For 20 years, Yoga One has been the site where thousands of people, from beginners to experienced practitioners, have learned about asana and vinyasa, perfecting moves like downward dog, sun salutation and other poses.
The Caldwells began their business in earnest in 2002 in a second-story spot in downtown San Diego, opening the practice to meet a growing demand of students attending outdoor classes in Balboa Park taught by Amy Caldwell starting in 2000.
Q: Can you tell us a time when yoga supported you through a transition?
Amy: I was recently speaking with a friend about the popularity of the game of tag. She thinks in addition to the thrill of being chased, part of what kids love and appreciate is that there is a home base built in.
This week I’ve been thinking about how our yoga practice serves that same purpose – a home base where we can reconnect, reflect and restore. Transitions for me are often challenging, and this year there have been many!! Including but not limited to our oldest daughter leaving for college, our younger son starting high school, aging and general post-pandemic life.
My yoga practice, and also teaching yoga, are refuges. When I’m feeling untethered, I often begin my practice lying on the floor. After connecting to a sense of grounded-ness and support, breath, movements and a feeling being at home often arise.
P.S. You might note that within the practice itself, poses like savasana, seated centering, balasana, tadasana and adho mukha svanasana serve as additional familiar mini-home bases (:
Cozy up to this Fall edition of Yoga One teacher interviews all about transitions, tips for staying centered, and their ideal Fall mornings… Get to know Nazli who teaches a Vinyasa Flow, Levels 1 & 2 class on Sundays at 10:30am.
Nazli: Give me a cold and rainy day and this is my set-up: my cozy couch, fireplace on, a cup of cacao, a wonderful book, and my journal. I’ll probably throw on a face mask too and feel extra luxurious as I read and relax. Hopefully someone is serving me food because I am not getting up from this! ◡̈.
Cozy up to this Fall edition of Yoga One teacher interviews all about transitions, tips for staying centered, and their ideal Fall mornings… Get to know Lori who teaches a Vinyasa Flow, Levels 1 & 2 class on Mondays at 5:30pm.
At this point in life, yoga is a way of being. It’s a deep breath when life gets weird, it’s a trust that life is moving along as it should, and it’s an array of tools when things are overwhelming and I need help or guidance, and an added bonus when everything is going my way ◡̈.
Q: Where are you experiencing growth in your life?
Where am I not?! Haha … seriously though… one piece is that I am evolving my career and work and am growing into a sense of firm confidence and a clear vision of what is sustainable for my future and goals. TBD what that looks like!
Q: What’s your favorite burrito?
I’m a simple bean and cheese gal — with too much hot sauce!
Yoga shows up in my life right now particularly through the Niyamas (self-observances). If you’re into astrology, you might be familiar with the term ‘Saturn Return.’ I’m about 2/3 through my first one and let me tell you – a LOT of personal change is happening! Remembering the Niyamas keeps me grounded. I love this new sense of awareness, even if the path there is bumpy.
Q: Where are you experiencing growth in your life?
I am growing emotionally and spiritually right now. Over the course of the last year I committed a lot of time to practices (i.e. therapy, meditation) that support my healing. Although no one is ever fully healed, I am so grateful to have cultivated a deeper sense of self-love, admiration, and compassion. I think it also increases my capacity to give as a teacher.
Q: What’s your favorite burrito?
A veggie burrito! Extra beans, two types of salsa, sour cream, and guac please!
I find my way onto my mat each and every morning. Yoga keeps me grounded, sane, and I always feel more like myself after practicing.
Yoga serves as a reminder that my body is truly the only home I live in. It is my choice how well I tend to it. Our bodies are designed to move. I love that yoga allows me to play with shapes that are bold, creative, peaceful, and so much more.
I truly believe that yoga is for everyone and every body.
2. Where are you experiencing growth in your life?
Lately, my motto has been “say yes.” I tend to be an over planner, and while it serves me well in many facets, it also keeps me from enjoying sweet, spontaneous moments of life.
My growth has been to recognize moments of resistance in my mind and to redirect my thoughts. I plan less. I say yes. I work on keeping an open perspective.
3. What’s your favorite burrito?
Ohhh this is a tough one!! I’d have to say a Breakfast Hash Veggie Burrito. My go-to spot is Sunnies- you gotta try their orange spicy sauce!
Flashback from founders Amy and Michael Caldwell Assistant Office Manager Laura McCorry on how she joined Yoga One to nurture a family-owned business and a thriving yoga community.
You probably don’t know me. I practiced with Yoga One last week, but the last time I set foot in the studio was in 2014, at the old Downtown location. I have never been to Mission Hills, yet I see it and think about it, literallyevery day.
In 2010, I moved to San Diego with my spouse. Ready for a change of career and a fresh start, I enrolled in a yoga teacher training program. Yoga had always been there for me – through the tumultuous final years of high school, to the liberation of college life, and the isolation of being a young military spouse.
I finished my 200 hour training in 2011 and threw myself into the San Diego yoga market. If there was a renowned teacher, I would go to their class. I worked out trade agreements with three different studios in exchange for classes and exposure, hoping one of them would hire me to teach.
Then a friend told me about Yoga One. She said it was a great studio, highly respected, and that the owners were the real deal.
On their website at the time, after all the teacher bios, there was a line – “do you want to see yourself here? We’re always looking for authentic and experienced instructors.”
