View all Graduate Biographies here
Slavica Popov Meinhold, RYT
, graduated from the YogaLife Institute's 200-hour Classical Yoga Teacher Program in March 2013. My first encounter with yoga happened in 1998. It was a love at first sight, which has developed over the years into a deep relationship, with many benefits for my entire being. Yoga gave me the tools that have been helping me the through the life: from simply being in shape, maintain positive attitude to becoming more connected to myself. I enjoy practicing asanas and expressing myself through the movement of my body. But the study of yoga offered me also the paths towards my inner strength and flexibility, peace and acceptance. Recently I started sharing this exciting experience of journey into yoga teaching on Sunday morning at Ocean Spirit Yoga in Portsmouth, NH. These classes are designed with the idea of the first baby steps into yoga practice: simple, open and accessible.
Libbie Bridge, RYT, CYT, is a graduate of the Yoga Life Institute's 200-hour Classical Yoga Teacher Training and 300-hour Comprehensive Yoga Therapy Programs. She is certified through the Yoga Alliance. For Libbie, Yoga is a lifelong journey. It has helped her to become more present, more patient, and better able to accept things as they are. She believes that we are all 'students of health' and that the yoga lifestyle holds great potential for health and well-being. In her classes and off the mat, Libbie hopes to provide a space for people to find their own way on the road to peace and health.
Sarah Kearns, RYT, CYT. In April of 2003, I took my very first yoga class, and knew after the first hour on my mat, that this would be my home for the rest of my life. I came to my mat, to heal many physical and mental injuries from a lifetime of gymnastics and ballet. This was the first time I experienced myself in my body, with my breath surrounded by healing, non-competitive energy. As I closed the door to a life of competition, strive for perfection, and the need to please others through not taking care of myself, a new door of health, wellness, and spirit opened up. I have trained and practiced with many different teachers who come from all different backgrounds. I am perpetually inspired by teachers all over the world and draw on their knowledge and experience to inspire my own teachings.
I completed my 200-hr teacher training through YogaWorks, with Natasha Rizopolous in 2010, and began teaching 2 weeks later. I have studied in India for 4 months of sustainable living, practicing yoga and deepening my spirituality through independent study and meditation. Once I returned from India, my interest in meditation blossomed, and I have since participated in a couple of silent 7-10 day retreats, meditating on kindness (metta) and mindfulness (vipassana), learning how to bring these two principles in my daily life, on and off of my yoga mat.
Lisa Burk-McCoy RYT500, has been a Classical Yoga practitioner for more than ten years and is a graduate of the 500 hour Classical Yoga training program through the YogaLife Institute of NH. She is a certified prenatal and children's yoga instructor. Lisa practices and teaches yoga as a creative exploration of the art of living deeply. Her classes engage students in a dual process of self-inquiry and therapeutic movement to encourage greater awareness of body, mind and spirit. She augments her Classical Yoga foundation with training in Iyengar yoga with Patricia Walden, Kofi Busia and others.
In addition to providing instruction for adults, children and private clients, Lisa leads workshops, writes yoga curriculum for children and provides business consulting for yoga organizations. When not practicing yoga, she dabbles as a musician, playing flute in a local contra-dance band and teaching classical flute lessons to children and adults. She is blessed with a wonderful family–a husband, son and daughter, and a menagerie of pets. They make their home in Exeter, NH.
Jennifer Golia, RYT
, is a graduate of the Yoga Life Institutes's 200-hour program and is continuing her studies in the 500-hour program. Jennifer's yoga journey started seven years ago when she discovered yoga as a strategy to manage stress and anxiety. Over time, Jennifer has been able to take her yoga away from the mat and to use yoga philosophy to move through her daily life.
Som Kovvuri, RYT200, is a graduate of the 200-hour Classical Yoga Teacher Training Program. Som is grateful for the guidance and inspiration of his teachers at Yogalife in his Yoga journey. He is curiously interested in how Yoga permeates everyday life be it the Karma Yoga of his artist wife Lisa Kovvuri, the Bhakti Yoga of devotion to music mastery by their two sons , Umanand and Shivanand, or the Jnana Yoga of his colleagues in the medical device industry. Som teaches Yoga to friends and family and is looking forward to and content with what the future brings.
