10 Yoga Teachers You Should Know in 2018


At Yoga International, we are continually inspired by teachers who work to uplift individuals and communities through the transformative power of yoga. And we are honored to use our platform to highlight the work of authentic and innovative instructors.

In light of this, we’ve compiled a list of 10 leading teachers whose work we really believe in and support. Read on to explore their unique approaches and learn how they're positively influencing the yoga world.

Top Yoga Teachers to Know in 2018

Molly Birkholm

As a yoga and meditation teacher, Integrative Restoration (iRest) teacher trainer, retreat leader, and speaker, Molly inspires others to create meaningful life changes. She’s also a co-founder of Warriors at Ease, and has helped pioneer evidence-based trauma-sensitive yoga and meditation programs in military communities and other populations affected by PTSD. These include human trafficking survivors, people in recovery, homeless youth, prisoners, and refugees.

To date, Warriors at Ease has trained more than 800 teachers who work at more than 65 military bases and VA facilities, serving hundreds of thousands of soldiers and veterans in all 50 states and more than 10 military bases outside of the U.S.

In early 2018, Molly launched the Women’s Empowerment Initiative in collaboration with Yoga International, a one-year digital course aimed at empowering women by providing them with both spiritual and practical tools to help them live at their full potential.

Find Molly’s classes here.

Rod Stryker

Rod is the founder of ParaYoga® and the author of The Four Desires: Creating a Life of Purpose, Happiness, Prosperity, and Freedom.

Renowned for his depth of knowledge, practical wisdom, and unique ability to transmit the deep teachings of yoga to modern audiences, Rod is a leading proponent for living a life of purpose, fulfillment, and freedom. He has taught for more than 35 years, dedicating his life to improving the lives of others through his lectures, books, leadership, and service.

Take Rod’s classes here.

Gary Kraftsow

Gary Kraftsow has for over 40 years been a pioneer in the use of yoga as a vehicle for health, healing, and personal transformation. His journey as a yoga student, practitioner, teacher, therapist, and teacher of yoga teachers and therapists began at age 19 when he traveled to Madras, India (now Chennai), to study Saiva Siddhanta (the Saivite Tantra of South India) with the respected scholar and mystic V. A. Devasenapathi, and yoga with T. K. V. Desikachar (the son and student of T. Krishnamacharya).

Gary developed the protocol used in two notable studies by the National Institutes of Health: “Evaluating Yoga for Chronic Low Back Pain” and “Yoga Therapy for Generalized Anxiety,” and for the “Mind-Body Stress Reduction in the Workplace” clinical trial for Aetna Insurance Company.

In 1999 Gary founded the American Viniyoga™ Institute through which he offers workshops throughout the U.S. and trainings for yoga teachers and yoga therapists.

Take Gary’s classes here.

Dianne Bondy

Dianne Bondy is a celebrated yoga teacher, social justice activist, and leading voice of the Yoga For All movement. Her inclusive view of yoga has inspired and empowered thousands of students around the world, regardless of their shape, size, ethnicity, or level of ability.

Dianne has extensive training in yoga therapy, restorative yoga, and meditation, and is the creator and director of the Yoga For All 200/500-hour teacher training program, cofounder of the Yoga For All online training, and a founding member of the Yoga and Body Image Coalition. Dianne is dedicated to creating brave spaces through yoga philosophy and asana—where all are invited, recognized, and embraced, both on and off the mat.

Explore Dianne’s classes here.

Doug Keller

Doug is a pioneer and leader in the field of yoga therapy, where his contributions are considered to be among the most innovative and significant. He is also a Distinguished Professor on the teaching faculty in the Master’s Degree Program in Yoga Therapy at the Maryland University of Integrative Health.

Study with Doug here.

Kyla Pearce

Kyla has blended her expertise as a yoga teacher and researcher to develop a traumatic-brain-injury-focused yoga curriculum that integrates gentle yoga, meditation, breathing exercises, and psycho-education. This curriculum, now offered in yoga studios across the U.S. and Canada, is based on the science underpinning resilience, and it empowers people with TBI to become more active participants in their healing process.

A doctoral student at Dartmouth College, Kyla leads the research portfolio of LoveYourBrain, an organization engaged in the application of yoga and meditation to community-based TBI rehabilitation. Recently, she led the design and implementation of a pilot evaluation of an eight-week gentle yoga program for those affected by brain injury, which was published in the peer-reviewed journal Brain Injury.

Kyla teaches vinyasa, yin, and gentle yoga classes, along with workshops for yoga teachers and clinicians interested in adapting yoga, pranayama, and meditation for traumatic brain injury.

Find Kyla’s classes here.

Cyndi Lee

Cyndi Lee is the first female Western yoga teacher to fully integrate yoga asana with Tibetan Buddhism in her practice and teaching. In 1998, Cyndi founded Om Yoga Center in New York, which became a mecca for yogis.

Cyndi is known for her dynamic and contemplative classes, creative and safe sequencing, and smart and soulful teachings—all offered in a non-competitive environment of goodness.

Take Cyndi’s classes here.

Amber Karnes

Amber Karnes is the founder of Body Positive Yoga. She’s a ruckus maker, yoga asana teacher, social justice advocate, and lifelong student of her body. Her commitment to inclusive, adaptive yoga practice empowers thousands of diverse practitioners around the globe. Amber is also the creator of the Body Positive Clubhouse, an online community dedicated to building unshakable confidence and living out loud.

Learn from Amber here.

Tiffany Cruikshank

Tiffany Cruikshank is the founder of Yoga Medicine, a community of yoga teachers focused on fusing anatomy and Western medicine with the traditional practices of yoga. Their mission is to serve medical communities in an effort to help people to thrive by living their best and healthiest lives. Drawing on her medical background in acupuncture and sports medicine, Tiffany’s classes have a strong anatomical focus, demonstrating the  ability to convey a deep understanding of complex subjects.

Study with Tiffany here.

Kathryn Templeton

Kathryn is an ayurvedic practitioner, yoga teacher, and psychotherapist with over 30 years of experience. Having developed specialized treatments that integrate the principles of yoga, ayurveda, and clinical psychology, she was recently named by Spirituality and Health magazine as one of the top Trailblazers in Ayurveda and Yoga. She is also the creator of the Yoga International online 3WT certification program (Three Wisdom Traditions).

Find Kathryn’s classes here.

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