Meet Your Office Yoga Instructor: Maryam Sharifzadeh

Calling all Stern Grove Festival Yogis! Join Office Yoga this Sunday from 12:00-1:00 p.m. for the final yoga class in the West Meadow! This class will be taught by Maryam Sharifzadeh, owner of Office Yoga and creator of the Office Yoga Teacher Training program.

Maryam started teaching Office Yoga in San Francisco in 2011. It didn’t take her long to realize the immense benefits and positive impact of this service. She quickly registered for her business license in 2014 and since then has grown nationwide, including Los Angeles, Denver, Austin, Phoenix, New Jersey and New York.

Headquartered in San Francisco Bay Area, which is home for Maryam and Office Yoga, she has had the privilege of teaching the Stern Grove Festival staff at their office on a weekly basis. Every Wednesday the team gathers together for Office Yoga’s signature 30 min, “No Sweat” class format using the conference table and chairs.

This Sunday you can expect Maryam’s class to be well rounded and user friendly. She will focus on meeting you where you are at and leaving you feeling alive in your body and ready to move! Here’s a little more about Maryam….

What do you love teaching yoga?

The transformation. I love seeing the positive change in people’s bodies and minds— they are more peaceful, happy people after a well rounded yoga class.

What can Stern Grove expect from your class?

A well rounded class that will leave you feeling alive in your body again!

What do you love about San Francisco? 

I love that San Francisco is always evolving. Change is a part of life and although it feels difficult at times, we grow from this process. This continuous evolution forces us to stay awake and present at all times. This city keeps us alive, that’s for sure!

What’s your most embarrassing teaching moment?

I was subbing a class early in the morning and I was new to the city. I was new to the studio I was teaching at, I was new to the San Francisco rain, I was new to biking—and I was wearing white pants. I didn’t realize at the moment but the back tire kicked up dirty rain water all down my low back and butt. I walked in not knowing of this mess, and halfway through class I saw a huge dirty streak right down the center of my butt. It was a rookie move on all accounts!

What pose do you love most right now and why?

Parsvottonasana, Pyramid Pose. My hamstrings are always tight and this is a good, accessible stretch to target the back of the legs. I particularly like doing this pose around the conference table. It’s more supportive and allows the upper body to relax which assists in a deeper, more effective hamstring stretch.

Anything else you would like to share?

It’s been such an honor hosting yoga classes during this 10-week concert series. I’ve fallen in love with the staff, the participants, and the meadow. I look forward to teaching the final class of the summer tomorrow!

Make sure to stake out your spot for The Revolution and Big Blue Soul Revue. The concert starts at 2:00 p.m.

Classes are beginner and kid friendly. Spare mats provided by Office Yoga and Lululemon. See you in the West Meadow, Stern Grove Festival Yogis!

Meet Your Office Yoga Instructor: Betsy Peterson

Join Office Yoga this Sunday from 12-1 for a relaxing yoga class in the West Meadow!

Class will be taught by Betsy Peterson, a certified Office Yoga Instructor in the San Francisco community. Betsy will share her unique talent of singing during parts of the class to soothe the body and mind.

Betsy loves yoga, and loves sharing the practice with people all over the Bay Area and beyond. She thinks that yoga is mostly about just showing up to try—about its practice over perfection. She likes to encourage people to come as they are—each day, each moment—and just give it a shot! Let the ego rest, surrender the should/would/could, and say yes to what is. To practice yoga, Betsy thinks the main task is to do the best we can from where we are, and then have a little bit of faith that it’s enough.

Betsy studies with Stephanie Snyder and other senior instructors in the community. Betsy also received her 20 hr Office Yoga Instructor certification in March through Office Yoga’s teacher training program.

Betsy is known for bringing a unique mixture of a deep sense of reverence for the practice, along with some serious fun and joy to the process of doing yoga. By mindfully linking breath, movement, intention and flow together with inspiring music, Betsy helps students cultivate strength and ease on the mat, which then ripples out into the world.

Class is all levels and kid friendly. Spare mats provided by Office Yoga and Lululemon. Enjoy the performance by Femi Kuti & The Positive Force shortly after class!

Meet Your Office Yoga Instructor: Chelseah Healey

Chelseah HealeyJoin Office Yoga this Sunday from 12-1 for a relaxing yoga class in the West Meadow! Class will be taught by Chelseah Healey, a reputable yoga instructor in the San Francisco community. Class will be accompanied with live music by Ege Sanli, a popular musician in the yoga community.

Want a taste of what’s to come? Watch this short video of Chelseah teaching us how to do Tree Pose (vrksasana) from France!

Class is all levels and kid friendly. Spare mats provided by Office Yoga and Lululemon. Enjoy the performance by San Francisco Symphony shortly after.

About Chelseah

Chelseah went to her first yoga class with the expectation that it would a gentle class of light stretching; however, by the end of that class she was sweaty, out of breath, and surprised at how challenging she’d found the class to be. Yet despite the challenge, she lay in Savasana feeling nourished and connected to her breath and body in a way she’d never felt before. It took several years to develop a regular practice, and during that time she realized how much more to yoga there was than just asana. It was the many benefits that extend far beyond the physical, that inspired and ignited her true love of yoga. The desire to share that gratitude and love is what inspired her to become a teacher.

