Category Archives: Articles

April 29, 2016

Featured Teacher: Stacey Swan


Today, we get to know Stacey Swan of Yoga Garden SF! She is a yogi, dancer, performer, and teacher. You might have seen her in your Yoga Basics class or Vinyasa class, or better yet have had the privilege of learning from Stacey in our 200-Hr Teacher Training program.

If you haven’t, be sure to drop into her class for a treat! Her classes include is a multi faceted practice, including:  asana (postures), pranayama (breath work), chanting, meditation, and yoga philosophy.

Tell us about yourself! What was your first job? Any fun hobbies or personal interests?

I grew up in a small town on the east coast and spent most of my childhood dancing and climbing trees.   A lover of all things movement, I studied ballet, jazz, and modern, and went on to receive my BA in dance from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. My first job as a dance instructor taught me so much about connecting with others and being a mentor. In addition to dancing and practicing yoga, I love to go backpacking, camping, and am learning to play the piano.


How did you become interested in yoga?

I was interested in developing a healthier relationship to my body while continuing to work on my flexibility so I signed up for my first yoga class. The head of the dance department in college was a teacher from the Iyengar tradition, and I am so grateful to her for sharing her gifts with me. I had no idea what I was getting myself into, and was immediately curious about how practicing yoga might shift my perspective. After graduation, I pursued my first teacher training program in Boston, and the learning continues!!!


Tell us about your yoga journey. What style you started in, and what you like to practice on your personal time.

I have studied Astanga in the tradition of Sri K Pattabhi Jois, and the Vini-yoga tradition in the lineage of TKV Desikachar. I am so grateful to my teachers for their dedication to this path, and I hope to inspire others as they have inspired me. My home practice currently involves a lot of hip and lower back openers, forward bends, chanting, pranayama, and meditation. I love to chant and study Patanjali’s yoga sutras.


What are some advice you have for those interested in teaching yoga but feel too intimidated?

Find a teacher that resonates with you and be disciplined in studying with them. Yoga is designed to take time to unfold, and cultivating patience and self-love is important to the learning and teaching process.

Aside from yoga, what are you truly passionate about? 

I am still truly passionate about dance and performance. I have been studying the axis syllabus for the past four years which is a movement analysis and practice that is based on ongoing multi-scientific and pedagogical inquiry that explores anatomy, fascial meridians, chronological architecture, physics, bio-mechanics, and more!

What is next for Stacey?

I will continue to teach public classes and in the 200hr teacher training here at the Yoga Garden. I am thrilled to begin studying restorative yoga with Judith Lasater this summer in San Francisco. In the fall, my sweetie and I are tying the knot right here in the bay! Thank you for your lovely sangha, Yoga Garden. You can learn more about my offerings at

We hope you loved getting to know Stacey as much as we did! Be sure to check our schedule often and check out her upcoming events!

Stacey’s Upcoming Events:


Register Now!

By Charmie Stryker

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April 22, 2016

Prenatal Teacher Training: Summer 2016


Dive deeper into your yoga teachings with a Prenatal Yoga Teaching Certification.

As you grow into your teaching career, it becomes more and more imperative to be able to understand your students bodies, injuries, age, and prenatal needs.

This teacher training, will refine your teachings and broaden your knowledge in how to effectively and safely teach yoga to pregnant women.

Pregnancy can be both a wonderful and challenging journey for a woman. Learn how to support your prenatal students through pregnancy and birth, and help shape a future filled with consciously-nurtured future yogis.


By Charmie Stryker

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April 20, 2016

Alignment-What and Why?


When you do a yoga posture in class, your teacher gives you cues to deepen the posture and to further experience the essence of the pose.  As you practice Virabhadrasana 2 (Warrior 2), you bend your right knee and turn it outward; straighten your left leg, pressing it back and turning it outward;  lift and broaden your chest, release your shoulders, etc., all the time attending to a steady breath, solid footing, and inward focus.

Beautiful sporty fit yogini woman practices yoga asana Virabhadrasana 2 - warrior pose 2

One of the main themes in our teacher training program is how these alignment cues are actually the pathway to personal transformation, or growth. In the pursuit of these alignment ideals, the benefits of yoga are delivered. How does alignment bear in this process and what are the misconceptions or misuse of alignment cues?

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By David Nelson

Posted in Articles, David's Ramblings | 2 COMMENTS |

April 17, 2016

Temporary Schedule Change for Barre 101


Woman standing near barre in fitness center. Cropped photo.

Update on Barre Schedule

Beginning Tuesday, April 5th, Barre 101 will shift out of the Tuesday / Thursday 6:30am time slot, and be temporarily replaced with a BoxingYoga class through July 11th, 2016.

The weekly class schedule will reflect the following:

Tuesday and Thursday 6:30am-7:30am

-Barre 101 – through April 1st

-BoxingYoga – April 5th – July 11th (Give it a try – it’s a workout!)

-Barre 101 – July 12th and ongoing

The Thursday 6:30PM, Saturday 8:00am and Sunday 9:30am Barre 101 classes will continue run as scheduled with no interruption.


This Fall, Yoga Garden SF will be hosting a Barre Teacher Training Certification lead by Mike Najjar! Become a Barre instructor through Yoga Garden SF’s accredited Teacher Training Program and share your love for the method with others.

As Mike’s long time student and Barre enthusiast, you’d make a fantastic teacher! You’ll be the first to receive information on the training as soon as it it scheduled. Stay tuned!

Questions along the way? Please contact Director of Enrollment, Cynthia Koch,

By Charmie Stryker

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April 17, 2016

Interview with Rachel Fleischman of Dance Your Bliss



What’s igniting you in your work these days? 

