Kids Yoga and Art Interview + Summer Workshops

Yoga One is excited to host a series of Kids Yoga and Art Summer Classes led by recent Yoga One Teacher Training graduate, Hannah Faulkner. Her passion for teaching yoga to kids is apparent in every creatively-themed class. Keep reading for her perspective on teaching little yogis!

There are five remaining classes this summer and registration is still available ($25/class) with 24-hour pre-registration to ensure available art supplies for each participant. Classes are held on Tuesdays from 2-4pm at Yoga One. Register for all five and receive a discounted rate of $85. Updated information can be found at www.halfmoonyogaandart.com/kids-summer-camp.html

FullSizeRenderYoga One: How is teaching yoga to kids different from teaching adults?

Hannah: Kids need to be active and have fun while doing yoga! Teaching kids means you are constantly innovating and finding new ways to engage their senses and minds while incorporating traditional (or nontraditional!) yoga postures.

I teach themed lessons in which we use our imaginations to travel to a new place each week. When we visited Ancient Egypt, they learned how to do pyramid pose and while practicing yoga, I shared stories and interesting facts about the culture. We played games like Crocodile Crossing, where everyone is a crocodile holding plank pose and we each take turns trying to cross the Nile River without getting tagged. For the end of class, we closed our yoga practice with three minutes in mummy pose (savasana for adults) and they loved being wrapped up in their mats!

Yoga One: You’re both an art teacher and a yoga instructor – have you always wanted to combine these two passions?

Hannah: I’ve just stumbled upon this amazing combination within the last nine months. I’ve been teaching art to all ages for the past few years and just started teaching kids yoga last September. They were learning about gardens and vegetables, so we did a garden-themed yoga class and created figures through stamping cut fruit dipped in paint. It’s amazing the connections kids can make when they involve their whole body and mind!

Yoga One: Can kids who have no experience with yoga or particular skills in art participate?

Hannah: Yes, of course! Many of my young students have no prior yoga experience. In every class, I demonstrate the pose and carefully explain how to get into and out of the pose. I give verbal instructions on how to adjust into the fullest and safest version as well as modifications for kids who are still building strength and working on balance.

Through artwork creation, we are focused more on the process than the product. Kids have the opportunity to sketch a map of the place that we visited in the provided journals along with a quick drawing of their favorite poses (i.e. a camel, pyramid, sphinx, cobra, pharaoh, crocodile, etc.). Then we create an artwork as I guide them through step by step instructions.

I have templates and stencils for those who do not feel as comfortable drawing with their free hand. This week we made Egyptian profiles and I provided a template for the outline of a face and Egyptian style eye. The kids added their own decorations for the head band, necklace, and lips. I love providing the opportunity for each student to access the heart of the lesson as well as demonstrate their own creative expression.

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Yoga and Body Positivity

by Laura McCorry

The body positive movement means finding ways to respect, honor and love your own body as a daily practice. Feeling positively about your body has nothing to do with your health, fitness or size. (Can we repeat that about a thousand times across the twitterverse?)

The culture we live in is always ready to tell us that we’re not good enough. Sometimes all we see in the media are airbrushed and photoshopped images of women and men that misrepresent the natural body of the model. Not only have we elevated one type of body to an ideal, but often the thin/fit/flawless body is a complete illusion.

So what does it mean to step out of this culture and onto your mat to practice yoga?

Every belief you have about your body will follow you onto your mat. If your thoughts are predominantly negative, this can have disastrous consequences for how you feel about yoga and your likelihood of maintaining a regular practice.

yoga present momentBut yoga teaches present moment awareness – which means paying attention and honoring how your body moves that day, without comparison to how it moved in the past or how you’d like it to move in the future. The more you practice this mental shift into the present, the more you can circumvent negative self-talk.

Body positivity doesn’t mean complacency in the face of health risks. It means rejecting the “not good enough” mantra and replacing it with affirmations of love, acceptance and encouragement.

