Getting Your Mind and Body on the Same Page | Sam Gach Yoga | Better Man Podcast Ep. 007

Getting Your Mind and Body on the Same Page | Sam Gach Yoga | Better Man Podcast Ep. 007

Sam Gach is a fitness creator, entrepreneur, and stretching & flexibility coach dedicated to making the world a calmer, stronger, more flexible place. 

Yoga and fitness has changed Sam’s life for the better, in ways he couldn’t dream of. Now, he’s spilling the beans to help as many people as possible learn how to take care of their bodies, as well as their mental health. Over the past few years, Sam has built a community of thousands of people that support each other in their efforts to be more flexible, strong, and mentally resilient. 

Yoga and movement have been a saving grace for Sam in times when he was struggling with severe stress and anxiety. He had to make some tough career choices, but he chose to work through his problems instead of running away from them. Since then, he’s been on a journey of constant growth, both physically and mentally.

I’m talking to him today because he’s not your average yoga teacher. He knows that there’s more to life than building a strong physique and that men need to also take care of their emotional and mental wellbeing.

Sam has built his life around trying to be the best version of himself. He’s here to show the rest of the world how to do the same thing, one down dog at a time.

The Better Man Podcast is an exploration of our health and well-being outside of our physical fitness, exploring and redefining what it means to be better as a man; being the best version of ourselves we can be, while adopting a more comprehensive understanding of our total health and wellness. I hope it inspires you to be better!

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Watch a Clip From Episode 007

Getting Your Mind and Body on the Same Page with Sam Gach Yoga - Episode 7

Key Takeaways with Sam Gach

  • Your body is sending you cues, learn how to listen to them by following Sam’s advice.
  • One of the toughest decisions he made that led to him following his life’s purpose
  • How to stay motivated when going through difficult times.
  • How to deal with social media noise as a content creator.
  • Attack your goals and take control of your calendar by using the tools Sam uses
  • Find out how to do the perfect frog pose.
  • What many yoga teachers are failing to teach their students.
  • You get a massage for your body, but what’s the equivalent for your brain?
  • Think that you can’t get injured in yoga? Think again!
  • Find out the self-development practices that made Sam a happier person.
  • The next time you’re trying to help a friend out, don’t problem-solve. Do this instead!
  • How to not get wrapped up in your negative thoughts.
  • Exercise = ultimate stress relief.

Sam Gach Notable Quotes

  • I got to do a lot of really cool, fun work. But at the end of the day, I was marketing Pop-Tarts. It was fun, and we got to do cool work that a lot of people would see, but it wasn’t my life purpose. And I wasn’t getting to really make a huge positive impact on people’s life other than getting to put out funny content. Now, I’m actually able to make a real impact on people’s lives, and I think it’s so rewarding.” – Sam Gach
  • A lot of people think of yoga, or flexibility and those things which are really important and beneficial as like there are more women than men doing those things still today. The work I’m doing, the work you’re doing is helping to change that, but these societal expectations and stigmas around things do make it a lot harder for men with these different areas.” – Sam Gach
  • I think for me, I knew fully that I was going to do it and that it was the right thing for me, but I was still scared. I didn’t know what was going to happen, I didn’t know if I was going to make a good living. And I think, with my parents, I kind of wanted them to just be the people who could tell me that it was going to work out when I wasn’t sure, but they were just as scared as I was. So, I guess I’m on my own for that part, but that’s just how it goes.” – Sam Gach
  • I think, in the back of everything, even with the stress and the worry and the uncertainty, there’s always been this sense of contentment and peace of knowing that I feel like I’m on the right path and I’m doing what I want to be doing and I’m getting to finally. For so long, there were times I didn’t know what I wanted to do next in life and to feel like I am doing exactly what I want to be doing is a very good feeling.” – Sam Gach
Episode 007: Getting Your Mind and Body on the Same Page | Sam Gach Yoga – Transcript

Dean Pohlman: Hey, guys, what’s up? It’s Dean, welcome to the Man Flow Yoga podcast. Today, I am joined by a virtual friend of mine for a long time now, Sam Gach, Gach, Gach?

Sam Gach: Whatever floats your boat. It’s Gach.

Dean Pohlman: Gach, oh man, didn’t even get it with two tries, anyways. So, I like to start these off by kind of introducing people to you, how we met. I don’t quite remember how we met. I think I found you as a yogi on Instagram who has a pretty fun personality. You post really helpful content. And then I saw about a year ago, you can tell people this yourself, but a year or so ago, you decided you were going to go full time with this. And I’ve just kind of watched your journey. And I thought it’d be great to get you on the show and talk about that, but also talk about overall mental wellness because being social media people, I think we have a lot of the same stresses. So, I thought that would be kind of fun to explore, but would you like to briefly introduce yourself?

Sam Gach: Yeah, for sure. So, my name’s Sam. Like you said, I’ve been doing my own thing full time for– it’s been almost two years now, but I’m a certified personal trainer, yoga teacher. Somebody referred to me as a fitness entrepreneur, and I kind of like that term, but I kind of think of myself as a fitness creator and entrepreneur with a special focus in the yoga and stretching and flexibility areas. But yeah, I had my corporate career up until a couple of years ago. And now, I’m doing this full time, I have my app and creating content on the internet like you.

Dean Pohlman: Yeah, it’s awesome. Okay, so a couple of years ago, you started the app, so you mentioned personal training, but I think you started weight training. When did you start weight training?

Sam Gach: So, weight training, I’ve kind of done off and on for a long time since college, really, but I have been the most consistent with it in the past few years. When I started doing yoga, which was in college, about almost nine years ago now, I just fell in love with it. And for the first couple of years of doing that, I really was just doing yoga. And so, there is time for a while that I was just doing that, that was really my only kind of exercise, and I loved it, but eventually, it just wasn’t cutting it enough for me to only do that. I needed some other things to kind of balance things out and to kind of reach other goals, and so…

Dean Pohlman: What did you notice that was lacking, at least for you?

Sam Gach: For me, I think I was able to build– I mean, this is kind of a funny thing to say, but I feel like for me, I was able to pretty quickly progress physically a lot with a lot of the kind of yoga, like advanced kind of poses and movements. And I felt like I was building a lot of strength and I really thought of myself as very strong, but I felt like I didn’t– I think a couple of things, one, I felt like I didn’t look as strong as I was about the yoga kind of builds, the kind of long, lean muscles. And I wasn’t doing any kind of hypertrophy training, which I didn’t even know was a thing at the time. And also, I wouldn’t say I felt this, but I knew it logically that I wasn’t getting the pulling motion, I wasn’t getting the pulling strength at all. And so, that was one thing that I know was imbalanced. I was getting injuries and I didn’t really know why. And I think my body just wasn’t balanced from only doing yoga movements.

Dean Pohlman: Yeah, I had a really similar experience, so I was able to do yoga for a few months and keep the muscle. And then, a couple of years, I was just doing all yoga and I looked at a photo of myself, like then and now, and I was like, “Oh my God, where did it all go?” And definitely with the pulling thing, I had a really similar experience to that. I was really into handstands in 2013, 2014, and it ruined my shoulders. I wasn’t doing any pulling exercises. I was also faking shoulder mobility, I arched my back a lot, and no one told me because they were like, “Your photos are great. Who cares about your technique?”

