PFY Founder Jerry LePore: #IAMPFY
You may have seen the #IAMPFY posters around our 10 studios this month and on our website. We created #IAMPFY because our biggest hope is that students will be proud of who they are and of their accomplishments. So much of who we are and who we can become shows up on our yoga mats first. PFY strives to create this safe and motivating environment so you can learn, grow and take your personal journey. What inspired #IAMPFY the most? First, it was our students who keep showing up. Second it was our tireless founder and owner Jerry LePore (center of photo in purple) who is also a dedicated yogi. He had a vision to bring Hot Powerflow Vinyasa to all people. His vision has now expanded to 10 studios–we opened our newest location in Randolph on October 1. PFY reaches more than 10,000 students in New Jersey, and that number is growing. This was Jerry’s intention. We know what an outstanding man he is, and we want our students to know him, too. we want to get the word out about Jerry, a man who overcame many obstacles to make his dream–and many yogis’ dreams–come true.
PFY: In October, we launched the #IAMPFY campaign. As the founder, describe what is special about PFY ?
Jerry LePore: PFY is so much more than just a brand. To us, it’s creating an all-around experience. From the moment you walk in the door, you are met by a friendly, engaging and professional staff member. Then onto a first rate yoga class led by some of the most experienced teachers available. Throughout our locations, you can enjoy high-end amenities, including cold eucalyptus towels, to transition you out of the hot room. With yoga continuing to see incredible growth throughout the world, I believe the experience PFY provides can be offered in any town and any community.
PFY: Can you give us a sneak peak on what’s to come for PFY? Any upcoming projects or plans for new studios that you can share?
JL: There are a lot of exciting things on our horizon. In addition to Randolph which opened October 1, we are close to announcing two more locations in towns I feel are a perfect fit for PFY. So stay tuned. I’m really looking forward to the fall. The schedule is filled with exciting workshops, like Emma Kealy’s True Core Strength Workshop in Clifton. And November is always a fun time of year to practice as we kick off our popular 20 in 30 Challenge.
PFY: Speaking of Fall, what is most exciting about the new and improved 200 Hour: Find Your Power Teacher Training that just started?
JL: I’m honored to have Stacey Bell and Carrie Parker co-lead our 200-Hour TT. They both bring an incredible amount of experience, knowledge, and passion to their teaching. And to have Christine Joseph assist them makes it that much better. I’m very excited to continue developing potential PFY teachers that we can share with the community.
PFY: I personally feel there is still a large misconception among men about what really goes on in a yoga class. As a man, do you have any advice for new male students? What do you think we could do to get more men in yoga classes?
JL: A big misconception is that men tend to only think that yoga is for women and/or flexible people, and that it is not very physically demanding. As you and I know, it is an incredibly challenging workout. We are seeing an increase in the number of men coming to our studios, especially among high-school and college athletes who now incorporate yoga into their training regimens. We’ve added a class to our Morristown schedule called Yoga for Athletic Balance taught by the very talented Andrea Scaramelli. Over the years, we’ve primarily focused our marketing efforts toward women, but we are now making a concerted effort to market to the male demographic as well.
PFY: What sort of philanthropic projects does PFY support? Do you have a specific charity that is near and dear to your heart?
JL: Kula for Karma is a charity we work closely with, and last year they were kind enough to honor me at their annual gala. They are of incredible service to the community, providing free yoga to veterans, cancer patients, the elderly and various others. From personal experience, bringing yoga to these groups of people is something that is very dear to my heart. We recently supported Livingston teacher Susie Murphy in her fundraising efforts for her upcoming trip to Africa. She is working with the Africa Yoga Project to bring yoga to areas of the world that otherwise would not be exposed to or able to afford it. Throughout the year, we raise money for various local charities through our community classes. I’m very excited to announce that we are bringing back Yogathon, which we hope will raise a ton of money for One Simple Wish, a charity that directly benefits foster children.
PFY: Okay, what is one thing that people would be surprised to learn about you?
JL: I’m an identical twin who also has twin sons.
PFY: Last, but certainly not least, what’s the best pick-up line you’ve ever used?
JL: I’m not one to use pick-up lines. I know that’s a boring answer. Sidenote: I am single!
Show us who you are by signing the white #IAMPFY poster boards that are up in each studio. We’ve had all kinds of answers. Answers such as, I am… an athlete, a yogi, a mother, a cat lover, a friend. One of our students kept it simple and wrote “love.” Whoever you are, whatever you do, Jerry and the whole PFY family are glad you do yoga with us.