Essential Yoga Therapy Faculty

Your Essential Yoga Therapy instructors each bring a complex combination of academic training and experience from specific health-care fields in addition to their knowledge of therapeutic yoga. The collaboration of these yoga therapists ensures you will receive a uniquely rich exposure to the various applications of yoga therapy in the areas of physical, physiologic and emotional health. With their guidance you will enter the field confident of your scope of practice and empowered to network with health professionals from both Western and complementary medical traditions.

Robin Rothenberg, C-IAYT, EYT Program Director

As Program Director for the E.Y.T. Therapist Training, Robin is responsible for teaching the theory and application of yoga therapy and ensuring the overall structure of the program is streamlined. Robin has a unique gift for creating, safe, challenging and rich educational trainings through which students and teachers deepen into greater awareness of themselves.

Robin has been training yoga teachers for the last eighteen years as head of an RYS 500 and founded the EYT Therapist Training in 2013. She serves as lead teacher for Foundations, teaching the primary content for all the modules. In Applications, she serves as the weaver, returning students to the basic philosophical precepts of yoga as adjunct faculty introduce western scientific and ayurvedic modalities.

 Please click here for Robin’s full bio.

Dr. Jill Massengill, D.C., C-IAYT, Assistant Program Director

Dr. Jill is a C-IAYT, trained by Essential Yoga Therapy since 1999. She studied extensively with Robin Rothenberg and has taught the Anatomy and Physiology portions of EYT for over 15 years. As a chiropractor, Jill brings a rich array of tools and understanding about how to support clients in health through diet, positional release and movement therapy. She weaves her extensive knowledge into the didactic and experiential processes she leads with the EYT students. As a yoga teacher and chiropractor, Jill brings a keen awareness and understanding of body balance to her teaching. combining the work of: Thomas Myers, Anatomy Trains; Dr. James Chestnut, The Wellness Practice; and Shirley Sahrmann, P.T., Movement Impairment Syndrome. Her unique and diversified approach emphasizes applied anatomy and the way interconnected pathways in the body relate to one another. Jill will facilitate EYT students in developing an in-depth understanding of functional anatomy, the physiologic systems and pathology from a functional medicine perspective. She leads students in explorative processes to understand how and why movement effects the nervous system, and discovering how to stimulate brain function through movement and healthy living through diet and nutrition.

Jill is also trained as a Buteyko Breathing Educator and offers therapeutic yoga at her place of business, Park St. Healing Arts Center. As a business woman, Jill has worked hard to develop marketing and networking skills. She offers great tips for how to develop relationships with other medical professionals and cultivate a clientele network.


Faculty


Claudia Cardin-Kleffner, C-IAYT, OT

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As a graduate of the EYT11 cohort, Claudia is a primary mentor for the Applications portion of the program. Additionally, she will be teaching ergonomics and how to work with people living with cancer, based on her extensive clinical experience in both these areas. 

Claudia Cardin-Kleffner is the owner of Moving From Within Yoga, a yoga therapist and a yoga teacher for the past 14 years. She teaches using a therapeutically based approach and her work is informed from her years of working as an Occupational Therapist in diverse medical settings and with a wide variety of people with chronic health conditions. Recently retired from Occupational Therapy, she is now devoted to her yoga therapy practice teaching therapeutic classes as well as seeing private clients.She has been trained by Robin Rothenberg in Yoga for the Low Back and offers that specific class as well as series classes for specific diagnosis or health conditions: Osteoporosis, Multiple Sclerosis, Chronic Fatigue, and Chronic Pain. She has also co-taught: Yoga for Knitters with one of her associates from Yoga Therapy training. She has a special love of yoga nidra and its benefits and offers it monthly. Her most rewarding work is with special populations using the principles of therapeutic yoga. For the past 10 years, she has worked for Cancer Action, a local non-profit organizations, teaching people in various stages of recovery as well as forms of cancer.

She worked with Dr. LeMaster from The University of Kansas Medical Center to compete a pilot study which was accepted and presented at Symposium of Yoga Research on: Trauma Informed Yoga for Bhutanese Refugees. Claudia resides in Overland Park, Kansas with her husband. She has 3 daughters and 2 grandchildren.


Dr. Lynn Hughes, Board Certified Psychiatrist, D.O., RYT-500 in Viniyoga

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Lynn will be offering webinars specifically created for the EYT curriculum addressing various aspects of neuro-anatomy and psychological modalities that facilitate students’ ability to weave eastern with western orientations.  These lectures are an integral part of EYT's unique orientation towards psycho-emotional health.  Webinar topics:  Brain Anatomy; Emotional Primes; Emotional Styles and Memory.  

