Berkeley Yoga Center
2121 Bonar Street ∼ Studio C
Berkeley, CA 94702

Class Descriptions

(contact instructors for more information)

Ashtanga Yoga is a vigorous flow style of yoga, linking breath with movement. It is designed to strengthen, align and purify the entire body and mind and comes from the lineage of Sri K. Pattabhi Jois of Mysore, India. We offer several ways for students to learn the Ashtanga Vinyasa method. Ashtanga Mysore instruction is designed for students interested in learning the traditional Vinyasa method as originally taught by Pattabhi Jois. Learning in this way supports the development of a personal yoga practice, which helps to build self-reliance on and off the mat. This class is suitable for all levels; postures are taught one at a time, based on each student's individual needs. Students progress silently, at their own pace, with the help of a teacher. This class is not conducted; the atmosphere is quiet, allowing for deeper concentration and going inward. See website for more details. The Beginning Ashtanga Workshop is designed for students new to the Ashtanga system; students learn the foundation of this traditional yoga system in a led-class environment. The Intermediate Ashtanga Workshop is designed for experienced Ashtanga students who want to deepen their current practice by focusing on the postures in the second half of the primary series and working on the intermediate series. The Ashtanga Yoga class is suitable for practitioners of all levels. The Ashtanga Led Primary class is for students with prior Ashtanga experience. It will include all poses in the primary series and will be taught in a continuous manner without stopping.

Beginning and Intermediate Yoga classes are informed by various yoga traditions, including Iyengar-style yoga, as well as a broad range of body-mind disciplines. Emphasizing an internal understanding of the yoga postures, these classes offer a fluid practice to develop flexibility, strength, body awareness, and relaxation. Meditation may be included.

BodyLove Yoga is an hour long yoga class focused on dynamic movements, stillness, and breathwork. It is an accessible class, that is easy on joints, and includes lots of options for modifications. The hour is divided into segments: sitting, standing, some balance, then on the back. Using the Yoga For All principles, there will be several opportunities to go slow and to move faster depending on your energy level on any given day (sometimes, dancing!). We do self love mantras throughout the class, and have an emphasis on our ever changing love for our unique bodies.

Gentle BodyLove Yoga is a 75 minute yoga class focused on dynamic movements, stillness, and breath work. It is an accessible class, that is easy on joints, and includes lots of options for modifications. The class is divided into segments: sitting, standing, some balance, then on the back. Using the Yoga For All/Curvy Yoga principles, there will be several opportunities to go slow and to move faster depending on your energy level on any given day (sometimes, dancing!). We do self love mantras throughout the class, and have an emphasis on our ever changing love for our unique bodies.

Hatha Yoga and Meditation This class focuses on aligning breath with movement as a means of expanding awareness of the body and the self. By tuning in to the internal rhythms, knowledge, and sensations within each of us, we can find deep truth and connection. With a contemplative approach, this class moves through a series of asanas (of varying degrees of muscular work and pace) and culminates in a seated meditation. This class is appropriate for all levels —all are warmly welcomed

Kundalini Yoga & Meditation, the Yoga of Awareness as taught by Yogi Bhajan, Ph.D., Master of Kundalini Yoga, is a great way to recharge and heal your body quickly. Each class generally follows a similar structure designed for optimal results physically, mentally, and emotionally.

Every class begins with a centering mantra, followed by warm-up exercise, which prepare the body for yoga sets (kriyas). Each yoga set involves a series of physical postures (asana), breath work (pranayama) and a meditation. The last portion of the class allows for a short meditation and a long, deep relaxation for a peaceful integration of the practice, regeneration and stress release. Classes close with this song of blessing, which can be sung or just listened to:

"May the long time sun shine upon you, all love surround you, and the pure light within you, guide your way on."
It is recommended that you not eat for an hour before class, bring water, and come with an open mind for a different yoga experience.

Mindful Therapeutic Yoga: This class uses the breath, body, mental images, and meditation to calm the mind. Postures are broken down to different levels allowing students to practice at their own pace. The class wraps around empowering themes allowing students to feel the benefits of each posture physically, mentally and spiritually. The focus is to provide the tools to live yoga on the mat and off the mat.

Music and Movement is a movement class that gives you an hour and a half to move from the depths of whatever is brewing inside you. We'll have a range of exciting, enticing, beautiful and sometimes provocative music from round the world to catalyze your body and soul into whatever expression wants to happen. You can lie on the floor and weep if you like; you can leap about ecstatically. You can dance alone, or with others. Instruction will be minimal, though we'll have themes and prompts that you can work with or discard. This is a practice that can feed you on many levels, giving you an opportunity to know yourself more fully and opening your expression to wider ranges. No experience necessary; just be willing to show up as you are. Taught by Cybèle Tomlinson, co-owner of Berkeley Yoga Center.

