Lauri Stern of Highland Park, IL, a yoga and fitness teacher at Black Cat Yoga in Highland Park and Reach Yoga Studio in Glencoe
Monday 8-9am Virtual Yoga at Reachyogaglencoe.com
Wednesday 9:15-10:15 am Virtual Hot Tone at Black Cat Yoga
Find her on Facebook: Lauri Fleischmann Stern for Live classes
Follow her onInstagram: sternlauri
Videos on YouTube: Lauri Stern
Private sessions by request
Lourdes [00:00:11] Hi it’s Lourdes from Illumine and I wanted to introduce the next interview, which is with Laurie Stern, a teacher from Highland Park. She teaches yoga in Hot Tone. And when I put out the invitation and the request to interview people, she was so enthusiastic. And I just know her to be a very, very positive person. I’ve known her for a long time. She took my classes over the years, probably 15 years ago now, maybe longer. And then she did my teacher training in Highland Park. So I’ve known her and she truly has a very big heart and a positive attitude. I interviewed her at the end of March. Maybe one of the first interviews that I did. So it was really that shift when people were teaching and taking online classes. And she has a really great perspective. I hope you’ll enjoy it. .
Lauri [00:01:05] And I was like a little teary at the end because Emily was practicing with me where she’s staying up in New York. So it’s nice to see her. And then I did a Hot Tone class on Facebook Live for the first time. So that was hilarious and a learning experience. Because I had my phone, you know, landscape. So (and it just got a part of you) and I. No, no, people had to turn their computers to the side. Otherwise. Otherwise it looked like I was crawling up the ceiling. Anyway, so it’s all everybody’s just learning what they can at their own pace.
Lourdes [00:01:40] And what’s your setup look like?
Lauri [00:01:42] You want me to take you downstairs? I can show.
Lourdes [00:01:44] Yeah. OK.
Lauri [00:01:45] Well, and this is the problem. So I’m set up in my dining room and my kids were sleeping this morning and they are not happy with the schedule. So just I was as I missed your call, I was just saying, I’m going to have to go down to my basement and see if I can find another spot, because here’s here’s what I have. So I have that. This. Can you see? Oh, yeah. That’s on the wall. Yes, that’s on the wall. And I feel pretty much like right about here.
Lourdes [00:02:14] That’s a good setup. If you have a stand or something for your phone?
Lauri [00:02:17] I do. I have like a selfie stick.
Lourdes [00:02:21] OK. Creative
Lauri [00:02:22] When I was doing the Zoom, I had like, right where this space is, This was where my laptop was. Although I could still see the same…
Lourdes [00:02:33] What a creative tripod.
Lauri [00:02:36] We got to do what we can. So it’s this room here, this is my kitchen. And then all the sound traveled right up the stairs where they sleep.
Lourdes [00:02:47] And then did you play music? How did you do that?
Lauri [00:02:50] I did. So I did two different things for the zoom class. I wore wireless earbuds. I told the students what playlist to use on Spotify. And I had my music in my ears while I was teaching. They could put on whatever: my playlist or nothing if they didn’t want to. And then in the Facebook live, I had music going.
Lourdes [00:03:11] OK.
Lauri [00:03:13] But then what happens on Facebook live is. I got it. You can save it. You know, to your time line or your newsfeed or whatever. So I got a notification from Facebook. I don’t own 40 seconds of this music or 14 seconds of this music. So they mute the part I don’t own, which is fine, but during a class unless they, unless that become jerks and you know, take everybody’s music away live. You know, hopefully I can play whatever music I want to live. I link the playlist I’m using so that if people want to practice with me, then they play their own music at home.
Lourdes [00:03:49] Right. Yeah.
Lauri [00:03:50] So the only problem, you know, the Hot Tone stuff’s different because it’s got a beat and everybody’s got to hear it at the same time.
Lourdes [00:03:56] And that’s the one where you had it in your ears?
Lauri [00:03:58] The weights– no no. The one in my ear was yoga.
Lourdes [00:04:02] OK. So that’s the one where they said you didn’t own it, that’s yeah. Interesting. Interesting times, right? Yeah. Are you enjoying doing it from home? Did you have like your same class size?