When we feel positively about our bodies, we create an atmosphere of nurturing protection for the body and prompt the desire for more positive change. Sometimes the biggest physical challenge you encounter in life is not the super hard workout or the discipline to stay active – the bigger challenge is the radical acceptance of your body. All of it, without exception.

You are only given this one vessel with which to experience the world. Treat it kindly. Allow it to feel the warmth of the sun and the caress of the breeze. Take it on adventures and let your body carry you through a world of new experiences.

Know that all change starts within. If you can change one thought, you can begin to change your way of thinking. If you change your thinking, you can influence others to do the same. Maybe one day the cultural legacy we leave behind will be one that affirms the value of all bodies and contributes to the health and happiness of all.

(Here’s a great place to start, 10 Ways to Practice Self-Love.)

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@yogaonesandiego.com

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Yoga One Free Class Aboard the USS Midway

Amy Caldwell aboard USS MidwayIt’s happening again! Join Amy Caldwell this Saturday June 20th aboard the USS Midway aircraft carrier for a FREE yoga class from 8am-9:30am.

We’ve partnered with the Downtown San Diego Partnership and Scripps Health to offer an all levels, family-friendly yoga class to support Healthy Living in the City.

Last year we had about 400 participants and this year the event is already completely booked with 1000 people expected! We can’t wait to unite our intentions for healthy living with so many and practice yoga together.

San Diego Jumble interviewed Amy Caldwell about this Saturday’s class – listen here and find out about other upcoming free yoga classes in San Diego!

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Yogi Reads: Be Love Now

by Olivia Cecchettini

Be-Love-Now-FINAL-8-25-10-227x300“Be Love Now: The Path of the Heart”

by Ram Dass

Summary: Part memoir and part spiritual guide to simple living, Be Love Now offers a fascinating glimpse into Ram Dass’s path following his personal Guru, Marahaji-ji. Guru, in the West, is a word laden with many connotations. In the East, the word still carries an energy of devotion and service. Be Love Now is the third book in a three part series, beginning with Be Here Now (written 30 years before this book) and Still Here, written after Dass suffered a stroke.

Ram Dass’s message remains the same: just BE. Be without judgment, be without attachment, but most of all, just be.

Dass reflects on his journey through India and the deep, profound effects it had on his life. Dass describes the power that can be cultivated from surrendering the ego and following one’s heart. Be Love Now challenges the reader to dig through his or her layers of consciousness and find deeper truth, meaning, and purpose in their life.

Why I love It: I especially enjoyed reading about Ram Dass’s spiritual journey, his words felt more relatable and human than in his previous books. He writes in detail about a six month period when he lived in an ashram and learned to completely surrender to his Guru’s guidance. I found it easy to connect with his true humanness as he shared private opinions and stories about Marahaji-ji and their time together.

Marahaji-ji is a guru in the tradition of Bhakti Yoga, the yoga of devotion and love. I attended the yoga festival Shaktifest in Joshua Tree, California, and though I’d been in years past, I noticed for the first time the images of Marahaji-ji everywhere as a way to stay connected to his energy and message. It was so powerful to make that connection through yoga lineages.

Recommended For: People on the spiritual path will likely enjoy this book. Even if you do not study or practice Hinduism or Buddhism, this book speaks to many spiritual and religious traditions because its true underlying message is love.

Dass teaches that presence creates love. When we are present and surrender to the moment, the guru, or path, reveal themselves to you. You must remain dedicated to keeping the mind focused in the present moment. Many of us need to slow down enough to hear the whispers of wisdom coming to us everyday, slow down enough to smile and make eye contact with a stranger and truly embody what it means to BE LOVE NOW.

Olivia headshotOlivia Cecchettini
Contributing Writer

Olivia’s yoga journey began in 2003. She is certified in Vinyasa, Hatha, and Aerial Yoga and holds a Masters degree in Spiritual Psychology. She believes the mind, body, soul connection is sacred and encourages her students explore and expand within their own bodies and consciousnesses.

