SWAMI ATMARUPA SARASWATI
BA, CRNA, AYT-L2, E-RYT 500, RPYT, RCYT, YACEP
Atmarupa means “Form of the true Self”
RAGHUNATH (SALI RYAN)
BA, MEd, AYT-L2, RYT 500
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.
RN, BA in English Literature, M.A. in Philosophy, RYT 200 and years studying dance.
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.
KARUNADHARA (KRIS FONDRAN)
MS, MEd, AYT-L2, RYT 500, E-RYT 500, RCYT
MPH, RYT – 200, Reiki Practitioner
Bethany is a native of South Central PA, and transplanted to Cleveland in March 2021. Bethany often designs her classes in a yin/yang approach – flow of movement through Vinyasa, met with stillness in postures through Yin.
BA, AAS, LPTA, AYT-L1, RYT-500
“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.”
BA, MS, RYT-200
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.
Kapil believes in practicing and teaching yoga that is holistic and which balances both body and mind. His association with yoga started in 2005.
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.
Julie is a yoga teacher, a meditation instructor, yoga therapist and health coach. In addition to her initial 200hr training in 2005, she has two 500hr yoga therapy trainings, which come from Integrative Yoga Therapy and Body Balance Yoga of Annapolis, MD.
Julie’s classes emphasize the needs of those who walk through the door. Each one is a thoughtful progression that leads you through pranayama (breath awareness), body alignment through asana postures (physical poses) and awareness of the present moment. Combined, these element lead to a great level of peace, healing and stillness. There is always something for everyone in each class and she is honored to have the opportunity to teach what she has learned throughout the years. She is experienced working with students living with special circumstances including cancer, MS, PD, chronic back pain, and the challenges of aging.
“I teach yoga to help students feel awareness and a deeper understanding of themselves.”
SWAMI ATMARUPA SARASWATI
Atmarupa means “Form of the true Self”
Swami Atmarupa is the Founder 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.
“I teach yoga to help students discover how to find a better way to be in their minds, bodies and the world around them, whole.”
RAGHUNATH (SALI RYAN)
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.
<p”>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.
“I teach yoga because I want my students to learn about the depth and layers of themselves, and to feel a sense of inner strength, confidence, unity and peace when they leave.”
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 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)
“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.
“I teach yoga so my students can feel self-awareness, calm, relaxed and ultimately empowered.”
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)
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.”
“I teach yoga because I want my students to learn tools for joyful living and feel relaxed yet energized when they leave.”
KARUNADHARA (KRIS FONDRAN)
“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!
MPH, RYT – 200, Reiki Practitioner
Bethany is a native of South Central PA, and transplanted to Cleveland in March 2021. Bethany often designs her classes in a yin/yang approach – flow of movement through Vinyasa, met with stillness in postures through Yin. These classes intentionally follow a ‘line of inquiry’ that asks students to turn inward, check in with themselves, and embody their state of being in the moment. Rooted in a deep belief that the practice of yoga is healing and can help one transform and embrace a new state of being, Bethany strives to bring vulnerability and an open-hearted presence to share with students during class.
Bethany received her 200 hour training through Studio B Power Yoga in Hershey, PA, followed by formal trainings in Yin methodology with esteemed teacher Corina Benner and Lotus Flow University in New York City. Additionally, she has completed immersive trainings in yoga asana sequencing through Bonnie Week’s Flow School, as well as participating in the initiative Off the Mat Into the World’s Leadership for Social Change training program with Seane Corn, Hala Khouri, and Suzanne Sterling. Bethany is also a Reiki practitioner through her work alongside Reiki by Rickie in Harrisburg, PA and The Studio Cleveland.
Bethany continues her work in leadership and personal growth through the Lightyear Leadership program, led by Susanne Conrad.
Outside the studio, Bethany works in community based research at Case Western Reserve University and is pursuing a PhD in Clinical and Translational science.
