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Yoga is more than just a workout. It is a life awakening practice and will help you in all things.

Yogi Tones Podcast Episode 78 With Lisa Samuels – Building A Community

Lisa Samuels is a registered dietitian and 200hr RYT from Queens, New York.  She has been practicing yoga for 10 years and teaching Hatha and restorative yoga for three.  Lisa truly sees how important and beneficial yoga is for the body,mind, and spirit.  However, she felt something was missing from the yoga world- a sense of community that not only loves, but embraces and welcomes everyone with open arms.  With that mission in mind, Lisa decided to open The Happie House, a community wellness center.  There, the aim is to free the body, mind, and spirit of toxic thoughts and behaviors, especially fear, through a vast offering of yoga classes, nutrition lectures and counseling sessions, and social gatherings.  The Happie House will be opening soon, and Lisa cannot wait to experience it with all of you!  Namaste! 

Instagram: @the_happie_house
Facebook: TheHappieHouse/

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Special thanks to Lisa for joining me on the episode. Until next time!

Yogi Tones Podcast Episode 77 With Amina Taha – Trust Your Journey

This episode features Amina Taha and she is awesome! We chat about teaching yoga of course but also how a direct message on Instagram can lead to business for you as a teacher, because it’s exactly what happened to Amina.
With a background in fine arts, fashion and philosophy, Amina’s approach to yoga is one that honors the harmony between the bodily movements in asana and the mind. After completing her masters in fashion design in New York, Amina relocated to Dubai at the age of 27 and attended a yoga class out of curiosity. Ever since then, she was drawn to how you can unlock layers of tension in your body through yoga and through freeing your mind.
Amina is constantly studying techniques, anatomy; exploring yoga fully, through her own practice and teachings of others. In June 2016, Amina has completed her 200 hour Yoga Teacher Training at YogaWorks, New York City led by Chrissy Carter. In July 2017, Amina obtained her 500 hour teaching certification under Jared McCann at Lighthouse Yoga School. Amina believes that precise alignment and integrity in technique are integral for a lifelong asana practice, and encourages the cultivation of sensitivity and awareness to the body using the breath. Amina’s classes, privates and workshops are dedicated to opening the heart, strengthening and freeing the body from tension in order to be free in its infinite possibilities of movement without limitation.
Find more from Amina @aminatahayoga.com
IG – @aminahtaha

To share your thoughts:

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Special thanks to Amina for joining me this week. Until next time!



San Diego Yoga Festival Class – Yoga With Pets

Chatted with Shawna Schenk about a special class at the upcoming San Diego Yoga Festival!

Even your pets are welcome at this festival! Come for this special, fun and unique yoga class with your pet. All pets welcome (with all levels of yoga experience!) 

This special class was created by Yoga With Shawna and is led by four of her most recent graduates: Pina, Natalie, Josulan, and Natalie.  Shawna, the founder of San Diego Yoga Festival, is known for her creativity and applicability of yoga making it reach all people (and things!) in all ways and so this special class was created in her most recent yoga teacher training. Become a certified yoga teacher with Shawna’s teacher training starting in May. Learn more here. 

Saturday March 10th, 12pm

Get Tickets Here

San Diego Yoga Festival Class – Walking Meditation to the USA-Mexico Border

Join us in this unique and powerful experience: a meditative walk from festival grounds down to the USA-Mexico Border. We will walk on the beach until the end of the country! Here you will see a fence out- reaching into the ocean separating San Diego and Tijuana, Mexico.

Once you reach the border, you are invited to meditate or engage in a personal yoga practice and feel connected to unity. As many parts of the country may be trying to put up a bigger wall, we are focused on tearing down the walls around our heart and living in love. You can watch the ocean as it crashes on both sides of the border, and see and hear the beautiful people on the beach in Mexico! Your walking tour guide will also lead a group meditation.

Please note: This special walking meditation experience will take about 3-5 hours, it is a 3 mile beach walk (each way) to the border from the festival and  is about a 1.5 hour walk each way. Also, you may get wet: on one part of the beach is where the Tijuana River meets the Ocean: here you may have to walk through water (note low tide is 11:23 am) and so it is important to walk to and from the boarder during low tide hours.  Many times the walk through the water is ankle or knee deep but sometimes it is up to your hips. Please advise.

This is also a beach walk on un-even sand so wear proper foot-ware and bring a towel (bathing suit and possibly a change of clothes). Because of the water quality in our neighboring country, it is advised to not swim once you get down to the ocean at the border.

