Conference Speakers

Presenters

Holger Cramer, PhD

Dr. Holger Cramer is Research Director at the Department of Internal and Integrative Medicine, University of Duisburg-Essen, Germany. He also is Adjunct Associated Professor at the National Centre for Naturopathic Medicine, Southern Cross University, Australia, and President Elect of ISCMR. Dr. Cramer is Editor-in-Chief of JACM and has published more than 150 peer-reviewed scientific journal articles. His research focus is the utilization, efficacy and safety of integrative health and medicine. He is a clinical psychologist, medical scientist and state licensed naturopath, and completed training in mind-body medicine. He holds a PhD in medical science and a Doctorate of Science (honoris causa) in yoga. His work has been featured in Time Magazine, Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, Annals of Internal Medicine, American Journal of Epidemiology, and more. 

Presentations

Yoga for Neck and Low Back Pain
Available March 13 at 11 AM EST for 24 hours

Yoga and Pain Perception
Available March 13 at 11 AM EST for 24 hours

Q&A Sessions

March 14 at 11 AM EST, live

Neha Gothe, PhD

Dr. Gothe is a Faculty in the Department of Kinesiology and Community Health at the University of Illinois Urbana Champaign and the Director of the Exercise Psychology Lab. She received her PhD in Kinesiology – Exercise Psychology, from the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign and also holds a Masters in Counseling Psychology. Her research training and expertise is in conducting social-cognitive theory based interventions of physical activity and yoga for middle aged and older adults. Her research agenda focuses on promoting physical activity, including non-traditional modes such as yoga, as a means to improve health, cognition and quality of life. She is known for her work on yoga for cognition. Her research is funded by the NIH and she is currently leading the first randomized trial examining the effects of yoga on neurocognition among older adults. She has published over 60 peer-reviewed papers, presented at national and international conferences and serves as a grant reviewer for the NIH. Her research has been extensively featured in popular media including the NPR, TIME magazine, Scientific American and popular daily newspapers around the world. At her Exercise Psychology Lab, Dr. Gothe mentors graduate and undergraduate students interested in pursuing careers in exercise promotion and research.

Presentation

Yoga, Exercise, and Cognition
Available March 11 at 5 PM EST for 24 hours

Q&A Session

March 12 at 5 PM EST, live

Where to learn more

Lab website: http://www.epl.illinois.edu/
Donations to her research: https://www.ahs.illinois.edu/hill-award
How to join her studies as a volunteer: https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT04323163  

Marshall Hagins, PhD

Dr. Marshall Hagins first career was as a professional dancer on Broadway. Leaving dance he received his PhD in Biomechanics from New York University and a second doctorate from the University of St. Augustine in manual physical therapy. Dr. Hagins is Emeritus Professor in the Department of Physical Therapy at Long Island University and Senior Clinical Research Associate at Harkness Center for Dance Injuries in Manhattan. Dr. Hagins has worked with members of the New York City Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, Merce Cunningham Dance Company, among others and has been the company physical therapist for Mark Morris Dance Group for over 25 years. He has published over 40 papers in the areas of Dance Medicine, Ergonomics, and Yoga and has received funding from the National Institutes of Health for a study of the effects of yoga on hypertension. 

Presentation

Explaining Pain
Available March 13 at 11 AM EST for 24 hours

Q&A Session

March 14 at 11 AM EST, live

Where to learn more

Sat Bir Khalsa, PhD

Dr. Khalsa is the Director of Yoga Research for the Yoga Alliance and the Kundalini Research Institute, a Research Associate at the Benson Henry Institute for Mind Body Medicine, a Research Affiliate at the Osher Center for Integrative Medicine, and an Assistant Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. He has conducted research on yoga and yoga therapy since 2001 and has been a practitioner/instructor of Kundalini Yoga since 1973. His research has evaluated yoga for insomnia, chronic stress, and anxiety-related disorders, and in workplace and public school settings. He works with the International Association of Yoga Therapists promoting yoga research as scientific director for the annual Symposium on Yoga Research and as editor-in-chief of the International Journal of Yoga Therapy. He is medical editor of the Harvard Medical School Special Report Introduction to Yoga, and chief editor of the medical textbook The Principles and Practice of Yoga in Health Care.

