Our Story

Get to know Folk.

Built by People for People

A San Francisco Movement And Yoga Studio Where Everybody Is Invited To Move, Breathe, Restore, Belong.

Folk is a collection of community-centered movement and yoga studios in San Francisco. Our team of highly experienced teachers fosters spaces of belonging for students of all ages and experience levels. All are welcome to explore deeper relationships with themselves and one another while holistically improving their physical and mental health.


Our Mission

To give people tools to improve their physical and mental health, and in doing so, build better relationships with themselves, their communities, and the world.

Our Vision

To bring people together through movement. Folk is more than a space to move and be together, Folk is our community in action.

Our Values

Folk strives to foster spaces of belonging; through humility and mutual respect, we are committed to creating communities of yoga and movement where all are welcome to find connection and seek knowledge.

Our History

Since 1998, Folk has served the San Francisco yoga community as a space for anyone interested in moving their body and exploring a deeper relationship with one’s self. Initially founded as Castro Yoga, we grew to become Yoga Garden SF, merged with Moxie Yoga, and have since evolved into Folk. Our names have changed and our offerings have expanded, but our mission remains the same.

Our Culture

We continue to grow alongside the city we love, to offer our students opportunities to move and find wellness in the ways their minds and bodies crave. As San Francisco’s largest collection of locally-owned movement and yoga studios, we aim to uphold our city’s values of inclusivity and innovation.

Justice, Equity, Diversity + Inclusion

Our differences unite us. Folk works to create spaces in which every body is met with dignity and respect, regardless of age, financial standing, ability, gender, race, sexuality, and cultural background. Fostering a space of belonging requires continued learning, change, and accountability, and we are committed to continuing our current efforts while growing towards future goals in pursuit of this long term vision.

Note From The Founder

Since we first opened our doors in 1998 in San Francisco’s Castro district, our mission has been unchanged–to share the benefits of mindful movement with our friends and neighbors. Wellness and fitness are the foundation of healthy relationships with ourselves and the world around us, because they ask us to know, challenge, and accept who we are today.

Those warm, intimate classes in the 90’s drew a special San Franciscan through our doors. Yoga wasn’t trendy (most people didn’t know what to expect) and there were no real “yoga clothes” (I taught, and many people practiced, in our underwear), but something unique and special happened, and it’s still happening today.

Those steamy windows, blissed out smiles, and casual embraces created a thriving community of strong, healthy, caring neighbors and friends. With San Francisco’s best teachers as guides and fellow students, we have moved, expanded, matured, diversified. But what hasn’t changed is us–the people who come together each day to put away the distractions of the world, feel the flow of our breath in and out, stretch our limbs and spine, and begin–begin the practice of looking inside to see who we are today.

There is a place to be autobiographical about my story through these 25 years of learning, teaching, and sharing yoga, but I’ll be brief. Initially, yoga was physical therapy and psychotherapy. Then it became my passion and my livelihood. Then my community and my family. As I have aged, yoga remains central to how I move through the world and care for myself and others. Now my yoga is to ensure that the community that has created itself over these decades continues to thrive in the City of our future.

But the story of Folk is bigger than my story. It’s the story of thousands of people who have come through these doors with their own personal journey. What they have found is intelligent, caring guides who embody the practice and are willing to share their experience of self-discovery and study. Folk is just that–us–just you and me and our friends and neighbors coming together to be our best selves through breath and movement. Feeling our bodies and breath in a warm, nurturing room.

Founder + President,

David J. Nelson