Tom taught over 5,900 yoga classes in Silicon Valley before moving to Santa Fe. He is Yoga Alliance certified as an Experienced Registered Yoga Teacher. He has mentored over a dozen apprentice teachers.
Tom taught at various Silicon Valley yoga studios and corporations and has taught many Silicon Valley CEO’s and/or their significant others, groups of Stanford professors, and yoga students from every inhabited continent, including hundreds of Indians or Indian-Americans resident in Silicon Valley.
Tom is knowledgeable about Yogic Breathing Practices (Pranayama). He teaches Pranayama workshops and trains teachers how to teach Pranayama. His 220-page guidebook Secrets of Successful Pranayama enables students to build a practice on their own. It is available from amazon.com.
“Tom is a masterful teacher.”
Professor Sheri Sheppard,
Chair, Stanford Faculty Senate, 2006-2007
"Tom’s unceasing demonstration of humility and dedication to his students has had a profound effect on my life. And I am also not the same person — physically and spiritually — that I was before I met him."
Linda Alepin, Retired
Formerly Dean’s Executive Professor of Entrepreneurship, Santa Clara University
2013 AAUW Eleanor Roosevelt Award Winner
Chair, Governance Board, Global Women’s Leadership Network, (Co-Founder)
Tom’s yoga and pranayama classes have given me the foundation of a deeply transformative practice. His asana and pranayama work have been the most powerful tools I have encountered for deep and sustainable spiritual growth.
Tom is an intelligent and dedicated teacher. His teaching mixes his deep knowledge of yoga and pranayama with his playful irreverence and good humor.
The effects of what Tom teaches creep up on you — and before you know it, your life just flows with ease.
Founder and President, The Clara Fund
Years ago we sought out Tom to come teach for us at YIY because some of our very experienced students strongly recommended him to us. He has absolutely lived up to our high expectations. Students love him and love the energy and the humor in the room when he teaches. We love Tom too. Four thumbs way up!
Joseph & Sabina Hentz, Owners/Managers
Yoga is Youthfulness, 1999-2018
“Best Yoga Studio in Mountain View” Mountain View Voice, 2011, 2013,2014
Tom is an extremely popular yoga instructor. Students came to him because of his ability to challenge all levels of students from beginners to those with years and years of experience. They also came to Tom for his superb ability to teach Pranayama and his ever present sense of humor. Students floated out of his classes exhilarated and happy.
Andi Bruno, Owner, Yoga of Los Altos, 2003-2014
“Best Yoga Studio on the Peninsula” Palo Alto Daily News, 2010, 2011, 2012,2013
“Best Yoga Studio in Silicon Valley” San Jose Mercury News, 2012
Martha Quick, E-RYT
Asana, Pranayama, Meditation & More
Martha Quick is a Yoga Alliance E-RYT certified teacher who has taught over 1,700 classes. Her students have been as young as 10 and as old as 99. She has taught classes at yoga studios, institutions and corporations in San Francisco, Silicon Valley and Santa Fe (the place she grew up and to which she has returned).
Martha has practiced yoga every day for 22 years and taught for 6 years. She was initially drawn to it to combat her body's responses to a car accident and to deal with the stress of her career as a real estate developer in Silicon Valley. In midlife, yoga became her life, when she thoroughly committed to reinvigorating her personal practice. As she advanced in asana and began including pranayama and meditation, her practice began to flourish. In addition to Tom, Martha's teacher training has included intensive training with Manouso Manos, one of the top Iyengar Yoga teachers in the world, and teachers from India who had been directly schooled by Tirumalai Krishnamacharya. Martha's teaching is rooted in Iyengar yoga.
Martha Quick enhanced our long-established yoga program and we recommend her as a teacher to both beginning and advanced students. Starting out as a substitute she then attracted her own following of students when she received a weekly slot. She was able to keep her students focused and engaged in both their asana practice and lying-down meditative practices, even while weight lifters were practicing in the same facility. She sometimes drew the lifters into her class, enabling them to discover that yoga would release those parts of their body that had been perhaps overused. Natalie McMahon,
SRI (Stanford Research Institute) International
Martha established a weekly asana-pranayama-meditation program for our company that was both attractive and challenging for those trying yoga for the first time as well as for more adept students. Our employees found her classes to be a valuable therapy for stress reduction while working at a high-growth startup. We greatly enjoyed having Martha work with our team and would happily recommend that she bring her expertise to your group. Dan Smolkin
Manager Human Resources
We chose Martha to teach at our studio both because of her extensive Iyengar training, and because we felt from our students' feedback that her studies in the most advanced classes offered by Manouso Manos,along with her long-time personal practice, had well-prepared her to pass on solid knowledge of asana and pranayama.
