Nick Shares “WHY” Teacher Training!

My dad tells a great story that sums up who I am at my core, reflecting on me as a little boy sawing on a large piece of wood with a hand saw. My brother had started a wedge in the wood but apparently became bored and moved on to something else. I took over the “project” and sat sawing on the wood until the job was done. When I hear this story, it reminds me that from a very young age, I have been passionate, hard working, and stubborn.

There were two events in my life that impacted my outlook on the world, shifting me away from the passionate young boy my dad describes and into a somewhat jaded young adult. My uncle died in a car wreck and my parents divorced…I never thought anything like this would happen to ME.

I moved to Chico after my senior year at Fort Lewis College in my hometown of Durango, CO. Our soccer team had just won the Division II National Championship and I was hoping to continue my athletic career professionally. I was playing soccer, coaching soccer, and partying all the time. The constant partying ultimately took me out of my beloved game of soccer and away from my core values. I injured myself, lost confidence in myself, did things that I didn’t morally agree with, and I lost touch with the hard working and determined kid that my dad describes. Even worse, I just didn’t care. I know now that I was hiding from the anger that I was carrying because of what had happened with my family.

Yoga brought me back to my core. My physical practice allows me to connect to my body and feel invigorated. My practice of meditation slows my mind down and allows me to make objective and intuitive decisions from moment to moment….most of the time! My inquiry practice (self discovery) helps me unwind the unhealthy habits I created in my past and gives me the permission to feel emotions instead of running away from them.

It is because of this work that I was able to fall in love with Katie. She is the most confident person that I know and, because she does this work too, helps hold me accountable to being the person SHE sees…a hard working and passionate man, just like the little boy my dad remembers. I am now open to being that person too! I have also confronted the anger I had towards my family, stopped blaming everyone else, and am NOW able to connect with them on a whole new level.

Katie and I are living our dream by being in love with each other and running Spotted Dog Yoga together. We are incredibly grateful that we have the opportunity to share ourselves in ways that “impacts others!” This has become possible for us only through the practice of yoga and our willingness to do the work. In order to impact others greatly, we understand that we must share ourselves authentically, which is why I am sharing my story with you.

Many times I have heard people say, “You should enroll in yoga teacher training, it will change your life.” And some of you may not want to “change your life.” Rather than looking at yoga teacher training as a way to change your life, consider it as an access to a deeper connection with yourself so that you can authentically share yourself in ways that impact others and live your dreams!

I invite you to join us for “Light Up! Teacher Empowerment Program” starting October 21st. Come from you are ready now because YOU ARE.


With Love and Gratitude,

Nick Clark
Co-Founder Spotted Dog Yoga

Community Feature: Price and Bonnie Walker

Price and Bonnie Walker have been practicing at Spotted Dog Yoga since the day it opened. They call themselves the “fogi yogis” of SDY and embrace the warmth and acceptance of our young community. They are legally Robert and Angela Walker- so they answer only to their nicknames Price and Bonnie. If you know their legal names- you are probably a tax collector.

Married for 34 years, and residents of Folsom for over thirty they have raised three children here, none of whom stayed in the area. Elizabeth, 32 and her husband Daniel have been in New York for three years and are moving to Atlanta in October. Cat married her college sweetheart Dustin this summer and they live and work in La Jolla. William, their “grand finale” took the California Bar exam in July and practices law in Los Angeles. Price and Bonnie do not understand how raising children in the suburbs created city dwelling adults and warn all of you young parents that empty nesting is a real thing. However, they are very close to all their children and talk to them everyday and stalk them on Instagram.

Price is a shameless “Dead Head” and Bonnie is proud to be a “disco queen from the 70’s.” But they found their common love in Beach Rock and Jimmy Buffet. Having gone to over 60 concerts over 30 years from California to New York. Including a memorable night at the Golden One Center with Nick and Katie. Price is waiting for a Margaritaville “Hair of the Dog.”

Price is a land developer and has worked for Elliott Homes here in Folsom for nearly 30 years. A Fan(atic) of all sports, soccer, baseball and football, he was a marathon runner for 30 years until a back injury sidelined him. He still coaches a youth little league team each Spring, and manages multiple fantasy teams.

As a 7 th grade English teacher at Folsom Middle School Bonnie has been teaching young adults how to read and write for 20 years. She is a National Board Certified Teacher and a SCOE mentor for new teachers. When she is not practicing yoga, writing poetry, or hiking the Sierras with Price she volunteers at their church.

Originally introduced to yoga through their daughter Cat, a yoga teacher, they practiced at another studio in Folsom before following Nick and Katie to SDY. Price finds being on his mat is the one time of the day he can empty his brain and fully relax his body through a challenging a workout. They believe it “is always better together” and their favorite class is one they can turn toward each other in fetal position and smile.

Bonnie has thought about Teacher Training for over a year and finally realized the right time is now. “I realized, ‘It’s not about wanting to teach, it’s about wanting to learn. I want to grow my own practice and Teacher Training can do that.’” If anyone is thinking of doing Teaching Training I say, don’t wait until you think you are “worthy” or “good enough.” If you are thinking about it you are ready.

