After 5 hours of sleep on day 1, then leaving the event around 12:30 am on Day 2, we really had to rally to get ourselves & get pumped for another full day. Luckily, day 3 started a little bit later, as Tony & his team knew everyone needed a little bit more sleep. Tony came on stage around 11 am, and we followed along in the workbook until breaking for some more serious emotional work. Day 3 consisted of growth, creating an extraordinary life, figuring out the strengths and weaknesses of different areas of out lives, pillars of progress, breath & meditation work, values & beliefs, and limiting beliefs.
Day 3 was my favorite day, as it forced us to go deep & feel a lot of things & face a lot of fears & let go of limiting beliefs. To start off, Tony talked about 7 areas of constant growth for an extraordinary life:
We went through and graded ourselves on each area of our life on a scale of 1-10. This was done in a wheel format, so we could see the imbalances of each area of our lives:
This is a screeenshot of my “Wheel of Life.” The goal of this exercise was to see where we were happy & thriving in our lives, and what areas we were not. As you can see, my wheel is a little off balance! We were asked, If you were to put this wheel on your car, how well would it work?? Obviously, not very well.
The areas that are the highest-rated (for me) are areas I put a lot of time into. For example – working on friendships & intimate relationships is challenging & important to me, so I devote a lot of time to people. I also work out a lot because I care about my body, and I make time for myself to have fun & bring myself up – so the physical & celebrate area are higher. If I wanted to have a more well-balanced wheel, I would put more time & effort in being more efficient with my time, as well as investing more effort into creating a career that is fulfilling for me.
A few tips given to improve different areas of your life:
- Celebrate yourself when you do something difficult or something you don’t want to do – this helps speed up your progress!
- 2 mm rule: the smallest change can make the biggest difference!
- Train yourself – repetition is key! Devote time everyday to doing small things to work towards improving different areas of your life.
- If you haven’t mastered something, don’t surround yourself with other people to hold you accountable. Find someone who is a master, and learn from them!
Tony then led us through a breathing technique to increases energy & bring gratitude into our daily lives:
3 sets of 10 (pause in between sets)
Lift arms up & breathe in
lower arms down with elbows in & exhale
A gratitude exercise (takes 5-10 minutes!):
Hands to heart
Think of 3 things you are grateful for – be there in the memory, 1 minute per each event, and really feel it
Feel the energy in you – energy comes in and heals every cell, organ, thought, etc. Visualize energy as a light, coming from the center of the earth, through your body, and up towards the sky. Then, send out to everyone else
Think of 3 things you are going to create. Envision the result, and celebrate inside as if they already happened (1 minute per idea)
After going through all of this, Tony began talking about values and beliefs. They determine and control everything in your life, whether you realize it or not.
Values are the emotional states that we believe are important to either experience or avoid.
Basically, we will always believe and act on our values in attempt to meet our basic needs (of certainty, love, etc).
After talking more about beliefs, we wrote down our top 2 limiting beliefs (ex: I am not good enough, I’ll never be loved, I don’t deserve happiness, etc). Then, all children aged 10 and under were asked to leave the room. Tony then led the entire room through the Dickens Process. This exercise was incredibly hard, as it forced you to literally feel your deepest fears, and to force you to see what life would be like if you never changed. It was painful, emotional, and really, really difficult. However, it was such an emotional release for me, and it was exactly why I came to the event. It forced me to be incredibly vulnerable, scream, cry, and feel really uncomfortable emotions.
After Tony led us through letting go of our limiting beliefs, he then had us reprogram new beliefs to replace what we let go of. The entire process lasted from 2 pm to 6 pm, and we were standing for almost the entire time. While it was exhausting and hard, it was (for me) the best part of the event!
