Teacher Profile: Jason Gillenwater


Jason Gillenwater teaches Vinyasa Flow 4 times a week at Bernal Yoga. His classes are active and athletic, yet are friendly to students of all levels of their yoga practice.

But do you know that he is also a professional saxophone player? His yoga practice began when he saw a fellow bandmate doing forward folds and other poses to warm up before rehearsals. He began attending classes twice a week, which became four times a week, every day, then eventually he finished teacher training. He finds that the practice not only reduced his back pain, it also gives him the mental strength to face stressful situations.

Check out Jason’s current teaching class schedule.

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Photos by Tracy Wong

Teacher Profile: Carey Rockland

Carey Rockland at Bernal Yoga

Carey Rockland is teaching a summer program here at Bernal Yoga on Functional Strength Training. Her program doesn’t just include the 45-minute classes, but also a sense of community, online training, take-home workouts, and email follow-up.

Here are Carey’s thoughts on the program:

Getting up while its still quiet out to meet up with friends and neighbors for 45 minutes of fitness is something I am proud to be a part of. Yes, we are all a little groggy when we arrive! By the time class is over we have worked all the major muscle groups, mixed it up with cardio and pumped fresh oxygen through our bodies.

I think community is very important for personal motivation, inspiration, friendship and commitment to health. We welcome everyone, regardless of fitness level. We aren’t a quiet group - we crack jokes and even whine when sets get tough. When class is over and we start the day, it’s cool to know we’ve already greeted it by taking care of our fitness and connecting with others. Best of all, we don’t have to try to fit it in after work!

Sunrise at Bernal Yoga

Photo Credit: Tracy Wong

Bernal Yoga’s Sister Studio, Sellwood Yoga Opens New Fitness Studio in Portland, OR

Sellwood Yoga’s new Align Fitness,  a new strength and conditioning studio offering exciting Bootcamp, TRX, Kettlebell & FIT classes officially opens February 5th. The new Align Fitness studio is located across the street from Sellwood Yoga in the current C-Velo Cycling Studio (located within Sellwood Cycle Repair.)

Sellwood Yoga and Align Fitness class passes and monthly memberships will be the same and are valid at both locations.  Portland students will be able to take Yoga, Pilates, Nia and other wellness classes at Sellwood Yoga & Bootcamp, TRX classes and FIT at Align Fitness on the same pass. Sellwood Yoga and Align Fitness members will also receive 10% off C-Velo Cycling classes.

Align Fitness is the Fitness studio annex of Sellwood Yoga and marks the first strength and conditioning based studio of Align Integrative Wellness, LLC.  Based in Portland, Oregon, Align Integrative Wellness is a family owned business specializing in community based yoga and fitness studios.

Align Integrative Wellness studios are located in Portland, Oregon at Sellwood Yoga & Align Fitness and in San Francisco, California at Bernal Yoga. Brother and sister, Bill and Savonn Wyland own and oversee the growth, vision and direction of the studios.

Two Years of Digging Yoga

In September I passed my two year anniversary of practicing yoga.  I probably have taken more classes than most people celebrating their two year anniversary because I like to take 5 or more classes a week.  I used to lift weights regularly, but I let that lapse because my body got too tight (and you know that women go to yoga to meet loose men).  I used to get regular migraines, now I go to yoga.  I used to carry all my stress in my belly with disastrous results; yogic breathing helped relax my bod.  When I take BART in the morning I practice pranyama because it helps me relax before work.  Less stress.

I used to wonder what yoga was doing for me.  But now I ask myself whether it matters.  I like the way my body feels, it doesn’t ache as much, the people at the studio are way cool, and savasanah rocks at the end of each practice.  I appreciate the thousand times I have to do the standards like downward dog, cobra, forward bend, low lunge, sun salutation, present pose, chair, Warrior I, II, and III; triangle, side-angle, crow, bridge, half moon, and all the rest.  Hey I finally elevated up into wheel, and I’m doing some arm stands (right terminology?…who cares.).   Have you ever had your lower back release when you stay in child’s pose, it feels wonderful. You do these asanas a thousand times and every pose is different and each new time you learn something extra about your body and yourself.  I used to wonder when I’d be good at yoga, it doesn’t seem to matter anymore.  The most important part of yoga is interacting with the people and instructors with whom you practice.

