Yoga One Stories: Music for Yoga & Life

Flashbacks from Yoga One founders Amy and Michael Caldwell on how they nurtured a family-owned business and a thriving yoga community.

Back in the early 2000’s, if there was music in yoga class, in our experience, it was often heavy new age or Indian classical. As yoga continued to permeate our lives, the lines that separated on and off the mat kept melting. At some point, we wondered why we weren’t playing music in class that we were enjoying at home. So we tried. All of it.

I [Michael] had a great group of tri-athletes on Thursday nights who were up for anything. We did yoga to Heavy Metal (before it rightly became a thing). We offered a hip hop and yoga class with the wonderful Dina Weldin. We did live music and yoga. Once we hosted a class with the Hypnotic Gurus (drums, sitar and drone). We created many playlists (and I admit, the playlist often influenced the sequence). It was an exciting time, full of musical possibility. 

At a Zero 7 concert at the House of Blues (with Sia singing before she became a household name), it dawned on Amy and me. “If we are striving to find the perfect music for yoga class, others are probably searching as well. Why don’t we create a CD?” 

So that night, I looked at the liner notes of the Zero 7 “Simple Things” CD and found the record company information. The next day I contacted them.

Amazingly, they agreed to meet us at their office on Melrose Avenue in Los Angeles. Bruno Guez, the President, had worked with Chris Blackwell from Island Records / Bob Marley and the Wailers fame (among other artists) so we were in great company.

On the spot, we agreed to work together. Amy and I would select the artists from Quango Music’s roster and our artist friends and put together the sequence. The record company would handle the licensing, production and distribution. We selected an unused image from Amy’s cover shoot with Yoga Journal taken by the amazing and acclaimed dance photographer Lois Greenfield. Lois generously agreed to let us use it and the fun began.*

Hours and hours of selecting tracks, ordering tracks, writing the liner notes and PR descriptions, creating the yoga class sequence that would be included in the CD’s jewel case via tiny figures and intended to accompany the music. It was certainly a labor of love.

Some of the artists included: Thievery Corporation, Zero 7, Bliss and Cantoma.

You can listen to the Yoga One CD on Spotify, download it on iTunes and Amazon or get the actual CD (if you still have a CD player).

* fun note, Lois included the cover image in one of her annual dance calendars.

Yoga One CD liner

Marketing Text:

Take a journey into tranquility with Yoga One; a collection of world, dub, and chillout meditative grooves, each consciously chosen to remind you to breathe and to help you become one with yourself and your surroundings. 

Chillout masters Cantoma, Bliss, Thievery Corporation, Christophe Goze and Bitter:Sweet all provide a hypnotic soundtrack to today’s modern yoga experience. Get away from the stress of everyday life and slip away into the next level of your consciousness with Yoga One.

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Yogi Eats: Vietnamese-style Caramel Tofu Bowl

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…

photo credit: Jackie Liu

Vietnamese-style Caramel Tofu Bowl

1-2 tbs olive oil
1 shallot or 1/2 onion, finely diced
2 tsp ginger, minced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 block of firm tofu
4 tbs brown sugar (or 5 tbs maple syrup)
2 tbs vegan fish sauce
rice 
cilantro
green onions
thai chili (if you like spicy)

Quick pickles:

2 carrots
2 cucumbers
1/4 cup vinegar
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1/4 tsp salt
1 tbs sugar

Make quick pickles at least 1 hour beforehand. Dissolve sugar and salt in the vinegar. Either thinly slice the carrots and cucumbers, or chop them into small chunks. Toss the veggies with the vinegar mixture and place them in the fridge until ready to eat. 

Drain and cut the tofu into small chunks. Sauté the shallot in cooking oil on medium heat until translucent. Add the ginger and sauté for a bit. Then add garlic and the tofu chunks. Cook until the tofu gets a bit golden, using your cooking utensil to break up the chunks into smaller pieces as you go. Once the tofu is starting to change color, add the vegan fish sauce and brown sugar. Keep moving the tofu around the pan to get everything nicely coated, when you feel like the tofu is brown enough, it’s done. 

Serve on top of rice with pickles, cilantro, green onions, chili. 

