In this episode of the Radical company podcast...
Ryan dives deep with hope Brooks a Local Yogi with a background in software development, business development, and even welding! Join us as we dive deep into what it means to persevere through stacked odds, finding time for yourself, your passions, and looking at everyday hustles as an opportunity to #grow.
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(864) 616 2820
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In this episode of the Radical company podcast...
Radical Podcast is always looking forward to meeting both aspiring, and grounded professionals across the country! Feel like you have something to say? Slide us a Dm and let's make it happen!
(864) 616 2820
25 Delano Drive, Greenville, SC 29601, USA
Ryan Alford [00:00:05] Guys, if you didn't know, Radical is a full-service digital agency and we would love to work with you. If you listen to our podcasts. if you follow any of our content, then. check us out at Radical.Company. You can see everything that we do from website development, content development, digital ad-spend, everything, and anything. We can help you with that. We would love to work with you. Follow us on Instagram radical_results. Hope you enjoy today's podcast. Hey, guys! This is Ryan Alford. Welcome to the Radical Company podcast. I will admit I'm a little bit in The Twilight Zone because I don't have my normal headphones on. And so we're miked up and everything's normal, but we're not in the normal vortex here. Hope I'm so excited to have you on.
Hope Brooks [00:01:04] Thanks. I appreciate you inviting me.
Ryan Alford [00:01:05] We've been getting through the technical glitches, but I appreciate your patience. Welcome into the wheelhouse. On a Friday, podcast Friday. We do this every Friday. I've been getting to know Hope in the last couple of years through mainly metabolic. I think we see each other here, there, and everywhere now. I guess that is Greensville, the beauty of Greensville and there are a lot of similar circles and stuff. So it's been great getting to know you and I appreciate you coming on and telling your story. I did warn you that we were going to start a little bit early, things are a little different today with a feature. I'm trying to intermix a little bit of pop culture and just stuff that's going on before. I would like for someone to write in and say what's your story and where you're from and all that. And we talked beforehand and you aren't a bachelor aficionado, so we won't go down The Bachelorette. Have you ever watched The Bachelor?
Hope Brooks [00:02:11] No, not even 5minutes.
Ryan Alford [00:02:15] It's so formulaic. It is so systematic. Like me from five years ago would be like, “oh my God, you're watching The Bachelor”. My wife likes it now. It was like a guilty pleasure, I know what was going to happen in every episode because every season is the same. It's like one girl gets mad. There's a crazy one, there's a nice one, there's a mean one. And they all do this. And it's the drama of it. You know exactly what's going to happen, but you still watch it.
Hope Brooks [00:02:42] I used to have a guilty pleasure, The Real Housewives, years ago and you could tell it was staged and everything but I got out of that habit
Ryan Alford [00:02:53] Colden seems like a decent guy. He's the bachelor this year. He's into doing some wine projects and different things. He seems like a guy I'd want to have a beer with. So I'm not hating on it too much, but he's in. In what other universe is it OK for you to date seven girls at a time? I asked my wife. This would never be cool, ever and these girls are OK with it. It's like, what's going on here? I know it's a show and they're just cool. They're just like, “oh, I hope you have a good date. I hope you'll make out. Did he kiss you tonight?”,
Hope Brooks [00:03:29] What is the goal, for them to get married?
Ryan Alford [00:03:33] Yeah, they want for him to get down on one knee and propose. In each episode, he gives roses out after they eat, to the ones he keeps and he sends the others home. All that stuff you normally feel guilty about when you date someone. You need to watch it sometime and sometime we tape it. It’s getting down to the gravy now with only four girls left. Kaitlyn, the girl we like is from North Carolina. But anyway, I digressed from our pop culture of the week. Did you see Don’s shoe blowout?
Hope Brooks [00:04:24] I did not. I was probably asleep.
Ryan Alford [00:04:26] I wasn't watching it either. The game started late and within thirty-five seconds, Don Williams, who’s going to be like the top pick in the draft, blows his shoe out. His shoe broke apart and he twisted his knee. I've never seen a shoe blowout before. The guy's like six-eight and 260pounds. That was like the pop culture of the week of everything that was happening. But let's talk about Hope. It’s been cool getting to know you, working out together, and sweating together.,
Hope Brooks [00:05:05] Except for, you won't do yoga with me.
