Governing Council for Qualifications
Creating this system of delineation is taking yoga out of the box and embracing the full breadth and scope of the practice while leveling up the field and profession. In tandem with ethical guidelines and community investment may we elevate the profession through recognition, inclusion, nurturing, support, and clear pathways.
"I believe in processes changing and growing along with the world. I believe it is time for change and growth in the yoga industry. The tides are shifting and Yoga Unify embodies philosophies I believe in."
– Dana Damara
Outcomes of ’20-’21 Council Session:
Anticipated Outcomes for ’21-’22 Council Session:
Dana Damara is a Master Teacher and healer with Shaman roots. She began her yoga journey almost 20 years ago which has included working with prenatal women and new mothers, owning a successful yoga studio in the NW, writing and running Embody Truth Yoga School, creating Youth and Girls Elevate (a yoga program for middle and high school adolescents), facilitating Moon Circles, and leading workshops, training and retreats around the world. As a spiritual Ninja, walking this mystic path with practical shoes, Dana Damara is a mother, author, coach, teacher of teachers, speaker, and servant of the heart. She exudes a balance between the mystical realms and realities of motherhood.
Eric has devoted 34 years of his life to understanding how human beings can rise above their dysfunctional tendencies and control their emotions instead of being controlled by them. This skill is especially useful in a crisis.
As part of that life mission, Eric has earned a masters degree in Clinical Psychology and is a Licensed Marriage, Family, and Child therapist.
Eric has taught tens of thousands, including other Yoga instructors. He has written 3 books and has led countless seminars.
Eric’s most recent release is The Emotional Survival Kit, an online video course on personal crisis management.
Jennifer Greenwald, RYT 500, has been practicing yoga since 1995, a student of kundalini since 2007 and completed kundalini teacher training in 2015. She is the owner of Jai Yoga Center and assistant teacher to Ravi Singh’s Raviana Kundalini Teacher Trainings. Jennifer received her undergraduate degree in education and spent several years teaching in public schools; however, her unconventional ways of thinking and teaching began to expand beyond classroom walls. Her passion for education and balanced living led her to the Institute for Integrated Nutrition where she received her coaching certification. Her mission on planet Earth is raising consciousness in the hopes of minimizing the suffering that has been occurring on this planet. One of her greatest joys is sharing her love of Kundalini Yoga and the magical breakthroughs and transformations that can occur with the practice. She is a mother to three children, a yoga teacher, and a spiritual coach. She delivers her teachings with a little humor and a whole lotta SOUL!!!
Kaya has been teaching yoga for 21 years. She offers mature practice, authentic philosophy and therapeutic teaching pedagogy to a global following of students. She is committed to sharing the softer side of yogic practice and to upholding yoga from yoga’s own viewpoint. Her background includes 3,000 hours of formal study with generous teachers who shared the full spectrum of the Vedic Tradition. Her approach threads storytelling, Supreme Release Yoga, Vedic astrology, Ayurveda, Vedanta, Sanskrit, Mantra and Tantra. She loves to make traditional teachings meaningful and personal for modern life. Her nurturing, inclusive and rich grasp of yogic wisdom inspires others to deepen their lives, purpose, practice and Self love. She lives in the US with her husband, a Vedic Astrologer, and their children.
Kelly discovered yoga and meditation as a teenager, and has enjoyed seeing her practice and personal understanding of yoga evolve over the years. She has completed yoga programs through Back Bay Yoga and TriYoga Boston, among others. Inspired by Dr. Timothy McCall’s book “Yoga as Medicine,” she decided to pursue certification in yoga therapy through the International Association of Yoga Therapists (IAYT) and proudly earned the C-IAYT® credential in 2017. Kelly has led group and private yoga and yoga therapy sessions in homes and studios, but found the most rewarding experience in offering yoga for self-care to staff in public schools and hospital settings.
An eclectic lover of learning, Kelly considers herself a Jane-of-all-trades. She served as Parent Education Chair and Co-President at Narrows Cooperative Preschool, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization in University Place, WA, which sparked her interest in nonprofit work. Her current role is with the IAYT Certification team as the Approved Professional Development (APD) lead. Kelly is pleased to help contribute to the future of modern yoga as a member of Yoga Unify’s Governing Council on Qualifications. In addition to yoga, Kelly finds joy in books, gardening, mala making, cooking, exploring new places, spending time in nature with her two sons, and especially music—she is always game for a sing-along!
