OUR TEAM

CONTRIBUTORS

Dr. Amy Sedgwick MD, FACEP, E-RYT

Amy Sedgwick lives in Portland, Maine where she practices emergency medicine. In 2014, she opened Riverbend Yoga and Meditation Studio with an intention to help people achieve holistic wellness from within. In her teaching life, Dr. Sedgwick draws upon several disciplines combining her medical background and love of anatomy with her passion for yoga and the transformative effects of the practice. She completed her emergency medicine residency at Maine Medical Center and sees patients at InterMed, MMC, and Mercy Hospitals.

Dr. Sedgwick completed her 200 hour Yoga teacher training with her dear friend and guru, Jacqui Bonwell and Yin Yoga training with Josh Summers. She has also completed Balanced Athlete training with Johnny Gillespie and continues to study with Tom Myers. She is thrilled to be pursuing her 500-hour certification with Tiffany Cruikshank who she admires on so many levels. She is married to Peter Sedgwick, MD, FACSM, and has two beautiful daughters, Alexis, 9, and Elle, 7. She enjoys playing her ukelele, making jewelry, and loves to run outside.

Dr. David Vago, Ph.D

David Vago is research director of the Osher Center for Integrative Medicine and director of the Contemplative Neuroscience and Integrative Medicine (CNIM) Laboratory at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.  He is an associate professor in the department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation and department of Psychiatry. He is also a research associate in the Functional Neuroimaging Laboratory (FNL), Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH), Harvard Medical School. He has completed post-doctoral fellowships in neuroimaging and mind-body medicine, as well as the Stuart T. Hauser Research Training Program in Biological & Social Psychiatry. David has previously held the position of Senior Research Coordinator for the Mind & Life Institute and is currently a Mind and Life Fellow, supporting the Mind and Life mission by advising on strategy and programs. He received his Bachelors Degree in Brain and Cognitive Sciences in 1997 from the University of Rochester. In 2005, David received his Ph.D. in Cognitive and Neural Sciences with a specialization in learning and memory from the department of Psychology, University of Utah. Dr. Vago’s research interests broadly focus on utilizing translational models to identify and characterize neurobiological substrates mediating psychopathology, to better predict outcomes and potential biologically-based diagnostic and therapeutic strategies for those suffering with mental illness and chronic pain. Through mixed research methods of systems biology, neuroimaging, predictive computational modeling, connectomics, genomic and neuroendocrine science, innovation, cognitive-behavioral and first-person phenomenological analyses, Dr. Vago focuses on one basic question – “What are the basic neurobiological and physiological components that constitute adaptive mind-brain-body interactions and their therapeutic relevance in psychiatric settings?” Dr. Vago has a number of research initiatives that are ongoing, including Mapping the Meditative Mind, in which he has partnered with contemporary meditation and yoga teachers, as well as scholars to investigate states of meditation across the spectrum of formal meditative expertise.

Margeaux Amerine, DP

Margeaux graduated with her Doctorate in Pharmacy in 2008 from the University of Iowa College of Pharmacy in Iowa City, Iowa. She began practicing yoga the same year to help heal emotionally and physically after the loss of her father. Through the years yoga has remained an outlet in her life for growth and healing. In 2014, she completed her RYT-200 training with Yoga Medicine and is currently in the process of completing her RYT-500 with Yoga Medicine. She is a full-time practicing pharmacist and yoga teacher living on Whidbey Island, WA.

Marnie Hartman, DPT, CSCS, RYT

Marnie Hartman earned her Doctorate of Physical Therapy from Loma Linda University. She worked broadly in Sports and Orthopedics and gained extensive training in Manual and Orthopedic Rehabilitation. She is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist and RYT-200 working toward her 500-hour certification with Yoga Medicine. In 2005, Marnie moved away from the world of Sports Rehabilitation in Southern California for a simple life and challenging practice in the bush of Alaska. Since this transition she has become highly trained through International Spine and Pain Institute (ISPI) and Neuro-Orthopedic Institute (NOI) on treating patients with persistent pain. Using Therapeutic Neuroscience Education, with patients and medical providers, the epidemic of pain has changed for the better in Haines, Alaska; where she continues to live and work as the sole physical therapist.

One of Marnie’s biggest passions is facilitating healthy living through nature for activity and nourishment. In August of 2014, she opened a private practice combining her physical therapy, health coaching and yoga practice into one. Outside the clinic you can find Marnie on her mat, trail running with her wonder dog, Pelly, or hunting and gathering the wilds of Alaska. You can connect with her through her website or on social media – Facebook: Body IQ Physical Therapy and Yoga and Instagram @BodyIQ.

