Keynote Speakers
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SYTAR 2019 welcomes:
Our esteemed keynote speakers


Creating Our Future...

Larry Payne

Larry Payne PhD, C-IAYT, E-RYT 500 is the co-founder of the International Association of Yoga Therapists and a founding father of Yoga Therapy in America. In 2005, Larry co-founded the Yoga Therapy Rx and Prime of Life Yoga certification programs at Loyola Marymount University, the first of its kind. He is a student of TKV Desikachar and is co-author of five books including the international best seller Yoga for Dummies, as well as Yoga Rx and, most recently, Yoga Therapy and Integrative Medicine. Larry was named one of America's most respected yoga teachers by the Los Angeles Times and served as the first Yoga teacher at the World Economic Forum in Davos. Switzerland. A specialist in back problems, Larry created "The Back Class" at the world renowned Rancho La Puerta Fitness Spa in Tecate, Mexico, where he guest teaches each year. For many years he also oversaw the Yoga program at the UCLA School of Medicine.

You can experience Larry’s Prime of Life Yoga in any of his seven award-winning videos, at, and online courses at "Glo."

 [Presenting a master* program Saturday Afternoon Session - TS01 / TS06]


A "New_Port" in the Pain Storm as Evidence Advances Practice

Margaret Chesney

Margaret A. Chesney, PhD joined University of California, San Francisco in 1987 and is currently Professor of Medicine in Residence in the Department of Medicine.  From 2010 to 2015, she served as director of the UCSF Osher Center for Integrative Medicine and Osher Foundation Distinguished Professor.  While at UCSF, she was a Policy Fellow in Washington, supported by the Robert Wood Johnson and MacArthur Foundations.  From 2001 to 2003, she served as Scientific Advisor to the Office for Research on Women’s Health at NIH.  In 2003, she was named the first Deputy Director of the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health.

Professionally, Margaret is engaged in research on stress, mind-body interactions, and health.  She is interested in policy and translating research into practice.  Much of her work underscores the role lifestyle, including breathing, plays in health, and investigates programs to enhance wellbeing for those confronting chronic illnesses such as cancer and cardiovascular disease.

Margaret is Immediate Past Chair of the Academic Consortium for Integrative Medicine and Health.  She has been President of the Academy of Behavioral Medicine Research, the American Psychosomatic Society, and the Society for Health Psychology. She is author of over 300 papers, and in 2001 was elected to the Institute of Medicine.


Deep Truths, Simple Actions: Living Yoga in the 21st Century
We look to the roots for the strength of the tree.
We look to the tree to understand the strength of the roots.

Richard Miller

Richard Miller, PhD, is a clinical psychologist, author, researcher, yogic scholar, and spiritual teacher who, for the past 48 years has devoted his life to integrating western psychology and neuroscience with the ancient nondual wisdom teachings of Yoga. Richard is the founding president of the iRest Institute, co-founder of the International Association of Yoga Therapists, founding editor of the peer reviewed International Journal of Yoga Therapy, and a founding member and past president of the Institute for Spirituality and Psychology.

Author of iRest Meditation: Restorative Practices for Health, Healing and Well Being, The iRest Program for Healing PTSD, and Yoga Nidra: The Meditative Heart of Yoga, Richard serves as a research consultant studying the meditation protocol he’s developed — Integrative Restoration iRest Yoga Nidra Meditation — researching its efficacy on health, healing, and well-being with diverse populations that include veterans, women rescued from human trafficking, youth, the homeless, and the incarcerated, with issues such as sleep, PTSD, pain and chemical dependency, as well as research on iRest’s efficacy for enhancing resiliency and well-being. Grounded in 35+ research studies, the US Army Surgeon General and Defense Centers of Excellence have recognized iRest as a Complimentary Program for healing chronic pain and PTSD, and restoring resiliency and well-being. Richard leads international trainings and retreats.

 [Presenting Friday Afternoon Session - TF07]



The Namasté Effect

Nischala Joy Devi

Nischala Joy Devi is a masterful teacher and healer. For many years she has been highly respected as an international advocate for her innovative way of expressing Yoga and its subtle uses for spiritual growth and complete healing. Her dynamic delivery and deep inner conviction empower each individual, allowing the teachings to expand beyond boundaries and limitations of any one tradition enabling her to touch people's hearts.

She was a monastic disciple of the world renowned, Sri Swami Satchidanandaji, receiving his direct guidance and teachings. She also was blessed with teachings from great Yoga masters in US, India and worldwide.

Originally trained in Western medicine, she began to blend western medicine with Yoga developing the yoga portion of The Dean Ornish Program for Reversing Heart Disease and co-founded the award-winning Commonweal Cancer Help Program. Her book The Healing Path of Yoga, expresses these teachings.  

With her knowledge of Yoga and her experience in assisting those with life-threatening diseases, she created Yoga of the Heart, a training and certification program for Yoga teachers and health professionals designed to adapt Yoga practices to the special needs of that population.

She is dedicated to bringing the Feminine Heart perspective back into spirituality and the scriptures, through, The Secret Power of Yoga, a woman’s guide to the heart and spirit of the Yoga Sutras and Secret Power of Yoga audio book.

  [Presenting a master* program Friday Afternoon Session - TF01 / TF06]

 *Master program sessions are two-part. Attendees should register for both the early and late afternoon sessions.