Master Faculty & Instructors for the College of Ayurveda

College of Āyurveda Master Teachers

For the College of Āyurveda, faculty members typically have the BAMS degree (Bachelor of Āyurvedic Medicine and Surgery), the degree held by professors of Āyurveda in India, the home country of this field, from which we draw the most highly qualified faculty assembled anywhere to teach the Institute’s courses. All College of Āyurveda faculty have had a minimum of five years of teaching experience, and many have had 20-30 years of teaching experience.

Suhas G. KshirsagarSuhas G. Kshirsagar, MD (Ayu. India), Pune Ayurvedic University, Pune, India, 1992. Chair of Ayurveda at MMI. Faculty of Distinction, Core Faculty, Curriculum and Assessment Committee. Teaches in all Ayurveda programs - AHC, C-AP, MA-Ayurveda.

An esteemed clinician who has treated over 15,000 clients, Dr. Kshirsagar is a Research Consultant for Ayurvedic nutraceutical companies, and also is one of the few Ayurvedic practitioners in the U.S. who practices Medical Astrology. He is a gold medalist from prestigious Pune University. A Rig Vedic Bramhin by tradition and an accomplished clinician by training adds tremendous value to his clients and students alike. He is an insightful Vedic Counselor. Dr. Kshirsagar also teaches in the School of Yoga.


Kate BentleyKate Bentley, MA-Ay & C-AP NAMA, Mount Madonna Institute, Watsonville, CA. BFA - Bachelor Fine Arts, Academy of Art University, San Francisco, California 1991. Teaching Credential (CELTA) - English as a Second Language, University of Cambridge, UK. Ayurvedic Health Counselor Program Coordinator.

Drawn to the classical teachings of Ayurveda and Yoga through her teacher Baba Hari Dass. She has studied the indigenous healing practices of Peruvian Shamanism as well as Tantric Buddhism through the Vajrayana lineage. Immersed in her love for plants, natural healing and the wellbeing of all global communities, Kate blends these experiences in her practice to help others co-create long term solutions for inner and outer balance. She is an instructor for the Ayurvedic Health Counselor program and clinical practitioner at MMI. She holds a MA-Ay degree with a thesis in women’s reproductive health. She has written articles for local health magazines and been interviewed on talk radio.

Ms. Bentley also teaches in the School of Yoga.


Rucha KelkarRucha Kelkar, DPT, Doctor of Physical Therapy, The College of St. Scholastica, Duluth, MN. Bachelor of Ayurvedic Medicine and Surgery (BAMS), University of Pune, India 1999. Core Faculty and Clinical Supervisor. Teaches all levels in the College of Ayurveda - AHC C-AP and MA-Ayurveda

Dr. Kelkar has sixteen plus years of experience in clinical practice and in teaching all subjects of Ayurvedic medicine. She is an accomplished speaker and writer and has been a presenter in National Conferences on multiple occasions. She has an extensive clinical experience in Ayurvedic therapies, Ayurvedic consultations, Panchakarma. She specializes in orthopedic physical therapy and is also a certified yoga therapist. Dr. Kelkar is the Director of Ayurbliss- Ayurveda Wellness for Mind, Body and Spiritual Health located in San Mateo, CA.


Ginger Kamalesh HoovenGinger Kamalesh Hooven, MA-Ayurveda, Mount Madonna Institute, Watsonville, CA, 2016. Program Coordinator – C-AP Program, College of Ayurveda. Ginger is also Chair of the School of Yoga, Program Director of the Ayurvedic Yoga Therapy Program, Coordinator of the Advanced Yoga Studies (YTT 300) program.

She has been teaching in the Mount Madonna Center Yoga Teacher Trainings since 2005. In addition to her studies at Mount Madonna, she completed a 700-hour Yoga Teacher Training with the Yoga Research and Education Center (2001-2002) led by scholar Georg Feurstein. Ginger completed two years of graduate studies in Philosophy at University of Memphis (1972- 1974). She attended Cabrillo College (Aptos, CA 2010-2011) for Anatomy, Physiology, Chemistry and Nutrition and was an assistant instructor of Anatomy and Physiology at Cabrillo College.


