Michael grew up in Australia. He held college teaching posts there, and in Papua New Guinea, before leaving for the USA in 1984 to pursue his yoga quest. He wanted to learn about the effectiveness of yoga and Eastern practices for changing lives and so immersed himself at the Kripalu Center (then an ashram) in Massachusetts for two years. This began a career in yoga and yoga therapy with a focus on mental and emotional health now spanning 33 years. Michael founded Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy in 1986 based on his learning and integration of yoga and elements of contemporary psychology which is now supported by neuroscience.
Michael is the author of two books Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy—Bridge from Body to Soul and Turn Stress Into Bliss. He is also a contributing author to the American Psychological Association published book Beyond Talk therapy: Using movement and expressive techniques in clinical practice. In June 2016, Michael was a keynote speaker at SYTAR for the International Association of Yoga Therapists and in 2018 the opening keynote speaker at Yoga Australia Conference and a presenter at the Japan Yoga Therapy Conference and the Asian Consortium on Yoga Therapy. Michael and his wife Lori parent five adult children live in rural Massachusetts. His current workshop and teaching consultation schedule can be found here: Workshops and Sessions with Michael Lee
Yoga Therapy Program Faculty, Level 3 Course Director
Soleil Hepner, C-IAYT, worked in the fast-paced world of High-Tech for 20 years. Being one of the few women in management brought high stress manifesting in chronic back pain, depression and a bout with cancer. Burned-out, Soleil left High-Tech for High-Touch in 2001 finding life-changing results for herself and her clients using Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy. Soleil is best known on the West Coast as a speaker to therapists advocating for the need to bring the body into treatment. She has been training therapists since 2005, currently teaches all three Levels of the Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy Training and Bring the Body to Therapy workshops, and is the Level 3 Course Director. Soleil has a private practice in San Diego where she specializes in recovery, trauma, and eating disorders. www.SoleilHepner.com
Sarah Kaczor Greco
Yoga Therapy Program Faculty, Yoga Teacher Training Director
As a holistic healer, health coach and educator, Sarah K Greco, E-RYT500, C-IAYT, has facilitated Yoga Classes, Workshops, Retreats and Training Programs since 2002. Sarah received her BA in Philosophy at Bucknell University with a concentration in Philosophy. In 1999, she became a certified Reiki Master and committed to self-employment in the Wellness field. She was certified to teach Yoga by the Yoga Institute of Houston in 2002. Today, Sarah is a certified Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapist, Group Facilitator and Therapeutic Yoga Teacher. She also serves on faculty at Phoenix Rising, directing and teaching the Yoga Teacher Training courses, teaching Transformational Philosophies, and assisting both The Subtle Body and Basics of Ayurveda courses. Sarah is both a practitioner and a teacher of mind/body medicine techniques. She offers a variety of experiences, from private sessions to weekly yoga classes to international retreats through her independent company, Your Kompass LLC. Sarah is passionate about empowering individuals with the skills and confidence to choose a life they love—in good health, relationships, career, and service. www.yourkompass.com
Yoga Therapy Program Faculty, Level 3 Course Director, Denver, CO
Bev Johnson, E-RYT500, C-IAYT, is a Yoga Alliance registered Advanced Yoga Instructor and is certified as a Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapist, Group Facilitator and Therapeutic Yoga Teacher. She was personally and uniquely mentored by Michael Lee, founder of Phoenix Rising Yoga, to facilitate his Phoenix Rising Workshop™ and has assisted him in facilitating these workshops in such renowned venues as Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health and Satchidananda Ashram Yogaville. Bev teaches all three Levels of the Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy Training and serves on staff at the International Association of Yoga Therapists promoting standards and credentialing for the yoga therapy field. Bev is Owner, Director and Therapist at Bev Johnson Yoga Therapy where she helps her clients find relief from suffering of stress and stress related conditions through private and small group yoga therapy. www.bjohnsonyt.yoga
Yoga Therapy Program Faculty, Charleston SC
Lyn Tally, C-IAYT, is the founder of Go Interactive Wellness, the co-founder of Charleston Wellness Group, a Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy (PRYT) Practitioner and a PRYT faculty member. She works with a wide range of private and public businesses to bring wellness to the workplace and trains the Citadel football team in both yoga and mindfulness techniques. In her former career as a professional ballerina, she received the Princess Grace award and the Professional Prize in the Prix de Lausanne dance competition. Lyn embraces her work with passion, lightheartedness, and ease. Every day she is inspired by life’s lessons and believe if we are willing to listen, we learn all we need to know.
