M.A., E-RYT 500, C-IAYT
Carol Crenshaw is the co-founder and co-director of Inner Peace Yoga Center in Indianapolis and co-director Emeritus of the Himalayan Institute of Yoga Science and Philosophy of New York City. She has been practicing yoga and meditation for over 30 years and holds a Master's degree in Eastern Studies/Comparative Psychology/Holistic Health from the University of Scranton. She is certified to teach Hatha Yoga and Meditation from the Himalayan Institute Teacher's Association and is an E-RYT Yoga Alliance instructor. She has taught yoga practices for twenty-five years in the U.S., India, and Italy. She served as a yoga therapist, biofeedback trainer, and wellness counselor both at the Center for Holistic Medicine in New York City and at the Himalayan Institute headquarters in Honesdale, PA, where she also served as a senior teacher. She is a contributing author of The Clinical EFT Handbook and co-author of EFT and Meditation. She is the also author of many articles that have appeared in Yoga International magazine. Carol is an adjunct faculty member at the University of Phoenix, where she teaches courses in philosophy, psychology, sociology, and the humanities. She is a Certified EFT INT practitioner who specializes in weight loss.
Mary Duffy is a graduate of the Spanda® Yoga Movement Therapy class of 2020. She received her 500-hour yoga certification from the Himalayan Institute in Honesdale, Pennsylvania. Mary holds a Master’s in Dance Education from Temple University and was a dance educator for the Kardon Institute for Arts Therapy, teaching individual and group programs for mentally and physically challenged adults and children for over 25 years. Mary specializes in Prenatal Yoga and Mom & Infant Yoga, currently employed as a Childbirth Educator for Abington Jefferson Hospital in Philadelphia. She also teaches hatha yoga with special focus on women and 40+ adults and seniors.
M.S., OTR/L, CMA, IDME
Lauree Wise has been engaged in the realm of body mind integration for most of her life. She met her spiritual teacher, Gurumayi Chidvalasananda in 1986, and has served in Siddha Yoga ashrams in New York and India. Ms. Wise begun her study of hatha yoga in 1984, and has studied both Iyengar and Anusara styles. She’s been on the Spanda Yoga® Teacher Training faculty since its inception, designing and teaching Hands-on Correctives and Experiential Anatomy for Yoga. Her work is informed by certification as a Body-Mind Centering® Practitioner and Teacher, her BA in Philosophy from Bryn Mawr College and her MS in Occupational Therapy from Columbia’s College of Physicians and Surgeons. Ms. Wise has taught in somatic trainings and presented to psychologists, yoga teachers, school educators, and parents. She also has taught in the somatic trainings such as the Kinesthetic Learning Center in North Carolina and California, at the Center for Kinesthetic Education, and at the Center for Somatic Studies in New York.
Ms. Wise maintains a private practice specializing in pediatric occupational therapy for infants and children, and somatic movement therapy for adults throughout the lifespan. Selected to present at the Citywide Infant Toddler Conferences, her last workshop was entitled, Curiosity Fed the Cat: The Playful Relationship Between Attention and Intention.
Taravati Schmitt, B.B.A., 200 YTT
Taravati is the marketing director of Spanda® Yoga. She has been practicing yoga since childhood beginning at the Himalayan Institute. She is a student of the Himalayan Tradition and received her mantra initiation by Pandit Rajmani Tigunait, PhD, the successor of H.H. Swami Rama. She has an AOS in Pastry and Hospitality and a Bachelor's in Business Management from the Culinary Institute of America with a double major in Advanced Pastry and Hospitality. She has successfully managed multiple small businesses within the hospitality industry. Taravati is also certified in Ayurvedic healing practices and Nutritional teaching. Additionally, she runs a niche marketing consulting business. She is currently un-route to obtain an M.B.A. from The College of William & Mary.
