Meet Our Faculty

Academic Director

Dr Marc Halpern DC CAS PKS
Dr. Marc Halpern, D.C., C.A.S., P.K.S. (Ayurvedacharya) is the founder and President of the California College of Ayurveda and the author of the popular book, Healing Your Life: Lessons on the Path of Ayurveda. A leader in the profession, he is the co-founder of the National Ayurvedic Medical Association (USA) and the California Association of Ayurvedic Medicine. He also sits on the advisory boards of Light on Ayurveda Journal in the United States and the Journal of Research and Education in Indian Medicine in India. Dr. Halpern’s contributions to the field have earned him the highest level of awards in both countries. He has published hundreds of articles in popular journals and magazines of Ayurveda and Yoga and is a regular speaker at Ayurvedic and Yoga conferences. A Doctor of Chiropractic, a Clinical Ayurvedic Specialist, A certified Yoga Teacher in the Sivananda tradition, a Specialist in Holistic Medicine, an author and teacher, Dr. Marc Halpern gives 100% to his passion for healing and removing the causes of suffering.


Jeremy Anderson, C.A.S., P.K.S. is a Clinical Ayurvedic Specialist, Pancha Karma Specialist, Master Teacher, Outdoor Educator and Nature Guide who graduated valedictorian from the California College of Ayurveda in 2005. She received certification from the American Institute of Vedic Studies in Ayurvedic Health Sciences and became a Certified Massage Therapist through the Phillips School of Massage. Jeremy serves on faculty at CCA as a Master Teacher for the Distance Learning Program. Jeremy maintains her own practice, Annapurna Ayurveda, in Truckee, CA, where she offers consultations, Ayurvedic body therapies, workshops, and Nisarga Chikitsa (Nature Therapy). She has introduced Nisarga Chikitsa to her Ayurveda practice through customized Nature Immersion Therapy Retreats to foster a deep connection with nature as a prescription for healing. Jeremy’s mission is to help spread the light of the profound science of Ayurveda through education and experiential learning.
Nima Berenji, C.A.S.
Nima Berenji, C.A.S. has a background in human nutrition, food sciences, biochemistry and Ayurveda. She received a Masters Degree in Nutritional Sciences from Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences in Iran and completed PhD studies on autoimmune diseases. She studied Ayurveda at the CCA, earning a Clinical Ayurvedic Specialist certification. Her motivation comes from a deep appreciation for the complexity, delicate balance and interconnectedness of nature manifested magnificently in the science of Ayurveda.
Lisa Bracken MS, CAS, PKS, C-IAYT
Lisa Bracken MS, CAS, PKS, C-IAYT is a graduate of the Clinical Ayurvedic Specialist program, a Pancha Karma Specialist, and a field supervisor of AHC Interns. She holds a master’s degree in Kinesiology, is a certified yoga therapist, and sits on faculty of several YTTs in her region. She owns and operates a hip, boutique wellness center in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Copper Cup Ayurveda: Her current mantra is “Bring it on”.
Elizabeth Carlisle, CAS, PKS
Elizabeth Carlisle, CAS, PKS, NAMA member graduated from California College of Ayurveda under the guidance of Founder and Director, Dr. Mark Halpern. She has also studied with Dr. Vasant Lad at the Ayurvedic Institute in New Mexico and Vaidya Mishra at the Prana Center in Los Angeles. Additionally, Elizabeth is trained as an Advanced Pranic Healer, SVA Marma Therapist and is a practicing Medical Intuitive. Elizabeth is also a certified Yoga Instructor who has been teaching and practicing Hatha Yoga for more than 25 years and is a licensed massage practitioner. Elizabeth established a protocol, Ayurveda for Autism, based on training with renown Ayurveda doctor, Vaidya Mishra, to help relieve and sometimes erase the problems associated with Autism, ADD and ADHD.
Sandra Gutierrez
Sandra Gutierrez, C.A.S. is a Clinical Ayurvedic Specialist, Faculty Professor and Intern Supervisor at the California College of Ayurveda in Nevada City. Sandra also maintains a private practice in Midtown Sacramento and is a Certified Yoga Teacher. She completed her Ayurvedic studies at the California College of Ayurveda and received a Bachelor’s of Science in Psychology at the University of California at Davis. As a Clinical Ayurvedic Specialist, she weaves ancient traditional healing methods and education into an embodied practice to address the root cause of imbalances in the physical, emotional and spiritual bodies. Sandra’s approach is gentle and offers wisdom, compassion and enthusiasm. Her intention is to empower her patients and students to draw out and promote innate health and knowing by aligning with the rhythms of nature. Sandra’s other interests include embodied feminine leadership, song, dance, ceremonial gathering, cooking, visioning and exploring the wonders of the natural world.
