Hot yoga, great football and giving back and living in Baltimore as a Ravens alum

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Our resident Super Bowl XXXV champion and hot yoga devotee Femi Ayandabejo joins Nestor for a spirited debate about mental fitness, personal strength and Ravens football and the importance of giving back on Crab Cake Row: A Cup Of Soup Or Bowl from Faidley’s for the Maryland Food Bank.


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Femi Ayanbadejo, Amanda Rodriguez, Nestor J. Aparicio, Jonathan Brown

Nestor J. Aparicio  00:00

Welcome back. We are live at fake news and I mean live like I haven’t been live radio in almost 10 years in August. It’ll be 10 years we’re doing crabcake row a cup of Super Bowl. This guy has joined me on the real radio row back in the day. I don’t know how many Super Bowls if you attended them and you’ve attended to you for evens, and you played in only one right? And you want correct when my brother


Femi Ayanbadejo  00:24

played in one come on the rings at home baby I don’t I don’t just wear the ring around. I mean, come on to take some way takes away something if I just wear the

Nestor J. Aparicio  00:31

ring for you is a good question how often you wear the ring in a year. So I do

Femi Ayanbadejo  00:35

a lot of charity events, right? I do a lot of stuff with the Ravens Legends community. And I do a lot of stuff with turn around, obviously. So I’d say I probably wear it 10 times a year because I know that people have never seen a ring before and it’s kind of like my ring will be the first ring it might be the only ring they ever get to see. So when I’m out in public and I know it’s a worthwhile event. And I’m not worried about anybody running away from me. I can still run them down you understand? I still got some legs on me right me and I can still carry your running back. Yeah,

Nestor J. Aparicio  00:59


I can still run you still doing hot.

Femi Ayanbadejo  01:00

I am everyday baby just got done just before I came here. Okay, yeah, so we get you what it is you’re gonna tell him what the hot is. Alright, so,

Nestor J. Aparicio  01:07

Femi. I met you in 99 when you got here. That was the first year I was nationally syndicated on Sporting News Radio and one on one sports. And I did the show every Monday from Philadelphia from the NFL Network. NFL film network. It wasn’t an NFL films from their students. So Steve Sable, Ron Jaworski, Meryl Hodge, Greg cosell people we know now. But Brian Baldinger was my co host. We did every Monday when you were playing from two until six we would go up there. And Baldinger was not fresh out of the league probably 10 years out of the league at the time, but he had played three places Dallas, Philadelphia, Indianapolis all on concrete, like literally oh that turf that has like six five and a finger and all that right? Ball these nasty, you got to get on the mat. You got to do yoga, you got to do Bikram, you’re gonna get hot yoga, it flexibility and even hold his leg up and stuff. He doesn’t camera. He’s 25 years older. 9099 I took my first yoga class with a guy named Moses Brown and Columbia at a at a yoga studio wasn’t warm, it was regular was learning four corners, the geometry of staying behind your knee and staying square and not getting out over your legs. When you’re doing things you don’t get hurt. And then the hot came after that once I started sweating and got down to 55 I’m pretty I’m not an athlete, but I’m in pretty good shape, you know, and I’m still on the mat three, four days a week and I like hot. I don’t do big room. But I do hot vinyasa. I

Femi Ayanbadejo  02:35

only do big room. I will only do Beckerman only, I’ll only do variants of vicar and by the way, because for what I need, I can negotiate all my injuries, I know exactly what I’m getting into no matter where I go on the planet. It’s always the 76 into two and it could be a 60 minute, it could be a 75 minute, it could be a 90 minute it could be some variant of Vikram and I know exactly what it is. And what I love is the etiquette and the culture of it. It’s not about lifting weights, it’s the total antithesis of weightlifting, it’s 180 degrees away from there. It’s about you’re not competing, you’re not there to be loud and grunting and it’s not about you. It’s about really being one with the class and being in sync with everyone in the class. Now if you if you need a break or you’re tired or you’re just not feeling you can lay down and no one cares. Like it’s it’s the it’s the most seamless kind of approach in regard to mental, emotional, physical, spiritual kind of health. And that’s why

Nestor J. Aparicio  03:31

that’s why balding I started doing it 10 years ago, not because I’m addicted to vinyasa.

