About

Matthew Tift, Ph.D., RYT

Headshot of Matthew Tift

Hi, I'm Matthew (he/him)! I offer practices intended to cultivate mindfulness and wisdom. Present-moment awareness provides the foundation for mindfulness and yoga, and I encourage people to actively engage with the truth of their experiences.

My classes are informed by ancient wisdom, scientific research, and my personal practice. Drawing on the teachings of Kripalu yoga, I provide opportunities for self-observation without judgment, whether engaging in rigorous physical postures, relaxing into restorative poses and meditation, or calming the mind with music.

Matthew playing violin at a young age

My journey began with music. I started playing violin at age 5 and spent much of my childhood playing in orchestras, singing in choirs, and performing in musicals. I have performed with choirs all around the world, and in major performance venues, such as Lincoln Center in New York. In college I majored in violin performance and minored in piano performance. After college I worked at the Minnesota Orchestra and the Madeline Island Music Camp, but soon set off for graduate school. At the University of Wisconsin-Madison I earned a MA (2001) and PhD (2007) in musicology and later taught at the University of Iowa. My master's thesis, "Grateful Dead Musicking," became a chapter in a book about the Grateful Dead. The full text of my doctoral dissertation, Musical AIDS: Music, Musicians, and the Cultural Construction of HIV/AIDS in the United States, is available here.

Matthew leading a yoga class at the Chanhassen Farmers' Market

I teach yoga, meditation, and serve on the Board of Directors at onelove.yoga. I also lead yoga and meditation classes at Spirit of the Lake, the Williston Fitness Center, Minnetonka Community Education, the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum, the Minnetonka School District, corporate settings, prisons, and elsewhere. I publish a meditation podcast called Pretty Good Meditation

Matthew outside leading a yoga class with families

I have been a dedicated yoga practitioner since 2012. I completed my 200-hour yoga teacher training, in the Kripalu lineage, at Spirit of the Lake. I have taken advanced teacher training courses at the Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health (Stockbridge, Massachusetts), the largest yoga center in North America.

I live near Minneapolis, Minnesota on the unceded, traditional land of the Dakota Nation. In addition to practicing yoga and playing my harmonium and violin, I am an avid cyclist and I love any opportunity to play string quartets with my wife (viola) and two children (cello and violin).