Keep OM Trucking: Featuring Heather Fenwick

Do you take your yoga with you when you travel? 

Our Yoga One family has spread to all corners of the globe and we’re excited to share some of their adventures.

Heather Fenwick, Yoga One Teacher and World Traveler:

“I was in Mexico near Tulum at a 4 day concert to see my favorite band, My Morning Jacket. That little lagoon was so cool because it was warm, clear ocean water with fish swimming around – I jumped in right before our yoga class to keep cool!

Maya Chickpea Taco (formerly known as Bon Bon) is our canine model; she was rescued as a wee babe on the sandy shores of La Ventana in Baja, Mexico.  What you can’t see in this photo are her supermodel legs and eyelashes ;)”

No matter where you go, you can Keep OM Trucking with Yoga One! Visit Yoga One at 1150 7th Avenue to get your own hat and while you’re there, join us for class. 

 

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Happy 15th Birthday, Yoga One!

A brief history of the award-winning studio Yoga One in downtown San Diego (with a mission to help as many people as possible live healthier and happier lives and a strong focus on community-building) as told through the eyes of its loving parents and Founders, Amy and Michael Caldwell.

An interview between Michael Caldwell, Co-Owner, and Laura McCorry, Yoga One Blog Master.

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Laura McCorry: Many of us have heard the story about you and Amy falling in love, wanting to travel the world, selling all your possessions, picking a country that started with “A” and apple picking in Australia which set you both on the path to yoga. When did you decide to become yoga teachers? 

Michael Caldwell: By the time we were in Nepal we were pretty serious about our yoga practice, meaning we did it whenever we could. Finding time was a challenge because we were trekking to Mt. Everest base camp. That generally meant walking all day until we found some nice family to take us in. Dahl batt and rice was the standard for dinner. With a full belly we almost always immediately crashed, exhausted and satisfied on the first available horizontal surface.

It was in one of these welcoming accommodations with a handful of other travels, including James, Teddy “McChocolate”, and Richard, that we found ourselves with a little extra time and energy. Somehow it came up that we’d been practicing yoga. And since Amy has always been more advanced than Michael, she was coaxed into leading the group. That, as we can recall, was the first class she ever taught.

LM: When did Michael start teaching?

MC: Right. Michael didn’t start teaching until a couple of years after Amy. Yoga One was up and running and we had picked up some corporate classes. We didn’t have enough teachers to cover one of our classes at Cox Communications, so Michael had to do it. And he’s been teaching with decreasing reluctance ever since.

LM: Why not just teach yoga at the park or at other studios? When did you know you wanted to start a small business and open a yoga studio together? That must have taken a huge leap of faith. 

MC: Amy was teaching in the park and at dance studios, etc. The Yoga One studio was originally party of the adjacent gym, at that time called Body Works. When it got cold outside, Amy moved her growing park yoga class around town trying to find a reliable space. Over time, the classes were doing so well that Rich Roe, the gym’s owner, suggested we sublease it from him and start our own studio. So that’s what we did. It was very organic so it didn’t really require much of a leap of faith, just a lot of hard work and love.

LM: You both teach yoga and you both make business decisions, would you describe your roles in similar or different terms? 

MC: Amy was the big boss until we had our first child. Then Michael took over most of the day to day business operations with Amy looking over his shoulder to make sure he was doing it right. Amy still keeps her eyes on things but increasingly she is focused on preparing and leading the Yoga One Teacher Training courses, which now happen up to three to four times a year (including the courses at SDSU / ARC).

LM: Work-life balance is a huge concern for so many right now, especially among millennials. How have you worked to preserve a healthy work-life balance over the years? 

MC: Lots of deep breaths! Like our yoga practice, finding that balance requires constant attention. When we realize we are overdoing the work aspect, as quickly as possible we attempt to swing back to the life side. In order to be as available as possible for our children, we mostly work from home. And we’ve argued about establishing work spaces and times in which it was ok and not ok to talk about “business.”

When you operate a small business the work is never done and when your work partner is also your spouse there is never any out of the office time… when you combine those elements and also work from home, finding balance is a tight wire act. So now we try not to talk about work in bed!

