Play Turned 6 and We Celebrated

We want to send a special thank you out to our beautiful community of yogis who celebrated with us. You all have helped to make Play the inspiring place to practice that it is for the last 6 years. We so appreciate everyone who took the time to come by share the love, meet with our local vendors, see some fantastic art and gather as a community. The night was so great, you could just feel the love throughout the entire studio. We had plans on doing a special face-time with Jessica so she could join in on the fun to. But her family was also celebrating, as Jess went in to labor this very evening giving birth of their daughter Ella (pictured below). She chose to make her appearance on this special day, making this celebration even more exciting than anyone could of expected. Again thank you all for the continued love and support that is shared, cheers to another amazing 6 years…

















Special thank you to all of our local vendors for spending the evening celebrating Play turning 6 and helping make it so special:

Cream of the Crop

Living Tea

Peace Love & OM

Paulette Fashion

Dhanika Yoga

Hana’s Heart Art

Francesca Heyer

Lauren Tanehill Art




Teacher Spotlight- Shane Robson

We are very excited to introduce you to our newest team member, Shane Robson. Shane is a lighthearted gentle grounded avid yoga practitioner, with strong fundamentals in alignment.

We sat down with Shane and asked him to tell us a little bit more about himself…

How did you find yoga?
When I was 17 my friend Tom hired me to make juice for him every morning as part of his cancer treatment. Then I would sit and read books to him for a few hours while he would drink.  We completed a mystic school called Astara; a broad overview of world mythology and rituals, including some breathing techniques and guided visualization.  Soon we found the teachings of Paramahansa Yogananda, a guru from India who came to America and founded the Self Realization Fellowship.  Yogananda’s guidance helped me to express spiritual love in prayer and song. To help me stay grounded, Tom brought me to my first yoga class at Synergy Yoga Center. My first teachers were Elia Nikoliaev and Roxanne Depalma, they have become my best friends and mentors.

Favorite quote and why?
“Forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with your hair.”- Kahil Gebran

The person who influenced you?
The person who had the largest impact on my yoga has been Paramahansa Yogananda.  From him, I learned to chant and pray. He taught me to open my heart and experience connection with the mystery of life.

Why yoga?
My style of yoga has shifted many times over the years. At first I was so excited to share, I led vigorous sequences and spoke with a poetic emphasis. As my focus shifted toward alignment, I began to slow  down and take a closer look at the fundamentals. My practice became more subtle and sophisticated until poses that would have seemed too easy in the past revealed new opportunities for growth. I have become engrossed in exquisite alignment. I am awestruck by the brilliant synergy of complementary actions moving through the core of my body.

What is your favorite pose?
Favorite pose is handstand. It’s fun to challenge my balance, and it’s refreshing to get upside down.

How did you find us, PLAY?
I enjoy exploring a lot of studios throughout San Diego and all over, so I just walked in one day.

Why do you love PLAY?                                                                                                                                     My favorite thing about Play is the lighthearted and delightful sweetness of the community.  Everyone has been very welcoming and supportive.

Shane teaches: Monday’s at 8:30am and Tuesday’s at 7:30pm

Thank You!

Thank you yogis for attending our Fall PLAY Party!  We had so much fun, and the studio looks beautiful with all the new art displayed! Here’s some fun photos from the event 🙂IMG_0042


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We’re Growing…by Jess McGimsey

McGimsey Baby #2Hi Yogis! I know many of you have heard rumors about things happening in the studio, or sense the change in the air.  I have been putting off addressing the community, because it’s hard for one, but also I think I’ve been holding off because then it makes it real. So, here it goes…

When Ian and I started the studio, I was 23 and we were young and I was able to completely devote myself to the studio which was my first baby.  It was a lot of work and I loved it.  The community, you, completely embraced us and helped us grow very quickly.  After a year our staff and schedule had grown and has continued to grow ever since.  In addition to the studio growth, our family grew as we welcomed our son Wyatt in 2011.  We have been blessed with steady growth, new members to the family and wonderful clients.

With all the growth, I started to really feel out of control last year with the expansion of our space and the addition of our Teacher Training, and it’s taken me a year since then to come to terms with the fact that my responsibilities are too much for any 1 person.  I cannot do everything and, it is ok to ask for help.

Personally, Ian and I had always talked about moving back to Texas at some point.  But, when we found out we were expecting again, yup, I’m pregnant again :), we knew now was the time to go.  We want our children to grow up seeing family on a regular basis.  We wanted Wyatt to be able to play with cousins, and with baby #2 I’d really love the help of my mother and mother-in-law. So, we moved.

I know many of you are thinking, what about the studio? Well, it’s been quite the journey to find a solution to keeping the studio as it is and for me and my family to comfortably relocate.  At first we were just going to go, and Monique would manage… but that would have been unfair to her.  Then a couple of angels fell into my lap.  Ian and I met Dan and Cari in 2012 at a going away dinner for one of our teachers Ashley Sauls (many of you probably remember her always saying, “Namaste ya’ll”).  We clicked instantly and became fast friends.  Then about a year later, we realized we had met them before.  In 2011, the day after our 1 year anniversary party at the studio, Ian had a grand mal seizure while we were shopping at Bed Bath and Beyond. I froze, panicked and couldn’t believe what I was seeing.  I guess I managed to yell something, because Dan and Cari came running to help.  Dan and another man helped stabilize Ian while Cari called 911 and went outside to meet the ambulance. When the ambulance arrived, I jumped in and never got the opportunity to thank the wonderful people that helped us. It wasn’t until 2 years after the fact that we realized it was them and I was able to finally thank them.