Dr. Rashmi Bismark, MD

Dr. Rashmi S. Bismark, MD, MPH is a US-trained physician, board certified in Preventive Medicine and Public Health. In parallel with conventional medical training, Dr. Bismark has spent the past 15+ years studying various complementary and alternative healing modalities, including ayurveda, energy healing, yoga, and meditation. She is currently in the process of completing RYT-500 training with Yoga Medicine and is receiving mindfulness teacher training through the Oasis Institute, Center for Mindfulness, University of Massachusetts. Dr. Bismark’s current practice is focused on offering holistic mindfulness-based lifestyle programming tailored to individuals and communities for health promotion and the improvement of risk factors and outcomes related to chronic diseases. She feels very fortunate to travel the world with her husband’s job, raising two little yoginis-in-training, and sharing mindful ways of nurturing life and healing.

Rebecca Powell Doherty, Ph.D

Rebecca Powell Doherty, PhD has been studying science and doing research since 2001. She graduated with her B.S. in Biology and Genetics from NC State University in 2005 and went on for her PhD in Immunology at UNC Charlotte, graduating in 2010. She has been teaching Anatomy and Physiology, along with other science courses for 7 years. Somewhere along the way, she fell in love with this yoga stuff, completing her 200-hr teaching training in the fall of 2009. She’s worked to balance her yoga world with her scientific one ever since. She has, for several years, conducted translational research in hemorrhage and inflammation at Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte, NC and taught at Queens University. She recently migrated to Blacksburg, VA with her husband and pup (Einstein) to pursue her master’s degree in public health for infectious disease.

Dr. Susannah Ward, BMedSci (Hons) MBBS (Hons)

Dr Susannah Ward is an advanced trainee of the Australasian Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine (AFRM) trained in both Medical Science and Medicine/Surgery with honors. She is currently working at John Hunter Hospital in Newcastle, Australia. Dr Ward is a Board Director for The Royal Australasian College of Physicians (RACP) and involved in various trainee committees and groups of both the RACP and AFRM. Dr Ward is passionate about health and wellness. In her spare time she is involved in wellness research, medical writing and teaches yoga to hospital staff and at her local yoga studio.

TEACHER TRAINERS

Alice Blunden

Alice Louise Blunden is a London-based certified 500-hour Yoga Medicine teacher, primary school teacher, Teach First ambassador, language lover, kitesurfer, windsurfer, skier and traveller. She is honoured to be working with Tiffany as a Yoga Medicine teacher while continuing her education through the Yoga Medicine 1000-hour Master Teacher Training Program.

Since working as a primary school teacher in inner-city state schools in London, it has been Alice’s intent to offer affordable yoga classes and bring yoga to wider communities; in particular to children and families in deprived areas of England’s capital.

Born and brought up by the sea, when Alice isn’t working in London, she is drawn to the beach! As a result, she spends most weekends and holidays teaching yoga classes designed specifically for kitesurfers, surfers and windsurfers as well as enjoying some SUP yoga on the South coast of England and abroad.

AMANDA BONFIGLIO CUNNINGHAM

I’ve been practicing and teaching yoga for a combined 15 years. After my undergrad and graduate studies I traveled for 7 years throughout over 40 countries, discovering the wonders of life. In 2012, I returned to the States with new eyes.

​My teaching is greatly influenced by what I’ve experienced thus far and my love for all styles of movement. There’s this magic moment when you’re moving – time stills, the mind clears. I want everyone to experience that moment. Ultimately, this is what drove me to become a teacher and to open Full Body Yoga and Soul Yoga + Wellness, my two studios.

​My personal transformations and those of my students solidified my love affair with this practice. It brings to life the benefits of yoga and my passion to share it is always evolving. Having studied under Tiffany Cruikshank for the last 4 years, my classes subtly explore the depths of our own anatomy, while largely deepening our understanding and connection to Self. ​I follow tradition and believe in its power however; I find it necessary to integrate the practicality of the present. Through movement, meditation, sound and discussion, my hope is that my students can live happier, healthier lives. ​

My yoga in action is dedicated to the rescue and rehabilitation of women and children from the sex trade. I head the Yoga Medicine Seva Foundation, to date generating over $50,000 in donations. Our mission is to fight human trafficking and sexual exploitation by empowering global, impoverished communities through efforts of education and entrepreneurship.

​At this time you’ll find me at my studio in Charleston, SC or working with Yoga Medicine during 500-hour modules or 200-hour teacher trainings. I welcome your insight, inquiries & feedback. Please connect with me at seva@yogamedicine.com or at amanda.bonfiglio@gmail.com.

Dana Diament

Dana has been practicing yoga for almost twenty years. She first encountered yoga at a dance camp when she was 12 and practiced in high school in place of traditional physical education. Dana developed a regular practice in her mid 20’s, strongly drawn to the mental and emotional benefits she experienced of finding clarity, gaining confidence, and connecting to a peaceful place within.