Lea Kraemer is a former professional modern dancer and choreographer from the East Coast. She performed and toured throughout the USA and in Asia, bringing this vitality and enthusiasm into her classes. Yoga began to enchant her in the late 1980’s, together with the lifestyle of non-violence, vegetarianism, and fierce compassion. Since then her extensive studies have taken her to India from Mysore where she studied with Sri. K. Pattabhi Jois, to Dharamsala where she received Tibetan Buddhist teachings. In the U.S. she completed training with a major, international ashram in Hatha Yoga and numerous certification programs in Vinyasa and Kundalini Yoga, tremendously enjoying teachings from master Yogi Bhajan. She has studied classical Ayurveda, the ancient, Indian “science of life”, since 2004 through Kerala Ayurveda and the DINacharya Institute directed by Dr. Bhaswati Bhatttacharya, where she is also a faculty member.
Lindsay Gibson, M.S. is the Founder and Owner of Majestic Yoga Studio in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Lindsay has been a devoted teacher of yoga and mindfulness for 30 years. Her unique and skillful approach to teaching and practice are multidimensional, delicately, carefully weaving her deep knowledge of human anatomy and physiology and an essential appreciation of the mind-body-heart connection. Specializing in Therapeutic Yoga and the healing powers of meditation, Lindsay brings insight, awareness, and passion to the practice of yoga, meditation, mindfulness, and the healing arts. Lindsay has developed the online meditation courses: Connecting to Your Heart: A Path Inward and The Transformative Power of Meditation. As a teacher’s teacher, she is dedicated to training instructors and promoting their professional and spiritual development. Lindsay brings to everything she does a special sensitivity to individual needs and differences, an enduring respect for the wonders of the human body, and a passionate regard and commitment to her students, peers, and teachers.
C-IAYT, E-RYT 500, CTP, YACEP
Mary is a Certified Yoga Therapist with IAYT (International Association of Yoga Therapists) and an E-RYT 500. She has been practicing and teaching Yoga for over 38 years. She completed her yoga therapy training in India, where she studied Thirumoolar’s Ashtanga Therapeutic Yoga. Mary is a YACEP (Yoga Alliance Continuing Education Provider) and Certified Thai Practitioner (CTP). Her teaching style is highly influenced by her Thirumoolar lineage.
Mary holds a graduate degree in Education from Colorado State University and an undergraduate degree from MTSU with a double emphasis, one of which is in Health, Physical Education and Recreation.
Peter Sterios is an internationally recognized author, yoga teacher (ERYT-500), and architect based in San Luis Obispo, California, USA. He is the founder of LEVITYoGA™, MANDUKA™, and creator of the popular yoga DVD series “Gravity & Grace” which is one of YOGA JOURNAL’s “top 15 yoga DVDs of all time”. For three years (2011-2013) Peter taught yoga at the White House for Michelle Obama’s anti-obesity initiatives. In 2018, he was invited to the Pentagon to share his ideas about yoga’s therapeutic effects for the US Marine Corps.
He also co-founded KarmaNICA, a charitable organization for underprivileged children in rural Nicaragua. Peter’s first book “Gravity & Grace: How to Awaken Your Subtle Body and the Healing Power of Yoga“ published by Sounds True is now available.
Ravi Singh has 45 years teaching experience, co-author of 26 bestselling DVD’s and an incredible new book, The Kundalini Yoga Book: “Life in the Vast Lane. He’s been called the “Teacher’s Teacher” and continues to lead teacher trainings around the world. Ravi has taught at many international yoga conferences, Yale University, NYU and has been featured in publications such as Yoga Journal, Self, Vogue, People, and more. He recently participated as an advisor to the Yoga Alliance Standards Review Project on Teacher Training Qualifications.
Rosa Santana was a stay at home mom with three daughters under the age of 4 when she moved to South Florida in 1995, and discovered yoga at her local gym. Well, she only “discovered’ yoga at the suggestion of the gym owner when her aerobics instructor didn’t show up. She was annoyed, but tried it. An athlete since childhood, yoga offered her something different that none of her other workouts did. It captivated her mind, and she dove into learning, going to India in 1998 to study with Yoga Master BKS Iyengar. She taught yoga around town at condos, and the JCC. As her classes grew, she realized she needed to have classes for various levels. Her students kept asking her to open a studio.