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Instructor Spotlight: Sherri Montgomery Jones

Sherri is one of the first teachers Yoga One owners Amy & Michael Caldwell practiced with when they arrived in San Diego back in 2001. She is also one of the best teachers they have had the fortune of knowing. What she teaches in the classroom is fantastic, but what she teachers through her living example is the real lesson. Vibrant, positive, active, athletic, spiritual, fun, humorous, beautiful, intelligent…you get the picture!

Sign up for her upcoming class and workshop June 6th and 7th at Yoga One here!

Sherri headshot

1. What is your favorite style of yoga? 

I love pose-by-pose practice, as in the Iyengar style. There’s so much refinement for the physical body that can happen in the depth and precision of that method, and the mind has specific points to concentrate on, which brings a natural calm. Really, I’m very grateful for having Iyengar as my beginning in yoga.

Over the years I’ve woven into my personal practice a more dance-like, fluid approach, mixing spontaneous movements with asana (yoga poses) to create a daily practice that changes and evolves along with me as my body and heart transform on this journey of life.

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

The physicality of Hatha Yoga drew me in – as a child cartwheels and splits and walking down the hall in a backbend were all part of a normal day for me.

But more significantly, yoga slowed me down. I was limited to the area of a mat, instead of the whole wide world that I’d been moving through, and in that confinement my soul came to the surface. I was captivated by the pain, the tenderness, and the vitality that poured out from my heart, within the stillness of practicing yoga. I’ve been following that inner thread every since, discovering more and more of my true qualities as my journey through life’s challenges and joys continues.

3. What is your favorite yoga pose right now?

That’s a difficult question for me! None of my students or friends would be surprised to hear me say downward dog! Someone quoted me as exclaiming in class one day, “You can never do enough downward dog!” or something to that effect, which is probably not at all the case, right?!

But I love practicing a simple inversion sequence like downward dog, arm balance, forearm balance, and shoulder stand to energize me and to build the internal muscles of perseverance and determination, two spiritual qualities I constantly seek.

4. What pose is still the most challenging?

Headstand for sure! I’ve had a lot of whiplash throughout my life, and then I’ve got a L-O-N-G neck – yikes. A number of years back a chiropractor friend told me my neck is giraffe-like! So it’s a challenging combination. Still, I am once again pursuing this pose with the help of some of my incredible yoga teacher friends here in town. So stay tuned for an update in this area.

5. If you were an animal, you would be: Not a giraffe – although I used to daydream as a child growing up in Cheyenne, Wyoming, of constructing a special saddle to be able to ride my imaginary pet giraffe. May we all find our way back to that level of innocence and creativity!

I feel very deeply that I would be a horse. Noble, wild, high-strung, courageous in the face of fear.

6. Describe what yoga means in your life using just 6 words: Yoga: strength for soul’s journey Home.

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

My first teaching career was in Russian language, and I’m blessed to have a son-in-law and two-year-old grandson in my life to help me deepen my love affair with that phenomenal language. Thank you to Kolya and Misha for being part of my life path, and of course thank you to my daughter, Rhea, who made it all happen. She is one of my biggest teachers of all.

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

Listen to your heart! Find the rhythm of your unique soul’s journey and expression in this life and on this material plane. Manifest your destiny, and don’t let anything stop you. This world needs our love, our care, our passion, our compassion. Give your heart and soul to what really matters to you. Show others how that’s done –  and stoke the fire of change and growth and transformation. Don’t lead a shallow life! As my wise sister Pat says, the Nike slogan pretty much sums it up: Just do it.

Yoga & Beyond - Yogo One June 2015 Sunday 2-4pm

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Mantra Mag Asked Yoga One “What is Love?”

When Mantra Mag asked Yoga One studio owners Amy and Michael Caldwell to define love, they didn’t disappoint!

