Welcome to RiverGarden

Begin a new practice - Revive a past passion - Invigorate your current practice. RiverGarden Yoga Center offers a variety of morning, afternoon and evening yoga and meditation classes for all levels of experience -- from beginner to advanced.
The first class is always free to local residents.
RGYC invites everyone, regardless of income, to experience the benefits of yoga/meditation. If you are experiencing financial hardships, please discuss with your teacher about their “open heart” policy. RGYC offers a variety of donation based classes-please see class directory for details.

Upcoming Workshops and Events

First & Third Friday evenings at RGYC
Kirtan Music, Gong meditation and devotional chanting with various teachers throughout the seasons.

First Friday of each month, 7:30-9:00 pm
Kirtan-devotional chanting
- Opening the heart through songs of praise.
Third Friday of each month, 7:30-8:30 pm
Candlelight Gong Meditation
- join our Kundalini teachers for these very special and powerful sound vibration meditations.
In the spirit of generosity, these classes are by donation ($5-15 suggested but pay what you can.)
Everyone Welcome

Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction for health and well-being
Fall 2014 course offered by Judith Lies

Fall Session Monday mornings, 9:30 - noon, October 6 - November 24
This course will help you cultivate ease, compassion and clarity in living life more openly, less reactively and with increased contentment.
More information on this workshop
Please register by Sept. 19 at www.seedsofmindfulness.com

Viniyoga Day
with Maggie Kessell, Beth Cleary, Laurie Lopesio, Jan Mandell, and Mary Salisbury.

Saturday, September 20, 1 - 5 pm + All Classes are Free!
VINIYOGA is a comprehensive transmission of the teachings of yoga including asana (postures), pranayama (attention to breath), meditation and other practices and textual study. Viniyoga is an ancient Sanskrit term implying adaptation and appropriate application for individual practitioners.
More information on this event
Questions? Please call 651-707-6197

Celebrate the rhythms of the earth with Kundalini Teacher Helena Raghubir
Seasonal donation classes in kundalini yoga and meditation.
Everyone Welcome!

Saturday Sept. 20, 7-8:30pm
Theme of Reflection...practice fortifying yoga to build immunity and inner strength followed by a meditation to calm anxiety and help release even deep fears...live freely from the inside out.

Saturday Dec. 20, 7-8:30pm
Theme of Introspection...enjoy nurturing yoga to increase energy and build your inner reserves of resilience. Meditate to recover from the stress of the past and fortify the nervous system. Begin anew.

New & Featured Classes

Vinyāsa/Hatha – All Levels with Anna Andaházy

A grounding class to refresh the body and calm the mind.  Vinyāsa is a type of yoga that connects flowing movements to the breath, coordinating one movement with each phase of the breath.  Hatha is a form of yoga that seeks to unite and center opposing forces in the body, typically characterized by holding selected poses for several breath cycles.  This class is a style blend designed to both energize and heat, as well as ground and focus the mind-body.  Variations on movement sequences will be offered to meet unique needs.  Beginners are welcome; previous introduction to yoga is helpful.
Tuesdays: 7:30-8:45 pm - Upper Studio
Sundays: 8:30-9:45 am - Lower Studio
Cost: Donation - suggested donation $7-15 with all donations going to support the teacher and studio expenses.

Introduction to Viniyoga:  Breathe, Stretch, Relax
with Beth Cleary & Jan Mandell

Viniyoga is the yoga of adaptation.  Through awareness of breath support, thoughtful instruction that takes the student's physical histories to heart, and a gentle-movement approach to postures, viniyoga offers a safe approach to beginning a yoga practice.  The lead teachers, Jan and Beth, will offer take-home materials for students to practice on their own and continue to explore yoga history and philosophy.  This class is also appropriate for any ongoing viniyoga students who missed some "basics."  The teaching time is 5:30-6:30;  the teachers will be available for an additional 15 minutes for questions about adaptation or concepts.
Thursdays, 5:30-6:30 class, 6:30-6:45 questions and consultations
Beginning February 6
Donation class:  $12 suggested, but all donations welcome
Teachers:  Beth Cleary and Jan Mandell, certified viniyoga teachers
Pre-Registration appreciated. With questions or to register, email either:
or janice.mandell@spps.org

Maggie Kessell

Maggie Kessell, M.A., MSW, Maggie is the founder of the Riverbend Yoga Studio. She has practiced yoga for over 40 years and was first certified to teach yoga through the American Viniyoga Institute, where she has also studied yoga therapy with Gary Kraftsow. Maggie is a student of Sonia Nelson of Santa Fe, N.M., and was certified in 2006 by the Krishnamacharya Healing and Yoga Foundation in Chennai, India. She is registered with Yoga Alliance as an E-RYT (Experienced Registered Yoga Teacher) at the 500 hour level. She has trained with Jon Kabat-Zinn in Mindfulness Meditation, and for 10 years taught Mindfulness Stress Reduction classes at HealthPartners. Maggie practiced psychotherapy for many years and worked with Outward Bound in adventure programming. She believes yoga to be a powerful process for healing, as well as actualizing a person’s full potential.

Viniyoga all levels: Yoga for Awakening

Viniyoga Levels I and II Explore, Practice, Deepen Yoga Basics

Viniyoga Level 2: Practice & Deepen Yoga Basics

Advanced Yoga Practice

Beth Cleary

Beth Cleary is certified through the American Viniyoga Institute at the 500-hour level. She has been a student of yoga since 1984, and has been teaching in various settings--acting classes, nursing homes, yoga studios--since 1990. She has learned from excellent teachers in the kundalini and Iyengar traditions, and, in Minnesota, from Faye Berton and Maggie Kessell in the Himalayan and Krishnamacharya/Desikachar traditions. Beth is certified in the Global Somatics Process developed by Suzanne River in Minneapolis. For Beth, yoga is ground and sky, root and dream. She is also an Associate Professor of Theater and Dance at Macalester College.

Introduction to Viniyoga:  Breathe, Stretch, Relax

Viniyoga for a Vital Life

Mary Salisbury

Mary Salisbury, is registered with the national Yoga Alliance as an RYT-200.
She was certified by Maggie Kessell and the RiverGarden Yoga Studio after completing a rigorous two year training which included the study of human anatomy, the physiological and anatomical function of a comprehensive range of yoga poses, the art and science of appropriate, intelligent sequencing when creating a yoga practice, and the use of effective modifications/adaptations to make poses safely accessible for people with a wide range of body types, abilities, and limitations. Since completing her training, Mary has furthered her yoga education by participating in over 200 hours of additional workshops and intensives with senior teachers such as Gary Kraftsow , Kausthub Desikachar, Faye Berton, Mirka Scalcow Kraftsow, Maggie Kessell, Deborah Adele, and other experienced yoga teacher trainers/mentors. She has also partially completed training in the Bones for Life program and has for the last several years been a yoga instructor for the Minnesota MS Society.
In addition to her yoga training, Mary holds a B.A. in English, an M.Ed in Teaching and Learning, and an M.A. in Theology. In her free time she enjoys writing, reading, music, and gardening, visiting the North Shore of Lake Superior, hiking the national parks of the West, and conversing with good friends! She’s been married for 34 years to a terrific guy, and has two grown sons.

At a time of serious illness and stress in my life, I was lucky enough to find yoga.  It gently challenged, changed, and healed my life on many levels.  I now feel blessed to have the opportunity to help other people discover the transformational power of yoga for their own lives.

