Pauls Pujats: Mind, body and soul

“The flexibility my Airbnb Experience gives me was the reason I signed up.” Pauls Pujats, a 28-year-old track and field athlete who represented Latvia at Rio 2016, is now offering people a bespoke, multifaceted introduction to yoga, meditation, nutrition and exercise at his home in Memphis (USA).

  • Pauls reached the final of the men’s pole vault at Rio 2016.
  • Here, he explains why his Airbnb Experience fits in perfectly with his lifestyle.
  • With our support, you too can become an Airbnb host and earn an extra income like Pauls.

I first heard about the project on Instagram. My ambition has always been to offer these sessions and when I saw the post, I realised that this was my perfect opportunity to make it happen. The flexibility my Airbnb Experience gives me was the reason I signed up. I can choose when to run the sessions and this is a great balance for me with the rest of my life.

The flexibility my Airbnb Experience gives me was the reason I signed up.

Holistic approach
I currently offer five experiences: brunch, a physical workout, a bed of nails acupuncture experience, yoga with meditation, and dinner. I have written a book called Healthy Food for Athletes and talked with nutritional professionals to create menus that not only fill your belly but also please your taste buds. My workout sessions help people to get fit, promote good blood flow or target certain muscle and joints. I also create training programmes for clients who want to work out in their own time. The yoga and meditation I provide is designed to help people remove clutter in their mind and decrease physical and mental pain. The bed of nails – standing on the nails for one minute – is a more extreme experience and very challenging for those who have not attempted it before.

Immediate impact
It is very rewarding to see the positive impact the sessions can have. My first yoga session was an hour-and-a-half long and even after that short time the clients were surprised how much more flexible and calm they were. Since then I’ve started to give weekly sessions and depending on the day, there can be from one to 20 people.

I don’t think there are many people with the level of expertise that I’ve learned after years of travelling, researching, training and experimenting. I’m now passing down the knowledge I’ve learned from my own teachers to a younger generation. Giving value, helping and sharing is what matters and that’s what people appreciate the most.

Dare to dream
I’ve enjoyed the collaboration with Airbnb and the IOC, who have been respectful, responsive and there to help. That’s what matters the most when you’re working with companies and organisations.

I would encourage other athletes who want to use their passion and expertise to do so because we all have unique experiences to share. My advice is to go for it because it adds value to society. You must be ready to listen to constructive criticism so you can improve your experience but also never forget you are doing a good thing.

If you want to set up your own Airbnb Experience like Pauls and generate extra income for yourself, apply to become a host here and receive bespoke support from Airbnb and Athlete365.