Yoga One Head Teacher and Co-Founder Amy Caldwell recently sat down with San Diego Lifestyle Blog to discuss travel, downtown San Diego, and both the outer (physical) and inner (meditative) aspects of yoga.
San Diego Lifestyle: How did Yoga One originate, and eventually become what it is today?
Amy: Michael and I both worked in the music industry in Los Angeles prior to discovering yoga. Seeking a lifestyle change, we left the country to enjoy time backpacking abroad. Our travels took us to Australia where we picked apples to earn money, and first began our practice of yoga from the book “Fit for Life.” Over the next three and a half years, we visited 14 more countries, ultimately arriving in India where we completely immersed ourselves into the philosophy and practice of yoga while studying with some of the top yoga masters. When we returned to the States, I continued my studies here in San Diego and began offering classes by donation in Balboa Park, Downtown, etc. As attendance grew, things organically evolved into what turned into the Yoga One studio located on 7th avenue, Downtown.
SDL: Wow, fascinating! How often do you practice these days?
Amy: I practice almost every day, in classes at Yoga One or home alone. My home practice is a source of wisdom for my personal growth and understanding from which my teaching also grows. I also take a class once a week with a senior teacher Jo Zukovich as my schedule allows. Throughout my many years of practice, the style and frequency has varied greatly. But I always come back to my mat as a place where I can take care of myself in a deep and nourishing way.
SDL: What advice would you give to beginners just starting their yoga journey?
Amy: I think its important for beginners to know that yoga practice doesn’t always have to be an hour plus, every day. Just 5-10 minutes can make a difference. Seeking out classes with knowledgeable instructors like we have at Yoga One is also important to receive guidance and inspiration. We call it “yoga practice”, not “yoga perfect” because it’s a process, a journey, not a destination.
SDL: Have you had moments of breakthrough, where you accomplished something you didn’t think you would be able to?
Amy: For me, the practice has become less about physical accomplishments and more about learning how to live in the world with present moment awareness and an open heart and mind. Having said that, yoga has provided amazing strength and deep breathing for giving birth naturally twice. And it continues to serve me, being a mother now to an 8 and 11 year old.
SDL: Your Yoga One studio is downtown, does that make it tough for people to come to class consistently?
Amy: We love being downtown – our students are diverse, educated and often working professionals. Not to mention really nice people! Our regulars attend on their lunch hour, after work, early mornings or weekends. Being downtown we are lucky to get a lot of out of town guests – and we offer plenty of options for brand new beginners, including but not limited to Classic Yoga, Gentle and Restorative. We have a good number of students who value our services so much that they drive all the way from north and east county.
SDL: There are a TON of yoga studios in San Diego, where are you located exactly?
Amy: We are located at 1150 7th Avenue, between B & C Streets, near the business district at the base of Cortez Hill, across the street from the Symphony and around the corner from the House of Blues. As I mentioned, we offer classes at the studio, but also at many businesses around San Diego. So in a very real sense, Yoga One instructors often go to the students. But, students also come from all over the city, and the world in fact. We’ve had great people come from as far as Japan, Ireland and Spain to attend our 200 Hour Yoga One Teacher Training Course, which we have been offering since 2006. We get students from the East Coast attending the training as well.
SDL: Wow your teacher training must be a truly wonderful experience! Is it your most popular course?
Amy: Yes it’s quite popular! Right now, I’m really enjoying leading and co-leading the Yoga One Teacher Training Courses. I love teaching all of my classes though, both public and private. Our students are open and eager to learn, and are always teaching me too in the process of learning, so we are growing together. My Monday noon class also usually pretty popular, with many long-time regulars coming whom I adore and love seeing every week. Schedule permitting, I’m happy to kick things up a bit with my First Friday of the Month, level 2 and 3 classes too, which oftentimes draws more students in.