Price supports Bonnie’s decision because he “never wants to hold her back. If she wants this I want it. I know Bonnie will be great.” She is a natural teacher anyway. She is passionate about SDY and yoga. When my back heals I want her to get me into a wheel.” At this time Price says he isn’t looking toward Teacher Training, but Bonnie says, “never say never.”

We ADORE these two love birds! Thank you Price and Bonnie for bringing so much joy to our community!

How To Create Total Body Integrity

Create total body integrity!

Total Body Integrity: Pull in, press down and lift up to integrate and create muscle to bone connection (pull into centerline and core).

Here is a specific example of how to create total body awareness in Warrior 2.

  1. Pull your leg muscles to the bone and your shoulders on to your back.
  2. Press both of your feet into the floor.
  3. Lift the energy from the floor up and out through the crown of your head.

The next time that you are on your mat, focus on creating total body integrity in all of your poses!

Creating a strong yoga practice takes time, thats why we suggest our 200 hour Empowerment Program that starts on October 21st! Don’t count yourself out if you just started practicing, this program will transform any person at any experience level!

Creating Your Yoga Pre-game

How you prepare for your yoga class can change your entire experience.  Here are 3 tips and ideas on how you can tailor your yoga pre-game routine.

  1. Set your schedule.  We could hold your hand through your yoga journey or you can take responsibility for your results. A consistent yoga practice will change your life! It will change the way that you feel and the the way that you see the world.  See if your studio has a mobile app where you can login and sign up for your weekly classes early.  Spotted Dog Yoga has a free mobile app for iTunes and Android.  We recommend that every student uses it to sign up early for their classes.
  2. Eat nourishing foods, drink plenty of water and get plenty of sleep.  We’re not talking about shoving food and water down 30 minutes before class, we are talking about preparing long before you roll your mat out.  Practicing in the morning?  Eat earlier in the evening, drink plenty of fluids and get a good night sleep.  Practicing mid-day or in the evening time? Fuel yourself consciously throughout your day!
  3. Show up early.  Running into yoga at the last minute is sometimes the only option that we have, but consider scheduling time to show up early to your yoga studio. We recommend 10-15 minutes early.  This gives you the opportunity to calmly change your clothes, fill your water bottle, set up your mat, connect with your community, do a few stretches and relax a little bit before class begins.  Starting with a more relaxed mindset will help your practice go by that much smoother.

What are some things that you do to prepare you for your upcoming yoga practice?? Please share with us in the comments section below!


200 Hour Teacher Empowerment Program. Starts October 21st and is open to all levels. Take your yoga practice to the next level and learn to share this beautiful practice in a way that impacts others. We guarantee that from this training you will radically change the way that you show up for yourself and for other people in your life!! Get more information NOW!!

Making an Impact! FLC head coach Donny Ribaudo

At Spotted Dog Yoga, we are inspired when we see individuals or organizations who are making a BIG difference here in our Folsom community! We want you to meet Donny Ribaudo, Folsom Lake College Women’s Soccer Coach and Physical Education & Health Instructor. Donny is originally from Folsom and loves living here because of the ease of taking trips to the beach or mountains, running on all of the amazing trails in and around Folsom and most of all being close to his family here in the Sacramento Valley! Engaged this past spring, Donny spends free time with his fiancé Natalie and their two Bernese Mountain Dogs, Loki and Osha.

Donny was hired on at Folsom Lake College in February of 2013, women’s soccer was the FIRST team sport on campus. FLC now has 9 sports on campus and Donny just started his 5th season with the program. For Donny, the most rewarding part of being the head coach at Folsom Lake is watching the development of the student athletes. The program is focused on academic, athletic and personal development by creating a healthy but competitive environment that breeds success! Donny is very proud of what the program has accomplished in such a short period of time. They have won 4 conference titles in a row and participated in the CCCAA State Tournament 4 years in a row. In 2016, they advanced to the final four and had 8 players earn scholarship for over 113K in grant and aide. Over the last 3 years 18 players moved on to the university level as the program has also excelled in the classroom with a 3.0 average team GPA. Donny recommends FLC for the local student athlete because it’s affordable and you receive priority registration to complete your general education! They focus on developing elite athletes that can compete at the university level. The coaching staff is young, fun, well educated and they put an emphasis on player development.

Donny incorporates yoga into the training for his program by scheduling team sessions at Spotted Dog Yoga. He believes developing range or motion and flexibility is important for all athletes. His athletes have also learned how to maintain focus, balance and self-awareness. The team enjoys stepping away from the soccer field and getting a chance to relax and focus on themselves. It’s great way for the team to manage the stresses of school, soccer and work. Donny is a huge supporter of Spotted Dog Yoga! He appreciates what Nick and Katie have created for the community and loves that the staff is enthusiastic, friendly, and knowledgeable.

Catch a game at FLC! The women’s soccer team plays every Tuesday and Friday. Check out the schedule at

Donny Ribaudo Head Coach Women's Soccer Folsom Lake College