Sumathi LingappaSumathi Uma Lingappa, MS in Software Engineering Program Management, Carnegie Mellon University, USA. Bachelor of Engineering in Electronics and Communication, University of Mysore, India. MA-Ay & C-AP, Mount Madonna Institute, College of Ayurveda, Watsonville, CA. MA-Ayurveda Program Coordinator.

At MMI Sumathi serves as the Director of Institutional Effectiveness, and Program Coordinator for the MA-Ayurveda program. She is also a faculty member at Meru Institute, Ayurveda studies program in San Jose, CA. She worked in the software industry for more than 20 years before finding her true passion in Ayurveda and education. She loves teaching and writing about Ayurveda. She works with clients interested in health and wellness who are exploring alternative non-drug approaches for prevention and management of their health conditions.


ShraddhaShraddha Ravani, Master of Arts-Ayurveda, Mount Madonna Institute, Watsonville, CA. BS, Microbiology, Sardar Patel University, Gujarat, India. Post Graduate Diploma in Medical Technology, CAM Hospital and Medical Research Center, Gujarat, India, 1982. Continuing Education in Gene and Genetics and Cancer Biology, UC Berkeley, Berkeley, CA. Research Center Director, Mount Madonna Institute. Teaches in the Master of Arts – Ayurveda Program.

As a NAMA Certified Practitioner, Shraddha has been involved in fundamental research in biological sciences, focused on breast cancer at a National Laboratory for the last two decades. Currently, she is working as a scientific program manager, providing programmatic management for large-scale federally funded research grants to aid in the development and implementation of strategic plans and regulatory oversight. She now serves as a director of the MMI Ayurvedic Research Center.


Indira BulkinIndira Ann Bulkin – Sanskrit. Sanskrit AY 100A and AY 200A.

BA (South Asian Languages – Sanskrit), University of California, Berkeley 1993. 42 years teaching Sanskrit language. MPT (Masters of Physical Therapy), Samuel Merritt College, Oakland, CA 1996


Cynthia Ambika CoppleCynthia Ambika Copple - Ayurveda. Founding Dean, MMI College of Ayurveda. MA - Ayurveda (HON), Mount Madonna Institute, 2008.

Cynthia has over 32 years of experience in clinical practice and teaching. She is Co-founder and Past President of the National Ayurvedic Medical Association (1999-2013); Co-Founder and past Dean Mount Madonna Institute, College of Ayurveda (2006-2013). She has been an Ayurvedic Practitioner since 1982, President and Founder, Lotus Herbs, 1983-present; Director, Lotus Holistic Health Institute Pancha Karma Clinic, 1990-present; Lotus Holistic Health Institute, Ayurvedic Massage Intensive Trainings, 1990-present., Author of “Know Your Blueprint, The Ayurvedic Secret to Restoring Vitality and Being Unstoppable” (2015).


DhavalDr. Dhaval Dhru, MD, CAP - Clinical Faculty – AHC, C-AP and MA-Ayurveda Programs.

Ayurvedic Practitioner, Educator and Yoga teacher at Federal Way Ayurveda and Yoga, Three Trees Yoga and Healing Arts Center. Previous Employments: Associate Professor and Chair Department of Ayurvedic Science, Bastyr University, Kenmore WA. Faculty and Clinic Director, Kerala Ayurvedic Academy from April 2006 to March 2007. Private Practice as ENT Surgeon from June 1981 to June 1999 in Federal Way WA. ENT Surgeon at Group Health Co Operative of Puget Sound, Seattle, WA. From July 1978 to June 1981. ENT Surgeon Marshfield Clinic, Marshfield, WI from July 1977 to June 1978. Board Certification: American Board of Otolaryngology, September 1977 Canadian Fellowship (F.R.C.S.) in Otolaryngology, November 1977 Licensure: Licensed to Practice medicine in State of Washington since 1977.


