Vasant Lad, M.A.Sc.
Ayurvedic Physician and Executive Director

Vasant Lad, BAM&S, MASc, Ayurvedic Physician


Vasant Lad brings a wealth of classroom and practical experience to the United States. A native of India, he served for three years as Medical Director of the Ayurveda Hospital in Pune, India. He was Professor of Clinical Medicine at the Pune University College of Ayurvedic Medicine for 15 years. He holds a Bachelor’s of Ayurvedic Medicine and Surgery (BAM&S) degree from the University of Pune and a Master’s of Ayurvedic Science (MASc) degree from Tilak Ayurved Mahavidyalaya. Vasant Lad’s academic and practical training include the study of Allopathy (Western medicine) and surgery as well as traditional Ayurveda.

Beginning in 1979, he has traveled throughout the United States sharing his knowledge of Ayurveda. In 1984 he came to Albuquerque as Director, principal instructor and founder of the Ayurvedic Institute. Vasant Lad is the author of numerous books and respected throughout the world for his knowledge of Ayurveda. Vasant Lad is the author of 11 books on Ayurveda as well as hundreds of articles and other writings. With over 500,000 copies of his books in print in the US, his work has been translated into more than 20 languages.

Vasant Lad's Biographical Data
A Compendium of Vasant Lad's Published Works

Dr. Kristy Anderson, NMDKristy Anderson, NMD


Dr. Kristy Anderson teaches Anatomy and Physiology as well as Medical Terminology online. Dr. Anderson is an alumnus of SCNM and is a licensed physician in Arizona. Dr. Anderson’s focus is on pain management, environmental toxicities, GI health, and lifestyle wellness coaching.

As the former Medical Advisor for Heel Inc., a global leader in combination homeopathic pharmaceuticals, Dr. Anderson gave numerous lectures and trainings nationally and internationally to the integrative medical community. Dr. Anderson consults for the natural products industry as an integrative medical expert.


Jennifer Ayres,
BA, CMP, EMT Jennifer Ayres, BA, CMP, EMT


Jennifer teaches ASP 1 Foundational Skills and ASP 2 Review Class as well as supervises in the Student Clinic and supports the Evening Lecture online course. She completed the Ayurvedic Studies Program 1 in 2003 and ASP 2 in 2004.

She has studied Vedic philosophy and Ayurvedic cooking closely with Swami Vidyadhishananda Giri since 2000. In her private practice as an Ayurvedic consultant, she brings to the table Breema, Massage Therapy, Yoga Therapy, and Pranic Healing. She has also worked as an Ayurvedic Post-partum Doula and EMT.

Simon ChokoiskySimon Chokoisky  

Simon teaches ASP 1 and 2 Sanskrit as well as ASP 2 Medical Jyotish. He was born to Bulgarian immigrant parents in Phoenix, AZ, where he attended Arizona State University. Dissatisfied with a French major, he turned to Ayurveda in 1998 and, with Jyotisha, began his study in the Vedic sciences.

Simon has studied Vastu Shastra, Sanskrit, Jyotisha, and Ayurveda, and worked professionally as a fitness consultant and Ayurvedic massage therapist. He has traveled extensively, and speaks four languages, in addition to studying and teaching Sanskrit.

Nomi Gallo, M.Ed. Nomi Gallo, MEd


Nomi teaches a number of courses at the Institute including ASP 2 Ayurveda Assessment, Applied Skills, Women & Children’s Health, and Ayurvedic Review. She is also a Clinic Supervisor at our student clinic and coordinates the development and implementation of seminars and intensives.

She began her study of Ayurveda in 2003 with training in Panchakarma, working three years in a Panchakarma facility. In 2008, Nomi entered the ASP 1 program to study with Dr. Lad. A graduate of ASP 2 as well as the Pune Gurukula program, she has specialty training in women’s health and perinatal Ayurveda.

Maria E. Garre,
M.Ed, E-RYT-500
Maria E. Garre, MEd 


Head of the Ayuryoga Department, Maria teaches ASP 2 Ayuryoga, YTT, and online Ayuryoga. Maria is dedicated to a life-long study, practice, and teaching of both Yoga and Ayurveda; continuing over 20 years of study in Medical and Biological Sciences, Philosophy, Ayurveda and Yoga.

