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South Florida yogi shares life story, tips on how to destress

South Florida yogi shares life story, tips on how to destress
South Florida yogi shares life story, tips on how to destress 03:18

MIAMI BEACH — South Florida is known for its sun, sand, and surf.  But it's also known for something else: its stress level!

Miami ranks in the top 50 of America's most stressed cities, according to WalletHub. So, what can be done to help alleviate daily life pressures?

CBS News Miami met with an expert in this space, who, as it turns out, has ties to the CBS News family.  

"You guys are lucky in Miami," said Brett Larkin.

We met Larkin walking along the waves in South Beach.  She found relaxation with each sinking step in the sand.  And each stride: purposeful.

Away from the waves, this Seattle native connects with South Florida's calming breeze.  The sand and ocean become a yoga studio. It's a perfect setting for this professional yoga instructor, who found her calling, not chasing the waves but chasing a college boy.

"Attempt to get out of the friend zone," smiled Larkin.  "I said 'Alright, I'll go to one yoga class as long as it's the most intense kind.'"

The crush washed away. Guiding her to a different path.  At 36 years old, Larkin's career is trending up. 

With over 500,000 YouTube subscribers to her channel, the social media pro-yoggie is in Miami, leading a conference to teach local instructors how to do yoga on the go.

And, Larkin's always on the move. She fits right in South Beach, as we saw her go from the beach, grab a smoothie, walk back to the hotel to change outfits and head out the door and onto the next stop, the Perez Art Museum.

While sitting in the passenger seat in the back of an Uber headed toward the Museum, she took each moment she could for mindfulness. Something she learned through loss and life.

"Saw my father take his last breath and give birth to my son, both in my home," said Larkin, reflecting on her life.  "It was devastating."

Months after her son was born, her dad, Peter Larkin, died in 2018.  Peter spent decades working with CBS News, suffering injuries covering the Vietnam War.

Larkin needed more than a helping hand to deal with death, beginning her new journey into motherhood.

"So, the yoga I have always practiced wasn't working for me," shared Larkin.  "I didn't have time to practice yoga the way I used to.  I didn't have time to go to a studio.  I didn't have time to do a 60, 90-minute class."

So, she created yoga-on-the-go, finding moments in the between: on car trips or enjoying works of art outside the Museum in downtown Miami. 

Yoga in between life moments inspired her to become a first-time author, sharing love, loss and yoga.

"I called the book 'Yoga Life,'" said Larkin about her book, which will be publicly available later this month.  "You don't need a mat.  You don't need a studio. It's yoga in your life."

Momentum takes her into a new future, beyond clicks and tweets from her social media following.  It takes her back to her purpose, helping her dad recover from physical war wounds.

"I was always interested in helping my dad," said Larkin.  "He used to call me Nurse Brett."

From looking at photos of her dad teaching her how to ride a bike, Larkin reflects and smiles, believing her dad would be even more proud of the woman and author she's become.

"He would be so happy I'm sharing these techniques," said Larkin.  "Doing some of the things that helped him, spreading that message to other people."

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