Viniyoga - Yoga for Strong Bones

Lauren Asheim

Lauren Sat Rattan Asheim began studying Kundalini Yoga in April 2007 and finished Level I Teacher Training Certification in February 2008. She graduated from Saint Olaf College in 2003 with a B. A. in Interdisciplinary Fine Arts and an emphasis in Dance. Lauren is an active participant in the Twin Cities performing arts community.  Principles of Creativity, Prosperity, Projection and Radiance have intersected in her experiences with the fine arts as well as her continued study of yoga, meditation and other healing arts.  She is a RYT with the Yoga Alliance and a member of the International Kundalini Yoga Teachers Association and the Kundalini Research Institute.  Lauren Sat Rattan continues to deepen her knowledge of Kundalini Yoga through further study and is in the midst of completing her Level II Teacher Training.  She is also currently pursuing her Master's in Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine at the American Academy of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine.

In teaching Kundalini Yoga, my goal is to serve others in their quest for a connection within themselves and also a connection beyond themselves. I want to share the transformative tools of Kundalini Yoga so that my students can have the energy, focus and fearlessness to reach their full potential

Kundalini Yoga & Meditation

Susan Schwartz

Susan Schwartz has been practicing Yoga for 4 years and is a Registered Yoga Teacher through Yoga Alliance. Susan completed her teacher training through Corepower Yoga; specializing in Vinyasa Yoga. After running 17 marathons in 6 years, Susan found the path of yoga later in life. Susan believes that everyone has the capability to find serenity and peace through yoga and meditation. My role as teacher is to guide students to make their practice their own and their intention personal - each student is encouraged to embark on their own spiritual journey. Susan warmly invites you to her join her in healing through mindful and meditative Vinyasa Yoga.

I am only here to be your guide. You know your body best, listen to it and follow your intuition.

Vinyasa Yoga *Donation Class

Vinyasa/Restorative Yoga

Joy Laine

Joy Laine has been practicing and teaching Iyengar yoga for over thirty years. She became certified as an Iyengar yoga teacher in England in 1977 having trained with many well known teachers including  Sylva Mehta and Maxine Tobias. Joy has been to India five times to study with B.K.S. Iyengar himself, and also with his daughter and son, Dr. Geeta and Prashant Iyengar.  Joy continues her studies here with senior Iyengar teachers, including Kristin Chirhart and Chris Saudek, and In  November 2011 upgraded her certification,  passing her assessment for Junior Intermediate Level 1. Joy has a strong commitment to making yoga available to as many people in the community as possible and, when not teaching yoga,  teaches philosophy (including Indian Philosophies and the Philosophy of Mind) at Macalester College.

I teach yoga because I want to share something which has been so important in my own life, and which I have seen benefit many others throughout my years of teaching.

Iyengar Yoga Level 1-2

Andrea Sullivan

Andrea Sullivan has practiced Qigong and Meditation for 22 years, she began this process at the age of 6 learning from her father.Her parents used alternative therapys like herbal medicine, qigong and acupuncture to treat ailment and sickness, this exposed Andrea to the impact of subtle/holistic medicine. After graduating as a Shiatsu practitioner in 2005 she continued her study of medical qigong and meditation with Sarina Stone. In 2006 Andrea went to Chiang Mai Thailand to study with her teacher Master Mantak Chia and became certified as a Universal Healing Tao instructor in multiple areas of traditional taoist meditation, medical qigong and CNT chinese abdominal massage. Currently, she is a Shiatsu teacher at Centerpoint, Medical qigong teacher, Abdominal Massage therapist, Thai Massage Therapist.

I love what I do and am continually learning and inspired by my clients and students.It has become clear to me through my journey that all ailments and health arise from theunderstanding and purifying of emotions stored in the body. Emotions are beyond words and arethe primal language of the body. Qigong movement like yoga is the most effective way toexercise these emotions bringing the body/mind into balance.With each class I strive to bring all of my enthusiasm for Qigong and and love of traditional Chinese medicine into practical application and explanation of why these movements heal important aspects of the body, mind and spirit.

5 Element Qigong *Donation Class

Yin Yoga *Donation Class

Anne Dresen

Anne Dresen is student of yoga in the Tradition of the Himalayan Sages studying at the Institute of the Himalayan Tradition in St Paul, MN as well as with The Center at Rock Ledge in Honesdale, PA. She has been teaching Beginners, Intermediate, Gentle and Restorative Yoga since 2003 at Stillwater Yoga, Stillwater, MN.    Anne’s main focus is to help her students discover their potentialities and grow with balance.   Anne lives is Saint Paul with her 3 children and dog, Daisy.

Hatha Yoga - Level I

Hatha/Restorative Yoga


Stephanie Mauceri, a native New Yorker, relocated to the Twin Cities in November 2009 and gave birth to healthy twin boys in November 2010. She has been practicing Yoga since 1991, and teaching since 2003. She received her first teaching certification from Om Yoga, NYC in 2004 and has supplemented this with Prenatal, Yin Yoga, Anatomy, and Yoga Therapy trainings since then. Although initially beginning her practice in the Vinyasa and Ashtanga traditions, a motor vehicle accident in 2004 caused her to rethink and re-establish her yoga practice; and to embark upon the exploration of yoga as a therapeutic and restorative vehicle. As she began to create greater symmetry in her own body through this exploration, her teaching practice as a Yoga Therapist in New York began to grow. Upon departing from NYC, she had been studying with Genny Kapuler at New York City's Iyengar Yoga Institute, and had a private Yoga Therapy client base of 12 long-term, devoted students. She encountered a great sense of joy in building community through her years of teaching Yoga in New York City and is very excited to be a part of creating this same sense of community at River Garden amongst seekers of greater freedom -- in movement and in the way one’s life is unquestionably enhanced through the art, science, and practice of Yoga. Stephanie is also a writer and holds a BFA in Drama from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts.

Vinyasa Flow

In-Fin Tuan

In-Fin Tuan has been practicing for over eight years. She received her 200-level teacher certificate from CorePower Yoga. Her style is Vinyasa flow with a concentration on breath-inspired movement, and a strong technical foundation in precise alignment to work safely and effectively with the body. Utilizing breath awareness, her classes are playful, creative and adaptable to individual needs.
She is a believer in training for daily life. In–Fin has been in the fitness industry since 1988 as a YWCA group fitness instructor certified by AFAA. She holds certifications in YogaFit, BodyFlow, Lemond Cycling, Bosu, Kettlebells, TRX, Cardio Kickbox, Silversneakers and AEA (Aquatics Exercise Association).

I am honored to share my love of yoga and its practice with whoever walks into class. Every day is a new day and every practice should be attempted as though we are beginners. Be curious. Be open. Be free in mind and body.

Wake Up Vinyasa Yoga - all levels *Donation Class

Ellie Kaufman

It has been said that there are many paths up the mountain, and Paula Coyne has had a unique journey adding yoga to hers.  Old wisdom traditions and transformational systems have always called to her. She is a psychologist who practices and teaches meditation (including Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction, which has a yoga component); produces breathwork  (pranayama) and meditation CDs; has studied Qi Gong and Reiki.  Since 1998 she has apprenticed in an earth wisdom tradition, and teaches a two year training (“The Art of Peace”) in this way along with her husband. She guides transformational experiences here and at sacred sites around the mother earth, and is an annual Sundancer and Kiva Lodge dreamer.  She completed her 200+ hr yoga teacher training through The Yoga Center of Minneapolis in 2011 (which has a strong foundation in the sacred texts), having practiced over many years. She is inspired by such teachers as Tara Cindy Sherman and Seane Corn, & has taught Gentle Yoga. Vinyasa is her passion!
Yoga means 'union', the union of breath and movement, the union of spirit, emotions, body and heartmind.  Paula is excited about the union of these sacred practices gathered over a lifetime, can see what they share in their essence, and how when brought together, they expand us exponentially. Look for this synthesis in her Vinyasa classes

SunMoon Vinyasa Yoga *Donation Class

Joyce Paxton

Joyce Paxton (Narayan) started practicing Kundalini yoga in 2001 and has been teaching since 2003 when she finished the KRI teacher training (200 hrs).  She has twenty five+ years of teaching experience in dance and fitness with certifications from the Cooper Institute and American College of Sports Medicine. Joyce works in Quality and Process Improvement at Metropolitan State University and holds an MA in Organization Development from the University of St. Thomas.

