Yoga Instructor Bios


FullSizeRenderJulia Alexander

The yoga that I practice is a reflection of years of passionate study and exploration. I pursued this path with many influential teachers – Shiva Rhea, Erich Schiffmann, Shandor Remete, Angela Farmer – and traveled the world on this journey. I became a Certified Integrative Yoga Therapist in 1997, and have honed my method of instruction both privately and at multiple studios throughout California and Nevada. Through gentle flowing movements, I bring together the structural alignment of the physical body with the energetic alignment of the subtle body; thus the “doing” of the Yoga discipline is balanced by the “being” and spacious openness.

On a personal note, having emigrated from the Soviet Union in the 70’s, I landed in San Francisco and found myself thrown into unknown territory. This required of me a constant exploration, intimacy and humility in experiencing life, and has led to many joyful discoveries along the way. The most important of them – the ancient and ever-alive teaching of yoga! Today, having recently returned to the Bay Area, I am delighted to share the gifts of yoga with people of all ages and levels of experience at 4th Street Yoga.

Contact Julia:


Betty Aten

When Betty Aten traded a desk in the principal’s office for a yoga mat, she never looked back. What started out as a weekly yoga class turned into a daily passion that she wanted to share with others. After completing teacher training through YogaWorks while living in San Luis Obispo, she was equally proud to add RYT (Registered Yoga Teacher) to the existing string of letters trailing her name related to her professional life as an educator (BA, MA, EdD). Betty recently became a certified Silver Age Yoga instructor to further her interest in yoga for healthy aging. Betty teaches beginning and senior yoga classes, and is also available for private sessions. Instruction focuses on flexibility, balance and strength for the body, while breath work and meditation cultivate a sense of peace and well-being for the mind. Classes are offered in a caring, supportive way that respects each student’s stage of life. Off the mat, Betty likes to explore Berkeley on her bike, grow vegetables, travel and hang out with her husband and two cats.
Contact Betty:

Sofia Belén

was originally a modern dancer, receiving a BFA in Modern Dance from the University of Utah. After moving to New York City, she found that the rigors of the dancing lifestyle were not conducive to a healthy mind or body. When a yoga instructor asked her to “do less” in class one day, it became clear that she had been doing so much, too much, for quite some time. She began to find flexibility within softness, and strength within ease. Sofia conveys the beauty of “doing less” in her classes, encouraging students to practice non-harm towards themselves, and creating an environment that supports self-confidence, humor, and community.

Sofia is a graduate of The Yoga Room’s 500hr Advanced Studies Program in Berkeley, CA, and also has received a 300hr certificate from Yogea in New York City. She draws inspiration from her teachers, including NYC’s Alison West and Witold Fitz Simon, and Berkeley’s Ada Lusardi, Mary Lou Weprin, and Gay White. She is a certified instructor for Eat, Breathe, Thrive, a non profit organization that provides yoga instruction and mindfulness techniques to individuals with eating disorders.

When not teaching yoga, Sofia is a marketing director for The Yard, a non-profit dance residency center on Martha’s Vineyard. She also fosters dogs from the Milo Foundation in Point Richmond (and sometimes adopts them).

Contact Sofia:


Julie Emden

is an expressive arts practitioner (Halprin Practitioner), improvisational movement artist, yoga instructor, and educator. Julie is a graduate of certification programs in teaching the body and various movement disciplines: in Iyengar-based yoga from the Advanced Studies Program at the Yoga Room in Berkeley; in Yoga and Jewish Spirituality and in Dance Midrash from the Elat Chayyim Center for Jewish Spirituality; and in Movement-based Expressive Arts Education and Therapy from Tamalpa Institute. She directs the Jewish Wellness and Embodied Jewish Learning Initiative at the Bureau of Jewish Education, teaches yoga at the Institute for Jewish Spirituality, and co-facilitates Sacred Dance Circles in Berkeley. She has loved to move and dance as far back as she can remember, and discovered and began to regularly practice Iyengar yoga over 20 years ago. For the past fourteen years she has guided, studied and learned from her students via the body, movement, yoga and the arts in a variety of settings.
Contact Julie:


Jonothon Gross

conveys his quiet passion for yoga in his ashtanga vinyasa classes. His yoga evolved from years of exploring (as a psychiatrist) the complex relationship between mind and body. Classes use flowing sequences of postures linked together by a steady focus on connecting breath and movement. Attention is directed to developing core strength and proper alignment while cultivating and sustaining an inner calm throughout a challenging practice.