Roberta H. Whitney. MA is a Yoga teacher, RYT500, a Spiritual Director and a healer. Roberta teaches programs at Blue Moon and mentors TT1 students. She also offers gentle yoga classes in Haverhill, MA. As a Spiritual Director, she mentors individuals and presents workshops in the Boston area as well as western Massachusetts. Additional certification as an Enneagram teacher; Focusing professional, Authentic Movement facilitator; and energy healer further enable Roberta to support individuals to heal, cultivate well-being and navigate change at: www.ways2wisdom.com
Senior Instructor: Stacy Smith, RYT 500, has studied yoga since 1998 and teaches at The Yoga Center in Portland, Maine. She approaches yoga in a holistic manner, blending the insights of Classical and Iyengar yoga with Ayurvedic teachings to nurture physical, psychological, and spiritual well-being. Stacy was trained as a philosopher of education and formerly taught undergraduates at a liberal arts college. She now enjoys exploring the deep philosophical and spiritual traditions of Eastern wisdom with students of all ages. She is the mother of two young boys and teaches pre-natal yoga as one avenue for sharing the many ways that yoga has supported her mothering and family relationships. Stacy is a graduate of the YogaLife Institute of NH and continues to study and instruct in its teacher training programs. To view Stacy's current yoga classes at the Yoga Center of Portland, Maine, click here.
Tracy Jordan, RYT, CYT, received her Comprehensive Yoga Therapy training certificate through the YogaLife Institute of NH. Tracy has been practicing yoga since 2001, received her 200hour teaching certificate through YogaFit and has been teaching since 2007. Her approach aims to blend fundamental concepts of yoga including balance, strength, flexibility, health, and mental acuity. The addition of the Comprehensive Yoga Therapy model broadens the scope of yoga tools for encouraging the wellness and connection of the body, mind, and spirit.
Lindsay Jo White, RYT, is a graduate of the YogaLife Institute of NH's 200 hour teacher training program. Lindsay Jo began flirting with yoga in 2004 and found herself effortlessly devoted to the physical and meta-physical properties of yoga in 2009. Having experienced a profound change in her life through yoga, Lindsay Jo has great enthusiasm in sharing her passion and practice. Her approach is of intuitive movement while maintaining a beginners mind.
Andrea Rutherford, RYT,
is a perinatal educator, prenatal yoga instructor and an honored mother of three. She is a graduate of the YogaLife Institute of NH Teacher Training program (200 hour level) and is currently teaching prenatal yoga at Yoga on the Hill in Kittery, Maine. and Yoga on York in York, Maine. www.yogaonthehillkittery.com
Andrea is owner and founder of Heartful Birth and has been offering comprehensive prenatal care and holistic birth education and support since 1996. Andrea offers classes, workshops and individual sessions for mothers and their partners from pregnancy through birth.
Prenatal yoga classes offer women a nurturing space to promote strength, flexibility, relaxation and awareness for the natural changes in their ever-changing, growing bodies. Andrea weaves Classical yoga, breath awareness, childbirth education, and physical nurturing to provide mothers a positive emotional, educational and physical experience for the journey of pregnancy, birth and motherhood.
Andrea may be reached at: 603.498.1113 or
Allison Parks Dugas, RYT500, is certified with the Yoga Alliance and is a graduate of the YogaLife Institute of NH's 200-hour and 500-hour Classical Yoga Teacher Training programs. She began her yoga practice in 1999 studying Ashtanga and vinyasa-style yoga. She was drawn to the benefits of a physical practice; connecting the mind and body through the breath, becoming more present, reducing stress, and learning how to truly relax along with gaining strength and flexibility. When she discovered the YogaLife Institute's Teacher Training program, she was able to expand her understanding to include the mental, spiritual and philosophical elements as well as a gentler form. She believes yoga has been a gift in her life and she enjoys sharing it with others. When she is off her mat, she tries to bring the benefits of her practice and mindfulness into her day-to-day life.
