The program’s faculty includes the following top instructors in the fields of yoga therapy and ayurveda:
Nischala Joy Devi
Nischala Joy Devi is a master teacher and healer. For over 30 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.
She was graced to study with Yoga masters in US, India and worldwide and was a monastic disciple of the world renowned Yogiraj Sri Swami Satchidananda and spent over 25 years receiving his direct guidance and teachings. During her time in the monastery she began to blend western medicine with yoga and meditation. She then offered her expertise in developing the yoga portion of The Dean Ornish Program for Reversing Heart Disease where she subsequently served for seven years as Director of Stress Management. She also co-founded the award-winning Commonweal Cancer Help Program.
Nischala Devi produced the Abundant Well-Being Series CDs to allow these simple yet profound Yoga and stress-relieving techniques to reach more people. Her book The Healing Path of Yoga, now in its sixth printing, also 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.
Nischala Devi is now directing her energies to bringing the feminine heart perspective back into spirituality and the scriptures through her new book, The Secret Power of Yoga, a woman’s guide to the heart and spirit of the Yoga Sutras, Random House 2007. When not traveling and teaching she divides her time between Northern California and Mexico. See Abundant Well Being.
Nischala will be teaching Adapting Yoga for Heart Disease in this training program.
Durga (BA, CAS, PKS, Yoga Acharya) is the founder of Yoga of Recovery™, a comprehensive program that integrates Ayurveda and Yoga with recovery tools for a holistic mind, body and spirit approach for all those affected by addiction and self-destructive behaviors. Yoga of Recovery offers an integrative approach with yoga, herbal remedies, Ayurvedic body treatments, aromatherapy, detoxification, diet, color, sound, breathing exercises, meditation, and other mind-body integration methods to assist clients maintain lasting sobriety. It is currently offered as workshops, retreats and certificate courses in the US and internationally. Durga holds the RYT-500 qualification, having completed both the Sivananda Yoga teachers Training Course and an Advanced Yoga Training. She is also extensively trained in Meditation and Vedanta. She is a Clinical Ayurvedic and Pancha Karma Specialist, trained at the California College of Ayurveda and at the School of Ayurveda and Pancha Karma in Kerala, India. She is the Director of the Ayurveda Programs at the Yoga Farm in California and a professional member of the National Ayurvedic Medical Association (NAMA). She is also a member of Yoga Alliance and International Association of Yoga Therapists (IAYT).
Durga will be teaching Yoga of Recovery in this training program.
Maria KaliMa Mendola
Maria has a rich history in the field of wellness, yoga therapeutics & Ayurveda. She is an RN, with an MS in Community Health with extensive work in the fields of Rehabilitation and Women’s Health. She went on to receive extensive teacher training in yoga, and then yoga therapeutics, and has both a private practice in yoga therapy, ayurvedic consultation and an extensive teaching curriculum for advanced students of yoga therapy. She teaches both nationally and internationally with Integrative Yoga Therapy, and then with her own group of Functional Yoga Therapy.
Known by appreciative students across the country as “the queen of alignment,” yoga instructor and author Lillah Schwartz brings the benefits of her 30 years’ training with yoga experts such as BKS Iyengar, Aadil Palkhivala, Eric Small, and others to the Southeast region and, through her workshops, to studios across the eastern and central U.S.
Her hundreds of hours of study in the U.S. and India with senior Iyengar instructors make Lillah one of the most accomplished yoga teachers in the Southeast region. She pioneered the Iyengar method in North Carolina from 1981, led the way to establishing Asheville as a yoga destination, and held an Iyengar teaching certificate from 1985-2009.
Lillah is well known for her excellence in the therapeutic applications of yoga. Her “Healing Our Backs with Yoga” program brings the science and spirit of yoga to hundreds of people each year who have connected with their healing potential, overcome their pain, and improved their functional ability with her guidance.
