The YOGABODY Story
In 2002, I worked for a New York City book publisher doing a job I hated. I drank seven nights a week, abused drugs, and smoked a pack of cigarettes a day. For food, it was pizza and takeout—anything quick and easy to keep me going.
No one consciously decides to destroy their health, but over the years, that’s exactly what happened. I was bloated and flabby, unable to sleep without alcohol. My eyes were red and puffy, and I struggled to get excited about anything. I had so much potential, so many opportunities, but when you’re sick and numb to the world, everything feels impossible and uninteresting.
Enter yoga. A friend dragged me to a yoga studio, where I suffered through one of the most uncomfortable experiences of my life. In that first class, I was sweating and dizzy, unable to do even the most basic postures. I was the youngest person there, but the way I moved, I felt like I was 90 years old. I couldn’t bend forward, sit cross-legged on the floor, or balance in a tree pose. Looking at myself in the mirror, I remember thinking, “How did I end up in such bad shape?”
I hated that first class so much, I knew it was exactly what I needed—so I kept going. People assume yoga classes are meant to be wonderful, peaceful experiences. This is not true. A good class should be the most challenging and uncomfortable hour of your entire day. When you push yourself on the mat, real-life problems become lighter and more manageable almost immediately. Hard yoga = easy life.
For the next 380 days, I practiced yoga every single day. While traveling, I used audio or video recordings. If I was in a new city, I’d go to any studio I could find. When my teacher told me to take a day off to rest, I’d ignore the advice and go to a class at another studio. The same way I’d fallen in love with things that were killing me (drugs and alcohol), I’d now fallen in love with something that was feeding me and fueling my growth.
And it worked. In six weeks, I lost almost 40 pounds (and had to replace my whole wardrobe). I quit drinking and smoking altogether, and most importantly, I found a renewed passion for life that is truly priceless. I remember walking around New York, still dripping with sweat from class, with a big, stupid grin on my face as if I’d unlocked a special secret. My life was changing.
Within six months, I’d quit my job and moved to Thailand. Within a year, I was teaching full-time to packed classes in Bangkok and later, Hong Kong. I opened my first studio in 2006 and that same year began training teachers. To date, I’ve taught more than 30,000 students and trained more than 3,000 teachers in 41 countries. I love my life and my work, and as a result, I’m in better health mentally and physically than I was in my early 20s.
YOGABODY was built on practice, sweat, and struggle. It’s the physical manifestation of everything I care about in life, and my greatest hope is that some of my passion for this practice and lifestyle rubs off on you when you walk through these doors. Nothing worth doing in life is easy. Movement is more powerful than meditation. And practice is everything.
See you in class,
Founder / YOGABODY
With a formal yoga training background in Hot Yoga, Ashtanga Yoga, Gravity Yoga, and the Yoga Trapeze, Lucas has studied with some of the most well-respected teachers on the planet. His most influential teachers (all of whom he studied with personally) include Sri K. Pattabhi Jois, Paul Dallaghan, Alex Medin, Gabriel Cousens MD, and SN Goenka.
Lucas founded Absolute Yoga Academy in 2006, one of the top 10 yoga teacher training schools in the world with 2,000 certified teachers (and counting) and courses in Thailand, Holland, the United Kingdom, and the Philippines.
In search of nutritional products designed specifically for achy yoga students’ bodies, Lucas worked with senior nutritional formulator Paul Gaylon and founded YOGABODY Naturals in the back of his yoga studio a year later. The company has gone from strength to strength and is now a world-renowned nutrition, education, and publishing organization serving 81 countries.
In 2013, Lucas founded YOGABODY Fitness, a revolutionary new yoga studio business model that pays teachers a living wage and demystifies yoga by making the mind-body healing benefits of the practice accessible to everyone.
A foodie at heart, Lucas was a vegan chef and owned and operated health food restaurants prior to diving deep into the yoga world. He is also a highly acclaimed writer, radio show host, TV personality, business consultant, weight loss expert, and health coach. His latest book Yoga Business Mastery: Earn a Great Living Doing What You Love is out now.
For more about Lucas:
Practice is everything. At YOGABODY, everything starts and ends with the practice. When you get that right, when you commit to it, the theory, techniques, and methodology all flow naturally.
