Yoga Therapy International Specialist Faculty

Our Specialist Faculty are all leading Yoga Therapy Specialists in areas including Yoga for Cancer, Chronic Pain, Disabilities, Ageing, Addictions, Arthritis, Movement Disorders, Scoliosis, Chronic Pain, Yoga Nidra, Restorative Yoga, Chair Yoga, Mindfulness Meditation, and Ayurveda. Most specialists will offer 2- to 8-hour experiential workshops on their area of expertise, according to their availability as part of our course hours during Terms 1 and 3 in Vancouver.

If you want to learn more about some of these specialties, you can do some of your practicum hours with our Specialist Faculty, who are also practicing Yoga Therapists. Most of them live and work in Vancouver and are happy to receive you through individual arrangements during Terms 1 and 3 in Vancouver. You can observe or assist your specialist teachers’ classes according to their availability during sometimes reduced summer schedules. For individual practicum work with Specialist Faculty, there will be additional costs that are arranged on an individual basis. 

You can also seek advice on the delivery of Yoga Therapy for specialized populations outside of classes with our Specialist Faculty in Vancouver.  We are excited to be extending our network of Specialist Faculty to those who do NOT live in Vancouver, but who are experts in their specialties.This can be done face to face, in person or on-line. This mentoring can continue at a distance, online, when you are back at home. 

Maggie Reagh MA in Teaching, BA in Classical Philosophy, CYT, E-RYT 500 – Disabilities, Scoliosis, Systemic Conditions

Maggie Reagh, BA Classical Philosophy, MA Teaching, CYT, E-RYT 500 began studying Yoga at age 3 with her Mother guided by TV’s, Karen Zebroff. She resumed her practice of Yoga in her twenties after a pre-professional career in Modern dance came to an abrupt end due to lower back, neck, and knee pain. Pattabhi Jois’ Astanga Vinyasa practice brought her to Mysore, India in 2000 to study asana, pranayama and philosophy with BNS Iyengar at the Parakala Mutt where Krishnamacharya did his Vedic studies in the early 20th century.

Searching for the source of Krishnamacharya’s work and looking for deeper healing from severe osteoarthritis in her neck as well as chronic anxiety and depression brought her to Chennai, India in 2001 to study at the Krishnamacharya Yoga Mandiram in Chennai, India with the TKV Desikachar family.

With T.K.V. Desikachar’s blessings at his father’s shrine, she started teaching Therapeutic Yoga in 2002 in Vancouver, Canada at Capilano University, where she is also a faculty member.

She went on to study with Gary and Mirka Kraftsow at the American Viniyoga Institute on Maui, Hawaii to learn how this work has been adapted for Westerners in group situations.

In 2008, she met her Iyengar-based Vancouver teacher, Lindsay Whalen, E-RYT 500, CYT. Through her five-year mentorship, Maggie's teaching style changed fundamentally. She refined her knowledge of alignment, props and restorative poses, incorporating this knowledge into her TKV Desikachar-based approach to Yoga Therapy.

Since 2001, Maggie has been continuing her studies in Yoga Therapy, Asana, Pranayama, Meditation, Vedic chanting, and Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras with her beloved teachers in Chennai, India, D.V. Sridhar, Viji Vasu, and Radha Sridhar at Yoga Raksanam. She has also been continuing her studies in Ayurvedic medicine with Dr. B Ganesh at Ayu Wellness Clinic in Chennai. She is delighted to have her therapist trainees study directly with such senior teachers in the Krishnamacharya lineage.

Encouraged by her teachers, in 2009, she started Yoga Therapy International as Registered Yoga School of Yoga Alliance and now Accredited School of the International Association of Yoga Therapists.

As a specialist faculty member, Maggie teaches about working with Disabilities, Scoliosis, and Systemic Conditions.

She also teaches Yoga Philosophy, Ayurveda, Therapeutic & Teaching Skills, Yoga Therapy Practices, Providing Yoga Therapy, and Professional Practice. In addition to being a part of the Specialist Faculty, she is also the Practicum and Distance Learning Supervisor as well as the Founding Director of Yoga Therapy International (YTI).


Tianne Allan, BA (Psychology), CYT, E-RYT – Restorative Yoga – 12 hours - Part of Therapeutic and Teaching Skills

Tianne Allan, BA Psychology, CYT, E-RYT came to Yoga after a long career as a high performance athlete. She brought her passion and commitment as a dedicated athlete to her yoga practice. As her love of Yoga grew, Tianne began teaching. After a serious car accident Tianne’s yoga practice became her pathway to healing. Restorative Yoga and Yoga Therapy provided tools to help her heal both physical and emotional traumas of the accident.

In gratitude, Tianne now devotes her teaching to sharing these powerful tools of healing and transformation. Tianne is honoured to share this knowledge and experience through classes, workshops and teacher trainings, locally in Vancouver, Canada and throughout the world. She is a senior student of Judith Lasater, having completed her "Yoga Teacher Certification Advanced" level.