Dr. Lynn Hughes worked for 30 years as a board certified psychiatrist providing clinical care in both in-patient and out-patient facilities. Lynn was an Associate Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at Michigan State University for 12 years and an Assistant Professor in the year prior to her family relocating to Washington. In 2003, she trained in Robin Rothenberg’s 500 hour yoga teacher training program and from 2004-2012 she taught yoga specifically targeting seniors, mood disorders, anxiety, stress, chronic pain and PTSD. She was a founding faculty member for the EYT Therapist Training, dedicated to integrating the modern advances in medicine and psychological understanding with wisdom traditions that have much to teach us about the human condition.


Dr. B Grace Bullock

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Dr B Grace Bullock is a psychologist, research scientist, educator, science writer, yoga and mindfulness expert and author of the acclaimed book, Mindful Relationships: Seven Skills for Success - Integrating the Science of Mind, Body and Brain (Handspring, 2016). Her mission is to increase individual and organizational health and well-being and improve the quality of relationships through the integration of evidence-based psychological and yogic principles. She offers classes, workshops, writing and research that combine the wisdom of applied neuroscience, psychophysiology, psychology, interpersonal neurobiology, and contemplative science and practice to empower individuals, groups, leaders and organizations to increase stress resilience, strengthen relationships, release dysfunctional patterns and unlock new and healthy ways of being. Dr. Bullock is the Founding Director and CEO of the International Science & Education Alliance, a consulting organization devoted to exceptional research, program evaluation, assessment design, strategic planning and capacity building to support equity, programmatic diversity and scientific integrity, and promote effective leadership, decision-making and social change. Dr. Bullock is a Certified Viniyoga Therapist, Contributing Editor for Science and Research at YogaU Online, and frequent contributor/science writer at Mindul.org and Yoga International. She is an Associate Scientist at the Oregon Research Institute, Adjunct Professor at the Van Loan School at Endicott College in Beverly Massachusetts, former Senior Research Scientist at the Mind & Life Institute, and former Editor-in-Chief of the International Journal of Yoga Therapy

For more information see www.bgracebullock.com.


Dhaval Dhru, MD

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Dr. Dhru will be providing the fundamentals of Ayurvedic Physiology for Applications, Module 3.

Dhaval Dhru is chair of the Department of Ayurvedic Sciences in the School of Traditional World Medicines. He is also a practitioner of ayurvedic medicine and a yoga teacher at Three Trees Yoga and Healing Arts in Federal Way, Washington.      He trained at Medical College Baroda, M.S. University of Baroda, India, did his Residency in Otolaryngology at Queen’s University and Kingston General Hospital, Kingston, Ontario, Canada, 1974-1977. He completed his ayurvedic studies (ASP levels 1 and 2) at at Ayurvedic Institute, 2005. Since then he teaches Ayurvedic sciences: Fundamentals of Ayurveda, Ayurvedic Clinical assessments, Ayurvedic yoga therapy, Medical Sanskrit. Dr. Dhru previously practiced as an ear-nose-throat surgeon in private practice and at Group Health Cooperative of Puget Sound. He is a board member of the National Ayurvedic Medical Association and a faculty member at the Harmony Hill retreat center for cancer survivors.


Taran Collis C-IAYT, AWC, RYT

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Taran will be bring an embodied and accessible approach to Ayurveda for the Applications portion of the program, offering practical ayurvedic strategies within the yoga therapy context.

Taran is a Certified Yoga Therapist from the International Alliance of Yoga Therapy, Ayurveda Wellness Counselor, and Capacitor International Trainer. Taran has been teaching yoga since 2006 as well as Ayurveda workshops and retreats for over 10 years.. Taran emphasizes practical Ayurvedic principals as part of a holistic approach to self-healing and supports teachers to implement these ancient practices into their therapeutic prescription for students. Taran's knowledge of Ayurveda combined with Yoga Therapy allows each individual to experience ones interconnection with Mother Nature and honor that same innate wisdom within oneself. Whether for a private consultation, workshop or retreat; Taran creates a safe and sacred space to deepen into ones personal yoga journey.



Ken Kraybill, MSW

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Ken will be teaching Motivational Interviewing in Applications, Module 1 and 2.

Ken Kraybill has worked in health, behavioral health, homelessness, and housing for more than 30 years. As the Director of Training for t3, he develops curricula and provides training nationally in best practices including Motivational Interviewing, outreach and engagement, Housing First, trauma-informed care, and renewal for care providers. He is also a member of the international Motivational Interviewing Network of Trainers (MINT).