“Love is cheering for and chaperoning a newly hatched sea turtle along its perilous journey to the sea, swatting away the horde of predatory birds while conscious that I am depriving them of breakfast. Love is doing what feels right in the moment with an awareness and appreciation that there are other equally valid, often opposing, viewpoints.” – Michael Caldwell

“A friend said, ‘Love is an action of deeply paying attention to your life.’ For me, conscientious love also means continually opening our hearts when life is easily flowing and amidst challenging circumstances. Love in the context of close personal relationships allows us to practice. Through our experiences of connection, hopefully we remember love is our true nature.” – Amy Caldwell
Mantra MagazineThank you Mantra Mag for the feature!

 

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Yes to You: A Yoga Teacher’s Poem

by Monique Minahan

Yoga One Ten Year AnniversaryI don’t teach you yoga.
You are yoga.

You are that sweet exhale,
that expansive inhale
that pause in between.

You are that unified breath,
that connected mind and body,
the observer and the observed.

What I teach you is how to remember
because we forget.

I forget.

So I invite you back to your breath
back to your body
back to you.

You accept my invitation
but it’s not me you are saying yes to.

It’s you.

You say yes to you.

Yes to your inhale,
Yes to your exhale,
Yes to your tight hamstrings,
Yes to your aching heart.

Yes to your wobbles,
Yes to your strength,
Yes to your past,
Yes to your Now.

Yes to your failures,
Yes to your triumphs,
Yes to your hopes,
Yes to your dreams.

Yes to your anger,
Yes to your peace,
Yes to your fear,
Yes to your courage.

Yes to you.

You say yes to you. I see that happen before my eyes and that is why I bow to you.

It is my privilege to witness your return every time

to your mat
to your heart
to you.

Namaste.

Mo Minahan

Monique Minahan
Contributing Writer

Mo is a writer and yoga teacher who believes in peace over happiness and love over fear. She likes to set her sights high and then take small steps to get there. You’ll find her walking the dirt path behind her house with her little fluffy dog, practicing walking her talk by keeping her head high and her heart open. 

Read more from Monique on her blog, mindfulmo.com

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Instructor Spotlight: Shadow Van Houten

This month we’re featuring Shadow Van Houten who leads a Level 1 and 2 Yoga Flow class on Friday mornings at 9am. Shadow is large of heart, strong of spirit and looms like a super nova of positive vibrations – we’re lucky to have her! Check out our full class schedule here.

Shadow21. What is your favorite style of yoga?

I typically prefer a Prana Flow-inspired Vinyasa, with balanced aspects of humor, playfulnessss, pranayama, and a connection to yoga philosophy. Any class that brings a smile and a deep savasana makes my day.

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

Ten years ago, I was initially drawn to Bikram yoga. My active mind found an unintentional mantra; ”It’s so hot. Why are we here agin? Just stay calm. It’s so hot. Why are we here agin? Just stay calm.” I unconsciously began tapping into what would form the basis of a present mindfulness. It did feel very good for reasons I couldn’t fully explain.

A few years later though, at the yurt in Encinitas, I truly connected with what I consider my yoga practice. I found a teacher who brought to light the deeper, mind-body-spirit connection in a playful, supportive space. The concept of yoga became fun, freeing, holistic, and a constant practice off the mat.

3. What is your favorite yoga pose right now?

Right now, since it’s early in the morning, I love finding spontaneous, or ‘sahaja,’ movement in seated chakravakasana (cat-cow). I think of it akin to grinding coffee in the morning, some days I find a subtle, lumbar isolated movement, a basic coarse-ground roast, and some mornings I find myself exploring deep bends and fluid movements, like an oh-so-fine espresso.

4. What pose is still the most challenging?

I find shoulderstand, sarvangasana, to be quite challenging, especially to find comfort and its intended cooling effect. In full disclosure, I tend to conveniently leave it out of my home practice, but appreciate when it is included in a class. I’m sure it’s a pose I need, but I can’t say it is one I currently enjoy.