It is an honor and a privilege to share this powerful technology, from Yogi Bhajan, with others and to observe as students discover the blessings of a quiet moment and embrace their true light.

Kundalini Yoga (Joyce Paxton, Wes Cutter, Diane Harder)

Joyce Paxton

Nirmal Lumpkin enjoys helping clients and students on their path to their happiest and healthiest life.  She began her study of the body and wellness with extensive training in dance from the age of 3.  She took her first Kundalini Yoga class during high school and immediately fell in love.  Nirmal has been teaching Kundalini Yoga for 10 years, is a Level-2 (500-hr) certified teacher through the Kundalini Research Institute  and an Associate Trainer in the Aquarian Trainer Academy.  She also hold a BFA in Dance and is a practicing Massage Therapist.

I am constantly amazed and the transformative powers of Kundalini Yoga.  It is a blessing for me to hold a space of neutrality so people can find their true inner wisdom and begin walking on the path to their highest self.

Kundalini Yoga the Yoga of Awareness

Anna Vazquez

Anna Vazquez's training in Alignment Yoga, Brainwave training/Open Focus and music/therapeutic sound are interwoven to provide a transformative experience for the body, mind and spirit. She has enjoyed teaching yoga for over 15 years in a variety of contexts including yoga centers, Elder Hostel, the Department of Health, the Minneapolis Institute of Art, the Meditation Center, Music festivals and more. Anna is also a professional cellist with a DMA in performance, which included techniques to self-regulate states of being conducive to peak experience. Dr. Vazquez teaches at the College of St. Catherine and is also a freelance musician and cello teacher.
Anna Vazquez Approach to Yoga (PDF format)

Gentle Yoga for Every Body!

Judith Lies

Judith Lies, a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, is a founder of HEARTWOOD Mindfulness Practice Center, and an instructor of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction in medical, mental health, professional, educational, religious, and corporate settings.

Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction

Marc Anderson

Marc Anderson has been meditating for 30 years, is an ordained Zen priest and the founder of The M2 Foundation, an organization that teaches mindfulness in schools and in the community at large.

The Mindfulness Movement website

M2 Nomad Meditation *Donation Class

Suzula Bidon

Suzula Bidon (Suz) is a Yoga Alliance Certified Yoga Teacher (RYT). She was first introduced to yoga while studying Theatre in college. She learned to use breathwork (pranayama) and bodywork (asana) to develop the body as an instrument of communication and expression. She entered recovery in 2008, and her yoga practice has become an integral source of physical health, mental clarity, and spiritual connection. She is an active member of a 12 Step Fellowship, and she serves as Chair of a Subcommittee that brings 12 Step meetings into hospitals, jails, and institutions in the Saint Paul area. She speaks regularly at treatment centers and events about her experience with addiction, living a 12 Step program, and the miracle of recovery. In September 2012, in honor of National Recovery Month, she took part in a panel discussion at the Minnesota State Capitol where she spoke to policy makers and health service providers about the importance of prevention and treatment.

Drawing on the research and work of B. K. S. Iyengar and her own study with Julie Karsky (Yoga Instructor at Hazelden), Suz has designed a sequence of yoga postures based on the spiritual principles of 12 Step recovery. She sponsors several women and teaches Vinyasa Yoga and Recovery Yoga to individuals and groups. She has a B.A. in Theatre from Barnard College, and she is currently in her third year of law school. She lives in Saint Paul with her black pug Stella.

12 Step Recovery Yoga

Melissa Joy

Melissa Joy (Schoeller) is a Yoga Alliance Registered Yoga Teacher, having completed the 200hr Vinyasa Training at Core Power, 500hr Sadhana Yoga at SchoolYoga Institute Guatemala,  Yin Yoga Training with Jill Carey, 500hr Advanced Vinyasa, Ayurveda, Meditation and Tantric Yoga Philosophy with Ashley Turner, Katie Brauer and Danny Argeutty. Forever a student of yoga and of life, MJ's mission is to inspire and elevate others to live their best life and to fully inhabit, enjoy, and heal their bodies through asana, fitness and meditation. Meeting you where you are at on your journey; physically, mentally and spiritually. You can find her riding her bike, spending time with family & friends, meandering the farmer's market, thrift store hunting and planning her next yoga retreat/teaching trip. She loves all things mountainous, sunshine tree filled, beachy, music, camping and soooo much more!

Joy and bliss is our natural state of being

Vinyasa Yoga *Donation Class

Dayne Thomas

Dayne Thomas has studied the Cheng Man-ch’ing and Yang Family styles of T’ai Chi Ch’uan and their associated meditations for the entirety of his adult life. Dayne graduated with honors in 2009, obtaining a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of Minnesota with health, disease prevention and scientific research as the focus of his curriculum. Chinese medicine, theory and philosophy have imbued his study and training since 2000, and have become life-long areas of interest. Dayne is a qualified instructor through the American Heart Association to certify others in First Aid and CPR/AED use at the HeartSaver™ level. He owns and operates the Institute of Taoist Arts out of Saint Paul, Minnesota and also trains with Eight Gates T’ai Chi Ch’uan in Minneapolis.

The Tao of T’ai Chi Ch’uan *Donation Class

Anna Andaházy

Anna Andaházy has trained in yoga, dance, and meditation for over fourteen years and has worked in social services for ten years. She began teaching yoga in 2003, integrating the ancient practice into her care for individuals with disabilities. Under the tutelage of Zen Master Po Hwa Sunim in 2009, she led the Hwa Gye Sa Temple’s International Zen Center weekly meditations in Seoul, South Korea. She completed a 230-hour yoga instructor certification through the Yoga Center of Minneapolis in November of 2013. Anna works full time as a Psychiatric Rehabilitation Practitioner and has a passion for infusing psychotherapy with yoga and artistic expression. She holds a B.A. in Justice and Peace Studies from the University of St. Thomas and continues independent studies of anatomy, energy healing, and eastern philosophy. She has a deep love of nature, humanity, and the arts. Anna’s mission is to teach the art and science of yoga to support an environment in the human heart in which love can freely blossom.

Vinyāsa/Hatha – All Levels

Jan Mandell

Jan Mandell is a RYT registered Yoga Teacher having completed her teacher training with Maggie Kessell at the 200 hour level. Jan teaches in the St Paul Public Schools where she works with young people through social justice theatre classes and has taught yoga in the schools to both students and staff for the past 6 years.

I came to yoga in 1994 in search of relief  from  migrane headaches what I found was  a practice that  transformed every aspect of my life. I am always honored and excited to teach and pass this knowledge on.

Introduction to Viniyoga: Breathe, Stretch, Relax

Jan Mandell

Helena Raghubir has been practicing yoga and studying holistic healing since 1993. She is a certified Kundalini Yoga Professional Teacher Trainer, Level III Sat Nam Rasayan Practitioner, Neurolinguistic Psychology Practitioner, Reiki Master Usui and Karuna, CMT, and Reflexologist.