So, I think I got to a point where I couldn’t even do a plank. I had to take a break from planks for a month or two and just do all pulling stuff like, I’ve got a bunch of these now in my home, just resistance bands because they’re so simple, but they’re so great for keeping your shoulders healthy. And that’s what I have to tell yogi. I don’t know if you have these. Do you have these conversations with yogis, where you have to tell them, hey, do some other stuff?

Sam Gach: Yeah, I know. And it’s funny because I feel like when I started doing yoga, nobody was telling me that. And I’m like, where were those people telling me that? Like now, I’m telling those people that when I talk to people, but that wasn’t something that anyone told me. And like the same as you with handstands, I got really into handstands when I started doing yoga, but nobody really taught me how to do it properly, where I had a teacher who encouraged me to learn the handstand and taught me basically how to get the balance and stay upside down, but I was never taught how to actually do it right.

And so, it was a whole journey of learning to do it properly, to learning to do it in a way that it wasn’t going to hurt me. I had wrist injuries that were going on for years because I didn’t know how to take care of my wrists. And you’re talking about playing, I had a time like I couldn’t do anything where I put weight on my hands and whether it’s playing pushups, Chaturangas, like any of that. And so, I think I do it, like when I talk to students now, I tell them it’s great to do yoga, it’s great to do mobility work, but if you really do want to have a well-rounded routine, you have to incorporate these different things. And so, there’s a lot of different ways you can do it, a lot of different ways it can work, but it is important for long-term health to have a well-rounded routine.

Dean Pohlman: Yeah. So, I’m curious. So, I had my experience with yoga instructors and for the most part, it was not teaching proper technique and understanding benefits, moving too quickly. What was your experience with your general yoga and the instructors that you worked with? What did you feel was missing?

Sam Gach: I mean, I really loved my yoga instructors in the beginning. They’re part of what got me into it and doing it and loving it. I think, like different teachers are all different. And so, I think that there is, like what I was kind of saying I had a teacher who really helped me to learn a lot of cool poses, but I wasn’t really learning how to take care of my body. And there are teachers who talk about it, but I think that I wasn’t really understanding how important it is to take care of your body and listen to your body, as opposed to just trying to advance your practice because I think I got really interested into learning new poses and in kind of progressing physically, but I wasn’t really paying attention to, like, is this actually good for my body? What kind of cues do I need to be listening to in my body to know if this is actually good or if this is actually not working for me?

And so, I think they’re having injuries. Personally, I learned that, but I think that’s one thing that is missing a lot of the times. I was just in a class yesterday at the studio, I tried out. The teacher made some comments about trying to reach back in this backbend to reach your foot behind your head. It was like a very deep backbend that’s just simply most people will never be able to actually do. And I feel like a lot of teachers are kind of encouraging people to kind of progress towards that kind of pose, but they’re not saying anything about like, oh, but if you feel a pinching in your back, you probably shouldn’t do that, or if you feel pain, it’s probably not working. So, I think that’s something that I’ve kind of had to learn from experience, but not all teachers focus on.

Dean Pohlman: Yeah, that’s definitely true. So, I want to kind of ask you about moving away from– you’ve been on social media for a super long time, you’ve been posting for a really long time. I’ve seen you post kind of your progress photos dating back to 2014. I’m kind of curious what was the response from your audience when you said, “Hey, I’m going to be a yoga instructor full time. I’m launching my app.” I’m assuming they were excited, but what was the response?

Sam Gach: Yeah, it’s been really, really supportive. I feel very lucky to have a very supportive community online. I mean, you know from your experience, I’m sure too, like, there are always going to be haters and there’s always going to be people who are negative or saying trolls. But I think for me, overall, I have a really supportive community and I’m very lucky to have that. So, when I decided to kind of do my own thing full time, it was very supportive. And in the app specifically, there’s been a ton of excitement for it, so that’s been really cool.

Dean Pohlman: Yeah, you have a ton of reviews.

Sam Gach: Yeah. I don’t know what I’m supposed to or not supposed to say publicly about things, but we just hit 100,000 downloads which is awesome.

Dean Pohlman: Nice.

Sam Gach: And it’s been just under four months. I feel like, wow.

Dean Pohlman: That’s amazing. That’s great.

Sam Gach: It’s super cool. So, yeah, there’s been a ton of excitement about that. Specifically, I think there was like with just my career change, I think people were just really supportive. But with the app, people have been actually super excited because it’s something that actually benefits people and maybe it’s actually not just follow along what I’m doing, but actually, get to participate and get the benefits of it, too.

Dean Pohlman: Yeah, that’s a really rewarding experience, just moving away from whatever you were doing and doing something where you know, just like, hey, I’m directly helping people on a daily basis and that feels really cool, so bask in that, just try to enjoy it and keep it present.

Sam Gach: Yeah, my job before doing this full time, I was working in marketing and social media and I was working for Kellogg’s, the food company. And I was doing social media for Pop-Tarts. That was one of my brands that I worked on, and it was a super fun experience. I got to do a lot of really cool, fun work. But at the end of the day, I was marketing Pop-Tarts, and it was fun, and we got to do fun work and cool work that a lot of people would see, but it wasn’t my life purpose. And I wasn’t getting to really make a huge positive impact on people’s life other than getting to put out funny content. Now, I’m actually able to make a real impact on people’s lives, and I think it’s so rewarding.

Dean Pohlman: Yeah. So, when you went out and you started doing this full time, were you scared? Or were you excited? Or I mean, probably both, but what were you feeling?

Sam Gach: Yeah, I think for me, it’s a combination of definitely scared, I was definitely stressed and scared just without having any idea what was going to happen, any sense of certainty of success, leaving a regular and stable paycheck to having to make your own money and…

Dean Pohlman: Bye-bye health insurance.

Sam Gach: No, I have to buy my own health insurance now. And all of that is definitely scary, especially when you– like for me, I didn’t even really know what work I was going to do, let alone, like if I was going to make enough money. But I had to have this kind of trust in myself, and I really did believe in myself and my potential to make it happen, but I just didn’t know if it was going to happen. And the other thing, though, I felt really, it’s just like ever since before I even made the move, like it has just felt very right and it’s just felt the right thing for me to be doing. And so, I think, in the back of everything, even with the stress and the worry and the uncertainty, there’s always been this sense of kind of contentment and just this kind of peace of knowing that I feel like I’m on the right path and I’m doing what I want to be doing and I’m getting to finally, for so long, there are times I didn’t know what I wanted to do next in life and to feel like I am doing exactly what I want to be doing is a very good feeling.

Dean Pohlman: Yeah, that’s awesome. So, were your parents supportive of this? Or how do they feel?

Sam Gach: I think they were supportive, but they were also scared. I think this generation is different from past generations and I think it’s becoming a bit more common for people to have kind of less traditional career paths, but I think that it’s just as scary for me to do it. And my parents want me to be happy, and so, they want me to be okay and have success, sort of do something that is taking a risk. They were supportive, but I could tell they were nervous about it, but I had to tell them this is going to work out, and I know I can do this. Now that it’s going and everything’s working, they know I’m doing the right thing, but I think it was scary for them too.

