Professional Training


Click to contact AVI Student Advisor Dona Robinson ( or call 317-938-0123 for more information on any of our Professional Training Programs. Dona is an experienced Viniyoga Teacher and Viniyoga Therapist who can guide you in your yoga career path.

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Viniyoga Therapist Training

Gary Kraftsow, MA, E-RYT 500,
Founder & Director of the American Viniyoga Institute.

Gary Kraftsow, MA, E-RYT 500, is Founder and Director of the American Viniyoga Institute. He has been actively involved as a practitioner of Viniyoga for almost four decades. He has many years of experience as a teacher, Yoga Therapist, and trainer of teachers and Yoga Therapists in the Viniyoga methodology. Gary is directly involved in the training on a daily basis and is the main lecturer. Students will benefit from his lectures, practices, and case studies at the training and his leadership in and knowledge of the evolution of the Yoga Therapy profession in the United States.

Gary Kraftsow is author of:

  • Yoga for Wellness,
  • Yoga for Transformation, 
  • Viniyoga Therapy for Low Back, Sacrum and Hips DVD, 
  • Viniyoga Therapy for Upper Back, Neck and Shoulders DVD, 
  • Viniyoga Therapy for Depression DVD, 
  • Viniyoga Therapy for Anxiety DVD, 
  • Chanting Live Gary Kraftsow CD, 
  • and Yoga Sutra-s of Patanjali Chapter One 4 CD set.
Learn more about Gary »

Mary Hilliker, RD, E-RYT 500, Certified Viniyoga Teacher and Yoga Therapist
AVI Viniyoga Therapist Training.

Mary is the Curriculum and Training Coordinator, as well as Senior Faculty for AVI's Viniyoga Therapist Training and Continuing Education (CE) Programs.  She was AVI Director of Administration in 2011-12 and Training Coordinator for the 2011 Foundations for Yoga Therapy Training.  She is a graduate of the University of WI-Madison with a B.S. in General Dietetics and holds certifications for a 200-hr yoga teacher training with Elizabeth Patric in 2002, the 500-hr AVI yoga teacher training in 2007 and the AVI Yoga Therapist Training in 2009.  Mary had a 25+ year career in public health in nutrition and chronic disease prevention, most recently with the UW-Carbone Comprehensive Cancer Center, which informs her work with AVI and her teaching.  Mary resides in Wausau, WI with her husband where she has a Yoga Therapy practice and teaches general, worksite, senior and therapeutic classes and workshops.
Juris Zinbergs, Certified Viniyoga Teacher and Yoga Therapist
AVI Viniyoga Therapist Training.

Juris serves as Senior Faculty in AVI's Viniyoga Foundations Program (VFP), as well as AVI's Yoga Therapy Program.  He began practicing yoga in 1993 and became a Certified Viniyoga™ Teacher in 1997, and a certified Yoga Therapist in 2000.  Juris is a well-known leader in the yoga community in his area and a mentor for local teachers.  He shares the teachings of Krishnamacharya emphasizing that the result of appropriately placed, accurate and integrated yoga techniques can be clearly seen in an individual's transformation.  Currently, Juris provides individualized yoga therapy sessions, private practice consultations, group classes, private retreats and corporate or population-specific workshops.  He can be seen demonstrating yoga postures in Gary Kraftsow's book, Yoga for Transformation. .
Kenneth Tom, Ph.D., CCC-SLP, RYT 500,
AVI Viniyoga Therapist Training.
Ken is an AVI certified Yoga Teacher and Yoga Therapist. He is a licensed speech-language pathologist specializing in the treatment of voice disorders and is currently Associate Professor of Communicative Disorders in the Department of Human Communication Studies at the California State University, Fullerton. Kenneth completed a Master’s degree in speech-language pathology at San Diego State University and a Ph.D. in Speech and Hearing Sciences from the University of Iowa focusing on voice acoustics and biomechanics. His teaching and research focus on voice acoustics and physiology, voice disorders, and care of the professional voice. He integrates the tools of yoga, myofascial release, acupressure and techniques adapted from theatre/singing voice into his work in voice care/rehabilitation.
Margy Smariga, MA, CYT, RYT 500
AVI Viniyoga Therapist Training.

Margy came to yoga to find relief from back pain. She found the practice of yoga to be deeply nourishing and quickly became hooked. Wanting to deepen her practice and her understanding of yoga, she completed Bagheera Yoga/Pruyoga’s 200-hour teacher training in Washington, DC. She realized she was drawn to share her love of yoga with others, and began teaching in 2005. She graduated from AVI’s advanced teacher training in 2009 and its yoga therapist training in 2011. In 2013, she joined the faculty of the Viniyoga Foundations Program and joins the AVI 2016 Yoga Therapy Team as Faculty. Margy lives in Frederick, MD, where she has a yoga therapy practice and teaches group classes.
Mary Hallway, OTR/L, CYT,
Curriculum Consultant & Faculty,
AVI Viniyoga Therapist Training.

Mary received her Yoga Teacher certification from AVI in 2003 and Yoga Therapist certification in 2005.  She has thirty-five years of experience specializing in pediatrics in medical, educational and community based settings. Mary conducts group and individual yoga therapy with individuals with a variety of health conditions and disabilities.  She is visiting faculty for the AVI Yoga Therapist Training Program and has consulted with AVI on curriculum planning and development. Mary is a licensed occupational therapist and owner of a multidisciplinary pediatric private practice in Southern California.  She teaches post graduate education courses for therapists nationally and internationally.
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