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SYTAR 2016 is proud

to acknowledge our session presenters

Indu Arora, Ayurveda and Yoga Therapist, author of "Mudra: The Sacred Secret” and "Yoga: Ancient Heritage Tomorrow’s Vision” has 15 years of experience in Yoga Therapy. She teaches Yoga Therapy and Ayurveda Training's globally. She has received, "Ayurveda Loka Guru" and "Book of the Year on Yoga" awards in 2015. Her philosophy is, "Nothing has the greatest power to heal, but Self”.

Lara Benusis, E-RYT 500, RCYT, IAYT, CES is a cancer exercise specialist, exercise physiologist, and a certified yoga teacher since 1998. As a Master’s student of Physiology at Columbia University, she focuses her research on investigating the effects and benefits of exercise, including yoga. For the past six years she was the lead yoga therapist and Manager of the Exercise and Yoga Programs for the Integrative Medicine Service at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. She is the author for yoga interventions developed for the Breast, Ovarian and Pulmonary Medicine research teams and developed the foundational content of their yoga program from 2009-2015 including the online yoga training course, Yoga for the Cancer Patient. Prior to that appointment she assisted the 200 hr training programs at Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health, was the Director of Youth Programs at Pure Yoga NYC and founded and developed the yoga curriculum for Children’s Aid Society.

Bob Butera, M.Div., Ph.D., directs YogaLife Institute in Devon, Pa. where he trains Yoga Teachers and Yoga Therapists. He publishes "Yoga Living” magazine. The Yoga programs follow Bob’s books, The Pure Heart of Yoga: 10 Essential Steps to Transformation (2009), Meditation for Your Life: Creating a Plan That Suits Your Style (2012) and Yoga Therapy for Stress and Anxiety: Create a Personalized Holistic Plan to Balance Your Life (2015). See

Erin Byron, MA Counselling Pyschology, E-RYT500, is a psychotherapist and speaker whose Master of Arts dissertation was Yoga for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. She is one of the founders of Comprehensive Yoga Therapist Training, Assistant Editor of Yoga Living Magazine, and a contributor to books and articles in the field Yoga Therapy. Erin certifies Yoga and Meditation Teachers at Welkin YogaLife Institute in Ontario, Canada and mentors Yoga Teachers and Therapists around the world. She is the co-author of Yoga Therapy for Stress and Anxiety: Create a Personalized Holistic Plan to Balance Your Life. Erin enjoys leading diverse groups such as university students, business professionals, and mental health practitioners on topics such as Body Psychology, Transforming Feelings, and Yoga for Mental Health.

Robin Carnes MBA, E-RYT 500  Robin is a leading pioneering innovator in the effort to address the urgent needs of veterans and their families with effective mind-body approaches. From 2006-2012 Robin was yoga and iRest® meditation instructor for a Defense Department acute PTSD treatment program at Walter Reed Medical Center. Out of this work, she co-founded Warriors at Ease (WAE), which has trained over 600 yoga teachers to teach safely and effectively in military communities. Her work has been featured in the Washington Post, Woman’s Day Magazine, Huffington Post, and Army Magazine, as well as the award-winning documentary, Escape Fire: The Fight to Rescue America’s Healthcare. Robin has lecturered frequently at the National Defense University, and was honored by the Smithsonian Institute in 2013.

Staffan Elgelid, PT, GCFT, PhD, is Associate Professor of Physical Therapy at Nazareth College. At Nazareth College he teaches health and wellness and is the director of the college’s health and wellness programs. He has presented on a multitude of topics both nationally and internationally. He is also a Feldenkrais Practitioner and has been active in the Feldenkrais and Somatic Education community both at a national and international level. Staffan was elected to the IAYT board of directors in May, 2013 and now serves as the board liaison to the IAYT Accreditation Committee. Previously he was on the Accreditation Committee as well as the IAYT Advisory Council. Staffan has published several articles in IAYT publications and holds a yoga therapy certification from YogaLife Institute. 