5. If you were an animal, you would be: a humpback whale, traveling the world’s oceans with those closest to me, eating copious amounts of fresh seafood and singing our hearts out. Yes, please!

Shadowandupdog6. Describe what yoga means in your life using just 6 words: compassion and connection within and without.

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

My right forearm is mostly metal, so I actually cannot come close to touching my right shoulder with my right fingertips. Fortunately, this is not a motion that’s commonly required in life or asana. However, I discovered this while my toes dangled over the edge of an airplane door, as the dive instructor behind me called out “just grab on to your shoulder straps and jump.” Now that was a stark moment of realization!

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

The greatest and most challenging work often lies in acceptance, especially self-acceptance. (tweet that) Exactly how you feel and where you are in your practice is ok, in every moment.

It takes time and commitment to detach from judgement and to be present, but these are the aspects of a very advanced practice. The most advanced yogis are not necessarily the ones in very difficult or malleable poses, but they’re the ones listening to and honoring themselves, perhaps by simply finding stillness.

Also, there are so many different ways to access and practice yoga. Explore different styles and teachers, until you discover what you truly enjoy and connect with. Have fun!

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2015 Yoga One Teacher Training Perspectives

Twice a year, Yoga One is proud to host our interdisciplinary Yoga One Teacher Training to educate, empower and transform a diverse group of individuals into more dedicated yogis and new yoga teachers. Here are some reflections from our recent graduates on what the course is really like:

Yoga One Teacher Training 20151. How did your experience of yoga or personal practice evolve over the course of Yoga One Teacher Training?

My relationship to yoga became more intimate. I think of yoga all the time now. I constantly recognize relationships between contrasts such as inhale/exhale, backbend/forward-bend, warming/cooling, energizing/relaxing, busy/reflective, light/dark, sun/moon, new/old, and past/present to find the balance in each. – Hannah F.

I learned to be more aware of my alignment to avoid injury. I also learned that everything is core work in yoga! – Courtney B.

While I had attended yoga classes at Yoga One four or five times each week, prior to teacher training, I had not started a personal practice. Now I practice at home as well as at the studio. I enjoyed learning about the history of yoga, both in class and from the readings. The teachers’ manual that Yoga One put together is a wonderful resource. – Laurie A.

My relationship with yoga had refined by the end of the course. Yoga is being present and giving enthusiastic attention to your journey on and off the mat. It is connecting to your spirituality (whatever that may be) through a deeper exploration and understanding of your own body and breath. – Kristin S.

2. What was the most valuable piece of information you learned?

I learned how to keep my shoulders integrated in every pose. I realized I had previously had improper shoulder alignment and was constantly sore from it. Now I experience very little soreness keeping my shoulders aligned properly. – Courtney B.

The most fun aspect of this course was the friendships that I developed with the other trainees. We all had an element of vulnerability as we practice-taught on each other and shared the challenge of the breakdown and rebuilding of a new understanding of yoga as a complete body/mind experience. – Hannah F.

Just learning the basics of alignment. I can finally find my balance in Vrksasana (Tree)!(Well, not always, but I’m a lot better.) – Laurie A.

That the journey is what matters most, not the destination. I find so much peace in that. – Kristin S.

The specifics of asana, yoga philosophy, and anatomy were thoroughly taught by incredibly competent, patient, and generous teachers. The content was beautifully organized and taught in large yet manageable chunks. The sense of community between trainees and the nurturing learning environment facilitated by the teachers created a really rewarding and fun experience. – Sarah S.

3. How Yoga One Teacher Training impacted my life:

It made me more aware of my own body while doing yoga! I am constantly adjusting myself during my practice, whereas before I didn’t really put much effort into my alignment. – Courtney B.