Ryan Alford [00:05:09] I want to.
Hope Brooks [00:05:12] You have not yet done it.
Ryan Alford [00:05:13] I know. I haven't gone and floated yet either.
Hope Brooks [00:05:18] Me either. I will commit to a float if you commit to a class. Deal?
Ryan Alford [00:05:22] All right. I'm in. I need you to schedule it and I will make it happen.
Hope Brooks [00:05:30] I do this often.
Ryan Alford [00:05:32] I know because I want to do it. I need it. I'm six-five 230pounds. I work out a lot so I am in good shape but I am not flexible so I know I need it.
Hope Brooks [00:05:47] You don't have to be flexible to come to yoga. That's the first question we always get. I'm not flexible, so I can't do yoga. That's not the point.
Ryan Alford [00:05:55] I know, but it helps make yoga easier.
Hope Brooks [00:05:58] Yoga will help in every other aspect of your life. Your mental state and how your heart functions.
Ryan Alford [00:06:03] Will it pay my bills for me?
Hope Brooks [00:0608] It will if you teach enough.
Ryan Alford [00:06:10] Yeah, that's cool. I'm going to do it. I'm committed.
Hope Brooks [00:06:13] OK, I don't want to float, but I'll float. I don't know if I can slow down that long.
Ryan Alford [00:06:18] You are a businesswoman, yoga instructor, and community activist. I know you wear a lot of crowns, but let’s talk about your story for our listeners. Give them the cliff notes of your story. You have a good background, a tough background, and I think it's shaped who you are. I think this could be impactful for people knowing the things you've overcome and what's made you the person you are today. But just tell everyone a little bit about you.
Hope Brooks [00:06:48] So I'm originally from Kokomo, Indiana, a town that people never heard of. It was the home of the Chrysler transmission plant. The first one they ever opened. I come from an automotive family and I spent 16 years in automotive myself as a process specialist and a quality specialist. My actual first job was as a welder on an assembly line and it was dirty and one hundred and seventeen degrees on the second shift.
Ryan Alford [00:07:12] You're just a Midwestern girl.
Hope Brooks [00:07:16]. But they paid well and the benefits were free in nineteen ninety, which is when I started. I had a birthday yesterday.
Ryan Alford [00:07:26] Oh my goodness. Happy belated birthday. Twenty-four, my God!
Hope Brooks [00:07:32] If I could be twenty-four and know what I know right now. Oh my gosh.
Ryan Alford [00:07:38] Where's our cake.
Hope Brooke [00:07:39] I didn't have cake either.
Ryan Alford [00:07:41] OK, no cake, maybe a cookie?.
Hope Brooks [00:07:46] I got free Starbucks and some fun gifts. But yes, I spent 16 years in automotive. Then meandered around South Carolina, landing in Spartanburg to come to the BMW plant. That's what moved me here Twenty years ago. Then I left that. I was never expecting to leave manufacturing that was my life. It was ten or twelve hours per day, five or six days a week. You wore steel-toed shoes and a uniform. When I was in the paint shop I wore a paint suit. So lots of fun. The Nylon paint suits were very hot and as long as you are in the plant you had to wear them even when you are not on the line. Imagine walking around in them all day. I got approached by somebody I know who thought I would be good at some business development and sales in software and services for manufacturing. I have a background in all of that. Developing software for applications, planning and quality capture for data, and measuring KPIs. That's the first time in sixteen years I didn't go to a plant but I was in an office. It was up here on Pavement Road and I had no idea what I was doing. Like nothing. I was in an office and the pay was good. It's an office and I'm like, wow, I don't have to punch a time clock. I don't have to scan my body every time I walk in and out the door. I am now four companies later and I still help the company I'm with now build new business. We provide services for anything industrial manufacturing. So if you make it or you build it, we can help you optimize it. So we look at trying to optimize processes and all the services they offer. I help marry that service to whoever the prospect is and what they're looking for.
