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


Jennifer Ayres,
BA, CMP, EMT, AHPJennifer 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.

Emily Cooney
Emily Cooney

Emily Cooney teaches Anatomy and Physiology and Medical Terminology, both online and on campus. Originally from Western Massachusetts, Emily moved to New Mexico in 2005 in search of sunshine and massage school. Drawn to Anatomy and Physiology, she became a lead instructor at her massage school in the fall of 2012, and in the summer of 2014 began teaching at The Ayurvedic Institute.

Emily has great enthusiasm for her subject and strives to pass that along to her own students. A practicing massage therapist in the Albuquerque area since 2006, she is equally passionate about promoting health in the community through bodywork and natural therapeutics.


Nomi Gallo, M.Ed., AHPNomi Gallo, MEd


Nomi teaches a number of courses at the Institute including ASP 2 Materia Medica, Applied Skills, Ayurvedic Life Cycles and is the Clinic Manager at the Ayurvedic Center for Healing, Life and Longevity. She also coordinates the development and implementation of seminars and intensives.

Nomi began her study of Ayurveda in 2003 with training in Panchakarma, working three years in a Panchakarma facility. In 2008, Nomi entered ASP 1 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. Darlene Hall, MD
Darlene Hall, MD


Dr. Darlene Hall teaches ASP 2 Pathophysiology and Western Physical Assessment. A retired pediatrician, Dr. Hall also teaches anatomy, kinesiology, physiology, pathology, and nutrition at a local massage school. She is the childcare coordinator at Unity Spiritual Center and conducts corporate health screening events as a technician/screener and a health coach/educator. She is certified in the identification and healing of prenatal and perinatal trauma.

Dr. Hall has practiced meditation and chanting, and studied Siddha Yoga philosophy with Swami Chidvilasananda since 1997.


Dr. Sharada Hall, DOM, AHPSharada 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, CAY, AHPSunny Rose Healy, CAY  

Sunny is a Clinic Supervisor in the student clinic. 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 Programs, Levels 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.

Ivy Ingram, MA, RYT-500
Ivy Ingram, RYT-500

Ivy teaches ASP1 Ayuryoga and Ayuryoga Teacher Training. Certified as a yoga teacher in 2002, she began her studies of Ayurveda shortly thereafter. She is a certified 500-hour Ayuryoga instructor and a graduate of ASP2. She has also studied Ayurveda and panchakarma in south India for six months.

Ivy holds a master's degree in Counseling Psychology and has worked at a Harvard hospital to resolve patient crises and concerns. She has taught yoga to cancer survivors and to inmates in several prison systems. In addition to working with clients privately, she teaches public classes and programs.

Carmen Loderus, LMT, AHPCarmen 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 graduated from 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.

Dr. Jennifer Rioux, PhD
Dr. Jennifer Rioux, PhD


Dr. Jennifer Rioux is a Clinic Supervisor at The Ayurvedic Institute. Dr. Rioux holds a doctorate in Medical Anthropology and has been an educator and researcher at the University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill, and the University of Arizona and University of New Mexico, Schools of Medicine.

She is a practicing clinician of Ayurvedic medicine and Yoga Therapy and studied with Vasant Lad from 1998-2001. She completed the first ever whole-system clinical trial of Ayurvedic Medicine and Yoga Therapy for obesity treatment at the University of Arizona in 2012. Her professional passion is to increase access to Ayurveda for underserved populations in low-cost community health clinics.

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 and is a clinic supervisor in the student clinic. 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, E-RYT-500, AHPCory Tixier, RYT 200  

Cory teaches ASP 1 and ASP 2 Ayuryoga, ASP 1 Ayurvedic Review, and Ayurvedic Foundational 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 provides student counseling for ASP 1 and 2 students and teaches Applied Skills for ASP 2. She has served as a therapist in the Panchakarma department at The Ayurvedic Institute for 16 years. Luscha offers counseling in private practice as well in an agency setting.

Luscha is a licensed counselor (LPCC) having graduated from Southwestern College, Santa Fe, NM in 2004. She also holds a massage license (LMT). Her studies at The Ayurvedic Institute include ASP 1 and 2 and The Jyotish Trilogy with Hart deFouw. She has been working for The Ayurvedic Institute since 1995.

David Yoss, AHPDavid Yoss  

David Yoss is a graduate of Ayurvedic Studies Programs Levels 1 and 2 from The Ayurvedic Institute and attended the Institute’s Pune Gurukula 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.


Erin Kreeger, MA, PhD

Erin Kreeger, MA, PhD, Dean of Education


Dr. Kreeger is the Dean of Education here at the Institute. She has a Master’s Degree in organizational leadership and development from Fielding Graduate University and received her Doctorate from Tilburg University in the Netherlands. Well-being has been at the centre of Erin’s work in the world. Most of her career has focused on leading and supporting not-for-profit organizations (including public health clinics) and educational institutions in creating and living into generative, health supporting possibilities through leadership, system design and attention to communication patterns.

She has a passion for Ayurveda, has participated in a number of seminars here at The Ayurvedic Institute and has an Ayurvedic Wellness Consultant certificate from a Canadian institution. Erin is a Board member at the CMM Institute for Personal and Social Evolution. She has had the joy of living in many cultures including the Netherlands, Thailand, Norway, Australia, the West Indies, Canada and the United States and is excited about partnering with people on work that helps create well-being for every being.

Dorothy Seeger

Dorothy Seeger


Dorothy Seeger is the Administrator of the Ayurveda Home Study 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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