There is more to yoga than asanas (poses). And I learned that I don’t have to do the asanas perfectly. In fact, I have all the time in the world to improve! Yoga One Teacher Training also impacted my life by introducing me to some wonderful people. I was one of the older participants and I enjoyed the diversity of participants and instructors. We came from all over the globe. We had different past experiences in yoga and brought different hopes, dreams and plans to our yoga mats. – Laurie A.

I find more harmony in my practice and the little universe on my yoga mat. By incorporating yoga daily I find that harmony in all aspects of my life more and more. It is a constant effort and learning exercise but practicing yoga with intention on and off the mat is what it is all about! – Kristin S.

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Healing The BodyMind Through Yoga

by Monique Minahan

yoga-journey-quoteEarly on in my yoga practice I would often experience an emotional reaction during corpse pose (savasana). Lying still, I would get a lump in my throat and suddenly find tears quietly rolling down my cheeks. I didn’t know it at the time, but my yoga practice was releasing long-held grief from my body.

When grief and recovery from trauma have been processed by the mind, life may begin to seem approachable again and many people feel they can move forward; but the same processes of recovery and healing are essential to the body as well.

Feeling a strong emotional release in a yoga pose or during final relaxation is far from uncommon. One of yoga’s most powerful side effects is its ability to release and heal the BodyMind. Not just the body. Not just the mind. The combined, interconnected, undivided BodyMind.

BodyMind is a term coined by Dr. Candace Pert, a neuropharmacologist who pioneered scientific research into the field of Mind-Body Medicine, advancing our understanding of what are called neuropeptides, or messenger molecules that carry information from the mind to the body and back again through body fluids. These neuropeptides are found throughout our bodies in the heart, sexual organs, and the limbic system, to name a few.

Dr. Pert breaks this concept down with an example of the gut. The entire lining of our intestines is lined with these particular transmitters. She posits, “It seems entirely possible to me that the richness of the receptors may be why a lot of people feel their emotions in their gut – why they have a ‘gut feeling.’”

She further comments: “I think unexpressed emotions are literally lodged in the body. The real true emotions that need to be expressed are in the body, trying to move up and be expressed and thereby integrated, made whole, and healed.”

When we move our bodies through yoga, our BodyMind is allowed expression. It can begin to release emotion and tension that’s been stuck in our bodies for a long period of time, perhaps even years after we think we’ve mentally processed the event.

Exploring these heavy emotions in our yoga practice, whether intentionally or accidentally, might feel intimidating. Resourcing is a technique that helps us stay present during uncomfortable or overwhelming sensations by finding and connecting to a resource, such as the breath or one of the five senses. This connection works like an anchor for a boat and we can begin to observe sensations safely, without fear of getting lost in the sea of our experience.

Join me this Mother’s Day at Yoga One for a special commemorative practice where we will explore three ways to use resourcing with yoga, as well as learn how to identify where emotions reside in our individual bodies. We will focus specifically on how to apply these tools when dealing with loss and grief.

This practice is for anyone interested in learning how to use yoga as a supportive healing modality, but especially for anyone who has lost their mother and would welcome a supportive, safe, non-judgemental environment to honor their mother on Mother’s Day.

Loss is something we will all experience in our lifetime. It’s not a matter of if, but a matter of when. Our yoga practice will not show us a way out of grief, but it can show us a way through and support us through every stage of healing.

mothersdayflierNote: If this is something you’re interested in, but find the cost prohibitive or cannot attend for some other reason, please contact Yoga One to arrange a way for you to receive the information: 619-294-7461 or email info@yogaonesandiego.com

Mo Minahan

Monique Minahan
Contributing Writer

Mo is a writer and yoga teacher who believes in peace over happiness and love over fear. She likes to set her sights high and then take small steps to get there. You’ll find her walking the dirt path behind her house with her little fluffy dog, practicing walking her talk by keeping her head high and her heart open. 

Read more from Monique on her blog, mindfulmo.com

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