As a specialist faculty member, Tianne teaches restorative yoga as part of Therapeutic and Teaching Skills (12 hours). 


Nicole Emily Marcia MA (Yoga Therapy), C-IAYT, E-RYT 500 – Trauma & Addictions

Nicole Emily Marcia, MA in Yoga Therapy, C-IAYT, E-RYT 500: Nicole has been a yoga teacher, therapist and trainer since 2004 and is registered with the Yoga Alliance (E-RYT 500) and the International Association of Yoga Therapists. In 2009, she was awarded a master’s degree with a specialization in yoga therapy from Lesley University in Boston, MA.

Since then, she has been employed by Vancouver Coastal Health at their Burnaby Centre for Mental Health and Addiction where she developed a comprehensive yoga therapy program for in-patient clients in various stages of recovery from mental health and addiction issues. She also serves as the director of training at Yoga Outreach, a not-for-profit organization providing volunteer yoga teachers to marginalized populations.

In 2010, she completed the Trauma Sensitive Yoga Training at the Trauma Center in Boston, MA, and a course on the fundamentals of teaching yoga and meditation in military communities conducted by Warriors at Ease in Silver Spring, MD. She is a faculty member at Yoga Therapy International, Ajna Yoga and Langara College Continuing Studies.

As a specialist faculty member at YTI, she teaches about Trauma and Addictions.

Contact Nicole at

Neil Pearson MSc, BScPT, BA-BPHE, CYT, RYT 500 – Chronic Pain

Neil PearsonNeil Pearson MSc, BScPT, BA-BPHE, CYT, RYT 500 is a Clinical Assistant Professor at UBC, a pain educator, and a leader in the fields of physiotherapy and yoga therapy pain care. He shares his knowledge and experience as a faculty member in four international yoga therapy training programs, and through his Pain Care Yoga certification process.

Neil is the Founding Chair of the Canadian Physiotherapy Pain Science Division, the 2012 recipient of the Canadian Pain Society's Excellence in Interprofessional Pain Education Award, a board member of Pain BC, and recipient of the BC Physio's Excellence in Clinical Practice Contribution award. 

Neil's clinical work in Penticton is exclusively with people with complex and persistent pain. He offers treatment, education and yoga therapy services throughout BC, Canada and internationally.

As a specialist faculty member, Neil teaches about Chronic Pain.

In Yoga Therapy International's CYT 1000 program, Neil teaches Anatomy and Physiology for Musculosketal Conditions, a Chronic Pain Specialist Faculty, and a Research Mentor for the Directed Studies Capstone Course.

Contact Neil at OR 250.486.5056

Mary-Jo Fetterly CYT, E-RYT – Disabilities

Mary-Jo Fetterly, CYT, E-RYT is the inspiration and founder behind Trinity Yoga Inc. a national Yoga Teacher Training, Personal Development and Advanced Studies School. She is well known in the yoga community as a devoted teacher, mother, and practitioner.

Mary-Jo brings an abundance of knowledge and experience to her work from her associations with many of the leaders in the field of yoga and personal development. From a background in yoga and massage therapy and studies in psychology and social work, Mary-Jo is able to infuse her work with real-life experience. Mary-Jo is particularly passionate about her work with one of her teachers Dr. Caroline Myss and in Energy Anatomy and loves to teach others about their chakras and non-physical energy systems.

The devastation and challenges of a recent severe spinal cord injury hasn’t held her back, as she continues to inspire and coach individuals to live life to the fullest. A documentary on Mary-Jo explores how she has utilized the gifts of yoga and alternative healing to beat all odds and then some. It was only months after her injury that Mary-Jo, with the love and support of her incredible team, was back teaching and bringing the gifts of yoga through the powerful vehicle of Trinity Yoga to hundreds.

An inspiring public speaker, Mary-Jo served as an Ambassador for the Rick Hansen Foundation for 7 years and spoke extensively in schools and public functions raising awareness around disability. She spent 6 years as a volunteer board member for Yoga Outreach, a local non-profit, helping to develop research and bring yoga into prisons and marginalized populations. Since her injury 10 years ago, Mary-Jo has further trained in Therapeutic Yoga and has developed a whole program and protocol for Adaptive Yoga for those with mobility challenges and for health care providers. She is currently completing her Master Training studies with Yogarupa Rod Stryker in Tantra Yoga and pursuing a certification in Somatic Experiencing with Mariah Moser. A strong background in Continiuum, with the late Emilee Conrad, also contributes to Mary-Jo’s unique approach to yoga, healing, and well-being.

No matter what the situation, Mary-Jo believes that we all have a “disability” to deal with, whether it is physical, mental, emotional, spiritual or cultural, and it is within the capacity of each individual to transform, heal, and rise above obstacles, given the right tools. Mary-Jo is featured with others in a new release from Timeless Books called “Inspired Lives,” on CBC’s Tapestry and in an award-winning documentary, “Stand Because You Can.” You will sure to inspired and moved by this courageous and compassionate woman.