I’m actually excited about getting older. I keep thinking I’m 25, and then I remember I’m middle-aged (whatever the heck that means). In recognizing this I am feeling confidence about my many years of teaching under my belt. I had knee surgery in February, and it really gave me time to be still and think about what fuels me. It’s so clear: Leading people into their passion and joy.

What are you learning from your time in physical stillness?

I get to pause and really ask myself “How does my body feel today”? Being less mobile has given me more gratitude about my body and its resilience. Also, I am obsessed with ritual. Ritual is routine. Is is habit made holy. I began creating more ritual when I was healing from my surgery. And it reminds me that the Dance Your Bliss method works. Through movement I have discovered that when you put the psyche in motion it heals itself.

What I’m really excited about is leading people in this spiritual practice with has astounding healing properties not only for individuals but for entire communities.

I really believe in the merge of  psychotherapy and movement. Using more expressive embodiment techniques. Embodiment is where we are headed. We need it if we’re going to live a long, healthy life.

Will your Yoga Garden workshop program be a combination of stillness and movement?

The workshop will be  DE-LISH-ious! I’m known as the Jewish Santa Claus. I bring gifts to every one of my workshops. We need to feel special, cared-for and loved. And that’s  what we’ll have at YGSF.

Participants will come away with a recipe for self care which will include:

  • movement
  • creative practice
  • mindfulness exercises
  • individualized meditation practice

Learn more about Rachel here: |

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By Charmie Stryker

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April 15, 2016

Prenatal Partner Yoga Workshop


Partner yoga workshop for pregnant women and their partners, husbands or friends during pregnancy.

Practicing yoga poses and breathing can greatly improve your physical, emotional and spiritual well-being. When practiced with a loving partner, you can create deeper mutual care, trust, and family bonding. This will help both of you with your pregnancy, the labor process and parenthood.

We will do poses individually and as couples. This class will be taught at a level that is comfortable for all participants.

Yogi Tea and Pregnancy Tea served afterward. Recipes included!

Please register early; class is limited to 10 couples.

Cost is $65 per couple.  Members receive a 10% discount!


By Charmie Stryker

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April 7, 2016

Support Mandy in her MS Walk!


Dear Backbenders,

It is this time of the year again: the MS walk is coming up on April 24 2016!

In 2000 I was diagnosed with MS, an often disabling disease of the nervous system. I started taking regular yoga classes at Yoga Garden in 2008 and yoga has helped me to stand straight and keep moving!

Yoga is great for people with MS: it calms the nervous system; it helps stretch and relax muscles; and it emphasizes alignment to improve posture and balance.

Since 2011 I have been walking the San Francisco MS Walk; every year I raise money for my team named ‘Magnificently Sexy’.  In the last few years I received many donations from my fellow yogis, and I ask for your help again. Any donation is welcome, every dollar helps.

I wrote my story on my personal space, where you can also find more about MS and how to contribute:
Thank you so much in advance!

Mandy Hagenaar

By Charmie Stryker

Posted in Articles | Tagged: | 2 COMMENTS |

April 6, 2016

Alumni Yogis Needed for Photos


We are in the process of launching our new website- (yay!) and we’ve hired a photographer to come into the studio and shoot a few teachers, and a few alumni.

Because our alumni is such an important aspect of what makes Yoga Garden SF such a wonderful place to grow and practice, we want you to be represented as a core part of our Yoga Garden community and studio!

We are looking for all age groups, all sizes, and all yoga levels. This will only take about 2-4 hours in the morning. We’re tentatively looking at a day between April 18-22.

If you’re alumni and is interested in joining us for a fun morning of lights, camera, asana- please fill out the form below!

*Due to limited time and space – we can only arrange a few for this photo-session. Please give us time to review your submission. Thank you!

Oops! We could not locate your form.

By Charmie Stryker

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April 5, 2016

The Art of Transcendence


Journey through the Layers from Self to Soul

In this 45 hour training, you will gain more mastery over your physical and energetic bodies to clear your space for more effective transmission.

Become more than a yoga teacher. Become an innovator and conduit for the deeper teachings of yoga. In this mini-immersion, you will have an opportunity to take your practice and understanding of the yoga teachings to a new, experiential level, enabling you to teach from a place of deep “knowing.”

We will go to the heart of Yoga by expanding your light so that you can ignite the light of others. By transcending our limiting beliefs and Ego, we learn to walk our talk and take our yoga off the mat in a practical way.

More advanced asana, pranayama, meditation, and healing techniques will be introduced, with an emphasis on the experiential aspects.


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By Charmie Stryker

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March 16, 2016

Yoga Garden Clothing Swap!

clothing swap

Make Spring cleaning fun!

Reuse. Renew. Refresh!

Bring your pre-loved clothing, shoes and accessories to Yoga Garden’s Clothing Swap! Mix and mingle with your yoga community, take part in Spring Cleaning, and walk away with something you love.

This event is for everyone and is completely free. Don’t wait until the last minute to clean out your closet. Do it today and prepare your clothes prior to the swap. We look forward to seeing you all there!

Time to clean out those closets and refresh your wardrobe. It’s simple:

  • Survey your closet and pull out all the old clothes that you are not wearing or tired of.
  • Make sure they are clean, undamaged and still useable.
  • Drop off at Yoga Garden’s Earth Studio between 12 and 2.
  • Hang out for a cup of tea and shop the tables. Take any and all items that you like for free.
  • At the end of the day, remaining items will be taken to Goodwill.
You get a spring cleaning, new clothes, a chance to mingle. Clothes get a new home, and proceeds benefit communities in need.


*Please make sure all clothing is clean, and free of tears and stains. All clothing that is left after the swap will be donated.

By Charmie Stryker

Posted in Articles | Tagged: , , , | 2 COMMENTS |

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