Saffron & Sage
Day 26: Strengthening Yoga
Background: Saffron & Sage is a holistic health club designed to connect you with practitioners, practices & products to help you regain or maintain your wellbeing. Not only is Saffron & Sage a yoga studio, but they are also a wellness center, and boutique. Some wellness services include: cupping, acupuncture, massage therapy, wellness consultations, and more! Their shop contains everything from natural beauty and skin products, to diffusers, and books. Check out Saffron & Sage here!
What’s up everybody! I’m Erika. I’m new. I’m pretty rad.
As a brand ambassador for Vizer (and Sam and Dylan’s roommate) I’ll be jumping in the 100 Days challenge.
Sam, Nik (another new team member), and I were talking about the 100 days project, and decided to sign up for the strengthening yoga class at Saffron & Sage. This would be my first ever yoga class, and I will admit I was nervous.
What if I’m not good?
What if I don’t understand the poses we are asked to do?
I felt more comfortable knowing that it was Nik’s first yoga class too (although he would beg to differ). In addition to my nerves about being a newbie, we were also running late. However, the second we stepped into the building I felt much more at ease and relaxed. Saffron & Sage has an undeniable energy that melts away the stress of any day or week.
You enter into a room that is full of crystals, books, sage, diffusers, jade rollers, and more. There is soothing music playing, a ton of natural light, and a receptionist who greets you calmly and kindly with a smile. That was the moment I realized Saffron & Sage was so much more than just a yoga studio.
Nik and I already want to go back and try the energy therapy!
As we made our way through the store and toward the studio, we ran into one of our Vizer Tribe friends. She was there for an acupuncture session, which just goes to show how strong/powerful community is at Saffron & Sage.
We finally made our way into the studio itself, and placed our mats down (towards the back of course). The class ended up being much more intimate than I had expected, with only about 5–6 people. I was relieved at this, being my first time I didn’t want to be comparing myself to 20 other people in the class.
Our instructor, Joy Miller, informed and reminded me that the class wasn’t about being ‘good’ at yoga. It was about listening to your body, and giving it what it needs. The intimate class setting allowed Joy to better assist us in proper technique and poses. As a first-timer I was afraid I wouldn’t know what a pose was, or that a pose would be too difficult — but Joy was amazing! She catered to everyone, low to high level. I no longer was nervous or intimidated after the first two minutes or so of class.
Since it was a strengthening yoga class we challenged our bodies more than a restorative class would (Sam’s favorite). There was also a really freeing, fun, ‘flow’ portion to the class as well. During the flow portions we were encouraged to close our eyes, listen to our bodies, and be free, rather than focusing too much on the ‘proper’ technique.
We finally reached shavasana at the end of class. I had never experienced this before, and personally have a really difficult time shutting my mind off, but I must admit it was my favorite part. I stayed, lying there on the hard wood for a long while, just allowing myself to feel connected to my body, and turn off all the thoughts running through my mind. After I felt ready to leave my tranquil state of shavasana, I got up and joined Sam and Nik outside. We helped ourselves to the hot tea offered in the lobby, and agreed on how refreshed, peaceful, and centered we all felt.
We thanked Joy for being such an amazing instructor, and asked if she had a moment to sit with us and chat.
Meet the Instructor:
Joy Miller: @joyfully_yoga_tarot
How Did You Get in to Yoga?
I was actually at the lowest point in my life, mentally, physically, and emotionally. I had been through a life trauma.
I had always been really active. I was a cheerleader and runner — so I was used to “running the stress out”. But because I had been going through this ongoing traumatic stress for so many years, my adrenals shut down, and I went into severe adrenal fatigue. I went from running 5–7 miles and feeling good, to barely being able to run 2 miles and feeling like I was going to die. It felt as if my body completely shut down.
My mom had been a yoga instructor for about 20 years, and she kept telling me I needed to take yoga because it would help me.
“It’s going to help your mind, body, and spirit.”
And I said, “Mom, I do not have time to sit there and go ‘mmmmmmmm’ all day. That is the last thing I need to do. I need to physically work it out.”
And she was like “Okay, alright.”
I moved and there happened to be a yoga studio right by my house. And it was Week 3, and I decided, you know what — I’m just going to do SOMETHING so I can tell my mom that I did yoga, and I will be good to go.
I went 6 out of the 7 days, and I cried on my mat after the second class.
I knew that if what I was experiencing after the first two classes could help anybody going through any type of trauma in any way, I needed to do it. There was nothing else I had experienced in my life that had given me the mind, body, spirit release and connection that I experienced from yoga, and I needed to share that. And that’s why I teach.
What makes Saffron & Sage unique as a studio?
Oh gosh. I have taught at corporate places, in corporate studios. I have taught at other wellness centers, and let me tell you, this is a place where you can come when you’re in any kind of trauma or life change, or when you need holistic healing. It is such a sacred space. I don’t know if you guys can feel the energy in here, but every time I walk in I feel this safe, sacred energy. Out of the 20 different places I’ve taught around San Diego I’ve never felt that feeling. What I love is the freedom to teach to the students.
So you guys were new, I had a completely different sequence in mind, but I knew right away I had to adjust. In corporate classes you actually have a structure you have to teach to. Here, you teach to the students, that’s what it’s for. It’s a holistic wellness center for you to wholly feel good. If I were to teach you a class that you felt like was way out of your league, you wouldn’t come out of it feeling as good. So the purpose of Saffron & Sage is for you to come out feeling better than you came in. That’s what I love about it, and that’s why it’s different.
What is your favorite pose?
I don’t think I have one. It depends on how I feel in the moment. There are poses that stretch me, and poses that take years to accomplish. I think it just depends on the day. I think one of my favorites poses is camel pose. It is a complete heart opener and afterwards you kind of lose your breath, but it teaches you to stay in your breath, and stay in the moment. When I first started I could barely do it, and now I’m getting deeper in the posture, for me.
Share your experience with the hashtag #100VizerDays or meet us at the studio to join in on the fun!