Our Teachers:

 
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OWNER \ Swami ATMARUPA SARASWATI

BA, CRNA, AYT-L2, E-RYT 500, RPYT, RCYT, YACEP

Atmarupa means "Form of the true Self"

Swami Atmarupa is the Founder and Director of the Atma Center that opened in Cleveland Heights, Ohio in 1997. 

Swami Atmarupa has taught internationally in Australia, Colombia, Mexico, and India as well as presenting programs at the Omega Institute, at Yoga Alliance conferences and presented at the first International Yoga Nidra Conference in June. She is honored to be one of the founding Yogacharyas of the Yoga Vidya Council at the Bihar School of Yoga in India in 2015. She is the Education Director of the Yoga Academy of North America.

During her 25-year career as an anesthetist, Atmarupa spent years providing anesthesia for open heart surgery and other major procedures. She feels that both anesthesia and yoga involve the study of varying levels of consciousness and the ability to control them. Both studies also require the development of intense levels of awareness.

To read testimonials about Atmarupa click here.

 
 
 
 
RAGHUNATH (SALI RYAN)    BA, MEd, AYT-L2, RYT 500   Raghunath means "Lord of the Raghus (Rama's family)"  Raghunath's yoga practice has had a profound influence on her career as an educator, as she worked to introduce the use of movement, breathing and learning to be "still" and focused into the school system. She encouraged her students to understand themselves and to develop strength and flexibility in their bodies and their minds. She believes these skills will help our children to manage themselves more successfully as they grow up in our fast-paced society. Raghunath also enjoys teaching our Yoga for Kids classes.

RAGHUNATH (SALI RYAN)

BA, MEd, AYT-L2, RYT 500

Raghunath means "Lord of the Raghus (Rama's family)"

Raghunath's yoga practice has had a profound influence on her career as an educator, as she worked to introduce the use of movement, breathing and learning to be "still" and focused into the school system. She encouraged her students to understand themselves and to develop strength and flexibility in their bodies and their minds. She believes these skills will help our children to manage themselves more successfully as they grow up in our fast-paced society. Raghunath also enjoys teaching our Yoga for Kids classes.

DENISE CLEMENT    AYT-L2 E-RYT 500, RCYT   A dedicated student of the Atma Center since 2000. Curious about Satyananda Yoga, Denise couldn’t avoid learning, practicing and studying this rich tradition that welcomes everyone with patience. The courses offered at the Yoga Academy of North America seemed to be more organized, structured, and included more mentoring than she had experienced elsewhere. She is now honored to be an Accredited Level 2 teacher.  Denise is thankful that yoga was able to seep into the home, having positive effects on her sons. Denise’s dance background, and Reiki experience compliment her intuitive instruction that comes from the heart. Her love for family, the planet and skiing continues to be a supportive inspiration and shines through her teaching.

DENISE CLEMENT

AYT-L2 E-RYT 500, RCYT

A dedicated student of the Atma Center since 2000. Curious about Satyananda Yoga, Denise couldn’t avoid learning, practicing and studying this rich tradition that welcomes everyone with patience. The courses offered at the Yoga Academy of North America seemed to be more organized, structured, and included more mentoring than she had experienced elsewhere. She is now honored to be an Accredited Level 2 teacher.

Denise is thankful that yoga was able to seep into the home, having positive effects on her sons. Denise’s dance background, and Reiki experience compliment her intuitive instruction that comes from the heart. Her love for family, the planet and skiing continues to be a supportive inspiration and shines through her teaching.

DEB KLEIN    BA, AAS, LPTA, AYT-L1, RYT-500   Deb took her first yoga class at age 19 and began teaching in 2007. She has used yoga to manage her life at all levels. "It is through the Satyananda Yoga experiences," she says, "especially the Yogic Studies programs, that I have found answers to many of the questions that I had so many years ago."  Deb has successfully used yoga to heal debilitating back and hip pain and slow the progression of arthritis. But the most profound benefits she has noticed have been a blossoming of mental and emotional strength. She notes she has less depression, more self-acceptance, more vitality and a greater ability to tackle the challenges of life.  Fun fact: I visited Leningrad during White Nights.