Notes on tofu: If you have time (and you remember), drain and cut the tofu into small chunks, freeze it the night before, then thaw in the fridge in the morning. This will help soak up the flavors, make things less watery and mushy, and give a chewier texture. 

Notes on fish sauce: You can buy vegan fish sauce, a tasty brand is Ocean’s Halo, but it has molasses which adds a sweet taste that I don’t love. I love this homemade recipe. There are also many substitutes for vegan fish sauce, the dish will taste different but still delicious! 

Substitutions: If you aren’t going the vegetarian or vegan route, sub the tofu for 1lb of ground pork and sub the vegan fish sauce for regular fish sauce. 

Jackie Liu 
Contributing Writer

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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This or That? Yoga Edition

Yoga One Teacher and Co-Founder Michael Caldwell answers This or That? Yoga Edition

💥Vinyasa Flow most of the time, Restorative when I’m wise enough to attend.

💥Lounge pants for me, please and thank you. Shorts when it’s hot.

💥Morning, afternoon and evening. Any time of day I’m practicing is the best time of day!

💥Let’s simultaneously sweat a little and have lots of fun.

💥While it’s difficult to know which came first, the chicken or the egg or why the chicken crossed the road, it is likely universal that inversions should precede Savasana. And inversions before Savasana are like peanut butter and chocolate. Better together!

💥Our new Mission Hills studio is so wonderful it feels like we are practicing outside (and with the benefits of inside! Yay!

Visit us at 1920 Fort Stockton, San Diego, CA 92103 or Yoga One San Diego to see our full class schedule and plan your visit!

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Yogi Eats: Cucumber-Avocado Salad with Carrot-Ginger 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…

photo credit: Kirstin Green

Cucumber-Avocado Salad with Carrot-Ginger Dressing

Sometimes, it is all about the presentation! Enjoy this bright, colorful, fresh, raw, vegan salad on a hot summer day.

SALAD
1 1/2 lbs cucumber (I used a very long one from the garden)
1 avocado
2 green onions
pinch or two of sesame seeds

DRESSING
2 small carrots (about 3 ounces)
1 tablespoon white onion
1 clove garlic
1 tablespoon fresh ginger (about 1 inch, peeled)
1 tablespoon miso
1 teaspoon maple syrup
1/4 cup rice vinegar or apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup neutral oil (I prefer avocado oil)

Combine all ingredients for the dressing in a blender and whirl at high speed until very smooth. Taste and adjust the seasoning to your preferences.

Cut the cucumber lengthwise in half, and then quarters. Cut into bite sized pieces and put in a bowl with about 1/3 cup of the dressing. Toss to coat. Move these onto a beautiful plate or platter.

Cut the avocado in half and scoop the flesh out in one piece from the peel. Slice thinly and use your hand to press the slices into a fan on the cutting board. Slide a knife or spatula under the avocado fan to carefully move it on top of the dressed cucumber.

Sprinkle sliced green onions over the top of the cucumbers and avocado. Finish with sesame seeds and some nice salt. Serve, and enjoy!

(Alternatively, chop up the avocado, toss with the cucumbers and dressing, and eat right out of the mixing bowl!)

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 Teachers: Brittany Russell

Brittany teaches a Level 2, Flow class on Thursdays at 5:30pm. Join us in person at our Mission Hills studio or online via Zoom. Visit www.yogaonesandiego.com to register or for more information.

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

I find yoga showing up almost everywhere. I channel my yoga practice to keep me balanced in both life and work. Sometimes I’ll enjoy a strong tadasana (mountain pose), while standing in line at the grocery store or even try a fun balancing pose! 

While working through a challenge at work, the practice of intentional, deep breathing allows me to stay present. Yoga also shows up as yoga whenever I teach and/or take an online or in-person class with my favorite peeps at my all-time favorite studio, Yoga One 🙂 

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

Amy Caldwell once said: the quality of your foundation relies on presence. This really hit home for me. Although I am not focused on this as often as I would like, I find that when I am present, soaking in all that is around me (the good and bad), I can work through challenges with a little more ease or enjoy those heartburst moments with a little more gratitude.  