Heather Warr, CCC/SLP, RYT500
, completed 200 hours of yoga teacher training with Hannelore Mobius of Durham, NH in May of 2004. She studied the Integrative Yoga Therapy approach which focuses on the healing benefits of yoga. Heather holds the ChildLight Yoga certification created by Lisa Flynn and certification from the YogaLife Institute’s 500-hour Classical Yoga Teacher Training program. She has been a pediatric speech language pathologist for the past twenty years and lives in Exeter with her husband and two boys. Heather enjoys working with children and adults of all ages and has a special interest in working with people with special needs. To view Heather's recent Childlight Yoga classes please click here
Cheri Butler came to YogaLife's 200-hr Training Program with a background in Buddhist philosophy studies as well as Vinyasa and Iyengar asanas (postures). Classical Yoga has proven to be home for this aspiring yogini. The practice of Yoga is not painful or arduous. Yoga is unity. Classical Yoga is a nurturing, loving kindness philosophy of movement, breath and meditation, accessible to everyone. Determination, clarity and diligence have given Cheri a renewed balance of mind, body and spirit. She strives to provide a space for all to tap into their own wholeness and harmony. Classical Yoga has morphed Cheri?s practice into freedom and lightness. This freedom and lightness is what she plans to show others through daily living, service, practice and community.
Senior Instructor: Lisa Rockenmacher, E-RYT 500, KYRT is a devoted practitioner of yoga who enjoys sharing her enthusiasm with others. A constant student of yoga and the creative spirit, Lisa has been a teacher for over fifteen years--focusing on yoga and healing for the past five. She is certified as an instructor in Classical (Hatha) and Kundalini Yoga and is a Reiki Master Teacher in the Usui Tibetan-Enhanced and Karuna traditions. Blending yogic wisdom with intuitive sensibility, Lisa facilitates classes that allow students to explore challenges and new experiences within a safe and supportive community. Lisa is honored to serve as a vehicle for encouraging students toward deeper access of their unique wisdom, strength, and guidance.
Next program begins September 2014
Why Comprehensive Yoga Therapy?
There's no denying that we are in a state of health crisis in the Western world. As many great minds work toward evolving the current system of patient care, the certified Comprehensive Yoga Therapist will be in a unique position to pick up where modern medicine leaves off, empowering clients to augment their current care model with exploration and resolution of the deeper lifestyle issues that lie at the root of many of modern disease conditions.
Students join the Comprehensive Yoga Therapy (CYT) training for a variety of reasons. Many are yoga teachers looking for a 500 hour certification (Yoga Alliance registered) that will guide their personal and professional growth while improving their teaching skills and honing their abilities to work with a wider variety of students in small specialized groups or one-on-one sessions.
Others are professionals like Doctors, Nurses, Nutritionists, Physical Therapists, Psychologists and Personal Trainers who see where the current healthcare model is failing and are looking for new ideas on how to enhance their current approach with tools and models of assessment and understanding that reflect more inclusive, holistic paradigms.
What is Comprehensive Yoga Therapy?
The Comprehensive Yoga Therapy program at YogaLife views each aspect of the human experience as having the potential to be a source of healing and inspiration. Fragmentation and stress is universal, yet each individual experiences stress as well as health & healing very differently. This program aims to assess and understand the whole person, with an eye towards understanding the Yogic approach of embracing the many different and interrelated levels on which healing can occur – energetic, emotional, intellectual, and spiritual. While a human being may not always be able to control pain or the outcome of the healing process, Yoga teaches that each individual may overcome the resistance to pain or suffering.
This program intends to shift the current cultural healthcare perspective from the passive patient model, to a more active model where the patient is a student of their own processes and becomes empowered to be a proactive participant in their own healing. The course does not intend to make the Yoga Therapist into a Doctor, Psychologist, Physical Therapist or other therapeutic professional who deals with acute disease conditions. In this model, the Yoga Therapist works with other medical and healing professionals as a supporting expert offering clients a highly personalized lifestyle, stress management, and health plan.
The YogaLife Institute programs are based on the work of The Yoga Institute, Mumbai, India, which was the first Yoga Center in the world to open their doors to the general public in 1917. The Yoga Institute has researched and offered Yoga Therapy programs for more than 90 years and continues to be a leader in the field. The key principles of Psychology & Spirituality, Lifestyle & Philosophy, Meditation & Psychosomatic Practices, Healthy Routines & Yoga Hygiene, Yoga Postures & Breathing Exercises offer a strong and scientifically proven approach for creating and/or maintaining a Healthy Yoga Lifestyle.