John DouillardDr. John Douillard, DC - Ayurveda. Visiting Distinguished Professor, AHC, C-AP, MA-Ayurveda.

B.S. and Doctorate in Chiropractic with honors at LA College of Chiropractic, Whittier, CA – 1980-1984. Premedical study at Westchester Community College, Valhalla, NY – 1978-1980. Graduate Studies in Ayurveda and Ayurvedic exercise, World Center of Ayurveda, New Delhi, India – 1987- 1988.

Dr. Douillard has been teaching and lecturing inter- nationally for 25 years. He has written and produced numerous health and fitness books, CDs, and DVDs. and publishes a free wellness video-newsletter filled with the latest studies and research. He was the Director of Player Development for the New Jersey Nets in the NBA and currently directs the LifeSpa - Ayurvedic Retreat Center in Boulder, CO, where he lives with his wife and six children.


Krista FareyDr. Krista Farey, MD. MA-Ayurveda. Clinical Faculty, MA-IPE2.

2016 M.A. Ayurveda, Mount Madonna Institute, Watsonville, CA. 2014 Certificate – Ayurvedic Practitioner, Mount Madonna Institute, Watsonville, CA. 2012 Diploma- Ayurvedic Lifestyle Counselor, Mount Madonna Institute, Watsonville, CA. 2011 Therapeutic Yoga Training and Certificate of -Completion, Sivananda Yoga Institute, San Francisco, CA. 2007 Chinese Medicine one-month individual tutorial emphasizing philosophy and diagnosis, with Dr. Lily Li in Yangshuo, Guilin, Guangxi, China. 2005 Completion of 3-year program in Shamanic Methodology, Foundation for Shamanic Studies, Sausalito, CA. l984 M.D. University of California, San Francisco, CA. 1982 M.S. Health and Medical Sciences, University of California, Berkeley, CA.


Nick FortinoDr. Nick Fortino, PhD – Ayurveda and Yoga.

PhD, East West Psychology Institution: California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS), San Francisco, CA -2015. Dr. Fortino is a psychologist and yoga teacher inspired by yoga’s influence on psychological development and transformation. He studies Western Psychology and Eastern traditions, especially interested in the ways they align and enrich or challenge and contradict each other. He also has experience conducting research about natural biological treatments for mental disorders. Among his primary purposes is to foster humanity’s evolution through teaching and learning.


Jessica FortinoJessica Karuna Sims Fortino – Ayurveda and Yoga.

Over ten years’ experience in the field of yoga training. YTT 200 and 500 Yoga Teacher training certificates. AHC Yoga Instructor.


Steven HighburgerSteven Highburger – Ayurveda, Jyotish, Vastu, Hasta.

B.A. Philosophy from University of Texas at Austin, 1990. 4 year Āyurvedic education (1997-2001) with Dr. Vasant Lad at The Ayurvedic Institute. 14 years (1998-2011) training in Vedic traditions– classes, seminars and private one-on-one instruction with the world renowned Jyotish master Hart de Fouw. With 1000’s of hours spent, year after year, in ongoing instruction and apprenticeship. B.A. (equivalent) in Vedic Astrology from American College of Vedic Astrology where he completed both their Level I and Level II certifications–which is the highest level available in the west for Vedic astrology. Steven is a certified instructor and private tutor for the American College of Vedic Astrology. Instructor at Vedic Vidya Institute in San Rafael, CA (2003-2009) where he taught Jyotish, Hasta Sāmudrika (palmistry), Āyurveda and Sanskrit. Steven maintains a busy private practice in San Rafael, CA.


Manas

Manas Kshirsagar - Ayurveda. Clinical Faculty, Clinical Supervisor AHC, C-AP.

MS, AD (NAMA), Certified Ayurvedic Practitioner. Manas comes from a Rig Vedic Bramhin tradition with an extensive Ayurvedic background. He graduated from Aloha Ayurveda Academy and completed his MS in Ayurveda & Integrative Medicine from Maharishi University of Management. He is an acclaimed wellness consultant, who has worked as an Ayurvedic Consultant at MAPI and the prestigious Raj Panchakarma Center in Fairfield, IA. Manas has extensive training in many different healing modalities including certifications in Yoga, Meditation, and Reiki.


