Contributors

Kimberly Jordan Allen
Kimberly is a writer, editor, and content strategist with twelve years of experience. Her areas of expertise include lifestyle, health and wellness, environmental issues, and the mind-body-spirit connection. Kimberly crafts communication strategies that integrate traditional, web, and social content to ignite, engage, and mobilize. Her work has appeared in Berkshire Magazine, The Huffington Post, E/The Environmental Magazine, Rural Intelligence, Shape, Organic Consumers Association, and Beliefnet. Kimberly is one of the founding contributors of Eco Chick, a website for hip, environmentally conscious women. Eco Chick has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, the Christian Science Monitor, USA Today, Grist, Treehugger, Glamour, Self, and Elle.com. She is currently the Digital Content Editor at Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health. You can find her tweeting @kimjordanallen.
Jonathan Ambar
Jonathan relocated from Brooklyn to the Berkshires, which enabled him to finally earn his driver’s license at the tender age of 34. When not maneuvering winding country roads with great aplomb, he’s writing, editing, performing, and spending an inordinate amount of time upside down (which he’d like to think doesn’t get in the way of his ability to stay grounded). Jonathan is also a certified yoga teacher, having earned his 200-hour certification through OM Yoga Center.
Danny Arguetty, MA, E-RYT
Danny has studied and practiced extensively in both Kripalu and Anusara Yoga®. He blends a mix of skillful alignment cues, playful postures, and creative vinyasa flow sequences to facilitate a heart-opening journey of conscious inquiry. Danny was a faculty member at Kripalu from 2006–2011, teaching classes and workshops, and he was involved in Kripalu’s teacher training programs. He currently leads 200-hour yoga teacher trainings in Southern California and 500-hour advanced trainings in India, works with private clients, and teaches yoga and wellness courses at Williams College. Danny is committed to and passionate about supporting people in self-discovery, inner wisdom, and the art of living yoga.
John Bagnulo, PhD, MPH
John teaches nutrition in Kripalu’s Healthy Living programs. He holds a doctorate in food and nutrition sciences from the University of Maine and a Master of Public Health from the University of North Carolina. John served as nutritionist at Canyon Ranch in the Berkshires and is currently on the faculty of the Center for Mind-Body Medicine. A frequent lecturer on topics including weight loss, detoxification, and chronic disease treatment and prevention, John is also a passionate mountain climber who reached the top of Mt. Everest as part of a two-man team.
Larissa Hall Carlson, RYT 500
Larissa is a Kripalu Yoga teacher, Ayurvedic Yoga Specialist, Ayurvedic Lifestyle Consultant, and Yee Yoga teacher. A program leader and Ayurvedic Yoga Specialist for Kripalu’s Institute for Extraordinary Living, Larissa has taught yoga, meditation, pranayama, and yogic philosophy for the Tanglewood Music Center, Berkshire Opera Company, Juilliard School, and Boston Conservatory. She is also Assistant to the Dean for Kripalu’s School of Ayurveda. Creator of the CDs Meditative Yoga Flow: A Kripalu Sadhana and Ayurvedic Pranayama and Meditation for the Doshas, she teaches workshops, directs yoga trainings, and provides Ayurvedic consultations.
Jovinna Chan, E-RYT 500
Jovinna teaches yoga, dance, theater, and meditation, and is a presenter for many guest yoga programs. She spent 10 years as an actress and dancer in New York City, and her teaching is influenced by Martha Graham, Soul Motion, karate, and traditional Korean dance.
Kim Childs
Kim Childs is a Boston-area writer, Certified Positive Psychology Coach, Kripalu Yoga teacher and facilitator of workshops based on The Artist's Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity, by Julia Cameron. She incorporates the teachings and practices of Positive Psychology, yoga and creative living in her coaching, writing, and workshops. Kim spent ten years working as a public radio reporter, newscaster and producer in New York and New Jersey before life called her in a new direction. In fact, it sent her to live, train and work at Kripalu for two years and she's very glad that it did.
Stephen Cope, MSW
Stephen is Senior Scholar-in-Residence and a Kripalu Ambassador. He is a Western-trained psychotherapist who writes and teaches about the relationship between Western psychological paradigms and the Eastern contemplative traditions. Stephen holds degrees from Amherst College and Boston College. He did graduate and postgraduate training in psychoanalytic psychotherapy in the Boston area, where he practiced for many years before joining the staff at Kripalu. In its 25th anniversary edition, Yoga Journal named him one of the most important innovators in the developing field of American yoga.
Samantha Cullen
Samantha grew up in the Berkshires, and after having fulfilled a good amount of her wanderlust is happy to be back. She is an actor and a yoga teacher, and writes a fun little blog, The Yoga of Cake, where you can learn more about her life lessons (which sometimes appear through baking).
