• 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.

  • Cody Freas

    Gentle Yoga, Vinyasa

    Cody Freas knew, after experiencing his first yoga class, what his purpose was: to share the transformative fruits that a yoga practice can bring to other hungry hearts and minds. In 2008, his wanderlust, both inward and outward, led him to India and Nepal where he studied many different meditation and yoga techniques. This paved the way for him to get his RYT-200 certification in 2011 from Still Yoga in Silverlake, CA and his RYT-500 certification from YogaMaze in Los Angeles, CA in 2014. His classes honor the influence of his teachers throughout the years by being fueled with intent, based on alignment, and centered with awareness.
  • Nikie Gibson

    Yoga Basics

    Nikie Gibson (RYT-200) is a true San Francisco native, a community health educator, with an extensive background in trauma informed care (TIC), and 15 years of yoga experience.

    Her personal journey in discovering her yogic path is a testament that yoga works “on and off the mat.” After encountering a physical spinal injury that made her unable to ambulate it was through her daily practice and facing her deepest forms of emotional work that she experienced a holistic healing, not only from pain caused by her injury, but the internalized complex pain of trauma, grief, and work burnout.

    Nikie believes Yoga is a powerful tool for anyone on a path to becoming whole, that begins with the healing of thy self. Like life, yoga is a test, comes with emotional highs and lows, pain and grace, trial and error, comfort and discomfort are all signals and/or symptoms of healing, growth and the evolution of new life.  Nikie’s mission is to encourage awareness of mind, body, and soul connection, creating your own personalized adventure through safe, mindful, TIC yoga. In being happy through movement together, we will learn that raising our vibrations enhances our life condition, state of mind, and physical health. Creating the perfect state of spiritual attunement to enter our best self-divine and higher purpose (dharma) through daily practice.

    Her Yoga skills include: pranayama (breath), asana (yoga poses) and movement; in addition to using a trauma informed (TIY) approach to embrace, honor, and respect all human experiences in a non-judgmental environment. Transformative community allows expression oneself, emotional intelligence by holding space for all to come as you are, do what is safe for you, heal, discover, share, cry, laugh, develop, support, love, strengthen our best selves.

  • Julienne Hernandez

    Vinyasa, Power 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.

  • 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.

  • Molly Rue Leitner

    Yoga Basics, Hatha Yoga, Gentle Yoga, Meditation

    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.

  • Andres (Andy) Le Roux

    Vinyasa, Power Yoga

    Andy LeRoux has been practicing yoga since 2000. In 2016, he felt the urge to focus and learn more about this wonderful discipline and took the Teacher Training at Infinite Yoga in San Diego. He has participated in workshops with Jason Crandell, Sharon Gannon, Eoin Finn and Kino MacGregor. He has also done further training at Nandi Yoga, YogaFlow SF and AstaYoga. Convinced that meditation in movement achieved through yoga can improve humanity, he enjoys guiding other people in their journey.

    “May all beings everywhere be happy and free, and may the thoughts, words, and actions of my own life contribute in someway to that happiness and to that freedom for all.”

  • Celina Ngiam

    Vinyasa Yoga - Alignment Based Flow

    Celina Ngiam has been practicing yoga since 2004.  She was initially drawn to the practice for the physical benefits and discovered how yoga can bring mindfulness and inner peace to her everyday life.  Her classes are influenced by the Vinyasa, Iyengar, and Jivamukti teachers she studied with in the Bay Area.  In addition to the 200-hour Teacher Training at Nandi Yoga, she also did additional training in Restorative Yoga with Judith Hansen Lasater and Yoga for Cancer Survivors.  Celina encourages her students to be present and explore the joy and peace in every asana.  She also inspires students to take yoga off the mat and bring it into every aspect of their life.

  • Sheri Nautiyal

    Yin Yoga

     
    For Sheri Nautiyal, yoga has been an incredible transformative journey of self-discovery and healing process which has allowed her to experience life with an open heart. Through yoga practice and teaching, she believes love with an open heart is the sole purpose of the human existence. She is honored to be a part of your yogic journey, and looks forward to sharing Yoga as a medium of expression of Love with you on and off the mat. Love of self, love of nature, love of others.
  • Vivek Nautiyal

    Vinyasa 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.

  • Danae Robinett

    Restorative Yoga, Vinyasa - Rise and Shine Flow

    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!

  • 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.

  • Lorene Schratter

    Gentle Yoga, Restorative 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.”

  • Bo Smith

    Meditation

    Bo Smith, a USMC Veteran and retired helicopter mechanic, found his first yoga class in 2002 while learning different meditation techniques. His yoga teacher explained, “Yoga asanas are meditative movements and the space between the movements are also meditation.” Bo realized right away that he needed this for his own mental health while dealing with the effects of PTSD, ADD, and the anxiety and depression that go with them.  He was looking for a way to cope and  found it; all of the amazing physical benefits were icing on the cake! The eight limbs of yoga are guiding us to cultivate a meditative mind of loving-kindness while sitting, standing, walking or lying down - this is the essence of what Bo wants to share with students.

  • Dana Sweeney

    Yoga Basics, Vinyasa Yoga

    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.

  • 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.”

  • Kristin Walsh

    Restorative Yoga, Gentle Yoga, Vinyasa Yoga

    Kristin Walsh (E-RYT 500) is a Baltimore native, and a recent transplant to the Bay area ready to share, learn, and play with the Grace Yoga community. Kristin has been practicing yoga for over ten years and has studied tantra, vinyasa, yin, meditation, prenatal, and Ayurvedic practices.  She completed her 200 hour tantra yoga training in 2012, followed by 85 hour prenatal training in 2015, and last year completed her 300 hour advanced teacher training.  The practice of yoga has been transformative and enlightening for Kristin, which is why her personal mantra for teaching yoga is to empower and uplift others.

  • Deb Wong

    Gentle Yoga, Restorative Yoga, Yin Yoga

    Deb Wong’s yoga journey began in 2000 when she wandered into her first Bikram yoga class.  Early on in her journey she discovered the practice brought a feeling of peaceful exhaustion, an amazing feeling she’d lost over the years.  Along the way she developed a calmness and awareness which somehow always evaded her.  As her practice deepened, she knew she wanted to teach others the benefits of a daily practice.  That day finally came and in 2006 she left the corporate world to learn and share.  

    Deb has over three decades experience in bodybuilding/fitness.  She’s studied with Bikram & Rajashree Choudhury in 2013 earning her certification in Bikram Yoga.  Continuing with her yoga studies Deb is certified in Restorative Yoga with Judith Lasater, RYT-200hr Vinyasa with Yoga Alliance through Peacebank Yoga.  

    With her guidance and encouragement students will learn to get in and out of the postures correctly;  they’ll learn to trust themselves, push further, test new waters; they’ll leave class in a yoga bliss.

    “Within each one of us exists a warrior and a yogi.  A Warrior, who will push through and overcome, who is determined, who will achieve; and A Yogi, who is the most tenderhearted and compassionate being.”  Kelli Russell