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Teachers: Yoga Journal Conference


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Best of the Bay, Voted Best Yoga Instructor, 2011
The San Francisco Bay Guardian, Best of the Bay, Readers Poll: City Living, July 2011

sf weekly

"One of San Francisco's finest instructors... once you've experienced her method of heartfelt, powerful teaching, you'll be squeezing your mat in between those of the other devotees."
SF Weekly, Best of San Francisco, May 2007



"Best of San Francisco 2006, The Yogi Next Door."
7X7 Magazine, June 2006


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"Deborah Burkman stands out for her dedication to her students, often helping them with problems off the mat as well as on it."
San Francisco Magazine, January 2005

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findmefit TV: Cultivate Awarness with Deborah Burkman


Deb Burkman is a masterful yoga instructor. I had the good fortune to attend a retreat that she ran in August, 2011, and I was blown away! I am a beginner when it comes to yoga, but I am very well-versed in mindfulness, and Deb met me in both places. She guided me in the poses of yoga, knowing just when to push and also how to make me feel comfortable in my beginner-ness. I developed tremendously in my yoga practice in that one short week. But, added to that and just as important, Deb’s approach to meditation and mindfulness, combined with her deep knowledge of the philosophy of the yoga tradition, opened me emotionally and spiritually. She balanced depth and intensity with humor and humility in a way that allowed every person in the retreat group to feel comfortable with her and to do their own deep self-exploration. The retreat was a life-changing experience – physically, emotionally, intellectually, and spiritually. I only wish I lived in the San Francisco area so that I could take classes regularly with Deb.

Kirsten Cronlund


I've been taking Deborah's Tuesday evening class at Mindful Body for the past 4 months or so and I have never enjoyed doing yoga more than I do in her class. I am from Canada and moved down here about 6 months ago. I did yoga back home and always thought of it more as a workout than anything, but taking Deborah's class has helped me in so many ways - not just physically. I have suffered from general anxiety disorder for the past 5 years and was diagnosed with depression about a year ago. I was on medication for a long time and noticed that when I started Deborah's class, I didn't need it anymore. The stories/comments Deborah shares with us before each class always resonate with me. I often feel like she is taking directly to me. Lately, she has been talking about learning to not wish a situation was different, but to relax into the situation. I cannot thank her enough for what she has done for me personally. I am off all medication now and can feel a change occurring deep inside of me. I know it will be a long journey, but the fact that I can already see a change in myself is very encouraging.



In August 2011, I participated in Deb Burkman's yoga retreat in Tulum, Mexico and found it to be one of the most amazing experiences of my life. I had always wanted to see how it would feel to try a daily practice of yoga and meditation - and I certainly enjoyed that and much more. What made the retreat so special was Deb - not only is she one of the best instructors I have ever had, but she is an inspiring individual - a true yogi with a warm personality and a down-to-earth sense of humor. She has clearly attracted a following and was wonderful at encouraging a mindful, supportive community among everyone at the retreat - old comers and new comers. All of this in a place that was simply paradise. When I returned home, I felt completely refreshed and comfortable with moments alone, which is a very special gift.

Lillian Chong


Deb has a unique gift for creating community among her students, whether in a single class or on a week-long retreat. She is a gifted instructor who brings just the right balance of wisdom, rigor, goofiness, and warmth to her teachings, so practitioners of all stripes feel welcome and can find resonance with her approach. At every class, I feel challenged, engaged, encouraged and inspired.

Olga Katsnelson


Deborah Burkman ROCKS! She is so much more than a yoga teacher – she’s truly an inspiration! I have been practicing with Deb for the past several years – I have grown with her and watched her evolve into an incredible teacher. She teaches the physical asanas with precision and intelligence and provides personal insights that will influence your mind, body and spirit. Her passion for the practice illuminates the room and her desire to share her knowledge dominates her teaching. She is a compassionate teacher; her warm spirit and endearing sense of humor inspires every student – beginner or advanced. She will challenge you to do things you never thought possible and will nurture you when you are not ready. She has had a profound impact on my practice and I know she has had the same affect on so many others. If you have never taken a class with Deb – you are truly missing out.

Reneé McDonnell


“Deb truly has a passion for yoga and for helping other people discover its power for themselves. She gives of herself completely and is one of those rare teachers who teaches from the heart. I have never seen a teacher get so excited for her students as they advance in their yoga practice in general and in achieving poses they hadn't been able to in the past. She is a compassionate teacher, open to everyone.

Her adjustments are frequent and helpful. On those rare occasions when a question is asked that she doesn't know the answer to, she will admit she doesn't know the answer and will try to find it later -- the mark of a true teacher who is still herself open to learning. She has helped me tremendously in developing my practice despite injuries.