Contact Jonothon: (510) 236-8612 or


Ariel Roland Holst, RYT 500

stepped in to her first yoga class twenty-three years ago while pregnant with her first son. After many years of dance, yoga offered a profound new way to learn about movement and well being. In recent years she has studied Buddhism and has taken part in silent meditation retreats at Spirit Rock. She is a graduate of The Yoga Room’s Advanced Studies Program.

Contact Ariel:

c2b95f_53ce715d4d7b4617bbfa2624ca823b3cJoss Jaffe

Joss has developed a unique style of teaching that encourages students to experience the joy of their own voice in a safe and supportive environment. He draws from his own experiences and wisdom, as well as the techniques developed by master music teachers including Montino Bourbon. He works with all levels, helping each individual find their own voice and dive into the ocean of sound. Joss has taught in the Netherlands, Italy, Japan, Hawaii and the United States including at retreat centers Esalen, Heartwood, Pema Osel Ling and Harbin Hot Springs.

Contact Joss



Nikki Jordan

Nikki Jordan integrates her knowledge and practices, offering you many pathways on the road to great health. She listens to your problems and tailors any combination of training, self-study, bodywork, detoxification, or cellular support you need and are willing to follow, or at least try.

Nikki is an E-RYT 500 & Piedmont Yoga Studio trained yoga teacher, IIR-certified reflexologist, Thai yoga & detox practitioner, energy worker, and wellness consultant.

She studies directly with Yamuna and is one of the few instructors fully certified in the combination of Yamuna® Yoga, Body Rolling, Foot Fitness, and Face Ball.

Nikki practices Access Consciousness®, practical tools to access the awareness within us all. She is trained as an Access Bars® practitioner, facilitator, and CEU provider, and is a Access Body Processes facilitator as well.

She offers both active and passive methods for self-care, Her active programs train you in easy and effective ways to realign, de-stress, decompress and unlock the body, mind, and spirit. These access the amazing vertical integration of the body, re-pattern the neuromuscular system, realign the chakras, and bring you into the full awareness of the potency of YOU.


Carla Koopal

Carla’s inclusive teaching style is informed by degrees in Education & Nursing, 30 years of advanced bodywork & natural therapeutics, and 40 years of studying 26 yoga styles. Carla offers yoga journeys choreographed on-the-spot to meet the needs of each class. She prioritizes accessible multi-level yoga (All One Yoga) with bountiful benefits for each person’s needs. Carla has accumulated a treasure chest packed full with wisdom and humor that she shares generously.


Scotty McCaulley

is a graduate of the Yoga Room’s Advanced Studies Program. He has been teaching Iyengar-style yoga for the past 10 years. Scotty was a late-comer to the practice of yoga and hence offers classes that are suited for both beginning through intermediate level students regardless of age. His intention is to teach classes which are available and welcoming to everyone. Scotty’s teaching motto has become: “IF I CAN DO IT THEN YOU CAN DO IT TOO.”
Contact Scotty: or (510) 649-1800


Pam McKernan

I didn’t walk out of my first yoga class – I glided. I still have vivid sense memories of that first post-yoga class walk – sorry, glide home. Everything about me and my surroundings had transformed into substances much lighter, airier and fresher than before. The only way to describe how I felt is to say that I experienced a moment in time utterly without burdens – or even gravity. Many years later I became a fitness specialist and yoga teacher but it wasn’t until I experienced TriYoga that my meditation practice, spiritual seeking, and love of yoga found a home. After 20 years of teaching there is still nothing I would rather be doing than helping people discover their own glide home. Namaste.
Contact Pam:

sybil meyerSybil Meyer

is a licensed psychotherapist (LMFT) and expressive arts therapist. She has studied, performed and taught various disciplines of dance and movement arts for most of her life. As a therapist, she has brought the healing and expressive aspects of those disciplines to clients and students in colleges, private studios, and clinical settings. Practicing Motion Theater since 2006 has strengthened her belief in the value and necessity of creative self expression. She sees the Motion art form as a way of addressing the profound need people have to be seen, heard, and witnessed in their efforts to make sense of our increasingly chaotic world; and to articulate their personal stories.


