Christie Makanna Cohen was first introduced to yoga 20 years ago when she walked into one of Rodney Yee's Iyengar classes in Oakland, CA. Coming from a dance background, she was immediately hooked on the practice's focus on detail and alignment. She studied with Yee for five years until he moved to New York. She has since studied with a number of teachers, most notably Alice Joanou, with whom she currently has an apprenticeship and Baron Baptiste and the Baptiste Institute through which she became a RYT 200. She describes her style as Vinyasa with a strong foundation in Iyengar and Hatha. Her classes always have an emphasis on proper alignment and breath as well as a deep respect for the philosophy and tradition behind it.

Christie believes yoga is for everybody and it can be a steadying force in an unsteady world. She wants her students to find their own strengths and connect to the deepest part of themselves in the process.

"Yoga has brought me back to myself over and over again," says Christie, who traces her path to yoga back to her Berkeley childhood and an early exposure to the philosophical teachings of Trungpa Rinpoche, Ram Das and Meher Baba. "For me it’s almost an undoing, so we can get in touch with ourselves and everything inside us, god, the divine, we're not separate from any of that. Yoga has an incredible power."

Cynthea Denise, R. N., longtime practitioner and seasoned yoga teacher, recalls the urge to twist her body into "odd shapes" as a child, graduated from Piedmont Advanced Studies Program in 1996. She feels at home in the yoga studio and delights in guiding bodies of all ages in opening, as the yoga asana awakens and reconnects us to the inherent wisdom of our body. To register for her next mama/baby postnatal 8-week series, email Cynthea at or call 510.444.1129.

Suzanne Zuber is a European-American yoga instructor, certified with Yoga Alliance at the advanced 500-hour level (RYT 500). Her yoga journey began over a decade ago as a stressed-out young mother and museum professional, in a German Ashtanga studio. Here, she found the gracefulness she was missing from her years of dancing Ballet; what intrigued Suzanne most was the peace she experienced in the practice. Yoga revolutionized her life as she began to reframe problems into opportunities and reconfigured her body, overcoming chronic pain. Suzanne went on to study classical asana and philosophy as well as cutting-edge anatomy and therapeutics with some of the world’s most skilled teachers, including Noah Mazé, Abby Tucker, and Sianna Sherman. With Los Angeles-based Noah Mazé, she earned her 300-hour certificate, specializing in Iyengar-based alignment yoga (Hatha and Vinyasa). As a teacher, Suzanne’s first priority is to help students release tension, grow strong to the core, and become well-aligned in body, mind, and spirit. Yoga classes with Suzanne are upbeat and humorous, challenging and reflective. Her vinyasa/hatha blend interweaves the cardio and moving meditation of vinyasa flow with Iyengar-based precision. The flow incorporates techniques from physiotherapy and movement science to unlock the powers of traditional yoga poses. This way, we can strategically open up tight spots and strengthen weak areas caused by one-sided workouts and 'office-and-iphone-asana'.

Since 2013, Suzanne has been teaching Hatha Yoga and Vinyasa Yoga in Berkeley, Oakland, and abroad in Stockholm and Munich, and runs a kids yoga program at the East Bay German International School (Emeryville). When Suzanne is not on the mat, she is practicing the yoga of being an art historian and translator, dedicated wife, and mom to two spunky and hella-precious kids. For more about Suzanne's private and public yoga classes, workshops, and retreats, see 510.993.8550

Corey Izzo 510.258.5838

Monifa 510.712.2291

Tim Thompson (Founder of Monkey Yoga Shala in Oakland = 8 Best Yoga Studio Awards) first learned anatomy drawing comic book super heroes and intense althetics as a wrestler in high school. Years of West African dance, Contact Improvisation, Capoeira and ballet brought him to UC Berkeley as a dance major. While on staff at Piedmont Springs as a deep tissue massage therapist, he began his apprenticeship with Rodney Yee. A three-year graduate of Piedmont Yoga StudioÕs Teacher Training Program, Tim taught Iyengar yoga at PYS, the Courthouse Athletic Club, Temescal Arts Center, Thunder Road, and at various public schools. Studying with Sarah Powers ignited his love of Ashtanga yoga and he eventually developed Isometric Monkey Yoga and the Primate and Simian Series. Influenced by Bucky Fuller and Islamic art, he made the metal ashtanga star and dome that supports the sunshade in the shala. Tim was voted as the Best Yoga Instructor of the Bay in the 2012 Bay Guardian Reader's Poll, Best Yoga Instructor of 2008 and 2012, Best Amateur Athlete in 2011 and Best Athlete in 2012 in the East Bay Express Reader's Polls. Feel free to call in or email any questions about yoga or related monkey business. Phone number: 510-908-1694 or email Private lessons by appointment.