FREE Yoga in San Diego

A dent in your wallet from your yoga class should be the least of your worries when you step on to your mat. As we learned from: Yoga, Inc. Where Spiritualism and Capitalism Collide, Yoga, just like any other industry strives to make money. I’ve heard many people object to starting a yoga practice because it’s just too expensive. For the New Year, I partnered with San Diego’s savviest deal finder, Junvi from Diego On a Dime and compiled a list of places consistently offering free and low cost yoga classes all over San Diego.



Lululemon, known for their knockout yoga workout wear, has three locations in San Diego County and each locale offers complimentary yoga classes. Each month, they invite a different yoga studio to host the free weekly class. The San Diego Showroom is located on the corner of G Street and 9th Avenue, and offers free yoga classes on Saturdays at 9:30 am. The Carlsbad location, located at 1923 Calle Barcelona, Suite 136, offers their classes on Saturdays at 9 am, and the La Jolla location, 7835 Girard Street, holds their classes on Saturdays at 8:30am.

Corepower Yoga
Corepower Yoga offers free beginner’s classes at four San Diego locations. Get your free workout at the following times and locations: Sundays at 1:30 pm in Hillcrest; Saturday and Sunday at 7 pm in La Jolla-UTC for Intro to Power Yoga; Monday at 7 pm and Saturday at 8:45 am and 4:15 pm (Yoga Sculpt) in Mission Valley; and Sunday at 6:30 pm at the Point Loma location.


Charity Workouts
Get some healthy yoga classes in Balboa Park AND donate to charity. You get a professional instructor for a whole hour (every Saturday at 10am) of serenity and bliss for almost-free. All donations are completely voluntary and 100 percent of it goes to Outdoor Outreach, an organization that empowers at-risk youth through introducing them to outdoor activities. It’s a double win!

One Love Yoga San Diego
Free yoga classes are offered throughout the week in a beautiful hall adjoining the Swedenborg Church of San Diego in University Heights. Classes include Hatha, Vinyasa and Ashtanga Yoga. It’s fitting that a workout that’s as much spiritual as it is physical would be found here.

Red Lotus Society
Located in the beautifully restored Ideal Hotel at the edge of the Gaslamp Quarter, RLS offers a variety of donation-based yoga classes on nearly every day of the week. Classes include Ashtanga Fusion Yoga, Kundalini Yoga and deep yoga. They also offer donation-only Qi Gong and American Kenpo Karate.


San Diego Outdoor/Indoor Yoga Meetup
Every Saturday, at the Recreational Center in La Jolla, various yoga instructors offer free yoga  (along with other classes) for free. These meet-ups bring together beginners and experienced, and those of different ideas and styles, all united under the greater philosophy that is yoga.

Basic Yoga and Meditation Meetup by the Beach
Most Sundays at 11am at the beach, find a refreshing atmosphere and fun companions… for a $5 donation. Meet people and make new friends “away from the snotty yoga studios”, according to the leader, Reza.

SD Free Yoga in Balboa Park Meetup
Created to promote longevity and healthy living in the community, this meet-up group meets in Balboa Park on different days of the week, usually in the afternoons or early evenings.  Check the site for times.

Now that you know where to go for cost efficient yoga, I’ll see you on the other side!


-Yoga Melodie

Posted in Free Yoga, Outdoor Yoga, Vinyasa, Yoga | 2 Comments

Yoga: A Universal Language

In my recent travel adventure to Beirut, Lebanon, I had the amazing opportunity to take a yoga class offered through my hotel in French! Since French and Arabic are the primary languages of Lebanon the class was taught entirely in French with Arabic mixed in. It was an enlightening experience that opened up my eyes to just how diverse yogis really are. Despite the language barriers and cultural differences we’re able to unite through our universal language of Yoga.

The class was a Yin Yoga class focused on relaxation and calming the mind. Although it was taught in a languages I couldn’t even begin to comprehend, it amazed me how easy it was for me to follow along in the class and understand what moves and postures were coming up. The entire class flowed for me as if it were a class I would take in the United States. In addition to yoga, I took a Tae Bo class taught both in Arabic and English. This class also gave me a chance awaken my inner spirit and get my exercise juices flowing!

