We have all been influenced by the teachings of B. K. S. Iyengar. This method of teaching Yoga asanas (postures) creates a foundation of precise physical and mental engagement within the practitioner. This foundation will allow the yogi or yogini to practice many styles of Yoga safely and effectively. From this foundation we bring the influence of many other teachers to our classes.
Certain postures are taught in every class. Every class ends with a relaxation period. We do not heat our room to a high temperature.
We recommend trying several teachers on a drop-in basis, then purchasing a block of classes when you find something you like. It is important to enjoy the company of the teacher, and to feel good when you finish class.
Robert Gray MA
Robert Gray has been a student of yoga and eastern philosophy for over twenty years. He holds a Bachelors degree in Architecture from U. C. Berkeley, and is a graduate of the Yoga Room Teacher Training program in 1994. Robert has studied Asana and Pranayama extensively with Rodney Yee, and Tony Briggs. From the foundation of B.K.S. Iyengar, Robert has expanded his understanding of the physical and the spiritual with his MA from Holy Names College in Culture and Spirituality. This degree blended the wisdom of indigenous peoples, the insights of the eastern and western mystics, the sciences of evolution and cosmology. The academic portion of the degree was grounded with a daily practice of ritual and art making.
Robert has a passionate teaching style tempered with a solid foundation of respect and kindness. He is available for private posture instruction, meditation guidance, and the creation of specific routines for injuries and illnesses. Rates for private work vary from $60 to $85 per hour depending on time and location.
“I feel that through the practice of yoga postures one can travel to the edges of human perception. One can also use our knowledge of yoga postures to get a good nights sleep, or recover from an illness. Both the inner and outer journey require a strong and peaceful vessel. In my beginning classes a foundation of physical skills are established. These foundation skills are strong intelligent legs, contained but supple belly and waist, and an ability to lift the spine without excess shoulder tension. By attempting to understand the physical skills the mind is gently taught to focus in a steady way. With these basic capacities great progress can be made towards an integrated body and mind. ”
Valerie Smith is certified to teach Pilates through both the PhysicalMind Institute, and through ITT, Integrated Teacher raining of the Bay Area. She leads group mat and group Reformer classes in studios and athletic clubs, as well as 1-1 Pilates personal training at an East Bay Pilates studio. Valerie has been teaching classes in Fitness, Dance, Gymnastics and Tai Chi since 1980.
Her goal in teaching is to provide a challenging yet safe workout, based on the classic Pilates exercises, and sound principals of biomechanics and physical therapy. Her classes are both strengthening and restorative. Valerie’s background in sports psychology, and well as conditioning and training, coupled with 25 years of teaching Tai Chi, make her uniquely qualified to lead Pilates exercise – a true ‘mind & body’ discipline.
Amelia Swenson is an Oakland native. She grew up studying ballet with Ron Guidi and riding her bike around the Glenview neighborhood. While in college in Santa Cruz she first began to study yoga with Sensei Kevin Snorf. Amelia did her teacher training with Yoga to the People and then study prenatal and postpartum yoga at Yoga Garden, both located in San Francisco. She has since continued to study under other teachers such as Robert Gray and Baxter Bell. Amelia teaches diverse classes influenced by BKS Iyengar. Classes are challenging with a range of modifications to accommodate all levels.