Brenda Igler
Brenda Igler, C.A.S., P.K.S. (Director of Herbalism) is a graduate of the California College of Ayurveda with certifications as a Clinical Ayurvedic Specialist and a Pancha Karma Specialist. Brenda has continued her education with studies in India, focusing on herbalism and complementary treatments of cancer. As part of the teaching faculty at the College, she is involved in teaching all levels of the curriculum. As the Director of Herbalism, Brenda runs the Advanced Ayurvedic Herbal Apprenticeship course. Brenda conducts her clinical practice at the College’s healthcare center utilizing her compassion and inspiration to guide her patients in a creative way through their healing journey.
Claudia Krattenmacher MA CAS PKS
Claudia Krattenmacher M.A., C.A.S., P.K.S. is a graduate of the California College of Ayurveda as a Clinical Ayuvedic Specialist and Pancha Karma Specialist. Claudia serves on the faculty at CCA as a master teacher to distance learning students. Claudia focuses on Yoga Nidra her personal life and in her private practice. Claudia is a certified Yoga Nidra teacher as taught by Dr. Marc Halpern, and is a certified Marma therapist. She lives in Montana on a small farm where she grows herbs and makes medicated ghee for her clients.
Marisa Laursen (Sri Devi)
Marisa Laursen (Sri Devi), C.A.S., P.K.S., A.Y.T. is the Lead Faculty at the California College of Ayurveda where she also maintains an active clinical practice and develops curriculum for the college. Marisa has been teaching and practicing Ayurveda since 2002. She is a contributing author to various publications including the Ayurveda Journal of Health and is the author of a soon-to-be-published children’s book on Ayurveda. Marisa’s certifications include Clinical Ayurvedic Specialist, Ayurvedic Yoga Therapist, Pancha Karma Specialist, Yoga Nidra practitioner, and Sivananda Yoga Teacher, among others. Marisa teaches a variety of Ayurvedic workshops at various locations worldwide. Her life-long passion has been to bring sacred healing to her students, patients, and the global community.
Mary-Alice Quinn CAS
Mary-Alice Quinn, AD, C.A.S. graduated valedictorian from the California College of Ayurveda and American Institute of Vedic Studies in 2004 with certification as a Clinical Ayurvedic Specialist. She completed extensive post-graduate trainings with leaders in the field of natural healing throughout the US and in India, enhancing her clinical application of herbalism, Panchakarma and Ayurvedic nutrition to address both acute and chronic conditions. She is an Ayurvedic Doctor member of the National Ayurvedic Medical Association, a Professional member of the California Association of Ayurvedic Medicine and a Professional Herbalist with the International Integrative Educational Institute. Mary-Alice is a senior instructor for the CCA’s on-campus and Distance Learning programs, supporting generations of current and future practitioners with her practical, compassionate and light-hearted teaching style. Her private practice serves clients both nationally and internationally through one-on-one, couple and group work, as well as remote video consultations, where she empowers her clients to cultivate and maintain healthy, satisfying and balanced lives. She resides in Sacramento CA where she strives to nourish her family with good food, sound sleep, time outside with Mother Earth and lots of laughter. You can find her online at
Lance Roehrig
Lance Roehrig, C.A.S., P.K.S., E-R.Y.T is a graduate of the California College of Ayurveda where he is an onsite Instructor, Intern Supervisor and maintains an active clinical practice in Nevada City, California. He accepts patients both onsite and abroad and is known to be simple, practical and creative with his approach. His certifications are Clinical Ayurvedic Specialist, Pancha Karma Specialist and Registered Hatha Yoga Therapist with Yoga Alliance. He has completed post graduate programs at Greens Ayur Hospital in Kerala, India and additional studies with Dr. David Frawley and Yogini Shambhavi. He has studied herbalism with Author Brigitte Mars, attended numerous Ayurvedic Cooking courses and studied Sanskrit Mantra therapy with Yogi Baba Prem. He has written numerous programs for Yoga studio teacher trainings, cleanses and workshops.
Sandhiya Ramaswamy CAS
Sandhiya Ramaswamy, C.A.S. is an Ayurveda practitioner, educator, and chef. Her practice, Green Lotus Wellness, is in Dana Point, California. Born and having lived in India, she has had a lifelong and intimate connection with Ayurveda. It is through Ayurveda that Sandhiya found relief for her chronic asthma. Wanting to go deeper into the study of Ayurveda, she enrolled at the California College of Ayurveda. Prior to embracing the healing arts and sciences as a full-time vocation, Sandhiya spent many years in the corporate world. This experience has provided her with a unique perspective and understanding of the daily work-life-family stressors that most people face.
