Faculty

 
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DANA SLAMP, C-IAYT, ERYT500 (Founder, Program Director)

A childhood in the church and a career in classical theater led Dana to a lifelong interest in community support, wellness, the arts, and the divine.

Dana began teaching yoga in 2005, offering vinyasa classes known for their spirit, strength, and safety across New York City.  She joined the senior staff at Pure Yoga in 2008, expanding her teaching to therapeutic classes, as well as teaching in Pure's renowned 200 hour Teacher Training and Professional Mentorship Program.

Despite her love of classes, Dana saw the great need for one-on-one, specialized therapeutic teaching in the tradition of "yoga chikitsa" - "yoga medicine."  In 2010, she served as Managing Teacher at Pure West, and eventually cocreated the 300 hr advanced teacher training program at Yoga Vida.  Dana completed over 1100 hours of yoga, Ayurveda, meditation, and yoga therapy training with Guru Dharam, Dana Flynn, Dr. Marc Halpern and Yogi Charu - becoming one of the first certified yoga therapists in the US.

In 2012, Dana founded Prema Yoga Institute, New York's premiere yoga therapy school.  PYI offers a radical collaboration between wellness professionals devoted to yoga, bridging the gaps between yoga and healthcare and academia and yoga.  PYI prepares wellness professionals to provide yoga and mindfulness to diverse populations - regardless of any injuries or limitations present.  (Premayogainstitute.com)

She continues to teach internationally, contributes to countless teacher trainings, and has presented at the Telluride Yoga Festival, Wanderlust in the City, and several times at the Yoga Journal Conference. She has been honored to consult on research projects and wellness programs for clinics, doctor's offices, condominiums, and corporations. Dana is a member of IAYT and currently practices in New York City. (Danaslamp.com)

 
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Loren Fishman, MD (Applied Yoga Therapy) 

Dr. Fishman is Medical Director of Manhattan Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation in New York City, author of seven books and author or editor of more than 70 academic articles, and a world-recognized pioneer in the treatment of piriformis syndrome and rotator cuff tear and an expert in curing back pain. He is Associate Editor of Topics in Geriatric Rehabilitation, on the staff at Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons and a past president of the New York Society of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation.

Dr. Fishman has written five books about yoga and medical conditions. They are: Relief Is In the Stretch: Cure Back Pain With Yoga ( with Carol Ardman, WW Norton, 2006), Yoga for Multiple Sclerosis (with Eric Small, Demos Press, 2007), Yoga for Osteoarthritis (with Ellen Saltonstall, WW Norton, 2008), Yoga for Osteoporosis (with Ellen Saltonstall, coming in March, 2010), and Healing Yoga (2015).

After graduating from Christ Church, Oxford, Dr. Fishman spent a year in Pune, Inda, studying Yoga with BKS Iyengar, attending every public and private class and taking daily instruction. At that time, Mr. Iyengar gave Dr. Fishman permission to teach his Yoga. Dr. Fishman then went to Rush Medical School, did a residency in a Tufts-Harvard program, and served as Chief Resident in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. Throughout his career, when appropriate, he has incorporated Yoga into his medical practice and has watched its healing effects. He is also an enthusiastic practitioner himself and has been doing Yoga daily since 1973.

Dr. Fishman has been included in numerous “Best Doctors” lists and has lectured in the United States and abroad. He is an officer of the Manhattan Institute for Cancer Research, and lives with his wife in New York City.

"To his patients, Dr. Fishman is a miracle worker." – Jane Brody, NY Times
Loren Fishman is "... a Thomas Edison of yoga therapy." – William Broad, The Science of Yoga

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Christopher Walling, PsyD, MBA, C-IAYT (Somatic Psychology, Peer Coaching, and Physiology of Yoga)

has been an active leader in healthcare for nearly two decades. His work integrates the developmental, biological, and somatic aspects of the lifespan. His work in academic medicine has included the administration of multidisciplinary leadership teams in hematology-oncology, physical medicine and rehabilitation, and geriatric psychiatry.  

