Today we’d like to introduce you to Eric Paskel.
Eric, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I got started on this path of transformation and integration in the fall of 1985. I was held up at gun point during a crack cocaine deal that went south. I was told I was going to be killed and I remembering thinking “you earned this”. It wasn’t long after that I decided that what I wanted to “earn” wasn’t a gun to the head. I wanted to live a life where I was comfortable in my own skin and I could look in the mirror and be happy to see the person it. Philosophically slavery refers to a person who doesn’t not have control over his/her self. I’ve been there. Wanting to start things I couldn’t start, wanting to ends things I couldn’t end, wanting to say things I couldn’t say, wanting to take back so many things I’ve said and done.
By the time I found yoga, I had already worked myself out of the gutter but little did I know I was still just standing on the side walk. To be honest I hated yoga… to be more honest I still kinda do. In 1998, yoga was much more rigid and much less assessable. Yet the yoga I found made me be still long enough to see that I needed some more help, a lot more! So I delved into the philosophy which is a treasure chest of solutions fit for every circumstance. The physical part that was something awful for me. Classes had birds chirping, sounds of the ocean and gongs. There was another language being spoken and level systems all of which were not fun, inclusive or engaging for me.
Thru lots of strange circumstances I wound up teaching a class for a friend. I didn’t have much time to think about so I followed my gut which led me to making a playlist with kick ass music that real humans listened to, I cracked some jokes and was myself NOT a yoga teacher. For some crazy reason that quickly led to opening 11 studios across a decade and teaching around the world. I don’t know much, I’m certainly not a great teacher or really great at anything. I am simply living a life where I’m free, free from the prison inside my own head. I’ve learned that the only thing that can trump me is my own mind. Thru this place of transparency, I guess you can call it a world full of wonder seems to have sprung up within me and has manifested all around me.
Electric Soul Yoga is a place where you can be where you are and will be embraced. Class is exciting, provocative, playful, tough, simple, dynamic and inclusive. This isn’t a place for people trying to be perfect it’s for those who want to be ok with being a bit broken. It’s a gift to be able to provide an experience for people that puts a smile on their face but it always comes back to one thing for me, saving my own ass. Somehow I created a system that does both.
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
I am in the struggle daily. I wrestle a lot with life. I believe the obstacles and they have been countless have come from two basic things. The first is that we are designed as humans to be able to achieve many things that we ultimately are not qualified to sustain. The two biggest examples are marriage/family and business. There many people that can build both but few who while building them gained the wisdom to manage, maintain and grow them. Within a year of teaching my first class, I owned two studios. Four years later, I had built an entire network. The truth was I hadn’t a clue what I was doing. Unfortunately, because of that problems sprung up all over. Partnership issues, staff issues, student issues. The product was always wonderful but the function of the business was not ideal. It took me 10 years to figure it all out and finally understand the responsibility and the insight needed to run a business.
The second “thing” was fear. Holy shit was I afraid. I was afraid of success, failure, what you thought of me, what I thought of me, losing business, gaining business and more. The fear drove me to making decisions that weren’t sound. Needless to say there was some more suffering that came with it. The stories are plentiful and some quite funny looking back but they all came out of my ignorance regarding the business I was building and the fear that was poisoning me from within
Please tell us about Electric soul yoga.
If you are interested in how are studio and style is different just go to Yelp! No, no, don’t! We have a saying at our place “If you Yelp! you need help”. We believe in doing our own discovery process, checking things out with an open mind. The style of yoga I created has been mimicked and mirrored all around the world at this point but no one does it better than us. This isn’t a canned yoga class. Each class is fresh, exciting, and inviting. We have fun, there’s no pedestals to stand on, no complex technical terms, no inferiority or superiority complexes. No Sanskrit language, level systems or mirrors. No one pretending to be more evolved than you. We don’t follow a script and we don’t always use polite language. If you are looking for genuine, raw, and different you have found home.
- Address: 12408 Ventura Blvd. studio city 91604
- Website: Electricsoul.yoga
- Phone: 818-691-3000
- Email: email@example.com