Yogi Reads: Yoga Girl

by Olivia Cecchettini

yogagirl_US-cover“Yoga Girl”

by Rachel Brathen

Summary: Rachel Brathen, also know as Yoga Girl, is spreading love across the globe one hug at a time. If you’re not already following her on social media, you most likely will be soon, as her US book tour, also know as, The Happiness Tour, is going on at this very moment. Rachel is a woman who loves yoga, her man, her dogs, and practicing handstands on the beach but there is more to her than meets the eye. This book introduces the reader to Rachel’s childhood in Sweden and how she has worked to transform her life into the life of her dreams.

Yoga Girl is light-hearted, fun and beautiful, but it also connects on a deeper level to the heartache and joy of Rachel’s real personal life. Weaving through each of the seven chapters are easy to do yoga sequences as well as recipes to inspire a nutritious, plant-based diet. The entire book is sprinkled with beautiful photos that will make you want to venture to the nearest beach, get upside down and enjoy life to the fullest.

Why I Love It: I love how Yoga Girl focuses on the positive and recognizes that this is a choice. Everything can be taken away from you, absolutely everything – except your attitude. Rachel Brathen has experienced firsthand how yoga heals and transforms lives and reading her story is a breath of fresh air.

This book reminds me to choose happiness and to acknowledge when I’m hurting. I was reminded of my own grief over losing my grandmother and how yoga helped me breathe and eventually heal. Rachel’s heartfelt reflections made me feel that life is truly a process of remembering what our hearts and souls already know.

Recommended For: Anyone new to yoga will find a great introduction to yoga and its philosophy in Yoga Girl. The more experienced yogi will enjoy the depth and wisdom in Rachel’s personal testimony.

This book invites readers to go past the surface and love others, but more importantly, to love themselves. Yes, there are a lot of bikini pictures which may spark insecurities, but I encourage you to receive it’s overarching message: that you are a true co-creator of your life. If that includes bikinis, great! If not, great!

This month I invite you to slow down and check in with yourself. Are you living in a way that is in alignment with who you are and with your dreams? Let go of people pleasing. Let go of control. Pick up this book or recapture anything that inspires you to move forward with your authentic life.

Ciao, Olivia

“For me, the book was like a perfect yoga class—it left me inspired, relaxed and at the same time gave me tons of ideas.” – Katarina Tavčar, Elephant Journal

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: Let the Light In

by Laura McCorry

warrior quoteIt’s easy to get caught up in living a moment to moment existence (which is not the same as existence in the present moment). You do the things that must be done to move from one day into the next – putting off until tomorrow everything but the essential. Until there is only enough space in the crowded shuffle of your brain to process the next step.

This is when life is hard. When a deep feeling of unease settles around your heart. If you could step back, you might see the problem, but you feel stuck. The body will tell you something is wrong and its strongest language is pain. 

Yoga helps. Get on your mat and start to move with your body. Listen. Find your alignment by what feels good and not how it looks. A hot cup of tea can do wonders. So can a phone call to a friend. Breathe in. Breath out.

Do whatever it is you need to do to let the light back in. 

Open your hands and release everything you’ve been grasping and clenching tight. Turn your face to the sun, which can be the actual sun or your closed eyes summoning up all the loves in your life –

Your romantic partner. Your mother. Your dog. Anyone who has ever shown you kindness.

Think of them and feel the corners of your eyes crinkle. Let the light shine deep and illuminate the furthest reaches of your heart.

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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Meet Your Massage Therapist: Mat Stockton

Massage therapy is proven to improve circulation, decrease chronic pain and generally help you feel like a million bucks! Meet the newest addition to our wellness team and schedule your massage today.

Mat Stockton headshot1. Why did you decide to become a massage therapist?

I have an active lifestyle, which often meant sore muscles and an aching body. I wanted to learn ways to alleviate and even prevent this discomfort. Now I love being in a position to help others achieve their health goals.

2. What benefits have you or your clients received from regular
massage therapy?

Giving a massage makes me feel like I’m enjoying a nutritional, superfood smoothie. It allows me to stay present and aware of how I’m moving during and after a session, which is very energizing.

Receiving massage gives you the opportunity to focus on yourself, re-discovering areas of the body that may have been neglected. Massage can help you feel better aligned and improve your natural range of motion. Moving through your life without pain or discomfort is a joy that every body should experience.

3. Do you have a favorite type of massage?

My favorite types of massage are Acupressure and Deep Tissue. I enjoy using a blend of modalities to achieve the best experience and result for the client, often including Swedish and Sports Massage techniques as well.

4. Something interesting your clients might not know about you is:

 In my spare time I enjoy making music and performing to get the creative juices flowing. I beat-box through a loop-pedal and create funny freestyle-raps about my immediate surroundings or whatever strikes me at the moment.

5. What’s the best advice you give for how to really enjoy a

Communicate with your therapist! Let them know what feels good and what areas of your body need the most attention. A great massage is not just something you receive, but something you help create through good feedback.