You might be asking how the heck anyone had any energy after all of this, and here is video proof of what went on to keep us in state of constant alertness and energy:
Basically, there was a dance party every 10-20 minutes. Music was put on, and we had to get up, move our bodies, and interact with the people around us. It forced us to stay alert & keep our moods up so that we couldn’t get into a negative or sleepy state. The psychology of it all made sense, and it was nice that we weren’t just sitting for 18 hours straight taking notes! Also, if you really want to get as much as possible from the event, I recommend committing to going all 3 days & putting 150% in, as there are many times that you will want to lay down or leave! Between jet lag & 4-5 hours of sleep a night and 14-18 hour days, there were many times I needed a break. However, I made a commitment to myself that I could push through – and I did!
After the Dickens process, we were given a break to eat & come back around 7:30/8 pm. The rest of the night consisted of talking about Career Mastery, someone coming on stage and speaking about how Tony’s programs changed his life, and a sales pitch to attend ALL of Tony’s events (Date with Destiny, Business, UPW, Cleanse retreat, etc). They gave a discounted price, and told everyone they could meet with Tony & get a picture with him if they signed up & committed to the programs.
While it all sounded great, it was a lot to process, and it was a lot of money to commit. I understand Tony has a great system, and if that is something you want to throw yourself at full-force, that is awesome. It’s all about where you want to go in your life & what feels right for you! With that being said, I will definitely attend another event in the future, but when it feels right. I went to UPW to experience what I needed, and it was exactly what I needed at that moment in my life.
At the end of the night, we all danced a little more and ended up leaving around 2:30 am. My cousin & I’s flight was scheduled to leave at 12 pm the next day, so we ended up skipping out on the last half day of the event. The good news is, the workbook given provided a LOT of in-depth information on health/energy/food/diet, which I was able to read on the plane. I consider myself a really intuitive, healthy person in great physical shape, so I felt like it was something I could afford to miss out on.
Overall, the event was amazing. It was a completely different experience than anything I’ve done before, and I highly recommend it for anyone looking for growth in their lives!
So that’s it! 52 hours of learning in the span of 3 days, 13 hours of sleep, and 12+ hours of traveling to get to the event – all completely worth it! Has anyone else attended UPW or any other Tony Robbins event? I’d love to hear about your experience! Or, if you are thinking about going, leave a comment below!
After an intense 1st day with Tony Robbins, the 2nd day was not as long, and we had a different speaker come on stage: Joseph McClendon III. Joseph comes to talk on day 2 & the final half day, since 3 days of straight talking is too much strain on Tony’s vocal chords.
I liked day 2, as we actually followed along in the workbook that was given to us on Day 1. There was more structure, more laughing, and we actually had a break for dinner! The main things discussed on day 2 were setting individual personal goals, breaking patterns, lasting change, momentum, beliefs, and what we wanted to work towards. We were able to sit down and reflect on a lot of what he talked about, and it was a great way to set up a specific path towards our goals. Below are some of my favorite takeaways:
Neuro-Associative Conditioning: a system that describes the process of change in human beings and is based upon the premise that there are two determining reasons for human behavior:
1) the need to avoid pain and/or
2) the desire to gain pleasure (http://www.sportshealth4u.com/nac.html).
All progress comes from breaking patterns
Joseph talked about NAC as a way to cure phobias & change the way you think, just by associating different emotions with experiences/ideas/people/etc. Basically, program yourself to feel a happy emotion when encountering something you normally fear. This is one way he explained how to do this:
- Get leverage: Attach immediate, unbearable pain to not changing, and attach immediate pleasure to things you should do. If you can’t, you MUST
- Interrupt the pattern through an immediate change in physiology or thought, and
- Create an empowering alternative – celebrate or reward yourself for not continuing a negative pattern!
Example: I want to lose weight. 1) attach unbearable pain like having a heart attack if I don’t change my diet, and attach eating healthy with spending time with your family. 2) Thinking about being overweight, catching yourself & think about how good you will feel when you take action & lose weight. 3) Every time you walk away from a donut or eat something good, give yourself a high five or a pat on the back, or say something nice to yourself!
The driving force & science of momentum
- Put yourself in a Peak state – move your body, put on music, do anything to get yourself in a good mood! (or check out my last blog post on how to get motivated)
- Find your passion – find what pushes you, what you really want, what drives you in life, what you love, etc.
