Trilogy Trifecta Pillars

Our THIRD birthday at Trilogy Sanctuary has arrived which is due to the THREE pillars of Trilogy who have created a loving, vibrant and healthy community! Get to know LEILA - Aerial Gypsy, JOE - Healer Guru and MICHAEL - Vegan Top Chef!

(1) What is the best compliment you have heard about Trilogy Sanctuary?

LEILA: The best compliments I have heard are that Trilogy has literally changed their life!

JOE:  Someone approached me after a busy day and mentioned how good they felt up here. How it felt different than any other place they’d ever been to and how they couldn’t quite put a word to it, but it just made them feel great. That’s when I knew in my heart we did it. I knew that it was all coming together - the food, the community, workshops, the movement practices.  That’s when the Sanctuary was born.

MICHAEL: Its always great to hear how plant based dining has helped so many individual lives. The best is when they talk about transformative is has been eating at Trilogy and how it has affected their overall health for the better. 

(2) What are your favorite items at the Trilogy Cafe, and/or class to take?

LEILA: I drink a lot of the cleanse juice - I love that it has no fruit, it is super nourishing and refreshing. For food, the Gaia Bowl is my fave, also I am also a cookie monster :) chocolate chip.  

JOE: Currently, I’m a little obsessed over our cold pressed juices and the brownie. The juices at Trilogy just make me feel great. Of course, they are cold pressed completely organic and they are also blessed every morning with positive intention by our resident juice master. To me that means a lot and I believe that kind of intention and energy gets passed from our food to us. The brownie simply put is addictive and healthy as it has no refined sugar, no gluten, and tastes divine.

MICHAEL: Right now it would definitely have to be our new Falafel Tacos that we have been doing on Friday nights! 

(3) What is your most memorable experience at Trilogy?

LEILA: Obviously - there have been SO MANY! But probably for me it was the first ever event we held, it was basically our Grand Opening Party, a Full Moon of July 2014 - the event was such a huge success, it blew my mind how many people showed up. On that day I absolutely knew, Trilogy was going to be a huge success. All the hard work, stress, blood and tears were all worth it in that moment!!! We DID IT!!!

JOE: I think it was walking out of my office on the deck and seeing 4 very talented people doing perfect handstands on the ledge of our 4 story building. I had mixed feeling of course. A part of me was really quite impressed with the whole thing then the responsible side of me asked them to please not risk their lives on Trilogy premises, definitely memorable. I love our community.

MICHAEL: Dance Medicines are always the most memorable, so many different energies coming in and out. There was one specific Dance Medicine that was so full and crowded, I stood back to appreciate how unique and beautiful Trilogy really was.  

(4) For the future, what is one thing you envision for Trilogy, can you tell us some top secret plans?

LEILA: Oh my...I have so many visions for Trilogy! One day there will be a Jungle Trilogy, with a beautiful yoga deck overlooking the luscious trees! A Trilogy in Bali in Europe....and one day a Trilogy boutique hotel! I want to create this wonderful vibrant community feel in many places around the world.

JOE: So much! TBA.

MICHAEL: Not sure exactly, but I do know we are open to every possibility. 

(5) What is a mantra or quote that you live by, that has had a positive impact on Trilogy?

LEILA: “Waking up this morning, I smile. Twenty-four brand new hours are before me. I vow to live fully in each moment and to look at all beings with eyes of compassion.” ~Thich Nhat Hanh

JOE: Begin where you are.

MICHAEL: I live by seizing the day. Life is a very fragile thing, its important to cherish every moment. 

Beginner Green Smoothie

The food you eat first in the morning can set the pace for the rest of your day! By eating raw before cooked foods, the food is allowed to move at its natural pace. Your body does this with minimal energy, allowing more energy to be put towards a productive day! Having raw fruit is easy and energizing, it won’t take too much time to prep and will keep you light, not bloated. Some ideas would be a fruit plate, smoothie bowl, chia pudding, or a classic big green smoothie!

Note for recipe:

  • Romaine is a great starter green! Its has a fresh, crisp flavor that is not too strong

  • If no frozen fruit is available, substitute with 4-6 cubes of ice


  • 2 cups coconut water
  • 3 cups frozen pineapple
  • 2 cups leafy green
  • Blend and Serve (:

Come join us in our beautiful organic & vegan cafe in downtown La Jolla, this recipe is almost identical to our EUPHORIA smoothie! 



