Marketing Global Wellness Through Play with Chi Universe – An interview with Bobbi Hamilton

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Andreea Borcea:
Welcome to the Marketing Mondays podcast, where we explore how we can make your offerings stand out in the health and wellness space. Through conversations with thought leaders and innovators in health and wellness marketing, we’ll discuss marketing best practices, case studies, and innovative ideas to help scale your business and grow revenues with impact. I’m excited to be your host. My name is Andreea Borcea. I’m a fractional CMO and owner of the Dia Creative Marketing Agency.

Andreea Borcea:
Welcome to Marketing Mondays. I’m your host, Andreea Borcea, CMO at Dia Creative, and today, I have with us, Bobbi Hamilton, CEO of Chi Universe and creator of the Chi Yoga Mats and game. I’m so excited to have you here! I’ve been looking through your background and it really feels like you are, you started this as a one-woman show. So tell me, how did this come about?

Bobbi Hamilton:
Oh, thank you so much for having me on your show. I really appreciate it. Well, it just really started because I’ve been a yoga teacher for a long time, and one day while I was teaching in the Venice Public Library, I had a little girl who couldn’t follow my instructions either by listening to me or watching me. She was having a really difficult time and she looked like she was injuring herself. And there happened to be a marker laying next to my yoga mat, and I had provided all the yoga mats for the children. So I ran over to her mat, and I began drawing symbols to help her get into proper body alignment. And then I step back and realize she was just in the perfect position. It looked like a different child. And I started thinking like, wow, this is a great way to get kids to engage, follow along, and prevent injury. So it really just started there, and then from there, I began thinking about how to develop the product and how to do the IP, and I actually, I did go through the IP process with this product because I did create something before that, and I had to learn the hard lessons of losing properties and being copied.

Andreea Borcea:
Oh, no.

Bobbi Hamilton:
So yeah, I created something called Animal Yoga for Kids, and it was really kind of wild. It was just, I was very young out of college, trying to create ways for children to play along and to learn movement because I was a breast cancer researcher right out of college and I learned about childhood obesity and the epidemic and the implications that had on childhood cancer. So I was trying to figure out ways to get kids to play along. And I came up with Animal Yoga and it was really wild, and it was animated and live-action and, yeah, and it was a little under production quality. But PBS thought it was great, and they picked it up, and they offered it to all their PBS stations and we were all over the country. So it was really kind of the beginning of a very commercial movement for children’s yoga. And I really helped normalize children’s yoga, And it started going into schools across the country.

Andreea Borcea:
Amazing!

Bobbi Hamilton:
Yeah, thanks. So that was actually my first lesson, probably, in marketing. It was, I had a phone number at the end of these interstitials. They were, we called them yoga breaks on PBS and they’d be like one or 2 minutes to get kids off the couch and to play along and dance and to do yoga. And then I would get phone calls from all over the US, and I would just start asking questions and getting their feedback, and that was kind of my first introduction to marketing.

Andreea Borcea:
Amazing. So when you, I love that you just kind of solved the problem, you saw a kid struggling and you’re like, let me get a marker. And then from that comes all these other actual products and offerings. Like, you found a problem, you solved it on the spot, and they’re like, I can do more with this.

Bobbi Hamilton:
Yes. Yes, I did. I thought I could really have a new product. And it was a long process of development from ideation through product development IP. I had to learn how to raise money. I had to come up with large sums of money for manufacturing. I had to figure out how to go through all of the manufacturing entering the market. I mean, I don’t have a business MBA or anything, you know. I’ve been a movement specialist and to this day, I feel like it’s really the hardest thing for me, marketing. And I’d love to get your feedback too, but as I was growing, I had to try and learn this stuff and I just started getting my … and trying to just figure it out as I went. It wasn’t an easy process for me, it was really hard, and it’s been a long process because I had to not only figure it out, but I was, I’ve always been underfunded. I’ve never really had a marketing budget and I had to figure out creative ways to market.

Andreea Borcea:
That’s such a common story, I think, for new entrepreneurs that aren’t funded, is you just kind of roll up your sleeves and get clever. So did you find PBS or did they find you?