“I share yoga to create space for others to discover something about themselves – what you learn on the mat is translatable to all facets of your life.”
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.
JYOTSNA (JUDY EVANS)
Jyotsna has been studying yoga since 2007 and completed Teacher Training through the Yoga Academy of North America (YANA) in 2019. She also has teaching certificates in Yoga Nidra 1, Yoga Nidra 2, and Pranayama and Meditation, also at YANA, and a 200 hour teacher training course with Integrative Yoga Therapy. After a 40 year medical career, she is committed to teaching to share the physical, energetic, and psychological benefits of yoga to support health on all levels. She also loves mantra practice, and kirtan, and plays the harmonium.
She has traveled to India four times for yoga programs at 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.
Linda had been taking yoga classes for years when she decided that teaching yoga might make a good “retirement plan.” She graduated from Bhumi’s Yoga Teacher Trainings in 2014, but decided the time was not quite right to retire from her full-time job at NASA Glenn Research Center. Once she did retire from NASA (with just over 35 years!), she sent the Atma Center an email and asked if they needed any “help”. Thankfully, they did and she found her new, second home. Linda is thoroughly enjoying her retirement and working on completing her “what to do once I retire” list. She is volunteering in the wonderful Cleveland Metroparks and her hobbies include reading, hiking, quilting, kayaking, skiing (downhill & cross-country), tennis and traveling.
Fun fact: Linda literally married Mr. Wright!
LILLIE BURKINS – APPRENTICE
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.
MICHELLE THOMAS – APPRENTICE
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
“I teach yoga because I want my students to learn to live in concert with their bodies and feel inspired and curious about their movement and relationship to their breath when they leave class.”
Deanna has been teaching fitness classes since 1985, After teaching a “stretching” class at Club Med in 1990, a student came up to her and said, “That was yoga.” And then began Deanna’s journey into yoga. She had come to realize what she had been doing and thinking not only were scientific approaches but also yoga philosophies. From all her studies, schools in the States and courses in India, Deanna brings together these eastern and western influences connecting the mind, body and spirit. Deanna’s greatest influence was her grandfather who lived to be 104, who’s last words were “I want to stand up” and he did. Gramps was the epitome of a joyFULL life. Discovering how your body moves best with what you are feeling in that exact moment, empowers you both on and off the mat. Understanding and trusting your intuition to navigate not only a yoga class but life. Going from “doing” yoga to “being” yoga and with this living a vibrant life.
Deanna’s influences in yoga are the late Shri K Pattabhi Jois, David Swenson and his wife Shelly, Twee Merrigan and locally Jan Hauenstein and Atmarupa. Currently, Deanna’s primary teacher is Shiva Rea, studying with her since 2004.
Kapil believes in practicing and teaching yoga that is holistic and which balances both body and mind. His association with yoga started in 2005. He practiced Iyengar Yoga for over ten years before he found his way to Satyananda Yoga and the tradition of the Bihar School of Yoga. He regularly visits the ashram in India to further his training and to maintain a strong connection with the tradition. He is still learning how not to take oneself too seriously! Kapil has a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from Princeton University. He serves on the board of the Yoga Academy of North America, a non-profit dedicated to transforming lives through the medium of yoga.
Fun Fact: As a child, Kapil grew up in seven countries on four continents!
Julie Konrad is a certified Ayurvedic Health Counselor (AHC) through the Himalayan Institute. She works with individuals using the wisdom and practices of Ayurveda to lead her clients towards healing and better health. Julie leads workshops, retreats and talks on Ayurveda throughout the region. She has been a speaker for the Rheumatology Nurses Society annual conferences, and has worked with The Cleveland Indians, Case Western Reserve Medical School and The Cleveland Clinic. Julie also teaches hatha yoga at The Cleveland Racquet Club along with classes on meditation and mindfulness in Cleveland and online. You can find out more about Julie by visiting clevelandayurveda.com