Keynote Speakers
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SYTAR 2017 welcomes:
Our esteemed keynote speakers


Now That Yoga Therapy's Papers Are Pretty Well in Order - What's Next?

John Weeks

John has worked in integrative health and medicine since 1983 in multiple roles as chronicler, speaker, organizer, consultant, and executive. His Integrator Blog News & Reports is the leading North American source on the field’s policy, education, business and organizational activity. In May 2016, he said yes to a surprising offer and began serving additionally as editor in chief of the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. He has consulted with the NIH, with the WHO on its 2014-2023 Traditional Medicine Strategy, and with numerous professional, academic, delivery, insurance and governmental organizations on their integration strategies. Weeks helped create and direct key interprofessional initiatives. He co-founded and served on the steering committee of the Integrative Health Policy Consortium, co-founded and for 8.5 years directed the Academic Collaborative for Integrative Health, co-founded and directed the National Education Dialogue to Advance Integrated Care: Creating Common Ground and served on the founding board of the Academy of Integrative Health and Medicine. He speaks frequently on integrative health topics. Weeks attended Stanford University for three years. Four academic institutions have granted him honorary doctorates. In 2014, three consortia surprised him with a Lifetime Achievement Living Tribute Award. He works from Seattle, Washington and Rincon, Puerto Rico.


Research to Practice

Nicole Culos-Reed, PhD,

Dr. Culos-Reed is a Professor in the Faculty of Kinesiology and in the Department of Oncology, Cumming School of Medicine, University of Calgary, and Director of the Health and Wellness Lab and the Thrive Centre. Dr. Culos-Reed studies the role of exercise in cancer survivorship, with a focus on understanding and promoting successful behaviour change. This includes a program of research on yoga for cancer survivors, which includes her Yoga Thrive community-based program for cancer survivors and support persons. Translating the best-evidence into sustainable community-based programs for chronic disease management is a focus of her Health and Wellness Lab.   [Presenting Saturday Afternoon Session - TS05]


Living Your Dharma as a Yoga Therapist

Aadil Palkhivala, RYT, CYT

Aadil Palkhivala is voted Best Yoga Teacher of Year for 2016. With degrees in law, physics and mathematics, he is one of the world’s top yoga teachers and, for over 35 years, has had the reputation as the “teacher of teachers,” since the world’s finest teachers study with him. His passion is to create health, wealth and happiness in the lives of his students who truly embrace Purna Yoga’s teachings and lifestyle.

He began his studies with B.K.S. Iyengar at the age of 7, and was the youngest person to be awarded the Advanced Yoga Teacher’s Certificate from Iyengar at the age of 22. He has been training yoga teachers in India, Asia, Europe and the United States since 1976.  Aadil writes for Yoga Journal Magazine and been an “Asana Expert” for both the magazine and website. He is frequently a keynote speaker internationally.  Aadil is the author of three Teacher Training manuals and Fire of Love, the book that seeks to restore the essence of yoga.  Aadil is a Certified Shiatsu and Swedish Bodyworker and a Clinical Hypnotherapist and has extensively studied alternative health and Ayurveda. Aadil is the founder and director of internationally-renowned Alive and Shine CenterTM in Bellevue, Washington and Purna Yoga CollegeTM, a 200-hour, 500-hour and 2,000-hour Teacher Training program.  For more information go to  [Presenting Friday and Saturday Afternoon Sessions - TF01 & TS06]


The Issues Live In Our Tissues

Nikki Myers,C-IAYT, E-RYT 500, MBA

An accomplished teacher and practitioner, Nikki Myers is an MBA, C-IAYT Yoga Therapist, Somatic Experiencing Practitioner, Addictions Recovery Specialist, and Certified Health Coach. Born from her personal struggle with addiction, Nikki is the founder of Y12SR, The Yoga of 12-Step Recovery. Based in its theme ‘the issues live in the tissues’, Y12SR is a relapse prevention program that weaves the art & science of yoga with the practical tools of 12-step programs. Y12SR meetings are now available all over the United States and the curriculum is rapidly becoming a feature of addiction recovery treatment centers. Nikki’s work has been featured in the New York Times, Black Enterprise, The Huffington Post, Origin Magazine, and She is honored to be a co-founder of the annual Yoga, Meditation and Recovery Conferences at Esalen Institute and Kripalu Center. Nikki was named as a Yoga Journal Game Changer in 2015 and honored as a recipient of the esteemed NUVO Cultural Visionary Award in 2014. web:  [Presenting Friday Afternoon Session - TF07]