One of the things I love about yoga is the abundance of classes, instructors and variations of classes available. I always love taking a new class in a new studio or environment since I learn something new from each once. I’m grateful I had this opportunity and look forward to continuing my yoga venture by taking new classes such as this one in French!

*Photo Credit- 1. Photo taken by Drew Stone in Byblos, Lebanon, 2. Photo taken by Yoga Melodie in Beirut, Lebanon

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Yoga, Inc. Where Spiritualism and Capitalism Collide

I recently had an opportunity to watch the documentary, Yoga, Inc. Documentaries have always fascinated me. I find their combination of behind the scenes truth, obscure facts and opportunities to learn about a myriad of topics very appealing. It was available free on Hulu and can also be viewed on Snag Films.

Since my yoga practice is such a significant part of my life, I was especially intrigued by many elements of this film. Yoga, Inc. asks whether yoga can survive big business with its good karma intact. While yoga is a spiritual practice thats been around for thousands of years, its evolved to fit today’s standards of a modern yogi. Here are some controversial topics of the film I found intriguing.

Bikram Yoga– While I am open minded to giving Bikram a chance, I have never enjoyed yoga in a 100 degree room. I feel the extreme heat brings out more negative energy than positive vibes. After seeing this film, I can understand why my body feels uneasy at the mention of Bikram. Bikram yoga continues to cause turmoil in the yoga industy. Bikram copyrighted his popular yoga style and those who teach ‘Bikram yoga’ without playing by his rules are hit with copyright infringement fees. Yoga studio owners take Bikram back to court and pose an important legal question; how can someone ‘own’ yoga? Bikram is comprised of a series of asanas that have been around longer than his name yet he somehow feels he owns the rights to these postures and is out to take money away from instructors and studios who are only trying to spread the good nature of his practice.

Yoga Competitions– When I first began to practice yoga, I had a great instructor, Monica who began each class by telling us that Yoga is non-competitive. I’ve always participated in competitive sports (cross country, basketball, track and field) so hearing this was a relief. The only person I need to consider while on my mat is myself. My goal is to challenge myself, strengthen my body, become more flexible and create more balance in my life without pressure to beat someone else.  Many sports are ego dominate (jump higher than someone, run faster than someone, go for the gold or go home, etc) so yoga is a nice break from the traditional, play to win mentality. When I saw yoga competitions in this documentary and a quest to get yoga into the Olympics, I was a bit curious as to how you can measure who is more enlightened or  who has the best pranayama (breathing) technique to guide their practice. It seemed the competitions mostly measured the strength, flexibility and difficulty of poses, which is only a fraction of what yoga encompasses.

Mc Yoga- The Mc Yoga term refers to Yoga chains popping up all over the nation and fitness centers offering yoga classes that endanger mom and pop shops from surviving.  Yoga is a billion dollar business, which in my opinion is not a negative thing. Good intentions attract abundance. Earning money through spreading the positive energy and health benefits of yoga is almost inevitable. Providing opportunities for people to learn yoga, take classes, become instructors, etc is essentially giving back to the community by allowing more people to be a part of the yoga movement.

These were just a few of my observations and opinions of various topics in the film. I recommend every Yogi watch this film. It will deepen your understanding of yoga and educate you on different aspects of the industry. Greed, lust, ego and the search for peace and enlightenment are all featured in this documentary that combines both spiritualism and capitalism, two topics that resist each other but inevitably come together.

Whether you have seen the film or not, please feel free to share your thoughts about the film or any of the above mentioned topics.


Yoga Melodie

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5 Ways to Celebrate National Yoga Month

September is just around the corner, which means it’s National Yoga Month! National Yoga Month is an awareness campaign to educate about the health benefits of  yoga inspire a healthy lifestyle and to activate the inner yogi in all of us.

To correspond with National Yoga month there will be yoga and health festivals, concerts, free classes and other special events taking place across the nation to inspire people to practice yoga and create a more balanced and peaceful lifestyle.