Rev. Charles Crenshaw
M.S., E-RYT 500, C-IAYT
Rev. Charles Crenshaw is the co-founder and co-director of Inner Peace Yoga Center in Indianapolis and co-director Emeritus of the Himalayan Institute of Yoga Science and Philosophy of New York City. He has been practicing meditation and yoga since 1974. He holds a Master's degree in Eastern Studies/Comparative Psychology/Holistic Health from the University of Scranton. During his tenure in New York, Charles worked on the staff of the Center for Holistic Medicine as a teacher, counselor, yoga therapist, and biofeedback trainer. He is also an ordained Interfaith Minister from the New Seminary, New York City, where he specialized in spiritual counseling, and served on the lecture faculty for two years. Charles holds a certificate of training for Alcohol & Substance Abuse counseling from the New School for Social Research in New York City, and is a Reiki master. He also served on the staff of the Himalayan Institute Charitable Hospital (Jolly Grant, Dehra Dun, India) as a yoga therapist and researcher investigating the benefits of yoga on health. Charles has served as a senior teacher and seminar coordinator at the Himalayan Institute's national headquarters in Honesdale, PA. He is an E-RYT Yoga Alliance instructor, and has studied eclectically worldwide. He is the co-author of EFT and Meditation, a contributing author of The Clinical EFT Handbook, and the author of Pathless Path: God Grace Guru. Charles is an adjunct faculty member at the University of Phoenix, where he teaches courses in philosophy and religion. He is a Certified EFT INT practitioner, a Certified Consulting Hypnotist, and Master NLP practitioner.
M.S.,P.T., E-RYT200, C-IAYT
As a yoga teacher and yoga therapist graduate of Spanda Yoga Movement Therapy (C-IAYT), a physical therapist (M.S. Columbia University), a Yoga for Cancer (y4c) Teacher, and an Accessible Yoga Ambassador/Teacher, I love sharing the empowering path of Yoga with anyone interested in this life affirming practice regardless of ability or background.
I teach Yoga for People with Parkinsons, for Cancer Survivors, Chair Yoga and Senior Yoga. I offer a series on Daily Rituals and a Happy Posture/ Healthy Bones program for people with low bone density as well as individual/small group therapeutic sessions. I present to groups in my region on health related topics including balance/fall prevention and Accessible Yoga and write articles on healthy living topics for my Town newsletter. I coordinate a successful yearly campaign in my region using Yoga Events to support the Wellness Center at Boston Children’s Hospital. I love walking, nature, singing, dogs and studying all aspects of human nature. And all things Yoga of course!
M.A. Dipl.Ac., Enterprise Agile Coach
Chris Schmitt is the general manager and a faculty member of Spanda® Yoga. He has practiced various forms of meditation and yoga since 1968. He was initiated into the Himalayan tradition by H.H. Swami Rama in 1979 and now dedicates his free time to the self-inquiry subtleties of Nisargadatta Maharaj and Ramana Maharshi. He has spent most of his professional life leading various domestic and international business transformation initiatives for Fortune 100 corporations. However, he has always had a strong interest in complementary therapeutic modalities completing acupuncture and Chinese herbal studies, achieving NJ/PA/MA acupuncture licensure in 1994—at a time when Chinese medicine in the US was still in its emergent phase.
Dr. Carrie Demers
M.D., E-RYT 500, C-IAYT
Board-certified in Integrative Medicine, Dr. Carrie Demers is a holistic physician who blends modern medicine with traditional approaches to health. After receiving her medical degree from the University of Cincinnati and completing her residency at Michael Reese Hospital in Chicago, Dr. Demers went on to study massage, homeopathy, yoga, nutrition, herbal medicine and Ayurveda. She is on the faculty of the Himalayan Institute, and is Medical Director of the Institute’s PureRejuv Wellness Center. Dr. Demers has been providing integrative consultations, and teaching workshops on holism for the last 23 years. She has been interviewed by numerous newspapers and magazines, including Time Magazine, and lectures nationally on Ayurveda and Holistic Medicine. She has written numerous articles for Yoga International, and currently writes for the PureRejuv and Himalayan Institute blogs.
B.A., E-RYT500, C-IAYT
James has been a Spanda® Yoga Movement Therapist since 2019 and joined the faculty as a guest lecturer in 2020. He has been teaching meditation and spirituality since 2014. He has been practicing hatha and vinyasa yoga since 2016 and teaching since 2018. James has a B.A. in political science from Drew University in Madison, NJ, where he discovered his feelings about the need for global healing and spiritual development. Most of his formal Training in yoga comes directly from Dr. Jaime Stover Schmitt, the founder of Spanda® Yoga Movement Therapy.