Ryan Alford [00:09:36] When I hear that kind of thing, I think of two things, I think of the architect and the type - a process person. Are you the creative person that can see the process? Are you the type - that gets it all done?
Hope Brooks [00:09:56] Both. I have a friend that was working with me and she was a software developer. She said her term for me would be a designer because I have the concept but I can't execute the software side of it. I'm not a coder. But the concept and design, yes. And then the training and execution, yes. But the part where you have to set it up, other people do that. I've worked a lot of my years with IT people and I respect them so much because that is something I'm never going to do. So I kind of always been in a high-pressure job. My family broke up in the early eighties and it was not a pleasant thing to grow up in. And just a little about my youth growing up in a home with a mother who's now been married at least four times. Technically, her children weren't her number one priority. I didn't do sports. Everyone thinks I was an athlete because I'm over five feet ten and I'm fit. I've never been an athlete. I would consider myself more so now. But I didn't have all that much direction. I didn't go to college until I moved to Spartanburg and I went to UCLA and that was out of necessity. I see things that I want to do differently and I can't do it without this foundation. And that shaped me as well. So I took a bad situation for myself and dove right into my work. And that's where I lived until 2008 when I had my son and that kind of changed things for me.
Ryan Alford [00:11:27] It does. Yeah, it changes the world.
Hope Brooks [00:11:29] Everything changes. And he was sick and he had a lot of health problems and hospitalizations and surgeries and stuff. So I went through that with him. I got married, which was kind of a disaster. As I look back now, I know that decision wasn't the best one because I wasn't in a good place. But when you're not in a good place sometimes you don’t know you're not in a good place. It can be hard to recognize that, and people were facilitating me to stay in that bad place, even my family. Some people feed off of your demise and other people feed off of your propelling forward to do better with your life and mine was the former. It wasn't until I started to cut those ties that I changed my community and got more into the fitness community. I started yoga in 2010, so eight and a half years now. The first place I practice was with Southern Home and it was so hot I thought I was going to die. There was this lady, she is now my friend. She was on the other side of the room and her skin was completely white and I was like; “ If she can do it I can too. I can do this”. And it was horrible. But I left and I felt better. And I got like my first good night's sleep in two years. And I was like, I'm going to do it again. So I burned through my first twenty classes in less than a month and I don't know what it was about the way that we flow because I became a flow junkie. There are different styles. I want to move. I want to breathe. I want to listen to music. It just changed my life and I did that for six and a half years before I found the metabolic family. And that changed my life on another level. And I think as I moved through the challenges life gave me, which right now is, I'm a single mom. I've had my children since they were born and by myself since my second child was born and she's seven. So for seven years, without family support, without weekends off, no alternating parent time, none of that. Occasionally a friend will come and be like, I'll help you out, or my babysitters just make a lot of money. Right? But the yoga practice was good for me for a while and then it just wasn't enough. I didn't know what I needed and when I set foot in Metabolic, I thought I might die looking. I was looking at the room and I thought I just might die. This looks so awful. And two years later, on my second anniversary, I'm still there and I still go three times a week. And it's a community that I love and I love sharing in the community. And I look back and I think, would I be where I'm at now had I not struggled as a child from abandonment, watching alcoholism, drugs, you name it. I've seen it all. Beatings and abuse were in our house regularly. And I look now and I think I didn't value myself because I never saw that as a child. And it's my intention not to repeat that behavior with my children. As parents, we don't have all the answers and no one expects us to. I work in a job that I still love and I work from home so I am flexible with my schedule. I spend my lunches working out and sometimes at six a.m., which is where I met you. I teach three times a week. I typically do six workouts a week, three yoga and three metabolic. I coach people on the side that say they don't have time but I feel like there's always time. I use my skillset from what I've learned and kind of adapted to at work even in planning to be able to help other people find that space in their life. It's there. They just don't see it. Just like when you're a train wreck, sometimes you don't see it. And then later you're like, oh, did I do that? But yeah, I think at this point and I feel like at forty-seven I'm the best person I've ever been. I'm at a place where life is not easy, people think it's easy, like how I wish I could do and I wish I could do. It's not about wishing. It's about how can I make something happen for myself that’s important to me. Whether it's more time with my children or less time with them. I feel like it's OK for moms to say, “I need a break from my kids”. I don't feel like women value themselves enough to say, “I need a break”. Some people get it naturally, so it isn't like they don't think about it. Other parents and moms don't get that break. So it shouldn't be taboo to say, “I love them but I need a day off”.
