Bethany Lyons Headshot

Bethany Lyons : Owning It Like A Boss

Bethany Lyons is a star of the yoga and fitness world, regularly sharing her insights in publications including Vogue, W Magazine and The Wall Street Journal; appearing on the cover of Yoga Journal magazine; and working as a Founding Master Instructor at SoulCycle.

A courageous entrepreneur at heart, she opened two Lyons Den Power Yoga studios in New York City, and then quickly pivoted to launching the virtual yoga platform Lyons Den Digital during lockdown. In this candid, heartfelt, and inspiring conversation, Bethany reveals how she overcomes fear and owns her inner boss, what it was like to dance with Madonna (yes, THE Madonna), and why putting in the work really is the ticket to rocking it.

In this episode, you’ll hear:

  • [4:07] How Bethany always has fear, but overcomes it through taking action
  • [5:12] Why being dubbed a “bossy girl” is a good thing
  • [6:54] The powerful lessons Bethany learned from her mom
  • [8:37] Why Madonna has been her inspiration, and what it was like to work with her (!)
  • [11:18] The importance of women celebrating each other’s successes (and failures)
  • [13:04] How Bethany pivoted to launching a digital yoga platform during lockdown
  • [17:20] Bethany’s one tip to rock it

Links from the episode:

SHE ROCKED IT is a podcast and virtual community dedicated to raising the volume on women’s voices. We believe that when women listen to, learn from, and lift one another up, we can ALL soar to greater heights.

Episode Transcript:

SHE ROCKED IT / KAREN GROSS:
(00:40) Hello, everyone. Welcome to She Rocked It. We are live and we have an amazing conversation in store for you today. At SHE ROCKED IT we are committed to raising the volume on women’s voices. And today, as part of our IG Live series, we have the amazing Bethany Lyons, uh, who has just such an incredible history and trajectory of raising her voice and showing such courage in incredible ways. She’s about to jump into this live with me. Hang in there. Here comes Bethany.

SHE ROCKED IT:
(01:13) So great to see you. I was just about to run down all these amazing things that you are … that you are, that you’ve done. So to be as brief as I possibly can, um, because I know all these things, Because I’ve gotten to, um, be your friend since seventh grade. But just in case you all aren’t familiar yet with this amazing woman, which I hope you will be very soon, um, she is the founder and sole owner of Lyons Den Digital, which is an incredible online platform for power yoga that you must check out. It will change your life. Lyons Den Digital. (01:44) And many of you know her as the co-founder of Lyons Den Power Yoga in NYC which has had an amazing following, uh, lots of coverage in major news, celebrity clients, the list goes on and on. She’s also one of the original, um, instructors of Soul Cycle, which you may have heard of, and a former master trainer, uh, of the one and only Madonna’s Hard Candy Gym, um, and a former regional manager for Crunch Fitness. (02:10) So all this to say she’s had an incredible career in the fitness and yoga industries, and I’ve had the great honor of being dear friends with Bethany, like I said, since seventh grade. So tonight I get the chance to share her and her stories with everyone tuning in, and, uh, it’s going to be really hard to keep this to 20 minutes, which is our kind of IG Live length. (02:32) So, Bethany, I hate that we have to keep this short because you know we could talk for hours and hours. But we’re going to do about four questions, kind of a lightning round with you, keep them about five minutes each. Which is going to be hard.

BETHANY LYONS:
(02:43) I love that. That’s, that’s right in alignment with your logo. Lightning, lightning round with your lightning SHE ROCKED IT logo.

SHE ROCKED IT:
(02:49) And she’s like, does brand … Look at this. Like branding on the fly. She does it all. This is what an entrepreneur does. She’s like copy-writing, she’s making connections. I love her. So yes! So …

BETHANY LYONS:
(03:00) Yay …

SHE ROCKED IT:
(03:01) Bethany, welcome. And you know-

BETHANY LYONS:
(03:03) Thank you.

SHE ROCKED IT:
(03:04) Speaking of branding, your hashtag, your tagline is “Be courageous.”

BETHANY LYONS:
(03:08) Mm-hmm (affirmative). Yes. For Lyons Den Power Yoga. Be courageous. That’s … That, uh … The name was, I actually thought, because I was originally not wanting to name the studio after my last name. But after many people, and it just fitting so well with what we did, of, um, strength and courage and the way that we practice really actually kind of like putting ourselves in the lion’s den. And then not to mention that it was my name, it was sort of like, no brainer.