Blending the knowledge she has gathered from her studies and yearly pilgrimages to India, Maria leads dynamic and liberating classes that embody the alchemy of all these disciplines. Along with teaching at the Institute, Maria travels internationally leading retreats, workshops, and teacher training programs throughout the world. 

Dr. Sharada Hall, DOM Sharada Hall, DOM


A Clinic Supervisor in our student clinic, Dr. Sharada Hall graduated from the Ayurvedic Institute in 1993 and from Southwest Acupuncture College in 2000. As a Doctor of Oriental Medicine specializing in Ayurveda, she has operated her private practice in Santa Fe, NM since 2000.

Dr. Hall traveled to India and Nepal in 1995 and in 2000 and apprenticed with Tibetan physicians, assisting in their clinics by performing acupuncture. Dr. Hall also publishes an online natural health magazine devoted to Ayurveda at Bodhimed.com.

Sunny Rose Healey, CAYSunny Rose Healy, CAY  

Sunny is the student clinic manager at the Ayurvedic Center for Healing, Life and Longevity and is a member of the education curriculum team at the Ayurvedic Institute. A student and teacher of yoga for more than a decade, she has studied Ayurveda for almost as long. Most recently she graduated from the Ayurvedic Studies Program 1 and 2.

Sunny has a great love for working with plant medicine and continues to study in this realm. As an Ayurvedic Practitioner and general holistic health consultant, she provides clients with individually tailored diet, lifestyle and nutrition counseling, yoga therapy, and Jin Shin Jyutsu.


Denise LaRosa, DOMDenise LaRosa, DOM, Dean of Education


Dr. LaRosa teaches the course on Medical Ethics for ASP 2, assisting students to learn specific abilities toward being an effective practitioner in the field of health.

Dr. LaRosa, DOM, LAc, is a licensed acupuncturist and Doctor of Oriental Medicine who graduated from Southwest Acupuncture College in 1996. While maintaining a private practice in Albuquerque, New Mexico she integrated her past teaching and administrative skills and accepted positions of Associate Professor, Clinical Supervisor, Clinic and Campus Director at Southwest Acupuncture from 1998-2010 until accepting the position of Dean of Education at the Ayurvedic Institute.

Carmen Loderus, LMTCarmen Loderus, LMT

A Clinic Supervisor in our student clinic, Carmen (Sharanya) is a Natural Fertility Management Counselor, having studied with Francesca Naish in Australia. A graduate of the Ayurvedic Institute in 2000, she also studied in India with Dr. Sunil Joshi, MD (ayu) and graduated from Kalidas Sanskrit University in Nagpur with a Certificate of Ayurveda.

In 2004, she interned at Poonthottam Ayurveda Ashram in Kerala, India under the direction of Dr. Raveendranath and also with Dr. Vijith Sasidhar at the Shree Krishna Chikitsa Kendram in Kerala. Owner of East West Ayurveda, she offers a combination of therapies to achieve a balance of health and harmony in the body and mind.

Cindy Stanley, MS Cindy Stanley, MS


Cindy teaches ASP 1 Anatomy and Physiology, Medical Terminology, and ASP 2 Pathophysiology. A native of Albuquerque, Cindy recently retired after teaching High School science for 32 years. She has a Masters degree in Science from the University of New Mexico.

She is married and has two wonderful children. Her favorite past times are working out and reading.

Julie Staples, PhDJulie Staples, PhD


Dr. Julie Staples received a doctorate in Cell and Molecular Biology at St. Louis University.  She is the Research Director at the Center for Mind-Body Medicine in Washington, D.C. Dr. Staples is also an Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at Georgetown University School of Medicine. She holds adjunct faculty positions at Saybrook University, the University of New Mexico School of Medicine, and at the Ayurvedic Institute.

She has been a certified Kundalini yoga teacher since 1996 and is the Board President of the Guru Ram Das Center for Medicine and Humanology. She teaches ASP 2 Research Techniques.

Barbara Stavola,
CAP, LMT, CSPBarbara Stavola, CAP, LMT, CSP

Barbara J. Stavola teaches ASP 1 Foundational Skills. She is a certified Ayurvedic Practitioner, Licensed Massage Therapist, Natural Therapeutic Specialist, and Core Synchronism Practitioner. Her specialty is in subtle therapies that work with the mind/body connection through all the systems, organs, tissues and elements.