Yoga One is our first baby and initially required all of our attention at all hours. Now 15 years later, the studio is a little more self sufficient but still acts up from time to time like any teenager. When it needs us, we want to be there for it. The fact that we love what we do and the people we do it with helps tremendously.

We always want to be learning and growing. We feel we do a good job with offsite, specialty and corporate yoga classes so we are looking to expand in that direction. Our Yoga One Teacher Training program is truly a life enhancing experience. We’ve had over 250 people attend our course. Many of them want to continue to deepen their practice and expand their skills, so we are working on putting together a 300 hour Yoga One Teacher Training which then will provide graduates with a 500 hour designation. We will be doing more festivals and retreats. There is so much we want to do. (:

LM: Throw it back to the very first class taught at the studio, under the familiar skylights, what was that like? 

MC: Super exciting! Amy was leading class with the students who had followed her from the park and the various around town spots and the gym’s students were there as well. (That was the deal we made for using the space). We had to walk up the stairs through what is the current gym’s entrance, down the back stairs and along the back hallway to what used to be the entrance to the studio and is now walled over. We’d wait in the back hallway while the spin class or something was finishing and talk in the hallway with the students. It was a great time… so new and fun.

LM: You and Amy have always (since I’ve known you) been consistent about calling the teachers and students at Yoga One family, and I know this is intentional and heartfelt. How long did it take you before you realized you were building more than just a business? 

MC: Immediately. We were building a family from the get-go. Remember we had recently returned from backpacking around the world for 3 and a half years so we were wide open and receptive. We were (and still are) about fostering friendships and building community.

People used to come up to us in the park and ask what kind of dance we were doing and could they join us. Classes grew and grew and, as said before, when it got cold we moved around town from space to space, through a lot of trial and error. We used a night club in Hillcrest for a while that was under construction and the entire class literally had to climb over a pile of rubble to get to the practice space. That’s not a business, that’s a family forming.

We’re still working on making Yoga One a fantastic business, but we’ve already (in our opinion) cultivated a wonderful family. And thanks to all of the people who opened their space to us all those years ago. We couldn’t have done it without you.

LM: We all know the different milestones we celebrate for our children. What are some of the milestones you’ve seen and celebrated with Yoga One?

MC: There are so many that have touched us deeply and which we treasure! Those first few classes in the space and Rich, an established small business owner, recognizing we were on to something special and telling us we should sub lease the space. Amy teaching most of the initial classes and riding her bike around Downtown putting up flyers and spreading the word. Building out the back hallway so we had access to a bathroom! Getting voted “Best Yoga Studio” in San Diego City Beat and going to the awards party for the first time (and the other 8 times).

Amy appearing on the cover of Yoga Journal (twice). Creating the iYoga Premium app with 3D4 Medical. Leading a yoga retreat in Santa Barbara. Leading the first-ever yoga class aboard the USS Midway to 400 plus people. Releasing the Yoga One CD via Quango music group (remember cds?). Creating the office nook out of a dumb waiter shaft and closet (thanks Josh aka J-Money! Redoing the front hallway, that previous ceiling was painful to behold.

The 10 year anniversary party at the Porto Vista hotel and the 15th anniversary at the Hotel Solamar. The blog anniversary party and photo shoots. Having 120 people in the space for Y1 Studios Intimate Musical Evenings featuring Glen Phillips of Toad the Wet Sprocket and Sean Hayes among others. Workshops with fun visiting teachers like Kathryn Budig, Tiffany Cruickshank, Rachel Brathen, David Romanelli, Jill Miller, Diana Beardsley and others. Being on the news and in various publications is always fun.

Offering complimentary community classes and gift certificates so anyone and everyone can enjoy the joys and benefits of yoga. Seeing new students.  Seeing regular students. Seeing long-lost but returning students. Hearing that yoga has helped enhanced someone’s life.

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LM: Thank you so much for all the effort, continuing education, investment, time, and love you both pour into Yoga One: a yoga studio, a community, a family.

MC: Thank you, Laura, for birthing and raising the Yoga One blog and thanks to the fantastic Yoga One Teachers, Staff and students!

