5 Resolutions for a New Year (or Anytime)

from our Studio Manager, Missy DiDonato

photo credit: Peyton Hamby

I feel like I need to say this at the beginning: I don’t do New Year’s resolutions. I don’t think about resolutions for the New Year, and I definitely don’t write them down. With that said, here’s my take on resolutions…

My life does not radically change on January 1st and I’m pretty sure that’s true for most of you. But I like the idea of taking a moment to assess the trajectory of my life and deciding if that direction is compatible with my vision of who I want to become.

So here are some of my on-going resolutions: thought processes I’m working to build, relationships I’m actively deepening, and physical practices that root me in the here and now. Hope these resonate with you!

  1. Forgive Myself More. I want to give myself more grace when I make mistakes. I want to be free of my own demanding expectations for my work load and mental bandwidth. I want to let go of that feeling that I need to be everything to everyone.
  2. Laugh More. Little moments often mean the most. Sometimes a smile from a friend can lift your whole day. I want to be present for more of those moments of joy and laughter.
  3. Walk More. There’s nothing like being outside in nature and feeling the rhythm of walking to bring my mind and body into focus. Like yoga, walking can be its own form of moving meditation. I say yes to more opportunities to walk! Want to walk the neighborhood with me?
  4. Keep Learning. I always love taking yoga classes from different teachers. The poses might be the same, but each person has their own unique perspective. I learn something new from every teacher. I want to keep stretching outside my comfort zone.
  5. Make More Art. I love to create – drawing, cutting, gluing, anything artsy-craftsy. It’s magic to take ordinary materials and make something beautiful. It fills my soul when something I’ve made brings a smile to the face of someone I love.

So those are my thoughts as we approach 2022. I have faith the new year won’t be as crazy as the past two years, but I’ve been surprised before! Spending time with the people you love is what truly matters. Wishing us all more of those moments. ❤

Posted in Reflections | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Yoga Means Union

by Laura McCorry

Summer 2017 Yoga One Teacher Training Cohort

Yoga doesn’t care if you have tattoos… or not.

Yoga doesn’t care if you wear glasses or dye your hair.

Yoga doesn’t require a specific gender or identity or weight or mobility…

Yoga means union.

Yoga means all are welcome, just as you are.

Yoga means following the breath, this moment.

Yoga means small glimpses of the oneness of the universe.

Yoga is for you. And me. And everyone.

Because we are all one.

Yoga One Teacher Training – January 2022
Go deeper – Become ONE

Posted in Teacher Training, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Mission Hills: Then & Now

Thanks to CBS 8 for featuring Yoga One in a segment on Mission Hills, San Diego. We’re proud to be located in such a beautiful and historic neighborhood, not to mention our beautiful and historic building! Yoga One is excited to offer this space back to the community – for movement, for meditation, and for gathering.

Watch the whole segment here on CBS 8

Posted in In the Community | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Open House for 1920 Fort Stockton Building

Yoga One was so excited to celebrate with our neighbors and neighboring businesses at an Open House this month! The 1920 Fort Stockton Building has been many things over the years, and we’re proud to represent its next chapter. We wish a hearty welcome to the newly opened Wolf in the Woods Wine Bar.

Posted in In the Community | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

iYoga Premium: the making of a best-selling yoga app

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

Amy Caldwell reviewing iYoga Premium app

The vast warehouse was drafty and cold. Perfect for Amy. She was dressed in a black bodysuit with a hood and covered in electrodes. Over the next few hours, Amy generated plenty of heat as she demoed over 190 yoga poses. Total badass!

It was the spring of 2011 (I believe) and a couple of weeks prior, we had received a phone call from Niall Johnson at Scotland based 3D4Medical inquiring if we were interested in collaborating on a yoga app. Yes! Following a brief brainstorming session, production got underway. I was responsible for monitoring alignment and angles. 

Pendulum, the motion capture crew, was known for helping to render high quality video games. They demonstrated their skill creating a superhero type avatar for Amy that was projected onto a large screen as she did the poses. Ultimately, for the iYoga Premium app, Pendulum processed over 340,000 frames of motion capture, rendered over 50 million frames and delivered 8.7 hours for the final video to bring the virtual yoga teacher Amy to life!

