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, BA, RYT 500, E-RYT 200
Sandra Gilbert is the most senior YCat Yoga Therapy faculty member and is the senior trainer and qualifier for the full 300 hour YCat all levels training. She is a highly recognized Integral Yoga teacher, with advanced training certificates in Stress Management, Integrative and Mind/body therapies, and Patient Navigation.
Sandra has offered Yoga therapy and like programs at many centers, including Romemu, Omega Institute, and the Center for Mind Body Medicine in WDC. She has also taught YCAT for the Mount Sinai Breast Health Resource Center and the NYC Ruttenberg Oncology infusion center.
Sandra currently teaches in Yoga research at Vanderbilt Medical Center in Nashville, in employee health for HCA (Hospital Corporation of America), at St. Mary’s Retreat Center in Sewanee, TN. She has a passion for educating and empowering students and other teachers, and for creating a safe, compassionate space to explore healing through Yoga.