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My Yoga Mentor Expert Panel

Meet our Ask the Mentor Teacher panelists.

Submit your questions to the experts here.*
Desirée Rumbaugh
Desirée Rumbaugh teaches from the experiences of more than two decades of practice. She was one of the first students to study with John Friend, and one of the first to be certified in his Anusara method of yoga. As a full-time teacher, Desirée travels the world offering workshops, which are innovative and transformative, challenging and compassionate. She has a well-earned reputation for deepening the most new to the most seasoned practices, through humor balanced with a quest for authenticity. September 2007 marked the release of her first DVD entitled Yoga to the Rescue, which is specially designed for those who have avoided yoga because of a lack of flexibility, low fitness level or chronic pain. Her newest DVD entitled Yoga to the Rescue for Back Pain was released in January 2008 with wide acclaim. For more information, please visit
Read her columns.
Sri Dharma Mittra
Sri Dharma Mittra, who has been teaching since 1967, was the first independent teacher in New York City. In 1984, he created the famous Master Yoga Chart of 908 Postures, which has been an invaluable teaching tool ever since. Dharma is the creator of over 300 postures and the author of the book asanas: 608 Yoga Poses, and is the inspiration for Yoga Journal's coffee table book, Yoga. His Maha Sadhana DVD set for Level I—A Shortcut to Immortality and Level II—Stairway to Bliss, has been widely acclaimed as a preservation of the main teachings of yoga. Dharma Mittra, A Friend to All, is a biographical book documenting experiences of his students from the 1960s on. Dharma Mittra Yoga Life of a Yogi teacher trainings (200- and 500-hour) are held in New York, San Fransico, and Japan. Dharma also teaches workshops worldwide. For more information, visit to

Read his columns.
Nicki Doane
Nicki Doane had a wanderlust that led her to India in 1991 to study yoga. She went to Mysore to meet Sri K Pattabhi Jois and immediately realized she had found her teacher. Nicki started teaching in 1992. She cites Pattabhi Jois, along with Eddie Modestini, Gabriella Giubilaro, and Tim Miller among her most influential teachers. She is an authorized teacher of Ashtanga Yoga. Although rooted in Ashtanga, Nicki's teaching goes beyond the traditional. Her classes combine asana, pPranayama, philosophy, and poetry. The emphasis is on awareness: creating integrity within each pose that can be carried beyond the mat into daily life. Nicki lives in Sebastopol, California with her husband, Eddie Modestini. Together, Eddie and Nicki co-direct Maya Yoga Studios in both California and Maui, Hawaii.

Read her columns.

*Please note: Due to the large volume of questions we receive, not all questions will be answered. Pedagogy questions are preferred by the experts. Please defer to your own teacher trainers or senior teachers for questions involving serious medical conditions.

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Reader Comments

tracy peruman

I have a group of 50 plus (like me) students. We have a rash of crimped low backs. We are working on ilio/psoas, Vira I, kapotasana, but still have low back pain/compression.. No injuries, disks, or the like.Please help?
Namasté, Master

Irene Breedlove RYT

I have been teaching since 2004. I am having knee surgery next week. I have someone teaching my classes until I recover. We have a new student that has scoliosicus and lower back issues. Her Dr has given her the OK to take yoga classes. She has not had the corrective surgery. Will you suggest some safe poses for her. Namaste'


I have been doing Yoga for about four years now. I love pretty much most of the poses, but for some reason, cat really bothers me. I've tried to figure out why this is but have failed to reach any answers. There are some poses I can't do as well as others, and these would bother me for that reason I think, but with cat, I have no explanation. Have you ever come across anyone with a similar experience?

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