Episode 92: Taryn Toomey, Founder of The Class

Taryn Toomey is the founder of The Class, a mind-body fitness experience so unlike anything else, it simply was known as The Class.

In this episode, hear how she traded a career in fashion for one in fitness and mindfulness, how an experience with grief created the beginnings of this unexplainable workout and the steps you can take right now to live more mindfully and authentically.

This is the first of our monthly live recording events as Podcast-In-Residence at Saks Fifth Avenue New York City.

Dan Hodgdon
AnnouncerWelcome to WHERE BRAINS MEET BEAUTY® hosted by Jodi Katz, Founder and Creative Director of Base Beauty Creative Agency.
Jodi KatzThis morning I woke up and I was 80% excited, but 20% totally terrified. And then, now I feel 99% excited and only 1% terrified. Am I shaking? A little bit. Hello, everybody. My name is Jodi Katz. I am the creator and host of WHERE BRAINS MEET BEAUTY® Podcast. The podcast is actually my side hustle. My day job, I own Base Beauty Creative Agency. We're the omni-channel branding agency, and we're hyper focused on beauty and wellness.

I am so grateful to be here with you all tonight. So many familiar faces in the room, and so many new faces. You are here for a live podcasting event. I'm actually recording right now, right, Kiwi?
KiwiYes, ma'am.
Jodi KatzYeah, we're recording right now? So if you have a giant sneeze, you will get to hear it on the download, which will be really cool, even if that was me. So before we state, and before I bring our guest out, I wanna do a little bit of housekeeping. Everybody should have a card on their seat, a seat card. On the yellow side of the card, you'll find all of the key social media essentials.

So if you're having a little bit of trouble with service in here, just shut off your WiFi for a few minutes, use your LTE to able to post, because you know, it's a big building, the WiFi's not that great for guests. So just do that during the life of the event. So you'll have all of our handles here. On the reverse side, our upcoming events. So more podcasts and residence events. Today, as you know, we're joined by Taryn Toomey. Next month, Laura Slatkin, founder of NEST Fragrances, and in March, Trish McEvoy, super famous makeup artist and founder of her brand.

So that's that housekeeping. So I mentioned that this is a live podcast recording, but as much as it is about podcast, tonight is about connecting. I've had the pleasure of learning how to connect more and more with people over the past few years. Networking was not something I knew, I had to learn it. So I'd love for you to indulge me for a moment, and please find someone near you that you've never see before. Turn to them, introduce yourself, and just do that for me for one moment please.

Okay, this is so cool. And I even see business cards being exchanged. So we will now take a break from networking. You will have more time to network after our program. Well, and before eight, so you'll have more time for networking and business exchanges, and getting to know each other. So thank you for indulging me so much. Now I wanna learn more about all of you.

So just by a raise of hands, how many people here work in the beauty industry or the fitness industry? It's like half the room? That's pretty interesting. And how many came tonight because Taryn Toomey, our guest, already has a place in your heart? Yeah, that's a lot a people, which is pretty awesome. And then how many came tonight just because your curious, or interested, or walking by, or were shopping, or? Oh my God, everybody planned to be here. That's pretty cool, right?

We had a lot of our RSVPs, I'm so grateful that it didn't snow or rain. 'Cause you're all here tonight. So thank you for that. Okay, so we will be taking questions. Taryn will be taking questions. But we're gonna do it in a kind of fun way, so if everybody could go to your Instagram, 'cause it's already on, I know it is. Go to @wherebrainsmeetbeautypodcast. Our feed, @wherebrainsmeetbeautypodcast, I'll give you a moment to do that.

Okay, so, we will be taking questions tonight on WHERE BRAINS MEET BEAUTY® Podcast, on today's post. So it's a picture of me standing right where I am right now. So, okay. So find that post, and you can use the comments section to submit your questions. Okay? So just as you're sitting here relaxing and learning from Taryn, as questions pop up in your head, don't be shy, there's no stupid questions, right? Be brave. Post your questions here. At the end of the conversation, we will be pulling our three favorite questions from the comments section. But wait, there's more. Those three authors of the questions should stay 'til the end because we have big swag bags for you, courtesy of the podcast, and Saks, and The Class by Taryn Toomey. So please stay 'til the end, submit your questions, we're super excited to hear from you.

And as I mentioned, the WiFi's challenging in here, so please go to LTE if you're having trouble, to post those questions. Okay? So that's that piece of housekeeping. Let's see what's next. I have to have time to thank all the important people who have helped make this possible.

I want to first thank the visionary team at Saks. I said to them, "Let's do this." And they said, "Let's do this." I mean, that's kind of crazy, that you can just ask for something and then it happens. It's not the way I knew that the world worked. I had to learn to trust. But this is pretty amazing. So let's thank Saks's Kate Oldham, she's the Senior Vice President of Beauty. The team here, Brian Socia and Nicole Friscia and most especially, Molly Zupancich.
Molly ZupancichThat's it.
Jodi KatzDid I get that?
Molly ZupancichGot it.
Jodi Katz…who knows everybody in beauty, and is right there, thank you Molly.

Okay. I told you I was super jittery, this morning when I woke up. But my jitters were calmed down because I got to do something really fun. My team and I went around the bend to the corner of the store and had facial workouts at Face Gym. Has anyone been to Face Gym? Oh hey, there's Elise.
Jodi KatzThat's my Face Gym instructor?
Jodi KatzTrainer. Okay, it was so much fun, and it's right there in the corner of the store in the front. So definitely check that out any time for that. And thank you, Elise, for stopping by. She's on her way out the door, so it's cool that you came. And then a special thanks to Kim Soane. She's my friend, she's actually from my town, but she's also the executive director of North America Artistry of Bobby Brown, and she's responsible for the artistry here, for myself and my team. So thank you, Kim.

Okay, more thank yous. My team, our executive producer Aleni, our publicist Cate, and our assistant producer, who's not here because she is on an audition in LA, 'cause she's a performer. So that's Carey, thank you to her. Okay, two other special thank yous. Or three, my husband who's here. That's David. Who's our pseudo IT person as well. That's not his day job.

