Have You Met an East Coast or West Coast Yogi?

Don’t get your yoga pants in a bunch!

It doesn’t matter where you practice, east coast or west, we all know that people who practice yoga are happier and healthier (and dare we say it?) cooler than the general population. Namaste, yo!

Copyright: Yoga One 2014

Copyright: Yoga One 2014

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Instructor Spotlight: Elka Haeckel

We’re excited to have Elka Haeckel share her experiences and passion at Yoga One. She is both a knowledgeable yoga teacher and a perpetual student (like most great yoga teachers).  Elka infuses her classes  with a fresh perspective and a contagious enthusiasm. See our full schedule here.

ElkaHaeckel1. What is your favorite style of yoga?

My favorite style of yoga depends on what I need at that moment. I’ve practiced yoga for over twelve years in many styles and modalities. Today, I practice what my body needs in that moment. Hatha Yoga is where I feel most connected with my body, breath and soul. However, I also love practicing Vinyasa Flow during Spring as that is the best time for detoxing and cleansing.

2. What first attracted you to yoga when you began your practice?

When I first started yoga, my goal was to “touch my toes” and be “flexible.” Then, after practicing for awhile, I realized that yoga was not about touching the toes, it is about the journey you’re on to get there.

3. What is your favorite yoga pose right now?

My favorite pose at this moment is Tadasana, also called mountain pose because you feel strong, stable and yet relaxed. Tadasana is the Mother Asana and the foundation of all other asanas (poses). I feel a strong connection with my body and breath when I am in Tadasana. One of my teachers once said, “show me your Tadasana and I’ll tell you who you are.” Tadasana tells the story of your life. It gives me a strong foundation to stay connected with the principles of my yoga practice: Sthira, Sukha (stability with ease). I love it!

4. What pose is still the most challenging?

I feel every pose is challenging because yoga is about being present within and not about how you look. I try not to get caught up in my ego regarding my yoga practice. I accept what my body can do and I honor all the poses with love and gratitude. If there is a pose that I am not able to manifest in a proper way, I let go of judgement and allow myself to surrender what is appropriate for me. The challenge of my yoga practice is to keep the integrity of the pose with the breath and awareness.

ElkaHaeckel5. If you were an animal, you would be: a horse, I love their calmness and at the same time their fastness.

6. Describe what yoga means in your life using just 6 words: SURRENDER TO THE MOMENT WITH LOVE!

7. What might your students be surprised to learn about you?

This is my little secret… I am a WonderWoman :) I am passionate about my career and I am in a constant mode of creating and manifesting new experiences for my students. My passion for teaching gives me strength and energy to keep serving others. I have also met with many shamans and healers on my path and I’ve embraced all the gifts that I’ve received from them. In my classes, I always bring the healing aspect so my students will never feel they are coming to a regular yoga class but rather to a healing and “juicy” experience.

8. Do you have any words of wisdom or advice for new students?

Life is about unconditional love and it starts within. Love yourself just the way you are right now, with no conditions or judgements. Yoga will give you tools to increase your awareness and appreciation for everything you have. You learn to respect your body with love and care. You become ONE with all!

 

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Slow Down to Be Present

Seals at La Jolla Cove, 1/30/13“You’re missing out on LIFE!” the woman next to me sharply stated as I finished typing a text message into my phone. We were standing at La Jolla Cove where I went for my morning walk before class. 

It was a rude awakening, but she was right. What I missed while staring at my iPhone was a baby whale emerging for a brief moment right in front of where I was standing. I have been swimming in those waters for over 5 years and have never seen whales in the cove! Luckily, he resurfaced and I got a second chance. It was a beautiful moment.

I turned my phone off and continued looking around as I walked. This time I noticed a group of seals huddled together on a rock basking in the morning sun, a family of pelicans cleaning their wings and a hummingbird pausing in mid air as if to say “hello.”

With all our attention being pulled in many directions, it has become more and more difficult to just be present and notice what is happening NOW. Yoga and meditation help bring us back to all we really have: this moment, this life. Staying in the past and worrying about the future only creates stress and dis-ease. The way to peace is PRESENCE and the path to presence is by SLOWING DOWN, one breath at a time.