Now my internal chant during flow classes is “re-lax.”  “Re” is my inhale and “lax” is my exhale.  My primary goal at the conclusion of class is to sink into “Corpse” pose.  Isn’t it ironic, you start each practice on your knees and complete it in “corpse” pose,…each class is kind of like a metaphor for life.  Sorry, too deep.  I used to go to practice and admire all the yoga stars with their lithe bodies.  The other day I went to class and saw a bunch of my friends, and wondered what happened to all the stars.  I laugh more at practice now, and it is particularly ludicrous when I fall out of a pose because I’m such a dork.  But it is only practice, no big deal.

So what is the prognosis after two years.  There is none.  Yoga feels good, it makes me mellow, and I have fun during practice.  And to think I was hoping that one day I’d become a yoga star.

Jeff Cross

Take a deep breath!

Visibly anxious, apprehensive, worried, sleepless, shocked? When in these states the breath is often short and gaspy, and taking a slow deep breath can bring us back from a sometimes scary place the mind has taken us. But how about when our needs are more subtle, when our emotions are hidden from notice? This is the exact time that a yoga practice-incorporating a few mindful deep breaths-would do us a world of good and bring us back into balance. The importance of the breath in our practice is key. There is no yoga without the breath. There is no life without the breath! The breath is the only involuntary process of our physical being that we can control-and therefore the key to linking your mind to your body. As babies we breathed full complete breaths; it just came naturally. So wouldn’t it be a good idea to find our way back there again, by learning how we strayed away and re-learning how to breathe naturally?

To read more go to :

Getting the most out of your practice during the autumn season

I always feel the shift from summer to fall much more than to any other season. So much activity happens during this big period of transition: San Francisco’s beloved post season baseball and football games, the Jewish New Year—and with Halloween and Thanksgiving ahead and summer vacation far behind, we are faced with increased obligations and responsibilities as our daily routines shift into a new mode.

As seasons change and days get longer or shorter, our sleep cycles, moods, and appetites change as well. Life often becomes more challenging during these transitions, especially leading into the holidays. This time in particular presents a good opportunity for us to reaffirm our commitment to keeping up with our yoga practice.

Here are some tips for getting the most out of your practice during the autumn season.

Slow Down The Pace: Practice some more standing poses and sink into them for a little longer then usual. As the holidays approach, it is important to remain grounded and rooted. Increasing the focus on our roots and foundation will lead us to overall greater stability in our lives.

Add an Inversion: Inversions can definitely be scary, but so can a week with family at the holidays! Inversions help to focus frenzied energy back toward the earth, giving a deeper feeling of support. Your inversion doesn’t even have to be as dynamic as a headstand or handstand. You can simply position your legs up the wall for an extended period of time, or start in bridge pose with a block underneath your sacrum and lift your legs (while maintaining your balance on the block).

Breathe Fully: Make pranayama and a small meditation period a part of your daily routine. Breathing practices promote a more restful nature overall and help to ground us. Alternate nostril breathing (nadi shodhana) is a great way to clear out the deeper subtle energy channels of the body, as it draws the mind inward and calms the nervous system.



Wednesdays, Vinyasa Flow (Noon-1:15)

Introducing YogaRewards!

In just a few months, we’ll be celebrating the 10 year anniversary of Bernal Yoga and we wouldn’t be here without all of you! Whether you’ve been with us since the early days or you’ve just joined Bernal Yoga, we appreciate you and so, starting July 1st, we are rolling out our new yoga rewards program. You can now earn money for doing things that you probably already do like register for classes online and refer friends to the studio.

Here’s how it works:

  • For each class that you register for via the online scheduler and attend you’ll receive a 50 cent credit in your account! For example, if you register 10 classes online then that’s a 5$ balance in your account which can be applied to class passes, studio purchases or workshops. This reward has already been in effect so if you have been registering for classes with the online scheduler, then check your account, you may have already accrued a rewards balance!
  • Yoga is better with friends and when you refer your friends, neighbors, coworkers or family to the studio you’ll get a 10$ reward! Your referral must buy the new student pass (or another class pass) and mention that you referred them at the time of registration.
  • Earn cash rewards for each dollar spent on monthly special sales! The details of the special sales will be announced on Facebook and Twitter so make sure you’ve connected with us on those communities.
  • Participate with the Bernal Yoga community at special events! Every few months, we’ll announce an opportunity to gain rewards by participating in special events or contests. This might be a community outreach program or for taking 15 classes in a month or for helping at the studio. Keep an eye out on our Facebook, Twitter and blog for these special event announcements.