3. What’s your favorite kind of burrito and why? This is a tough one!  I cannot choose… so instead, here are my go-to’s in San Diego:

Best Cali Burrito and Pollo Asada Quesadilla: La Perla

Best Taquitos: Don Carlos

Best Carnitas Plate and Plain Quesadilla: Los Dos Pedros

And Why??? They all just taste so great, or bring some wonderful memories; which are usually connected to a good surf session and a tasty brew.

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Yoga One Stories: Cover Girl Mom

Flashbacks from Yoga One founders Amy and Michael Caldwell on how they nurtured a family-owned business and a thriving yoga community.

Amy was pregnant with who would turn out to be our daughter Raya (aka da Rula). Realizing that travel in the near future would be challenging, Amy booked a flight to attend a Yoga Journal conference in San Francisco. The thought of participating in classes with inspirational teachers while also being liberated from daily responsibilities for the weekend sounded too sublime to skip! 

After a pleasant practice with some hundred other yoga aficionados, Amy was approached by a man with a ponytail who had been practicing behind her during class. He introduced himself as Todd Jones, the senior editor for Yoga Journal magazine*. 

Jones thought Amy had a nice asana practice and wanted to know if she would be interested in doing a photoshoot at some point. They exchanged information and Amy returned to San Diego where she resumed nurturing Yoga One and planning for the arrival of our first child. (Second, if you count the studio).

Amy’s first overnight away from baby took place when Raya was 10 months old. Amy was back in San Francisco holding deep yoga poses for extended periods of time and having to take breaks during the shoot to pump milk.

On this first shoot, taken by David Martinez, Amy posed for a seven page “home practice section” on how to work up to Pincha Mayurasana (Feathered Peacock Pose). 

She would return to San Francisco just a year later for two cover shots taken by acclaimed dance photographer Lois Greenfield. One of the shots was eventually used for the Yoga Journal’s 30th anniversary edition. 

Some time after the publications, Amy received an email from an individual who had seen her on the cover and wanted to know, not what her favorite yoga pose or book was, but about her shoe size. She does have very nice feet!

* A magazine is a collection of words and photographs that the reader can hold in their hand and typically comes with pages that can be turned.

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Yogi Eats: Chickpea Patties

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…

four browned chickpea patties on a plate next to hummus, green beans, and pita.

Chickpea Patties

I call this Chickpea Patties (it’s my understanding that to be falafel the ball of chickpeas must be fried). Inspired by Smitten Kitchen’s falafel recipe.  

1 1/4 cup dried chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
1/2 onion, chopped (or 1 cup of chopped scallions)
4 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
a handful of parsley
a handful of cilantro
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes (add more if you like spicy things)
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp paprika
1/3 tsp allspice
1/4 tsp turmeric
1/4 tsp garlic powder
Olive oil 

Soak the chickpeas overnight by covering them with enough water so that the water line is at least 2-3inches above the beans. 

Preheat oven to 375F. Drain and toss the beans in a food processor or blender, along with the onion, garlic, parsley, and cilantro. Blend until the beans are crumbly. Add the spices and blend again until you get a small enough crumb that can be pinched together and hold its shape (the size of coarse sea salt is a good reference).  

Generously grease a cupcake pan or mini cupcake pan with olive oil. Press the bean mixture into each mold, filling all the way to the top. Brush the tops with a generous amount of olive oil. Bake for 15-20 minutes, then turn the pan and bake until you can see the edges browning (about 10-15 minutes). Allow the patties to cool for 5 minutes and then free them from the molds using a spatula or butter knife. Enjoy the patties with something saucy like hummus or moutabal (eggplant dip). Or a quick sauce of plain yogurt, garlic cloves, lemon juice, and salt.  

**full disclosure: this recipe is time-consuming. Sometimes I don’t even go the extra mile of blending and molding these patties. My “none patty” method is to roughly chop all of the ingredients (including the beans) and throw them in a pan with lots of olive oil and saute until the onions and garlic are soft. If the beans aren’t tender enough, I pour in a little bit of veggie broth and let it simmer until I’m too hungry to wait. If you choose to go the none-patty route, then you can skip the soak and use canned beans instead. 

