Yogi Reads: Everyday Mindfulness

by Laura McCorry

Everyday Mindfulness: 108 Simple Practices to Empower Yourself and Transform Your Life

by Melissa Steginus

Summary: Everyday Mindfulness is designed as an active workbook to help increase self understanding and mindfulness habits. For 108 days (and perhaps beyond), Steginus encourages you to keep the book close at hand. Each day is divided into a brief explanation of the purpose, then the mindfulness practice, followed by space for reflections, comments and notes.

Why I Love It: It’s designed to be read slowly, just one page a day. You don’t slog through paragraphs and long passages to get to its core truths. One of my favorites is Day 31 Engage in Play:

“Make yourself laugh today. Practice ways to express yourself and goof around a little! Schedule at least 10 minutes of play, during which you do something simply for the sake of enjoyment. Even if it feels silly or uncomfortable, do it anyway. Life is too important to live without play!” 

Recommended For: Readers ready to take a journey through the physical, emotional, rational, spiritual, occupation, and network realms of self-study. One of the lessons I’ve gleaned from this past year is that true self-inquiry is always rewarded with greater insightful clarity or with more acceptance for circumstances outside our control. Those seeking a systematic approach to examining mindfulness in all its aspects might find this book to be just the tool they’ve been looking for. 

Everyday Mindfulness is published by TCK Publishing.

Laura McCorry

Laura McCorry
Contributing Writer

Yoga 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(AT)yogaonesandiego(DOT)com

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Yogi Eats: Sweet Coconut Black Rice & Beans

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…

Sweet Coconut Black Rice & Beans

  • 1 cup black rice (also known as forbidden rice)
  • 1 can full fat coconut milk**not the stuff that comes in a carton
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 can aduki beans, (also known as adzuki, azuki, or red beans)
  • 3 Tbs maple syrup (or any sweetener you like)
  • 1/4 tsp salt **omit if your can of beans are salted
  • optional: for more protein, add 1/3 cup quinoa to the rice (before cooking) and up the water to a total of 2 cups. 

Pour the whole can of coconut milk into a pot. Add the rice and water (plus quinoa, if using), and stir to combine. Bring to a boil and then cover and simmer for about an hour, or until the liquid is mostly gone. Make sure to give it a good stir every now and then to keep the rice from sticking to the bottom. Don’t worry if it does, it’ll unstick itself when you add the beans. 

While the rice is cooking, drain and rinse your beans, but KEEP THE JUICE! Heat up the juice so it’s warm to the touch. Add 1Tbs maple syrup and then add the beans back to the juice and stir. Let those soak until the rice is done. 

When most of the liquid is gone from the rice pot, remove from heat. Stir in the beans plus the juice and add the remaining maple syrup and salt. The moisture from the bean juice will help free the sticky bits from the bottom of the pot. 

Serve warm or cold. Top with almond milk or more coconut milk, hemp seeds, chia seeds, fruit, more sweetener, whatever you like!

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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4 Gratitude Practices to Transform Your Life

guest post by Karen Beers

Yoga One teacher Karen Beers poses atop a ridge line with mountains in the background. She's wearing a Yoga One trucker hat, a blue bandana around her neck, a long-sleeve grey top, pink shorts and hiking boots.

The power of gratitude is remarkable. When we take time to slow down and mindfully recognize the abundance in our lives, we create a positive inner shift that extends far beyond ourselves. 

1. Start the day with gratitude by acknowledging that we are given a priceless gift – to be alive right now. Each day, we wake up with new possibilities and opportunities to learn and grow. Each day, we are gifted time and the pure potentiality of how the hours can be utilized.

2. Feel gratitude for yourself, your body, your physical abilities, and talents. There are countless lessons to be gained from acknowledging what a gift it is to move and breathe. It’s important to appreciate your individual limitations, too. Gratitude can help you slow down and acknowledge the countless skills you have to share with the world. You are an integral part of the community and what you offer is incredibly valuable.

