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The Votes are In! Get to Know the Experts Behind SD’s Top Studios

Written By: Jordan Ligons Downtown San Diego Yoga Studios

San Diegans, you voted for your favorite places to get your yoga on in downtown and here they are! Read on to peek into these four local studios and learn how they nama-slay at what they do. Then, grab your mat, kick off those socks and find your balance.

 

Ryan Glidden, Co-Founder of MOSAIC

Q: What sets Mosaic apart from the competition?

Ryan Glidden: We don’t compete. That is what sets us apart. MOSAIC does not exist to be better than the other yoga studios in San Diego. We exist to awaken and uplift souls so that we can together achieve our highest potential. If other studios are doing the same, that is fantastic, and we support that. Those who are ready and willing find us.

Q: How did you personally get started in practicing yoga?

RG: I started practicing yoga when my girlfriend (now wife) suggested that I come take a class with her. I was very cocky going into it, having been a college athlete and it ended up being one of the hardest things I had done for a while. I was hooked.

Q: What advice would you give to a beginner yogi?

RG: Yoga, like many other things in life, is a practice that takes time. Be humble, persistent and kind to yourself. Pay attention to how you feel in your practice and be willing to adjust. Enjoy the benefits of asana and continue to practice it, but also explore the philosophy and rich history that came before the poses. There is much to learn not just about our bodies but about our life.

Q: What’s an inspiring story that you’ve been able to witness as a yoga instructor?

RG: The list goes on. We have had people find each other through the studio or one of our training and end up married. We have a teacher who had received a diagnosis of stage four lung cancer and continued to teach and inspire others. I have seen people leave the job that they hated to pursue their passion. I have witnessed a marine corps amputee take and complete our teacher training course. I have seen our community rally around a cause and raised $10,000 to build a school in Ethiopia. We started our studio in a 400-square-foot upstairs apartment and now have a 2,100-square-foot space in San Diego and a second location in Charlottesville, VA. I have seen people cry in savasana as they worked through a difficult experience in their life. I have taught a lot of yoga in the past seven years and have been very blessed and inspired by the community of people who have shown up and made MOSAIC the special place that it is. It is difficult for me to pick just one story.

Q: How does it feel to be listed as one of the top yoga studios in downtown San Diego?

RG: It is always an honor to be acknowledged as one of the top studios in San Diego. There are a lot of wonderful teachers and studios here, so it’s great to have such an amazing community share their appreciation for MOSAIC.

MOSAIC
811 25th St, Ste 102
San Diego, CA
619.453.2291

 

Taeler Varner, Owner of The Little Yoga Studio

Q: What sets The Little Yoga Studio apart from the competition?

Taeler Varner: Our small class sizes give students the opportunity to form lasting relationship with their instructors. Here, yoga is more than just an hour-long workout. You know you’re in a community focused on your personal growth, where you can let go of stress and cultivate physical and spiritual wellness with individualized attention.

Q: How did you personally get started in practicing yoga?

TV: I have always been active, but sustained a shoulder injury in my teens and every other form of exercise either aggravated my injury or didn’t feel challenging enough. I used to not be able to sleep on my left side without waking up in pain. I took a semester-long yoga class at a community college and was shocked at how just one hour of yoga calms the mind and soothes the body and injured joints. Practicing yoga has given me so much relief from past injuries and offers infinite possibilities for an athlete looking for a physical challenge.

Q: What advice would you give to a beginner yogi?

TV: Make the practice about your healing! Let go of ideas of right and wrong and focus on moving with your own breath, even if you end up facing the wrong way compared to everyone else in the room, that still happens to experienced yogis! I see so many beginners focused on doing poses ‘the right way’ and constantly looking around the room. Your instructor will make sure you’re moving in a way that is safe for you body, so when you begin class decide to move in a way that feels most healing to your body that day. Give yourself permission to take breaks and draw your attention inward, not outward.

Q: What’s an inspiring story that you’ve been able to witness as a yoga instructor?

TV: My most dedicated student began yoga only six weeks ago, and used to think that yoga is ‘only for young, flexible women.’ He is now doing headstands, keeping up with students who have practiced for years, and best of all starts every morning smiling more often because of his yoga practice. Seeing his progress inspires me to approach my own practice with a positive attitude and to not get stuck on thoughts about what I can’t currently achieve.

Q: How does it feel to be listed as one of the top yoga studio in downtown San Diego?

TV: I am incredibly proud to be one of the top yoga studios in downtown San Diego. It is challenging to be a young business owner in my first year of ownership, so I see this distinction as hope for future community building at The Little Yoga Studio. There are so many people out there who can benefit from yoga and we are here to provide the space and guidance for growth.

The Little Yoga Studio
702 Ash St
San Diego, CA 92101
619.544.9642

Michael & Amy Caldwell, Founders of Yoga One

Q: What sets Yoga One apart from the competition?

MC/AC: We don’t think of other studios or yoga offerings as competition. The more people practicing yoga, the better. However, we do take pride in being a family run studio and treating our teachers and students as family. Award-winning Yoga One has been helping San Diego residents and visitors enjoy healthier and happier lives since 2002. We offer depth of knowledge, integrity and heart.

