Interview with Halley Firstenberg: 40 Days to Personal Revolution

Interview by Jessica Morton of Morton Essentials

Q: Tell me a little bit about the 40 DAYS TO A PERSONAL REVOLUTION PROGRAM that you just completed while we were in quarantine.

A: It is a book that was written by Baron Baptiste. I have been practicing the Baptiste methodology of yoga for 15 years and teaching it for 13 years.  The book maps out an all encompassing 40 day program of meditation, diet, asana, and self-inquiry through journaling, sharing and reading. The purpose of the program is to revolt from the status quo and “awaken us” out of our default modes so that we can live a true, free and happy life.  I have done the program before and every time it is like new to me. This was my first time where the program was lead by Baron Baptiste himself.

Q: What are some key takeaways that you learned?

A: I had many personal take-always but to keep it short I will just name a few;
1. Not to waste a crisis. A crisis is the perfect opportunity for a revolution.
2.  Meditation is way more important than I ever considered. It’s like a new muscle I am building to create more clarity in my life.  This will stick for sure. I can’t believe I ever lived without it.
3. That I need to be more patient. It is okay to rest in a pose (even a hard one), to take your time with a project and to take breaks.
4. That if you really want to change, you have to change. Thinking about it is not enough. Manifestations and noticing are a beautiful start but they do not create the changes. You can read 500 books, attend 100 seminars, and practice yoga until you are blue in the face but action (particularly a new action) creates change.
5.  That presence is a full time job.   

Q: Since you are now starting a 40 day session that you will be leading, what steps will you take to shift from student to teacher? 

A:  I will listen and then respond.  The experience will be fresh so we will see what comes up.

Q:  During quarantine, I’ve had a lot of time to reflect on the places I would like to visit.  What was the most recent big vacation you took with your family?

A:  It was a very fun vacation to Cancun, Mexico. I went with my parents, husband and daughter to a resort where I taught yoga everyday.  It was rad.  

Q: What’s on your bucket list for travel?

A: I’m planning California, Colorado, and South Carolina but I may just stay here in Cleveland. Traveling feels a bit like a strange luxury these days but I’m still “planning”.  The Buddha traveled all over to seek answers yet when he arrived home and was asked by his wife if it was worth it sacrificing the time with his family, he said no and then he realized he could have stayed and found all the answers right there all along.  Why are we always off to plan the next thing?  I’m calling myself out here. That is what the 40 Days Program does. Lol!  Maybe it’s more about traveling well than getting to a destination.   I think there is some sort of Zen Buddhist quote that goes something like that.


Register HERE for the Cleveland Yoga Concord 40 Days to Personal Revolution program.  The introductory meeting is Sunday, May 31 at 4:00 PM via Zoom.