Gay White is Director of The Yoga Room and Co-Director of The Yoga Room’s Advanced Studies Program. She has studied asana and pranayama from Donald Moyer since 1991, and she studied from Geeta Iyengar at the Iyengar Institute in Pune, India. Gay’s classes and workshops are dedicated to alignment and awareness in a safe and creative mixed-level learning community. Gay also leads yoga retreats and intensives locally and in Mexico. She has been making dances since 1975, and is director of the Yoga Garden Dancers.
Elizabeth Costello is a graduate of The Yoga Room’s Advanced Studies Program, and continues to study with Gay White, Ada Lusardi, and Mary Lou Weprin. She has had a physical practice for more than twenty years, including many styles of yoga, as well as forays into dance and physical theater. She works to help students use the asana practice as a means to cultivate self-awareness, heal, and deepen their experience of being alive and embodied. She is also a writer.
Founder of Embody Studio. Shannon completed her Pilates certification in 2003 through PhysicalMind and Balanced Body. Gyrotonic Level 1 in 2005, and received her Dance/Movement Therapy degree in 2000. She completed a 500 hour Advance Yoga Studies certification in Iyengar inspired Yoga at The Yoga Room, Berkeley in 2014.Shannon herself is a breast cancer survivor and her movement practice of Yoga, Pilates along with guided meditation saved her during her time in treatment. She believes fully in her work and teaches directly from her own experience and heart.
Bonnie Maeda, RN, teaches Restorative Yoga and co-teaches Yoga For Health at The Yoga Room as well as at several Bay Area hospitals and Women’s Centers. She is certified by the Arthritis Foundation and also as an “Advanced Relax and Renew” teacher from Judith Hanson Lasater’s program. Her approach is gentle yoga for health and healing as well as restorative yoga to promote relaxation and manage stress. She believes in the benefits of yoga for every age, body type, and ability.
Deidre O’Brien has been practicing Iyengar-style yoga and meditation since 1991. She graduated from The Yoga Room’s 3 year 1,000-hour Advanced Studies Program in 2009. Deidre has assisted the Yoga for 55+ class at The Yoga Room taught by Herta Weinstein, M.D. since 2007. She specializes in adapted and modified poses to allow individuals of all ages and abilities to experience the joy of the practice of yoga.
Thara Srinivasan, PhD, is a graduate of The Yoga Room’s Advanced Studies Program and has been teaching classes and workshops since 2011. Yoga has been a strong tradition in her family for generations. She learned pranayama (yoga breathwork) and meditation from her grandfather, a lifelong yogi, and viniyoga (a style of yoga movement with the breath) from her father, a student of T.K.V. Desikachar. By incorporating these elements into her teaching, Thara offers classes to revitalize the body and mind, bringing poses to life for students of all levels. With deep experience using yoga therapeutically, Thara is dedicated to creating a safe environment for a joyful practice.
MARY LOU WEPRIN Advanced Studies Co-Director
Mary Lou Weprin has been teaching at The Yoga Room since 1980. As Co-Director with Gay White of The Yoga Room’s Advanced Studies Program, she continues the work she started with Donald Moyer in 1988 of training many of the Bay Area’s teachers. She also leads Intensives for out-of-town teachers to deepen their ability to observe and assist their students. She offers Practice Intensives and other workshops throughout the year, and leads workshops in the U.S. and Canada. From 2004-2007, Mary Lou was Co-Director (with Patricia Dewar) of the Yoga Central Teacher Training Program in Saskatoon, Sask., Canada.
Mary Lou’s training has been primarily with B.K.S. Iyengar and Geeta Iyengar in India; Donald Moyer, Ramanand Patel, Judith Lasater, and the late Mary Dunn. She also studied with Dona Holleman in the US and Italy. She graduated from the Iyengar Yoga Institute of San Francisco in the late 70s, and was later part of their teacher training faculty, teaching asana theory and basic teaching skills. Mary Lou is currently certified as Intermediate Junior Level 3 with the Iyengar Yoga National Association of the U.S. (IYNAUS). She is registered with Yoga Alliance at the Experienced Registered Yoga Teacher 500 level (E-RYT-500). Mary Lou is interested in aligning the body and sequencing the practice in such a way as to energize and nurture the inner body. She makes challenging poses more accessible using preparations, special sequencing, and lots of humor. Her classes are educational, challenging and fun.
Debbie Gilman. M.A., ERYT 500, has been teaching at The Yoga Room since 2000, is on the faculty of the Advanced Studies Program there, and co-owns Innate Chiropractic & Wellness Studio in Albany. A life-long teacher, she loves sharing the movement-based mindfulness practice of yoga with her students. In recent years Debbie has been studying the history of yoga to deepen her understanding of the practice.
Tasha Hansen has been teaching yoga for more than ten years. She is a graduate of the B.K.S. Iyengar Yoga Teacher Training Program in Boston; has studied at the Iyengar Institute in Pune, India; and was certified by Sivananda in Quebec. Her classes combine attention to detailed alignment in individual poses along with occasional unbroken sequences of poses inspired by Gay White and a love of dance. Tasha’s succinct instruction provides clear guidance, yet offers generous moments of silence to deepen internal awareness. In addition to yoga, Tasha teaches academic writing and research skills to international graduate students.