Jackie Liu 
Contributing Writer

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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Student Testimonial: Allison Page

Do you remember your first yoga class ever? We’d love to hear about it!

“When I was sixteen, I went to a low-income high school. They offered a weekly Ashtanga yoga class for kids who wanted to stop smoking. The teacher who organized the class loved yoga and wanted everyone to have the chance to practice, whether or not they smoked. At her encouragement, I fibbed on the intake forms and joined the class.

I fell in love with Ashtanga. I learned how to breathe consciously. I felt like there was some power locked within my awkward teenage body that I never knew existed before. Students gathered in the classroom and sometimes spilled out into the hallway. Once the lights were dimmed and practice began, the room was transformed into another space altogether. I am so grateful to that class and my first teacher who made such a deep impact on me.”

Yoga One Student, Allison Page

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Yoga One Origin Stories: Growing Our San Diego Roots

Part 5 of how Yoga One founders Amy & Michael Caldwell turned their love story into a thriving yoga community! Read Part 4 here.

After backpacking around the world for 3.5 years, Amy and I felt that returning to LA seemed too familiar and too intense. So we settled in San Diego. I became an account manager at a graphic design studio and Amy worked for a family business coordinating the distribution of vegetables.

A few times a week, Amy practiced yoga in the Redwood Circle area of Balboa Park. With increasing frequency, people would stop and ask her what kind of dance she was doing (it was 2001). When she told them it was yoga, many asked if they could join her. As her following grew and winter approached, Amy and company started looking for a space to practice inside.

We tried out residential community centers, dance studios, and friends’ living rooms. For a period of time, Amy even led classes in a Hillcrest night club undergoing renovation. To access the space, everyone literally climbed over a pile of rubble. 

Eventually the classes migrated to 1150 7th Avenue downtown, in the exercise room of what was then Bodyworks Gym. The owner, Rich, allowed Amy to lead classes rent-free as long as his members could attend complimentary. It was a great arrangement, except that there was no direct access to the space. Amy and students had to go up the steep gym stairs, down the back stairs, through the long, narrow hallway and then wait until the spin or aerobic class let out. It was worth it since the room had high ceilings, sky lights and a beautiful hardwood floor. (Sound familiar yet?) 

However, it also had some challenges – the massage therapist working for the gym could only access her treatment room by walking through the exercise room. Often she would walk through multiple times during class – going to meet her client, going to wash her hands, leading her client out, even during savasana! Amy became adept at deep conscious breathing (: 

Still, classes were going well – the people and space had good energy. Rich suggested Amy lease the space directly. After not too much thought, Amy gave up the distribution of lettuce to teach full time.

PS. We loved our time in Redwood Circle so much we got married there. ❤

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Yogi Eats: Jackfruit Tacos

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…

Jackfruit Tacos
This recipe was adapted from Vegan Huggs 

2 tablespoons oil
1 small onion, finely diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 14 oz cans young jackfruit in water or brine, rinsed and drained well
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon dried oregano or Italian seasoning 
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
Salt, to taste
1 cup vegetable broth
Corn tortillas
Sliced avocado
Shredded cabbage
Salsa Crema or plain yogurt
Anything you like on a taco!

Shred the jackfruit in a food processor. Pulse a few times to get a “shredded meat” texture. Don’t over pulse or it will be mushy. If you don’t have a food processor, you can chop the jackfruit up by hand. 

Heat oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add onion and sauté until translucent, about 2 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté for 30-60 seconds until fragrant. Add the tomato paste and cook for a couple of minutes, until it darkens a little bit. Add the spices and sauté for another minute until fragrant. Add the shredded jackfruit and sauté for about 3 minutes.  
Pour in the vegetable broth and simmer until the liquid has cooked down completely, about 10 minutes. Taste for seasoning and add more if needed. Remove from heat. 

Warm up your corn tortillas in a large skillet over medium heat. Cook for 30 seconds on each side. Build tacos to your taste. I made a quick pickle relish with green beans, fresh corn, shallots and jalapeños and it was delicious on the tacos!

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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