“It was surreal to see my movements in real time displayed on a huge screen,” Amy said. “The whole process reinforced for me that yoga is as much a moving meditation as it is a physical activity. The stage was freezing and the motion capture suit was a little constricting. The conditions were challenging, but I quickly got into a rhythm and focused on my breath to stay centered.” Amy was exhausted but exuberant about the project’s future. 

Yet there was more work to be done. Amy recorded the voice over instruction for each and every pose and each and every sequence she put together. In the end, there are 16 different sequences students can follow, or you can create your own – all with Amy’s vocal guidance.

Finally, Amy and our friend, physical therapist, and fellow yogi Rachel Krentzman (author of Yoga for a Healthy Back and Scoliosis, Yoga Therapy and the Art of Letting Go) broke down the anatomy of each pose. They notated when muscles were contracting, stretching, or both – one by one, for nearly 200 poses! They included the English and Sanskrit pose names, contraindications, pose difficulty level and category, ie.  standing, seated, etc. Needless to say, it was an intense labor of love.

Upon release, iYoga Premium had over 15,000 downloads in the first month and topped Apple’s world-wide Health and Fitness paid app list. The app received positive press in Yoga Journal and Amy was interviewed and featured in Pacific Magazine, among others. In 2016, iYoga Premium won Health Line’s Best App award.

There were some technical limitations, for example, the avatar always needs to come back to Tadasana (mountain poses) during the sequencing.  

Some years later, we came full circle and held a class at the studio and projected the app onto the wall and let virtual Amy lead the class with actual Amy offering enhancements.

Posted in In the Community | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Reiki and Sound Bath Workshop

This monthly workshop led by Missy DiDonato fills up fast! While you’re supported in restorative yoga poses, you’ll receive Reiki and a concert of vibrations from crystal bowls, Koshi chimes, rain sticks and more. This meditative experience will leave you feeling centered, balanced and focused.

Join us Monday, November 15th at 7pm

But don’t take our word for it, here’s what past participants have to say –

“The first Reiki & Sound session I went to was amazing. I left feeling rested, peaceful, and full of positive energy.” – Lydia B.

“As a busy mom of two young kids, Reiki & Sound has given me the time and space to truly relax, unwind, and take care of myself. I look forward to having the dedicated time to connect with myself.” – Dain M.

“A few weeks ago at Yoga One, I attended the Reiki & Sound Bath workshop. It was a completely new experience for me and I had no idea what to expect. After settling in and quieting my mind, I was able to completely relax. The sensations I felt during the session were both warm and calming. For me though, it wasn’t until I went to sleep that night and woke up the next morning that complete inner peace ran through me. It was magical.”- Dana H.

 “My Reiki & Sound Bath experience at Yoga One was both relaxing and transforming. My body released all tension as my heart/mind was transported by the cosmic sound vibrations! Awesome!” – Dawn F.

“Basking in the Reiki & Sound Bath is like absorbing the warmth of the sun in winter or the divine cool of the moon in summer. I leave serene, as if I’ve just had a beautiful massage!” – Chris F.

Posted in Around the Studio | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Mindfulness Acronym to Re-Set Your Day

from Yoga One Teacher and Co-Founder Amy Caldwell

I wanted to share a great acronym that we can use in our yoga practice but also anytime in our daily life:

A-G-E 

No matter when you were born, change is constant and we’re all aging. But the letters are really powerful when you use them as a way to center attention and arrive in the present. 

A – Arrive. It could mean a little bit of physical movement, rolling the shoulders, taking a few deep breaths. Maybe closing the eyes and listening to the sounds in your environment. Whatever it is that helps you to arrive right here, right now.

G – Gather. Wherever we are and whatever we’re doing, gather your attention on the breath. If it’s helpful, you can close your eyes. If you’re driving, or whatever it is you’re doing, just keep the eyes softly open. 

E – Engage. Once we’ve arrived more fully and gathered our attention in the present moment on the breath, we can choose to engage more consciously with our lives and the people around us.

I hope that helps in your practice and in your life. Have a great day! 

~ Amy Caldwell

Posted in Reflections | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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.

Posted in Music + Art | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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/

Posted in Yogi Eats | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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!

Posted in Around the Studio | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment