Berkeley Yoga Center
1250 Addison Street ∼ Studio 209
2121 Bonar Street ∼ Studio C
Berkeley, CA 94702
510-843-8784

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.

Dassanayaka Yoga classes are taught in the lineage of Channa Dassanayaka, with a focus on nurturing the body, heart, and soul on all levels. The classes weave guided meditation, breath work and physical hatha asana practice into a slow vinyasa flow that is open to all levels, and abilities. As flexibility is cultivated on the mat, a resulting flowing of grace, on all levels, will heighten experiential life beauty and provide greater awareness to protect yourself from hostile energetic forces.Through participation and integration of Dassanayaka Yoga teachings, students cultivate a deeper awareness of self and the true nature of your current relationship to all things. Many discover that the benefits of the teachings are not "what we will get out of the practice", but instead "what can we leave behind".

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.

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.

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 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 wovenwings.net/learn.

Please check the schedule for availability of classes and instructors.