So this podcast was not my idea. I never dreamed of being a podcaster. It never even occurred to me, but I was working with me coach Alan Cohen. We started working together two and a half years ago. And I told him that, "I don't wanna network, I don't wanna go to parties, I don't wanna sit at bars, I wanna go home, put my PJs on and watch The Real Housewives."

I'm not great it groups. I'm really uncomfortable in big groups, but I'm great one on one. So he went home, he meditated on it, and he called me the next day and he said, "You should start a podcast." And I said, "What?" But I believed in him, and I trusted, and here we are now. So this is super exciting. The other person I wanna thank is Maggie Ciafardini. So Maggie is my advisor, who taught me how to be brave and bold. 'Cause I wasn't, I was really not. I would have a lot of ideas but just didn't have the courage to go for them. So thanks to her, we're here tonight. She introduced me to Kate at Saks, and the rest is history. So thank you to all of you.

Okay, before I bring our guest on stage, I wanna tell you about WHERE BRAINS MEET BEAUTY® Podcast. This month we're celebrating our two-year anniversary as a podcast. Thank you. I'll get a little bit emotional right now. It's incredibly meaningful to celebrate it in this way. Now I'm gonna start shaking. As someone who suffers from self-doubt, I feel like that's my disease, to be able to two years later, from having the first episode, to now standing in front of all of you in this beautiful space, with this incredible guest, and be able to present this. And we launch episodes weekly. Every Wednesday there's a new episode. To be able to be celebrating that today like this is really beyond meaningful, and I will be crying later, because of all the excitement. So thank you all for supporting this, and please tell your friends.

Okay, so what is WHERE BRAINS MEET BEAUTY® Podcast? We are a podcast rooted in the beauty and wellness industries, but we don't talk about beauty tips, or fitness tips. We don't talk about new launches, or sales and revenue. We focus completely on personal journey. So that could be life work balance, mindset, and of course, career choices. My goal in creating the podcast was to humanize the business. I've been in this business for a really long time. I was feeling super disconnected from what I was seeing on stage at events. Which we're celebrations of people selling their business for millions and billions of dollars.

I wasn't connecting with it, that wasn't my story. So on the podcast I celebrate everybody in our business. We have guests who most certainly are the people that you see on the cover Woman's Wear Daily, and in other publications, right? Those founds or CEOs who are super well known, we have those people as guests. But also, we have guests who are very behind the scenes. You would never know their name unless they were on the podcast. And we have guests who are entrepreneurs who have yet to reach their goals.

So we talk about a lot of things on our podcasts. It starts with career and it evolves. It's a judgment free zone, and I think that our guests feel super safe and comfortable being vulnerable on the show. So the conversation kind of evolves from career journey into divorce, infertility, loss, living for other people, self-doubt, which is my favorite topic.

And I think it's really important to honor these stories, because our guests found ways to evolve, and grow as humans through these stories. And for me, somebody who was feeling so challenged and lost in the business, for me that's the best career advice I could ever have, right? To be able to learn how to trust, and have faith in myself and the journey.

So tonight, we are joined by the magnetic Taryn Toomey. Yes, yes, yes, yes. (applause)
Taryn ToomeyHow do I get in here? How do I get in here?
Jodi KatzTaryn is the founder of The Class by Taryn Toomey. A transcending practice featured in Vogue and the New York Times, and many other places. With a presence throughout North America, Taryn leads her clients on a virtually unexplainable workout. A deep soul journey to embrace their past, and open oneself to a higher purpose and greater fulfillment. Taryn Toomey.
Taryn ToomeyCongratulations on that long beautiful story of your husband helping you find your way off the couch. Husband's like, "Let's go." I love it though. Congrats on it.
Jodi KatzThank you. So it is so meaningful to be here with you.
Taryn ToomeyThank you.
Jodi KatzI took your class yesterday morning, and I love fitness. And I love thinking, and feeling, and your class gave me all of that in one. I didn't know what to expect. And then, you have so many fans here tonight. Will you cheer for Taryn if you've taken her class?
Taryn ToomeyGreat, thank you.
Jodi KatzSo let's start with one of my favorite questions for our guest. It's a very simple question, but I love that, the day today. How did you spend your day today?
Taryn ToomeyMy day today, what day of the week is it?
Jodi KatzIt's Wednesday.
Taryn ToomeyIt's Wednesday. Okay, so I woke up, I got my kids dressed and did some things that I usually do, which is let them be completely distracted, and then when it's time to go, start to yell at them and tell them, "It's time to go. What aren't you listening to me?" While I'm in the middle of fighting with them and ... So, that's kind of a true story.

Drop them at school, and then what did I do? I went to a meeting, went to a meeting, and then I went and went to back to the office, took five different calls, and then I taught my class, The Class advanced with live drummer, Kayla Spalding, which was just off the charts amazing to have the live music in the room.

And then I went and had another meeting, and then it was all about trying to figure out how to get up here in time after I've showered and I've ...
Jodi KatzCan y'all hear her okay?
Taryn ToomeyI have a deep husky voice.
Jodi KatzYeah, okay, yeah, yeah. So yeah, lets move in closer. I want them to hear every word. That's so much better.
Taryn ToomeyIs that better?
Jodi KatzYeah, that's way better, right? Oh my God, look at how many people are in here.
Taryn ToomeyHi, everyone.
Jodi KatzOkay, so I want you to tell us, what is The Class?
Taryn ToomeyThe Class is a mind, body cathartic workout where we intentionally engage discomfort in the physical body to close the eyes and witness what the mind does around the feeling. And in that space, we will track different thoughts that we've had. We've noticed how long we've had that thought about the feeling, and then understand the power of choice. It's a map-based workout, one muscle group per song on a repetitive motion.

So it's, you'll squat for an entire song, your eyes closed, and you watch what the mind does, understanding that the brain is an organ. It has a function, it creates thought, it's just doing it's job. There's a part of you that's hearing the thought, which is your consciousness, your soul, your spirit, call it what you will.

