“Your life is a sacred journey. It is about change, growth, discovery, movement, transformation, continuously expanding your vision of what is possible, stretching your soul, learning to see clearly and deeply, listening to your intuition, taking courageous challenges at every step along the way. You are on the path… exactly where you are meant to be right now… And from here, you can only go forward, shaping your life story into a magnificent tale of triumph, of healing, of courage, of beauty, of wisdom, of power, of dignity, and of love.” – Caroline Adams

Yoga teacher

(Photo from Chris Nelson http://www.chrisnelsonphotography.net)

We’re so excited to introduce to you Blair Atkins, our first guest health and wellness blogger. Blair is a yoga teacher, Pilates instructor, Bootcamp coach, freelance writer, and Cardiff-by-the-Sea resident who loves salt water – the sea or a good sweat! Get to know Blair better:

Tell us a little about your background. Where did you grow up?

I grew up in Pittsford (upstate New York) and went to college in Albany, NY. My mom is from San Diego and my dad is from the Los Angeles area, so I grew up coming out to visit my grandparents and other relatives here frequently. In my senior year of college I applied to jobs in San Diego and moved out a week after graduating. 22 years of snow was long enough!

Yoga teacher

How long have you been doing yoga?

I tried yoga a handful of times in college but did not commit to it until I moved to San Diego and discovered CorePower Yoga. I had just finished my career as a Division I volleyball player so I was looking for new ways to stay in shape, and everyone around me seemed to be doing yoga so I thought it was the cool thing to do. What I found was so much more than a workout! I finally felt calm and at peace for the first time in my life. After 4 years of living as a stressed-out student-athlete, I finally learned how to relax and savor the moments of my life. I have been practicing yoga regularly for four years now and cannot imagine my life without my practice.

Yoga teacher

What does “regularly” mean to you? How often do you practice?

I try to get on my mat and practice every day, but sometimes life gets in the way and I miss a day here or there. Some days I crave a more challenging practice but other days I’m in the mood to take it slow. I love yoga for that; it can be yin or yang.

What is the most popular type of training you provide? 

Yoga Sculpt is a type of yoga that is growing in popularity rapidly and it’s what I teach most frequently. During a Sculpt class, I start with power vinyasa yoga, then move to cardio and strength training with dumbbells, and cool down with yoga. It is an invigorating practice as you get the benefits of yoga but also a super challenging workout! It tones every muscle in your body, and for my clients who don’t have a lot of time, it is a great way to get it all done in an hour.

Where do you see your business going?

More and more people are recognizing the benefits of yoga, so I believe I will be taking yoga outside of the studio more regularly. Currently I teach a corporate class to a company in San Diego in their warehouse and have been approached to come to another company to give a weekly class. I’m so thrilled to see professionals recognizing the benefits of focusing on yoga in the midst of their hectic lives. I have also been going to bachelorette parties and family reunions to guide their groups through a class, which I think is such a perfect way for a group to come together and do something fun and healthy. I would also love to start working with athletic teams; I wish I had practiced yoga as a Division I athlete! I’m also excited about working with yoga and fitness brands to help them grow their reach.

yoga teacher

Have you done any official collaborations with anyone working toward goals that are similar to your own?

I recently became an influencer for Graced by Grit, an athletic apparel company based here in Solana Beach. I love introducing my students to their clothing and their mission.

What is the most exciting aspect of being a yoga teacher? 

What I love most is seeing people who previously thought yoga “wasn’t for them” fall in love with it. It is so rewarding to witness someone experiencing the benefits of starting their practice, whether it is a young person who thought yoga was for hippies, an older individual who assumed they weren’t flexible enough for yoga, or an extreme athlete who previously considered yoga to be “too slow”. It is an amazing thing to see, and always lights me up inside.

yoga teacher

Where are some of your favorite places to go in San Diego? 

I live in Cardiff-by-the-Sea so I spend most of my time in North County. I wake up very early most mornings to teach, so coffee is my treat! I love the almond milk lattes from Lofty Coffee in Solana Beach and Encinitas. When I have a night off I enjoy grabbing a gluten-free pizza from Blue Ribbon in Encinitas or catching a show at Belly Up in Solana Beach. My absolute favorite place to shop is Van De Vort in Del Mar. It’s a to-die-for store that carries amazing brands like Novella Royale and Flynn Skye, for the rare times when I’m not in yoga pants! Once a week I like to switch up my workout and sweat at Barry’s Bootcamp in Hillcrest. It’s a hike for me from Cardiff, but it’s good for me to step off my mat and onto the treadmill! When in doubt, I go to the beach. Everything is cured by salt water – sweat, the sea, or tears.

To see what I am up to follow me on Instagram @beachgrownblog or join me for a class for a fun workout!