Meet Barry Ennis
It's always been in my nature to ask questions, to probe deeper, to push boundaries, and continue to learn. I didn't follow in the footsteps of a lot of my classmates graduating college. I wasn't sure what I wanted to do with my degree so I continued to practice and teach yoga as my main source of income. Yoga was something that became a powerful part of my life when I was a competitive athlete growing up and through college.
I grew up in a very religious family and I strongly connected with it until college when I drifted away from dogmatic religion and become more spiritually inquisitive in general. This aspect of my life combined with my yoga practice ultimately landed me in a yoga teacher training in Michigan. Over the week I was there I completely changed with the knowledge and wisdom that I learned. The teacher leading this retreat was also a spiritual seeker and had spent years in India looking for a truth that resonated with him. It was this that he brought back to teach at his retreats in the US.
There is a saying that even if you shine a light in a cave that has remained in darkness for millions of years, it does not take any more time for the light to push back the darkness. It is said that it is the same with wisdom. When you learn something, it doesn't matter how long you have been living in ignorance- your life is immediately changed. This is how I felt learning what I learned at this retreat. It was as if I had found the book that all the little bits of wisdom I had accumulated in my life thus far came from. I was so taken with this knowledge that I had to learn more- I had to go to the source. I made the decision at age 22 to sell all of my possessions, pack a bag, and commit to a three year course at the Vedanta Academy in Maharashtra, India- the same place my yoga teacher had learned from.
Two months later I found myself in India- the first foreign country I had ever visited. I marveled as I took a taxi from the airport to the Academy. I remember thinking "Hmm. It must be the law in India that red lights do not apply at night" That was certainly not the case. We weaved around people and animals in the road, swerved around trucks, and at one point, even almost rear-ended an elephant taking up the right lane.
My experience in India forever changed my life- my eyes were opened to how different cultures live. I learned principles of life that allowed me to become more responsible, more mindful, more aware of my actions, and ultimately helped me find more peace. I lived in India for six months before needing to make a change in order to continue paying off my college student loans. I talked to a man at the Academy who owned a business in Dubai. Interested in continuing my adventure, I accepted. Two weeks later I landed in Dubai.
This man owned a business that sold large size valves for oil and gas pipelines- far from my interests as a fitness professional. I was living in a two bedroom apartment with 6 other young Indian men who didn't speak much English. I had to commute two hours to work at 5 in the morning and was living off of $50 a week in order to pay off my loans quickly. I was certainly starting from the bottom- not making much money, not knowing anyone in another foreign country, and my only means of transportation being walking or borrowing the company car.
I had a hard time living in the situation I was in and working the job I was in, so I started doing some modeling and teaching spinning classes on the side in order to make some new connections and make more money. I quickly started being booked more and more and I started to gain a bit of a following teaching fitness. It was time to take the next step. I moved away from the job I was in and started teaching bootcamps on one of the most beautiful beaches in Dubai. I was working for an American guy and things really started to pick up. Flash forward tow years, and I got an incredible job offer to help lead and run the first international Flywheel Sports indoor cycling studio- a popular class series from New York City.
Over my last two years in Dubai I rose to the very top. I was frequently featured on television and in magazines as one of the top fitness instructors in the country. I was selling out nearly every one of my spinning and barre classes at Flywheel and was still teaching a lot of yoga. However, despite all of this success, I never lost my innate drives- to ask questions, to probe deeper, to push boundaries, and continue to learn. I knew that I had tapped my potential in Dubai, and it was time to take the next step forward.
After four years of living abroad I made my way back home to LA- completely enriched through the knowledge and experience I had gained. I had left LA with no money and no good job experience, and I came back with a resumé that could get me any job I wanted. I now am a Reebok ambassador and well as an ambassador for MitoXcell, and I'm continuing to teach classes and grow my brand which is designed to teach people all of the incredible life changing principles through fitness that I have learned through my adventures.