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Yogi Reads: Decoded

by Olivia Cecchettini

Decoded

by Shawn Carter (Jay Z)

Summary: Decoded is an unconventional memoir. It’s part autobiography part interpretation of Jay Z’s most famous songs and lyrics broken down by the rapper himself. I couldn’t put this book down. His inspiring journey includes growing up in the Marcy Projects located in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn in New York City and selling crack to being the first MC inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame.

When Jay Z first started writing, he wrote for himself, never knowing if anyone else would ever hear his work. Even when he was plagued by doubt, he never stopped writing and he never stopped dreaming. It takes courage to hold a mirror to your life and embark on the journey of self-discovery. Neither is it easy to expose your inner self to the world.

Yoga is another way to hold a mirror to your life, to reveal your personal thoughts, emotions, and actions. I strongly believe that we are all natural-born healers. Jay Z found healing through sacred storytelling. I came to healing first through yoga. It’s not about the method, it’s about the journey and whether you’re willing to take the first step.

Why I Love It: I love this book because it felt so relatable. No, I didn’t grow up in the projects or have the same kind of difficulties in life. (Although yes, I do like to rap old school 90’s hip hop but only for my fiancé.) I grew up in a divorced family, with very young parents. I remember struggling a lot, moving a lot, trying to depend on family and friends for stability. There are happy memories, too. But I was on a quest for independence and I started my own life at 18 in San Diego.

I grew up tremendously fast those first few years on my own. It would be 12 years until I started teaching yoga. Sometimes people think yoga teachers have been practicing since birth, meditate every day, and never get sad – but the truth is that many people, including teachers, come to yoga for healing. In Decoded, Jay Z acknowledges that beneath his doubt was a greater fear of not fulfilling his potential – and this is part of my story as well.

Suggested For: Hip Hop lovers, especially the incredible music that came out of the late 90’s and early 2000’s. They just don’t make music like that anymore! I know that’s what every generation says, but it’s the truth.

Seriously though, this book shows what it means to honor the journey of life. As I edge closer to 40 than I am to 30, I see more clearly how all of life is a practice and a journey. It’s not about where we start out, or whether we end up rich and famous. It’s about the moment to moment living, the practice of self-love and acceptance. May we practice more kindness, practice compassion, listen to our intuition, remember the sacredness of storytelling, and honor those that have come before us.

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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How Yoga Changes You, Body and Mind

An interview by Yoga One student Stacey Ebert with Yoga One owner and co-founder, Amy Caldwell. 

Amy Caldwell. Photo by Shadow Van Houten

Amy Caldwell. Photo by Shadow Van Houten

As a practicing yogi, I’ve seen and felt the benefits of sharper awareness, greater strength and flexibility, better posture, and overall improved health firsthand. The more than 5,000-year old philosophy encourages a practice of health, wellbeing, and attention. No, you don’t have to flexible. No, it’s not super expensive. Yes, you can practice anywhere. Yes, it offers something for everyone. Never once have I regretted a moment spent on my mat.

To see what someone with more detailed knowledge had to say, I chatted with Amy Caldwell, who along with her husband, Michael, owns Yoga One in San Diego, California. In addition to practicing, studying, and teaching yoga for two decades, Amy has collaborated on the best-selling iYoga Premium for iPad and iPhone. She also leads the annual yoga class aboard the historic USS Midway, is the head teacher for the acclaimed Yoga One Teacher Training, and has twice been featured on the cover of Yoga Journal. Here’s what she has to say about yoga and its benefits.

SE: How does the idea of ‘getting out of your own way’ merge with the practice of yoga?

AC: Yoga, an ongoing practice of inner listening, works to find a balance between being grounded and remaining open. These tools help us “get out of our own way” by deeply connecting to our Self (“Self” with a capital S indicates big energy and spirit, a higher self). By the time the student makes it to a yoga class, she has already taken the first pro-active step towards self-care.

SE: How do you encourage students to “take their first steps and then leap?” 

AC: Life happens during our present moments, and the practice of yoga teaches people to consciously participate in those present moments. Students are invited to notice with increasing attention what is happening here and now. The next step is to balance that awareness with relaxing into what is: meeting yourself where you are each and every day, and moving forward from there.

