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.
Kimberly McKeever is a somatic movement educator and therapist. She has presented at national and international conferences on the subjects of developmental movement, autism and perceptions. Her original work on Sponging Developmental Movement is part of the curriculum of somatic programs world-wide. She has been on the faculty of The School for Body-Mind Centering®, Spanda® Yoga, and many somatic and yoga programs in the USA. Kimberly is on the faculty of The Developmental Somatic Psychotherapy program at the Somatic Studies Center, and works with a program for children on the autistic spectrum at Hunter College. She carries multiple somatic certifications as well as academic work in anatomy, physiology and neuroscience. She lives in the New York City area and has a private practice focused on those with issues of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and autism.
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.
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.
MSN, CMN, FNP, RYT200, PYT
Sheela Porter-Smith is a Certified Registered Nurse Practitioner in Pennsylvania. She graduated with a Masters Degree in Nursing (1987) from the University of Buffalo, and completed Midwifery training as a Certified Nurse Midwife in 1988. She also completed a Post Masters Degree in Family Practice. Sheela has practiced in a variety of settings as a Nurse Practitioner or Nurse Midwife. These include a wellness-oriented primary care practice using homeopathy and diet, hospital birthing suites using Holistic Midwifery, correctional medicine using breathing/meditation/dietary counseling, and family planning clinics using holistic ways to treat common female health issues. She is a certified yoga instructor, having trained through the Himalayan Institute, where she is a resident. Sheela is also a certified prenatal yoga teacher, and homeopath.
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.
Dr. Jaime Stover Schmitt
Ed.D., C.M.A. I.D.M.E., E-RYT 500, C-IAYT
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 (Pandit Upadesh) in 2016. Cassandra has studied Ayurvedic Yoga with the Himalayan Institute and Yoga North and is certified as an Ayurvedic Yoga Specialist. She trained in Ayurvedic Treatment Therapies at Fire Mountain, India and specializes in the oil application technique of snehan and is currently studying with Maya Tiwari. Additionally, Cassandra is certified in Restorative Yoga and Prenatal Yoga. She holds a master’s degree in Experimental Psychology and Animal Behavior.
M.Ed., C.M.A. RYT 500, C-IAYT
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 and 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.
B.S. E-RYT500, C-IAYT
Helga is a 2019 graduate of the Spanda® Yoga Movement Therapy program and has over 10 years of experience teaching yoga. She completed her 500hr Teacher Training in 2010 at Yoga Loka based on “Structural Yoga Therapy” by Mukunda Stiles. Since then she has enjoyed teaching various types of classes including Vinyasa Flow, gentle and beginners as well as restorative. In 2013, she completed a training program for Yoga for Cancer Care and has since been a volunteer teacher for the program. In 2012 she acquired her Master Reiki Level.
Helga has many years of formal training in several dance styles including jazz, tap, latin and ballroom. Helga’s teaching style focuses on proper alignment and positioning in her students’ poses in a friendly and supportive environment. She stresses the importance of listening to one’s own body’s needs and being fully aware of each breath we take.
Doreen Corwith Eckert
B.A., M.S., E-RYT 500, C-IAYT
Doreen Corwith Eckert is a 500-hour Certified Himalayan Institute Yoga & Meditation Teacher and an 800 hour C-IAYT Spanda Yoga Movement Therapist.
She's been meditating for nearly 30 years and teaching since 1997. Also a Reiki Energy Practitioner, writer and seeker, her first book, Good Soil: Yoga’s Guiding Principles and The Mosaic Ten Commandments, will published soon.
Her passion is helping others experience the Divine within. She lives with her family on eastern Long Island. For more information
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.