Meet Our Teachers
Anna Johns, E-RYT, CMMT, CMT-P
Anna grew up in India, where yoga and mindfulness practices were an integral part of life. From a young age, she watched her father meditate in the woods and was encouraged to join him.
These seeds began to sprout when she moved to Hong Kong where she was drawn to the practices and began her training with Indian Master, Kamal Srinivas in 2001, followed by extensive training in the U.S. including Duke University’s Therapeutic Yoga and the 2-year Mindfulness Meditation Certification Program (with Dr. Tara Brach, Dr. Jack Kornfield and UC Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center).
Anna's teaching is also influenced through her studies with luminaries such as Jonathan Foust, Rick Hanson, Lama Surya Das and ongoing learning from the teachings of HH The Dalai Lama, Thich Nhat Hanh, Gil Fronsdal, Pema Chödrön, Frank Ostaseski and Ajahn Brahm. She is currently enrolled in the graduate-level Buddhist Chaplaincy Training Program through Sati Center for Buddhist Studies.
Anna is a teacher at Insight Meditation Community of Washington DC, (IMCW - founded by Tara Brach), and serves on the Board of Directors. She is a co-founder of IMCW's Asian Sangha and is a mentor with Inward Bound Mindfulness Education teen retreats. She is a Certified Mindfulness Teacher - Professional (CMT-P) with the International Mindfulness Teachers Association.
Anna’s life has transformed through her practices and she brings her gifts forth through her family, her classes and with clients. She lives with her husband, two human and two non-human children.
Devi Kumar, MS, CMMT, CMT-P
Devi is a certified mindfulness teacher, and has been teaching mindfulness workshops for a variety of audiences within her corporation, local community, libraries and online communities. She was trained by Jack Kornfield and Tara Brach as part of the Mindfulness Meditation Teacher Training program offered by Sounds True and UC Berkeley Greater Good Science Center, CA.
Devi became a Certified Mindfulness Teacher - Professional (CMT-P) with the International Mindfulness Teachers Association (IMTA) in August 2020.
Devi is trained to teach Search Inside Yourself (SIY), a popular Google inspired mindfulness based Leadership training offered by Search Inside Yourself Leadership Institute. Based on Neuroscience and emotional intelligence, SIY educates employees develop mindfulness practice and the leadership skills needed to intensify focus, manage stress, harness creativity, improve resilience and interpersonal relationship skills.
Devi is a co-founder of Hopewell based corporate mindfulness program at her workplace where employees have an opportunity to take a pause and come to their Mindfulness "Home" to meditate together as a community. Devi leads and teaches meditation practice sessions and six weeks education series on Mindfulness at her workplace.
Devi has a Master’s degree from University of Pennsylvania and employed full time with Bank of America as an IT director. She currently resides in New Jersey with her family.
Gagan Vasudeva, MSW, RSW, CMMT
Gagan Vasudeva is a meditation teacher and has been teaching mindfulness to adults and children for over a decade. She is trained by Jack Kornfield and Tara Brach for Mindfulness Meditation Teacher Certification Program. She is also a Mindfulness based Self-Compassion teacher - a program run by Kristen Neff and Chris Germer.
Mindfulness practice is known to help calm down nervous system and fight/ flight/ freeze response, and help us make wise choices using your emotional, mind and body wisdom. When you are connected to your inner wisdom and intelligence, your life becomes healthy and grounded, relationships are more intimate and loving, and quality of life becomes richer.
Truly witnessing your experience with you, practicing with you and supporting others is my life’s work, and I do so with my heart and soul.
Gayathri Narayanan, MS, CMMT, CMT-P
Gayathri Narayanan is the founder of Myndtree and has been teaching mindfulness and meditation to adults and teens in the Bay Area since 2012. She has had a personal meditation, yoga and contemplative practice for over 20 years and has seen the invaluable benefits they have brought to her own life. Her passion to share these teachings and practices with others is driven by a longing to see more ease, well-being and harmony in the world.
Her journey into this realm began in 2010 when after a 14-year career in healthcare information technology, she shifted lanes to begin exploring mindfulness and nonviolence in parenting. She is a Certified Parent Educator (CPE) from Echo Parenting and Education and a Certified Mindfulness and Meditation Teacher (CMMT) through UC Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center and the Awareness Training Institute. She became a Certified Mindfulness Teacher - Professional (CMT-P) with the International Mindfulness Teachers Association (IMTA) in July 2020. Gayathri also holds a Masters degree in Information Systems from the University of Southern California.
