Robin Carnes, MBA, E-RYT
Executive Director, Warriors At Ease
Since 2006, Robin has served as the yoga and iRest® instructor for the Specialized Care Program, a multi-disciplinary PTSD treatment program funded by DOD at the Walter Reed Medical Center. She was the lead instructor in the DOD’s first feasibility study of iRest yoga nidra for servicemembers with PTSD symptoms. She has taught nationally and internationally, including co-leading Soul Nourishing Retreats for Women, an annual women’s yoga and creativity retreat in Central America. After studying at Harvard Divinity School and receiving her MBA from Boston College, she served as an organizational development consultant and trainer. She has produced three CDs on Yoga Nidra and is the co-author of Sacred Circles: A Guide to Creating Your Own Women’s Spirituality Group.
Karen Soltes, LCSW, E-RYT
Director of Clinical Services and Supervision
Karen is certified as a yoga teacher and a Level V iRest Yoga Nidra Teacher, and holds masters degrees in both Clinical Social Work and Education. For the past 30 years, she has worked in a variety of therapeutic and educational settings, weaving clinical experience with the practice of yoga and mediation to empower and support people to live life in a more balanced way. Since 2007, she has taught classes in iRest at the Washington DC Veterans Hospital, where it is used as an adjunctive treatment for alleviating the symptoms of PTSD, substance abuse, anxiety, depression, and chronic pain. Karen also directs the Therapeutic Yoga program at Circle Yoga and Budding Yogis.
Molly Birkholm, RYT 500
Emily Hain, RYT-500
Emily teaches yoga and meditation both within and outside the military community. Teaching as a volunteer with PTSD support groups led to work at the Viera, FL VA Outpatient Clinic teaching yoga with women veterans and staff. Emily also presents iRest meditation classes to Air Force Reservists at Yellow Ribbon Reintegration events. She is the proud parent of a U.S. Marine.
Sue Lynch, J.D., E-RYT
Executive Director, There and Back Again
Sue Lynch is a certified yoga and iRest instructor, and Reiki practitioner. She is also an attorney and an officer in the Judge Advocate General Corp (JAG) in the U.S. Army Reserves, with more than 24 years in the military. Yoga was instrumental in her recovery from PTSD, which she experienced after returning from the Gulf War in 1991. She is the Executive Director of There & Back Again, a non-profit reintegration program for combat veterans that uses yoga, meditation and alternative approaches to healing the whole body to help veterans transition back to their lives stateside. Sue owns the Charlestown Yoga Studio in Charlestown, MA and runs a yoga teacher certification program for veterans.
Annie Okerlin, RYT
Annie Okerlin is a certified yoga instructor in the traditions of Bikram, Vinyasa and Power Yoga. Annie founded and directs the Exalted Warrior Foundation in 2008, a yoga program designed for our nation’s wounded war fighters, their families and the dedicated staff therapists intimately involved with their care and rehabilitation in major military medical and Veterans hospital facilities. The program supports wounded populations with amputations, orthopedic poly-trauma, burn injuries, traumatic brain and spinal cord injuries as well as PTSD and depression. Annie is also the owner and president of Yogani Studio in Tampa, Florida.
Lynn Stoller, M.S., OTR/L, RYT
has a special interest in war-related sensory processing disorders and yoga as a treatment modality. She has trained yoga instructors in sensory-based techniques for combat stress and PTSD, conducted a pilot study of combat veterans and is co-investigator and first author of the Iraq yoga study, “Effects of Sensory-Enhanced Yoga on Symptoms of Combat Stress in Deployed Military Personnel”. Lynn is an occupational therapist at Cotting School, Lexington, MA.
Col Pat Lillis, M.D., MHA, RYT
Co-founder of Warriors At Ease
Col. Pat Lillis military career spanned 30 years, including not only her oncology practice but her involvement with combat field hospitals in Kosovo and Iraq. She brings her military expertise as well as her yoga expertise to our organization.
Gail is a U.S. Army veteran, spending her Army time as a Korean linguist stationed in Korea. She is also an iRest Yoga Nidra Instructor. After attending a one-week iRest Yoga Nidra training in June of 2010, she found her chronic knee pain of 20 years (from the Army) had disappeared and it hasn’t returned. She wants to give back and help share the success and benefits of yoga and meditation for dealing with chronic pain, PTS, insomnia and anxiety.