• Instructors

  • Dana Berman

    Hatha Yoga, Gentle Yoga, Yoga Basics

    Dana Berman has worked as a health professional for nearly three decades. Her training and experience include health education and executive leadership. Having witnessed the value of yoga and meditation as healing modalities she began to study and commit herself to learning and teaching the traditions. Dana completed her 500-hour teacher training at Mount Madonna Center and wanted to provide a peaceful, safe, and fun place for others to advance their practice or experience yoga for the first time. She opened Grace Yoga Studio in Millbrae, California in October 2014 for students of all levels and abilities to practice the discipline of yoga for health and well-being.

  • Deanne Thomas

    Gentle Yoga, Chair Yoga

    After her first yoga class, Deanne knew she had found something special. “I knew I had been introduced to a unique form of exercise—one that not only increased flexibility and strength but also added a balance, an internal awareness and a way of healing that is lacking in the traditional Western way of exercising.” Spurred on by her enthusiasm, Deanne began teaching yoga a short year later. That was over fifteen years ago, and Deanne has been devoted to teaching yoga in the Bay Area ever since. Certified as a yoga instructor, she has studied under such yoga visionaries as Robin Duffy, Lynda McGrath, Paul Grilley and Jill Miller. In particular, Deanne loves working with students who are—perhaps timidly—taking their first step into (or back into) the life-healing, life-enhancing, and life-expanding world of yoga. “I am grateful to be able to help people discover what a powerfully restorative and positive force yoga can be in their lives, no matter what stage of life they are in.”

  • Lorene Schratter

    Vinyasa Yoga, Yoga Basics, Gentle Yoga

    Lorene Schratter is the happy mother of 5 and grandmother of 7 (so far). Her yoga journey began 6 years ago when her son, visiting from New York, took her to her first Bikram yoga class. She never looked back. She has practiced some form of yoga nearly everyday since. Last summer, realizing what she really wanted to do was teach yoga, she went to Santa Barbara to train at White Lotus with Ganga White and Tracey Rich. Lorene likes to think of herself as an example of "you are never too old, and it's never too late to begin a yoga practice. I came late to the party, but I am here.”

  • Susan Bowen

    Therapeutic Yoga, Restorative Yoga

    Susan Bowen is a psychotherapist, mindfulness teacher, and certified Therapeutic yoga therapist with a strong commitment to serving the needs of women and their families in recovery from, or living with, addictions, loss, stress, trauma, injury, or illness. She is the founder of the MindfulWomen Project dedicated to inspiring emotional intelligence, self-compassion and the healing process of individuals. In her first yoga practice in 2000, Susan found the missing links in her own recovery--the connection to the body and awareness of experience. She then began to integrate yoga and mindfulness meditation into her life and work. As a certified Therapeutic yoga teacher, Susan focuses on the healing aspects of yoga, helping you find more ease in your body, peace of mind, and greater levels of health and well-being.

  • Misty Scholz

    Vinyasa Yoga

    Misty Scholz has practiced yoga at varying levels since 1988 when she took a Yoga class at San Jose State University. Since then, she has explored many different styles of yoga: Hatha, Vinyasa, pre-natal, partner, Ashtanga, acro, Yin, gentle, and Bikram. She has benefited not  only from the healing effects on the body, but also the calming and centering of the mind.

    She began to think about ways in which yoga can affect a positive change in the world when once again she needed the healing effects of yoga. Misty decided to begin giving back through participation in Yoga for Hope which is a charity event raising money for cancer and AIDS research. She decided to go further and deepen her practice in 2013 with a 200-hour teacher training with Wanderlust that explored a well-rounded and complete look at yoga. She was amazed with how learning so much about yoga philosophy and meditation just made her want to learn more. Misty continued her studies in 2015, earning her certification in the 'Hot 26 Series.' She completed her 500-hour advanced teacher training with Avahana school in April of 2017. Misty is interested in sharing with the community the connection between breath, mind, and body which brings health and peace of mind.

    She continues to keep yoga a dynamic influence in her life by attending Yoga Journal Conference,  Wanderlust festival,  learning from other teachers and exploring all that yoga has to offer. Off the mat, she is a wife, mother of three girls, full-time Registered Respiratory Therapist, and student of life.

