2020 SYTAR Presenters
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CIC Co-Chairs, Morning-Practice, and Afternoon-Session Presenters


Co-Chair CIC 5
Presenting Afternoon Session Saturday: TS08


Marsha Banks-Harold, C-IAYT, E-RYT 500, TCTSY-F

Marsha D. Banks-Harold discovered the transforming properties of yoga and yoga therapy when her career as a supervisory electrical engineer practicing in intellectual property did not open the doors of success that she had prepared for. Banks-Harold serves as a certified yoga therapist in guiding highly engaged trailblazers in strategically developing and implementing customized lifestyle and work plans critical in responding to interrupted success, moving to the next level of success, and manifesting internal peace and optimal work/life balance. Banks-Harold is the owner of PIES Fitness Yoga Studio and the Director of the PIES Fitness Yoga and Yoga Therapy Schools. She has been featured as a presenter for organizations such as Black Therapists Rock, IAYT, and the Smithsonian. She has appeared on "Aging Matters" and the ABC7 newscast.

Presenting Sunday-Morning Practice Session:


Judi Bar, C-IAYT, E-RYT 500

After experiencing years of chronic back pain and facing a hopeless diagnosis, Judi turned to yoga to heal herself. That gift of back pain and her experiences with it, prompted Judi to want help others. She studied voraciously obtaining the certificates needed for yoga therapy. She also self-studied yoga and mentored with many different Physicians and other professional Caregivers. She developed a robust private practice specializing in chronic pain and years later was asked to design a stress management/yoga portion of a disease reversal program for Dr. Michael Roizen, Chief Wellness Officer Cleveland Clinic.

That led to Judi being hired full time as Yoga Program Manager at Cleveland Clinic affording her many varied opportunities to work with several areas in the hospital such as transplant, cardiopulmonary, MS (neurology), rheumatology and cancer.

Judi is Lead Yoga Therapist for Center for Integrative and Lifestyle Medicine, Director of Cleveland Clinic School of Yoga. She has a team of 12 instructors/yoga therapists. She is in the process of developing a 300 hr training. She speaks nationally at medical conferences and has a DVD series Come as You Are Yoga.

Presenting Saturday-Morning Practice Session: MPS01

Kelli Bethel, DPT, PT, C-IAYT

Kelli is a practicing physical therapist with over 27 years of experience, a certified yoga therapist, and a registered, experienced 500-hour yoga instructor. She is the Director of Yoga Therapy and Yoga at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, Center for Integrative Medicine.   She has been working in the field of yoga therapy since the early 2000s, with an emphasis on stroke/brain injury and cancer. Kelli designed and operates the Yoga for Stroke/Brain Injury Program. The program is currently offered at The University of Maryland - Baltimore Washington Medical Center and at the Greater Baltimore Medical Center, which is in its 12th successful year. This program is a post rehabilitation program for survivors of stroke and traumatic brain injury. Kelli has lectured on her Yoga for Stroke Program at SYTAR CIC programming, MISTY, Emory Physical Therapy Department and University of Maryland School of Medicine and held roundtable discussions at the Yoga as Medicine Conference, and given numerous lectures, continuing education workshops and in-service throughout the medical and non-medical community. She also sees clients with a variety of chronic medical conditions, privately, as well. She is a doctoral candidate at Arcadia University with expected completion of her doctorate in physical therapy in January 2020.


Presenting Saturday-Morning Practice Session: MPS02

Angelique Brownlee, C-IAYT, E-RYT 500, PCYC

Angel Brownlee is the Founder of Temple Road Yoga, and co-founder of Lotus Rising Yoga Therapy, in Fort Worth, TX. She is passionate about partnering with anyone going through a life-altering change. She creates spiritually-focused yoga therapy care plans based on the individual’s personal needs and values. She has specialized training in trauma, addiction recovery, pain care, and hospice support. Angel teaches group yoga therapy at a neurological rehab facility for individuals recovering from traumatic brain injuries.

Angel has been teaching yoga for 16 years and is a C-IAYT and E-RYT 500 Yoga Teacher. She holds certifications in Pain Care Yoga, Restorative Yoga, Integral Anatomy and Yoga for Addiction. She is also the Lead Trainer of Temple Road Yoga School.

In 2014, Angel teamed up with Clinical Psychologist and Yoga Therapist, Mandy Jordan-Ostarch to create Lotus Rising Women's Group, a trauma-sensitive yoga & group therapy class series that seeks to empower women who have a history of trauma. She is deeply grateful for her teachers, Michelle Andrie, Kira Sloane, Neil Pearson, Swami Lisa Pearson, Ravi Ravindra, and Erich Schiffmann.


Co-Chair CIC 2


 Erin Byron, MA, RP, C-IAYT, E-RYT 500

Erin Byron is a Registered Psychotherapist and Certified Yoga Therapist who began working in the field of trauma in 1991. To complete her Master’s Degree in 2002, she ran a yoga therapy study at a rape crisis centre in Toronto, Ontario. She offers professional education, clinical supervision, and therapy to both yoga and mental health professionals in addition to her public practice.

Erin is a co-founder of IAYT-accredited Comprehensive Yoga Therapist Training and founder of Trauma Aware Certified Yoga Training. She has been leading yoga retreats and certified trainings for two decades.

Erin has co/authored five books in the field of mental and physical health. Her most recent co-authorship, Yoga Therapy for Arthritis, highlights the importance of mental health and yoga for those living with chronic conditions. Yoga for the Creative Soul, which marries yoga philosophy, practice, and expressive arts counseling, was named one of Aspire Magazine’s Top 10 Inspiring books. Her previous collaborations include Yoga Therapy for Stress & Anxiety, Llewllyn's Complete Book of Mindful Living, and Yoga Therapy: Theory & Practice. Find more of Erin’s mental health work in wellness publications including Yoga Journal & Huffington Post.


