In Bed With... Lizzie of Yoga Wake Up

Location: Culver City, Calif.
Current gig: CEO of Yoga Wake Up
Sum up the mission of Yoga Wake Up: We set you up for the day ahead by delivering short, easy, audio-guided yoga and meditation to your bedside. Our mission is to make yoga accessible and un-intimidating for all.
IG handle / website: @yogawakeup / www.yogawakeup.com 
One word that best describes how you work: Thoughtfully

What software/tools/apps (besides Yoga Wake Up) can't you live without?

Spotify, Slack/messaging, Later app, Waze, Texture

Favorite book you can read over and over?

Siddhartha

What's your best time-saving hack?

“Full hands in, full hands out”

If you’ve worked in a restaurant you know what I’m talking about.

What's the best advice you've ever received?

Never underestimate the power of positive thought.

What do you wish you knew before embarking on this journey?

This entire process has been an exercise in patience. We have accomplished everything we set out to do yet always later than we expect. Now we approach the new with an attitude of gratitude and understanding because we realize, whatever it is will be challenging, but in time, we will achieve it. With every achievement, it’s been a matter of when, not if, so we approach them with confidence, not discouragement.


What did you do in your ‘past life’ (aka previous jobs, gigs, etc)?

Owned a boutique PR agency specializing in wellness brands. Before that, fashion.

Is there a specific lesson you learned or story from your ‘past life’ that you implement at your current gig?

Collaboration is king. And be kind and respectful to everyone, particularly assistants and interns-- there’s something to learn or glean from just about anyone you meet, and you never know where that person is going to end up.

I LOVE when I see someone I worked with 10 years ago doing something amazing and I can call them up and feel confident they will remember me because we had a positive working relationship when they were just an assistant.

Do you have a favorite style of yoga?

Everything they teach at Light on Lotus in Mar Vista. It’s dance-y and silly and so creatively sequenced with great music. Plus the studio is beautiful.

What’s a big misconception about the yoga world?

This is more about the yogi-- if you’ve never practiced, it’s easy to say “I can’t do yoga, I’m not flexible.” That’s like saying “I’m dirty, so I shouldn’t take a shower.” It doesn’t make any sense. Yoga is HOW YOU BECOME flexible. In mind AND body. We take this to heart with Yoga Wake Up, which is a great entry-point for beginners since you can begin at home.  

We want to make yoga more accessible for those that are unsure of how to start. I know a studio and even “all levels” classes can be intimidating to newcomers. We just really want you to know that there is a home for you and yoga needs you as much as you need it!

What does your support system look like?

YOGA! Obviously. Whenever I am stressed, I will force myself into a class and 100% of the time, I feel better after. It’s like a reset button. But also, it’s Joaquin, cooking, and my amazing friends that allow me to shut off and just relax and be unapologetically me.

 

Can you take us through a typical day?

My days are always different, which is important for my sanity. Sometimes I designate the day a “creative” day where I create content for all of our social platforms or write pitches for editorial coverage. Lately I’ve had a lot of meetings because I am planning a lot of exciting collabs for 2019 alongside the release of a new version of Yoga Wake Up!

Every morning starts the same way however, with a Yoga Wake Up followed by Joaquin and I making breakfast together and sitting at the table with tea, eating and discussing our goals/agenda for the day. (I’m really proud of our morning routine!) I usually also go to a yoga class and wrap work up anytime between 4-7 pm depending on how productive I am feeling!


What's your sleep routine like?

I think your sleep routine really needs to begin when you get home from work. After dinner around 8 or 9, we begin the wind-down process.

Lights are low, diffuser is on. We usually watch a show or read. I’m in bed by 10 most nights and lately we’ve been really enjoying the wind-down yoga sequences we have on the app, particularly Niki Saccareccia’s “Shed the Stress and Rest”.

It’s great when my mind is busy or flooded with to-do lists, because it helps you release those thoughts with a short, yoga nidra-inspired exercise.

What was your upbringing like and how did it affect your point of view, career path, etc?

Ooh, fun question! Since I can’t keep it short, I’ll try to make it interesting. Let’s see, my Dad was bipolar and in and out, a lot. He was also a Mensa-certified genius so when he was around we watched a lot of Jeopardy and played a lot of Scrabble.
 
He showed no mercy and I had to get used to losing. Before he passed away I beat him in Scrabble (although the morphine may have had something to do with it!)  He loved California so it’s curious that I ended up here.
 
My mom was the steady figure in our life and was the perfect balance of ambitious and hard-working and sometimes “tough love” yet also always supportive, warm and nurturing. She’s a social worker so I was always answering that question, “How did that make you feel?”
 
I knew at a very young age that I wanted to go to college and I genuinely believed (due to my mom’s trickery) that I had to have a scholarship to get in. I didn’t realize you could get accepted and pay to attend. Hah! I started working when I was 15 at Subway. My mom, who came here from Cuba alone when she was 11 taught us the importance of independence and self-sufficiency. She also subscribed to the constitution of “Work to live, not live to work” and that “Happiness is a choice, not a condition.”
 
Anyone that knows me knows I am usually smiling and positive. It’s how I’ve ALWAYS been. I think it’s because, despite anything that goes wrong or doesn’t work out in my life, there’s still so much to be happy about. It’s all relative and I choose happiness.
 
I’ve never had a lot of money so I have a hard time expecting it or asking for it, hence why Yoga Wake Up is nearly entirely self-funded. It’s something I am working on-- calling in more abundance, asking for help and realizing my own worth.
 

What surprised (good or bad, you choose) you about this journey?  

suppose it’s how it’s how it has impacted my relationship with my husband, Joaquin, and me. We became business partners pretty early on in our relationship and it’s incredible how natural it has felt. You hear a lot of criticism around couples that work together and we receive a lot of questions, ie. how do we make it work, but I couldn’t be more pleased with how well it does. It keeps life interesting and we’re always learning new things...together!
 

What’s in store for 2019 with Yoga Wake Up? (events, launches, tweaks, etc)?

So much! Starting later this March we’re launching v.4.0, which is going to feature a community section through which our users can interact directly with the teachers on the app. We’re really excited to expand into a platform that creates and inspires yoga content beyond our current morning and evening audio offerings!

We’re also ramping up events including our MOONRISE series, a new moon intention-setting yoga class, that occurs at 6:30 a.m. monthly. This is in collaboration with GT’s Kombucha and this fall, the plan is to expand to multiple cities across the country!

QUICKFIRE

My ideal # of hours of sleep is: 8
Sleep season for me is: year-round
How many pillows: one firm memory foam and one “mushy”
AM or PM?: AM
Fav podcast?: “How I Built This” with Guy Raz
Nightcap?: Maybe a puff on my new Beboe “downtime” indica pen
Bad sleep habit: falling asleep on the couch
Good sleep habit: bedtime meditations from Yoga Wake Up
Side/back/stomach sleeper: all of the above!
Mantra: Inhale Confidence/Exhale Doubt