The Yoga Teacher Training program at Ananda Ashram is led by experienced hatha yoga instructors and by Ashram teachers who were trained directly by Founder Shri Brahmananda Sarasvati. All of our YTT faculty members have been practicing and teaching for many years. Senior staff instructors have lived in residence at the Ashram, studying and integrating the teachings in their daily life for thirty years or more. This program is designed so that the expertise of each faculty member is transmitted to students in a direct, inspiring, encouraging and transformative way.
E-RYT, Training Director – David has been teaching Yoga since 1994. In New York City he has helped to develop the teacher training programs at both the New York Yoga and the Yoga Sutra Centers and he runs the daily Mysore Ashtanga room at Pure Yoga East. David has studied directly with Sri K. Pattabhi Jois and with his son Manju and other students of the Mysore tradition of Yoga. Currently he is studying with Sri B.N.S. Iyengar of Mysore. He has been a guest teacher and devotee at Ananda Ashram for several years. His goal is to help each person learn Yoga with kindness and truthfulness at his or her own speed and intensity. David is also a classically trained figurative artist and has taught art for over a decade.
Nikki Lewitan, Director & Course Facilitator – Nikki received her Yoga Therapy certification from Yoga Vidya Dham in Nasik, India, and her Hatha Yoga Teacher’s certification from Ananda Ashram’s International Schools of East-West Unity (Gurukula), where she is currently director of the School of Hatha Yoga. In addition to living, studying and serving at Ananda Ashram since 2007, Nicole spends her winters traveling abroad. She enjoys the mystery of exploring the unknown and connecting with masters through different cultures and traditions. While in India Nikki studies with Sri V. Sheshadri of Mysore, a distinguished teacher of traditional Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga as taught by Sri Krishnamacharya, Sri B.N.S. Iyengar and Sri K. Pattabhi Jois.
Shri Radha, Intoduction to Sanskrit & Yoga Sutras – Radha met her Guru Shri Brahmananda Sarasvati in 1977 and received intensive training from him until his passing in 1993. She served closely as his secretary and assistant, traveling with him and serving as his main interpreter during the final ten years of his life. She lives at Ananda Ashram where she is a life-term trustee of the Baba Bhagavandas Publication Trust and a trustee of the International Schools of East-West Unity (Gurukula). Since 2004, Radha has been graced to further her spiritual education and practice with Amma Sri Karunamayi, both in India and the USA.
Bharati Devi, Bhagavad Gita - began her studies with Shri Brahmananda Sarasvati (Ramamurti S. Mishra, M.D.) in 1968. She studied the Sanskrit language, Yoga-Vedanta philosophy, meditation and related subjects with him both in Europe and at his Ashrams in the U.S., simultaneously working as his assistant. Under his direction she began teaching in 1971. Bharati was named head of the School of Sanskrit at Ananda Ashram and appointed trustee of the Baba Bhagavandas Publication Trust and the International Schools of East-West Unity by Founder Shri Brahmananda. Since 1997 she has also been studying with Prof. Ram Karan Sharma, renowned authority on the Sanskrit language.
Laurice D. Nemetz, MA, BC-DMT, LCAT, E-RYT, Applied Anatomy & Physiology, Prenatal Yoga – Lauri is a certified and registered experienced-level yoga teacher, a member of the Academy of Dance/Movement Therapists Registered, a Board Certified Movement Therapist and a Licensed Creative Arts Therapist. She is co-president of the YTA (Yoga Teachers’ Association) and serves as an adjunct professor at Pace University and a guest faculty member at the College of New Rochelle. In addition, she teaches and works in a number of public and private therapeutic settings where she specializes in teaching accessible anatomy workshops for the yoga and movement community.
Lauri has been influenced by many teachers and traditions and is particularly grateful to Karin Stephan, David Hollander and Kim Schwartz. In her free time, she leads yoga and kayaking trips on the Hudson River, in Canada and Costa Rica. Author of A Place of Balance: Yoga Practice for the Kayaker (Sea Kayaker Magazine, Oct. 2010), she has also published writings on movement therapy and yoga in several books and journals. Lauri has degrees from Wellesley College and a Master’s degree in Dance/Movement Therapy from Goucher College. She has continued to deepen her proficiency in the field of anatomy through intensive full-body dissection work with Gil Hedley, several courses in Functional Anatomy for Movement and Injuries at Mt. Sinai School of Medicine and a 200-hour course in Body Language with anatomist Tom Myers, with whom she continues her studies. She is also a graduate of Leslie Kaminoff's year-long Yoga Anatomy course and is currently teaching as an associate teacher for Tom Myers' Anatomy Trains work ®. Visitwww.wellnessbridge.com and www.ytayoga.com for more information.
Samantha is honored to be serving the Hudson Valley community and beyond with the offerings of yoga. She brings a variety of tools with her to the yoga practice. She is a licensed physical therapist with over 10 years of experience working with all walks of life. She is also a wife and mother of 2 young children. The many facets of yoga have not only changed her physical and mental workings, but it has greatly influenced her approach to relationships, life challenges, parenting, and many other areas of her human experience.
Samantha completed her first teacher training here at Ananda Ashram in 2010, and holds a special place in her heart for the physical practice of Ashtanga, as well as the core philosophical teachings of yoga taught by the Ashram teachers. She has a strong knowledge base of anatomy and physiology, and has taught these topics in several workshops and teacher training programs over the years.
Samantha values and honors differences in body type, lifestyle, ability level, and experience. Infused into her classes are principles of alignment, therapeutic movement, yoga philosophy, breathwork, and music/mantra. Samantha’s teaching style has been described as intelligent, compassionate, challenging, and diverse. She is so honored to be involved in Ananda’s lineage of teaching.