Our Great Instructors (Past and Present)
Check out their websites for announcements
David Allen, M.D. is the associate director of Level III, Yoga Therapy Rx program, is a graduate of UCLA Medical School, and also holds a masters degree from the College of Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture, Oxford, England. He is the medical director of the Longevity Center, one of Los Angeles’s most prestigious integrative medicine centers. www.DavidAllenMD.com
Robert Birnberg, CYT YTRX has practiced Yoga consistently for over 30 years. He has studied with Yoga master T.K.V. Desikachar and various senior students in the lineage of T. Krishnamacharya, for over 17 years. Robert has studied intensively at the KYM, a world-renowned center for healing and education in Chennai, South India. He is one of a handful of people certified by Desikachar to train teachers and is currently on the faculty of Loyola Marymount Yoga Therapist Program. He is known for his ability to express Yoga philosophy and psychology in simple language, and explain their practical applications in everyday life. He specializes in Yoga for addiction and relationship counseling, www.longexhale.com
Chase Bossart, CYT is a 14-year student of TKV Desikachar, including 3 years of residential internship in Chennai, India. He is co-founder of the Yoga Health Alliance and currently finishing a Masters degree in Religious Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara. www.healingyoga.org
Bidyut K. Bose, Ph.D. learned Yoga from his father beginning in childhood, and later studied Sanskrit philosophical texts, Yoga, and Meditation with monks in the Himalayas. Having earned his Ph.D. in Computer Science from University of California, Berkeley; his research interests have shifted to the scientific application of Yoga to special populations, and for many common chronic conditions. He is an advanced yoga teacher trainer and certified yoga therapist, and is a member of the International Association of Yoga Therapists. BK lives in north Berkeley. www.niroga.org
Sherry Brourman, PT, E-RYT has been a physical therapist and movement educator for 39 years. Inspired by the joy of movement and her understanding of the frame mechanics of walking, she wrote her first book, Walk Yourself Well. (Hyperion 1998). Since then, the collaboration of physical therapy and yoga therapy has been Sherry's passion, inspiring her new book, Using Yoga Therapeutically, due out, summer of 2014. Sherry teaches weekly small yoga therapy classes as well as continuing her private practice. She teaches functional anatomy, structural assessment for teacher trainings and yoga therapy workshops, and gait, physical therapy and yoga therapy seminars internationally.
Art Brownstein, M.D., M.P.H., D.Y.Ed. is a former Assistant Clinical Professor of Medicine at John A. Burns School of Medicine, University of Hawaii. He is the author of Healing Back Pain Naturally (Harbor Press), and Extraordinary Healing (Harbor Press). He is the only U.S. physician to be certified in Yoga by the Government of India, Ministry of Health and Education. He is also a Founding Diplomat of the American Board of Holistic Medicine and a Diplomat of the American Board of Preventive Medicine. www.docbrownstein.com
Julie Carmen, LMFT, ERYT-500 YTRX is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and a Certified Yoga Therapist. Julie designed and implemented the yoga therapy and drama therapy programs at Passages Drug and Alcohol Treatment Center. She taught at Monte Nido Eating Disorder Center, LA Unified Pregnant Teens, Cell Block Theater, Exhale (since 2001) and Suzanne Somers (since 2003). As an actress Julie danced on Broadway, choreographed off Broadway and starred in over 30 Hollywood films. www.yogatalks.com
Jamie Champion, M.P.T., CYT, YTRX is a physical therapist and certified Kripalu Yoga teacher. Jamie has a Master’s Degree in Physical Therapy, with a major concentration in geriatrics and a minor in spine mobilization. She is also a UCLA graduate, with a Bachelor’s degree in Kinesiology. Jamie is the Director of Rehabilitation at University Village, Oakview in Thousand Oaks, CA, where she leads a team of therapists, caring for the rehabilitation needs of 400+ senior residents in the areas of independent living, assisted living, skilled nursing, and an outpatient clinic. Previously, Jamie served as leader of the Spine Team at Abilities Health and Rehabilitation Center in New York City, and owner of Yoga Home, yoga studio in Westlake Village for ten years. During her extensive years as a physical therapist and as a Yoga teacher, Jamie has developed a unique method of teaching correct posture, body mechanics, and body awareness. She is also a popular keynote speaker.
Christopher Key Chapple, PhD is the Navin and Pratima Doshi Professor of Indic and Comparative Theology at Loyola Marymount University. Professor Chapple's research interests have focused on the renouncer religious traditions of India: Yoga, Jainism, and Buddhism. He has published several books, including Karma and Creativity (1986), a co-translation of the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali (1991) and Nonviolence to Animals, Earth, and Self in Asian Traditions (1993), Hinduism and Ecology (2000), a co-edited volume, Jainism and Ecology: Nonviolence in the Web of Life (2002) and Reconciling Yogas (2003). http://myweb.lmu.edu/cchapple
Jnani Chapman, R.N., CYT, YTRX is a clinical specialist in complementary medicine for the UCSF Osher Center for Integrative Medicine. She specializes in teaching people with cancer, heart disease, and chronic illness. A former executive director of IAYT, Jnani has worked for the Commonweal Cancer Help Program since 1986 and for Dr. Dean Ornish's Program for Reversing Heart Disease. www.ucsf.edu/acim
Beny Charchian, M.D., M.S. specializes in Interventional Pain Management integrating Fluoroscopy (live X-Ray), in addition to treating an array of spine and joint disorders non-surgically. He has extensive training in electrodiagnostic studies to evaluate nerve injuries. He completed a Pain Medicine Fellowship at UCLA and is currently a Clinical Instructor of Medicine at The David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA as well as a Clinical Assistant Professor of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, Western University of Health Sciences. www.jointandspine.com
Arun Deva, DASc, AYT, E-RYT500 YTRX is a well known Yoga Therapist and Ayurvedic Practitioner. He serves both the National & State Ayurvedic Associations: NAMA & CAAM. Arun teaches internationally, lectures at Conferences, writes articles for different publications, has been featured on both radio and television, teaches the Ayurveda module for various prestigious Yoga Schools and has his clinic for consultations, treatments, yoga therapy and Panchakarma (Ayurvedic Cleanse) in Los Angeles. Born in India, he has made his home in Los Angeles for the past 30+ years. www.yogarasayana.com
Sherrie Baptiste Freemen is the daughter of two of America’s yoga-health-fitness pioneers Magana & Walt Baptiste, Sherri is an inspirational teacher at the forefront of yoga training in America. A presenter at the LA Yoga Conference, Body Mind Spirit Conference, IDEA & INNER IDEA World Fitness Conferences. She has served as yoga teacher for the Dean Ornish program, Bridgepoint Yoga Program Director, and is the columnist and yoga expert for Voice of Dance.com. She is also Author of Yoga with Weights for Dummies –Wiley Publishers 2006. www.powerofyoga.com
Eden Goldman, DC, E-RYT 500, YTRX is a wellness-based Chiropractor, certified Yoga therapist, physical rehabilitation specialist and owner of The Yoga Doctors Mandiram in West Los Angeles, CA. He is co-director of the Yoga and the Healing Sciences 200-Hour Teacher Training Program @ LMU and his current healing work integrates classical eastern Yoga therapeutics, Thai massage and myofascial release bodywork with western advancements in movement science, preventive medicine, peak performance personal training and chiropractic. www.yogadoctors.com
Terra Gold, D.O.M. (FL), L.Ac., E-RYT500, YTRX, is a licensed acupuncturist, yoga therapist, clinical nutritionist and bhakti kirtan musician in the LA area. She has a Masters Degree in Traditional Chinese Medicine, holds a BA from UCLA in Cultural Rituals and Dance Movement Therapy and a professional degree in Integrative Body Psychotherapy. Terra is co-director of the Yoga and the Healing Sciences 200-Hour Teacher Training Program @ LMU, is co-founder of Yoga Doctors wellness company and owner of Terra Wellness. www.yogadoctors.comwww.terrawellness.com
Vikram Kamdar, M.D. is a Clinical Professor of Medicine at David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. He practices Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolic Diseases at UCLA Health System/ Santa Monica Endocrinology. He is a Graduate of Medicine from University of Bombay, Fellowship training in Diabetes at LAC USC Medical Center and Fellowship Training in Endocrinology at Cedars Sinai Medical Center. Dr. Kamdar has worked at USC for 25 years in the Department of Diabetes and Endocrinology and at Rancho Los Amigos Medical Center before joining UCLA. His research interest is in Cardiometabolic Syndrome in South Asians. Dr. Kamdar has been awarded as the Best Teacher by the house staff of White Memorial MedicalCenter. www.endocrinology.med.ucla.edu/kamdar.htm
Leslie Kaminoff is a yoga educator inspired by the tradition of T.K.V. Desikachar. For over three decades he has led workshops and developed specialized education in the fields of yoga, breath anatomy and bodywork.
Leslie is the founder of The Breathing Project, a New York City based educational non-profit dedicated to teaching individualized, breath-centered yoga. His unique year-long yoga anatomy course is now available online at yogaanatomy.net. He is the co-author, with Amy Matthews, of the best-selling book “Yoga Anatomy.”www.breathingproject.org
Gurumukh Khalsa is a teacher of Kundalini Yoga as taught by Yogi Bhajan and a pioneer in the field of pre-natal yoga. She is the founder of the Golden Bridge Yoga. With centers in Los Angeles, Santa Monica, and New York City, Golden Bridge is the premier center for the study and practice of Kundalini Yoga and Meditation as taught by Yogi Bhajan. Since being baptized 43 years ago with the spiritual name meaning “one who helps people across the world ocean,” Gurmukh has dedicated her life to fulfilling her namesake. www.goldenbridgeyoga.com
Shanti Shanti Kaur Khalsa, E-RYT500 has taught Kundalini Yoga since 1971. She began to specialize in chronic or life threatening illness in 1986, under the direction of Yogi Bhajan. At his request she founded the Guru Ram Das Center for Medicine and Humanology. The Center provides yogically focused direct client servicesfor HIV disease, cancer, cardiovascular disease, chronic fatigue, chronic pain and other health conditions. She provides professional training to yoga instructors and health care professionals and directs outcome studies on the medical effects of yoga practice. www.grdcenter.org
Lorne S. Label, MD, MBA, FAAN, CPE is a board certified neurologist trained in both traditional and complementary medicine. He currently holds the rank of Clinical Professor of Neurology at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. He has taught at the UCLA Neuromuscular Clinic and General Neurology Clinic for 24 years. His full-time private practice in Adult and Pediatric Neurology incorporates his Eastern and Western medical studies. www.cns-neurology.com
Linda Lack, Ph.D., YTRX has dedicated her life to the study of the human body and its relationship to breath and movement. She is an academic lecturer/researcher, movement/yoga therapist, dancer, and ritualist whose technique The Thinking Body-The Feeling Mind® is practiced world-wide. Lack has earned recognition from the NEA, California Arts Council, Los Angeles Area Dance Alliance, and LACE ("Outstanding Contribution to Spirituality"). She believes that movement and breath are profound pathways into healing, creativity and spirit www.lindalack.com
Surendra Mehta, MBA, CYT YTRX trained in India at the Bihar School of Yoga, with Kavi Ji, a direct disciple of Dhirendra Brahmchari and at the Vivekananda Yoga Kendra. He is also a graduate of the Yoga Therapy Rx programs. In 2005 he met Swami Ramdev, has been practicing and teaching his method of Yoga and Pranayam ever since.
Rick Morris, DC, YTRX is associate director of the Level I program and former team doctor for the US Olympic Trials Track and Field Team, LA Clippers, and UCLA Track and Field. Due to his own life experiences, he now focuses on severe disc disease and spinal stenosis and is the director of The Morris Spinal Stenosis and Disc Center in Santa Monica, California as well as presents original papers on these subjects at international research conferences and lobbies for healthcare reform. www.spinalstenosisanddisc.com
Arsen Nalbandyan, D.O. was awarded the Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine Teaching Fellowship while attending Western University, College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific where he is currently an Assistant Clinical Professor as well as a clinical preceptor for students. Dr. Nalbandyan is a member of the Cranial Academy and the American Academy of Osteopathy. www.traditionalosteopathy.com
Steve Paredes, D.C., CYT, YTRX has 27 years of experience in the holistc health and fitness field. His private practice is currently in Solana Beach, Ca (San Diego) where he offers full chiropractic care, nutritional counseling, yoga and rehabilitative exercise therapy, posture, gait analysis, orthotics prescription and therapeutic massage. Dr. Paredes is also a lecturer and educator of nutritional and Yoga anatomy for various professional organizations. He maintains an on-going association with Rancho La Puerta Health Spa as a consultant for their back care program and massage staff trainer and therapist. www.drstevenparedes.com
Larry Payne, PhD, E-RYT 500 YTRX is the founding president of International Association of Yoga Therapists and co-author of the new revised “Yoga for Dummies,” “Yoga Rx,” and “The Business of Teaching Yoga.” Payne is featured in both the Yoga Therapy Rx and Prime of Life Yoga DVD series. The Los Angeles Times named Payne "One of America's most respected Yoga teachers." He is also co-founder of the Yoga curriculum at the UCLA School of Medicine, and director of the Yoga Therapy Rx certification program at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles. Larry is a student of TKV Desikachar since 1980. www.samata.com