- Decide, Commit, Resolve – decide what it is that you want!
- You can pick ANY passion/emotion & CHOOSE to focus on that. Just pick 1 passion & run with it like hell!
- Take immediate & consistent action – create a plan, and do little things at a time to work towards it. Consistency is key in following through & being successful in everything you do!
- Be honest with yourself – continuously strengthen it, change it based on your end goals and whether it is rewarding to you, reinforce what is working, and continue to take new action
We don’t get what we want – we get what we believe we are.
Joseph and Tony were both very passionate about the same message the entire weekend – Always be aware of what state you are in – mentally – and know that you have the choice to change it at any time. We have all conditioned ourselves to be in a specific state – I call this our “base point” – which is what we will always revert to every time we come down from a high, or up from a low state/emotions. By continuously working towards being aware of what state of mind we are in, we can reprogram ourselves to a higher base state of mind, which in turn will change our beliefs and perception of our lives & every experience we have.
There are many ways to change your state, but again, consistency is key. Constant diligence of what is going on in your mind & choosing to only put attention to things that uplift you is what will change everything. I swear, I am living proof of this! From being constantly depressed, to now literally living my dream life = it’s all in your thoughts and where you put your focus. All it takes is consistent focus & belief in yourself!
My favorite quote ever is “Have faith in your ability to create” – I never believed that I could create a beautiful life, because I had so much doubt. Belief in yourself changes everything… And if you don’t believe in yourself – always challenge the thoughts that tell you you can’t do something. Because… they are wrong!
Friends I met at a Kyle Cease event 4 years ago… reunited all for the purpose of growth 🙂
Joseph walked everyone through an exercise in the workbook that allowed us to “close the gap” – between where we are, and where we want to be. It gave us the chance to specifically break down steps on how to get to where we want to be (in life, career, relationships, etc), which was surprisingly easy to do!
At the end of day 2, there was more info for those at the event looking to start or improve their business, including the importance of a team & the people you surround yourself with. People’s lives are a direct reflection of the expectations of their peer group – so surround yourself with great people, or people that you look up to!
Find a team that will challenge you, not just support or accept you.
There was a LOT more that was covered, but these were the things that stood out to me the most. I went into this event with no expectations, and a goal of next steps in life/ways to improve my mental state of mind. I also met some pretty incredible people there, including a 75+ year old man who I partnered up with for the first half of Day 2! It just goes to show that there will never be a point in your life that you cannot reinvent yourself or improve upon yourself. Growth is the driving force for purpose, and it never ends.
Next up: Day 3! For me, the most (emotionally) impactful day of the weekend. Stay tuned…
This past month, I attended a 3.5 day intense personal-development seminar called Unleash the Power Within, or UPW. UPW is a self-improvement/development seminar run twice a year by Tony Robbins, “designed to help you unlock and unleash the forces inside that can help you break through any limit and create the quality of life you desire.”
I have been wanting to go to one of Tony Robbins seminars for a while now – and while I have never read any of his books or listened to any of his tapes, I listen to his podcasts from time to time and have seen his Ted talk + Netflix documentary “I Am Not your Guru.”
Back in September, my cousin randomly asked if I wanted to go to UPW – without hesitation, I said “Why Not??”. We both researched other people’s experiences – podcasts, blogs, etc. – and decided, based on the positive feedback from all sources, that we needed to go and have our own unique experience. We found a great deal on discounted tickets on craigslist, booked our tickets, found an Air BNB, and were all set for the event! Below is my recap of Day 1 – you can find a recap of the Day 2 here and Day 3 here!
You are given a choice of 6 different programs to listen to before the event to get you in the right mindset – free for the first 30 days, then you are charged if you keep longer. Not a bad deal, unless you are like me and travel WAY too much to complete in 30 days & are unable to lug a bunch of CD’s around.
The Ultimate Edge: 21 day audio program. Choose this one for overall improvement.
Mastering Influence: 10 day system. Choose this one to increase your sales and/or influencing others to work with you to create a win/win situation.
Time of Your Life: 10 day system. Choose this one to get more of the results you are really passionate about in less time.