Lauri [00:04:16] No. God, no. You know, Facebook live. I had a little more than like in a Hot Tone class maybe. So what’s going on? Like I was just talking to other instructor. A lot of us are doing this for free. And now when you want to get paid, you’re not competing with somebody else is doing something for free, though. It’s it’s a buyer’s market. So the people that need to earn money are going to have to figure out a way to be comfortable with if you see this live on Facebook. You know, I’m doing this for you, but I really need to make a living. So I don’t know. You know, people are having trouble asking for what they need.
Lourdes [00:04:54] Yeah. That’s so interesting
Lauri [00:04:56] So some people are just doing it for free.
Lourdes [00:04:58] Yeah. And I mean, that’s one of the things that I’ve noticed, is people are being, you know, whether it’s generous or just like I’m home anyways. So, you know, like just making it available. So I just noticed this like real like outpouring. And I’ve taken a lot of classes that I usually can’t take because there’s teachers in New York. And I actually came across this other class and I like cake when I’m in California. So I’ve taken a lot of free classes. And, you know, I think I think in the short term for a teacher or a studio, it keeps people connected, you know, so that they will come back. Cause that’s the thing is this isn’t going to be forever. And then, like you said, teachers who need it, they’re, either asking or needing to ask for what they need. You know, and for some people, I’m sure it’s turning out better. You know, like ten dollars for a class now is like such a discount.
Lauri [00:05:56] Right. Exactly. I mean, so that’s the thing. It’s like if you’re a student, you know, it’s like the world’s your oyster. But if you’re trying to make a buck, it’s it’s. I’m hearing it’s difficult. Yeah. And even as studio owners, it’s how you know, it’s everybody’s feeling it in some way, you know. And like, I’m I’m grateful that I’m a teacher because I find it a little hard and challenging to practice following somebody else. Like like your video. I get distracted. I have to look up when you know, otherwise in a class, I could, you know, just you know, I’m I’m learning how to do it better at home. I don’t mind teaching at home because I’m doing because I’m teaching. So it’s like, yeah. But I am practicing more while I’m teaching than I normally do. Yeah. Yeah. Know, I like, you know, the video that I made that Laura is gonna load up on Reach. You know, it’s damn hard talking the whole time. A lot of it. And then teaching.
Lourdes [00:06:57] It’s really holding space in different way. You know, like where you’re not– they’re not in your space. So there’s a lot of unknowns. Like I was watching this one woman and, you know, her kids were climbing on top of her. And I sent an email yesterday to the people who were taking my class. And I said, you know, you know, tell people in the house that you just can’t be disturbed right now and you’ll be done at 11:00. And so they’ll know, you know. So like, I did what I could to set people up for that. But, you know, I mean, she thought maybe they could do it with her. But, you know, they’re kids and they didn’t. So, you know, it’s life. It’s just making, you know, the best of what’s going on.
Lauri [00:07:43] And it’s nice to I feel I know because I’ve already experienced it. Like my dogs come in while I’m filming and I don’t stop. You know, I think people you know, I know I can come across maybe intimidating to people that don’t know me or whatever. You’re like a well-known instructor. People might want to approach you, but when they see you in your home and you’re a person, too. It really is that level of connection, a whole new way. Like even on the news, I’ve been really enjoying seeing the news correspondents like in their house. And here’s their kid. Here’s their cat. Yeah, it’s universal. My phone rang. You know, OK. Whatever. I had to let my dog out in the middle of while I was teaching.
Lourdes [00:08:23] Oh, my gosh, that is life.
Lauri [00:08:26] Because my husband was working out, my kids were sleeping and she needed to go out. So, like, I’ll be right back. Eight for, you know, eight more rounds
Like I just got some Facebook messages from class this morning, people were just getting up, they saw me. “Could I do it again? And I’m really stuck in my house. “Thank you so much. And it’s like, you know, you want to help people keep moving in the way they can. And so I feel good about that. You know, in my mind. And like, I could teach people in California if they asked me on Facebook or Instagram. Maybe I’ll get a whole new way that I can continue delivering what I’m doing. Figuring out perhaps how to get paid. I don’t know. But I’m just grateful that I’m unable to reach out friends far and wide. Like I have given over my high school watching me this morning and I’m like, “Oh hi!”
Lourdes [00:09:14] That’s so great. I did, too. And, you know, it’s so weird but also so cool.