Explore Yoga Basics - Viniyoga style

For beginners, those returning to yoga practice, students with injuries or chronic conditions, or those who desire a gentler class. Level I introduces basic postures, movement aligned with breath, adaptation/modification principles and basics of sequencing. Students in this class are encouraged to take advantage of the package of six classes plus 1 one-hour private session to establish a good foundation unique to their needs.
Thursdays 7:15 – 8:45 p.m. (Maggie Kessell)
drop-in rate: $15
Package of 10 classes to be used in 12 weeks: $135
Special Package: 6 Classes and one 60 minute private: $155
Private Session; $85.00/hour
Special discount for seniors and families-talk to Maggie
see the calendar

Viniyoga Levels I and II
Explore, Practice, Deepen Yoga Basics
(Maggie Kessell)

An ongoing class to explore, practice and deepen your yoga practice and understanding of yoga principles. It includes Asana (Postures), Pranayama (Breath Work) and the development of a personal practice that includes sequencing, adaptation of postures/movement and the use of the breath. Newcomers, as well as students with mid-level skills, are welcome in this class which focuses on breath-centered movement. Regular practice contributes not only to increased strength and flexibility, but also to greater awareness of your physical, emotional and mental state. It can help you manage stressful situations and prevent the storing of stress in tight muscles. Becoming aware of habits and patterns on the mat can lead to awareness of habits off the mat, the first step in making healthy change. Please wear comfortable clothing that allows free movement and breathing. Avoid eating for at least one hour before class.
Mondays, 7:15pm – 8:45pm
drop-in rate: $15
Package of 10 classes to be used in 12 weeks: $135
Special Package: 6 Classes and one 60 minute private: $135
Private Session; $85.00/hour
Special discount for seniors and families-talk to Maggie
see the calendar

Yoga for Awakening (Maggie Kessell)

Start your day gently and build up your energy, using breath-centered postures, focused intention and silent time to move inward. All levels are welcome. Come see what a difference this start makes for the rest of your day.
Wednesdays 9:00 – 10:00 a.m.
drop-in rate: $12
Package of 10 classes to be used in 12 weeks: $100
Private Session; $85.00/hour
Special discount for seniors and families-talk to Maggie
see the calendar

Viniyoga level II: practice & deepen yoga basics (Maggie Kessell)

Prerequisite: recent prior yoga experience or readiness to move on from Level I. Students are encouraged to develop a home practice that complements weekly group session. Level II Class includes more difficult asana practices and introduces basic pranayama practices. Students learn how to adapt poses to their specific needs and goals. To help establish a home practice, students are expected to schedule a private session with instructor within three months of joining this class. See special offer on private sessions.
Mondays 7:15 - 8:45 p.m.
Thursdays 5:30 – 7:00 p.m.

drop-in rate: $15
Package of 10 classes to be used in 12 weeks: $135
Special Package: 6 Classes and one 60 minute private: $155
Private Session; $85.00/hour
Special discount for seniors and families-talk to Maggie
see the calendar

LEVEL III: Advanced Yoga Practice (Maggie Kessell)

For students with more experience and the desire to work with more complex Asana and Pranayama practices. This class blends the yoga elements of asana, pranayama, meditation and chanting to create an experience for all levels of our system: the musculo-skeletal, the physiological, the nervous system, as well as our thoughts and emotions. Postures can be modified to accommodate the level of physical abilities, but experience with asana and breath work is advised.
Mondays 5:30 – 7:00 p.m.
drop-in rate: $15
Package of 10 classes to be used in 12 weeks: $135
Special Package: 6 Classes and one 60 minute private: $160
Private Session; $85.00/hour
Special discount for seniors and families-talk to Maggie
see the calendar

Vinyasa Yoga (Susan Schwartz)

Vinyasa Yoga heals, detoxifies and exhilarates the body and mind with emphasis on movement, balance and intention. Vinyasa Yoga is a dynamic, challenging program that combines strength, flow and spirituality. Vinyasa Yoga is a practice that appeals to everyone. During class, time and space and the worries of the day disappear and the focus is solely on flow, movement, balance and intention. A Vinyasa Yoga is a style of yoga which focuses on core strength, balance and flow to build a solid practice based on strength and spirit. Accessible to beginners and advanced students, Vinyasa Yoga emphasizes breathing to connect the body and mind.
Fridays 9:00 - 10:00 a.m.
see the calendar for current dates and times
Donation Class
Some teachers at River Garden Yoga Studio have adopted the practice of Dana, the Pali word for the Practice of Generosity, as both a spiritual practice for the class community and a practical way to meet financial needs.
Read More 

Restorative Yoga (Susan Schwartz)

This  class will involve 45 minutes of slow restorative yoga & stretching, followed by 15 minutes of progressive relaxation, and rest (shavasana). This class is for all levels, primarily aimed at the beginner level. The class size will be limited to 6.  A reservation is required.
Thursdays 10:30 - 11:30 a.m.
see the calendar for current dates and times
Cost: $15 per class.
The class size will be limited to 6.  A reservation is required.

Yoga for Strong Bones: A Class for Women 50+ (Mary Salisbury)

Do you have a mother, grandmother, or sister who developed osteoporosis after they reached “a certain age?” Have you perhaps been told by a doctor that you’ve already experienced bone loss? YOGA FOR STRONG BONES is for women like you who are concerned about maintaining optimal bone & body health as they age. Even if you do not have family risk factors for osteoporosis, it is smart to take early steps to prevent this debilitating condition. In the United States due to sedentary lifestyles, the average American diet, and physically/emotionally stressful lives, women are being diagnosed with osteopenia or osteoporosis in epidemic numbers.

This class, which is taught in the viniyoga tradition, (please see a full description of viniyoga elsewhere on this website) will give you the tools to slow down, stop, or even reverse bone loss. Come learn sequences that will safely stimulate bone production, build muscle strength in vulnerable joints, and help you establish a stronger sense of balance. You will also learn how to incorporate free weights into your practice to further enhance its bone building potential, and you will hear about the newest (and growing!) research on osteoporosis and its treatment.

As a viniyoga class, Strong Bones will be designed according to the needs and limitations of the students in the class. No student will be expected to conform to a generic “one size fits all” yoga practice. Modifications will be encouraged wherever there is a need for a student to access a pose in a different way in order to fully experience the function or the purpose of a pose. Function is always considered more important in viniyoga than the perfection of an ideal form of a pose.

In this class students will also experience an emphasis on the breath… especially the coordination of breath with movement in and out of poses. In the Strong Bones class, we explore various simple, but practical breathing techniques (pranayama) that can be used to increase energy, to relax or lower energy, or to bring balance to the mind and body.

The viniyoga tradition understands yoga to be a discipline that nurtures the whole person…not just the body. So our classes also teach students how to begin to quiet and focus the mind, and to “lighten the loads” that are carried in the heart. This is an important aspect of the Strong Bones class because stress, which creates worry, physical tension, and emotional anxiety, also raises cortisol levels which in turn contribute to the silent but steady loss of bone over time. With this in mind, each class will end with a series of restorative, calming poses as well as time for personal reflection—all of which will give body, heart, and mind a chance to unwind, deeply relax, and renew.
Come join us and learn how to keep your bones strong!
Tuesdays 10:00 – 11:30 a.m.
drop-in rate: $14
10 classes, use in 3 months: $120 ($12/class) (10% discount for 65+)
20 classes, use in 6 months: $200 ($10/class) (10% discount for 65+)
see the calendar

Iyengar Yoga level 1 - 2 (Joy Laine)

Iyengar Yoga, named after its founding teacher B.K.S. Iyengar, is a system of yoga that seeks to integrate the practice of the yoga postures with the broader philosophical teachings of yoga. It is also a tradition that emphasizes individual instruction and correction in order to ensure a beneficial practice for participants of different levels and physical abilities. This class  focuses on a range of  postures and breathing techniques,  allowing students with prior experience to develop their current practice in Iyengar Yoga. This level 1-2 class will build on the basics to cover more complex standing poses, some back-bends, forward extensions, twists  and the introduction of inversions.

