My Yoga: Frank Richardson

Yoga One Family Member, Frank Richardson, has been sharing his practice with our community since October of 2011. We love his positive energy, easy smile and kindness. He writes about how his yoga practice has supported him while traveling in Italy.

Photo Credit: Frank Richardson

Photo Credit: Frank Richardson

For me, Yoga is closely linked with meditation. One has more movement than the other, though both come from the physical mechanics underlying the act of breathing.

Being still in meditation causes us to open up from the rhythm and flow of breath, the expansion and contraction of the diaphragm and lungs starting at the root and progressing up through all the chakras, pausing at the crown, then flowing down again.

Focusing on this flow and letting thoughts go without locking on to them allows us to be aware of the continuing presence underlying the static paths of thoughts.

Yoga builds on this breathing practice by extending the movements created by breathing into practiced cycles that bring the flow throughout the body. Yoga brings Prana, or breath, wherever there is constriction or “stuck-ness” or even pain.

Flow, I am coming to realize, is essential to joy. Yoga opens my body and mind to being joyful by connecting to the flow of life that is happening from moment to moment.

The yoga I am doing now while traveling is not formal. There are no classes defining “practice.” I watch my breathing and my quality of alertness or presence.

How I am standing or sitting? Am I leading with my heart? Is my head up or am I looking down? What’s the level of anxiety I am experiencing right now? Can I breathe through it to get to the other side?

I most likely won’t be able to practice either yoga or meditation formally again until I get home; but the moment to moment check-ins keep me in balance and moving with the flow while traveling through this wonderful and sometimes daunting place called Italy.

Photo Credit: Frank Richardson

Photo Credit: Frank Richardson

photo credit: Frank Richardson

photo credit: Frank Richardson

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Mantra Monday: You Are Not Fixed

by Laura McCorry

You are not fixed. 

Sometimes change is so slow as to be imperceptible. Your cells are always dying and new ones are born to take their place. Every day your hair grows a bit longer. Every day some small new part is incorporated into the whole of you.

All it takes to change your direction in life is one new thought. One different action. One word of love. All that came before brought you to this moment, right now. But the past shouldn’t be given a seat at the table of today.

Have the small acts and thoughts of this hour brought you into alignment with what you know to be true about yourself? If you have strayed from your path, this is when you need to have the most compassion for yourself and the most courage to forget what came before and begin again.

Never be afraid to speak your truth. People will try to hold onto the old idea of you because it is familiar. Don’t be tempted to go along with them.

Listen to the voice inside that speaks your dreams. Give yourself permission to shout who you are to the world. Consistent acts in the same direction add up over time. Small steps matter. You are not fixed – you are free.

You Are Not Fixed

Laura McCorryYoga and Laura had an on-again-off-again relationship from 2004 until 2009 when they decided to move in together and there’s been no looking back since. Passionate about both yoga and writing, Laura loves to introduce others to the joys and benefits of yoga and healthy living.

Contact: laura@yogaonesandiego.com

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Yogi Reads: Start Where You Are

by Olivia Cecchettini

41SpD6O8A8L._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_ “Start Where You Are: A Guide to Compassionate Living”

by Pema Chodron

Summary: Start Where You Are is a handbook for awakening a compassionate heart and choosing love over fear. Beginning the healing process from the inside out, Pema Chodron offers an easily accessible shift in perspective. By starting where we are right now, we can begin accepting rather than denying the painful aspects of our lives. Chodron frames her teachings with traditional Buddhist slogans, such as: “always meditate on whatever provokes resentment,” and “always apply only a joyful state of mind.” Using these slogans as mental mantras, combined with meditation, we can all develop the courage to sit and work with our inner pain and discover the joy and confidence that already lies within.

Why I love It: I love this book because the teachings are simple and Chodron’s writing reflects her light-hearted and humorous approach to life. As I read, I became more aware of my mental patterns, and within that awareness healing began to occur as I shifted from negative self talk to kind and supportive ways of thinking. I found a new way of being within myself and in the world. I love this book because its practices brought more joy, fearlessness, and self love into my life and that’s what inspired me to share it with you!

Recommended For: Everyone – I believe we can ALL use more compassion in our lives. Whether things are great at the moment or you’re going through something that feels too big to handle, compassion helps us find ease within ourselves and as we move through the world. It begins within. Start where you are. Choose love over fear. Simple. Wise. True. This book is all of these things and more. I invite you to explore its teachings and see how they resonate with you. Begin with an open heart and see where it takes you. Enjoy!

