Huggies Commercial Premiere

Last October a location scout called me up, out of the blue, and asked if we'd consider allowing Huggies to shoot a diaper commercial at The Yoga Room. My immediate response was Yes! After a few on-site visits and lots of discussion between the director, the producer, the art director, the location scout, the property manager, the landlord, and me, everyone finally agreed to do it. One early morning in late October I showed up at the studio at 7:00 a.m. to find the entire property buzzing with about 60-70 crew members. I was cast as the yoga teacher for the commercial. It was an exciting day. You can read all about the day of filming here.

At the end of the day of shooting, I happened to be standing next to a Huggies Marketing Exec, and I asked her when the commercial would air. She said they would screen test it and IF the target audience liked the commercial, it would air sometime in April. I remember thinking, That's a lot of effort and expense for something that might not even air!

Months passed and I didn't hear anything about the commercial, until one day at the end of March I suddenly got an email from "@huggies." I opened the email with excitement - it was an invitation to the Huggies Premiere! At Flix Brewhouse! And Giuliana Rancic was hosting! What a big deal! In Round Rock!

A few days later, my friend, the Special Events Coordinator for the City, Kristin Brown, forwarded me an email with the Huggies commercial trailer attached. It was a teaser that included bits of all 5 of the commercials the crew filmed in Round Rock back in October. It was so cool to see images of The Yoga Room mixed in with the other Huggies commercials.

Finally, the day of the Premiere arrived. It was an exciting event. All the families who had participated in the commercial were invited. Mayor Alan McGraw was there. The media was there. Giuliana Rancic stood on the red carpet and graciously chatted and took photos with everyone.

Then it was time to go into one of the theaters in Flix to see the the Huggies commercials on the big screen. The proud family sitting to my left brought their baby who starred in the first commercial. Everyone clapped when it was done, then the second, third, and finally our commercial came up on the big screen. It was beautiful, and just as I remembered it from that day back in October. How fun to see the studio on a giant movie screen! I tried to take some still photos, but they didn't come out very good since we were in a dark theater :)

I spoke with one of the moms who appeared in the yoga commercial with her baby, and she's been in contact with the advertising agency. She told me that she learned that the "Huggies Test Town" campaign is a very big one for Huggies, and they plan to stagger the releases of each of the commercials. The first two are airing nationally already, and from what this mom understood, the yoga commercial will not air until sometime next year. That's a little bit of a bummer - I wish we could all see it on TV right now - but it will come soon enough!

In the meantime, here's a list of links related to the Huggies yoga commercial:

Playground Playdate Commercial Round Rock Leader article Austin American Statesman Article Unofficial video from the Premiere

XO, Zelinda

P.S. Please let me know when you see our commercial appear on TV so I can be sure to record it! And please let me know if you have any questions or curiosities about the commercial. I'd be happy to talk to you about it!

Lessons from a Commercial Film Set: 5 Ways to Protect Your Energy

This week I had a really good reminder about the importance of protecting one's energy, and I'd like to share my experience with you. On Tuesday The Yoga Room was closed while a production company used the studio to film a national TV commercial. It was an exciting opportunity for the studio to be involved in the project, and it was an exciting opportunity for me personally, because they asked me to be the yoga teacher in the commercial.

When I arrived at 7:00 a.m., in the dark, the parking lot was full of trucks and trailers. The studio, and in fact the whole complex, was abuzz with crew members moving around and setting things up. In all, there were about 60-70 crew members on site for set decoration, art direction, wardrobe, hair and makeup, lighting, audio, filming, video monitoring, craft services (catering), and more.

Filming was scheduled to begin at 8:30, and there wasn't much for me to do except prepare to teach. So I spent some time watching the crew set up in the studio and trying to be helpful. I spent some time walking around the complex to take in all the activity and learn whatever I could about how commercials are made. I went and had my hair and makeup done, and then I went back to the studio.

I wasn't nervous, but some part of me was excited about all the activity, and I realized the effect adrenaline was having on me. I decided to do some asana practice to try to settle down. What I noticed right away was that my body was reacting differently than it does during my typical morning practice. I was much more limber; I didn't feel my usual aches and pains. I craved a stronger practice than normal. I wanted headstands - lots of headstands.

The asana practice helped some, but I decided I needed to meditate to try to settle down a bit more. I sat in a corner of the studio and meditated. As I normally do, I focused on breathing, but this time I was breathing in generator fumes. Even still, I managed to relax a bit.

Soon it was time to begin filming, and surprisingly, I wasn't nervous at all. My back was to the camera, and I began to teach the class. Everything went perfectly fine, and the director was happy with the images he was capturing.

Most of the crew was really lovely people. Of course, in a high-stress environment like a commercial film set, there are bound to be a few grouchy personalities, and those began to pop up later in the filming.

I usually use my "That person has an issue. I am fine" mentality when I have to work with grouchy people, but I realized in this situation that that tactic wasn't enough.

There was just so much going on: the giant crew, the equipment scattered all over the complex, the pressure of teaching on film, some miscommunications about expectations, no time for lunch, and the grouchy people on top of all of that.

When the filming was done and the crew began to pack up and leave, I realized I had a headache and I was starving. I had to stick around a little while to coordinate putting the studio and the complex back to "normal," and when it was all done, I locked up and when to have some lunch with a friend. And that's when I realized that I was EXHAUSTED. It took me another 36 hours to fully recover.

And now that I look back on the experience, I wonder what I could have done differently so that I wouldn't have been wiped out at the end of it. I wondered how the film crew manages to do this kind of work for days in a row. I wondered how can yoga help someone in this environment protect their energy?

And here's what I came up with - 5 Ways to Protect Your Energy:

  1. Remember to breathe. In yoga we use pranayama (breathing exercises) to regulate our energy. Check in with your breathing from time to time. Are you breathing or holding your breath? Are you taking short, jagged, stressed breaths, or long, smooth, relaxed breaths? Take relaxed, lengthened inhales and long exhales to promote relaxation and increase your energy.
  2. Take sensory breaks. Whenever you're not directly involved in the action, practice pratyahara (withdrawal from the senses). Take a few moments to close your eyes, refrain from speaking, and imagine turning off your ability to hear. Focus inward to find some mental stillness and conserve your energy.
  3. Take physical breaks. If you have the opportunity, take a physical break with savasana (final relaxation pose). Lay on the floor and allow your body to completely relax. This will help you process the activities you're experiencing, and will help calm your mind and balance your energy.
  4. Mind your own business. This can be a tough one. We often want to know everything that's going on around us, but if we're being conscious about protecting and conserving our energy, we'd be wise to let other people worry about their business and mind our own business.
  5. Send love to the grouchy people. This can also be a tough one. Our first instinct is usually to think mean thoughts about them, but consider what it must feel like to be them. They're angry all day long. They may have some bad stuff going on in their life. Sending them a little mental sympathy, and maybe even some love, is a way for you to release those negative, energy-sucking thoughts and be on your merry way.

Now I'd love to hear from you! What energy-zapping situation have you found yourself in? Did you manage your energy well? What are you favorite tips and tricks to protect your energy?

Please share your pearls of wisdom in the Comments below. I look forward to hearing from you!

Lots of love, Zelinda