  • Erin Kennedy

    Iyengar Yoga, Hatha Yoga

    Erin Kennedy took her first yoga class in 2005 while on a brief visit to the San Juan Islands off Washington State. Upon her return to Southern California, she continued taking classes in various traditions, including Ashtanga, Hatha and Vinyasa flow. After Erin moved back to San Francisco in 2010, she was excited to find a vibrant yoga community and reinvigorate her practice under the guidance of her teachers Cynthia Bates, Brian Hogencamp, and Manouso Manos. She has trained at the Yoga Garden of San Francisco and is a graduate of the 500 hour program at the Iyengar Yoga Institute of San Francisco. Her classes are a blend of movement and stability, with an emphasis on alignment. She believes that the regular practice of yoga brings harmony, balance, and richness to all areas of one's life - physically, psychologically, and spiritually - and hopes to share the joy she found in yoga with others.

  • Vivek Nautiyal

    Vinyasa Yoga, Hatha Yoga

    Vivek Nautiyal recently moved to the Bay Area from the beautiful country of Georgia in Eastern Europe. Vivek is originally from Rishikesh, India and has been a yoga practitioner for 10 years and a yoga instructor for 5 years. In his years as a yoga teacher, Vivek has taught the Ashtanga series, dynamic Hatha flow, Vinyasa, as well as Iyenger inspired alignment-centric classes. He has developed a unique teaching style that focuses on inner happiness and bliss by infusing playfulness and lightness into his instructions. For Vivek, yoga is not just about doing asanas (poses) but it is a commitment to a lifestyle of balance and contentment. It is not just a workout to get fit, but a way to find comfort in uncomfortable situations. He is grateful for the opportunity to help his students find harmony, feel comfortable, and enjoy yoga as a powerful tool to connect the body, mind, and soul.

  • Dana Sweeney

    Yoga Basics, Gentle, Vinyasa, Slow Flow

    It was happenstance that Dana Sweeney wandered into a yoga class in 2000. Knowing very little about yoga, she left the studio totally blissed out, feeling a stillness and peace she had not experienced before. Since that fateful day, yoga grew from a thread in Dana’s tapestry to a pillar of strength and joy in her life. While coping with grief and loss, it was through her yoga practice and teacher training that Dana healed in ways therapy, medication, etc. could not help. In the words of B.K.S. Iyengar, “Yoga teaches us to cure what need not be endured and endure what cannot be cured.” She realized a need to shift priorities and pursue sharing this gift with others. As a certified yoga instructor rooted in Ashtanga principles, Dana intends to bring authenticity and compassion to her classes, to meet people where they are, and to inspire students to explore their practice in a safe, supportive and personal way.

  • Danae Robinett

    Yoga Basics, Vinyasa, Gentle, Prenatal

    Danae Robinett draws inspiration from many sources to create her yoga classes, so please come prepared to sweat, smile, and shine. Danae fosters a nurturing environment encouraging students to explore their vast potential in any given asana, and to not hold back while in the pose and in life.  What we learn on our mats automatically translates into the other areas of our lives resulting in transformational effects. She wants her to students know that yoga embraces you exactly where you are, you just have to show up on the mat - even if it means practicing child's pose!

  • Lisa Mares

    Pre/Post Natal, Power, Vinyasa, Gentle, Yin, Restorative Yoga

    Lisa Mares is originally from San Francisco, California. She fell in love with yoga in 2004. After practicing for several years, she decided to become a yoga teacher while living in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Lisa believes yoga is more than a set of postures; it is a healing practice which allows for a deep connection with our higher selves. Lisa believes this connection is the most important thing in our lives. Over the years, Lisa attended Vipassana (silent) meditation retreats in Northern California, which taught her the value of mindfulness, and important components of yoga she integrates into her classes. Lisa draws on her own spiritual journey and passion for yoga to create rich, dynamic and nourishing classes. She enjoys empowering her students to test the limits of their minds and bodies. Always a student of Yoga, Lisa attended a wonderful Yin Yoga Training in Mallorca, Spain and Prana Vinyasa with Shiva Rea. Lisa is delighted to bring her international yoga teaching experience to Grace Yoga.

  • Jessy Keiser

    Gentle Yoga, Yin

    As a certified Ananda Yoga Instructor, Jessy Keiser invites you to go deeper in your own practice. Her classes focus on energetic body alignment, with special attention to mind, body, and spirit awareness.
    Jessy’s style of teaching yoga incorporates classical poses and vinyasas with meditation and guided imagery. Each class begins with a gentle warm up and then moves into a series of standing, seated, and balancing poses, as well as sun salutations – woven together into a meditative energetic flow.
    Through affirmations and physical flows, you learn to relax, invigorate, tone, and strengthen. Through breath and awareness, you will begin to open major energy centers. Take time for yourself and join her classes, which are competitive-free and life-affirming.