And once the brain is creating a thought about the feeling, which we're using the body to engage the feeling, we notice the thought about the feeling and then understand the power of choice. From there you can start or stop the movement. You can doubt yourself, you can blame, you can look around and get in your neighbor's business, or you can focus your attention on just getting through one more and practice presence.

All of the above, it's like you said earlier, it's a judgment free zone. Nobody is telling you to do anything. Its a, you experiencing yourself in an essence, self actualizing and self realizing that it's up to you.
Jodi KatzSo in The Class, you said often, and it really connected with me. If it doesn't feel good, don't do it.
Taryn ToomeyDoesn't feel right, don't do it, yeah. That's how we start a lot of the classes. It's the hands on the body, and what we're saying, and when we repeat the same thing over and over, you'll notice that it changes shape, right? Somebody's like, "It doesn't feel right, don't do it." And you're like, "Yeah, yeah, yeah, get it, get it." And then if your hands are on your body and you're saying, "It doesn't feel right, don't do it." If it doesn't feel right, don't do it. Doesn't feel right, don't do ... You start to say it more and more.

Different things come up from the psyche that that kind of has resonates with. So a lot of the work is just repeating and then repeating. Nobody's teaching anything in there in the way of, "And my mom did this, and this is what happened, and this is what I do now about it." It's just very, very kind of blanket terms allowing one to experience themselves, really. We're engaging one and their own personal experience of self.
Jodi KatzLet's bring your mic a little closer, I wanna make sure everyone hears your words.
Taryn ToomeyOkey dokey.
Jodi KatzOkay. So when you say, "If it doesn't feel good,"-
Taryn ToomeyDoesn't feel right.
Jodi KatzRight, it doesn't feel right, I'm actually was thinking about that not physical, but emotional.
Taryn ToomeyThat's right.
Jodi Katz'Cause my obstacle is not my quads, it's here.
Taryn ToomeyYeah.
Jodi KatzThat's what gets in my way every single time.
Taryn ToomeyYeah, I mean, that's some of the whole for the most part. I mean, we talk a lot about the difference between resistance and injury. People are dealing with injury in the body, that's all about taking care of yourself. And only you know if your excuse is based around injury or if it's actually that you just ... Or you have resistance because you're stepping up to the threshold of transformation where all of the excuses live.

I don't wanna do this, we're talking about physical, emotional, mental, spiritual, anything that you do. So understand the ability to tolerate sensation as you self-actualize, which is different than just dealing with somebody abusing or projecting, you know? And the nuance kind of ability to strip out those two things and notice when you are embodied and in your body, it's a much different experience than when you're just in your mind.

We use movement and music as medicine. And the medicine for me is being in your body, as opposed to being out of your body. And usually when you're in your mind, not usually, I mean, there's a lot of ... We could talk about that for so long. But when you're just in the mind, you're usually not that present, right? You're in some story, some fear that has not happened that you're reliving 50 times before it doesn't happen.

Or you're thinking about something that happened before. And you know, the intellect of the brain, it's a beautiful thing when it's used in the way of ... You feel like you're in your body, you ask yourself a question, and then you allow the mind, or, right? Or you're at work and you're working with these different types of executing or action. But when you're just in a state of disassociation, or you're just out, that's different. And that's what we're practicing in The Class.

Understanding your feeling something, and you probably wanna get out. And your ability to tolerate the feeling, because you know what it is in that class, it's strength. You get through one more, you get through one more, you stay present, you do one more, right? We're talking about life, when you're up against anything. Because you know that it's strength. That's the big difference. As opposed to knowing that it's you reconditioning the things that are not working, because we talk about all the time, what you repeat, you strengthen.

And when you repeat it, it makes it easier. Talk about your bicep curl, talk about your jumping jack. Talk about the destructive behavior of doing XYZ. You strengthen it every time you do it, so it's really self-awareness.
Jodi KatzRight, so when I'm talking to myself in my head and I'm saying, "No, it's too hard for me, I'm strengthening that, it's too hard for me. I'm convincing myself it's too hard for me."
Taryn ToomeyYeah. You can give the brain a job, that's the beautiful thing.
Jodi KatzRight, but I can also-
Taryn ToomeyYou can redirect it.
Jodi KatzTell it that it's not too hard for me. You kept saying, "There's just one more." And there's just one more.
Taryn ToomeyYeah.
Jodi KatzRight? So you're reminding me that I can get through that one, I don't have to worry about the 20 more to come.
Taryn ToomeyWell I'm just holding the space for you to remind yourself. That's really the truth. Nobody can do that work for you. No one, right? Is somebody's gonna tell you that they can do something for you, and are ... I mean, people can hold space for you, experience, but if it's not coming through you, and it's not you doing it, it's not gonna stick around, right?

It's like those things when you read an Instagram post and like, "Ha, that makes sense." Or you open a book and you're like, "Ah." But when you're doing it through the physical body, it stays with you and it becomes sematic. Which is really how and why I created The Class, because for me, it was just a completely different experience of experiencing my own ability through my body. And you're training yourself, right?

I mean, and you're training yourself to do this or that, or this or that, it's all awareness of what you're training.
Jodi KatzSo let's talk about the origin of The Class. Can you take us back to when this even wasn't called The Class?
Taryn ToomeyYeah. It was about seven years ago, I started teaching it in the basement in the gym of my building downtown for almost two years, a little under two years, with no name. With the intention to heal some grief that I was feeling from somebody that had passed away, and she had an orphanage down in Peru and left 25 children behind. So the way that I started teaching it was just to link up what was going on and remember my ...

I had just had my first daughter a couple of months earlier, and I spoke to my midwife, and she said, "Oh yeah, you have postpartum. We should probably put you on a low dose of whatever it was at the time. And I remember it was the first time anybody had told me I needed to be medicated. And I don't have any hit around medication. It's news for need it and not, and you know, everyone has their own choice. I just remember having this weird schism of, that didn't really feel right. And I never experienced grief before. And I sat with it for two weeks, and then I realized, "Whoa, this is not postpartum." I mean, maybe there was a little bit of it, I think in some ways a lot of experience that to some degree. But I started to teach The Class, and we would send the money every month to her children, just as a way to heal and keep her spirit alive.