Dean Pohlman: Yeah, I don’t know about you, but I felt like I had to get permission from my parents to do it. And then I asked my parents, “Are you guys okay with me doing this?” And my dad was like, “I mean as long as you can pay for yourself,” and I was like, “Okay, well, I’m making sh*t now, I can probably make sh*t doing this thing on my own.”

Sam Gach: Yeah, totally. I think for me, I knew fully that I was going to do it and that it was the right thing for me, but I was still scared. I didn’t know what was going to happen, I didn’t know if I was going to make a good living. And I think, with my parents, I kind of wanted them to just be the people who could tell me that it was going to work out when I wasn’t sure, but they were just as scared as I was. So, like, okay, I guess I’m on my own for that part, but that’s just how it goes.

Dean Pohlman: Yeah, I was just talking with someone else who was talking with, I think they had a nephew or something who are 10 or 11, like, “So, what do you want to do when you grow up?” And everyone’s like, “I want to be an influencer.” They’re like, “What does that look like?” “Well, I just post stuff, and people give me things for free.” Like, “Oh, okay.”

Sam Gach: Yeah. Well, it’s like, what they don’t tell you about that is getting things for free doesn’t pay your bills. But it’s funny to me, though, like how people want to be an influencer and how that’s so common now for kids, and people need to at least tell them what that’s like and what that is going to entail because I think like…

Dean Pohlman: You will be harassed for doing frog pose in front of an oven if you become an influencer.

Sam Gach: You will be harassed.

Dean Pohlman: We’re going to have to put that pose in there so people know what we’re talking about.

Sam Gach: People will send you their nudes unsolicited and say mean things to you and you won’t get health insurance.

Dean Pohlman: Yeah. I don’t even want to go into that. I’ve also been there. Fortunately, I don’t think it happens to me as much as it does to you and some other people that I’ve spoken with, but it is a really crappy feeling. When you’re trying to do something, you’re putting out content, and the response is like, “Oh, here, this is my thing that I’m sending you.” And yeah, it’s just really demoralizing. I always joke about this, but we need to start an influence or support group for people who are unwillingly sent junk.

Sam Gach: Yeah, I will be your first member.

Dean Pohlman: It’s a small group, but hey…

Sam Gach: Yeah, not everyone knows that experience, but.

Dean Pohlman: There are so many other problems. You’re like, I don’t want to make this, I don’t want to bring any attention to this problem. And I think I had like a– some people will call it a freak-out moment. I forgot what it was, but that happened to me, and I just got really upset about it. And fortunately, going through that experience, I think if it happened now, I don’t think I’m bothered as much anymore, but.

Sam Gach: Yeah, I think it’s one of those things that the first time it happens, the first couple of times it happens, it’s like, oh my God, what is this? How do you process and deal with something like that? I mean, there’s many different ways, variations of that, but I think that it’s one of those things that when you’re around the block for a little longer and you have these experiences, you kind of learn how to deal with these things because these are not normal things in most jobs that people deal with on a day-to-day basis. Having the experience and going around the block, you kind of just learn how to deal with some of these more unusual circumstances.

Dean Pohlman: Yeah. And this kind of segues in the next question I want to talk about. So, you have a very social media-focused brand, you’re really responsive. Every time you post, you have a crap ton of comments. So, I’m curious, like, how would you describe your relationship with social media?

Sam Gach: I would say that I am in a long-term relationship with social media at this point, and like any long-term relationship, we have our ups and downs. And one thing that I think is good about having been doing this for a while now is that kind of like I said, I’ve learned how to deal with some of the more difficult parts. And so, I think there’s a lot that can be difficult about social media whether you do it as a job or not, but I think that when you’re a content creator and you’re putting out content all the time and you’re being very purposeful about it, there’s a lot that can be difficult. And I think a lot of people, probably just about everyone at some point, get very wrapped up in the numbers of it all. And I think it’s hard not to look at that and care about that. But I think that as I’ve done it longer and as I’ve had just more experience and time, I’ve learned how to manage some of that better and I’ve learned to just have a better relationship with that. Like in the past, I used to think…

Dean Pohlman: Are there some specific things, like specific habits that you engage in and how you practice social media?

Sam Gach: Yeah. Oh, for sure, I mean, there’s probably a million, but I mean one thing that I’ve done more recently that I feel has been helpful is with creators, like when you get stressed out about numbers and views and things like that, I think that one thing that I’ve started doing is– like I used to post and then I would immediately go look at what’s the response to it right away. And now, I just always if I post something, I don’t even go and look at it until the next day because I feel like I used to, like, somehow over time, I would just end up looking at it more and more often or more and more times that day to either see what are the comments or is this getting a lot of views or whatever, and it can really affect you mentally and your just outlook on it all.

So, I think I’ve learned to kind of set better boundaries for myself, between me and me to be like, know what, Sam? You’re not going to look at this until tomorrow. And I feel like that’s been really helpful to just kind of have those boundaries of myself. And it also, I think, helps to separate yourself from it a bit more. When you’re doing social media, it’s like you are your brand and it’s very hard to separate yourself from your business and your brand. And so, for me, I think that having some of that separation has been very helpful.

Dean Pohlman: Yeah, I can relate to that. I think when we’re having discussions with my team, sometimes I will say like, “We’re going to have a video of Dean doing this here.” So, like, I separate, not that I really act. I don’t really act any differently in person than I do on camera, but if I’m talking about making a video or a post, sometimes I will say, “We’re going to have Dean doing this here.” And I don’t know if that was the subconscious shift or not, or if it was just something like, but yeah, I can relate to that separation. Anything else that you do that you think other people might benefit from in terms of social media?

Sam Gach: Yeah. Well, to me, one of the most stressful parts of social media and doing it consistently is just having ideas and continuing to know what content you’re going to create. I think there’s an unlimited number of things you can do. But I think for me, I used to think of it like, okay, I’m going to try to post this day. So then, that day, I would sit down and be like, okay, what should I post? What should I do? And then I would have to come up with an idea, and then I would have to go and film it. And then I would have to go and edit it, and then I would post it, and I would do it all on the same day.

So, I think that now, I’m a lot more organized with it and I will separate those things. So, I’ll have one day where I’ll have just a planning, brainstorming session, and then I’ll have another day where I’ll do filming. And then I’ll have another time, I’ll do editing and posting. So, I do separate them all, and I feel like having that organization and separation makes it less overwhelming for me. And I can be like, okay, just one task at a time, and then I don’t get as overwhelmed. There would be times I just felt so overwhelmed by the idea of doing all that in one day that I just wouldn’t do it. And so, having it broken down into smaller chunks has helped me a lot.

Dean Pohlman: Yeah. Makes a lot of sense. That’s something that I sometimes do, but I should definitely do more of. Alright. So, I want to talk about your deadpan stare at the camera that you do for your tutorials and I’m going to reenact. If you’re watching video, you should watch this. So, we go here. That is what it looks like to me when you’re doing your deadpan stare.

Sam Gach: That wasn’t bad.

Dean Pohlman: So, I’m curious, what’s up with that? Tell me more about that.

