350 Pleasant Valley Way

West Orange, NJ 07052

(973) 731-9960


426 Springfield Ave

Summit, NJ 07901

(973) 731-9960

Thank you so much for all of your wisdom. So much of what you shared with us and taught us has stood the test of time with me in my business and practice. Your guidance about the business side of yoga was profound in my being able to preserve and strengthen my business. Thank you for making us aware as teachers of the confidence you build in us during our training. Your training has served me well! With gratitude and Namaste

- Donna Kocian

  I have practiced yoga on and off for many years. Claire's wisdom and nurturing style inspired me to not only continue my practice, but I became certified to teach yoga as well. She is so inspirational and fun to learn from. Her warmth and experience make her a wonderful teacher. She is full of love and light and makes the world a better place.

- Karin K.

  “For me, [The American Yoga Academy Teacher Training Course] has been a wonderful journey of self-discovery which has opened another chapter in my life…I appreciate all that was brought to the classes, and for the inspiration and creativity that unfolded before us. Yesterday and today, I spent time in reflection of everything we have learned and realized just how much Claire and our other instructors gave us. This experience has helped me beyond what I am even capable of understanding now.”

-Melissa Peretz

  “Claire was terrific in teaching our last class today. It was really great being a part of [The American Yoga Acdemy's Teacher Training] course. It was superb.”

-Joyce Brown

  "Claire Diab has been teaching the Chopra Yoga program for several years. She is also in charge of the training program and over the years has refined her yoga teaching so it is easily accessible to all. These programs will help you develop mind body coordination and ease you into the experience of yoga in the most appropriate way. Good Luck."

-Deepak Chopra

Our Staff

The Academy’s experienced instructors are Registered Yoga Alliance Teachers. Each seasoned instructor offers a wealth of knowledge about yoga and its application to modern day life. The American Yoga Academy instructors are highly qualified, professional, and reliable.



Claire E. Diab

Claire, founder of the American Yoga Academy, is an internationally renowned Yoga Therapist, Health and Wellness Expert, Fitness Specialist and Inspirational Speaker with over 25 years of experience. She is one of the lead educators and on the Advisory Board at the Chopra Center for Wellbeing. She teaches throughout the United States and internationally with Deepak Chopra. Claire is a Professor of Asian Studies at Seton Hall University teaching one of the most popular courses on campus: Zen and Yoga. Claire has written yoga manuals and workbooks on Health and Wellness and has produced, directed and starred in 7 Yoga DVDs. Her lectures are inspiring, life-transforming, fun, and informative!

Email: Claire@AmericanYogaAcademy.com

Mary Ann Gebhardt

Maryann has been studying yoga for 25 years. She is a Lead Educator for the 500-Hour Yoga Teacher Training. A registered member of the Yoga Alliance 500 hour and is a Chopra Certified Instructor, Mary Ann has received her trainings from The American Yoga Academy, Mary Barnes Pre-Natal Yoga for Two, Sarah Tomlinson “The Ancient Ayurveda Yoga Series at The Yoga Ayurveda Institute, Sue Dumais Yoga for Fertility. She also practices Primordial Sound Meditation. Her deep respect for yoga comes in part from her experience working in hematology and open-heart surgery as a Medical Technologist, where she witnessed first-hand the powerful connection between mind and body in the healing process. Her classes are a blend of movements that encourage strength, balance and relaxation.

E-mail: Maryann@AmericanYogaAcademy.com


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Helen Diab
Courtney Headshot
Warren Kramer-Color-picture
Dana Head Shot

Originally from Missouri, Andrew Bell moved to the Northeast in 2011 for his non-profit work located in NYC.  Andrew is a 500-Hour American Yoga Academy graduate. He has studied extensively through Chopra Center University as well as in his personal time.  Andrew currently teaches Meditation and Yoga at the 200 & 500 hour AYA teacher trainings. He is available for private instruction and guidance.