He has experience using the somatic, energetic and mental exercises of yoga in a wide range of areas, such as high impact sports injuries, and assisting individuals with histories of drug and alcohol abuse. James worked for ten years in a health food store and apothecary where he helped people eat right and attained a working knowledge of herbs, vitamins, minerals, homeopathy, Ayurveda, Traditional Chinese Medicine, aromatherapy, and holistic hygiene, nutrition, and detoxification. He is a life-long cyclist and has also been a martial artist since 2017.
Cassandra Crnich, M.S., E-RYT500, C-IAYT
Cassandra is a Spanda® Yoga Movement Therapist and Yoga Teacher in Butte, MT. She is a student of the Himalayan Tradition and received her mantra initiation by Rolf Sovik. Cassandra studied Ayurvedic Yoga through the Himalayan Institute AYS program and is a certified Ayurvedic Lifestyle Consultant under The American Institute of Vedic Studies. She trained in Ayurvedic Treatment Therapies at Fire Mountain, India and has taken immersion courses with Dr. Vasant Lad and Maya Tiwari. Additionally, Cassandra is certified in Restorative Yoga and Prenatal Yoga. She holds a Master’s of Science degree in Experimental Psychology and Animal Behavior.
GUEST FACULTY LECTURER
E-RYT 500, C-IAYT
Mikayla Morley completed her 200-hour teacher training with Ilana Siegal at LifeWorks Studio in 2015. She went on to pursue her 500-hour Teacher Certification and her Yoga Therapy Certification with Dr. Jaime Stover Schmitt through Spanda® Yoga Movement Therapy at the Himalayan Institute. She completed this training and became a certified Yoga Therapist in 2019. With over 1,000 hours of training in the yoga and yoga therapy modality, Mikayla has over five years of hands-on experience as a teacher and working privately with clients.
Mikayla began her study of yoga as a two-year-old, while living at the Kripalu Center. She is a life-long dancer having studied many forms extensively, including Modern and Ballet. After a number of dance-related injuries she ended up getting hip surgery at the age of 18, thus beginning her self-healing journey. Her personal experience with dance, body pain, meditation, and other embodied movement forms continue to inform her work with clients.
Mikayla helps people gain greater awareness of themselves and their bodies. She holds space for clients to improve physical alignment and address mental, emotional, and spiritual concerns. She works one-on-one to develop an individualized program specifically designed to meet each client's needs, facilitate growth, and promote wholeness.
M.A., E-RYT200, RYT500, RPYT, C-IAYT
Sarah Blunkosky is honored to serve caregivers, educators, and folks seeking healing tools for their learning journeys. She is an integrative education coach, yoga therapist, and academic historian. She loves the healing tools of research, writing, and the wisdom of embodied movement and shares their wisdom in helping others. Her learning life spanned from teaching social studies at Open High School in Richmond, Virginia, to studying slavery and social history on a graduate school path that pivoted when her daughter’s intellectual disabilities and medical needs required an intensive lifestyle shift. She started Kinattain by Learning Heroine LLC in 2015 to share helping tools with others in Northern Virginia in person and worldwide online. When she isn’t coaching, sharing yoga therapy, researching, homeschooling her kids, or playing, you can find her writing articles and working on a book on healing learning challenges. She is also excited to be a graduate teaching assistant for Spanda Yoga Therapy School, her alma mater.
Jessica Lynne Trese
Reiki Master, E-RYT500, C-IAYT
Jessica is a devoted student of yoga. She has seen the powerfully healing impact yoga has had on her life and is passionate about sharing it with others in a way that is possible for them. Jessica began teaching yoga in 2007, and the daily practice of Ashtanga yoga provides her with the healing, uplifting, and insightful benefits of a committed yoga practice. In her teaching, Jessica uses gentle encouragement to guide students along a path of healing self-discovery through yoga. Jessica has a bachelor’s and master’s degree in Business Management and is grateful to be able to combine her academic studies with her true passion by teaching yoga and managing her own business. Jessica taught in the Tampa Bay area of Florida for 15 years, and currently teaches in the beautiful mountains of Cedar City, Utah. Jessica frequently travels to study the traditions of yoga with many Certified and Authorized Ashtanga teachers. Jessica received her 200 RYT at Anala Yoga in 2007 and graduated from Spanda’s Yoga Therapy Program in 2022.