GoRecess Pro: Tara Dale, Yoga Tree; San Francisco, CA
Studios: Owner of seven Yoga Tree studios in the San Francisco Bay Area, a teacher training center, and a retreat center in Sonoma. Locations include: Yoga Tree Stanyan; Yoga Tree Hayes; Yoga Tree Castro; Yoga Tree Valencia; Yoga Tree Mission; Yoga Tree Berkeley and Yoga Tree Corte Madera.
Classes Offered at Yoga Tree: AcroYoga; Anusara/Anusara-Inspired; Baptiste; Forrest Yoga; Gentle Hatha/Gentle Flow; Hatha; Hatha Flow; Iyengar; Jivamukti; Prenatal; Restorative; Shadow Yoga; Vinyasa/ Vinyasa Flow; Yin; Yoga For Kids (ages 5-13)
Hometown: San Francisco, CA
Background: Tara, along with her partner Tim, is the founder of Yoga Tree San Francisco. Tim and Tara Dale met in June of 1999 at a business meeting to begin what would become the Yoga Tree we know today. Now they have seven yoga centers, two children, and a growing community of yogis to share it all with.
Tara teaches a tantric-based hatha class with an emphasis on going at your own pace and being in the present moment. Students are guided through sun salutations, standing, seated, and inverted asana sequencing. Tara encourages her students to focus on their breath and to nurture a centered and grounded practice. Throughout her class, Tara highlights alignment. Tara has been teaching hatha yoga since 1995 and has been studying Iyengar, Anusara and Tantra since 1995 and has been in the fitness and wellness industry since 1987. Her teachers are John Friend, Shiva Rea and Judith Lasater.
ABOUT YOGA TREE & TARA'S VIEWS ON YOGA
What inspired you and Tim to open Yoga Tree and what makes your studios unique? My passion is yoga. Before Yoga Tree I had a private practice called The Inner Garden. I was extremely busy and needed to expand. My partner Tim was in the restaurant business and was looking for a new space. He saw a space and thought this would make a perfect yoga studio. The rest is history. What makes our studios unique is that our philosophy is that many rivers lead to the ocean – the same goes for yoga. This is why Yoga Tree offers such a large variety of styles.
You offer so many different styles of yoga at Yoga Tree. How do they differ and how does someone know which class is right for them? I hire the best instructors I can find and let them teach what they are passionate about. With yoga it’s about finding your teacher. For people new to yoga, we recommend taking a Yoga 101 Workshop to give them the basic knowledge of the different types of yoga, the different types of poses and their names and a basic foundation.
For someone who has never tried yoga, why do you recommend it and what type of class do you recommend? There are many reasons and benefits to yoga, and people have different reasons for incorporating it into their lives. As I mentioned, a 101 Workshop is a great way to get the fundamentals of yoga. Beginners should look for classes that emphasize a solid foundation and alignment. They need these principles in order to practice safely.
What advice do you have for yoga newbies? Don’t be discouraged by someone hyper-flexible next to you – it is not a competition. This is your practice. Second, keep going to new teachers until you find one that really inspires you.
The yoga move/pose everyone should master: Down Dog, Cobra or Up Dog, Chataranga
GETTING TO KNOW TARA
Favorite workout brand? lululemon
What do you eat/not eat? I do not eat cheese or processed foods, and eat mainly organic foods.
Your guilty pleasure? Sleeping in on weekends.
Your most memorable teaching moment? It’s always memorable when a student discovers something new about themselves through their yoga. This can be physical or mental, but the realization that something has shifted is a powerful moment.
If you could GoRecess users one piece of fitness advice what would it be? Make yoga or fitness part of your daily lifestyle.
JUST FOR FUN!
Favorite sports team: Giants
Pets? Dog: Chloe; Cat: Nickie; Bunnies: Thumper and Snowball; Fish: Bubbles
Vacation style: I like to be active, explore new places and eat great food
Anything else to share? You are what you think. Keep your thoughts, words and actions in alignment with your life’s purpose.