Yoga Therapy Program Faculty, Vancouver BC
In the practice of holistic healing and wellbeing, Shivani is a passionate advocate for the integration of yoga, embodied mindfulness, neuroscience, trauma-sensitive approaches, and humanistic psychology. She is an E-RYT 500, and is certified as a Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapist, Group Facilitator and Therapeutic Mentor. She teaches public yoga classes focused on helping individuals become more consciously embodied beings, has presented at international conferences, and is currently conducting research on yoga for brain injury at the University of British Columbia. In addition to being on guest faculty with numerous yoga teacher training programs, Shivani is a course director for Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy Level 1 and 2 trainings, and has a private practice specializing in trauma recovery, empowerment, and self-discovery in Vancouver, BC. www.shivaniwells.com
Yoga Therapy Program Faculty, Great Barrington and Boston, MA
Alex Bauermeister is an ever-learning awareness junkie passionate about helping people find more authenticity, connection, courage and peace in their lives. Alex has over 1000 hours of training as a Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapist, yoga teacher, social change activist and group facilitator, in addition to life-long apprenticeships in body-based healing and psychology. Through her Boston-based yoga therapy practice, Intra Yoga Therapy, Alex helps clients find relief from stress, anxiety, depression and the many other manifestations of trauma to create their own healing and happiness. Alex also teaches public yoga classes, personal growth workshops, and Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy training programs around New England. www.intrayogatherapy.com
Yoga Therapy Program Faculty, Japan
Toshiro Miura has been teaching yoga in Japan for over 30 years and practicing Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy since 1999. He is founder of a Kripalu affiliated studio in Tokyo called Yoga of Life, and is directing many programs there including teacher training. He is interested in creating communities where people feel safe, supported, and empowered to explore their own potential through yoga. Toshiro is a PRYT practitioner and group facilitator, a Kripalu Yoga teacher, an Acupuncturist, and a Yoga Alliance registered (E-RYT500) yoga teacher. www.kripalu.jp
Mental Health Professional Mentor and Consultant
Kelly Pearson, MS, LCPC, C-IAYT has been practicing yoga since 2000 and was working as a clinical counselor and psychotherapist when she found PRYT in September 2010. She knew something was missing from the therapy that she was offering but wasn’t quite sure what it was. After Level 1, she knew she had found what was missing. In her work as a counselor and psychotherapist, she used skills from yoga and PRYT to introduce clients to mindfulness, breath-work and connecting with the body. She closed her counseling/psychotherapy practice in May 2013, after moving from Maine to Texas. She now puts her energy into her yoga therapy and therapeutic life mentoring practices and mentoring with PRYT – excited to be spending her professional life doing the things she loves the most. www.freespirittherapeutics.com
Yoga Teacher Training Faculty, Charleston SC
Jennifer Mitchell, E-RYT500, C-IAYT, is a believer in alternative therapeutic treatments and a deep-seated connection of mind/body, Jennifer approaches yoga from a holistic perspective—from the inside out. Dedicated to healing of all kinds, she brings her background in mental health to her teaching. As a member of the International Yoga Therapists Association and a Certified Yoga Therapist through Phoenix Rising, Jennifer continues to expand her knowledge and experience through the mindset of a student. Jennifer is the founder and current owner of Soul Yoga Studio in Salisbury, MD and co-owner of Soul Yoga and Wellness in Charleston, SC. www.soulcharleston.com
Mentoring for Yoga Teachers Faculty, GFT Mentor
Since 1997 Kara Snapp,C-IAYT, RYT 500, has been intentionally studying yoga and meditation. The ability to be ‘in the moment’ has served her personally, as she parents, and professionally, as she worked as a Teen Center Director, Elementary School Behavior Specialist, and Community Counselor. This way of being helped her heal when she was widowed and allowed her to be present to her children while they experienced the same painful loss. To her, one of the greatest gifts of embodied mindfulness is that, while it helps us be present and accepting of our pain and suffering, it also creates more space to feel the joy, beauty, and connection that is present in daily life. She holds a BA in psychology and the designations of C-IAYT, RYT 500, E-RYT 200, and YACEP with Yoga Alliance. She is on faculty with PRYT as the Director of Mentoring for Yoga Teachers and as a Mentor for students in Group Facilitator Training. Since 2006 she has contracted with public and private organizations to provide individuals the opportunity to experience embodied mindfulness as a vehicle for sustainable long-term change that supports a meaningful and happy life. She looks forward to supporting you on your PRYT journey! www.karasnappyogatherapy.com
Assistant Faculty Therapeutic Life Mentoring, Mentor
Peg McPhedran, BSc(Kin), Med, RHN, RYT500, has been teaching, coaching, mentoring, counselling and facilitating growth and change in others since she taught her first Learn-to-Swim class at the age of 17. When she “retired” in 2010 after 32 years as a high school teacher and counsellor, she knew that while the venue would change along with her students and clients, her life’s purpose would continue to be working with others to facilitate that growth and change.
