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Bio


About Amira

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Bio


About Amira

Bio

I have been teaching for over 15 years and practicing for over 23. I teach yoga, Pilates, fitness and yoga based Stress Reduction. I've seen the incredible transformations yoga, Pilates and fitness can create, both in myself and in my students and clients. I believe deeply in the power of embodied physical as well as meditative practices to overhaul peoples' lives.

In the 90's at Integral Yoga Institute in San Francisco, I first learned the classic practices of not only yoga as exercise, but as seated meditation, breathing practices and deep relaxation - all in a beautiful serene and supportive environment. These essential practices have remained at the heart of everything I teach.

After Integral Yoga, I studied many styles. Ashtanga Vinyasa yoga became my calling, as well as Pilates and fitness, all of which I now teach. In 2015 I circled back to my Integral roots, became a certified, and added it to my offerings. 

Depending on a student's need, I offer Ashtanga based Vinyasa, Integral Style Hatha or Yoga based Stress Management. I also offer BASI (Body Arts and Sciences International) Pilates (mat and equipment.) Having grown up around my father’s fitness center (which he owned for 44 years) and later becoming an NASM certified personal trainer in 2009, I'm qualified and passionate about supporting you in fitness practices. 

I've completed over 1000 hours of teacher trainings in yoga, Pilates and fitness, and within that hold several 200-hr yoga certifications. Since 2004, I’ve led thousands of group classes, privates, workshops and students in San Francisco.

I appear in the documentary film “Yoga Is” by Suzanne Bryant and am the featured Pilates and Yoga teacher on the video app “Starters.” Also I taught the longest running Ashtanga “Rocket” classes to date, from 2005 - 2016 at UCSF Mission Bay. I currently lead my Ashtanga classes at Steppin’ Out Dance Studio and Pilates (all) and Yoga (privates only) at Centered Body Pilates. 

My goal is to provide a consistent "home" where students and clients can grow and flourish over time. I am inspired when students make breakthroughs and achieve a sense of calm. When I work with more mature students who practice and thrive even into their 70’s and 80’s I am especially inspired. If they can do it, so can everyone! 

 
 
 
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Testimonials


Testimonials

 

Testimonials


Testimonials

 

 
Amira’s yoga classes are an amazing combination of elements: they help me regain a more zen and peaceful outlook on life, while also pushing me to get stronger and more limber. Her classes combine flexibility and introspection with serious core work and strengthening in a unique and challenging way, which I haven’t been able to find at other yoga studios (I’ve been to many in SF!)
— Amber Mahone
Amira is one of the best yoga instructors I have worked with. I’ve participated in both group and private yoga instruction all over the globe and Amira’s style and approach to teaching is one of compassion and sensitivity, with just the right amount of challenge, providing hands on adjustments and detailed verbal instructions that are immensely helpful. It is apparent that Amira is uniquely in tune and adapts to the needs of each student. She gives 100% full presence throughout and is genuinely interested in helping with any individual physical issues. I have a pulled hamstring (from running) and Amira has gone out of her way to show me modifications and email me resources and suggestions to expedite healing. My practice has improved greatly since working with Amira. She inspires me and brings grace and joy to my practice. I would do yoga with Amira everyday if it were possible!
— Niki L.
I first met Amira when she was my instructor in a private intro to Pilates class when I was 65. I felt somewhat intimidated in a Pilates environment and was uncertain whether this was something I should do or even if it was something I could do. However, Amira made me feel comfortable and supplied me with the understanding and motivation to get me past my fears.

Now, more than 5 years later at 71, I appreciate how fortunate I was to have teamed up with Amira. I not only found a wonderful fitness instructor but also a friend and mentor. And with Amira’s guidance and support I feel strong, energetic and more flexible than I’ve been in years and greatly enjoying where I’m at.

