Yogi Eats: Creamy Hemp Seed Salad Dressing

from Kirstin Green

Looking for the perfect meal to complement your yoga practice? Maybe you just need a jolt of inspiration for the weekday dinner line-up. May we suggest…

Creamy Hemp Seed Salad Dressing (base recipe)

2 TBS hemp seeds
1/4 cup lemon juice or apple cider vinegar
1/8 cup fresh orange juice (optional)
1/2 cup olive oil
2 cloves garlic
Salt & black pepper to taste

Using a blender, combine ingredients together until creamy. Add water 1 tablespoon at a time until you reach desired consistency. 

Variations (add to base recipe before blending)

Cilantro-Lime: 1 bunch cilantro, sub lime juice for the lemon juice (toss a jalapeno in too, if that’s your jam)

Honey-Mustard: 1 tablespoon each of dijon mustard and honey

Herb-Ranch: one bunch of parsley, 1 teaspoon cracked black pepper

Umami-Ginger: sub sesame oil for olive oil, 1 teaspoon miso or soy sauce for salt, and a nob of ginger

Roasted Garlic: if you’ve got roasted garlic laying around, toss a bunch of that in there. (omit the fresh garlic) It’s off the hook.

Basil-Tomato: 1/2 cup fresh basil, and 1/2 cup fresh tomato

Kirstin Green is a former restaurateur and an avid home cook with a long-standing connection to the Yoga One family. After completing the 200 hour YTT back in 2008, she created several mosaic art pieces for the downtown studio. She is well traveled and committed to living a life filled with sensory and aesthetic beauty, filling her days with gardening, art-making, baking and cooking. These days, she is shaping a new career in Expressive Arts Therapy with a special focus on the art of food.

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Yoga One Origin Stories: Yoga in India

Part 3 of how Yoga One founders Amy & Michael Caldwell turned their love story into a thriving yoga community!


It was early morning. The concrete floor was stone cold. Swami Shivananda, who we would call Guruji, showed up for our first daily private yoga lesson. He was younger than our 27 years, but his big, black and bushy mustache made him look older and certainly more authoritative. As he stood in the center of what was our single room living quarters, he said something about feeling stiff. To loosen up, he jackknifed forward with both legs straight and touched his head near the top of his feet – then, in a flash, he bent backward and brought his head between his legs.

“Uh oh!” I thought.

We had recently arrived in Varanasi from Nepal. One day wandering the streets looking for an Internet cafe (remember those?) we met a man asking if he could be of assistance. His name was Ravi and he invited us to stay with his family. In addition to allowing Amy to learn to cook with the women of the family and finding a tabla drum teacher for Michael, Ravi introduced us to Guruji.

Guruji had us take our positions on the rice bags we were using for mats.* There was a blur of new and intense poses (for us) and the occasional comment from Guruji, including, “After some time, pain finished.”**

And then he was gone, leaving us wide-eyed and astounded. Did we just do what we think we did?

Knowing he would be back the next morning, we immediately established a routine. Re-practice what we had learned, right then and there. Re-practice on the rooftop in the evening and get up extra early to warm up before he arrived the next morning. The weight of our bodies as we laid down on our hard bed increased the soreness. Yet we were keen to learn and explore…and we were having fun.

After some time, the pain finished. Growth and openness to keep learning remained.

*Don’t try this at home, kids. Rice bags are rough and scratchy.

**We encourage listening to your body, not pushing past your edge, and we definitely don’t encourage tolerating any sharp shooting pain.

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Sound Bath with Yoga One teacher Amy Freeman

Take a few minutes out of your day to enjoy this healing sound bath offered by Yoga One teacher Amy Freeman and her son. They play chakra tuned crystal bowls, hand pan and tongue drums, and a rainstick in the beautiful San Diego, California sunshine. Please also enjoy the unscripted bird calls. 🙂

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Yoga 101: How to Practice Lotus Mudra

Do you know about the incredible practice of mudras? Better yet, do you know how mudras can lift your energy and deepen your yoga practice?