This experience in unforgettable and the energy there is mind-blowing and beautiful. We are excited to share this with you!

Saturday March 10th, 9am

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Sunset Savasana Class with Founder of San Diego Yoga Festival

To close your epic day, join founder of San Diego Yoga Festival, Shawna Schenk, in the sweetest, sunset savasana on the sand. You will be put  a POWERFUL Savasana: 30 minutes of complete surrender as you roll out your mat and just  rest absorbing all that you released and all that you’ve become after your day of yoga! You will rest in Corpse Pose with hundreds of festival goers as the ocean crashes right next to your ear, you breathe in the salt air and the sunsets. 

Savasana is translated to Corpse Pose and celebrates the death of who you were and the awakening of who will become. Sunset is the most auspicious time to practice as it is when the earth is coming in harmony. Bring a blanket to get cozy!

Shawna Schenk, the founder and creator of San Diego Yoga Festival and co-creator,  is a San Diego yoga teacher, Reiki master, author, and spiritual activist leading classes, workshops, teacher trainings, retreats, and festivals throughout North America. She has created a 7 teacher trainings and authored a number of books including “Yoga for Teens.” She has also founded the first free beach yoga movement in San Diego providing free yoga to her community) in three different beach towns, every day, sometimes offering up to 3 classes a day. Shawna is beyond stoked to provide this festival for you all!

Saturday March 10th, 515pm

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San Diego Yoga Festival Class – Reiki for Your Pet

Even your pets are welcome at this festival! Bring your pet to receive energy healing and Chakra balancing at this Reiki for Pets workshop! Learn all about energy healing and how it works on animals. Then allow your pet to receive a FREE Reiki session by one of our Reiki Healers trained in animal energy healing. Crystals and oracle cards may even be used! All animals and pets welcome for we all have chakras and we all are energy. 

Reiki given by Reiki Masters from Yoga With Shawna. Shawna, the founder of San Diego Yoga Festival,  has given hundreds of thousands of Reiki sessions and has trained hundreds of Reiki Practitioners from Level 1 to Mastership  through her businesses Yoga With Shawna and ReikiCertifications.com. Her creative, connected, applicable approach to energy teaches how to connect with the energy body in all ways for healing. Along with Reiki, she uses teaches from Shamanism, Eastern Medicine, and her soul to provide energetic experiences that deeply heal and transform. She owns one of the few “Energy Sound Tables” in the country. Allow your pets to experience the benefit of Reiki and energy healing with graduates of Shawna’s Reiki program. 

Sunday March 11th, 11am

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San Diego Yoga Festival Class – Yoga for UNITY: English with Spanish and ASL translation Yoga Class

Yoga knows no language, this class will be led by Shawna Schenk the founder of the San Diego Yoga Festival and will be a gentle class that promotes unity and togetherness.

 Spanish translation by Karla Rhodes of Yoga Con Karla.
March 11th, 345pm.

San Diego Yoga Festival Class – A Workshop on Self Love: The Ultimate Yoga Wedding: A Marriage to the Self

Get ready to attend (and be apart of) the best WEDDING, ever.  You are getting married to yourself, in this unforgettable yoga class and workshop all on SELF-LOVE. This “marriage ceremony” will literally have it all: 

What you can look forward to you:

  • you will propose to yourself (and you will each (all 300 of you!!)  a get your own wedding ring) 

  • write yourself VOWS and create a plan to work hard to keep them 

  • learn yoga poses, mudras and breathing techniques for self-love, compassion and inner and outer beauty 

  • propose a toast to yourself and cheers to the other  self yogis in the class 

  • catch or pass on the symbolic wedding bouquet!

  • sing and dance in the celebration of the LOVE that you have with you! 

Don’t be surprised if Shawna makes you wear a veil or bow tie! 

Why are we marrying ourself at this yoga festival?  So many of us: beat ourselves up, cringe when we look in the mirror, stay in our heads  living in the past hating ourselves for things that we have done, compare ourselves to others wishing we could be them, live in fear instead of enjoying our life, think suffering is ok…the list of self-sabotaging behavior and  self-hatred can go on and on and society further supports looking outward for love instead of inward. 

This special yoga class  is truly a WEDDING, led by Shawna Schenk, the founder of the San Diego Yoga Festival, and is covering a topic we should have learned in elementary school: how to love yourself. This class will not be corny or cliche: it will be RAW. We will make significant life changes as you learn how to nurture them all year. Shawna is known for offering creative, out-of-the-box classes that make you feel comfortable yet totally blow your mind, and this is exactly what will be delivered in this class. Cheers to love!  (and don’t forget to plan the honeymoon!). 