Bobbi Hamilton:
So PBS was before I developed the Yoga Mat and game.

Andreea Borcea:
I see.

Bobbi Hamilton:
I went to PBS, okay, so that was my first. This was my very first hard entrepreneurial learning experience. I took a $75,000 dollar investment at a very young age from somebody that I knew in San Francisco who was an early tech winner in the space with search engines. And he was very young, too, and he put some money into it. We decided, let’s give it a shot, let’s see what we can create. And I was hiring people, I was trying to navigate my way through production, very young, inexperienced, and, the best, it was just an idea that I took it to a PBS station that was in California, and it was actually their idea to upload it and offer it to all the PBS stations. And it ended up being really kind of successful because, not financially, it wasn’t financially successful, but it was successful in the fact that it normalized children’s yoga and it ran for like 5 to 8 years in some areas. They played our yoga breaks for years in stations all over the country. I mean, we could really track where it was because I was getting phone calls from all over. We could see which cities had picked it up by the reaction that we were getting. And we got a really positive reaction just because kids really engaged with it and they really liked it. My research skills had worked in that way and my production quality was a little low. And I actually had a veteran animator, James Lopez. He gave me a call and he said, I don’t know what you did, but my little girls love Animal Yoga … Yeah, so we had like a program you could buy as like a 22-minute video. And then from the 22-minute video, I think we offered like ten interstitials or 12 interstitial yoga breaks to these PBS stations, and they played them over and over for years. But anyway, James said to me, your production quality is a little low, if I can help you with animation, let me know. So we started working on Chi character, and Chi, I wanted to be an answer to Hello Kitty, and I wanted Chi to be genderless so she could be attractive to both boys and girls. And I did a lot of research on sitting down with children, finding out what their eyes were attracted to. We went through loads of art books and shapes and ideas, and so I got, I did a lot of research with children and we went through several rounds of Chi until we thought we got Chi really right. And Chi also was my focus because it’s, it means life force energy. And I was training with a Tibetan yoga therapy master, chi master, who is an aide to the Dalai Lama. And I had also been introduced to the concept of chi earlier during my breast cancer research at UCSF Medical because I was bridging Eastern and Western medicine in the research. So I really wanted Chi to be a fun character, but really, Chi means life force and that is something we all have in common. And what I found through this process is that the shapes on the yoga mat are a universal language and we’ve been able to sell into 20 countries and it’s just translated very easily. And so we’re really focused on global wellness through play, and I’m still working on how to reach our global market, and we’re getting there as we build the business. I’ve had to learn how to prove that this is a successful business. But the good thing, the really interesting thing was that yoga has been catching on for years, right? Like at first it’s woo woo, but then doctors were prescribing it for destressing and rehabilitation, back pain. So we are starting to get support from people, right? And this was, this is the brilliance of it. So before I even enter the market, Michelle Obama, I sent Michelle Obama, I faxed her a letter, and her department responded.

Andreea Borcea:
Amazing.

Bobbi Hamilton:
Right? And they asked me if I could teach on the Chi mats for her Let’s Move campaign in Los Angeles. So I didn’t even have product to sell, all I had were samples, I was driving around in my car and teaching executives and celebrities in private households. And I just had like a set of mats that I had conjured up enough money to pay for and was going through prints and designs. So I brought my program with the mats and we taught it for Let’s Move. And slowly I was able to, I had so much brilliance around me, you know, it’s like the accidents, the universe was really just supporting me. And one day, I was at an environmental event and I like accidentally knocked over this older Asian gentleman, and he happened to be an exporter American-Chinese man who became instrumental to me, and he actually invested in my first round of mass manufacturing. And then only because we couldn’t even pay to make the card game like I didn’t have enough money to produce the card game, that’s one of my very talented friends who came on as a member in my company, created it into this very simple app. And then it turned out that Gwyneth Paltrow’s kids, like, fought over our products. So she put it in the Goop holiday gift guide early on. And so, you know, slowly we started gaining awareness through the luck of the universe, but also that came with me meditating on it and me asking for help.