Co-Presenting Afternoon Sessions Friday & Saturday: TF08 | TS05



Jim Carson, PhD

Jim is a former yogic monk (aka Swami Vimarshananda Saraswati) who has taught the practices and philosophy of yoga worldwide for 45+ years. Jim is now a clinical health psychologist and Associate Professor of Anesthesiology, and of Psychiatry, at Oregon Health & Science (OHSU) in Portland, OR. Jim was the lead author on the book Relax Into Yoga for Chronic Pain. Along with his wife Kimberly, he has applied his expertise to the development and evaluation of yoga and meditation-based clinical treatments, including the first mindfulness program for couples, the first loving-kindness meditation program for medical patients, and the Mindful Yoga program. Jim also works extensively with patients suffering from persistent pain, including those with fibromyalgia, low back pain, and cancer pain. Jim co-directs with Kimberly national professional trainings for yoga teachers and allied health professionals at OHSU, Duke Integrative Medicine, and VA Centers. To learn more, visit www.mindfulyogaworks.com.


Co-Presenting Afternoon Sessions Friday & Saturday: TF08 | TS05

Kimberly Carson, MPH, C-IAYT, E-RYT 500

Kimberly is a mindfulness educator and yoga therapist at Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) specializing in the therapeutic use and scientific study of mindfulness and yoga for people with medical challenges. Kimberly offers mindfulness and yoga programs to chronic pain, cardiac, and oncology (inpatient and outpatient) patients and has taught Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction for 20+ years. Kimberly’s Mindful Yoga program has been shown in research trials to significantly reduce pain and fatigue in those living with chronic pain and cancer. She has co-authored over 30 peer-reviewed articles and since 2008 has co-directed national professional trainings for yoga teachers and allied health professionals at OHSU, Duke Integrative Medicine, VA Centers, Kripalu and other locations around the country. With Carol Krucoff, Kimberly co-authored Relax Into Yoga for Seniors, and with her husband Jim and Carol she co-authored Relax Into Yoga for Chronic Pain.


Presenting Afternoon Sessions Friday & Saturday: TF10 | TS03


Brett Cobb

Brett Cobb is president of Compassionate Tampa Bay, teaching Compassion, Self-Compassion, Mindfulness and Resilience to professionals and institutions in Tampa Bay; the former Director of Development for Omega Institute; a former board member of the Yoga Service Council and the Tampa Bay International LGBTQ Film Festival; a Senior Instructor of Compassion Cultivation Training, a program of the Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education, Stanford University; and a 20+ year fundraising, board development and nonprofit professional. He lives in St. Petersburg, FL. www.compassionatetampabay.com

Co-Presenting Saturday-Morning Practice Session: MPS07


Cathy Corkery, YT 200

Cathy is enrolled in Yoga North’s 1000 Yoga Therapy Certification program. She has been studying therapeutic yoga since 2012 but has found her most influential teacher to be her own experience with chronic pain. Using the principles of Yoga Therapy she brought herself through the darkest period of her life and now has a thriving practice helping others navigate similar journeys. She teaches current science, SomaYoga, creative movement and compassion.

Presenting Friday-Morning Practice Session: MPF02


Helene Couvrette, C-IAYT, E-RYT500, President MISTY

President of MISTY - Montreal International Symposium on Therapeutic Yoga and H~OM Yoga Center, Helene is best known for her compassion and commitment to increasing awareness of yoga therapy to health care and yoga professionals and the Canadian public.

A pioneer in her field, she co-founded MISTY in 2011 which has grown to be a highly respected biennial conference known across the continents for its quality and intimate setting, where health care and yoga therapy professionals connect, educate, share experiences, wisdom and compassion, while maintaining an element of fun! (www.homyogaevents.com)

Helene is also the founder of H~OM Yoga Center / School, near Montreal, where she is lead educator in her teacher training programs, teaches group classes and offers private yoga therapy sessions. (homyogacenter.com)

With over 10,000 hours in her 20 years experience Helene specializes, and is certified in, Pain Care Yoga and Trauma Informed yoga therapy.

Presenting Sunday-Morning Practice Session:

Carol Crenshaw, MS, EdM, E-RYT 500, C-IAYT

Carol has an EdM; Master’s in Eastern Studies / Comparative Psychology / Holistic Health (yoga therapy and research program) founded by Dr. Swami Rama (graduate professors included: Swami Veda Bharati, Pandit Rajmani Tigunait; Rudolph Ballentine MD, Phil Nuernberger PhD, Swami Ajaya).

She has served as a yoga therapist and biofeedback trainer at Combined Therapy Program the Himalayan Institute Headquarters in PA, and Center for Holistic Medicine in NYC. She has practiced meditation for over 40 years, has taught meditation over 30 years, and is a mantra initiator in the Himalayan tradition.

Carol has taught asana and other yogic practices/has trained yoga teachers since the 1980’s. She is an IAYT Certified Yoga Therapist, Yoga Alliance E-RYT 500, Certified Clinical EFT Practitioner, co-author of EFT For Meditation, contributing author to Clinical EFT Handbook, Consulting Hypnotist and Certified Hypnosis Instructor, and Certified NLP Practitioner. She presently teaches at Inner Peace Yoga Center in Indianapolis and teaches worldwide.

Co-Chair CIC 5
Presenting Afternoon Sessions Friday & Saturday:

TF05 | TS06


Heidi Crocker, EdD, DC, C-IAYT

Dr. Crocker has owned integrative wellness centers in three distinct communities as part of her chiropractic and yoga therapy services over 28 years. It began with spinal care and pain management, evolving to be a component of all new patients’ treatment plans. Eventually she added a yoga studio for general public classes and yoga therapy classes for special populations such as pregnant women, cancer patients, and athletes.