Through her sensitive, patient and caring hands-on approach she has gently helped me move from Pilates to yoga and to understand the real gift of regular practice. Amira guides me through each session with clear instructions and demonstrations and is always there with encouragement (or prodding) along the way. She has also pointed me to many valuable resources over the years to help me deepen my understanding of Pilates and yoga and often suggests homework exercises to help me strengthen my practice where needed. Amira has always been mindful of how my body is doing and has helped me through many aches and pains as well as helping me rehab from knee surgery.
— Ken Sabot
It’s not overstating things to say that taking yoga with Amira Haidary has changed my life. The 2 or 3 classes I get to on most weeks have been the cornerstone of a health and fitness regime that’s transformed me from an overworked slug that partied too hard into a more healthy, happy and balanced person training for the SF Marathon...Amira teaches from the heart, in a style that allows a novice to learn Ashtanga basics in the same class that someone with more experience can push their limits. Her classes are vinyasa flow that allow for an intense workout, but Amira imparts respect for the tradition and yoga’s philosophic underpinnings. From her teaching I’ve been able to confidently drop in on dozens of studios around the world. I’m fortunate to live in SF and have Amira’s classes in my life.
— Greg Roufa
I have so many good memories associated with your class, both with my relationships and with my time in San Francisco. Attending your class became a part of my life and a part of my relationships. I will dearly miss your class, the physical aspects and the peace it brings.
— Emmanuel
Amira is such a great instructor. I’ve had many yoga instructors and she is by far one of the best. She strikes a great balance. She’s able to motivate, instruct clearly, make the class welcoming and enjoyable and a serious challenge physically. You’re constantly reminded of the key points of focus so you can get the most out of your time in class. I always leave feeling worked, rejuvenated, and relaxed.
— Jay Cabalquinto
I’ve taken Ashtanga with Amira for years. It’s challenging, rewarding and a great workout for the body and mind. I find something new to work on every single time I take the class. It also helps me immensely in my outdoor sports like tennis and skiing. The balance, flexibility and strength makes me a better athlete and helps in injury prevention. But above all, it really clears my mind...after all it is a moving meditation.
— Jay Cabalquinto
It must be nearly 11 years that I have been practicing with Amira. She is, simply put, a stellar yoga teacher (and I have learned from many teachers, over a long practice of the asanas.) Amira instills her classes with a sense of lightness and ease, while bringing out the human pretzel potential in every student. She consistently inspires her classes to learn challenging yoga poses, but offers alternative versions for those beginning, or with injuries. She maintains a pace that has momentum and flow, but is never rushed. She it attentive, frequently adjusting and realigning helpfully; she is always respectful. There is space in her class for individual idiosyncrasy and style. She also has a great sense of humor, an essential x-factor not found in every yoga teacher! With her extensive knowledge and skill as a teacher, Amira will help you grown in your yoga practice, whatever your level.
— Cole Allee
Amira’s classes are one of the best anywhere. The Ashtanga series practice is challenging and at times can be quite demanding, but Amira always makes it fun and is very supportive. She welcomes and encourages everyone regardless of their ability or level, and has a very balanced approach to teaching; she can be serious and focused when explaining new poses, and fun and very creative with the way she structures the sequences and transitions between poses. Amira also has an amazing collection of music that she plays during class and it makes for an amazingly relaxing 90 minutes of yoga.
— Iana Serafimova
The Ashtanga that Amira teaches is the ideal challenge for mind and body. I come to this class after work and leave relaxed with my Mind clear of the days adventures and my body exercised. Amira teaches with the intensity needed to create the focus required to challenge the body and she mixes in just the right amount of humor to make class fun as well.
— Bill Marci
I was surprised. ..within two weeks I started noticing positive changes. I started feeling more relaxed and just overall better. Without a doubt the key to my learning and the ability to take full advantage of what yoga offers has been this class and the instructor. Amira Haidary is an exceptionally talented teacher. She is patient, and she has a unique ability to observe and help each student even though at times there are many students representing various levels.
— Arek Goetz