Join me for my upcoming Advanced Yoga Anatomy Course at Yoga One where we will explore the true healing power of Yoga.

In the meantime, turn off your ringer, check email one less time a day and take a yoga class!

To your well being,

Rachel Krentzman

anatomy flyer 8.2014

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Become ONE: Yoga One Teacher Training

We are one month away from our Yoga One Teacher Training Summer Intensive!! Wohoo!! There are still spots available, call 619-294-7461 to reserve yours today. The course dates are August 13-30, 2014, more information at Yoga One

Our teachers are getting ready to welcome the new class of aspiring yoga teachers and yogis who simply want to deepen their understanding of this amazing practice -

will YOU join them?

yogaOneTeacherSummer2014

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The Most Loving Decision

by Laura McCorry

note to selfI wasn’t exactly friendly and outgoing when I was a kid. That was my sister. I was the kid who would rather sit in a corner and read a book than socialize with people, even people I liked. So it took me a long time to figure out how to make good friends and how to resolve conflict in relationships.

When faced with a difficult problem, I would go to Mom and she would ask me one question: “What’s the most loving decision you could make?”

There’s almost always a clear answer to that question. It could be apologize for being rude to an uncle. Or forgive your sister for breaking your toy. Sometimes it meant stick up for a friend at school even though it won’t score you points with the popular kids.

My mother is the type of woman who does everything. She worked a full time job, helped us with homework and made dinner every night, plus a bajillion other things I was too young to pay attention to. She takes care of her dogs and kids and husband – sometimes everyone except herself.

And I know she’s not alone. Our culture tells us that being busy is the highest measure of success. People brag about how little free time they have to show how well their job is going or how much they’re involved in their children’s lives. And these are good things!

But having a full schedule isn’t the same thing as being fulfilled.

Emily Dickinson wrote, “Forever is composed of Nows.” In other words, we are what we habitually do and feel. Yoga teaches us to be present with what is. Not what we want our lives to be like or how we think they should be. Stress begets stress and love begets love.

I didn’t realize until I was an adult and had been practicing yoga for several years that sometimes, the most loving decision is to take care of yourself first. 

When we learn to habitually create inner peace, then all of our outward efforts will be filled with peace as well. Go to yoga. Have a cup of tea. Dance in the kitchen. Take a deep breath. Take five deep breaths. Repeat one of my favorite mantras:

I have enough.
I do enough.
I am enough.

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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Robin Doten: My Yoga…

Robin DotenTo me, the meaning of Yoga is the meaning of Love!

It can take a lifetime of practice and I will still have so much to learn.

I am continually drawn to Yoga and all the yogic principals, striving to gain more openness, strength and stability, purpose, knowledge, acceptance and awareness.

With a focus on what is really important in life I can calm my entire being.

This is what matters: love, inner peace, being present, non-attachment, non-judgement, the ability to still the mind to relieve stress and anxiety.

With Yoga I open my heart to grace as I also strengthen my Spirit, Mind and Body, preparing me for the world and filling me with love and gratitude for all life has to offer, good and bad.

Bringing balance to my life, yoga helps me flow through all that comes my way.

Yoga’s true definition is “union” and it helps me feel more united with all I do and everyone I meet.

Yoga helps me spread the Love!

Take Robin’s class on Tuesday mornings at 6:30am, see our full schedule here.

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How Do You Feel Sexy? 10 Ways To Practice Self-Love

guest post by Christina Bird Ward

Creative Commons photo credit: Thomas R Stegelmann

Creative Commons photo credit: Thomas R Stegelmann

Like too many women, I’ve spent a large part of my life struggling with body image issues. It took me a long time to learn how to like (much less love) what I saw in the mirror. The good news is that loving yourself is a skill you can practice and learn over time. 

Here are a few things I do to feel amazing in my own skin, which is pretty much the definition of sexy:

1. Smile at yourself in the mirror before leaving the house in the morning. I felt ridiculous when I first started doing it, but eventually, I began to feel like I was smiling at a friend and that she was smiling back. Now, I never leave the house without sharing that smile.