Janna Delgado, BFA, RYT 500
Janna Delgado, RYT 500, is a senior faculty member at Kripalu. An Ayurvedic Yoga Specialist, Kripalu Yoga teacher, and AFAA-certified personal trainer and fitness instructor, Janna is Director of Yoga in the Schools for the Institute for Extraordinary Living (IEL). Formerly a program leader for the IEL’s Yoga for Weight Loss program, Janna is currently the Program Advisor for Kripalu’s Healthy Living immersion program Fitness and Yoga Retreat and leads workshops for Kripalu’s R&R Retreat program. She is a regular contributor to Kripalu publications.
Aruni Nan Futuronsky, Life Coach, RYT
Aruni, Senior Life Coach and Program Advisor for the Kripalu Healthy Living programs, is a certified professional-level Kripalu Yoga teacher. She has been teaching in a variety of diverse venues for more than 35 years and has been on the Kripalu faculty for more than 20. Author of Recovering My Voice: A Memoir of Chaos, Spirituality, and Hope, and her latest book, Already Home: Stories of a Seeker, Aruni has also developed the Kripalu coaching methodology, based in presence and right action.
Hilary Garivaltis
Hilary currently serves as the Dean of the Kripalu School of Ayurveda and has 12 years of experience in teaching Ayurvedic daily living tools and Ayurvedic therapy techniques. She received her training at the New England Institute of Ayurvedic Medicine with advanced training in India from the Rishikesh College of Ayurveda and the Jiva Institute. She continues to train with the world’s leading teachers in the United States and in India.
Devarshi Steven Hartman, RYT

Devarshi Steven Hartman, RYT

Devarshi is the former Dean of the Kripalu School of Yoga.
 He has been a yoga student and teacher for 30 years and is a former longtime Kripalu resident. Devarshi is the creator of the best-selling audio series The Essence of the Bhagavad-Gita. He leads workshops and retreats throughout the country and, in addition to teaching yoga, is a healing arts practitioner, a bodyworker, and a teacher of A Course in Miracles.
Portland Helmich
Portland is the creator, host, and producer of the Kripalu Perspectives podcast series. She's also is the creator, host, and executive producer of What’s the Alternative?, a series of 52 half-hour talk shows about natural and alternative forms of healing the body-mind on Veria Living TV, a natural health channel on DISH, FiOS, and Frontier. For 15 years, Portland’s been investigating natural health and healing as a host, reporter, writer, and producer. She's been an alternative medicine correspondent for Oxygen, a health reporter for The American Consumer on PBS, and was the creator, host, and executive producer of Journeys Into Healing on Wisdom Television. She produced for HealthWeek and Healing Quest on PBS and was a medical producer for WCVB-TV (Boston’s ABC News affiliate). She’s also covered the subject as a freelance writer for Body + Soul, Alternative Medicine, and Spa magazines. Portland currently lives in Boston and produces other natural health programming for Veria Living TV.
Annie B. Kay, MS, RD, RYT
Annie is an integrative dietitian, author, and certified professional-level Kripalu Yoga teacher. She is a former director of the osteoporosis awareness program at the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. For more than 10 years, Annie has advocated science-based mind-body health in the national media, at conferences and workshops, and through her book, Every Bite Is Divine.
Coby Kozlowski, MA, E-RYT
Coby is a professional life coach, inspirational speaker, yoga and dance teacher, expressive arts therapist, Ayurvedic health educator, and expert in transformative leadership. She is the founder of Simple Rhythm Coaching LLC, cofounder of Souluna Life Coach certification training, and serves on the faculty at Kripalu. She was also on the faculty of Kripalu’s Semester Intensive, an education program for young adults. Coby is a skier, surfer, triathlete, ultimate frisbee player, fire spinner, and lover of adventure. Her book, The Yoga of Living Leadership™, is forthcoming.
Brian Leaf
Brian Leaf is the author of twelve books, including memoirs Misadventures of a Garden State Yogi and Misadventures of a Parenting Yogi. He is Director of the New Leaf Learning Center and a graduate of Kripalu's Yoga Teacher Training, Massage Training, and Spiritual Lifestyle Program. His work has been featured in Yoga Journal, Yoga International, USA TODAY, The Huffington Post, and Mothering Magazine.
Steven Leonard
Steven Leonard is a Kripalu faculty member and founder of the Freestyle Meditation Community. He leads meditation classes, workshops, and retreats throughout the Northeast, using an approach that offers a simple way of appreciating the range and rhythm of human experience. A musician and athlete, Steven holds a degree in exercise physiology and is the author of Throughout Infinity, a book of poems.
Susan B. Lord, MD
Susan graduated from Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, completing her residency in family practice. From 1996 to 2007, Susan worked at the Center for Mind-Body Medicine in Washington, DC, where she developed and participated in professional training programs in mind-body medicine and nutrition. Since January 2008, she has been teaching and providing consultations at Kripalu Center. She also works with individuals and groups in her private practice in Great Barrington, Massachusetts, focusing on prevention and treatment through mindful living, lifestyle changes, and effective natural therapies.