Alexandra Ellis, RYPT-500, BS Exercise Biology is an Integrated Yoga Tune Up® and The Roll Model® Method Teacher Trainer, RYPT-500 and founder of AE Wellness. Her teaching and studies focus on injury prevention, rehabilitation and wellness, inspired by her studies at UC Davis where she earned a BS in Exercise Biology. With a strong background and keen interest in anatomy and physiology, Alex strives to empower people to improve their health and well-being through a personal movement practice and enhanced body awareness. 

Veena S. Gandhi MD, has been a practicing OB/GYN in NJ for more than 25 years.
A yoga teacher for the last 20 years, she is the author of the book titled "Creating a Miracle Child with Yoga”. She also presented a research paper on "Yoga and Menopause” in American College of Obstetrics & Gynecology.  Involved very heavily in various types of community activities for decades, Dr. Gandhi has achieved multiple awards. But perfecting yoga is her life's mission. She strongly believes that learning yoga takes everyone to complete joy and freedom.

Maria Garre, M.Ed, E-RYT 500, Ayurvedic Practitioner, Ayuryoga Therapist.
Maria is a dedicated student, teacher and practitioner of both Yoga and Ayurveda. Bringing together 20+ years of academic studies in the biological sciences, yoga and ayurveda, alongside completing Ayurvedic Studies at the Kripalu School for Ayurveda and The Ayurvedic Institute, she offers a practical approach to use the tools of yoga and ayurveda in everyday life. She travels world-wide as a guest lecturer, presenter and retreat leader, offers online education programs to stay connected with her students across the world and is currently co-authoring a book with Vasant Lad at The Ayurvedic Institute. Stay connected with Maria at

Natasha Glynn, RYT, served 10+ years in the U.S. Air Force with multiple deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan. In 2012, Natasha discovered the healing effects of holistic practices in yoga, meditation, and long term management of chronic pain after her transition to civilian life due to injuries. She followed the path of healing and spiritual growth while pursing further studies in yoga therapy. The next phase of her career focused on Veterans health care. Natasha works at the Board of Veterans Appeals for the Department of Veterans Affairs. She has led yoga classes and retreats with the: USO, Artemis Rising Invisible War Recovery Program, U.S. Army’s Warrior in Transition Command, Walter Reed Army Medical Center, and Fort Belvoir Community Hospital. Recently, she became Executive Director of There & Back Again, supporting the well-being of service members. Natasha is a 200 RYT certified yoga teacher at Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health. She is also certified in Trauma Sensitive Yoga by the Justice Resource Institute.

Brahmi (Beth) Gold-Bernstein, Director TriYoga Boston, E-RYT 500, has been practicing yoga continuously for 40 years, teaching for 33 years, and practicing TriYoga for 23 years. She is a senior TriYoga instructor and Teacher Trainer. Brahmi is the director and lead instructor for the TriYoga Boston Teacher Training program (Basics through Level 3, 200 and 300 hour programs), and co-director of the 300 hour and 800 hour Yoga Therapy Training Programs. With co-director Lorrie Jacobsohn, we have created a Yoga Therapy Total Health Assessment based on the koshas, a complete set of templates, including soap notes, and practices for training yoga therapy students in a systematic therapeutic method.  Brahmi is a also former back sufferer of over 20 years and now enjoys a pain free back, and has also successfully recovered from wrist, knee and shoulder surgery. In her yoga therapy practice she focuses on back, shoulder, knee and other chronic pain, Parkinson’s and chronic disease.

JJ Gormley, MS, E-RYT 500, began teaching yoga in 1989 after many years "playing” with it including a meditation practice she began in 1981. She has a diverse yoga education having studied from many traditions, most recently the teachings from the lineage of Krishnamacharya through Desikachar. JJ blends new information she learns with what she loves from past teachings and considers her yoga background well rounded. She leads classes and workshops in the many diverse subjects of yoga throughout the country and recently completed a Master’s degree in Complementary and Alternative Medicine. JJ is the Director of Surya Chandra Healing Yoga School, which offers certificate programs in yoga and yoga therapy. She has produced numerous DVDs, a chanting CD and is currently working on the completion of her first book on yoga therapy. She is an Experienced-Registered Yoga Teacher-500 (E-RYT-500) and has been registered with the Yoga Alliance since 1999.