Her teaching career started in Sydney in 2013, just weeks after finishing her 200hr teacher training with Power Living Australia Yoga, and has taken her across the globe to assist Tiffany Cruikshank and Yoga Medicine at yoga conferences, festivals, and 200hr and 500hr teacher trainings. 

Dana has a strong interest in anatomy and physiology, and is passionate about educating and inspiring students to use yoga as medicine by using both eastern and western perspectives in her teaching.

Dana is also the founder of a web and graphic design agency. Born in Israel and raised in New Jersey, she now lives in Byron Bay, Australia.

MACKENZIE MILLER

MacKenzie Miller is yoga instructor and personal trainer. After finding yoga while attending college in Los Angeles, she completed an anatomy intensive Power Vinyasa training with Tiffany Cruikshank in 2011, who Mackenzie continues to study with for her 500 hour certification. MacKenzie teaches classes in her hometown of Seattle, and her offerings of workshops and retreats allow her to bring expertise of asana and myofascial release work on the road.

Approaching class with a joyful celebration of balance and movement, MacKenzie shares physical, mental and emotional empowerment with her students. In-deep knowledge of alignment couples with her contagious and playful demeanor, as Miller encourages students to redefine what is possible in both body and mind through thoughtful, energizing sequences.

Rachel Land

Rachel is a full-time Power, Vinyasa and Yin yoga teacher based in Queenstown, New Zealand.

She started practicing Hatha yoga as a teenager, and found it helped her to challenge her strong healthy body, then move beyond it to a place of calm and clarity. It took 20 years, a Business Degree, and a stint in corporate marketing for that initial interest in yoga to spark the idea of something more. In 2011 Rachel finally became a Yoga Alliance registered teacher.

Since then she has completed courses in Anatomy & Physiology, Nutrition, Sports Training & Development, Mentoring and Yin Yoga, as well as starting to work her way through a 500-hour yoga teacher training with Tiffany Cruikshank and Yoga Medicine.

But the best way to truly know a teacher is to meet their students. Some of Rachel’s students are strong vinyasa yogis aiming to deepen their personal practice. Others come for the slower, more subtle exploration of Yin yoga. And her therapeutic private yoga students want to learn how yoga can help them feel stronger, more stable, and more serene. Whether they attend group classes, workshops, retreats, or private sessions, the common denominator is lively curiosity; they come to learn – about alignment and anatomy, and about themselves.

As a teacher, Rachel aims to both spark and satisfy that curiosity. She takes her role seriously, but takes herself lightly.

Valerie Knopik, Ph.D

Valerie Knopik is a Senior Research Scientist, Professor of Psychiatry and Human Behavior, and E-RYT in Providence, Rhode Island. Formally trained in classical ballet, as well as a former runner, Valerie has always been a believer in staying active but yoga is the perfect marriage of her work in mental health & her love of movement & anatomy. With a PhD in Psychology, Valerie is extremely active in mental health research, focusing on how our internal biology and our external physical environment (including yoga, mindfulness, and meditation) can interact to positively change our mental health landscape. Valerie’s sincere hope is that, while the physical asana practice might be the introduction to yoga (as it was for her), her students can utilize the asanas as a tool to find cohesion of body, mind, and spirit in order to experience fullness & purpose in their lives. Valerie lives with her husband and their two children (and a big, loveable Great Dane named Justice) in RI.

Lulu

Lulu has been studying with Yoga Medicine since 2006 and has completed her 200 hour & 500 hour certification as well as assisted many of the modules. She brings her heart & soul to every training and is known for her awesome “adjustments”. Her asanas may be much smaller and her vocabulary may be quite limited but her heart is wide open and her only goal is to serve the community through her offering of love.

STAFF

AMANDA BONFIGLIO CUNNINGHAM

Seva Coordinator

I’ve been practicing and teaching yoga for a combined 15 years. After my undergrad and graduate studies I traveled for 7 years throughout over 40 countries, discovering the wonders of life. In 2012, I returned to the States with new eyes.

​My teaching is greatly influenced by what I’ve experienced thus far and my love for all styles of movement. There’s this magic moment when you’re moving – time stills, the mind clears. I want everyone to experience that moment. Ultimately, this is what drove me to become a teacher and to open Full Body Yoga and Soul Yoga + Wellness, my two studios.

​My personal transformations and those of my students solidified my love affair with this practice. It brings to life the benefits of yoga and my passion to share it is always evolving. Having studied under Tiffany Cruikshank for the last 4 years, my classes subtly explore the depths of our own anatomy, while largely deepening our understanding and connection to Self. ​I follow tradition and believe in its power however; I find it necessary to integrate the practicality of the present. Through movement, meditation, sound and discussion, my hope is that my students can live happier, healthier lives. ​

My yoga in action is dedicated to the rescue and rehabilitation of women and children from the sex trade. I head the Yoga Medicine Seva Foundation, to date generating over $50,000 in donations. Our mission is to fight human trafficking and sexual exploitation by empowering global, impoverished communities through efforts of education and entrepreneurship.

