YOGA     *returns to the Smithsonian March 9, 2019 



Therapeutic Yoga of Greater Washington and Virginia's Eastern Shore        

One of the hallmarks of our symposiums are Round Table Discussions during lunch.   These are uncommon opportunities to learn more about a specific topic in yoga therapy, a time to listen to others, ask questions and offer your own observations.

It is possible that there will be so many experienced yoga teachers at this event, that you might be able to engage in a 1:1 discussion with one of them. These therapeutic professionals are local treasures ~ we invite you to seek them out.

We are extremely grateful to each practitioner, and encourage you to take advantage of every opportunity to study with them, attend their classes, visit their studios and dive in more deeply.

Each of us embrace yoga as lifestyle medicine, and practice as if our lives depend upon it...because they do.


ROUND TABLE OFFERINGS continue to emerge and refine themselves. Each day will feature 15 different discussion groups: and this is just the tip of the therapeutic iceberg...


We are very excited to complete this information so that you can visit websites and learn more about our featured local practitioners

Yoga in Rehabilitative Medicine: Loren Fishman, MD 
Yoga as Lifestyle Medicine: Sat Bir Khalsa, PhD

Yoga and Arthritis: Steffany Moonaz, PhD Yoga for Arthritis 
Yoga, PTSD and Mental Wellbeing:  SO FORTUNATE TO HAVE ROBIN CARNES!!!

               (Heather Mason will not be able to attend, and we shall miss her)

Metabolic Syndrome and Yoga: JJ Gormley
Yoga Therapy in Integrative Medicine: Dilip Sarkar, MD

Yoga and Alzheimer’s: Jane Stelboum, RYT-500    

Integrative Medicine and Yogic Practices: David Foley, MD and Mary Pappas-Sandonas,, MS, INHC  Casey Health Institute
Journal This! Yoga Therapy: Yael Flusberg, Integrative Yoga Therapist & Coach
Neurological Conditions: MS, Parkinson’s, Fibromyalgia & more: Charlene Marie Muhammad, LD, C-IAYT
Yoga in Psychotherapy: Lauren Rubenstein, PhD, E-RYT and Lili Gutman, PhD, RYT
Yoga for Older Students: Marsha Banks-Harold, C-IAYT, YACEP, E-RYT-500, RCYT and RPYT
Yoga and Chronic Pain: Maryam Ovissi, E-RYT 500, RCYT, RPYT Founder, Beloved Yoga
Perspectives on Addictions: Heather Hagaman, MA E-RYT 500  Director of Therapeutic Yoga, Beloved Yoga
Support in Healing: Yoga for Cancer, Chronic Illness, & Caregivers: Lakshmi Kanter, Yoga Therapist, E-RYT200, RYT500, Meditation
Through the Yogic Lens: Everyday Living: Mary Richards, , Integrative Health Educator, MS Yoga Therapy candidate 2017
Meditation and Power Napping: Yoga Therapy in DC : Christine Marcella
The Science Sutras: Research Literacy: Pam Jeter, PhD

Awakening the Joints: Scaravelli Inspired Yoga   James Foukes, CYT , E-RYT 500  

Neurological Conditions: MS, Parkinson’s, Fibromyalgia & more  Charlene Marie Muhammad is a traditional healing practitioner, who's  practice is predicated on formal Master’s level training as well as her own personal use of plants, food as medicine and movement therapy, giving her hands-on relationship and knowledge of these traditional healing modalities. A graduate of Cornell University, Charlene holds a Master’s of Science Degree in Herbal Medicine from Maryland University of Integrative Health, is a Licensed Dietitian, and a certified yoga therapist through the International Association of Yoga Therapists.

Yoga In Psychotherapy: While we are well aware of yoga’s benefits for physical health, yoga can also greatly benefit mental health. A growing body of research is beginning to show the potential for yoga to reduce symptoms of depression, anxiety, and PTSD. We will discuss how to know when “green smoothies and yoga aren’t enough,” and how yoga can be integrated into psychotherapy.
Dr. Lauren Rubenstein is a licensed psychologist in Bethesda, integrating yoga and iRest into psychotherapy. She has developed a Grounded & Balanced (GAB) therapy group for tween and teen girls. A board member of Go Give Yoga, Lauren has a passion for working with underserved youth at home and abroad. Her award-winning children’s book, Visiting Feelings, teaches children how to process their emotions. 

Lily M. Gutmann, Ph.D., CYT is a clinical psychologist and certified yoga teacher in Bethesda, Maryland. In her psychology practice, Dr. Gutmann works with individuals, couples, and families, using a holistic, strength-based, and integrative approach that combines elements from cognitive behavioral, insight oriented, mindfulness-based and play therapies. She also utilizes concepts and techniques from the philosophy, science and practice of yoga to enhance the mind-body connection, create positive change, and  promote resilience in her clients. She teaches community yoga classes at both a local yoga studio and a women’s shelter.

Yoga & Chronic Pain: Find Ease through New Habits     with Maryam Ovissi, Beloved Yoga in Great Falls, Virginia
Any time an imbalance (physical, mental or emotional) becomes chronic it creates an imprint on the psychological landscape. The gripping it has on the field of the mind, often leads a person to find solutions that are not always in their best long term interest, such as overuse of pain medication, alcohol, and other destructive habits. In Yoga, habits can either take you away from your self or habits can help reinforce the positive feeling of being embodied, interconnected and integrated.  Chronic Pain and stress create some of greatest imbalances in our society today. Yoga offers the perfect tool kit to have a healthy relationship with pain.  Through this expanded relationship, chronic or acute pain transforms into an opportunity to...Pay Attention In the Now (P.A.I.N).

