I began my study of yoga in 1980. I read in a book that yoga was the best exercise ever invented, and then, within a week, I happened across an ad for the Yoga Room in Berkeley, a mile or so away from where I was living at the time in Oakland. I went to try it out, and here I am today, as I write this 36 years later. I went through my teacher training at the Iyengar Yoga Institute in San Francisco from 1982 to 1986. It was a two-year program that took me more than three years to complete. The friends I made back then are still around today, and still teaching, Clare Finn, Patricia Sullivan, Mary Paffard, Tony Briggs, and last but not least, my evil twin, Rodney Yee.
In 1987 Clare, Rod, and I founded the Piedmont Yoga Studio in Oakland, California. The school had a good run, almost 28 years before closing its doors in January 2015. Amazingly though, the school was resurrected virtually the day after its demise in a new incarnation as You and the Mat, ably directed by Eric and Denise Antonini. I teach all seven of my weekly public classes at this beautiful venue.
Right now I’m a contributing editor at Yoga Journal magazine, to which I’ve contributed countless articles, reviews, and columns over the past quarter century. I’m also proud to serve as the President of the board of directors of the Yoga Dana Foundation (www.yogadanafoundation.org), which supports Northern California teachers bringing yoga to underserved communities in the Bay Area. I’ve written three books for Shambhala, The Yoga of Breath: A Step-by-Step Guide to Pranayama (2002), Pranayama: Beyond the Fundamentals (2006), and Original Yoga: Rediscovering Traditional Practices of Hatha Yoga (2012); I also recorded a 7-disc set of instructional CDs for Shambhala titled The Practice of Pranayama: An In-Depth Guide to the Yoga of Breath (2010). My fourth Shambhala book, Yoga FAQ: Almost Everything You Need to Know About Yoga from Asana to Yama, will be coming out in February, 2017.
I’ve been very fortunate to have been a yoga teacher now for nearly 30 years. But, to paraphrase the last lines of my autobiographical poem for my magnum opus, AlphaBetiZoo,
I think I ought to warn ya
I live in Berkeley, California.