Mudra means “seal” or “closure” in Sanskrit, and each mudra requires a specific shape of your hands – like asana for your fingers! The precise position of each mudra is deeply connected to energetic qualities, different natural elements, acupressure points, and more. Incorporating mudras into your practice can elevate the mental, emotional, and physical benefits of your practice ✨🧘‍♀️✨

Today we’re sharing Lotus Mudra, which is often associated as a heart-opening gesture. The image of the lotus brings to mind a beautiful, pure flower growing toward the light out of dark, murky waters 🌸 Experiment with holding this mudra at your core, your heart space, and your third eye to notice any shifts in your energy or mood. 

☑️To practice: Bring the heels of your palms to touch as you press your thumbs and pinkies together, using the leverage of this motion to expand your center three fingers out into the shape of a blossoming flower. 

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Interview with NTCH: The Two Behind Yoga One

This article first published on NTCH magazine
Words by Victoria Derr / Photos by Vivian Morellon

Think back to your first yoga class. Was it a crisp studio space? A room with abstract murals on the wall? Was it a relaxing yin yoga class, or a high powered vinyasa class? A YouTube video? An Instagram clip? Or what about a friend encouraging you to do a few cat and cows? 

For Yoga One studio owners, Amy and Michael Caldwell, their first yoga class was far from the norm.

It was on a searing hot blacktop, ambianced with Malaysian marching band music, taught by a dude doing headstands from New Zealand. They both laugh at the memory.

Rewind years earlier, before being studio owners and even before their first yoga class, Amy and Michael were both working in the music biz in LA; Amy, working for Budd Carr, seeking music to place in movie soundtracks and Michael, at Broadcast Music Inc., promoting songwriters and composers. They met at a record release party for Stanley Clark, and from there the yin-yang duo was born. Michael was promoting music to people like Amy, who placed music in movies and television. Already, their meeting seemed synchronistic – a balance of give and take.

Their dynamic duo energy only revealed itself more as the interview progressed. Much like the ebb and flow of an inhale and exhale, their journey with yoga had its moments of collaboration combined with solo self study: from discovering yoga in a book together, to living in separate cities as they deepened their practice.

Shortly after meeting, they wrapped up loose ends in LA and spent the next three years traveling. Between apple picking, bartending, and updating the Lonely Planet guides, the two lived a budget friendly, free-spirited life abroad. 

“I mean,” Amy shook her head as she spoke. “This was before the time of smartphones and instant communication, if we wanted to talk to people back home we had to find an internet cafe. Our parents must have thought we were crazy.” 

During the last year of their travels, they discovered yoga. For these two, their first encounter with yoga came from a few poses found in a book, Fit for Life. As they continued their travels, they met other individuals who were practicing yoga who would share different parts of yoga, the philosophies, the pranayama. 

NTCH sat down with the two yogis, who shared stories of going to JTMF with their kids, driving over tumbleweeds, Vipassana meditation, and balancing their everyday life through yoga.

NTCH: So how did you two come to yoga, or how did yoga come to you?

MICHAEL: It really was super organic. There’s the phenomenon that once you become aware of something, you see it everywhere. So as soon as we did the few poses we found in that book, Fit for Life, we were in Malaysia walking in the forest, and we look down into a valley and there was this guy who was doing something down there. We had never seen a video, or been to class, so we asked ourselves, “Is he doing yoga?” That night we saw him at the coffee shop, and went over to him, and he invited us to come join him the next day.

So my first yoga class ever…he takes us to the edge of a Malaysian high school, and we’re on the blacktop, in the summer, and it’s about eighty degrees, and we took off our t-shirts and put them onto the ground as mats. And we practiced on the blacktop. And in the distance, just across the way, was the Malaysian marching band [Michael imitates tuba sounds for emphasis] And that was my first yoga experience.