Lori Rubenstein Fazzio, DPT, PT, MAppSc, CYT,YTRX has a B.S. in Physical Therapy from Boston University, an Advanced Masters Degree in Manipulative Therapy from the University of South Australia, and received her doctorate from Massachusetts General. She is on faculty at Mount St. Mary's College Doctoral Program of Physical Therapy and has appeared on "Good Morning America". Lori was certified as a Yoga teacher by Samata International Yoga & Health Institute and is the director of Mosaic Physical Therapy in Los Angeles. www.mosaicpt.com
Steven Sampson, M.D. is a board-certified Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation doctor, (Physiatrist). He graduated from the Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine and was Chief Resident at Saint Vincent Medical Center of Manhattan in New York. Most recently, Dr. Sampson practiced at Santa Monica Orthopaedic and Sports Medicine Group where he directed their efforts in Rehabilitation and lead clinical research and development of Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) Therapy under ultrasound guidance. Dr. Sampson recently formed The Orthobiologic Institute (TOBI) designed to advance research and training in the field of orthobiologics. www.orthohealing.com
Michael Sinel, M.D. served as Director of Outpatient Physical Medicine at Cedar Sinai Medical Center and later became board-certified in physical medicine and rehabilitation and pain management. He is also an assistant clinical professor at UCLA Medical Center and has been certified as a Yoga teacher by Samata International Yoga & Health Institute. He is Co-author of Yoga for Dummies and has been quoted in The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, and Reader's Digest. www.vitals.com/doctors/Dr_Michael_Sinel.html
Norman Solomon, M.D. is a board certified internist and the medical director at the Motion Picture and Television Fund in Los Angeles. He has 30 years of experience in all aspects of internal medicine and is a graduate of Mount Sinai School Of Medicine at New York University. He was also a medical school classmate of Richard Usatine M.D. the associate director of our Yoga Therapy Rx level II program.
Matthew J. Taylor, PT, PhD, ERYT-500, YTRX is past president of IAYT. Matt is the founder of Dynamic Systems Rehabilitation Clinic in Scottsdale, Arizona, a yoga-based PT clinic. He is a leader in applying integrative medicine principles in the field of rehabilitation and has 32 years of orthopedic rehabilitation experience. He's introduced yoga therapeutics into a number of chapters in established textbooks for professional rehabilitation graduate programs. www.drofyoga.com
Eleni Tsikrikas is a Clinical Ayurvedic Specialist, CAS, and Pancha Karma Specialist PKS. She runs a private ayurvedic practice and teaches “Ayurvedic Skills for Living” courses in Silverlake. She is a faculty member at California College of Ayurveda, where she teaches and mentors students. Eleni has completed the educational component leading to qualifications as a Western Herbalist. She is presently working on the accreditation process for the American Herbalist Guild.
Felicia Tomasko RN, E-RYT 500, YTRX inspires people to follow the path to personal freedom and vibrant health through Yoga and Ayurveda. Her practice includes teaching Yoga in studios, teacher trainings and conferences as well as a private practice in the healing tradition of Ayurveda. She is currently the editor in chief of LA YOGA Ayurveda and Health magazine, serves on the editorial board of the Light on Ayurveda Journal and serves on the board of directors of the California Association of Ayurvedic Medicine and the National Ayurvedic Medical Association. www.layogamagazine.com
Richard Usatine, M.D., is associate director of the Level II program and the Vice-Chair for Education in the Department of Family and Community Medicine at the University of Texas at San Antonio. He is also the recipient of the National Humanism in Medicine award and, since 2000, chosen by his peers each year to be included in the Best Doctors in America list, a national consumer reference source published by Ohio State University. www.texashumanities.org/bios/faculty_detail_2.cfm
Fay VanDerKar-Levinson, Ph.D. received a special joint Ph.D. from UCLA in psychology and special education. She serves on the board of the Association of Educational Therapists and has held teaching posts at UCLA and Pepperdine University. She has also received advanced training in Yoga, learning development and helping her clients deal with chronic physical and/or emotional stress. www.zoominfo.com/people/Levinson_Fay_1158213119.aspx
Dolphi Wertenbaker, MD is a graduate of Columbia University and Cornell University Medical College (1978). She is a life-long student of TKV Desikachar since 1970, with a dream of combining yoga and medicine. She has been teaching yoga since 1985, with an emphasis on individual therapeutic work. She is a KHYF-certified Yoga Teacher Trainer. www.linkedin.com/pub/dolphi-wertenbaker/12/1a9/844