MI is a means to support students in understanding how to elicit authentic dialogue with clients in order to implement change in their lives. The whole process of MI is a decision aid for clients deciding whether or not to change a behavior. The orientation taken with MI is that the therapist’s job is to bring out the scales and help the client weigh the pros and cons of changing and ensuring that weights placed on the side of change get an open, honest, “fair” hearing. MI offers therapeutic skills around these areas and is very congruent with the teachings of yoga:

Develop discrepancy

Express empathy

Amplify ambivalence

Roll with resistance

Support self-efficacy (Braastad, n.d.)


Nikki Meyers, C-IAYT

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Nikki will be running a 2-day immersion in understanding and working with Addictions from a yoga therapy perspective in Module 4 of Applications. .

Nikki Myers is the founder and director of Yoga of 12-Step Recovery (Y12SR), a program she developed in 2004. She is an accomplished yoga therapist, teacher and somatic experiencing practitioner. Nikki is also the founder of CITYOGA School of Yoga and Health Indianapolis, IN. Nikki is a graduate of the American Viniyoga Institute and teacher her revery program all around the country. She has been featured in multiple publications, presented at Harvard Integrative Medical Symposium and has received wide acclaim her powerful cutting edge approach to working with addictions.


Anita Boser, Hellerworker, RYT500.

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Anita teaches Introduction to Fascia in Foundations for EYT and many of her modalities and undulation principles are formative to our work.

Anita graduated from The Institute of Structural Medicine in August 2001, where she studied with leading Hellerwork practitioners. She has completed over 650 hours of continuing education (see curriculum vitae below for details). She became a Board Certified Structural IntegratorCM in 2015. Anita also completed a 500-hour yoga teacher training with Robin Rothenberg and is a Registered Yoga Teacher at the 500 hour level. She has participated in planning the Fascia Research Congress and recently joined the Board of Directors of the Ida P. Rolf Research Foundation. Her past professional involvements include serving as the President of the American Hellerwork Structural Integration Association, the Chair of the Certification Board for Structural IntegrationSM, and editor of the International Association of Structural Integrators® Yearbook of Structural Integration.

In 2007, Anita wrote and self-published Relieve Stiffness and Feel Young with Undulation. The book included 52 therapeutic exercises that Undulation workshop, relieve back painshe created for her clients, with the idea that they would do an exercise a week. She presented workshops across the United States and in Canada and wrote articles for many publications. In 2016, she released a second edition, Undulation: Relieve Stiffness and Feel Young, which includes the same exercises, but organized them into sections so readers can find the ones that would help them most.


Bill Dean, MD

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Dr. Dean will be teaching The Urinary and Reproductive systems and offering ayurvedic strategies for working with physiologic conditions for the EYT program.

Dr Bill Dean is a physician/surgeon who retired from his private practice of urology in 2011 His current interest is to marry the currently practiced matter science medical discipline with the more contemporary energy science medical discipline He is also engaged in speaking about the model of healing that he is espousing. He was trained in the allopathic medical tradition graduating from the University of Nebraska but in the last 20 years has actively integrated the energy science of Ayurveda into his practice. This integration presented many opportunities to enhance what he could offer his patients in terms of medical advice and care It also began opening up a dialogue with the patients he cares for about prevention of disease Currently, he does online consulting for those interested in looking at health in a new way as well as managing those with IBS, IC, vulvodynia, fibromylagia, and chronic prostatitis He also is teaching Ayurveda as a healing discipline at Bastyr University in Seattle

Recently he finished a two year energy science fellowship at the widely respected Ayurvedic Institute in Albuquerque NM. Dr. Dean’s first book, Foods Heal: Why Certain Foods Help YOU Feel Your Best, explains Ayurveda as an energy science. In 2014 he released his second book IC Bladder Pain Syndrome: The Alternative Medical Treatment for Interstitial Cystitis on the clinical use of the energy science in managing interstitial cystitis, a condition that the allopathic tradition has no solutions for management.


Kelly Rush, RYT500, AWC (Ayurvedic Wellness Counselor)

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Kelly Rush is the founder of Two Rivers Yoga & Massage, Senior Mentor Yoga Teacher, E-RYT 500, RPYT, Ayurvedic Counselor and Wellness Practitioner   

Kelly will be teaching Introduction to Ayurveda for Foundations, Module 3.