Sam Gach: I don’t know if I’ve been asked this exact question, so I’m going to have to think for a second about it because I think, to me, it’s like kind of a joke between myself and myself, but I feel like it’s generally perceived as some kind of humor, but it’s not overt, like, what is the joke or what is this about? For me, I think one thing that’s really important to me in my content is to try to keep things light and relatable because I think there is so much content out there in the yoga world and in the fitness world that is just so serious. And for me, I try to keep things fun, I try to keep things light, relatable, and engaging so that people will want to watch a video or participate in whatever we’re doing. So, really, that’s the point of it.

In my older videos, I never would look at the camera at all, it’s almost like you’re pretending that the camera’s not there, you’re just doing some kind of flow or whatever. And at some point, I started looking at the camera a little bit more because I think that it helps to connect better with whoever is watching on the other end. And so, for me, I do it kind of like expressionless face kind of for no reason. It’s just kind of like what I do now, but when I would do flows, not looking at the camera, I would always have an expressionless face because I would try to be kind of just staying calm while doing the movements. And then when I started looking at the camera more, I would just kind of keep that. And not that there’s never times that I’ll smile or whatever, but that’s my kind of calm expressionless face, but I also kind of make it funny. And a lot of times, I laugh at my own videos because this is just so ridiculous, but I enjoy it, it keeps it fun.

Dean Pohlman: Good. Alright, cool. So, I wanted to talk about, so you moved recently, right?

Sam Gach: I did. Yeah, I’ve moved a few times recently.

Dean Pohlman: Okay. So, we actually have a lot of people who do Man Flow Yoga and probably a lot of people who are doing online yoga, in general, who have started doing online yoga because they’ve lost access to their typical yoga studios. And a lot of that happens because they move. So, I’m wondering if you can talk about just one or two of the big struggles that you’re going through right now as a result of moving.

Sam Gach: Yeah, I think moving is hard for anyone. I mean, I think they say that moving is the number one most stressful– I can’t remember what the phrase is, but it’s like the most stressful life change that people make on a regular basis. So, I think for anyone, it’s something that’s never easy. For me, I think that kind of change a lot of times can bring up a lot of anxiety. And so, for me, I think that different people are prone to different things. For me, when I have something like that, it’s anxiety that I start feeling. And so, I definitely have felt a lot more anxiety lately, but I also feel lucky to have learned over time a lot of tools and a lot of just having experience in the past learning how to deal with this kind of thing and being able to access tools and help that I need and I think has made it so that it’s been improving for me a lot very quickly.

But I think that for me, just being in an unfamiliar place, not having your regular routine, not having the familiarity and comfort of home, not having your yoga studio, not having your gym, not knowing where to go for this or that, I think, is just unsettling for anyone. And so, I think it’s hard, but it’s also really great when you have these tools that you can use to help you through.

Dean Pohlman: Yeah. So, where are you from originally?

Sam Gach: I’m originally from Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Dean Pohlman: Okay, cool. I grew up in Cleveland, Ohio, but I did not go to Ohio State.

Sam Gach: Okay, so we can still be friends.

Dean Pohlman: We don’t have to have that awkward conversation.

Sam Gach: I did go to University of Michigan, so that would have been bad.

Dean Pohlman: Yes, that would have been bad. I ended up going to University of Wisconsin, so still a Big 10 school.

Sam Gach: Yeah.

Dean Pohlman: Much colder, but anyway, cool. And you’re in L.A. now? Or you’re in?

Sam Gach: Yeah, I’m in L.A. now.

Dean Pohlman: You’re a yoga instructor in L.A.

Sam Gach: I’m a yoga instructor in L.A.

Dean Pohlman: That applies to five million other people. Sometimes I think about that, like how many yoga instructors are there? And how many actually have a full-time job from it? It’s like a staggeringly small percentage.

Sam Gach: Yeah, especially L.A. I feel like there’s a dime a dozen for a yoga teacher.

Dean Pohlman: Yeah. The joke is like, you go outside and throw a rock and you’ll hit two yoga instructors or something.

Sam Gach: Yeah.

Dean Pohlman: Anyways, so I want to talk about your infamous oven-supported frog pose meme that you turned into and you mentioned in it. “It kind of made me not want to do the pose on social media anymore because of the way some of the memes talked about it.” It’s personal, I’m asking you a personal question, but I’m curious how did you work through that?

Sam Gach: Yeah, I mean, I feel like whenever the meme– when did the meme begin? Like, it’s funny because this meme now has been going around the internet for years, and there’s been a million different versions of it. It started a few years ago. So, like somebody, literally, this is never a photo that I took of myself. It was a video that somebody screenshotted in the middle of when I was doing the frog pose against the oven, and they created this photo and made a meme out of it.

So, it’s been a while now, but I think kind of like what we’ve talked about a little bit is that I had already been doing this social media stuff for a while. So, something like this didn’t have as much of an effect on me as it might have earlier on when I wasn’t used to being just out there on the internet. And so, I think that helped me to not care as much, but I think it was still kind of– I mean, I had mixed feelings about it. When I first saw it, it was kind of like, oh, that’s funny. It was funny. Many of them are very funny, and I’m like, oh, actually, this is a good meme. But then I also was a little annoyed at the beginning because somebody created this image of me without my permission without crediting me or anything. There have been some really large meme accounts that have posted it, and these companies are like making tons of money off their audiences and like, okay, they’re using this image of me without my permission, I don’t really love that.

And then over time, there’s been some memes that are less friendly and there’s been some that are really funny and then there’s some that are like, I don’t know. There’s been some that are racist or homophobic or political or just all these different things that are just more disrespectful. So, those ones, I don’t enjoy as much, but I think just kind of like being on the internet, you learn how to deal with things and you learn how to not take things as personally. I mean, for me, overall, at the end of the day, these are jokes, and that’s kind of how I take it. It’s not like it’s something that deeply affects me, but it’s also something that you do need to learn to deal with. I mean, I’ve had a lot of videos that have gone viral. And so, I think that’s kind of given me the exposure to what that kind of thing can bring on and what kind of attention that can bring.

And so, I’ve learned how to just mostly tune it out because, like if you just are reading all the comments, if you’re reading what people are writing, it will affect you more than if you’re just like, oh, there’s something out there, like, okay, yeah, I know, that just happens. And you just kind of learn to take it in stride. But there was a time in that thing you read that I didn’t want to post frog pose anymore because people would sexualize it, or people do that with a lot of yoga stuff and people would like this joke or whatever. But literally, frog is probably my favorite yoga pose to do, I really love it.

And so, at some point, I was talking to a friend who kind of, he was like, “You should just do it anyway.” And I was like, “You know what? You’re right.” And I decided, after a while of taking a frog break online, I started doing it again. And I’ve kind of evolved it and I’ve changed kind of the ways that I might do it. And now, I have to actually teach frog a lot and I use it as something to help benefit people. So, we’re kind of just a theme of my evolution. I think as a creator over time is like, I’m much more focused on helping people then than originally was really the focus. I wasn’t even a yoga teacher when I started posting stuff. So, it’s evolved a lot, but I think you learn how to deal with it. And it’s just a joke that I don’t really care about at this point.

Dean Pohlman: Yeah. It’s kind of in my experience is like it stings at first or it affects you at first, but eventually, you kind of get to it. You also learned that you just don’t take certain poses from certain camera angles and you’re like, oh.

Sam Gach: Yeah.

Dean Pohlman: Let’s turn the camera around for this one.