DEB KLEIN

BA, AAS, LPTA, AYT-L1, RYT-500

Deb took her first yoga class at age 19 and began teaching in 2007. She has used yoga to manage her life at all levels. "It is through the Satyananda Yoga experiences," she says, "especially the Yogic Studies programs, that I have found answers to many of the questions that I had so many years ago."

Deb has successfully used yoga to heal debilitating back and hip pain and slow the progression of arthritis. But the most profound benefits she has noticed have been a blossoming of mental and emotional strength. She notes she has less depression, more self-acceptance, more vitality and a greater ability to tackle the challenges of life.

Fun fact: I visited Leningrad during White Nights.

KATARINA CERNY    BA, MA, AYT-L2, YACEP, E-RYT 500   As a yoga teacher teacher since 1997, Katarina takes delight in sharing the joy of yoga with her students. She strives to offer encouragement, humor, and inspiration to students of all ages and skill levels. Her teaching is enriched by the study of yoga philosophy and the anatomy of movement. Katarina also teaches students who are blind at the Cleveland Sight Center.  She sees yoga’s benefits as an antidote to our chaotic and stressful lifestyles. Yoga has helped her find strength, calmness and appreciation. It has taught her to treat herself and others with respect and compassion, how to find enjoyment, beauty, and meaning in life. Katarina has experienced the physical and emotional healing power of yoga and wants to share it with her students.  Fun Fact: Katarina came here as a refugee 50 years ago.

KATARINA CERNY

BA, MA, AYT-L2, YACEP, E-RYT 500

As a yoga teacher teacher since 1997, Katarina takes delight in sharing the joy of yoga with her students. She strives to offer encouragement, humor, and inspiration to students of all ages and skill levels. Her teaching is enriched by the study of yoga philosophy and the anatomy of movement. Katarina also teaches students who are blind at the Cleveland Sight Center.

She sees yoga’s benefits as an antidote to our chaotic and stressful lifestyles. Yoga has helped her find strength, calmness and appreciation. It has taught her to treat herself and others with respect and compassion, how to find enjoyment, beauty, and meaning in life. Katarina has experienced the physical and emotional healing power of yoga and wants to share it with her students.

Fun Fact: Katarina came here as a refugee 50 years ago.

MARTIN MURPHY    AYT-L2, RYT-500   Martin, a Chicago native, was exposed to yoga after an injury left him with severe and chronic back pain that seemed impossible to relieve. Looking for a way to alleviate his pain, he decided to try yoga as a tool for healing. After nearly a decade of faithful practice, his chronic pain has ceased and his interest in yoga and its teachings have grown immensely.  Martin was drawn to Satyananda Yoga for its rich tradition, inclusiveness, approach to asana, and ability to provide ample modifications to fit any student’s needs as well as its emphasis on pranayama and meditation. Martin found the depth of practice and philosophy in Satyananda yoga unique and inspiring, and is eager to share its many benefits with his students!

MARTIN MURPHY

AYT-L2, RYT-500

Martin, a Chicago native, was exposed to yoga after an injury left him with severe and chronic back pain that seemed impossible to relieve. Looking for a way to alleviate his pain, he decided to try yoga as a tool for healing. After nearly a decade of faithful practice, his chronic pain has ceased and his interest in yoga and its teachings have grown immensely.

Martin was drawn to Satyananda Yoga for its rich tradition, inclusiveness, approach to asana, and ability to provide ample modifications to fit any student’s needs as well as its emphasis on pranayama and meditation. Martin found the depth of practice and philosophy in Satyananda yoga unique and inspiring, and is eager to share its many benefits with his students!

DEVADHYANAM (DEB DREW)    BA, MEd, AYT-L1, RYT 200   "Devadhyanam" means "concentration on a being of light." Deb Drew's 30 years of instructing high school English serves her well when she leads yoga classes at the Atma Center. Deb has experienced great physical benefits from yoga, especially after an auto accident that left her in with serious back pain.  She developed a more spiritual side to her practice through Yogic Studies and Teacher Training at the Yoga Academy of North America. She has found that awareness is the basis of yoga. Deb particularly enjoys teaching the foundation levels because she has witnessed the benefits all of her students - even those with very limited physical ability and other health issues - receive from yoga.  Fun Fact: Deb won tenth place in a WCLV love poetry contest in 2000.