Heidi is also an educator, with the mission to promote health at the community level and integrate mind body interventions throughout the healthcare delivery system. She firmly believes that strengthening the practice of yoga in society will increase self-efficacy and improve overall health. She advocates training healthcare providers in yoga-based techniques for their own self-care, and integrating yoga therapy as a modality in patient care will lead to social change within the healthcare system. Heidi has presented nationally on the integration of yoga in healthcare and interprofessional education in the health professions. She is an active member of IAYT and the Academy of Integrative Health and Medicine (AIHM).

She presently works with an IAYT-accredited training program, AlcheMe Yoga and treats patients in Orange County, California. In addition, she serves as the Associate Dean of Academic Affairs and teaches in health professions education focusing on community health as a key to lasting change.

Presenting Friday-Morning Practice Session: MPF03

Nydia T. Darby, PT, DPT, C-IAYT, E-RYT 500

A Doctor of Physical Therapy and an experienced yoga educator, Nydia Tijerina Darby developed the Therapeutic Astanga Method™ (TAM™) over the course of 40 years. She is the Owner & Director of Nydia’s Yoga Therapy Studio and the Open Hand Institute in San Antonio, Texas. Nydia has combined her work in orthopedic, spine and pelvic health physical therapy with her extensive movement, fitness and yoga experience to create a unique service that melds traditional western physical therapy with traditional eastern Hatha yoga lifestyle practices. These practices are intended to empower all levels of practitioners, to make yoga movement & lifestyle practices accessible and to encourage breath centered movement activity that has the potential to positively influence optimum states of health & wellbeing for the long-term.

Co-Chair CIC 6

Leanne Davis, C-IAYT, Member IAYT Certification Committee, Past President Yoga Australia, BS - Acupunture

Leanne has studied and practiced complementary therapies and Yoga for 36 years. Her interest has been centered on how Eastern philosophies and healing arts can be applied to the wellbeing of contemporary global communities. For the past 10 years she has worked with regulatory bodies to preserve the components of Yoga that remain unchanged from the time they evolved whilst embracing the diverse application and modern understanding of Yoga in present times.

She holds a particular passion for the wisdom of Patanjali yoga sutra as a model of holistic health . Leanne serves on the Certification committee for the International Association of Yoga Therapists and is the current President of Yoga Australia. She is the founder of Viniyoga Australia, a practicing Yoga teacher , Yoga teacher trainer, Yoga therapist , Vedic chanting teacher and acupuncturist.

Presenting Friday-Morning Practice Session: MPF04

Nicole DeAvilla, C-IAYT, E-RYT 500, RPYT, RCYT

Bestselling author of The 2 Minute Yoga Solution FAST and EASY Stress and Back Pain Relief for ANYONE at ANYTIME, published researcher and professional blogger, Nicole has been interviewed in print, online radio and TV. An international teacher and yoga therapist educator, Nicole is a pioneer in prenatal/postpartum yoga and yoga therapy. She served on Yoga Alliance’s first Prenatal Yoga Standards Committee and IAYT’s first Accreditation Committee. Her classical Ananda Yoga Teacher Training ignited her personal spiritual journey as a disciple of Paramhansa Yogananda which led her to study with the saintly figures Swami Kriyananda and Rev. John Laurence. This laid a phenomenal foundation for serving others through ministry, private work, teaching, coaching, yoga teacher training and yoga therapist training to students globally. She loves creating awesome programs, catalyzing transformational change in others, catapulting yoga professional careers, and hosting extraordinary workshops.

Co-Chair CIC 1
Presenting Afternoon Session Friday: TF01


Staffan Elgelid, PT, PhD, GCFT, C-IAYT, RYT 500

Dr. Staffan Elgelid is a Professor of Physical Therapy at Nazareth College. He has been a Physical Therapist for 30+ years. A native of Sweden and graduate of the University of Central Arkansas, Dr. Elgelid has worked in a wide variety of settings, including owning his own clinics, and has presented at conferences on a wide variety of topics such as Complementary Approaches to Health, Guided Imagery, Healthy Aging, Mentoring, Awareness, Core Strengthening, and Feldenkrais, both in the US and Internationally. Dr. Elgelid has produced videos on different approaches to core strengthening, and Yoga for different sports. Dr. Elgelid is currently on the advisory board of the International Association of Yoga Therapists, the Board of Directors of the Yoga Alliance, and on the editorial board of several journals. Dr. Elgelid edited “Yoga Therapy: Theory and Practice” and is the co-author of “Yoga for Stress and Anxiety” and “Yoga for Active Adults.”

Co-Chair CIC 1



Lori R. Fazzio, DPT, PT, MAppSc, C-IAYT

Yogachemmal Dr. Lori Rubenstein Fazzio, PT, DPT, MAppSc, C-IAYT is a Clinical Professor of Yoga and Health at Loyola Marymount University(LMU) in Los Angeles where she teaches in the Yoga Studies Master of Arts and Post Graduate Certificate in Yoga Therapy programs. She is the Clinical Director of Yoga Therapy Rx at LMU where she has been teaching since 2008. In 2013 in partnership with Larry Payne she designed and implemented the first Yoga Therapy internship within an integrative medical clinic where yoga therapy interns provide mentored one-on-one sessions to underserved patients at the Simms Mann Venice Family Clinic in Los Angeles. Her research interests include the effects of spirituality and subtle body practices on health and well-being. A practicing physical therapist, yoga therapist and Level 2 iRest meditation teacher, she is a lifelong student and practitioner of Yoga and compassionate care. www.mosaicpt.com

Presenting Sunday-Morning Practice Session: MPSU03



Knekoh Fruge, C-IAYT, YTRx, BA, YA

Knekoh Frugé, C-IAYT, YTRx, founder of Yoga Circle Downtown in Los Angeles has been practicing Yoga for more than 36 years. A teacher since 1997, Knekoh began working as a Yoga Therapist 16 years ago and is a proud graduate of the prestigious Yoga Therapy program at Loyola Marymount University. As a Yoga Therapist, she has enabled scores of students who have found complete recovery from injuries and illnesses through personalized Yoga Therapy and meditation practices she has designed. Under her guidance, those with more serious conditions such as cancer or MS have discovered strategies to live with greatly diminished symptoms, often achieving full remission. Knekoh believes that it is far more than the poses that cause this transformative healing: It is the intrinsic unity of the mind and body through breath and consciousness. It is Yoga.