Students with no prior experience of Iyengar Yoga are welcome to join this class, although Joy recommends that students new to Iyengar Yoga join the class on the first Saturday of the month.

Saturdays 11:15 - 12:45 p.m.
Drop In: $15.00 - 10 class pass: $130.00
see the calendar

Level II:  Viniyoga for a Vital Life (Beth Cleary)

Students in Level II will develop deeper yogic connections among breath, awareness and movement, through more challenging asanas and pranayama practices.  Each class, as always, will respond to the needs of students on a long-term and daily basis.  Emphasis on skeletal alignment, muscle actions and antagonisms, and organ support will encourage deeper levels of students' knowledge about their bodies and their yoga practice.  Practices such as chanting and mantra will be used occasionally to intensify and enrich students' experience of yoga.
Saturdays 9:00 – 10:30 a.m.
10 classes, use in 12 weeks: $120 ($12/class)
10 classes, use in 6 months: $140 ($14/class)
drop-in rate: $14
Discounts for pre-paid packages:
10% discount for seniors (65+) 5% discount for 2 or more family members.
see the calendar

Introduction to Viniyoga:  Breathe, Stretch, Relax
(Beth Cleary & Jan Mandell)

Viniyoga is the yoga of adaptation.  Through awareness of breath support, thoughtful instruction that takes the student's physical histories to heart, and a gentle-movement approach to postures, viniyoga offers a safe approach to beginning a yoga practice.  The lead teachers, Jan and Beth, will offer take-home materials for students to practice on their own and continue to explore yoga history and philosophy.  This class is also appropriate for any ongoing viniyoga students who missed some "basics."  The teaching time is 5:30-6:30;  the teachers will be available for an additional 15 minutes for questions about adaptation or concepts.
Thursdays, 5:30-6:30 class, 6:30-6:45 questions and consultations
Beginning February 6, 2014
Donation class:  $12 suggested, but all donations welcome
Teachers:  Beth Cleary and Jan Mandell, certified viniyoga teachers
Pre-Registration appreciated. With questions or to register, email either:
or janice.mandell@spps.org
see the calendar

Kundalini Yoga & Meditation (Lauren Sat Rattan Asheim)

Kundalini Yoga as taught by Yogi Bhajan® combines meditation, mantra, physical exercises and breathing techniques; it is a Raj Yog, encompassing the eight limbs of yoga into a singular practice of excellence and ecstasy. “Kundalini” literally means “the curl of the lock of hair of the beloved.” Kundalini Yoga is also known as the Yoga of Awareness; its focus is on self-awareness and delivering an experience of your highest consciousness. The technology of Kundalini Yoga is a science of the mind and body, to elevate the spirit, which has no boundaries, no discrimination. Therefore it is for everyone, universal and nondenominational.  The primary objective is to awaken the full potential of human awareness in each individual; that is, recognize our awareness, refine that awareness, and expand that awareness to our unlimited Self. Clear any inner duality, create the power to deeply listen, cultivate inner stillness, and prosper and deliver excellence in all that we do.  In this tradition, meditation is not considered separate from asana or yoga; it is integral to the practice. The exercises in the kriya (set) bring the body and mind to a state where deep meditation is easily achieved.  Our fundamental objective is to awaken the power of the individual to excel—to experience their Infinity and fulfill their personal destiny.
Fridays 5:30-7:00 pm, Sundays 10:00-11:30 am
10 classes for $130
Drop-in rate is $15 for one class
see the calendar

Aquarian Sadhana (Lauren Asheim)

Aquarian Sadhana is a special practice in Kundalini Yoga and Meditation to boost self-discipline, gain physical and mental balance and to welcome the full potential and truth of our soul. We conduct this practice in the early morning hours when the world is still quiet and neutral, this is the space in which we can cultivate a conversation with our soul, our consciousness and our higher Self. This practice has numerous benefits from gaining deeper personal awareness and insight, to supporting your personal practice, to opening up to a group consciousness and building community. We begin Aquarian Sadhana by listening to and reciting the prayer JapJi Sahib, the Song of the Soul. This prayer and its sounds stimulate and balance the chakras, the mind and the spirit. We follow Japji with a set of Kundalini Yoga exercises and finally we chant seven mantras. This sequence of events gives us the awareness, fearlessness, compassion, kindness and the spirit to serve, teach and prosper no matter what happens within and around us.
Sundays 5:00 - 7:15 a.m.
see the calendar for dates
Donation Class
Some teachers at River Garden Yoga Studio have adopted the practice of Dana, the Pali word for the Practice of Generosity, as both a spiritual practice for the class community and a practical way to meet financial needs.
Read More 

Five Elements Qigong (Andrea Sullivan)

Qigong is a meditative exercise that aligns the body with breath and movement, to strengthen and cultivate Qi in the internal organs.  The movements are all very gentle and simple, but the effects are exceptionally profound and build the long term health of the body. This Qigong 5 Element class brings new focus each week to another element / organ system and it's many associations within the body and mind.  The exercises for each week will feature an element and movements to exercise the organ and meridians as well as Qigong movements for the emotional and spiritual aspects of each element. There is no previous experience necessary.   These classes utilize Basic Qigong principals & incorporate Traditional Chinese Medical theory to advance ones understanding of the body & healing on many levels. This 5 Element Qigong series is full of fascinating & useful information as well as meditative & playful ways to exercise your body & unleash your elements. With the practice of Qigong movement, Meditation and Tai Chi, you can nourish & cleanse the organs of the body. As well as align yourself with your purpose, & embody it!
Sundays 11 - 12 pm
5 Element Qigong is a donation based class. All donations go to supporting these ongoing classes.
Previous experience is not required.
Contact Andrea;  651-230-1629 www.phoenixhealinghands.com
see the calendar

Yin Yoga (Andrea Sullivan)

Known also as Tao Yin uses movements that are Hatha yoga-like in nature and originate from ancient China and Tibet. Tao Yin incorporates breath with movement to collect Qi in key parts of the body. Tao Yin uses twisting and stretching to push out the bodys toxins, improve bone health by twisting tendons, core strength, and over all increase circulation and vitality to the meridians and organs.
Sundays 10 - 11 am (lower studio)
Yin Yoga is a donation based class. All donations go to supporting these ongoing classes.
Previous experience is not required.
Contact Andrea;  651-230-1629 www.phoenixhealinghands.com
see the calendar

Hatha Yoga - Level I (Anne Dresen)

This class is designed for students who are curious about yoga, returning students, or those who have had an introduction and possess a desire to learn more. In this class, we explore the basic poses while incorporating breath and relaxation techniques. But don’t be fooled-This class is more than just breathing and postures-Hatha yoga is also about how we relate to one another and how we relate to ourselves. This series of classes will build a foundation for beginner yoga students who are interested in the physical as well as spiritual aspects of yoga. You will get individual attention and help with the postures, in a traditional approach to the practice of yoga.
Drop-ins welcomed - No experience is necessary, only an open mind.
Wednesdays 7:00 - 8:15 pm
Single Class-$15.00
8 week session-$96.00 ($12.00/class)
6-Class Pass + one hour private-$100.00
Passes are non-transferable and expire 3 months after date of purchase
see the calendar
Anne honors an “open heart” policy to teaching. Students will not be turned away due to financial hardship.

