Article appears on Bay Shakti blog
by Fredo on November 1, 2011
Fredo: Hi Tara! Thanks for taking time to answer Bay Shakti’s questions about the new Yoga Tree Studio on Telegraph in Berkeley. Can you tell me a little bit about how this transition came to take place? Had Yoga Tree been looking to expand into the East Bay, or was it just a good opportunity? What attracted you to this new outreach?
Tara: It’s actually a bit of both, Fredo. Yoga Tree Co-Founder Tim Dale and I had been looking to expand into the East Bay for a couple of years now, but never found the right fit. Last month Yoga Mandala came to us and asked if we wanted to acquire the studio. We met with the owners, saw the beautiful space, and knew immediately this was a perfect opportunity for Yoga Tree.
Fredo: Some of the Yoga Tree studios focus on one style of yoga. For example, the Castro location offers pretty much exclusively flow/vinyasa classes. Do you have a sense yet of what the Telegraph studio will offer?
Tara: Our current schedule is expanding and will offer a bit of everything, including Hatha, vinyasa, meditation, pre and postnatal, Anusara, Jivamukti and more. What we like to do is grow organically within the community. Once we have been open for 6 months we’ll know which classes are more popular, and will slowly massage our schedule based upon our students needs.
Fredo: I know it’s probably a bit early on to be able to speak to scheduling, but I do know that Abby Tucker, a Certified Anusara Yoga Teacher based in Berkeley, announced recently that she will be teaching at the Telegraph studio. Les Leventhal will also be teaching a couple of classes there, I believe? Are there any other plans you’re ready to announce for new teachers coming on board, either from other parts of the Yoga Tree family, or from outside?
Tara: Absolutely. In our schedule launching November 1st the East Bay community will continue to see long-time favorites such as David Moreno, Sean Feit and Kat Atkinson. However we’re adding not only Les and Abby as new additions to the studio, but also Pete Guinosso, Sianna Sherman, Pedro Franco, Hannah Franco, Emilly Dillof and John Rettger.
Fredo: Bay Shakti pal Charles Ekabhumi Ellis has been commissioned to adorn the studio. Can you tell us about what you asked him to work on? What can students expect?
Tara: We have remodeled and painted the back room which we’re now calling the Peacock room. Ekabhumi is painting stunning large peacock feathers all around the room. Our goal is to make each of the two studios unique and beautiful.
Fredo: It looks like, from what I can tell from the schedule, that there is more than one asana room at this location, allowing for simultaneous classes to be taught there. Will that format be kept? What challenges do you see with that layout? What benefits?
Tara: We’re excited to be able to offer two rooms for asana practice. This allows us to provide a variety of yoga offerings at the same time. It also opens up space for workshops, teacher trainings, and intensives. The benefit is variety and a space for visiting teachers.
Fredo: I know that the Mission/Shotwell location has become the venue of choice for most Yoga Tree teacher trainings, Anusara Immersions, etc. Any plans to offer similar programs out of the Telegraph location?
Tara: As I just mentioned, this is definitely part of our plan. We have already added a few workshops to the schedule and plan to offer a 200-hour teacher training and several other intensives and continuing education classes.
Fredo: Any last thoughts you’d like to share with Bay Shakti readers about the new studio?
Tara: Yoga Tree is known for having the best instructors and we’re excited to bring many of them to the East Bay. We really look foward to expanding within this beautiful community.
Fredo: Excellent! Tara, thanks so much for answering our questions, and the excellent offering Yoga Tree offers the SF Bay Area yoga community.
Editor’s Note: Yoga Tree-Telegraph will be hosting an opening party, date to be announced. They are also running two specials in the months of November and December:
Unlimited Yoga (1 month): $108
Drop In: $10
Valid through December 31st, 2011