We were not disappointed. She took over a class from one of our best and most beloved teachers and was able to keep his students interested and challenged--not an easy feat. We highly recommend Martha. Sabina and Joseph Hentz
Co-founders Yoga is Youthfulness www.yogaisyouth.com
Voted Best Yoga Studio in Mountain View, California, for many years including 2014
Martha taught a chair-yoga class for our seniors here at Santa Fe Pacifica Senior Living for fifteen months. Her students had conditions ranging from simple Arthritis to Parkinson’s, many types of dementia and end-stage cancers. Many were in wheelchairs and/or on oxygen.
The class was basically aimed at keeping or increasing their range of motion and building their strength. Martha’s training enabled her to identify issues in each student’s body and to then create personalized instructions to address their individual needs.
Martha exceeded our expectations in all regards and her students loved her class. The staff and residents here at Pacifica Senior Living highly recommend her. Connie Garcia
Pacifica Senior Living
Director of Social Interaction
Santa Fe, NM
Private Lessons In Our In-Home Studio
Yoga, in India, has been best learned one-on-one: a teacher and a student. The student is taught practices designed specifically for their body and their stage of life.
Tom and Martha are continuing that tradition, giving our students all the benefits of such a personalized instruction.
Yoga at our In-Home Studio in the Heart of Santa Fe, a 15-minute walk north of the Plaza.
Our studio was designed specifically for practicing yoga.
Your first one-hour lesson, $40.
Thereafter $60 per lesson.
Yoga At Your Home in Santa Fe
One or two students, $100 per lesson.
Three or more students, $150.
PRANAYAMA AT OUR STUDIO
Santa Fe Yoga can include some Pranayama at the end of your lessons. It is appropriate for students of any religious or spiritual persuasion.
A FEW KIND WORDS
More about Tom
From his Students
This is what I went to India for but didn’t find!
Yoga has been a part of my life for 20+ years, practicing, teaching and applying its principles in my work with patients. And what I learned through asana and pranayama practice in a few months with Tom was more valuable for my practice, life and work than the months I spent studying in India. And now, years later, his flame burns no less brightly.
Dr. Mary Ann Furda
In Tom’s class, I finally “got” what pranayama is all about. He has a gift of sharing his knowledge with his students, and bringing them to that certain “Place."
Effy Weisfield, Los Altos, CA
Pranayama for the Un-Yogi’s. Call me the typical Type-A Silicon Valley multitasking working mom. Breathing? Yeah, not so much for me. Can’t even sit still for 5 minutes.
That is until I met Tom. Then everything changed.
No longer headed for the door to keep the yoga class to an hour. I was amazed that I could be ‘present’ and mindful, and lose track of time.
Tom’s approach is supportive and very grounded. He “keeps it real” without asking us to mentally or spiritually go beyond our comfort zone. He leads you without directing you and encourages you without pushing.
Hillary, San Carlos, CA
I have been practicing Yoga and Pranayama regularly with Tom for more than three years now.
I do not fully understand how the Pranayama works, but I know for sure that everything in my life flows more easily and effortlessly because of it. Somehow I am more in synch and in the flow and things just “work out.”
Even problems seem to flow through my life in a timely synchronized manner with ease and grace. (Meaning the problems arise in an organized, manageable and effortless fashion, making them easier to handle, one at a time.)
The effects from my regular Yoga and Pranayama practice are more subtle and far reaching than I could have imagined. I am a believer.
Cheri Gross, yogini, student and trained Yoga teacher
When I began doing yoga with Tom Abrehamson I had just had my sixtieth birthday and was feeling that I had started a physical decline. Now, several years later, I can report that my whole body has been strengthened and made much more flexible – this with just doing yoga once a week. Perhaps the best thing has been the breathing techniques Tom teaches. I am a tense, anxious person and have found the yoga breathing exercises to be amazingly effective – like taking anxiety medication.
Marilyn B. Kellogg
I have been attending yoga sessions with Tom for several months now and I am amazed at his extensive knowledge of yoga asanas and pranayam, both in terms of technique and in terms of the purpose and benefits.
Yoga is not merely about the poses, it’s about understanding your body holistically and how the different parts fit together. I had looked for a good yoga instructor in the US for quite some time before meeting Tom. His sessions are hard work and yet a lot of fun. With yoga, I can see and feel the growing strength and endurance in me and it’s getting better everyday.
While I try to bail out of my running every time, I look forward to my Sunday yoga sessions and rearrange my schedule to accommodate them. My only complaint is that I can only make it to Tom’s sessions once a week.
I’ve been practicing yoga for many years and have had more than a dozen teachers.
Until taking Tom’s classes, I dreaded the “quiet” class time (listening to the teacher talk, resting in savasana, and especially what I used to call “strange breathing”).
It wasn’t immediate pleasure doing Tom’s pranayama, but over time I’ve come to appreciate the idea of Meditation and frequently use what Tom has taught at stressful times. I regularly concentrate on breathing when getting to sleep – it’s as good as a “PM ” pill and there are no side effects.
Tom’s knowledge of his subject is obvious from the several years I’ve been going to his classes, and I continue to learn from him.
S. C., Los Altos, CA
Dear Tom: you are my inspiration and your Sunday class is my church (or I should say my temple in my case…).