Dr. Walling’s service in geriatric psychiatry began as the Executive Administrator for the UCLA Longevity Center and Division of Geriatric Psychiatry in 2010. It was there through his work with world class physician researchers he began to explore the applications of yoga therapy in mental health. He currently serves as Chairman of the Education Advisory Committee for the Alzheimer’s Research and Prevention Foundation. He is a certified yoga therapist through the International Association of Yoga Therapists, and a Certified Yoga and Meditation instructor through Yoga Alliance.  

Dr. Walling is the President of the United States Association of Body Psychotherapy. His clinical focus in the behavioral sciences has examined the intersections of neuropsychotherapy, affect regulation, and body psychology. He has trained with some of the leading experts in contemporary psychotherapy including Dr. Peter Levine, Dr. Stephen Porges, Dr. Sue Johnson, and Dr. Allan Schore. His research on Proprioception and Interoception in Somatic Experiencing Praxis received the 2016 President’s Award for Research Excellence at California Southern University. 

Dr. Walling is the Clinical Director of Soma Psychological Services in Los Angeles, California where he specializes in stress related disorders, trauma, couples work, and addiction recovery. His passion and expertise in resilience, mindfulness, and psychological wellbeing make him a sought after speaker for several Fortune 500 companies where he has helped executives learn how to harness the power of peak performance via the innate resources of the body.

Jon Witt, E-RYT 500 (Senior Therapeutics Teacher)

Jon completed his 6 month Atmavikas Yoga Therapy Teacher Training Course with Yogacharya V. Venkatesha of Mysore, India.  This was an exceptional opportunity to learn the old traditions the way yoga was originally taught -one on one and in residence.   Before focusing on therapeutics, Jon came to yoga from a different kind of mat. After wrestling competitively for 10 years, he turned to yoga for therapy and relief. A dedicated Bikram practice followed and he soon completed his first teacher training with Bikram Choudhury in 2002. Jon was chosen to be one of the original Pure Yoga instructors, and  spent 5 years teaching in Hong Kong.  He has continued to dedicate time to his yoga education, studying with teachers such as Dharma Mittra, Anthony Carlisi, Baron Baptiste, Doug Keller, Kristyan Stjerne, Patrick Creelman, and Tim Miller.  He currently teaches Yoga Therapy, Back Care, Basics, Slow Flow, Vinyasa and more in New York, New York.

Nevine Michaan (Pranayama and Sacred Geometry)

Nevine is the Founder of Katonah Yoga and an avid yoga practitioner for 35 years. Her practical approach to structural alignment is influenced by the large ideas of Taoism and physics, and yet is personalized to every body. Her teaching has inspired New York's leading yoga teachers and expanded to a second studio in New York. In her words: "It is through the practice that I have found the magic of organic, organized nature. Taoist study has deepened my sense of this inner directional intelligence of the body. Manipulating the form of the body through asanas and refining the measure and meter of the breath through pranayamas, yoga has provided me with tools for my personal and communal growth. Yoga practice promotes the joys of integrity, of virtue, and of honing skills for developed well-being."

Karen Nourizadeh, E-RYT 500 (Modern Mindfulness, Meditation and Yoga Nidra)

Former New York City Litigator, Karen Nourizadeh, has embarked on a path of healing and health, after spending more than a decade practicing law and working at companies that topped the Fortune 50 list. After discovering the healing philosophy and tools of yoga and meditation, Karen was propelled towards her true calling, to inspire and heal others. Understanding the complex stress factors of the modern working world, Karen has successfully advised and guided large health, financial and media corporations, hedge funds and entrepreneurs to help alleviate mental and physical tension for the last 6 years. Cited for her expert guidance, Karen’s chapter on stress management was published in Cutting Edge Therapies for Autism to help parents of children with autism manage stress. Karen's wellness blogs have appeared in Mind, Body, Green and Elephant Journal, and her teachings have been featured in Fitness Magazine, Harper's Bazaar, The New York Daily News, Style Bistro, Shine!, The Cardoza Jurist, Off the Blue Mat, The Beauty Bean and DNA Info New York. Credentialed with an advanced meditation and yoga certification, E-RYT 500, Karen has conducted meditation and mindfulness trainings and workshops in New York City, and has traveled to India, to further her knowledge on Eastern studies, philosophy and healing techniques.