Shanti Shanti Kaur Khalsa, PhD brings the ancient teachings of Kundalini Yoga into modern medicine. She has taught Kundalini Yoga since 1971 and began to teach people with chronic or life threatening illness in 1986, under the guidance of Yogi Bhajan. Dr. Khalsa directs the Guru Ram Das Center for Medicine & Humanology and the IAYT accredited 1,000 hour International Kundalini Yoga Therapy Professional training. She is a charter member of the International Association of Yoga Therapists (IAYT) and is an advisory board member. She participated on the team that developed IAYT Educational Standards for Yoga Therapy Teacher Training. Dr. Khalsa is an advisory panel member for the book, The Principles and Practice of Yoga in Health Care. Her groundbreaking work as a Kundalini Yoga Therapist is detailed in Yoga Therapy and Integrative Medicine: Where Ancient Science Meets Modern Medicine.

Rachel Krentzman, PT, ERYT founded and directs Embody Physical Therapy and Yoga in San Diego and organizes Yoga In Medicine Conferences for the UCSD Center for Integrative Medicine. Her Yoga for a Happy Back: A Teacher’s Guide to Spinal Health will be published in May of 2016, and her Scoliosis and The Art of Letting Go will follow shortly. A graduate of McGill University, Rachel completed her 2000-hour teacher training with Aadil Palkhivala at the College of Purna Yoga and has studied intensively with Judith Hanson Lasater. Rachel has integrated yoga into her clinical physical therapy practice since 2002.

Linda Lang, E-RYT champions "yoga as therapy", offering psychiatric rehabilitation in hospital and out-patient settings. As clinical instructor in the Department of Psychiatry at GWU Medical School, she teaches electives and trains residents. She is co-presenter of a 3 hour workshop for the American Society of Anesthesiology, and has been invited to co-author a journal article for anesthesiologists on physician wellness. She pioneers "wellness through a yogic lens” teleconferences through the Consortium of Academic Centers for Integrative Medicine, and directed the yoga program at the GWU-CIM for seven years. Through Therapeutic Yoga of Greater Washington, Linda promotes innovative and creative partnerships in uncommon settings, as in the landmark Medical Yoga Symposium at the Smithsonian Institution in 2014.

Mary Partlow Lauttamus, M.S.W., E-RYT 500, IYT-PYT  is the founding Program Director and a former member of the faculty for the Masters in Science Yoga Therapy at Maryland University of Integrative Health. She is on the Advisory Board for IAYT and the Accreditation Committee and serves on the Board of the Academic Consortium for Complementary and Alternative Health Care. Mary completed her training in yoga therapy with Integrative Yoga Therapy, Functional Yoga Therapy, and Yoga for Awareness of Cancer held at Duke Integrative Medicine. Mary holds a Master in Social Work degree with a concentration in medical social work from the University of Alabama. 


 Biz Magarity, E-RYT is the founder of Nava Yoga Center in Philadelphia, PA. This center is an integrated part of the Vincera Institute, a pioneer in core medicine and pain management. She has worked with this team to develop a treatment model that integrates a variety of clinical specialists and services, encouraging a complete care approach. She is E-RYT certified, completing a 250-hour foundational program in Vinyasa Yoga and a 500-hour program with a focus on structural yoga therapy. Her additional studies have focused on therapeutic applications of yoga including musculoskeletal imbalances and yoga as a multisystem approach to condition management. Biz is an adjunct faculty member at the Maryland University of Integrative Health, in the Yoga Therapy Masters of Science program. She received her BS from Penn State University and MBA in Healthcare Management from Temple University.

Ann Maxwell is an experienced teacher trainer and SomaYoga therapist. Ann gets great satisfaction in supporting teachers in training to find their niche, grow their skills and become great yoga therapists. Living on the edge of the wilderness in Yoga North's retreat center in Ely, MN, Ann brings the spirit of adventure and curiosity to her explorations as a yoga practitioner and therapist.

