Danielle Ancin, Program Manager
Danielle has been teaching dance and yoga to youth and adults for over 12 years. Her desire to share sustainable, dynamic tools for resilience and youth development drives her work, which has included integrating yoga into humanitarian assistance and violence prevention programs in Colombia and teaching yoga classes in vulnerable communities in the US, Colombia, and Brazil. Danielle earned her Masters in Public Administration from the Monterey Institute of International Studies in 2009. She is now a Program Manager at the Niroga Institute and teaches regular yoga classes to at-risk children and adolescents.
Coleen Armstrong-Yamamura, Program Manager
After graduating from UC Santa Barbara with Dean's Honors and a B.A. in Political Science, Coleen was driven by a passion for social justice and a desire to contribute to the education movement. She joined Teach for America's New Orleans Corps, and worked as a certified Middle School Special Education teacher and English Language Arts teacher at her placement school, KIPP New Orleans, and KIPP LA schools. Working in communities with staggering poverty and violence, Coleen learned that her students needed more than the skills of reading, writing and arithmetic to be able to achieve their goals and dreams. The daily stress and trauma inflicted from their environment prohibited them from realizing their full potential. To broaden her impact in the education movement by bringing dynamic mindfulness practices to underserved schools, students, and families, Coleen took a year off of teaching to earn her yoga teacher certification from The International Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Center. Now she is overjoyed to serve as the Program Manager for Niroga's Los Angeles office bringing her years of experience as an educator and passion for educational equity to her work.
Bidyut Bose, Executive Director
Bidyut Bose is the Founder and Executive Director of Niroga Institute, which serves thousands of high-stress people annually, while developing cost-effective architectures for lasting social transformation. Having learned yoga and meditation since he was a child, and with a PhD in Computer Science from UC Berkeley, Bidyut spent many years in Silicon Valley in R&D and strategic planning. For the past 10 years, he has been conducting stress resilience trainings for influencers in education, health care, youth development and violence prevention, as well as corporate leaders nationally and internationally.
More about BK: Niroga Founder Receives Jefferson Award
Heidi Brown, Yoga Therapy Program Manager
Bio coming soon...
Judy Dunlap, Programs Director
Judy has had a long time interest in Eastern philosophies, and in the East's body/mind/spirit or holistic approach to healthful living and evolving consciousness. A student of the philosophy of Vedanta, she also serves on the Board of Directors of the Vedanta Society of Berkeley, Ca. Ten years ago she was introduced to yoga through Bidyut's classes, and has experienced the holistic therapeutic value of yoga first-hand. Judy enjoys the challenge of start-ups, and is a co-founder of Niroga. Previously, she was operations director for a small software company, and a merchandise manager for a national retail clothing chain. She received her BA in Anthropology from U.C. Santa Barbara and her MBA from Golden Gate University.
Amy Foldesi, Yoga Studio Co-Manager, Teacher Training Program Manager
Amy's adventures with yoga began before there was a yoga studio on every corner. She returned to yoga years later to recover from some minor injuries and found that the practice improves her life both physically and with greater peace of mind. She found Niroga in 2010 and was so inspired by Niroga's work in the community and its commitment to accessibility that she volunteered. In 2012, she completed the Niroga Teacher Training program and continues refining her skills. She currently co-manages the Niroga Yoga Studio.
Annika Hanson, Program Manager
Annika was born and raised in the Bay Area. At the age of sixteen an automobile accident left her with several spinal fractures and unable to live a normal teenage life. During her recovery a friend invited her to attend a yoga class, and she began to experience the self transformative properties of yoga and meditation. In her quest to empower others through the practice of yoga she continued her study, obtaining a certification from It's Yoga in Miami in 2004 and an additional certification from the Niroga Institute, with an emphasis in yoga therapeutics, in 2006. She is committed to raising awareness about the healing benefits of yoga and meditation. Annika coordinates the Niroga Institute programs in Alameda County Juvenile Hall, including the work of Niroga instructors and the research work being done to assess the impact of this work on the young people.
Celina Hennessey, Communications Manager, Yoga Studio Co-manager
Celina found yoga many years ago and was hooked immediately. She found Niroga in 2010, started volunteering with Niroga and never looked back. Celina was offered a place in the Integral Health Fellowship in the Niroga Teacher Training and simultaneously took on more work with the Niroga Institute. She currently works at the Institute and is a co-manager of the Niroga Center. Celina is also working towards her licensure in Marriage and Family Therapy. She utilizes the teachings of yoga to inform the work she does with her clients. Celina is committed to raising awareness about the accessible practices of yoga, as well as merging the transformative and life affirming teachings of yoga with the healing work of therapy.