Andreea Borcea:
And it does feel like, it’s interesting because your story is a bit of you prepping the market for this, the existence of this with your Animal Yoga because you were saying like before, children yoga was not common, like yoga for children was not something that was readily accepted, but you’d almost primed the market for where you were going to head. And then once it was ready, it almost feels like it was a bit of, build it and they will come as long as you just get it out in front of people. And I think, I feel like yours is such a story of that entrepreneurial gumption, whatever it takes, I’m going to fax Michelle Obama. I’m going to show up wherever I need to, I’m going to talk to whoever I need to to make this thing, and I’m going to talk to everybody I meet because who knows who can help?

Bobbi Hamilton:
It absolutely was that. And I just, I believe in the wellness effects of yoga and yoga therapy so much physically, mentally, emotionally. And that’s something I just really wanted to give the world, and I really believed in it. And it was also a really hard learning experience for me. You know, I lost Animal Yoga. I wasn’t even able to pay for, to keep AnimalYoga.com at one point. It’s like I went to everybody in LA and New York and London trying to get people to pay for a show. Nobody would do it. And like, eventually Cosmic Kids comes along, right? It’s exactly the model of what I had created. And it’s really hard for me to think about, oh, I lost somebody’s money, and I wasn’t able to make this into something that was financially lucrative and was a hard first lesson as an entrepreneur. But really, what it did, was it created the market, and I built, I helped build the market, and it did, and it still is coming around. It takes a long time to build new markets. And even as an example of this, one of my current board members is Tom Dusenberry, he’s the former CEO of Hasbro Interactive and a total visionary, a highest earning CEO in the history of the company. And I had a meeting with him to become a licensing agent for me, and we got in the elevator together and he looked at me and he said, well, kid, it’s so hard to be 20 years ahead. And I felt so seen, you know?

Andreea Borcea:
Yeah.

Bobbi Hamilton:
Yeah, and it was a slow build and a lot of people were trying to help me. I had some really amazing celebrities post a few images of me, with me teaching their kids and them on the mats. I had a lot of really great support and it’s still like it wasn’t enough. Like I just wasn’t, it’s a difficult thing when you don’t have marketing dollars, and when you’re underfunded, it’s not easy. And you just keep building and you just keep chipping away and you just keep working at it. And then at one point, when 2020, I did have some money and I hired a PR person for three months and it was just like unbelievable on how much press we got with them when we were able to hire a PR person. We got on the Today Show, Spy Magazine listed us as Top ten Best New Toys of 2021. We were in Harper’s Bazaar, Reader’s Digest, Health Line, Birdie, Motherly, I mean, you name it, and we had an online article featuring us, and it was so helpful, really helped build our sales.

Andreea Borcea:
I like that a lot of your marketing, it sounds like it’s all been very organic, whether it’s people discovering you and sharing your story. And I think that that brings the authenticity, that this isn’t just some sort of like another toy for kids or just trying to stretch into something that isn’t a good fit. Because if real people like it enough to share it with their friends and followers, that makes a pretty big impact. And so I kind of like that your first real quote-unquote professional marketing stuff, kind of like you were saying, is press, because that is also an extension of public validation, rather than going to paid ads or maybe even events. Like you continue to go down the route of let’s just spread the word and they will come. Do you feel like everyone’s been sharing your message really well and how did you kind of craft how to share that message? Like, how do you introduce this to somebody?

Bobbi Hamilton:
Okay, that is such a great question, and I am so incredibly grateful of the press. I mean, the way the press has written about it has been so remarkable. I feel like I couldn’t have even done it a better job myself. I am so incredibly grateful to them. And the way that I was able to do it was, well before I had the PR lady for, actually, I’m sorry I had her for six months. Before I could afford her and she did a great job, Jackie, PR, she did a great job, but before I could afford her, the way I was doing it was by offering product to people that were writers or who were in certain positions. Like, for example, I went to an investor festival and there was a booth, and there was for American Airlines, and they were taking applications to feature entrepreneurs in their in-flight magazine, American Way. And I went to the table and I said, does anybody have a child between these ages, 3 to 13, and somebody said, yes, I have a seven-year-old daughter. And I said, will you please give this to your daughter? And if she likes it, will you write about it or will you consider me? And she was like, absolutely. And that was the way I was doing it. You know, it’s like I didn’t have the money. It was such a struggle for me. I mean, I even had to move out of my apartment. I’ve lost apartments. I mean, I, it was such a struggle for me to get this business off the ground. And the way that I did it was I gifted product to writers or to these people, and I got chosen for American Airlines’ in-flight magazine Innovator of the Month, and that’s a big deal, like.