I had been practicing yoga for seven years, in four different states with countless teachers. But I had only been teaching for six months and I wasn’t getting the experience I needed to truly grow as a teacher. Imposter syndrome reared its discouraging head.
A few weeks later, I got a round robin interview with Amy Caldwell. I was elated when I got their email response – “we think your teaching style and Yoga One are a good match.”
I started subbing for Yoga One. I proposed a trade in exchange for classes, but instead of front desk work or cleaning, I wanted something more in line with my skill set. I offered to write a blog for Yoga One and Michael enthusiastically endorsed the project. Eventually, I got a regular class on the schedule, then I started teaching corporate classes for Yoga One.
For years, Amy and Michael had run a tight ship, keeping expenses low while trying to reach as many people as possible. It wasn’t just a business, they truly wanted to see more people thrive through the practice of yoga, just like they had.
But the time had come for the business to grow. By August of 2012, our smart, savvy, uber-friendly office manager Missy had more work than she could handle alone. I joined the tiny staff of Yoga One as assistant office manager, working in the retrofitted dumbwaiter shaft turned office, affectionately called the Nook.
It was everything I had ever wanted. I was doing meaningful, paid work, and with people that I truly admired.
Then in the spring of 2014, I moved away from San Diego. I lost my classes, my students, my administrative position, and worst of all, I lost working alongside my friends. It was the closest thing to a career I had ever experienced, and it was all gone.
All except the blog. Yoga One Blog became my thread of connection to the vibrant community Amy, Michael, and Missy were building. I checked in with Michael once a month or so, mostly over email. It was a shadow of what I once had, but it was real. And it lasted.
Fast forward to January, 2020. Michael called and asked if I’d like to return to the Yoga One staff, working remotely to facilitate opening the Mission Hills location. I had barely begun when March 2020 upended the whole world with the spread of Covid-19. Already familiar with the Zoom platform, I suggested Yoga One use their video chat to broadcast yoga classes to students at home. We transitioned the entire schedule to virtual classes in just two days.
These days, my role at Yoga One is mostly behind the scenes. I manage the blog, our social media schedule, and the On-Demand video library. Like a sous-chef, I do a lot of prepping to lighten the load for Amy, Michael, and Missy. Not only do I enjoy my work, I love working alongside these amazing humans I’ve been blessed to call friends for over a decade.
Flashback from founders Amy and Michael Caldwell Office Manager Missy DiDonato on how she joined Yoga One to nurture a family-owned business and a thriving yoga community.
Yoga found me in Kentucky, of all places. It was 1997 and I was going through the trials and tribulations of being a young teen. I needed a way to channel the pain and angst I felt, so I tried many of the worst avenues – drugs, self-harm, etc.
Nobody could tell me what to do. Yetsomehow I knew that the more harmful choices wouldn’t give me what I needed long term.
My mom had a yoga VHS tape. One day, I popped it in. I practiced on the carpet of our living room. I loved stretching and moving my body according to the rhythm of my breath.
We moved back to California two years later. I practiced yoga through high school and into college. Yoga offered me more than temporary relief.
I started to think yoga might play a bigger role in my life. I began a two-year yoga certification through UCSD in San Diego and became an official yoga teacher in 2010.
At the time, I was working at Pier One. I had great colleagues and I loved that it helped put me through college and allowed me to rent in San Diego. But after six years, I was ready to step back from the retail world. I took a huge pay cut and stepped down from store manager to assistant manager so I could focus on teaching yoga.
My first group yoga class was at the PAC in La Mesa. It was a medical marijuana distributary focused on wellness. When you’re just starting out, you have to say yes to every opportunity, so I did.
Students came to yoga looking to relieve their pain and feel more comfortable in their bodies. Many of them had chronic issues or physical limitations and I learned so much from teaching and caring for them. The only thing I couldn’t figure out was why they often had a three second delayed response to my cues. Eventually I realized they were stoned! It’s hilarious looking back on it now, but then I wasn’t prepared.
I started to find work as a yoga teacher at a Buddhist retail store and through UCSD Recreation at Rimac. I was feeling more confident and saw that I could make teaching my career, if I found a place that would support my growth and aligned with my long-term goals.
Then I went to Yoga One. I knew they had been in the yoga business since 2002 and that Amy and Michael were well-respected, but I worried they might be “too cool for school.”
It was nothing like that! The studio was warm and inviting and the people were even better. I met Michael and yoga teacher Hillary first, falling in love with their friendliness, positive attitudes, and humor. Then I met Amy and yoga teacher Laura and loved their dedication and expertise in yoga.
It felt like home. I signed up for classes right away.
I decided to take Yoga One’s Teacher Training to solidify my teaching skills and began a work-trade agreement for part of the tuition. I worked in the Yoga One office, called the Nook (shout out to anyone who remembers why!).
When my trade hours were finished, we all still wanted to work together. Amy and Michael asked if I would be interested in the position of Office Manager, or OM for short. That was 10 years ago this May.
I can’t imagine my life without Yoga One. Amy and Michael have been there for me through some pivotal life moments, through the loss of my step-mom and my dog, and the birth of my daughter. As a team, we’ve weathered a pandemic and the opening of a beautiful new studio.
Yoga helped me find my calling for helping people. Yoga One supported me as I grew into a confident and capable teacher and healer. I can’t wait for our next chapter.