When we were trying to decide how and what to do with the studio Dan and Cari stepped in and offered to partner with us.  I couldn’t have dreamed up a better partnership.  The two of them have so much experience in areas of the business that I have just been figuring out as we go, and I have the vision and the experience in the yoga world to keep us moving.  Monique had stepped in as Studio Manager, and I am eternally grateful to her for always being by my side.  And now that we are all working together, I am realizing how silly I was to think I had to do it all by myself.

I still love the studio and all of you so very much and I will continue to guide and lead the staff on our journey.  I plan on being in town 1 week a month until I’m too pregnant to travel (I’m due in March), then as often as possible after that.  When I’m in town, I hope to find some slots to jump onto the schedule, and will keep you all posted about that.  To celebrate the growth of our community and our family and give you all the opportunity to meet Dan and Cari, we are inviting you to a PLAY Fall party!  Join us on September 27th from 5:30 PM- 8:30 PM for an evening of mingling and fun!  We’ll have new art from our local artist on display, a couple of trunk shows from some of our favorite lines, food, drinks, and a raffle.

Thank you all for being such a wonderful community and for continuing to support us, and our growth.  When I started the studio years ago I had hopes of building a community, but you all are so much more than I ever could have imagined.  We are truly blessed.

Teacher Highlight- Meet Ana!

Ana Mateljan PicJoin us in welcoming Ana to our Kids Yoga teaching staff! Ana is a mom to 2 beautiful little girls, yogi, and NGY Kids Yoga teacher! Welcome Ana, we are thrilled to have you 🙂

What was your first introduction to yoga?
It was almost 6 years ago at PLAY. I registered to take Pre-natal yoga classes. It was a wonderful experience. It was my first “baby and me” class and it gave me gift of relaxation in a time when so many things seemed uncertain and new.

At what point did you decide you wanted to teach?
When I had my second daughter. She is a natural yogini; She challenges herself every day to get better at what she does and she immensely enjoys stretching, reaching, bending and twisting. I knew right there that I had to better my own practice and then go the extra mile: teach her.

How would you characterize your style of yoga?
I like the challenge of bending deeper, reaching higher and twisting further with each breath. For myself, my style is challenging. Now, when it comes to yoginis I want to watch them enjoy, smile, sing, and have fun with every stretch and every pose. My style for the yoginis is: Integrative.

What/Who has made the most impact in your practice?
Garry Alesio and Catherine Mazur.

What’s on your playlist?
Colbie Caillat, Christina Perry, The Band Perry, Passenger

Your favorite pose?
Crow Pose (Bakasana) and headstand (Sirsasana). They both require me to be so focused that it forces me to block everything outside the hot room and completely synchronize my mind and body.

Your most challenging pose? Why?
Mermaid Pose (Eka Pada Rajakapotasana). I still can’t get the full pose but I’m surely working on it.

Best Yoga moment/accomplishment/memory?
When I was able to finally balance on Bakasana without falling!

Favorite snack before you take/teach a class?
Peaches, grapes or yogurt…

Favorite quotes
Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it. George Santayana.
“You’re off to Great Places! Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting, So… get on your way!”. Dr. Seuss

Any book recommendations?
The kite runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns. Marvelous stories of bravery, strength and persistence.

Top three tips for someone first getting into yoga:
Enjoy this time to yourself, clear your mind.
Don’t worry about others’ practice; everyone’s practice is at a different level, this is non-competitive.
Don’t forget about your breath.

What do you like the most about PLAY?
Its teachers. I’ve found great guidance in all of them, each with their unique style but all with their incredible ability to guide us through a flawless flow. I just love the place, there’s something about it that makes me feel safe and at peace when I cross the door.

What else inspires you? Keeps you going?
My two daughters. They are the bright light in my days. I love to hear them have “serious” conversations between them and agree to disagree on almost everything. They are my fuel. Their baby kisses, hugs, thoughts and kid-logic make my heart smile.

Thanks for sharing Ana!

Ana teaches NGY Kids Yoga for 2-4 yr olds Wednesdays at 10 AM. Learn more about Ana here.

New! Chair Yoga for Multiple Sclerosis Fridays at 11:45am

By Julia Chen

Hi PLAY family! Most of you know me as a PLAY teacher and fellow yogi. You may not know I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2002 and once I began teaching again wanted to get a class started to bring the benefits of yoga to the MS community. PLAY generously agreed to support this class and has hosted Adaptive Yoga for Multiple Sclerosis classes since March 2014.

Chair Yoga with Julia ChenThe class has been steadily growing this past year but in order to make the class accessible to more people we have changed it to chair yoga. This means the entire class will be done from a seated position. Thanks PLAY for bringing in chairs for us to use!

The class is all levels and no experience needed. Although the class is designed for persons with MS, friends and family are welcome to attend as well. Cost is $8 per person.

We are also on Instagram and for the month of May are posting a different chair yoga pose each day. Chair Yoga is great for everyone!

For more information on Adaptive Yoga for Multiple Sclerosis visit our website.

Questions? Contact me at [email protected]