She is passionate about helping others discover their own unique gifts and supporting them in believing in themselves so they can live their best life on this wild ride!  She has studied and taught Yoga and Ayurveda for more than 25 years and feels blessed by their immeasurable gifts every sacred day and  humbled to be able to share them with her community! Kelly respectfully acknowledges the teachers who have influenced her with great respect and gratitude: Dr. Jayarajan Kodikannath, Ana T. Forrest, Robin Rothenberg, Shiva Rea, Colette Crawford, and her Two Rivers family and tribe. In addition to being a dedicated yogini, Kelly is also a Wife, Mother, Grammy, Sister, Dreamer, Cancer Dancer & Thrivor, Flower Child, Chicken wrangler, Bear hugger, animal and nature lover.

EYT Therapist Training Mentors


Summer Cushman, M.Div

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Summer Cushman, M.Div. is an artist, minister, and yoga therapist. She believes that authentic yoga practice has the power to change everything. She has personally experienced the transformative and healing power of regular personal practice and has witnessed it in the lives of her students, which she considers a great gift.

A perpetual student herself, Summer has spent the last two decades following her curiosity. She earned her Bachelor of Arts in printmaking and art history from Whitworth College in Spokane, Washington. She earned her Master of Divinity degree with an emphasis in spirituality from Earlham School of Religion (a Quaker seminary) in Richmond, Indiana. She received foundational training in yoga and her 200hr certification from CITYOGA School of Yoga and Health in Indianapolis under the direction of Nikki Myers and Marsha Pappas. She then received advanced training and certification as a 500hr Viniyoga Teacher under the direction of Gary Kraftsow at the American Viniyoga Institute in California. Currently, Summer is working toward her yoga therapy certification under the direction of Robin Rothenberg of Essential Yoga Therapy in Washington State.

Summer is thrilled to be joining the EYT faculty as a Teacher Trainer. It’s work to which she feels deeply called. Her own experiences in teacher training were life changing and she looks forward to helping create such experiences for her trainees. She is excited to come alongside teachers with support, guidance, and mentorship as they deepen their personal practice, expand their knowledge of yoga, and grow their abilities as teachers.

Summer has been teaching yoga full time since 2010. She has led retreats and workshops throughout the country on such topics as spirituality, creativity, and embodiment. Summer opened and ran a successful yoga studio in Indiana for 3 years where she managed 5 other teachers, taught group classes, offered special workshops, saw students privately, and offered spiritual direction. She designed a yoga philosophy course based on the first two chapters of the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, which she’s taught several times and is turning into an online course. Currently, Summer offers both meditative and therapeutic yoga classes in Whatcom County and sees clients one-on-one for yoga therapy, private yoga teaching, and spiritual direction.

A northwest native, she is happy to have settled back in her home state and looks forward to exploring yoga and spirit with you here in the beautiful Pacific Northwest. Please visit www.summercushman.com for more information.


Aggie Stewart, C-IAYT

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Aggie is part of the EYT Mentorship team for Applications, and will also be teaching Research Literacy and sharing developmental ideas about working with Yoga Nidra as a therapeutic tool.

Aggie is a certified yoga therapist and accredited Buteyko Breathing Method (BBM) provider. Her principle teachers in yoga and yoga therapy include Gary Kraftsow, Robin Rothenberg, and Dr. Richard Miller. Aggie studied BBM with Robin Rothenberg and internationally acclaimed BBM provider and educator Patrick McKeown. She has presented on her yoga therapy work with people who have rheumatoid arthritis at IAYT’s SYTAR conference and published a paper on that work in the International Journal of Yoga Therapy. She has also presented on the BBM at the Integrative Medicine for the Under Served conference. Aggie specializes in the therapeutic application of breathing practices and yoga therapy for musculoskeletal conditions, autoimmunity, arthritis, chronic pain, anxiety, and depression. She is particularly interested in yoga therapy’s efficacy for addressing the effects of trauma on autoimmune conditions. A writer and writing teacher, she also teaches the yoga of writing for improving health and academic success. Aggie is currently writing a book on yoga as a self-care practice for healthcare practitioners to support resilience, empathy, and compassion, which is expected to be published in late 2018.


Carol Klammer, C-IAYT

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Carol will be joining the EYT faculty as a Mentor for Applications. With her vast background in yoga and her innate teaching skills, Carol will be a great support to students as they explore how to work therapeutically with clients.