Last year during National Yoga month I was inspired to start practicing at  actual yoga studios! I was previously practicing at the complex I lived in that generously offered yoga classes 3 days a week to residents. Ever since I downward dogged in a yoga studio, I’ve been able to strengthen my practice with different instructors, create more inner peace through meditation and really dedicate my life to being a yogi both on and off my mat. I have National Yoga Month to thank for helping me along my yogic journey and now I have some great ideas for you on how to make the most of National Yoga month!

  1. Try Yoga for the First time– I’ve heard many of my friends say “I’ve never done yoga but have always wanted to try it”. Well there is no better time! Thousands of studios are offering a free week of yoga to new students! Sign up for free yoga on the National Yoga Month website and search for a studio near you! In San Diego alone, there are classes offered all over the county including some of my recommended studios: La Jolla Yoga Center, Infinite Yoga and Bird Rock Yoga.
  2. Check out a new studio- If you already have an established yoga practice and a home studio, here is an opportunity to mix it up.  I learn something new from every single instructor and even though I have preferred studios I practice at I’m always grateful for an opportunity to try out a new class or a new instructor. This adds variety to my yoga practice which allows me to be more open minded.
  3. Invite Your Yoga Studio to Join– If your yoga studio is not already participating in National Yoga Month, invite them join this inspirational celebration.
  4. Try a new type of Yoga–  Challenge yourself to bend outside of the box. There are an abundance of different yoga styles so if you’re used to a certain type, take a class you wouldn’t normally be in. From Vinyasa, Hatha, Hot Yoga, Kundalini, Anusara to Iyengar there’s sure to be a class you’ve always wanted to try but haven’t. Mixing up your yoga practice will strengthen your body in different areas and work out muscles that don’t normally get activated.
  5. Share National Yoga Month with Your Friends–  By simply reposting this blog, you’ll be motivating others to join the yoga movement.  Each new person that salutes the sun, mediates and invites yoga into their life is contributing a kinder, more peaceful and abundant world.  The beauty of social media is that sharing information is instantaneous and powerfully viral.
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It’s Time to Take Your Asana Outside

Asana which means posture in reference to yoga is present yet constantly changing in every yoga practice. “Take your asana outside” is the slogan Lululemon used last Saturday August 7th, when they hosted Salutation Nation on the grass at San Diego’s NTC Promenade. The event was held simultaneously all across the nation. The slogan immediately resonated with me and inspired me to take my practice outdoors where I’m closer to nature.  Watch the video and you’ll immediately feel the positive energy that was sent out into the world. Salutation Nation from lululemon athletica

Yesterday was the third time in the last couple weeks I practiced outside at Lululemon’s Vinyasa & Vino event on the rooftop of the W Hotel. I’ve been experiencing marvelous benefits from practicing outside and want to share a few great reasons why you too should take your asana outside.

1. Connect with Nature: As I step on to my mat outside, my feet are one layer closer to the earth and I feel a deeper connection with my natural surroundings. You’ll find peace as you focus of the beauty that surrounds you in every direction.

2. Fresh Air: Being aware of breath, breathing in and out through every asana and the audible sound of ujjayi breathing are important parts of my yoga practice. My senses are heightened as I take deep breaths in and out because they aren’t constricted by walls or barriers. I feel fresh air flow through my body in sync with my vinyasas as if my movements were coinciding perfectly with the flow of the world.

3. Salute the Sun: Sun salutations have never felt more authentic as I feel the bright rays shining on me . I reach up directly to the sun that’s not hidden or covered by a roof and the energy of the sun awakens my inner self as it radiates throughout my body.

4. Variety- While most yogis have a home studio they practice at, mixing things up every once in a while is a great way to add variety to your practice. I have a favorite studio I practice at but I always love the abundance of yoga classes available and like to mix things up by trying new classes or studios. This makes allows me to spread my positive energy from yoga to more areas in the world.

Where to take your Asana Outside

1. Vinyasa and Vino– For the month of August Lululemon is hosting  Vinyasa and Vino every Thursday at 6pm on the rooftop of the W hotel. There are 2 more wonderful opportunities to enjoy this free class on Thursday August 19th and 26th. Each week they partner with a different yoga studio to host this event.I recommend getting there early because it gets packed.

