Dr. Brems integrates yoga, mindfulness, integrative interventions, and self-care in her work as a psychologist, teacher, researcher, mentor, supervisor, consultant, author, administrator, and service provider. As an integrative yoga teacher and therapist, she incorporates all eight limbs of yoga in her practice, teachings, and therapeutics. She grounds her work in yoga psychology based on ancient and modern texts, as well as in current research, especially in psychology, neuroscience, and interpersonal neurobiology. She honors trauma-sensitive teaching practices and cultural sensitivity, inclusivity, and humility. She encourages individual tailoring of yoga to contexts and needs of each practitioner, offering variations and adaptations that make yoga accessible to all.
Dr. Brems came to the practice of yoga over 40 years ago as an adolescent searching for meaning. She remained linked to yoga for many years, though not always wholeheartedly. Her practice was re-inspired and became truly transformational after she was diagnosed with cancer more than 20 years ago and decided to incorporate an integrative healing path. Since then, yoga has been an essential and life-affirming path that she has enthusiastically and openheartedly shared with others.
As Director of the YogaX Team, Dr. Brems is delighted and honored to share the team’s collective yoga journey and wisdom with all members of the YogaX community. Yoga is a great gift of inspiration, humble evolution, intentional living, purposeful social action, and skilled service. The opportunity to share and receive this gift widely through mutual practice and training is a dream come true.
Dr. Freeman has extensive yoga and clinical experience in college counseling, primary care, and community mental health. She has led yoga classes, workshops, and trainings in studios, community centers, community mental health settings, on college campuses, in a psychiatric hospital, and a prison.
She synthesizes the ancient wisdom of the teachings of yoga with modern psychology and neuroscience to make the teachings accessible. Her therapy and teaching styles aim to help individuals cultivate curiosity and radically accept what it is to be constantly changing, growing, and evolving human beings.
Dr. Freeman came to yoga in her adolescent years for its immense healing power in body, mind, and soul. Yoga allowed her to transform challenge into opportunity and fear into inner strength and kindness. Her daily practice now anchors her in feeling whole, inspired, and connected.
As Manager of the YogaX Team, Dr. Freeman is excited to share yoga with others. She has repeatedly witnessed the enthusiasm and growth that can be inspired by ancient yogic texts in combination with modern neuroscience. She hopes to kindle this enthusiasm in others through her work with YogaX, where she seeks to integrate yoga with psychology to support human growth through holistic means.
Dr. Justice is a clinical psychologist in private practice in Hood River, Oregon, where she offers individual and couples counseling along with therapeutic yoga classes. It is her continuous joy to share with others the many ways through which yoga can foster community and a sense of contentment within ourselves. Dr. Justice has worked in a range of integrative and primary care clinics as a behavioral health specialist, counselor, clinical supervisor, and yoga instructor. Her passion is the integration of yoga and mindfulness to facilitate growth and inspire transformation.
Dr. Justice was introduced to the practice of yoga as an adolescent at a time when she was searching for growth and healing. After years of personal practice, Dr. Justice’s relationship with yoga deepened when she became an instructor in an inpatient facility for adolescents. This experience ignited a passion in her to learn more about yoga as a practice promoting self-healing and growth for individuals working to overcome both internal and external obstacles in their lives. Since that time, yoga and holistic health have been two guiding forces in Dr. Justice’s life.
Dr. Justice is grateful for the opportunity to be an integral part of the YogaX Team. She looks forward to sharing her practice, passion, and wisdom.
With a degree in clinical psychology, Dr. Sulenes works with leaders from around the world, applying the principles of ancient yoga philosophy and modern psychological science. Her yoga work is premised on the belief that yoga supports healthy minds, bodies, and relationships. Dr. Sulenes is committed to an integrative yoga practice that supports growth and transformation. She seeks to serve and inspire at the individual, communal, and corporate level.
Dr. Sulenes was first introduced to yoga practices by way of meditation and mindful movement. She quickly became fascinated by the ways in which mindful movement, along with intentional attention and awareness practices, created neurological changes with significant impact on people’s lives. This integrative force of yoga has inspired many positive changes in her own life.
Having witnessed yoga-inspired transformation in her own and others’ lives, Dr. Sulenes is excited to be an important part of the YogaX Team. She believes the gifts of yoga are much greater than simply physical exercise and relaxation. She is committed to contributing to YogaX in a way that helps bring the full offerings of yoga into the world – on and off the mat.
In addition to providing psychotherapy services to college and community populations, Dr. Alire has researched and implemented specially adapted yoga protocols for use with a variety of clinical populations. Most recently, she implemented a yoga therapy group with dental hygiene students for treatment of chronic pain and stress. She has provided yoga classes and therapy in community mental health and behavioral health settings, with special interest in the scientific application of yoga practices to the study of sense of self, identity development, and dissociation.
Dr. Alire came to yoga as part of her personal journey toward mindfulness and wellbeing. While studying at an ashram, she experienced healing and self-growth with the support of a compassionate yoga community. Liz continues to be inspired by the power of community support, as a mediator for holistic wellbeing in individuals. The compassionate lifestyle Liz discovered in yoga has become an integral part of her work and daily practices.
Dr. Alire is deeply grateful for her involvement in the YogaX Team. She is dedicated to ensuring the YogaX community is sensitive to individuals with traumatic experiences in their backgrounds and fully committed to helping transform lives. She is excited to bring her passion for training others in trauma-informed yogic practices adapted to individuals with stressful and traumatic lives.
