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Brett Larkin: “Dissent is a good thing when you’re early to the market”

Mental health. Yoga is one of the most recommended practices to support our whole health, body and mind. A consistent yoga practice promotes healthier family dynamics, work environments and personal relationships. Working with pranayama, meditation and the chakra system help us to uncover our negative thought patterns and past trauma, promoting a healing path to […]

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Mental health. Yoga is one of the most recommended practices to support our whole health, body and mind. A consistent yoga practice promotes healthier family dynamics, work environments and personal relationships. Working with pranayama, meditation and the chakra system help us to uncover our negative thought patterns and past trauma, promoting a healing path to wholeness.


As a part of my series about the women in wellness, I had the pleasure of interviewing Brett Larkin.

Brett credits yoga with helping her overcome the overwhelming stress, anxiety and fear she felt as a teen and young adult. After experimenting with yoga in all its forms, she dedicated herself to studying Hatha Yoga, Tantra & Ayurveda under Alan Finger (ISHTA Yoga) in New York in 2005. Even after extensive training, Brett was too scared to teach real people in a classroom setting. She filmed a short yoga sequence to put online instead. This little video catalyzed Brett’s into a full-time yoga Youtuber, teacher, and teacher trainer!

Today, she teaches to a subscriber base on Youtube of over 220K people. Her content is streamed for 3.5 million minutes each month and she won Youtube’s “Next Up” award as one of the top emerging Youtube channels of 2017. She’s the founder of Uplifted Yoga, a private online yoga and meditation community empowering students to personalize their practice and ignite their best life — on and off the mat. She’s authored over 4 yoga DVDs and instructed at top studios, companies like Google and Pinterest, and on retreats around the world.

Brett discovered myofascial release and began training as a massage therapist in 2012. A lifelong dancer, Brett fused her love of intuitive movement, soft tissue mobilization through myofascial release, and yoga into her Uplifted Online Yoga Teacher Training. Brett has her own podcast, “The Yoga Hacks Podcasts,” where she rants about all the ways she’s using yoga and meditation to micro-optimize her life. In addition, she’s the host of the Sivana Podcast, iTunes top-rated podcast on Spirituality, Yoga Lifestyle, and Conscious Living.

When Brett’s not filming Youtube videos, she’s hiking in the woods (and stretching in the car) with her husband and son.


Thank you so much for doing this with us Brett! Our readers would love to “get to know you” better. Can you share your “backstory” with us?

As a child and teen I loved ballet. Dance was always a huge part of my life. In my tech career, I studied human movement and created fitness and dance video games. I didn’t know it then, but this was vital groundwork for what would be my online yoga business.

I took my first yoga teacher training while still in college with Yogiraj Alan Finger, who I studied with in both New York and India (I’ve made two subsequent trips to India since my training). I’m also a certified massage therapist specializing in myofascial release.

I love being a student! My father taught me that the best, most successful people in business are those who are always learning and I couldn’t agree more. I am at my best when I am enrolled in trainings and consistently learning. I have had the privilege of training with teachers like Gurmukh, Rod Styker, Guru Singh and John Barnes, and having many of them in my own trainings.

Prior to teaching yoga in person and launching my Uplifted Yoga Membership Community and Online YTT, I got my start on Youtube because I was too shy to teach in person (read more about this in the next question)! My channel now has 370K+ subscribers and won Youtube’s “Next Up” award in 2015 as one of the top emerging yoga channels on Youtube. My classes are streamed for over 4 million minutes each month.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started your career? What were the main lessons or takeaways from that story?

I didn’t teach yoga for years after my first training. I wanted so desperately to share my love and passion for yoga with the world, but I was too scared to put myself out there. I decided to make a video and put it on Youtube to help me find my voice, practice, and remember a specific sequence I created. I was blown away by the response! People immediately started commenting and asking questions. This gave me the confidence I needed to start teaching publicly in studios. Over the years, this built the experience I needed to become a yoga teacher trainer, and my online YTT in 2015.

Can you share a story about the biggest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

The company I co-founded prior to Uplifted was my co-founders idea, and not what I was truly interested in or passionate about. Instead of trusting my own direct experience I entered into the partnership because I was afraid to go into business on my own. I learned a lot from that venture, but it ultimately didn’t experience success.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

Jared Polin. I met Jared at a Youtube Creator Day event back in 2014. At the time Jared had a Youtube channel that gave DSLR camera tips. While at the event, he shared with me a DVD that he created and sold off his Youtbe channel. This gave me the idea that a Youtube channel can be used to sell people things off of Youtube — that I too could create information products that people would want to buy from me. Jared sharing his DVD with me and the fact that it has made over one million dollars in 2014 was very impactful. He showed me what was possible.

Ok perfect. Now let’s jump to our main focus. When it comes to health and wellness, how is the work you are doing helping to make a bigger impact in the world?

My online yoga teacher training offers yoga education to teachers who would otherwise never have access to yoga teacher training because of disabilities, injuries, military deployment, etc. We have doctors, nurses and moms of young kids, who can’t do the traditional training format. The format and accessibility of the Uplifted YTT allows for more people to train and share the benefits of yoga with their own communities throughout the world — that is a huge impact!

Can you share your top five “lifestyle tweaks” that you believe will help support people’s journey towards better wellbeing? Please give an example or story for each.

1. Eat earlier, lighter dinner

2. Make lunch biggest meal of day

3. Go to bed earlier

4. Wake up do yoga or meditation first thing

5. Create a consistent bedtime and wake up — the body loves rhythm

If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of wellness to the most amount of people, what would that be?

Daily yoga and meditation to help people gain a better awareness of their thoughts. I find that this can best be done through home practice, which I support through my Youtube channel Uplifted Community.

What are your “5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Started” and why?

1. Once you know you’re onto something, be bold, invest in your business.

2. Hire early and often, before you need someone.

3. Dissent is a good thing when you’re early to the market. I had a lot of people critiquing me when I started my online YTT. Fast forward to today in the wake of distance learning and everyone is now suddenly singing the praises of online trainings. I experienced a lot of backlash when I first took the training online in 2015.

4. Get lots of help. As a female entrepreneur, it has been crucial for me to hire household support to keep my personal home life in order and help care for my son.

5. Think big and think about scaling up from the get go — before you need to.

Sustainability, veganism, mental health and environmental changes are big topics at the moment. Which one of these causes is dearest to you, and why?

Mental health. Yoga is one of the most recommended practices to support our whole health, body and mind. A consistent yoga practice promotes healthier family dynamics, work environments and personal relationships. Working with pranayama, meditation and the chakra system help us to uncover our negative thought patterns and past trauma, promoting a healing path to wholeness.

What is the best way our readers can follow you on social media?

Youtube, Facebook, Instagram

Thank you for these fantastic insights!

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