SHE ROCKED IT:
(03:35) Kind of perfect. And I have to ask you because you just exemplify courage. Always throughout how many years, we won’t even say, of knowing one another, courage has been … has been your tagline. I’ve just known you to always go after what you want. It makes me emotional to think about it. (03:52) So first and foremost, first lightning round question: What … Give us the secret, Bethany. What has given you the courage to raise your voice again and again throughout your life, through all those things I mentioned? Is there anything you can share with us that, that we could take to give ourselves courage in our-

BETHANY LYONS:
(04:07) Yeah, well there … There was a sort of a tagline and sort of a movement for a while on “No Fear,” like or “Be Fearless.” And that never resonated with me because I always had fear. I always, um-

SHE ROCKED IT:
(04:23) I wouldn’t have known that actually. That’s really powerful to hear you say that.

BETHANY LYONS:
(04:27) Yeah, yeah. Of course. I was like, wanting to just crush it at every single thing that I did. And of course, there was fear. And what I found power in was through action. So the only way that I could get out of jitters or fear or, or inaction was to just do something. And to me, that’s courageous. There’s, there’s fear associated and you do the thing anyway. And when, when you flex … And I feel like that’s a muscle to flex. I don’t think that it’s just like, that happens, and then like that’s just who you are. It’s like, okay, well I, I do this thing, I’m uncomfortable, I do this thing. I do this thing, I’m uncomfortable. I do this thing. And I’m uncomfortable I do this thing. (05:05) And sometimes it works out and sometimes it doesn’t. And when it doesn’t work out and I didn’t die, or you know like-

SHE ROCKED IT:
(05:11) What doesn’t kill you.

BETHANY LYONS:
(05:12) I’m still standing, then it, it emboldens us, I think. Or has emboldened me to continue to do those things. I mean, that’s, that’s just how I’ve … how I have operated. And I will say, you know, from a … I was just sort of inherently … I was … Well, when I was younger, it was like, “Don’t be a bossy girl.” Which nowadays, you’d be like, “Hm, there’s a leader in our, in our midst.”

SHE ROCKED IT:
(05:41) That’s interesting. Sometimes courage got translated to bossy if you’re a woman.

BETHANY LYONS:
(05:45) Well, yeah, like … being like a leader or taking, you know, sort of … and for a long time, I, I think I fought that or didn’t … like thought that was something that was bad until I just started owning it. And it’s worked out pretty well for me.

SHE ROCKED IT:
(06:01) I love that. And, um, it’s interesting. I’ve been thinking a lot about the way women can inspire one another, and I think that you have always, through your embracing the courage, embracing you’re a leader, um, you have encouraged me to level up again and again in my-

BETHANY LYONS:
(06:21) Hm. Well, that means so much to me because you’re a crazy, amazing human. But I think that … You know like I really want to be around people that celebrate people’s successes, men, women, whoever. Uh, you know, anyone and everyone. I want … That’s the energy that I want to be surrounded by, and, and I don’t think that that can be faked.

SHE ROCKED IT:
(06:45) And tell me a little bit about women along your path who may have inspired you to be a rockstar.

BETHANY LYONS:
(06:54) I mean, my, my mom, from the getgo, was always … You know, she, from a very … From when I was very young, she was, she was very staunch about, you know, girls can do anything. There’s a, there’s a really funny story, actually, where my dad was out of town for some reason and we … She would like to move the furniture around all the time. It was sort of like her thing. And we were moving the furniture and we had this big piano at the time. And my mom’s like, “Well, we have to wait ’til your dad gets home because we move this.” And I was like, “What do you mean, mom? Girls can do anything.” And my mom was like, “Oh my gosh.” I was eating my words during this. (07:34) So then we figured out a way. Like, we would stack an ottoman and then get in front of it and push, push it with our legs. We figured out a way, because she was like, “I had to figure out a way how to move this piano because you were calling me out of my words.” So, you know, my mom was always a huge champion of me. And also, she, she moved a lot with my dad and she always made her own way in those, in those places and spaces. She, you know, had become president of the homeowners association. She became president of a dance company that I danced with. She would get involved with the PTA at the school and then be running that. Like, she just always was a leader, even though she didn’t have … she didn’t have a going-to-an-office career like that. I, I was her main career at that point. She was always very involved and such a leader. (08:26) So in my immediate life, that’s it. If we’re looking at like bigger figures, um, I mean, you already mentioned her, but Ms. M.

SHE ROCKED IT:
(08:36) We know!

BETHANY LYONS:
(08:37) Madonna’s always been, from when I was very, very young … I was just enthralled by the way in which she didn’t care and, and did all of these things that were sometimes popular, sometimes really not popular. And she … I always loved the fact that she said to all detractors that were like, “You don’t even have a good voice.” And she goes, “I don’t … I’m not here because I have a good voice, I’m here because I have something to say.”

SHE ROCKED IT:
(09:01) Ah!

BETHANY LYONS:
(09:04) And, you know, she just worked so hard, and I really resonated with that. And then I eventually got to work for her, in a way, which was super cool. So-

SHE ROCKED IT:
(09:16) Danced, danced like five feet away from this woman.