Thank you so much for deepening and advancing my practice, and thank you for introducing me to the art of Pranayama that took me to a completely different level.
Hope to be your student forever.
“Tom teaches Pranayama with skill and enthusiasm. I have experienced how he was able to bring this challenging practice to students in yoga teacher trainings. He teaches Pranayama with easy to understand language accessible to beginners. It is clear to see how his own dedicated Pranayama practice contributes to both his well being and his ability to share his knowledge of this challenging practice with others. We received great feedback about his workshops from our trainees, and have invited him to be part of our faculty in the future.”
Misako Matsuoka, E-RYT 500,
Teacher Training Coordinator, Yoga at Cindys, Sunnyvale CA
No nonsense yoga with a sense of humor!
There are are awards for the “best yoga studio” or “best yoga teacher.” Tom is most definitely deserving of the latter, but really, where is the award for the “most entertaining yoga teacher”? That is Tom’s title hands down. Keep making people laugh, Tom.
Jennell Leveque, Woodside, CA and San Juan, Puerto Rico
One day I dropped in Tom’s Sunday morning class and ever since it has been a priority for me to be there every week. I have been practicing yoga for more than 30 years and have met many exceptional teachers. Tom is a rare treasure. He is a very knowledgeable, caring, and devoted teacher with a profound understanding of a wide variety of yogic practices, way beyond what you can find in a typical yoga studio. We are very fortunate to have Tom around.
Alex Ran, Palo Alto
Tom Abrehamson is the most gifted yoga teacher I have encountered and I have been to at least 20 different yoga teachers over the past 17 years
Tom is a magnificent teacher! With humor, empathy and gentle prodding, he brings out the best in every student – even stiff old women.
Mary Van Tamelen, Los Altos Hills, CA
Tom offers his yoga classes with passion and precision, in his utterly original style.
Detailed instructions on anatomical alignment are couched in his great good humor. A full one-third of the session is devoted to breathwork and meditative practices that are clearly offered from his own experience in his personal practice.
He manages to teach multi-level classes with ease, his eagle eye noticing what each person needs, making it a fun, challenging, and safe class for all.
His carefully crafted classes, which I have been attending for about 6 years now, are a jewel on the San Francisco Peninsula.
Sairus Patel, Palo Alto, CA (practicing yoga since 1984)
Tom’s classes are a sassy blend of wit, fun music, deep stretching in the poses, partner work, and lots of useful feedback. I leave feeling both refreshed, more awake, and a bit more courageous than when I got there!
In that wonderful moment just when you open your eyes after relaxation and pranayama, Tom asks, Does the world look more balanced, more harmonious? The pranayama has worked its magic and I go about my day more attuned to the visual rhythms around me. Tom has truly unlocked the beauty of pranayama!
Siri Huntoon, Mountain View, CA
Tom teaches yoga in such an amazing way….he takes it lightly enough to extract huge bouts of laughter from his students and seriously enough to create an ecstatic sense of peace. He not only stretches your body, but your brain to its full capacity.
My amazing teacher, Tom Abrehamson of Yoga of Los Altos, told me the other day: You’re shooting for the stars again, Boudicca. His lessons are mind-bogglingly wonderful — life-changing stuff — and heartily recommended to anyone in the South Bay of the San Francisco Bay Area.
Deborah Beale, Woodside, CA
I have been practicing yoga with Tom for the past 7 or 8 years. He brings energy, enthusiasm, humor, personal connection with students and a deep and constantly expanding knowledge of yoga to his teaching. I have noticed that taking a class with Tom somehow always makes my day go better.
Debra Dunn, Portola Valley, CA
I came for the yoga lesson. I come back for the jokes.
Mike G., YIY Student
Tom’s yoga class feels so good it’s addictive! I leave feeling taller, calmer and very positive. I love Tom’s variety of asanas and sense of humor.
I must have done something very right in a past life to have Tom Abrehamson as my yoga instructor in this one. His passion for passing on the powerful disciplines of yoga and pranayama is infectious. With experience, intelligence and wit he has enriched my life through yoga and I am eternally grateful.
Nancie (Lou Lou) Crowley
I've been taking Tom’s classes for 8 years. I’ve had other teachers but no one who keeps things as lively and fresh as Tom. He’s always learning and introducing new things to keep his students interested… plus he’s fun. Some would even say “funny”. He always includes pranayama in his classes – and for this he is serious! Seriously good!
Tom is a terrific yoga ‘Teacher’. I emphasize ‘teacher’, because few Yoga classes are led by real teachers.
I have been actively attending yoga classes – several times per week – for almost 5 years. I regularly go to a variety of classes from several studios representing different styles of yoga as well as many different instructors. In addition, whenever I travel I try to attend a local yoga class. And Tom is unique.
During his classes, he has a clear idea of what particular pose he is trying to achieve and will use several approaches until we finally ‘get it’! Tom is very hands-on, and serious yoga students really appreciate that. He is also quickly aware of each person’s limitations and works within what is realistic to modify a pose for the student to get the maximum benefit.
