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Committee Members (2013-2014)

Hansa Knox

Hansa Knox, LMT, ERYT, Accreditation Committee Chair  Hansa is an ongoing student of Kripalu yoga, and, she has integrated work from other teachers who have offered insights on the path of yoga. She utilizes yoga, yoga cikitsa, ayurveda and massage in her practice. She owns the PranaYoga and Ayurveda Mandala in Denver where she teaches yoga classes, yoga teacher and yoga therapy trainings. Hansa is president of Sanga, past president of Yoga Alliance and Yoga Teachers Of Colorado. She has served on the Board of Kripalu Center, International Yoga College and is an advisor to International Association of Yoga Therapy.

Sue Tebbs

Susan Steiger Tebb, PhD, LSW, RYT, Accreditation Committee Co-Chair Sue, Professor, School of Social Work Saint Louis University, has centered her research around family caregiving. As a social worker for more than forty-five years she has worked with diverse family configurations and lately her research , knowledge and skill training has taken her into bringing yoga into the healing process. She is a LifeForce Yoga Practitioner Level Two, holds a Certificate of Completion in Therapeutic Yoga for Seniors from Duke Integrative Medicine and currently is working on her 500 yoga teacher training at the Himalayan Institute. She has offered a number of presentations and workshops on incorporating yoga into health/mental health care.

Leigh Blashki   Leigh is the Director of the Australian Institute of Yoga Therapy, Vice-President of Yoga Australia and Secretary of the Australian Association of Yoga Therapists. He developed Australia's first government accredited Yoga teaching program, the Advanced Diploma of Yoga Teaching and the country's first Yoga Therapy training program, the Graduate Certificate in Yoga Therapy. He has post-graduate qualifications in Health Sciences (Victoria University), under-graduate qualifications in Counselling, Human Performance, Massage, Nutrition, Yoga, Yoga Therapy and Ayurveda and has 35 years experience as a Yoga teacher and 20 years as a Yoga Therapist. In the 1980s Leigh was introduced to Ayurveda and subsequently developed his studies in both India and Australia. Among his principal Yoga teachers have been Michael Volin, A.G. Mohan and Swami Gitananda and V. Yogendra.

Eleanor Criswell, EdD  Eleanor is professor emeritus of psychology at Sonoma State University in Rohnert Park, California, where in cooperation with Joseph Le Page of Integrative Yoga Therapy she developed one of the first graduate programs in yoga therapy in the United States. She is the author of many publications on yoga and somatics, including How Yoga Works: An Introduction to Somatic Yoga. She also has extensive experience with nonprofit associations and has been the editor of Somatics magazine-journal since 1990.

Nicole DeAvilla Whiting

Nicole DeAvilla Whiting, BA, RYT  The author of numerous articles on yoga research, teaching and spirituality, Nicole, an Ananda yoga therapist, has combined her interests in science, service and yoga with humor, intellectual curiosity and compassion resulting in a deep and practical teaching and lecturing style. Her 27 years of teaching yoga, meditation, and philosophy includes 17 years of training teachers. Additionally, her background in sports medicine, chiropractic physiotherapy and research has led to her current work co-designing and teaching for yoga therapy certification programs at Ananda and SMC Marin.


Robin Rothenberg

Robin Rothenberg  Robin is the Director of Essential Yoga Therapy offering quality teacher and therapist training programs grounded in the Viniyoga approach and influenced by her years of study in the Iyengar method. She teaches at Swedish and Evergreen Hospitals, offering group therapeutic classes, yoga for MS and parkinson’s and has a private yoga therapy practice at Rehab Options of Issaquah. Robin has been highly involved in yoga research, working with Group Health Research Institute on various studies including, "Comparison of Yoga, Exercise, and Education for the Treatment of Chronic Low Back Pain.” She has served on the Advisory Council for IAYT for many years and helped launch the Therapist Training Program at Mt. Royal University in Calgary, where she was adjunct faculty for four years. Robin is the author of The Essential Low Back Program: Relieve Pain and Restore Health, and Soothing the Spirit: Yoga Nidra to Reduce Anxiety. She teaches regularly at Bastyr University offering therapeutic clinics, has a 5-day training in addressing lower back conditions for certified teachers and offers workshops and retreats internationally. Robin has been deeply influenced by many teachers in the field of yoga therapy including: Gary Kraftsow, Sonia Nelson, Nischala Joy Devi, Judith Lasater and Richard Miller.

Committee Support

John Kepner

John Kepner, MA, MBA, CYTh.  IAYT Executive Director  John has served as executive director since IAYT's renewal in 2003.  He is a practicing yoga teacher and therapist with a professional background in economics, finance, and non-profit management. John holds teacher and therapist certifications from the American Viniyoga Institute and a teaching certification from A.G. Mohan in Chennai, India. His work for IAYT and his writings often have an economic and public policy perspective.  In recent years, much of John's work has centered around organizing IAYT's practitioner and research conferences, the development of standards for the training of yoga therapists and, most recently, providing accreditation for programs that meet those standards.


Aggie Stewart

Aggie Stewart, MA, RYT 500, CYT, Accreditation Administer and Website Editor  Aggie is a yoga teacher, yoga therapist, writer, editor, and writing teacher. For most of her editorial career, Aggie has worked in healthcare publishing and for healthcare organizations such as Children's Hospital, Boston, and Harvard Pilgrim Healthcare. As Managing Editor for Accreditation Publications at the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations, she was closely involved with the editorial development of function-based accreditation standards. Aggie has taught writing and communication skills at Loyola University, Chicago, and Johnson and Wales University in Providence, RI. In Spring 2013, she co-taught an advanced nonfiction writing course at Brown University that incorporated yoga practices designed specifically to help student writers achieve academic success.


Daniel Seitz

Daniel Seitz, JD, EdD, Facilitator and Advisor to the Committee  Dan has worked for more than 20 years in the field of complementary and alternative medicine education, accreditation and regulation. He currently serves as the executive director of the Council on Naturopathic Medical Education, consults with alternative medicine colleges and organizations on accreditation, strategic planning, marketing, administration and other matters, and does professional facilitation. Dan previously served as the founding dean for the School of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine at New York Chiropractic College, chair of the Accreditation Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine, president of New England School of Acupuncture, and chief of the Acupuncture Unit for the Massachusetts Board of Medicine.



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