In 2001, with no business experience, and a small business loan, Yogarosa was born, and since then, has become the hub of Iyengar Yoga in South Florida. Yogarosa has hosted advanced yoga workshops, and has introduced yoga to hundreds of students from around the world. Students have become teachers, and many teachers have gone on to open their own studios. Rosa Santana continues to foster and share her knowledge of yoga and studio ownership with those who are interested. She continues to mentor and has guided many teachers who have become Certified Iyengar Yoga Teachers.
The best part of the yogarosa community, has been her witnessing of the friendships, business connections, (one wedding), and all around good vibes that have come as a result of her wish to have a place to practice yoga.
Sara Elizabeth Ivanhoe, M.A. is the Director of YogaUSC, a program designed to support the campus life of both students and faculty at the University of Southern California. She has been teaching yoga since 1995 and has been the Yoga Spokesperson for “Weight Watchers,” “Yoga for Dummies,” “Crunch Yoga,” and appeared as a series regular on “Dr. Drew’s Celebrity Rehab” as the therapeutic instructor. She served as the yoga columnist for Health magazine for three years and has written and appeared in almost every yoga and health publication.
Twenty years after graduating with honors from NYU, Ivanhoe completed her master’s degree in 2015 from Loyola Marymount University as part of the inaugural class in Yoga Studies where she served as Senator of the student body for Bellarmine College.
Most recently she partnered with Oprah Magazine to co-create the “Just Breathe” brand of yoga and meditation now taught on Holland America Cruise lines internationally.
She currently serves as the Yoga and Meditation Content Curator for Glo, teaches at LMU in the Yoga Studies department, teaches an ongoing class called “Sleep” for the MindfulUSC program, and presents at corporations and conferences internationally.
Where I’m from
I used to think yoga was something my mom did to keep cool, calm, and present in the face of me and my sister, and to some extent maybe that is true.
Yoga made its presence in my life via my mother and because of a traumatic injury that ended my athletic career, in 1995/6 and this experience forced me to rewrite my whole story, and what I had believed to be true of myself.
I learned to surrender back then, I had to lean into the hard stuff (before Brene Brown made it cool) and touch the face of vulnerability to “Touch what is coming up and let it go”.
I found Tantric Buddhism (again), around this time and it lifted me slowly out of depression and I vowed at 19, to commit myself to some sort of path, to “surrender” so naturally moving across the globe made a lot of sense to my 19-year-old mind. Fast forward twenty-odd years, here I am an ordained monk, yoga +meditation teacher, speaker, writer, and also known as international artist DJ Seriousblack.
I am a little boy mama, an Aquarius, a lover of all things soulful and analog, basically an analog girl in a digital world.
- Author of SunLight Chair Yoga: Yoga for Everyone! & Yoga for Everyone! books and ebook
- Instructor for online yoga, gentle yoga and meditation courses
- Instructor and creator for an online 35 hr Chair Yoga Teacher Certification training
- Certified Yoga Instructor since 1995 (Sivananda Yoga, Kundalini KRI certifies, Gentle Integral Yoga certified and took the Iyengar
- Advanced Studies Training
- Stress Management Specialist for the Ornish Heart Disease Reversal & Preventive Lifestyle Medicine Institute and Alzheimer’s Research Study (2018-2020)
- Yoga and meditation instructor at at Bay Area, CA companies including hospital staffs since 2000 and most recent for an NFL team front office staff (2019-2020)
- Marketing Manager for Yoga Journal Magazine (1998) and Studio Partner Program Manager for Yoga Journal Conferences (2012-2014)
- A lifelong vegetarian, now vegan, committed to help animals
Stephanie Spence has spent over 40 years practicing yoga and sharing her love of this ancient system of living through writing, teaching yoga, and public speaking. She’s known as a Yoga Scholar, Award-Winning and Best-Selling Author, Former CEO, Activist, and Creative Leader. Her objective is to share the authentic teachings of Yoga to the modern era, as well as building bridges between different countries, religions/faiths, healing modalities, and people to promote social and spiritual health. Stephanie is currently pursuing her Master’s Degree In Yoga Studies from Loyola Marymount University.