Meet the iRest Institute Team

These are the talented people who work hard each day to make things run smoothly behind the scenes. If you wish to contact anyone, you may do so via our contact form or by emailing info@irest.org.

 

Alana Siska iRest Institute Staff Bio Photo

Alana Siska | Executive Director, Executive Committee Chair

Alana Siska joined iRest institute in 2016 as a consultant and was appointed to the Board of Directors in 2017. She was named Executive Director in 2018. With two decades of communications and marketing experience, Alana has worked as both a journalist and as a senior executive leading large communications and marketing teams in the government of Ontario. She has a passion for connecting people, building teams, and driving project goals forward..

A Canadian transplant, Alana now lives in northern Kentucky with her husband Mike, their daughters Avery and Isabella, and their sheepdog Sadie-Grace. She enjoys hiking, skiing, and playing in and around large bodies of water.


 

Marketing

Eli Bresler iRest Institute Staff Bio Photo

Eli Bresler | Director of Marketing and Digital Strategy, Executive Committee Member

As the Director of Marketing and Digital Strategy, Eli offers keen strategic insight and superb human relations skills that help broadly convey the organization’s positive impact. He draws on an impressive toolkit in the realm of digital marketing, which he assembled while running his own independent marketing research firm. Eli is passionate about using his skills to help iRest reach underserved and at-risk populations.

Eli is the son of a yogi and lifelong meditator who instilled these principles in him when he was young. Having lived all over the country, he now resides in Denver, Colorado where he enjoys breathing the mile-high fresh air and exploring the great outdoors.


Samantha Feller iRest Institute Staff Bio Photo

Samantha Feller | Senior Marketing Manager

Samantha is the Senior Marketing Manager at iRest Institute. She is tasked with overseeing event marketing, strategic planning, and supporting the Marketing Director in daily operations. She became involved with iRest in 2018 while working at Yoga International and facilitated the launch of the level 1 training on their platform. She also moderated the live question and answer sessions with Richard Miller and Stephanie Lopez for level 1 students participating in the training on Yoga International.

Samantha has been working in the yoga and mediation industry for more than six years and the communication industry for more than eight years. She is a 200-hour yoga teacher and has extensive experience in marketing, journalism, public relations, project management, and sales.

In her free time, Samantha loves exploring the Rocky Mountains near her home in the Denver Colorado area, by hiking and rock climbing. She also practices, teaches, and studies yoga and meditation (including iRest!), and enjoys dancing.


Kathryn Ashworth iRest Institute Staff Bio Photo

Kathryn Ashworth | Digital Marketing Specialist

Kathryn is a digital marketing specialist at iRest Institute who has been working in the yoga and wellness industry for nearly a decade. She is passionate about mental health and has always been curious about the role visual art and storytelling play in healing, which is what drew her to the career path she’s on today.

Kathryn is the former Senior Editor and Social Media Manager of Yoga International and she played a key role in their launch from print to digital back in 2014. She also co-edited and contributed to the anthology Embodied Resilience through Yoga: 30 Mindful Essays About Finding Empowerment After Addiction, Trauma, Grief, and Loss (Llewellyn, 2020). She is a 200-hour yoga teacher and has been studying/practicing since 2013.

In her free time, she loves to play with her calicos, hike with friends, garden (peppers, tomatoes, and strawberries are her favorites), and enjoy quiet moments by the river near her home in VA.


Roxana Bouwer iRest Institute Staff Bio Photo

Roxana Bouwer | Copywriter and Copy Editor

"Who is this for? Why should they pay attention? How do we best serve them?" —Roxana combines strategic thinking and business acumen with the empathy and understanding needed to meet people where they are and foster true connection.

She offers her conscious communications, marketing, and copywriting skills to mindful organizations like iRest Institute, that share her mission to help people resolve their inner suffering and thrive.

She's driven by a desire to make inclusive resources on consciousness and mental health understood by, and available to, everybody.

Committed to a 'live it to give it' approach, she's a dedicated meditator and explorer of the nondual path. The indigenous forests and colorful mountain ranges of the Western Cape in South Africa are her true home.


Operations

Sara Clerk iRest Institute Staff Bio Photo

Sara Clerk | Director of Operations, Executive Committee Member

As the Director of Operations at iRest Institute, Sara Clerk supports the Operations team in keeping our not-for-profit running smoothly. She also contributes to the growth of our organization through a variety of special projects.

Sara brings with her a diverse background in health and wellness coaching, audio engineering, customer service, sales, store management, and fundraising. Her workplace passion lies not just in facilitating efficient processes, but fostering a meaningful and wellness-oriented workplace.

Having recently completed her Master’s degree in Integrative Health Studies at California Institute of Integral Studies, Sara has now turned her focus of study to the iRest Certification program. She also loves to spend time outdoors hiking or hopping in the car for road trip adventures near her home in Santa Fe, New Mexico.


