Sarahjoy Marsh, MA, E-RYT 500, Founder & Interim Executive Director
Sarahjoy Marsh, MA, E-RYT-500 yoga teacher and author, is a vibrant, compassionate catalyst for transformation. Her teachings are informed by her extensive Eastern and Western studies including transpersonal counseling, art therapy, interpersonal neurobiology, the psychology of yoga, Ayurveda, and rehabilitative yoga. Her book Hunger, Hope & Healing: A Yoga Approach to Reclaiming Your Relationship with Your Body and Food outlines her unique approach to yoga for recovery; integrating powerful yoga and mindfulness tools with modern day psychological modalities for an effective and comprehensive approach to healing. Committed to supporting marginalized populations and using yoga for social justice Sarahjoy founded Living Yogaand the DAYA Foundation. A sought after teacher of teachers, she leads multiple 200-hr and 500-hr teacher trainings and yoga therapy professional trainings in the Northwest, international retreats and is a regular instructor at Kripalu and Breitenbush Hot Springs.
Linda Munsey, Program Coordinator
As the Program Coordinator for the DAYA Foundation, a non profit yoga studio in Portland, Oregon, Linda provides administrative support and also teaches yoga in DAYA's Outreach Programs. DAYA’s Outreach programs in prisons include a 200-hour certified Yoga Teacher Training for adults in custody, learning to teach yoga for other adults in custody with developmental delays, mental illness, and traumatic brain injuries; and a Resiliency and Wellness Program for correctional officers, including yoga, mindfulness, and peer-led communities of practice groups. Linda also supports and teaches therapeutic yoga to students in DAYA outreach classes in residential recovery settings, for students with learning differences in school settings, for students in retirement communities, and students with with complex health concerns and chronic pain, in hospital settings. Linda also serves as a part of DAYA’s Teaching Team to facilitate DAYA’s Trauma-Informed, Brain-Sensitive Yoga Teacher Training.
Kerstyn Olson, Marketing Coordinator
With a background in graphic design and photography, Kerstyn has been a part of the DAYA Foundation team for nearly a decade. With her skills she creates the studio offering posters, helps to maintain the studio website and social media, and coordinates studio offerings (workshops & series). She moved to Portland from Northern California with her husband 12 years ago, and her family has since grown to include 3 kids and 3 cats. Yoga has long been a part of her life, albeit with a casual practice. Kerstyn feels that living a mindful life is of the utmost importance, and endeavors to bring mindful breath & presence to her parenting, meals, person-to-person interactions, as well as her work at DAYA.
Cynthia Aks, LMG Surgical Oncologist
A Board Certified General Surgeon in practice since 1990 and a dedicated breast surgeon since 1997. My practice focus is influenced by an interest in Integrative Medicine with principles in Holism. I am a strong patient advocate with a kind, calming and compassionate bedside manner. I am a very seasoned surgeon with skills to include, but not limited to, office based ultrasound and stereotactic breast biopsy, cryoablation and ductoscopy. I have experience in program development and am employed with Legacy Health systems which has NAPBC accredited comprehensive breast centers.
On a personal note, I am a graduate of the internationally known Landmark Forum (a personal and professional growth training and development program). I am a certified yoga instructor with a special interest in yoga therapy and have training in Reiki therapy and a special interest in nutrition as it relates to health. I am a lover of nature, music, dancing, scuba diving, cooking and have a passion for life and learning.
Blair Bobier is an attorney, activist and author. As a former public defender, he is drawn to DAYA for the organization's efforts to bring Yoga to jails and prisons. Blair serves on the Benton County Planning Commission and is nationally recognized for his work on election reform. His writing has appeared in newspapers across the country including The Oregonian, Los Angeles Times, USA Today and San Jose Mercury News. He lives with his family in the foothills of the Coast Range where he plants trees and tends several gardens.
Angela Grace, MS, ERYT 500, C-IAYT
Angela Grace, MS, ERYT 500, C-IAYT has studied and practiced many, many years in a variety of schools of yoga, Eastern philosophy, Ayurvedic living principles, and Indian mythology. Most recently she identifies with Rajanaka yoga, a Tantric philosophy. Over the last fifteen years, she has taught a variety of yoga workshops and retreats focused on therapeutic themes as well as in multiple teacher training programs. In addition to a master’s degree in neuroscience, she is currently pursuing a master’s in special education. Work with students with severe disabilities in addition to gender equity issues serves as her focus for social justice.
Jay Gregory, PhD, Treasurer
Jay Gregory, PhD is a clinical psychologist and has been in private practice for over 18 years. He works with anxiety disorders, pain management, and couples therapy. His previous work includes working at the Crisis Triage Center at the Portland Providence Medical Center as well as positions in the community mental health field. He is an avid proponent of the value of integrating the tools of yoga therapy into mental health settings, including private practice. He has co-facilitated the Professional Yoga Therapy Training for Mental Health Providers since 2012, delivers lectures on the intersection of yoga and love, and co-facilitates weekend retreats that explore the dilemmas of the human journey: the biological imperative to survive and the spiritual imperative to thrive; the neurologically wired urge to connect as well as differentiate, and patterned habits of defending that threaten to crowd out our longing to experience undefended love and belonging.