Tom does this all with a great sense of humor. At exactly the right moment – usually when we are all getting frustrated trying to work our bodies into a particular position, Tom will break out in song – and of course, that relaxes everyone.
He also brings a great deal of enthusiasm and joy to our classes; Tom is clearly loving every moment of the class and that really helps to make the experience special.
I will follow Tom and his class wherever it may be… amazing experience, fun and spiritual at the same time. Thanks, Tom, for bringing so much joy to my life.
I experience Tom’s classes as challenging yet refreshing; informative yet pleasurable, and no two are ever the same. As a dancer who has taken a decade of Iyengar yoga, I seek out yoga classes from teachers who love to teach and who enjoy class with music. I am so grateful Tom is one of these! Tom’s years of yoga and pranayama make him an Emeritus professor in my book, and I now believe his statement that practicing the asanas with pranayama will change your life. Tom is generous, electric, and playful, and I continue to learn from him in every class.
Nancy Devine, Mountain View, CA
I like the yoga classes with Tom. I don’t have much pain the next day from the stretches. Tom has light humor and the class is fun.
I have been taking classes with Tom for several years, including through a pregnancy. Tom always makes class fun and engaging by bringing in music, humor and interesting anecdotes from his own personal experiences, particularly with our pranayama practice. I’m amazed at how Tom always knows every student’s name and something about their practice, considering how many people attend his popular classes. As I’ve progressed with my yoga, both asana and pranayama, Tom has continued to challenge me with advanced variations on the poses as well as deeper pranayama techniques. I look forward to developing my yoga further with Tom.
Heidi K. Carson, Cupertino, CA
Tom Abrehamson is a great yoga instructor! His classes are challenging and rigorous, and at the same time, fun. Tom is sensitive to students’ chronic ailments, and accommodates them, both with equipment (blocks, bolsters, chairs) and alternate instructions. He encourages students to continually push themselves both physically and spiritually, and includes a pranayama breathing practice at the end of every class.
He uses different kinds of background music, from classical to classic rock, to inspire us. And he’s hilariously open and funny — a compliment I have never been able to give any previous yoga instructor.
Bottom line — I’d tell you when his classes are, but they’re too crowded already!
Linda Thompson, Los Altos, CA
After attending Tom’s classes for 2 years, I stand 3/4″ taller, I’ve regained physical capabilities (at age 51) I thought I had lost forever, and I spend a much greater portion of my daily life living calmly in the present moment.
Mark Klein, Los Altos, CA [Mark is not alone in this. Two other of Tom's students have also reported this. One, in her fifties, had her height measured prior to starting classes with him; she had lost an inch over the years. After practicing yoga each week for a few years she was measured again. She had gained the entire inch back. The spine recovers.]
Coming to your class and doing the pranayama filled me with strength and courage, Tom.
You have a fantastic approach to yoga. It is always a lot of fun to come to your classes. I leave every single time feeling grounded and balanced and ready to give to others around me what I received from the class.
Tom teaches yoga with humor, humanity and a palpable concern for his students. By grounding his teaching in very human relationships, Tom helped me and others realize our potential. I am leaving the country, and one of the things I will miss most is Tom’s class.
Tom Abrehamson teaches yoga with such style, humor, grace and class. He makes the practice of yoga a treat to your body and mind by infusing humor and entertainment into each class. He is honest and open with his students and expects the most out of himself each and every class.
I’ve grown to truly admire Tom over the years, not just for giving me an excellent workout, but for adding community and friendship to something I already hold dear to me. He has a rare gift — and we are the lucky ones to receive a part of that with every practice.
A.S., Yoga student
I hate to miss Tom’s class. I think that says it all!
Maureen, 2008 to 2014
Tom is the best kind of teacher for me. He has deep knowledge and experience with the practices he teaches, and continues his own practice personally. He welcomes new, beginning students, and at the same time continues to challenge experienced students to refine and advance their practices. In class, he gets to know his students personally, and brings warmth and humor to his sessions. The classes are challenging, but always fun, and I’m always amazed at how quickly the time passes. When I leave, I’m looking forward to the next class.
Tom is a fabulous mix of hard core and soft touch. He pushes you to your limit but always reminds you to listen to your body. He has an amazing depth of knowledge about the human body and the little ways to improve one’s yoga practice.
Many years ago I injured my shoulder during a volleyball game. Almost every year I would reinjure it, take some time off and then play again. Needless to say, my shoulder never got better…only worse. It was during one of my volleyball siestas that I joined Tom’s yoga class. Tom’s unique teaching style, words of encouragement and respect of everyone’s capability kept me coming back for more.
At one point, while playing catch with my son, I managed to reinjure my shoulder. If I couldn’t play catch with my son…it was definitely time to see a doctor. There were at least 4 issues with my shoulder including a torn ligament, but the doctors and therapists were amazed with the flexibility in my shoulder. Since flexibility was never my strength, my new love of yoga was the only explanation.
