The highest quality yoga in a welcoming environment.
Tim and Tara Dale met in June of 1999 on a business meeting to begin what would become the Yoga Tree we know today. Now they have nine yoga centers, two children, and a growing community of yogis to share it all with.
Prior to opening Yoga Tree, Tim Dale owned and operated many of San Francisco’s most popular restaurants and nightclubs. These include: Eleven, Fumé, Undici, Eddie Jack’s, the DNA Lounge, the Tap Room Bar, and the Up & Down Club. His career began in 1978, opening Wolfdale’s in Lake Tahoe.
Tara Dale has instructed hatha yoga since 1995. She has been teaching at Yoga Tree since its inception. Tara is inspired by Shiva Rea, Judith Lasater and John Friend. She is the director of the Yoga Tree teacher program.
Interestingly, both Tim and Tara’s family’s have backgrounds in the physical arts. Tim’s father and Tara’s mother were both gymnasts. Tim’s father worked as an acrobat with the Ringling Brothers circus and was part of a traveling Vaudevillian dance troupe. In Tim’s childhood, he and his father performed as a father/son clown troop. Tara’s mother was a high school gymnastics teacher.
In an interview conducted in October of 2002, Tara and Tim revealed their passion and vision for Yoga Tree and expressed their excitement to expand the community.
Yoga Tree is unique. I’ve visited a lot of yoga studios and what I have noticed about most of the studios is that they offer only one particular style of yoga. Can you talk about how it came to be that the Yoga Tree offers so many different yoga styles? What inspired you to become so diversified?
Tara: We wanted everybody to have access to a practice that fit them accordingly. As a teacher and a student of yoga, I value the knowledge that comes from all the different styles. It helps to not only deepen your understanding of the depth of yoga but the variety gives students a choice to give their body and mind what it needs for that day. Some days I like my yoga to be really active and flowing. Other days, I need a restorative practice.
Tim: …for me I think it’s all about the teachers. I really think the teachers’ instruction is of the highest quality when they are teaching what they know best, what their passion is, what they are studying rather than manipulating them into teaching a specific kind of yoga. I think it’s more inspirational for the teachers to be allowed to do this… the students get more out of the class when the teachers are given the freedom to teach what they love.
So as the Tree grows, where do you see its future?
Tara: You know as long as we stay consistent with our mission statement for creating a safe and clean space for people to practice yoga with professional teachers in a way that enriches their lives, I think the Tree will create a future all on its own and surprise us all.
Tim: The future doesn’t really have to do with us as I see it. The future of the Tree is held by the people who are coming into the Tree to do yoga, by the teachers and by the staff. We simply want to implement changes that reflect the evolution of our students and our teachers. We have to grow with our clients and offer them what they need. We just want to make sure we keep up with what the community is asking of us.
Tara: …and that goes along with our mission to offer high quality instruction with a lot of compassion and to help create a community through that vision.