3. Express gratitude and appreciation for community. Family, friends, neighbors, and those connections near and far are integral support systems. These people are there to help us show up and be the best version of ourselves. Our community lifts us up so that we can share our strengths and abilities, and these people also help us to ground and center ourselves when we feel fractured or unsettled. 

4. Expand your awareness of gratitude to all of nature. We are so blessed to live in such a beautiful world. By simply stepping outside and looking around, we provide ourselves space to receive many therapeutic qualities that enhance our well-being. Take time to acknowledge the natural beauty of the world and receive the benefits it provides to us.

Many blessings tend to go unnoticed when we are distracted by our daily tasks and obligations. By making space in each day to practice gratitude; we find an abundance within and around us. As Albert Einstein so wisely said, “There are only two ways to live your life.  One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.” 

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Yoga One Teachers: Nicole Perrin

Nicole teaches some of our offsite corporate classes. Say “hi” in the comments if you’ve ever had the pleasure of taking her class!

Nicole smiles towards the camera with her body tilted slightly away, her straight brown hair falls past her shoulder and she is wearing a blank tank top. Behind her is a blurred scene of a jetty and the ocean.

1. How does yoga show up in your life right now? 

Yoga shows up in all the nooks and crannies of the day – needing a good hip flexor stretch while standing in line (6 ft apart) at the grocery store, remembering that it’s not about me when holding the door open for someone and not getting a “thank you.”

I find yoga when practicing ahimsa (non-harming) in my thoughts and words (this one is challenging during arguments but it keeps me humble and on my toes – there is always room for more love and kindness), belly breathing as much as possible, especially when stressed or unsettled, and remembering to tilt the corners of my mouth up to form a smile as often as possible. =)

2. Where are you experiencing growth as a yoga teacher and/or practitioner?

I’m reflecting more internally, especially regarding my energy. I have a tendency to over-extend myself energetically (i.e. trying to help “fix” issues that are not within my control, nor mine to “fix”) which drains me and doesn’t serve others. It is a continuous journey, and the more I practice self-reflection, the more I am able to learn from my past actions, thoughts, etc. and nourish my spiritual and energetic growth in this crazy yet beautiful world.

3. What’s your favorite kind of burrito and why?

Oh man, in my dream world, it would be a vegan and gluten-free one with seasoned tempeh, LOTS of crunchy raw veggies, and a yummy plant-based spicy sauce!! I have yet to find this unicorn burrito, but remain hopeful in my search.

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Happy 9th Birthday, Yoga One Blog!

THANK YOU to everyone here and the wider Yoga One community! The Yoga One blog has become a place where we showcase the people who make our community so special, where we share life, humor, and reflection, all with the goal of helping others live healthier and happier lives.

Let us know what you’d like to see more of and where you think we’re doing a good job or need to improve! We welcome all comments, questions and submissions.

Here’s a look back at our top 5 Posts from the past year:

Dive Into the Details – How to Practice Warrior III Pose (Virabhadrasana III)

Yogi Reads: Courage: The Joy of Living Dangerously

Yes to You: A Yoga Teacher’s Poem

Yogi Reads: Living Your Yoga

Calling Savasana By Its Name

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Bending Over Backwards to Open the Heart

by Amy Caldwell

woman in shorts and tank top in full wheel pose with feet on blocks, practicing yoga on an outdoor deck

One morning, while I was practicing in my usual spot outside on our back deck, I took a photo to see if the backbend looked like it felt. In the photo, I see strength and openness, I feel presence and persistence. I also see and feel a place adjacent to my heart that is challenging to bend.

I’ve been focused on the physiological theme of back-bending and its alignment: long torso on all sides with balanced core engagement. The corresponding mindfulness theme I am exploring is conscious participation:

How can we arrive in the present, allow ourselves to be OK with what we are feeling, then to engage in the next moment with openness, curiosity, presence, and kindness?

