Faculty and Staff
Jnani Chapman, RN, BSN, RYT 500. YCat Founder and Director
Jnani Chapman, RN, BSN, RYT 500, founded and directs YCat Yoga therapy to train Yoga teachers and health professionals to adapt the practices of Yoga for people with cancer and other chronic or life-threatening illness. She is a senior staff member of the Commonweal Cancer Help Program in Bolinas, California, and was a founding clinician for the UCSF Osher Center for Integrative Medicine from 2001 to 2009 and a nurse case manager and cardiac rehab and stress management specialist for Dr. Dean Ornish’s Heart Disease Reversal Program (HDRP) research and retreats from 1986 to 1999. She also staffed the program’s short-lived existence at UCSF and remained there for a research study and clinical program for women with breast cancer from 1997 to 2002. Jnani was the executive director of the International Association of Yoga Therapists from 1995 to 1998. She currently teaches Yoga and conducts retreats for Dean Ornish’s early-stage prostate cancer research participants and their partners who were enrolled in his more recent studies. In addition, Jnani serves as a national and international consultant and a co–principal investigator on several research studies using the YCat curriculum with people with cancer, and she is on the faculty of many Yoga therapy training programs.
An online video interview with Jnani about Yoga in Cancer Care – opens in separate browser, you will not lose your place here.
Elizabeth Lakshmi Kanter, RYT 200
Elizabeth Lakshmi Kanter, RYT 200, has been practicing yoga since 1998 and teaching since 2009. Yoga has transformed her both energetically and physically, helping her heal from the loss of her mother to breast cancer in 1999. Elizabeth’s practices of alignment-based postures, breathing, and meditation have accompanied her throughout a travel-filled career in documentary science television and film production, web design, and urban arts education. Her Sri Lankan Hindu mother often spoke about the incredible healing power of our own breath, and her Polish-American father showed her the merits of staying in the present; yoga finally helped Elizabeth understand the truth and profundity of those insights. She graduated from Willow Street Yoga Center’s teacher training and has been trained by Jnani Chapman in Yoga Therapy for Cancer and Chronic Illness. She teaches through INOVA Hospitals’ Life With Cancer program and has led yoga for Smith Center for Healing and the Arts’ Cancer Retreats. She also works with people with auto-immune system diseases and survivors of human trafficking and trauma. Elizabeth holds a BA in Environmental Science and Public Policy from Harvard University and studied Photography at California College of the Arts.
Sandra Gilbert, RYT 500
Sandra Gilbert, RYT 500, is an Integral Yoga teacher who specializes in serving people with cancer. Sandra is the Yoga consultant and teacher in outpatient oncology at Mount Sinai Hospital and teaches Yoga as Stress Management for the Heart Group at Beth Israel Medical Center in New York City. A graduate of the YCat Yoga Therapy in Cancer and Chronic Illness program, Sandra has been on staff as coordinator for the past six years. She has training in Cancer Guides, Food as Medicine, and Mind–Body Skills through the Center for Mind Body Medicine of WDC; as an integrative therapist with the Urban Zen Foundation; in Stress Management through the Integral Yoga Institute; in Therapeutic Yoga taught by Cheri Clampett and Arturo Peal; and in Living Fully with Cancer taught by Asha Golliher. She volunteers for Chai Lifeline in the Orthodox Jewish community.
Nora Vimala Pozzi, E-RYT 500, PRYT
Vimala Nora Pozzi, E-RYT 500, PRYT is an Integral Yoga teacher and trainer, a Phoenix Rising Yoga therapist, who directs the Integral Yoga® Center of Richmond since 1992. Vimala is a YCat graduate having studied with Jnani Chapman since 2001. She has served as YCat faculty for many years and will be serving as a senior faculty for the Cancer Retreat. She specializes in supporting people with cancer in many settings. She serves as Faculty at Yogaville for the Raja Yoga and Hatha Yoga TT. Vimala has attended the therapeutic conferences offered by the International Association of Yoga Therapies (IAYT) as well as Healing Journeys. Vimala is an artist, a Reiki master and reflexologist who has attended the Jon Kabat-Zinn’s MBSR program for health care practitioners. She has also trained in Yoga for the Heart, based on the Dean Ornish Program and contributed to the Yoga for Arthritis program for the Arthritis Foundation.
Lura Priya Shopteau, MA, LPC, E-RYT 500
Lura Priya Shopteau, MA, LPC, E-RYT 500, is an integrative therapies practitioner who supports other medical professionals in treating the whole patient. Lura is a 2010 graduate of YCat Yoga Therapy in Cancer and Chronic Illness and is the current YCat coordinator, having replaced Sandra Gilbert in that role. Lura teaches Yoga, meditation, and stress reduction techniques to chronically ill patients, including those with cancer, cardiac issues, infertility, and chronic pain. She is trained in Jon Kabat-Zinn and Saki Santorelli’s Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) and has taught it along with other practices for research programs and to individuals at the University of Minnesota Center for Spirituality and Healing, the Mayo Clinic, and Penn State and is in private practice in State College, Pennsylvania.
Lisa Prema Schneider, MS, LCPC, RYT
Lisa Prema Schneider, MS, LCPC, RYT. is Clinical Program Director at the Cancer Support Center in southland Chicago. Her work focuses on the psychosocial issues of people with cancer and their caregivers. In addition to counseling individuals, couples and support groups, she teaches relaxation, guided imagery and Yoga for Cancer at the center. She is an instructor for at the Chicago Temple of Kriya Yoga Hatha Yoga Teacher Training program. Her work is a culmination of ten years experience working with Hospice patients, cancer patients and their families.
Sheryl Gray, BA, RYT
Sheryl Gray, BA, RYT
Yvonne Brown E-RYT 500
Yvonne Brown E-RYT 500