So after about two years, there was a longer story behind why I stopped sending the funds down there. Gave it a name, The Class, because I couldn't think of what to call it. It was always a class. “You go into T's class”, you know, that kind of conversation. And then started teaching a kid's dance studio three times a week, and then slowly just started. People kept coming and I was just waiting for them to stop coming.

You know, people sometimes would leave. At the very beginning, they're like, "What is wrong with this chick, she's fucking out of her mind." Am I allowed to say that? Oops. So whatever. I just kept going because there's a part of me that just said, "Keep going, keep going." And I was feeling fulfilled by the amount of people that were feeling the benefits from it, that it kept me in the lane of all right, this is the way life goes.

When you share a part of yourself with the intention to heal to a world that is not very kind, and you get hit back by it, it's a really strange organization that you have to do to continue to do it, so I would bring it in the room, and then I would vaguely speak about it, and then I would move it through my body and I wouldn't be stuck around it.
Jodi KatzSo you would hear, I guess, critical feedback. Or feel criticized, I guess.
Taryn ToomeyYeah, I mean, what we're doing in there is a little bit different, right? We're shaking our body, you know? But only after we've acknowledged what the thoughts are, right? We gain the trust of the room, there's a very specific teacher training manual, of you don't walk in there and go, "Feel the spirit…”. You get people in their body, you get the music goin', you get the fire goin', and then you can drop in the felt sense of understanding, this is your body, this is your mind.

And you cannot, in my opinion, talk about those two things without understanding spirit. But we don't talk about the fact that you have a spirit embodied, that shows his body until you've really gained the trust of him. Especially with cynics, or people that are just like, "Whatever." Or you know, fill in the blank. So that's the method that we go about to understand that.

You know? We're having a spiritual experience where you're just literally in your brain all day and all night until you're not anymore. So that's my two cents about it.
Jodi KatzI think it's so interesting that there wasn't a lot of thought behind, and intent behind the name of the program called The Class, because it really actually feels so intentional. “The” is an article, right? I need my writers in the room. Right, “the”? So it gives it meaning and bigness. It makes it feel robust and valued. And the fact that it was just, "Well, I didn't know what to call it," so you called it The Class. It's really interesting to me.
Taryn ToomeyWell we went back and forth for about three months with all the people that were taking The Class, and they were saying things like, "Burning in the Balance was in the game for awhile. And things like Taryn's Tight End, I was like, "Oh my God." Could you imagine? It's just, it's the opposite of everything that we do in there. So it was the class in lower case letters with a period at the end, just in typewriter font. And the intention was that it can be anything you want, because we're just inviting people to experience themselves.

And the whole time it's do it or don't. You know? Do it or don't. And when you tell people that they don't have to do something, they often times do it, right? It's just this weird, or find that they're able to do it. So it can be physical, it can be emotional, it can be spiritual, it can be anything else. So I just thought that the name The Class allowed it to be whatever it is to the person that's coming in.

So there was intention, but it was also that I was like, "It's The Class, like ha ha ha," you know? And some people started saying that early on, like, "Who's this chick think she is, naming it The Class?" I remember those conversations like it was yesterday, 'cause I've got ... Oh, no, that's not what I mean. Please don't just project this thing that I think that it's this thing that it's not, 'cause it never was. It's never really been about me, you know? It's just holding a space for people.
Jodi KatzI think it's a really, really meaningful name.
Taryn ToomeyThank you.
Jodi KatzAnd I saw a lot of circles, right? You have circles in your logo?
Taryn ToomeyYeah.
Jodi KatzThe light fixture had intertwined circles?
Taryn ToomeyYeah, it's Christopher Boots. Yeah, beautiful, I love his work. And the crystals in the windows. So the logo, I drew because it's funny 'cause they just had asked me earlier what I define balance as, and I was saying it's like a pendulum, right? You pull it, and they talk about this in some of you more mentioned teachings and traditions. You pull it too far in one direction, when you let it go, it swings, right?

And you're at this midline, that's experiencing going off the midline, going on the midline. And when you let it go, it'll swing the other direction until it eventually slows down. So the intention is to not go too far from midline. So the logo is, you stepped in, you're in the midline, and then it's the circle, circle, circle. It gets bigger, it gets bigger, that's your burpee, that's the breakdown of somebody telling you news that you never ever wanted to hear, thought you didn't have to hear.

You go so far out of the thing because you're in the thing, and then it eventually comes back, eventually comes back, eventually comes back. Meanwhile, you're in the midline experiencing it all, and then you come out the other side, and then it's over. That's the burpee, that's the feeling, the experience, right? It all ends, none of it is permanent. So we practice that through the body, right?
Jodi KatzBut and you drew this? This was your idea?
Taryn ToomeyWe hired two different agencies and you know, they give you three stamps, and you're like, "No." And they're like, "You're wrong, everything about you is wrong." And I just think, "Ah," you know? Because I've always felt things through my eyes. So I realize that after a while I think I just have to take this over. So I just drew it.
Jodi KatzThat's awesome.
Taryn ToomeyThank you.
Jodi KatzSo as you were talking about, sometimes when you tell people you don't have to do it they do it. And I immediately started to think about raising kids. So let's talk about that.
Taryn ToomeyAll right.
Jodi KatzHow has what you've learned and grown in The Class influenced your style of parenting?
Taryn ToomeyThat's a good question. So a lot of what's going on in The Class has allowed me to understand the power of choice and an action. Right? And it's very easy for us to understand. I mean, I think we all work on this, this day and age. We hear it all the time about patterns and reconditioning and lineage and all the things that we pass down. And you don't realize how true that is until you actually become a mother or a father and you realize, "Oh my God, I am sounding like my mother. Right?" And then it's like real. You're like, "Oh, okay." So the ability to catch yourself in the state of filling the blank, notice it become present, get in your body and then decide choice and action. Believing that at least for me, and not even just believing, that's a silly word to say, we are their first entry point of intimacy and love and what we're teaching them and how we're teaching them to be is going to end up being the landscape for their life.