After a few months of physical therapy and yoga, I am thrilled to say I was able to play catch once again with my son and join a volleyball team where we have won at least 3 tournaments. The many years of yoga each week have kept me happy, healthy, flexible and strong. Thanks for everything Tom.
I always feel at peace when I leave Tom’s class. He guides us with a sense of humor to find that “sweet spot.”
Tom: I am thankful I dropped in to YIY about four years ago on a holiday weekend to attend your class. How blessed I’ve been to have you as a teacher. You’ve instructed me with encouraging words which have filled me with courage and confidence to be my best and to continually move through my edge. You’ve helped me grow in my practice. And I am so grateful that we are able to devote time to pranayama practice.
Thanks also for the laughter that flows from my heart when you are naturally comical and silly. I love your wit and humor.
I saw a movie that reminded me of you and it happened to be about “mister tom”, a caring older man who cared for a young boy. I feel cared for and you express genuine care for all in your class. I am a more grounded, content being when I leave your class. My daughter thanks you.
I began attending Tom’s yoga classes to improve my physical balance and flexibility. After a very short time, I realized I had never felt more healthy and alive!! And, after six plus years of studying yoga with Tom, my entire life has changed very much for the better.
Tom’s patient instruction in yoga and pranayama has resulted in a significantly healthier mind and body for me: I am more healthy physically (I am in my late 50′s), I am calmer, more optimistic, more open and happier. I find I approach stressful situations much more calmly and effectively. Tom is a very wise, compassionate and wonderfully gifted teacher, and I feel very lucky to have found him. I am most grateful to him for his wisdom and his passion for teaching.
Margaret B., Los Altos Hills, CA
Two years! Time flies. Thanks again Tom. Your class is wonderful, filled with joy and your incredible teaching abilities and inspiration. My middle age body likes it too.
Annamaria Schiavio Gryn
Tom knows his yoga–what would you expect? He uses every minute of time and pushes us; I like his fast paced instruction which combines flexibility and strength training. He uses humor and music to keep us loose. His Meditation practices are informative and relaxing. I appreciate having Tom as my “go to” Instructor!
I have been attending yoga class with Tom for about a year now. He is a very insightful teacher who can crystallize the very essence of each pose/asana. I think it is very vital to get the essence of each asana but not struggle to contort into each pose. He is also funny, entertaining and I like most of his music! This is one of the best 75 minutes in each week.
This is a challenging and wonderful class. Thank you, Tom!
Charlotte from France
I’ve been a student in Tom Abrehamson’s yoga class for over four years. Tom is a wonderful teacher whose every yoga class is a unique experience. He is able to combine different aspects of yogic experience as very few teachers I’ve encountered over these four years. He is able to keep his students challenged and entertained at the same time, blending physical, energy and, I am not afraid to use a lofty word here, spiritual elements in a seamless texture.
This class has helped my posture and neck. I never get tired of coming. Tom keeps if fresh and challenging. Best yoga class I’ve taken.
S. C. N.
Tom brings experience, thoughtfulness and humor to his class. He pays individual attention to his students and follows their progress.
Cynthia, Mountain View
Tom is the bestest yoga teacher! He is engaging, entertaining and infinitely knowledgeable. I highly recommend his class.
Deb Walkup, Mountain View, CA
Tom’s combination of asana and pranayama practice offers every student in his class a unique and intensely rewarding experience.
Patricia Marin, Los Altos, CA, Yoga Teacher to Seniors
Tom’s classes have alleviated my chronic lower back pain in a way that years of chiropractic care could not. Equally important, they have made swimming joyful again – my arms don’t hurt anymore, and my kick is stronger!
Tom has a unique style of teaching an Iyengar-based style of yoga and pranayama. He blends in humor while encouraging students to work to their potential.
I have been practicing Yoga for the past four years and have had numerous instructors during this period. Tom Abrehamson is a unique entity when it comes teaching yoga; I find his classes very rewarding from both a physical and spiritual perspective. He drives his students hard but is particularly adept at demonstrating the right technique and explaining the importance of this in yoga practice. Tom is an exceptional teacher who challenges us in every class and consistently finds new ways to keep his students fully engaged.
S.F., Los Altos, CA
Tom’s class is fun! Music, humor and good stretches!
Tom’s yoga classes always draw a crowd. Aside from generously sharing his very deep insight of yoga and applying his knowledge to our individual conditions, Tom is the consummate entertainer. His always-surprising eclectic music repertoire ranges from mantras and chanting to classical to rock ‘n roll and “Getting Jiggy With It.”
No one’s poses are exempt from being the subject of his groaningly-awful “tell it like it is ” one-liners that frequently ricochet throughout the room. We all laugh no matter how much we are suffering in our own poses, and fully realizing we could be his next target. And he’s just as quick to joke about his own foibles and limitations too.