Femi Ayanbadejo  03:35

I started doing it 10 years ago, it was one day a week when I first moved back to Baltimore when I was doing my MBA at Hopkins and went from one day a week to two days a week to three days a week to four days a week. I do it seven days a week. I’ve been doing it seven days a week for the last five years. I’ve been doing it for 10 years. I did over 400 classes last year. There’s only 365 days a year was I tell you I was doing doubles? I was asking you all the time. Like

Nestor J. Aparicio  03:57

I remember when you started going every day while I was living down on the city I would run in

Femi Ayanbadejo  04:03


remember during the pandemic we were each other all the time

Nestor J. Aparicio  04:06

and I’d be like so everyday Everyday everyday you like bowling Everyday everyday? I like a little rest I got an L 304 thing that I had a surgeon told me they were gonna cut on me and I’m like no

Femi Ayanbadejo  04:15

not at all 405 So the thing is you know this the thing that’s why I do doubles because if I want to do six days and I need to do another day I can make up for that day and there’s some downtime sometimes where I’ll do maybe 789 10 days in a row of doubles and then maybe I’ll take two or three days off but I’m always going to average more than one class a day for the for the year

Nestor J. Aparicio  04:31

only go to a classroom setting can you do this?


Femi Ayanbadejo  04:35

No I can’t No I don’t love the studio I go to promote you need to come to my studio handle reading dragon in Harbor East baby What’s up let’s go You’re not

Nestor J. Aparicio  04:44

the only one invite me to breathing dragon. I love it

Femi Ayanbadejo  04:46

because it’s called breathing dragon block from my house thing I love

Nestor J. Aparicio  04:49


about yoga is breathing. The fact that you just concentrate on your breathing and getting into a movement right like in

Femi Ayanbadejo  04:57

its simplest form. That’s the truth. You know what’s good for me though is somebody who’s always like thinking about the next thing the next vision the next thing I’m trying to build the next thing I’m trying to work on. I can go microscopic, like really deep inside myself and think about like my kids my life what I’m doing my trajectory, but then I can go telescopic like how am I going to help those people? How am I going to do this next thing? What’s the year look like? What’s two years look like? What’s my son’s graduation at the same time, it’s my it’s my safe space, thinking

Nestor J. Aparicio  05:22

about the next pose no and think about

Femi Ayanbadejo  05:26

and that’s what I love about it is because breathing for me because I know my body really well. If my body is on autopilot, like I’ve always been, you know, I’m, I’m an athlete, right? So I understand where my arms and legs and body parts seem to be. That’s not the hard part. The hard part is letting the yoga work. It’s like sitting sitting in that stew and letting yourself cook a little bit. You need to like absorb that I and what gets me through what gets me through that is my creativity and my thinking and in every single thing that I do that’s a value I spend time thinking about in that class every single is so


Nestor J. Aparicio  05:59

not that because I do this for a living. So when I’m there it is it’s almost like a sleep meditation for me and I love that it’s moving. Right? And I don’t know how to explain it cuz I’m not a meditator. I can’t go sit and just own myself and I like ohms and I like it you know, like I was the first place I did hot yoga that mattered is was with Kim and Freedy at Midtown yoga that then became Charm City yoga that then became Yoga works they sold off. She was it was it was candles Montra ohms, serious Sanskrit. And the walls would drip onto your your head. But it wasn’t because it was different every day, you know, the bigger thing to think about becomes is the same every time that’s like, but see,

Femi Ayanbadejo  06:48

because he was a disciplined person, though. Like, I need that. And like I said, because people look at me, they don’t realize that I have cervical neck issues. I have lumbar issues. You know, I have thoracic back issues. I’ve had my foot reconstructed. I’ve had knee surgery. I’m great until I do something they’re not supposed to do you want I mean, and that’s the problem with doing random yoga is instructors look at me and they go, Oh, you look like you’re in amazing shape. And I’m like, Oh, I’m in great shape. Because I know how to take care of myself. I’m not stupid. Remember, I’m a human performance expert by trade, by the way to like, I mean, I know physiology. I understand exercise science. Like when I retired. That’s what I jumped into. I jumped into the health and fitness space. But then I added the kind of entrepreneurial mindset to it. I added the discipline, and you know, the collaborative component like I, I really look at things in a real holistic manner at this point. And guess what, a lot of those ideas, a lot of that creativity gets where it came on the mat on the mat on a mat.

Nestor J. Aparicio  07:36

Yeah, VIP day shows here. He is a super 35 champion. His brother’s a super 47 champion. How’s he doing? Excellent.