DEVADHYANAM (DEB DREW)

BA, MEd, AYT-L1, RYT 200

"Devadhyanam" means "concentration on a being of light."
Deb Drew's 30 years of instructing high school English serves her well when she leads yoga classes at the Atma Center. Deb has experienced great physical benefits from yoga, especially after an auto accident that left her in with serious back pain.

She developed a more spiritual side to her practice through Yogic Studies and Teacher Training at the Yoga Academy of North America. She has found that awareness is the basis of yoga. Deb particularly enjoys teaching the foundation levels because she has witnessed the benefits all of her students - even those with very limited physical ability and other health issues - receive from yoga.

Fun Fact: Deb won tenth place in a WCLV love poetry contest in 2000.

LINDA KABAT    BA, ABT, AYT-L1, RYT 200   Linda's background as a Registered Nurse, high school English teacher, as a college philosophy instructor, as well as her involvement in dance, and as a parent, have merged into the natural harmony of yoga. Linda began teaching yoga in 2018 and loves to share with others the healing benefits (on all levels) of the practices that she herself has known.  Fun fact: An avid organic gardener, she also loves to cook and eat simple, flavorful foods. Rarely will you find her eating out.

LINDA KABAT

BA, ABT, AYT-L1, RYT 200

Linda's background as a Registered Nurse, high school English teacher, as a college philosophy instructor, as well as her involvement in dance, and as a parent, have merged into the natural harmony of yoga. Linda began teaching yoga in 2018 and loves to share with others the healing benefits (on all levels) of the practices that she herself has known.

Fun fact: An avid organic gardener, she also loves to cook and eat simple, flavorful foods. Rarely will you find her eating out.

RISHI (MARK JOHNSON)    BS, BA, AYT-L1   Mark is a long-time student of the Atma Center and is an Accredited Level 1 Satyananda Yoga Teacher. He has been teaching yoga since 2016 and has studied in other traditions including the Temple of Kriya Yoga. He teaches yoga to blind students at the Cleveland Sight Center and traveled to India with his daughter, first in 2017, then returning in 2018 to do the Raja Yoga course with her at the Bihar School of Yoga in Munger.  Fun Fact: Mark’s nickname as a child was “Curly.”

RISHI (MARK JOHNSON)

BS, BA, AYT-L1

Mark is a long-time student of the Atma Center and is an Accredited Level 1 Satyananda Yoga Teacher. He has been teaching yoga since 2016 and has studied in other traditions including the Temple of Kriya Yoga. He teaches yoga to blind students at the Cleveland Sight Center and traveled to India with his daughter, first in 2017, then returning in 2018 to do the Raja Yoga course with her at the Bihar School of Yoga in Munger.

Fun Fact: Mark’s nickname as a child was “Curly.”

KARUNADHARA (KRIS FONDRAN)    MS, MEd, AYT-L2, RYT 500, E-RYT 500, RCYT   "Unofficially" began teaching yoga in the mid-90's to figure skaters and hockey players during off ice conditioning sessions. "Officially" started teaching yoga after completing the Atma Center Teacher Training Program in 2001.  Through the years she has combined her two loves; skating and yoga as much as possible. Working with young skating athletes she introduced them to using yoga to balance their bodies and minds. In addition, working with the company Rollerblade, Kris developed a program called the Mobile Yoga Workout which is designed to connect the cardiovascular and muscular benefits of an inline skating workout with the serenity and deep mental relaxation that is inherent in a well-rounded yoga practice.  Fun Fact: Kris is in a skating video  "Tips for Beginners 1"  that has over 1.2 million views!

KARUNADHARA (KRIS FONDRAN)

MS, MEd, AYT-L2, RYT 500, E-RYT 500, RCYT

"Unofficially" began teaching yoga in the mid-90's to figure skaters and hockey players during off ice conditioning sessions. "Officially" started teaching yoga after completing the Atma Center Teacher Training Program in 2001.

Through the years she has combined her two loves; skating and yoga as much as possible. Working with young skating athletes she introduced them to using yoga to balance their bodies and minds. In addition, working with the company Rollerblade, Kris developed a program called the Mobile Yoga Workout which is designed to connect the cardiovascular and muscular benefits of an inline skating workout with the serenity and deep mental relaxation that is inherent in a well-rounded yoga practice.