As I physically and energetically explore opening my heart, there is intense love intermingled with fear. Not fear of my own death or harm, but fear that the safety of my beloveds is out of my control. We continually seek to be equally grounded and spacious, strong and open, balanced with present moment awareness and love. As we age, we have to work harder at both – not to become set in our ways, closed and rigid.

“Every movement toward flexibility, there must be an equivalent movement toward strength.”

– Diana Beardsley

What is it that you need more of in your practice? In your life?

How can we metaphorically open our hearts while remaining strong and grounded in the present?

How can we stand up for what we believe is true and right, while simultaneously loving our adversary as a fellow human who is also doing what they believe is true and right?

As Pema Chödrön advises, we can let go of fear and control… even while embracing the groundlessness of being human. Sometimes the way forward is not without, but within.

Amy Caldwell

Amy Caldwell
Contributing Writer

Amy (E-RYT 500) has dedicated herself to the practice, study and teaching of yoga since discovering its joys and benefits in 1997 while backpacking throughout Asia, Australia, and parts of Europe. Amy is a Co-Founder of Yoga One and lead teacher for their yoga teacher training program.

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Kimchi Fried Rice 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…

close-up bowl of kimchi fried rice with sesame seeds and chopped green onion

Kimchi Fried Rice

– 4 cups cooked rice (1-day old rice will give the best texture)

– cooking oil of your choice (preferably something with little to no flavor)

– 1/2 small onion or 2 shallots, chopped 

– 2-4 garlic cloves, minced 
– 1/4 cup kimchi juice

– 1 tsp soy sauce or tamari

– 2 tsp gochujang (optional-adds a touch of sweetness and umami flavor)

– 3 tsp sesame oil 

– 1 handful of mushrooms, chopped (I like shiitake or oyster)

– 1 cup of chopped up leafy greens of choice (kale, spinach, chard are all fun)
       **optional: add a chopped up hearty vegetable (ie. 2 carrots, or 1 zucchini, or 1 small sweet potato)

– 1 cup kimchi, roughly chopped
       ** (make your own kimchi here)

– a sheet of nori cut up into strips, or use your favorite Nori Furikake

– sesame seeds, or use your fave Nori Furikake

– green onions, thinly sliced

– fried eggs (optional) 

In a cast iron skillet or non-stick pan, heat up the cooking oil on medium-high, and saute the onion and ginger until the onions soften a bit. In a small bowl, stir together kimchi juice, soy sauce, gochujang, and sesame oil, and set aside. If you’re using hearty vegetables, add those to the pan and cook until they start to soften, adding more cooking oil if the pan is too dry. Add the mushrooms and cook until they darken. Add the leafy greens and cook until they start to wilt. To the pan, add the chopped kimchi, cooked rice, and the kimchi juice sauce, making sure everything is well incorporated. The fried rice is ready when the juices are all absorbed. In a separate pan, quickly fry an egg or two, per serving. Serve up the fried rice in a bowl topped with nori, sesame seeds, green onions, extra kimchi, and fried eggs. 

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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ARGH Meditation from Amy Caldwell

Black and white photo of a woman with her eyes closed, mouth open, and hands clenched, pulling her elbows in close to her body. Her dark, curly hair falls to her shoulders and she seems frustrated but not unhappy.

by Amy Caldwell

Ask anyone who practices meditation regularly and they’ll tell you: it’s never the same experience when you sit. Sometimes you experience stillness in your body, but not your mind. Sometimes you experience inner stillness, but not in the body. Sometimes it’s both, sometimes it’s neither.

As COVID-19 continues and tensions run high, consider trying this acronym for your meditation practice: ARGH!

A: Allow – give yourself permission to sense, think, feel – and meet yourself with compassion.

R: Relax – use tools such as deep breathing and yoga practices to help you relax.

G: Gather – be kind while gathering your attention on whatever is needed, your breath, your conversation, or the task at hand…

H: Help – help one another. Allow yourself to be helped AND help those in need.