And I just love my little girls so much. I mean, you know what it's like when you have a child. Right? It's like the most difficult thing in the world and it's also, you don't know, you can't remember life before it. And like a love that you didn't know was possible. I think it's all like instinctual and primal in many ways. But that I just really, I don't want my girls to have to torture themselves the way that I did, and I think that the ability to be self aware and to pause before action and words. And understanding that they are containing what you're doing in the best way they can organize. I try to let my girls be totally free spirits while understanding like basic kind of ways of life. It's not like, "Go out and like cut the line and like poop on the floor." You obviously want them to understand but like to nurture them in a way where they feel like they can be themselves and express, and I mean you can already see the difference in the two and that's really everything we do in The Class. All the things that I just said. We're practicing really parenthood-
Jodi KatzRight.
Taryn Toomey... Life and relationship with yourself and with others. And yeah.
Jodi KatzAnd you just mentioned torture yourself. What does that mean you were torturing yourself?
Taryn ToomeyThe internal kind of disassociated ways because of early childhood stuff that went on, and I think it shows up later on in life in many ways throughout life. And the things that you say to yourself and the things that you believe about yourself and the lack of understanding that it's really not about present day. So I had to do a lot of work around all that. I still do, it's why I think I can teach what I teach and I do what I do. Just because a lot of the ways that life was presented for me.
Jodi KatzSo for me that kind of stuff comes up as, there's this saying, "If it's hysterical it's historical."
Taryn ToomeyYeah.
Jodi KatzSo when I'm getting like really on top of something that's probably pretty minor, I've learned to be able to like stop and think about this feeling and get out of the what's happening today. Because it's just not about that person or that event or that thing that was sad. But it takes a lot of practice.
Taryn ToomeyYeah. It's just practice.
Jodi KatzRight? We get unraveled like I said.
Taryn ToomeyIt all goes back to self-awareness. I mean, at the end of the day it's awareness. It's awareness that you're feeling hysterical. It's awareness that you want to fill in the blank. It's just awareness around it. And at times I've practiced this thing where you just kind of 360 point-of-view yourself, bird's eye point-of-view and see it, see yourself in that state. But you can't do that unless you're aware that you're doing it.
Jodi KatzRight.
Taryn ToomeySo it's self-awareness at the end of the day.
Jodi KatzSo I like actually to talk to myself in my head a lot. Especially when these things happen. Do you have a process where used sort of started to solve this for yourself so you can be more you, more whole.
Taryn ToomeyIt's just that I notice when I'm really feeling triggered about something and I've learned to really take some breaths around it, especially if it's a text message. Or like something where you can actually just put the thing away. And then you become your practice in that, like you practice it. And then that's how it starts to become that much easier and just becomes the way you are now. I really believe in the power of the pause, of like pausing when you feel that, taking time getting out of the triggered state and then acting from a place where you can stay in relationship with people. And we were talking about this a little bit earlier that I really have found a way now where I can be in conversation with people about the way I'm feeling about something without being combative, and stay in relationship with them.

And I think for people to be able to do that, to be able to express different points of view and so staying relationship without somebody being like, "Your wrong." Or like, "Yeah." And just be like, "Okay." Holding your space in your body, understanding respect for yourself, respect for others' opinions. And from there I think the breadth of the way you can experience these things, these hysterical things. It's just like you're just aware that it's happening as opposed to like, "I have no control, this is happening."
Jodi KatzSo were you ever that person who was screaming to have your point of view heard? Was-
Taryn ToomeyNo, I noticed like that when I would feel like I didn't have a choice about something or somebody who's telling me I would feel a certain way. Those are the times when I would become very, very frustrated. And yeah, I used to, with certain people and I wouldn't say I was screaming at them, but I grew up in a house where yelling was the normal, and the way that love was given is that you would yell and kind of all the things would happen. And then after that, two hours later you would get all this love and, "Oh, oh, I'm so sorry." Or whatever it was. So I learned that you can easily express, "I hate you to someone," and then they're supposed to just come back and be okay with you being like, "Okay, we're good now. We're good now."
Jodi KatzAs if nothing happened?
Taryn ToomeyAnd they would be like, "What do you ..." I'll be like, "Excuse me, like I don't process like that. I'm a different human." And I started to realize that if I wanted to stay in relationship with these people, I had to look at my behavior and what I was doing. So it becomes you free yourself and then your freedom too, by allowing yourself to have awareness around just the pattern. And that's what we do in The Class. We're using the physical body to notice the feeling and notice the thought about the feeling and then notice what part of it is pattern. How long have you been saying that? How long have you been thinking about that? And then from there it's like, "Oh." And then you open up these intuitive channels in your body and you start to experience things from the felt sense of intuition as opposed to from intellect. There's different conversation that goes on in there.
Jodi KatzSo were you practicing these approaches to life before the first class?
Taryn ToomeyYeah, I mean The Class is really a manifestation of my 40 years of life. Right? It's like just everything kind of in this kind of organism. So yeah, I mean I've been seeking what this thing is, this thing inside me that I was just like, "Grrhhh." I think probably from my like in my teens I used to play a lot of sports when I was in my teens and a lot of mountain climbing and backpacking and all these kind of like outdoor in the land movement things. And I always found that's when I found myself. I'm able to feel less anxious and out of my body. I didn't have the words for it then, but reflecting on it, I've always used movement to get in. And I also remember feeling early on that it wasn't always going to be like that. And then I had a choice.
Jodi KatzYou knew that you had a choice even that young.
Taryn ToomeyI remember that it wasn't always going to ... I remember the idea of saying to myself, "This is current life and that it's not always going to be like this." Right? I remember that kind of dialogue very early on, and it wasn't from a place of like everyone around me. It was just like, I know I'm going to have the choice one day. It's interesting. I'm thinking about it, just talking about it with you because it's like I knew it here. It wasn't intellect. It was just like stay steady, be you. I was always in trouble in school because I was always like laughing and doing all the things. I remember I used to sit with my neighbor and be like, "Can you let me massage your hand?" Or like, "Can you massage mine?" I was always just like, "Blluuuh."
Jodi KatzLike during class.
Taryn ToomeyYeah, I still learn. You should see me in the office. People call me the-
Jodi KatzMassage my hand.
Taryn Toomey... People call me the CDO, the Chief Distraction Officer. But I'll tell you, we have a really, really good time in that office. We get it done. So yeah, I think I just ... I don't know. There's a knowing inside of us, right? This is what I always say in The Class. It's different than intellect. You know when you first meet someone, you know when you first step into an experience, you know when you shouldn't have taken that job, you know when you shouldn't have replied to that thing. Right? And I'm talking about the knowing, the feeling that you're like, "I know I shouldn't, but I'm going to." Right? The intellect overrides it. And then it just takes so much time for us to unwind it. So getting into the intelligence in you and then noticing when to say no, so that way you don't have to spend all of this effort and energy to want to hook from the thing.
Jodi KatzIt's such a gift that you knew in your gut or whatever we want to call it, that it wouldn't always be that way. I lived differently, like I didn't even connect to feelings, like I didn't have a gut. I just, "Everything's fine, everything's fine." Even when things were not fine and they were not fine many times-
Taryn ToomeyYeah. It's very common.
Jodi KatzI didn't even have an awareness that I didn't have feelings. It was really like going through infertility that opens this door to like this crazy feeling of loss and sadness that even made me ... That was like the first time I really felt something in a huge way. So what a gift to know even as a teen that like you're going to get yourself to a different place, that you have that power.
Taryn ToomeyYeah. I really do feel that it was a gift and I often times look at the things that went on and I certainly do not act in a place of like anger, or the victim or anything around any of the experience that went on for me in my entire life. And I'm not just talking about early childhood. I used to hear this when people would say like, "Just be grateful and just like ..." And I'd be like, "You have no idea." It used to be so frustrating when people would simplify things that are difficult and say like all of these terms. And I would get really frustrated by them and now I really, really understand the power of just, "Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you." I wake up every morning I'm like, "Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you." Until it liquefies the feeling of whatever it is that I'm feeling frustrated by.