Creating Lasting Change: 10 day program. Choose this one to become a more effective inspirational leader using Tony’s techniques.
Path to Permanent Weight Loss: Choose this one to break through your weight and health issues permanently.
The Ultimate Relationship Program: Choose this one to create a relationship full of both love AND passion.
Based on what you are looking to improve in your life/the main reason for going to the event, you pick 1 program & it is shipped to you pretty quickly. You get to keep the books included, and after 30 days, UPS will pick up from your doorstep, free of charge, when you are ready to send back.
I chose the Ultimate Edge – and while my efforts were well-intentioned, I made it about 3/4 through before having to leave the country & send back. I did get a really good idea of what the seminar would be like, and I did gain a LOT of learnings from what I did complete. I highly recommend taking the time to complete the entire program before the event – it will give you a lot of clarity & make the event easier to digest. (Note to Tony Robbins Team – please make this program available for download on phones – the only CD player I have is in my car!)
You are also given 1 free over-the-phone coaching session. My cousin and I both had very different experiences – her coaching call was very sales-y, and mine was all about a coach breaking down my goals into smaller pieces. While it was interesting & cool to have that done, I was a little confused as to what the actual purpose of the call was for. I thought it would be like a life coach session, where I would be given some direction towards my goals & where to begin.
Fast-forward 2 months, and between coming back from being out of the country for 3 weeks, recovering from jetlag, teaching 3 yoga classes a week on top of my full time job, my bf moving in, and a trip to Florida 3 days before the event, I was obviously ready and not overwhelmed at all before flying out to Cali 😉
With that being said, I recover pretty quickly… and I was SUPER pumped about the trip. I believe everything happens at the exact time it needs to, and everything literally fell into place for me and my cousin. We got free transportation to and from the airport AND the event, and our seats were awesome for the price we paid. It was meant to be!
Day 1 of Unleash the Power Within: Soon-to-be filled arena!
My cousin & I arrived early to grab snacks at a nearby Whole Foods, then waited in line until the doors opened at 10. Once the doors opened, we secured some decent spots – aisle seats, as you have a little more room to move & easy to leave for bathroom breaks. We both sat on opposite ends of a row, as we wanted to “play full out.”
It is recommended to sit away from people you know when coming to the event, as it’s easier to let go & fully experience the newness/craziness around people you don’t know.
If you sit by people you do know, you are less likely to dance & shout & let go – meaning, you are going to act in a way that fits what someone else might expect of you. Being around strangers allows you to let go & be a different person, at least for the 3-4 days that you are there. You will most likely never see them again… and if you do, you know they are accepting of whatever crazy behavior that happens that weekend! And who wouldn’t want to keep cool new friends like that 🙂
Staff/volunteers came to dance on-stage to pump everyone up… Then, Tony came onto the stage. The first day was all about Tony talking about values, creating our own lives through the power of thought & repetition, leadership, fears, quality of life, how we are the cause of our own suffering, and fulfillment.
We were also led through a 45 minute meditation that literally felt like 4 minutes… then, the firewalk. Tony took about 1.5 hours to get us in a specific, focused state of mind + gave us seven steps to prepare us to walk across hot coals. I’m going to be honest, I wasn’t worried until everyone + Tony kept talking about how dangerous it was! Regardless, Tony did a good job of preparing everyone for the walk. We all removed our shoes around midnight and walked outside as a huge crowd (10,500 people!). There were 35 rows of hot coals constantly being refreshed with new hot coals once they started to cool down, so you were guaranteed maximum hotness!
**Side note: It seemed a bit cultish with everyone walking outside, clapping their hands in barefeet, and chanting YES. YES. YES…. however, I understand the psychology of getting into a specific state of mind in order to do the impossible & was fully aware of what was going on the entire time.
After the walk, we were free to go home. Unfortunately, the person trying to get a video/pic of me & my cousin walking across the coals didn’t happen… so, being the crazy person I am, we found someone else to take a picture, and went a second time. It’s all about proof of the impossible, right?!