Never more at home than in front of a group of students with diverse body issues, Lillah pulls a hip back by one inch here, has a student turn a foot out two percent there, and suddenly a miracle happens: her students find themselves pain free and in the quiet joy of pure being. It is at this place of alignment that the deep spiritual work of yoga begins.
Says Lillah, “My job is to support and guide my students to a deeper understanding of alignment, action, and breath so they might release their resistance, love themselves, and discover their own inner potential.” And as the body wakes up, magic happens. Just ask Lillah’s student Jeanne Kalogridis: “Lillah understood exactly what was causing the pain and showed me the way to overcome it…. She’s the most gifted yoga teacher I’ve ever worked with.”
Lillah founded Lighten Up Yoga, her studio in Asheville, NC in 1981. In addition to her weekly classes, she offers true transformation at her yearly 200-hour and unique 500-hour Teacher Training programs. Her “Healing Our Backs with Yoga” program is registered for both massage therapy and nursing CE credits. Her popular DVDs, “Yoga: Your Freedom from Back Pain” and “Yoga: Relief from Neck and Shoulder Pain” are recommended by Dr. Andrew Weil, Prevention Magazine, Booklist, and Yoga Journal.
Dr. Marc Halpern
Dr. Marc Halpern (DC, CAS) is the founder and director of the California College of Ayurveda, California. An internationally recognized expert in the field of Ayurvedic medicine, Dr. Halpern has trained hundreds of practitioners and thousands of students around the world.
After completing his Doctor of Chiropractic training, he completed post-graduate work in Ayurveda, Chinese Medicine, herbalism, homeopathy, holistic case management and he was certified as a Holistic Health Care Specialist in 1991. Dr. Halpern undertook further study in Ayurveda with Dr. David Frawley, Dr. Subash Ranad, and other noted teachers. Dr. Halpern has been a contributing writer in several books, and his articles have appeared in magazines throughout the world including Yoga Journal, International Journal of Yoga Therapy, Light on Ayurveda, and many other publications. In 2005, Dr. Halpern was interviewed by Mike Wallace on CBS’s 60 Minutes about Ayurveda. In addition, Dr. Halpern’s remarkable story of self-healing was featured in the national magazine, Spirituality and Health.
Dr. Halpern’s accomplishments have been recognized in India. He received the award for Best Ayurvedic Physician from the Hakim Ajmal Khan Society of India. This award was bestowed upon him by Dr. A. Ram Das, India’s Minister of Health and Family Welfare.
Dr. Halpern is on many national and international advisory boards. He is a founding board member of the California Association of Ayurvedic Medicine (C.A.A.M.) and the National Ayurvedic Medical Association (NAMA). For more information please visit Ayurveda College.
Dr. Halpern will be teaching Ayurveda and Yoga Therapy in this training program.
Laura Kupperman (M.A., E-RYT 500) is delighted to be on the IPYT faculty, sharing her passion for the healing power of yoga. Laura has been following the yogic path since 1995 and is a certified yoga therapist at the 1,000 hour level; her specialities are yoga for cancer survivors and yoga for fertility enhancement, although she sees clients with a wide range of issues. Laura is also a Life & Career Coach who helps yogis and other professionals build their business and increase their impact on their community.
Following her own cancer diagnosis in 2003 Laura founded Yoga for Survivors® with a mission of providing safe, accessible yoga classes to survivors of any type of cancer, at any stage of recovery, world-wide. Laura teaches, trains, and leads workshops nationally and internationally, and has started yoga programs in cancer centers, hospitals, and rehab clinics. Laura is also honored to teach Yoga for Fertility in partnership with the world-renowned Colorado Center for Reproductive Medicine.
Laura is based in Boulder, CO where she teaches local classes and writes a blog that incorporates her love of Formula 1 car racing with yogic philosophy.
Learn more about Laura on her website.