Hath/Restorative Yoga - All Levels (Anne Dresen)

Enjoy a rejuvenating yoga class paired with restorative postures to gradually build strength and flexibility while also promoting deep rest, healing, and wellness. Downgrade tension and achieve physical release through four or five gentle poses in each class. These poses are softly held for a longer period of time with the use of props to allow you to breathe more deeply and relax more fully. Perfect for those people who feel overwhelmed and need to spend time learning how to slow down, as well as those new beginners who are concerned that yoga may be too physically challenging.
With Anne’s gentle guidance, you will learn to modify the poses to fit the needs of your own body, so you can enjoy your yoga practice to the fullest. This soothing practice creates a fine balance between effort and grace, strength and surrender. All levels welcome.
Wednesdays 5:30 - 6:45  pm
Single Class-$15.00
5-Class Pass-$70.00
10-Class Pass-$130.00
6-Class Pass + one hour private-$100.00
Passes are non-transferable and expire 3 months after date of purchase
see the calendar

Vinyasa Flow (Stephanie Mauceri)

Explore the benefits of a Vinyasa practice (stamina, strength, breath awareness) and add the precision of Iyengar Yoga. What you will come away with is a blend that offers you detoxification and fluidity of movement with an understanding of how major muscle groups and certain alignment principles may actually support your Asana practice -- so as to safely receive the optimum benefit from it. This is an open level class but is a particularly good class for: those moving into an intermediate-level yoga practice, those at an intermediate-level and for more advanced practitioners who are able to take cues for modifying towards greater challenge. Some Yoga experience is preferred.
Wednesdays 5:45 - 6:45 p.m.
$10.00 drop in fee
6 class pass $50.00 (expires in 2 months)
see the calendar

Wake Up Vinyasa Yoga - all levels (In-Fin Tuan)

Start the day with sun salutations and a smile, and lots of personalized attention in this complete practice. Get up and moving can help increase circulation, help you find balance both mentally and physically, and you may just find your early morning practice energizes you more than that first cup of coffee. Beginners welcome.
Tuesdays & Thursdays 6 am - 7 am

By Donation-Suggested donation $10.00. Nobody turned away due to lack of funds.

see the calendar

SunMoon Vinyasa Yoga (Paula Coyne)

A seasonally-focused Vinyasa practice designed to tap into the energy of the current season, maximizing vitality and renewal. Class includes meditation and a gentle but strengthening Vinyasa flow for beginners and more advanced yoga students.

This Vinyasa class is for all levels. Vinyasa Yoga = Movement with Breath.
Mats, blankets provided, or bring your own.
Dress in comfortable clothes that are easy to move in.

Tuesday 8:30 - 9:30 a.m. Donation class ($1-15)
see the calendar for current dates

Kundalini Yoga (Joyce Paxton, Wes Cutter, Diane Harder)

Kundalini yoga is for everyone who wants the skills to cope successfully with the challenges of living in this day and age.  The practice of Kundalini yoga balances the glandular system, strengthens the nervous system and enables us to harness the energy of the mind and the emotions, so we can be in control of ourselves, rather than being controlled by our thoughts and feelings. Classes includes physical postures and movements, breath work, meditation, relaxation and chanting and is largely practiced with the eyes closed.
These classes present Kundalini yoga as taught by Yogi Bhajan. Each class will include a warm-up, a kriya (set of exercises), relaxation and meditation.  Exercises can be modified for varying fitness levels and no previous experience required. To help with your comfort during meditation and with some postures please bring a mat, blanket and/or pillow.
In the spirit of collaboration, teaching responsibilities for this Wednesday class are shared by three IKYTA certified teachers Joyce Paxton, Diane and Wes Cutter.

Wes Cutter (Amarbir) has studied spiritual disciplines and a variety of yoga off and on since the late 60’s. He started practicing Kundalini yoga in 2005 and completed the KRI level-one teacher training in March of 2008. Currently he teaches yoga for patients and staff at Regents Hospital and the St. Paul YWCA. Wes has a wide variety of interest, tap dancing, bonsai trees and cooking, his careers are also varied from international business, engineering new inventions and patient research. Wes is a nationally certified clock and watch maker and runs his own business, Cutter Edge.

Diane Harder (Sahej Gyan) took her first Kundalini Yoga class in 2004. She started with one class a week, then two, then three… Eventually, she took Teacher Training and was certified as a Kundalini Yoga teacher in 2010.  She also has experience with Iyengar Yoga, Tai Chi, and Body Mind Centering.  Diane is an artist, a Reiki Master, and a retired health economist.
Wednesday 7:00 - 8:15 p.m.
Single Class-$15.00
5-Class Pass-$70.00
10-Class Pass-$130.00
Class Passes good for 4 months.
see the calendar

Kundalini Yoga the Yoga of Awareness (Nirmal Lumpkin

Kundalini yoga classes typically include held postures, energetic movement exercises, mantra (chanting), pranayam (breath work), meditation and relaxation.  These classes can bring a greater sense of well being, energize, heal the body, bring stress relief, help to maintain healthy weight and improve flexibility.  Kundalini Yoga is much more than just a system of physical exercise it is also a dynamic, powerful, tool for expanding awareness. Classes are designed to challenge each student at their own level and are do-able by everyone!
Saturday 9:00 - 10:30 a.m.
see the calendar

Kirtan-Bhakti Yoga

Come join Kirtan artists Pascale (Kirtan Path) & Melissa Fossum (Om Bolo) along with other guest musicians for call and response Kirtan & Meditation with live music to open your heart and sing the mind into bliss!
7:30 - 9 pm, first Fridays of the Month
Kirtan is an ancient practice of Bhakti Yoga that harnesses the power of devotion through music & mantra to unite consciousness and emotion in a creative prayer of love A call and response style of Devotional singing and Chanting using Sanskrit mantras, Kirtan encourages deep meditative states and transcendent bliss.
There is no need for experience or a great voice to participate - just an open heart and a willingness to learn.
cost: donation
contact Andrea - All Welcome!

Gentle Yoga for Every Body! Real Yoga for Real People   (with Anna Vazquez)

A welcoming environment for students of all shapes and sizes particularly those of us who may be plus size, aging, or have chronic conditions.
Anna’s blend of carefully guided foundational yoga postures, Open Focus™ exercises, breath work and soulful cello music are effective tools to manage the wear and tear of everyday life, as well as chronic conditions.
• Increase strength, balance, vitality & range of motion.
• Understand the postural alignment that enables healthy movement and breath.
• Learn how to us the 3 A's - Awareness, Acceptance, and Adjustment –  as a healthy process for dealing  with chronic conditions.
• Increase overall sense of well-being.
Tuesdays 5:30-7pm (upper studio)
Fridays 10:30-noon (upper studio)
Saturdays 11-12:30 (lower studio)
Class size limited to 8, pre-registration required.

Call or text Anna 651-487-5073, e-mail: annavazquezyoga@gmail.com
Drop-in rate: $15
Package of 10 classes (3 month exp.) $130
Package of 5 classes (2 month exp.) $70
Private Session; $60-80.00/hour
Anna honors an “open heart” policy to teaching. Students will not be turned away due to financial hardship.
Anna Vazquez, DMA, RYT
call/text 651-487-5073

RiverGarden Calendar

M2 Nomad Meditation   (with Marc Anderson)

Nomad sessions are ongoing, inclusive, secular gatherings for people looking for a community to help them sustain a meditation practice. Having a regular meditation practice is an important part of maintaining balance and well-being. The one hour session includes two, twenty-five minute sitting periods, a short discussion or talk, an occasional song and a loving kindness closing. Instruction in meditation techniques is provided for those new to meditation.  

Mondays 5:30-7:00 p.m.
Thursdays 7:00-8:00 am
Cost:  Nomad sessions are offered free of charge. Donations are accepted.
Contact: info@m2mindfulness.com
Website: www.m2mindfulness.com

see the calendar

Vinyasa Yoga   (with Melissa Joy)

A thoughtful, primal, playful, yet challenging flow balancing both yin and yang; energizing the body and balancing the mind. A sweaty, stretchy,  joyful practice set to a soundtrack that will get you moving and breathing deeply. You are encouraged and will feel comfortable meeting your body wherever it is at each time you step onto your mat. While some previous experience with basic poses is helpful, you will have an abundance of loving space to modify and challenge as you choose.  

