5 Easy Ways to Embrace Minimalism

by Laura McCorry

Have you always admired that person with the clutter-free, minimalist home but assumed it was a mythical ideal you’d never achieve? Minimalism doesn’t have to be a complete lifestyle change that has you throwing out all your stuff!

Increasing your awareness of how you interact with objects in everyday life can be hugely beneficial to your yoga practice, too. Minimalism is essentially the practice of Aparigraha – the yogic principle of non-hoarding, or non-possesiveness, and one of the five Yamas which describe a code of moral behavior.

Here are five easy steps you can take to make a minimalist impact on your day to day:

minimalist mantra1. Identify everyday chores and do them everyday. Make the bed. Do the dishes. These will be different for everyone, but choose no more than five chores that you consider essential to enjoying your time at home. Take the time to accomplish these tasks first and then allow yourself to enjoy their completion. Learning to appreciate the everyday maintenance work you do is an important step towards feeling content with what you already have.

2. Take note of your shopping and buying habits. When do you accumulate more items in your home? Write down or think about everything new to cross your threshold in the last two weeks and decide if these items were things that you needed or things that you wanted. Becoming aware of the accumulation process will help you reduce the number of new things you bring into your home in the first place, which goes a long way towards eliminating the need to sort and downsize.

3. Start a give-away box and actually give it away. One of the major tenets of minimalism is actually down-sizing and living with less (surprise!). Pick a room or a closet or even just a shelf and get rid of any object you haven’t used in the last year. You can even start this task by mentally sorting ahead of time and then moving quickly through the manual sorting into keep and giveaway. Anything you couldn’t remember being in that location should automatically be considered for giveaway.

Another technique is to take everything out of the space, clean it thoroughly and then only put back what you want to keep. At the end of the day, take the box to your local thrift store. Take the time to enjoy your newly refreshed space.

4. Identify and eliminate redundancies. It’s natural to desire change and to update items in your home with the newest or trendiest version. If this is important to you, it doesn’t mean you can’t be a minimalist! The trick is to let go of the older version or the excess of what you already have.

Pick a category of items and decide how many of those items you need for your household to function well. Some categories to consider: cleaning supplies, linens, clothing, mugs or dish ware, and entertainment items like books, CDs and DVDs. When you change your focus from trying to carefully re-organize a closet to fit all the things to identifying the function of each thing, it becomes easy to see duplicates (or even triplicates) that can be let go.

5. Use sorting as an opportunity to give a gift to a friend. Sometimes just giving away items can feel overwhelming, especially if they were a gift or have sentimental value. For example, I recently decided to significantly downsize my jewelry and only keep what I regularly wear. There were many pieces with meaning from an earlier time in my life which I didn’t wear anymore and a surprising number of pieces I’d never liked in the first place. Some went straight to giveaway but others I chose to send to close friends who might enjoy them, writing a short note to say hello at the same time. It was a great way to pass on the jewelry I didn’t want to give away as well as reaffirm old friendships.

If you’re just getting started on your minimalist journey, start small and feel proud when you attempt even one of these suggestions. It takes time and dedication to see all the ways our mainstream “more is better” culture influences daily life. If you get stuck along the way, repeat this minimalist mantra: have nothing in your home that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.

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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Instructor Spotlight: Kathi Diamant

From the first time you meet Kathi Diamant (or see her on KPBS TV) her sparkling eyes alert you to her intelligence and vibrant energy. That energy further manifests in an apparent and tangible eternal youthfulness. As Franz Kafka stated, “Youth is happy because it has the ability to see beauty. Anyone who keeps the ability to see beauty never grows old.”

Come to her Qigong class on Wednesdays at 9am to try this wonderfully vibrant practice. Check out our full class schedule here.

photo credit: Simpatika

1. Let’s start with the basics, what is Qigong?

Qigong translates as “energy” (qi or chi) and “work” (gong), but I prefer to think of it as “energy play.” It has been used for centuries as an integral part of Traditional Chinese Medicine, prescribed both for the prevention and cure of chronic illnesses. Comprised of flowing movements designed to balance both hemispheres of the brain, Qigong is exercise that works from the inside out.