Rosy Moon

has enjoyed decades of yogic study and practice, first in the Ashtanga tradition and later in Tantric Hatha Yoga with Sophia Diaz, then Psalm Isadora’s Primal Core 200hr teacher training. Practicing and teaching through two pregnancies led her to study Active Birth with Carol Ironside in the U.K and discover her passion for supporting women in the transition to motherhood.
Contact Rosy:



Barbara Papini

has taught yoga for 30 years, was on The Yoga Room Advanced Studies staff for 12 years and has mentored many beginning teachers during this time. She studied with Geeta Iyengar in Pune, India. Donald Moyer is her primary teacher.
She began teaching at Fourth Street Yoga when it first opened, over 20 years ago. Barbara offers seasonal retreats, workshops and personal practice guidance on request.

Contact Barbara:


Sally Pugh

Certified Ananda Yoga Teacher/ Registered Yoga Teacher, Yoga Alliance.

I have been teaching yoga in the Bay Area for the past 20 years and have extensive experience working with people of all sizes. My classes, workshops and retreats offer a safe, comfortable and grounded space for people of all sizes to connect and integrate body, mind and spirit through yoga, meditation and breath awareness. I continue to learn from my students, from personal practice and exploration and from study.

I am guided by the wisdom of the body, the power of the heart, and the joy of discovery. One of my great privileges as a teacher is to introduce beginners to the practice of yoga.

In addition to Yoga for Large Women, I hold yoga and meditation retreats at the Calistoga Spa Hot Springs for people of all sizes and genders, and co-facilitate with Ann Doherty, RN, CDE, “New Strategies for Managing Stress and Optimizing Health,” a Calistoga retreat offering CEU’s for RN, MFT and LCSW.

I also teach yoga for employees at Alta Bates, Summit and Herrick Hospitals and Restorative Yoga at the Claremont Resort and Spa.
Contact Sally:

Keren Remington

Keren is an avid traveler who prefers to be called a yoga travel guide over yoga instructor because yoga is a journey. Keren’s motivation to take her first step on the yoga path was to supplement her running, improve her flexibility & tone her muscles. She soon realized yoga allowed her to press pause on life’s treadmill to have time to take a breath & reconnect with herself. With consistent practice, she began to experience yoga’s positive side effects such as reduced stress from her demanding corporate job. Now Keren considers yoga just as vital to her life as eating, breathing or sleeping.

Keren guides yogis of all levels on a journey via their yoga mat through a variety of yoga practices: yoga postures (asana), breathing exercises (pranayama), relaxation (Yoga Nidra) & meditation. She encourages students to have fun on their yogic exploration as they build strength both mentally & physically. Her intention for each class is to create a relaxed, safe & light-hearted environment.

Keren, MBA, RYT 500, has certifications to teach Ashtanga Vinyasa yoga and Yoga for Mental Health (LifeForce Yoga). To learn more about Keren visit: or call 415.515.9940


Beth Greenfield

Beth Greenfield Rodgers

has been practicing yoga since 1982 and began teaching in 1988 while completing her Advanced Yoga Studies at The Yoga Room in Berkeley, CA. Beth studied and apprenticed with Rodney Yee for many years, and was one of his first students to become a teacher. Beth helped found the 4th Street Yoga studio with her yoga partners Clare Finn and Barbara Voinar. Beth studied Yoga in Balance with Jean Couch while she was healing a back injury. Beth’s style of teaching blends precision of body alignment from her Iyengar training with gentle relaxation and skeletal re-alignment from her Yoga in Balance work. Beth’s classes are suited for back and joint care, for beginners and all levels. Beth guides her students carefully through the subtle nuances of a pose. Her classes are straightforward and humble. All are welcome.