Level One 300 hr Yoga Therapist Program Overview:
Topics of Study:
- Lifestyle Assessment Skills
- Yogic Diagnostic Tools
- One-on-One Yoga Lifestyle Coaching
- Holistic Nutrition & Weight Loss
- Functional Anatomy & Systems of the Body
- Breath and Vital Energy
- Networking & Professional Ethics
- Physical, Emotional & Spiritual Healing
- Yoga Psychology & Healthy Relationships
- Holistic & Allopathic Perspectives on Disease
Graduates qualified to work with: heart disease, insomnia and sleep disorders, chronic pain and pain management, back injuries and rehabilitation, asthma and respiratory issues, grief, cancer, addiction and recovery, anxiety and depression, digestive disorders, weight loss and nutrition, energy imbalances, and special populations: seniors, kids, teens, pre and post natal.
Course Logistics: 300 hours of study: 170 contact hours, 80 practicum hours, 50 hours home study, 10 weekend intensive trainings, 10 mentoring sessions, 20 case studies.
Course Pre-Requisites: 200 hour Yoga Teacher Training, at least 1 year of yoga teaching or therapeutic practice experience, entrance exam, interview with the director, and a home yoga practice.
Julie Rost, E-RYT500,CYT, Director of the YogaLife Institute of NH, researched the therapeutic aspects of Yoga while a Psychology major in college, resulting in a thesis on the benefits of Yoga for at-risk adolescents. After ten years of working in women’s reproductive health, she spent three years in Africa studying traditional methods for healing HIV/AIDS. Realizing that the yoga lifestyle held the greatest potential for health and well-being, her return to the U.S. led her to the YogaLife Institute in PA, where she studied and eventually coordinated the 200 and 500-hour Classical Yoga Teacher Training programs. For the last 5 years, she has directed both Teacher Training programs in NH, along with Meditation Training, weekly classes, workshops and private yoga therapy.
Brian Serven, Assistant Director, E-RYT500, CYT is a Senior Instructor at YogaLife Institute in Exeter, New Hamsphire. He assists in the coordination of the 200 and 500- hour Yoga Teacher Training programs as well as facilitates the ‘Introduction to Yoga’ and ‘Meditation For Your Type Series’. A graduate of the YogaLife Institute’s 200-hour and 500-hour Classical Yoga Teacher Training program, he received additional Teacher Training certification at The Yoga Institute, Mumbai, India, where the therapeutic principals of Yoga are integrated seamlessly, philosophically and physically. Believing the benefits of Yoga to be abundant and suitable for everyone, Brian’s approach to sharing these experiences are with an intention of simplicity and accessibility. Viewing Yoga as a lifestyle and combining such experiences with 6 years of Martial Arts studies, Brian has a unique view of balance, discipline and awareness.
Dr. Nicholas Rost, D.C. Chiropractor, Dr. Ken George & Associates, has been in private practice for 10 years in Stratham, NH. His approach utilizes multiple methods, including a non-traditional “soft contact” method combined with breath awareness, to help the nervous system release tension patterns that are contributing to dis-ease, injury and pain. His work is based upon the idea that the body heals itself when in balance. A yoga student himself, Nick graduated from Logan College of Chiropractic in St. Louis, MO, and taught Anatomy and Physiology for 4 years at Sister Rosalind School of Massage Therapy in Fargo N.D.
Sally Sugatt, RYT500, CYT, is a graduate of YogaLife's 200 and 500 hour teacher training and its Comprehensive Yoga Therapy, Level 1, programs. She has been teaching Classical Yoga at Blue Moon for over five years. Sally has been in private practice as a psychotherapist in Exeter for 19 years working with all ages and now incorporates yoga philosophy and practices in her work with psychotherapy clients. She is particularly interested in the art of the relationship--the evolving landscape between Ego and Self and between Self and other Sentient Beings.