Lauri [00:09:22] Right now, I don’t have a set schedule. I know I’m supposed to teach next Saturday, so I’ll let you know. And then when I make my own schedule for Hot Tone, I’ll let you know. But leads to Facebook. And then, you know, if people want to pay me, I don’t even know how to say that. Like, are they going? Maybe they’ll send me a message. I want to pay you like that. As students say, what can I do for you? That was great. And like, go, go get me some toilet paper.
Lourdes [00:09:45] That’s like gold right now.
Lauri [00:09:47] I’ll teach for toilet paper.
Lourdes [00:09:55] That’s so funny.Yeah. I know it’s a very creative space and how’s like the mood of people who are showing up in your classes.
Lauri [00:10:03] So grateful. So grateful. I’m actually surprised. I don’t get more questions on the side like, “Hey, can you help me do this better or you know, because what I don’t know if you’ve heard what I’m doing,” but like I’ll say, sometimes while I’m in a pose, “if I was adjusting you, this is where my hands would be. And maybe you made a link for yourself. So that’s kind of how virtually adjusting people for the most part are just so grateful. I think they’re just like kids in candy stores. I got everybody I want just the click of a button where as before, you to pay.
Lourdes [00:10:39] And go out.
Lauri [00:10:40] Right, like you said, I can’t get to California on a on a Monday at noon, but I can certainly book online.
Lourdes [00:10:46] The other part that I said in my email was like you can put your temperature whatever you want it. So if you want it hot, you want it cooler. Like, when will you get this opportunity to have your teacher at your temperature?
Lauri [00:11:01] Exactly. You know, Pam and I were walking the other day and we’re like this might change the whole paradigm of how fitness, yoga, mindfulness is delivered because we’re not sure people are going to want to “group up” for a while, you know. And so that’s unfortunate for studio owners. But even like my daughter, who’s, you know, teleworking, business owners are starting to realize they can get stuff done without the overhead of a building. And so on the one. And it’s also forced people to be more communicative. You know, you assume you’re going to see someone, e.g. I’ll see Lourdes in class. Oh, I see. So so it in class. Or I’ll I’ll see her at Starbucks. Well, nobody’s going anywhere. So you make more effort and reach out. Like we had a happy hour yesterday of couples and we did all zoom happy hour.
Lourdes [00:11:52] I love that!
Lauri [00:11:53] That was so fun. And my girlfriend had a birthday as we all sang Happy Birthday. We’re all on the same screen, you know?
Lourdes [00:11:59] Yeah. But it was only forty five minutes?
Lauri [00:12:03] Well, yeah exactly.
Lourdes [00:12:05] Forty five minute parties.
Lourdes [00:00:14] OK. So innovation happens and people who used to not be tech are suddenly like figuring out the tech. And you mentioned like you could see how the future of teaching yoga and other things is changing in the future. Anything else besides yoga in terms of wellness? Because wellness is so high touch. Right. Like massaged people who do lashes or hair or facials like this. A wellness industry is so in touch. And when it’s good, it’s really good. Which is kind of what the global summit you know, the global wellness summit I went to in Singapore was all about like it’s like a spa industry. And, you know, all these luxury places and and non luxury places, too much more healthy food options and things like that. But when we’re not in touch, it’s it’s really kind of reliant on on high touch.
Lauri [00:01:14] Right. I mean, I was just thinking about what am I going to get a massage next? Yes. So to that, like, I wonder if some massage therapist is going to start training your spouse, your kids, how to massage. And then for the people that live alone, I was just as you were talking to, like, well, you could lay on a tennis ball, you could use like a bolster. You know, so and like waxing at home, cutting your hair-.
Lourdes [00:01:38] I interviewed someone yesterday. She’s like, I’m going to do an interview on a trim your bangs because she’s like, I could teach people that. Yeah.
Lauri [00:01:46] Yeah. They might come to that. Like, you know, I can’t inject Botox, nor would I want to. But like, I got myself a face roller. Oh, yeah. I don’t know if there was a question in there, but definitely things are changing. You know, I think some things might change for the better. You know, not everybody needs some of those things that they’re doing. Yeah. And to learn how to love yourself as you are.
Lourdes [00:02:15] Well, there were two sides of this. So this one person I was interviewing, she and she does hair and she’s like, I know like she thinks of it more as just a functional thing. Like it’s self-care, like she’s caring for people in a way that, you know, they they may not get any other way. And when people feel good about how they look, they feel good about themselves. And, you know. And it was just really lovely that she sees her work like that. Any silver linings for you?