It truly is a practice available for everyone, at any age. It can be practiced sitting or standing, and no prior experience is required. We learn three things in Qigong: balance, letting go, and feeling our own energy. Through Qigong, we learn to differentiate between the Yin and Yang energy flowing in the body, and to integrate mind and body in a moving meditation.

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

I took a Qigong class through the YMCA and I loved the experience of relaxation and focus at the same time. It was a perfect complement to my yoga practice, but also a different sort of workout. In Qigong, there is no effort, no force, you build strength and balance through letting go.

My real practice began in January 2000 when I started lessons in Tai Chi with Henry Cheng, a Fifth Generation Master in Wu-Style Tai Chi Chu’an at the YMCA Mind-Body Center. Master Henry specializes in developing, cultivating and increasing one’s own energy. Qigong is the concept, or idea, behind Tai Chi which is known as a form of Qigong.

Kathi Diamant by Simpatika3. What is your favorite place or time of day to practice?

My favorite places are outside, especially near old trees, which intensify the feeling of energy. But my absolute favorite is on the beach, at sunset. Sunrise is good, too, but it happens far less often!

4. What’s the most challenging aspect for you?

Focusing my mind. While my body has gotten much stronger and healthier, focusing my mind on my breath and movement is the real trick. New studies have shown that thinking about what you intend to think about produces higher levels of happiness, satisfaction and peacefulness. So the mind aspect of this mind/body exercise is the most challenging.

5. If you were an animal, you would be: a dolphin, definitely.

6. Describe what Qi Gong means in your life using just 6 words: playing with energy keeps me healthy.

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

I have written a biography entitled “Kafka’s Last Love” which has been translated and published in ten countries, and since 1998 I have been the director of the Kafka Project at SDSU, where I lead the international search for Franz Kafka’s literary treasure, stolen by the Gestapo in 1933.

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

By practicing Qigong, you can improve your health, your happiness, and the quality of your longevity. Without effort, without force, and without any special equipment!

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Postpartum Yoga Practice: A New Mom’s Journey

There are so many messages that our society sends women about their bodies and how they should look and perhaps one of the most vulnerable times to hear these messages is when you’ve just had a baby. Case in point, just recently a reviewer on Yoga One’s yelp page wrote about leaving class because the teacher was out of shape and therefore couldn’t be an experienced teacher. The reviewer had never been to the studio before. That teacher happens to have over a decade of experience and a beautiful six month old.

Help us share real stories like this one and support all individuals in their journey to lead happier and healthier lives. We want to hear your experiences with body image and/or postpartum recovery in the comments or by email (info@yogaonesandiego.com). If you’ve taken class at Yoga One, please consider posting your feedback online, Facebook, Yelp, Google, etc., we’d love to hear your thoughts! 

Part three in a series of reflections on pregnancy, childbirth and yoga from Missy DiDonato. Be sure to read her prenatal article and a just-after postpartum article.

Missy DiDonato ©YogaOne2015guest post by Missy DiDonato

One year later (damn, already?!) I can say this about postpartum recovery and overall wellness – it’s not for sissies! 

Before giving birth, I had expected that my body would go back to what I still considered “normal.” I wouldn’t have the aches and pains I’d experienced during pregnancy and I assumed that with some time and effort, I would eventually be the same size and weight as before. But I was naïve to how long it would actually take and I had to adjust my expectations.

I had a cesarean and they cut my stomach muscles to deliver my baby. Abrupt, I know, but I needed to say those words to myself in order to process the experience. The initial weeks of recovery and healing from the c-section were easier than I anticipated and I was able to get back on my mat practicing yoga after just six weeks. I took it slow and thought that by allowing myself enough time to heal, my body would go back to the way it was pre-baby. But a year later, I’m still struggling with both the expectation and physical experience of “getting my body back.”

My biggest setback physically is the ongoing work of mending and strengthening my abdominal muscles. Their lack of stability often causes acute low back pain. I’m constantly reminding myself to get up after sitting for too long (an epidemic really, among anyone who sits too long at their desk or in a car.) I’ve had a couple of debilitating moments where I had to seek medical treatment with acupuncture and massage. This, coupled with proper yoga asanas to strengthen my ab muscles and stretch my hips and hamstrings, has kept the pain at bay. But sometimes I feel as though this pain will be a consistent reminder of what my body miraculously performed.

