Tracy is a yoga teacher, intuitive guide, and doula who believes that wellness starts from within. She trained for over 300 hours at her home ashram in India learning traditional hatha yoga and pre/postnatal yoga. The blend of hatha and vinyasa yoga as well as pranayama (breathing techniques) has led to her unique teaching style where she ultimately aims to bring balance in mind, body, and spirit to her students. Tracy is beyond thrilled to take what she has learned through self-study, travel, and years of practice to the community of Oakland and the Bay Area.
Exploration, learning, and play are the shared factors in Laura’s two passions- travel and yoga. After years of experiencing different styles of yoga while exploring the world, followed by several years working to help others plan their own travel adventures, she is now excited to lead others in exploring the Self through the journey of their yoga practice. She is happy to be home in the Bay Area and honored to have found a yoga community of warm, openhearted students and esteemed, transformative yoga teachers at Nest Yoga | Oakland.
Vinyasa, the artful and empowering flow of movement to the rhythm of breath is her favorite practice for stilling thoughts, centering, and honoring the Self; this is the intention she encourages her students. She motivates each student to tune into their own body, mind, and energy to deeply connect to the body’s wisdom and find their own unique practice. Together they co-create a practice that is a balance of challenge and nourishment, of effort and ease, of strengthening and stretching the body and holding on to the goals for their practice with letting go of expectation.
BORN: The Big Apple
CURRENT TOWN: Berkeley, CA
OCCUPATION: Yoga Instructor / Writer
Richard began his practice of Hatha Yoga in 1980 at the Yoga Room in Berkeley, and from 1982 to 1985 trained at the BKS Iyengar Yoga Institute in San Francisco. In 1987 he co-founded the Piedmont Yoga Studio with his good friends Clare Finn and Rodney Yee, and taught there for nearly 28 years until it closed its doors in January 2015. Richard continued on with the new owners of You and the Mat until July of 2018, when Nest Yoga purchased You and the Mat’s Oakland location.
Richard is a contributing editor at Yoga Journal magazine, and since 1990 he’s written feature articles, book reviews, a variety of columns, and over 300 yoga video reviews. He’s also the author of four books, The Yoga of Breath (Shambhala 2002), Yoga for 50+ (Ulysses 2004), Pranayama Beyond the Fundamentals (Shambhala 2006), and Original Yoga (Shambhala 2012), as well as recording a seven-CD set titled The Practice of Pranayama (Shambhala 2010). Since 1989 he’s been on the board of directors of the California Yoga Teachers Association, and in 2008 helped form CYTA’s grant-making wing, the Yoga Dana Foundation, which supports California yoga teachers working with underserved populations, such as at-risk and incarcerated youth and disabled students.
Vickie strives to facilitate connections, fostering an environment where students can drop below the layers of habit and distraction in order to integrate more fully with who they really are and with their more expansive nature.
In her classes, you will learn about alignment and the subtle body and breath in order to be transported into new territory and possibility. She creatively and intelligently interweaves asana, meditation and restorative yoga to help students regulate the nervous system and find a sense of presence.
Teaching and sharing yoga has been Vickie’s passion for over 20 years. She graduated from the Advanced Studies Program at Piedmont Yoga and has been greatly influenced by many teachers including (and not limited to) Richard Rosen, Rodney Yee, Judith Lasater, and Tony Briggs.
BORN: Los Angeles
CURRENT TOWN: San Francisco
OCCUPATION: Yoga Teacher
Leila Swenson is a joyful, kind, and inspiring Vinyasa teacher, teaching from the heart. She began her study of yoga in 2000 at the Himalayan Institute, and has been teaching full-time in the SF/Bay Area since 2010. Leila's yoga offering is an empowering physical, mental, and spiritual practice, blending chanting, breath-work, meditation, and vinyasa. She believes that yoga is the most effective practice for self-discovery, love, health, happiness, and peace. Very grateful to her Teachers, Leila is devoted to the practice and the students she serves.