In Gratitude

Hello Everyone!

In December of 2020, I taught the last of my weekly Sunday morning classes at the Breathing Room studio, which is the latest iteration of the yoga studio I co-founded with Betsy Weiss and Barbara Steiber in 1995. After teaching weekly classes in Alameda for 25 years, that last class marked the end of an era for me and for many longtime students as well. Change is the only constant.

Before the pandemic overtook us, I had planned to make this shift more gradually, and move from weekly teaching to offering monthly workshops as a way of phasing out over the year. But as with so many things, the pandemic had other plans, and once the quarantine was instituted, I decided to postpone the workshop series and continue teaching my Sunday classes via zoom instead. It felt like pulling out of those weekly classes would be too much of a shock on top of all the other shocks we were undergoing last year.

Although now I’ve mostly moved on to writing (I’m currently working on my next book as well as writing for the Yoga For Times of Change blog), and consulting and speaking on the science of happiness, well-being and positive health, I will be teaching occasional workshops. You can always check this space for the latest news.

In the meantime, please know that I am sending all of you who have attended my classes over the past 25 years so much love, reverence and gratitude. It has been my great pleasure to have taught yoga in Alameda for so many years. In that time I have taught dozens of intro to yoga classes and had the honor of being quite a few people’s first yoga teacher. I have mentored many apprentices who have gone on to become wonderful teachers in their own right. I have felt a lovely sense of belonging in the Alameda community and a deep connection with my weekly students, who were beautifully supportive of my grad school year, during which I lived a double life and was absent once a month so that I could attend my master’s program classes in Philadelphia! (Special shout-out to the incomparable Dawn Adams who made this possible by subbing for me.) All of this has been incredibly rich and rewarding. Although it is bittersweet to be moving on and I deeply miss seeing you each week, I know it is the right time for me to be starting a new chapter. Change is not only inevitable, it is also the only way we grow.

Please keep in touch, and, namaste. The light in me does indeed see and honor the light in you.


HelpingKatrinaDhanurasana_w_shadows_cropped2Helping Zola with Dhanurasana

Remembering Alameda Yoga Station

Barbara, Betsy and Sandy founded AYS while they were all still students of the Berkeley Yoga Room’s teacher training program. When the studio opened its doors on Park Street (next door to and upstairs from Tucker’s Ice Cream Parlor) in January of 1995, it was the first official, dedicated yoga studio in Alameda. The majority of students who came to classes in those first years were brand-new to yoga.

Sandy joined the teaching staff of the Yoga Room’s teacher training program in 2000, and many of AYS’ teachers were Yoga Room graduates.

An exciting moment for the studio was when one of the Oakland Raiders’ players happened into Sandy’s class in 2004 and told his trainer about it, which resulted in Sandy and Betsy being invited to teach a series of 20 classes for the team during their pre-training season. It caused quite a stir in the neighborhood as the football players rolled up in the parking lot behind Tucker’s in their SUVs twice a week to do yoga that summer!

In 2008 Sandy and Betsy moved to a new location across the street and around the corner behind the Starbucks at Park and Central, and then AYS moved to its final, and most beautiful and spacious, studio on Lincoln Avenue in 2011. Erica Grevemeyer stepped in to become our beloved studio manager for those last years.

In 2013 when Sandy decided to apply to grad school and write a new book (Master’s degree in positive psychology completed in fall of 2016; book still in progress and now due out in early 2023), Beth Ziegylbaum took over the studio and it became Leela Yoga. When Beth passed the reins to Liza Wilt and Aviva Levine in January 2020, little did anyone know what was just around the corner. Yet somehow the studio, now the Breathing Room, continues to survive and thrive, bringing yoga to the community of Alameda, and that is worth celebrating!

hanumanasanaSandy Leads a Class in Alameda