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IAYT Board of Directors

Board of Directors (2013-2014)

Dilip Sarkar, MD, FACS, CAP, President Dr. Sarkar is a retired vascular surgeon and Fellow of the American Association of Integrative Medicine. A certified Ayurvedic practitioner and yoga teacher, Dr. Sarkar teaches classes in yoga therapy, Ayurvedic wellness, and integrative medicine, combining forty-five years of experience in conventional medicine with knowledge of Ayurveda and yoga. He retired as Associate Professor of Surgery at Eastern Virginia Medical School as well as Chairman of the Department of Surgery and Chief of Staff at Portsmouth General Hospital in Portsmouth, VA. Dr. Sarkar currently serves on several healthcare boards, including the American Heart Association (AHA). President of the AHA’s Board of Directors for the Hampton Roads region, Dr. Sarkar also chairs its Mission Committee and the "My Life Check” program. He is a life member of the National Ayurvedic Medical Association and serves as a member of its Yoga Standards Subcommittee. Dr. Sarkar also serves as Board Chairman for the Life in Yoga Institute and Chairman of the School of Integrative Medicine at Taksha University in Hampton, VA.

Eleanor Criswell


Eleanor Criswell, Ed.D., Ex Officio, Immediate Past President Dr. Criswell is professor 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 http://www.somaticsed.com/magJournal.html




Matra Raj, OTR, TYC


Matra Raj, OTR, E-RYT 500, Secretary and Treasurer Ms Raj is an occupational therapist, a perinatal educator, and a yoga therapist. She has integrated therapeutic yoga in acute, clinical, research, and community wellness settings. For the past 30 years, Ms. Raj has presented at national and international conferences, published several papers, and conducted workshops and seminars for professionals and community wellness programs.

Ms Raj integrates therapeutic yoga and occupational therapy in her private practice, including her program, "Yoga for Spine Care.” She has worked as a stroke research therapist in the Research and Development department at VA Palo Alto Health Care System. Ms Raj also provides workshops on the practice of yoga for prevention and heart disorders. She teaches and certifies yoga teachers for pre-natal and mother-baby yoga and has designed a perinatal yoga program, "Becoming Parents,” for an education support network at Lucille Packard Children’s Hospital at Stanford University. She has also created educational DVDs for pre-natal and mother-baby yoga and authored Yoga for Pregnancy, Birth, and Vibrant Life (2011).

Ms Raj is the founder of the Indo-American Community Service Center in Santa Clara, CA. She serves on the Board of the Palo Alto Family YMCA and chairs its Diversity Wellness committee. She also serves on the Educational Wellness Committee of the Cardiac Resource Center for Asians at El Camino Hospital in Mountain View, CA.




Carrie Demers, MD


Carrie Demers, MD Board-certified in internal medicine, Carrie Demers, MD, is a holistic physician who blends modern medicine with traditional approaches to health. After receiving her medical degree from the University of Cincinnati, Dr. Demers went on to study massage, homeopathy, nutrition, herbal medicine, yoga, and ayurveda. She has been the Director of the Himalayan Institute Total Health Center for the last 16 years. Widely recognized for her expertise, Dr. Demers has been interviewed by numerous magazines and newspapers and lectures nationally on holistic health and ayurveda. She is a frequent contributor to Yoga International.




Amy Wheeler, PhD


Amy Wheeler, PhD is a Professor of Kinesiology at California State University, San Bernardino for 16 years.  Amy has extensive Yoga training from the Krishnamacharya Yoga Mandiram and was certified in India as a Yoga Teacher, a Yoga Teacher Trainer and Yoga Therapist in the Tradition of T. Krishnamacharya.  She teaches Yoga Therapy at the Loyola Marymount Yoga Rx Program and at the Integrative Medicine Center at Vanderbilt University.  She is currently involved in Yoga Therapy research pertaining to Metabolic Syndrome, Kidney Dialysis, Colon and Rectal Cancer, and Ovarian and Uterine Cancer.  Amy is helping to set standards for Yoga Therapist in organizations such as NAMA (National Ayurvedic Medical Association).  Amy's degrees include a B.A. and M.A. in Health Promotion and a Ph.D. in Education and Psychology.  Amy is a Co-Founder and Co-Director of YATNA (Yoga as Therapy, North America).




Eleanor Criswell, Ed.D., Ex Officio, immediate past President. 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 http://www.somaticsed.com/magJournal.html since 1990.

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