Presentations

Understanding the Physiology and Neuroscience Underlying Yoga Practices
March 12 at 9 AM EST, live and then available for 24 hours

The Science and Research on Yoga for Anxiety
March 13 at 6 PM EST, live and then available for 24 hours

The Science and Research on Yoga for Stress and Burnout
March 13 at 6:40 PM EST, live and then available for 24 hours

The Science and Research on Yoga for Trauma
March 13 at 7:20 PM EST, live and then available for 24 hours

Q&A Session

March 13 at 9 PM EST, live

Where to learn more

Anand Kumar, MD

Dr. Anand Kumar, MBBS, MD (Internal Medicine), DM (Neurology) is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Neurology at the Institute of Medical Sciences at the Banaras Hindu University in Varanasi, Utter Pradesh, India.  He completed his MBBS from S.B.H.G.M.C Dhule, Maharashtra, India, his MD in Internal Medicine from King George’s Medical University U.P, Lucknow, India, and his DM in Neurology from All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India. He is an active member of many societies, including the American Academy of Neurology, the India Academy of Neurology, the Indian Epilepsy Society, the Association of Physicians of India, and the Indian Medical Association (IMA). His special areas of interest include headache, migraine, epilepsy, demyelinating disorders,  stroke, and yoga. He recently published an article in the Journal Neurology titled "Effect of Yoga as add-on Therapy in Migraine (CONTAIN): A Randomized controlled study". 

Presentation

Yoga and Migraine
Available March 13 at 11 AM EST for 24 hours

Q&A Session

March 14 at 11 AM EST, live

Where to learn more

Donations to his research: www.bhu.ac.in

Sara Lazar, PhD

Dr. Sara Lazar is an Associate Professor at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School. She studies the impact of yoga and meditation on the brain, both in healthy people and patient populations. Sara's work has been featured in dozens of news outlets including the New York Times, Web MD, CNN, USA Today, and Time Magazine. She has a TED talk that has been viewed over one million times.

Presentation

Fear, Pain, and Equanimity
Available March 13 at 11 AM EST for 24 hours

Q&A Session

March 14 at 11 AM EST, live

Where to learn more

Abha Rajbhandari, PhD

Dr. Abha Karki Rajbhandari is an Assistant Professor at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. She has been studying the neurobiological mechanisms of fear, stress and anxiety that are relevant for basic science studies of conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder for almost 14 years. Her graduate and post-doctoral works centered on understanding the neuromodulatory actions of norepinephrine, CRF, PACAP and others in fear and stress regulation via the amygdala. In her own lab, she is taking a broad approaches through the brain, breath and body interactions in regulating the autonomic aspects of fear and stress such as cardiorespiratory and metabolic functions. She has been practicing yoga since childhood in Nepal and has been approaching her research questions also through the lens of yoga's beneficial effects on the brain and the body. 

Presentation

Yoga and Memory
Available March 11 at 5 PM EST for 24 hours

Q&A Session

March 12 at 5 PM EST, live

Where to learn more

Jennifer Taylor, PhD

Dr. Jennifer Taylor, PhD MBMSc MA, is a postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Anesthetics, Central Clinical School, at the University of Sydney studying consciousness, perioperative delirium and dementia with Professor Robert Sanders. She has a Masters in Brain and Mind Sciences and a PhD in Medicine from the University of Sydney. Her PhD thesis, Personalised Yoga for Burnout & Traumatic Stress in Junior Doctors, included a clinical trial of yoga for medical interns, residents and registrars in the Sydney Local Health District (SLHD).

A teacher and practitioner of hatha/ashtanga yoga, she is also a certified Trauma Center Trauma Sensitive Yoga (TC-TSY) facilitator. She was the founding yoga facilitator for the basic physician trainee and MDOK programs within the WellMD Centre at the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital (RPAH), SLHD.

In 2018, she also undertook a world-first study of the psychological impacts of shark bite events on survivors and their families for the Department of Primary Industries in New South Wales, Australia. She has published in the Australia New Zealand Journal of PsychiatryJournal of Trauma & Dissociation, and BMJ Postgraduate Medical Journal, and has been featured on the Today show on Channel Nine and ABC radio.

