Teachers and Guides
Saraswati (Luba Evans) is the founder and visionary behind Galiana Meditation Retreat and the worldwide movement Tantra Without Borders. She teaches or oversees most of the retreats and workshops at Galiana. She is also the writer of “Healing the Broken Heart” book and “When the Gods are Laughing” play.
To read her full biography, click here.
Dr. Prasana Paranjape and the Sanjeevan Lineage
Dr. Prasanna is a director of Sanjeevan Ayurvedic Clinic in Puna, Maharastra as well as supervising board member and teacher at Galiana. He comes from more than seven generations of ayurvedic doctors. Sanjeevan family owns a forest on a hill, where nobody except for his grandfather was allowed to enter, because plants would then stop talking to his grandfather. Now the grandfather is in maha samadhi staying at that forest.
Ayurveda is the 5000-year-old indian life science, which can also be considered an art, and Dr. Prasanna is basically a modern day magician. He has a power to see several subtle bodies and give recommendations on “what kind of Om” should be beneficial specifically for you. People come to him with diseases which are not cured by western medicine: skin diseases, diabetes, insomnia, frigidity. Dr. Prasana performs miracles every day, healing with sound, homeopathy, sacred herbs of Sanjeevan forest, using techniques that nobody in the west ever heard of. Dr. Prasanna’s knowledge of vedic cosmology is deep and unsurpassed. He can explain Shiva and Shakti on the level of the atoms and the activity of the nucleus, with one glance. As he examines a patient’s pulse he can tell the entire life story, the challenges that one might face on every level and the means to realize the full potential of patient’s being including herbal, homeopathic ayurvedic medicine and specific mantra.
Jot Roop (Ron Ortenberg, Ph.D.)
Ron has participated in the creation of Galiana from the very start: he has helped with both the development of the philosophy and the manifestation of the retreat itself.
Ron is a traditional paramedic and an untraditional healer. Among many other traits, Ron is a kundalini yoga teacher. He thinks everything is possible, even to float like water, which flows through the smallest of cracks, and to understand nature and feel different forms, to enter the form and exit the form. Ron is now working on understanding fire; how to spin fire and connect to it. He has a great ability to teach complex concepts in a simple form.
He sees himself as merging his soul with Galiana through teaching, sharing, learning, wisdom exchange and more. It is a soul call for Ron, the idea of creating a sacred space for the community. Ron sees Galiana as a place where we can make a change in people’s minds, hearts, and perceptions of what is going on. We are like spirit masons, laying down the bricks for humanity’s future temple. Ron has experience with martial arts, music, yoga, kundalini yoga, performance, fire spinning, snowboarding, Buddhism, meditation, dancing, and art. On the side, Ron is a Ph.D. in Medical Biology. He has lived in US, Israel and Russia.
Ron holds kundalini yoga classes and white tantric healing circles in Boston and takes students on nomadic yoga hikes to the power places of the planet along with Volga Bo Olam.
Favorite Quote: “If you can think about it, it is possible.”
Ran Baron, a spiritual seeker and a public speaker in the field of theology, eastern philosophy, and mysticism. Baron has instructed numerous meditation workshops, Yoga retreats and has given hundreds of talks and lectures about the nature of spirituality and self inquiry. He has lived through many different paths and was ordained as a Hindu priest (Brahmana), was certified as a Yoga Instructor, a Tai Chi instructor and has been studying and practicing Buddhism, Zen, Tantra, Hinduism and Yoga in many of its different flavors, sharing and teaching of his own views and vast experience in his talks. Ran emphasizes a non-dogmatic approach which allows for personal growth and an honest thirst for truth, all through an individual experience, where all spiritual paths are different colors and hues one utilizes to paint their own life’s story.
Acharya Ganga Puri
Yogacharya Ganga Puri has been serving as the president of Shri Santosh Puri Ashram in Hardiwar, India, providing spiritual guidance and yogic training for thousands of students from over 30 counties. He was filmed in various documentaries like The Hidden Side of the Brain”, “Naked in Ashes”, and has been painted by artists like Pieter Weltevrede. In his teaching he combines yogic techniques along with their underlying philosophy Patanjali, Vedanta, Tantrism.
Yogacharya Ganga Puri-ji enjoys the privilege of being born in Haridwar (at the Gates of Heaven) on the bank of the Holy Mother Ganges River into a family of renunciates.
At the Gurukul Kangri University of Swami Dayananda Saraswati, Ganga Puri obtained a post-graduate diploma and Master’s Degree in Human Consciousness and Yogic Science.
As a Yog-Acharya (master of yoga), he devotes his energy to leading yoga courses and Vedic studies for aspirants of Truth. Besides his studies, he has continuously been blessed by the teachings of traditional Indian gurus and yogis.
