28 Feb PG Talk: Gwen Lawrence
Profile: Gwen Lawrence | From: New York
For those who are unfamiliar with yourself, can you tell us a little about yourself?
“I transform lives from good to great, helping my clients reach their highest potential, using my 6 power yoga for sports philosophy’s to Attain fitness, find Balance, Create goals, and Define personal happiness in work, school, family and life the way only an intuitive Yogi and seasoned MOM can.”
Gwen is best known and respected as the yoga instructor for many teams over 20 years including the New York Giants, New York Knicks, New York Red Bulls, New York Rangers, NYCFC and members of the New York Yankees, several major colleges like Columbia, Yale, Manhattan, UNC and many more. She travels the country teaching professional development at esteemed D1 colleges.
Gwen makes regular appearances on NBC TODAY SHOW, Good Day NY, and Dr. Oz as well as many Radio and TV news shows. She now plans to bring her expertise, TV knows how personality and wealth of knowledge to the Better Man Show.
Gwen owns her own Yoga school registered to certify students with 200 and 300-hour pieces of training along with her online Power Yoga for Sports Teacher Training, and training kits. She developed The Way of the Mindful Athlete curriculum course for the NY Giants and has incorporated the teaching under Phil Jackson in NY. Gwen trains people around the world in 18 countries and 28 states. Gwen has been named Best of Westchester, and featured in ESPN Magazine as “The Best Innovation In Sports Medicine”. Gwen has 9 Power Yoga for Sports sport specific DVD’s, a feature DVD with Gaiam, and a book Body Sculpting with Yoga, second book Tactical Mobility and a third on the way.
She is the official spokesperson for Gaiam TV, and 2 X ambassador for Lululemon, Prismsport, Gaiam, Kulae and Under Armour. Her writings appear in Men’s Health, Men’s Fitness, Women’s Health, Women’s Fitness, Cosmo, Fitness Magazine, Shape Magazine, Yoga Journal, Yoga Digest, Yoga Magazine, Details and espn.com
How did you get into yoga/fitness?
I was a dancer since the age of 3 and always fitness minded, there to seem to be a better fit for what I would dedicate my life to.
Tell us your story. How did you get here?
I started dating my husband when I was 15 and he was being scouted by MLB as a catcher. I watched 2 doubleheaders each weekend and really learned the game. not only that, I sat next to the MLB Scouts in a folding chair with my own stop watching timing my husbands throws and comparing the results with them and picking their brains. Long story short, he was drafted, injured, surgery, rehab, injured rehab and I was there for the whole journey. I myself was a dancer and artist and had an insatiable thirst for anatomy and the workings of the body. together my husband and I developed into trainers, where I continued to grow and learn. I graduated from college with a degree in art and dance and then went on to go to a 2-year program to become a Therapeutic Massage Therapist. It was now that I started to tie all my knowledge together, to train and message people, also seeing large gaps in the approach to training athletes. my first day of massage school the teacher went around the room to ask why people were here. The answers were noble for example: to work with cancer patients, to help rehab patients etc…I said, “I want to work with professional athletes!” the whole room laughed at me and I guess I felt a spark. I then became certified 3 times over as a yoga teacher and built my own yoga school. As a massage therapist, I started working with very high profile actors and traveled on location to train and massage them and then the NY Giants! after a few years, I finally convinced them to start doing yoga and the rest is history. Now I have a training program and train people in 18 countries and 28 states to do what I do and love it!
Tell us about Power Yoga for Sports, how is it different and unique as compared to other types of yoga?
Power Yoga for Sports was developed because of the special needs that athletes have. They would benefit from any yoga training however their lives are jam-packed with a tight training schedule. I developed my program to design specific yoga programs: per sport, per position, pre-season needs, post season needs, pre-game needs, post-game needs and the results are astounding in lowering injury levels, stress levels and much more.
When did you realize this career path was perfect for you?
As above, I knew it was right as early as 1999 when I LOVED to go to work and see the depth of help my yoga work was accomplishing.
Tell us a little bit about the work you do daily for your clients and the sports teams that you train.
I will attach a video for you to see a day in my life, but I travel around a lot from team to team putting 80,000 miles on my car in 2.5 years. I assess on the spot the player’s needs and work them through their current issues of the day, whether physical, mental or emotional.
What is your most memorable moment in the power yoga for sports field? With a certain team?
Of course, I will say watching my NY Giants win the Super Bowl 2 times!!! proud moments. Also receiving notes from coaches and players about situations they used our techniques and met up with success it is great
What is the most important lesson you’ve learned from your experiences working in a male-driven field?
Listen…hear what they are saying…stick to your intuition when working and tough love always works.
You work with the New York Giants, New York Knicks, and NYFC. How did that come about?
Also Yankees most namely 9 years with Alex Rodriguez, NY Rangers, and the NY Redbulls
A lot of kicking on the door over and over. I started as a massage therapist for the Giants and established trust and showed them how smart and talented I actually was and then it grew to an 18-year gig with them, I was let go last season by Ben McAdoo (his second season).
What are benefits of these professional athletes doing Power Yoga for Sports?
Power Yoga for Sports has 6 trademarked facets of concentration I believe they are all pivotal to being a pro staying healthy and having a long career.While any class would help it is pyfs that bold down the 5,000-year-old practice to what athletes need to do per position per sport. We take into consideration balance/symmetry, functional strength work, flexibility training, mental toughness, focus, breathwork, ect.
Which athletes do you enjoy working with the most? Football players, Basketball players, Soccer players?
I LOVE working with my NY Giants the most especially the years between 2006-2012 the team, dedication, and camaraderie was unmatched.
Is there any athlete or team that you want to work with?
At this point my focus is working to train people all over the world to do what I do and live the life of their dreams with my online training, I currently train people in 18 countries and 28 states. it sounds wrong to say I do not have a team I want to work with only because I humbly say I have been blessed to already have worked with the worlds best in many sports.
What’s your favorite sports and sports teams?
The NY Yankees and NYGiants. We are a BIG sports family, baseball is our first love, I still have one son playing D1 baseball and my husband played Pro baseball as a catcher so we are all in with baseball.
What do you enjoy your free time besides yoga?
Working out running, lifting, working on my projects hanging at home with my family
What are your 2018 goals?
Finish my 4th book
Land a lucrative full season TV deal for my show The Better Man Show
Restructure my online PYFS trainings
Create 3 more online courses for my trainees
Launch a successful novelty T-shirt brand
Complete a training for myself
Land 6 professional development gigs with colleges
Publish my children book and write 2 more in a series of books
Increase my social media numbers : D
I am a serious goal setter!!!!