Fun Fact: Kris is in a skating video "Tips for Beginners 1" that has over 1.2 million views!

CYNTHIA SZAFRANIEC    RYT 200   Cynthia first practiced yoga in a high school physical education class and has used principles learned through yoga through out her life always planning to begin a daily practice, but never sustaining it.  Through programs at the Atma Center and the Yoga Academy of North American (YANA) she developed a personal practice. She feels at home in Satyananda yoga with its approach to yoga for everyone. She finds endless benefits to physical, mental and emotional health through asana, pranayama and meditation practice. Yogic study pushes Cynthia to want to share the riches of yoga practice. She has found yoga useful through her career in women’s health and as a parent. Cynthia finds that it deepens her spiritual faith, reduces anxiety and lets her feel happier.

CYNTHIA SZAFRANIEC

RYT 200

Cynthia first practiced yoga in a high school physical education class and has used principles learned through yoga through out her life always planning to begin a daily practice, but never sustaining it.

Through programs at the Atma Center and the Yoga Academy of North American (YANA) she developed a personal practice. She feels at home in Satyananda yoga with its approach to yoga for everyone. She finds endless benefits to physical, mental and emotional health through asana, pranayama and meditation practice. Yogic study pushes Cynthia to want to share the riches of yoga practice. She has found yoga useful through her career in women’s health and as a parent. Cynthia finds that it deepens her spiritual faith, reduces anxiety and lets her feel happier.

JYOTSNA (JUDY EVANS)     BS, MD, RYT 200   Jyotsna is a long time student at the Atma Center who completed Teacher Training through the Yoga Academy of North America (YANA) in 2019. She also has completed training in Yoga Nidra 1, Yoga Nidra 2, and Pranayama and Meditation, also at YANA. She also loves mantra practice, and kirtan, and plays the harmonium. As a practicing physician, she began sharing ways that yoga can help with her patients long before completing her certification. She originally came to yoga for personal healing, and has become committed to teaching yoga because of the benefits it offers to all, on so many different levels.  She has traveled to India four times for yoga programs as the Rikhiapeeth ashram, near Deoghar, India, and at the Bihar School of Yoga in Munger, India.  Fun fact: Jyotsna performed the third movement of the Mozart piano concerto, K. 575, with the Fort Worth Symphony during the Piano Texas festival in 2014.

JYOTSNA (JUDY EVANS)

BS, MD, RYT 200

Jyotsna is a long time student at the Atma Center who completed Teacher Training through the Yoga Academy of North America (YANA) in 2019. She also has completed training in Yoga Nidra 1, Yoga Nidra 2, and Pranayama and Meditation, also at YANA. She also loves mantra practice, and kirtan, and plays the harmonium. As a practicing physician, she began sharing ways that yoga can help with her patients long before completing her certification. She originally came to yoga for personal healing, and has become committed to teaching yoga because of the benefits it offers to all, on so many different levels.

She has traveled to India four times for yoga programs as the Rikhiapeeth ashram, near Deoghar, India, and at the Bihar School of Yoga in Munger, India.

Fun fact: Jyotsna performed the third movement of the Mozart piano concerto, K. 575, with the Fort Worth Symphony during the Piano Texas festival in 2014.

 

Yoga for Kids Instructors and Atma Center Apprentices

DIANNE WILLIAMS    RYT 200   My mission as a yoga instructor is to share with my students the life changing bliss I’ve found within my own yoga practice, while providing them with the mental and physical tools needed to become their best self. Dianne is trained through ZenWorks to teach children.

DIANNE WILLIAMS

RYT 200

My mission as a yoga instructor is to share with my students the life changing bliss I’ve found within my own yoga practice, while providing them with the mental and physical tools needed to become their best self. Dianne is trained through ZenWorks to teach children.

LILLIE BURKINS - APPRENTICE    BS, RYT 200   Lillie is thrilled to be teaching yoga! She is a 2019 graduate of the Citizen Yoga teacher training program. In 2018, she received a kids yoga training certificate from the Go Yoga Initiative. Lillie believes that yoga heals by strengthening bodies and calming minds. She practices yoga for the peace it brings her and teaches yoga so others may find their peace.