The intentions and tools experienced and developed in a yoga practice carry off the mat into daily life.

Amy Caldwell. Photo by Nancee Lewis

Amy Caldwell. Photo by Nancee Lewis

SE: What are some beginning, advanced, and intermediate actionable steps women can take to lessen fear and add more joy to their life?

AC: Practice self-care. Take a few minutes every day to simply “be” rather than to “do.” This can be going for a walk, a few yoga poses, five minutes of meditation, or really, doing anything at all with the intention of being fully present.

Schedule something weekly that strengthens the muscles of careful listening and being present. This can be as simple as listening to whomever is speaking to you without interruption and with full attention, a yoga or meditation class, or any art form that encourages mindfulness.

Make time for things that bring you joy (for me it can be spending quality time with my family, being in nature or taking a fun dance class). Pay attention to whatever it is that helps you connect to a deep sense of vibrant aliveness and make time to do it! We can all carve out an hour or two a week for our well-being and healthy enjoyment.

Originally published by Stacey Ebert with the title, Get Out of Your Own Way. Read more at Second Chance Travels.
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Life is Fragile: A Yoga Teacher’s Poem

by Amy Caldwell

Life is fragile
enjoy each day
make time to be
grateful
joyful
playful

We know this life is temporary
why not live
like it’s our last day

Be kind
love
see the good
don’t sweat the small stuff
be here now
find a way

All the things we know to be true
but forget because we get busy
and distracted
and afraid
let’s choose to remember
and when we forget,
remember again,
sooner

What would we change if we could
if we can, why not try
if we can’t, how can we find peace
with what is
sometimes terrifying
sometimes heart breaking
one human moment at a time
one moment in time

What is it that helps us remember
our aliveness
our connection to breathing
our power to love completely
just humans being

Life as we know it
could end tomorrow
why not
be
here
now

Mike_Amy-178Head Yoga Teacher and Co-Founder of Yoga One, Amy Caldwell has dedicated herself to the practice, study and teaching of yoga since discovering its joys and benefits in 1997.

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Off The Mat: Lynne Officer

How do yoga teachers feel about their practice? What inspires them to keep teaching and keep practicing yoga? Get to know your Yoga One teachers outside the studio and off the mat. This month’s interview is with Lynne Officer.

1. Why do you practice yoga? 

Yoga helps my body and my heart reset. It amazes me how just a few intentional breaths can make me feel more grounded, connected to myself, and free of the story line going on in my head.

2. What was the most intimidating aspect of your teaching when you first started?

The most intimidating thing was trying to get the words and cues in my head to come out of my mouth. I also felt super nervous when an experienced yogi or another yoga teacher was in class. This nervousness still comes up for me almost 10 years in.

3. What gives you the most joy as a yoga instructor?

It gives me a lot of joy when new people come back. I know how hard it can be to get a yoga practice going in the beginning. I think people are really courageous to show up again and again. 🙂

4. If yoga were a food, car, smell, planet, song, artist, flavor, 

etc…it would be: Whoomp There It Is by Tag Team.

5. What’s your yoga inspiration?

I feel really inspired by the poem The Guest House by Jelaluddin Rumi. It’s been really powerful to think of everything as temporary and something to honor, dark and light.

6. What classes do you teach at Yoga One? 

I teach the Monday evening 5:30 pm Vinyasa Flow Level 1 & 2 class.

You can find our full class schedule here. Om!

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Amy Caldwell at Festival of Yoga San Diego

On June 17th, Pilgrimage of the Heart Yoga and Yoga One will celebrate the International Day of Yoga with a festival of yoga in beautiful Balboa Park in San Diego.

Amy Caldwell, master teacher and co-owner of Yoga One, will be leading an all-levels yoga class from 1:30-2:30pm that you won’t want to miss!

This FREE event will take place between 8:00 AM and 3:00 PM at Park Blvd on the President’s Way Lawn. Join 500+ yogis for 2 all level community classes, breakout yoga sessions, chanting and music for peace to inspire and empower people of all ages and walks of life.