Manisha KshirsagarManisha Kshirsagar - Ayurveda. Clinical Faculty, Clinical Supervisor AHC, C-AP.

BAMS, Pune University, Pune Ayurvedic University, Pune, India, 1990. LMT, DY&A (India). An accomplished Ayurvedic Physician, Naturopath, and Yoga instructor who has been teaching Ayurveda around the world for over 20 years. She teaches Sanskrit and Panchakarma. She is trained at the Indian College of Naturopathy and qualified as a Yoga Instructor from the renowned Kaivalyadham University in India. Dr. Manisha has been teaching Ayurveda and yoga for more than 10 years. She specializes in women and infant health, skin care and natural beauty treatments. She offers regular workshops on Ayurvedic nutrition and cooking, Panchakarma and Herbology.


Vasant D. LadVasant D. Lad - Ayurveda. Visiting Distinguished Professor.

Master of Ayurvedic Science (MASc) degree from Tilak Ayurved Mahavidyalaya. Bachelor of Ayurvedic Medicine and Surgery (BAM&S) degree from the University of Pune.

Vasant Lad brings a wealth of classroom and practical experience to the United States. A native of India, he served for three years as Medical Director of the Ayurveda Hospital in Pune, India. He was Professor of Clinical Medicine at the Pune University College of Ayurvedic Medicine for 15 years. Vasant Lad’s academic and practical training include the study of Allopathy (Western medicine) and surgery as well as traditional Ayurveda. For the past 27 years he has taught in the U.S. He is Director of the Ayurvedic Institute in Albuquerque and author of Ayurveda, The Science of Self-Healing, Ayurvedic Cooking for Self-Healing (with Usha Lad), The Yoga of Herbs (with David Frawley), Secrets of the Pulse: An Ayurvedic Art of Diagnosis, and The Complete Book of Ayurvedic Home Remedies.


  • Yashashree (Yash) Mannur – Ayurveda. Distinguished Visiting Professor, AHC, C-AP, MA-Ayurveda.

BAMS University of Pune; Pune, India. BA - Sanskrit Tilak Maaharashtra Vidyapeeth; Pune, India, 1996. 19 years of experience in clinical practice and teaching all possible subjects in other Ayurvedic schools. Dr. Mannur teaches Ayurvedic Nutrition, Ayurvedic Lifestyle Management, Internship for Counselor Practitioner and Masters level. 2015/2016 MMI Masters’ Thesis Advisor at Mount Madonna Institute.


Jay Parla 2019Dr. Jayagopal Parla - Ayurveda. Clinical Faculty.

BAMS, MD(Ayu), CMT, MAOM, C-IAYT

Founder & Director, Athreya Ayurvedic Integrative Health Center. Currently working in the Department of Ayurveda, American University of Complementary Medicine. Vice President Athreya Corp. Duarte, CA. Visiting Professor, Japan Ayurveda School, Tokyo, Japan. Faculty, Southern California University of Health Sciences, Whittier, CA


ReneeDr. Renee Rossi, MD, MA-Ayurveda. Ayurveda Clinical Supervisor, Clinical Faculty.

She has served as an Assistant Professor of Otolaryngology, University of Texas Southwestern Medical School, Instructor in Otology and Laryngology, Harvard Medical School and as Clinical Instructor at Ohio State University Hospitals. She co-founded the Texas division of the National Ovarian Cancer Coalition and has an interest in women’s health and the effects of trauma on human health.


Sarita ShresthaSarita Shrestha- Ayurveda. Distinguished Visiting Professor AHC, C-AP, MA-Ayurveda

*On Leave 2020

MD Ayurveda, OB/GYN Specialty, Banaras Hindhu University, Banaras (Varanasi) India, 1996. BAMS, JU (Government Ayurveda College) Gwalior, India. CAMS, TU (Ayurveda, Western Medicine and Basic Science). Yoga Therapy – Vivekananda Yoga Center, Bangalore, India.