Mrunalini Rameshchandra CAS
Mrunalini Rameshchandra, AyD, NMD is a graduate from CCA as a certified Ayurvedic Doctor and is qualified as a Naturopathic Medical Doctor from India, as well as a BSc in Applied Chemistry from the UK. She is certified in therapeutic yoga and pranayama from India and follows Integral Yoga, frequenting the Sri Aurobindo Ashram in Pondicherry, India, where she teaches subjects at school. Mrunalini is a member of the editorial board for the Journal of Traditional Medicine and Clinical Naturopathy and an Intern Supervisor and DL Master Teacher at CCA. She continues providing ‘Healing Your Life’ workshops to the public from the time she initiated the first program as Director, with Dr. Halpern. She consults patients wherever she travels and constantly likes to learn, experiment and aim for higher standards in the field.
Rammohan Rao PHD
Rammohan Rao, PhD, C.A.S., R.Y.T. comes from a family of Ayurvedic practitioners and Vedic teachers in India tracing back to the illustrious Vedic-acharya Rishi Kaundinya. Ram completed the academic training at the California College of Ayurveda and received his certification as Clinical Ayurvedic Specialist and PanchaKarma Specialist. He is also the National Ayurvedic Medical Association (NAMA) board approved Ayurvedic Practitioner and a member of the NAMA accreditation committee. Ram serves as a faculty at the California College of Ayurveda since the last 12 years and presently teaches in their Nevada city location. Ram is a dedicated Hatha yoga practitioner and is a RYT from Yoga Alliance USA. He has published several articles in major Yoga/Ayurveda journals and has been a featured speaker in several national and international meetings and symposia. Ram holds a PhD degree in Neuroscience and worked as a Research Associate Professor of Neuroscience at the Buck Institute for Research on Aging, Novato, CA, on various aspects of age-associated neurodegenerative diseases.
Ryan P Strong CAS
Ryan Phillip Strong, C.A.S. is a graduate of the California College of Ayurveda with certification as a Clinical Ayurvedic Specialist. He is also a practitioner and teacher of Kriya Yoga. Ryan was ordained by his guru, Roy Eugene Davis (a direct disciple of Paramahansa Yogananda), to teach Kriya Yoga, and is a minister for the Center for Spiritual Awareness. Ryan has spent 15 years studying yogic philosophy, including Ayurveda and Vedic Astrology (Jyotish). Ryan Strong is a professional member of the National Ayurvedic Medical Association. He runs an Ayurvedic Natural Healing Center in Sacramento where he lives with his wife and two children.
Jill Talve
Jill Talve, C.A.S., P.K.S. is a graduate of CCA as a Clinical Ayurveda Specialist and Pancha Karma Specialist. She is the owner/operator of EverVeda, an Ayurveda wellness Center in Long Island, NY. EverVeda offers Ayurvedic Consultations, healing therapies, custom herbal medicines, Pancha Karma, cooking classes and a Meals that Heal© program, prepared meals specifically designed for the individual wishing to optimize their health. Jill also serves on the faculty at CCA as a master teacher to Distance Learning students. Jill is determined to give the best Ayurvedic care possible to those she is given the privilege to see, combining the past, present and future of healing in all its forms.
Vidya Venkatesh CAS PKS
Vidya Venkatesh, C.A.S., P.K.S. graduated from the California College of Ayurveda with certification as a Clinical Ayurvedic Specialist. She also trained in Pancha Karma in India and New Mexico. Vidya has also studied yoga and pranayama at Patanjali Yoga Peet in Haridwar, India, and has been a long-time student of Advaita Vedanta. Vidya is a holistic wellness practitioner and lifestyle coach. She has been running her Irvine-based private practice, Niroga Ayurveda, since January 2009. A faculty member at the California College of Ayurveda in its distance learning program, Vidya also serves as the resident Ayurvedic practitioner at Mother Tree Sanctuary. She is a member of the National Ayurvedic Medical Association.
Michelle Warner CAS
Michelle Warner, CAS graduated from the California College of Ayurveda in 2007 with certification as a Clinical Ayurvedic Specialist, and continued her studies with a clinical internship in India. She is also a certified massage therapist. Michelle teaches for the distance learning program at CCA, has a private practice in Oakland, CA, and is currently working on a research project with UCSF integrating Ayurvedic therapies into the post-treatment care of cancer survivors.