An Interview With Bad Yogi Erin Motz

Ashton August
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Let us start by saying that you, dear girl, are simply bad to the bone! So it’s easy to understand where your yoga brand name, Bad Yogi originated. After reading The Untold Bad Yogi Story, it was apparent that we are dealing with a serious rock star! And here’s why: you write with an open honesty that’s truly inspiring. Your authenticity shines through your words and your videos. With over 41,000 Facebook fans, Bad Yogi is making quite the splash! So without further ado, let’s get right to it:

 
1. For those of us on YogiApproved who haven’t heard the background of Bad Yogi, fill us in! Where did you come up with that great name, and what does it represent to you?

EM: Well, for a long time, Bad Yogi was mainly an inside joke between myself and my fiancé, Adrien, (aka “The Frenchman”). I’ve been teaching for over 10 years but never felt like I really belonged, you know? I always felt like the only yogi who wasn’t totally enchanted by green smoothies, kirtan, or pricey yoga pants 😉 Once I quit my “real” job in finance to pursue teaching full-time and started writing for different online publications, we decided that I should call myself the Bad Yogi, and it turned out that lots of other people felt similarly. Bad Yogi gives people permission to come to yoga exactly as they are and reminds them that however that looks is just perfect. Even if you don’t fit the stereotype of what a yogi looks like, you’re still welcome here.
 

2. You’ve been teaching yoga since you were 17! Wow! What got you started at such a young age?

EM: I actually only took my first yoga class by process of elimination. I wanted to do some activity at the gym that didn’t involve treadmills, Zumba, or aerobics, and I landed in a yoga class! It only took once and I was hooked! Shortly after that my teacher convinced me to do a training and start instructing… I had to be dragged kicking and screaming to teach because I was SO SO shy, and the thought of getting up in front of a room full of people made me want to gag, but hey– it all worked out! 😉
 

Erin-Motz-bad-yogi
 

3. I totally love the ‘all sinners welcome’ vibe to your classes. You said it yourself that you’ve created a community for anyone and everyone, from the “kale-loving vegan to the cigarette smoking asshole.” This is awesome! Though you’re physically based out of Tampa, Florida, can you please tell our readers about the online classes you offer?

EM: Yes! I don’t teach any regular classes in person right now because my schedule is pretty unpredictable, so I have a few options online… there’s free classes on my YouTube Channel, Bad Yogi TV with new videos coming out every Monday. Then I have some hour-long classes (with lots more coming soon) in my online store on erinmotz.com
 

4. As a follow-up to the previous question, can you share any particularly inspiring stories of people who you’ve helped through yoga?

EM: Oh man, this is a tough one! I’ve heard from so many people, it’d be hard to pick just one… A few months ago I heard from a young woman (as in under age 40) who was doing my classes after a heart transplant!!! She wanted some physical activity that was gentle but still fulfilling, and she’d gotten hooked on Bad Yogi videos and was doing them daily to help her recovery. I’ve heard from plenty of stay-at-home moms with 4 or 5 kids who, by some miracle, find time to do these classes daily and love them. People have told me they’ve used Bad Yogi videos to help them recover from eating disorders, heart break, losing a close friend or relative, to lose weight, to manage anxiety… it’s endless and mind blowing. I’m constantly inspired by the people who get in touch with me to share their stories. Every time I make a video, I really like to think I’m making it for that one person who might really need it, as cheesy and weird as that sounds, haha.

 
5. You were courageous enough to quit your well-paying corporate job for the unknown of following your bliss. Obviously, your trust has served you well! What is your advice for other people torn between their sense of security and their pursuit of happiness?

EM: Wow, that question sounds so romantic and fabulous when you ask it, but OH MY GOSH, trust me– it did NOT feel courageous or blissful when I did it! It felt terrifying! Like jumping off a cliff and hoping I’d grow wings before I hit bottom. The only things that gave me the oomph to do it was the tiny shadow of hope that I’d be happier, and my business partner/fiance encouraging me to do it. Even though I’d never been more scared of anything, there was still this small part of me that felt like I was doing the right thing and that I’d be OK. I think that when you’re strongly compelled to do something, no matter how afraid you might be, it’s better to just go for it and deal with the fear that comes with it. I guess that old saying is true: you only regret the chances you didn’t take.

 
6. Ok we gotta ask…what’s on your most current playlist? Top 5 yoga flow jams you couldn’t live without?

  1. Jesus Walks – Kanye West
  2. Take Me To Church – Hozier
  3. Speak of Devil – Hermitude
  4. Really any song by Gramatik!
  5. Prayer Wheel by MC Yogi (fantastic for meditation!)

 

Erin-motz-upside-downThe Bad Yogi Creed

  1. Bad Yogis don’t do yoga to be a part of the cool crowd.
  2. Bad Yogis don’t need to be able to do difficult poses perfectly or have their own Instagram hashtag.
  3. Bad Yogis understand that yoga is about feeling good, not just looking good.
  4. Bad Yogis are real people, not impossibly fit, flexible, and flashy representations of yogi stereotypes.
  5. Bad Yogis aren’t in it for the image or for the status, but because it’s theirs.
  6. Bad Yogis don’t let any predetermined doctrine define their practice, and they don’t adopt some rigid set of “rules” just for the sake of having some.
  7. Bad Yogis define their own practice.
  8. Bad Yogis aren’t conceited and self-righteous about “their” style.
  9. Bad Yogis are inclusive and everyone is welcome, whether they are fat or thin or new or seasoned. It doesn’t matter if they see yoga the same way you do, but they’re welcome any way.

 
We are honored to feature Erin in this month’s Get To Know a Yogi!! For everyone who would like to learn more about Erin Motz and how you can become a Bad Yogi, check out her website,  ErinMotz.com and follow her on Facebook!

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Ashton August

Ashton is a writer, yoga instructor and Editorial Director here at YogiApproved.com. If she's not bustin' out articles or producing YogiApproved videos, you can find her teaching Buti Yoga, hugging her puppies, or traveling the world with her beau. Follow her on social @ashtonaugustyoga

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