Andreea Borcea:
Yeah.

Bobbi Hamilton:
…. of people, yeah.

Andreea Borcea:
I think it’s a testament to the quality of your product because I don’t think that strategy works if the product isn’t good, right, if the mat isn’t good, if the app isn’t good, but it must have been great enough that her daughter loved it because otherwise, she wouldn’t have written about you.

Bobbi Hamilton:
Yeah, exactly, and also one of the other creative ways Jackie PR came up for me was, we’ll ship product to these contacts that she has. And then also whether people had written about me or maybe were interested in it, we offered them special, we offered special press classes over Zoom so a writer with her child could take a free class with me, and that was really helpful. You know, we just had to get really creative. And when I just had to absorb the costs of shipping product to writers and to press and it really is, it really did come down to the product. And it’s really what made me hang in there as an entrepreneur because of the response of kids and parents to the product. And once the parent saw the child’s response to the product, then they were willing to write about it. So that is the thing that has helped me the entire time.

Andreea Borcea:
Yeah, that’s really smart, I’m super impressed. It feels like almost your entire marketing focused was on who can talk about my product rather than the end customer of your product. Well, because the end customer is really a child, but even the parents, it was less talking to the parents, it was more talking to the people that can talk to the parents, and I think that’s a super clever way of growing your marketing when you don’t have the money to talk directly to the parents. Because usually, the way you get directly to the parents is some sort of paid medium. But coming up with all these ways to involve press, to just show up and build these relationships, I think was really, really clever.

Bobbi Hamilton:
Thank you, and also, I can offer one other thing around that. Social media has really been helpful to me. I’ve been working on growing Chi Universe Yoga on Instagram, and once again, I feel slightly impaired in my ability to market and grow accounts, like those aren’t my strengths. But, you know, what really helped me was just sending a simple message to a yoga mom with her kids and saying, hey, I’d be really happy to ship you a product. If you like it, maybe you’d be interested in posting for us. And we’ve had some really talented yoga moms and fitness moms post for us, and I’ve been out in the world and people said to me, oh, I’ve seen that before on so-and-so’s account or, and then, it’s that in itself has been so helpful during Christmas sales. Because I ship products, maybe I could pay just a little bit of money to some of these yoga moms, get them to post a couple of times for us, and recommend the product like Summer Perez, and Natasha Swinford, and Kristen Magee, the Peloton yoga trainer, you know, she, every time she posted, and she would do it out of the goodness of her heart because her kids liked it so much, I would always see sales whenever she posted. And these women are just so lovely, like, a lot of them just would do it to help me because they also too believe in the wellness effects and they want their kids to experience them. So that has been remarkable for me, very organic. And then, you know, moms who have bought the product, they post. And so even if their communities are small, they’re still introducing their communities to how to give your kids wellness, breathing, yoga therapy, playtime, playtime bonding with your own kids. So I’m eternally grateful to all of these super talented yoga moms, yoga dads, you know, fit parents who’ve seen and understood the product and offered it to their communities.

Andreea Borcea:
Do you think that the way your market works is that these are parents that are already out there looking for some sort of solution to get their kids active or healthy? Or do you feel like you’ve ever had to do any sort of convincing or teaching of parents of the value of chi yoga and Chi Universe?

Bobbi Hamilton:
Yes, I think part of my whole process has had to be educating my customer, absolutely.

Andreea Borcea:
How did you go about doing that?