Missy DiDonato ©YogaOne2015Don’t get me wrong, I don’t feel bad about my body. It’s given me a healthy baby girl and for that, I am forever grateful. I do get bummed when I realize my belly is no longer the adorable object of affection.

Just as my body had to make space for the experience of carrying a life, my postprtum body needed time to adjust to a new version of life with different activities, patterns and eating habits. It’s been a challenge to fit healthy eating into a much busier day to day life. Making time for workouts and time for me often falls by the wayside simply because I miss her. So we take more walks and do yoga in the park. 

My priority is Olive and I remind myself that I have to be physically and spiritually strong to care for her like she deserves. My physical appearance is no longer my top concern, but the health of my body matters.

If I could say one thing to new moms, it’s that adjusting to your new schedule will be difficult, but remember that you gave birth, and that’s not for sissies! You got this!


Missy DiDonato

Missy DiDonato
Guest Writer

Missy began practicing yoga at home when she was fourteen, following along to a DVD in her living room. She has since completed two separate 200 hour Yoga Teacher Trainings with UCSD and Yoga One. Missy loves helping others find their own yogic path and students of all levels appreciate her warm and friendly teaching style.

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Yogi Reads: Light On Life

BKS Iyengarby Olivia Cecchettini

“Light on Life: The Yoga Journey to Wellness, Inner Peace, and Ultimate Freedom” 

by B. K. S. Iyengar

Summary: Known throughout the world as one of the great yoga teachers, B. K. S. Iyengar touched many lives through his teachings and writings. In Light on Life, Iyengar shares his insight into the body, mind and spirit connection acquired throughout his lifetime of practice and teaching yoga. Exploring the spiritual and mental aspects of yoga, this book is the perfect counterpoint to Iyengar’s Light on Yoga, which focused on the physical practice. Written in a conversational tone, I felt as though I were sitting in one of his classes, enjoying each anecdote as they were revealed in his mind and heart.

Why I Love It: Timing is everything! They say that “when the student is ready, the teacher will appear.” I had tried to read this book many times but it didn’t hold my attention. It sat next to my bed for months until the day I decided to give it another try. Suddenly, I couldn’t put it down. I soaked up every word like a sponge. I had been feeling a lull in my teaching at the time and this book re-sparked my passion and sense of purpose. That connection made me love this book – you never know just when you’re ready to receive the message intended for you.

Recommended For: I recommend this book for anyone who is looking to discover yoga beyond asana (the physical poses.) Oftentimes, it is the physical practice that draws people in, but the sense of connection to a wider community, the deep sense of wellbeing and peace obtained from the mental and spiritual side of yoga is what keeps me coming back. This month I invite you to go deeper with your practice and your life!

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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Mantra Monday: How Does Your Garden Grow?

by Laura McCorry

grass is greenerWhat’s weighing you down? That idea pushed to the back of your mind that hasn’t left. Maybe it’s been days or months. Maybe you’ve been thinking about this thing you’d like to change for years.

Sometimes we let ourselves be defined by conditions and labels that have grown up over the years like weeds. They come from family, co-workers or friends – sometimes they have even been planted by our own hand in the night. The weeds grow up around the bloom of your true self and cut off the light.

You are the gardener of your soul. Approach your inner landscape fearlessly and take stock of everything growing there.

Keep the healthy growth: the relationships still in bloom that bring you joy, those habits and ideas that feed your passions with their abundant produce.

Prune back anything that doesn’t fit your true self, the person you’d like to be. Clear away doubt, anger, resentment and guilt. Let go of old sorrows that have ripened and fallen to the ground. Dig down into the earth of your being and rake away the last remnants of any bad seed.

These things weigh on your heart because they are not rightfully a part of you. A gardener’s work is never done. Each day you must go out and pull up small intrusions. Each day you must show up and begin again.

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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Making a Life Mala

by Monique Minahan

life mala - MoniqueWe all wear our stories in some way or another, don’t we? They make us who we are (and sometimes keep us from becoming who we can be if we let them define us too narrowly.)

I started making what I call “Life Malas” because each marker is placed for a life event. I used yellow jade for manipura chakra (solar plexus), green jade for anahata chakra (heart), green ruby zoisite for sahasrara chakra (crown), and a spiral shell I found on the beach because it feels like home.

