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.

BodyLoveYoga 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.

Breathwork is a powerful tool, though it is a very broad term that covers a variety of methods. Breathing techniques use the inhale and exhale to either activate or relax the physical and emotional body. The activating breath is at a comfortable - yet faster - than regular pace and is beneficial for accessing subconscious realms that allows us to clear energetic blocks, gain awareness around our patterns, heal stuck emotions, and release toxins thereby increasing physical vitality. Many students experience profound shifts after beginning this practice. After a short introduction to the technique, students are guided through a two-part, circular breath followed by blissful shavasana set to a curated playlist. Occasional musical guest accompaniment will include gong, drumming, or soundbath - check Facebook @breathworkwithcj for announcements. Bring water and try not to have a heavy meal within two hours before class. Yoga mat and blankets provided. Beginners welcome! Space is limited - Pre-registration for classes required. Online payment preferred or exact cash at door $20. REGISTER HERE

Evening Relaxation Yoga allows students to destress from the day and week with 60 minutes of Pranayama and Hatha yoga. We will focus on the areas of our bodies that tend to hold the most tension and stress, allowing you to release these emotions and feel lighter, happier and more relaxed. Prepare yourself for a beautiful night's sleep and a feeling of balance and strength.

Gentle Basics. Come as you are, leave feeling better! This Iyengar-based practice uses props, careful alignment, clear instruction, a slower pace, and modifications when needed to open and restore the body at the end of the day. Gentle Basics will focus on poses that relieve stiffness in the neck, shoulders, hips, and low back. This class is appropriate for those who are limited by mild injury and inflexibility.

Gentle Yoga offers students a chance to practice yoga postures, breath exercises and mindfulness meditation techniques presented in simple ways that are accessible to practitioners of all levels and abilities. We will work on stretching, strengthening and balance with awareness and intention. This is a great class to reconnect to yourself, to reduce stress and to explore the connection between mind, body and heart.

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 Healing Yoga This class uses the breath, body, mental images and philosophy, including vocalizing of shlokas (chants) to calm the mind. Every posture is 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.

Morning Hatha helps students begin the day with some gentle Pranayama and Chanting, easing into a warm up to wake our bodies. The class will flow through sun salutations and poses that will give us energy and peace of mind to keep throughout the day. Build strength and inner calmness in this 60 minute class.

Movement through the Tamalpa Life/Art Process Dance your Life! In these weekly classes, we begin with a movement exploration that develops body awareness and teaches organic ways of moving. Classes also include personal and collective creative explorations in dance, drawing and writing. Through movement and the arts, we will identify and expand inner resources and bridge art and life. *While this is desgined as a series woven together with a theme, students are also welcome on a drop-in basis. $100 for series, $20 drop-in

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.

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.

Rest and Renew: Healing Yoga and Deep Relaxation brings together mindful and gentle movement, as well as longer held yin and restorative poses for a deeply relaxing class. Breathing techniques, chi gong, sound healing and acupressure may also be woven in. All levels welcome.

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 for Men This is a yoga class designed for the needs of men. Come experience a mind/body workout that will get you moving, breathing and sweating like no other yoga class you've tried. Throughout class, mindfulness techniques aid in slowing down your wild and anxious mind. We work on developing strength and stamina, all while increasing flexibility (you don't have to touch your toes as a prerequisite). Develop awareness and focus, so you can experience the best of life here and now. Come meet a great group of men who encourage each other to explore their edge rather than compete.

Yoga for Transgender People This is a one hour Vinyasa Flow Yoga class for transgender people. Both binary and non binary transgender people are accepted in this class. The class is 60 minutes every Saturday starting in January and starts promptly at 12:30, but there will be a few minutes at the end to rest and get your things together. This is a core strengthener yoga, which means that it is not a gentle style of yoga. There is a lot of movement in this class, so please wear comfortable clothing that you can move in and remember that we're all transgender in here. Music that is appropriate for the class will be played. You are also strongly encouraged to drink water before and after class, and not to eat anything about two hours before class. The cost is $10 per class and cash/checks only please.

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.

Yuan Gong Qigong is a deeply nourishing Qigong style that uses simple and fluid movements to unlock the mind, draw Qi from the universe, and promote the healthy flow of Qi in the body. In particular, Yuan Gong helps to unify and improve our Qifield - the field of energy and information that comprises our lives. As a form of movement, Yuan Gong is physically engaging but also slower, more fluid, and meditative. And as a support for Ren Xue, a holistic system for life development, Yuan Gong helps us to touch down to what is most important in life and elicit the healing qualities of the heart. This is a perfect practice to wind down for the evening and get centered at the outset of your week! This class is taught in series, with drop-ins welcome at anytime. All are welcome! For the greatest benefit, you are encouraged to sign up for a series. Find the series schedule and register at

Please check the schedule for availability of classes and instructors.