Why Is Your Yoga Practice Important to You?

Yoga is a lifelong journey – I’m on board for life and always refining.

Balance, peace, health, truth, and clarity.

It accelerates the pace of my personal evolution, in all ways.

Because it keeps me peaceful and healthy and in alignment with my soul and purpose.

Because it connects me deeper to humanity and to the practice off-the-mat

It helps to keep me somewhat sane.

life. peace. freedom. humility. compassion. awareness.

It is the pathway to my own growth and awareness.

Yoga is among my most important self-care and personal therapy practices.

It’s a blueprint to being comfortable in my own skin

It keeps me alive.

Yoga is everything

My Yoga practice is my inner sanctuary where I reconnect with poise and serenity in the middle of life’s demands.

Yoga is my pathway toward Divine guidance on a daily basis.

keeps mind & body flexible, steady & open

My yoga practice always brings me back to my center in the present moment.

The energetics of my practice is a part of my life; the art is inseparable from my way of being in the world.

It informs my path and purpose and helps me be congruent with what I’m teaching.

My yoga practice brings me both peace of mind and the fire to create an action (karma)

My yoga practice gives me the balance of mind, body, and spirit to be able to serve humanity from a grounded, whole place of love, and devotion for our collective healing and transformation.

Yoga brings peace and comfort, especially during difficult periods.

I practice yoga because it allows me to elevate my consciousness and character

Yoga is a practice for how I want to live my life.

Yoga provides me with tools that enhances my personal and professional development.

Because practicing yoga confers benefits on the body, nervous system, and mind all at the same time.

My being wants freedom and my heart needs stillness.

Practicing doesn’t mean I get it perfect every time; it actually means we need more practice.

Governing Council for Qualifications

Purpose:

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.

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"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:

Qualifications Councillors  

Ana Camacho-Hansen

Ana Camacho-Hansen is the author of Yoga for Big Hearts & Little Hands: A Handbook of Yoga Poses for Children. Ana is also the founder of Growing Peaceful Hearts, Minds & Bodies, a 501(c)(3) dedicated to peace studies and peace education. Ana’s Sedona Sol Yoga, located in Sedona, Arizona, is her collaborative project with her twin sister, Melissa Camacho, where she leads Yogic Studies workshops and Rasayana yoga classes. Ana has specialized in teaching peace curriculum, children’s mindfulness, and children’s yoga since 2003. Ana has been training children’s yoga teachers for about a decade and finds it her most important legacy. Ana loves her life and shares her joy for teaching in her yoga classes. Ana has a happy family with her husband and son, Eric and Jaidon, and lives in Cornville, Arizona.   

Anne Minter

Anne Minter specializes in the teaching of western medicine principles in professional yoga spaces. She has been on the faculty of numerous yoga teacher trainings for this purpose. She is an adjunct professor of Anatomy and Physiology at Miami University. Her contractual yoga work merges eastern and western science, taking yoga into medical and academic environments. This work has been generously supported by local, state, and national funders for almost a decade- including Interact for Health, Tristate Trauma Network, The Haven at College, University of Cincinnati, and Miami University. She teaches private yoga sessions, and occasional yoga series, largely by request, to further educate yoga professionals on relevant aspects of western science, anatomy, and the dynamic field of human physiology. When not transmitting evidence-based yoga practices in more mainstream medical environments. She practices and teaches many forms of yoga in open-studios, but specializes in kundalini yoga and tantra yoga.

Dana Damara

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 Paskel

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.

Greg Nardi

Greg’s teaching draws from his 24+ years of personal practice, ongoing self-study in current academic research in contemporary and traditional Yoga. He also draws deeply from his studies of sanskrit chanting and yoga philosophy in Mysore, India and asana at the KPJAYI. He is the director of Ashtanga Yoga Worldwide, teaching yoga practice, theory and philosophy internationally.

In 2019 Greg chose to resign his authorization from the KPJAYI to be in integrity with his core values about teaching, learning and life. He now works with his colleagues at Amāyu yoga developing an organization and learning pathway for Ashtanga teachers that is consent driven, practitioner centered, and based in practitioner empowerment.

“I believe in the healing power of yoga for all. My style of teaching assists students in finding an approach to the practice that is most beneficial for them.“

Heather Shereé Titus

Heather, Founding Director of Yoga Unify, is passionate about bringing authentic yoga to the global conscious community across a variety of platforms. Her commitment to building community and offering service in the field of yoga, arts, sustainability, and consciousness is reflected in decades of community building, community event and festival creation and direction, and program development. Heather has produced and directed the annual Sedona Yoga Festival in beautiful Sedona, AZ since 2013. She co-created Aumbase Sedona, a multi-disciplinary studio of authentic yoga teachers and an on the land guide service for yoga, sound healing, and shamanic journeys on the red rocks of Sedona. Heather studies and teaches in the Hatha Tantra tradition.

Jennifer Greenwald

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 Mindlin

I have been teaching yoga for 21 years, and teaching and mentoring yoga teachers and yoga therapists for 10 years with the full spectrum of the Vedic tradition {Yoga, Yoga Therapy, Sanskrit Texts, Mantra Recitation, Shaktism, Vedānta, Vedic Astrology, Āyurveda, and so on}. My students tend to find me when they were on the brink of “leaving yoga” because they are so disappointed in the trends of yoga land – starting as seekers of depth and being fed distortion, new age “junk food” and physical workouts. They repeatedly tell me that they gained more in a 25-40 hour program with me than they did in their 500-hour YTT – and while this is lovely, it points to something disturbed in yoga land. More about me in my profile.

Kelly Froio

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

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

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.

Marc TItus

Marc currently works for the Nevada Division of Forestry as the State Lead for Fire Adapted Communities; he returned to his roots as a wildland fire manager to advocate for communities at risk to catastrophic loss due to wildland fire.

He met his beloved wife Heather in Sedona in 2012 while planning the innagural Sedona Yoga Festival, and they went on to get married and co-create Aumbase, Inc which consisted of SYF, Aumbase Sedona Yoga Studio, Aumbase Adventures and an assortment of smaller spiritual and yoga ventures in Sedona, AZ.

During that time, Marc battled with PTSD and found salvation in his practice and the teachings.  He was fortunate to ‘sit with the masters’ and queried them from the lens of suffering.  What he found, over time, led him through the pain and his injured nervous system healed.  He and Heather cohosted an annual Yoga for PTSD teacher training at SYF and Marc is currently obtaining a Masters in Psychology from Arizona State University to better advocate for mental health in the first responder community.

Marc has practiced Traditional Hatha Yoga for 20 years and has been influenced by many teachers and lineages.  His dharma lies with the traditions and he hopes to see yogis unite to ensure the teachings remain sanctified in the years to come.

He lives in Carson City, NV with Heather and their dog Boon.  Occasionally, when not working or studying he gets to ride his Trusty Steed on the mountain highways in the beautiful Sierra Nevadas… Motorcycle Mantras, anyone?

Mary Irby

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

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

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.

Sara Ivanhoe

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.

Selena Isles

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.

Stacie Dooreck

  • 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

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.

Process

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