In Chelseah’s class you can expect a Vinyasa flow that is challenging, yet accessible for all. Students will learn to link breath and movement as a form of meditation.

Meet Your Office Yoga Instructor: Cindy Raspiller

Cindy RaspillerJoin Office Yoga for a fun yoga flow this Sunday, from 12 – 1:00 p.m. in the West Meadow. Explore new movements with Cindy Raspiller, certified Office Yoga instructor before performances by Mexican Institute of Sound and Ginkgoa.

Cindy has been teaching for many years throughout the Bay Area. Learn more about Cindy and what you can expect on Sunday below:

1) Tell us a little bit about yourself. How did you start teaching yoga?

I started teaching yoga because I wanted to help others experience this wonderful practice. I pretty much started from zero (I couldn’t touch my toes for most of my life and have never been an athletic person) and found strength, flexibility, and a confidence in my body that I had no idea was there. Giving my students the tools to find their inner strength and feel comfortable in their own bodies brings me immeasurable joy.

2) What can Stern Grove Yogis expect from your class on Sunday?

Be prepared to have fun and move in creative ways! I incorporate unique transitions between poses into my yoga classes so that students can explore new movements and ranges of motion. It’s not all serious—I like to make my classes easy-going, fun, and maybe a little bit silly.

3) What do you love about teaching Office Yoga?

I love Office Yoga because it’s an opportunity to teach and reach students who really need functional movement—office workers! Sitting all day wreaks havoc on your body, and taking a break to move your body and calm your mind makes you feel soooo good—inside and out.

4) What’s your most memorable teaching moment?

I taught a class for the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy at Land’s End—it was early morning, we were right on the ocean, the Golden Gate Bridge was in the background, the sea was full of boats and whales and seals, and my students were just in the zone. It was such an amazing moment—practicing in the great outdoors with great people just reminds you that we are all connected and everything is beautiful.

5) What pose do you love most right now and why?

The humble forward fold. Forward fold while standing. While sitting. While laying on my back. It’s about so much more than just your hamstrings—you can find length in your spine, stretch your shoulders, your hips. Give it a try. Stand up, fold in half, and hang out for a bit. Take your hands behind your head, or grab opposite elbows, or bring your palms under your feet. See where you can find length and ease. Ahhhhhh….

6) What can people find you doing when you’re not teaching yoga?

By day I work as a graphic and web designer—I have wonderful clients all over the Bay Area and the US. When I’m not yoga-ing I love to hike, read and cook, and I am a connoisseur of craft beer.

Classes are kid friendly and all levels. Spare mats provided by Office Yoga and Lululemon. See you in the West Meadow, Stern Grove Yogis!

Meet Your Office Yoga Instructor: Raquel Seeley

Office Yoga is hosting another yoga class this Sunday, July 1 from 12-1PM in the West Meadow. Raquel Seeley, certified Office Yoga instructor, will be leading a fun and playful flow before performances by M. Ward and Thao & The Get Down Stay Down. Yoga has been such a great source of connection for Raquel. Listen more on what she has to share with you!

Classes are beginner and kids friendly. Spare mats provided by Office Yoga and Lululemon. See you in the West Meadow this Sunday, July 1!
Read more about Raquel here.

Meet Your Office Yoga Instructor: Michelle McManus

Every Sunday this summer, Stern Grove Festival presents a free yoga class in the West Meadow, thanks to our friends at Office Yoga. This Sunday’s class will be led by instructor Michelle McManus, from 12:00 – 1:00 p.m. before the concert with Ziggy Marley & Jennifer Johns. Get to know Michelle and what you can expect from the class this week.

Sessions are beginner and kid friendly. Spare mats available at a first come, first serve basis.

Michelle McManusHow did you start teaching yoga? 

I went through an awful break-up, and at the time, the only thing I knew that I loved to do was practice yoga. I ended up in Stephanie Snyder’s class at Urban Flow serendipitously and by the end of class I knew I had to sign up for her teacher training. After which everything just clicked!

Why yoga? Why not Zumba? Or TRX? 

I practice both yoga and TRX! They are excellent parallels and really support each discipline. Yoga is my first love, though, for the sake of the sacred texts. The sacred texts are the guiding factors to the physical practice of yoga, and they have improved my life beyond description. For a type-A rule follower, they provide just the right amount of guidance, and freedom, in my life.

What do you LOVE MOST about teaching yoga? 

I love the a-ha moments. As soon as a student locks into a pose, or takes a huge sigh, or just softens a little bit more… You can see they’ve found refuge. It’s such a magical moment!

What do you LOVE MOST about teaching Office Yoga? 

Office Yogis are the BEST. They’re always smiling and excited to practice.

What can Stern Grove Festival Yogis expect from your class? 

Movement, breath work, and most importantly, fun times. I’m a high energy teacher—I’ll be sure to perk you up before Ziggy Marley, that’s for sure!

Anything else you would like to share? 

My spirit food is Swiss Chard.