Femi Ayanbadejo  07:44


Good Standing in Florida. So Nope, he’s been back in California. Remember, we’re from California. I know. He went to UCLA but he’s been living back in California since he retires in Lauderdale

Nestor J. Aparicio  07:51

open in Tucson. Temporarily.

Femi Ayanbadejo  07:54

All right. Well, that’s good. All right, California, Florida, never.

Nestor J. Aparicio  07:57

We’re gonna do turn around. Alright, we’re gonna do all that I just give me a little


Femi Ayanbadejo  08:02

give me a little heartbroken brother, I’m still hurting. So hurt. And this is this is my summary. And I know that it’s really hard to see the forest from the trees when you’re in the forest fighting. And I just don’t understand the game plan. And I wonder there’s two questions that I asked myself. Why was it not a run heavy game plan it’s the it’s the path of least resistance they just given up 184 yards to Buffalo. Their run defense is not good. And we went out there the way the Niners tried to play us and throw the ball all over the place. I don’t know if it was what they saw based on the fronts and the defensive packages. And the thing is they weren’t nickel and dime almost the whole game like that’s that’s like Daring you to run. So I don’t understand that part of it. And I understand from a from a planning perspective that maybe coach Monken thought that it was going to be one of those 30 Point games so he was like um, it’s gonna be 30 point game, I want you to score 30 Because that’s it looks like they maybe that’s what was gonna happen. But you got to play the scoreboard in my opinion, and like full transparency This is the best team in ravens history this last team and I’m saying tell you we’re on a pretty good one absolute no, no, no, stop. talent wise. This was the best team in ravens history, not the best performing ravens team because I didn’t win a Super Bowl, but from from zero to however many guys you have on that on that practice squad, 90 guys injured, injured reserve all that stuff, the best front office coaching staff, the best team and ravens history, but it doesn’t mean that they are football worthy. They weren’t. They didn’t they didn’t get there. But I can say that and be honest and say this is the best ravens team we’ve ever seen. Look at the numbers, dude.

Nestor J. Aparicio  09:30

I mean, all the sports science part of it is, you know, they beat teams more thoroughly

Femi Ayanbadejo  09:35

than anybody in history and they had a

Nestor J. Aparicio  09:36


lead in 17 games at the two minute warning. I mean, the issue

Femi Ayanbadejo  09:40

the issue for me is that you don’t get too many cracks. Something like this. And that’s this is going to hurt for a while and I didn’t I never thought the 2019 team was the best team in ravens history, but they were really damn good. This team for me. I never assume anything. The game is played on the field not on paper, right? So I can’t imagine how they feel In some ways, maybe they’ve moved on because they gotta start prepping for the next season. Right? But for me, it was just such a gut punch because I just felt like I never want to assume but I was like, dude, these dudes are serious like this is this team is a whole nother animal than anything I’ve ever seen in Baltimore. In Word. We have the I think the Ravens have the third winningest record since their inception in the league. So look at all like my brother’s team, the team I was on like, I’ve seen some damn good teams. I was on the 9098 Minnesota Vikings team that won 15 in one I talked about that last team is better than that, that this ravens team would have looked at teams as I forgot you were on that team. Yeah, it was. So I’m just saying like, you know what, like

Nestor J. Aparicio  10:35

to lose a championship game?

Femi Ayanbadejo  10:36

I do. I do.

Nestor J. Aparicio  10:37

We haven’t had a lot of that. We’ve had a couple but not at home. No, no, no. There was something about last week that I felt like was gonna take a long time to get and then it’s all real news.

Femi Ayanbadejo  10:46

Yeah, it was good. Yeah.