Molly McManus is co-owner of Yoga North International SomaYoga Institute.  She enjoys her work teaching specialized group therapeutic classes and trainings, individual yoga therapy sessions, as well as being core faculty for the Institute’s teacher training and yoga therapy certification programs.  Molly is sought out for her special areas of interest in chronic pain and the diseases of stress in programs she has designed such as SomaYoga for Chronic Pain, Making a Change for Good – 30 Days to Compassionate Self Discipline, The Chemistry of Joy, and Yoga for Stress, Anxiety and Depression.  Molly participates in continuous training and active engagement in her field. Her current journey includes a path toward certification as an Ayurvedic Health Counselor, service on the Accreditation Board for the International Association of Yoga Therapists and engagement with national teaching and speaking engagements promoting the efficacy of yoga therapy.

Helen Miller Lynch is a Swedish certified X-ray technician and nurse specialized in cardiovascular interventions, who has during the last years focused on teaching yoga. She has International certifications as MediYoga Teacher and Therapist, Mediyoga Instructor for Stress and Burnout Syndrome and MediYoga Instructor for Young Adults and Children with special needs. She is a member of IYAT- the International Association of Yoga Therapists IAYT800 & RYT500, and MediYoga Educational Director for USA. Furthermore, Helen is a certified Gong Yoga Teacher and Reiki practitioner.
Started integrated MediYoga in to the American health care 2014/2015.Currently working together with AIS Cancer Center at The San Joaquin Community Hospital in Bakersfield California, Aging & Adult Service of Kern County, California, Kern Valley Healthcare District, and The Kern Valley Hospital Foundation. Co-Founder MYS (Medical Yoga Sweden) of California Inc.

Mary Northey, RYT is a certified Yoga Teacher trained in the practice of Integrative Yoga Therapy. She has a private Yoga Therapy practice and also teaches classes and workshops using a blend of yoga and mindfulness meditation. She developed Integrative Mindful Balance – a program which she has brought to diverse populations varying in age, health challenges and economic circumstances. She has written grants to bring Mindful Balance to under-served communities. Mary’s style is influenced by her honored teachers including: Joseph Le Page, Nischala Joy Devi, Maria Mendola, Phillip Moffitt and Pema Chodron. Mary is currently the Administrative Director for Integrative Yoga Therapy, Inc. and teaches meditation at True North Health Center in Santa Rosa, CA.

Maryam Ovissi, E-RYT 500, RCYT, RCPT became an avid student of yoga in 1999, after studying privately with Simin Yahaghi, her first yoga teacher, in California. Since 2001, she has been teaching Hatha, Hatha Flow, Vinyasa, Prenatal and Mom & Baby classes. Maryam is a registered yoga teacher through Yoga Alliance. She has completed numerous trainings including her 500 hr Teacher Training under the tutorledge of Bhekaji Lynch. She has continued to study with renown teachers in the world of Yoga. Her main influences are A.G. Mohan & Indra Mohan, Doug Keller, Eric Schiffman and Bhekaji Lynch. She teaches the Darshan of Yoga and integrates the intelligence of Raja, Hatha & Tantra philosophy.

Tina Paul, MS in Yoga Therapy, E-RYT500 completed her graduate studies at Maryland University Integrative Health's first cohort of the first Yoga Therapy Master of Science program in the US. She resides in New York City and works in private Yoga Therapy practice, teaches within university programs and offers group therapeutic sessions within corporations. She is grateful to all her teachers and pleased to share this healing modality with others.  For more about Tina's work visit:

 Kathleen Pringle, Iyengar Certified Senior Teacher, began teaching in 1983. Since 1990, she has studied Iyengar Yoga almost yearly with the Iyengar’s in Pune, India. In 1992, she was honored when SRI. BKS Iyengar requested she begin helping in the Medical Classes. He also selected her to be an Assessor. In 2012, he advanced her certification level to Senior I. Kathleen was one of the few from around the world invited to attend Sri BKS Iyengar’s Silver Jubilee Intensive and Geeta Iyengar’s International Women’s Intensive. She has authored and co-authored several articles on subjects such as Yoga for Children with Asthma, Selected Treatment Options for Chronic Musculoskeletal Pain, Post-Therapeutic Neuralgia, and Bronchitis. She shares her vast knowledge and infectious curiosity with students of all levels. She is a beginner’s teacher, as well as a teacher’s teacher. Many teachers of other disciplines of yoga admit they look to her for continued inspiration.