Francisco Lopez iRest Institute Staff Bio Photo

Francisco Lopez | Event Coordination Manager

Extensive experience in corporate training and event coordination, along with a fine attention to detail, make Francisco Lopez well-suited to help iRest events run successfully. He not only minds the nuts and bolts of workshops, trainings, and courses; he develops procedures that improve organizational efficiency and guest experience.

Originally from Chicago, Francisco now makes his home in the delightfully warmer climes of California. He is a marathon runner, Bikram Yoga devotee, and longtime meditator. With a background in neuroscience and philosophy, Francisco enjoys spending evenings engaging in consciousness studies, exploring the relationship between the brain and mind.


Tim Langlamet iRest Institute Staff Bio Photo

Tim Langlamet | Systems Administrator and Bookkeeper

Tim Langlamet has built more than a decade of experience supporting nonprofits with all things technological, including desktops, peripherals, databases, mobile devices, networks, and operating systems (i.e., Windows, Mac, Linux, and Chrome). He holds an associate degree in information technology and is certified in CompTIA A+ in both hardware and software. Tim has worn many hats for iRest Institute, contributing to special projects that involve website maintenance, accounting, copyediting, and more. As he leverages technology to create greater organizational efficiency, Tim lives by the motto: Work smarter, not harder.

An avid yogi, Tim completed a 500-hour Somatic Yoga Therapy Teacher Training with Janice Gates in 2015. And is also an iRest Level 2 Teacher in Training. In line with the teachings of the Yoga Sutras, Tim maintains a commitment to his personal practice every morning.


Natalie Lowe iRest Institute Staff Bio Photo

Natalie Lowe | HR and Customer Support Coordinator

Is there anything Natalie Lowe can’t do? We often wonder. As the wearer of many “hats,” Natalie is responsible for everything from community engagement and event communications to daily office management. She draws upon her background in HR, sales, executive assistance, and nursing to create a supportive environment for customers and teammates alike.

As a Level 1 iRest Teacher, yoga teacher, and Registered Nurse, Natalie is passionate about expanding awareness of iRest and its teachings.

Natalie is a curious and open-minded adventurer. A Bay Area native, she has spent time living throughout the Southwestern US, and has visited 32 countries and counting. In her free time you can find Natalie hiking, cooking, or hatching new travel plans.


Programming

Clearlight Gerald iRest Institute Staff Bio Photo

Clearlight Gerald | Director of Programming, Executive Committee Member

In addition to Director of Operations, Clearlight Gerald, MA, E-RYT500, is an iRest Mentor, iRest Certification Supervisor, Certified iRest Teacher, IAYT-certified Yoga Therapist, and a Perinatal Specialist. She brings over two decades of experience teaching and supporting students in group classes and trainings, and in individual mentoring.

Clearlight first met her teachers and mentors, Richard Miller and Joan Ruvinsky, in 2004. Since then, she has been deeply immersed in the study of the nondual wisdom teachings and practices that inform the transformative practice of iRest Yoga Nidra.

Clearlight lives with her husband and twin girls in a small community near Montreal, Canada. (And yes, she was named Clearlight at birth!)

 


Kerryn Story iRest Institute Staff Bio Photo

Kerryn Story | Head of Military and Veteran Programs

Following a 21-year military career, Kerryn joined the iRest Team in 2019 as the Head of Military and Veteran Programs. In this capacity, she works collaboratively with the team to bring the practice of iRest to Military and Veteran communities across the U.S. and abroad.

In addition to being a Certified iRest Teacher, she is a 500-hour Yoga Teacher, and a Registered Dietitian. She strongly believes in a holistic approach to health and healing, using healthy foods, yoga, meditation and mindfulness, and physical activity.

The spouse of an active duty service member, Kerryn continues to serve the military community and shares the practice of iRest where ever she lands.

In her free time, you can find her out for a run, on a hike with her family, or mountain biking the trails near her current “home” in the Southern California desert, hanging out with her kids at the pool to stay cool, or out exploring and discovering everything new and exciting about each place the Army sends her family.


Denie Shae Martinez iRest Institute Staff Bio Photo

Denie Shae Martinez | Event Staffing Manager

Kindness, curiosity, and grace are the qualities Denie Shae Martinez embodies as she supports the iRest Institute in her roles as Event Staffing Manager and Production Specialist. Prior to stepping into these ever-changing roles, Denie Shae found the teachings of iRest Yoga Nidra in 2014 and has since completed her certification, assisted in L1 and L2 trainings, and offered these precious teachings within her community.

As the creator of Giving Tree Essentials, a holistic health apothecary and wellness practice, her aim is to reestablish a loving and nurturing relationship with the body and mind while cultivating an environment for healing to unfold naturally. Denie Shae specializes in iRest Yoga Nidra Meditation, embodied Movement, PolyVagal informed Bodywork, Ayurveda, and Aromatic Botanical Therapies. She has provided blissful therapeutic treatments at spas and Ayurvedic clinics, offered iRest Yoga Nidra Meditation, Movement, and Aromatherapy to women recovering from trauma and chemical dependency, and beginning in 2020 maintained weekly livestream classes for those seeking teachings and tools for health and wellbeing.

