Be willing to work hard. Whether you are trying to sell a membership to an individual, or a franchise to a prospective owner, you get out of it what you put in. And when there are hard days you want to quit or phone it in, you have to show up, reconnect to your why, and get back on the horse.
Lindsay Junk is President of YogaSix, a boutique yoga brand that offers a broad range of heated and non-heated yoga classes, sculpt classes, slow flow and deep stretch — leading the tribe with a calm mind and strong vibe in a modern, fresh way.
Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Before we dive in, our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your ‘backstory’ and how you grew up?
I grew up in a small outdoorsy town in Squamish British Columbia, Canada. Starting from an early age all the way through college I loved competing in sports. From getting a full-ride scholarship and attending the University of Hawaii as a varsity cross country athlete, ironman triathlete and swimmer, to working at Gold’s Gym and 24-Hour Fitness, I’ve always had a competitive streak inside of me.
Was there a particular person or event that inspired you to live a wellness-focused lifestyle? Can you tell us about your main motivation to go all in?
I did an internship in a hospital and was really saddened to see how so many unhealthy people were not “prescribed” healthy habits and exercise as part of their treatment. I felt it would be more effective to help people before they got sick by motivating them to live healthier lifestyles as a preventative tool, vs only focusing on treating the illness after it had taken hold
Most people with a wellbeing centered lifestyle have a “go-to” activity, exercise, beverage, or food that is part of their routine. What is yours and can you tell us how it helps you?
My “go-to” activity, which is also part of my morning routine, is always setting goals for myself, my kids, and my team at YogaSix. I believe that setting one goal every day helps all of us stay focused and hold each other accountable. Something that I make sure is always a part of my night routine is clearing out my inbox, making sure I respond to all of my emails.
To live a wellness-focused life is one thing, but how did it become your career? How did it all start?
I worked my way up through the fitness industry, and eventually found Yoga Works. There I learned how to become more mindful in my daily life. After 8 years, I moved on to start my own fitness consulting company and was eventually introduced to TruFusion, where I signed on as the Chief Development Officer and learned about the world of franchising. From there, I was introduced to Xponential Fitness. I immediately connected with the company’s concept, the environment, and its core values, so when I heard that Xponential was acquiring a yoga brand, I jumped on the opportunity to become the President of YogaSix. It was the perfect role to combine everything I love and had worked for up to that point.
Can you share a story about the biggest challenges you faced when you were first starting? How did you resolve that? What are the main lessons or takeaways from that story?
When I first started off, I tended to be a micromanager and too competitive. I would constantly be asking about goals and checking up on everyone. However, throughout the years, I’ve learned to let my team take some of the responsibility and let them do the job that they signed up to do.
Can you share with us how the work you are doing is helping to make a bigger impact in the world? Can you share a story that illustrates that?
The team and I truly believe yoga can and should be accessible to every person on the planet. I’ve never heard about someone regretting carving out the time to take a yoga class. The ripple-on effect that a good hour of yoga can have on a person’s day, week, month, year, and life is HUGE. Even though our emphasis is on the more physical aspects of yoga, it can totally transform a person’s life. Because when you feel better in your physical body, it carries forward into less mental strain, and an increased desire to engage with the world. We hear the stories and receive testimonials weekly these days about how yoga has changed our members’ lives… It seriously lights us up.
What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now? How do you think that might help people?
There are so many fun projects in the works. A few that come to mind — We’re finalizing some great philanthropic projects that support breast and prostate cancer during October and November. We also have another round of the recently updated online 200 hour and 300 hour advanced teaching certification program launching next month. Lastly, we are starting to roll out a new format at some locations, Y6 TRX, which is a full yoga class experience utilizing wall-mounted TRX straps. It’s incredible! And, it will not only bring in a new clientele into our studios but also help uplevel our existing members’ practice. All of the above demonstrates our continued commitment to community, innovation, and growth.
You are a successful leader. Which three character traits do you think were most instrumental to your success? Can you please share a story or example for each?
- Being supportive — I feel so proud when I see someone at work get promoted and achieve their goals, it shows the rest of my team that they can get there too through hard work and dedication.
- Being outgoing and getting to know my team — Learning about my team on a professional as well as personal level made me able to connect with them on a deeper level and understand the ways they learn and work.
- Being organized — Schedules are constantly being changed or getting added to. I stay successful by prioritizing my workload and making sure to always keep a clean and concise calendar.
OK, thank you for all of that. Let’s now shift to the main focus of our interview. Let’s begin with a basic definition of terms so that all of us are on the same page. Wellness is an incredibly broad topic. How would you define the term “Wellness”? Can you explain what you mean?