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2015 Yoga One Teacher Training Perspectives

Checking in with Yoga One Teacher Trainee, Courtney Barrow

Courtney Barrow

What’s one thing you’ve learned already that’s changed your perspective on yoga/life?

I’ve learned how to be patient. Be patient with your body in yoga and enjoy where you are at the moment, not where you wish to be. That same thing applies in life. Be stuck in traffic. Wait in the one long line at the grocery store. Be patient and just enjoy the moment.

If you could describe Yoga One Teacher Training in three words, they would be: Knowledge, Strength, and Love.

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Instructor Spotlight: Erin Ferguson

Erin is such a delight! Her smile begins with her eyes. In addition to being a super yogi, she is also (spoiler alert, see question #7) the designer/creator of the Yoga One website. We’ve know Erin a long time and are better off for having her in our lives. Come to her relaxing Thursday evening Candlelight Flow at 7:30pm. See our full schedule here.

Erin Ferguson1. What is your favorite style of yoga?

A Vinyasa alignment-based flow is the style I practice most often, but I also really enjoy Restorative Yoga.

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

I remember doing animal yoga poses with my brothers growing up that we learned from a big orange kids yoga book. About 10 years ago, I was working in an office all day and looking for a way to live a more active lifestyle. I started taking yoga classes at Yoga One and immediately fell in love with the practice.

3. What is your favorite yoga pose right now?

Adho Mukha Vrksasana or Handstand, I love the feeling of strength and power, as well as the change in perspective :)

4. What pose is still the most challenging?

Recently, I have been focusing on the transition between poses, specifically developing the strength and control to jump back/forward or through from one pose to the next.

5. If you were an animal, you would be: my first reaction would be a cat, but it would be pretty fun to be a monkey too… tough choice!

6. Describe what yoga means in your life using just 6 words: helps me discover my truest self.

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

I am also a web designer.

Erin Ferguson bio18. Do you have any words of wisdom or advice for new students?

Stay with your practice. You may not notice any change from day to day, but over time yoga will make amazing transformations in both your body and mind!

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Yogi Reads: The Alchemist

TheAlchemistby Olivia Cecchettini

“The Alchemist”

by Paulo Coelho

Summary: Slow down and be present while reading this book. Just like the cover, there are signs, messages, and hidden treasures throughout.

This is the story of a shepherd boy named Santiago who leaves his home in search of buried treasure in a far away land. Along the way, he encounters signs and clues that help him in his search. An old king tells Santiago, “when you really want something to happen, the whole universe conspires so that your wish comes true.”

In the end, he realizes that playing it safe is often more threatening to his freedom than taking a risk. This book is a reminder that we as human beings want the same things and no matter where we are on this planet, we are more alike than we are different.

Why I LOVE It: Six months after graduating college I had planned on taking a big trip. This was something I had always dreamed of and I was in the process of making it a reality. During this time, I ran into an old friend who mentioned she was attending the University of Santa Monica studying for a Masters in Spiritual Psychology. Hearing about her studies, I felt a spark ignite. I knew I was meant to be there. The only problem was classes started the same month I had planned to leave on my trip. I decided to enroll in the program.

During my two years there, I longed for that trip and sometimes resented my school for it. But the patience and insight I learned throughout that time is priceless. I learned to let go of control and attachment to my plan. Huge for me!! I also realized that when we surrender to the greater plan of the universe and trust our intuition, magic begins to unfold.

The Alchemist teaches us that life is about the journey, not the destination. Whether that journey is inward or outward it is all the same. We are all One. We each have our own inner calling which is always transforming and growing.

Recommended For: Everyone!!! This is a book you can read over and over again. It will speak to you in different ways and spark new insights at different times in your life. My hope is that if there’s something your heart has been whispering for you to do, DO IT! Don’t wait for the perfect time, or when you have more training, or after you pay off a credit card. Find a way to do it now – even if it’s just the baby step of writing your goal down on paper. There is so much power in bringing your dreams out of your head and into the physical world. Be BOLD with your heart! We are all in this together.

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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2015 Yoga One Teacher Training Perspectives

interview with Yoga One Teacher Trainee, Hannah Faulkner

What do you hope to gain from Yoga One Teacher Training?Hannah Faulkner

Personally and in my teaching, I hope to improve on being in the moment and making mindful, compassionate decisions. Likewise, I would like to improve my knowledge of preventing injuries for my students in yoga. Physically, I’d like to improve my alignment and strength to successfully balance in handstand and forearm stand.

What’s one thing you’ve learned already that’s changed your perspective on yoga and/or life?

As a woman who is constantly busy and in a hurry, I am learning to stay in the moment and be present. As humans, we have the freedom to decide how to react in any situation, I can react according to my emotions and thoughts or be mindful of everyone and everything around me as well as being conscious of the effects of my choices.

Physically, I have learned that my body needs to be aligned in five ways (foundation, muscle energy, inner rotation, outer rotation, and finding length in my torso and limbs), not only in each pose, but in my daily life: standing, sitting, and sleeping. Since I’ve been working on these adjustments, I’ve been able to sleep on my back in comfort throughout the night. This is something that I haven’t been able to do for years.