If it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you. When you come to YOGABODY, expect strong classes, challenging poses, clarity in teaching, and a supportive environment where transformation is expected.
Balance is the greatest goal in health. Everything at YOGABODY integrates mind and body, breath and movement, nervous system balance and nutrition to help you live the best life you can. Balance in all aspects of health is our ultimate goal.
Food matters. To practice yoga without intelligent nutrition is like trying to run uphill with rocks tied to your ankles. Food is the biggest variable in your health, and we teach a non-dogmatic approach to nutrition based on modern science and real-world application.
Be your own guru. We’re a secular organization and welcome people of all faiths. There is no chanting, no chakras, and no incense in our classes. We teach the science of mind-body fitness, not religion or spirituality. We reject groupthink and appreciate individuals as both students and teachers in their own right.
The yoga market is a $29 billion industry, and yet there are hardly any yoga teachers who double as business leaders. The market is currently controlled by opportunistic investors and coincidentally, the yoga teachers who create the market often end up struggling financially, with no real support system or clear path forward in business.
At YOGABODY, we train and educate future health and wellness leaders, and at the same time, teach students how to own and operate their own businesses. For yoga to gain the respect and impact it deserves, we need yoga people in charge, and a big part of our education and support model is designed to foster entrepreneurial leadership.
YOGABODY Teachers College holds all staff, trainers, and certified teachers to a very specific code of ethics designed to foster respect, create safe practice spaces, and develop a trusting community worldwide.
Sexual conduct. Teachers and trainers are not permitted to become romantically involved with trainees, and healthy, appropriate boundaries are expected before, during, and after work. If a romantic relationship does develop, teachers and trainers are required to let management know immediately so the situation can be handled professionally.
Financial considerations.All pricing, payment, membership fees, terms, and conditions must be clear and easy to understand. Bait-and-switch pricing, unethical discounting, or any sales technique that is not intrinsically fair and transparent is disallowed both within YOGABODY-owned companies and among certified teachers.
Teach what you know. YOGABODY teachers are qualified mind-body fitness professionals, not therapists, doctors, or any other role students might ask them to play. Teaching what you know implies that teachers give appropriate advice, recommendations, and assistance, and refer students to other experts when questions fall outside of their area of expertise.
In terms of yoga poses, breathing techniques, and other practices, YOGABODY requires teachers to practice something 100 times before teaching any pose or technique to students. We believe ‘Practice is everything,’ and without it, no teaching can occur.
Be of service. Yoga teachers are service providers and teachers must put the wants and needs of their students first and foremost. Our agenda is based on our students’ agendas; we are here to help them achieve their mind-body fitness goals.
EQUAL OPPORTUNITY EDUCATORS: In both our training programs and public classes, YOGABODY welcomes students from all religious, ethnic, and gender groups. All our staff and trainers embrace diversity and we aim to serve as many different types of people as possible. We also welcome students with learning disabilities, physical handicaps, and language challenges. We are not equipped to handle acute illness, drug/alcohol addiction, or severe mental health illnesses, but will do our best to help you find someone who can help.
CODE OF CONDUCT: All trainees are expected to treat their fellow trainees and trainers with respect, both on and off the mat. This includes, but is not limited to verbal and written communication, feedback, teaching reviews, lectures, and personal time. Under no circumstances will rude, disruptive, racist, or offensive behavior be permitted. Disruptive or rude behavior can be used as grounds for dismissal from a course.
TERMS & CONDITIONS: The Yoga Teachers College is a professional training school and does not guarantee or sell certifications. All qualifications are merit-based. Failure to attend sessions, failure to pass exams with a score of 85 percent or higher, and failure to meet the requirements of each section of the course are grounds for dismissal without refund.
REFUND POLICY: Course deposit payments are non-refundable at any time for any reason. All course deposits are final. All other course tuition and fees are 100 percent refundable up to 60 days prior to the course start date, at which time all payments become 100 percent non-refundable for any reason. If for any reason, a student leaves a course, is expelled from a course, or fails a course, tuition fees are non-refundable.
COMPLAINTS & FEEDBACK PROCEDURE: We value your feedback and honor any request for help or reconsideration. Any and all complaints and/or feedback can be sent to our headquarters at email@example.com and you can expect a reply within 48 hours.