Presentation

Personalized Yoga for Trauma and Burnout in Junior Doctors
Available March 12 at 9 PM EST for 24 hours

Q&A Session

March 13 at 9 PM EST, live

Where to learn more

Shirley Telles, PhD

Dr. Telles's educational background is in conventional medicine with a doctorate in neurophysiology. For her thesis she looked at brain activity during yoga breathing and meditation. She has dedicated her life to yoga research, and is currently the Director at the Patanjali Research Foundation, Haridwar, India. She is an active practitioner of yoga and believes it is vital to be enthusiastic about what you do. She has received numerous awards for her work, including from the Templeton Foundation for Creative Ideas in Neurobiology, a Fulbright award, and national awards.

Presentations

How Yoga Breathing Affects Cognition
Available March 11 at 5 PM EST for 24 hours

Q&A Session

March 13 at 9 PM EST, live

Where to learn more

Lab website: www.patanjaliresearchfoundation.com
Donations to her research: by writing to divyayoga (@) rediffmail.com

Yoga Teachers

Kathryn McCusker

Kathryn McCusker discovered Kundalini Yoga and Meditation in Mexico in 2000 and has been teaching worldwide ever since. After living in London for eleven years, where she taught private clients including Bjork and Rachel McAdams and classes at Triyoga and Alchemy, she returned to Sydney in 2011 to open KMYOGA, Sydney’s first dedicated Kundalini Yoga Studio, which she ran for three years. She has now returned to London where she is again teaching private clients and group classes, as well as leading retreats worldwide.

A professional opera singer for over twenty years, Kathryn’s background in music and voice gives her a deep connection to the transformative power of mantra and pranayama. She infuses this knowledge into her classes, along with deeply relaxing Gong Meditations. She has a keen interest in teaching Kundalini Yoga to creatives and has seen how it has supported and transformed their creative life.

Kathryn is a Kundalini Research Institute (KRI) certified Level One and Level Two teacher, having trained with SKY and Amrit Nam Sarovar. She is also a certified Conscious Pregnancy and Radiant Child Yoga teacher.

Kathryn is passionate about sharing these inspiring and uplifting teachings with as many people as possible. Watkins commissioned and published Kathryn’s first book, Kundalini Meditation – The path to personal transformation and creativity, which was released in the US in November 2012 and in the UK and Australia in March 2013. It has now been translated into Dutch, Italian and French and is available to buy in English, along with her mantra meditation CD’s. Kathryn’s book was re-issued by Watkins in Spring 2018, under the title ‘Everyday Kundalini’ and is available to purchase on Amazon.

Classes

Kundalini Yoga
March 14 at 7 PM EST, live

Where to learn more

Sri Dharma Mittra

Sri Dharma Mittra is a yoga master who has dedicated his life to the karma yoga or selfless service of sharing the accumulated wisdom gained through constant practice and teaching over a half-century at his school in New York and around the world. Sri Dharma met his guru, Swami Kailashananda in 1964 and immersed himself in intense study of the classical eight limbs of yoga and dedicated ten years of his life to the full-time practice of karma yoga. Since 1967, he has been teaching classical yoga: advanced postures, yama and niyama, and how to lead a content, simple and happy life. Teachers from other schools and ashrams have always come to him to learn, practice, and then teach elsewhere. Sri Dharma is truly a sweet, gentle master who sets the greatest example of yoga by living what he teaches and asking nothing in return. He continues to be that same selfless, shining example today.


Classes

Maha Shakti
March 13 at 10 AM EST, live

Yoga Nidra
March 13 at 11:30 AM EST, live

Where to learn more

Eddie Stern

Eddie Stern is a Yoga instructor, author and lecturer from New York City, who has been actively involved in many facets of Yoga education for over 30 years, including the running of his school Ashtanga Yoga New York since 1995 (now closed). In NYC he has been committed to programs that have been shown to reduce gun violence and the traumatic effect of gun violence on affected communities through Yoga, meditation, and therapeutic wellness interventions. He has authored curriculum and led trainings in wellness practices for public education that have reached over 80,000 school children and educators in several states. Since 2010 he has written Yoga protocols that have been used in research studies examining the efficacies of asana based practices. He is the co-board chair of LIFE Camp for the reduction of gun violence in NYC, an advisory board member for the Black Yoga Teacher’s Alliance, creator of The Breathing App, Yoga365 App, co-author of Engineering Health, an online yoga and physiology course with NYU Tandon School of Engineering, co-publisher of Namarupa Magazine, and currently gives weekly talks with Dr. Deepak Chopra on the inner meanings of Yoga as a practice for enlightenment. His latest book is called One Simple Thing, a New Look at the Science of Yoga and How it can Transform Your Life

