yoga and mental health panel photos

Yoga and Mental Health

Yoga and Mental Health Panel Talk

Zoom Livestream Webinar

New York – 4 pm
UK – 9 pm
Stockholm – 10 pm


Bali – 5 am Sunday 22nd
Sydney – 8 am Sunday

The discussion is scheduled to last 2 hours and will be recorded. An email with the link to the recording will be sent within 24 hours of the event. If you can’t attend live register to receive the link.

This is our first panel discussion in over a year. Increasingly, as we reflected upon a subject it became obvious. In a time where mental health challenges are endemic, the practice of yoga to help manage our mental health is what we chose to highlight with our community.

We are not medical professionals, but yoga teachers, some of us are mental health experts, on this, we must be clear. Therefore, our scope here is not in offering advice but in sharing our own experiences.

All teachers on the panel have been chosen for their concerns or personal experience with this topic. What we will be discussing is how each person has used yoga to increase mental health and their challenges.  In addition, how their approach to practice and teaching has been led or amended by this.

Our aim is to convey the fact that you are not alone in your struggles.

For all of us who have suffered from mental health yoga has been formative in helping deal with and help reduce these issues. However, outside the fact that it has so evidently worked experientially, it’s still unclear to most of us exactly why this is. In exploring more about why yoga works so well to alleviate mental health complaints, we may be able to help others in our teaching better to use yoga in the way and to the effect that we have used it.

Donations are greatly appreciated and anything beyond the event costs will benefit our charity partners.

Eddie Stern Ashtanga yoga
Eddie Stern - new york city

Eddie has been practicing Yoga since 1987 and he started teaching at the Sivananda Yoga Vedanta and Jivamukti Yoga Centers in 1989. He began practicing Ashtanga Yoga in 1991 and was captivated by the method. At the same time he started studying Sanskrit and began learning how to chant Sanskrit texts and prayers in a traditional manner.

In 1993 Eddie opened his first Yoga school in the East Village in NYC, and ran that school in various locations until 2019. He is currently pursuing a Masters in Science for Yoga Research at Vivekananda Yoga University.


Instagram: @eddiestern



Lara Land Ashtanga yoga
Lara land - New York City

Lara Land is a deeply compassionate life coach, consultant and yoga teacher trainer specializing in trauma sensitivity. Her work is in helping to heal trauma both subtle and significant and train others using trauma sensitive yoga, meditation, mindfulness and breathing practices. Lara has spent the last 25 years studying Ashtanga yoga and sharing yoga asana, chanting, meditation, and philosophy directly from her teachers in India. Her commitment is to honor the traditions of yoga by responding to the needs of each individual, using a unique combination of practices and techniques that are appropriate for their personal growth. Some of her many certifications include: trauma informed mindfulness, life coaching, therapeutic fasting, and mindfulness in nature.


Instagram: @laralandyoga


Michael Baidoo Ashtanga yoga
Michael Baidoo

Michael began Jiu Jitsu 2018. In the lockdowns of 2020 he began Ashtanga Yoga and quickly became famous for his brilliant memes made to bring fun in yoga. Michael is Tech Manager for clothing brand Reformation.


Instagram:  @bay_jitsu







Shanna Small Ashtanga yoga
Shanna Small

Shanna Small is a writer and Yoga teacher who speaks to the intersectionality of Yoga and social justice.  She has practiced Ashtanga Yoga and studied the Yoga Sutras since 2001. In Mysore Shanna has studid Ashtanga with Sharath Jois, and Sanskrit, the Yoga Sutras and the Hatha Yoga Pradipika with Laksmish.

Shanna finds joy in making yoga accessible for all.  She studied with Amber Karnes and Dianne Bondy and is Yoga For All certified. You can find her at Sacred Vitality, her own online Yoga platform.

She is a founding member of Yoga For Recovery Foundation, a non-profit that helps those recovering from addiction, trauma and systemic oppression.  Shanna is also certified in the Trauma Conscious Yoga Method by Nityada Gessel.


Instagram: @shannasmallofficial

Gregor Maehle Ashtanga yoga
Gregor maehle - Byron Bay

Gregor Maehle began his practice of Raja Yoga in 1978 and added Hatha Yoga a few years later. In the mid-1980s he commenced annual travels to India, where he studied with various yogic and tantric masters, traditional Indian sadhus and ascetics. After practising with BKS Iyengar he spent fourteen months in Mysuru, and in 1997 was authorised to teach Ashtanga Yoga by K. Pattabhi Jois*. In India Gregor also received eight months of mostly one-on-one instruction in scripture and the higher limbs of Yoga through B.N.S. Iyengar, a student of T. Krishnamacharya. He studied Sanskrit under Professor Narayanachar and Dr Chandrasekhar. He lived for several years as a recluse, studying Sanskrit and yogic scripture and practising yogic techniques.


Instagram: @gregor.maehle  


Matt Ryan Ashtanga yoga
Matt Ryan - Manchester

Matt has been practicing and teaching Ashtanga Yoga for over 23 years. In his previous life Matt was a DJ playing house music all night long in clubs like The Hacienda in Manchester, UK. He has studied the Ashtanga practice in Mysore ( receiving the level 2 authorisation from Pattabhi Jois & Sharath Jois, and taught all over the world including India, North America and Europe.  He is now back in Manchester with a new project.


Instagram: @ashtangayogaschoolmcr






Santina Giardina-Chard Ashtanga yoga
Santina Giardina-Chard

Santina is an Ashtanga yoga teacher and Gestalt Therapist. After years of anorexia, bulimia, heroin and other substance abuse, Santina came to understand that these compulsive behavioral patterns were just a means to escape the boxed-up feeling of terror, rage, shame, despair, grief and unworthiness deep within her psyche and physicality.

Paradoxically, the Ashtanga Yoga and Gestalt methods help her to realise that whenever she wanted to escape through compulsive behaviour, what she was really hungry for was a deep and abiding connection with herself that brings forth the joy of being comfortable in her own skin.


Instagram: @santina_mercurial_mind_ 

adam keen
Adam Keen

Adam will be moderating the event.  He is co-founder of Keen on Yoga and is the host of the Keen on Yoga Podcast and YouTube channel.

He has been teaching Ashtanga Yoga since 2004 and practicing yoga since 1999. He is open about his struggles with mental health.  A philosopher at heart, he shares his interests in deeper enquiry about the fundamental questions of life – what we’re doing and why we’re here almost daily on social media.


Instagram: @adam_keen_ashtanga


Jan 21 2023


UK Time
9:00 pm - 11:00 pm

More Info



ZOOM (Recordings available)
Link will be sent by email within 24 hours