Certification Committee
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The IAYT Certification Committee

Charge to the Certification Committee

Bylaws of the Certification Committee


Committee Members (2014-2017)

Leigh Blashki
Leigh is the founder of the Australian Institute of Yoga Therapy and has trained yoga teachers since 2000 and yoga therapists since 2006. In recent years he has developed a reputation as a leader in the fields of Yoga, Yoga Therapy and is a sought-after presenter. He is a Yoga Australia Senior Registered Teacher, AAYT Registered Yoga Therapist and has post-graduate qualifications in Health Sciences. Leigh has over 36 years’ experience as a Yoga teacher and 22 years as a Yoga Therapist. He has served on the IAYT Standards Committee and Accreditation Committees and is now a member of the Certification Committee. From 2012 to end 2014 Leigh was President of Yoga Australia and was the founding secretary of the AAYT. His teachers have included: Michael Volin, A.G. Mohan and Dr Richard Miller. In 2013, Leigh was conferred an IAYT Presidential Award for "extraordinary service to the field of yoga therapy”.


Clare Collins, RN, PhD, FAAN, CYT, E-RYT 500
Clare is a yoga therapist in East Lansing, Michigan and Professor Emeritus of Nursing at Michigan State University. She completed a Master’s Degree in Mental Health Nursing at Yale University, a Ph.D in Counseling at University of Michigan and a post-doctoral research fellowship in geriatric mental health at NIMH. She completed a 500 hour yoga teacher training programs at Esther Myers Studio in Toronto, Canada and at the American Viniyoga Institute. She received certification as a yoga therapist through the American Viniyoga Institute in 2005.  She is an adjunct faculty member in the Master's program in Yoga Therapy at Maryland Institute of Integrative Health and a Senior Teacher in the AVI Viniyoga Therapist Training Program.  Clare is a former member of the Board of Directors of IAYT (2007-2011) and served as an IAYT Board Representative to the Educational Standards Committee.

Swami Ramananda

Swami Ramananda
Swami Ramananda is the Executive Director of the Integral Yoga Institute in San Francisco and a greatly respected senior teacher in the Integral Yoga tradition, who has been practicing yoga for over 35 years. Ramananda offers practical methods of integrating the timeless teachings and practices of yoga into daily life, and transforming the painful aspects of human experience into steps toward realizing one’s full potential.

He leads beginner, intermediate and advanced level yoga teacher training programs in San Francisco, and offers a variety of programs in many locations in the US, Europe, and South America. Ramananda trains yoga teachers to bring yoga into corporate, hospital, and medical settings and has taught mind/body wellness programs in many locations. He is a founding board member of the Yoga Alliance, a national registry that supports and promotes yoga teachers as professionals. His warmth, wisdom, and sense of humor have endeared him to many.


Committee Support

John Kepner, MA, MBA. 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, developing standards for the training of yoga therapists, providing accreditation for programs that meet those standards, and now, certifying individuals who meet IAYT standards.


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.



Amy Wheeler, PhD

Amy Wheeler, PhD, IAYT Board Liaison
Amy is a Professor of Kinesiology at California State University, San Bernardino, where she has taught for 16 years. She 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).

Beth Whitney-Teeple, PhD, Certification and Fundraising Manager
Beth holds a PhD in Health Policy and Bioethics and an MHSA in Health Services and Medical Informatics from the George Washington University in Washington DC. She served 26 years in the USAF and USAFR and has operated an independent consulting firm specializing in information systems and policy development since 1996. She is a graduate of the American Viniyoga Institute's Teacher and Therapist training programs and shares yoga in small classes and private settings. Before much of this she spent years working in wild animal medicine raising lions, tigers, and bears, oh my! She is a talented communicator, facilitating successful exchanges across disciplines with positive outcomes. Beth lives in Steilacoom, WA, with her husband, Bob Whitney, and their dog, LuTwo.


Bev Johnson, MBA, PRYT, RYT500, Certification Support
Bev is Programs Manager and a faculty member at Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy as well as director of Cultivate Harmony Yoga in Castle Rock, Colorado. She is certified in Phoenix Rising as a practitioner, yoga teacher and group facilitator. She also completed a 500 hour teacher training program in Iyengar style hatha yoga. Bev was personally and uniquely mentored by Michael Lee, founder of PRYT, to facilitate his Phoenix Rising Workshop™ and has assisted him in facilitating these workshops in renowned venues such as the Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health and Satchidananda Ashram Yogaville. Previously Bev had 25 years of corporate experience managing people, processes, projects, communications, technology, results…and stress.