Classes

Yoga
March 12 at 3 PM EST, live

Where to learn more

Conference Staff

Kristin Anderson, PhD

Kristin Anderson is a postdoctoral research fellow at Columbia University Medical Center studying the neural circuits of stress susceptibility and resiliency.  One of her passions is to bridge the gap between neuroscience research and the community through outreach events and collaboration with policymakers. She has seen the impact of yoga on her own well-being and is eager to find ways to use the neuroscience of yoga to jumpstart conversations centered around how to integrate the knowledge into science-based policy for the prevention of undue suffering. 

Where to learn more

Emily Jones

Emily Jones is an E-RYT 200 instructor from Dallas, TX. She is currently the Yoga Coordinator for Summit Climbing Yoga & Fitness, and Lead Trainer for their Yoga Teacher Training Program. She has been professionally teaching for 5 and a half years. Emily's personal mantra for the way she teaches is to give people faculty over their body and mind through the practice of yoga, and help them connect with others by first connecting with themselves.

Where to learn more

Ekaterina Lebayle

Student of Sri Dharma Mittra, Dharma Yoga instructor and Physiological Psychology student at Hunter College. Her future goal is completing a Ph.D. program in Neuroscience and researching the effects of yoga on the brain in order to develop therapeutic treatments for psychiatric diseases with the implementation of yoga. Another research interest of hers is understanding the neural basis of thought processes as dysfunctional thoughts alone can turn on the stress response system, lead to hormonal imbalances and affect physical and mental health. In addition, she is interested researching the implementation of yoga in addiction recovery treatments and developing programs that will allow underserved communities to access yoga.

Katja Prager, PhD

Student of Sri Dharma Mittra, Dharma Yoga instructor and Physiological Psychology student at Hunter College. Her future goal is completing a Ph.D. program in Neuroscience and researching the effects of yoga on the brain in order to develop therapeutic treatments for psychiatric diseases with the implementation of yoga. Another research interest of hers is understanding the neural basis of thought processes as dysfunctional thoughts alone can turn on the stress response system, lead to hormonal imbalances and affect physical and mental health. In addition, she is interested researching the implementation of yoga in addiction recovery treatments and developing programs that will allow underserved communities to access yoga.

Jonathan Rosenthal, MD

Jonathan Rosenthal is a resident physician in New York City, and a yoga student of Sri Dharma Mittra. Since 2014, he has worked to bridge the neuroscience world and the yoga world by hosting neuroscience outreach events. He is hosting the Neuroscience and Yoga Online Conference to further this mission.

Where to learn more

Lindsay Weisberg

Lindsay Weisberg is a Masters student in the Neuroscience and Education Program at Teachers College, Columbia University. Her main area of interest is the neuroscience of mindfulness and compassion. As an athlete and yoga practitioner, she is eager to learn more about the neural effects of yoga. 

Helen “Xier” Zhao, M.S. 

Helen is a master student in the Neuroscience and Education program at Teachers College. She used to be a Mandarin teacher, teaching young children aged between 2 to 8 years old. Her passion for children's cognitive development motivates her to pursue her master degree! She loves doing research and analyzing data since her undergraduate psychology days. She has conducted a study that focused on the effect of words’ characteristics on people’s learning patterns by using eye trackers. She enjoys exploring different tools for data analysis and visualization (e.g., R, SPSS, SQL, Tableau, etc.). She is also a big fan of yoga! She reports yoga has been improving her regulation skills, sleeping quality... literally her whole life quality for many years!

Interested in Registering for the Neuroscience and Yoga Online Conference? 

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