Carol Klammer has practiced Yoga since 1990, and became a Certified Kripalu Yoga Teacher in 1996. She completed training for Yoga of the Heart™ in 1999. She received the advanced level, 500 hour Professional Yoga Teacher Certificate in October 2001. Carol is a Registered Yoga Teacher (R.Y.T.) with the Yoga Alliance, a consortium of nationally recognized yoga training programs. She most recently completed the American Viniyoga Institute’s Yoga Teacher Training program which began in August 2002, and finished with a 500 hour Teaching Certificate in November 2004. Her designation as ERYT 500 (Experienced Yoga Teacher with a 500 hour certification ) is recognized by the Yoga Alliance and requires at least 2,000 hours of teaching hours following the completion of a certificate. Her cumulative hours of teaching when she registered for ERYT status in 2009 was 4,500. Carol was certified as an EYT Yoga Therapist, completing her training in 2013.

Carol also has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology with honors (1986) from the University of Chicago , as well as a Masters Degree in Education from the Erik Erikson Institute of Chicago (1988).


Rachel Lanzerotti, MSW, eRYT500, IAYT Certified Yoga Therapist

Rachel Lanzerotti is a Certified Yoga Therapist and Social Worker in San Francisco. She is pleased to join the EYT Faculty in 2017. As an experienced teacher and therapist, Rachel gravitates toward mindfulness, body awareness, and integrative practices, and she enjoys making yoga accessible for a diversity of practitioners.

Rachel is an IAYT-Certified Yoga Therapist and founder of San Francisco-based Five Rivers Yoga Therapy and the San Francisco Yoga Therapy Collaborative. She employs myriad tools of yoga with skill and decades of experience as a yogi and vipassana practitioner, yoga teacher, health educator, and social worker. In addition to personalized yoga therapy with clients, Rachel leads therapeutic group classes focused on topics like back care, healthy digestion, and aging well, as well as community meditation groups. She has taught with numerous yoga and mindfulness research studies, on topics such as Yoga During Chemotherapy Treatment and Restorative Yoga for the Metabolic Syndrome, at the University of California (UCSF). Rachel also works with older adults as the Aging Well Coordinator of San Francisco Village.

Rachel joins the EYT Faculty following on her experience as a Mentor Assistant for the past cohort of yoga therapy trainees. She has apprenticed to lead the EYT Essential Low Back Teacher Training and intends to offer this program for yoga teachers in the future. As a mentor and presenter, Rachel advises and trains teachers on topics that include yoga research, understanding the neuroscience of yoga, working with trauma, and establishing the “business side” of practice. 

Rachel’s areas of specialized training over the past two decades have included the EYT Essential Low Back Program, the Spirit Rock Meditation Center Mindful Yoga & Meditation Training Program, Advanced Relax & Renew Restorative Yoga (with Judith H. Lasater), iRest Level I Yoga Nidra, and Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR).Please visit www.fiveriversyoga.com for more information.


Julie McNeill, BSN, RYT-500

Julie McNeill, BSN, RYT-500, has been a practitioner of yoga for more than 20 years. What started out as a curious exploration of a book on yoga postures in 1992 has evolved into a powerful lifetime practice of self-study and self-awareness. She is grateful for the opportunity to experience the infinite potential of a personal yoga practice as well as the ability to share in yoga’s transformational possibilities with her students and other teachers.

Julie completed her 200-hour Yoga Teacher Training at the Blue Banyan Studio in Philadelphia while simultaneously practicing as a Nurse Anesthetist. Her initial teacher training revealed the potential for a true multidimensional approach to caring for individuals – something that she had felt was missing in her long career in healthcare. Upon relocating to Seattle with her family in 2012, she felt a call to leave her 26-year career as both a Registered Nurse and a Nurse Anesthetist in order to study yoga therapy. Julie has studied extensively with Robin Rothenberg of Essential Yoga Therapy, completing both the Essential Low Back Program and 500-hr Advanced Teacher Training.  She is now in the final months of completing the yoga therapy certification. Julie also completed Restorative Yoga Teacher Training with Rachel Lanzerotti of Five Rivers Yoga. 

As a yoga instructor, Julie has taught classes at local studios in the Seattle area, as well as having established a yoga program at a large Seattle-area biotechnology company. Julie also designed a specific yoga program that focused on fascia anatomy as a means of encouraging injury prevention and increasing bodily awareness. Her true passion lies is in assisting students and clients in discovering their own inner wisdom, enabling them to move towards overall improved health and wellness on all levels of their being.  She is excited to be part of the EYT Faculty and having the opportunity to support other yoga teachers in deepening their own practice while cultivating and expanding their repertoire of therapeutic skills.


When she is not wearing her yoga teacher hat, Julie enjoys spending time with her husband and daughter in the beautiful outdoors of the Pacific Northwest that she now calls home. She also enjoys sweet moments in her Seattle home with her dog and two cats, knitting, and trying to re-learn the cello alongside her daughter.