I made this one for me, so I placed the green jade marker beads at the times when my life and heart were busted open. Marker 1 is at 25, the age I was when Nathan died. Marker 2 is at 37, when my baby was born. Marker 3 is at 98, the age of my great-grandmother, born in 1917, who is breathing her last breaths this year.

Stringing the beads under the darkness of a new moon, it occurred to me that at one of these beads I will pass away myself (and that this life is not a dress rehearsal, so I’ve got to live it right the first time.)

There are 108 beads in a mala, and if I get to see bead 98 like my grandma, I’ll count myself very lucky. I’ll still count myself lucky to see 39 this month.

I made this mala necklace to remind me that both loss and life are part of the same cycle. They coexist beautifully if I let them, and if I practice embracing both rather than inviting one and rejecting the other, I get to experience the full depth of being human instead of just skimming the surface.

My life mala is an outward representation of the integrity, cohesiveness and beauty that emerges when I allow every experience to support the next one. Broken or fragmented as they appear at times, when I view them all together they form this fragile but beautiful thing called life.

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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Top 5 Best Destinations to Enjoy San Diego Like a Local

by Michael Caldwell

Point Loma, photo credit: Laura McCorry

Point Loma, photo credit: Laura McCorry

It’s no secret that San Diego is practically paradise. Boasting beautiful beaches stretching over 70 miles and a temperate year-round climate that sees the sun shine approximately 146 days a year, there are worse places to be. Over 30 million visitors flock to San Diego each year with attractions like Sea World, Lego Land, the San Diego Zoo, Wild Animal Park and the annual mega-event Comic Con pulling in large crowds.

But which San Diego spots do the locals savor? Check out these five area attractions that promise a glimpse into what could be your everyday life when you live in America’s Finest City.

1. Yoga One (of course!) 

This award-winning studio offers a variety of top-quality yoga classes located in the heart of downtown. You can chill in a beginner-friendly Gentle or Restorative class held on Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. Get your mantra motoring in one of the Flow or Vinyasa classes held daily. Want to see the sun as you perform your sun salutations? Take the Rooftop Yoga Class, held Sundays at 9am at the Hotel Solamar. Stay and use the pool afterwards and enjoy a beverage from the bar. Yin and Yang, baby! Yoga One has been helping San Diego residents and visitors live healthier and happier lives since 2002. Their bi-annual Yoga One Teacher Training draws students from all over the world, including Spain, Ireland and Japan! Watch out Comic Con!

2. Tide Pools at Cabrillo National Monument

There are so many choices when it comes to beaches in San Diego, you might not know where to start: La Jolla Shores, Pacific Beach, Ocean Beach and of course, the iconic Coronado Beach boasting the Hotel Del Coronado, just to name a few! But venture out to Cabrillo National Monument on Point Loma and you’re in for a real treat. At the top of the bluff, you’ll witness a stunning view of San Diego and North Island and you can tour the historic lighthouse. Venture down to the water (you can hike or bike or drive) and you’ll encounter beautiful cliffside rock formations and tide pools filled with marine life. During the winter season, you might even catch a glimpse of migrating grey whales!

3. Julian and Cuyamaca Rancho State Park

A short 60 mile drive northeast of San Diego and the entire landscape changes. First time visitors could be forgiven for not realizing they are still in San Diego County. With a population of less than 2,000 and trees, mountains and apple pies a-plenty, prepare to be befuddled and bewildered. This charming, one-time gold mining town also has a colorful history featuring African American founders such as Albert and Margaret Robinson who built and operated one of the town’s first hotels. Hike, bike, eat apple pies and baked goods. What’s not to like?

4. San Diego Craft Breweries and Beer

There are over 100 breweries from which to booze, err… um… choose and more on the way. San Diego has become an international hot spot for craft beer. International people! Take that Belgium! Check out the SDSU based documentary “Kings of the Craft” featuring some San Diego based hoppy-weights (hee-hee, get it?) Stone, Ballast Pointe, Modern Times and Karl Strauss, etc.