With many years of client experience, she employs pulse assessment in empowering a client’s healthcare through a self-care life plan. Barbara is committed to the transformation of all beings into greater states of awareness, wellness, balance, and freedom.

Cory Tixier, RYT 200Cory Tixier, RYT 200  

Cory teaches ASP1 Ayuryoga, Ayurvedic Foundation Skills online as well as supporting online evening lectures. A native New Mexican she moved to NYC in 2000 and began her practice of yoga there. In 2009, she received her 200-hour Yoga Teacher Training certification from Integral Yoga. She completed certifications in Children’s Yoga and Street Yoga while teaching yoga to children in halfway houses in the Bronx as well as in NYC public schools.

Cory began her study at the Ayurvedic Institute in 2011. Teaching remains one of Cory’s passions as she applies Ayurveda and yoga in her teaching at both the Ayurvedic Institute and privately.

Luscha Weeks,
MA, LPCC, LMTLuscha Weeks, MA, LPCC, LMT

Luscha teaches Applied Skills for ASP 2 as well as the student counselor for both ASP 1 and 2 students at the Institute. She serves as a therapist in the Panchakarma department and maintains a private practice for counseling.

Luscha is a licensed counselor (LPCC); she graduated from Southwestern College in 2004. She also holds a massage license (LMT) and has been working for the Ayurvedic Institute since 1995.

David YossDavid Yoss  

David Yoss is a graduate of Ayurvedic Studies Programs Levels 1 and 2 from the Ayurvedic Institute and attended the Institute’s Gurukula Pune program in 2013. Currently David teaches both the online and on-campus Ayurvedic Nutrition course as well as the Sanskrit 1st Trimester course for both ASP 1 and ASP 2 students.

He is passionate about the ability of food and proper diet to heal as well as the role of holistic medicine in the future of medical practice. He is an avid student of Yoga, Tantra, Sanskrit, and Jyotish.


Denise LaRosa, DOM

Denise LaRosa, DOM, Dean of Education


Denise is the Dean of Education here at the Institute. She has practiced meditation since 1980's where she attended an ashram in South Fallsburg, NY for 10 years. During that time she worked in the health care field as the Education Director of Planned Parenthood. As a lecturer and workshop leader, she traveled across the country presenting numerous workshops and training in the area of reproductive health.

Her interest in Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine continued to increase, bringing her to Albuquerque in 1992. She attended Southwest Acupuncture College here, where she received her Masters' in Oriental Medicine in 1996 and then opened her practice. In 1997, she began teaching at the college and, in 2003, became Campus and Clinical Director until 2007. She then returned to her practice at Sanjevani Integrative Medicine, where she focused on Esoteric Acupuncture, until accepting her current position here in 2010.

Dorothy Seeger

Dorothy Seeger


Dorothy Seeger is the Administrator of the correspondence course, "Lessons and Lectures on Ayurveda". A graduate of the Ayurvedic Studies Program, for the past twelve years she has continued to provide student support and respond to student inquiries. Dorothy evaluates exams personally and trains staff for additional evaluations and support as necessary.

Wynn Werner

Wynn Werner, Administrator


Wynn is the Administrator of Vasant Lad's Ayurvedic Institute in Albuquerque, NM and has served in this position since 1991. He is also the acting administrator of the newly opened sister institute in Pune India, the Vasanta Institute of Ayurveda. He oversees all of the Institutes' departments, facilities and operations, assuring that each Institute fulfills its mission, purposes and goals.

A graduate of the 1991 Ayurvedic Studies program, Wynn was invited by Vasant Lad to help him and has continued to assist both institutes' Board of Directors as Ayurveda has expanded into the western world. Wynn is a founding board member of the National Ayurvedic Medical Association and has stayed to serve as a board member for the past 13 years. He represents the Ayurvedic Institute on matters at the state, national and international levels. He teaches in the Institute's Ayurvedic Studies Level 1 and 2 programs as well as for other schools and conferences on legalities and risk management in the practice of Ayurveda. Wynn was also part of a small group that researched, drafted and shepherded into law the New Mexico "Health Freedom Act" in 2009 titled "The Unlicensed Health Care Practitioner Act." In his scarce spare time, Wynn can be found canoeing, mountain biking or backcountry skiing.

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