Pandit Rajmani Tigunait, PhD
Chairman / Spiritual Head
Spiritual head of the Himalayan Institute, is the successor of Swami Rama of the Himalayas. Lecturing and teaching worldwide for more than a quarter of a century, he is the author of fourteen books, including his autobiography Touched by Fire: The Ongoing Journey of a Spiritual Seeker, the best-selling At the Eleventh Hour: The Biography of Swami Rama of the Himalayas and a regular contributor to Yoga International magazine. Pandit Tigunait holds two doctorates: one in Sanskrit from the University of Allahabad in India, and another in Oriental Studies from the University of Pennsylvania. Family tradition gave Pandit Tigunait access to a vast range of spiritual wisdom preserved in both the written and oral traditions. Before meeting his master, Pandit Tigunait studied Sanskrit, the language of the ancient scriptures of India, as well as the languages of the Buddhist, Jaina, and Zorastrian traditions. In 1976, Swami Rama ordained Pandit Tigunait into the 5,000-year-old lineage of the Himalayan Masters.
Rolf Sovik, PsyD
President / Spiritual Director
President and Spiritual Director of the Himalayan Institute and a clinical psychologist in private practice, Rolf Sovik has studied yoga in the United States, India, and Nepal. He holds degrees in
philosophy, music, Eastern studies, and clinical psychology. Co-director of the Himalayan Institute of Buffalo, NY he began his practice of yoga in 1972, and was initiated as a pandit in the Himalayan tradition in 1987. He is the author of Moving Inward, co-author of the award-winning Yoga: Mastering the Basics, and a columnist for Yoga International magazine.
Co-author of the award-winning Yoga: Mastering the Basics and a senior editor for Yoga International magazine, Sandra Anderson’s work draws on her studies of traditional yoga texts and her extensive visits to India, where she conducts an annual yoga teacher training program. Sandra holds a degree in geology and began her studies in yoga while working in the environmental protection field. Initiated into the Himalayan tradition in 1988, she lives at HI and teaches all aspects of yoga.
Greg Capitolo began practicing hatha yoga and meditation in 1994. He studied with several experienced yoga teachers while working in accounting, finance, and IT. After completing the Himalayan Institute’s teacher training program in 2005, Greg began teaching yoga classes at corporations such as Oracle and Sybase. In 2006, Greg took residence at HI where he currently serves as the Director of Finance and Information.
Carrie E. Demers, MD
Board-certified in internal medicine, Carrie Demers, MD, is a holistic physician who blends modern medicine with traditional approaches to health. After receiving her medical degree from the University of Cincinnati, Dr. Demers went on to study massage, homeopathy, nutrition, herbal medicine, yoga, and ayurveda. She has been the Director of the Himalayan Institute Total Health Center for the last 12 years. Widely recognized for her expertise, Dr. Demers has been interviewed by numerous magazines and newspapers and lectures nationally on holistic health and ayurveda. She is a frequent contributor to Yoga International magazine.
Teaching yoga for more than 35 years, Shari Friedrichsen is a key facilitator of the Himalayan Institute teacher certification program and a member of the 500-hour teacher training faculty at 8 Limbs Yoga in Seattle Washington. Shari has studied asana, meditation, and philosophy with respected teachers Pandit Rajmani Tigunait, Rolf Sovik, Amma Sri Karunamayi, and BKS Iyengar. An expert in subtle anatomy, her unique style integrates breath, alignment, and anatomical awareness to draw the student into the inner experience of each posture. Her approach uses yoga as a vital, powerful and compassionate component in healing the body and the psyche.
Sarah Guglielmi Goddard
Sarah Guglielmi Goddard has been on a personal journey of healing and spiritual growth for over 15 years. She has taught yoga since 2002 in corporate, studio, and clinical settings. Originally drawn to yoga practice to relieve chronic stress and illness, Sarah has not only regained her health, but has discovered a spiritual dimension of life she finds rich and inspiring. Sarah serves on the teaching faculty of the Himalayan Institute and is the Professional Education Manager at their headquarters, where she has lived in residence since 2004. She holds a Masters Degree in Materials Engineering from the University of Delaware, and completed an eight-year engineering career with W.L. Gore and Associates, prior to joining the Institute.
Michelle Head, DC
Dr. Michelle Head is a chiropractor and certified applied kinesiologist at the Himalayan Institute Total Health Center. She has a holistic philosophy of health care and evaluates the structural, chemical, and mental aspects of health utilizing manual muscle testing. She earned her Doctor of Chiropractic degree from Palmer College in Davenport, Iowa. Dr. Head lectures on stress management, workplace ergonomics, and headache prevention.
Kathryn Templeton has devoted her life to the health of others. A psychotherapist for more than 20 years, Kathryn is a Master Teacher in the field of Drama Therapy and continues to work both clinically and as an educator specializing in the treatment of individuals with complex trauma. As an E‐500 RYT and NAMA‐registered Ayurvedic practitioner, Kathryn has worked to develop specialized treatments integrating the principles of yoga and Ayurveda with clinical therapeutic techniques. Kathryn is an Adjunct Professor of Human Development and General Psychology in the Connecticut Community College system. She holds memberships with the International Association of Yoga Therapists, the National Association of Drama Therapists and the National Ayurvedic Medical Association. (kathryntempleton.com)