Vandita Kate Marchesiello, E-RYT 500
Vandita is a senior teacher and faculty member at Kripalu and the recording artist on two best-selling CDs, Transform, Relax, and Rejuvenate and Yoga with Vandita. Director of Kripalu Professional Associations and Kripalu’s Teaching for Diversity program, Vandita has balanced family, self-care, and a career in yoga and health for more than 30 years. She also develops and delivers stress-management and yoga programs for medical schools, hospitals, corporations, educational institutions, and support groups for people with cancer, fibromyalgia, heart disease, and multiple sclerosis.
Jennifer Mattson
Jennifer Mattson is a journalist, writer, yogini, and kirtan junkie. A former volunteer resident at Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health, she’s a former broadcast news producer for CNN and National Public Radio. Her reporting and writing have appeared in The Atlantic, The Boston Globe, USA Today and the Women’s Review of Books.
Deb Morgan
Deb, Kripalu’s Former Executive Chef, draws on more than 25 years’ experience in the world of natural foods, including owning and running an organic restaurant and tea shop. Deb is an enthusiastic chef and is author of the Kripalu Seasonal Recipe Book series. Her approach to food and cooking is grounded in a deep belief that love is the main ingredient in a healthful diet.
Lisa B. Nelson, MD
Lisa is a longtime advocate for community wellness. She serves as medical director of the nonprofit Nutrition Center in Great Barrington and Pittsfield, Massachusetts, and has led numerous public workshops that underscore the connection between food and health. She and her husband are practicing family physicians. Lisa Nelson received her medical degree from the University of Massachusetts in Worcester, and completed residency in family medicine at Boston Medical Center.
Cristie Newhart
Cristie is a senior Kripalu Yoga teacher and a senior faculty member at Kripalu. She is the former Volunteer Program Manager and former Production Manager, and has taught at Kripalu for more than 10 years. Cristie is currently the Yoga Advisor for the Kripalu Healthy Living Programs and leads Kripalu Guest Yoga and R&R retreat workshops.
Jennifer Reis, E-RYT 500
Jennifer is a professional Integrative Yoga therapist, master yoga nidra teacher, LMT, and Kripalu Yoga teacher. She has been leading yoga retreats and professional trainings, including yoga nidra teacher training, since 1996, and has served on Kripalu’s faculty for more than 10 years. Jennifer has a gift for creating sacred space to journey into realms of deep peace and renewal. Her voice carries students inward to a place of stillness and connection. Jennifer is the creator of Divine Sleep Yoga Nidra® and Five Element Yoga—an inspired style in the Kripalu tradition—and her CD Deep Relaxation is a Kripalu best-seller.
Valerie Reiss
Valerie is a writer, editor, speaker, consultant, and Kripalu Yoga instructor in Brooklyn, New York. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, Newsweek, The Huffington Post, Women's Health, Natural Health, Yoga Journal, Beliefnet, Vegetarian Times, and more. She keeps a gratitude blog, wrote Yoga Journal's NYC blog, Samadhi and the City, and has blogged for Lime.com and others. As Holistic Living & Blogs Editor at Beliefnet.com she also co-wrote the popular Fresh Living blog. She was previously Articles Editor at Breathe, a yoga-inspired lifestyle magazine. A native New Yorker, Valerie has an M.S. from Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism and a B.A. from Beloit College. She's also working on a book about yoga, cancer, and some of life's other humbling hilarities.
Maria Sirois, PsyD
Maria is an inspirational speaker, seminar leader, and author who has worked at the intersections of wellness, psychology, and spirituality for nearly 20 years. As a wellness guide, Maria has been invited to keynote throughout the country at conferences for wellness centers, hospitals, hospices, philanthropy, business, academic and corporate institutions, as well as for the general public. She has been called both a “true teacher” and “an orator of great power and beauty.” Her book, Every Day Counts: Lessons in Love, Faith, and Resilience from Children Facing Illness, was published in 2006.
Kathie Madonna Swift, MS, RD, LDN
Kathie is a leading educator, innovator, and practitioner in the field of integrative nutrition. She is author of The Inside Tract: Your Good Gut Guide to Great Digestive Health. Kathie recently won the Making a Difference Award from Today's Dietitian. She is the Chief Nutrition Advisor for My Food Health, an online program that provides customized meal plans for individuals with various health conditions, and created My Foundation Diet, a gluten and dairy free elimination food plan. She also shares her passion for the power of food as a teacher of various Healthy Living Immersion programs at Kripalu.
Angela Wilson, MA, RYT
Angela Wilson, MA, is a senior Kripalu faculty member and Project Leader for the Institute for Extraordinary Living’s Front-Line Providers program, working with leading scientists to document the program’s impact on health, well-being, and quality of care for community service providers. Angela holds a master’s degree in mental health counseling from Lesley University and is a regular contributor to Yoga International and Yoga Therapy Today, where she writes about the intersection between yoga, Western psychology, and science.