Sharon Salzberg is cofounder of the Insight Meditation Society (IMS) in Barre, Massachusetts. She has been a student of meditation since 1971, guiding meditation retreats worldwide since 1974. Sharon’s latest book is the New York Times Best Seller, Real Happiness: The Power of Meditation: A 28-Day Program, published by Workman Publishing. She is a regular contributor to The Huffington Post and is also the author of several other books including The Force of Kindness (2005), Faith: Trusting Your Own Deepest Experience (2002), and Lovingkindness: The Revolutionary Art of Happiness (1995).
Bessel Van der Kolk
Bessel van der Kolk, MD, is a clinical psychiatrist whose work attempts to integrate mind, brain, body, and social connections to understand and treat trauma. His research ranges from the impact of trauma on development and brain imaging, to the use of yoga, neurofeedback, EMDR, and theater in PTSD. He is a professor of psychiatry at Boston University School of Medicine, medical director of the Trauma Center in Boston, and director of the Complex Trauma Treatment Network, NCTSN. He is past president of the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies and has taught at universities and hospitals throughout the world. He is the author of over a hundred scientific articles, of Psychological Trauma and co-editor of Traumatic Stress.
Beryl Bender Birch
Beryl Bender Birch graduated from Syracuse University with a degree in English and Philosophy. She has been an avid student of classical yoga and the study of consciousness since l971 and her work merges the traditions of Raja Yoga, Vedanta, Buddhism, and Jainism. She is the author of three bestselling books, Power Yoga, Beyond Power Yoga, and Boomer Yoga and through her school, The Hard & The Soft Yoga Institute, she has been training yoga students and teachers as “spiritual revolutionaries” for the past 35 years. She is also the founder and director of the Give Back Yoga Foundation.
Kelly McGonigal, PhD, is a founding member of the Yoga Service Council and an advisor to many nonprofit organizations bringing yoga and meditation to at-risk and underserved populations, including Yoga Bear (yoga for cancer survivors) and The Art of Yoga Project (yoga for at-risk teen girls). She is the editor in chief of the International Journal of Yoga Therapy and the author of Yoga for Pain Relief (New Harbinger 2009), The Willpower Instinct (Penguin 2012), and the audio series The Neuroscience of Change (Sounds True 2012). She teachers psychology, yoga, and meditation at Stanford University.
ROXANNE “NIKKI” MYERS is an E-RYT500 Yoga Teacher and Somatic Experiencing Practitioner. She is also the co-owner of CITYOGA School of Yoga and Health. Nikki is an accomplished yoga therapist, teacher and practitioner on the path of Yoga. Nikki’s study led her to The American Viniyoga Institute, under the leadership of Gary Kraftsow, where she received certification as a Viniyoga Teacher and Yoga Therapist. She has completed her second year of study in Somatic Experiencing, the distinguished trauma healing methodology developed by Dr. Peter Levine. She regularly assists and co-teaches with international yoga teacher Seane Corn at workshops and conferences across the U.S. Her extensive travels have lead her to joyous work/study in Africa, Cambodia, India, Thailand and more. Born out of her personal struggles with addiction, Nikki is a cofounder of Y12SR, the acclaimed Yoga of 12-Step Recovery program featured in the New York Times and Yoga Journal. She is quick to tell the world, ‘The 12-step program and Yoga saved my life – one is my lifeboat, the other my launching pad’.
Bidyut ‘B.K.’ Bose is the founder and Executive Director of Niroga Institute. Bidyut earned his Ph.D. in Computer Science from University of California, Berkeley and spent many years in research and development in Silicon Valley. He has multiple patents to his credit, and has presented at international conferences and at universities around the world. Having learned yoga and meditation from his father since he was a child, and later with monks in the Himalayas, he longed for greater integration of his personal and professional life. Inspired since childhood by the twin ideals of self-realization and selfless service, he founded Niroga Institute in 2005, and his research interests have now shifted to the scientific application of TLS and developing cost-effective architectures for lasting social transformation.