Saturday March 10th 2pm

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San Diego Yoga Festival Class – 108 Aums: World Record Setting Meditation (FREE)

This is going to be an amazing closing ceremony! This class is free and going to set records! 108 Aums to break world terrorism. It is going to be awesome, so make sure you make it to the ceremony to be apart of this record setting opportunity!!

5pm Sunday March 11th.

Get Tickets Here


Yogi Tones Featured Teacher – Mallory MacInnis

 What type of yoga do you teach?

Vinyasa, Power Vinyasa and Restorative

Which studio/s do you teach at?

Kinfolk Yoga in Grass Valley, The Yoga Dive in Nevada City and Inner Path in Nevada City

Where is your favorite place to practice yoga?

My favorite place to practice yoga is outside on my property. I recently moved to Northern California and in the warmer months I enjoyed taking my practice outside amongst the trees.

What do you like the most about practicing there?

I like being in the sunshine, or rising/setting with it. I feel like I connect deeper with my breath when I’m exposed to the elements and out of a confined space.

How do you practice yoga off the mat?

For me, the whole point of getting on my mat is so that I can navigate life off my mat with grace and strength. Asana, meditation and pranayama are great tools for me to use anytime. When I practice I am honing these tools so when a situation arises, whether its frustrating, challenging or exhilarating, I have my practices to keep me grounded and level headed. Also, as part of the eight limbs of yoga, the yamas and niyamas support me as a foundation for choices I make. They are like my golden rules, so whenever I’m not sure about a decision I come back to these ethical guidelines. Yoga is a lifestyle and is so much more than being able to touch your toes.

The world ends tomorrow. What would you indulge in tonight?

I would indulge in community, good food, music and joy.

What was your first experience as a yoga teacher?

I remember the moment I first practice taught a sequence to some of the other students in teacher training. We were teaching Surya Namaskar with no special instruction, just teaching how it felt natural to us. I felt the power behind my voice. I felt for sure that this was something I could do and thrive doing. I knew I had things to share about the breath and the postures. A deeper understanding of this sun salutation sequence become clear to me. It was magical.

Imagine you’re on the cover of Yoga Journal. What pose would you strike?

I would do sun god(dess). That posture represents such strength and stability to me. It is an earth element, root chakra posture. It feels like the embodiment of “from the ground up”. It’s the idea of setting your foundation first, helping yourself first and going deep inside to better serve the world outside.

What inspires you to teach yoga?

I am inspired by all sorts of things to teach yoga. I get inspiration from students, and their stories. Sometimes my inspiration comes from a poem I stumble across, or the frustration I feel after spilling my coffee on my lap for the second time this week. I do my best to remain in the flow of life. Inspiration pops up all around me if I can be open to whatever is coming in and through. My mantra this past year has been “flow not fight”. I think when I stop the fight and accept exactly what is, creativity is given the green light to pour through.

If you could teach yoga anywhere in the world, where would it be?

I grew up in a rural area in eastern Canada. It’s the kind of place that needs yoga. There are so many places that need Yoga and it’s just not accessible. It would be meaningful to share the practice in places like the town where I grew up. Offering classes and language that are more reachable to the people in these areas. I think ultimately, teaching somewhere in the world where I’m making the most impact is what I envision for myself.

What has been your most embarrassing yoga moment as a teacher or practitioner?

Sometimes I get embarrassed when I try to tell a joke while teaching and not one person laughs. I’ve heard pins drop after my (usually corny) yoga jokes. Jokes rarely land when everyone is just ready to move out of chair pose. That being said, my sense of humor is one of my favorite things about myself so the yogi joking isn’t going anywhere!

What would you say to someone who is on the fence about practicing yoga?

Not to quote Nikey here, but just do it. Resistance is never going to go away. Excuses are always going to come up. It’s up to the individual to take action and you can’t learn anything until you try. There are so many free classes online too! You don’t even have to leave your home.

What music are you jamming to right now?

Right now I’m listen to Imagined Herbal Flows – Floating EP. It’s the best!

What has been the most rewarding thing about being a teaching yoga?

I think the most rewarding thing about teaching has been the community I find myself surrounded by. I learn so much from all of these people. Yoga is so huge, and there are so many ways you can navigate its depths. Because I get to co create and learn from so many other people on the yogic path, I get to see other parts of the puzzle that I haven’t delved so far into.

Where else can we find you?

On instagram: @malmacinnisyoga 
On facebook: @malmacinnisyoga