AMY: As we kept going, we would find books and other people who practiced. Two years later when we got to India, we were very much ready to immerse ourselves in that experience. We studied with a private instructor for six weeks that came to our house every morning for an hour. 

MICHAEL: We were on an exploration. I mean, we both went to college in LA, worked in the music business. How fun, it doesn’t get more fun than some of the experiences we had. But the fact that we were looking for more in terms of personal growth set us up to be open for something like that. Trying to engage with your body for its own purpose rather than as a vehicle to get something done. That was a revelation for us.

Read the full interview with NTCH here.

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Yoga One Origin Stories: Apple Picking in Australia

Part 2 of how Yoga One founders Amy & Michael Caldwell turned their love story into a thriving yoga community! 🙏

“After living on an uninhabited island in Fiji for four days, we returned to the main island Viti Levu where we met a man whose parents owned an apple orchard in Australia. Months later and wanting to make some extra money to fuel our backpacking adventures, we traveled to Stanthorpe and began a two-month grueling and glorious time as apple pickers. 

At the crack of dawn, we rose like zombies and made our way to the orchard. There we fired up the tractor and rumbled to our assigned paddock. For the rest of the day, we frantically scaled up and down ladders grabbing as many apples as we could and then unloaded them one bag at time into the trailer bins. At night, we returned to our cabin, hastily made sandwiches for the next day, enjoyed a quick dinner and went to sleep.

If there was any spare energy, we would read a section of “Fit for Life” by Harvey and Marilyn Diamond. We had become vegetarians a year or so before and were trying out veganism and food combining. The book also suggested we do yoga and there were some super simple stretches included. After picking apples for ten hours a day, ten days in a row without a break, the handful of poses felt tremendous. And that was the genesis of our asana practice. Perhaps in retrospect, we had already begun our yoga practice by becoming conscious of our diet and lifestyle; the poses helped to further expand our awareness. 

Once you turn on to something you often see it all around you. As we traveled from country to country, we found additional inspiration to deepen our practice. By the time we got to India, we knew yoga was something we wanted to embrace more fully, and we began an earnest practice, study, and discipline. During a ten-day Vipassana meditation near Bangalore, we first heard the mantra, “Start again.” – Amy & Michael Caldwell

💥Stay tuned for Part 3! 💥

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Yogi Eats: Fruit and Veggie Smoothie

from Jackie Liu

Looking for the perfect meal to complement your yoga practice? Maybe you just need a jolt of inspiration for the weekday dinner line-up. May we suggest…

Fruit and Veggie Smoothie

3/4 cup milk or milk alternative
1/2 cup greek yogurt or non-dairy yogurt
a handful of frozen broccoli 
a handful of frozen strawberries
2 handfuls of fresh spinach 
1/2 ripe banana
1 tsp chia seeds
2 Tbsp hemp seeds
1 Tbsp maple syrup (optional, if you like things sweeter)

Throw all of the ingredients in a blender. Start off on the lowest setting to get the frozen bits moving. Then gradually increase the speed, adding a little liquid if needed, and blend to desired consistency. 

Fun ideas:

– replace spinach with 2-3 kale leaves (stems removed)
– replace broccoli with 1/2 cup frozen peas
– replace strawberries with any handful of frozen fruit
– add 1/4 tsp almond extract or 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Jackie Liu 

Jackie’s relationship with yoga began in 2008 but it wasn’t firmly planted until 2018 when she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. The practice of syncing breath with movement helped quiet her mind and soothe her body. She recently completed the Yoga One 200-hour Teacher Training and wants to use yoga to create positive change and serve as many humans as possible. Outside of yoga she is a self-proclaimed snack expert, and writes about food and cancer for fun: https://tinyletter.com/JackieLiu/

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Yogi Eats: Game Changing Grilled Kale

from Kirstin Green

Looking for the perfect meal to complement your yoga practice? Maybe you just need a jolt of inspiration for the weekday dinner line-up. May we suggest…

Game Changing Grilled Kale

I cannot stress enough how much I love this stuff.  Dress it up or eat it straight off the stems with your hands, oil dripping down your chin. I don’t really want to eat kale any other way these days. This recipe’s chewy, smoky, juiciness satisfies me at a very primal level.

