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Faculty, Staff & Hosts

Amadea Morningstar
Ralph Steele

Core Faculty

Founder, Ayurvedic Self Care Education courses, and Ayurvedic Cooking Intensives. Amadea Morningstar, BS (nutrition), MA (counseling), RPE (polarity education), RYT (Integral yoga) is the author of Easy Healing Drinks. She leads the series, Dynamics of Ayurvedic Nutrition, which includes Marma Mind Mahagunas, Mood & Food, and Adapt Recipes for Individual & Cultural Needs. A student of Tibetan Buddhist yogis HE Garchen Rinpoche, the Venerable Traga Rinpoche, and Tulku Nyima Gyaltsen Rinpoche, she is grateful for her early Ayurvedic training with fine teachers, including Drs. Vasant Lad, David Frawley, and Sunil and Shalmali Joshi.

As an Integral Yoga teacher, Amadea weaves this lineage into her work with Ayurveda. She has trained hundreds of students and clients on Ayurveda and nutrition in bone vitality and breast health over the past 4 decades, including the enthusiastic participants at HopeWell Cancer Support center in the Baltimore, MD area.

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Core Faculty, Guest

Ralph Steele, MA, LMFT, ISP, is the founder of Life Transition Meditation Center, originally a meditation-based trauma clinic in Santa Fe, NM that is now a global internet-based program. A practitioner and teacher of meditation since 1987, Ralph spearheaded retreats for People of Color at Spirit Rock and the Insight Meditation Society. A Vietnam veteran and author of Tending the Fire: Through War and The Path of Meditation, Ralph Steele teaches breath & energy meditation. Ralph and Amadea co-facilitated Inclusion as Medicine: Working with the 7 Chakras for Healing, Feb. 15 – Mar. 29, 2022.


Core Faculty, Guest

Yoga Therapy Training. Reverend Manjula Spears, CYT, E-RYT 500 has been one of Integral Yoga’s foremost trainers of Yoga teachers since 1993. She holds certifications to teach all levels of Hatha Yoga, pranayama, and meditation with a deep interest and extensive training in Yoga therapeutics.

Bringing 27 years of teaching experience, Manjula is founder of the Therapeutic Yoga programs at Piedmont Athens Regional Medical Center in Athens, GA. Her special interest in breast cancer therapy has motivated her to create a thriving program "Yoga for Breast Cancer Recovery".  In addition she is on the treatment team for the Smith Center in Washington, DC cancer help retreats.

Manjula is a student of Ayurveda. She studies and teaches sound as healing. She is the founder of "Satchidananda Mission,"a spiritual community in Athens, Georgia, guiding a vibrant Sangha in the teachings of Sri Swami Satchidananda. Her DVDs and CD include Yoga for a Younger Spine, Yoga for Active Mature Populations, A Yoga Plan for Breast Cancer Survivors, CD: Therapeutic Yoga for Joint Mobility, Strength, Balance and Relaxation.

Core Faculty

Ayurvedic Nutrition, Ayurvedic Self Care Education (faculty assistant), Ayurvedic Cooking Intensives (lead faculty). Deva Khalsa ignited the Ayurvedic nutrition and cooking portion of the ASCE trainings; she is passionate about empowering people to take control of their health and lives with Ayurveda, conscious living and Yoga. She is an Ayurvedic Health Educator (California College of Ayurveda), a certified Kundalini Yoga Teacher Trainer, and certified hypnotherapist.

Deva co-taught the Work with Menopause Skillfully workshops with Amadea, and is featured on the APTYI training video of the same name. A guest faculty member in the 2009 Cooking Intensive and host with Amadea in the 2011 Cooking Intensive,  Deva can be reached directly at


Core Faculty

Sam M. Hitt, serves as lead garden faculty for APTYI’s Cooking and the Garden workshops. A long-time pioneer in the fields of organic gardening and protection of the earth, Sam teaches us directly in the garden he has maintained since 1984. Founder of the non-profits Wild Water Shed (2002 – present) and Forest Guardians (1989 – 2000) and past owner of Ecological Pest Management (1982 – 1989), he currently operates Santa Fe Succulent Garden ( and sells through the Santa Fe Farmers Market. He is a graduate of U.C. Santa Cruz’s agricultural apprenticeship (1975) and St. John’s College (1970).

Iza Bruen Morningstar
Iza Bruen-Morningstar, Education outreach coordinator


Staff & Guest Speaker

Education Outreach Coordinator. Iza Bruen-Morningstar grew up in the foothills of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains in an Ayurvedic household and has spent much of her life in New Mexico and the intermountain West. She has worked as a teacher, field biologist, mental health educator, administrator, and editor. Since the beginning of the pandemic, her personal research interests have centered around wholistic ways to heal trauma—individual and collective—and work skillfully with addiction. She holds an MFA from Iowa State University, and is currently pursuing a Masters in clinical mental health counseling at Southwestern College. Iza is a guest speaker on trauma, addiction & polyvagal theory for the upcoming Mood & Food course this May 2023.


Audio visual tech support. Tim Blair creates, edits and produces APTYI’s educational DVDs. His most recent video is the excellent Work with Menopause Skillfully 9 hour series for NAMA PACE credits. He is the founder of OtherSide Wisdom Works documentary company, and can be accessed at He is also active in the healing arts as a massage therapist (LMT).


Lian Blair, Teaching Assistant, Audio Visiual Creative Staff


Teaching Assistant

Lian Blair is the teaching assistant for Accessible Yoga with Ayurveda: Breast Health and Bone Health. A breast cancer survivor, licensed massage therapist, herbal educator, and ASCE graduate, she brings her practical experience and depth in healing to her teaching. Among her many professional roles, Lian is a vital part of Other Side Wisdom Works, as a producer, co-director and camerawoman, creating educational DVDs and audio CDs for APTYI and other groups.



Roving faculty assistant in Ayurvedic Polarity Therapy & Nutrition. Sarah Michelle Sarasvati serves as a roving faculty assistant for APTYI in Ayurvedic Polarity Therapy and Ayurvedic Nutrition. A graduate of APTYI’s 2008 Ayurvedic Nutrition certification course, she is a registered polarity practitioner (RPP), licensed massage therapist (LMT) and Kripalu Certified yoga teacher.

Our Hosts

Not Shown

In Glad Memory:

Vaastu Host, ASCE graduate, remarkable human
Santa Fe, NM