Institute Faculty

Swami Jaidev Bharati (Dr. Justin O’Brien) a leading disciple of Swami Rama of the Himalayas, is a pioneer in the exploration of consciousness. A former Catholic monk who studied in Israel, Jordan, and the Netherlands, he was a major lecturer as his ground-breaking theology took thousands to deep insights in their spiritual quests. In 1972 he met his Guru while he taught theology at Loyola University of Chicago. He helped Swamiji establish the Himalayan Institute and its graduate school and helped create international yoga conferences in England, Japan, India, Nepal, and the States. He holds a Doctoral degree in the Philosophy of Consciousness, a Doctorandus in Theology, and Masters degrees in Philosophy and Religious Studies. He was Senior Research Fellow in Holistic Medicine at the University of London Medical School, Director of Education at London’s Marylebone Health Clinic, and Professor of Philosophy at the University of Minnesota. He took vows of renunciation on the banks of the Ganges River in 1999. He is author of Walking with a Himalayan Master, The Wellness Tree, A Meeting of Mystic Paths, Superconscious Meditation and several others.


Ma Devi (Theresa King, M.A.) is a life-long practitioner of spirituality. A former vowed religious, she studied theology in Europe for two years, coming home to be initiated by the saint Swami Rama of the Himalayas in 1972. Serving as his personal assistant for twelve years, she also established the Himalayan Publishing House where she designed and published thirty-eight books and numerous periodicals. She worked with Gurudev in Japan, England, India, and Nepal where she taught and co-directed international conferences. Past spiritual director at Seattle University’s Master of Ministry Summer Program, she founded Yes International Publishers at Swami Rama’s request and continues to publish books on personal growth, yoga, and spirituality. She edited the award-winning The Spiral Path and The Divine Mosaic and has won national awards for her poetry. Devi brings deep insight to others from a life interwoven with direct spiritual experiences and love of the Tradition.

Vaishalee Ballolla
is a lifelong student of yoga spirituality and wellness. She was initiated into the Himalayan Tradition in 2007. She became a certified hatha yoga teacher in 2007 and teaches gentle, beginning, intermediate and advanced hatha yoga at IHT. She also teaches Superconscious Meditation I. She is the mother of three beautiful daughters who share her love of yoga. Vaishalee is committed to her daily practice of raja yoga and also is an arduent student of classical Indian dance. She serves as treasurer of IHT’s board of directors.

Samantha Boileau
found her home at IHT after exploring various styles of yoga in the Twin Cities. IHT taught her a scientific, yet practical way to integrate yoga into life so that we can learn to be comfortable in our body, attain a peaceful mind, and learn control over both. Sam's goal is to inspire others to start their own personal practice so that they may impart the wealth of yoga knowledge onto others!


Dena Jackson
came to IHT in 2002 as a certified yoga teacher searching for a true “yoga home” after she had studied hatha yoga and meditation for several years. She was then initiated into the Himalayan Tradition and became a certified hatha teacher at IHT. She teaches beginning, intermediate and advanced hatha yoga and Superconscious Meditation I at IHT.

Kate Poole
was initiated into the Himalayan Tradition in 1998. She began teaching hatha in 2000 and teaches Beginnging, Intermediate and Advanced classes. Kate delights in being able to share the Tradition’s wisdom with others.


Yogiraj Prem Prakash
was raised in Philadelphia, where he tried his best to be a tough guy. During his youth, he thought about little besides girls and sports. Since then, through the kindness of his teachers, he has stumbled into some degree of spiritual awakening. With the approval of his yoga guru, Baba Hari dass, Prem Prakash established the Green Mountain School of Yoga, in Middlebury, Vermont, in 1991. In 2007, Prem Prakash was honored by the Institute of the Himalayan Tradition with the title, Yogi Raj, “Master of Yoga.” In 2008, the Institute awarded him their Annual Service Award. Prem Prakash is the author of numerous published essays and poems, and four critically acclaimed books, including, The Universal Yoga; Three Paths of Devotion; The Yoga of Spiritual Devotion; and Yoga American Style.

Tanya Osaulenko
has been practicing yoga for almost 10 years. All of its benefits continue to empower her ability to mother twin boys, who are her greatest joy and challenge. Tanya loves introducing people from all walks of life to yoga. Tanya is certified to teach Beginning hatha yoga. She speaks Russian and Ukrainian fluently.


Manuraj (Maynard Speece) was initiated in the Himalayan Tradition in 1973 and has studied yoga ever since. A past member of the Marine Corps, chair of the MN Chemical Dependency Association Ethics Committee, Marketing Director of the chemical dependency treatment hospital New Beginnings, board member of Affirmation Place and Cornerstone, legislative lobbyist for patient concerns, and Assistant Director of the MN Teamsters Service Bureau, he also served as Transportation Coordinator at the Greater Twin Cities United Care. Currently he directs Community Outreach, a non-profit organization that operates the detox centers at Hastings and Brainerd, MN. Manuraj is one of the main teachers for the Institute.

Alida Winternheimer
has been a student at IHT for several years, attending classes and teacher training. She is an avid writer and a mother. She is a certified beginning, intemediate and advanced hatha teacher.