Bobbi Hamilton:
Well, through social media, through press, I’ve definitely outlined for press. I’ve outlined these ideas and concepts through social media and also even through my play app. We turn the audio on, or if you play the card game, you read the instructions. The ideas that I’ve been trying to give to parents are that we can feel better in one breath, let’s practice that together. So giving parents tools to try with their kids. Okay, let’s, telling the parents, hey, why don’t you try breathing and counting with your children when they’re having a meltdown? We can feel better in one breath, let’s do it together. Okay, let’s do three focused breaths together. Now, this is how we’re going to do it. We’re going to breathe through the nose, or if we need to let out steam, we’re going to breathe through the mouth.

Andreea Borcea:
That’s really powerful, especially because as a kid, you don’t know how to handle those emotions, and I think a lot of parents are struggling with that, especially the last few years where the world’s been and continues to be very stressful and kids are aware of that. So even though there’s absolutely a fitness element to it, this whole how to manage, how to breathe together is really impactful and I could see why a lot of parents would flock to that.

Bobbi Hamilton:
Thank you, yes, exactly. And also the other thing, I’ve also learned so much from my customers, and I had to learn how to listen to my customers. Initially, I only made the mat for children and moms kept saying to me, do you have one in my size? I don’t feel comfortable in my physical alignment. I want to play the game. And I would be like, oh really? Okay. So then I started.

Andreea Borcea:
I love that.

Bobbi Hamilton:
Yeah, so then I started manufacturing the adult size to fit an anatomical average for adults, and it widened my demographic, even for children. And then moms and dads would say to me, my issue is that I absolutely have to exercise, otherwise I’ll have the meltdown, and I don’t feel well. And it’s not fair to me that I don’t get to work out, but then I feel guilty because I don’t get to spend time with my children. So we worked on really offering it to families as a kids-and-parents playtime bonding product, and it’s been a remarkable thing. It’s offered them a way to spend time with their kids. They don’t always have to choose going to the gym. You can get enough of a stretch in a workout to feel better, to feel like your body’s really done something. And that’s the thing about the yoga and the therapy of it and movement therapy is that you do a few yoga poses or you do a few movements with breath, and you just start to feel better, and it just opens up the lines of communication, and children and parents start interacting and communicating differently, and that is the brilliance of it. So we’ve really realized like, oh, we’re becoming a leader in a new genre of family fitness and wellness playtime for kids and parents. And just by listening to the parents, we’ve been able to now market ourselves in a way that’s so fresh and that doesn’t exist and become a leader in a new market. And that was really honestly just listening to the customer.

Andreea Borcea:
Yeah, that’s such an impactful thing. And I do think a lot of business leaders forget to listen to their customers. Their customers are telling them exactly what the market is. That’s where, that’s exactly who you want to talk to you. So you should be listening to them. Where do you, I mean, it kind of sounds like you’re already thinking through, like every next phase of your business you’re growing it into a new talking point or demographic or marketing focus. Where do you see yourself going with this long-term?

Bobbi Hamilton:
Yes, so long-term, because we’ve really proven the product, long-term is Global Wellness Through Play and we are increasing, we are about to upgrade our game and our whole fit-tech offering and we want to be able to make a global, a global impact. So I just trademarked Global Wellness Through Play, and we are going to create a way for the whole world to feel better through movement and play. So we’re trying to figure out the avenues on how to properly and easily be able to sell to the global market. And we are working on a greater offering through tech, so that’s our next step.

Andreea Borcea:
That’s really smart. Have you encountered any challenges with selling to kids or selling in the wellness space internationally?

Bobbi Hamilton:
Yeah, I am facing one of the biggest challenges of my entire life. So what I discovered is that, and by the way, like if I can offer any advice, it is to get IP. So you can go through, like I went into an accelerator program and I would listen to people say, don’t worry about spending money on intellectual property. Wrong. Absolutely you must spend money on intellectual property. It is the only thing saving my business right now. I had to come up with money to patent my product, I had to come up with money to trademark, it was so hard for me, doing that, building the business, being an under-funded entrepreneur. I got copyright, four copyrights, four trademarks, and two utility patents, and it is the only reason why I’m going to save my business right now, because, I’ve been, you’re never going to believe this, but I’ve literally had people use not only my copyrighted images from my program, but images of myself, stealing my trademark brands, selling my products online, using my images and my brands, underselling me, using Google ads, pointing to large retailers, underselling me, and selling globally. And the hardest thing I’ve had to go through recently is getting representation to battle these large retailers, and the only reason that I’ve been able to solidify help with attorneys is because I have invested in my own IP. So people are trying to steal my product right out from under me, and they are, and they’ve been selling globally and now I’m fighting for my own products and that’s been really difficult on me. It’s been so incredibly hard, but I’m finally at a place where we’re about to file a lawsuit and it’s getting really interesting and we were expecting some press around that. But anyway, my advice to anybody who’s listening to this is: invest in IP, even if it seems like you can’t pay for it.