The event is free, but registration is required. To register please visit: http://festivalofyogasandiego.org

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Yogi Reads: Healing 

by Olivia Cecchettini

Healing 

by David Elliott

“My primary work as a healer is to remind and reconnect people to the power of love.  Self-love is the starting point for anyone seeking healing in their life.” – David Elliott

Summary: Healing provides wonderful inspiration for empathic individuals to embrace and pursue whatever form of healing speaks to them. David Elliott’s matter-of-fact writing makes this book an easy read. Though the work he prescribes – through meditations, worksheets, and journaling – might not be as simple to master. The information Elliott provides about the healing process can help you dive deeper into yourself and better see your patterns and blocks.

This book spoke truth to my soul. When we seek out healing, we must first recognize the pain, addictions, and trauma that require healing. This process might not be for the faint of heart. I believe everything we experience in life can be turned into a tool for growth – but it is hard work to release pain and look for meaning. Elliott’s words felt familiar and safe while I worked my way through his book.

We need healers like Elliott who are ready and willing to ignite the path for others and that’s why I feel his book is so important to share. Healing gives you tools and exercises to dive deep within, to identify old wounds and to care for yourself.

Why I Love It: I believe healing comes in many forms and I’ve witnessed the power of David Elliott’s approach while reading Healing and through the personal testimony of my longtime friend Melodee Solomon. I have always known her as someone with a lot of passion and drive, but I knew there were fears and doubts holding her back from sharing her gifts with the world. As her friend, I knew she was a powerful healer, but she wasn’t yet in touch with this part of herself.

About three years ago, Melodee began taking breath work trainings with David Elliott to expand upon her yoga training. As she went deeper into her studies, I saw a shift occur. She was able to release doubt and see her worth in a way she hadn’t before. Today she offers weekly breath work classes along with monthly workshops all over the United States. I’m not saying one book, one workshop, or even one breath work training will heal you and change your life, but it may start you on the path.

Recommended For: People who wants to experience healing in their life starting right away. We are all born to be healers. Most people barely scratch the surface of their lives, but if you start digging you will uncover so many layers.

As a yoga teacher, one of the most important things I do is hold space for others to awaken in their bodies but also in their minds and spirits. The space where healing occurs can be a supportive group or it can be a book in your hand.

Every teacher needs a teacher; and as I’ve seen in my friend Melodee, David Elliott’s approach creates more leaders and more healers. This is what the world so desperately needs, more people tapping into their purpose and making the entire planet come alive. I invite you to begin today, with love and compassion. Namaste.

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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Physical Therapy Meets Yoga, an Interview with Nicole Mullins

fullsizeoutput_29e5Nicole Mullins PT/E-RYT is a physical therapist and yoga teacher with over 20 years experience working in orthopedics and seven years in therapeutic yoga. Currently, Nicole is the clinical director at Embody Physical Therapy and Yoga. She will be leading an Intermediate Anatomy Workshop for yoga teachers and experienced students at Yoga One on June 10-11. For more information and to register, go here

Yoga One: Which practice were you introduced to first in your life, physical therapy or yoga? And how long have you been practicing each?

Nicole Mullins: I was introduced to physical therapy long before I was introduced to yoga. Of course I knew yoga existed, I just didn’t have any experience with it or anyone who practiced yoga. I have been a physical therapist for 22 years and have always actively sought out additional training to stay current.

I took my first yoga class 17 years ago, but didn’t really start practicing until about 8 years ago when I jumped into a 200-hour teacher training. From there, I took workshop after workshop to really hone my skills and understanding of yoga.

Yoga made so much biomechanical sense that it soon replaced most of the therapeutic exercise I did with my patients.

YO: How has yoga informed your clinical work in physical therapy?

Nicole: I think the combination of yoga and physical therapy is both revolutionary and uncommon. It is a brilliant marriage that allows me to offer so much more to my patients than I was ever able to before. Yoga is so much more than just asana (the physical exercises). Yoga recognizes the undeniable mind-body connection and how we must address the whole person to affect positive change.

YO: Good alignment is something every yoga student wants to have, but it can be difficult to learn without years of practice or private instruction. If you could teach every yoga teacher and student the biomechanics of one pose, which would it be?