Neil Pearson (MSc, BScPT, BA-BPHE, CYT, RYT-500) is an exceptional educator, a physical therapist and a certified yoga therapist. His presentations, which focus on the interplay of yoga and physiology, are entertaining, engaging, and informed by over 20 years of therapeutic practice. Neil spends most of his time working with people with chronic pain conditions, including providing small group therapeutic yoga classes, Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy, and yoga retreats for people with chronic pain. He is a Clinical Assistant Professor at the University of British Columbia and author of the pain-management education book Understand Pain, Live Well Again. Neil travels throughout Canada and internationally educating health care professionals and yoga teachers about modern pain science and pain self-management.
Neil will be teaching Yoga for Chronic Pain in this training program.
Shanti Shanti Kaur Khalsa
Shanti Shanti Kaur Khalsa, PhD is founder and director of the Guru Ram Das Center for Medicine & Humanology. A yoga instructor since 1971, she began to specialize in teaching Kundalini Yoga and Meditation to people with chronic or life threatening illness and their family members in 1986, under the direction of Yogi Bhajan. The Center provides direct client services and yogically based programs for people with diabetes, cancer, heart disease, chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, HIV, anxiety, depression and life transitions.
Dr. Khalsa is a RYT 500, a KRI Certified yoga teacher trainer and a charter member of the International Association of Yoga Therapists. She provides training to health professionals and yoga instructors on the application of yoga and meditation to the spiritual, psychological and behavioral aspects of getting and staying well.
Amy Weintraub (MFA, E-RYT-500) is the founder and director of the LifeForce Yoga Healing Institute. She is the author of the bestselling Yoga for Depression and the ground-breaking Yoga Skills for Therapists, and has been a pioneer in the field of yoga and mental health for over 20 years. The LifeForce Yoga Practitioner Training that she developed offers certification for health and yoga professionals, and she presents workshops for every day practitioners internationally. The LifeForce Yoga protocol is being used in residential treatment centers, hospitals and by health care providers worldwide. She is involved in ongoing research on the effects of yoga on mood, and has produced an award-winning library of evidence-based yoga and meditation CDs and DVDs for mood management.
Amy will be teaching Yoga for Depression in this training program.
Vijaya Stern, Ayurvedic Naturopath, CMT (Certiﬁed Massage Therapist) is a highly recognized teacher and practitioner of Ayurveda, who has served as a Board of Directors for the California Association of Ayurvedic Medicine (CAAM). Vijaya’s advancement in the art of Nadi Vijyanam (pulse diagnosis) draws an international clientele. She uses it to determine not only one’s Prakruti (mind/body type) but can assess the present state of imbalances in the tissue systems, organs and metabolic functions. Vijaya is able to detect a person’s life force, charisma and vitality and address any imbalances. The mind and hormones are also assessable through this ancient system of healing. Herbal compounds are formulated to assist in the alignment with one’s Self.
Vijaya has taught Ayurveda and PanchaKarma (ayurvedic rejuvenation) at several Yoga Studios, Massage Schools, the New England Institute of Ayurvedic Medicine and the Northwest Institute of Ayurveda. She has developed a curriculum and is currently writing a textbook for her 6 month Ayurvedic Certiﬁcation Program being taught at several yoga studios. Other areas of study include Integrative Breathwork, Sanskrit Chanting, Tantric Mysticism and several forms of Yoga.
Antonio Sausys MA, IGT, CMT, RYT is a somatic psychotherapist, yoga instructor and author specializing in one-on-one yoga therapy for people with chronic and acute medical conditions as well as emotional imbalance.
He studied with Yoga masters and teachers such as Indra Devi, Swami Shankaradevananda and Larry Payne and has continued his professional development with training in Integrative Grief Therapy with Lyn Prashant, Foot Reflexology, Swedish Therapeutic Massage and Reiki.
Antonio teaches and lectures periodically at U.C. Berkeley, California Institute of Integral Studies, Kripalu, is a member of the World Yoga Council, the International Association of Yoga Therapists, the Association for Death Education and Counseling, a TV Host for YogiViews and the founder and Executive Director of ‘Yoga for Health’ the International Yoga Therapy Conference