Andreea Borcea:
Yeah, wow. I mean, that’s really challenging, especially considering you want to grow globally, and I really wish you the best of luck with those lawsuits. It’s, especially the health and wellness space, and actually, all markets are becoming more global every day. Companies just can’t get away with that anymore because every brand eventually goes global, if they haven’t already gone global, and you went global pretty quickly, and I think that’s a good show of where marketing has to go. People move outside the US all the time with their products and start selling globally, which means they can’t be competitors that are basically just stealing you. And I can’t believe they’re using your image, that’s really brazen.

Bobbi Hamilton:
Isn’t it? It’s amazing. It was it’s shocking. And also, just speaking to the international market, selling internationally actually saved my business several times, trying to grow it. It’s like I had no background selling online, I was trying to figure it out, and one of the things that saved me was having a second avenue of income, which was my teacher training model. So I could, I found that there were teachers in Europe, and globally, who wanted to learn how to integrate the mat and program into their international schools, international private schools, into their wellness offerings. So I could sell my teacher training program along with like 12, 18, 24 mats. So that would give me a couple of thousand dollars in sales, save my business, help me to keep growing, and the international market I’m so grateful for because it really helped me build my business on top of selling, mostly, selling products mostly to the domestic market. So international market was imperative to the vital life force of my business.

Andreea Borcea:
I can see that you’ve been, Bobbi, you’ve been really amazing, resourceful, and clever. You basically launched B2C and B2B at the same time, when you’re talking about your teaching program and launched internationally, there is no 1-2-3 pace with you, you’re just like, we got to go.

Bobbi Hamilton:
Yeah, it’s like, what are we going to do to survive? Totally.

Andreea Borcea:
I love that so much.

Bobbi Hamilton:
You get innovative, but also, you know, I have to say like, and this is very not marketing, but this is like my own spiritual path. You know, when I’ve been in difficult situations, I meditate on what I need and I, the universe provides. So I’ve had the luck of the universe behind me. I’ve had really great people supporting me out of good intention. People have helped me out of the goodness of their heart because they want to see this product succeed because they want to foster health and wellness because they understand that when you feel well, you’re a peaceful person and that’s what the world needs. And people get that and they’ve given their time, their platforms, their energy to that. And, you know, I wouldn’t be where I am without that. So it’s the good fortune of giving wellness to the world, I feel.

Andreea Borcea:
Absolutely, I think that’s a, it’s a wonderful thought to end on. So if anyone wants to get more information on Chi Universe, where can they go?

Bobbi Hamilton:
Definitely visit our website, ChiUniverse.com, and I always spell Chi Universe, because Chi for me is spelled C H I, like C as in cat. And they can also visit us, join our online community on Instagram, which is @ChiUniverseYoga. We are also on Facebook, Twitter, and TikTok as ChiUniverse. And I would love people, I love when people write to me, engage with me, and I try to answer as much as I can. I always appreciate when people also send me images of their kids having fun on the product. We often feature them and yeah, we love hearing from the community, so please reach out to us.

Andreea Borcea:
Wonderful. Thanks so much for your time today, Bobbi. This was a lot of fun.

Bobbi Hamilton:
Thank you so much. I really appreciate you so much. Thank you.

Andreea Borcea:
Thanks again for listening to Marketing Mondays. If you have any marketing questions at all, feel free to reach out to me directly at DiaCreative.com. That’s D I A Creative.com.

