Yoga Teacher Training Faculty

The teacher training faculty at the Himalayan Institute of Buffalo is a highly trained group of experienced local instructors and visiting instructors from our headquarters in Honesdale, PA. We do much more than teach yoga. We live yoga. Our staff embodies a wide range of professional experience in fields like exercise science, international relations, linguistics and education. We also take our personal sadhana (practice) to heart recognizing that teachers can only effectively teach that which they know first-hand. You will find our faculty embraces the role of perennial student consistently pursuing advanced study within the Himalayan Tradition. Each of us is dedicated to sharing the best of our own experience in a deeply supportive, professional environment.

Julia Kress, B.S., E-RYT 500, AYS, C-IAYT, YACEP

Program Co-ordinator
200 hour, 500 hour, CEU, AYS Teacher

Julia Kress has been certified since 1995 by the Himalayan Institute and has her advanced certification at the 500 hour level. She holds a BA in Exercise Science from the University at Buffalo and is a co-teacher for the Universal Yoga Program that serves students with disabilities at UB. Her focus is on helping all students feel a stronger connection to internal states of being in order to further integrate mind and body and live a more joy-filled life.


Kathryn Templeton, E-RYT 500

AYS Teacher

Kathryn Templeton has devoted her life to the health of others. A psychotherapist for more than 20 years, Kathryn is a Master Teacher in the field of Drama Therapy and continues to work both clinically and as an educator specializing in the treatment of individuals with complex trauma. As an E-RYT 500 and NAMA‐registered Ayurvedic practitioner, Kathryn has worked to develop specialized treatments integrating the principles of yoga and Ayurveda with clinical therapeutic techniques. Kathryn is an Adjunct Professor of Human Development and General Psychology in the Connecticut Community College system. She holds memberships with the International Association of Yoga Therapists, the National Association of Drama Therapists and the National Ayurvedic Medical Association.

Kerry Mitchell, M.A., E-RYT 200, RYT 500

200 hour Teacher

Kerry has been practicing yoga since the early 90’s and teaching yoga at the Himalayan Institute since 1995. She is a graduate of both the Himalayan Institute’s Teacher Training Program (200 and 500 hour) and Meditation Training Program. Foremost among her other programs of yogic study is the Living Tantra program with Pandit Rajmani Tigunait. Following a 25-year career in international affairs, Kerry is now focusing her time and attention on the study and teaching of yoga and restoring a few of Buffalo’s wonderful old homes.


Rolf Sovik, Psy.D.

200 hour, 500 hour Teacher

President and Spiritual Director of the Himalayan Institute and a clinical psychologist in private practice, Rolf Sovik has studied yoga in the United States, India, and Nepal. He holds degrees in philosophy, music, Eastern studies, and clinical psychology. Former Co-Director of the Himalayan Institute of Buffalo, NY he began his practice of yoga in 1972, and was initiated as a pandit in the Himalayan tradition in 1987. He is the author of Moving Inward, co-author of the award-winning Yoga: Mastering the Basics, and a columnist for Yoga International magazine.

Sarah Guglielmi, M.S., E-RYT 500, AYS

200 hour, 500 hour, CEU, AYS Teacher

Sarah Guglielmi has been on a personal journey of healing and spiritual growth for over 15 years. She has taught yoga since 2002 in corporate, studio, and clinical settings. Originally drawn to yoga practice to relieve chronic stress and illness, Sarah has not only regained her health, but has discovered a spiritual dimension of life she finds rich and inspiring. Sarah serves on the teaching faculty of the Himalayan Institute headquarters in Honesdale, PA and holds the position of Professional Education Manager. She completed a Masters Degree in Materials Engineering from the University of Delaware and completed an eight-year engineering career with W.L. Gore and Associates, prior to joining the Institute.


Shari Friedrichsen, E-RYT 500

200 hour, 500 hour Teacher

Teaching yoga for more than 35 years, Shari Friedrichsen is a key facilitator of the Himalayan Institute teacher certification program and a member of the 500-hour teacher training faculty at 8 Limbs Yoga in Seattle Washington. Shari has studied asana, meditation, and philosophy with respected teachers Pandit Rajmani Tigunait, Rolf Sovik, Amma Sri Karunamayi, and BKS Iyengar. An expert in subtle anatomy, her unique style integrates breath, alignment, and anatomical awareness to draw the student into the inner experience of each posture. Her approach uses yoga as a vital, powerful and compassionate component in healing the body and the psyche.


Stephanie Limoncelli-Vealey, B.S.

200 hour Teacher

Stephanie Limoncelli-Vealey is a wife, mom, and dedicated yoga instructor, who has practiced yoga for over 14 years. She is a former award-winning gymnast and gymnastics coach with an extensive background in dance performance. Her deep interest in yoga led her to pursue certification at the Institute as a hatha yoga instructor. Stephanie teaches a variety of classes at the Institute and is an expert on physical anatomy and yoga as a healing art.

Tracy Draksic, M.A.

200 hour, 500 hour Teacher

Tracy began her formal study of yoga at the Himalayan Institute in 1998. After many years of hatha yoga practice, she began expanding her interests into yoga philosophy & psychology, meditation, and Sanskrit. She completed the Institute’s teacher training program and became a certified instructor in 2010. Many opportunities followed for further teacher education in Toronto, Hamilton, and Honesdale, PA. Tracy currently teaches at the Himalayan Institute of Buffalo and Rising Sun Yoga in Amherst. Tracy manages the company web site at HIB and serves as a member of the teacher training faculty. Tracy received a B.A. in French Literature from Wells College and an M.A. in Linguistics from SUNY Buffalo.