Think Outside the Blocks…The 3 Minute Egg Prop
Think Outside the Blocks…The 3 Minute Egg Prop
Interview with the “Eggspert” Jason Schoulder
Dallas Yoga Magazine is honored to have gotten a call from Debbi Levy at Transformation Yoga (see photos) to partner with her in bringing Jason Scholder, the inventor of the “3 Minute Egg” to town. Of course, we jumped at the opportunity to create a training weekend with Jason using a product that offers so many benefits to yogis. The 15 hour training will be June 1st – 3rd and Jason will also have a class on Saturday morning at the Cosmic Yogi Festival and during the day you will be able to find him at his vendor booth. Yoga teachers will receive 15 continuing education credits. The training offers a class set of eggs, manuals and so much more. For more information read on and Jason will explain the workshop in detail or click here to sign up for the “3 Minute Egg Training.”
DYM: Tell us about yourself prior to your 3 Minute Egg venture.
Jason: I tried a lot of things before inventing the Yoga Egg. I taught English in foreign countries, I was an artist who exhibited and represented other artists, and for 10 years I owned and operated my own high-end custom cabinet and furniture shop. All of these seemingly abandoned careers have contributed greatly to my life as The Eggman. Along the way I was introduced to my spiritual teacher. Studying with him was what helped me escape Los Angeles and find refuge in the mountains of North Carolina. Anxious to exclusively do things which hadn’t been a part of my life in LA, I started playing guitar, professional poker, making movies and inventing yoga props. Fortunately, I stopped playing poker, but I sometimes feel going into yoga was a bigger gamble.
DYM: You are also a popular comedian.
Jason: Calling me a “popular comedian” feels very generous. Even my mom says I’m at best her 2nd favorite comic.
DYM: Tell us about how you got started in comedy.
Jason: I decided to go on stage for the first time as a 46th birthday present to myself. People have been telling me I’m funny for years, and I wanted to prove them wrong. Comedy is hard. I didn’t think I could walk up onto a stage cold and make people laugh. But I did okay, and it felt incredible. So, I keep going back for more.
DYM: Where was your favorite place you have performed?
Jason: I have had so many great experiences on stage. And plenty of bad ones. I love it when I fall into a spontaneous conversation with the audience. Unintended crowd work is the most fun thing for me to do, because everyone in the room is writing the material together. When the audience is on your side, but can’t keep their thoughts in their heads, where they belong, it makes for an unforgettable, non-repeatable show. This is what happened the 2nd time I performed at what I would call a “real club.” It could have been a disaster. It should have been a disaster. But it wasn’t. It was magical and it hasn’t quite happened the same way since.
DYM: Are you performing anywhere in the near future you would like to share with our readers?
Jason: I am hoping to perform in Dallas somewhere on Thursday, May 31st. Once I have a location, I’ll be glad to let you know!
DYM: We will make sure to let everyone know where you will be! So…you are a Comedian Yogi. (Laughing)
Jason: One of the reasons I started performing comedy is because I was making people laugh in class and I started to care more about their reactions to my jokes than I did their postures. Becoming a comedian has made me a much better yoga teacher.
DYM: When and where did you get yoga certified?
Jason: I did my 200 training in Asheville, North Carolina, with Lillah Schwartz, unofficially in the lineage of BKS Iyengar… twice. I also filmed and thereby audited Aadil Palkhivala’s 200 hour training in Bellevue, Washington. While I didn’t receive a certificate, I learned an incredible amount and I do have more 200 hour certificates than most people.
DYM: What style of yoga do you practice/teach?
Jason: I practice all kinds of yoga, because every lineage has a lot to offer. Though I am not officially an Iyengar teacher, I do lean heavily on what I’ve learned about alignment from this lineage to protect my body no matter where I practice. I feel like I could be a decent Iyengar teacher if I wanted to study within that system, because when I teach in other studios, they think I’m very strict.
DYM: How did you come up with the idea of the 3 Minute Egg?
Jason: I invented the Eggs in the process of trying to free myself from crippling back pain. I had endured a few injuries in short succession, including being rear-ended in my car and flying head first off my mountain bike onto a rock. I was a mess and I failed to seek the necessary medical attention in a timely fashion. As a result, I ended up bed-ridden for weeks with recurring episodes of extended discomfort happening for years. I saw a lot of doctors and I tried a lot of toys. I’d been told my middle back was inflexible and thus my low back was carrying the load. So, I spent a lot of time looking for ways to stretch my middle back.
I laid on a lot of yoga blocks before creating the Eggs, but they always caused the same problem: either I couldn’t get the block where I needed it, or if I did, then I couldn’t get the rest of the block out of the way. I noticed that I didn’t have this problem when stretching over curved surfaces. Any time I saw something curvy, be it a car hood, a sculpture or a fallen tree, I would lay over it to stretch my back.
One day someone handed me a “Heart Block” and said it would change my life. They were right. Heart Blocks are curvy pieces of wood that look like dinosaur bones, so utilizing my furniture making skills, I crafted a couple of Heart Blocks of my own. In so doing, ended up with leftover pieces of wood. One of those became the Egg. I have since spent the last 12 years perfecting the Yoga Egg and designing other Egg-like objects to help people heal themselves with yoga. As it turns out, that Heart Block did change my life, though the path was curvy, not linear. In other words, Egg-shaped and not blockish.
DYM: We love our eggs you sent us, we have been using them for about a year now. Tell our readers what makes the 3 Minute Egg unique compared to yoga blocks?
Jason: The answer is deceptively simple. Your Body’s Not Square! Blocks are designed to be an extension of the room. Eggs function as an extension of your body. No matter how you use an Egg, it will work with or against the shape of your body, providing you with instant feedback on the efficacy of your actions. Blocks don’t tell you anything. They just sit there, silently, and make you do all the work.