“Start Where You Are is a short book, but one worth taking your time with and chewing on. It’s also worth re-reading. It’s a great introduction to traditional Buddhist slogans or lojong, yet accessible and relevant whatever your other beliefs may be.”

- Elephant Journal

OliviaCecchittiniOlivia Cecchettini
Contributing Writer

Olivia is a yoga teacher based out of San Diego. With a love for people, life, spirituality, reading, and, of course, yoga she spends her days connecting with students and nature. Getting outside whenever she can to enjoy all the beauty this life has to offer.

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Kids Love Yoga Too!

RainbowKidsYogaWhether you want to practice yoga with your little ones at home or teach yoga to kids at a studio or school, Rainbow Kids Yoga Training can give you the tools you need to begin sharing the love. It’s not too late to sign up for their upcoming training at Yoga One! Go here to register.

Yoga for Kids and Families Teacher Training
October 31st – November 2nd
held at Yoga One 1150 7th Avenue San Diego, CA

Rainbow Kids Yoga is an international yoga teacher training company, specializing in 3-day kids and family yoga teacher trainings where you’ll learn everything you need to know to teach yoga to kids in a fun and safe environment!

The course is for anyone who loves working with kids and loves yoga. It is for yoga teachers wanting to specialize, and educators wanting to bring the benefits of yoga to their classrooms. It’s also great for parents to find new ways to connect with their children and family, and share a healthy, fun, and non-competitive movement-based activity. You do not need to be a yoga teacher to take the course.

120512_Rainbow_Kids-107“I would highly recommend the Rainbow Kids Yoga class to anyway thinking of teaching yoga to kids. The course was high energy and fast moving. Not only did I gain heaps of skills to use for kids yoga but also personally my soul was lifted, and I left feeling lighter and more energised, ready to inspire kids with yoga and FUN. My kids and I now try and do yoga together everyday! Thank you.” – Mish Chelkowski, Tasmania – February 2014

Bonus: Check out this article from Gopala Amir-Yaffe, the founder of Rainbow Kids Yoga, for a mini class you can practice at home with the whole family.

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Yoga for Kids and Families Teacher Training

RainbowKidsYogaJoin teacher Cayetana Rodenas at Yoga One in downtown San Diego, CA for this special 3-day training held by Rainbow Kids Yoga. October 31st – November 2nd.

Save $100 when you register before October 10th. Go here to register.

“Almost immediately we set up in an intimate and warm circle. Excited eyes darted from smiling face to open and curious face. We were instructed to put our arms around each other.

“Soon individuals had become a united group, swaying in unison, laughing and ultimately giving each other back and head massages. There were partner poses, human pyramids, costume changes, obstacle courses, games, feathers, straws, great music, dancing and dinner breaks at local restaurants!

“It felt like a party. It felt like a family. And best of all, we were accessing that open, curious, fun-filled aspect of ourselves that consumed us as kids. We were behaving like children in the best possible sense.

“We made life long friends and memories. Of course we learned and developed new skills, techniques and confidence to teach yoga to children… nay, to share the joys and benefits of yoga with children, because in many ways, children are natural yogis and the Rainbow Kids Yoga Teacher Training taught us to remember that and to embody it ourselves.”

- Michael Caldwell

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Top 3 Yoga Poses for Wrist Pain

How many hours do you spend typing in front of a computer screen? If you’re like many Americans, you’re spending a significant amount of time every day with your fingers on a keyboard. Over time, repetitive movements like typing or clicking on a mouse can cause wrist pain or even carpal tunnel syndrome.

Our friends at Embody Physical Therapy and Yoga (who lead the anatomy portion of Yoga One Teacher Training) have created a short video showing three poses to reduce and eradicate wrist pain and carpal tunnel symptoms. To find out more about Yoga One’s award-winning studio and yoga teacher training, go here or send us an email: info@yogaonesandiego.com

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That Magical Day: Snow Days and Yoga One Teacher Training

by Michael Caldwell

If you grew up on the East Coast or in the Midwest, there was one day a year that when it came (if it came) was better than Christmas, Hanukah, Kwanza, New Year’s, summer vacation and often, even your own birthday. That day was the elusive and magical Snow Day.

Wikimedia Commons Credit: dbking

Wikimedia Commons Credit: dbking

Most of the kids I knew dreaded getting up for school every morning five days a week. It was always too early, often dark, sometimes cold, you had to get dressed, you had to eat, wash, brush, dress… ugh! Laborious, uninteresting, mundane, routine, boring, painful!