If you could describe Yoga One Teacher Training in three words, they would be: Mindfulness, Balance, Alignment

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How to Motivate Yourself, Be More Productive and Live a Healthier Life

by Laura McCorry

How are you doing with your New Year’s Resolutions? If you’re breezing through them, chances are you didn’t aim high enough and if you’ve already stumbled, it’s okay. Pick yourself up, dust yourself off and begin again.

Motivation isn’t a delicate butterfly on a clear spring day that either rests on your shoulder or flits away out of reach. Motivation is a skill and like every other skill, it’s something you can practice and improve upon. Here are some tips to increase motivation and productivity, maybe one will give you the extra oomph you need to meet your goals:

  • Honestly assess your goals to make sure they’re challenging but not unrealistic.
  • Write down concrete steps along the way to achieving your goal rather than vague aspirations. For example, walk the dog four times a week, eat a new vegetable weekly, do cross-it-of-your-listyoga for at least 10 minutes a day.
  • Make a list (not too long) and cross off items as you accomplish them.
  • Pick an activity and a corresponding reward for the end of the day so you can increase your stamina for delayed gratification
  • Choose rewards that support your well-being and are in line with your goals (make plans to see a friend or indulge in a leisure activity you enjoy but for which you don’t usually make time.)
  • Tell a friend about your goals. Have them call you at a certain time and ask if you were successful that day/week/month.
  • Set a timer and see what you can accomplish before it goes off (try the pomodoro technique for increased productivity.)
  • Limit distractions. Put your phone down in another room. Block your internet. Hire a babysitter for an hour. Whatever you need to do to work on a goal with focus. 
  • Keep a journal and reflect on everything you accomplished that day, you’ll feel productive and be more inspired to pursue your goals. 
  • Give yourself a pep talk in the mirror!
  • If you miss a day, call it a day off and let it go. Get right back to your goals the next day.
  • Encourage someone else to keep striving towards their goals.
  • When the going gets tough, take a two minute break to dance wildly in your kitchen.
  • Practice gratitude daily. When you write down or say out loud specific things in your life for which you’re grateful, you increase your overall level of gratitude and happiness.
  • Have compassion for yourself if you don’t make your goal. Tomorrow is a new day, take a deep breath and begin again.
  • Celebrate when you reach a milestone (a goal that takes less than a year but longer than two weeks to accomplish)

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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If Walking Down the Street Was A Yoga Pose

by Monique Minahan

amy caldwell treeIf walking down the street was a yoga pose, how would we do it? Would we walk more mindfully, consciously, and with attention to how our breath informs our every step?

If sitting in a chair was a yoga pose, would we place our limbs with intention, keep our spine lifted and our gaze soft?

If having a conversation was a yoga pose, would we stay present the whole way through, listen attentively to every word, stay open and receptive?

If weathering difficult times was a yoga pose, would we root down into our reality, hug in to ourselves, and find the space we need to breathe, to survive, to endure?

If loving other people was a yoga pose, would we keep practicing it over and over, year after year, finding more expansiveness as we soften, stretch, and open?

If getting older was a yoga pose, would we observe our wrinkles without judgement, allow our hair to gray with grace, and stand tall in the body that has stood by us our entire life?

If today was a yoga pose, would we live every minute mindfully, simultaneously stand our ground while submitting to our hearts and aligning our actions with our intentions?

Alignment. Presence. Patience. Strength. Acceptance. We practice these things on our mats all the time. But all of life can be a yoga pose. We can limit the benefits of yoga to a few hours a week or we can tap into these same benefits every moment of every day for the rest of our lives.

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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Sweet Surrender

guest post by Yoga One student, Jill Zubec


Trying to maintain control in this life is a bit like trying to maintain control on a roller coaster. The ride has its own logic and is going to go its own way, regardless of how tightly you grip the bar. There is a thrill and a power in simply surrendering to the ride and fully feeling the ups and downs of it, letting the curves take you rather than fighting them.

When you fight the ride, resisting what’s happening at every turn, your whole being becomes tense and anxiety is your close companion. When you go with the ride, accepting what you cannot control, freedom and joy will inevitably arise.

As with so many seemingly simple things in life, it is not always easy to let go, even of the things we know we can’t control. Most of us feel a great discomfort with the givens of this life, one of which is the fact that much of the time we have no control over what happens. Sometimes this awareness comes only when we have a stark encounter with this fact, and all our attempts to be in control are revealed to be unnecessary burdens.

We can also cultivate this awareness in ourselves gently, by simply making surrender a daily practice. At the end of our meditation, we might bow, saying, “I surrender to this life.” This simple mantra can be repeated as necessary throughout the day, when we find ourselves metaphorically gripping the safety bar.

We can give in to our fear and anxiety, or we can surrender to this great mystery with courage. When we see people on a roller coaster, we see that there are those with their faces tight with fear and then there are those that smile broadly, with their hands in the air, carried through the ride on a wave of freedom and joy. This powerful image reminds us that often the only control we have is choosing how we are going to respond to the ride.

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