“Or he is born in a family of even wise yogis; verily a birth like this is very difficult to obtain in this world.” – Bhagavad Gita (Ch. 6 V 41-42)
Dhana Thane is the lineage holder of an Ancient Indian Mystery School Bhagavan Nityananda of Ganeshpuri. He is the facilitator of the Shaktipat Ritual, The Ancient Rite of Kundalini Awakening and Tantric Cobra Breath based on the yogics scriptures such as the Hatha Yoga Pradipka and the Siva Samhita.
He has studied under Swami Damodarananda and Bob Adamson. His Guru is Swami Muktananda Paramhansa. His Goddess is Sri Sri Jivadhani Mata. He teaches Classical Tantra, Chanting, Meditation and Neo Tantra and awakens Kundalini by shakitpat.
Roman Hanis is a spiritual guide, Medicine man, and co-founder of the Paititi Institute for the Preservation of Amazonian Rainforest and Indigenous Culture. Roman has spent the last ten years working with Indigenous Peruvian cultures in the Amazonian rainforest, learning the ancient healing ways while seeing possibilities for creating ecological sources of sustenance for local populations and working to preserve the rainforest and its spiritual heritage of sacred medicinal plants. Understanding the vital role that ancient cultural practices can play in today’s world, Roman honors and shares their value and wisdom throughout his work in community projects, healing retreats and educational workshops in both the Peru and the US. He is a certified Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioner in Peru, and studied the fundamentals of TCM and acupuncture as an apprentice under the director of the Open International Institute of Oriental Medicine in Iquitos, Peru.
Roman also practices physical trauma rehabilitation, medical massage therapy and eastern bodyworks, having earned his AOS degree from New York’s Swedish Institute of Health. With these tools and concentrated efforts he has been able to help numerous individuals overcome illness and addictions. Since 1999, Roman has practiced Eastern spiritual disciplines of Tibetan Traditions, also QiGong, Yoga, Shaolin physical therapy, Toltec practices and the perspective of these disciplines from Jungian psychology. He is fluent in Spanish, Hebrew, Russian and English.
Born spiritually sensitive, CC has been practicing energy work for 15 years, teaching workshops on healing, sound healing, channeling, psychic development, aromatherapy and spiritual growth. She is known for her compassionate presence, sense of humor, devotion to Mother Earth and access to the spirit realms. A graduate of the four-year energy healing and personal transformation program, the Barbara Brennan School of Healing, CC does not believe in one stop shop healings, but in the delicate unfolding of the soul’s desires with the development of consciousness.
Her love of nature and indigenous cultures has inspired her to travel the world, working with teachers of all traditions, as well as studying the ancient art of medicinal aromatherapy. Returning her life back to nature has been the single most healing component of her journey.
CC wears a few hats, having been a television and film editor, gardner, singer, dancer as well as a staff writer for world famous spiritual teacher Drunvalo Melchizedek’s ezine, The Spirit of Maat.
CC says, “At the end of the day, healing is always about one heart opening another heart.”
Volga Bo Olam
Volga stands at the intersection of a few ancient roads. Her spirit roots go back to the Nomads, her Gods are Elohay, and her name is that of a Russian river. She practices and teaches Kundalini Yoga. Being a part of the Galiana crew allows her to witness a beautiful dream come true, and to feel how how the power of intention guided by a loving heart creates miracles.
Bo loves traveling, dancing, drumming, swimming, and dreaming. She follows the breath of Magic through witchcrafting in her kitchen, plays with yarn, wood, fabrics, paints, and other pieces of beautiful nothingness. She is dreaming to grow a white garden.
Bo says, “I will help with building and keeping of the flow…I will add my waters to Galiana’s river to irrigate the oasis of the soul…I will share, I will teach, I will heal, I will love.”
Bob J’s experiences with the transformational power of tantra draw him to Galiana. He is a tantrika and life coach who shares sacred healing energy and loves to discover ways to help people live happier lives. He is known for his warm, comfortable hugs; his safe, kind, energy; and his shimmering pupils. He is open-hearted and present as a compassionate witness and reflective listener at Galiana. He wants to help the retreat be a sacred place overflowing with respect and reassurance where anyone can feel safe enough to relax, trust, take time to examine and transform their lives, and develop the strength and courage to be all they can be. Through the Ganesh Journal he curates a collection of poetry, spiritual autobiographies, and art inspired by tantric and Galiana experiences. He would like to re-vitalize the land and make sure the Galliana stream is always flowing around obstacles. As a facilitator, writer, personal aide, life coach, entertainer, massage therapist, movement therapist, and bio-energetics investigator, Bob loves appreciating and dancing with the soul of life in all.
Bob has participated in tantra workshops with countless numbers of blessed teachers. He is a graduate of the Human Awareness Institute and Insight Seminars, and has taken numerous classes in energy healing, Healing From The Body Level Up, EKP, core energetics, AUM Mediation, shamanism, mediumship, laying on of hands, and psychic development. He practices Surat Shabda Yoga and Ipsalu Tantra Kriya Yoga.
Bob says, “I wish for peace, love, and understanding among all races and cultures on our precious planet. I wish for heightened consciousness of how I can better treat myself, my fellow human beings, and the Earth. I wish for a patient respect for the natural process of healing. I wish for humility and an increased awareness of how to communicate tactfully while choosing words that are supportive, encouraging, and loving.”