I became completely addicted to hot power yoga when I was living in London. Yes, it was the endorphins, but in a city where it was cold and wet about 10 months out of the year, it was the only way I could get my sweat on. And you know what sealed the deal? When I started getting compliments on my skin from my husband’s grandmother (thanks, Nan!).

After moving to San Diego, it took about six months, and lots of try-before-you-buy packages, before I finally found my new yoga home, Trilogy Sanctuary in La Jolla. Why am I telling you about my yoga studio? Well, one morning I was wandering bleary-eyed into my 7am class when I happened upon a piece of paper explaining the benefits of infrared heat.

Before that point, I had never really thought about it. The room seemed a little warmer than usual, but not nearly as hot as what I was used to. Here is what it said:

As a beauty treatment, the penetrating heat of infrared heat therapy works wonders by reducing the appearance of crow’s feet, fine lines and wrinkles. In addition to helping heal scars, wounds, and cuts, it also smooths skin’s texture, lessens coarseness and reduces pore size. Infrared heat therapy is also a natural way to aid aches and pains from arthritis, fibromyalgia and other health-related disorders.

Instantly, it all made sense — the aches and pains I had been suffering with for years were disappearing (I am not even exaggerating). I’m more flexible now than I have been in for as long as I can remember. And the added bonus is that each yoga class comes with a side of anti-aging?!

So, what exactly is infrared light? After a bit of research, I discovered that it is radiant heat and the natural part of sunlight that feels warm to the skin. It is free of the nasty UV rays making it completely safe (FYI: they also use it in hospitals to warm newborn babies). It feels less stifling than the heat traditionally used in saunas or hot yoga studios because the heat works directly on your skin while only 20% of the infrared light heats the room.

In the words of Trilogy owner Leila Dora, “Infrared heat is a type of light. It is very similar to the light emitted by sunlight except that it is invisible to the naked eye. What that means is that is instead of heating the room with a heavy, overpowering heat, it gently heats the body from the inside out.”

Benefits of infrared heat:
*Assists the body with detoxification
*Gives skin a healthy glow
*Boosts metabolism
*Increases blood flow and circulation
*Stimulates immune system
*Reduces appearance of wrinkles
*Helps to diminish scar tissue
*Aids in the recovery of injuries

Know what else I found? Infrared heat also helps to breakdown fat and cellulite. Nuff said?

Have you tried a yoga class with infrared heat? Or maybe you are a Trilogy tribe member? Tell us about it in the comments below!

View original Spa Whisper article by Casey G.  


  Guest blog post written by Ashok Deniz with contributions from Amanda Alls, Chris McKenna, Kimberley Schulz, Christine Hennes and Samantha Young - all trainees from Rachel’s 200-hour Spring Yoga Teacher Training at Trilogy Sanctuary.  

Guest blog post written by Ashok Deniz with contributions from Amanda Alls, Chris McKenna, Kimberley Schulz, Christine Hennes and Samantha Young - all trainees from Rachel’s 200-hour Spring Yoga Teacher Training at Trilogy Sanctuary.  

Earlier this spring, our spring yoga teacher training gathered at their local beach to participate in “Seva,” the Sanskrit word for “selfless service.” Equipped with gloves, bags (thank you Surfrider Foundation for inspiration and materials!) and lots of love, they began to collect discarded trash to help create a better environment for the community. The process inspired many interesting conversations (including some with curious onlookers) and meditations, some of which are shared below.


Seva is work performed without any thought of reward, and giving with no need to receive, solely for the sake of everyone involved. Blessed action, some might call it. As Rachel taught, the concept of Seva is deeply interwoven in the tapestry of yogic philosophy. A recurring theme of the yoga sutras is that of universal interconnectedness, which naturally leads to the idea of selfless service. The concept is also one of the central tenets of the classic text, the Bhagavad Gita. In a scene that plays out on what might be considered the battlefield of personal growth, Krishna counsels Arjuna that action be performed entirely without regard to the fruits of the action. The Gita also links this idea with the Yoga of Love (Bhakti yoga) and Karma Yoga, where life is lived to its fullest with a deep sense of love and surrender. Devotion and selfless service are also central messages of other philosophies. Martin Luther King himself stated that “service is the greatest form of spiritual practice.”