DYM: What do you like best when teaching and sharing about the 3 Minute Eggs with those trying it for the first time?
Jason: I have taught people at all levels of yoga, including people whose practices are stronger and more exquisite than mine. In fact, this is how I would describe most people. But teaching with Eggs is special. Even the most advanced yogis experience “A-ha Moments” with Eggs. I love watching their eyes pop out of their previously skeptical heads. But by far the most rewarding moments come when someone lays over Eggs for the first time and utters a phrase I’ve heard literally thousands of times, but I’m desperate for attention, so it’s never enough: “These feel amazing! How come nobody thought of this sooner? You’re a genius!” I’m not a genius. I promise. But I do “Think Outside The Blocks” and not a lot of people do that. I ask lots of questions, and I never accept what people tell me as “final answers.” When I first started showing people Eggs, I encountered a lot of resistance. But now people say things like, “Wow, these are so cool!” Or even, “I’ve heard about these and always wanted to try them.” I don’t miss the old days at all.
DYM: I understand you have taught yoga with the 3 Minute Eggs all over the world. Can you tell us about some of the places you have been to?
Jason: I have been very fortunate in that teaching with Eggs have taken me to several continents. In addition to teaching in the US and Canada, I’ve taught in South Korea, Japan, Switzerland, Finland, and Norway.
DYM: WOW! Traveling like that must be an incredible experience. Do you have a favorite teaching story you would like to share? One that really stands out to you.
Jason: One of the most fun times I’ve ever had teaching with Eggs was at a yoga conference in Japan. They put me on a stage, with a team of Japanese yoga teachers and a translator. All were wearing matching 3ME T-shirts. I had half an hour to rock people’s worlds in a language I didn’t speak, and a culture I adore but cannot claim to understand. Somehow, it happened. I made them laugh, I made them sweat, I made them stretch and I made them smile. When the class was winding down, and the convention hall floor was covered with Egg-supported Savasanas, I allowed myself a moment of silent satisfaction. Here I was, halfway around the world and people where happy. They were happy because my Eggs and they were happy because of me. I just don’t think life gets better than this.
DYM: What an incredible experience!
You have a daughter; does she practice yoga with you?
Jason: I have a 10 year old daughter who loves to practice yoga… when I’m not looking. If I’m lucky, she’ll pull her mat uncomfortably close to mine and ask for lots of instruction she doesn’t follow and then complain that yoga is boring and ask me when we can watch a movie. These are the times I get to practice patience, acceptance, non-judgement and a slew of other non-physical aspects of yoga.
DYM: You are coming in town for the Cosmic Yogi Festival and we are so excited! Tell us about your workshop and how the teachers can get 15 hour credit for their certification.
Jason: This year I am trying something special with my 3ME YTT. I am incorporating a 2-hour class at the Dallas Yoga Festival into the training itself. This will be a very well-rounded class teaching fundamentals of alignment and working toward some victory poses with Eggs. I will make postures people thought inaccessible easy, and I’ll make postures people take for granted feel intense. This will happen on the 2nd day of the 3-day course. We will further utilize this opportunity to allow trainees taking my course to assist me while I teach. There is no better way to see the efficacy of the Eggs in action than to watch a room full of people have A-ha moments from the front of the room. I am very excited to be able to merge my 3ME YTT with a class I’ll be teaching at the festival.
DYM: I understand for just $230 you can take the course and get credits. But tell us more about the entire package you can purchase?
Jason: You will receive continuing education credits just for taking the 15-hour class, but for only $199 additional dollars, you can get half a dozen Eggs, a printed manual with a lifetime of free updates (delivered digitally), a certificate of completion, and you will be listed on our website as a “Certified Eggspert!”
DYM: Is there anything else you would like to tell our readers?
Jason: You asked me if I have any favorite teaching stories, but more memorable than that for me are my favorite learning stories. Some of them involve world-famous teachers such as Joan White, Jason Crandell and Aadil Palkhivala, people I am truly blessed to know. Joan took me to India to study at the Iyengar Institute; I brought Eggs to Teacher Trainings in Japan, and Aadil has made the Eggs a virtually mandatory piece of equipment in all of the studios that bare the Purna Yoga name. Aadil has one of the most amazing yoga stories ever. Aadil has been practicing yoga since before he entered the womb. True Story. You can hear him tell it here. He is truly a master of asana and he has taught me some of the most profound and surprising applications for utilizing Eggs. Lastly, my model, Carrie Carr, is one of the most creative yogis I’ve ever met. I left her alone with a set of Eggs for 6 months and she spent that time developing dozens of Egg sequences that became an endless series of yoga videos in which she stars. I learn from her every time I watch her practice, which is a lot, because she is all over my website.
But at the risk of sounding cliché, the people I learn the most from are my students. If a teacher’s eyes are truly open, their students are the best reflection of everything a teacher knows and has yet to learn. My students have taught me everything I don’t yet know, and continually motivate me to improve. There are a lot of great yoga teachers out there. Most of them are better than me. But nobody understands Eggs as well as I do. That is my gift. I have been working with them for so long that they are just another body part for me. They are literally an extension of my being and there is no one better suited to teach with Eggs than me. But I need help! And this is why I hold teacher trainings — to pass on whatever knowledge I have so that others can help Eggducate the world.
DYM: Thank you so much Jason for sharing your story with us. We are so very blessed and honored to be hosting your Dallas workshop with Debbi Levy from Transformation Yoga.
For more information and to contact Jason:
Click here to sign up or for more information on the Dallas 3 Minute Egg Training.