Nia Combining dance, martial arts and mindfulness, Nia tones your body while transforming your mind. More than just a workout, Nia is a holistic fitness practice addressing each aspect of your life - body, mind and soul. The practice of Nia is for every person to discover, explore, unleash, and enhance their individual potential to live a healthy and meaningful life by engaging their senses and listening to their bodies. Nia is based on the intelligent design of the body. Each workout brings mindfulness to your dance movement experience leaving you energized, mentally clear, and emotionally balanced. Nia cardio-dance routines combine 52 simple moves with dance arts, martial arts, and healing arts to get you fit in 60 minutes - body, mind, emotion, and spirit. Nia is practiced barefoot, and adaptable to individual needs and abilities.

Postnatal Yoga, like Prenatal Yoga, is oriented to the special needs of new mothers. Babies of pre-crawling age are welcome to this class.

Power Vinyasa Yoga 75 minutes of Baptiste inspired power vinyasa yoga, focusing on the balance of strength and flexibility to cultivate total body wellness. Vinyasa means "to place in a special way." Get balanced, de-stressed, strong and fluid. This class is accessible and recommended for beginners as well as more advanced practitioners. Moderately Heated (80 to 85 degrees).

Prenatal Yoga is taught by an experienced teacher and mother and prepares pregnant women for labor and delivery through postures, breathing exercises and relaxation.

Shadow Yoga is a Hatha Yoga system of self cultivation founded by Zhander Remete. It utilizes rhythmic breathing, bandhas (energetic locks) and the system of marma (vital junctions) to free the peripheral body of its energetic obstructions and to ignite our inner fire for healing and meditation. Shadow yoga consists of circular and spiraling movements, warrior stances, and sun salutations within preparatory prelude forms that prepare students to safely and effectively practice the more advanced limbs of hatha yoga.

Tergar Meditation Group If you are new to meditation and would like to learn more, or if you already practice and would like the support of a community and the structure of a guided class, please join us! We will follow a curriculum of meditation practices designed by the teacher Mingyur Rinpoche, author of the book, The Joy of Living. This approach makes use of different aspects of our experience that are always with us, such as breath, sound, and even thoughts as a means to connect with awareness and calm the mind. Over the weeks, we will explore how any aspect of our experience can be used as an object of meditation. The goal of this program is to help us discover a lasting contentment that is not subject to the fluctuating conditions of the external world, and to nurture the qualities of wisdom and compassion that naturally manifest from awareness itself. Our meetings include short presentations on how to do the practice, guided meditation and group discussion. Feel free to drop in anytime. There is no charge for attending; donations are welcome.

Vini Yoga is a style of yoga made available in the West by T.K.V. Desikachar. Each person is encouraged to practice in a way that is suitable to that person's present state of health and mind. This yoga style often involves repetition of simple movements, one at a time, with the breath, and an emphasis is placed on cultivating the right balance of effort and ease throughout the practice. Yoga Sutras are frequently discussed and explored, and regular students are encouraged to work privately with the teacher in order to address more precisely their particular concerns, issues, and goals.

Vinyasa Flow classes offer sequences of poses designed to stretch and strengthen muscles while opening the body to increasing challenges. Focus is on remaining aware of the importance of breath and core strength. There is ongoing encouragement to find an interior steadiness in the face of external exertion. All levels welcome but some yoga experience is helpful.

Yin/Yang Yoga provides the benefits of a balanced practice of Yin and Yang styles of yoga. The Yin style of long-held passive poses opens the body to more flexibility and chi flow through the subtle channels while also engendering a more contemplative, non-reactive quality of mind. A more active, dynamic, Yang style of vinyasa will follow, strengthening and invigorating the body and mind. Yoga texts and poetry frequently contribute to the atmosphere and themes of each class.

Yoga for Every Body is a slow, deep practice using body, breath and relaxation as a doorway into the vaster field of awareness, which is always unchanging. You are invited to sense your body, as a movement in awareness. You are encouraged to welcome emotions and thoughts as a movement in awareness, opening the door to the Ground of Being. All levels welcome.

Yoga Outside the Box This class is unique in that we have several yoga teachers who offer different perspectives on yoga and the philosophy behind them. We practice asana and breathing, while weaving in essences of tai chi, qi gong and creative movement from other modalities. We discuss. We experiment. We create. Come join us!! All levels welcome.

Please check the schedule for availability of classes and instructors.