Amber Paul, E-RYT 500 (Yoga and Meditation for Trauma)

Amber holds a psychology degree from Sewanee and the highest level of Yoga Alliance certification as an E-RYT 500 vinyasa yoga instructor. She specializes in teaching meditation for the modern practitioner. Amber is currently a yoga professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice and a guest lecturer in the graduate psychology program at Fordham University. She is on faculty at Three Sisters Yoga, where she certifies new instructors at both the 200 and 300-hour level. She has also been a guest teacher in the Prema Therapeutics teacher training at Pure Yoga. In addition to being the resident yoga instructor at Broadway Dance Center, she has taught yoga and meditation at the Chopra Center, Sonic Yoga, Yoga Collective NYC, Club H Fitness, Reflections Yoga, and for many corporate clients including Brooks Brothers and the law firm of Skadden/Arp. She taught the inaugural Yoga for Absolute Beginners Workshop at Broadway Dance Center and also donates her time to trauma survivor groups by teaching yoga and meditation techniques for PTSD. Visit www.amberpaul.com for more info or visit her yoga blog at www.amberpaul.wordpress.com.

MARC NELLES, C-IAYT, RYT500 (YOGA/YOGA NIDRA AND IMMUNE/AUTOIMMUNE DISEASE)

Marc earned his degree in dance at the Rotterdam Dance Academy (Codarts) in the Netherlands, and had a career as a dancer and dance instructor in Europe and the US for more than 10 years.

Today, Marc is an IAYT-certified Ayurvedic yoga therapist as a graduate from our own Prema Yoga Institute, and a certified Reiki Master in the lineage of Master Usui. He holds an advanced RYT500 Yoga Alliance credential, specializing in therapeutic Vinyasa  in the Krishnamacharya tradition, and tantric meditation, Yoga Nidra, and Pranayama in the Saraswati tradition of the Bihar School of Yoga in India.

He currently teaches yoga and meditation to medical personnel and staff at the Institute of Advanced Medicine at Mount Sinai St. Luke’s Hospital, New York City, and is on faculty at the UNSRC Yoga Club at United Nations Headquarters, teaching Yoga Nidra to staff and delegates.

He has also been a guest teacher in the Prema Yoga Therapeutics teacher training, presenting research on yoga and HIV and other immune/autoimmune conditions.

Marc is the founder of Mankind Yoga NYC, his own business venture that provides yoga and healing to his private clients.
 
Yoga and meditation facilitated Marc's transformative spiritual journey, and he is looking forward to continuing to learn and inspire, while teaching and sharing the wisdom of his lifelong journey. 

For more information, visit www.mankindyoganyc.com.

Julia Abramova, C-IAYT, ERYT500 (Ayurveda, Mentor)

As an executive, Julia always looked to find inner balance and peace. Thus began her yoga journey in 2007. Drawing upon a synthesis of Jivamukti and the Bihar schools of yoga she became a certified yoga teacher in 2012 through Shiva Shanti Yoga School.

Soon after beginning her yoga teaching career, Julia realized that there was a need to work with students on a more individual basis in order to help them find peace and balance within their bodies. This desire to help led to further studies in: prenatal yoga, The Kaivalya Yoga Method and Prema Yoga Therapeutics program. Julia graduated from an advanced 300 hour training at Pure Yoga as well as established herself as a Certified Yoga Therapist (C-IAYT) through the International Association of Yoga Therapists.

Julia’s passion for learning natural healing practices brought her to Kerala Ayurveda Academy where she completed Ayurvedic Wellness Counselor program towards completion of their Ayurvedic Wellness Practitioner program.

Along with learning about the inner workings of the mind/body/spirit connection through Yoga and Ayurveda, she always had a strong connection with energy healing. She would go on to become a Reiki Master in the Usui lineage, and a certified Sound Healing Practitioner through the Atma Buti Sound and Vibrational School.

Julia strongly believes that we are all capable of healing ourselves. Through her dedication to her students and a holistic approach Julia serves as a catalyst that ignites the healing fire within.

To learn more visit www.jyotiyogahealing.com.

