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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Yoga One Teachers: Missy DiDonato

Yogini with hands in namaskar raised overhead and crossed legs sitting in a park
photo by: Shadow Van Houten

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

Yoga shows up as a savior. I completely appreciate the break it gives me from my daily stresses. Right now, I’m teaching more than practicing for myself, but teaching yoga is such a wonderful way to decompress and to focus on other people’s comfort for an hour. That gives me life. Yoga has always given me life, this is just the new way it’s showing up right now. 

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

I’m experiencing growth recognizing that teaching is not what it was 4 months ago. I can’t see all of my students, or their whole bodies, and it’s challenging to not give as many personal cues. I’m lucky to have known most of my students for awhile. With new students, I’m working to offer all that I could in person and making those personal connections. Of course it’s a bit harder online. I’m growing and adapting and striving to offer comfort through my teaching and conversation.


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

Right now, it’s the one my husband makes. When we first started dating, he worked at a deli. He knows how to wrap sandwiches and burritos so well, I’m always impressed. Also, he makes them with love and intention, you can tell the difference. 😉

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Create Space and Time for Self-Care

A conversation about practicing yoga at home with Missy DiDonato and Laura McCorry of Yoga One. 

Four crystals and palo santo in a shell, all arranged on a teal yoga mat.

Yoga One is offering daily live yoga classes online to support your health and wellbeing, no matter where you’re located. You can find our full schedule of class offerings here.

Laura: I realized lately that the longer I stay at home and attend yoga classes from home, as convenient as that is, there’s something about the experience of physically moving my body from one location to another that I’m missing. I feel like the journey of getting to yoga is part of the experience.

Missy: Totally. That’s why the Yoga One studio is such a special place to me, the physical space it occupies holds the experience of yoga apart from the rest of my life. So the journey of going to yoga, when you practice at home, can be reinterpreted or approximated to make the whole experience more meaningful.

Laura: I love that idea of yoga being set aside from everyday life, a sort of oasis from which we draw rejuvenation, which then carries over into the rest of our lives. When you’re practicing at home, it’s so easy to be distracted and so tempting to check your phone. How do you make sure that your time for practice is set aside and distraction-free?

Missy: I think the process of preparing my space before practice is really important – getting it clean and organized, laying out my mat, grabbing my props. If I’m having a hard day or I’m just feeling lots of emotions, I’ll get out my palo santo or sage and literally clear the air.

Laura: These might seem like small acts, but I bet they’re really important for creating space in your mind. These physical acts of preparing which helps you prepare mentally as well. Just like the physical practice of yoga has an impact on your mental/emotional state.

Missy: Yes! And it comes back to ritual, whatever that looks like for you. Moving furniture, clearing the space, putting on music, using sage, taking a walk around the block, turning off your phone. Ritual helps you drop in to the right headspace and lends weight to your habits.

Laura: Ritual is what signals to your body that what comes next is important. I especially love the suggestion to walk around the block, almost re-creating the experience of going somewhere before dropping in to your practice.

Missy: Yes. I think the practices of ritual, of preparation, and of yoga itself are going to be so important for all of us as we evaluate what happens next as a society. What are your safe rituals going to be as the world opens up? How do you keep your yoga practice a priority, whether that practice is at home or in the studio?

Laura: I know everyone is going to feel differently on the subject of opening up after isolation, and there’s certainly not going to be a one-size-fits-all approach. Throughout our isolation during the Covid-19 pandemic, yoga has been the most consistent way I check in with my body and emotions, experience grounding and calm, and practice letting go of expectations.

Increasingly, I’ve realized that I need to schedule my practice time in order to “make it” to class. Do you schedule your own yoga practice time?

Missy: Definitely. I have to look at my week and figure out where I have childcare, what other commitments I have, and then I put the classes I want to take on my calendar. Yoga One uses the MindBody software, which has a feature where you can sign-in for classes ahead of time and you’ll be sent a reminder email the day before. I know that feature is helpful for a lot of people! We’ve all got so much going on, any organization and reminders are appreciated, at least for me.

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Happy 18th Birthday, Yoga One!

 

Thank you for 18 OMazing years!

We are so grateful to all of you outstanding teachers, students and friends. We hope to continue to share the joys and benefits of yoga together for many more years to come! Thank you, thank you! We feel so grateful.
Namaste, Michael & Amy

Thank you to all of our students, now and throughout the years, for your presence and help in building this vibrant and diverse community called the Yoga One family. Thank you, thank you to everyone who contributed to this video and the following testimonials.

I wish the Yoga One family an amazing 18th birthday – so thankful for the great instructors, the empathy they show and the calm they bring to our harried lives, especially these days! – Sandeep A.

Congratulations on 18 years! Yoga One teachers and community have pretty much saved me. I was going through an extremely difficult time in my personal life and their classes kept me sane. I appreciate them working so hard to make the online classes work. I am looking forward to the Mission Hills studio opening and seeing everyone in person again. – Emily W.

Happy Birthday to Yoga One! While I’m fairly new to the studio, it’s no surprise that Amy and Michael have been so successful. Their love of the practice and genuine interest in fostering student and instructor well-being shines throughout every aspect of the experience (even in Zoom). I have practiced yoga off and on throughout studios across the country and this is the first time I’ve felt like I found “the one”. Special shout out to Missy and all of the instructors that make Yoga One so fantastic 🙂 Thanks for all that you do and looking forward to Mission Hills opening soon! – Kelly B.

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