  • Bo Smith

    Meditation

    Bo Smith is a retired aviation mechanic who came to yoga in 2002. He deeply understands that the practice of Yoga directly contributes to his happiness and the happiness of those around him. Vipassana meditation has become a practice of Yoga and Yoga has become  practice of Vipassana, which he shares with his students.  Vipasanna meditation—which is taught to be practiced while sitting, standing, walking or lying down—focuses on being kind and gentle with yourself through honesty and embracing whatever comes physically, mentally, and emotionally. Bo’s focus on healing from within extends to his volunteer work where he has worked managing 10-day silent meditation courses and served as member on the board of trustees for The Vipasanna Meditation Rehabilitation and Research Trust for North American Correctional Facilities.

  • Hilda Loury

    Gentle Yoga

    Hilda Loury completed her 200-hour teacher training at Yogaworks Westlake Village under the guidance of Lainie Devina, E-RYT500. She received her bachelor’s degree in philosophy, with a minor in cognitive science, at UCLA. She is currently working on her master’s degree in philosophy at SFSU, where she also teaches philosophy to undergraduates.

    She embarked on the path of philosophy, yoga, and mindfulness six years ago. Inspired by spiritual principles and the eight-limbed paths of Buddha and Patanjali, she strives to live each day aligned with authenticity, love, and Truth. Through this path, inner fire, and the guidance of others, she has transformed her life. She believes that yoga and meditation are self-care for the mind, body, and spirit, as well as a tool to connect deeper with others and the world at-large.

    Grace Yoga, she teaches gentle yoga and power yoga, featuring stimulating sounds and poetry for a complete experience.

  • Jane Gehrke

    Vinyasa Yoga

    Jane Gehrke first started going to yoga seriously to improve circulation and flexibility and relieve every day back pain caused by a lifestyle of sitting with poor posture. Yoga helped with all of that as well as how to use the breath be present in the body, which reduced her anxiety, and in general helped her feel more connected to others in the class as well as other people in her life. She still enjoys all these benefits of a yoga practice today and, after studying yoga philosophy, lives with conscious attention to following Patanjali's 8 Limbs of Yoga. She is inspired to bring the transformative powers of yogic philosophy and practice to others in a way that honors Yoga's history.

  • Julienne Hernandez

    Vinyasa Yoga

    When I took my first yoga "class" on a beginner DVD in 2005, I fell in love with yoga immediately. From then on, my practice grew very gradually from taking one class a week as part of my fitness regimen to now exclusively practicing yoga and meditation every day I can. I've found the most challenging classes to be the most rewarding because I learned more about what I can do and how to grapple with my self-doubt. My love for yoga and the challenges I faced on the mat kept me coming back and in doing so, my practice and understanding deepened until I found a yearning to teach. I received my certification from Nandi Yoga in 2016 and have been joyfully sharing yoga with the world ever since.

    My classes mirror my practice: a fun sequence with opportunities to learn alongside a carefully crafted playlist. Expect to come to a sweaty class and (hopefully) leave feeling as though you learned something new - about yoga, about your body or about yourself.

  • Molly Rue Leitner

    Hatha, Gentle

    Molly Rue Leitner first began practicing yoga in 2010, and found the transformation it created within her so magical that she decided to become certified to teach. She completed her 200 hour certification in 2014 through Empowered Yoga in Wilmington, Delaware, and since moving to the Bay Area has begun to complete her 500 hour certification through Yoga Tree. Through her mindfully-paced classes, she helps her students find joy and balance as they connect body, mind, breath, and spirit. Molly strongly believes that the magic of yoga can (and should) be accessible to all, and she believes in taking the power of the practice with you off the mat, to bring joy, lightness, and peace wherever you find yourself. She especially enjoys teaching beginning yogis, as well as gentler, mindfully-paced classes for all levels. In her classes she strives to cultivate an environment of self-acceptance, open-heartedness, and peace for all students to thrive in.

     

  • Julie Stewart

    Meditation, Vinyasa, Yin

    Julie Stewart is a child-educator-turned-yoga-teacher who started her yoga practice in 2004. Yoga is one thing she can study all day and still want to learn more. She’s a new transplant to the Bay Area, and lives with her fiancé and their cat (don’t worry, she’ll show you pictures). She is a genuine soul working to create a welcoming, safe environment where anyone can grow their practice through yoga and meditation, regardless of experience. She loves practicing and teaching asana, and finds joy in leading meditation. Come join her in a meditation or vinyasa class and leave feeling refreshed, grounded, and peaceful.

  • Celina Ngiam

    Vinyasa

    Photo and bio coming soon!