BETHANY LYONS:
(09:20) That’s the hardest I’ve ever worked. That’s the hardest I’ve ever worked in my whole life.

SHE ROCKED IT:
(09:25) That says a lot, because you work your ass off, so-

BETHANY LYONS:
(09:28) Yeah.

SHE ROCKED IT:
(09:29) Talk about other women like leveling each other up. When you got in the room with Madonna, you were like, “Okay. C’mon, it’s not like … You’re not, you’re not a slacker so that says a lot. That’s amazing. Oh my goodness. (09:40) So, speaking of Madonna, and how you said she has something to say, here’s a question that kind of ties to that. Why, why, why is it important for women to raise their voices and rock it?

BETHANY LYONS:
(09:56) Because we’re incredible. We’re more than half the population.

SHE ROCKED IT:
(09:59) Hello!

BETHANY LYONS:
(10:01) We have … We have infinite gifts. We have, you know, a unique … We have a unique ability to, like, multitask and be creative and lead and sort of see a very global vision, I think, global perspective, in things that are happening.

SHE ROCKED IT:
(10:24) That’s really interesting. That’s true. I think there is kind of like a 360 thing that women do. We’re thinking about this and that … just like when I said something about … What was I just saying? You’re like, “Oh, it’s about branding.” I mean, you’re not just like a yoga teacher, you’re thinking about the whole thing as an entrepreneur too.

BETHANY LYONS:
(10:37) Yeah, and I think that that can be anyone, I just … Since I am a woman … I’ve never really … Obviously, I’m a female entrepreneur and I, I love lifting up and empowering women. It’s never really been the way in which I’ve approached it, like it’s like just for, you know, for females. It’s just like, that’s just who I am. And so it’s a very human leadership, which I think is a way to empower women. You know, I don’t like women to be pigeon-holed. And I don’t like to be, either, you know, in terms of like, “Well you must feel this way because you’re a woman.” Like, do I though?

BETHANY LYONS:
(11:18) And I like … I like that … I like celebrating the individuality of women and also a movement, you know, for women to celebrate each other and celebrate each other’s successes, and celebrate each other’s go-for-it failures too, you know. Like not everything works out perfectly, but celebrate the work that gets put in and also just actually have each other’s backs.

SHE ROCKED IT :
(11:50) I love that. And tell us how you bring that into … Okay, sorry. Bonus question. Not in the lightning round. How do you bring sort of your, you know, philosophy in that way into your practice at Lyons Den Digital? So, because let’s just say, folks, if you haven’t taken classes with this woman … Which, by the way, her classes, I have to say from a personal note, have healed me. Physically, mentally, spiritually. I had ankle issues. I got on the mat with Bethany and, um, gradually healed that. I spent at least two New Year’s Eves at the Den in New York City, when it was just like the absolute best place to be on New Year’s Eve. What an empowering and healthy place to kick off a new year. (12:35) And, you know, it was a place … and it remains a place, now globally, that has this powerful community. And I think you have created with Lyons Den Digital this global network of courage and empowerment that … I mean, I remember a year ago – Okay, more tears, hold it together – that we were sitting in a restaurant, last time I was in a restaurant without a mask. It was mid-March 2020, and you were-

BETHANY LYONS:
(13:03) March 13.

SHE ROCKED IT:
(13:04) March 13. And I remember you said, “You know, I think I’m going to have to go digital.” This is like a year ago before-

BETHANY LYONS:
(13:11) And I did on Monday. And I did on Monday. We were together on Friday. The studio was open and, like, it seemed like, “Okay, we’re still going Saturday. Sunday, close down, shut down, had to lay off” … Like, it was just the wildest thing ever. And then, I was like, “Monday, 5 p.m., we go live.”

SHE ROCKED IT:
(13:30) I, I had to let everyone know that.

BETHANY LYONS:
(13:32) Every day since then.

SHE ROCKED IT:
(13:33) Yeah, that we … I mean, this woman … This was like the last hurrah. It was the … before the world changed was with my dear friend Bethany for her kind of slightly belated birthday celebration at the time. By the way, happy belated birthday right now.

BETHANY LYONS:
(13:48) Thank you.

SHE ROCKED IT:
(13:49) Not long ago. But that’s another thing about you is that you, to me, not only exemplify courage, but you exemplify resilience. And that Monday, right after you said to me, “I think we’re going to have to go digital,” you made it happen. You got the camera, you got the equipment, you figured it out with your team. Like, give me a little more insight into what gives you that ability to just again and again resilience. You’re a fighter. How do you summon that again and again?

