Today we’d like to introduce you to Tristan Gatto.
Tristan, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I’ve had an interesting career path before becoming a top-selling yoga instructor on DailyOM.com and licensed Physical Therapist Assistant. I originally began my career at 16 as a professional singer and dancer and on the road for 10 years working different contracts for cruise ships, theme parks, and tours out of Nashville, TN. After 10 years of consistent back to back work, I found myself burned out and feeling like there was more I wanted and needed to do to be of service to others… My sister, who is a Physical Therapist, suggested her profession as an alternate career path and I quit performing cold turkey at 25 years old and enrolled in college for my Physical Therapist Assistant degree.
Attending college was one of the most difficult and yet rewarding things I could have chosen to do in my life. Not performing anymore was like suffering a death as it was the only thing I had done or known most of my life as a young adult. I went from headlining on cruise ships to working in clinics 40 hours a week for free during clinical rotations and serving tables at night. In this chaotic time, I stumbled upon yoga. Originally I was resistant to yoga because I was a dancer most of my life and thought it was just basic stretching — and I wasn’t going to pay to do that, especially as a broke college student! But, after going through a rough break-up (and watching Eat, Pray, Love), I went to my first yoga class, which ironically made me feel completely alive again.
Fast forward, I graduated my PT program in 2013 and went right for my yoga teacher training certification. I began treating patients and teaching anatomy-based yoga workshops in addition to regular classes, assisting in teacher trainings and became a Lululemon ambassador. It wasn’t until I decided to move to California in November 2015 that my life drastically changed. I was introduced to DailyOM and released my two top-selling courses: the 21 Day Yoga ShredⓇ for Men, a blend of HIIT and yoga designed specifically for the male body, and the 14 Day Spinal Reset, a blend of Physical Therapy elements and Yoga specifically for spinal health. I have been able to combine my years as a treating therapist and yoga educator to reach thousands of people all over the world and have a massive impact on their movement health.
Has it been a smooth road?
It was definitely not an easy path to get where I’m at today!!! I grew up being made fun of for being different (and also gay) for most of my childhood. I loved to sing and dance. That was my safe haven. I was grateful to have had the opportunity to have a 10-year career as a performer, but even that ran its course and it was time to move on. I felt myself being carried in a different direction.
In my life, I’ve endured every form of abuse a person could experience – physical, verbal, and sexual. At the time I never understood why some of these things were happening, as most persons who endure any form of abuse would feel. I just knew I didn’t want to be a victim and my motto was always “Success is the BEST revenge.” From then on I worked tirelessly to be the best performer, or PTA, or Yoga Instructor I could be.
Even this takes its toll after a while, and eventually you have to face up to your shit and handle it like a boss – cry if you need to, get pissed off, cry again, call your friends, call your mom, and then get up and do something about it.
Every day I wake up and do something productive toward my business while balancing my personal life and needs. If your cup isn’t spilling over, you can’t help anyone else. This kills your creativity and joy. It’s very much like they say on the airlines: put your oxygen mask on first!
So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Tristan Gatto Yoga story. Tell us more about the business.
I am a private yoga instructor and course creator for DailyOM.com. I tend a one stop shop – I film, edit, write market copy, and written instructions for all my online content. I have created two top-selling courses, the 21 Day Yoga ShredⓇ for Men, a blend of HIIT and yoga designed specifically for the male body, and the 14 Day Spinal Reset, a blend of Physiotherapy elements and yoga specifically for neck and back health.
I also work with everyone from retirees to celebrities, offering tailored private yoga instruction based on correct anatomical movement, biomechanics, with emphasis on injury prevention, strength, and mobility. I’ve seen (and treated) so many yoga-related injuries that I felt I needed to be a voice out in the world educating both students and yoga teachers more deeply in the function of the body and safer movement patterns.
I write yoga anatomy articles for Beyogi.com as a way to reach and educate teachers and students on a broader scale. Many yoga teachers are so hungry for more anatomy and biomechanics teaching but don’t know where to look or who to study with and my goal is to be a resource for them to feel knowledgeable and empowered throughout their teachings. Empowered teacher create empowered students!
I’ve had so many people reach out to me on social media and the forums on DailyOm telling me how much the 14 Day Spinal Reset course has changed their lives and improved their pain and overall function. This is something I’m most proud of. Back pain is extremely debilitating, which I have witnessed through my years in the physical therapy world. It really goes to show how many lives you can impact by putting yourself out there with the intention to help others!
How do you think the industry will change over the next decade?
I definitely see myself with more courses out on the market that is targeted for the health of the body, specifically in pre-hab and maintenance. I’m seeing our aging baby boomer generation need the therapeutic movement education – especially with the greater presence of artificial joints and chronic pain. Yoga teachers also need the education on how to work with this population as I’m finding more than ever baby boomers now are practicing yoga.
I see myself releasing a functional yoga anatomy guidebook for yoga teachers and movement specialists in addition to funny self-empowerment books based off the interesting twists, turns, and lessons I’ve learned throughout the years. I would also like to return to music eventually and release some soulful, mellow beats and vocals you can practice yoga to or relax with a glass of wine.
My current project I’m super excited about is releasing a line of t-shirts with cheeky yoga-based themes to keep it fun and light without being too yogic or too serious. Laughter is the best medicine and unites us!
- Private Instruction: $150 single session, 10% discount for 5 class package. Sessions include movement assessment, personalized yoga instruction, hands-on assistance, Thai yoga massage/manual mobilization, and aromatherapy.
- Website: www.tristangatto.com
- Instagram: @iamtristangatto
- Facebook: www.facebook.com/tristangattoyoga
- Other: https://www.youtube.com/c/TristanGatto
@jevpic, @DailyOM, @jordanjeppe, @beyogi