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Health Educator Training

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The SIHY Sivananda Yoga Health Educator Training faculty consists of a team of selfless, giving and highly-credentialed teachers, diversified in their fields of expertise and bringing many years of knowledge and experience to the program. (See Board of Directors below Faculty listings.)


Swami Sitaramananda

Director of the Sivananda Ashram Yoga Farm


Swami Sitaramananda is a senior disciple of Swami Vishnudevananda, who is a direct disciple of Swami Sivananda. She is presently acharya of US West Coast centers and ashrams, as well as Asia, especially Vietnam and China. She has been director of the Sivananda Ashram Yoga Farm for more than 20 years and has taught many international Teachers Training Courses in California, Vietnam, China, Taiwan and India and is also teaching regularly at Sivananda Ashram Yoga Retreat, Nassau Bahamas. She is the author of Positive Thinking Manual, Essentials of Yoga Practice and Philosophy (translated in Chinese, Japanese and Vietnamese) and Swamiji Said, a collection of teachings by Swami Vishnudevananda in His Own Words as well as two poem books. She is responsible for the Vietnamese translation of The Completed Illustrated Book of Yoga by Swami Vishnudevananda. Some of her audio lectures on Yoga Life, articles and webinar presentations can be found on this website.


Swami Jnaneswariananda


Swami Jnaneswariananda joined the Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centers in 1995 and has been director of centers and ashrams in Canada and Italy. She teaches Hatha Yoga, Meditation, Anatomy, and Vedanta at Teacher's Training Courses in North America, Italy and India. Swami Jnaneswariananda took vows of Sannyas in 2001. She is currently a senior teacher at the Sivananda Ashram Yoga Farm in Grass Valley, CA. She teaches with great enthusiasm and humor.


Swami Pranavananda


Swami Pranavananda took the vow of Sannyas in 1995. He is a gifted teacher who is the main hatha yoga teacher at the ashram and teaches the Anatomy and Physiology section of our Teachers Training Course. He co-directed the San Francisco Center for five years. A talented musician, he enjoys leading kirtan and bhajan chanting sessions during satsang.


Swami Narayanananda


Born in London, Swami Narayanananda is now based at the Sivananda Ashram Yoga Farm in Grass Valley, CA. He is a disciple of Swami Vishnudevananda and has been a senior teacher of the International Sivananda Yoga Vedanta organization for 17 years, teaching in countries such as India and Vietnam, and, most recently, in Chengdu, China. He has been director and teacher in the Sivananda Centers in Chicago and New York City. Swami Narayanananda teaches Yoga and Meditation and has trained teachers in Yoga Teacher Training and Advanced Yoga Teacher Training Courses internationally.


Swami Dharmananda


Swami Dharmananda is one of the main teachers of Hatha Yoga and Meditation at the Ashram. He took sannyas vows in 2013 and is assistant director of the Sivananda Ashram Yoga Farm. Swami Dharmananda is keenly interested in yoga psychology and philosophy, presenting the classical teaching in a practical and accessible way to people of all faiths and backgrounds.




Arun Deva


Arun Deva is a senior practitioner of Yoga and Ayurveda, living in Los Angeles for the past 40 years. Arun travels the world to teach, is faculty for yogic studies at Loyola Marymount University, writes articles for different publications and also runs his clinic for yoga and Ayurveda in West Hollywood. He currently chairs the National Association of Ayurvedic Medicine (NAMA) Committee for Ayurvedic Yoga Therapy (AYT). Arun has also presented for the Symposium on Yoga Therapy And Research (SYTAR) on the links between yoga and Ayurveda. www.yogarasayana.com/


Catherine O’Neil (Durga Leela)


Durga Leela is founder of Yoga of Recovery, a comprehensive program integrating Ayurveda and Yoga with recovery tools for a holistic mind, body and spirit approach for those affected by addiction and self-destructive behaviors. Yoga of Recovery is currently offered as workshops, retreats and certificate courses. Durga holds the RYT-500 qualification, having completed both the Sivananda Yoga Teachers Training Course and an Advanced Yoga Teachers 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 also in Kerala, India. She is Director of the Ayurveda Programs at the Sivananda Ashram Yoga Farm 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). www.yogaofrecovery.com/


Tara Durga Devi


Tara Durga Devi has been teaching yoga and meditation for 32 years and was co-founder and owner of The Yoga Center, an affiliated Sivananda Yoga center in Stockton, CA. She has been trained in Yoga Therapy and is a graduate of the Sivananda Yoga Teachers Training Course (TTC) and Advanced Yoga Teachers Training Course (ATTC). Tara Durga Devi is one of the rare yoga teachers trained by Swami Vishnudevananda, with whom she took TTC in 1976.