Presenting Sunday-Morning Practice Session: MPSU04


Kelly Gardner, LPC, MHSP, C-IAYT

Kelly is a Licensed Professional Counselor in both Tennessee and Mississippi. She is certified as a Yoga Therapist with the International Association of Yoga Therapists, Certified Yoga Health Coach, and a Certified Daring Way Facilitator Candidate. Kelly is a Senior Master Trainer for YogaFit Systems Worldwide and certifies yoga instructors internationally in specialty areas focusing on increasing thrive, healing trauma, and managing mental health issues. She studies the science of optimal functioning and has taught yoga for 16 years, the last 12 of which have been in therapeutic settings at all different levels of clinical care. Kelly currently also works as a Mental Health Therapist and Yoga Therapist at the outpatient and partial hospitalization levels of care where she helps her clients experience the benefits of integrating asana, yoga philosophy, Ayurveda, and talk therapy to help heal symptoms of anxiety, depression, addiction, and trauma-related issues. To deepen healing of trauma and shame, Kelly leads workshops, retreats, and online courses based on the work and research of Dr. Brene’ Brown.

Presenting Friday-Morning Practice Session: MPF06


JJ Gormley, MS,C-IAYT, E-RYT 500

JJ is the Executive Program Director of Surya Chandra Healing Yoga School which runs yoga and yoga therapy training programs. JJ participates at each training location as the main faculty and co-leader of the program and is the main curriculum designer. She holds a Master’s in Complementary and Alternative Medicine with a Graduate Certificate in Nutrition, which serve her well in her teachings in the yoga programs as well as in her private practice as a Holistic Nutritionist and Yoga Therapist. She also has a B.S. in Mathematics and taught high-school math for several years in Fairfax County, VA. She has been running teacher training programs since 1994, teaching since 1989, and continues to be a student of yoga (since 1979).


Presenting Saturday-Morning Practice Session: MPS03



Soleil Hepner, C-IAYT, PRYT

As Program Director, Trainer, and Mentor for the IAYT accredited Phoenix Rising School of Yoga Therapy, Soleil Hepner, C-IAYT has trained and facilitated hundreds of yoga therapists and mental health professionals around the US and Canada since 2006.

Having led and presented in several SYTAR CICs over the years, and one of the original 100 C-IAYTs, Soleil has been one voice of many in advocating for the base of yoga therapy to include Mental Health in its scope of practice.

Since 2002, Soleil has been in private practice in Seattle and now San Diego offering private, couple and group sessions, specializing in Trauma, Recovery, and Mental Health.

Soleil is one of those “seasoned” (perhaps that might be “old”) yoga therapy professionals who enjoys a bit of irreverence among the reverent. Come wake up with Soleil!


Presenting Afternoon Sessions Friday & Saturday:
TF02 | TS10


De Jur Jones, C-IAYT, RYT

De Jur has been a yoga devotee since 2001. She attended Loyola Marymount University’s Yoga Therapy program. She teaches victim centered, trauma informed yoga to Commercially Sexually Exploited Children (CSEC) with Jill Weiss Ippolito’s UpRising Yoga program. Serving this population sparked an interest that created a deep dive into learning everything she could about various types of trauma, how trauma affects us all and how yoga can help with embodiment, self-regulation and developing resiliency. This specialized training aided her in finding her niche to serve at-risk, highly traumatized, medically under-resourced, and oftentimes unhoused communities and populations that show up with a myriad of emotional, physical and psychological damage. De Jur also teaches therapeutic, accessible yoga to incarcerated people with Prison Yoga+Meditaion and formerly incarcerated adults in parolee resource centers and Susan Burton’s A New Way of Life Reentry Project. De Jur is a contributor to the Yoga Service Council’s best practices book series “Best Practices for Yoga in the Criminal Justice System”. She is the featured model in Jivana Heyman’s book Accessible Yoga: Poses and Practices for Every Body, which debuted October 2019. She moonlights as a flight attendant. De Jur’s hope is to use yoga to shine a light on social justice, inclusion and diversity.

Presenting Friday-Morning Practice Session: MPF05


Catherine Justice, PT, DPT, C-IAYT, E-RYT, CST

Catherine is a yoga/physical therapist based in Minneapolis. She works at Hennepin Healthcare’s Integrative Health Clinic where she also co-created the yoga portion of the employee resilience training program and chairs the Provider Wellness Committee. She is an Adjunct Professor at the University of St. Catherine in the Graduate Studies in Holistic Health department. She has conducted and published research on yoga for arthritis, Parkinson’s Disease, and lower back pain. She is also the founder of The Art of Yoga and Integrative Bodywork, a physical therapy and therapeutic yoga private practice in the Twin Cities as well as The Art of Yoga with Cat Justice on YouTube. Her guided meditations can be found online (www.art-of-yoga.com) and on the Insight Timer App.