Sundays 8:30-9:30 am
Cost: Donations are accepted.
Contact: mjschoeller@gmail.com
Website: www.mjschoeller.com

see the calendar

12 Step Recovery Yoga   (with Suzula Bidon)

Recovery is more than just abstinence. Recovery is a lifelong process of healing, transformation, and growth. Regardless of how addiction manifested in our lives, we were trapped in a cycle of spiritual disconnection, mental obsession, and physical compulsion. We emerged from active addiction beaten, wounded, and unwell, only to discover that the problem wasn’t outside; it is inside ourselves. 12 Step recovery programs provide a solid structure for psychological and spiritual healing, but they offer little guidance when it comes to physical healing and how to reunify the body with the mind and spirit. That is why yoga and the 12 Steps work so well together.

Yoga literally means “union.” Vinyasa yoga (alignment of breath and movement to create a fluid yoga practice) is often described as meditation in action. In Step Eleven we seek through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with our Higher Power. According to the Yoga Sutras (classical yoga text), the purpose of yoga is to quiet the fluctuations of the mind and bring us to a place of dynamic stillness and communion with our innate spark of divinity.

In Recovery Yoga class, we explore how yoga offers us the awareness and the discipline that make it possible to rediscover and reconnect with all aspects of ourselves. Over the course of an hour, we breathe and move our way through a sequence of postures designed to embody the spiritual principles of 12 Step recovery. From surrender in Step One through service in Step Twelve, we “work” all 12 Steps physically. This class is open to everyone and is accessible to students at all levels of practice and stages of recovery. There is a $10 fee per class (cash or check), but newcomers and those with limited financial means are always welcome to come and donate what they can. Please join us.

Sundays 5:30 - 7:00 p.m.
$10 / class or by donation
see the calendar

The Tao of T’ai Chi Ch’uan (Dayne Thomas)

T’ai Chi Ch’uan is also known as taiji, which means ‘grand ultimate’ and the movements of this art are essentially designed to align our mind, body and spirit until they are a unified existence. I have familiarized myself with this concept and many others throughout the course of my study and have found the forms, postures and Qigong related to this beautiful art to be an essential aspect of human life. Under the right guidance practitioners of any age will be able to tone and strengthen muscles, relax their body and energize their inner organs. T’ai Chi has also been known to restore functionality and reduce pain in joints and tendons that have been injured. My passion for sharing this knowledge with others is a commitment I take seriously and I am honored to practice with you at the River Garden Yoga Center.
Tuesdays 6 - 7 pm (lower studio)
This is a donation based class.
Contact: Dayne Thomas:  651-235-0415 daynethomas.minnwilderness@gmail.com
see the calendar

Vinyāsa/Hatha – All Levels   (with Anna Andaházy)

A grounding class to refresh the body and calm the mind.  Vinyāsa is a type of yoga that connects flowing movements to the breath, coordinating one movement with each phase of the breath.  Hatha is a form of yoga that seeks to unite and center opposing forces in the body, typically characterized by holding selected poses for several breath cycles.  This class is a style blend designed to both energize and heat, as well as ground and focus the mind-body.  Variations on movement sequences will be offered to meet unique needs.  Beginners are welcome; previous introduction to yoga is helpful.  

Tuesdays: 7:30-8:45 pm
Sundays: 8:30-9:45 am
Cost: Donation-suggested donation $7-15 - all donations go to support the teacher and studio expenses.
Feel free to contact Anna if you have questions about her classes: 651.757.8010

see the calendar

Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction   (with Judith Lies)

These courses teach people how to integrate 2,600 year old Eastern practices into contemporary Western everyday life. Physical, emotional and spiritual suffering can be healed by integrating body and mind in the present moment without judgment or expectation. Each session involves learning and practicing: walking, eating, sitting and/or yoga meditation; didactic presentation; group discussion; and homework assignments.
see the workshop page for current pricing and dates

Dana - the Pali word for the Practice of Generosity

Some teachers at River Garden Yoga Studio have adopted the practice of Dana as both a spiritual practice for the class community and a practical way to meet financial needs.  Generosity invites us to explore the effects of giving and receiving freely. Each member of the class is asked to reflect both on the joy of receiving the gift of these teachings and this class and also on the joy of supporting the class, the teacher(s) and the community. Please give according to your ability.

Every person's situation will be different and may vary from week to week. Some people may want to leave a contribution after each visit while others may find it more appropriate to come up with a weekly, monthly, quarterly or yearly schedule. You may leave donations in the bowl in the entranceway of River Garden Yoga Studio or let your teacher know if you have time and skills that you would like to contribute.

Your donations go to rent of the space, including use of props and supplies, utilities, a livelihood for the teacher, guest teacher stipends, promotional materials and outreach into the community.

Please feel free to ask questions and give feedback. Dana is meant to be a source of joy and connection, and is an essential step in awakening the heart to freedom. This is a creative process and we expect that our understanding of generosity will deepen as we continue to practice and talk together.


The word viniyoga comes from the Yoga Sutras. It refers to the importance of starting where you are and adapting your practice to your goals. Its roots are in the lineage of T. Krishnamacharya, (1888-1989), a revered teacher, yogi, and healing practitioner in India. Among the teachers who owe their beginnings to Krishnamacharya are B.K.S. Iygengar, Patabhi Jois, Indra Devi, and Krishnamacharya’s son T.K.V. Desikachar. Gary Kraftsow is the founder and director of the American Viniyoga Institute, a name given by Desikachar to Gary’s school in 1999. Gary was Desikachar’s student for 25 years. He lives in Oakland, CA and travels nationally teaching at conferences and workshops, in addition to conducting Teacher Trainings and Yoga Therapist trainings. Please see www.viniyoga.com for further information.

What can you expect in a viniyoga class?
Your practice will have a clear intention and will be carefully sequenced to move toward that intention. The intention will be more about function than form.
You will learn to pay close attention to your breathing and to move with the breath, so that breath and movement support each other.
Your teacher will check in with you at the beginning of class for any special needs you may have, and she will be attentive to each student and provide adaptations of poses when needed. She may touch you, with your permission, to bring awareness to an area, but she will not “adjust” you.
Your practice may include a breathing practice (pranayama) at the beginning or end. In some classes, meditation will follow the asana (postures) practice, and chanting in Sanskrit or English may also be included.
Over a period of time, you will learn a selection of poses, with adaptations, and learn how to use them for your own unique body and system. You will learn what kind of sequence and what kind of breathing can raise your energy, or can calm your nerves, or soothe an aching back. You will be encouraged to have a home practice, and your teacher can help you get started with that.
You can expect to have a teacher who is certified, who continues to study with her teacher or mentor, who has her own practice, who is observant of her students, and who is available to help you privately if you wish a private class.
So…whether you are coming to yoga to strengthen an area of the body, or become more flexible, or to reduce the level of stress in your life, to recover from an injury or illness, to learn to quiet the mind, to improve your relationships, or to deepen your spiritual roots, viniyoga can help you to develop a practice that will lead you to your goals. The tools of yoga are many: postures, breathing, various stages of meditation, chanting, the study of ancient wisdom texts, such as the Yoga Sutras, which give us guidance for our practice and our daily life, the use of ritual and gestures—all these can be used as appropriate depending on your goal.