Maryam Ovissi  has been sharing the teachings and methodology of Yoga for over 15 years.  Her expertise in Trauma arises from her experience with medical trauma: Invasive surgeries, Cancer and all the layers of treatment around Cancer, as well as complex medical conditions that creates “Medical Trauma”.

Befriending A Change of Perspective towards Addictions    with Heather Hagaman, Beloved Yoga

Yoga is a powerful healing modality, and when combined with the intelligence of 12 step programs, it breaks the bonds of Addiction and helps to facilitate freedom by befriending our selves as fully integrated and whole beings. We see a strong link between addiction and trauma disorders, as many individuals turn to alcohol or other drugs, eating disorders, codependency and process disorders to escape the pain of traumatic experiences. Delving deeper into the trauma-addiction connection is now revealing addiction as a part of an extended post-trauma coping mechanism. 

Heather Hagaman,    Director of Therapeutic Yoga and at Beloved Yoga, she is also a lead yoga teacher in a 500 hour advanced yoga teacher training program. She is a pioneer in the new field of Yoga and Trauma Recovery, which utilizes trauma informed yoga and meditation to help people move beyond PTSD, addiction, anxiety and depression to build fulfilling lives.

Through the Yogic Lens: Everyday Living with  Mary Richards      The consummate integrative health practitioner, exceptional communicator and impeccable yoga educator will explain how a yogic approach to life contributes to resilience, mental health and spiritual pursuits. She is Judith Hanson Lasater's senior anatomy and therapeutics teaching assistant at workshops around the United States.  Mary and Judith are co-developing a digital anatomy and movement literacy course, which will launch December 2017."

Support in Healing: Yoga for Cancer, Chronic Illness, & Caregivers    Lakshmi Kanter Yoga Therapist, E-RYT200/500 Meditation Teacher        Yoga helps tap into the body' innate healing powers, find greater peace, and nourish vitality – all of which can improve quality of life during treatment, recovery, and caregiving.  Learn how awareness, breath and movement can support people with cancer, heart disease, chronic illness, immune disorders, and chronic pain as well as caregivers.  Yogic practices help to increase relaxation, promote a healthier immune system, alleviate side effects of treatment and symptoms of illness, regain mobility, strength and resilience, and cultivate well-being of body, mind, and spirit.
Lakshmi received her BA from Harvard University and studied photography at the California College of Art. She has taught with INOVA Alexandria Hospital’s Life With Cancer program, Yogaville, the Cancer Help Program at Smith Center for Healing and the Arts, and the Washington Cancer Institute. She is certified by and on the faculty of Yoga Therapy for Cancer and Chronic Illness; and, completed Sacred Journey: Being Present with Aging, Illness and Dying, a contemplative course offered by Insight Meditation Community of Washington. She leads yoga for grief workshops, works with trauma and human trafficking survivors, and teaches yogic philosophy and meditation to enrich modern life.

Yoga for Older Students    Marsha D. Banks-Harold, owner and founder of PIES Fitness Yoga Studio and PIES Yoga School (    A discussion about "Comprehensive Yoga Therapy for Physical, Intellectual, Emotional and Spiritual Imbalances: Serving Aging & Special Populations with Limitations & Disabilities". Marsha thrives when sharing her intuitive gifts with others via Comprehensive Yoga Therapy (CYT). She compassionately guides clients to explore their life from a holistic perspective and apply the knowledge gained to improve their health and quality of life. Professionals, parents, caregivers, educators, children and adults with special needs, seniors, and many others living with unique challenges have found greater balance through Marsha’s application of ancient practices and teachings of yoga. Marsha is a member of the International Association of Yoga Therapists and holds C-IAYT, YACEP, E-RYT-500, RCYT and RPYT certifications and a BSEE.

Awakening the Joints-  Scaravelli Inspired Yoga    James Foulkes, CYT, E-RYT500  Vanda Scaravelli's work engages the living skeletal system as a whole. By working intelligently with the tension in the body and directly with natural forces, we discover our fluid nature and our inherent capacity to change.  James is passionate about the alternative healing arts; his practice and teaching combines elements of Yoga Asana, Yoga Therapy, Pranayama, Meditation, Qi Gong, Tai Chi, Kung Fu, Cranial Sacral Therapy and Shamanics. These diverse practices, although different, have many parallels in their underlying basis of unity, integration and wholeness. His approach to yoga is based on the work of Vanda Scaravelli, an Italian who studied with J Krishnamurti, BKS Iyengar and TKV Desikachar. The approach is based on awakening the spine through an intelligent practice, which focuses on the natural forces of the breath, gravity and release.

 Journal THIS! as Yoga Therapy   Yael Flusberg      After a challenging diagnosis, we often engage in internal story-telling: from what we did wrong to how every aspect our lives will forever change. For more than a decade, Yael Flusberg has offered “Pen & Pose” which integrate yoga with writing; in 2016, she used both to help her document and heal from a cancer diagnosis. At this roundtable, we’ll learn the benefits and uses of expressive writing; we’ll also journal. No writing experience necessary. Drafts won’t be shared, but we’ll discuss how the process of writing can be a reflective part of our personal and teaching practice.