Michael has been given special permission to teach Buddhist Dharma and so Maitri House Yoga is now officially a branch of Wat Manee Banpot Worawihan (Wat Khao Khaeo) under the guidance of Abbot Ganchano. Wat Khao Khaeo is a Theravada Buddhist Temple that teaches Buddhist scripture and Vipassana meditation while serving local community members in Tak Province, Thailand. MHY is also growing as an International Teaching Collective, offering the teachings of Buddhism, Tantra, Yoga and Ayurveda under the guidance of various teachers.
Maitri House was originally Rachel Stalter’s seed of an idea, planted in Michael’s brain years ago. She suggested creating a healing space for local communities that included yoga, meditation, art, cooking, and various therapies. During Michael’s service in the Peacecorps he was able to form a similar health and spiritual based community in Tak Province, Thailand. He began by teaching three women Yoga once a week and almost two years later there were 5 teachers and over 100 members. The Dharma then spread from that local temple, Wat Khao Khaeo, to schools, community centers, and hospitals. Yoga Tak today still runs under the guidance of those 5 teachers and has spread to include the entire teaching in the entire province. We are fortunate enough to travel back and forth from the US to Thailand and host retreats for the teachers and the Thai community.
Once back in the States we created Maitri House Yoga to continue the work we began in Thailand. Now we regularly host dharma events, thai cooking workshops, Thailand yoga retreats, private mindfulness based therapy sessions and more.
michael sapiro, ma, eryt, began his yoga and meditation training early in 1998, and has received certification as a Traditional Hatha Yoga instructor and Teacher Trainer. He is the founding director of Maitri House Yoga and has recently been given permission to teach Buddhist Dharma in the United States from Abbot Ganchano of Wat Khao Khaeo, a Theravada Buddhist temple in Tak Province, Thailand. Michael has also trained extensively in the disciplines & practices of Zen and Theravada Buddhism, Raja and Hatha Yoga philosophy, and spent time as an ordained Buddhist monk in Northern Thailand. During his PeaceCorps service he founded Maitri Tak, a local Yoga community and school. He has received certification as an Ayurvedic Life-Style Counselor with Dr. Frawley of the American Institute of Vedic Studies. Michael has worked in the Social Justice field for over a decade, serving marginalized populations in prisons, hospitals, clinics and rehab centers. He is on the Board of Directors for the Institute of Spirituality and Psychology and is currently earning his PsyD in Clinical Psychology from JFK University and teaches classes, workshops and retreats in the Pacific Northwest, Northern California and in Northern Thailand. He loves his wife and is a dedicated athlete as well. He is a life long musician and with others or by himself has recorded over 5 albums of original music.
He is currently an advanced doctoral student at JFK University’s PsyD Doctoral program in Clinical Psychology. He is training at the VA Northern California Healthcare System with veterans with severe mental illness, PTSD, TBI, and suicidality. He leads workshops for clinicians in the Bay on the neurobiology of trauma and mindfulness as it relates to PTSD treatment for veterans. His dissertation is a qualitative exploration of empathic failures in the therapeutic work with sexually violent offenders. His other clinical/research interests include learning about the applications of neuroplasticity and mindfulness in treatment of cognitive disorders, chronic pain, substance abuse, and complex trauma.
He holds a Master’s in Clinical Psychology from JFK University. He also holds a Master’s of English from Illinois State University where he studied Social Justice and Feminist Pedagogy in the English Studies program. He has received certification as a facilitator of cultural competency, diversity, youth and community development trainings and still works in the community as a trainer.
Sararak was raised in a small village in Northeastern Thailand, learning about the traditional and therapeutic uses of Thai herbs from her father, the community’s local herbal doctor. Her passion for cooking is tasted and recognized by anyone who is fortunate enough to eat her art! She is also a certified Traditional Hatha Yoga instructor. She creates art for fun and spends most of her time in the garden. Her life goal is to “be simple, live in the woods, and drink tea every day.”
