Lama Christie McNally has trained in Tibetan monasteries in India and Nepal, and is one of the first western women to be recognized as a lama. Through her efforts, she has begun to change the face of Buddhism that has historically been predominantly male.
In fact, recently Lama Christie taught to an audience of thousands in Mongolia. It was the first time in over 700 years that a woman has taught there and certainly the first time ever that a western woman has taught Buddhism there. Truly historical.
She is a translator of ancient Tibetan and Sanskrit and a professor of religious studies. She has also authored several books, including her yet to be released and highly anticipated book on meditation.
She has taught millions worldwide in the authentic ancient texts of India and Tibet.
Lama Christie is also a co-founder of Diamond Mountain University, a revolutionary effort to provide without charge a classical monastic education to westerners of all walks of life, to be used within the modern world.
From 2000 to 2003, Lama Christie and her spiritual partner, Geshe Michael Roach, completed a traditional Great Retreat of 3 years, 3 months, and 3 days of silence and meditation, in the wilderness of the southern Arizona desert.
Dr. Lisette Garcia is a long-time student of Buddhism and has studied in the United States as well as in India. Lisette and her spiritual partner, James Connor, are extremely popular teachers in New York City and the Hamptons and are best known for formal study courses on meditation.
Lisette aspires to reach a larger audience, beyond religious affiliation, to help all people tap into their powerful female energy to improve their lives, using ancient wisdom.
She gained the lineage from her Teachers, Geshe Michael Roach and Lama Christie McNally, as well as their blessing to pass the teachings on.
Lisette has a PhD in experimental psychology. Most recently she was a professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice and a consultant at one of the country’s leading trial consulting firms.
Lisette and James, are currently in training for a three-year silent retreat starting in October 2010.
Kimberley Veenhof is Executive Director and a Senior Staff Teacher for Yoga Studies Institute. Kimberley teaches hatha and raja yoga in the lineage of her Teachers. Over the past five years she has worked with YSI’s Founders to develop the programs of YSI, leading teacher trainings, retreats and workshops. She has been in deep study with Geshe Michael Roach, Lama Christie McNally, and many spiritual teachers around the world for close to 20 years. Kimberley and her husband live in the desert of Arizona, teach in the heart of New York City, and lead retreats all over the world.
Kimberley is a Senior Staff teacher of Tibetan Heart Yoga & Classics of Yoga.
Mira Shani is a founding member, North American Regional Executive Director, and senior staff teacher of the Yoga Studies Institute. She’s been studying and teaching yoga, philosophy and Buddhist Dharma for over 10 years. She is a close student of Geshe Michael Roach and Lama Christie McNally, who she came in contact with while studying at Kopan Monastery in Nepal in 2000. She also studies closely with Anusara Founder, John Friend and travels around the country and world to teach. Mira lives in Tucson, Arizona where she studies with her heart Teachers and teaches at Yoga Oasis.
Kendra Rickert began her dance training at the age of nine studying the Cecchitti method of ballet. She has trained in the modern techniques of Martha Graham and Merce Cunningham. Kendra then went on to receive her BFA in Acting from the College of Santa Fe. She had the honor and privilege of performing with and apprenticing under the “mother of performance art” Rachel Rosenthal. Kendra has also had the privilege of practicing yoga under the close instruction of Bikram Choudhury and Dharma Mittra. She now devotes much of her time to studying and practicing Tibetan Buddhism under the guidance of Geshe Michael Roach and Lama Christie McNally. Kendra now works to incorporate Buddhist philosophies into her practice of yoga and dance in order to reach the divine.
Amy McHenry (creative director)
Nancy Allen (yoga teacher)
Jennifer MacFarlane (photographer)
Ana Maria Velasco
Born in Bogotá-Colombia, Ana Maria spent part of her childhood in Nicaragua, her mother’s native country. She received her undergraduate degree in International Business from Universidad Javeriana while she was a student at The Conservatory of Fine Arts in Cali, Colombia. Ana Maria holds an MFA from The School of The Museum of Fine Arts & Tufts University in Boston. She has been studying Tibetan Art for the last few years under the guidance of Master Pema Rinzin.
Ana is a certified yoga teacher from Om Yoga Center and received an advanced Jivamukti Yoga certification in 2003. She learned Ayurvedic nutrition in the Bioticare Holistic Center, also in NYC.
Ana Maria has learned from teachers of many spiritual traditions in Latin America, India and USA for more than 20 years. Her more recent studies of Buddhism with Geshe Michael Roach, Lama Christie McNally, Lama James Connor and Lisette Garcia clarified, consolidated and inspired her long life pursuit of happiness.
Ana Maria lives and works in NYC where she also teaches Yoga and Art to children at the Rubin Museum of Himalayan Art. She continues to work on her artwork and exhibit it worldwide. www.anitavelasco.com
Ana Maria is the founder and President of NEEM, an organization that brings holistic activities of healing and forgiveness to people (all ages) affected by violent conflict, through a range of therapies that include yoga, meditation and visualization techniques, creative arts and nutrition. www.neemplanet.org.
Chelsea Bailey (consultant)