INDIA - CIRCA 1977: stamp printed by India, shows religious leader Paramahansa Yogananda, circa 1977. Credit

Stamp printed by India, shows Yoga leader Paramahansa Yogananda, circa 1977. Credit


• Paramahansa Yogananda

Author of the best-selling spiritual classic Autobiography of a Yogi, this beloved world teacher came to America in 1920 from his native India, and was the first great master of yoga to live and teach in the West for an extended period (more than 30 years). Paramahansa Yogananda has profoundly impacted the lives of millions with his comprehensive teachings on the science of Kriya Yoga meditation, the underlying unity of all true religions, and the art of balanced health and well-being in body, mind, and soul.

• Swami Kriyananda

A disciple of the Yoga master Paramhansa Yogananda; the founder of Ananda Sangha Worldwide and nine intentional spiritual communities, including Ananda Village in Nevada City, CA and site of The Expanding Light Yoga and Meditation Retreat where Brooke has trained. He is also an internationally known author, lecturer, and composer.

• Nayaswami Gyandev McCord, PhD

 Director of Ananda Yoga® Worldwide; Spiritual Travel Host; Writer and Lecturer; Ananda Minister; Co-founder and Board Member of Yoga Alliance. Gyandev was Brooke’s primary instructor for Yoga Teacher Training Level I and Advanced Pranayama Techniques.

• Nischala Joy Devi

  Lecturer, author and Yoga of the Heart® Teacher Training for cardiac and cancer patients, of which Brooke is a certified teacher. Nischala was graced to spend over 25 years as a monastic disciple with the world renowned Yogiraj Sri Swami Satchidanandaji, receiving his direct guidance and teachings. She serves on The International Association of Yoga Therapist (IAYT) Advisory Council.

• Judith Lasater, PhD

A Physical Therapist, has been teaching yoga since 1971. She trains students and teachers throughout the United States as well as abroad,
is one of the founders of Yoga Journal magazine, and is president of the California Yoga Teachers Association. She has written eight books. Brooke has attended training intensives and workshops on the art and science of teaching and practicing Restorative Yoga.

• Emma Bragdon •

From her website:

Founder/ Executive Director of
Integrative Mental Health for You

 IMHU provides online courses for health professionals, students and the general public about the full range of effective options for managing mental health and optimizing well-being.  It is not supported by special interests or lobbies.  IMHU has 20 faculty–all experts in the field of integrative mental health.

Integrative mental health takes a very cautious approach to the use of any psychiatric drugs, and turns to diagnostics and treatment based on  approaches such as psychological and social support, adequate nutrition and life style choices.  Spiritual practices such as meditation, prayer, yoga, as well as  finding meaning and purpose in life are considered vital to optimal wellness.


• Bikram Choudoury •

Yogiraj Bikram Choudhury is the founder of the worldwide Yoga College of India™. Born in Calcutta in 1946, Bikram began Yoga at the age of four with Bishnu Ghosh, the younger brother of Paramahansa Yogananda. Brooke began her daily Yoga practice in earnest at Bikram’s Yoga College of India in San Luis Obispo, CA.

• Tias Little

Director of Prajna Yoga in Santa Fe, NM, author of three books and a master of Eastern philosophy, Tias brings together precision of alignment, anatomical detail and a profound meditative experience. His understanding of the subtleties of the human experience, including lymphatic movement and the introvert’s experience as they relate to Yoga, have greatly influenced Brooke’s practice and teaching.

 • Jason Crandell

Named “one of the teachers shaping the future of yoga,” by Yoga Journal, Jason is considered a “teacher’s teacher.” Jason has taught on countless teacher training faculties, leads trainings globally, and regularly presents teacher training content at conferences. Brooke has attended Jason’s magnificent workshops where he skillfully guides students into the pretzel poses they never dreamed that they could practice, with good cheer and safe and proper alignment.

• Nayaswami Savitri Simpson

  A resident of Ananda since 1975, Savitri is a Minister, Counselor, Raja Yoga Teacher, and former co-director of the Ananda Meditation Teacher Training program. Savitri was Brooke’s primary Meditation Teacher Training Instructor and Chakra Yoga instructor and is Brooke’s personal friend and mentor.

• Shoosh Crotzer, MS

An extraordinary Yoga Therapist specializing in Yoga for Lymphedema, Multiple Sclerosis, Fibromyalgia and Arthritis recovery, Shoosh was Brooke’s first Yoga teacher at Cuesta College in 1998 and has been notably supportive in Brooke’s research on Yoga therapy for bipolar disorder.

• Bo Forbes, PhD

Bo is the founder of Integrative Yoga Therapeutics, a system that specializes in the therapeutic application of yoga for anxiety, insomnia, depression, immune disorders, chronic pain, physical injuries, and athletic performance. Brooke has attended Bo’s workshops and seminars at international conferences. Brooke’s teaching is informed by Bo’s book, Yoga for Emotional Balance.

• Bessel van der Kolk, MD

Dr. van der Kolk is past President of the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies, Professor of Psychiatry at Boston University Medical School, and Medical Director of the Trauma Center at JRI in Brookline, Massachusetts. In Dr. van der Kolk’s most recent 2014 book, The Body Keeps The Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Treatment of Trauma, he has transformed our understanding of traumatic stress, revealing how it literally rearranges the brain’s wiring—specifically areas dedicated to pleasure, engagement, control, and trust. He shows how these areas can be reactivated through innovative treatments including neurofeedback, mindfulness techniques, play, yoga, and other therapies. Brooke had the honor of hearing Dr. van der Kolk’s presentation on Trauma and Yoga at The Omega Institute and was forever changed by it during The Yoga Service Council Conference in 2013.

Heather Mason, MA

Heather is the founder of Yoga Therapy for the Mind and is a leader in the field of mind-body therapy in Europe and in the United States. Her constant research on Yoga therapeutics is a primary source of information for Brooke. Heather was the first to call Brooke “the world’s expert on Yoga therapy and bipolar disorder.”

Kelly McGonigal, PhD

A health psychologist and lecturer at Stanford University, TED presenter, bestselling author and International Journal of Yoga Therapy editor in chief from 2005–2012, Kelly translates cutting-edge research from psychology, neuroscience, and medicine into practical strategies for health, happiness, and personal success. Her dynamic lectures ay IAYT SYTAR and The Yoga Service Council Conferences have lit Brooke’s fire for Yoga therapy research.

•Nicole DeAvilla, E-RYT500

RPYT, RCYT, Master Level Yoga Therapist, best-selling author, International Association of Yoga Therapists Accreditation Committee Member, Director of Musculoskeletal Yoga Therapy at Ananda Yoga Therapist Training, published researcher and Brooke’s colleague, mentor, teacher and friend, Nicole is a leading modern pioneer and vibrant advocate of Yoga as a potent medicine and lifestyle.


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