Each year, The Yoga Expo comes to two select cities in the United States: Fort Lauderdale (taking place April 14, 2018) and Los Angeles (which occurs in January). Imagine Coachella–but for yogis. This single-day event is hailed as the largest yoga festival in North America.
Priced at $35 for general admission to unlimited yoga classes and workshops, I knew after experiencing the expo last year that I had to come back. This year, TYE moved to Los Angeles’ Pasadena Convention Center, which proved to be an ideal location away from the hustle and bustle of downtown, just 20 minutes outside of the city. After my Power Vinyasa class at 1 p.m., I was feeling rejuvenated and refreshed for all life had in store for me.
So who is the brains behind this venture? Insert 27-year-old Kyle Michaud, an experienced creator, businessman, philanthropist and gastronomist. We spoke with Michaud to learn about how TYE came about and what inspires him to keep it going.
How did you land in the field of fitness and health?
When I was 22, I sold the company I started in college creating music festivals and experiences. I was really grateful and optimistic for the future of mankind and my passion for the human experience blossomed. Our lives are precious and incredible and I wanted to share my love for sustainability and health with the world.
The Yoga Expo is the largest of its kind in North America. How did you come up with the idea and what’s your vision for the expo down the road?
A few years back, I received a scholarship to attend a 200-hour yoga teacher training course and was so enthusiastic about the opportunity. I found the mind-body practice to be overwhelmingly powerful and wanted to both empower teachers and make yoga accessible to everyone. I created a platform that allowed students the opportunity to try a variety of styles, teachers and practices for a fraction of the cost of a standard class.
Teachers lead classes on stages with concert-style production in front of [more than] 300 students. Teachers are so thankful for the opportunity to meet new students. Additionally, yoga brands and organizations have the opportunity to showcase their products and services in front of [more than] 12,000 yogis.
What are the specific benefits of yoga that can lead runners to become stronger, as well as the other physical and mental benefits it offers?
Physically, our bodies use and express muscles that we don’t typically exercise. Yoga allows us to connect the mind and body, which is of the most importance to athletes wishing to push boundaries.
What’s your relationship with running?
I trained heavily for my first half marathon in 2017. It was an incredible experience for me to push myself and accomplish a goal that I had pursued.
What clients have you worked with?
This past year in Los Angeles, we had the pleasure of welcoming [former pro football player] Keith Mitchell, [who taught] his power vinyasa class. Working with Keith was an absolute pleasure. Athletic yogis and yogi-want-to-bes really resonated with his immense understanding of the physical body. Keith’s class is filled with athletes looking to maximize their athletic and mental performance.
What advice would you offer someone who has trouble affording gym memberships, all-organic foods and other common trends we see promoted to those in pursuit of a healthy lifestyle?
Your outcome all starts with your outlook. I suggest starting to make healthy changes every day. Soon you will see that your positive outlook is pushing you to pursue a healthy, abundant life. When I was broke, I would take a cold shower every day, because that was all I could afford. I knew the health benefits of a cold shower and as my health progressed, so did my happiness and success in my pursuits.
What advice do you have for aspiring entrepreneurs in the field?
I would suggest an outlook focusing on positivity and gratitude. Not every day will be great, but if you can make small, positive progress every day, you will eventually see results in the areas of life [in which] you wish to improve.