The gorgeous La Jolla oceanic context of the Seva was close to heart for many in the Vasantha YTT cohort. One noted that “I know for me, nature has always served as external connective tissue between head and heart, a fulcrum of balance in my life. It is my church, my place of surrender. I have always been drawn to it, learning early on growing up in Hawaii that the ocean is a life source and as such how important it is to care for it. The ocean provides us so many things. Along with sustaining our global ecosystems, she teaches how to dissolve into something complete and greater than anything we as humans can comprehend.”

The beach clean-up was therefore an ideal Seva opportunity for the tribe. Comments from tribe members included, “I am consistently striving to be environmentally aware, particularly regarding my consumption and generation of waste. I do this not for me but with the knowledge of the ocean as the sustainer of all things and with hope that some effort will benefit our mother, the Earth. Seeing trash at the beach and in the ocean to the degree that it exists is incredibly overwhelming and devastating.” and “Participating in seva, for the earth very generally and for the ocean more specifically, is in my opinion the least we can do. We owe it to her.”


As they picked up trash, the tribe became more aware of the broad extent of the problem. While it is usually obvious that there are sometimes large pieces of trash on the beach, it was the huge number of tiny pieces of plastic (microplastic) that was particularly eye opening and time-consuming to clean up. The connections of people’s daily lives to these intrusions and enormous negative impact for the ocean and the entire global ecosystem became much more apparent. As the tribe worked, some onlookers asked about what they were doing and thanked them for their efforts. Clearly, the Seva activity had increased awareness of the trash issue and need for action beyond tribe members alone.


At the end of the Seva, Rachel and the tribe formed an unbroken circle, sharing their thoughts and inspirations from the afternoon. As always inspirational, Rachel shared a very apt quote by Robert Swan "The greatest threat to our planet is the belief that someone else will save it", a vital call to continuing action. While tribe members felt proud that they had played a small part in helping with the beach trash problem, there was the general feeling that the impact of the activity had been far greater. The actions of the tribe and beachgoers, intentional and unintentional, have the potential to trickle down into day-to-day lives, adding to a community of people that are conscious of how they can help protect our planet. In a broader yogic context, sentiments included, “This opportunity not only improved the physical environment of the beach, it created a unique lesson on what yoga really is. It's not merely asana and OM mats, it's the ability to embody service in our actions and through our practice.” and “The experience made me realize that seva needs to be a part of my life--not just once in a while, but routinely, consistently. It's as much a part of living a good life as any other.” And last but certainly not least, “Thank you so much amazing Rachel for organizing and inspiring us with this humbling and remarkable experience!”

Thank you to the San Diego chapter of Surfrider Foundation for providing tools for our beach clean-up. Your dedication to spreading awareness and facilitating events within the community is a valuable and necessary resource that benefits our local beach communities and global preservation of our planet's oceans - learn more about the Surfrider Foundation.

If you’re interested in expanding your knowledge of Yoga beyond asana to cultivate a more yogic approach towards life, then learn more about Rachel and her upcoming 200-hour yoga teacher training this fall.

Goddess Smoothie Recipe

Goddess Smoothie ingredients

1 Banana
1 Cup Frozen Blueberries
1.5 TB Peanut Butter
1 TB Hemp Seeds
1 TB Goji Berries
8 OZ Almond Milk

Besides being so tasty, why do we love the Goddess Smoothie so much? The Goddess is packed with super healthy ingredients! Blueberries are the most nutrient-dense foods on earth and contain large levels of antioxidants. Gogi Berries increase ratings for energy levels and athletic performance. Hemp seeds are a great protein source, as more than 25% of their total calories are from high-quality protein!

Boom - three reasons to make this yummy and healthy smoothie. Create, snap a photo, and post on social media - we would love to see your Goddess creation! Use the hashtag #LoveTrilogy so we can find you! If you need to taste a smoothie for inspiration then come visit our vegan cafe this month in downtown La Jolla!  

