Meet the Faculty
Vaidya Ashlesha Raut BAMS, MD in Ayurveda, NC, HHP, RAS, BCIM, RYT, AD Program Director
Vaidya Ashlesha Raut is an Integrative Ayurvedic Physician (Vaidya), Holistic Health Practitioner, Nutritional Consultant & Board Certified in Integrative Medicine. She is also a second degree Reiki healer and Certified Pranic Healer.
Vaidya Ashlesha is a 3rd generation Vaidya classically trained in Ayurveda with specialization in Rasashastra (Ayurvedic Metallurgy) & Bhaishajyakalpana (Pharmaceutics) from Mumbai University, India. She earned the distinctive honor and a Gold medal for her post graduate dissertation work.
Vaidya Ashlesha has been practicing Ayurveda for more than 15 years and is a faculty at many colleges in the USA and has always been very passionate about teaching and promoting Ayurveda and standardizing Ayurveda education in North America. She has been presented by the North America award of "Charaka" in recognition of her excellence in Ayurvedic teaching. She has been an integral part of the Ayurveda healing community with a mission toward providing a holistic path and education for wellness and optimal health through Ayurveda and integrative medicine.
Vaidya Ashlesha has conducted a large number of workshops, authored publications, participated in talk shows, and presented research papers in the field of Ayurveda.
Vaidya Ashlesha sits on the Certification Board for the National Ayurvedic Medical Association (NAMA), is a founding member & former President of CAC (Council for Ayurveda Credentialing), Academic Director of American Institute of Ayurveda, and holds many advisory positions in various Ayurveda holistic health organizations and schools. She is a Director at Main Street Yoga and Ayurveda For Healing and currently practices in Bloomington-Chicago, IL and the Midwest area.
Vaidya Aparna Bapat BAMS, Author
Vaidya Aparna Bapat has been a dedicated educator, clinician, and consultant of Ayurveda internationally, since 1990.
She studied Ayurvedic medicine and earned a BAMS at the University of Pune. She was then a Senior Lecturer at the College of Ayurveda in London. Aparna is the author of numerous articles on Ayurveda and related themes, and serves on the board of the Light on Ayurveda Journal.
With over 15,000 patients, she has made multiple television appearances and is considered one of the finest teachers and practitioners of Ayurveda in the USA today.
She is an expert on legal importing of Ayurvedic herbs into the USA and has been supplying companies through AyurSpirit. Vaidya Bapat has served on the Board of Directors of NAMA and AAPNA, and advisor to CAC. She had served as the faculty of the New Jersey Institute of Ayurveda, the AYU Academy, Kerala Ayurveda Academy, and The Dinacharya Institute, as well as dozens of yoga studios.
Vaidya Ashwinikumar Raut BAMS, MD in Ayurveda, Internal Medicine, BHU
Dr. (Vaidya) Ashwinikumar Raut is BAMS from Mumbai University and M.D. in Ayurveda, from India’s reputed B.H.U (Banaras Hindu University) in Ayurveda & Medicine. He is very passionate about research and engaged in several research programs & projects sponsored by government agencies and pharmaceutical industry.
Vaidya Ashwinikumar is a distinguished international speaker on Ayurveda, Research and Integrative Medicine and has delivered many Keynote addresses across local and international conferences, forums, consortiums and events for researchers, academicians, practitioners, students and community. He has been on faculty of teaching programs for BAMS, AD, MD-Ayurveda, M.Sc-Pharmaceutical sciences, Dietetics & Nutrition, reorientation for AYUSH teachers, Ayurveda Training institutes in USA and ICMR training programs for pharmacology/reverse pharmacology.
He is a recipient of CDRI (Central Drug Research Institute) award for excellence in research for his work in Ayurveda & Rheumatology. He has received the International Dhanwantari Award for excellence in Ayurvedic Practice from AAPNA (Association of Ayurvedic Professionals of North America).
Vaidya Ashwinikumar had been a mentor; advisor & reviewer for a major academic project of digitizing Ayurveda ‘Ayusoft’ organized by CDAC.