Sam Gach: Yeah, totally. It’s a great learning experience.

Dean Pohlman: Yeah. And I found this, I’ve had a weird desire to balance processing something versus just not giving it focus. So, sometimes I feel like, okay, this is really bothering me. So, I need to process this and figure out, like, come to some sort of emotional conclusion so I can move forward from this “trauma.” Major or minor trauma, but still something that is bugging you and you’re stuck on a loop, so it’s causing you trauma versus not focusing on it. And I found that over time, not focusing on something, just directing my attention elsewhere has been usually more effective than me having to go through and actually process why something is bugging me. I don’t know about– what’s your experience with that?

Sam Gach: I think you hit it spot on that it needs to be a balance. And I think there are things that you need a process. You can’t just avoid things completely, but once you’ve processed something, at that point, then you have to also learn how to not give things too much attention. And so, with the meme example, it’s like, okay, it never bothered me that much, but it bothered me a little bit. And once I was able to kind of process that and understand why it was bothering me and then kind of made my peace a little bit with it, at least as much as I was going to, then it’s like, okay, when I see a new one now instead of going through all of that again and processing everything again, I’m able to be like, okay, you know what? I’m aware there’s something new out there, but I don’t need to give it my attention. And so, I think having the balance of being able to process things that you need to process but also having the skill of learning to redirect your attention when something’s not going to be healthy for you to focus on is really important, too. So, I think that balance is very important.

Dean Pohlman: Yeah, something I’ve learned, and I’m just saying this because it’s kind of coming naturally out of this conversation is when you’re really upset about something, I forgot where I learned this from, but this is from one of the groups that I’m in, but you have to understand that if you’re really upset about something, the next five minutes of dialog that you’re going to have in your head is just trash. Like, you have to go for a walk or you have to do something that’s going to distract you. Or just like, as all of those negative thoughts, mostly negative thoughts are going through your head, you’re just like, this is just angry me. We’re just going to let this play out. Do not put any importance on what’s going on for the next five minutes.

Sam Gach: That’s something that’s really important, but also so hard to be able to not trust or believe your own thoughts because when you have angry thoughts or when you have anxious thoughts or things like that, it’s like, these are not logical, these aren’t good, healthy thoughts. And to be able to not get so wrapped up in them and allow it to just be like, okay, I’m going to have some negative thoughts for a little bit. It’s very hard, but it’s also just such an important skill to learn how to do. And yeah, it’s true, it’s better to just go do some kind of stress-relieving activity than just ruminate about something.

Dean Pohlman: Yeah. Alright, cool. Thanks for that, by the way. So, I wanted to go on to some fitness-related questions. So, you’re kind of known, at least I know you as someone who’s super flexible, you make a lot of really difficult flexibility-focused poses, feel or look really easy. I’m just going to go out on a limb here and say that I’m never going to be as flexible as you. So, I’d like you to give me some tips, but also just people in general about frog pose just because that is the Sam…

Sam Gach: The Sam Special?

Dean Pohlman: Yes, the Sam Special, perfect. We have a name for you. How frequently are you doing it? How long do you need to stay in it? And most people, they get into frog and the first thing they think is like, oh my God, what the…

Sam Gach: I want to die.

Dean Pohlman: Yeah. So, how long do you need to hold it? What should you be focusing on to work deeper into it? Some tips.

Sam Gach: Yeah. So, frog is probably– I mean, it’s a love-hate kind of thing, like you love it or you hate it. Most people hate it. And I love it. So, I’m weird with that. But really, why most people hate it is because it’s uncomfortable. And so, most people have tight hips or tightness in the hips, and so, that’s what’s going to make frog pose uncomfortable. But I think that, for me, personally, I do it, I would say, a few times a week. I try to do some kind of stretching every day, but it’s not always the same things every day.

But for frog pose, I would say a couple of tips would be to, I mean, you’re going to want to hold it at least 30 seconds. As far as flexibility training, in general, the sweet spot is usually 30 to 60 seconds for holding a stretch. And so, that’s a good rule of thumb and worked well for the frog. Not that you can’t hold it longer. If you’re less than 30 seconds, you would probably benefit more from getting to at least 30 seconds. And then as far as making it less uncomfortable, I think that’s going to be one of the most important things to be consistent with it because if you’re just doing something and it’s just uncomfortable and you hate it, you’re just never going to be consistent with it because you’re just going to hate every single time. At one point, there’s going to be a day that you are just not able to force yourself to be in that misery and then you will just stop.

And so, one really important thing is to make it a little less uncomfortable for yourself. And that’s not only important for not hating it, but it’s actually better for your body to not be so terribly uncomfortable. So, it’s important to learn to go to the right amount of stretch for yourself because if you’re overdoing it, your muscles are going to tighten up and contract to try to protect you and not let you overstretch. So, you want to make sure you’re (A) not going too deep in it. And (B), I often really like recommending for people, especially people who have knee problems, which can be one of the most uncomfortable parts of frog because you’re on your knees, is to do it on a soft surface like your bed or some other soft surface cushions because it makes it way less uncomfortable. So, when you have padding on your bed, it’s going to have more give, and so, it’s going to be a little less intense just from that.

Basically, at the end of the day, the moral of the story is to try to make it less uncomfortable for yourself and not push yourself too far. So, don’t go too deep in it. If it’s like so uncomfortable that you want to cry, then that means you’re probably going too far. You want to bring your knees a little closer together, for example, or try it on, like a softer surface can also help make it less uncomfortable. Don’t worry if you’re not doing it all the way. I think a lot of people have said to me like, “Oh, I can’t do frog pose like you.” But you’re not supposed to be able to do it like that, you don’t have to be able to get everything on the floor. The point is to just use the correct alignment and get the stretch, so just learning to kind of accept yourself where you’re at and not push it too far.

Dean Pohlman: Yeah, that’s something that we had to focus on all the time, and you probably get the same thing. The point of the pose is to target the right muscles in the appropriate ways. It’s not for you to mirror the instructor who’s probably been doing this for way longer than you have.

Sam Gach: Right. People don’t realize that it’s not supposed to look the same, it’s just you’re supposed to feel the same effect. And different people need to go to different amounts in a pose to feel that same effect.

Dean Pohlman: Yeah. So, you said, basically choosing the right tension. I usually say finding four or five out of 10 and then stay hanging out there and then you can breathe, work on your breathing there, get more comfortable, and then you can increase the depth from there. But like, yeah, a lot of people just go straight to like, well, here’s this– I met my nine out of 10 right now, I’m as deep as I can go. I’ll just hold this and grit my teeth. I’m like, well, you might as well stop. You’re not doing anything.

Sam Gach: Yeah, and you can get hurt from that too. And people get hurt from overdoing it all the time, so yeah, it’s really important to…

Dean Pohlman: People are surprised that they can get injured in yoga. My wife is a physical therapist, and she actually sees a lot of people who overdo forward folds in particular, who just start doing passive forward folds. And a lot of people get injured just because they’re doing that. They’re just improper technique, but anyway, yoga will injure you, too.

Sam Gach: It’s crazy. People are surprised that yoga teachers can have stress too.

Dean Pohlman: The studios pay me $10 an hour, and I have four hours of work. Yes, I’m not stressed at all because I’m trying to live in Los Angeles while doing this.