Email: andy@americanyogaacademy.com            Twitter: @ABellT1D


Gina is an instructor at the AYA Yoga Teacher Training Program. She is a graduate of The American Yoga Academy is a 500-Hour and 200- Hour AYA graduate. Gina teaches yoga classes as well as private lessons.  RYT with the Yoga Alliance. “My AYA teacher training has been the most life changing experience ever,” she says. “It has taught me to live my yoga on and off the mat, accelerating my spiritual journey.” Gina holds a Bachelor of Science in Public Health from Rutgers University.

E-mail: gina@americanyogaacadmy.com


Melissa is a 200-Hour graduate of The American Yoga Academy. She works as in an independent health food store where she helps people improve the quality of their lives through natural solutions. Melissa enjoys learning and sharing her knowledge each and every day. RYT with the Yoga Alliance. Her husband, three children and students are a daily inspiration in her Yoga journey. “Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu.”

Email: Melissa@AmericanYogaAcademy.com


Helen is a licensed Acupuncturist in New Jersey and New York.  She holds a Master of Science in Natural Sciences.  As a certified Yoga Therapist, she integrates Yoga Philosophy with Oriental Medicine creating a unique style of teaching. She is an expert in Anatomy and Physiology and teaches the Anatomy portion of the teacher training in a fun and informative way.


Courtney completed her undergraduate Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration at Rider University and her Master’s degree in Education at New Jersey City University. Courtney has dedicated her life to her chosen career in education in which she has served as a teacher, a professional development facilitator for teachers, and an elementary school principal. Courtney has continued her education at The American Yoga Academy in both the 200- and 500-Hour Trainings. Courtney shares her Yoga knowledge, honoring the mind, body, and spirit, with others. RYT with the Yoga Alliance. Courtney provides Private Sessions.

Email: Courtney@AmericanYogaAcademy.com


Lee is a Lead Educator at The American Yoga Academy specializing in Anatomy, Physiology, Acupuncture, and Yoga Education. He integrates his knowledge of Qi Gong and Yoga into his teachings in a beautiful way. Founder of the Qi Gong Teacher Training and Intensive, Lee offers Levels I, II, and III trainings in Santa Cruz, New York, and Canada. His teachings are fun and informative!


Warren Kramer is an internationally recognized macrobiotic counselor, educator and cooking instructor. For the past 23 years, he has studied and lived the macrobiotic way of life. He teaches the macrobiotic approach to health and wellness, including principles of food selection and preparation, exercise, work and personal relationships. For more than 10 years Warren had the unique opportunity to work on a daily basis with Michio Kushi, the most established and recognized leader of Macrobiotics throughout the world. In addition as an educator, Warren is a counselor and chef.


Dana is a 500-Hour certified Vinyasa Yoga Instructor through the Open Center in New York City and Yogamaya New York. She has been teaching since 2002. Dana is a Guided Meditation instructor and conducts workshops on Yoga, Meditation, Journaling and Life Assessment. She is a registered minister with the Universal Life Church and performs weddings and memorial services. Dana holds a BS from the Stillman School of Business at Seton Hall University. She shares  her unique gift of bringing the yoga philosophy into her classes and lectures, helping people access their own spirituality. RYT with the Yoga Alliance.


Carol Anne has been practicing Physical Therapist for more than 20 years. Her practices of both Reiki and Yoga have beautifully and naturally blended her skills and expertise in the field of Physical Therapy, fostering healing for her clients on all levels. She believes in an integrative approach to treatment results in improved quality of life for others. Carol Anne is a graduate of The University of Scranton, holds Specialist Board Certifications Orthopedic Physical Therapy and Upper Extremity Rehabilitation. She earned her 300-Hour Yoga Teacher Certification through The American Yoga Academy and is currently working toward a 500 hour Yoga Therapist Certification. A 300-Hour RYT with the Yoga Alliance.

EMAIL: CarolAnne@AmericanYogaAcademy.com


Lauren’s love of movement and expression began as a child studying various genres of dance. She performed professionally in NYC and taught in both New Jersey and Pennsylvania for 10 years. She discovered her love and respect for yoga and anatomy after battling back from various injuries sustained throughout her dance career. Lauren received her training from The American Yoga Academy and is a 200 RYT with Yoga Alliance. Her classes combine Hatha and Vinyasa flow with an emphasis on a clear intention.