Ryan Alford [00:16:20] Yeah, it shouldn't be. My wife's the same way. I mean she has to be told like, you got to do this, or she'll do it and I know she feels bad about it. I don't make her feel bad about it or I don't intentionally and I don't say oh don't do this or that other. But it's like a conditioned thing. And I wish she would do more. And like when she does, I think there's just something innate. I think about it, whether it's women or men. I don't know if it's the mom thing. It's all a lot of variables.
Hope Brooks [00:17:01] I think so because most of the moms I know don't feel the same way I do. They think that they have to be overachieving, do everything, craft it all or make crafts and do all the field trips. I don't have to do all that and mine came from necessity. I'm the only person they have. So I have them every single day of the year. Whatever they need. And that's what I think shaped me differently than other people who unknowingly sometimes get that break. I give my kids as much of me as I can give them. But if I don't replenish where I am and what I mean is as they always say, refill your cup first, and put on your mask first. I can tell you that there won't be a parent on the planet that doesn't put their kids' masks on first.
Ryan Alford [00:17:47] We are going to be choking out on the floor trying to get our kids' masks on.
Hope Brooks [00:17:51] The flight attendants can say it all day long, it's never going to happen. Ryan is going to put his kids first before he puts his on and that's just life. But in reality, how do I make time for myself in the way my life is structured? And right now, that time for myself is my fitness life. I spend an hour and a half a day roughly between traveling and doing it. That's my release. That's my balance. That's what I love. It's a community here that I have watched develop over the last eight and a half years. And the last two years, in particular, have been very significant, I think, in Greenville. And I honestly hated living here until about five years ago. I debated always about going back to the Midwest. I've just really kind of liked the culture and the people and I know it's just changed for me. I love watching this place grow. As you said, it's big, but it's also small.
Ryan Alford [00:18:40] It is. It's both. What would you tell people, start on the low end and get to the highs? I think everyone struggles, but you've overcome struggles with growing up and a failed marriage, it didn't work. I've been there myself, guilty as charged, and it may not have been your fault, but mine was my fault. How did you overcome it? Because I think people are listening and they see that you're successful, you're happy, you're the best person at forty-seven, but you've had to overcome a lot of things; twofold how and when?. What are those triggers? Is it just self-driven? I know there is a lot to it, but what were the turning points, and what keeps you from being bitter? Because I meet a lot of people that are bitter and you've never struck me as bitter. But now knowing and getting to know you more, knowing some of these things, I don't know what that is. And I think if someone is listening, they can glean something, like what those turning points were for you or how you kind of overcame it?