A full hour and a half of poses, mantras, breath-work and jokes fly by, and suddenly it’s time for shavasana. The unique concoction of experiences bring us all just a little closer to reaching our toes, just a little closer to nirvana, and always back for more.
Yoga has improved my balance, strength, and flexibility, and has eliminated a lot of my back pain. I look forward to the class and the chance for physical and mental release.
Almost eight years ago, when I was suffering from neck and heel discomfort, my friend suggested that I try yoga with an instructor named Tom at Ladera Oaks. I thought…why not?
I started the class the following week and have never missed a week (other than when traveling) since then…and 90% of the classes have been taught by Tom. I began with no understanding of yoga. I was in good physical condition, but my balance and flexibility were very poor. I immediately enjoyed both Tom and his yoga teachings. My body healed quickly, and quite frankly, I have suffered with no further physical issues. My frequent headaches have not bothered me for years. I have advanced in my yoga positions; still seeking improvement (and getting that darn headstand!).
However, most importantly, I actually have learned how to breathe! When I started yoga I did not even understand how to inhale or exhale properly. Now I focus on my golf swing with my breathing pattern. I also try to instill my breathing techniques when I am under stress. The biggest compliment I can give Tom is that (after years of TELLING my husband about yoga) about a year and a half ago…I took my husband to Tom’s class. He’s hooked! We go regularly Saturday mornings!
We both feel that Tom’s yoga class will benefit us into our “older” years. We are in our mid-50’s…proud that we can do a lot of physical activities, lifting, bending, etc. that our friends cannot do. I carry my golf bag 18 holes…none of my friends do. Most important, my husband, who is highly stressed, is very relaxed after his session. Tom has changed our lives…in a very positive way…We are extremely grateful to him.
PCS (& LMS)
I have taken yoga classes in New York, the San Francisco Bay Area, and across the UK… Tom is my favorite teacher. His motivational techniques are second to none. He has a gift for creating a fantastic atmosphere in his classroom.
Jenna Brassington, Yoga Student
Through praise, encouragement, humor and some occasional shouting, Tom makes sure every yoga student achieves the most they’re capable of, and even a little more. Tom is a teacher in the best sense of the word. I look forward to Tom’s classes each week, and the benefits stay with me all week long. I see a little bit of improvement in one pose or another every week (well, maybe it’s mostly just in my mind, but I’ll keep believing.
I hope you never stop teaching classes, Tom. Thanks
There is just no one like Tom!
What a great class. I never thought I’d be able to touch my toes from that direction.
Thanks for taking my body parts to places they never dreamed of going on their own.
I started yoga about four years ago and I was told that I needed to explore different yoga instructors since each one offers different ways of practicing. I was never able to meditate and enjoy the outcome, until I started to take Tom’s classes.
I can never forget the first time that I was able to feel the great sensation of Meditation by following Tom’s instructions in the class. I always feel energized and positive after Tom’s classes. I have been exploring different instructors, but the only one that I always look forward to taking class and can never change is Tom.
And Tom, I want you to know that I am very thankful to you for teaching me the art of yoga. I think teaching the physical part of it is not so challenging, but being able to incorporate the mental with physical is not easy at all. I have noticed most of the teachers that I have been practicing yoga with are great in teaching the physical aspect of yoga, but when I take your classes, your voice and energy will stay with me through out the week. I am hoping that you will continue transferring this gift you have and I will be able to continue coming to your classes.
Thanks again for everything.
Ellie Clelland, Cupertino, CA
In my five years of classes with Tom I have:
never been bored,
always been challenged,
grown stronger, and
learned to breathe.
I am proud to call Tom my teacher.
After becoming a “Tom’s yoga junkie” for months I was able to confide in Tom about having an anxiety disorder I have been living with for several years. He had already clued in on how greatly it affected my time doing yoga and I was surprised by his atypical response–Tom, unlike so many who will avoid the topic at any cost, began working with me to get the anxiety under control during my time in yoga class, which then spilled over into how I deal with it outside the yoga studio.
He continues to challenge my anxiety and, after many months, still hasn’t written me off as a lost cause. Tom genuinely wants to see the people who attend his classes succeed not only in the yoga studio, but in all aspects of life. I am grateful to be able to learn from him and to have him as a part of my life.
Tom makes yoga accessible, and challenging, no matter what your ability level.
Helen Wolter, Mountain View, CA
In my first 10 years of study, I gained a superficial acquaintance with the true benefits of yoga. Then about 6 years ago, I had the good fortune of encountering Tom Abrehamson and began to study with him. Since that time, my yoga practice has gained a new clarity and relevance in my life.
Veiled beneath Tom’s mischievous and playful teaching is a living art that he is constantly testing and evolving. He maintains a personal awareness of every individual in his classes and is constantly seeking feedback on his teaching – what works, what doesn’t, and only introduces new approaches that have been carefully filtered through his own experience.
I was naturally motivated to attend Tom’s first pranayama workshops. His approach to pranayama is again a personally tested discipline. He sets signposts and cautions based on his own training and experience, and gives students a map with which to explore and expand their own practice.