After the chaos, we finally arrived back to our Air BNB, showered, and fell asleep around 2 am … only to get up in 5 hours for day 2! (You can find the recap of day 2 here and Day 3 here!)
Below are a few of my favorite quotes/Takeaways from Tony on Day 1:
Biggest takeaway: Replace Expectations with Appreciation (I cried to a complete stranger about this one!)
Emotions don’t come from life – they come from what you believe about your life.
Suffering = perception of what you think are facts
You can have a thought, but if you don’t believe it, it means nothing
How to end suffering:
1) Appreciate & Enjoy
2) Learn & Grow
3) Love, live, & be grateful
Your worst day is your best day when you find an empowering meaning behind it
The words you attach to your experiences are what you will continue to feel
Who you become when achieving a goal is what creates happiness
Success without fulfillment = the ultimate failure
If you do what you do at the beginning of a relationship (ex: giving without expectation of reciprocation), there will be no end.
Complexity is the enemy of execution. Keep it simple!
Last note – Pitbull came on and talked about his relationship with Tony + living a positive life, then put on a performance. It was a lot of fun, and I loved how the entire day was full of different experiences!
A few other notes from day 1:
Tony tends to get distracted & bounces around from different thoughts/points… most of the time, he is able to come back & finish, but there were a few times he never did.
Be prepared to take a lot of notes!
There is a lot of dancing. A LOT. A LOT ALOT ALOT ALOT. Every 5-15 minutes, you are up & dancing to really loud music – it was like a non-stop dance party the entire weekend. This is done to get the body moving + keep everyone engaged versus sitting in a chair for 18 hours straight. The psychology of moving while learning = 95% higher retention rate, and motion = emotion. By changing your body, you change your mind.
Bring comfortable shoes & warm clothes. No one is joking when they talk about how cold it gets… I wore a hoodie, yoga pants, tennis shoes, AND I had a blanket to put over my legs. Between the dancing & sitting/cooling down, I felt like I was having hot flashes the entire event!
I know it is a lot of information, but there is a LOT that goes into an event like this. If anyone is interested in personal development, this is an amazing event to push you forward/give you insight on yourself/others/your life/etc. It is an investment, but completely worth it.
I have spent my entire 20’s reading, learning, researching personal development/spiritual development/psychology/power of the mind, and UPW was a nice refresher of everything I have learned thus far, just presented in a different way. However, there are things that we tend to hear and process at the exact time we need it, and there were a lot of impactful lessons/takeways from the event for me.
So no matter how awesome you may think you are, there are always new things you can be learning to help with your personal development, whether it be a book, a person, or Tony Robbins. My best advice would be to keep an open mind & never stop searching. Go after what feels right to you, and never stop, because learning & growth is never-ending.
That’s all I have for day 1! You can read about Day 2 here and Day 3 here… in the meantime, leave a comment below and let me know what you think! Have you gone to UPW or any other Tony Robbins event? If not, have you ever thought about going?
Earlier this year, I signed up for Shana Meyerson’s handstand workshop at GoYoga in Columbus. Shana is a bubbly, fun instructor all the way out in California (btw – her name is pronounced Shawn-a, not shane-a…. a mistake I made the entire time she was here… sorry Shana!!!). While I’ve never taken a class from her before, I have watched a few of her youtube videos, and I loved her teaching style (check her out, she has a ton of great videos for beginners to advanced!). So, once I heard she was coming out to Ohio, I immediately signed up to take her workshop!
Shana is a little different than a lot of yoga instructors – she is passionate about yoga obviously, but has such a fun, quirky personality that you can’t help but instantly like her. She wears her hair in 2 long braids all the time, and is very engaging while teaching – you won’t get bored!
Her 2.5 hour workshop was a lot different than other workshops I’ve taken – Kino MacGregor focused on a lot of strengthening drills, and Matt Giordano was more focused on anatomy/technical skills. Shana emphasized the strength of your core, as well as hamstring flexibility. We used the wall for the first half of class, and then the last half we were able to work without a wall. There were a few people that were able to find their balance for a little bit, which just shows how well Shana can teach handstands 🙂
While I am not a newbie to handstands, I am always looking to refine & improve what I can already do. I always learn from every teacher I encounter, and Shana was no different!