Presenting Sunday-Morning Practice Session: MPSU05



James Knight, E-RYT, CHSE

James Knight has been an E-RYT, CHSE (Certified Hanna Somatic Educator), and Integrative Therapist for 25+ years. His passion is to inspire and encourage others to live a fulfilling life of physical, emotional and spiritual freedom.

From his combined experience as a lifelong yogi, intuitive bodyworker, psychotherapist, and movement educator, James founded a method of integrating what he discovered to be the most progressive, life-enhancing techniques into an embodied practice of mindful movement. Gentle Somatic Yoga (GSY) was born out of years of exploring means of connecting with the deepest aspects of himself and sharing his practice with others.

As Gentle Somatic Yoga® continues to gain recognition, James travels internationally facilitating teacher training certifications, workshops, and spiritual retreats. Recently James has partnered with YogaUOnline, Maryland University of Integrated Health, Yoga Vista Academy, and numerous well known yoga studios to develop online and in-person programs.

Presenting Sunday-Morning Practice Session: MPSU06


Sherri Koehler, C-IAYT, E-RYT 500, YACEP

Sherri Koehler (she/her) is an Integrated Movement Therapist, a certified yoga therapist through the International Association of Yoga Therapists, and a highly experienced yoga instructor. She specializes in helping adults 60 and older age with strength and vitality.

Sherri uses yoga to improve balance, increase strength, and cultivate self-soothing skills for students with chronic health conditions, physical and mental, folks working to meet neurological challenges, and those returning to movement after injury or illness. Her yoga therapy-informed instruction helps students foster resiliency and acceptance while growing community connections outside the classroom.

In addition to 8 therapeutic classes she teaches weekly at a community center in Portland, Oregon, she also conducts training for head injury and fall prevention. Sherri offers her expertise to senior centers, encouraging older adults to try meditation, and to the American Lung Association, bringing breath practices to the Better Breathers Club in the Portland Metro area.


Presenting Saturday-Morning Practice Session: MPS04




Bill Koff, MS, C-IAYT

Bill’s Teaching Summary:
- Certified Professional Yoga Therapist C-IAYT
- Practicing yoga asana for 20 years, pranayama/dhyana (breathing/meditation) 30+ years
- Past teaching experience includes Kripalu, Wainwright House, Scarsdale Yoga Studios,  YMCA, Berkshire Kripalu Community (BKC) and private sessions
- Faculty - Kripalu School of Integrative Yoga Therapy
- Group Exercise classes include Livestrong, Enhanced Fitness,Pilates and Qigong

Business Background:
Bill retired as VP and Chief Technology Officer of Computer Sciences Corporation (CSC) after a 40 year career as a consultant and executive in the Computer Consulting and Services Industry. His responsibilities included heading up the Global Research, Strategy, Methodology and Executive Education organizations.

Bill has a BA (Philosophy) from Boston University and an MS (Computer Science) from Polytechnic Institute (NYU)

Presenting Saturday-Morning Practice Session: MPS05


Matthew Krepps, C-IAYT

Matthew has been a yoga teacher and therapist for 20 years. In addition to designing Circle Yoga Shala's Yoga Therapy program, he has also developed an extensive private client base for which he adapted asana, pranayama, and meditation techniques to individuals who sought Yoga as a therapeutic modality for issues ranging from structural/biomechanical pathologies to digestive problems, depression and anxiety disorders, and spiritual development. His work can be summarized as a crucible of convergence between eastern and western models of the human system.



Presenting Friday-Morning Practice Session: MPF07


Chelsea Lee, C-IAYT, MA, BA, E-RYT 500

As a Certified Yoga Therapist, Chelsea strives to empower her students & clients with the education and skills necessary for creating a meaningful change in their own experience – whatever they decide that may be! She is the Program Director of the IAYT accredited Yoga Therapy Certification Program at the Vancouver School of Healing Arts (Vancouver, BC), teaches Anatomy in various Yoga Teacher Trainings, and offers Yoga Therapy at her studio, Chelsea Lee Yoga Therapy, in Squamish, BC. Chelsea has a special interest in evidence-based practices and loves the creative aspect of integrating the science & art of yoga while developing personalized programs for her students & clients. When she’s not teaching or practicing yoga, you can find Chelsea exploring the beautiful mountains and forests of British Columbia with her husband, James, and stepson, Thomas.


Co-Chair CIC 2


Michael Lee, MA, RP, C-IAYT, E-RYT 500

Michael grew up in Australia. He held college teaching posts there, and in Papua New Guinea, and worked as a teacher and behavioral scientist in the field personal and organizational change, before leaving for the USA in 1984 to pursue his yoga quest. He wanted to learn about the effectiveness of yoga and Eastern practices for changing lives and so immersed himself at the Kripalu Center (then an ashram) in Massachusetts for two years. This began a career in yoga and yoga therapy with a focus on mental and emotional health now spanning 33 years.

Michael founded Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy in 1986 based on his learning and integration of yoga and elements of contemporary psychology which is now supported by neuroscience.
Michael is the author of two books Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy—Bridge from Body to
Soul and Turn Stress Into Bliss. He is also a contributing author to the American Psychological
Association published " Beyond Talk Therapy: Using movement and expressive techniques in
clinical practice". In June 2016, Michael was a keynote speaker at SYTAR for the International
Association of Yoga Therapists and in 2018 the opening keynote speaker at Yoga Australia
Conference, a presenter at the International Congress on Integrative Medicine and Health 2018, the Toronto Yoga Conference 2018, the Japan Yoga Therapy Conference 2018, and the first Global Consortium on Yoga Therapy in Sendai, Japan in July 2018.