About Time: Top 10 Vegan Restaurants in San Diego



I had never been to Trilogy, but had heard it was all about healthy food and atmosphere. It’s located on the rooftop of a downtown La Jolla building, so it’s kind of hard to spot as firs. But once you see the sign you figure out how to take the elevator to the top floor. Trilogy Sanctuary is decorated to the nines – reminiscent of a sanctuary, of sorts. Bright and beautiful plants all over the place – and an invigorating smell that stay with you when you leave.

I decided on the buckwheat pancakes, and I couldn’t believe how good they were. Super creamy and flavorful, with an avocado and cheesy sauce. My friend had the breakfast crepes, and wouldn’t stop talking about how delicious they were. I tried them and couldn’t have agreed more. The good part was that because the portions were so big, she couldn’t finish her crepes — so I was gifted them. Amazing! But overall they had a nice menu that I can’t wait to try more of. And the staff was extremely friendly and welcoming. I’ll definitely be going back there soon.

We enjoyed making this list. But we enjoyed eating the food even more. We hope this helps those living in San Diego, as well as those looking to visit. 

June Recipe of the Month: Tropical Pitaya Smoothie

For a refreshing and nourishing snack that is the perfect smoothie to have before or after yoga!


Tropical Pitaya Smoothie
Blend the Following Indgriedients: 

  • 8oz coconut water
  • 1 pack of organic pitaya 
  • 1/2 cup frozen organic pineapple
  • 1/2 cup frozen organic mango 
  • 1 TB coconut butter
  • Sprinkle of dried coconut flakes to top!

Pineapple, mango and pitaya offer natural fruit sugars for a great boost of energy, the coconut butter contains MCT's which actually aid in fat burn and provide a sustained release of energy during your workout. Coconut water contains trace minerals and electrolytes which are essential for the body pre and post your yoga class or work out! Visit our organic + vegan cafe in the heart of San Diego to sample all our smoothies! 

Pauline Villanueva - Trilogy Sanctuary Yoga Teacher Highlight

Pauline is one of our yoga teachers here at Trilogy. She teaches the 7am Power Hour bright and early on Tuesdays and Thursdays! Let's get to know her a bit better...  


How and where did your yoga journey begin?

I first stumbled onto yoga at a charity yoga event in 2013 to benefit the New Children's Museum. I wasn't there for the yoga--I was actually there to hopefully network with other attorneys! Little did I know that that one event would change so much. I've been hooked ever since. 

When not teaching yoga, how do you spend your time?

Working at my grown-up job as an attorney, reading, drinking craft beer, and playing with cats. Also probably napping.

What quote inspires your life and practice?

"Ego says, 'Once everything falls into place, I'll feel peace.' Spirit says, 'Find your peace, and then everything will fall into place.'"


What words do you have to offer for new yogis?

Remember that yoga isn't about the crazy ridiculous Instagram poses--it's about finding your practice and your peace. It's a constant journey and everyone has their own path. That being said, don't be afraid to try things! Our bodies are so much stronger and smarter than we realize most of the time and they'll tell us what we need to know. Trust yourself and your body. 

What is one of the things you are most grateful for?

One of the things I'm endlessly grateful for is that my life didn't go the way I thought it would. I'm grateful for all the twists and turns of the past several years that allowed me to realize that the only thing I can control is myself and how I respond to things. But I am also the one who controls my own happiness. It has been a very liberating lesson and one I keep learning.


Pauline's yoga teacher bio:

Pauline first stumbled upon yoga in 2013, during a fundraising event for the New Children's Museum downtown, and immediately got hooked. Since then, yoga has been a passion which has changed her life. She completed her 200-hour teacher training in April of 2016. Her focus is on the accessibility and sustainability of a yoga practice, as well as exploring new things and having fun! She hopes to share her experience with others, in the hopes that they will find their own path and discover the same benefits from yoga. Off the mat, Pauline is an attorney who enjoys reading, drinking craft beer, and hanging with her cats. 


Our power hour classes are held in our infrared heated Moon Room, learn more about infrared yoga HERE.

We offer infrared and aerial yoga classes throughout the day, everyday! Take a look at our schedule to see all of our classes.