As a specialist faculty member of YTI, Mary-Jo teaches students about working with Disabilities.

For further information or contact please see and

Sharon Abbondanza E-RYT, C-IAYT (Certified Yoga Therapist)

Sharon AbbondanzaSharon’s reverent love of the body infuses her teaching. She artfully combines the intelligence of yoga therapy with the innovation of restorative alignment using the BackMitra. With sixteen years teaching experience, and multiple certifications, Sharon’s love of yoga translates into on-going in-depth personal studies as well as developing teacher trainings. She has created and taught a Teacher Training program for Restorative Yoga Therapy and has developed a Foundations teacher training for the BackMitra. She partners with Brigitte Longueville to host an annual retreat in San Agustinillo, Oaxaca and offers a variety of yoga workshops in BC and Mexico. Studying with advanced practitioner Gioia Irwin, Sharon has completed the International Vijnana Yoga Certification, an 800 hour comprehensive program of Hatha Yoga that integrates the classical limbs of pranayama, asana, meditation, study of yogic texts with Eastern Taoist practices and an extensive exploration of embodied anatomy.

Having completed the Anatomy of Yoga, an 800 hour intensive training in Yoga Therapy with Master Teacher Leila Stuart, Sharon maintains a private yoga therapy practice and teaches on-going classes in Greater Vancouver. Recently studying with luminary Kamini Desai, Sharon is integrating somatic psychotherapy into her practice.

As the in-house yoga teacher at Shaughnessy Golf & Country Club for the past 12 years she has led Yoga & Golf workshops with Golf Pro Ginny Golding. Sharon’s warm and collaborative nature has given rise to various creative workshops such as yoga and drumming for women with Alexandra Millman of Drum Mama Studios. Recently, Sharon travelled to El Salvador to teach The Anatomy of Movement for Mylene Bergeron’s Deep Flow course accredited by the Vancouver School of Body Massage.

Amy Wheeler PhD, C-IAYT, E-RYT – Women’s Health & Case Studies

Amy WheelerMaggie is thrilled to have her friend and colleague join us as a specialist faculty member. She will also do one guest lecture on Case Studies, online, during Term 3 of the program.

Over the last 25 years, Amy's life purpose has been to educate people about yoga, psychology and wellness. She uses these professional skills to engage student’s body, breath and mind; teaching them how to create sustainable health and happiness.

Amy earned a Ph.D. in Educational Psychology and her B.A. and M.A. in Health Promotion.  She began her body-mind teaching career as a Sport Psychology Consultant and Yoga Teacher to many elite-level athletes, including the Los Angeles Lakers, various Professional Athletic Teams and five U.S. Olympic/National Teams.

For the past 15 years, Amy has studied extensively in India, Europe and the U.S. and currently teaches in the tradition of T. Krishnamacharya.  Amy was certified as a Yoga Teacher, Yoga Teacher Trainer and Yoga Therapist in the Krishnamacharya tradition.  Prior to this, Amy completed teacher training certifications in several internationally popular styles of yoga and yoga therapy.

Amy is currently involved in developing numerous Yoga Therapy research projects, including work with researchers at Vanderbilt University pertaining to: Metabolic Syndrome, Kidney Dialysis, Colon and Rectal Cancer, Ovarian and Uterine Cancer, and recovery after low back surgery.  Amy has also conducted many yoga research studies at California State University, San Bernardino, where she is an active Professor.

In 2014, Amy was invited and joined the Board of Directors for the International Association of Yoga Therapists (IAYT).  Additionally, she is helping to develop and define standards for Yoga Therapists in the National Ayurvedic Medical Association (NAMA).

Dr. Baxter Bell, Yoga Therapy for Conditions Related to Aging

Baxter Bell, MD, E-RYT 500 teaches, writes, and lectures internationally on the benefits of yoga as a powerful tool in addressing the underlying causes, not just the symptoms, of stress. A leading light in the movement to bring yoga into the mainstream medical world, Baxter has been actively deepening his understanding of yoga and relaxation since moving from his career as a busy family doctor to that of a yoga teacher and medical acupuncturist. He is deeply involved in the integration of therapeutic applications of yoga with Western medicine.

Director of Piedmont Yoga Studio’s Deep Yoga Program teaching the Experiential Anatomy, Yoga Technique, and Yoga Methodology portions of the training, Baxter also teaches therapeutics at the Niroga Institute in Berkley and leads workshops on the subject globally. A true renaissance yoga teacher, Baxter has played the violin since age five, is a frequent contributor to Yoga Journal, and is a prolific and popular blogger on Yoga for Healthy Aging.

As a specialist faculty member for YTI's CYT 1000-hour program, Baxter teaches Yoga Therapy for Conditions Related to Aging.

To contact Baxter, visit & Baxter Bell Yoga on Facebook