Afterwards, I grabbed dinner with her & 2 other women who attended the workshop. Shana was very down to earth, and I loved being able to connect with everyone! If you ever get the chance to pop in for a class while out in Los Angeles, California, check her out!
What has been your favorite workshop that you have ever taken? And why was it your favorite? Leave a comment below!
This past weekend, I attended a weekend workshop with Matt Giordano. A local studio always hosts really great teachers, and after a little research, I absolutely had to learn from this handstand master!
I took the 3 workshops below:
Shoulders: Boundless Freedom: 2 hours
Shoulder Openers Dissolve tension and tightness in your shoulders and learn the biomechanics that make it easy! Many of us fall into patterns where we believe if we continually repeat an action, our goals will eventually workout. This only rings true when we are repeating a recipe for success. Matt Giordano will offer you a yoga practice that gets you into your body and gives you a strong understanding of a complex joint that can otherwise be a bit of a mystery. Having rehabilitated his own shoulder from a nearly shattered collarbone and fractured scapula, Matt’s knowledge speaks from experience and an excitement to share the tools he has picked up along the way. Boundless Freedom is appropriate for all levels. This course can be used for therapeutic and/or advancement purposes.
Discover the Joy of Backbending: 2 hours
The back bending practice can be some of the trickiest poses in Yoga, and can seem like either something you just can or can not do. While some people naturally have more flexibility in an arched position others have to take a more studied approach. In this workshop we will go over techniques that will bring joy and ease to your back bending practice. Those that are less flexible will focus on techniques to unlock tension. Those that have an established back bending practice will be able to take themselves to a whole new level using precision in their approach!
Handstand!: 2 hours
Learning to handstand is a process, abundant with discovery and amazement. Whether this is your first inversion workshop or you are well versed in the art of handstands, brace yourself as we delve into alignment, work toward mastery of the shoulder girdle, and explore acrobatic principles so you can build confidence and manifest a greater sense of balance. You will learn exercises that unify body and mind to create a solid foundation for a lifetime of standing on your hands. As a group we will create a safe and transformative space that will be appropriate and for all levels of practice. Take your handstand practice to the next level!
Obligatory handstand pic 🙂
I’m always looking to learn new things about the anatomy of the body, and different & better ways of doing/teaching all things yoga. While I’ve been having shoulder issues, backbends are my least favorite thing to do, and handstands are my favorite thing to do, these workshops aren’t just for me… I love learning & expanding my knowledge for my yoga students! I’ve only been teaching for about a year, and I feel like I know nothing… I want to be able to teach my students the best & most safe ways to practice, and workshops provide a wealth of info to help me & my student’s progress!
Anyways – I have been to a lot – A LOT – of workshops from “famous” or well-known yogis, and this weekend has by far been the most beneficial out of any teacher I have ever learned from. The technical & anatomical breakdown was taught in such an easy way to understand – and if you didn’t understand it – Matt would take the time to work one-on-one with each person to figure out exactly what was going on. It was so refreshing to work with someone who genuinely loved teaching and helping people, no matter their level.
More specifically with my own issues – Matt was able to pinpoint shoulder weaknesses in my everyday practice AND handstand practice – something I have been trying to find answers for a while now. I know I am a pretty strong person, but there are areas of my practice I felt like I was hitting a wall. No other teacher was able to look at what I was doing and tell me exactly what I needed to work on, and now I know exactly what to focus on. I already pre-ordered the handstand strength training video series on his site – you’ll know where to find me as soon as it’s released!! (My apartment, locked up, phone turned off, for the next month until I see improvement from these videos LOL)
Overall, while I teach my own workshops, I know I still have so much to learn. Continuous yoga education is so humbling, and I love every second of it!
Has anyone taken a workshop with Matt? Or any other amazing yoga teacher? If not, what do YOU love to learn about, just for fun??