“An emotion like anger (that’s an automatic response) lasts just ninety seconds from the moment it is triggered until it runs its course. When it lasts any longer…it’s because we’ve chosen to rekindle it.” 

– Jill Bolte Taylor, author, In My Stroke of Insight

Remember that your meditation practice is simply practice. Instead of focusing on something you can’t control (the quality of your experience), try to focus on what’s immediately accessible (like noticing the present moment and slowing your breath). When we do this, we can take our practice off of our mats and into our daily lives. ❤

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Yoga One Teachers: Lori Miller

Woman with short blond hair and a large smile, wearing a blue tank top seated in her living room.

1. How does yoga show up in your life right now?

I am currently in what is called “the sandwich generation.” I have elderly in-laws, a mother fighting cancer, and two teenagers who need my love, care, support, and attention, especially in these uncertain times.

Our living room has become the “yoga space.” It’s been so wonderful having my kids and husband join me in my yoga classes and my personal practice. Yoga has been my comfort. Yoga reminds me to breathe, to slow down, and it allows me to return to myself so I can recharge.

2. Where are you experiencing growth as a yoga teacher and/or practitioner?

I’ve certainly grown technologically during this time. Navigating Zoom and Webex has been fun and challenging 🙂  It’s been a big shift for me not being in the same physical space as my students and giving hands-on adjustments. Nonetheless, I feel so grateful to offer classes online, where I still get to guide and connect with my students. 

I’ve also grown personally in my meditation practice in that I’ve finally learned to be consistent. My daughter and I started meditating together and we’ve been keeping each other accountable. I feel much more grounded, connected, and present when I make time to practice meditation on a near-daily basis.  

3. What’s your favorite kind of burrito and why?

My favorite is a burrito bowl (no gluten!) 🙂  I like it with brown rice, black or pinto beans, lots of veggies, lettuce, guacamole, extra cilantro, pico de gallo, and hot salsa. 

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Yoga One Teachers: Amy Freeman

headshot of a light-skinned woman with highlighted brown hair that falls past her shoulders and bright blue eyes. She is smiling and wearing a gold chain necklace with a small purple stone.

1. How does yoga show up in your life right now?

Yoga is like a longtime, dear, best friend to me, always there through both good and challenging times. I’m grateful for Zoom and the opportunity to connect online with my students and fellow yogis. It’s not the same as in person, but I know in the future it will be all the sweeter when we get to be together again.

These days my practice is teaching me presence and patience. I learned the pauses in my practice: the pause after a pose, or a sequence, or the inhale-pause-exhale-pause. I try to sit with the pause, however difficult or uncomfortable or scary it may feel.

I’m applying that to my life now, this pause in our regularly scheduled life. It’s a time to tune in and explore the inner landscape. A time to sit in the pause and feel the sacred space between. Yoga has always been preparing us for this uncertain time. Here and now we get to put these tools of patience, practice, presence to work.

We often forget that we have the tools. I do all the time. Then I come back to my mat, to my breath, and remember.

2. Where are you experiencing growth as a yoga teacher and/or practitioner?

I’ve grown technologically since mid-March. I remember the first Zoom class I taught on March 15. It felt so odd to have my students in the living room with me! My lighting was way off and the sound wasn’t good.

I’ve since moved my yoga space into a guest bedroom with abundant natural light as well as studio lights borrowed from Nam Chanterrwyn. We put the bed and furniture into storage and my kids bought me a microphone for Mother’s Day 🙂 

I’ve also become much more dedicated to my home practice. Now that I have the space set aside, I wake up each morning and go to my yoga loft. I read from my yoga texts or draw an angel card and sit to meditate; then I transition into a physical practice for however long I can. Some days it’s just a few minutes, other days I spend 2 hours doing my home practice. 

3. What’s your favorite kind of burrito and why?

I love a good bean and cheese burrito with chips and guacamole on the side 😋

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