​At this time you’ll find me at my studio in Charleston, SC or working with Yoga Medicine during 500-hour modules or 200-hour teacher trainings. I welcome your insight, inquiries & feedback. Please connect with me at seva@yogamedicine.com or at amanda.bonfiglio@gmail.com.

Dana Diament

Graphic Design

Dana has been practicing yoga for almost twenty years. She first encountered yoga at a dance camp when she was 12 and practiced in high school in place of traditional physical education. Dana developed a regular practice in her mid 20’s, strongly drawn to the mental and emotional benefits she experienced of finding clarity, gaining confidence, and connecting to a peaceful place within.

Her teaching career started in Sydney in 2013, just weeks after finishing her 200hr teacher training with Power Living Australia Yoga, and has taken her across the globe to assist Tiffany Cruikshank and Yoga Medicine at yoga conferences, festivals, and 200hr and 500hr teacher trainings. 

Dana has a strong interest in anatomy and physiology, and is passionate about educating and inspiring students to use yoga as medicine by using both eastern and western perspectives in her teaching.

Dana is also the founder of a web and graphic design agency. Born in Israel and raised in New Jersey, she now lives in Byron Bay, Australia.

Jenna Nishimura

Administrative Manager

I discovered yoga at age 15 and it has held a steadfast presence in my life ever since. While pursuing my Master’s degree in the UK, I became involved in the planning of a new studio. What was once a hobby quickly evolved into my livelihood as the manager of a bustling yoga studio with 80+ weekly classes and a family-like cohort of teachers. For the next three years I lived, breathed, and drank in everything yoga while nurturing a blossoming business and teaching classes. In 2016, I returned to the US. I had fallen in love with the head-to-toe operations in a small business, so I consider myself serendipitously fortunate to have found a new home with Tiffany Cruikshank at Yoga Medicine.

When I’m not at my computer or on my yoga mat, you’ll find me experimenting in the kitchen alongside my husband, on a forest trail with my two beautiful greyhounds, plotting my next renovation project or holding still with a large glass of wine.

Tiffany Cruikshank, L.Ac., MAOM

Yoga Medicine Founder

Tiffany Cruikshank is the founder of Yoga Medicine and began practicing yoga when she was in her early teens. She is internationally acclaimed due to her ability to fuse the two worlds of eastern & western medicine together and apply it to the practice of yoga in an accessible and relevant way.

She has been teaching for over 20 years, has a premed Bachelors degree in Medicinal Plant Biology and a Masters in Acupuncture & Oriental Medicine with a specialty in Sports Medicine & Orthopedics. Tiffany began leading informal teacher trainings out of her home to local teachers in her area in 2003 and began leading Yoga Alliance approved 200hr teacher trainings in 2008 and Yoga Alliance approved 500hr teacher trainings in 2009 as TiffanyYoga. Her teaching methods combine the western knowledge of the body (anatomy, kinesiology & physiology) with the eastern tradition of yoga.

Tiffany was previously the Acupuncturist & Yoga Teacher at the Nike World Headquarters in Portland, Oregon and has worked with over 25,000 patients. She has graced the cover of over a dozen magazines including: Prevention, Yoga Journal, Om Yoga Magazine, Mantra Yoga & Health Magazine, Origin Magazine, Thrive Magazine.  She has been a contributor to many major publications including: The Wall Street Journal, LA Times, Forbes, Yoga Journal, Prevention, Dr. Oz, Self, Women’s Health, Marie Claire, Glamor, Shape, Fitness, Good Housekeeping, Redbook, More, Well+Good, MindBodyGreen, Triathlete, Organic Authority, American Fitness, Yoga Magazine, AOL Build, Cosmopolitan, Natural Health and more.

Valerie Knopik, PhD

Director of Research

Valerie Knopik is a Senior Research Scientist, Professor of Psychiatry and Human Behavior, and E-RYT in Providence, Rhode Island. Formally trained in classical ballet, as well as a former runner, Valerie has always been a believer in staying active but yoga is the perfect marriage of her work in mental health & her love of movement & anatomy. With a PhD in Psychology, Valerie is extremely active in mental health research, focusing on how our internal biology and our external physical environment (including yoga, mindfulness, and meditation) can interact to positively change our mental health landscape. Valerie’s sincere hope is that, while the physical asana practice might be the introduction to yoga (as it was for her), her students can utilize the asanas as a tool to find cohesion of body, mind, and spirit in order to experience fullness & purpose in their lives. Valerie lives with her husband and their two children (and a big, loveable Great Dane named Justice) in RI.

In 2016, Valerie became the Director of Research and will facilitate upcoming research projects and oversight within the Yoga Medicine community.

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