My mother, so sweet, would have to come into the room and “rise and shine” me. “Good morning, son, rise and shine. It’s a great day, time to get up for school!”

To which I responded by burrowing deep within the sheets and shrouding my head under my pillow. Then there were a few minutes of glorious sleep, only to be reawakened a second time with a less sweet verbal prompt and finally, with all the lights turned on and the covers pulled off – you get the picture.

But the night before a suspected snow day, the speculation would begin via the nightly news. The anchorman would announce, “Areas of (such and such location) are advised that the storm may increase over night bringing high winds and heavy snowfall. The counties of (such and such) are on alert for possible school closings…”

Something jubilant like Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy” would sound in my mind. All of the usual nightly stalling and subsequent sneaking out of my room were abandoned. A snow day required focus, rest, intention setting, and full present moment awareness.

In the morning, at least two hours BEFORE my mother’s rise and shine notice, I was Awake. I would be listening to the radio, tingling, vibrating, a transparent eyeball, all senses on high alert, waiting and hoping that our school would be mentioned.

Then the disembodied voice floating out of the box read the list, “such and such schools, closed, such and such schools closed, such and such schools open (oh snap!), such and such schools closed…” What, wait, that one was mine! And I shot off like a rocket to experience glorious adventures, character building activities, life enhancing and affirming interactions, special, rare and wonderful sensations that only a snow day could bring.

This is the joy and immense sense of freedom and possibility that you feel during Yoga One Teacher Training. You are immersed in an open-minded and supportive community, daring to explore your own yoga practice and learning how to effectively share that practice with others.

We hope you will join us for the upcoming course. We trust you will find the experience to be fun, educational, special, informative and life-enhancing.

Save $600 on your investment in yourself when you registered and pay in full by September 30th, 2014. Send us an email at info@yogaonesandiego.com or give us a call, 619-294-7461

 

Michael CaldwellYoga teacher and Co-Founder of Yoga One, Michael has been practicing yoga and incorporating its philosophy into his life since 1997. His kind and gentle manner is well suited to leading students of all levels. Michael has published numerous articles on a variety of subjects including yoga, meditation and rock n roll.

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Reflection on B.K.S. Iyengar’s Legacy

BKSYoga One teacher Jennifer Tipton wrote a beautiful reflection on the life and practice of one of her yoga mentors, B.K.S. Iyengar for YogiTimes. Read the whole article here.

Jennifer teaches Yoga for Backs on Tuesdays at 7:30pm and Rooftop Mixed Level Flow at Hotel Solamar on Sundays at 9am. See our full schedule here.

The Iyengar style of yoga is known for its extensive use of props (blocks, blankets, straps, and more) and a focus on precise physical alignment.

Jennifer writes, “Through the longer holds in our yoga postures we can learn how to experience a calmer mental state and therefore allow energy to effectively channel throughout the entire body. Yoga practice has evolved through the years and as a society we have come to enjoy faster paced and more rigorous styles to match our fast-paced and hectic lives.

“Iyengar yoga teaches us to slow down and live in the present moment. Even if we only incorporate a few poses with longer holds and perhaps the use of props we can go deeper and experience the benefits that are so present in Iyengar’s teachings.

“Every Tuesday night I teach my “Yoga for Backs” class and more often than not I will incorporate a restorative bridge posture into the practice. It really is one of my favorite yoga poses and always has been.”

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Why Yoga is Perfect for Military Families

by Laura McCorry

Amy Caldwell from Yoga One teaching aboard the USS Midway

Amy Caldwell from Yoga One teaching aboard the USS Midway

On the surface, yoga and the military may not seem to have much in common. Yoga is sometimes stereotyped as the domain of liberal, vegan, nouveau hippies and the military as gun-toting, meat-eating conservatives.

But the truth of any community lies beneath the surface.

As a yogi and military spouse, I feel like I’m always discovering new ways these two communities have similar perspectives on life.

  • You must live in the present moment.

The military lifestyle is inherently full of uncertainty and change. Schedules are outlines at best and your service member could leave for training or deployment at any time. Depending on the service member’s job, the time of day they go to work and come home could change on a daily basis. There is often no such thing as routine.

One of my favorite yoga teachers would start class by asking, “Where are you?” The entire class would answer in chorus, “Here.” Then the teacher would ask, “What time is it?” The answer: “Now.” Here and now. It was a revelation.

