Lauren Jay Toolin, E-RYT Founder and Director
Lauren is a ParaYoga Master Teacher, one of the first to have been granted this title by ParaYoga founder, Yogarupa Rod Stryker. This achievement is the culmination of decades of study, practice and teaching, and a five-year apprenticeship in the ParaYoga tradition, one of the most broad reaching and fastest growing Yoga traditions in the country. She also apprenticed with and was a lead assistant teacher to Rodney Yee for many years.
In her teaching, Lauren draws from her in-depth knowledge of Classical Yoga, Kundalini science and Tantra, and her students are guided through an experience of Yoga in its most sublime, lively and profound manifestation. Always insightful, inspirational, and infused with humor, Lauren’s teaching conveys her passionate belief in Yoga’s boundless potential for creating a healthy, successful and loving existence.
She has contributed to several national yoga publications and conceptualized and associate produced “The Practical Power of Yoga” a nationally-broadcast PBS special. Lauren teaches public classes and leads teacher trainings throughout the Northeast, and offers workshops and retreats nationwide and in Belize and Puerto Rico.
Loretta Tharp, E-RYT Guest Faculty
Loretta is a graduate of the Integrative Yoga Therapy program (IYT). She has studied extensively with Joseph LePage and has earned her 1,000-hour certification as a Professional Yoga Therapist as well as Yoga teacher. As a therapist, Loretta brings the ancient insights of Yoga into mainstream wellness and educational programs. Her philosophy is that health is a unity of body, mind and spirit. Yoga is the vehicle for deepening this experience of unity. As a mentor, she brings Yoga into the world as a resource for personal growth, healing and awakening. Loretta opens the door of Yoga for others and then helps to guide them to find the way to a compassionate, healthy and joyful life.
Her love of mentoring comes from her early years when she was a public school teacher. Trained as a teacher, Loretta carries that skill into her Yoga classes and teacher training programs. Her compassion for others comes through in her teaching and through Yoga she guides people to listen to and understand their own body.
Her Yoga is of the Iyengar style and she incorporates study of the chakras and Yoga Nidra into her sessions. Loretta has been teaching Yoga for six years. She teaches mainly in the Central Massachusetts area and has been co-director with other teachers in several teacher training programs as well as her own. She has been certified by the MS Society in teaching Yoga to individuals with this disease, and her credited course at a Worcester college is always full with students placed on waiting lists to take her class.
Meghan Hogan, E-RYT Teaching Assistant
Meghan Hogan is Lead Faculty of the 200 program, acting a Teaching Assistant. Meghan completed Lauren Toolin’s 200-hour yoga teacher training program in 2011. She has since completed an additional 300+ hours of formal study with Lauren, with an ongoing focus in the area of yoga therapeutics. Meghan has served as Teaching Assistant for Yoga Vidya’s renowned 200 hour teacher training program since 2014. Her students are empowered through practice and compassionate individualized guidance to access and use the tools they innately possess to manage stress and chronic pain, breathe fully, rest deeply, and develop habits that support a joyful experience of Self. Meghan identifies living an inspired life grounded in personal practice as a potent teaching modality. She offers public classes, private sessions, workshops and teacher training.
Preeti Bavdekar, E-RYT Anatomy Maven
Preeti, means “Love” in Sanskrit, the language of yoga.
Glimpses into the place within herself of THAT unconditional love has inspired Preeti to share the knowledge she has acquired with anyone who is open to receive the teachings of yoga. In retrospect, she believes that she chanced upon Senior Para Yoga teacher, Lauren Jay Toolin’s 200 hr. teacher training program only by Divine coincidence. Starting out teaching 3 friends, whom she is forever indebted to for giving her this opportunity, Preeti has since been teaching at the Albany Hindu temple, NY and Heartspace Yoga and Healing Arts studio in Troy, NY.
Preeti was honored and humbled when her teacher Lauren invited her to become a part of her Yoga Vidya Teacher Training Faculty to teach Anatomy for yoga teachers after her graduation in 2012. Preeti brings her solid foundation in Anatomy from being a 1996 graduate of a Master of Science program in Physical Therapy from Mumbai University in India with an elective in Neurology.
Preeti believes her greatest teaching and an invitation to the path of yoga came from dealing with the sickness of her daughter and questioning the root cause of disease. Finding her passion in pediatric physical therapy when working with children with special needs, Preeti was introduced to the world of energy medicine through craniosacral therapy by the Upledger Institute and pediatric myofascial release by John Barnes. She realized that holistic care brought about by the integration of the knowledge of our own body, mind and spirit is the only complete answer to a deeper healing and lasting wellness.
An avid reader, Preeti also enjoys canvas oil painting, music, photography and traveling.
Lisa Mary DiDonna McGrail, BA, NYS LMT, CYT Guest Faculty
Lisa Mary has been a full time massage therapist since 2005 in private practice in Guilderland NY. She is also a graduate of Lauren’s yoga teacher training. She has completed level two training in Restorative Yoga with Sudha Carolyn Lundeen at Kripalu and now teaches this part of the course in the Yoga Vidya course.