Sam Gach: Yeah, they’re completely zen all the time.

Dean Pohlman: Yeah, exactly. I won’t say anything else about that. I’ve found a lot of yoga instructors to be more stressed than the “normal people.”

Sam Gach: Well, people think that people who do yoga aren’t stressed, but really people go to yoga because they are stressed a lot of the time. So, I feel like you’ll definitely get a lot of stressed out. You get all these for sure. People don’t realize that.

Dean Pohlman: It helps, though.

Sam Gach: It does help.

Dean Pohlman: Yeah, absolutely, for sure. I know if I’m really stressed, if I go out and do an hour of just whatever my body tells me to, not really pushing it too much, but just doing nice deep stretches, putting on some really relaxing music, I finished and I’m like, oh, that was good. I should share this with the world, oh.

Sam Gach: Oh.

Dean Pohlman: Oh yeah, that’s right. That’s what I do. Alright. So, I wanted to also ask you about building up to more advanced movements because you do a lot of– this is something that I just don’t focus on anymore. It’s not something that I’m terribly interested in. Right now, I’m more interested in my performance with weights and I do a ton of yoga and mobility work to support that, but I’m not interested in doing handstands, scorpions, stuff like that right now. In the past, I don’t know, are you still? Is that still something that you’re pushing right now?

Sam Gach: I would really say that I relate to you. I’m in a similar kind of situation to you, like, that’s something that I have in the past focused a ton on and learning the handstands and the scorpions and all that. But really, for me, I am a lot less focused on that too. Like for me, I do the workouts and the movements that I do for, like, I don’t know if we mentioned CrossFit, I’ve been doing CrossFit.

Dean Pohlman: Yeah.

Sam Gach: And that’s a big focus for me. And then the mobility and that stuff and then just like, in general, wellbeing and mental health and stress relief, those are kind of my focuses. But in the past, I have focused a lot on all the handstand stuff. So, it’s not currently like when I’m actively focused on in my practice but…

Dean Pohlman: Okay, cool. Well, then I’ll pivot the question, and instead, I’ll ask, do you mind me if I ask how old you are?

Sam Gach: I’m 29.

Dean Pohlman: 29, okay, so…

Sam Gach: For a couple more weeks.

Dean Pohlman: Couple more weeks. Your 30s are great, don’t worry.

Sam Gach: Okay.

Dean Pohlman: Yes, it’s all great. And I feel like 26 to 32 is the same thing.

Sam Gach: Yeah. I feel like there’s just something weird about turning 30, but I do fully believe that my 30s are going to be good and better than my 20s. Like, I already feel like I know that. I hope I’m right.

Dean Pohlman: Yeah. I think whether you think you are or not, you’re right.

Sam Gach: Okay, good.

Dean Pohlman: Yes. So, I wanted to ask and say– I’m wondering if this is just like a general trend, I’m wondering if people like in their late 20s, in their early 30s gravitate more towards strength training. Because when I was your age, not that I’m not much older, I’m probably three years older than you, but when we were early 20s, and you were 25, 26 when you were doing, when I was seeing more scorpion stuff from you, like the handstands, I’m just wondering if people go through a transition where they want to focus more on building strength, or at least it sounds like we had similar journeys there. So, that’s your…

Sam Gach: It sounds like we have, I think. I mean, I don’t know as far as age, but I would say for me one thing that I have experienced and I think I’m not alone in is with the yoga journey, specifically, I think that as I’ve evolved, as I’ve grown as a person, as I’ve been more experienced, I think that I’ve grown and evolved in ways. So, one example is inversions and all those kind of tricks, I think those were really fun, and they are really fun, but I think that as I’ve grown and evolved, it’s not the most important thing to me anymore. And it’s still fun to do a handstand, but I think some of that, there is an ego component of, and I think that for a lot of people, they want to learn a handstand because they think it looks cool or they want to take photos of it or whatever.

And I think that as I’ve grown as a person, I just care less about that kind of thing, and not that there’s anything wrong with it, but I just care less about it and I care more about my strength. I care more about my mobility. And those things, I think, that are (A) a part of just growing as a yoga practitioner and also are like as a part of maturing in general. I care more about some of those things that are just better for me as a person than just things that are just cool tricks, which again, there’s nothing wrong with it, but hey, I feel like they don’t have the same impact on my life now that other things do.

Dean Pohlman: Yeah. And what’s interesting about that is the required strength and mobility for doing those advanced movements, most people don’t have it and then they end up doing it and hurting themselves, kind of sounds like a similar experience that you and I had. And so, now we’re actually building that strength and mobility so that we feel good. And so, when we start approaching 40 and we’re like, I can still do a handstand, then we’re going to be ready because we’ve spent 10 years building strength and mobility.

Sam Gach: Yeah. Well, I feel like it’s the marathon versus sprint kind of thing. I feel like when you get started with things, like a lot of times, it’s so exciting. And I mean, social media is the same way. It reminds me, I’ve thought about this a lot. When you get going with something, like sometimes early on, it’s like, how can you do the most in the shortest amount of time? But then I think over time, you start to think of it more as a longer-term longevity thing that you’re like, okay, how can I be just the best version of myself and continue to be that and continue to get better and better over time rather than just like, how can I do everything right now? So, I think that makes a big difference too.

Dean Pohlman: Yeah, that makes sense to me. Alright. So, moving on to “rapid-fire questions,” I’d love to hear about, one, a habit, a belief, a mindset, something like that, that has helped you the most or something that’s helped you a lot in terms of your overall happiness.

Sam Gach: Yeah, so I would say writing and journaling and just reflecting and goal setting, I think, has been a huge thing for me that I started doing several years ago where I would just sit down. And I mean, I was in a place where I was just not happy really at all. And I sat down one day and I just was like, okay, what do I need to do to be happier? I felt like I was stuck and I needed to kind of just sit down and think it through and think about all the different areas of my life. And so, ever since then, I have regularly reflected on all the different areas of my life and I check in with myself and how are things going in all these areas and I set goals for each area based on where I’m at. And I feel like that has been something that’s completely changed my life, it’s like just writing things down and setting those intentions for the different areas of my life with really the ultimate idea and goal being happiness and wellbeing, and so, yeah.

Dean Pohlman: I’m glad you brought that up because that’s something that really intrigues me. How often do you do that? And do you have a specific structure or format that you use for it? Or is it more freeform or what?

Sam Gach: Yeah, so when I first did it, it was some random day that I did that and I wrote down and I ended up with this list of basically like a to-do list of these are the things that I need to take action on. And since then, I basically do this exercise right before a new year and I do this where I will reflect in all the different areas of my life, write about each area, and then basically write what my kind of goal is for the next year. And then I’ll do a mid-year check-in on each of them and kind of write, like reflect on how things are going in the middle of the year. So, I do that cadence, and then also every week, I will write down kind of my goals for that week.

And based on what’s going on with my life, what’s going on with work, I’ll set just like, what are my goals? And then I write down every single day and write what I’m going to do each day. And this is something that I started working for myself because I felt so overwhelmed with all the tasks I needed to do, and without having any structure of being told what to do anymore, I had to figure it out for myself. And so, that’s worked really well for me.