Sonja Rzepski, C-IAYT, ERYT500 (Yoga TherapY)

Sonja began her 18 year history with yoga as a way to feel whole and balanced after the physical stress of being an athlete and aerial performer. While working professionally as a physical theatre artist, Ashtanga yoga was a healing force that not only repaired her muscles but calmed her mind and lit the creative light. She studied Ashtanga as taught classically by Eddie Stern and had the honor of also studying directly with Shri K. Pattabhi Jois. She soon discovered the holistic aspects of yoga brought a new way of living and she became certified with Paul Dallaghan of the Samahita Institute in Ko Samui Thailand, this has lead to opportunities over the last 15 years of teaching with Samahita in Asia, Gaia and Nava in Europe and currently her teaching at Pure Yoga in NYC.  Sonja is a graduate of Prema Yoga and is grateful for Dana Slamp's ongoing inspiration and guidance. Sonja works as a yoga therapist with a wide range of students from Olympic runners, to differently abled students, performers, and those recovering from cardiac events. She is the Private Practice manager at Pure West on the upper westside of Manhattan.Her students stories and dedication to the practice of yoga constantly remind her to move from a place of healing. She is eternally thankful to all her teachers and believes we can live in, and enter grace, physically and energetically if we move forward with patience and positive attitude. Sonja also is the program director of the non-for-profit  Enter Grace Yoga which brings yoga to NYC school for both kids and their teachers.

Jessica Caplan, E-RYT 200, Sound Therapy Practitioner (Sound Yoga Therapy)

Jessica is a certified sound therapy practitioner, vocalist and yoga teacher. A yoga teacher since 2006, having graduated from Pure Yoga Hong Kong’s first teacher training, Jessica’s twin loves -- music and the healing arts -- organically merged several years ago. She completed the year-long, 290-hour sound therapy practitioner training at the Open Center’s Sound and Music Institute, studying with experts in the field, including John Beaulieu, Silvia Nakkach, and Pat Moffit Cook. She has since guided soundbaths, crafted meditative soundscapes for yoga classes and events, and led workshops, retreats and trainings in voice and sound healing. Jessica is particularly passionate about providing students both in group and one-on-one sessions an integrative, loving approach to connecting with the voice, and through that, with oneself. She is a Reiki practitioner and Restorative yoga teacher, and continues her studies of yoga, sound healing, Native traditions, shamanic practices, and classical North Indian music.  Jessica is also the co-creatrix of SoundMind (www.soundmind.space), an audio meditation series combining meditation with therapeutic sound, released in the fall of 2016.   www.jessicacaplanyoga.com

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JACOB KYLE, MSc, MA, ERYT500 (Embodied Philosophy)

Jacob is a yoga asana teacher, writer and philosophy educator. Jacob holds two Masters Degrees in Philosophy: an MSc in Political Philosophy from the London School of Economics and Political Science (2007), and an MA in the History of Philosophy from the New School for Social Research (2013). While living in London, he studied Freudian and Lacanian psychoanalysis at the Centre for Freudian Analysis and Research. Jacob's ongoing studies in Western and Eastern philosophies have included study of the Yoga Sutras with Edwin Bryant, studies in Tantrik philosophy with Christopher Wallis, and a course in the history of Yoga and Tantra at New York University.  In 2015, Jacob was initiated into Neelakhanta Meditation and has since then been enrolled in Blue Throat Yoga programs under the tutelage of esteemed Kashmir Shaivism scholar Paul Muller-Ortega, studying the texts and practices of the Trika Kula lineage of Kashmir Shaivism.  To augment his yoga teaching practice, he has completed over seven hundred hours of training and workshops with master teachers Nevine Michaan, Kelly Morris, David Regelin, Schuyler Grant, Tias Little, Gabriel Halpern, Zach Dacuk & Leslie Kaminoff. 

During his years on the academic path, Jacob became disillusioned with abstruse armchair theorizing, as the possibility of implementing deep change in his life and the lives of others appeared remote while in an academic context. It was out of this struggle with academic philosophy that Jacob started teaching yoga and studying more deeply the practice-oriented philosophies of the East. In 2015, he founded Embodied Philosophy, LLC, an online educational platform that is committed to the dissemination of embodied philosophy, philosophy not of the mere intellect, but an integrated, non-dualistic living wisdom. His dream is to contribute to a sea change in how we approach philosophy, not as an abstract discipline out of touch with experience, but as recipes for embodiment. By implementing these often ancient practices in our modern lives, we can change our bodies and minds out of self-destructive habits of thinking and acting.