Hope Brooks [00:20:00] I think I will start with the second part. I have been bitter. I was separated at twenty fourteen. The period between twenty fourteen and twenty sixteen was hard for me. I had a job change, my company sold and I was like the fifth person on the list out the door because I made top five in money and they wanted to get rid of me so they can make more profit. I had that going on. My children were very small when I separated and I was being verbally decimated by my ex-husband. He was absent completely unless he decided to show up. I went into a place where I was very bitter and I looked in the mirror and I didn't like who I was anymore. I didn't like who I was for myself. I didn't like who I was for my children. And I didn't know how to get out of it. I'll be honest with you. I reached out to my family, my mom, and my half-brother, and they just brushed me off. They told me, “handle it yourself, it's not our problem”. And I can't tell you how many times I literally sat in the corner and just cry. So even the best of us get there. It's just you have to make a decision. Are you going to live there or do you just visit there sometimes so you can check yourself? And somewhere over those two years, I can't pinpoint just one thing, I saw people in the community that I've known for years, some newer people that I had met through yoga, and I thought, why can't I have that life? I want that. And I would look, I said, I can have that life. But then I looked at myself and I'm not doing the things I need to do to make this better. So I just went on with an intention to say what makes me happy and what doesn't make me happy? And that's kind of where I'm at and I have a Hashtag Take what you need and leave the rest. And I started saying that in every class because I knew if I taught yoga to help someone else, I had to be helping myself. And I can't come up with just straight bullshit
Ryan Alford [00:22:05] It is so interesting because you're right. And I think with everything so convenient now in the world and there are pills for this and there are things for that, it's not that I have any problem with medication, but what people don't realize is if you choose to make a decision, it's not going to happen overnight. It's a process. It's kind of like a diet or lifestyle change, even for me when my diet starts going off the rails. It doesn't happen when you're not going to lose the weight you put on and you're not going to suddenly not have the cravings for the bad food. But if you can get two or three days under you, the next few days seem easier. The next few weeks seem easier. But it takes time and it's not just boom, boom, boom. And I think to what you're saying, we want it to go away right now. But if you can; I just want to be here and start working there. It's amazing how it starts happening.
Hope Brooks [00:23:05] I didn't have a there, I just didn't want to be where I was.
Ryan Alford [00:23:09] You got to have a there.
Hope Brooks [00:23:10] At the time I didn't. I just knew I didn't want to be where I was. And I saw places and people that I knew and they had been in a state or even their physical location, and I thought those would serve me better. But I don't like where I'm at and I'm not sure which trajectory is where I'm going to land, but I had to start down the path somewhere. There's always going to be a yield and there's always going to be a turn sign and that's what's going to happen. But in teaching yoga, if you come in and you're not genuine, people know it. I only know how to be completely transparent and completely genuine. And that's for good days and bad days and everything in between. Some days I come in on the verge of absolutely crying and I teach my class and I would leave feeling so much better because I either released that or I shared something or maybe even somebody said something to me. You can ask my early-on students back in twenty fourteen and 15, they take my class now. I know I am a whole different person in everything that I do. So it was a journey and I didn't know. I just kind of had to take the turns as I went through the journey to figure out what worked and what didn't work. I tried to leave it. And sadly, part of that is my family. I haven't written them off, some people would think, “oh, you're writing them off”. I'm not writing them off. I set a boundary with them that if they can't honor it, then we can't communicate because otherwise, it's compromising me. And I don't have a state in my life right now where I can compromise in a way that takes something from me that I could never get back. And so, “take what you need and leave the rest” is everything from the practice on your mat to maybe you want to lay on Shabbos class. You can do it. Maybe you want to stay in handstand all class because you just feel so energetic. Do it, that's the point, you won't know until you start. You don't know till you try. You're going to fall, that's a given. People don't want to fall these days. I have the scars from sliding across my street. Lots of scars chin, head, everywhere that I've fallen and hurt myself. Internally though that's what changes you. You either take that challenge you and you let it beat you down and you end up sitting in the corner and crying the rest of your life and being woe is me. Or you have to take charge of what you want in your life. If you don't like your job, change it. If you don't like the way you look, go work out. If you don't like that workout, go try another. You can try ninety-two other ones. You can try to work out at home. You can go to a studio. You can do whatever. There's always an option. It's just, are you seeing all the options that are there for you, and then are you putting it in a perspective that works into your life? So it was just really hard for me. It was not a fun few years. I was not a good person. I didn't want people to be around me and those were the parts that hurt. Friends that I had for a long time were like; “I don't know how to help you so I am going to step away”. And in some ways, I appreciate those friends and some of them kind of looked at me and shook me by the arm like, “what is going on with you. Come on, where are you in here?” And you do get lost in that rabbit hole sometimes. I think telling people they're not going to get there, sometimes makes them falsely believe it's all sunshine and roses going forward and it's not.
Ryan Alford [00:26:32] You said something interesting, though. People don't want to fall like they just want to go back to convenience and the participation trophies that kids give and everything that plays.
Hope Brooks [00:26:50] It's all kind of a birthday party and the birthday boy is the one giving the gifts to the kids.