LILLIE BURKINS - APPRENTICE

BS, RYT 200

Lillie is thrilled to be teaching yoga! She is a 2019 graduate of the Citizen Yoga teacher training program. In 2018, she received a kids yoga training certificate from the Go Yoga Initiative. Lillie believes that yoga heals by strengthening bodies and calming minds. She practices yoga for the peace it brings her and teaches yoga so others may find their peace.

SARA GRIFFIN - APPRENTICE    RYT 200   My first yoga class was an elective in college, circa 1997, it was hatha basics. My teacher was 79 years young. I fell in love with her and her “yoga magic”.  I placed my practice to the side while life went on for a number of years, and when the time was right, yoga summoned me back home. I came back to my practice during an uncomfortable time in my life, and I had been sitting in a place of pain for quite some time. My practice was and is the comprehensive mind/body medicine that heals, with unconditional love.  I heard my calling to teach 4 years ago. I took my first 200 hour teacher training, which quickly led me into another---400/hrs power vinyasa and Restorative/Yin. I am currently half way through my third certification in Yoga Medics, which is a therapy based practice and meant to hold a deeper, more therapeutic setting in the studio.  In my class,  will cultivate Pratayahara (study of self) and begin to know the true self. You will be guided and lead through a series of challenging poses and sequences that flow with breath, building an internal fire--and you will be lead through a series of twists, balances and grounding poses to detox and energize.

SARA GRIFFIN - APPRENTICE

RYT 200

My first yoga class was an elective in college, circa 1997, it was hatha basics. My teacher was 79 years young. I fell in love with her and her “yoga magic”.

I placed my practice to the side while life went on for a number of years, and when the time was right, yoga summoned me back home. I came back to my practice during an uncomfortable time in my life, and I had been sitting in a place of pain for quite some time. My practice was and is the comprehensive mind/body medicine that heals, with unconditional love.

I heard my calling to teach 4 years ago. I took my first 200 hour teacher training, which quickly led me into another---400/hrs power vinyasa and Restorative/Yin. I am currently half way through my third certification in Yoga Medics, which is a therapy based practice and meant to hold a deeper, more therapeutic setting in the studio.

In my class, will cultivate Pratayahara (study of self) and begin to know the true self. You will be guided and lead through a series of challenging poses and sequences that flow with breath, building an internal fire--and you will be lead through a series of twists, balances and grounding poses to detox and energize.

MICHELLE THOMAS - APPRENTICE    BA, RYT 200   Michelle’s classes offer an emphasis on staying present on the mat and with your breath. She challenges her students to get curious about their own bodies and drop comparison at the door; practicing the way it feels good in their body, not the person next to them. She invites you to come to her classes with adventure and leave with a sense of community and connection.  Michelle is RYT 200 certified and is completing a 6 month apprenticeship with Atmarupa Saraswati learning the fundamentals of Satyananda Yoga. Michelle has also studied under Jason Crandell, Gina Schatz, Kino MacGregor and others to advance her training and understanding of various yoga lineages. Michelle believes she is always a student first and uses her studies to yoke old traditions with the modern stresses of the world within the studio.  She also runs an on-site/office yoga business, OM Land CLE, and lives for distance running, local shops and walking her dog Oscar in  Lakewood Park.

MICHELLE THOMAS - APPRENTICE

BA, RYT 200

Michelle’s classes offer an emphasis on staying present on the mat and with your breath. She challenges her students to get curious about their own bodies and drop comparison at the door; practicing the way it feels good in their body, not the person next to them. She invites you to come to her classes with adventure and leave with a sense of community and connection.

Michelle is RYT 200 certified and is completing a 6 month apprenticeship with Atmarupa Saraswati learning the fundamentals of Satyananda Yoga. Michelle has also studied under Jason Crandell, Gina Schatz, Kino MacGregor and others to advance her training and understanding of various yoga lineages. Michelle believes she is always a student first and uses her studies to yoke old traditions with the modern stresses of the world within the studio.

She also runs an on-site/office yoga business, OM Land CLE, and lives for distance running, local shops and walking her dog Oscar in
Lakewood Park.