If you love craft beer, (and don’t say you don’t while in San Diego city limits) then please don’t go alone into some of the more well-stocked liquor stores. Many carry over 1,000 beer options. You could very well get lost, likely stunned and possibly frozen by the possibilities. Use the buddy system. Set a time to leave. Leave a trail of bread crumbs to find your way out. Every year hundreds of visitors to San Diego never leave because they are lost in a craft beer o-plenty liquor store (it might happen). You’ve been warned.

P.S. San Diego is becoming a distilling upstart as well, oh and we have wine! Can you say Temecula?

5. Balboa Park 

On any given day, you will find San Diego locals and visitors outside and just enjoying the fresh air, blue skies and plenitude of recreational activities in Balboa Park. The Balboa Park Fact Sheet says it’s “the nation’s largest urban cultural park in the nation.” A gorgeous green space set aside downtown, Balboa Park offers a wide variety of activities to pursue including hiking, gardens, fountains, sports, play grounds, velodrome, frisbee golf, drum circles, people watching, bocce ball, volleyball, etc. That doesn’t even do it justice. There are 15 museums for Pete’s sake and much more, in fact, too much to list so visit the fact sheet, playa and have yourself a ball.

Michael CaldwellMichael Caldwell
Contributing Writer

Yoga teacher and Co-Founder of Yoga One, Michael has been practicing yoga and incorporating its philosophy into his life since 1997. His kind and gentle manner is well suited to leading students of all levels. Michael has published numerous articles on a variety of subjects including yoga, meditation and rock n roll.

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Instructor Spotlight: Dina Weldin

photo credit: Norman Photography & Paperie

photo credit: Norman Photography & Paperie

MC Hammer may have said it best, and perhaps could have been referring to Dina Weldin when he rapped, “too legit to quit.” Dina is legit. She is a warm, caring, positive and authentic individual. She is beautiful inside and out and is far too legit to quit being wonderful. Step onto your mat with Dina Weldin this month on Wednesdays at 7pm for a mixed level Flow class. Check out our full class schedule here.

1. What is your favorite style of yoga?

Right now my favorite style of yoga is Vinyasa. I began with Iyengar and thoroughly appreciate that style but I enjoy the constant flow and movement with my breath during a Vinyasa practice. It is more of a challenge for me to control my breath when in constant movement so I appreciate that aspect of Vinyasa as well.

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

My mom was a yogi for most of my teenage life and I grew up watching her practice and hearing all about how much she enjoyed this thing called “yoga.” My mom convinced me to go to a class with her when I was home on a college break and just like that, I was moved. It wasn’t about the physical aspect for me. I felt the connection of mind, body, and breath in yoga and it was unlike anything I had experienced in any other physical exercise. I also left the class feeling more sore than every before – talk about using muscles you never knew you had!

3. What is your favorite yoga pose right now?

This changes with any given day! I love a good headstand and being upside down on most days. On this very day in my practice, I would say blossoming lotus pose. It is a perfect mix of balance, hip opening, and the beauty a lotus flower represents in general is inspiring to me. Not to mention, every time I teach this pose, I can’t help but smile at all my students that really look like little lotus flowers blooming! It makes me so happy to see.

4. What pose is still the most challenging?

Handstand! It gets me every time! You can find me in a handstand for no longer than 10 seconds before I lose my balance (and that’s on a good day!) Practice, practice, practice. This is what I keep repeating to myself when I try my handstands. It will come when it’s time.

photo credit: Norman Photography & Paperie

photo credit: Norman Photography & Paperie

5. If you were an animal, you would be: a DOG! Cliche, I know. But when I look at my dog and she looks back at me, I know she can understand what I’m saying. Dogs are on another level, far wiser than us humans at times I’m sure!

6. Describe what yoga means in your life using just 6 words: Unity with our mind, body, & breath

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

I have been to Egypt every other year since I was born and I can speak Arabic! I have ten piercings (all in my ears!) but I rarely wear earrings in all of them. Oh, and me and forward folds are not friends! We are learning to get along though, slowly but surely.

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

Practice every moment you can – at home, without a mat, in a park, in a studio, in the airport, wherever – just practice! Without practice it is difficult to achieve that sense of true connection. Never feel the need to push your body any further than it wants to go. Really listen to your body.