Ryan Alford [00:26:54] I know. And it's all a similar type of thing and it's not because I'm like, “oh, no, I'm through the snow in my bare feet. I'm not being like my grandfather was”. But it's more just like life's not easy now and you have to fall to know how to get up. And we've talked about this and we talked about Gen-S a little bit earlier potentially with your son and like Patrick Garner who started Gen-s, in some of the tenets that we're talking about with that program teaching how to fail and how to recover from it. Because some of these kids, you get the highs and the lows, and all they've done is had these failures and they don't know how to recover. Then there are these kids that have never had failure until they're twenty-two years old and they don't know how to feel and they go completely haywire. And so I think you've got to learn how to fall and how to get up and but no one wants to.
Hope Brooks [00:27:59] It's easier with a guy. As a teenager and into my early twenties, not having a guide, I can tell you it is much harder without the guide. But if you're a parent or a group of people are willing to help you with that, if it does shape how you handle things going forward in your life, it's the foundation. It's just like you're not going to build the house without getting the foundation down. And you talk about medicine like a lot of people ask me during those years; “Why don’t you just take something to make you feel better?” And I was like, that's not fixing my issue. Right?
Ryan Alford [00:28:30] I'm asking that.
Hope Brooks [00:28:31] That is not fixing it, that's covering it up. And I'll say my son's the same way. I was so reluctant to put him on medication. I worked two years through what would be the best route for him? I didn’t want his body to be dependent unless it has to be on medication. And if he needs it temporarily, that's great, we're a year and a half into one that he's on now for anxiety.
Ryan Alford [00:28:57] Yeah, I don't like it.
Hope Brooks [00:28:58] I mean, mentally, I don't like him taking that. But right now it's helping him so he has time to develop his coping skills. I think over that time, I uprooted my children. Thankfully, we were at a school that was a charter school and it didn't matter where we live. So I moved. I had a house I built. It was brand new. Three years later, my divorce is final. I sold it. I was like; “ I’m moving”. And that move was also a pivotal moment for me. It put me a little bit closer to downtown. A little more central. I mean, in Greenville, five miles doesn't sound like a lot. But if you live here, five miles can be an hour of your day.
Ryan Alford [00:29:37] It is, it can be.
Hope Brooks [00:29:38] I made some pretty hefty changes that are a little scary. And fear can stop people from doing a lot of things. And it sometimes would take a hold of me. And I'm like, not today. I’m like the not today satan. I feel that way about fear, overcome it as much as you can because it's the moment that you stop and it grips you, that you may have stopped doing something that would have been great or helped someone.
Ryan Alford [00:30:07] Shifting gears to yoga. I'm fascinated by yoga because I've wanted to do it and haven’t done it. How many different types of yoga are there now?.
Hope Brooks [00:30:22] There's a new one I hear called Booty Yoga.
Ryan Alford [00:30:26] Booty yoga!
Hope Brooks [00:30:28] I'm going to have to go to Charleston. It's the closest place that has it.
Ryan Alford [00:30:30] Butt squeezes?.
Hope Brooks [00:30:34] I guess so. There are different styles but I love powerful. Powerful is typically an hour. You warm up for five minutes or so and then you start to move through the class. Your breath is your movement. So your inhale takes you somewhere, your exhale takes you somewhere. And that inhale is not fast. It's inhaling two three to four seconds, and exhaling is three to four seconds. Those seconds don't sound like a lot while we're talking but when you're moving it makes you conscious. I don't think about my laundry list or my kids’ school activity or whatever I have going on. I can only think about this because if I don't, my breath is going to go so fast that I’m winded like I just ran a marathon. And that's not really how you want to feel. You want your heart rate up and your circulation to be moving. But that's my favorite style. It's powerful. I love the energy that comes from it. I turn the music up.
Ryan Alford [00:31:24] Is that considered hot yoga or it could be?
