Michael Lee, MA, Dip.Soc.Sci, Dip.T., C-IAYT, E-RYT 500
Founder and Dean of School, Faculty
Michael grew up in Australia. He held college teaching posts there, and in Papua New Guinea, and worked as a teacher and behavioral scientist in the field personal and organizational change, 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, a presenter at the International Congress on Integrative Medicine and Health 2018, the Toronto Yoga Conference 2018, the Japan Yoga Therapy Conference 2018, and the first Global Consortium on Yoga Therapy in Sendai, Japan in July 2018. 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.
Soleil Hepner, C-IAYT
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, C-IAYT, E-RYT500
As a holistic healer, health coach and educator, Sarah K Greco, C-IAYT, E-RYT500, 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, Life Mentor, 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 The Subtle Body, Basics of Ayurveda, and Working with Couples online 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
Peg McPhedran, BSc(Kin), MEd, C-IAYT, RYT500
Peg McPhedran, BSc(Kin), MEd, C-IAYT, 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 15 years Peg has been a student of yoga and has experienced over this time the realization that yoga is so more than just a physical practice. Understanding this mind-body-spirit connection led her to yoga therapy and since 2011, she has completed multiple trainings with PRYT. Today, Peg is a certified Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapist, Group Facilitator, Life Mentor, and Yoga Teacher. She also serves on the faculty of the Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy Training Program, as Assistant Program Director and Mentor of the Life Mentoring Program and as teacher of Essentials and Level 2. Peg is also a holistic nutritionist and in her private practice, she offers her clients integrated Lifestyle and Wellness programs, classes, workshops and session work in meditation, yoga, nutrition and lifestyle. As an experienced educator and “agent of change,” she offers experiences designed to facilitate transformation, as clients learn to create lives that are happy, healthy and lived with purpose. www.pegmcphedran.com
Jennifer Mitchell, C-IAYT, E-RYT500
Jennifer Mitchell, C-IAYT, E-RYT500, 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 of Soul Yoga Studio in Salisbury, MD and Soul Yoga + Wellness in Charleston, SC. www.jenniferhessmitchell.com
Melissa Lyons, C-IAYT, RYT500
Melissa Lyons is an Australian native, living on the West Coast of Canada since 2002. A mother of 3 teenagers and a long time Yogi of the Kripalu and IAM lineage, Melissa is passionate about supporting people as they explore the connections between their body, mind and life.
After graduating from a YTT200hr, she was drawn to the yoga therapy practices that left her with profound insight. Recognizing the beneficial impact this was having on her life and those of her yoga students, she trained to become a Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapist in 2013 and after graduating, trained as a group facilitator so she could bring PRYT to more people. Her authentic way of being and teaching have established her as a sought out practitioner, teacher and mentor. She is the founder of Body Mind Wisdom, and in addition to teaching for Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy, Melissa co-teaches YTT 200Hrs at Yoga By The Sea in her home town, Roberts Creek, B.C, Canada, and works with children with special needs at her local elementary school.
After 5 years of facilitating sold out Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy Groups, Melissa is very passionate about the process. She is also a nature lover, spending her leisure time hugging trees, walking beaches, and marvelling at sunsets.
Toshiro Miura, C-IAYT, E-RYT500
Toshiro Miura, C-IAYT, E-RYT500, 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
Judy Hirsh Sampath, C-IAYT
During an intensive period of self-enquiry and mediation, came to a revelation: her body loved her unconditionally, and all she had to do was love it back. It was so simple and awakened a chain of self-healing and wholeness. This awareness came to her in a Phoenix rising yoga therapy session when the noise of the critical mind was turned down to make way for the intuitive, quieter wise part of herself to speak. Ever since, Judy has been exploring how to tune into the body’s wisdom and support others to do the same. She engages yoga, mindfulness, meditation and therapies to unlock the bodies’ natural intelligence to educate people to become experts in themselves and empower them towards their own healing. Judy is the founder of Yoga United Education, co-founder of Yoga United, and is founder and course director of the accredited Yoga United Yoga Therapy diploma. She runs the BWY foundation course, BWY modules in Yoga Therapy & Yoga for Restful Sleep. As well as teaching regular yoga & meditation classes, she offers workshops in restorative & embodied mindfulness, yoga nidra, retreats and holidays in India. She takes yoga, meditation and yoga therapy into health spas, offices, school, mental health and fertility settings, and 1-2-1 with clients in north London and online. www.yogaunited.com
Staffan Elgelid, PT, RYT-500
Faculty, Anatomy & Physiology
Dr. Staffan Elgelid PT, PhD, GCFP, RYT-500 is an Associate Professor of Physical Therapy at Nazareth College in Rochester NY. Staffan is a Physical Therapist, Certified Feldenkrais Practitioner and Yoga Therapist. He teaches in yoga therapy programs, conducts workshops nationally and internationally and sees private clients. His main approach with clients is to use smart exercises, movements and lifestyle changes to help them build a nervous system that is robust and agile. This in turn allows them to learn new activities, enhance athletic performance, and withstand the stresses of daily life no matter what their level of activity, age or situation. Staffan is the co-author of Yoga for Stress and Anxiety, as well as the forthcoming (spring 2017) Yoga for Active Adults. He has also produced DVDs on topics such as core training and yoga for sports. Staffan is on the Advisory Board of the IAYT and is a board member of the Yoga Alliance.
Abby (Abhaya) Geyer, C-IAYT
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.
Grace Jull, MA, LMT, E-RYT500
Faculty, Subtle Body
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