2. Find something you like about your body every day. It took me months before I could find one thing that I liked: my nose. My nose was the first thing that I could look at and think, “Yeah, I like the way that looks. I wouldn’t change a thing about it.” As time passed, the list of things I found tolerable about my body grew, then the things that I liked, then the things that I loved.

3. Recite mantras or affirmations to your reflection. Here are a few of my favorites:

“I love what I see in my reflection.”

“I am beautiful.”

“I am powerful.”

“I am love/loving/lovable/loved.”

“Because I accept and love myself, others will accept and love me.”

“Smile as a cause, not as an effect.”

4. Choose what you eat wisely. This doesn’t mean I don’t splurge. Don’t get me wrong, I love pizza… and Nutella… and all sorts of other junk foods. But I try to be intentional with what and how I eat. I know that when I eat better, I feel better. And when I feel better, I look better, which makes me feel better, and so goes the cycle.

5. Wear sexy, flattering panties. Always. Got that? Always. Now this doesn’t mean that you have to wear some uncomfortable black lacy thing. Some of my most comfortable underoos are also my sexiest little numbers. Underwear is the first thing you put on. Let the first thought you have about your body be “I look damn sexy” and see how your day week life changes.

6. Exercise because it feels good. If your body isn’t healthy, it doesn’t matter what size your pants are, you won’t feel your best. Stop exercising because you want to look good (although, that is an unavoidable side effect) and start working out because you want to take care of your beautiful, imperfect body.

7. Get rid of “fat/skinny pants.” They only remind you of how you used to be compared to now. The hardest struggle is learning to love your body right now. Throw out anything that you don’t feel good wearing.

8. Learn how to walk in heels and own at least one pair. I’m a heels girl, I can’t lie. There is a feeling I get when I’m confidently strutting in my sleek, black stiletto boots that just can’t compare with any other footwear. Your heels might be a little black dress or sea kayaking or ordering whiskey at a bar. The point is to do or wear something that makes you feel confident and daring.

9. Choose a partner who says nice things about you. I’ve been in a relationship with someone who criticized my body and pointed out my “flaws,” which only reinforced the negative messages I gave myself. Ain’t nobody got time for that! Be with someone who loves you exactly the way you are but who will challenge you to grow and work towards a healthy life together.

10. Say only positive things about your body, even when joking. In fifth grade, a girl in my class made fun of my “big butt.” She wasn’t far off, I was a skinny ten-year-old with a booty that was well before my time – but I held onto that statement for years. That was the moment I started worrying about my body and began to have an altered and inaccurate view of how I looked. Discard words that bring up negative emotions like “big” and “fat” and replace them with positive words like “voluptuous” and “full.”

Remember that loving others sometimes sneaks up on you and surprises you. Loving yourself is more deliberate. Take the first step: embrace yourself. You’re worth the love you have to give.

CBWHeadshotChristina Bird Ward is an Acupuncturist in San Diego, CA. She believes that a healthful life begins with loving yourself completely, mind and body. 

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Instructor Spotlight: Jeanne Cummings

JeanneCummings2We are excited to welcome Jeanne (pronounced like “sun” with a J) to the Yoga One family! Jeanne brings an attentive practice and years of teaching experience along with a sweet yet professional personality. Her classes are filled with a variety of pose options to help her students feel both comfortable and challenged. Come to her Saturday morning Level 2 and up Flow at 10:30am and check out the rest of our schedule here.

1. What is your favorite style of yoga?

My practice is always evolving. I practice many styles and really attend classes to connect with all sorts of instructors who are teaching from their heart and journey. I do love Sri Dharma Mittra and his journey. My favorite practice though is when I get up in the morning and spend time in my own practice, connecting.

2. What first attracted you to yoga when you began your practice?

It’s as if yoga came to me and fell in my lap. It’s an interesting story that points to my belief that it’s part of what I’m meant to practice and share in this lifetime like it was written out for me. I feel lucky that I listened to the voice that was telling me I need to divert my career path. It wasn’t easy to listen – there were social pressures and a lot of adventures with sacrifices.

3. What is your favorite yoga pose right now?

I’m one of those people who never has a favorite of anything at any given time, not even a favorite color or piece of clothing.

