre programme and the Galapagos and living with this raising family reasons, really modest community, in putting on this crazy, with theatrical performance of with tons of crops and unjust living things over differently system, its ban and ass. I've had the best
I am. I thought everybody else's can have a better time and I did, but I definitely have you do you haven't done. Also that whole time and now I haven't been- I've been having to train myself, which is really interesting, because, having listened to all those incredibly talented beauty, for people for all those years like speak to me and inspiring. and motivate me, I had to listen to their voice As for my own voice to get myself to do things, today and I did it and it was? It was great and I'm I'm not saying I'm as good as they are, but I did it that's my eyes on your own. I wasn't bike. If I didn't have access to a bike, but I I was doing a bunch of other things and I think that's something that Julie talks about a lot, but once your inner coach gets into your own head, like your wife right like one you find that that place where you can you commit to something again into the practice of doing it, even if you're, you might really miss the physical activity, but you can turn that in
something else, whether it's a hike or run or swam are of whatever or boxing or whatever it is like. Whatever you have access to, you can turn that thing they have access to into the coach that you that you heard as whole cycle. Sensitive to your time, because I, because we ve you ve been going around in our, but I- and I know you probably have other things to do- only just ass one last question You clearly have an incredible amount of success with with building a business, this boutique fitness. What do you think about boutique meditation walk at these meditation drop spots that her popping up in New York in Miami and allay in Austin Texas in youth, do you see a business there who I think that they proves that there is a business there. If people are doing it, I don't know how big a business that is. I am I
love, what Susie's doing away with unplug sociology, yellow and task it can mindful has incredible programming here, and those are the only two that I'm really aware of I, for me personally, I like the convenience of being to meditate on my own. I dont need to be meditating community. I am not accountable. Now I am, but before we started soul cycle I was an accountable enough human being to be able to do fitness on my own. Absolutely not no way could not happen like zero chance. Like a lesson so I really needed a community to plug into that I signed up for and then I was accountable to so that I could change my habits. Although I did that for so many years, I'm I'm better at, and I must say I was good- is gone one of those classes but definitely have changed my habits and
I dont know what it's gonna take for. People to meditate are really down, and that remains to be seen what next real away ass. I ever have a great time. I'm helping people start companies and helping them get off the ground of working with a lot of seed. A and b is a serious. This is termed the people is for, fundraising. I didn't know that until recently as we self funded, but you know I've, just helping companies and in working with ceos to just help them kind of problem solving and get through stuff that being a bargaining down my hat and trying to find out ways. It is help everybody fly in and make these things happen faster. Harder and stronger and of really love another million joint management superfine, and can I get to come in Dubai Castle before I keep things there. Thank you very much for doing this will appreciate having you thank you so much for having gone straight away,
ok. That does it for another edition of the ten percent happier pod cast. If you liked it, please take a minute to subscribe rate us all of you want to suggest topics. You think we should cover or guests that we should bring in hit me up on twitter at Danby. Harris importantly, I want to thank the people who produce this project Efron Josh, go hand and the rest of the folks here and be see who helped make this thing possible. We have tons of other projects. You can check them out at every single time, casts dot com. I'll talk to you next Wednesday,. there's not a person in Amerika who hasn't been impact it in some way by the corona virus pandemic, but it every community. There are pockets of people. we're suiting up every day. This is my my day last day of the cylinder stretch of quotas from one of our time, these or America's essential workers, the people who are keeping moving. I turn into a homespun mom and now in a new plants from ABC News you gonna hear from damage.
I actually went back to my office and saw a crime, because it is not fair hearing here making sure that our community to sell faintly Bahrain. This is essentially inside the from emergency room. It's the police, cruiser to the czech outline. You hear what this pandemic sounds like the people, putting selves norms, which is always a risk that I could breathe, is home to my kids or my husband or my parents listened to the essentials inside the curve on Apple podcast, refitted, podcast, em,.