Dorinda Nyberg’s teaching style helps students focus on intention and anatomical alignment through compassionate and clear instruction, skillful sequencing, and perceptive hands-on adjustments. Her purpose is to help students experience this ancient practice in a way that reveals its wisdom, and ease. Dorinda’s love of yoga comes through in her devotion to the intention of her teachers. Her reverence for yoga’s complex lineage is balanced with humor so that students leave class feeling refreshed with clear minds and energized bodies.
Dorinda has been studying Iyengar yoga since 1995 and began teaching in 2010. She is a long-time student of Donald Moyer, Mary Lou Weprin and Debbie Gilman, a graduate of The Yoga Room’s Advanced Studies Program and a Relax and Renew Trainer through Judith Lasater’s accredited program. She is certified at the Experienced 500 hour level (ERYT500) and a Continuing Education Provider (YACEP) with the Yoga Alliance. Dorinda is a member of the core faculty for the Advanced Studies Program at The Yoga Room in Berkeley.
MAYA WOODSON TURMAN
Maya Woodson Turman is a modern dancer who has studied yoga for over 20 years. She has a BA in Dramatic Art – Dance and Economics from the University of California, Berkeley and is a recent graduate of the Yoga Room’s 500-hour Advanced Studies Program. Maya’s classes focus on alignment, building core strength, inner focus and breath.
Herta Weinstein, MD, began practicing Iyengar yoga in the late 1970s, and in 1988 enrolled in the first Advanced Studies Program, which she has completed. Herta has been teaching yoga to seniors since 1995 at The Yoga Room, at community centers, and in private sessions.
Linda Burnham has practiced and taught yoga for decades and is also an avid student of African and African diasporic dance. In addition, she is the National Research Coordinator for the National Domestic Workers Alliance, and she brings decades of experience as an activist, writer, strategist, and organizational consultant.
Bridget Frederick began studying at The Yoga Room in 2002 and is a graduate of the Advanced Studies Program. She has worked with students of all ages, body types and abilities. Individualized attention to each of her students, a strong focus on alignment and core strength, and her adept use of props allow for a comfortable experience of yoga. Whether you’re brand new to yoga or a well-practiced regular, you’ll emerge feeling stretched out and stronger than when you came in.
Starting in high school, yogasana has been a cornerstone of Erin’s life bringing joy, relaxation, growth, strength, new perspectives and new friendships. Her active hatha yoga classes generally start with gentle breathing awareness and exercises, grounding floor warm-ups, and then move through intelligent sequencing, including seated and standing poses, to prepare the body for more advanced inversions, backbends, forward bends, and twists. She is always ready to offer pose alternatives so that everyone, regardless of ability or experience level, is able to explore and enjoy every part of class. Erin is a graduate of The Yoga Room’s Advanced Studies Program, and Erin also works at a non-profit addressing climate change and teaches peer counseling on the side.
Deborah Saliby, a certified Iyengar yoga teacher, originally received her yoga teacher training at the Iyengar Yoga Institute in San Francisco graduating in 1982. Through the years Deborah went on to study and practice different forms of meditation and healing, Hypnotherapy and Hypnosis for Birthing. Deborah, a retired Special education teacher, now teaches yoga full time, beginner to intermediate levels. She specializes in yoga for pregnancy and yoga for back care and teaches private hypnotherapy sessions available by appointment.
Jim Stockton has been teaching yoga in the San Francisco Bay Area, in a number of therapeutic and clinical settings, since the end of the 1990s. In 2003, he graduated from the The Yoga Room’s Advanced Studies Program. Since then, he has worked within and outside of the Iyengar community, primarily with Mary Lou Weprin and Michael Lucey, but also attending extensive retreats with Tias Little, Sarah Powers, and Dharmanidhi Saraswati. Jim has further studied within Zen, Vajrayana, and Vipassana meditation traditions. Most recently, Jim’s work has focused on trauma recovery: in a San Francisco mental health clinic (Department of Public Health); working with Veterans and PTSD; and observing Japanese yoga teachers working with trauma survivors immediately following the Fukushima tsunami/nuclear accident. For over 10 years, Jim ran a Yoga Program for a pain clinic in Oakland, California.
Sandy Zirulnik, RYT 500, E-RYT 200, YACEP, leads yoga classes that explore structure, movement, strength, and balance through the practice of asanas, breathing awareness, and the study of anatomy. They are enjoyable and appropriate for students of all ages and interests. No experience or special level of flexibility is required. Sandy began studying Yoga in 1998 and graduated from The Yoga Room’s Advanced Studies Program with a 500-hour certification. His teachers include Ada Lusardi, Donald Moyer, the faculty of The Yoga Room, Jonothon Gross, Sandra Razieli, and Laura Camp. Often he can be seen riding his bicycle in the Berkeley hills or more distant places.