Claire Campbell PCC-S, ATR, NCC is an artist, supervising clinical counselor, art therapist and Nationally Certified Counselor who uses the expressive arts, movement, breath work, guided imagery, yoga & sensory integration to guide her clinical practice. Claire has presented workshops nationally on trauma informed treatment, compassion fatigue and art based approaches to wellness. Her expertise and passion lies in supporting wellness in the workplace and creating sustainable treatment and wellness practices. Claire is owner & founder of SerendipityCleveland, a multi-use, private practice space that centers its work on growth, creativity & potential and is a trauma therapist and wellness advocate for the Cleveland Rape Crisis Center.
Jasmine is the Founder of Yoga Activist, a nonprofit outreach organization dedicated to improving accessibility and trauma sensitivity in yoga and mindfulness instruction. She has trained with teachers from a wide variety of yoga traditions (Dharma, Power, Vinyasa, Kundalini, and Sivananda) and taught students of diverse backgrounds (from homeless shelter residents to White House staff). In her role as a yoga educator, Jasmine serves on the Faculty at George Washington University, advising yoga teachers in training. She also directs the yoga teacher training programs at the Washington DC-based yoga studio collective she founded, Yoga District. Jasmine believes yoga instructors have a responsibility to adapt their classes with sensitivity to individual student needs, while also dealing with the realities of group instruction and honoring the integrity of their yoga tradition. As an advisor in continuing education yoga programs, to yoga teacher trainees, and to experienced yoga teachers, it’s Jasmine’s goal to skillfully share yoga’s teachings and assist other instructors in doing the same.
Andres Gonzalez, MBA, is a certified yoga instructor. He is the Co-Founder and Chief Financial Officer for the Holistic Life Foundation, Inc. that is located in Baltimore, MD since December of 2001. He is also cofounder and Co-CEO of For the People Entertainment, LLC. that was created in 2004. Andres has been practicing and teaching yoga for the past ten years to a diverse population, including Baltimore City Public School students, drug treatment centers, wellness centers, colleges, and other various venues. For the past two years he has partnered with John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Health and the Penn State’s Prevention Research Center on a Stress and Relaxation Study and is the co-author of a high school physical education curriculum based on yoga principles. In addition to the yoga and mindfulness teachings and research, he also takes part in multiple environmental initiatives throughout Baltimore City and the surrounding area.
Jennifer Cohen Harper
Jennifer Cohen Harper is a leading voice in the children’s yoga community and dedicated to making yoga and mindfulness practices accessible to all children regardless of circumstance. She is the founder and director of Little Flower Yoga. Based in NY, Little Flower directly serves over 700 children per week in NYC schools, and reaches many more through staff development, school consultations, and a world wide network of trained teachers. Jennifer leads the well respected Little Flower Yoga Teacher Training for Children program and frequently collaborates with other organizations to bring yoga for children to places as diverse as tent cities in Port-au-Prince and FAO Schwarz in Manhattan. Jenn is a founding member of the Yoga Service Council, and an active member of the International Association of Yoga Therapists and the Association for School Yoga and Mindfulness. Children love Jenn’s willingness to engage in mutual silliness, while also appreciating the genuine respect that she has for her students of all ages.
Sue Jones, Founder and Executive Director of yogaHope has practiced yoga for over 14 years and is a leading voice in the subject of mind body practices for self regulation and personal empowerment. For the last six years Sue has trained, inspired and lead hundreds of volunteer yoga teachers who have donated their time in substance abuse rehabilitation centers, domestic abuse safe houses and homeless shelters for women. She dedicates much of her time to researching the effects of yoga and mindfulness practices on survivors of trauma and those suffering from traumatic stress response. Sue’s life and work have been profiled in Yoga Journal, The New York Times, Shape Magazine, Body + Soul Magazine, Martha Stewart Whole Living Magazine, CNN Headline News.