He is an advisor to Council for Ayurveda Research, (CAR), USA, founder member and convener of ‘Vaidya Antarkar Memorial Forum’, a forum formed to carry forward the mission of scientific, rational and evidence-based Ayurveda. His meticulousness makes him a guest editor, reviewer and member of editorial board of several bio-medical and Ayurvedic journals e.g. Indian Drug, JAIM, Indian Practitioner, Journal of Mid-life Health, IJRA, JREIM, JNIMA, JCRA and several other. Vaidya Ashwinikumar has about 70 scientific publications to his credit in national and international journals of repute. Vaidya Ashwinikumar also contributes write-ups in lay press for the purpose of scientific awareness of Ayurveda amongst general community. He is a Director, Clinical Research & integrative medicine at Kasturba Health Society’s Medical Research Centre (KSH-MRC), Mumbai.
Vaidya Ashwinikumar has a substantial clinical expertise in Kayachikitsa (Internal Medicine) & Rheumatology. He runs multiple Consulting and Specialty clinics in Mumbai and suburbs. Vaidya Ashwinikumar is a senior advisor, investigator and consultant for many clinical investigations and projects and engaged with various Government of India Departments viz. Department of Biotechnology (DBT), Council for Scientific & Industrial research (CSIR), Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR).
Vaidya Avinash Lele BAMS, MD in Ayurveda
Graduation B.A.M &S from R.A.Podar Government Ayurvedic College Mumbai
Post graduation M.A.Sc from Pune University: Shalya-Shalakyatantra (Ayurvedic Surgery)
Vaidya Avinash Lele was a Medical Director of Janaki Clinic & Panchakarma Centre for 35 years.
He was also a Chief Ayurvedic Physician at Atreya Ayurved Panchakarma Centre for 40 years.
Vaidya Lele has been travelling around the world since 1994 to treat patients as well as to give lectures, workshops, seminars & courses on Ayurveda. He has authored number of books on Ayurveda, some of them have been translated in many foreign languages.
Some of his popular publications are Bahuguni Avala, Panchakarma & Ayurvedic Massage, Secrets of Marma.
He is a recognized Graduate teacher since 1978 and post graduate teacher since 1983 at various Ayurvedic colleges in India.
Karla A. Cain NAMA Board Certified Ayurveda Practitioner, Ayurveda Body Therapist E-RYT-500 Yoga Instructor, YACEP, YTT Lead Trainer ACE Certified Fitness Instructor & Behavioral Change Specialist Founder, Sattvic Sage Ayurveda & Yoga Founder, Sattvic Sage Solutions, LLC
Karla led a previous lifetime career in the NASD/SEC Financial Industry, employed by the 2 largest firms on Wall Street, having 23+ years experience in Brokerage Account Administration, Financial Planning, Investment Advisory, Investment State Law, Insurance, Staff Coaching & Training, Marketing, Business Development, Networking and Public Relations.
Her own personal experience with disconnection, anxiety, illness and imbalance led her on a journey to discover Yoga in 1998 and Ayurveda in 2010.
After some years of continuous study and profound personal healing, she discovered a true passion for Ayurveda & Yoga. In 2015, she consciously left the corporate world to make holistic healing her primary focus. She is deeply fulfilled by sharing traditional teachings with her community.
She has studied Yoga, Ayurveda, Meditation, Ayurvedic Herbs and Panćakarma Therapies in the USA, Italy and India. She has completed countless courses, workshops and conferences in these Eastern Healing Arts as well as Western Anatomy, Nutrition and Herbology. She is a national ACE-Certified Fitness Instructor & Behavioral Change Specialist. She is a Yoga Instructor for The Hindu Temple of Greater Chicago and continues to visit her yoga family there in Lemont, IL.
As a Chicago native, she currently maintains her private Ayurvedic practice and (RYS) Yoga Teacher Training Program at her new home in the Western Suburbs of Phoenix, AZ - but also in the Western Suburbs of Chicago at Soderworld Wellness Center. She offers public and private Yoga/Meditation sessions, personal Consultations on Ayurvedic Health & Wellness, Seasonal Group Cleanse Programs & Panćakarma Body Therapies. She conducts open Classes, Courses, Workshops, Fire Ceremonies & Drum Circles on natural living, spiritual exploration, connection & healing, herbal remedies & the introduction of Ayurveda to her community.
Outside of her private practice, she is visiting faculty for Ananda Ayurveda Academy, as well as various Yoga Teacher Training courses offered to YTT students in Chicago and Phoenix. Additionally, she loves to assist in hosting Retreats in the warm, AZ desert~
She is the Founder of Sattvic Sage Solutions, an IT Software EMR System created specifically for Ayurvedic Counselors, Practitioners and B.A.M.S.