The notes from his workshops have developed into the book, Secrets of Successful Pranayama. I would certainly recommend this work to anyone who wishes to integrate the benefits of pranayama into their lives.
Christian Petersen, Mountain View, CA
Tom, I am glad to know that you and I share a common vision for the equality of men and women. I am thankful for your teaching. It provides me with both
Tom makes Iyengar-based Yoga accessible with his unique blend of rigor, candor and humor. Rigor that defines Iyengar Yoga, candor in his sharp, precise feedback, and humor that disarms. We don’t realize we’ve been holding that pose for five minutes because Tom deftly distracts us with his wit, bathing us with humor on our way to grasping the profundity of his insights. A gifted master who loves both what he does and those he teaches!
John Phelps, Los Altos, CA
I first attended Tom’s yoga class over four years ago, shortly after being diagnosed with a degenerative neurological disorder. While the physical symptoms were painful and disabling, I was also at a low point emotionally. I had not yet come to terms with my diagnosis and was not ready to discuss my disability with anyone outside of my immediate family and closest friends.
My research told me that yoga could help me to maintain my quality of life, but I had concerns about keeping up with the other students.
Tom’s teaching style was just what I needed. His classes are lively and his approach almost militaristic. While being sensitive to my need for privacy, he makes a point of teaching poses that he and I know are especially beneficial for someone in my condition. I am now approaching year 5 since my diagnosis and my quality of life is far better than others in my situation.
Tom is able to motivate and challenge his students while making the class fun for all. I am very grateful to have found a friend and teacher who has contributed so immensely to my sense of well being.
I have practiced yoga with Tom for eight years now. Not only has this practice healed previous chronic back pain, but it has also helped me to grow both in physical strength and mental well-being. I believe it’s through my continuous practice with Tom that I have been able to take on and succeed through both the intellectual and emotional challenges that have faced me these last five years.
Tom’s classes are comfortably challenging. His humorous comments make the class fun and illuminate the poses. The eclectic blend of music he prepares is great. He spends more time on breathing (pranayama) than most teachers. I’m learning and growing a lot. Thanks!
Tom’s yoga classes are a fantastic combination of boot camp, stand-up comedy, and spiritual retreat. He seamlessly blends earthly fun & bodily challenge with the bigger meaning and purpose of yoga.
Understandably, he has a very loyal student following! We all greatly enjoy and appreciate Tom’s teaching.
L. Iverson, Yoga student of Tom’s for many years
Tom’s Yoga classes are challenging, but he has a way of making our time on the mat light-hearted and fun. He works with our abilities with compassion and understanding and has a unique ability to establish a rapport with his students that makes us want to come back for more!
Tom brings his wit and humor to every yoga class! His classes are filled with laughter and light as well as gentle reminders to work on each pose. Also, his focus on pranayama work has yielded blessings at home which I have not expected. After apprenticing for three years with Tom I have come to realize more fully what an amazing teacher he is for beginners as well as those with yoga experience.
Tom has a unique approach to yoga. It’s fun (and funny) but he takes the practice seriously and delights in every class. Rather than show off in the poses like many yoga teachers, he walks the room to make sure students are doing poses correctly and getting the most out of the class. He will push you hard but is sensitive to your limits.
I have learned so much from Tom’s classes — I am stronger, calmer, more flexible and have a much improved aerobic capacity for other sports from doing Pranayama.
Combine that with dry wit, music ranging from Dire Straits to opera, Welsh marching bands and Linda Ronstadt ballads. ‘Hurts so good” workouts that accommodate youth and age, beginners to advanced students. What are you waiting for? Go take one of Tom’s classes and see! You’ll be addicted before you know it…
I’m really enjoying your classes. I appreciate your combination of careful teaching and humor.
I have been a yoga and pranayama student of Tom Abrehamson for nearly seven years. I have studied with other teachers and even gone through a yoga teacher training course and I have been a teacher myself for five years, yet I still find myself coming back to him for more classes. As his own practice deepens, he deepens his teachings.
I am especially glad that he evolved into teaching pranayama at the end of his classes. The flow of his teaching from total mental and physical focus on the asanas beautifully prepares you to sit still and practice pranayama at the end of class. (Now if I could only convince him to add 15 minutes of quiet Meditation on top of that and it would be the ultimate experience!) You could not do better than to learn from Tom. You’ll stretch deeply both physically and spiritually.
Christine Leffler, CMT, CYT
I’ve been practicing yoga with Tom for several years in Palo Alto. His classes are always light and fun. Tom has a great depth of knowledge about yoga, is attentive to his students, and always has great suggestions about how to improve on the poses. I always feel rejuvenated after each practice with him.
Arthur, Santa Clara, CA
His is not a stereotypical class with tinkly-chime music and newageisms. Rather, it is Drill Sergeant Tom’s Boot Camp Yoga. (In fact some of us joke about “Boot Camp Yoga” at Peet’s after class.)