2. Yoga Meetups– There are several Yoga meetup groups in San Diego that offer outdoor yoga. Including a yoga meetup at the beach and San Diego Outdoor yoga. Most of these classes are free or accept a small donation. I’ve attended a few of these classes. They are very basic but I’ve found them very relaxing and meditative on a nice sunny day. If you’re outside of San Diego, do a search for yoga in your area.

3. Your Nearest Park– The amazing thing about yoga is that you can take your practice anywhere. Grab your mat and head to your nearest park and practice your favorite asanas while enjoying the sunshine and fresh air. Yoga doesn’t always have to be guided by an instructor. Make it fun and make it your practice. Be mindful of outdoor sounds you hear (dogs, kids, runners, etc). Allow yourself to notice the noises while bringing your concentration back to your mat.

If you have any other ideas on how to take your asana outside, please share them with me!


-Yoga Melodie

*Photo Credit- 1. Photo by Lululemon, 2. Photo taken by Yoga Melodie, 3. Photo by La Jolla Yoga Center

Posted in Nature, Outdoor Yoga, Vinyasa, Yoga | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Introducing Yoga Melodie

I’m excited to announce that Marketing Melodie has an official Yoga blog. Yoga is my passion and a lifestyle that brings me peace, serenity and clarity. I’m constantly sharing events, information and inspiration about yoga and its powerful impact so I’ve decided to take my yogic ventures to the next level by creating an online space for my community to follow my journey. My Yoga blog is appropriately named Yoga Melodie.

Creating this blog and even this first post wasn’t easy. Many challenges arose as they do in our everyday lives. With gratitude, I’d like to share my challenges for launching this blog and how my yoga practice prepared me for overcoming these obstacles off the mat. You’ll notice each challenge has two title headings. The first presents my mood as I was experiencing the challenge and the second reflects my realization of how to handle my situation by carrying my yoga practice off the mat.

The Name Game or Focusing on the Present:  Coming up with the perfect name for my blog was something is important to me, especially when it comes to establishing a brand. I turned to my social network for suggestions and my community graciously submitted many ideas. I was having a difficult time deciding on a name and felt internal pressure for choosing a name in order to launch my blog. I kept waiting for the perfect moment in the future, which I’ve learned will never arrive. Going back to my yoga practice where I focus on the present I realized that as long as I kept thinking I would have a perfect name in the future, I would never have a great name in the present. While I’m not set on the name Yoga Melodie (hence why I have not purchased the domain and am hosting my blog on it’s a fitting name at this time in my life.

Name Squatters or Letting Go of Attachment– After contemplating different names for my blog and brand, I decided to use my last name, Tao. The word itself is defined as the way, path or route. It can be used philosophically to signify the fundamental or true nature of the world so I determined that the name Yoga Tao was the perfect representation for what I want to convey. The domain was available so I was excited to finally buy the domain. When I attempted to purchase it, I learned that a domain company owned the name and wanted to charge me $900. Yoga teaches us to breathe through challenging postures which in real life translates to taking a deep breath in any unpleasant situation. This is exactly what I did which created energy in my mind to remove my attachment to my initial blog name, and go back to using my first name, Yoga Melodie.

Internal Pressure or Projecting Peace into the World – I’ve intended to create a yoga blog for months. I started feeling a pressure created in my mind about the need to launch this blog immediately. I didn’t have any external factors giving me deadlines yet I somehow felt it was necessary to get this done. I sat down and wrote my entire first entry which took me nearly 2 hours. I was getting ready to publish but had to run off to a yoga class (coincidentally) and was sure I saved the draft. When I returned to my computer, excited I was finally close to launching,  my entire post was deleted. I realized this was a sign that I need to relinquish any internal pressure because the world was clearly telling me it’s not necessary to create strict deadlines. I’m creating this blog to project peace into the world and a blog entry written through pressure was probably not the best way to do it. When I write with calmness from within, my words will reflect my mood in a positive way to inspire others.

I’ve learned so much about myself just from sharing this story and am excited that I’ve created an opportunity off my mat that allows me to strengthen my yoga practice. I would love any insight suggestions or recommendations for my yoga blog and look forward to sharing my journey,

In Gratitude, Namaste

-Yoga Melodie

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