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.
Raghunath (Sali Ryan)
BA, MEd, AYT-L2, RYT 500
Jyotsna (Judy Evens)
AB, MD, RYT-200
Jyotsna has been studying yoga since 2007 and completed Teacher Training through the Yoga Academy of North America (YANA) in 2019.
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.”
Linda Elonen Wright
BA, MS, RYT-200
RN, BA in English Literature, M.A. in Philosophy, RYT 200 and years studying dance.
Certified Ayurvedic Health Counselor (AHC)
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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
MARY LAURA BOWERS
Mary Laura has practiced yoga for over 20 years, witnessing the change in body, mind, and spirit. Certified RYT 200 through Life Power, she is currently completing the 500-hour training through Citizen Yoga Royal Oak, Michigan. She practices and teaches Ashtanga and Powerful
Vinyasa Flow, along with meditation, rooted in the Eight Limbs of yoga. Her classes blend physical challenge with traditional philosophical influence. She is also a Licensed Social Worker and writer.
Teachers have the unique opportunity to create a space that lets students shine. Forever a student, she knows this truth. Practice, teach. We have tremendous power in breathing and moving to alter
our consciousness, suffer less, and live happy.
Class will include a creative sequence of postures designed to connect breath, movement, and gaze that enhances strength, cardiovascular endurance, flexibility, and balance. Rooted in Ashtanga, this class is challenging, energizing, and calming in the body and mind.
Fun facts about Mary Laura:
Q. How long have you been practicing yog?
A. 20+ years and still so much to learn.
Q. What is your favorite aspect of teaching yoga?
A. Seeing people including myself go into uncharted territories.
Q. What is your favorite pose:
A. Downward-facing dog…always.
Q. What can students expect in your class?
A. Space, challenge, practical philosophy.
Q. Do you have any animals?
A. Steady companion bird dog.
I am a data analyst by trade and a yogi by lifestyle. I received my first 200hr yoga
instructor certification in 2018 but have been a student to the practice since 2015. I like to think of yoga as not only a practice but a lifestyle. I have an ashtanga vinyasa background and love guiding people into connecting their mind, body, and breath with aligned postures that aid in inner healing. I’m also reiki certified and will often infuse the room with reiki while being a guide to the practice.
MICHAEL T. GREEN
Michael Green grew up in Cleveland, Ohio and started meditation when he joined the Center for Spiritual Awareness when Roy Davis was the Spiritual Director. Minister Davis was a direct disciple of Paramhansa Yogananda. (Link to https://yogananda.org/) Michael has been practicing meditation for 40 years and teaching in the inner-city communities of Cleveland for 18! He says he practices “For my spiritual growth and health benefits.”
He welcomes anyone who is sincere, committed and wanting to experience the benefits of super consciousness meditation to join him in his spring workshops.
“My type of nonsense is well–adjusted and happy!”