It doesn't mean it's not happening. It doesn't mean it's not difficult, but the ability to just shift the awareness around it. Because you can use it as information and as a tool to shift something here, not just here, here too, but like if you view it and you thank it and you're like, "Okay, this is where I am, this is what's happening, this is where I'm at. Thank you." And then use it.
Jodi KatzSo for someone who is so new to feelings and so new to like listening to their guide or even having these sensations, what's their first step into this world that you're talking about?
Taryn ToomeyYeah. Usually the way that we begin each class, which is standing tall, placing your hands on your body, dropping your chin to your chest and just taking a few minutes just to breathe. Feeling your own touch with your body and your own body with your touch. Right? So there's a felt sense of physical body there. Noticing that the brain is an organ, has a function, creates thought, and then how are you feeling? Right? How are you feeling? You can continue to ask it over and over until you understand the difference between thought and feeling, and usually it's a very palpable sense of like you drop in and it's a feeling or it's a thought. Right? Just differentiate the two.
Jodi KatzSo how do I differentiate the two? How do I know you?
Taryn ToomeyBecause you can feel it. It's a somatic felt sense in your physical body. When your heart aches, you can feel it. When you're having a thought about the heartache you're thinking about what caused it.
Jodi KatzRight.
Taryn ToomeyFor me when you actually feel grief and sadness and emotions that help you process. My dear friend Kevin Courtney said, "Grieve well." Like grieve well, people don't do that anymore. The ability to process grief and like do it well. Find a space, find a community and like grieve. And we're not saying like sit in depression or like do all these things. We're saying like feel the thing that is so painful, the loss of something or someone or like feel it, fearlessly process it. You will feel it. You will solve and weep and move it, and then that moves and then it's over and then maybe another wave comes. But that's a feeling, that's a feeling.
Jodi KatzRight.
Taryn ToomeyA thought about the feeling is, "I'm so mad that, that thing happened or I'm so irritated about that person and I should go rhrhrh." A feeling is solving, weeping and not judging the feeling, but actually allowing yourself to just ... Everybody is laughing right now about what we're talking about.
Jodi KatzWhat's so interesting to me is ... We've been talking for probably like 25 minutes and we haven't talked about like fitness and getting stronger or losing weight or whatever these things are, right? Like we've been talking so much about like emotions and connecting and moving through the world. Right? So, I mean it doesn't surprise me because that's what your class gave me that. Right? I actually was in a meditative state which I've never done in a workout like ever. Right? I workout and then I go take a shower. So how do the two connect for you?
Taryn ToomeyWell, I always forget to say that people always want to talk about this stuff that we're talking about right now with The Class. Because most of the fitness out there is fitness. Right? And it's, you go in and you work out and you leave. I mean, it's such a killer workout. Right? You're going to work every single muscle group and we're doing eight minutes of burpees on the beat, and you're like, "Forget that." I remember somebody saying once, like her friend was like, "You should go to class. We do burpees for like eight minutes and people cry." She's like, "Yeah." Like they say it's absolutely horrible. And then you go and you're like, "Okay, I did the burpees, and I cried." I love it, can I go again? So yeah, what I was saying that when you're in your body. Right? We begin by tapping the heels and moving the arms like this and getting inappropriate stuff out of the system that losing your joints, which grounds you, right?

And the ability to feel the impact of what we're doing and the contraction, expansion, contraction, expansion. And you're sweating and you're noticing your thoughts. And your understanding power of choice and then you're like, "Whooa." You know the whole thing and getting through it and then you're empowering yourself and all the doubt you thought you couldn't do it and then you could do it. You kind of forget that you're like not going to be able to walk the next day and then you wake up in the morning. And people are like, "Oh, my God, I was so sore." But because you're in the experience. And then we close every class with them stretching, breath working and meditation. So we put people back together and the whole time while we're doing this at the end of every really big, powerful, long movement, we go into stillness and we place our hands on our body and reconnect chin to chest, brain drops into heart and you breathe and then we'll begin again.

