Paradigm Shifters is a series of interviews with a select group of women and men from eclectic walks of life. It will highlight unspoken, real life insights on how they have been able to turn weakness into strength. A naked soul point of view of how their breakdowns were really a preparation for breakthroughs. They are your quintessential Paradigm Shifters; internal shifts converted into genuine change.
Everything I have ever done has been focused on this underlying theme of shifting the paradigm because, "what we think determines what we feel and what we feel determines what we do." Hence why Empowered by You takes lingerie, which has traditionally been seen merely as a tool of seduction and redirected that energy as a tool of empowerment.
I hope from these stories you will look at your own situations, struggles and accomplishments through a different lens. At the very least you will be more equipped with real life tools to change your own paradigm. At the end of the day we are our own Alchemist turning the silver we were born with into the gold we are destined to become.
Jodi Guber Brufsky - Founder of Beyond Yoga
Tell me about Beyond Yoga in your own words.
Beyond Yoga is an athleisure brand. The idea behind Beyond Yoga came from growing
up in Hollywood, feeling in the spotlight, struggling with my weight, and wanting to fit in. I saw a need for empowering women with self-esteem and self-love. I had a vision of launching an activewear brand that a woman could feel good about because it was flattering to her body and had a positive message.
I wanted to create something that was for today's modern woman, one that took her from work to workout, carpool to cardio to cocktails. We fit the collection on many different body types and sizes and put a lot of time into how the clothes fit and how they looked. When we first started, our production team questioned spending that much attention to detail, "Are you sure you want to do this? " We were like, "This is why Beyond Yoga is what it is. It has to be this way."
That's really what Beyond Yoga is. Nine+ years later we can really say we created something unique.
We really took the time to grow Beyond Yoga strategically and slowly. Michelle, my business partner, and I really wanted to understand the entire business. We wanted to feel the risk and go through the challenges. We could have raised money and grown it much faster and blown it up, but then we would've lost what was authentic and important to us.
What is your breakdown to breakthrough moment?
There has been a series of breakdowns to breakthroughs, but there was one big one.
It was the moment I went with my instinct and intuition to start an athleisure brand that supports self-esteem and women.
It was a big leap. I don't have a business or design background. I was a yoga teacher and life coach, I had been in PR and marketing as well. I had all of these careers that fed perfectly into Beyond Yoga. The minute I decided to do this, I knew I had something. When Michelle came to work for me, I said to her, "I know you're going to think I'm corny but the universe supports Beyond Yoga and it's going places." I never wavered on that. I always knew that we had something special, but it was hard in the beginning.
You don't photoshop. Tell me where this ethos comes from.
Yes, we do not photoshop women's bodies. We will photoshop if a shirt gets wrinkled or stuck in a photo. But we don't change a face or a body EVER. We believe that if enough people stop photoshopping there will be a tipping point and then there will be a shift. It's horrendous what goes on.
Photoshopping affects your body image and awareness. I remember many years ago as an agent having an actress look at a picture and say, "That's not me. That's not what I look like." It makes women feel bad about themselves; it sends the message that you're not okay as you are and people end up aspiring to unrealistic goals. In today's day and age, the media bombards you with negative messages from "you aren't rich enough and pretty enough to the ever looming you are just not thin enough."
Whatever the message is, photoshopping is reinforcing it.
When I hear eleven year olds saying, "I'm dieting, I'm fat" it breaks my heart. I know we live in LA, but it's happening in other places too and it's important for it to start moving in a different direction. I'm on the board of I'm That Girl, which is an organization that supports self- esteem for girls. It's about turning self-doubt into self-love. I am a devout proponent of not photoshopping and hope to make a difference. Remember- You are enough!
What do you want your legacy to be?
I want my legacy to be "she made a difference, she was part of changing the conversation." Don't get me wrong I want people to say "she sold a lot of yoga pants," that would be great, but that's not what ultimately motivates me. I have to stick with what my heart says and my intention.On a daily basis I'm trying to walk the talk and it's something I have to work on every day. There are days when I look in the mirror and struggle. It's so easy to find what's wrong, but it's just as easy to look into the mirror and find what's right. It's a mindset. You have to say, "I'm going to be positive. I'm going to be happy." When you set an intention, everything follows it. When I teach yoga one of the things that I remind people of is the importance of having gratitude for your life and who you are.
I could ask anybody, including Cindy Crawford or Reese Witherspoon, "what is something that you don't like about yourself" and they all could tell me something. But if tragedy hits you would get down on your knees and pray to go back in time and appreciate the very things you complained about. We have the opportunity to have love and appreciation for everything. The gift is that we have that opportunity right this second. LESSON: Don't wait for tragedy - love it all now!
I didn't start Beyond Yoga to just make a dollar. I started Beyond Yoga to make a difference. The ultimate goal, what we all want, is to be happy. Too many people think that happiness is being skinny, or being rich, or being perfect. But happiness is being happy; Happiness is being content with yourself. That's a lifelong journey. Yes, Beyond Yoga is a business: we have employees, we have overhead and a balance sheet and all of that matters, but our mission to impact women and to make a difference is what makes us get up every morning and go to work.
As founder of one of the most successful yogawear brand out there, Jodi is about so much more than just amazing yoga pants! Thanks to her brand and beautiful spirit, Jodi has made it her mission to empower women to love themselves and follow their intuition. Happiness is within yourself!