She has earned a degree in Agricultural and Environmental Education from Kasaetsart University in Bangkok and has found teaching boring. So now she is a wonderful Nanny instead! Every one who knows her says she’s also very, very funny.
Hi! My name is E.B. Ferdig. I have been practicing yoga for over 10 years – and been teaching for more than 6 of those years. I am dedicated to “the BIG Yoga,” which has become my lifestyle and spiritual path. Big Yoga refers to the 8-limbed path, which includes many ways to embrace life and greater happiness. Just one of these ways is physical yoga postures. I believe that everyone deserves to have access to Big Yoga, regardless of perceived barriers.
I trained to be a teacher through independent study, and through the teacher-training program at Samarya Center. My teachers there are Molly Lannon Kenny and Stephanie Sisson. I am a Yoga Alliance certified teacher (500-hour level).
Kelly Grey: She grew up on the east coast and wandered out west early on to find her home in the desert. She has been teaching, studying and practicingYoga since she was 15 years old, starting with TM and chanting with the Hare Krishnas on the Washington lawn, after getting kicked out of theSmithsonian for having no shoes.
She has Advanced Certification in Sivananda Yoga and as an Ayurvedic Practitioner and Teacher, having dedicated thousands of hours at the Wise Earth School of Ayurveda. She is a Nationally Certified Massage Therapist, a Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapist, a Reiki Master and has also recieved Bikram (or Hot) Yoga Certification from the Yoga Institute in Arizona. She studied Astanga Yoga and Ayurveda extensively in India and recieved certification in Pancha Karma and Abhyanga in Kerala, India.
Throughout all her travels, trainings, disappointments and mistakes, she has grown to truely love the science and alchemy of yoga and ayurveda, but is no longer interested in the facades of spirituality… believing that there is nothing more sacred than feeding people good food and simple kindness….
her love is the river, her guru is her dog, pennylane.
Richard Haynes: Richard Haynes is a teacher with over 30 years of experience teaching meditation and body-mind integration techniques. Richard has a degree in Education and used to teach in public schools. He has spent time studying Ayurveda with well-known authors Deepak Chopra, MD and John Douillard, DC. He traveled to India where he learned and practiced breathing techniques and studied Ayurveda. Richard focuses his training on body-mind exercise techniques, diet and routine, all based on Ayurveda. He is currently immersed in the study of Ayurvedic pulse with Dr. Mary Jo Cravatta. “I am very committed to sharing this beautiful knowledge of Ayurveda with you. My purpose is simple. I want to help you find more happiness. I believe this is the true goal of Ayurveda.”
Stasia has practiced yoga & meditation since 1997. Her studies include traditional hatha yoga, kriya, kundalini and the very ancient, newly re-birthed alchemical ‘Devi Satva yoga’ – the yoga of abundance and rejuvenation. Much of Stasia’s inspiration and passion was ignited in India where she experienced life from an authentically raw perspective and forever seeks to express from that place within herself. In everything She does, Stasia threads the element of remembrance…we are all One, we are coded for amazingness, life is a divine dance ~ rejoice, breathe, connect, be.
Stasia currently teaches classes & workshops in the Portland area and is available for private coaching & classes, Kundalini for couples, key-note speaking and The Chocolate Fast playshops & retreats. For more information see:
www.neverthesamechocolate.com & www.lifealchemyoga.com
About Wat Manee Banpot Worawihan:
Known locally as Wat Khao Khaeo, “It is a provincial royal monastery and an example temple of development. It has an angular Mon-styled Chedi (pagoda) with 16 indented corners at the back. Inside the Ubosot (ordination hall), there is a portrait of King Rama V royally given to this temple, and a Buddha image ‘Phra Phuttharup Saengthong.’” This is where Michael studied and ordained as a Monk and has since taught Yoga and Dharma with the local community members of Tak. A traditional Thai city temple where young boys and men come to study scriptures and learn the ways of monk-hood. Unlike in the forest temples or monasteries where there is practice of meditation, here the monks spend most of the day relaxing and listening to birds, which is just what the Buddha taught us to do too!