Hope Brooks [00:31:27] Any yoga can be done hot or not. The one that's more specific in styles in this twenty-six series is the Bikram style. That one is twenty-six postures of the same thing every single time. It's usually a hundred and five degrees. It’s not my style. I don't like it. I've taken it two times in eight and a half years and that tells me OK you don’t like it. Ying is a good one. People who do a lot of cross running, biking, and things like that, really need to release low-back, hips, shoulders, and things like that. You might sit in that posture for three to five minutes and ying is more of a winding down type of yoga. You can mix the styles any way you want. At Southern home, they have a ying and flow. So you flow a little bit and then you ying and it's fantastic. And then kind of just basic vinyasa flow that can be done hot or not hot. Instead of one breath, one movement, It's more about three or four breaths maybe five and you stay in the posture before you go to the next one.
Ryan Alford [00:32:29] What would you tell someone other than me that's considering going into yoga? What is the biggest thing? The people like me think it’s an inflexible thing.
Hope Brooks [00:32:41] I get asked in two parts, they're like, how is it in yoga? And I'm not very flexible and I don't know if I like to eat. My answer is always it's hot. If you really can't tolerate the heat, don't take hot classes. But if you're not sure if you can tolerate it, try it. Nobody's died trying it that I know. Not in my class. They just pass out. The inflexible part is that it doesn't matter how flexible you are. People see my split pictures and they're all like, oh my gosh. Well, part of it is just genetic. It's how my body is built. And then part of it is I have practiced for eight and a half years and I work equally into my strength and my flexibility as much as I can. So I just say try it. Yeah. Pick something and try it. I wouldn't usually suggest the power class for somebody who's never done yoga before. I would go with a seventy-five or a 90-minute vinyasa club. So that would probably be my first recommendation. And if they're terrified, then start with ying. Learn one posture, and learn six postures over an hour and a half. In Greenville, we don't have a shortage of yoga.
Ryan Alford [00:33:53] Yes, there is a lot of yoga.
Hope Brooks [00:33:55] When I started eight and a half years ago, the Southern Home was the only one there.
Ryan Alford [00:34:02] We are like 12 feet from so many yoga clubs. I could go, right?
Hope Brooks [00:34:07] And You could go right through the walls. Now you have multiple locations and then some places don't do any hot yoga and there's community yoga. I love teaching to the community because, for people who can't either fit it into a weekday or can't afford it, affordability is another big issue people are like, “I don't know if I can spend that much now". Let's find a way whether it's maybe a work exchange. We do work exchanges at Southern Homes going at 7 am for three hours a week and that person gets you. And it's like that's a pretty great trade. I think it's great. And it's not for everybody to love. But yoga is for everybody and we can modify it. If your knees have been replaced or you have a hip replacement that doesn’t matter. We can work around it. I have one lady who I adore who comes to my class regularly and she's deaf. My class is hard, ask anybody. It's not easy. And I do not teach the same sequence every time. I kind of make it up as I go along. I feel what's in my heart and the energy from the students and kind of where they are and I teach that. The fundamentals are always the same. You have to have a warm-up. Yet do some of the basic postures before you get into that fun creative flow stuff. You'll see it when you come. But she is deaf and she comes and she tries and I love her. I was terrified the first time she took my class. I was like, “how can she do this”? And she sits in a certain part of the room so she can see the people around her. And I always make eye contact with her more. And so we've developed a rapport over the last year or so and she's just phenomenal.
Ryan Alford [00:35:45] I think there's this connection with meditation and yoga. Like, I feel like they're kissing cousins in some way, like breathing and all that occasionally. And I don't want to say I do, because I don't know if it's meditation or it's sleeping, but I do it.
Hope Brooks [00:36:04] I sleep. I like my sleep.
Ryan Alford [00:36:06] I do too. But I will try to meditate because I've done it before. I'll be laying on the floor and I'll kind of like to do it like I try to get around it. And I know they say that state is kind of between sleep and non-sleep anyway a little bit if you're doing it right. But I don't know.
Hope Brooks [00:36:23] So yoga can be what we consider a moving meditation because you're moving your body with your breath.
Ryan Alford [00:36:32] Yeah, because it's the breathing, right?
