Our Staff 2019-04-26T16:04:13+00:00

Meet Our Staff

Claire E. Diab
Claire E. DiabFounder and Primary Lead Educator

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 a Chopra Master Educator and Vedic Master and serves on the Advisory Board at the Chopra Center for Wellbeing in Carlsbad, California. Claire 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!

MaryAnn Gebhardt
MaryAnn GebhardtLead Educator, Director of The American Yoga Academy Continuing Education
Maryann has been studying yoga for 25 years. She is a Lead Educator for the Yoga Teacher Training. A registered member of the Yoga Alliance, Mary Ann received her training from The American Yoga Academy, The Chopra Center for Well-Being, 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 holds a certification in Primordial Sound Meditation.

Mary Ann’s 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.

Shannon Reilly
Shannon ReillySchool Director, Lead Educator

Shannon has been practicing, studying, and living yoga for over 10 years. She is The American Yoga Academy School Director and also a Lead Educator in the topics of Children’s Yoga, the Philosophy of Yoga, and the History of Yoga. A registered member of Yoga Alliance, Shannon received her 200 Hour training in Ashtanga Yoga from Ajarya Yoga Academy in Rishikesh, India, Stand Up Paddle Board Yoga Certificate from Bliss Paddle Co in Laguna Beach, California, Usui Reiki Certification from Om Shanti Belize, Belize, and completed with honors the 500 Hour Yoga and Meditation Teacher Certification from The American Yoga Academy. Shannon graduated Cum Laude from Seton Hall University with a Bachelors Degree in Anthropology. Her passion is teaching people of all ages and backgrounds the disciplined practice of yoga and meditation on and off the mat will benefit your physical, mental, emotional, social, athletic and academic life.

Grant Clark
Grant ClarkLead Educator of Anatomy and Physiology

After I developed back problems at a young age playing tennis and other sports, I sought help and was introduced to the world of corrective and connective fitness. After relieving myself of back pain, I became a certified personal trainer and yoga instructor to help and share with others what I learned from my experience. My qualifications include an American Council of Exercise (ACE) personal trainer certification, an American Yoga Academy 500-hour Yoga Alliance teacher certification and a Functional Movement Screen certification from physical therapist Gray Cook. I am also Yoga Tune-Up® certified and include their techniques in all of my classes.

Francine Ling
Francine LingLead Educator, Specializing in Mindfulness Meditation and Restorative Yoga
Lee Holden
Lee HoldenLead Educator, Chi Gong Master

Lee specializes in Anatomy, Physiology, Acupuncture, and Yoga Education. He integrates his knowledge of Chi Gong and Yoga into his teachings in a beautiful way. Founder of the Chi Gong Teacher Training and Intensive and Chi Center. Lee offers Levels I, II, and III trainings in Santa Cruz, New York, New Jersey, and Canada. His teachings are fun and informative!