Dean Pohlman: Cool. I’m wondering, are your goals like, and do you write them as goals or do you write them as these are the things that I need to work on today? Is it a to-do list or is it goals?

Sam Gach: It’s a combo. Well, the weekly list of goal, as I write it as goals, some of them are just things that I need to do, others are just goals. And then the daily is a to-do list. So, I’ll break it down into like, what do I need to do each day to reach those goals? But the list for the week is more of a list of goals, and then the to-do list is kind of for the day to break it down.

Dean Pohlman: Gotcha. Yeah, I found the similar need, like as if you’re doing your own thing like you have to, you can’t just go to your computer and say, okay, well, let’s go, and then just not have any plan and just start doing whatever comes to you. So, yeah, I live in notecards. So, my wife hates this. No, she doesn’t hate them, but I think she’s annoyed by the sheer amount of note cards that I have just all over the house. Or like, it’s Saturday morning, she’s like, “Let’s relax.” I’m like, “There’s a list to make.” I mean, we have a child anyways, there’s no relaxing. I’m a list person as well.

Sam Gach: I love a good list.

Dean Pohlman: Yeah, seriously. Alright, cool. So, what’s one thing that you do for your health that you believe is overlooked or undervalued by others?

Sam Gach: One thing that I think doesn’t get talked about enough is therapy, and I think that everyone should at least at some point do therapy because it’s one of those things, mental health has such stigma. I mean, therapy, like everything in that area, has such stigma, I think, especially for men. And so, I think that’s something that a lot of people, I mean, we grew up in a society where people have an association that doing that means you have problems or you’re weak or all these things that are just simply not true. And no matter what your situation is, I think that– and that’s just one example, but I think doing things for your mental health is so important. And once you’re able to prioritize that, it can make a huge difference in your life. And I think a lot of people overlook it, don’t understand the value of it, or just don’t prioritize it.

Dean Pohlman: Yeah, I totally agree with that. I do therapy once a week. I’ve been doing it for probably three years now, but I don’t think about it as like, I’m going to work on my problems. I think about it as like, this is like a massage, this is like a weekly massage for my mental health. It’s just something that contributes to me being happy.

Sam Gach: Yeah, 100%. I think, for me, I feel like everyone who does therapy starts for a different reason, and nobody knows what it’s going to be like. But for me, I feel like I started to work on my problems, and then like now, I mostly just go because I know it’s a healthy habit. I’m not always working on problems. Sometimes, it’s just like, no, this just helps me to do. And so, I think whether you have problems that you– I mean, everyone has problems, whether that’s what you’re thinking of or if it’s just more like you want to just be the best version of yourself, and then it’s something that just helps you to be the best version of yourself.

Dean Pohlman: Yeah, I mean, it’s a continuing practice to be more open, more vulnerable, and more honest with yourself. And you have someone there who’s guiding you through it. And also, how often do you have someone who’s just going to sit there and listen to you for an hour? Would your best friend listen to you for an hour if you wanted to talk about yourself? No, they would steer the conversation somewhere else within two minutes, but you have someone who just sits there and says…

Sam Gach: Definitely not every week.

Dean Pohlman: I feel that, yeah.

Sam Gach: And they know the right things to say too, like, it’s not always– and you don’t always need advice on things, you don’t always need someone to tell you, and with a friend, most people, just like with friends, it’s great. I mean, it’s so important to have a support network with friends and family, but these people aren’t trained in how to listen to you talk about your life. And so, to have someone who’s like they know exactly how to do that, it’s just completely different nd it’s it’s amazing, so yeah.

Dean Pohlman: Yeah. And men in particular are problem solvers. So, if you tell another guy about like, “Hey, this is what I’m going through.” They’re like, “Well, let me tell you what you should do.”

Sam Gach: Yep, completely.

Dean Pohlman: Oh, no, no, no. I just wanted to talk. Sorry.

Sam Gach: Yeah, exactly. And so, yeah, I feel like the more I’ve done therapy, the more I’m aware when I’m talking to just a friend or something of how these people just don’t know how to help people or just listen, people just don’t know how to do that. That’s another thing. When you do things like therapy, you learn how to listen to other people.

Dean Pohlman: Right. Then you try to therapy other people, you’re like, how does that make you feel?

Sam Gach: Yeah. And you’re just like, oh, I totally understand. And you’re not telling them what to do, you’re just like, yes, I hear you, like that sounds hard.

Dean Pohlman: But people usually like it. I try to play the therapist in situations. I’m like, “How does that make you feel?” Well, I feel, they’re like, they love it, people love it. Yes, how they feel about something or some people don’t, some people don’t have the ability to access that and then ask, “What do you mean how do I feel? I just described the situation.”

Sam Gach: I feel fine, yeah.

Dean Pohlman: I’m fine. Exactly. Alright. Good. Glad we both agree on therapy. So, alright, next question. I already talked about regularly reflecting kind of analyzing yourself because it sounds like you do that weekly and bi-annually. Do you have a set time for any other regular stress relief activity? And what do you do for that?

Sam Gach: Yeah, I mean, for me, I’ve learned this, but I think the best thing that most people can do for stress relief is exercise. And so, I try to do something every day and I think that’s another thing like moving can throw you off with your exercise routine and your routine. And so, every time I’ve moved, that’s always throwing me off in one way or another. But when you have a regular daily exercise, whatever it is, whether it’s even going for a walk or it’s doing CrossFit or it’s doing yoga or whatever, that is probably the number one best stress relief there is. So, I think having that as a daily routine is so impactful, not just for your physical health but your mental health. It’s like people say that, obviously, but it really is true. The best thing you can do for stress is exercise.

Dean Pohlman: Yeah, 100%. And just because you brought it up, new environments are highly moldable for habits. So, I think it is a tendency for us to lose our habits and lose the good habits that we developed when you move into a new environment, but if you can keep that in mind when you’re moving into your new environment, so let’s say you’re moving houses, you’re moving to a new apartment, or you’re moving to another city, if you can keep in mind, as you’re traveling there or you’re getting there, like, hey, these are three things I’m going to start doing, and you do them on the first day, and they work out, then that’s the only thing that you know how to do in that new environment. And so, you’re so much more likely to repeat that. So, it’s actually a really good time to build good habits.

Sam Gach: Yeah, I haven’t heard that before, but I like that. It makes sense because, yeah, I feel like when you’re in a new environment, it can be easy to lose your other existing habits, but you kind of have a fresh slate so you can just very much more easily create a new habit because you don’t have any habits in that new place, so you can kind of create that. Yeah, I like that.

Dean Pohlman: Yeah. And if you’re looking for some validity to that point, next time you go on vacation, just think about that as you’re going on vacation and you’ll notice, like you wake up, you’re like, “What do I do right now?” And since we’re talking about habits like Atomic Habits, Tiny Habits by BJ Fogg, and then The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg, any of that stuff, I’m huge fan of that stuff, really interested in building habits and how that works. So, if you’re listening, you haven’t read those books, you should definitely check those out.

Sam Gach: Love it.

Dean Pohlman: Cool. What’s the most stressful part of your day-to-day life?