Wellness is so much more than “just” fitness or nutrition. True wellness involves those components, of course, but also has to be balanced with mental agility, cardiovascular strength, stress management, attitude, and overall lifestyle choices that support a person living their best possible life.
Every choice that supports wellness hopefully has a sense of balance to it. Eat well… but also enjoy an amazing dessert or great glass of wine if it adds to your life. Work out, but don’t cause repetitive stress injuries by failing to take a day off. Get your job done, but don’t walk around so riddled with stress that you can’t enjoy your downtime with your kids. “Balance” is another word like wellness that gets thrown around a lot, but I see the two of them being closely intertwined. True wellness is not a fad. It is a lifelong commitment to taking well-rounded, actionable steps to feeling better in the body and mind.
As an expert, this might be intuitive to you, but it will be instructive to expressly articulate this. Can you please share a few reasons with our readers about why focusing on our wellness should be a priority in our lives?
Committing to wellness is taking care of your future self. Making deliberate choices that support your physical and mental wellbeing not only benefits you at that moment (in addition to those around you) but also sets you up for a better future. And it’s never too late to start! It’s like the old adage — when’s the best time to plant a tree? Twenty years ago. When’s the second-best time? Now.
Since the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been an increasingly growing understanding of the necessity for companies to be mindful of the wellness of their employees. For the sake of inspiring others, can you share steps or initiatives that companies have taken to help improve or optimize their employees’ mental and physical wellness?
More and more companies are taking advantage of the great corporate yoga programs many of our studios offer, including preferred membership rates for their employees, private sessions, and incentives for their teams coming in to take classes. Many companies have even arranged to have a YogaSix teacher come to their office for a ‘no excuse’ lunchtime class on their premises to help support their employees.
Ok super. Here is the main question of our interview. What are your “5 Things You Need To Create A Highly Successful Career In The Health and Wellness Industry”? If you can, please share a story or an example for each.
- You have to GENUINELY believe in the importance of health and wellness. It’s about being able to passionately sell whatever the product is, no matter your role. I would never hire a vegan to work in a BBQ restaurant. Nor would I hire a die-hard carnivore for a plant-based restaurant. If you don’t see the value in health and wellness, you won’t be inspired to work hard, innovate, and show up day after day after day.
- Be willing to work hard. Whether you are trying to sell a membership to an individual, or a franchise to a prospective owner, you get out of it what you put in. And when there are hard days you want to quit or phone it in, you have to show up, reconnect to your why, and get back on the horse.
- Be adaptable. Even though wellness has been around for a long time, how people approach it is constantly evolving. Between constantly learning more about how the human body and mind works, and the changing needs of our global society, we have had to stay flexible without veering from our mission.
- Recognize that wellness comes in different forms for different people at different times. And that’s okay. One person’s definition of fitness or wellness might be six-pack abs. Other, it’s being able to sleep through the night. Another, it’s being able to bend over to tie their shoes without pain. All are correct. Because of that, you have to be curious about the needs of a wide range of groups.
- Create an environment where people feel free to be themselves, be wrong, make mistakes, have fun and grow.
You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would promote the most wellness to the greatest amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
I think everyone should do yoga. Whether it’s your only form of movement and fitness, or it’s the thing you do once a week to stretch out after running 50 miles, it adds so much to a person’s life. We often talk about yoga on AND off the mat, because the skills like focus, patience, and presence that are developed during a yoga class can also be utilized when having a challenging conversation with a spouse, looking for parking in a crowded lot, or stressed out about a final exam. I’ve also had the amazing experience of practicing yoga with both my pre-teen daughters AND my mother in the same class. That cross-generational, meet-you-where-you-are approach meant that we could do this incredible activity together.
If I could inspire a movement, it would be one of “living in the moment and being present.” The ability to really slow down and actively listen to those around you with the intent to understand their point of view, recognizing that opposing perspectives can generate the best result or product etc., especially in a business environment.
We are blessed that some very prominent names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US with whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch, and why? He or she might just see this if we tag them.
Dwayne Johnson. He has amazing drive and dedication to wellness. He hasn’t sacrificed his family in the process. He seems to be enjoying life to the fullest and has never forgotten where he came from. I think he’d appreciate our style of yoga — something where he can push himself as hard as he wants or needs to one day, and then rest into support and relaxation the next.
How can our readers further follow your work online?
Your readers can follow YogaSix on social media platforms to stay up to date on anything and everything yoga.
This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for the time you spent with this. We wish you continued success and good health!