Yoga is a Way of Unlocking the Heart Through the Body

Come by the studio on Monday nights for Tim Floreen’s 6pm Strong Vinyasa class and you might be surprised by the diversity of his students. Young, older, new to yoga and seasoned practitioners alike move through poses to one of Tim’s fantastic playlists in this all levels class. His students are given opportunities to challenge themselves with options to rest and modify as needed. They will tell you that Tim’s classes are structured around a great soundtrack. I know we’ve all experienced the way that music can connect us with a feeling from another time or place. It can speak to us in a very visceral way and calls forth strong emotions. Tim firmly believes that a great soundtrack can augment the physicality of practicing yoga and take students on a journey towards unlocking their hearts.

On Saturday, July 14th, Tim will be co-teaching a workshop on integrating yoga into your home art or writing practice. As a writer, Tim found himself developing rituals around yoga and writing, as did his fellow teacher, published author Nick Krieger. In the Yoga & Creativity workshop, Tim and Nick will lead students through movement, meditation, group discussion and writing/sketching exercises to explore how yogic practices and concepts can help artists and creatives overcome barriers to expression.

Tim believes that the physical side of yoga is a means to a greater end, a way of unlocking the heart through the body. Sure you’ll sweat and get a good workout in his classes but you’ll also laugh, be challenged and feel physically refreshed. Come join in with the community of students at one of Tim’s weekly yoga classes and experience first-hand what makes his teaching style unique.

Mondays   6:00pm - 7:15pm   Strong Vinyasa
Saturdays 9:45am - 11:15am  Vinyasa Flow

Special Restorative Yoga class with Bernal Yoga’s Britt Fohrman and Tibetian singing bowl master, Karma Moffett this Friday.

Come join us for a memorable Restorative Yoga workshop with Britt Fohrman and special guest, Karma Moffett. Allow yourself to ease into a natural state of meditation, guided by the soothing sounds of Karma Moffett’s Tibetan sound bowls and restorative poses designed to direct your attention inward. For over three decades, Karma Moffett has developed an collection of music featuring harmonics and pure sound tones that impact the natural healing system. His instruments include antique Tibetan Bowls, Bells, Tingsha, Longhorn, Conch Shells, instruments gathered from throughout the world and some that he has hand-made. As Karma’s music takes you to a place of mind-body-spirit harmony, Britt will gently guide you through relaxing, healing poses that will cultivate a connect with the breath.

After witnessing tremendous healing within herself through Restorative Yoga, Britt was inspired to become certified to teach Restorative Yoga and share her love of yoga with a wide variety of people. Her style of teaching emphasizes individualized alignment, meditative focus and breath guided movement infused with compassion and honesty.

Don’t miss out on this truly unique opportunity to journey into a blissful state of ease and surrender. Space is limited, please register online. We look forward to sharing this moment with you!

Restorative Yoga With Singing Bowl Sound Bath- Friday, June 15th 7pm- 9pm

New Mindfulness Workshops With Rachel Lanzerotti

We are thrilled to be hosting Rachel Lanzerotti for a series of upcoming workshops on the topic of mindfulness. Perhaps you’ve been looking for ways to lower your stress level and feel more connected but you worry that practicing meditation might be too challenging for you. Mindfulness is “paying attention in a particular way, on purpose, in the present moment, non-judgmentally” and can be easily integrated into everyday life. You can practice in your office or in line at the grocery store. Rachel has just started her four week Intro to Mindfulness course which will provide you with a solid introduction to mindfulness and methods for meeting stressful moments with greater mental clarity and less reactivity. She is also teaching an Afternoon of Mindfulness Retreat on June 16th from 1pm to 5pm. Each workshop session will include practical information, guidance and first-hand experience with mindfulness and meditation. In the video below, Rachel shares a more detailed explanation of mindfulness.