Plan on one bunch of kale per person. You’ll want to fire up your barbecue for this one.

1 bunch of kale (curly is awesome but any will work)
3 cloves garlic
1/4 cup oil (avocado, sunflower, olive are my faves)
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 lemon

Wash, drain and place the kale in a large bowl. In a blender, blend the garlic, oil, pepper and salt together. Pour over the kale and toss to coat.

Over low heat, place the kale leaves on the grill. Cook for a couple of minutes and flip, and cook for a couple of more minutes on the other side, until the leaves are soft and edges starting to char just a little bit. Don’t over-grill, as the burnt ones aren’t as awesome to eat.

Remove from the grill. Squeeze lemon juice over leaves and go to town.

This recipe originally published at KirstinGreen.com

Kirstin Green is a former restaurateur and an avid home cook with a long-standing connection to the Yoga One family. After completing the 200 hour YTT back in 2008, she created several mosaic art pieces for the downtown studio. She is well traveled and committed to living a life filled with sensory and aesthetic beauty, filling her days with gardening, art-making, baking and cooking. These days, she is shaping a new career in Expressive Arts Therapy with a special focus on the art of food.

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Yoga One Origin Stories: Love is in the Air

Part One: Yoga One Co-Founders Amy and Michael Caldwell weren’t always yoga teachers in beautiful San Diego… Here’s a flashback story of how they fell in love and the seed for Yoga One was planted. 🙂

Check out this Throwback pic of Yoga One co-founders Amy & Michael in Kala Patthar, Nepal in 1999! 

Seeing as 💕Valentine’s Day 💕is right around the corner, we wanted to share a little background on how their love story brought Yoga One to life in San Diego. 

“It was 1995 and I was working for Broadcast Music Incorporated in Hollywood on Sunset Blvd. We were throwing a party for jazz bassist extraordinaire and film composer Stanley Clarke. Amy and her co-workers from Budd Carr’s music supervision team were attending the event. With Budd and company, Amy had helped with the music for such films as Twister, Heat, Nixon and Natural Born Killers. Since Amy and her team often frequented such events as a group, someone remarked that she’d never find a boyfriend because it always appeared that she was in a relationship. Amy replied that there wasn’t anyone at the party in which she was interested in, anyway. That is until I walked around the corner. Insert angelic music swelling, a warm breeze blowing my hair, and soft lighting caressing my face. A few years later, we were at 18,800 feet on Kala Patar and with Mount Everest as our witness, I proposed. Amy, cold and oxygen deprived said, “Of course!” We then hiked to base camp for good measure.”

This is ~obviously~ Michael’s version of events! But that party was the start of it all. Stay tuned for the next installment about how Amy & Michael discovered their love of yoga in an Australian apple orchard and the seed for Yoga One was planted! 🧘🍎🧘‍♀️

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Take Your Valentine Out(doors)

It can be hard to think of fun and safe date ideas these days. Thankfully our friends at Eco Boat Rentals have complied a list of 7 Outdoor Date Ideas San Diego Has to Offer and Yoga One is #2 on their list!

“If you and your date like yoga or want to try something new together, do an outdoor yoga class. Yoga One San Diego hosts yoga classes live online via Zoom and outside in Presidio Park in Old Town. You can even book a private yoga session for two!”

Or join us this coming Saturday, 2/13 for a special 2 hour Valentine’s Day Flow & Restore class with Nicole Schwander Riel on Zoom from 2-4pm.

This special, two hour soulful practice is designed to fill your heart with love. The first hour will focus on a light-hearted flow to lift your spirits, move with intention, and open your center through backbends with options and modifications for all levels. During the second hour, we will drop into a juicy restorative practice, supported with props to connect with compassion and love for yourself and all beings. This longer class format is a special treat for your body, mind, and heart!

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