Dr. Marc Halpern


Dr. Marc Halpern (Dr. Siva) is founder and President of the California College of Ayurveda, the oldest school of Ayurvedic Medicine in the United States. He is a leader in the development of Ayurvedic Medicine in the United States. He is the initiator and co-founder of the National Ayurvedic Medical Association, the National Council on Ayurvedic Education and the California Association of Ayurvedic Medicine. He has written three textbooks on the principles and clinical practices of Ayurvedic Medicine used at colleges across the United States and the popular book, Healing Your Life; Lessons on the Path of Ayurveda. He is also author of the #1 best-selling Meditation CD in the United States: Yoga Nidra and Self Healing. Marc Halpern was originally a Doctor of Chiropractic Medicine and post-graduate specialist in Holistic Medicine. He began his studies of Ayurveda in 1991 with Dr. David Frawley and went on to study Ayurvedic Medicine with Dr. Subhash Ranade in 1993. He is also a teacher of Yoga in the Sivananda Yoga lineage. www.ayurvedacollege.com/


Stacie Dooreck


Stacie Dooreck (Saraswati) is creator of the Sunlight Chair Yoga: Yoga for Everyone book and teacher traninings. A Sivananda Yoga instructor since 1995, she is also certified in Gentle, Integral, Kundalini, and prenatal yoga. She leads the Chair Yoga Teacher Trainings at Sivananda ashrams in the US and Bahamas. She also teaches at companies, senior homes, libraries, and community expos. In 2011, Stacie was featured on CBS Ch. 4 Miami News Healthwatch teaching "Yoga for Seniors" and on KQED/NPR radio in 2013. www.sunlightchairyoga.com


Neil D. Pearson


Neil Pearson—PT, MSc(RHBS), BA-BPHE, ERYT500, CYT, registered physiotherapist practicing since 1985—has specialized for the past 15 years in pain science and pain management. Clinical Assistant Professor at the University of British Columbia and a highly-regarded educator, he received the Excellence in Inter-professional Pain Education award from the Canadian Pain Society in 2012, and the Excellence in Clinical Contribution from the Physiotherapy Association of British Columbia in 2011. Paul is faculty member in five yoga therapy training programs in Canada and the US, and an invited speaker at yoga and yoga therapy conferences. He is developer and key presenter of the Pain Care Yoga program. www.lifeisnow.ca


Nora Benian (Sundari)


Nora Benian (Sundari) E-RYT 500, is a Yoga therapist, professional counselor and Thai Yoga Massage practitioner and has a diploma in Homeopathy. Nora teaches yoga workshops and teacher trainings across the continent and in the Caribbean, specializing in Restorative, Yin, Therapeutic and Hatha Yoga. The lectures, classes and courses she offers provide the foundations, theory and practicum necessary for her students to teach these styles of yoga to their students confidently. Her knowledge and experience in yoga is extensive; she communicates information with ease—inspiring students and teachers to keep learning and sharing the wisdom found in yoga. www.norabenian.com


Steven Weiss


Steven Weiss, MS, DC, RYT, is a holistic chiropractor and nutritionist, yoga therapist and yoga teacher. Dr. Weiss teaches anatomy, alignment principles, yoga therapeutics and nutrition for yoga teacher trainings in the United States and around the world. Steven has been a faculty member for 20 years at the Omega Institute for Holistic Studies in Rhinebeck, NY where he presented yoga-based workshops and served as the resident chiropractor and nutritionist. He continues to teach at the Omega Institute as visiting yoga instructor and is currently post-graduate faculty with New York Chiropractic College, presenting ChiroYoga Seminars. Dr. Weiss practices yoga therapy and teaches in Sarasota, Florida. He has developed the Integrative Alignment Yoga Therapy system, an alignment-based bodywork that combines yoga therapy with hands-on structural protocols that can be utilized by yoga teachers and therapists. Steven is author of the new and popular yoga text, The Injury-Free Yoga Practice, a comprehensive guide to alignment, anatomy and the prevention of yoga injuries. www.alignbydesignyoga.com


Dr. Fred Luskin


Dr. Luskin holds a Ph.D. in Counseling and Health Psychology from Stanford University. He is Co-Director of the Stanford-Northern Ireland HOPE Project, an ongoing series of workshops and research projects that investigate the effectiveness of his forgiveness methods on the victims of political violence. He served as Director of the Stanford Forgiveness Project, the largest research project to date on the training and measurement of a forgiveness intervention. He currently works as a Senior Fellow at the Stanford Center on Conflict and Negotiation. www.learningtoforgive.com




Paul Epstein, ND


Paul Epstein, ND, graduated from the National College of Naturopathic Medicine, and has been a pioneer and leading voice in mind-body integrative medicine for more than 30 years. It is his fervent belief that authentic healing occurs only when the whole person—mind, body, and spirit—is engaged in the healing process. He maintains a private practice in Westport, Connecticut, and travels extensively, lecturing and leading workshops, seminars, and retreats worldwide. He also trains health practitioners seeking to integrate mind-body methodology into their therapeutic work. He is author of the book Happiness Through Meditation, plus many articles on mindfulness and integrative medicine. www.drpaulepstein.com