Presenting Saturday-Morning Practice Session: MPS06


Stephanie Lopez, C-IAYT, LISW-S

Stephanie is Senior Director, a Senior iRest® Trainer, and a research consultant for the iRest Institute. As a psychotherapist, certified yoga therapist, and meditation teacher she bridges eastern wisdom with western psychology and neuroscience to support healing and transformation. With a deeply embodied understanding of meditation informed by 25 years of immersion in the nondual teachings of yoga, she leads retreats and trainings internationally with a focus on living an authentic and awakened life. Stephanie is a contributing author of “Practice: Wisdom from the Downward Dog.” She lives in San Rafael, California where she enjoys hiking in the redwoods with her husband, Francisco, and basking in sun spots with their two cats, Juniper and Luna.


Presenting Afternoon Sessions Friday & Saturday:
TF06 | TS04



Smitha Mallaiah, MSc, C-IAYT

Smitha works as a Sr. Mind-Body Intervention Specialist at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer center’s Integrative medicine program. Smitha has been practicing yoga therapy for specific aliments for over 15 years at various hospitals and clinics. She brings rich and diverse experience as a yoga therapist work with different populations and specializing in Cancer care. Having trained and received her masters from Swami Vivekananda Yoga Anusandhana Samsthana SVYASA, Yoga University. Smitha is a leader in her field, and has mentored and actively mentors many yoga therapists and researchers to peruse yoga therapy research and contributes in grant writing. She is also a certified yoga therapist from International Association of Yoga Therapists (IAYT).

At MD Anderson she is involved in Developing and teaching yoga research interventions for different Cancer populations, like Breast, lung, Brain and Head and neck cancers. She also works with Couples, Caregivers going through cancer journey using yoga Therapy. She also has conducted several self-care workshops for healthcare professionals caring for cancer patients. She has co-authored yoga publications and has presented her work at national and international conferences on the efficacy of yoga in Cancer care. In addition to yoga practice and philosophy, mallaiah has also studied Psychology, Ayurveda, Naturopathy, Yoga Philosophy, chaplaincy and palliative care which gives a holistic approach to her patient care.

Co-Presenting Saturday-Morning Practice Session: MPS07


Ann Maxwell, MS, C-IAYT, E-RYT 500

Ann Maxwell is a Somatic Educator and Co-Owner of Yoga North International SomaYoga Institute. She is a co-creator of SomaYoga methodology and is a core faculty of Yoga North’s accredited school through IAYT. Ann gets great satisfaction in supporting the teachers in training to find their niche, grow their skills and become great yoga therapists. Ann brings the spirit of adventure and curiosity to her teachings grounding her ability in the practicality and expertise of the body.


Presenting Sunday-Morning Practice Session: MPSU07



Amina Naru, E-RYT, YACEP

Amina, Co-Executive Director of the Yoga Service Council (YSC), is the owner of Posh Yoga in Wilmington, Delaware, and works as a yoga instructor, workshop facilitator, and YSC Best Practices project manager.

Amina has served three terms as secretary for the YSC Board and is a contributing author for the books Best Practices for Yoga with Veterans and Best Practices for Yoga in the Criminal Justice System. Amina is the Project Manager for Best Practices for Yoga with Survivors of Sexual trauma, and Best Practices for Yoga for Addictions and Recovery.

Her professional expertise is in the field of yoga service for communities, juvenile detention centers and adult prisons. She worked as Executive Director for Empowered Community and is the first African-American woman to implement curriculum-based yoga and mindfulness programs for juvenile detention centers in the state of Delaware.

Amina Naru’s yoga service work is deeply informed by her studies with master teachers Johnny Gillespie of Empowered Yoga, James Fox of Prison Yoga Project, B.K. Bose of the Niroga Institute, Nikki Myers of Y12SR, and Jennifer Cohen Harper of Little Flower Yoga.

Amina is a cofounder of Retreat to Spirit.

Presenting Sunday-Morning Practice Session: MPSU08

Joy Ravelli, C-IAYT, E-RYT 500

Joy came naturally to the practices of yoga and meditation from a very young age through meditation and movement. Through that innate curiosity, she found her way to sit before many gifted teachers such as Thich Nhat Hanh, Pema Chodrin, Dr. Rao, Robert Svoboda and John Featherstone. Within the structure of formal teachings and the meditations in nature with the essence of all living beings, she found the same divine teachings; We are all one. There is a truth that binds us and that regular practice may lead us on the path of freedom from the struggle and obstacles of this life and ego.

In a desire to share this message and the valuable practices that lead one toward its understanding, Joy Developed a business when she was 20 years old. Joy has successfully run her own business and has been an active and consistent teacher to a wide population of people for over 30 years. Joy is the founder and Co-director of the Purusha Seva Project, a 501-C3 nonprofit that brings yoga to underserved and at-risk populations, as well as the Purusha Yoga Community Studios, and the Purusha Yoga School. Joy's book titled; "Threads - A practical guide to the Yoga Sutras will be published in 2020.

Presenting Sunday-Morning Practice Session: MPSU09


Stacey Reynolds, C-IAYT, E-RYT 500, RCYT, PRYT

Stacey Reynolds has been serving the senior adult population for over nineteen years. Being heavily influenced by grandparents who helped raise her, Stacey’s heart and soul are imprinted with a love of the population. She credits her grandparent’s sacrifice, prayer, and love, for molding every part of her being.

Stacey began teaching in 2001 free of charge to the community for nine years before opening her studio, Blue Yoga Nyla. Her mission is to serve the “walking wounded” by providing a sanctuary for healing, making yoga accessible to each person who walks through her door.

She travels to facilities to reach those who would not otherwise be able to practice yoga; including yoga therapy to to senior adults and end-of-life compassionate yoga. Stacey works with medical and mental health professionals with the aging population as well as specializing in grief, addiction, and trauma.

