Plenary Speakers
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SYTAR 2018 has invited...
key members of our community to share their insights
during the plenary sessions open to all attendees.


Friday morning:

Carrie Demers, MD 
The Power of Presence

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.  [Also presenting Saturday afternoon - TS01]


Saturday morning:

Timothy McCall, MD, C-IAYT
Treat What You See, Not the Diagnosis

Timothy McCall, MD is a board-certified internist, Yoga Journal's medical editor since 2002 and the author of the bestselling Yoga as Medicine. He co-edited the 2016 medical textbook, The Principles and Practice of Yoga in Health Care. He practiced medicine for more than 10 years in the Boston area before devoting himself full-time to investigating, practicing, writing about and teaching yoga therapy. He is the Founder/Director of Yoga As Medicine Seminars and Teacher Trainings and can be found online at

Timothy has traveled extensively, studying with many of the world's leading yoga teachers and yoga therapists including BKS Iyengar and TKV Desikachar. His primary teachers have been Patricia Walden, Rod Stryker and Donald Moyer. He has practiced yoga and meditation from various traditions for over 20 years and Tantra for more than a decade. Since 2005, he has studied with a traditional Ayurvedic doctor, and has spent more than a year at his clinic in Kerala, India.

McCall's articles have appeared in dozens of publications, including The New England Journal of Medicine, JAMA, The Los Angeles Times and The Nation. He serves on the editorial board of The International Journal of Yoga Therapy. In 2004-2005, he was a scholar-in-residence at the Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health in Stockbridge, MA. From 2014-16, he co-directed a yoga therapy center near Manhattan. He lives in Burlington, VT and lectures and teaches yoga therapy workshops worldwide.  [Also presenting Friday Afternoon Session - TF04]

Gail Parker, PhD, C-IAYT, E-RYT 500
White is a Color Too

Gail Parker, Ph.D., C-IAYT, E-RYT 500, is a faculty member in the Beaumont School of Yoga Therapy in the department of Integrative Medicine at William Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak Michigan, where she teaches mind/body strategies for reducing stress and healing emotional trauma to aspiring yoga therapists. Her broad expertise in behavioral health and wellness include forty years as a practicing psychologist. Dr. Parker has a special interest in utilizing and teaching Restorative Yoga and meditation as self-care practices for managing ethnic and race based traumatic stress. She is a media personality, educator, author, and thought leader.

Dr. Parker has authored The Art and Skill of Restorative Yoga: A Self-Care Guide, and Restorative Yoga for Resilience: A Practitioner’s and Teacher’s Guide, and a blog called Taking Yoga Off Your Mat. She is a featured author in the book Yoga Rising: 30 Empowering Stories From Yoga Renegades for Every Body.  [Also presenting Friday afternoon - TF09]


Sunday morning:

Ann Richardson Stevens, C-IAYT, E-RYT 500
Aim to Inspire - Awaken, Transform, Give Back

Ann Richardson Stevens, C-IAYT, E-RYT 500, is the owner and director of Studio Bamboo Institute of Yoga in Virginia Beach, Virginia and a board member of the Give Back Yoga Foundation. She has been teaching yoga and training teachers for over 15 years. Ann facilitates trainings locally and abroad and includes her work as a faculty member of the Mindful Yoga Therapy Program (a non-profit organization helping those who have suffered trauma) and The Hard & The Soft Yoga Institute. Ann specializes in working with visible (spinal cord injuries) and non-visible (PTSD, TBI) injuries, central nervous system disorders (Multiple Sclerosis), degenerative diseases (Muscular Dystrophy) as well as stroke survivors. For 7 years Ann has worked with the United States Marine Corp Wounded Warrior Battalion East attached to Naval Medical Center Portsmouth. She believes that full body wellness is generated from the Mind-Body connection. This connection informs every one of her classes whether students walk, hobble, or roll in.  [Also presenting Saturday afternoon - TS10]