Nestor J. Aparicio  10:48

I mean, you got to heal us after

Femi Ayanbadejo  10:52


you left Milwaukee in and went to the American League because I’m a Giants fan. And he’s handled us many times. He’s so happy. He’s out of the National League. But let me say this too. I’m bullish on the Ravens. I love this team. I love you. You know, come on. I mean, I’m Raven. Oh my gosh, I’m gonna get my critique because that’s what I do. But Coach, Harbaugh is a Hall of Famer. Eric, the cost is one of the best in the business, Georgia. Qeynos is one of the best in the business. Obviously. Couple guys have left. This coaching staff. Like McDonald Oh, my God, like that is another gut punch for me because I felt like he’s probably one of the best defensive coordinators we’ve ever had. And the work on the quality shows independently, we get poached. We get pushed all the time. And I’m happy for Zach or Zachary is a born and bred and groomed Raven. Please ready for him. I listened to Coach Harbaugh talk about Zach I’m like, oh, yeah, this dude is about to go in there and murdered. Because he’s gonna take what Mike taught him, he’s gonna have his own personality. As a former player, he didn’t mean he wasn’t that long ago that he was playing, you know what I mean? And he’s connected to these guys. So don’t get me wrong, like, I make that statement that this is the best ravens team in NFL history. But the core is still there, right? I mean, not everybody’s gonna come back. But I think that all the guys that they need, maybe get drafted rush and draft, another receiver probably have to draft a tackle. But when I look at this team, I expect them to be in the AFC championship here again, playing the Chiefs again and redeeming themselves. That’s what I expect.

Nestor J. Aparicio  12:10

Alright, last thing for you before we get to turn around, cuz I want to bring them out. As leads into that, because you’ve invested yourself in this community in a lot of ways. I mean, I I don’t know what makes a, you know, a running back like you 25 years that you’re here and you stayed, and other guys didn’t. And you could have gone to MIT, you could have gone back to him to California.

Femi Ayanbadejo  12:29

I did. And I came back. Remember I left and then I came back to Santa Cruz. I went to San Diego State. San Diego had been my home base since 1995. And when I retired in 2010, basically, I was back there. I mean, my home base was always San Diego. And then in 2014. I was like I need to be around my kids every day. They’re little they need me. You know what I mean? Mom and I weren’t married, but we’re co parenting as best we can. But you can’t say you’re being doing a good job when you’re across the country. Right. So I sold everything if it didn’t fit in my Tahoe. I got rid of it. And I and I use it as a reset as a I call it positive self disruption. You know what I mean? I can act next to it. Yeah, for sure. It’s almost a third act rally, right? And I enrolled at Hopkins and I got in and you know, a lot of people are gonna have to get homies I’m like, Well, you clearly don’t know. Like, what? Like the kind of students like I’ve always been a student athlete like legitimate student athletes, your GPA? Oh, I mean, not not great. 3.4 some minus He was good. I mean, I don’t remember. My point is

Nestor J. Aparicio  13:21

you’re not dumb. I mean, it was a good choice. I mean, of all places you go that’s good placement. I went

Femi Ayanbadejo  13:27

there because they offered me a football scholarship and you know, didn’t I didn’t care. Fine, but but I’m a I’m an Aztec though. I love San Diego State. I love

Nestor J. Aparicio  13:37

College Avenue El Cajon Boulevard and original Rubio’s. Right, right.

Femi Ayanbadejo  13:43

Exactly. Yeah. Tony Gwynn state he’d been there recently. I lashed out see what the campus is like not with Snapdragon stadium. And, you know, they have the pit down there where it’s not that that’s New Mexico, state new state has their their foot their basketball arena. They’re insane. It’s amazing. The campus is beautiful. It’s it’s it’s off the chart. All

Nestor J. Aparicio  14:02 right, I’m gonna keep them for another segment. We’re here to talk about Turner. Turner came to me because Steve Eliot, my chiropractor to be my back and donates to turn around. So and I didn’t know what it was. I said. I said, Well, we’ll get more information. We’ll have an add on the crabcake. Here we are. So it’s crabcake row, we’re failing. It is a cup of Super Bowl. I’ve got a whole bunch of canned goods here. We’re going to be Costas all day on Tuesday. Wednesday. We’re going to be Coco’s Thursday. We’re going to be at State Fair in Gainesville. Friday up at Pappas, bring us your canned goods Bring us your stuff for the Maryland Food Bank. I’ve been holding up these little things I printed out we also take cash because like they need money to like everybody else. We’ve been featuring charities here all week. So brought to you by our friends at the Maryland lottery 10 extra cash I’m giving these away all week long to when you come out for free soup free lottery tickets, our friends at window nation supporting us as well as Jiffy Lube. And I brought my scoop because I want to give you the scoop on wise markets. I was inspired by wise markets doing this Maryland Food Bank thing with W Mar a couple months ago and I’m like I’m gonna do one of those during the coldest week of the year when I’m not at the Super Bowl. So radio row has become crabcake row. We’re gonna stick around with me and the folks who turn around. Stay with us.

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