Nicole: There are actually two poses that I think are vital and necessary for everyone! From a purely biomechanical standpoint, I would teach tadasana, or mountain pose. Tadasana is the foundation of all standing poses and so many other yoga poses. Knowing how to find a neutral posture is necessary to be able to safely move into and out of poses and minimize risk of injury or overuse.

From the standpoint of overall well-being, I would choose savasana, or corpse pose. Most of us are unable to truly shut down and let our minds and bodies relax. The purpose of savasana at the end of a yoga practice is to let the nervous system integrate the experience of the physical practice. Learning how to do this properly can be extraordinarily beneficial and healing.

YO: What have you learned recently that really interests you?

Nicole: In addition to studying manual physical therapy and yoga, learning about essential oils and natural healing, I have also been studying osteopathic techniques, including visceral manipulation. “Viscera” refers to our organs. This technique has been around for many years and embodies the concept of treating the whole person. We cannot just address the muscles and joints without considering every other system and structure in the body.

The viscera and their orientation in our body is a crucial component in our ability to move and function with ease. Scar tissue and adhesions from surgery, injury, illness and infection can change an organ’s ability to move naturally. These adhesions are frequently manifested as musculoskeletal injuries, including back and neck pain. Adding this technique to my practice along with yoga and has been truly pivotal.

Learning new techniques and knowledge about the body is what makes me so excited to be a yoga teacher and physical therapist. It’s what makes me even more excited to share what I have learned through teaching so others can grow in their practice as well.

Embody (370 of 404).jpgYO: We’re excited you’re offering an Intermediate Anatomy Workshop at Yoga One, can you share one topic you’ll be covering in depth?

Nicole: The workshop will touch on many topics, but one I consider to be the most important is what constitutes a neutral spinal and pelvic alignment. We will explore the biomechanical relationship between the spine, pelvis, shoulders, and hips. You will learn why the shoulders and hips are cornerstones of a healthy spine and you will experience this in your own body via asana in the training.

YO: That sounds amazing! Who would benefit the most from this type of workshop?

Nicole: This workshop will benefit any yoga teacher or student who wants to understand more about how and why the body moves as it does. This workshop is for anyone who wants a deeper, fuller knowledge of biomechanics and how it applies to yoga in particular.

If you want to be inspired to teach yoga more confidently, excited to share what you will have learned, and ready to see the benefits in your students, please join us.

Intermediate Anatomy Workshop

led by Nicole Mullins at Yoga One
10-hour course, eligible for Yoga Alliance continuing education credits

Saturday June 10th 12:30-6:30pm
Sunday June 11th 12:00-6:00pm

Pre-registeration required: $175 by June 1st / $225 by June 8th (last day to register. No refunds.)

 

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Beyond The Mat: Hannah Rae Block

How do yoga teachers feel about their practice? What inspires them to keep teaching and keep practicing yoga? Get to know your Yoga One teachers outside the studio and off the mat. This month’s interview is with Hannah Rae Block.

1. Why do you practice yoga?

I found the practice of yoga when I first moved to San Diego in 2012 and it became an integral part of my recovery from my eating disorder. For me, the practice cultivated balance and bridged the gap between my body, mind, and spirit. My intention when I practice and teach is to let it flow through me, I want to be carried by the wave, letting go of control and feeling every moment of it.

2. What was the most intimidating aspect of your teaching when you first started?

The most intimidating aspect of my teaching when I first started was standing in front of a community and offering a part of myself through my teaching.

3. What gives you the most joy as a yoga instructor?

I find the most joy as a yoga teacher in the moments of genuine connection and alignment. There is a synchronicity, a space of understanding, a progression, to be a part of that, to be a witness to it, fills me immensely.

4. If yoga were a food, car, smell, planet, song, artist, flavor, etc… it would be: I like yoga =)

5. What’s your yoga inspiration?

To pinpoint one inspiration is hard. I am inspired in so many ways. At the core, my inspiration comes from the desire to share the healing and transformation that I have experienced through yoga with others. The practice is so expansive, there is never an end point, I will never arrive. That is inspiring.

6. What classes do you teach at Yoga One?

I teach a Level 1 and 2 Gentle Flow on Tuesday nights at 7:30pm.

You can find our full class schedule here. Om!

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