Misty Soderholm LMT, Esthetician, E-RYT-500 Director of Advanced Training - Soderworld Wellness Center
Misty began her studies at the Wellness and Massage Training Institute in 1994 and graduated from the School of Healing Arts in San Diego, CA., after moving there to work at the Deepak Chopra Center for Well – Being. After intense studies in Ayurveda, Meditation, Hypnotherapy, Watsu, Feng Shui, Holistic Health and Yoga – she ventured back to Chicago to bring the knowledge she gained to her home town.
She has also studied Hot Stone Therapy, Reflexology, Thai Yoga Massage, Sports Massage, Esalen Style Massage, Natural Birthing, Esthetics & Skin Care (facials, body wraps), and many various energy modalities. Misty is a Licensed Massage Therapist & Esthetician, as well as a certified yoga instructor from the Temple of Kriya Yoga and Holistic Health Practitioner with over 20 years experience. She is a Massage Therapist, Esthetician, Yoga Instructor & Director of the Advanced Training Academy at SoderWorld Wellness Center in Willowbrook.
She also teaches groups, private tutors and performs bodywork and yoga at various locations throughout Chicagoland and the US. She focuses more on the spiritual/energetic side of healing in her treatments and teachings. Although Misty did some art and poetry at an early age, she has recently rediscovered her passion again for writing and the arts about 4 years ago.
She also is event coordinator for the Flower of Life Art Gallery in Lockport and Secretary for TAGOL (The Artists Guild of Lockport). Member of ABMP, Yoga Alliance certified – ERYT. NCBTMB & Yoga Alliance CEU approved provider
Souvik Dutta Jyotish
Souvik Dutta was born in Kolkata in Bengal, India. Souvik was introduced to Yoga at the age 4 at Yogananda’s college of Yoga as a means to control his acute asthma and this practice gave him new life. His earliest study of philosophy was from the monks of Ramakrishna mission and Tagore’s influence shaped Souvik’s cultural growth.
At the age of 8, Souvik was officially initiated into spiritual life by his Kula Guru (family priest). He began his journey into Jyotish, tantra, spirituality, and dharma then which ended up being a lifetime of learning. He met his second Guru during his engineering days in the western part of India, near Pune. He was initiated into Naadi Jyotish by his second Guru. Souvik met his third Guru during his first job who initiated him into the Arsha School of Jyotish. Souvik was fortunate to have had training in 3 lineages, or paramparas of Jyotish.
Souvik established his Jyotish school, AIAC, in 2009. Since then he has lectured at numerous places in the US – Grass Valley (CA), Stanford University (CA), San Diego (CA), Whidbey Island (WA), Portola Valley (CA), Houston (TX), Madison (WI), NAMA 2015 (Santa Ana, CA), Veda MeLA 2015 (Los Angeles, CA).
He also holds numerous lectures in Chicago and its suburbs on Hindu philosophy, Mantra Shastra, Jyotish, and Hindu mythology. Souvik also does private client consultations. Souvik has more than 100 articles published online and in various astrology magazines.
Souvik lives in Aurora, IL with his wife, Amrita and son, Hridaan.
Souvik’s interview about his Jyotish journey can be found here - http://jyotishstar.com/jyotish-star-souvik-dutta-march-2015.html
Pushpa Soundararajan AHE, RDN, LDN, Yoga Instructor
Pushpa Soundararajan, RDN, LDN is a Registered Licensed Dietitian who graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Nutrition and Medical Dietetics from University of Illinois in Chicago. She has over 25 years of experience in nutrition counseling to patients in many settings including dialysis units, hospitals and outpatient centers.
Pushpa is also a Certified Yoga teacher, Ayurvedic Health Educator (Yoga Gnan Jyoti) and Ayurvedic Food and Nutrition Consultant (International School of Yoga and Ayurveda).
Her speaking engagements include talks on Ayurveda at the Global Ayurveda Conferences on integrating Ayurveda and Modern Nutrition on topics including Obesity, Autism and woman’s health issues like PMS. She has also written a chapter on Ayurveda in an upcoming Functional Medicine Textbook.
She is currently in Private Practice as a Registered Dietitian and has a unique way of integrating Modern Medical Dietetics with ancient principles of Ayurveda in providing her clients a comprehensive individualized nutrition plan that not only helps with healing but also enhances their wellbeing. Her nutrition counseling services include but are not limited to Diabetes, Obesity, kidney disease, digestive disorders and Vegetarian Nutrition.