John McBurney is a devoted yoga and mindfulness practitioner who serves on the Daya Board because he believes in its core values of social justice and in the vision of Sarahjoy Marsh. Dr. McBurney is founder and principle of McBurney Integrative Neurology LLC. A native of Alabama, he graduated from Auburn University and received his MD degree from Emory University School of Medicine. He completed his residency training in neurology at Walter Reed Army Medical Center and a fellowship in EEG and Epilepsy there as well. He retired from military service in 1998 as a lieutenant colonel. Military awards include the Legion of Merit, the highest honor accorded military service members in peacetime.
As a response to the stress and burnout of practicing medicine Dr. McBurney began the regular practice of yoga in 2010. He has studied with a variety of vinyasa, power and Ashtanga yoga teachers. His main influence in yoga has been through the teaching and writing of Max Strom. He maintains a discipline of daily home practice based on the Ashtanga Primary Series.
As a direct result of his yoga practice Dr. McBurney experienced a period of great personal growth that led him to perform the fellowship in integrative medicine at the University of Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine founded by integrative medicine pioneer Andrew Weil MD and under the direction of the esteemed Tieraona Low Dog MD, which he completed in 2014.
Dr. McBurney is deeply interested in neuro genesis, neuro plasticity, mind body medicine and both the scientific and traditional bases for contemplative practice, which he believes hold keys for improving our lives.
Dr. McBurney lives in NE Portland with his wife of 36 years, Jill, who is a yoga teacher and iRest yoga nidra level 2 teacher in training. They have 2 adult children Chris who lives in Portland, and Erin who lives in New Orleans.
He is also a contributing instructor for the Integrative Medicine fellowship and has authored a chapter in an upcoming volume in the Weil Integrative Medicine Series (Oxford Press 2017)
Listed in Best Doctors since 2008.
Madeline's expertise is in product and program research, development, and evaluation. Her academic background includes medical anthropology and a Master's degree in Public Health. She has a personal yoga practice and is passionate about making prevention and healing accessible to everyone.
Bevan Suits is a designer and entrepreneur in the field of sustainable agriculture, leading his firm Aquaplanet. He lives in Atlanta but was a Portland resident for several years in the 90s and still returns regularly for business. He has practiced hatha yoga daily since the beginning of the Ford administration, and is currently a big fan of YouTube yogis Ester Ekhart, Shiva Rea and Tim Senesi. He has been practicing Zen Buddhism since the early 90s, with his first zazen session at Portland’s Dharma Rain Zen Center. He has studied and practiced with numerous Zen centers in the Portland area and across the US. He fully supports Daya Foundation in their work to bring yoga to the streets, schools and prisons.
Geoff Sittler OTR/L, BCN
Geoff Sittler OTR/L, BCN: Geoff is an Occupational Therapist specializing in utilizing Mind-Body modalities with both individuals and groups. Previously, Geoff has worked for the Portland VA Medical Center and Central City Concern at their Old Town Clinic site with a focus on holistic interventions to address chronic pain and trauma. Certified in both Neurofeedback (BCIA) and Mind-Body Medicine (Center for Mind-Body Medicine), Geoff has practiced Mind-Body modalities personally since 2001 and has worked with all ages teaching these techniques in multiple settings including home health, primary care, K 8th grade, skilled nursing facilities and outpatient clinics. He has also presented these concepts at professional conferences, in-services and as part of the Pacific University Occupational Therapy program.
Patti Thompson, CADC
Patti Thompson, CADC has worked for Legacy Medical Group providing social services and addiction support in a primary care setting for six years. As part of the team in a Resident Teaching Clinic, she works with patients who are either uninsured or under-insured and with patients who have multiple psycho-social needs that prevent them from making positive change in their health and well-being. Patti has helped develop a culture of "wellness teaching" rather than "disease management" by networking with community members, including Sarahjoy Marsh. Due to this networking her clinic offers services above and beyond the experience of many of its patients, such as yoga, low-cost healthy cooking classes, and wellness support groups. Patti volunteered with Living Yoga as a teacher in the DePaul Treatment Center for two years and is excited to share the life-changing benefits of yoga with as many people as possible.
Michael Sapiro, PsyD
Michael Sapiro, PsyD is a clinical psychologist, meditation teacher, and former Buddhist monk. He is on faculty at Esalen Institute, and is a Research Fellow at the Institute of Noetic Sciences (IONS). He was a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Boise VA Medical Center where he specialized in rural health, PTSD, and combat trauma for our Nation's veterans. He is the founding director of Maitri House Yoga, LLC, and the founding teacher of Maitri Sangha Boise, which serves the community through integrating meditation, psychology, noetic sciences, and social justice. He has a private practice in Boise, Idaho can be found at maitrihouseyoga.com.