So it's not like blowing the adrenals out or like pumping the cortisol through the system and like freaking the body out. It's doing it very mindfully while being the powerful. So when people live in this meditative state, it's because they're grounded, they're embodied and they just got their ass kicked, but they weren't in their suffering through it.
Jodi KatzRight. So after the class ... No, not after the class. At the end of the class, there's this movement where we're like pumping our heart, but it's almost as feel as I'm like flying. Right? And it's a lot. And then afterwards we put our hands on our chest and our stomach and I was like, "Why is my heart not racing?" And I was actually going like this like, "Where's my heartbeat?" Because it wasn't racing, but I would have expected it to be like going nutso. Right? Why was it calm? Why was my heart calm in that moment?
Taryn ToomeyWhen we're activating these movements, as I'm sure you remember the whole time we're breathing, inhale, exhale. And we're talking about being able to recover in the intensity. So when things are hitting the fan in the room and outside of the room and your sympathetic nervous system fight or flight goes out. And you're staying in your body and you're aware of it and you're breathing, and you're actively bringing your heart down because you're building the intensity. But you're so connected to the fact that you're building it and you're stabilizing yourself as it moves up. So often times you get a much easier time recovering from the class, the movement in the arms because you're connected and you're staying with yourself.
Jodi KatzDid you ever have like a random desk job? Or were you like-
Taryn ToomeyYeah, I did. I had a lot of jobs. I worked at Boston Market, and then I worked at RE/MAX, and I was in real estate when I was like 18. And then I worked at Ralph Lauren for a bunch of ... Yeah, I did. I had a desk job at Ralph Lauren for a lot of years.
Jodi KatzWhat did you do there?
Taryn ToomeyI started in their store and then I worked my way into New York and then I was an account executive. So it was the perfect job for me to want to leave and had I love to the job. I loved being there because I didn’t go to college and it kind of worked my way through the world and I loved been there because it felt so great to be a part of that culture. It was a lifestyle brand and it was really beautiful to be a part of that, and it was like sitting behind excel spreadsheets all day going into market with buyers. Saks was actually one of my accounts, which is interesting. And I remember trying to get a job in design. I worked there for almost seven years and I tried to get a job in design and it didn't work out and I ended up leaving. And had I gotten that job, I bet you I'd still be there. But I was just really unfulfilled with what I was doing.
Jodi KatzWere you studying all of this emotional, physical stuff while you had these jobs?
Taryn ToomeyYeah. In retrospect. Yeah, I was doing it, but through self-study. I wasn't doing it with people. I was doing it when I would go for a run, I was reading, I was journaling and I was figuring out what that thing was. I knew why I felt really good when I was with people that I really loved and I felt safe around and my spirit was bright. And everybody laughing a lot and just like feel really safe. I noticed when I didn't feel safe, I noticed why, like almost to the point where you could make yourself mad. It's almost like you're watching yourself move through life. But I look back on it now and it all makes sense. It makes sense.
Jodi KatzSo the last thing I want to talk about is social media. You mentioned saying thank you for the day and I noticed on one of your posts yesterday you said thank you for the day, at the end of the day. And I was like, this is when social is so great for me because I needed to be reminded in that moment to say thank you to the world that exists today is all I have. Right? So thank you for it. But it can also be really challenging, and not just a time suck, but upsetting and feed into myself doubt and the FOMO. So what's your philosophy about this tool?
Taryn ToomeyI mean, so everything that I just said about you can use it as information and then decide. So the things that are not working in the world of social media, you just have to pull the ripcord on that. We talked about pulling your own emergency handle all the time. You look at the behaviors that are creating disease in your body and in your mind and in your heart and you stopped doing them. Unfollow things. Stop looking at things. Notice when you're having FOMO, understand social media is not reality and follow things that make you feel inspired and connected. I mean for me it's been difficult. People have always said, "You have to hashtag this thing and you got to do this thing. And you got to lalalalala." And I'm like, "I can't." It can't. You can feel into people that are trying to create something that feels like it's a message of understanding that there is not one human better than another. It's just that's a true story and that we're all kind of work and just seek those people and unfollow the rest.
Jodi KatzThank you for saying that.
Taryn ToomeyYeah.
Jodi KatzI really can channel that. I think it's actually sort of part of the purpose of the podcast too. Like we are all equals. I did not sell my company for a billion dollars, but that person who did like has to make her daughter breakfast too. And her daughter might be like, "No, I don't want that." And then it might turn into, "Well, you're eating that. Right? And then it goes on and on.
Taryn ToomeyAnd then you throw the waffle at face and then they never eat the waffle again, I'm just kidding. I don't actually do that.
Jodi KatzSo we have these arguments like, "No, you'd like this yesterday. No, I don't like it anymore. Well eat it today." Right? So anyway-
Taryn ToomeyWhat's wrong with you.
Jodi KatzIt's basically breakfast-
Taryn ToomeyOk self-awareness ha.
Jodi KatzBreakfast is the only reliable meal in house because our kids eat breakfast for breakfast, breakfast for lunch and breakfast for dinner.
Taryn ToomeyYep. Get it, get it done.
Jodi KatzOkay. So thank you for saying that though about I can just let in what I want to let in on social. Like I really kind of stopped looking at the things that make me unhappy.
Taryn ToomeyYou just stop.
Jodi KatzYeah.
Taryn ToomeyThat's it.
Jodi KatzYeah.
Taryn ToomeyNo more Ring Around the Rosie.
Jodi KatzRight.
Taryn ToomeyJust stop.
Jodi KatzNo more .
Taryn ToomeyYeah. That's a whole other level of abuse. Right? I mean you know why you're doing it or you don't. You just keep doing it. You're like why ... It's still like shit. Let me keep doing it. I mean that's the thing we're talking about. It's real.
Jodi KatzRight.
Taryn ToomeyStop doing it. How do you stop? You stop.
Jodi KatzYeah. Just stop.
Taryn ToomeyYeah.
Jodi KatzOkay. So thank you so much for this. We're going to open up for questions before we conclude. So, I'm going to I guess go to my Instagram because that's where ... Oh, you have them?
CateI do.
Jodi KatzCate is amazing.
CateI guess. So if you are selected I will be in the corner over there to receive your giftbags.
Taryn ToomeyIf you're selected you going to get a gift bag.
Jodi KatzOkay. So... Is J. Gilds here? J_Gilds.
Taryn ToomeyHi J.
Jodi KatzWhere's J. Is J. hiding? Oh, hi J. So J. asked ... What's your real name?
Jodi KatzHi Jessica? Jessica wants to know when dealing with self-doubt what is your favorite mantra?
Taryn ToomeyOh, favorite mantra. I mean when dealing with self-doubt, I mean it's not really about a mantra. It's like self-doubt is you can really channel that into the way of like it's self-doubt or is it fear because you're comparing yourself? Is it because you're onto something that's going to shift your new normal? Like get real with why you're having the self doubt, because for me self doubt is not just like, "I think I can't, I think I can't, I think I can't." Like a mantra, it's actually figuring what the self-doubt is about, like give it a name, give it a location and then organize yourself around what it is. When I'm creating something new or I want to experience something new or do something new, I think a normal dialogue of self-doubt because the body is feeling fearful, "Can I do this? Am I going to do this?" That's different than self-doubt because you're comparing yourself or self doubt because you're living the same exact conversation that you were told from your mom when you were four.