Tari Prinster, MA, RYT, a cancer survivor, master yoga teacher, and author of Yoga for Cancer, developed the Yoga4Cancer (y4c) methodology using contemporary research on cancer and yoga. Since 2003, Tari has trained more than 1,500 yoga teachers in her methodology and worked with thousands of cancer survivors. She founded The Retreat Project, a nonprofit, whose mission is to help underserved cancer survivors through yoga. Tari’s work was featured in the documentary YOGAWOMAN. She regularly presents at Yoga Journal Live, Yoga Service Council, and SYTAR conferences. Tari is proud to be the recipient of Yoga Journal’s 2015 Good Karma Award, as well as the first ever Seva Award Scholarship. She lives in New York City and Stowe, Vermont.

 Maggie Reagh, MA in Teaching, E-RYT 500, Certified Yoga Therapist (CYT) conducts private and public Yoga Therapy classes as well as her own 1000-hour Yoga Therapist Diploma program, recently accredited by the International Association of Yoga Therapists (IAYT), on whose Accreditation Committee she now sits. She regularly teaches Therapeutic Yoga programs at Capilano University where she has been faculty since 1997. She is also faculty for Langara College’s Therapeutic Yoga training certificates. She started her own yogic studies in the Krishnamacharya lineage in 1995 in Vancouver before going to Mysore, India in 2000 with BNS Iyengar. She went on to study with the Desikachars in Chennai, India and the Kraftsows on Maui. In 2003, she started her Iyengar-based training with various senior teachers. She continues her studies in Yoga Therapy, Philosophy, Chanting, and Ayurveda with DV and Radha Sridhar, Viji Vasu, and Dr. Ganesh in Chennai, India

Jason Scholder, RYT 200 has been enamored with yoga since he first discovered breath of fire in 1990. In 2001, having injured his back, he returned to the mat for good. In the course of trying to heal himself through yoga, Jason invented the Yoga Egg, an ergonomic egg-shaped yoga block that is changing the way people think about supporting their practice no matter which style of yoga they enjoy. Jason is a Yoga Alliance certified 200 RYT and he travels internationally leading alignment-focused classes using Eggs.

John Schumacher, Certified Advanced Iyengar Teacher is the founder and director of Unity Woods Yoga Center, Washington’s leading yoga studio since 1979. He has practiced yoga for more than 40 years, studied in India with B.K.S. Iyengar for 33 years, and is a certified advanced Iyengar Yoga teacher, one of only 13 teachers in the U.S. to hold that level of certification.

John’s clear, precise style and his engaging sense of humor have made him one of the country’s leading yoga teachers. Yoga Journal described him as "one of 25 originals shaping yoga in America.” John has written for a variety of publications and has appeared in numerous local and national media, has spoken about the practice and benefits of yoga on radio and television and at conferences and events around the world. In 2007, he was a keynote speaker at the first NIH conference on alternative health.

 Ann Swanson, M.S. in Yoga Therapy, E-RYT500, LMT Ann's journey started after art school with a trip around the world--studying yoga and massage in the Himalayas of India and tai chi in China. After teaching classes specializing in arthritis and chronic pain for years, she continued on to earn a Master of Science in Yoga Therapy at Maryland University of Integrative Health. She has worked extensively with students on balance and fall prevention in private yoga therapy sessions and in group yoga and tai chi classes. Ann integrates relevant research into her teaching to make it safe and effective for balance, both physical and mental. Through the transformative process of yoga, she has seen students not only overcome a fear of falling, but also bring this newfound bravery into the way they approach life.  To learn more about Ann visit:

Elizabeth Visceglia, MD is a licensed physician, Board certified in Psychiatry, and a 20-plus year student of Yoga. She met her teacher, Guruji Prakash Shankar Vyas, a Kriya Yogi, over fifteen years ago when she was living in Varanasi, India. She is the lead author of the first US study of the effects of Yoga practice on people with schizophrenia, which found that Yoga has a profound impact on participants’ symptoms and quality of life. A former middle school teacher, AIDS educator in Kenya, and graduate of Mount Sinai School of Medicine, Elizabeth completed her training in Psychiatry at Montefiore Medical Center. She has an integrative psychiatry private practice, and supervises psychotherapists and yoga therapists working at the interface of mind-body healing. Elizabeth lives in Brooklyn with her family.