I particularly enjoy her emphasis on the connection between mind, body and spirit. I attribute what will be my life long practice of yoga to her joy for the practice and her energy. Thank you Deb!” 

Karen Cheong


Deb Burkman is a teacher who combines precision and warmth, qualities that aren't often found together among yoga teachers. Her anatomical knowledge is impressive, as is her ability to communicate, verbally and by physical adjustment, what each student needs. Add a heap of humor, major doses of compassion, and that's Deb...what a woman!”

Barbara Lane, yoga teacher, Deb Burkman fan and student


“My wife began dragging me to yoga late last year. Initially reluctant, I truly didn't expect to like it. To my absolute amazement I found that I profoundly enjoy yoga and want to practise as often as I can. Is it too much to say that the main reason that I enjoy yoga so much is that Deborah Burkman is an excellent teacher (I don't want to ruin the value of this testimony by being too over-the-top, but it's true!).

Deb cares about and makes a personal connection with each of her students, she remembers their particular abilities, any injuries they may have, and somehow keeps mental tabs on everyone’s progress. She knows when to encourage someone to try a little bit harder and when to tell someone to be easy on themselves and let their ability progress naturally. 

Yoga seems to have something for almost everyone – a purely physical side for those whose primary goal is an awesome yoga body, as well as a more spiritual side for those who want to explore breath and energy and beyond.  Fortunately for Deb’s students, she seems to have something meaningful to contribute to everyone, regardless of what they’re trying to get out of yoga.” 

Chris Sprague


“Several years ago I attended my first Deb Burkman class. Since then her classes as well as her retreats have become a regular and very positive part of my life. What I think is most unique about Deb is her tremendous dedication to her students. In addition to clear physical demonstrations and verbal instructions, she keeps a close eye on everyone during class, frequently making gentle adjustments and modifications tailored to each student's needs.

Deb's willingness to answer questions before, during, and after class, as well as her great sense of humor add to the comfort level felt by all. Deb creates an environment where the mind, body, and spirit unite for an experience that always makes me glad I came.” 

Shawn Simpson


“When I started practicing yoga, I was intimidated by the complex postures everyone else seemed to have mastered in class. After going to different yoga studios, I was fortunate to find Deborah Burkman. Deborah sincerely cares about her students, in both their yoga practice as well as their spiritual growth. I have experienced and observed Deborah giving support and motivation to all students in her classes, regardless of the number of people who come to class, or their level of expertise in asanas. With Deborah, no one ever feels left alone. At Deborah's classes, I feel safe to challenge myself and expand my yoga practice. My yoga practice continuously blossoms under Deborah's training, which gives me the confidence and freedom to enjoy my life every day.”

Sandra Chew


“Deb's teaching style is fun, humorous, participatory, and extremely supportive. Her warmth is enveloping and contagious. I am so endeared to her because she relates to her students on such a sweet, genuine level where you instantly understand why she was called to be a yoga teacher; it is her passion.


Her classes and retreats reveal how deeply we are all interconnected allowing compassion to surface which create a deep, fulfilling experience that transforms your practice. One of the myriad of things I love about Deb is that she joins her students in that physical, mental, and emotional journey. Working with various asanas and meditation techniques, she invites you into the unknown and you are exposed to something profound from within. Through surrender and understanding, Deb inspires and nurtures you to be powerfully present on and off the mat.”

Andrea Turner


“Deb has taught me the yoga asanas in a clear and charismatic way. But more than that, she is a teacher of authenticity. No matter where my practice takes me, Deb consistently meets me with complete acceptance and compassion. I cherish the lessons she so freely gives, both on and off the mat. you rock!!! can that be my recommendation?”

Tiffany Page


“I have been Deb's student for nearly 5 years. She possesses a special and uncanny ability to identify where I need help and support, and I have developed great trust and confidence in her teaching, guidance, and direction. Her range as a teacher continues to challenge and intrigue me. She is both strong and gentle. She is both encouraging and compassionate. She was one of my first teachers, and she remains central to my practice. She is somebody from whom I receive invaluable support on and off my mat.”

Michael Michaud


“Deb's devotion to teaching yoga means that she lives and breathes it.  She has a mastery of the poses she teaches and she studies the history and spirituality of yoga.  Her years of study and practice combine with her original loving kindness to make her a challenging, encouraging and inspiring teacher.  I especially like the disciplined and cheerful way Deb teaches while gently reminding us to notice our limitations and possibilities.  Today with Deb's guidance and encouragement I did my first unassisted handstand!  I keep taking Deb's classes and workshops at every opportunity ...I am truly fortunate to be her student.”

John McCarth