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Wednesday, May 22, 2024
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Being at One with Yoga One in Mission Hills

SMALL BUSINESS: Yoga Studio Owners Celebrate 20 Years in Business

While practicing yoga as an individual is for the most part a solitary physical and mental workout, being part of a dedicated yoga community is an endeavor that works for many people, and a boon for those wellness businesses that relish strong, flexible connections.

Magen Brown
Student
Yoga One

Magen Brown and Julie Moore are two of the longest regularly attending participants at Yoga One, one of the first so-called “boutique” yoga studios in San Diego, owned and operated by Michael and Amy Caldwell, a husband-and-wife team that appreciates longstanding relationships.

After attending a yoga class at Yoga One in mid-December, Moore and Brown sang the praises of the Caldwells. Moore called Yoga One “a home away from home… a positive, welcoming environment (and) a family I’m happy to be a part of.”

Amy Caldwell
Co-Founder
Yoga One

For 20 years, Yoga One has been the site where thousands of people, from beginners to experienced practitioners, have learned about asana and vinyasa, perfecting moves like downward dog, sun salutation and other poses.

The Caldwells began their business in earnest in 2002 in a second-story spot in downtown San Diego, opening the practice to meet a growing demand of students attending outdoor classes in Balboa Park taught by Amy Caldwell starting in 2000.

Non-Competitive Environment

In their 50s with two children, the couple moved the practice to Mission Hills in 2020, and now oversee a staff of 10 who teach hundreds inside their cozy 1,150-square foot studio near Presidio Park.

Mike Caldwell
Co-Founder
Yoga One

The business champions a non-competitive environment and among its offerings are different types of yoga classes; a core challenge class that helps with strength, power and endurance; and a high intensity cardio bodyweight circuit that conditions the entire body.

Yoga One also holds events, teacher trainings and workshops, including some that feature Reiki, restorative and sound healing and self massage. The pandemic opened new avenues of sharing yoga practices, and now many of their classes and trainings are accessible online.

They count many local businesses as clients, including San Diego Gas & Electric and Sempra, the Downtown San Diego Partnership, Cox Communications, Sharp, the Museum of Contemporary Art and the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center. The Caldwells have also expanded their reach into the education world, with Yoga One classes taught as part of the Poway Unified School District and California Western School of Law.

Loyal Local Following

With all that they offer, the Caldwells say they are most grateful for their devoted, loyal, local following. “We are really proud about the fact that some of the people who were at Balboa Park are still with us,” Michael Caldwell said. “We’ve had these deep relationships with people.”

Julie Moore
Student
Yoga One

Moore is one of Yoga One’s first-ever yoga students. She said that Amy Caldwell has seen her though marriage, career, raising children and other life cycle events.

“I’ve been in hundreds of Yoga One classes,” Moore said. “I’ve been going at least one a week for 20 years. I keep coming because Amy’s knowledge and her teaching style is relaxing and very soothing. She helps you improve with each pose and breathing techniques and correct positioning. She has taught me how to do yoga properly, which has helped my flexibility and my strength.”

Brown said she’s been coming to Yoga One since 2009 when she lived downtown and walked to the studio, saying that its “warm and welcoming” vibe continues to draw her and others.

Amy Caldwell said students like Moore, Brown and others who “have been in our lives for the last 25 years,” keep Yoga One flowing.

“The thank you letters and thank you emails we receive, people who tell us our studio has created a safe haven or support network for them during a challenging time,” she said. “The people whose lives we have touched and have touched our lives and space… that has far and away been the most gratifying part of this business.”

In celebrating their 20th year in business, the Caldwells are also releasing a photo booklet, “Yoga One Celebrating the First 20 Years: Stories and Practice,” chronicling their personal journey, along with some of their favorite yoga practice tips.

In the book, the Caldwells share the story of how they left their jobs in the music business in Los Angeles to backpack around the world together. For 3½ years, they explored different cultures and philosophies, and say they discovered yoga while earning extra travel money picking apples in Australia, and later studied in India with top yoga masters.

Since starting their yoga journey after landing in San Diego, where Michael Caldwell’s parents were living, Amy Caldwell has also had some historic moments in the region.

In 2014, she led the first-ever yoga class aboard the USS Midway, and for the next five years held classes on the flight deck   each with nearly 1,000 participants. She also co-taught Yoga for Hope in the outfield of Petco Park to about 800 students, helping City of Hope raise more than $80,000, bring awareness to research and fight cancer.

Yoga One

FOUNDED: 2002
CO-FOUNDERS: Mike and Amy Caldwell
HEADQUARTERS: Mission Hills
BUSINESS: Yoga and Wellness
EMPLOYEES: 10
WEBSITE: yogaonesandiego.com
CONTACT: info@yogaonesandiego.com
SOCIAL IMPACT: Company has an ongoing community class geared to those who can’t afford classes; the founders also donate classes and memberships to schools and nonprofits.
NOTABLE: Business is celebrating 20th anniversary with new book “Yoga One Celebrating the First 20 Years: Stories and Practice;” together with Quango Music Group released the Yoga One CD, featuring Thievery Corporation, Bliss and Zero 7; and partnered with 3D4 Medical to co-create the iYoga Premium app.

The entrance to Yoga One studio in Mission Hills. Photo by Karen Pearlman
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