Lucia McBee, LCSW, MPH, CYI is a licensed clinical geriatric social worker who has worked with elders and their caregivers for 30 years. For the past 15 years she has integrated mindfulness, gentle movement, aromatherapy, hand massage, guided imagery and other complementary therapies into her practice with frail elders in the nursing home and those who are homebound; elders with cognitive and physical challenges; patients at the end of life; and their formal and informal caregivers. Her work has been published in peer-reviewed journals and presented at national and international conferences. Mindfulness-based Elder Care, her book for elders and caregivers, was published in 2008.
Tari Prinster — a 12 year cancer survivor and yoga teacher — will describe why teaching yoga to cancer patients and survivors requires specialized training. Her methodology – y4c – was born from her own personal cancer journey, her weekly yoga classes for patients and survivors over the past decade, and development of the y4c – teacher training program. Her innovative program has created a growing, worldwide community of 500 yoga teachers, which you can join. Tari is the founder of y4c and the Retreat Project (non-profit). Previously, she was Director and Principle Teacher of OM Yoga Women Cancer Survivors Program, NYC. She is a regular presenter at Yoga Journal Conferences and was featured in the film YOGAWOMAN, released in 2011. Tari’s mantra is: “Cancer steals your breath away. Yoga gives it back.”TM
Jill Satterfield is a leading yoga and meditation teacher, educator and mind/body counselor She is the founder of Vajra Yoga & Meditation, a synthesis of yoga and Buddhism that combines meditation, yoga, visualization and contemplation practices. She is also the Founder and Director of the School for Compassionate Action: Meditation, Yoga and Education for Communities in Need and Those Who Serve Them – a non profit based in New York City that trains teachers and works directly with specific populations – providing yoga, yoga therapy, and meditation to at-risk youth, people with chronic pain and illnesses, PTSD, and addictions. Jill is on the founding faculty of Spirit Rock Meditation Center’s Mindfulness Meditation for Yoga Teacher Training. She was the scholar and teacher in residence at the Kripalu Center in 2004. She has been teaching for 30 years.
Founder and Director of the Give Back Yoga Foundation, Rob Schware has been studying yoga since 1993 with Beryl Bender Birch, Thom Birch, David Ingalls, and Suzie Hurley. A retired World Bank official, he managed the largest IT for development projects in every region of the world for 23 years while teaching yoga to colleagues. In his own practice Rob began to deepen his understanding of the yogic concept of service; eventually he and Beryl wanted to help teachers develop and implement service projects to share the gift of yoga with underserved communities. Rob’s a former fellow at the Council of Foreign Relations and former member of the board of directors of the Washington Waldorf School.
Ali Smith is a native of Baltimore, Maryland and graduate of the University of Maryland, College Park, receiving a BS in Environmental Science and Policy. He is a certified yoga instructor and co-founded the Holistic Life Foundation (HLF) in 2001, where he serves as Executive Director. Learning yoga and meditation from his parents as a child, he has over 10 years of experience teaching yoga and mindfulness to diverse populations. Through his work with HLF he has been a part of a federally funded study on the effectiveness of yoga and mindfulness on urban youth, and helped develop and pilot yoga and mindfulness programs with at-risk youth, at drug treatment centers, colleges, alternative high schools, mental crisis facilities, as well as a yoga/mindfulness instructor training program. Ali has authored a series of children’s books, and co-authored two yoga and mindfulness based curriculums, as well as numerous workshops and trainings.
Atman Smith is a native of Baltimore, Maryland. He attended Friends School of Baltimore for twelve years, but graduated from Paul Laurence Dunbar Senior High School of Baltimore. He went on to attend and was a letter award winner for the Men’s basketball team at the University of Maryland, College Park. He graduated with a BA in Criminology and Criminal Justice. Atman is a co-founder of the Holistic Life Foundation, where he currently serves as the Director of Programming. He is also co-founder and Co-CEO of For the People Entertainment. His parents were yogis and he has taught contemplative practices for the past ten years to a diverse population, including Baltimore City Public School students, drug treatment centers, wellness centers, and colleges.