Dr. Arbo practices yoga psychology with athletes, integrating contemporary conceptualizations of mindfulness with classical practices of yoga. He works toward the integration of ancient wisdom and modern science, being keen on neuroscience research and applied clinical practice. Dr. Arbo has committed himself to supporting the psychological, physical, social, and cultural wellness of all with whom he works.
Dr. Arbo’s personal and professional study of yoga was sparked by his passion in athletics. Affected by injuries and performance anxiety throughout his journey in sports, Dr. Arbo discovered the physical practice of yoga, which advanced his athletic performance in a multitude of ways by resolving the physical and psychological stressors that impacted him. Dr. Arbo continued his yoga practice into his endeavors within a doctoral psychology graduate program—at which point he discovered there was more to yoga and he began to practice deeply and with heart – on and off the mat.
Dr. Arbo is an enthusiastic and committed member of the YogaX team, hoping to contribute his special expertise related to the intersections of athletics, yoga, and broader contemplative practices. He will contribute his wisdom with a dedication to the inclusion and transformation of all who may benefit from the practice, with a keen eye to social justice.
Dr. Colgan experiences yoga as a life-long practice and a vehicle for skillful living and personal and spiritual growth. Her yoga practice affords enhanced attunement and a playful curiosity of the present moment, promoting greater recognition of the interactive patterns of body, mind, emotion, and behavior. She has provided behavioral health services in primary care clinics, developed, delivered, and researched mind-body interventions for high-stress populations (e.g., veterans, chronic pain populations, physicians, primary care teams, law enforcement officers) and conducted yoga therapy for medical and mental health populations.
Dr. Colgan came to her yoga practice through a deep personal commitment to spiritual growth, social justice, and skillful service. She furthered her yoga practice while living in northern India, working with Tibetan refugees. Her personal practice and social action experiences led her to pursue additional studies in clinical psychology, specializing in integrated healthcare and mind-body medicine.
As an integral member of the YogaX Team, Dr. Colgan has a strong intention to deliver this ancient practice in practical, culturally-humble manner. She seeks to integrate her research investigating the effects of mind-body practices (such as yoga, mindfulness, and meditation) on brain function, stress response systems, pain processing, and psychological and physiological resilience seamlessly into her teachings.
Dana Dharmakaya Colgan
Fascinated with the complexity of mind-body relationships and their capacity for healing, Dr. Hidalgo brings passion to her work as a pain psychologist and therapeutic yoga teacher working with veterans managing chronic pain. She believes yoga allows us to deeply explore the relationships we have with ourselves and with others. In so doing, opportunities arise for experiencing increased self-awareness, connection, empowerment, and wellness. Dr. Hidalgo also grounds her yoga-related work in her values of accessibility, cultural humility, and social justice.
Dr. Hidalgo came to yoga during her doctoral studies, feeling drawn to movement, contemplation, and community as self-care. After experiencing yoga’s healing and transformative power while studying psychology, she pursued yoga teacher training to integrate her personal practices and professional goals. Inspired by her own challenges in her journey to the mat, Nina is especially interested in understanding barriers and increasing access for underserved and high-need communities.
Dr. Hidalgo is an essential member of the YogaX Team, adding work that is jointly informed by her training and experiences as a psychologist and an Alexander Technique student. She is looking forward to working toward YogaX’s commitment to personal transformation, integrative health practice, and cultural inclusivity and humility.
Dr. Schmidt has a PsyD in Clinical Psychology, specializing in Pediatric Psychology. Dr. Schmidt initially turned toward yoga through the physical practice while recovering from sport-related injuries, in early adolescence. She soon discovered yoga’s impact on layers and processes beneath the physical postures and continued with her practice throughout college.
Dr. Schmidt initially made a connection with the members of YogaX during her graduate training, during which time she was introduced to the depth of yoga philosophy and breadth of uses of yogic practices to promote holistic wellness. Recognizing the mental and physical health benefits in the complementary practice of therapeutic yoga, Dr. Schmidt completed her yoga teacher training in 2016 at The People’s Yoga in Portland, Oregon. Dr. Schmidt is particularly passionate about mindfulness in self-regulation and promotion of health behaviors. She has integrated yoga interventions into her practice in promoting the physical and mental health of adolescents, graduate students, and adult populations.
Dr. Schmidt is excited to be a member of the YogaX Team, and looks forward to supporting the wisdom of yogic practice by sharing this practice with children, adolescents, and the individuals who provide care to them.
Dr. Vladagina views yoga as a practice for all to enjoy. The value of increasing access to yoga practice permeates her approach to teaching. As such, she has adapted and taught yoga for women with mental illness in a correctional setting, individuals in mandated mental health treatment in the community, police officers, at a state psychiatric hospital, and in community mental health clinics with individuals of varying mobility levels.
Dr. Vladagina came to yoga through a donation-based studio with a firm philosophical grounding in increasing access to yoga practice. Yoga was a path back to herself and transformed her way of being in the world. Nadia is now passionate about integrating yoga into her work with individuals who have severe and persistent mental health concerns, as well as those in the criminal justice system as she continues to merge being a professional forensic psychologist and therapeutic yoga teacher.
Dr. Vladagina is an enthusiastic member of the YogaX Team, where she seeks to share her commitment to creating access to yoga for all. At YogaX, she will continue to dedicate herself to working with underserved populations and bringing yoga into settings with limited resources and access. She seeks to inspire a commitment to creating access in all teachers she helps train.