Amy Wheeler, PhD, E-RYT 500, CYT, YTRX studies and teaches in the tradition of T. Krishnamacharya since 2001. Amy is a Professor of Kinesiology at California State University San Bernardino, since 1996, where she teaches many courses pertaining to the body and mind connection. Amy specializes in Yoga for Women's Issues, both endocrine and nervous system disorders. Amy participates in research studies with faculty at Vanderbilt University on topics such as metabolic syndrome and women with cancer. www.onesourceyoga.com
Veronica Zador, BSc., E-RYT 500, P-RYT, YTRX is a past-President of the International Association of Yoga Therapists (IAYT), past-Vice Chair of Yoga Alliance (YA) and past Chair of the YA Standards Committee. Veronica envisioned and produced the first three IAYT SYTAR conferences. She holds the distinction of serving on the National Education Dialogue to Advance Integrated Health Care and the Academic Consortium for Complementary and Alternative Health Care. Her experience spans from studio ownership an extensive international teaching schedule specializing in yoga therapy teacher training . Veronica created the Wayne State University School of Medicine Co-Curricular Yoga Therapy program, a landmark program in the United States offering instruction in yoga therapy for credit in a medical school. Veronica has published over 30 articles on yoga teaching and yoga therapy. www.michiganyogalifestyles.com
Patti Quintero, E-RYT 500, M.Ed. is a dedicated Yoga Teacher, Certified Doula and devoted Mama of two. She has taught yoga for the past fifteen years, and holds a Masters Degree in Education from the University of Miami. Patti has been teaching at YogaWorks since 2001, and continues to inspire and support women on their journey to birth as a Doula and in her Prenatal yoga classes. She is an integral part of the Yoga Works Teacher Training Faculty and Professional Program, and teaches online classes at MyYogaWorks.com, in both English and Spanish. She has taught at the Yoga Journal Conference and has been featured on E! Entertainment Channel, as well as several wellness magazines including Yoga Journal, Cookie Magazine, Working Mother and Access Hollywood online.
Vivian Richman,M.A., CYT took her basic teacher training at Yoga Works in Santa Monica, has an Advanced Training and Yoga Therapy Certificate from Larry Payne PhD, as well as a Yoga Philosophy Certificate from Loyola Marymount University (LMU) under the guidance of Dr. Chris Chapple. She has studied with renowned teachers in the Krishnamacharya tradition, including Srivatsa Ramaswami and Larry Payne. Vivian has taught yoga to cancer patients at The Wellness Community, taught at LMU, and developed the cancer program at the USC/Norris Cancer Hospital.
Michelle Chang Lin, CYT, YTRX Academic Dean of LMU's Yoga Therapy RX Course. She is the academic program director for Patrick English Network (PEN) in Beijing, China and is the co-founder of a bilingual educational radio program for Asia.
She is also certified as a Yoga teacher by Samata International Yoga & Health Institute.
Fancy Fechser is the Associate Academic Dean of the Yoga Therapy Rx program. After graduating from Pitzer College, she completed Yoga Therapy Rx Levels I, II, and III and became a licensed Massage Therapist through the California Healing Arts College. She has assisted in teaching a course on Yoga Therapy at UCLA Medical School with Michael Sinel M.D. and also sits on the Advisory Board for The White Lotus Foundation founded by Ganga White and Tracey Rich. Fancy is committed to supporting the growth of Yoga Therapy as a complementary healing modality through research and education, and as such, is currently pursuing her Masters degree in Yoga Studies at Loyola Marymount University
Deborah Myers, MS, CNS, YTRX A public health nutritionist, Deborah is chief of nutrition services at South LA Health Projects of LA Bio Medical Research Institute of Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, where she directs staff training for the USDA-funded Women, Infants, and Children Nutrition Program (WIC). She holds a Master of Science degree from the Institute of Human Nutrition at Columbia University, a BA in psychology from City University of New York, and is certified as a nutrition specialist through the American College of Nutrition.
Kathleen Ross-Allee, RYT-500, YTRX 500-C, IAYT 500, ACE-PERSONAL TRAINER is the co-founder (with Alison Crowley) of The Yoga Prescription TM and of the yoga therapy programs to support cancer treatment at Cedars-Sinai/Tower Hematology, USC/Norris Cancer Hospital, Vantage Oncology, and the upcoming St. John’s Comprehensive Breast Center (2014). She is a graduate of the LMU YTRX-III Clinical Certification Program (2010) where she now serves as Managing Director. She founded her fitness consulting business, ‘Leen Bodies™, in 1991, and currently specializes in post-rehabilitation exercise programs. She also offers a regular free “Yoga Therapy for Parkinson’s” class for patients and caregivers. Kathleen teaches privately and in studios and corporations throughout Southern California.