A passion of hers is to collaborate with others that value and offer holistic medicine, education, and self-care. You will most likely find her in the kitchen as she loves to cook, be in nature, read a good book, cuddle with her pups, and take long drives with her husband.


Content Creation & Teachings

Richard Miller iRest Institute Staff Bio Photo

Richard Miller | Founder of iRest Institute and Creator of iRest Yoga Nidra Meditation

Richard C. Miller, PhD is the Founder of iRest Institute, Co-Founder of the International Association of Yoga Therapists, and Founding Member and past President of the Institute for Spirituality and Psychology. He is a clinical psychologist, author, researcher, yogic scholar, and spiritual teacher who has devoted his life to integrating western psychology and neuroscience with the ancient nondual wisdom teachings of Yoga, Tantra, Advaita, Taoism, and Buddhism.

Author of Yoga Nidra, The iRest Meditative Practice for Deep Relaxation and Healing, iRest Meditation: Restorative Practices for Health, Healing and Well Being, The iRest Program for Healing PTSD, and Yoga Nidra: The Meditative Heart of Yoga, Richard serves as a research consultant studying the nondual somatic-based meditation protocol he’s developed —iRest Yoga Nidra Meditation— researching its efficacy on health, healing, and well-being with diverse populations and issues. Grounded in 35+ research studies, the US Army Surgeon General and the Defense Centers of Excellence have recognized iRest as a Complimentary Program for healing chronic pain and PTSD. Richard leads international trainings and meditation retreats on the integration of enlightened living into daily life. .


Stephanie Lopez iRest Institute Staff Bio Photo

Stephanie Lopez | Senior Advisor of Philosophy and Learning

Stephanie Lopez, LISW, C-IAYT, is the Senior Advisor of Philosophy and Learning and a Senior iRest Trainer for iRest Institute. With a deeply embodied understanding of meditation informed by nearly 30 years of immersion in the nondual teachings of yoga, she leads retreats and trainings internationally with a focus on living an authentic and awakened life. As a Gestalt therapist, meditation teacher, and certified yoga therapist she bridges eastern wisdom with western psychology and neuroscience to support healing and transformation. Stephanie also serves as Vice-Chair on the Certification Committee for IAYT helping to promote standards and credentialing for the yoga therapy field. She has presented meditation at Google, Spotify, and UC Berkeley Haas School of Business. She is a contributing author of “Yoga Nidra Meditations” and “Practice: Wisdom from the Downward Dog.”


International

James Reeves iRest Institute Staff Bio Photo

James Reeves | Director of iRest Europe

James is an iRest Senior Trainer, the Founder of Restful Being, and is one of the UK’s leading Yoga Nidra experts. He has studied extensively with the iRest protocol’s Founder, Richard C. Miller, PhD.

James has been a practicing yoga teacher since 2005 and was qualified as a Structural Yoga Therapist after completing his training with Mukunda Stiles in 2006. From his clinic in Oxford, James works with clients who are recovering from birth trauma, PTSD, sexual abuse and depression, as well as injury and other physical ailments.

He teaches Yoga Nidra at TriYoga London and regularly guest-teaches elsewhere — such as at the Khiron House Traume Centre. He also runs his own regular yoga classes, workshops, and retreats. His work is focused on helping us to live the essence of our true nature: welcoming, open, spacious and free from judgment and conditioning.


Fuyuko Sawamura-Toyota iRest Institute Staff Bio Photo

Fuyuko Sawamura-Toyota | Director of iRest Australasia

Fuyuko is an iRest Senior Trainer, Retreat Leader, Certification Supervisor, and Mentor. She is also a senior registered teacher with Yoga Australia and a member of the Association of Meditation Australia.

For the past 20 years, she has been deeply committed to Awakening. She discovered iRest in 2006, and upon meeting Richard Miller in 2007, she recognised him as her true teacher. Her Dharma of living in Stillness has since become a reality. She currently serves as Director of iRest Australasia, with the aim of spreading iRest in the wider community of South East Asia, Japan, Australia, and New Zealand.

Fuyuko lives in the spirit of Pronoia: the contagious joy and delight from Loving all and serving all. She is Japanese, lives with her Canadian husband Brian, three French Bichon Frises, and a cat named Tim Tam on the sunny Gold Coast of Australia.


Certification

Kirsten Guest iRest Institute Staff Bio Photo

Kirsten Guest | Head of Teacher Certification

In addition to leading the iRest Teacher Certification program, Kirsten Guest serves as a Supervisor and Senior Retreat Teacher. She has been an ardent student and teacher of iRest and nondual teachings for two decades. Kirsten leads several weekly classes in BodySensing and iRest Yoga Nidra Meditation in her hometown of Kimberley, B.C. Canada, and also travels to offer workshops and teach at retreats. She is passionate about sharing the "waking in" teachings that nurture a deep sense of self-acceptance and willingness to embrace all of life’s ups and downs with a sense of ease and grace. In her search for balance, Kirsten can often be found hiking, biking, and skiing in the mountains that surround her home.