Contact Beth: (510) 428-1860 or

DSC_0188Deborah Saliby

is a long time yoga practitioner and certified Iyengar yoga teacher with 34 years of teaching experience. She is a graduate of the Iyengar Yoga Institute in San Francisco and teaches in the East Bay. Her instruction is clear and concise and accessible for all level of students. she has a calm, pleasant and easy going manner and always includes relaxation postures in her classes. She specializes in Yoga for Pregnancy and Hypnosis for Birthing. She presently teaches at The Yoga Room and 4th Street Yoga Studio’s in Berkeley. For more information go to her website at or call 510-541-1395.

Contact Deborah Here

Barbara Steiber

Barbara views yoga as a system of body movements that will help sustain and support the well-being of a person’s health and fitness, over the many years of one’s life. She has been a yoga practitioner for over 25 years, and teaching since 1996. She is a graduate of the Yoga Room in Berkeley. She is also a graduate of the School of Body Mind Centering (BMC), a 500-hour yoga training program of Embodied Anatomy and Yoga, and Developmental Movement and Yoga, and is a BMC certified Somatic Movement Educator. She is a licensed therapeutic massage practitioner. Barbara’s classes focus on a sequence of asanas/poses to maximize the body’s natural ease and aliveness. She works with students to bring about a sense of enjoyment and balance, as well as a deepening of the connection between the body and mind.

t_tuttleDon Tuttle

has enjoyed a regular yoga practice since 1981. He has taught yoga since 1983 in San Francisco and Berkeley at the Yoga Room, the Berkeley Yoga Center, 4th Street Yoga and the Iyengar Yoga Institute of San Francisco as a teacher training faculty member. He has studied several times in India with B.K.S., Geeta and Prashant Iyengar. Classes center on learning useful foundation principals for the yoga asanas. Students learn core poses and sequences and learn to develop their personal practice.
Contact Don:

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Tania Varela-Ibarra

has been teaching yoga since 1999. She began practicing yoga in her early twenties as a way to supplement her modern dance pursuits but quickly found herself choosing her mat over rehearsals and by thirty had embraced yoga completely. During Tania’s first pregnancy she completed the Khalsa Way Prenatal training with Gurmukh in 2010 and shortly after the birth of her first son Hiro started teaching Mom Baby Yoga and Prenatal Yoga at Blossom Birth in Palo Alto. Tania loves sharing the practice of yoga with expectant moms and moms with their new babies. Tania’s other training’s include Integral Yoga, Om Yoga, Restorative Yoga and she continues to study and attend SmartFLOW workshops with Annie Carpenter to deepen her own practice and teaching. Contact


Barbara Voinar

Barbara has studied yoga for over 40 years in diverse yoga lineages. Her teaching style is primarily infused from the traditions of Siddha, Iyengar, Anusara Yoga and the inspiring teaching of Angela Farmer. Her passion for Bhakti Yoga was ignited by the teachings of RamDass, Baba Muktananda and Neem Karoli Baba. Leading her to embrace the power of chanting as a salve that keeps the love in our hearts growing. Her spiritual practice of Mindful Awareness brought her to align most closely with the Nyingma tradition of Tibetan Buddhism under the guidance of Rinpoche Anam Thubten. Her asana instruction is equally informed by her knowledge of anatomy and physiology through studies in these areas.

She has taught in prisons, specialized in pre-natal yoga, supported programs for vulnerable youth, works therapeutically with MS, ALS, Stroke and Cancer yogis. She also teaches yoga as a path of healing in the substance abuse recovery population. Certified in Senior Yoga Therapy through Duke Integrative Medicine, she approaches aging with vibrancy and respect for the changes these later years bring to our practice. Barbara continues to discover that yoga can take many outward shapes, but once we settle inside silence we simply listen from within.

Contact Barbara:

Nina Berne Photo sitting hands spread

Nina Wise

is known for her provocative and original performance works. Her pieces have garnered seven Bay Area Critics’ Circle Awards, and she has received, among other prestigious honors, three National Endowment for the Arts fellowships. Her written pieces ( have appeared in numerous magazines and anthologies.

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