Rosalind Lwin, Training Director
Rosalind turned to yoga about nine years ago, in a desperate attempt to "fix" her knees and discovered a powerful practice that promotes her healing on multiple levels beyond the physical. The self-reflective nature of the practice revealed that her body was just one example of what was misaligned in her life and yoga continues to guide her towards living in greater alignment with her values. Rosalind is grateful to BK Bose, her nephews, and her yoga students for being among her most influential teachers. After graduating from Niroga's Integral Health Fellowship (IHF) program, she absolutely refused to leave and now manages Niroga's IHF and Certified Yoga Teacher Training programs, teaches yoga and meditation at Niroga Center, and is a Yoga Corps instructor for Niroga Institute's direct service programs. Devoted to nurturing the growth of her students, and deepening her own practice, Rosalind is currently training with Niroga to become a Certified Yoga Therapist and is a student of Spirit Rock's training program focused on the integration of yoga, Buddhist philosophy, and vipassana meditation.
Wendy Marroquin, Program Manager, Multimedia Manager
Bio coming soon...
Will Meecham, Yoga Therapy Trainer
Will Meecham, MD, MA, has been studying biology since childhood, a passion that led him to undergraduate education in ecology, graduate work in neuroscience and biophysics, and medical school followed by training in ophthalmology, ocular oncology, and reconstructive surgery. Since 1987 Will has been using meditation to deepen his insights into life processes. When severe neck disease forced him to leave his Kaiser surgical practice after only six years, he devoted himself to investigating the relationship between science and spiritual practice. Simultaneously, he studied computer science and bioinformatics, worked as a consultant and lecturer for the California Department of Public Health, published over six hundred essays on various blogs and websites, and learned to practice Chinese medicine. Will now provides anatomy and physiology instruction for Niroga's training programs and has discovered his true calling: explaining human biology in ways that support mindfulness practice. He graduated from the Niroga teacher training in 2013.
Martin Muller, Trainer
Martín Francisco Muller has worked in the education field for more than 25 years, as a teacher, counselor, and a director of an alternative school for "at-risk" youth. He is a fourth-generation San Franciscan and a second-generation educator (on both sides), who served his father's last term on the Solano County Board of Education. He is founder of POLARIS, an educational organization providing education, training, and direct intervention services to local youth and educators. Martin's practical leadership experience and intuitive communicative expertise allow him to connect with a wide range of people. His leadership, development, and commnunicative certifications and competencies include: Crisis Communication trainer (CPI & PART), Integral coach (New Ventures West),Yoga teacher (Niroga Institute),native Spanish speaker, and decades long student of meditation.
Olga Overmyer, Program Manager, Grant Writer
Olga Overmyer is a Program Manager, Transformative Life and Leadership Skills/Dynamic Mindfulness Coach, and Development Manager at the Niroga Institute. She earned her BA in psychology and religious studies from Occidental College, her MA in East West Psychology from the California Institute of Integral Studies, and is a 500h certified yoga instructor and a certified life coach. Inspired by the mutually supportive process of personal and social transformation, Olga seeks to bridge inner work with intentional action. In addition to supporting the sustainability of Niroga, she specializes in helping TLS training participants optimally integrate dynamic mindfulness into their lives in order to flourish both personally and professionally. She also teaches yoga classes, supports research on the impact of Niroga's programs, and manages Niroga's Online Dynamic Mindfulness Training. Through her work, she hopes to share her passion for the power of transformative practices to facilitate stress resilience, self discovery, and conscious living.
Jonathan Relucio, Program Manager
As a Program Manager and Senior Instructor for Niroga, Jonathan supports youth as they develop self-awareness and resilience through mindfulness practices in schools and juvenile hall. He also leads Niroga's Community Mind Body (COMBO) meetings, Transformative Life Skills (TLS) Trainings, and coaching sessions, and is faculty on Niroga's Teacher Training program. With over 20 years of professional experience in social service delivery, youth leadership development, community organizing and nonviolence training, Jonathan values yoga as a healing practice of liberation to strengthen communities and social justice movements Jonathan is a graduate of Niroga's Integral Health Fellowship and Teacher Training program. He earned his BA from UC Berkeley studying Ethnic Studies and Psychology, and his MA from Naropa University studying Contemplative practice and Nonviolence.
Angela Urata, Operations Director
Angela Urata has worked in nonprofit administration and finance for over twenty-five years. She was Deputy Director and the Finance and Administrative Manager for two international nonprofits. She has served as Board Treasurer for a nonprofit that teaches media literacy tools to youth and has volunteered at the San Francisco women's jail, teaching conflict resolution skills. As a 200-hour certified yoga instructor, Angela is teaching yoga at a Senior Center for Asian Americans and serves on its Board or Directors. Angela enjoys bringing together her experience in nonprofit management, commitment to social justice and passion for yoga's potential to heal individuals and transform communities.