Most importantly, take a minute each and every day to listen to yourself breathe. That is the true indicator of what your body is feeling. If your breath is labored, speeding up, or interrupted, take a moment to sit in child’s pose and reconnect. Always remember:

“Breath is the bridge which connects life to consciousness, which unites your body to your thoughts. Whenever your mind becomes scattered, use your breath as the means to take hold of your mind again.” – Thích Nhất Hạnh

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Yogi Reads: Yoga for Life

Yoga For Lifeby Olivia Cecchettini

“Yoga for Life: A Journey to Inner Peace and Freedom” 

by Colleen Saidman Yee

Summary: Yoga for Life is an amazing memoir written with such searing honesty, it touched me deep within my soul. Colleen Saidman Yee shares both her shadows and her light with vulnerability as she chronicles both her life and her yoga journey. Saidman Yee emphasizes the message “you are enough” and while reading, I felt as though she was writing as my friend, mother, sister, teacher, woman, light worker, but most of all, a real person. She knows the practice and the body inside and out. It’s a book about her life and she shares her story out of a calling to support healing and community.

Why I Love It: Colleen shares her personal journey from rebellious teen with a heroin habit to a supermodel traveling the world to now being called “The First Lady of Yoga” by the New York Times. She’s lived such an interesting life! Most importantly to me, she didn’t hold back from sharing the unedited, un-airbrushed side of her life. We all have sides of ourselves of which we’re not proud, but the path to both Inner Peace and Freedom means bringing those experiences into the light of acceptance.

B.K.S. Iyengar said, “If you don’t want your life to change, don’t get on your yoga mat.” Every time I step on my mat, I come into greater acceptance of myself. Over time, I breathed into the hard, tight places I had stuffed away deep down in my muscles and they began to open up. My chaturangas got stronger and my confidence grew. I took time in savasana to be still and connect to my heart. These simple (though not easy) rituals changed they way I saw things, and the things I saw began to change.

It’s a beautiful, unique process how yoga touches each individual person but it always comes back to the heart. I truly believe that compassion, kindness and love can heal the world and Yee’s book is a reminder of this truth.

Recommend For: Anyone who enjoys yoga and inspirational life stories. Especially in this digital age, it’s easy to compare your day-to-day life with everyone else’s highlight reel. We compare ourselves and feel less-than and unworthy. That’s why the mantra “you are enough” is so powerful because it’s true! We need to be reminded of this over and over again. Without changing one single thing, I believe you are enough, exactly the way you are. Not in a year, not after you get married, and definitely not after you have lost ten pounds. Right this second, you are whole and you are enough.

Sharon Gannon of Jivamukti Yoga sums up Saidman Yee well, stating –

“Like Gandhi, Colleen is stayagraha—meaning possessed by the truth. She tells her story honestly, without pretense, no makeup—totally fearless while at the same time gracefully imbuing every word with infectious joy, gratitude and compassion. You will find no blaming or complaining in this memoir for this is the story of a remarkable woman who approaches life as an adventure, armed with a bewitching ability to transform obstacles into opportunities and the ordinary into something magical. She is living proof that yoga is for life.”

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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Amy Caldwell featured on Yoga Digest

8 Yoga Poses to Enliven Your Hands and Your Practice

by Amy Caldwell

Thanks for the feature, Yoga DigestGo here to read the full article which includes a guided yoga practice focused on enlivening the fingers and hands.

photo credit: Simpatika

photo credit: Simpatika

Knowing Your Body Like the Back of Your Hand Can Begin with Your Fingers

The Practice: The feet often get a lot of attention in yoga class. You may be familiar with the term “yogi toes” and teachers advising students to, “lift and spread the toes,” or “root down through all four corners of the feet.” Yet aside from a few mudras (gestures) the fingers often play second fiddle to the toes. The following practice will enliven your fingers. It will also increase your attention to detail, foster optimal alignment through the wrists, arms and shoulders and ultimately, empower your entire practice.

Body-Mind Benefits: Our fingers are dexterous, strong and acute sensory receptors. Bringing focus to what your hands are doing during practice will enhance the flow of energy, help prevent injury and improve concentration. Whether touching the mat, the earth, held in mudras or placed on your heart, our fingers initiate a connection and often tell a story. Learn to recognize and enjoy the nuanced sensations present at your fingertips.

Enjoy gratitude for your hands. They are an extension of your heart in their ability to feel, serve and connect compassionately to your self, others and the world around you.

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