We had the good fortune of connecting with Rob Zabel and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Rob, we’d love to start by asking you about lessons learned. Is there a lesson you can share with us?
Never stop learning. Never stop trying to be the most accomplished version of yourself. When you’re resting on your laurels and patting yourself on the back is when you stop being the best at what you do. Keep going to school, Keep starting new projects and making new connections. Keep reading and practicing the skills that make you the best possible version of yourself. When you are the product your business sells, make sure that you are the highest grade product available.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
Working in the yoga world means working for other people and yourself simultaneously. It means having to balance an unwaivering integrity with a willingness to promote yourself and others. This means not using pressure tactics to sell yourself. It also means not promising more than you can deliver. This means an unwavering honesty and patience. In yoga there are countless stories of gurus showing their almost magical yogic powers to inspire faith in their students when they doubt the potential of the practice. Today, for many in this industry, this means promising or implying to your students that they will be able to do handstands and pretzel poses, and that they will be as fit and as “zen” as the teacher with whom they choose to study. The ethos of underpromise and overdeliver is as true in the health and wellness industry as anywhere else. Meanwhile, disenchanted former students will damage your reputation, but those whom you have helped without any of the misplaced pomp and circumstance will sing your praises far and wide.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
If a friend were visiting we would of course go downtown to the Grand Central Market for vegan ramen (among many options) and then a visit to the Last Bookstore a few blocks away, especially on one of downtown’s beautiful art walk nights. Afterwards, a visit to admire the architecture of the Bradbury building, made famous by the movie Bladerunner. And, most importantly, I always make sure to take visitors to the Lake Shrine in the Palisades, a beautiful, swan-filled, inland lake and temple that houses ashes from Mahatma Gandhi, built by guru Paramahansa Yogananda. I also love hiking in Malibu Creek State Park where M*A*S*H was filmed and visiting the famous Malibu Hindu Temple nearby. Don’t forget to stop at a roadside fruit stand while you are out there!
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Knekoh Fruge of Yoga Circle for showing me what a caring yoga therapy business looks like and supporting me as a teacher for years. Krishnamacharya as well for his legacy of developing the ancient practices of hatha yoga into the modern postural yoga phenomenon that we know today through ingenuity and academic prowess.