In this post, we are hearing from San Diego Yoga News’ Trisha Weinberg of ACT Social Lab. Trisha is the face behind much of our media and outreach presence! Trisha was kind enough to share her experience living in East County San Diego while looking for opportunities to practice yoga.
The Search for Yoga in East County
When my brother, Jack, expressed interest in trying yoga, I was simultaneously shocked and excited. Jack’s lifestyle doesn’t align with the “typical” yogi we see around San Diego. He wanted to do something that would (hopefully) make him feel better as his warehouse job was demanding and hard on his body. I knew he was nervous about going to a class so I happily suggested we go together.
Coordination for joining a friend for a studio class can be challenging. I was living in Pacific Beach at the time. While my brother was in El Cajon. My flexible schedule allowed me to travel to El Cajon to join Jack for a couple classes at Bloom Yoga, before the COVID19 pandemic. Jack really enjoyed the experience but it was hard for us to coordinate our schedules so the journey ended there.
I’m now living in El Cajon and was excited to explore yoga again with Jack. Unfortunately, Bloom Yoga shut its doors in 2020 due to the COVID pandemic. A quick search showed me that yoga studios are not prevalent in the East County region, and I was left wondering why that is.
For those who aren’t familiar with the area, if you head east on the 8 Freeway you’ll soon see the landscape change. There is more open space and rolling hills covered in chaparral, but still speckled with palm trees. Unless you work or live here, it’s a part of the county that most don’t venture out to. La Mesa, Lemon Grove, El Cajon, Alpine, Ramona, and Santee are some of the communities in east county.
Fewer Studios Doesn’t Mean Fewer Yoga Opportunities
I decided to research yoga in the surrounding areas. I first went to Yelp; the platform is helpful for finding local services but it is not all encompassing. La Mesa is a clear winner when it comes to studio options, with San Diego Yoga Center and CorePower to name a few. When you head into El Cajon and further east, the options seem more limited. So, I had to dig a bit deeper.
It was a pleasant surprise to learn that the Water Conservation Garden, just five minutes from my house, offers a few weekly classes. I discovered this while exploring their website for member rates. You can attend their yoga classes for free as a member, or pay $12 per class.
Another lesser known option that is not as easily searched are gyms. From the large chains like 24-Hour Fitness and the YMCA, yoga is a common group class offered with a membership. There are also local gyms offering yoga classes. For example, Alpine Ranch Crossfit and Ramona Gym offer a weekly yoga class. Santee is a fairly large East County city with no searchable yoga studio, but locally owned Crossfit Pride offers a couple yoga classes each week.
I’m really impressed with the options that gyms provide to their members. While a yoga studio is a different space, you can still find a community by regularly attending yoga offerings. Attending a gym offers other amenities ans classes to take advantage of as well.
Do you live and/or work in East County and would like to attend a studio regularly, but struggle to find one that fits your needs?
Here are some thoughts:
- If you’re attending a studio that is far away, look for one with a lot of classes each day so you have flexibility. You can attend an early morning or lunchtime class to avoid rush hour traffic during the week, for example. You can also consider finding a studio that’s on your commute to/from work or a child’s school.
- Many studios launched zoom classes during the pandemic and still run these programs. Find a studio with both zoom and in-person classes so you can still participate on days when it’s difficult to get away from work or home.
- Consider finding two locations that fit your schedule. Maybe the gym near your home has a few classes during the week. If you really want to attend a studio in North Park or Downtown, reserve evenings and weekends for those classes so you aren’t dealing with traffic – as East County residents, we know taking the 8 West on a weeknight is not a big deal as it’s opposite of traffic!
Unique Opportunities in East County
In my search, I also came across a few yoga classes and retreats that I think are a special addition to San Diego County:
- Goatoga – Saturday morning goat yoga in Alpine
- Helix Yoga – Outdoor yoga class on the top of Mount Helix (La Mesa)
- Quiet Mind Mountain Retreat – All-inclusive wellness retreat in Julian, CA
- Yoga Santosha – Retreats & weekly yoga classes at La Casa del Zorro in Borrego Springs, CA
- Rancho La Puerta – All-inclusive retreat in Tecate, Mexico
San Diego Yoga News is curious to know:
- How far do you travel to practice yoga?
- How do you find yoga studios?
- Do you live in another part of San Diego where it’s difficult to find yoga opportunities?
- Would you like to see a full guide of East County Yoga?
Meet the Author
Trisha of ACT Social Lab has been working with San Diego Yoga News since the Fall of 2021 and is the heart of all of our media presence. Trisha loves to travel with her husband and dogs and is passionate about helping small businesses navigate social media and outreach. Check out her offerings at https://actsociallab.com/