BETHANY LYONS:
(14:16): You know, I think I just am really focused in on what I am for, like what I’m, what I’m a yes for, what I want to make happen. And so, I can very, um … I can’t stay in a place of complaint or victimhood for like any period of time and feel comfortable in my own skin. So I am immediately like, “well there is a way. What’s the solution? Or what am I trying to do?” Okay, what I do is I empower people. I bring … you know, that’s my role. And so if the physical studio shut down, how am I still doing that, how are we still doing that? Because there has to be a way. I’m very much like a will there’s a way kind of girl. I always have been.

SHE ROCKED IT:
(15:06) Just like figuring out with your mom. You were saying you’re going to push that thing

BETHANY LYONS:
(15:08) Yeah, like, well, there has to be a way. Girls can do anything, mom. (15:12) Change is a constant. We all know this. You know? And I think that we have never experienced it quite so rapidly and all at the same time, and like, all of these things happening that affected us on so many levels. But like, that’s just life. I mean, we had had … I feel like I had a dress rehearsal for this because the month prior to us shutting down for the pandemic, we had a fire in our studio. And so, it was sort of like … I actually kind of felt like very teed up for it. Kind of like, all right, one crisis …(15:45) I found out through last year, well the past few years, but really last year. I’m not really good in a crisis because I don’t focus on what’s wrong. Like, of course, stuff is wrong. I mean, we could just sit here and complain all night long about everything we miss and everything that’s changed that we didn’t want. Like all that stuff, everything that’s not my preference. And instead, I choose to focus in on what’s great. And not in like a, “Everything’s so good! There’s nothing wrong!” Just shoved-down-your-throat positivity. That’s not what I mean. But there is so much good. There’s so much good. And there’s so much good that’s come of this. I am 100 percent happier and better person than I was a year ago.

SHE ROCKED IT:
(16:35) Oof. That’s powerful. I feel that deeply. And thank you for sharing all that because I feel like … Guys, we’ve got people in the room. This is so awesome. Give us like some hearts and some comments if you feel what Bethany just said. Because honestly, isn’t that the kind of inspiration we need right now. This is resilience right here. I hope to have another conversation with Bethany soon. But I’m going to leave you all with this question for the amazing Bethany Lyons. And remember to check out Lyons Den Digital. Getting hearts, getting all kinds of love here.

BETHANY LYONS (17:08): [crosstalk 00:17:08]

SHE ROCKED IT:
(17:08): Bethany, give us one tip. If we could take one tip to rock it in our careers, and act so courageously, give us just one tip to leave with.

BETHANY LYONS:
(17:20) My one tip is … It’s a phrase that I’ve said for a few years now, but it has never resonated more than, I think, today. Like, than it ever has. Which is, doing the work is the shortcut. Doing the work is the shortcut. No matter what it is, whether it’s a friendship that you care about, a relationship that you care about, a business, a, a health plan. There is no just like little shortcut. You can’t … If you want to be an entrepreneur, you’ve got to get your hands dirty. You want to have real good relationships where you don’t talk about the weather and you get through times together, you have to be willing to be in uncomfortable places and do that work. And I don’t mean to say, like, you know, “Do the work.” But like, really, you have to put in time and effort. And actually, it’s so much more rewarding than if everything was just handed over on a silver platter.

SHE ROCKED IT:
(18:23) I’m just absorbing that because I know that you do all these things. You have gotten your hands in this in every way with your business. You are right there making it happen. There’s no like four-hour workweek, whatever shortcut, to like-

BETHANY LYONS:
(18:36) Yeah.

SHE ROCKED IT:
(18:36) Right. You know? It’s like, you are putting in … And I’m just so grateful that I have gotten to be your friend for so many years. And I will say that that … and you said something to me once like, “We’re the kind of friends that can call each other at 3 a.m.” That’s the kind of friends that I want. I want the kind of friends and people in my life and colleagues, work people who are there for me. And that’s the kind of people I want in my life, and you have been that for me and more.

BETHANY LYONS:
(19:04) Ditto.

SHE ROCKED IT:
(19:04) I’m so thrilled that we could talk.

BETHANY LYONS:
(19:07) [inaudible 00:19:07] Back at you. Thanks, everybody, for joining, too. This is so fun.

SHE ROCKED IT:
(19:10) Yay! Keep rocking it, everyone. Bye.

Thanks so much for tuning into the SHE ROCKED IT Podcast. I’m your host, Karen Gross. This episode has been produced by Tori Marchiony and Jake Segelbaum with audio engineering by Teng Chen. The SHE ROCKED IT theme song is by Karen Gross and Tim Motzer. I invite you to join us on Instagram @sherockedit and join our ROCKSTAR NETWORK at sherockedit.com. We hope you’ll add your voice to the conversation because at SHE ROCKED IT, we are dedicated to raising the volume on women’s voices.

© 2022 KAREN GROSS ENTERPRISES, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. |

SITE DESIGN BY UNO DOS TRAE

Privacy policy | 

terms of Use