Living in the present moment doesn’t happen over night, just like you can’t walk into your first ever yoga class and pop up into headstand. “Be here now” is a mindfulness skill you can practice over the course of a lifetime, but you get to enjoy the benefits of peacefulness the same moment you begin.

  • True alignment demands honest communication.

Separation is a fact of life for military families and deployments can range from four months to over a year depending on the branch of service. This can be one of the hardest trials for the military family and one the civilian world understands so little, mostly through lack of exposure and not a want of sympathy. If you want your relationship to survive thrive during a long separation with limited communication opportunities, you need to make sure the communication you do have is honest and of high quality.

Alignment in yoga can have both a physical and a spiritual or emotional meaning. You are aligned physically when muscle groups and joints are positioned to provide a strong structural support for a posture. In order to experience this in class, you must be very honest when asking your body whether it is working hard and knowing when you are tired and should rest.

Beyond the physical, alignment is experienced when what you think, what you say and what you do are the same. The communication you have with yourself must be honest and of high quality, checking in frequently. This kind of deep alignment with the core of yourself brings serenity to chaotic or stressful life circumstances.

Amy Caldwell teaching aboard the USS Midway aircraft carrier in San Diego, CA

Amy Caldwell teaching aboard the USS Midway aircraft carrier in San Diego, CA

  • Deep roots grow in communities.

Military families move more frequently than most civilians, often to a city or town they’ve never been to before. They know what it’s like to be the new kid, to start over with a new job and to go through the awkward stage of friend-dating. Consequently, the military community is usually very welcoming and helpful to new-to-the-area families because they know how important it is to build ties and feel connected.

Yoga practitioners know that you can’t “fly” in an inversion until your core and support system is fully grounded. And yoga is all about connection, not just to the inner self but to a wider community. Both yoga studios and military communities are known for their hospitality and welcoming spirit – because they understand that families and individuals in strong communities are happier and healthier.

Are you a service member or military spouse interested in yoga?

Yoga for Vets offers a listing of classes around the country for free or reduced rates for current service members.

MyCAA is an excellent resource for military spouses looking to gain portable career training, one option is to become a yoga teacher! Yoga One Teacher Training proudly accepts MyCAA candidates.

Laura McCorryYoga and Laura had an on-again-off-again relationship from 2004 until 2009 when they decided to move in together and there’s been no looking back since. Passionate about both yoga and writing, Laura loves to introduce others to the joys and benefits of yoga and healthy living.

Contact: laura@yogaonesandiego.com

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Yogi Reads: Meditations from the Mat

by Olivia Cecchettini

Meditations from the MatMeditations from the Mat: Daily Reflections on the Path of Yoga

by Rolf Gates and Katrina Kenison

Summary: The 365 meditations in this book integrate the mindfulness that yoga teaches into our everyday lives. Each day the meditation begins with a quote from a wide range of beautiful souls that will touch your heart followed by more wise words from the authors to inspire self inquiry, self love, and service. Read it daily or a few entries at a time, whatever feels right in the moment, but take time to digest and let the words settle in deep.

Why I love it: I love this book for many reasons. First, I love quotes! The meaning of profound words changes daily based on my perspective, how I’m feeling and what I relate to in that moment. I love this because you can re-read the same quote everyday for a week and it will continuously have many layers to uncover and take in. Secondly, having something tangible like a book to connect me to body, mind and soul while I meditate is a powerful tool that keeps me feeling balanced and happy.

Recommended for: Anyone who wants to bring more meditation into their lives. Whether it is two deep breaths with your eyes closed or 20 minutes in a seated position, you have to start where you are without judgment. Meditation is a place to stop, breathe and reconnect inward. As we begin to live our lives from the inside out, we create space for peace and healing to come forward creating more compassion and joy within.

I had this book for three years before I finished reading it all the way through, so take your time! Meditations From the Mat can be a great addition to your everyday ritual but it’s okay if that doesn’t happen. The book will always be waiting for you whenever you’re ready, and so will your cushion. Practice and all is coming. Light and love.

“In this free-spirited journey to the heart of yoga, Rolf guides us, through daily meditations,to finding the appropriate balance between standing firm and surrendering to flow—the key to peace of mind.”

- Beryl Bender Birch

OliviaCecchittiniOlivia Cecchettini
Contributing Writer

Olivia is a yoga teacher based out of San Diego. With a love for people, life, spirituality, reading, and, of course, yoga she spends her days connecting with students and nature. Getting outside whenever she can to enjoy all the beauty this life has to offer.

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