Q: How did you personally get started in practicing yoga?

MC/AC: Our yoga practice began in an organic apple orchard in Australia in 1997. We had both just quit our careers in the Hollywood music business and set out to explore different cultures and lifestyles. While backpacking around Australia, we picked apples to earn extra money and one night, sore from a 10 hour workday, we did a few poses from a book we were reading. We immediately felt better. Over the next three years of traveling around the world and visiting 15 countries, we got more and more committed to deepening our practice. By the time we arrived in India, we were practicing up to four hours a day with some of the country’s top yoga masters.

Q: What advice would you give to a beginner yogi?

MC/AC: Enjoy the journey. Yoga is like a tool kit that can help enhance your life. You can’t use all the tools effectively at once immediately so take your time to understand the basics and build from there. Find good teachers that you resonate with. And if you want to do the advanced version in any pose, simply lift the corners of your mouth.

Q: What’s an inspiring story that you’ve been able to witness as a yoga instructor?

MC/AC: We just received this email from a student who graduated from our Yoga One Teacher Training course at SDSU:

‘Wow, it’s been six months since I graduated. What prompted this email was an abundant feeling of gratitude. I successfully accomplished my first semester as a teacher at University of San Diego. It went so well, they resigned me for the same curriculum section in the spring and extended an offer to three additional group fitness classes! After a successful semester substituting at SDSU, I’ve also received an offer to for my very own group fitness section over the winter break and the upcoming spring semester. I cannot thank you enough for the enriching experience I’ve had both as a student of your training and as a teacher in the community.

The by-product of the Yoga One Teacher Training has been tremendous. The insight to my own personal practice alone has gained so much depth…being a teacher, the smiles, gratitudes, blessings, the positivity I’ve witnessed are sooooo fulfilling, and it wouldn’t have been done without you.’

Q: How does it feel to be listed as one of the top yoga studio in downtown San Diego?

MC/AC: Humbling, but after all, we are named Yoga One!

Yoga One
1150 7th Ave
San Diego, CA 92101
619.544.0587

 

Amore St. Ives, Studio Manager at CorePower Yoga North Park

Q: What sets CorePower Yoga North Park apart from the competition?

Amore St. Ives: CorePower Yoga is an intense physical workout rooted in the mindfulness of yoga. We offer a wide range of classes for students of all levels and you cannot find a class like CorePower Yoga Sculpt anywhere else. We are focused on being the best at creating an experience in which the mental benefits match the physical benefits, as this combination is imperative for a long and healthy life.

Q: How did you personally get started in practicing yoga?

AS: In 2008, I was diagnosed with a type of arthritis called Ankylosing Spondylitis. At the time, I was an avid runner that was suffering from joint pain and constant injury. With my diagnosis came a prescription to find another workout style that was more gentle on my body and my doctor suggested yoga. I tried several different yoga workouts, but I always left feeling incomplete on a physical, mental and spiritual level. One day a friend invited me to take class at CorePower and I was hooked! I had finally found a practice that made me feel powerful yet flexible, rooted yet inspired, and elevated yet peaceful.  

Q: What’s an inspiring story that you’ve been able to witness as a yoga instructor?

AS: There was a young Japanese student in one of my teacher trainings who was in San Diego finishing her master’s degree program. One of her dreams was to become a yoga instructor to take it back to her town in Japan to share with her community. Her passion for the practice, diligence to study the material and eloquence to deliver her cues (even though English was her second language) was highly impressive. Then, halfway through the program her mother died and she had to fly back to Japan. I expected that would be the last we would see of her. To my disbelief she was back in session the following week with a reliant peace I have never experienced. We were so proud of her and revered her strength. Her perseverance and determination to follow her dream inspired all of us and empowered us to have the courage to do the same.

Q: What advice would you give to a beginner yogi?

AS: Yoga is for everyone! A few beginner tips include:

– Find a studio near you, pick a class and check in 15 minutes early to meet your instructor and ask questions–no reservations required.
-Bring a mat, water bottle and towel or rent/buy one of ours! Free mat and towel rental for first-time students.
-Wear fitted exercise clothes, ideally that wick away moisture.
-First-time students receive a free week!
-Beginners should be looking for something similar to a CorePower Yoga 1 (C1), where you have the opportunity to explore the postures and fundamental principles of vinyasa flow. These classes are unheated and have no added humidity. If you are already accustomed to heated classes, Hot Power Fusion is also a great one for beginners.

Q: How does it feel to be listed as one of the top yoga studios in downtown San Diego?

AS: It makes me feel so proud that the work we do at our studio has won us this opportunity. When I taught my first real class during my teacher training I realized my purpose was to share this amazing practice of yoga with our community. Our mission at CorePower is to create a space accessible for all students to embrace the amazing benefits of yoga so they too can share this with their friends and family.

CorePower Yoga North Park

3918 30th St, Ste 110
San Diego, CA 92104
619.523.9642
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