For the past 10 years Peg has been a student of yoga and has experienced over this time the realization that yoga is more than just a physical practice. Understanding this connection led her to yoga therapy and since 2011, she has completed multiple trainings with PRYT. These trainings along with her experience as a Holistic Nutritionist has given her a unique perspective of the importance and role of meditation, movement, nutrition and lifestyle. In her practice, she is able to draw on her psychology background and experience as a counsellor, along with new learning from the ancient study of yoga—meaning mind-body union—and current, ongoing research in Holistic Nutrition to guide her clients in making the changes they desire. Currently at PRYT, Peg serves as Assistant Faculty for the Therapeutic Life Mentoring course and as a Mentor for Level 3 students when called upon. www.pegmcphedran.com
Anatomy and Physiology Course Director, Great Barrington MA
Elissa Cobb, MA, has studied, taught, and mentored movement and meditation modalities for over 35 years, including personal fitness training, dance exercise, yoga and yoga therapy. Formerly the Director of Training Programs at Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy, she developed advanced curriculum for yoga therapy students and practitioners and trained hundreds of yoga teachers and therapists. Elissa served on the International Association of Yoga Therapy’s Standards Committee from 2009-2012, helping to pioneer educational standards for yoga therapists. Her first book, The Forgotten Body; A Way of Knowing and Understanding Self was published in 2008. Her poetry book, Let’s Take the Long Way: Poems, Prayers, & Promises, was released in 2015. She continues to teach Anatomy & Physiology to yoga therapy students and is a co-owner of Yarn & Yoga, a fiber arts shop and yoga studio in Bristol, Vermont.
Hansa Knox Johnson
Anatomy and Physiology Teacher, Denver CO
Trained as a yoga teacher at Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health in 1988, Hansa has continued studying through numerous teachers. She is an E-RYT500, LMT, and a faculty member at Rocky Mountain Institute of Yoga and Ayurveda, International Yoga College and Metropolitan State College. Her studio, the PranaYoga and Ayurveda Mandala, offers yoga classes and teacher training programs. Hansa’s yoga therapy practice is based in the classical integration of all yoga tools including asana, pranayama, meditation, mantra, mudra, drsti and suggested lifestyle changes based on ayurvedic concepts.
Anatomy and Physiology Teacher, Charleston SC
Amanda Cunningham is the co-owner of Soul Yoga + Wellness, Founder of Full Body Fitness & Yoga and a Yoga Alliance certified E-RYT500 instructor. She is a senior teacher under Yoga Medicine’s rigorous program targeted at the fusion of anatomy, physiology and biomechanics integrated into the traditional practice of yoga. Amanda also heads their non-profit, Yoga Medicine Seva Foundation, working to rescue and rehabilitate women and children from human trafficking and other social injustices across India. Amanda’s sweet spot lies in the mixture of ancient philosophy and modern-day practicality. She finds subtle ways to guide her students into exploring their own anatomy, while largely deepening their understanding and connection to Self.
Abby (Abhaya) Geyer
Ayurveda Course Director
Abby Geyer, a long-time student of both Yoga and Ayurveda, is a C-IAYT Yoga Therapist, a Certified Ayurveda Health Educator, and a Certified Yoga of Recovery Educator. In addition, Abby is the Advertising Manager for the International Journal of Yoga Therapy and the Yoga Therapy Today, both published by the International Association of Yoga Therapists (IAYT), plus the Ayurveda Journal of Health, published by the Institute of Advanced Sciences. Abby resides and teaches in Las Vegas, NV in addition to teaching nationally.
The Subtle Body Course Director
Grace Jull, MA, LMT, E-RYT500, has been an experiential educator in the field of human potential since 1984. She holds a Master’s degree from the University of Toronto in Adult Education and is also co-founder of Shakti Initiation, a women’s yoga leadership advanced training in Bali, Indonesia and New England. She is deeply informed by growing up in the heart of the Canadian Rockies and now teaches and travels internationally. She has been adjunct professor at Saybrook University’s Mind Body Medicine Phd Program, and has taught in many mind-body medicine programs such as Harvard’s Rehabilitation Medicine Residency, Cirque de Soleil’s Inuit Intervention, the New England College of Osteopathic Medicine, and Scholar in Residence at Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health. www.gracesanatomy.com
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