Co-founder: Robert Butera, E-RYT, M.Div., PhD., is the founder of the YogaLife Institute, publisher of Yoga Living magazine and Vice President of the board of directors of the International Association of Yoga Therapists. Bob studied yoga with Dr. Jayadeva Yogendra at The Yoga Institute of Bombay and later obtained his Ph.D. in Yoga Philosophy a the California Institute of Integral Studies and a Masters of Divinity from The Earlham School of Religion. With over 25 years of meditation and yoga experience, he has worked with teachers and students throughout Japan, Taiwan, India and the United States. Bob emphasized a holistic exploration of Yoga and is known for teaching ancient Classical Yoga principles in a practical and relevant way that connects students with their own divinity. Bob's first book, The Pure Heart of Yoga: Ten Essential Steps for Personal Transformation was released by Llewellyn Worldwide in September 2009 and has sold over 10,000 copies worldwide. His second book, Meditation for Your Life: Creating a Plan that Suits Your Style was released by Llewellyn Worldwide in September 2012.
Co-founder: Erin Byron, E-RYT500, BA, MA, Director of Welkin/YogaLife Institute Ontario, has ten years experience as a professional Yoga Therapist and Psychotherapist, and is co-creator of the Comprehensive Yoga Therapist Training. Erin's Master of Arts research studied the benefits of Yoga practices in coping with Post-Traumatic Stress Syndrome. Erin has been teaching Yoga for over a decade and certifying Yoga and Meditation Teachers for six years.
Special Guest Speakers: Chiropractor, Cardiologist, Physiatrist, Pulmonologist, Mental Health Professionals, Occupational Therapist, Registered Nurse, Massage Therapist & Nutritionist.
For more information call Brian Serven at 603-969-8968 or email
To take advantage of our tuition discount, please register by July 1st, 2012
Testimonials from 3 of our 2012 session one participants:
"As with most of my recent (last 10 years) experiences with yoga, when I, the student, have been ready, the teacher has appeared. The Comprehensive Yoga Therapy (CYT) Training is another such experience. I chose to say "yes" to this course of study because I so trust the lineage. The Comprehensive Yoga Therapy program has been endorsed by the Yoga Institute in Mumbai,India, a leader in yoga training and yoga therapy for almost one hundred years. CYT emphasizes the eight-fold path found in Patanjali's Sutras. CYT further emphasizes restoring health through education, fostering self reliance in clients (not patients), and helping clients to establish healing and healthy practices which go beyond a presenting condition or a symptom. Furthermore, CYT advocates for holistic modalities, such as naturopathy, chiropractic, osteopathy, Ayruveda and psychological counseling as supports for clients. We, as Yoga Therapists, join these holistic modalities as colleagues and become part of the net of healthy fibers for our communities. As a psychotherapist in Exeter and a yoga teacher (RYT 500), I am excited about continuing my learning and about watching as my practice broadens to focus on the whole person. In yoga, healing is not simply freedom from physical disease, it is understanding the roots of suffering in order to re-establish and to maintain balance of body, mind and spirit. Finally, a big draw to the training was the closer proximity of other yoga teachers seeking further training. We are a social species and I love the community of yoga learners! Support, not competition; equality; appreciation for Beginner's Mind; deep listening; humor and joy; balance! Yes, yes, yes." - Sally Sugatt
"I am undertaking the Yogalife Institute's Comprehensive Yoga Therapy (CYT) course following on from completing the Teacher Training (200 hour) program. TheCYT program is living up to it's name in being truly comprehensive, integrating the 5 branches of yoga and applying them in a holistic manner. The program is very practical and uses experiential learning - case studies, class discussions and extensive self study as well as lots of reading. I feel very lucky to be able to learn from such knowledgable teachers who creatively bring yogic wisdom to help alleviate suffering in a new way.
I am finding the program hugely enjoyable and challenging and it is taking my personal and professional practice to a different level. I highly recommend it." -Alice Bentley
"True to the title, this training has been comprehensive and compassionate; providing me with new resources, techniques, and perspective on my one-to-one work with yoga students. In just a few short months, I feel a new sense of clarity about the purpose and scope of yoga therapy and my role as a yoga therapist. The applied practice, role-plays, case studies, and self-reflection have helped me to consider a variety of situations and learn experientially alongside supportive classmates. The program has a strong sense of ethical boundaries and personal responsibility, and is rooted in ancient practice but adapted to a modern world. I would highly recommend this training to anyone working with clients who suffer from stress-related conditions." - Michelle Wilson