So just get to know, like strip out them and then look at them for what they are and then just ... For me it's about the practical reality sometimes. You feel that way because you're living in fear, you feel that way because it's an old conversation, you feel that way because you're comparing yourself. And then from there have a conversation and process it and then move forward from that. I mean, it's kind of my thing. Yeah.
JessicaIt's great nice.
Jodi KatzThank you for that question. Next question is Pooja167. Are you here?
Jodi KatzHi, what is your name?
Jodi KatzOh, hi Pooja. So Pooja asked how do you embody the spirit and the framework of The Class outside of the studio in your normal day-to-day life?
Taryn ToomeyYeah, I mean, well it's hard not to because The Class came through me, it kind of is me. So it's like I'm pretty much the same way in the room that I am outside of the room, which is I'd like to connect with people. I'm really into one on one relationships with people and being with them and being present with them. I think that's just so underused these days. I like to use humor, which is what we do in class and I like to understand the ability to run in these different pathways in the brain of like sometimes I'm the CEO and I'm running the business meeting and we're dealing with things that are investor relations and stuff like that. We just went out to do our first round of fundraising, so that's been a big thing. And understanding when to be a mentor and a teacher and understanding when to be a mom.

We talked about ... It's funny when I was talking about this the other day with somebody, the word “ego”, people think the word ego is just like loaded term of like, whoa. Ego is just the identifying tool, "Who are you in that moment?" When I'm with my children, my ego is mother, when I'm in the front of the room my ego is teacher. So the ability to step in and out of different experiences with people and be in that space with them is really how I embody it outside of the room. It's the same thing I do in there. Yeah.
Jodi KatzThank you Pooja. And our last question, swag-bag winner goes to Dawn WeidauerAre you here?
Taryn ToomeyDawn are you here? Dawn is like this isn’t for me-
Jodi KatzDawn is gone, so Dawn get to have a question. Cate is going to pick another question-

If you are not here you can't play. So next one. Okay. So AVincent226. Oh, hi.
Jodi KatzSo she asked, “Taryn, in your career what hasn't felt right? And what opportunities have you passed on it and realized it was the right decision after?”
Taryn ToomeyA lot. There was a lot of no's early on when I first started teaching The Class. We had this nice website and we had all of these things. So different magazines were coming and people were saying, "Let me do ..." And I said no to so many things, because I was always thinking either long game or do I want my name on that. And there was a lot of press we passed on early on. It was like ... And a couple of my teachers would be like, "Let me do that." And I'd be like, "Okay, let me show you why?" I'm like, "Look at this article in this thing. And it's like, "Come down to all fours and lift your right leg." You're doing moves like The Class. And then it's like, "Click here and figure out sexual penetration like deep whatever." And I'd be like, "What?" And they'd be like, "Let me do it." So I know, I'm sorry everyone, I don't know, can I say that stuff? It's is a real story, it's a real story.

I was just speaking the truth. I'm not trying to be that way. So it was like a lot of things that I ... You know you can get a hit quickly from things of like the thing that comes up online or the thing in the magazine. Or you could put that aside and just understand like, I have a bigger purpose and a mission other than to feel like some sort of thing in the public eye. So it was a lot around that. A lot of no's around all that stuff. Yeah. And then, I mean, I don't ... Feeling that it just wasn't me. It wasn't me and I didn't want to do it. And a lot of times you get caught up in the like, I guess I would use this ... It's funny, I just use the word ego. The ego, the one that wants to be inflated. It's easy to say yes to things because you think maybe this is my last opportunity and it's not. Right? So-
Jodi KatzBut that's fear. Right?
Taryn ToomeyYeah, it's fear and it's also believing that the thing that I was doing is going to end. And that I realized in a place that wasn't really just my intellect, that I was going to be doing what I was doing because I found my purpose. So I would say no to a lot of things. I mean, I just said no to a big deal with a apparel line because one of the main things I want to do ... I did a collaboration with Lululemon a couple of years ago and we've been out of contract with them for a while. So we're trying to figure out who to work with next and I just turned one down because they wouldn't factor into the deal to take The Class on tour. And for me, I always need to keep true to the work of a class which is to bring this message to as many people as possible.

So I turned that down because they wouldn't bring in the community element and was that silly? Yeah. I'm sure it would probably have been a great thing and it would have helped me in a lot of ways, financially but I have to stay true to my mission and I just didn't feel right. So I have to just know and hope that hopefully that turns over something that's going to be different and better and stay in the ethos and the spirit of The Class whom I work. Yeah
Jodi KatzYeah. Thank you for our contributors to the questions and now we get to close the way that we always close the podcast.

For our listeners, I hope you enjoyed this interview with Taryn Toomey. Please subscribe to our series on iTunes and for updates about the show. Follow us on Instagram @wherebrainsmeetbeautypodcast. Thank you everybody. Thank you Taryn.
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