Hope Brooks [00:36:34] Yeah, it's about breathing. Because you'll see a higher caloric burn and your heart rate is going to be high because in a power class you're doing that one breath movement. Yeah, but that's your meditation. It's taken out everything else in your life, leaving it outside the door and whatever you couldn't drop by the end of that class should be in that sweat puddle below you. That's basically what it is. That's my meditation time. When I go to a class, I love seeing the students and I practice all over town, I practice with the people. I love practicing with styles, and I go all in and lose myself in that mat. That is my time there. The best part is when you hit Shahbazian at the end with the cold lavender towel and you kind of fall asleep, you're like halfway between awake and sleep. Some people completely fall asleep. That means you've really let that go and you can walk out and feel completely refreshed. So meditation doesn't always happen just sitting. Some people like to meditate, and if you do it just in meditation alone, it's better to be seated. It's about using the diaphragm to breathe. But it's all about connecting to your breath because in this life right now, especially the market at the speed of Instagram, this is like we forget to breathe. We're shortening our breath and it's the one thing that's shortening our lives. You.
Ryan Alford [00:37:52] Yeah, I love it. So what's the future hold for Hope?
Hope Brooks [00:37:56] More of these. I want to spread the word. The biggest thing I worked on since last year is; that I was invited a few times to speak at different women's events and that was pivotal to hear the voices of other women and see where they struggle. I'm an engineer and I work ten hours a day. I go in an hour early, I stay a half-hour late and I don't have time. So my husband and I sit on the couch or whatever. At the end of the night, our kids go to bed and we drink two bottles of wine. I don't want to work out at eight-thirty or nine o'clock. My kids go to bed at eight, but I'm like, I don't want to work out at night. But how do you figure out what works in your schedule? How do you take control of your own life to look at your job and say, “I know you're used to me coming in like this, but this is what I'm going to need to do from here forward”. Start teaching people boundaries. We say yes to everything. I'm as guilty as everyone else, I say yes to everything, and then sometimes when I have to say no I'm like, “Oh, what am I doing saying no, you're not allowed to say no”. But I do. It was pivotal to hear the women in all different backgrounds from all different areas, kind of different somewhere, stay-at-home moms that have different challenges than working moms. And it's like, how do we help those moms fill their coffers? How do we tell them it's OK to look at your husband? Or if you're divorced, your mom and grandpa, whoever helps you, how do you look at them and go, Oh, I need this time and I can't have you say no to this? How do you put yourself first? We parents, don't put ourselves first often enough, How do you look at your job and say, I love what I do here and I don't want to leave, but I need to be here at 9:00, not at seven-thirty, because I need to work out or I need to take an hour and a half lunch today or two days a week. How do you look at an employer and say, I love my job and I want to stay here, but I need to dictate my schedule? I don't think people take enough control. Corporate America just uses and abuses people, eats them up, and spits them out. You've been through it. I've been spit out several times. Thanks for all you did, but now we're done. And then not letting those stumbling blocks be face plant in the cement and you don't get up. Let's figure out how we pick ourselves back up from job change, from divorce, from death, from anything. Now I lost my dad in 2013 and that was harder than I thought it would be. And he was a very distant man. He was an alcoholic and that's what eventually took his life. And I think he was such a great man. He was. But I think where would he have been if he would have just taken one path differently? Where would he be now? So I just hope that in the months and years to come that sharing my story and my struggle, even in more depth as needed, helps people. I would love to speak to my high school and college kids because I didn't have that. And even the most privileged child is missing something. From the most privileged to I have absolutely nothing and we don't even know where our next meal is coming from. It doesn’t matter where you're at, somebody can always use that and you can leverage it and help them. That's my whole goal.
Ryan Alford [00:41:17] It's a great goal. I'm excited you came into this today and it's been fascinating and great getting to know you. I'm going to come to yoga class and I think you're a great soul and there's a lot of strength in you. And I think people need to hear that story. I'm so glad that we can do this. We're going to get you GVL Hustle, talking in front of the group. Hope, thank you so much. This is Ryan Alford for the Radical company podcast. I enjoyed today's episode. I hope everyone has a great rest of the day whenever you listen to this. And we'll see you later.