Co-Chair CIC 3


Kathleen Ross-Allee, C-IAYT, E-RYT 500, YTRx 500-C

Kathleen is a certified yoga therapist and fitness trainer with more than 25 years of experience as a health and wellness expert.

She is the Managing Director of Larry Payne’s Yoga Therapy Rx program at Loyola Marymount University Yoga, Los Angeles, and teaches in the program, specializing in Yoga and Cancer and Chronic Disease. Kathleen has created and continues to develop yoga therapy and fitness rehabilitation programs to support cancer treatment for hospitals and clinics as well as non-profit foundations throughout Southern California since 2010 (Cedars-Sinai/Tower Hematology, Cedars-Sinai/Oschin Comprehensive Cancer Center, Cedars Sinai-Brandman Breast Center, UCLA/Sylmar, USC/Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center, USC/Keck Hospital, and Tower Cancer Research Foundation). Additionally, in her spare time, Kathleen offers a regular, free “Yoga Therapy for Parkinson’s” class for patients and caregivers. Kathleen started her company 'Leen Bodies in 1991 as a personal trainer in Los Angeles specializing in post-rehabilitation exercise programs and completed her initial yoga training at The Center for Yoga in L.A. in 2002. She is delighted to join forces once again with her colleague, Robyn Tiger, to be co-chairs for the Cancer CIC#3—Yoga Therapy: The Path from Cancer Survivor to Thriver, SYTAR 2020. Through their commitment to serving the cancer community, they have also created a cancer recovery

Presenting Saturday-Morning Practice Session: MPS08


Lisa Sanfilippo, Senior Yoga Teacher, MA, MSC, BSC

Lisa is a yoga therapist, teacher and psychotherapist living in London UK. She's the author of Yoga Therapy for Insomnia and Sleep Recovery (Singing Dragon, 2019), based in her clinical and personal experience- and decades of research. A yoga teacher since 2003, and a yoga therapist for a decade, Lisa offers both professional professional training in Sleep Recovery in the UK, Europe and beyond, is a Triyoga Teacher Trainer and on the faculty of the Yogacampus Yoga Therapy diploma in London.

Lisa also co-authored a scholarly chapter in Yoga for Mental Health (Birch and Mason, 2018) and the book Sleep Recovery (Bloomsbury, 2020) which aims to make therapeutic yoga principles available to a mainstream audience. She both writes for and is often featured in health and wellbeing publications in the UK (including Balance Magazine, Marie Claire online and Evening Standard Magazine). www.lisayogalondon.com


Presenting Friday-Morning Practice Session: MPF01


Padma Shakti, E-RYT 500, C-IAYT

Padma Shakti is Founder and Director of Rasa Yoga School of Yoga and Ayurveda, Visible Belief Education Foundation and Bay Area Yoga Collective. Padma holds a firm commitment that Yoga and Ayurveda are on the cutting edge for success and leadership development. Through her ability to effectively assimilate and disseminate the teachings of yoga and ayurveda she enables people to craft a life beyond just getting by, to live a full life thriving and healthy toward the absolute highest quality possible. Padma Shakti is committed to the power of community and seeks to demonstrate that through functional relationships, you strengthen and empower not only yourself, but the whole of humanity. Her ability and clarity to to empower others is made possible by her study, training and love of these great beings: Dr. David Hoch, Lex Gillian, Reverend Karen Tudor, Sandra Summerfield-Kozak of International Yoga Studies, Rodney Yee, Shiva Rea, Dr. David Frawley, Dr. Stephen Phillips and Swami Atma. There are many other masters and teachers to pay homage to as well whether by lineage living now or before. Her current studies and training are influenced mostly by Master Jason Campbell, Pandit Rajmani Tigunait and Yogarupa Rod Stryker.

Co-Chair CIC 4


Vashanti Srinivasan, M.Ed., C-IAYT, RTY500, RPYT, RCYT

Vasanthi specializes in yoga for prenatal, babies, children, teens, seniors and individuals with special needs. She began her journey as a Special Education and Elementary Education Teacher. Her exploration in the classroom, fueled by her experience in her yoga sadhana naturally led her curiosity into teaching yoga. She has served as both a Studio Manager, Director & Lead Trainer of Prenatal & Children’s Yoga at Beloved Yoga. As an experienced yoga studio owner, Vasanthi has a keen ability to understand the entrepreneurial struggles business owners, yoga teachers and therapists often face. She is passionate about supporting yoga professionals navigate the demands of managing and building a career as a yoga therapist while preserving the integrity of yoga. She continues to teach and share the tools of yoga for health and well-being with underserved communities by making yoga accessible, adaptable, and affordable to people of all ages and abilities. She currently resides in Sonoma, California focusing on empowering individual self-care & community self-care through yoga and service.



Presenting Afternoon Session Saturday: TS07
(Assisting in Session TF09)


Aggie Stewart, MA, C-IAYT

Aggie is a yoga teacher, a soon-to-be certified iRest Yoga Nidra teacher, writer, and author. Aggie specializes in the therapeutic application of breathing practices and yoga therapy for musculoskeletal conditions, autoimmunity, arthritis, chronic pain, sleep, breathing disorders, anxiety, and depression. She is particularly interested in yoga therapy’s efficacy for addressing the effects of trauma on autoimmune conditions. A writer, writing teacher, and MFA candidate in creative writing, she also teaches the yoga of writing for improving health and academic success. Aggie teaches medical students about yoga, yoga therapy, and yoga as self-care in the colloquia series at the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine. She is the author of the book Yoga as Self-Care for Healthcare Practitioners: Cultivating Resilience, Compassion, and Empathy, and the forthcoming book, Creating Vibrant, Responsive Personal Yoga Practices: A Guide for Yoga Students, Teachers, and Therapists.