Sam Gach: I would say just running a business and being responsible for my own success. It’s amazing and liberating, as I’m sure you’ve experienced, but it’s also very stressful to be just like– for there not to be any guarantee of any of that, not to have someone else being like, okay, good job, here’s your money. Or here’s just your success or your gold star, like it’s completely up to you. And so, I think, for me, it’s been really amazing, and I am so much happier doing that, but it’s also way more stressful because there’s so much more uncertainty with everything. So, I think that’s probably my biggest source of stress is just like being in charge of everything and being in charge of my own wellbeing and success without really anyone else handing that to you.

Dean Pohlman: Yeah, I think that’s something hard to understand for people who haven’t been in that situation because so many people are used to, okay, I’m locked into this job. This is where I get my paycheck. This is where I get my health benefits. I have to be working during this time. I can take sick days sometimes, but when it’s you for yourself, you can take sick days, but that’s not taking away from somebody else, taking away from yourself.

Sam Gach: Exactly. And the show doesn’t keep running by another employee, that’s going to just fill in for you. I mean, it depends, like sometimes you have other people helping you, but for a lot of it, yeah, if you take a sick day, I mean, it’s important to do that, but yeah, then you’re like, oh, well, then, this stuff isn’t going to get done. And so, it is hard, there’s that pressure to keep going, even though sometimes it’s really important to take a break.

Dean Pohlman: Yeah. I probably should have taken a break today. If you watch the video, you’ll see me coughing off the screen with me being muted, but I just really want to do this conversation. So, I think I need to take my own advice a little bit more but anyway.

Sam Gach: Yeah. It’s hard, especially when you have the opportunity to talk to someone so magnificent.

Dean Pohlman: Yeah, exactly.

Sam Gach: Like, how do you take your sick day and a day like today, it’s so hard, but it is so important, though. You have to take care of yourself.

Dean Pohlman: Yeah, and we can talk about that a lot, but I’m going to ask you the last big question instead. So, what do you think is the biggest challenge facing men and their wellbeing right now?

Sam Gach: I think that it’s these societal expectations and stigmas around basically everything related to taking care of yourself for men. We’ve talked about mental health. I think there’s these ideas that men are supposed to be strong, and seeking help is weak, which is obviously, like, we know, you and I know it’s not true, but there’s these just expectations and ideas that I think a lot of people just grow up believing. And it’s really hard to undo that and it’s really hard to think differently. So, I think that’s really hard.

And then anything, like the same with yoga, a lot of people think of yoga or flexibility and those things which are really important and beneficial as like there are more women than men doing those things still today. The work I’m doing, the work you’re doing is helping to work to change that, but these societal expectations and stigmas around things do make it a lot harder for men with these different areas.

Dean Pohlman: Yeah, the hard thing about that is even once you logically or intellectually understand that that’s not the case, you still have to fight the internal belief systems, like the emotional basis of all of those thoughts. That’s something that I struggle with a lot is like, yes, intellectually, I can understand something, but emotionally, it’s very difficult for me to process something.

Sam Gach: Yeah. There’s a difference between knowing and feeling. And you can know something to be true, but you don’t feel that truth or you don’t feel like it’s true. And I think that applies to a lot of things, but they’re very different. And I think that your brain and your emotions are not always on the same page.

Dean Pohlman: No, they’re not.

Sam Gach: And your logic and your emotions especially are not always on the same page.

Dean Pohlman: Yeah. Well, we flipped this all the time, but our emotions are supported by logic, it’s not logic supporting. We emotionally decide on something and then use the logic that fits the emotional decision. It’s not the other way around. It’s like, oh, you know what? This is a really good answer. I’m going to stick with this. It’s like emotionally, I’m feeling this way. So, I’m going to find stuff, Google stuff that fits this mindset. See, I was right.

Sam Gach: Yeah.

Dean Pohlman: Alright. So, we got through a lot of really cool topics today. Thanks for all that we went through. What’s the best way for someone to learn more about what you do, to learn more about all the frog poses and all the stuff that you’re doing?

Sam Gach: So, you can connect with me on social media, my name, Sam Gach. That’s my handle on the platforms. My website also has more information about me and the things I do. And there’s my email list and everything that you can get there too to get those kinds of updates, but social media is going to be where I’m kind of like keeping the most up-to-date stuff.

Dean Pohlman: Are you TikToking?

Sam Gach: I am TikToking.

Dean Pohlman: Oh, cool.

Sam Gach: Are you?

Dean Pohlman: I’m not cool enough yet, no.

Sam Gach: You’re not cool enough yet. You’ll get there.

Dean Pohlman: I haven’t gotten into the creative space where TikTok is an appropriate format for what I do. I’m still like, I create longer-form content. So, cramming what I usually put into like a 20-second video, no one’s going to watch it.

Sam Gach: You know what, Dean? We may have to work on that. We may have to work on the TikTok.

Dean Pohlman: It’s an area of opportunity.

Sam Gach: Isn’t it? Well, just like YouTube is an area of opportunity for me. I don’t know how to expand my short videos into very long videos. I do, I mean I do, like I do have long videos like my app and stuff like that, but I don’t know. YouTube is a different format, I’m not used to it. But you can’t do everything too, it’s hard to do it all so you have to focus.

Dean Pohlman: You could hire 27 people. And you can have one person for each platform, and maybe it’ll work out, but that’s a lot to do, so.

Sam Gach: Yeah, TikTok is an interesting one, though. I feel like it can be very entertaining as a user and as a creator. It’s like a very different experience from other platforms, for sure. So, it’s interesting. You’re going to have to check it out and keep me posted.

Dean Pohlman: I’m going to have to eventually get on it and start doing things, but I haven’t been forced there yet, so.

Sam Gach: That’s good. Hold out as long as you can. Enjoy your free TikTok life.

Dean Pohlman: Yeah, I’m going to wait until the next big social media platform comes along, and then I’ll jump on that, maybe I can just skip the TikTok.

Sam Gach: Maybe. I don’t know.

Dean Pohlman: We’ll see.

Sam Gach: I don’t know. What’s the next one?

Dean Pohlman: I don’t know. I’m just going to stick to YouTube and organic search.

Sam Gach: Yeah, well, those are good. Those are good. I don’t think they’re going away.

Dean Pohlman: I hope not. I really hope not. Alright, sweet. Thank you again. Oh, wait, I wanted to ask, what is the origin of Gach, Gach, Gach?

Sam Gach: Oh, Gach. It is German, I guess.

Dean Pohlman: It’s German, okay.

Sam Gach: I think. I don’t know. The only people who ever get my name right on the first try is German people.

Dean Pohlman: Okay.

Sam Gach: That just makes me– I know that I’m part German somewhere in there, so I’m guessing that’s where that came from, but that’s why I think that. I don’t know.

Dean Pohlman: Got it. Okay, good to know. Thanks for answering that. Alright, guys. Thank you so much for listening to this episode with Sam Gach. Yeah, I’ll see you guys on the next episode, the next video. Sam, thanks for your time. Thanks for your honesty with all these questions.

Sam Gach: Yeah, thank you.

Dean Pohlman: Cool. Alright. Bye, guys.



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2 thoughts on “Getting Your Mind and Body on the Same Page | Sam Gach Yoga | Better Man Podcast Ep. 007”

  1. I just finished another episode of the podcast. I really enjoy the deep discussions and helpful insights. For this episode, it was my first introduction to Sam Gach and his work.

    Looking forward to the next episode.

    Robert R

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