Jamie DurnerAyurveda Practitioner, CAP
Jamie Durner is an accomplished holistic wellness professional with a diversified background including 25 years clinical experience, over 3,500 hours of professional training in holistic wellness, and 15 different marketing and business programs. Her wellness training includes certifications in Ayurvedic medicine, Medicinal Aromatherapy, Inspired Learning Facilitation, Life Coaching, Kundalini Yoga, Craniosacral Therapy, Ayurvedic Body Therapies, and Massage Therapy.
Her experience includes developing and providing group and individual wellness programs, corporate wellness in-services, keynote presentations, self-care home products, facilitating healing retreats, and serving on staff in an Ayurveda school providing Ayurveda training, pulse diagnosis, business education and intern supervision. She is the creator of the “Creating Health & Harmony”, “Healthy Weight, Healthy You” and “Healing from the Inside Out” wellness programs as well as the Audio Kundalini Yoga Class series. She is a contributing author in the books: “Your Better Body: The Woman’s Guide to Holistic Health & Wellness” and "Yoga in America"; has published articles online and in print publications, and produces the Holistic Business Prosperity blog.
Having worked primarily as a sole proprietor, she knows firsthand what it takes to be a successful, profitable and balanced soloprenuer. Today, Jamie combines her insider wellness knowledge as an Ayurveda Practitioner and holistic coach with practical business insight & coaching expertise to serve emerging and developing Ayurveda and holistic professionals. She offers Individual Mentor Coaching and the group mentor “Business Success Breakthrough” program. Her passion is to make sure that all the beautiful people called to share their healing gifts have the critical, comprehensive business skills to succeed and have a profitable business to support their families, too!
Krutikka ThakurArchitect & Vastu Consultant
Kruttika has got her B.Arch degree from Mumbai University and has over 30 years of experience under her belt, she is well versed in fields ranging from designing, planning and implementation in residential, commercial and institutional projects. Over the last few years, she has actively tried to incorporate Vastu Shastra Principles in modern day architecture to build towards a form of Eco-responsive Architecture.
She has several accolades to her name, one such is acing the IBBI valuation exam and is a registered valuer with the Government Of India. She has been a part of planning the structures for the international hospitality chain- Le Maridian over the course of her career. She has also explored the academic front and has been a part of the visiting faculty for the subject: Design for B.Arch for over 5 years in many reputed institutes under Mumbai University, shaping bright minds and guiding the upcoming generation of Architects.
Monique Blake | Ayurveda Practitioner | Clifton Strengths Finder Coach | Certified Astrologer | Tarotist
She is a NAMA-certified Ayurvedic Practitioner and a certified Clifton Strengths Finder Coach with 20-plus years of executive experience in the education, corporate, and spa settings. She is also a Kepler College certified Astrologer, Tarotist, and award-winning chef. Her clients call her the ‘Oracle’.
Her clients often come to her feeling overwhelmed by life’s stresses and unfulfilled promises. After all their efforts, there is a sense that something is still missing. Monique’s custom-crafted holistic plans provide a practical soul roadmap for her clients. Her coaching sessions inspire them to commit to a new possibility for mind, body, and spirit so that they can unapologetically live their one wild and precious life.
Monique Blake is a champion of vibrant living. She loves to teach and share simple, practical, and effective lifestyle strategies to help women fully express their radiant health and wellness.
When she is not championing wellBEing for others, Monique’s bohemian spirit has taken her to 26 countries, 5 continents, and 27 US states. She has lived and studied in Jamaica, Japan, Thailand, France, Nepal, and India. When she is not traveling the world in search of a culinary and spa adventure, she is usually at home in the kitchen making a delicious meal; tinkering with her essential oils, making natural beauty products and perfumes, or perfecting her shavasana pose in yoga class.
William Courson | Level III Ayurvedic Doctor | NAMA Member
A lifelong student of and writer on the themes of traditional healing, alternative and complementary medicine (focusing on Ayurveda and Homeopathy), spirituality and health, and Eastern and Western alchemy.
Bill holds diplomas and certifications in advanced (Western) herbal medicine, Bach flower essence therapy, Homeopathy and was awarded the Doctor of Ayurveda degree from the Sai Ayurvedic College of Miami.
He is a Level III ("Ayurvedic Doctor") professional member of the National Ayurvedic Medical Association and has 20 years of teaching experience in Ayurveda, focusing on herbal medicine.