She lives in Palo Alto with her husband and two kids who are her joy and inspiration.
Laila Narsi, LCSW, CMMT, CMT-P
Laila Narsi is the founder and owner of The Mindful Self which is a Center for Mind, Body, Spirit and she has been teaching mindfulness and meditation to adults, teens, and children for over 20 years. She is a Licensed Clinical
Social Worker (LCSW), EMDR Certified Therapist and Certified EMDR Approved Consultant through EMDRIA, Certified Mindful Self-Compassion Teacher (MSC) through the Center for Mindful Self-Compassion, Certified Mindfulness Meditation Teacher (CMMT) through UC Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center and the Awareness Training Institute, and trained in Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR).
Her journey into meditation started in early childhood as she would sit with her parents and community in formal and informal practices. Her formal training in mindfulness meditation is with great teachers such as Jack Kornfield, Tara Brach, Jon Kabat-Zinn, Sharon Salzburg, Joseph Goldstein, George Mumford, Kristin Neff, and Chris Germer.
Laila Narsi has led classes, workshops, and retreats in her local community in Texas, as well as internationally in Bhutan and Kenya, as well as virtually. She has a Masters degree in Social Work from the University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work.
She lives in the Houston area with her beloved husband, two kids, and Goldendoodle, Izzy.
“Laila is a wise and loving teacher who offers wonderful support for body, heart, and mind.” -Jack Kornfield PhD. , author of A Path With Heart and dozens of other publications. Founder of Spirit Rock Center
“Laila understands at a deep personal level the healing power of compassion and brings it to everything that she does. I wholeheartedly encourage anyone interested in this path to spend time with Laila.” -Chris Germer, PhD.,
Lecturer, Harvard Medical School. Co-developer, Mindful Self-Compassion. Author of The Mindful Path to Self-Compassion: Freeing Yourself From Destructive Thoughts and Emotions.
Maheen Mohammad, MS, CMMT
Maheen Mohammed is a school psychologist with over 15 years experience working with children, adolescents, parents, and school staff in Canada and Pakistan. Having felt the profound impact of mindfulness and self-compassion practices as a support in her own personal life, Maheen was inspired to integrate them into her work, and to pursue training in this field. She has been teaching mindfulness to children and adults since 2013, and is passionate about sharing mindfulness and self-compassion practices with people to help them befriend themselves and their experiences with kindness and curiosity. Maheen is a Certified Mindfulness Instructor (CMI) through Mindful Schools, an accredited Breathworks Mindfulness Teacher (Breathworks Mindfulness, UK), a Trained Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC) Teacher, and a Certified Mindfulness Meditation Teacher after completing the two-year Mindfulness Meditation Teacher Certification Program taught by renowned meditation teachers Tara Brach and Jack Kornfield.
Shazia Zaman, MLIS, MA, CMMT, CMT-P
Shazia completed a two year teacher training certification program in Mindfulness Meditation under two eminent Masters from the Buddhist tradition, Jack Kornfield, Ph.D and Tara Brach, Ph.D. The certification is supported by the Awareness Training Institute and the University of California at Berkeley Greater Good Science Center.
Shazia became a Certified Mindfulness Teacher - Professional (CMT-P) with the International Mindfulness Teachers Association (IMTA) in August 2020.
Shazia started her meditation journey in 2013 learning guided meditation through the The Monroe Institute (TMI). It was through TMI that she learned to explore human consciousness first hand by experiencing expanded states of awareness.
Shazia has also completed a Mindful Self-Compassion Intensive course with Kristin Neff, Ph.D and a Trauma Sensitive Mindfulness course with David Treleaven, Ph.D. She is a Master Level-I Crystal Bowl Practitioner and a certified Reiki Master.
Shazia’s desire to teach others to practice peace, enhance awareness and mindful presence helped develop meditation classes to empower practitioners at any level.
Tina Clay, MA, CMMT
Tina is an experienced registered yoga teacher with over 500 hours of training and 15 plus years of teaching experience. She completed 300 training hours with the highly esteemed Spirit Rock Meditation Center, Mindful Yoga and Meditation Program with renowned teacher/writer Anne Cushman. After completing the Mindfulness Meditation Teacher Certification program with Sounds True and UC Berkeley’s Center for Greater Good, she enrolled in Spirit Rock Meditation Center’s Community Dharma Leader Program. Tina is also the co-director of the Bend Yoga Training Program where she is one of the lead facilitators for the teacher training program. She leads annual international yoga and meditation retreats in addition to maintaining a full schedule of teaching classes in Northern California.