Iyengar Yoga by Joy Laine

Iyengar Yoga derives its name from its architect B.K.S. Iyengar who has taught yoga for over seventy years, both in his native India and throughout the rest of the world. B.K.S. Iyengar has been referred to as the ‘Michelangelo of yoga’ and in 2004 was named by Time magazine as one of the world’s hundred most influential people. Under the sponsorship of the well-known violinist Yehudi Menuhin, Mr. Iyengar began teaching yoga in England over fifty years ago. Gradually his following outside of India grew and today his style is practiced by many thousands of students throughout the world –in Europe, Australia, Africa, and the United States, for example. Mr. Iyengar’s renown grew with the publication of his book Light on Yoga, published in 1966, and still considered to be the gold standard for all yoga books. Until fairly recently he traveled extensively teaching and giving workshops. Now, over ninety years old, he spends more time in Pune, India where he teaches at his purpose built institute. His daughter, Geeta Iyengar and son, Prashant Iyengar are also world-renowned teachers in their own right.

What is Iyengar Yoga?
In an Iyengar yoga class, poses (āsanas) and breathing exercises (prāṇāyāma) are the focus of the teaching. The poses are taught in a systematic manner with an emphasis on the correct actions and alignment within each pose. In an Iyengar Yoga class, the teacher will demonstrate each new pose to show the correct actions and students are given individual guidance and correction to ensure a safe and effective practice. Because of this guidance, along with the use of props such as blocks and blankets where necessary (pioneered by Mr. Iyengar), the practice of yoga is made accessible for people with a wide range of physical capabilities. Students begin with a foundation of basic standing poses that teach awareness, strength, and mobility. Building on this foundation, students are gradually introduced to the full range of poses to include sitting poses, inversions, twists, forward bends, backbends, and breathing exercises. The systematic nature of the teaching ensures that each student can expect to progress in his or her practice. It takes many years of study to become a certified Iyengar Yoga teacher and only certified teachers are permitted to describe themselves as teachers of Iyengar Yoga.
What is the philosophy of Iyengar Yoga?
B.K.S. Iyengar situates his ideas in the tradition of classical yoga that has its roots in the ancient teachings of Patañjali, author of the Yoga Sūtras. Patañjali taught a yoga practice consisting of eight limbs: (1) universal ethical principles (non-harming, truthfulness, non-stealing, continence and non grasping) (2) personal principles (contentment, purity, discipline, study and devotion) (3) posture (āsana) (4) breath control (prāṇāyāma) (5) sense control (6) concentration (7) meditation and (8) liberation. We can see that together these eight limbs of yoga constitute a practice that works on all the different dimensions of personal existence in order to achieve the goals of yoga (defined by Patānjali at the very beginning of the Yoga Sūtras as a practice which stills the fluctuations of the human consciousness in order for the person to realize her true nature). The limbs should not, however, be viewed as hierarchical and separate from each other, an idea conveyed in the metaphor of the limbs being like the petals on a flower. Iyengar Yoga exemplifies this idea insofar as its teachers aspire to teach the yoga poses in a way that draws on all eight limbs, embodying both the ethical and contemplative aspects of yoga. B.K.S. Iyengar has pioneered the idea that mind, body and spirit are connected aspects of our being and through the careful practice of bodily postures we can aspire to an all-encompassing spiritual practice.
How can I find out more about Iyengar Yoga?
Iyengar Yoga National Association of the United States
Iyengar Yoga Association of Minnesota - A good resource for finding out about Iyengar Yoga events in the Twin Cities.

Kundalini Yoga

Kundalini Yoga, the oldest of all yoga forms, is also called the Yoga of Awareness.  Kundalini yoga classes typically include held postures, energetic movement exercises, mantra (chanting), pranayam (breath work), meditation and relaxation.  By stimulating the nervous, immune and glandular systems and tapping into the mental and physical bodies Kundalini yoga works to bring a greater sense of well being, energize, heal the body, bring stress relief, help to maintain healthy weight and improve flexibility.

Kundalini Yoga, as taught by Yogi Bhajan, is a comprehensive technology to create an expanded consciousness, mental clarity and spiritual insight.  It is much more than a system of physical exercise. It is a dynamic, powerful, tool for expanding awareness.  Kundalini Yoga is typically referred to as the path of the ‘householder.’  This means it is a quick technology for spiritual and personal evolution that can still fit into a life that includes work, family and play.  While Kundalini Yoga is a spiritual practice it does not require any particular dogma or creed.  This technology can be used by those of any, or no, faith tradition to expand their relationship with themselves and with the Infinite.

Kundalini yoga was first taught openly in the West by Yogi Bhajan.  He came to the United States in 1969 and saw that people were desperately in need of a technology to deal with the rapidly changing times and their own shifting consciousness.  Yogi Bhajan taught tirelessly until his passing in 2004.  Most of his lectures and classes were captured in video or notes and we teach kriyas (sets of exercises) exactly as he taught them.  Kundalini Yoga classes have wide ranging themes, from healing the Liver to expanding our capacity to love ourselves.  And wide ranging methods, some classes incorporate stillness, breath and silence and other classes include chanting, yelling, dancing and everything in between!

Classes are designed to challenge each student at their own level and are do-able by everyone.  Generally classes are practiced with the eyes closed.  This allows each student to experience the practice from an internal perspective and takes out the tendency to compare or compete with others in class.  Each person in a Kundalini Yoga and Meditation class is able to tailor the experience to work for their body at that particular moment in time.

For more Information please see these resources:
Kundalini Research Institute
3HO - Happy Healthy Holy Organization

Hatha Yoga

The word hatha means willful or forceful. Hatha yoga refers to a set of physical exercises (known as asanas or postures), and sequences of asanas, designed to align your skin, muscles, and bones. The postures are also designed to open the many channels of the body—especially the main channel, the spine—so that energy can flow freely.

Hatha is also translated as ha meaning "sun" and tha meaning "moon." This refers to the balance of masculine aspects—active, hot, sun—and feminine aspects—receptive, cool, moon—within all of us. Hatha yoga is a path toward creating balance and uniting opposites. In our physical bodies we develop a balance of strength and flexibility. We also learn to balance our effort and surrender in each pose.

Hatha yoga is a powerful tool for self-transformation. It asks us to bring our attention to our breath, which helps us to still the fluctuations of the mind and be more present in the unfolding of each moment.

Vinyasa Yoga

Derived from hatha yoga, Vinyasa yoga differs in some important ways from its predecessor. Vinyassa yoga is often faster paced, and the assanas (postures) are linked together in a series of movements that are synchronized with the breath. Much emphasis is placed on the breath and the transition in and out of the assanas.

The routine practice of vinyasa yoga can increase muscle strength, endurance and flexibility, and reduce levels of stress.

Vinyasa yoga offers much diversity. The pace can vary and there is no one particular sequence that instructors must follow. In fact, the name vinyasa is a Sanskrit word that translates as "variations within parameters." This flexibility allows the teacher to tailor the sequences to their own philosophy.

What is Yoga?

The word yoga, from the Sanskrit word yuj means to yoke or bind and is often interpreted as "union" or a method of discipline. A male who practices yoga is called a yogi, a female practitioner, a yogini. The Indian sage Patanjali is believed to have collated the practice of yoga into the Yoga Sutra an estimated 2,000 years ago. The Sutra is a collection of 195 statements that serves as a philosophical guidebook for most of the yoga that is practiced today. It also outlines eight limbs of yoga: the yamas (restraints), niyamas (observances), asana (postures), pranayama (breathing), pratyahara (withdrawal of senses), dharana (concentration), dhyani meditation), and samadhi (absorption). As we explore these eight limbs, we begin by refining our behavior in the outer world, and then we focus inwardly until we reach samadhi (liberation, enlightenment). Today most people practicing yoga are engaged in the third limb, asana, which is a program of physical postures designed to purify the body and provide the physical strength and stamina required for long periods of meditation.

Eight Limbs of Yoga