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.)
Director of the Sivananda Ashram Yoga Farm
SPIRITUAL COUNSELING, YOGA PSYCHOLOGY & THE VEDIC SCIENCES
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.
ANATOMY & PHYSIOLOGY
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.
YOGA & STRESS RESILIENCE
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.
Suprabha Jain, MD
HEALTH CARE/DISEASE MANAGEMENT
Dr Jain was born and brought up in the Land of Yoga, Ayurveda and Spirituality—India. She grew up in a family of engineers, medical doctors, and scientists. For many years she was recognized as one of the finest yoga students and learned in-depth science of yoga while getting her formal school education. During her high school years, she became her State and All-India Yoga Champion for three consecutive years. Her medical school training was done in the beautiful cities of Ajmer and Jaipur, India. She runs Mt Diablo Integrated Medical & Wellness Center in Walnut Creek, California. www.mdiwellness.com
FIVE LAYERS OF HEALING
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/
Mary Thompson, C.A.S., P.K.S., (Ayurvedacharya), is a graduate of the California College of Ayurveda and senior teacher with certifications as a Clinical Ayurvedic Specialist and Pancha Karma Specialist. Mary is a graduate of the first graduating class of the College in 1997. In 2008 she received the Charaka Award for Excellence in Ayurvedic Teaching and was given the title "Ayurvedacharya" (respected teacher of Ayurveda) by Dr. Halpern. She has been an invited speaker at several Ayurvedic conferences and is a founding member and former Secretary of the California Association of Ayurvedic Medicine. She is also the founder and Executive Director of the non-profit organization, Everyday Ayurveda.
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
Catherine O’Neil (Durga Leela)
AYURVEDA FOUNDATIONS & YOGA OF RECOVERY
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
Sandhya Dharmadas, PT, DPT, OCS
THERAPEUTIC AND ADAPTED YOGA
Sandhya Dharmadas has a Doctorate in Physical Therapy and board certification in Orthopaedics, with advanced training in pelvic floor rehabilitation and residency training in Orthopaedics. She completed fellowship training in Manual & Movement Sciences. In her private practice, she specializes in rehabilitation of patients with pelvic floor and orthopaedic conditions, including long-standing postural dysfunction and chronic pain. She believes that collaborative care is in the best interest of her patients and provides the best results. www.resonancephysicaltherapy.com
Jivana Heyman is the founder of Accessible Yoga, co-owner of the Santa Barbara Yoga Center, manager of the Integral Yoga Institute of San Francisco, California, and an Integral Yoga Minister. With over twenty years of training and teaching in a traditional yoga lineage, Jivana has specialized in teaching the subtle practices of yoga: pranayama, meditation, as well as sharing yoga philosophy. His passion is making Yoga accessible to everyone. www.accessibleyoga.org
Nora Benian (Sundari)
RESTORATIVE AND GENTLE MOVEMENT TRAINING
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
Stacie Dooreck (Saraswati)
Stacie Dooreck (Saraswati) is a Certified Sivananda Yoga Instructor (since 1995); Gentle Integral Yoga, Kundalini Yoga and Prenatal Certified Yoga Instructor; and author of SunLight Chair Yoga: yoga for everyone! books and DVD. Saraswati has been teaching Chair Yoga teacher trainings at Sivananda Yoga ashrams annually in California and the Bahamas, plus the Los Angeles Center. She has been creating programs for and teaching chair yoga and yoga at assisted living homes, hopsitals, companies and more since 1995. www.sunlightyoga.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.
Nima Fayazmanesh, MD, MS
DEPRESSION & PTSD
Dr. Fayazmanesh is Staff Physician in the Psychiatry Division of the Veterans Affairs Long Beach Medical Center in Long Beach, California. His doctorate is from UCSF. He was involved in a clinical trial on treating major depression with Yoga. He is well-versed in Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy for depression. He trained in mindfulness-based stress reduction and is a VA CALM Self-Compassion Facilitator, as well as Mindfulness Facilitator. He is a 2008 graduate of the Sivananda Yoga Teachers Training Course (TTC).
Sarahjoy Marsh holds an MA in Transpersonal Counseling and Expressive Art Therapy. She is founder/director of DAYA Foundation (delivering accessible yoga alternatives). She works with correctional officers with PTSD, anxiety, depression, addiction and chronic health conditions. She works with middle and high school students with social anxiety, sensory-motor integration issues and learning challenges. She also adapts yoga for Parkinson's Disease, MS and eating disorders and teaches Yoga and Yoga Therapy Teacher Trainings.