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Things You’ll Learn:

  • Animal Yoga for Kids was an animated, sometimes live-action, two-minute commercial segment on PBS that consisted of breaks to get kids off the couch, play along, dance, and do yoga.
  • Before Animal Yoga, yoga for children was not something readily accepted.
  • The Chi Yoga Mats are yoga mats with playful symbols that help children engage, follow along, and prevent injury while practicing.
  • The Chi Universe, Bobbi’s company, sells not only yoga mats but also different interactive products, games, and even an app around yoga for and with children.
  • The Chi Yoga Mats have been sold in 20 countries due to their easily translatable language.
  • The press is also an extension of public validation.
  • Listen to what your customers have to say as they tell you precisely what the market is.
  • Invest in intellectual property, even if it seems like you can’t pay for it.
  • Chi means Life Force Energy.

Summary:

This is a story of that entrepreneurial gumption you need when you want to make a change!

In this episode of Marketing Mondays, Bobbi Hamilton, CEO of Chi Universe and creator of the Chi Yoga Mats and game, talks about the entrepreneurial journey that led her to the current line of products she offers around global wellness through play. When Bobbi lost a successful TV initiative promoting yoga breaks for children, a new market opened and paved the way for her to resurface. She came up with the Chi Yoga Mats, mats with playful symbols that help children engage, follow along, and prevent injury while practicing. With creativity and resourcefulness, Bobbi found different ways to market her product on a limited budget through the press, social media, and relationship building. She also tells a cautionary tale on why it’s essential for innovating entrepreneurs to invest in protecting their intellectual property. Bobbi shares insights and advice on business marketing from her experiences, the highs and the lows.

Tune in to this episode to listen to Bobbi’s journey of giving wellness to the world through play!

About Bobbi Hamilton:

Bobbi Hamilton, C.Y.T. is a Yoga & Meditation Teacher, UC Berkeley graduate, and a published Breast Cancer Researcher for U.C.S.F. Medical. She is also a thought leader and Producer in children’s play-along entertainment, her work has appeared on PBS Kids reaching an estimated 20 million children. Her new invention, the Chi Universe Yoga Mat, Game App & Program, is her first patented and interactive product. It has been featured in Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! LA campaign, the United Nations for Herstory, Four Seasons Resorts, Gwyneth Paltrow’s goop holiday gift guide, and American Airlines’ inflight magazine. ChiUniverse.com

After competing in Division Athletics and training under Olympic diving coaches, Yoga became the journey to healing her back pain and other sports injuries. Training in Vinyasa/Flow, Ashtanga, Iyengar, Sivananda, Kundalini, Anusara, Hatha, Bobbi has learned from many great Yoga Teachers, and in particular a Tibetan Yogi & Chi Master Lobsang Dhargya, a former aid to the Dalai Lama. This sacred healing System with Chi building techniques from the Tibetan Energetic Yoga Therapy is a lineage brought to the west from Dhargya’s monastery, and would forever influence and attune Bobbi’s knowledge and practice to the deepest healing and transformational effects of Yoga. The Tibetan approach restores the body’s self-healing ability by finding and eliminating the stagnated, negative energy blockages that cause physical pain, emotional struggles, and spiritual turmoil. She also continued studies in Pranayama, Qigong, Anatomy, Vedantic and Ayurvedic philosophy, Buddhist Meditation, and Kriya Yoga through the private Meditation lessons of Paramahansa Yogananda and the Self Realization Fellowship.

Bobbi has taught Yoga in numerous studios and spas around the US and has led Yoga travel adventures to international destinations. Bobbi teaches private households, executives, schools, and celebrity groups while building her company, Chi Universe. It is Bobbi’s passion to make fitness fun, develop solutions for the prevention and reversal of childhood obesity, and contribute to greater physical, mental and emotional wellness for a healthier generation of kids, teens, and families. 

Bobbi’s private Yoga & Meditation classes are always tailored to meet clients’ specific needs which may include a personally designed practice, de-stress and re-focus techniques, breathwork & guided meditation, nutrition, and weight loss, and Tibetan Energetic Yoga Therapy. Bobbi’s philosophy is one of deeply recharging the body and mind with chi the life force energy.

Resources:

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