384 Main St. (rte 10)
Easthampton, MA 01027
South Towne Commons
479 West Street (rte 116)
Amherst, MA 01002
About the Directors
Ruth Anne Lundeberg,
E-RYT500, is blessed to have studied with the topmost teachers of yoga, dance, Buddhism and meditation since 1983. She holds a Bachelors of Fine Arts Degree from New York University, where she studied voice, movement and performance intensively with the top experimental performers/directors in NYC. In 1983 at age 18 discovered traditional Hatha yoga at the Himalayan Institute on Fifth Avenue and at Satchidananda's ashram, Integral Yoga, on 13th street. Later, she studied directly with yoga master Sri Dharma Mittra (whose poster of himself performing 908 yoga poses hangs in studios all over the world.) Ruth Anne has also studied directly with Beryl Bender (author of the "Power Yoga" and "Beyond Power Yoga," Beryl was largely responsible for introducing Ashtanga Yoga to the East Coast) and Jivamukti Yoga founders Sharon Gannon and David Life at their original East Village loft studio.
In addition, Ruth Anne is a long-time dedicated student of Theravadin Buddhism and meditation. She has sat numerous retreats since 1989 with a variety of international teachers including Jack Kornfield, Christopher Titmuss, Larry Rosenberg, Christina Feldman, Sharda Rogell, and Leigh Brasington. Ruth Anne is a committed daily meditator with 24 years of experience.
From 1992 to 1999, Ruth Anne taught yoga full-time in the Pioneer Valley and Greater Hartford. She instituted the yoga programs at Holyoke Hospital, Greenfield Community College, and many corporations and fitness venues. In 1999, she graduated herfirst group of teachers, (who were studying with her privately in her home for several years.) The same year, she opened the first Mama Nirvana's New Yoga in the Eastworks building in Easthampton. In 2000, she and Jayan moved the studio to its current location.
In 2010 Ruth Anne received her Hypnotherpist certification from Hypnotherapy Academy of America in Santa Fe, NM. She operates a private practice in Northampton.
Ruth Anne brings a unique and subtle quality to teaching and practicing yoga. Her teaching is defined by her years of study with masters of yoga, Buddhism and experimental movement forms. In a time when yoga has been re-defined as an exercise modality, Ruth Anne offers her students and trainees a rare chance to practice in a traditional approach for yoga for true health, wellbeing and self-realization.
In the summer of 2000, Jayan (Josh) Schumer, RYT500 and certified Yoga Therapist, joined Mama Nirvana's faculty and helped open the current studios in Easthampton and Amherst. Jayan is a graduate of holds a Bachelors of Science degree in Physical Education from the University of Massachusetts, where he specialized in health and fitness. He received his yoga therapy training at Ananda Seva Mission in Santa Rosa, CA. Jayan has worked as a conditioning coach and trainer in the fitness industry. He also studied Martial Arts for 23 years and taught both swimming and martial arts before becoming a certified yoga instructor. His keen understanding of exercise physiology is evident in his yoga teaching. Josh offers a lifetime of experience in functional strength, health, and inner development.
What is RYT?
The Yoga Alliance, a national organization that ensures standards of quality in yoga teaching, sets the following minimum requirements for registration:
RYT200: The teacher must have completed a minimum of 200 hours of teacher training in the following areas:
- 100 hours of yoga techniques;
- 25 hours of teaching methodologies;
- 20 hours of anatomy and physiology;
- 30 hours of yoga philosophy, ethics and lifestyle;
- 10 hours of practicum (including supervised teaching and observation), and
- 15 hours of electives.
TOTAL 200 hours
Bear in mind that these are minimums only; teachers may exceed these levels.
Graduates of Mama Nirvana's 200-hour Teacher Training have a minimum of:
- 113 hours of intermediate/advanced techniques learned directly from the Teacher Trainers;
- 76 hours of observation of beginner-level classes taught by the Teacher Trainers;
- 200 hours of home practice;
- 26 hours of self-documented practice teaching;
- 66 hours of anatomy and physiology; and
- 66 hours divided between ethics/philosophy/lifestyle and teaching methodology.
TOTAL 547 hours
To qualify for the Yoga Alliance's E-RYT500 designation, the individual must first complete one of the following: Either a 500-hour yoga teacher-training course or (as in Ruth Anne's case) document 5,000 hours of yoga teaching prior to December 31, 2001. Following that, the teacher must document a further 500 hours of teaching yoga.
Note: There are yoga teacher certifications available with as little as 10 hours of training and no additional experience. These trainings are offered by companies that train group fitness instructors in fitness clubs. A small number of postures are presented and analyzed using the standard western fitness model. Most of the traditional yoga postures and practices are "contraindicated" because they are deemed "unsafe." What is left over is called "Fitness Yoga"—yoga presented as exercise for the general population. The problem with this thinking is that yoga is not exercise in the same sense as aerobics or weight training. So although some graduates of these programs are excellent group fitness instructors they haven’t taken time to learn enough to be good yoga teachers. It takes hundreds of hours to gain enough knowledge just to be a competent yoga instructor who can present a balanced view of yoga and not cause suffering or injury to his or her students. That is because authentic hatha yoga (as opposed to "Fitness Yoga") is the most vast and powerful health-enhancing practice known today. When performed correctly, the full complement of yoga practices cleanse, strengthen and rejuvenate the nervous, digestive, reproductive, respiratory, glandular, and circulatory systems in addition to balancing the musculo-skeletal system. Yoga also addresses and resolves psychological and emotional suffering. The seemingly miraculous cures and benefits that authentic traditional yoga bestows and its unorthodox methods (developed over thousands of years) can't be explained by our current scientific knowledge alone. The process whereby a human being unfolds and flourishes in body, mind and spirit is vast, mysterious and infinitely complex. The job of a yoga teacher is to protect and assist students in their unfolding. Yoga teaching in the hands of untrained individuals is watered down and incomplete at best, and very likely to be dangerous as well.