Tom is tough and he’s loud but also fair, attentive to all, and gifted with a wonderful sense of humour. I am pleased that many of the other testamonials capture the essence of his work: the humour, the wild music, the attention to detail, the rigour, and—most important—the sheer joy and pleasure.
SPM, Sunnyvale, CA
My sciatica responded terrifically after only one session – amazing. Thank you. I am your most grateful student.
I can’t speak highly enough about Tom. I really appreciate how committed Tom is to each pose, each flow, each pranayama exercise, and each student. I also really appreciate his dry sense of humor. Tom’s humor and his serious commitment are the perfect yin-yang balance.I leave each class feeling deeply worked out, energized and calm. You can’t ask for much better than that.
Tom has been my yoga instructor for over seven years. My initial motivation for taking his classes was to support my sister when she learned that yoga could relieve her stiffness and pain due to Parkinson’s disease. It became quickly apparent that I too benefited physically, emotionally, and spiritually from Tom’s classes.
I have, on occasion, taken classes with other excellent instructors –- I am convinced that Tom is the best when it comes to motivating and inspiring his students. His compassion, knowledge and sense of humor create a relaxed and enjoyable environment in which to learn yoga.
Thank you Tom for making such a positive change in our lives!
After 45 years of back problems accompanied by fear, I am gaining strength, flexibility and courage from my yoga practice. I like being an active participant in my improving health.
Often brusque but ALWAYS loving, Tom’s wry humor and gentle challenge belies a real, extensive knowledge of biomechanics and how the body is toned and calmed through yoga.
For anyone who’s ever mocked yoga, Tom’s class is the perfect antidote. With a practice and a soundtrack as crazy as the instructor, you’ll be having too much fun to notice you’re doing yoga.
Laurie, Mountain View CA
The only proponent of the Camp Pendleton school of yoga I’ve ever met. (This school is identical to Iyengar except for the volume of the instructor’s voice.) Tom’s classes are among the best I’ve ever had the pleasure to attend, and I’ve been around.
Imagine a yoga class taught by a drill sergeant to a sound track of Elvis, Melanie and Dolly Parton. If that picture sounds appealing to you, you’ll love Tom’s class as much as I do.
TOM’S FAVORITE YOGAMONIAL:
Best Damn Yoga Instructor I Have Ever Had! (Robert Henley, after taking his first yoga class ever.)
Tom teaches one of the most unique yoga classes I’ve ever attended–a perfect mix of intense asana, Pranayama, meditation and laughter
Vanessa Nudd, Mountain View CA
I started practicing yoga with Tom’s “Happy Hour Yoga” Friday evenings. Like walking into a bar, I came in excited, full of the week’s emotional and physical baggage and ready to let it go. After practice, I left grinning and totally buzzed…just like I spent an evening shooting shots and sipping cocktails.
Practicing yoga with Tom is joyful, exuberant, and a mixed cocktail of the light and heaviness of life. Over the years, I’ve taken what I’ve learned from Tom off the mat and into my life beyond the studio. Namaste, Tom
I have asked Tom to please come to Holland to teach many times. When I try to tell my yoga colleagues about him I usually say — “he is a kooky, funny, crazy teacher..and I love his classes.” He is someone who pushes, pulls and laughs, but most importantly — he is a dedicated yogi and an excellent teacher for beginners to advanced yogis. Tom, come to Holland!
Hilary Brown, Founder, Yoga Moves, The Netherlands
Wow, Tom! I really enjoyed reading all the testimonials about you! It’ s all true and more! You are a wonderful, fun teacher and I like that you teach yoga with precision. It’s never boring! It’s always challenging, energizing, invigorating, and fun! You are an excellent teacher.
Keep going Tom!! And thanks for teaching us.
Petra Pino’s “Yogatomamonial”
Tom is a one-of-a-kind yoga instructor. He spends his class time teaching, not showing us his asana prowess. His matter-of-fact attitude about the most esoteric yogic practices (pranayama, Meditation, visualization) make these practices accessible to anyone in his class.
Best of all, he encourages a lively, irreverent yet respectful repartee that gives us giggles while we do our asanas. Laughing and relaxed, I’m better able to deepen my practice. Tom practices what he preaches and has no pretensions about being more enlightened or otherwise superior to his students. He tells us to leave our egos at the door, and he does the same.
Tom also creates such a real sense of community among his students. This creates great comfort and friendships between us. That comfort with each other results, for a lot of us, in increased ease to let go, let our barriers down, and focus on all aspects of our yoga practice. Whether he’s teaching asana or pranayama, you can tell that Tom is teaching from the experience of his own practice.
On a personal note, Tom was my mentor through a yoga teacher training program. This allowed me to get to know him better, to see how he ticked. Tom is a great guide, giving helpful advice and critique in a non-threatening way. He knows when we need to be prodded to do better, and also when to lay off and let us just be. Tom gives down to earth, practical spiritual knowledge. I can’t recommend him highly enough.
Petra Pino, RYT