Teacher Training Program Staff

Our program participants study with the following yoga and health care professionals.

Valerie Kiser

 E-RYT-500, YACEP, C-IAYT, and Principle instructor (all programs)

  • Certified 1200-hour Advanced Teacher Training and Yoga Therapeutics instructor
  • Owner of Sunrise Yoga Studio
  • Director of Sunrise Yoga Teacher Training Programs
  • Certified Yoga Therapist
  • Co-owner of East Coast Yoga Therapy

Kevin Cleary

 300 hour program

  • Licensed Physical Therapist
  • MPT: Master of Physical Therapy, University of Scranton, Scranton, PA
  • BS: Health Science, University of Scranton, Scranton, PA
  • Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist

Elise Browning-Miller

 300 hour program

  • Founding Director of California Yoga Center
  • Senior Certified Iyengar Yoga Teacher
  • Faculty member of Iyengar Yoga Institute of San Francisco
  • Teaches workshops and retreats nationwide and around the world specializing in Scoliosis, lower & upper back problems and sports related injuries

Julie Gudmestad

 300 hour program

  • Physical Therapist since 1977
  • Owner, Gudmestad and Associates, Portland OR
  • Iyengar certified yoga instructor since 1988
  • Pacific University School of Physical Therapy
  • Yoga Journal contributing author, “Anatomy of a Yogi”, for seven years
  • Online instructor, Yoga University

Beverly Isley-Landreth, MDiv

ThM, CHTP, 200 Hour program

  • Clinical chaplain in private practice
  • Certified Healing Touch Practitioner
  • Teaches Tai Chi/Chi Kung as a partner in Three Treasures Tai Chi in Winston-Salem

Nicolai Bachman

E-RYT500 yoga instructor, 300 hour program

  • Owner, Sanskrit Sounds, Sante Fe, NM
  • Instructor in Sanskrit, chanting, yoga philosophy, Ayurveda, and other related topics
  • Studies include the American Sanskrit Institute, the Ayurvedic Institute, the American Institute of Vedic Studies and the Vedic Chant Center
  • M.A. in Eastern Philosophy
  • M.S. in Nutrition
  • Author, The Language of Yoga, The Language of Ayurveda, The Path of the Yoga Sutras, among others

Michele Collins Vergara

 300 hour program

  • Registered Certified Herbalist
  • Master of Public Health from UNC School of Public Health
  • Specialist in Ayurvedic science


 200 & 300 hour program

  • Owner One Center Yoga, Asheville NC
  • Certified Iyengar instructor
  • Co-Author of Yoga Your Way

Cathy Howe

500 RYT,  200 hour & Enrichment  program

  • Graduate of the Sunrise Yoga 200-hour and 300-hour teacher-training programs
  • Over 6 years teaching experience in all Levels of Yoga, Aging Gracefully with Yoga, Restorative Yoga, Yoga for Women’s Health and Back Care Yoga
  • Selected by Wake Forest University Baptist Health as a teacher in their Tranquil Moments study of the impact of yoga on senior health

Jarrod Whitaker, PhD

300 Hour program

  • Associate Professor, Department of Religion at Wake Forest University with focus Hinduism and Buddhism
  • M.A. with First Class Honors in Religious Studies, University of Canterbury, New Zealand
  • Ph.D. in Asian Cultures and Languages, The University of Texas at Austin