Lauri [00:02:50] Well, I think know every day we’re sort of discussing just the way I can connect with more people, potentially, whether I’m getting paid to do it or not. I really love teaching. So for me, I can text my friends in California and say I’m teaching, join me. Like that would never happen. You know? Yeah. My daughter in another state, my friends in other states. And the way the community I feel like is trying to support each other. And I guess just the blessing of figuring out new ways to be in your own space. Like I never thought this could be a yoga room. Or I never thought I could meditate here. And then the other part to silver lining with at least where yoga and mindfulness is really practicing pratyahara. You know, like I can hear my refrigerator. I can hear my. And I think about you. Like that’s the universal sound of OM. Oh, right. The little hum of your house. So little things like that come up.
Lourdes [00:03:45] Yeah. Yeah. You know one thing and I’ll just share with you, I’ve been doing like eight interviews so far and I had a lot more scheduled this week. You know, people who are healers, teachers, practitioners of yoga. Like, there is so much positivity and like it’s like we’ve learned to shift our brain anyways, you know? And I purposely limit my intake of news. And, you know, people like talk about, you know, chaos and uncertainty. And I’m like in my community, it’s not like that. And and almost every one of the, you know, practitioners, healers that I’ve talked to has brought up something new that I didn’t even think of, like, oh, my gosh, that’s like, you know, we’re cooking our own food. Like, how good is that? Someone said, you know, the earth is actually breathing because we’re not driving.
Lauri [00:04:41] Right.
Lourdes [00:04:42] So many like someone eating like you say. And I’m like, wow, this is a very special community.
Lauri [00:04:50] And you know, Rama. Right. I don’t know her personally, but I know her. So she is one of my teachers too. And I come back to her a lot now and before, like when Trump became president, for example, when he was. And I think maybe I shared this with you. But, you know, she said there’s a reason he’s here. We have to really let the dirt and the. And the. Ugliness. You know, be revealed because without seeing it, we can’t get rid of it. And she’s wholeheartedly believing in the vibration is raising. And this is part of that process. This ugliness, it’s this virus. She shared a beautiful thing. I can e-mail to you. She sure is. And it was all about the Corona virus. It’s a crown like it’s a crown. And it’s in it’s forcing us to be leaders. It’s forcing us to be kings and queens for each other. And like the people that don’t have food, that don’t have medical care. We’ve talked about it a lot. And now we can see what’s wrong with that. And so this virus is forcing us to collectively really be a human race, really take care of each other and really look at how we’re not and how we’re feeling no matter where we live.
Lourdes [00:06:00] Yes. Yeah.
Lauri [00:06:01] So. So that carries me.
Lourdes [00:06:03] It’s so great to see your smile and hear your positivity. I think it’s amazing. No one’s talking about the optimism, the generosity that’s coming out. I mean, some people are a talking about how well, people are really rising to the occasion. But the things that I’ve been hearing are so super specific to, you know, this healing community, which says so much about, you know, how yoga works. Like, it’s not just like I could do this pose, but here people are rising way, way, way above, you know.
Lauri [00:06:35] Even for me personally, like when I was being filmed at Laura’s studio, which is the one that’s being loaded up onto the reach YouTube. The way I ended my class just wells’ me up like I was. I was just wanting people to feel love for themselves and just send it out. And just the message that when I when I know I’m reaching a larger community, that responsibility for me, I feel like I need and I want to really encourage people to just like open up and feel it, you know, receive and really and different than in just a regular class. You’re only tapping into those people. And so this global idea really is what we talk about in class and this beyond these walls.
Lourdes [00:07:18] Now more than ever.
Lauri [00:07:19] Now we are, right? Yeah, we are. We are without walls, right?
Lourdes [00:07:23] Yeah.
Lauri [00:07:24] You know, when I when I teach at least and I say things like, you know, starts with you send it out, you know. Imagine there’s no walls. Maybe there’s a ceiling. And so really, I have a responsibility, if you like, to just remind us of that connection. So I. And I don’t it’s not a burden for me. I would do that anyway. Yeah. Thanks to you. And you know. And so it’s just makes me feel better, too.
Lourdes [00:07:48] So good. Yeah.
Lauri [00:07:48] I encourage that in others.
Lourdes [00:07:50] Yeah. And like I’m saying, like I don’t think that story is as out as it should be and could be. So that’s why I’m writing this one.
Lauri [00:07:59] I’m so glad.
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