26 years of Ayurveda medical practice, and 20 years clinical experience in Ayurveda Obstetrics and Gynecology. Dr. Shrestha has taught and consulted for over 25 years in international institutions, hospitals, and clinics, and has received numerous international awards honoring her presentations and services, with special recognition as the first Nepali woman Ayurvedic physician and specialist. She is Founder/Director of Devi Ma Ayurveda Rural Hospital in Nepal. She teaches throughout the US and Europe. She is also well known for her unique herbal formulations and her work in the field of fertility.


R.H. SinghRam Harsh Singh, PhD - Ayurveda, Retired. Research Center Advisor.

Ph.D. Kayachikitsa Banaras Hindhu University, Baranas (Varanasi), India 1969. D.Litt. From KS Sanskrit University, 1982. Fellow National Academy of Indian Medicine, 1976. Jewel Member, All India Academy of Ayurved (RAV), New Delhi, 2003. MD (Hons.) - Medicina Alternativa, Alma Ata

Dr. Singh is Professor Emeritus and past Chief Consultant Physician, Department of Internal Medicine, Head and Dean, Faculty of Ayurveda, at Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi (Banaras), India and Vice Chancellor RAU, Jodhpur, India.


Jeff TurnerJeff Turner – Ayurveda

*On Leave

BS in Engineering Technology - Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, Oklahoma, 1976. Certified Ayurvedic Practitioner – Ayurvedic Institute, 4 year program, Albuqurque, NM, 1999. AD - NAMA.

15 years clinical experience in Ayurveda, with focus in Pancha Karma protocols. Co-Founder, Living Ayurveda, Monterey, CA. While in Albuquerque, Jeff studied concurrently with Dr. Sunil Joshi, renowned Panchakarma expert. Additional teachers of Ayurveda include Dr. David Frawley, a formidable scholar in Ayurveda and Vedic science, Vyas Houston, a well- known Sanskrit scholar and educator, and Dr. Sarita Shrestha of Nepal. Trained in Applied Kinesiology, Jeff has completed additional studies in Advanced Clinical Kinesiology with Dr. John Bandy in Austin, Texas. Jeff has broadened his expertise in Functional Medicine, receiving training from Dr. Datis Kharrazian in Functional Blood Chemistry, Advanced Endocrinology and Immunology.


Susan Turner

Susan Turner – Ayurveda. Clinical Supervisor, AHC, C-AP.

*On Leave

Maui Community College, Kahului, HI, 1991. Registered Nurse, A.S., 1991, Deans List, Best Clinician Award; Licensed in NV, HI, CA, NM. Kapiolani Community College, Honolulu, HI. Mobile Intensive Care Technician/Paramedic, 1986, Valedictorian; Licensed in HI. Certified Ayurvedic Practitioner – Ayurvedic Institute, 4 year program, Albuqurque, NM, 1999. AD – NAMA.

15 years clinical experience in Ayurveda, with focus in Pancha Karma protocols. Co-Founder, Living Ayurveda, Monterey, CA. Susan has 12 years of experience as a licensed Registered Nurse in critical care. Prior to her nursing career, she was a paramedic for 10 years. She has studied western herbology with Dr. Tierona Low Dog, a leading expert in botanical medicine, integrative health and drug/herb interactions and is trained in Applied Kinesiology. She also studied concurrently with Dr. Sunil Joshi, renowned Panchakarma expert. Additional teachers of Ayurveda include Dr. David Frawley, a formidable scholar in Ayurveda and Vedic science, Vyas Houston, a well- known Sanskrit scholar and educator, and Dr. Sarita Shrestha of Nepal. Susan has broadened her expertise in Functional Medicine, receiving training from Dr. Datis Kharrazian in Functional Blood Chemistry, Advanced Endocrinology and Immunology.

Meet Our Esteemed Yoga Faculty

2020 - 2021

Yoga Faculty