Co-Chair CIC 6
Presenting Afternoon Session Friday
: TF01
(Assisting in Session TS07)



Marlysa Sullivan, PT, C-IAYT

Marlysa’s experience on the educational standards committee helping to create the initial standards for yoga therapists, her work as an Assistant Professor at Maryland University of Integrative Health teaching in the Masters of Science in Yoga Therapy, and as an adjunct professor teaching physical therapists the integration of yoga into PT practice at Emory University has provided insight into the distinct and powerful role yoga therapy has in healthcare. Her research has focused on helping to define the theoretical and explanatory framework for yoga therapy grounded in the wisdom tradition of yoga and translatable to healthcare and research contexts. This topic of assessment is of particular interest to Marlysa in helping the field continue to define its scope of practice and to have assessments that have a foundation in the yoga perspective while being applicable to current contexts.
She has authored many articles and is the co-editor/author of Yoga and Science in Pain Care which was released this summer, and has an upcoming book entitled: Understanding Yoga Therapy: Applied Philosophy and Science for Well-Being expected to be released in 2020


Co-Chair CIC 4
Presenting Afternoon Sessions Friday
& Saturday:
TF10 | TS03


Matthew J. Taylor, PT, PhD, C-IAYT

Matt has 38 years as a leader in integrative rehabilitation and is the editor of the graduate textbook, "Fostering Creativity In Rehabilitation”. He is past-president of the board of directors of IAYT, chairs the CIC’s of SYTAR and teaches nationally on business development for Yoga therapists. Matt is on the IAYT research journal’s editorial board. He is leading integrative pain care and addiction policy development on national interprofessional taskforces for IAYT, as well as their interprofessional collaboration business development projects. He’s also authored a book for yoga professionals titled, “Yoga Therapy as a Creative Response to Pain” www.smartsafeyoga.com




Co-Chair CIC 3


Robyn Tiger, MD, C-IAYT, RTY 500

Robyn is a physician, certified yoga therapist, and founder of Yoga Heals 4 Life serving those touched by cancer, anxiety, and stress related disorders. She is faculty for Trauma Informed Yoga Therapy, the Medical Resource Director for Journey To Be Free (a nonprofit serving the cancer community), and serves on the Advisory Council for Yoga Therapy Today and yogatherapy.health. Robyn developed the yoga and meditation protocol for two research pilot studies evaluating CIPN (chemotherapy induced peripheral neuropathy). She holds several specialty certifications including those through Integrative Yoga Therapy, y4c Yoga for Cancer, Exclusive Yoga for Breast Cancer, Novato Institute for Somatic Research, and Integrative Restoration Institute. Her passion to help others more fully grew out of her many years in medical practice witnessing firsthand the need for more complete patient care. Robyn is deeply honored to return with her colleague, Kathleen Ross-Allee, as co-chair for the Cancer CIC#3—Yoga Therapy: The Path from Cancer Survivor to Thriver, SYTAR 2020. Their devotion to supporting individuals on the cancer journey led to their development of a cancer recovery retreat being held in Asheville, NC in August, 2020. https://www.yogaheals4life.com/


Presenting Saturday-Morning Practice Session: MPS09


Shailla Vaidya, MD, MPH, CCFP(EM), RYT, C-IAYT

Dr. Shailla Vaidya is a Physician, Yoga Therapist, and Compassion-it Change Agent practicing Mind-Body Medicine in Toronto, Canada. She completed her MD at Dalhousie Medical School, a residency in Family and Emergency Medicine at the University of Ottawa, and a MPH in Health Management and Policy at Harvard University. Dr. Vaidya is also a Certificant of the International Association of Yoga Therapists (IAYT), and teaches medically-informed therapeutic yoga to Yoga Therapists and to her fellow Medical Professionals. After her own experience with physician burnout, she created the Yoga of Stress Resilience Burnout Recovery Program. This program combines yoga practice and philosophy, with the science of human function, neuroplasticity, self-compassion, and stress resilience. Her current medical practice is focused on helping her fellow burnt-out helping professionals and others with stress-related illnesses regain their health and well-being. To find out more about her practice, please visit www.theYogaMD.ca

Presenting Friday-Morning Practice Session: MPF08



Linda Varnam, C-IAYT

Linda is a Certified Tai Chi Qigong Instructor and Senior Instructor in training with Sifu Wing Cheung. In her work as a Yoga Therapist she finds that clients embrace the inclusion of Tai Chi Qigong Shibashi as an accessible and empowering practice. Linda is passionate about sharing this simple yet profound practice of Qigong. You can learn more about Qigong and Linda at http://www.chanvar.com/what-is-qigong/ on empowering individual self-care & community self-care through yoga and service.

Presenting Friday-Morning Practice Session: MPF09


Ann Wagoner, C-IAYT, E-RYT, CAP, MA-Ayur NAMA

Ann is an Ayurvedic Practitioner, MA in Ayurveda, and Ayurvedic Yoga
Therapist, C-IAYT, E-RYT-500 Yoga Alliance. She founded the Center for Ayurveda and Yoga Study and teaches Ayurveda and Yoga at Portland Community College.

She is President of the Oregon Yoga and Ayurveda Association. She graduated from Mount Madonna Institute with a Master’s in Ayurveda. Her research was on Rasayana, Ritucharya and Panchakarma Therapy in Preventative and Rehabilitative Care in Cancer. Ann also has a Master’s from New York University Draper School of Thought.

Since Ann founded Lighthouse Publishing, she has printed new translations of Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras by Rama Jyoti Vernon. Ann offers Ayurvedic Consultations and Yoga Therapy in Portland, Oregon. Through Living Yoga, she offers yoga classes in Multnomah County to youth and adults in or released from incarnation. Her Ayurvedic recipes can be viewed at: www.LighthouseAyurveda.com.