4. What pose is still the most challenging?

I find any pose challenging if I’m in a heated class with no air flow. Extensive heat (with no air flow) drains my energy and strength. I was grateful when I learned (through yoga texts) that heated classes drains your Prana, or life force. I knew it didn’t make sense for me. One time I practiced yoga in 112 degree heat outside in Austin, TX and it wasn’t a problem because there was fresh air and I was connected to the elements.

JeanneCummings5. If you were an animal, you would be: I’d love to experience being all animals, but if I could only pick one, I’d choose to be a dolphin.

6. Describe what yoga means in your life using just 6 words: connecting to truth and knowledge.

7. What might your students be surprised to learn about you?

Apparently my age, haha! Also, people are surprised to learn that I can fly a plane.

8. Do you have any words of wisdom or advice for new students?

Hug yourself, and me too please!

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Practicing Yoga for Two

guest post by Missy DiDonato

photo credit: Simpatika Photography

photo credit: Simpatika Photography

Yoga has always been a source of connection for me. I feel connected to the earth when I practice in nature. I am better connected to my family, friends and strangers through the shared experience of group asana. Most of all, yoga connects me to my body and this has been never been more true or important now that I’m pregnant.

Pregnancy has brought dramatic changes to my body in a relatively short period of time. During the first trimester (1-3 months), I barely practiced yoga. My body was working over-time to grow my baby and prepare for the rest of pregnancy and I was physically exhausted. I honored this natural process and kept my practice really mellow. Some days all I did was legs up the wall!

The second trimester (3-6 months) I was able to get back to my regular practice with modifications. I kept my feet hip-distance apart for better balance and to allow space for baby to grow. I omitted any deep twists and began to use blocks under my hands in uttanasana (forward fold.) I began to get light-headed more easily, so I rarely came into a full fold and often used a block underneath my forehead in down dog which eased the sensation of blood rushing to my head.

photo credit: Simpatika

photo credit: Simpatika

Now into my third trimester (6-9 months), I’m using these modifications along with lying on my left side for savasana. I never thought this would be as comfortable or relaxing as traditional savasana but IT IS! The most unexpected and wonderful part has been discovering how comfortable pregnancy modifications are simply because they were designed for my new body.

I’ve discovered how much I enjoy having my little buddy with me wherever I go. She hears my voice when I teach and is soothed by my yoga playlists. More importantly, she is encircled by the peace, calm and focus from the class as a whole. I feel great in my body, but it’s no longer mine completely. This is a wonderful part of being pregnant, but it’s also taken some adjustment.

Practicing yoga a few times a week has kept me in shape physically and eased the aches and pains of stretching ligaments and muscles – but it has also sealed the bond between us. I’m not only practicing for myself, I’m practicing for her. We are two bodies contained within my own and I try to tune in to how my position feels to her. I move through asanas to strengthen and restore my body, but also to create space for her to be comfortable and to grow.

* Please consult your doctor before beginning yoga or any other exercise program. If you are pregnant and new to yoga, we recommend you attend dedicated Prenatal Yoga classes.

Missy DiDonatoMissy began practicing yoga at home when she was fourteen, following along to a DVD in her living room. She has since completed two separate 200 hour Yoga Teacher Trainings with UCSD and Yoga One. Missy loves helping others find their own yogic path and students of all levels appreciate her warm and friendly teaching style.

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My Yoga…

photo credit: Abigail Friederich

photo credit: Abigail Friederich

That first stretch of the day sitting on the edge of my bed

Centering my weight and spreading my toes standing at the sink brushing my teeth

Closing my eyes to feel the sunshine on my skin rather than just seeing it

Appearing and feeling more confident at work from a lifted chest and engaged core

Gratitude for taking care of myself when I choose healthy meals and conscious decision-making before choosing sweets and snacks

Knowing that I cannot control life but I am always free to choose my response

A deep breath before a difficult conversation

Expanding my awareness to the thoughts, feelings and needs of others

A momentary, silent retreat when I close my eyes and let go of tension no matter where or when

Choosing to talk about joy and love at least as much as I complain or criticize

A practice that stretches and tones my physical body

Looking in the mirror and loving the person I see even as I actively work towards change

Knowing the power of two words: HERE and NOW

 

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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