Omega: How did you become an entrepreneur?
Bizzie: If I look back at my childhood, I grew up with an “it’s okay to be a boss” mentality. My dad really instilled that in me since I was very young. I can remember being a child and ordering at a restaurant. At four or five, I would have to order for myself and use my manners. My dad always helped me put communication at the forefront of everything that I did.
I started my first business when I was 19. It was a pretty successful PR firm in Los Angeles. I focused on fashion and entertainment clients and I owned that until I was 23. But at 23, I had been working so hard—not sleeping and going out with clients every night and burning the candle at both ends—that I got really sick and was diagnosed with lupus. I moved to Hawaii and lived in a yoga ashram and essentially retired for a few years.
But 19 was a pivotal year for me. It was the year that I let go of my dreams of being an Olympic skier (because of an injury), which had been my primary focus my whole life. I had to let that dream go, and I actually found my yoga practice at that point. Since then it has been a very important self-care practice for me.
In my very first yoga class, I remember sobbing in savasana. The teacher, Misty, came over to me and said, “I don't know why, but I just have a feeling you’re going to be a really famous yoga instructor.”
She asked, “Is this your first class here?" And I said, “No, this is my first class ever.” She said, “Now I definitely know I’m right.” She planted that seed.
In Hawaii, I got certified and began teaching yoga full time. I got serious about teaching after a traumatic birth experience and my daughter's diagnosis of cerebral palsy. It was my wake up call. I was going to have tons of medical bills. I knew I had all of these amazing skills, so I told my husband we had to move to LA. I got back in work mode and within maybe three months, I was training Julia Roberts every day.
Omega: What’s your take on work-life balance?
Bizzie: What I tell my clients is to assume there’s no such thing as work-life balance. I would much rather just assume it doesn’t exist so that you actually celebrate the moments where it does spontaneously happen. You can find moments in your life that are completely balanced. You’re happy and working on your computer, but you also have your child laughing on your lap and your husband smiling at you, so you celebrate that time. If you're always striving for work-life balance, you will always feel like a failure.
Omega: How does growing a heart-centered business compare to running a business the traditional way?
Bizzie: Once you understand how to build a business—how all the different moving pieces work together and how to get the right people to do the right things—you can own as many businesses as you want because you’ve already done the hard part. I now own five global brands under Buti Yoga Inc., including Golden Ratio and Break Method, and each one grows and scales faster than the one that preceded it because I just know how to do it better.
I would never open up a business just to open up a business. I have to get a very specific intuitive hit. The way I create my businesses always comes from my spiritual gifts. I’ll see the entire business formed, including the names, the logos—everything. If it doesn’t come to me like that, then I don’t open it.
From the get-go, you have to genuinely care about and passionately believe in your product and know that it changes lives. It has to be something that’s unique to you. If the product doesn’t work or doesn't have a soul and a function that is of high value—if you don’t genuinely live and breathe that product or service—then it’s not a heart-centered business to me. I don't believe you can duplicate soul. Your brand is about building a long-lasting, lifetime family, not a customer base.
Omega: How did you develop Buti® Yoga, a workout that fuses yoga with tribal dance, primal movement, and deep core engagement?
Bizzie: I was in a Native American medicine ceremony and I started thinking about all the linear movements that human beings are taught to do and started having this very clear channeled download of how we need to move the body differently. I got the spiral structure technique and got a clear download of exactly how it had to be applied to yoga. It was a really intense experience and I remember coming out of it in the morning with this sense of, “Wow, I feel totally different.”
The next day I went to teach my 26-posture hot class—and within two poses I decided to teach what I had learned the night before. I applied the practice to yoga and made it dynamic. One of my students who never missed a class came up to me at the end of it with this stern look on his face and said, “Bizzie, I don't know what that was, but please don’t ever teach anything else ever again.”
I was the channel for a very important message that humans needed to keep their bodies, minds, and emotions evolving. In a lot of ways, the practice of Buti is similar to some of the essential kriya elements of the ancient yoga practice, which focused on breath work, deep abdominal contractions, and more spiral motions. But it’s taken years of me getting condemned by the yoga community only to now, in the past few years or so, see them come around.
Buti was my medicine. I was teaching it to other people, but I was still very much in need of that medicine.
Omega: Where does the name Buti come from?
Bizzie: Buti means “the cure to something hidden or kept secret” in Marathi. We call our students Buti-sattvas. A sattva is someone who strives to deepen and strengthen the soul, and a Buti-sattva, a play on the Buddhist bodhisattva, is someone that’s realized the cure lies within.
Omega: Can you talk about the Buti community and how it emphasizes connection versus competition?
Bizzie: One of our core beliefs is that there’s no greater gift you can give than the gift of unwavering friendship. I think so many women actually don’t ever truly experience unconditional love and a complete lack of competition. It’s a celebration. I think that’s something very special about what we do, because once you feel that for yourself, you want to create space for other women to experience it, too. Once you've felt that, you have to share it. And that's why our community has grown so fast.
Omega: You have said true transformation comes from loving your workout and wellness style. What’s the first step to finding a health and wellness approach that you love?
Bizzie: People are groomed to believe that workouts should always feel hard and that you didn’t do a good job unless you feel terrible afterward. People are taught to push through things that are uncomfortable. Sure you might have a lack of cardiovascular ability that may feel uncomfortable or your joints may be tight and that might feel uncomfortable. But when someone walks into a Buti class, their soul is shining within five minutes.
One of the things that I talk about a lot is shifting your mentality from workout to movement. There are a million different things that you can do to move your body with more enjoyment. And it will impact your hormones in a different way. Hormones play a huge role in weight loss. If you’re constantly showing up, hating your workout, and punishing yourself, you’re just pumping your body with cortisol and hatred.
Find something that moves your body more the way nature intended it to move and something that feels more like a celebration of movement rather than just running on the treadmill. A joyful experience makes a huge impact hormonally on your body.
Omega: You have said that millennials “build the world they want to live in.” What’s the world you are building?
Bizzie: I want to live in a world where we’re still able to keep growing and enjoying our modern lifestyle but bring it back to human connection and remembering who we are at our core, as energetic and spiritual beings. If people were really able to work energetically and spiritually as a collective, they’d be far more powerful than any technology that could be created.
© 2017 Omega Institute for Holistic Studies