Kathe Izzo is a teacher/lover/counselor utilizing plant spirit medicines, kundalini chant & breath practice & the secrets of the chambers of the heart to bring the light body to clarity & clear the path for the work that must be done. She also offers physical cleanses with living foods in a ceremonial format, a good foundation for any light body work. Kathe is drawn by the synchronicity of Galiana, she sees it as completely the right moment for a larger community for her own work & its connection to the world. Luba arrived into her life as a sister fully born & not in the least, her complete crush/love fascination with the land, with Tantra, with the loosening of the tether of her heart….
For the last ten years Kathe has been known as The Love Artist traveling the world, falling in love with the world one person at a time, for one hour, one day, one early morning or late evening, spontaneously, organically or by commission, as an “art” performance. This work has grown into a deep healing & teaching practice, fleshed out by a background in indigenous heart opening ceremonial plant spirits, living foods cleansing practices with wheatgrass purification, Kundalini yoga, astrology, counseling~ primarily for early childhood/infancy/birth trauma & work with addictions. In her spare time, she sleeps, dreams, makes love, laughs. A lot.
Favorite Quote: “True Love is not for the fainthearted.” ~ Meher Baba
Misha has a keen ability to keep his imagination going. He is an explorer on a journey, sharing thoughts and experiences with likeminded souls at Galiana. He hopes that those who come to Galiana find what they are looking for and share the spark of their true selves with others. Misha grew up in Russia and moved to the US when he was 16. Ever since he can remember, he’s been looking for ways to discover himself through philosophy, science fiction, yoga, tantra, and whatever else holds the promise of an answer. Misha is a certified Neuro Linguistic Programming and Ericsonian Hypnosis practitioner. He loves to downhill ski in the winter and ride motorcycles in the summer.
Misha says, “I want to see Galiana grow into a take off lane for all who want to fly.”
Natalia Filatova, Ph.D.
Natalia Filatova, Ph.D.
Natalia Filatova, PhD is a professional psychologist with over 25 years of experience . Graduate from Moscow State University ( Moscow, Russia) and Postgraduate Center For Mental Health (NY, USA), Natalia also acquired many unique trainings in Mind-Body techniques, among which is “Somatic Experiencing”.
She lives and has a private practice in New Jersey , but travels worldly to share her knowledge and find inspirations in art, history, philosophy and world culture.
Being classically trained by leading world known psychologists, among whom A.R.Luria , B.V. Zeigarnik and A.N.Leontiev , Natalia since early years of her carrier saw spiritual practices as necessary tools in personal development, among which yoga and meditation are essential. She specializes in working with trauma that effects the course of life – such as sexual abuse, medical trauma and early childhood loss..She is a compassionate healer with unique approach to treatment ,that includes restoring the ability to connect to yourself and others, based on finding transformational gifts in the traumatic event itself. Which does not mean re-living the experience, but re-integrating it. Natalia’s program “Healing through Love” allows this transformation to happen through learning over again how to give and , most important , receive Love . This basic human need and source of all interactions we have with the world, that can be lost in the course of the unfortunate events of our personal history.
Along with conducting individual and group therapy in her private practice, Natalia created a 6-weeks program “DreamsOffHold” for those, who have troubles overcoming the boundaries of unknown to launch into their life’s passions. This program along with the coaching support became a part of her new Meet-up project.
Having an interest in history Natalia researched the roots of healing practices and became a founder of “Archaim Foundation” that is devoted to the preservation of ancient knowledge . She works with shamans from Peru and Siberia (Russia) and also with Brazilian healer John of God. She is the daughter of Casa – spiritual retreat in Abadiania, Brazil and official guide for John of God since 2010.
This type of work she calls “professional hobby”.
In Galiana she leads guided meditation and workshops on different topics surrounding the mind and body. Natalia wishes to make here at Galiana what she has at Abadiânia, a small town in Goiás, Brazil – a life of crystals and cascading waterfalls. She looks forward to enjoying the passenger seat, observing borders being pushed to the sides.
Favorite Quote: “Past is what has passed…”
Natalia says, “I have a special wish- for love not to be so special, but given out every day on the corner of Sad and Lost.”
Prashant is not a Teacher, Master, or Guru, he is merely a humble Guide. He is a master firewalker. He has studied the discipline of Inner Yoga from a very young age with different masters. He follows the yoga teachings of Sage Patanjali. Prashant helps people break their limitations/fear using power activities such as fire walking, glass walking, throat arrow, boards and bricks breaking, throat steel rod bending – things which we believe are impossible. Prashant is a seeker of truth. He is drawn to Galiana by the energy of the people associated with it. He loves to challenge himself and always strives to help where he can.
Favorite Quote: “Walk the talk.”
Prashant says, “As Galiana plans to help others, so must she be helped to do so.”
Alokananda (Luke) discovered Qi Gong in 2000 to heal his injuries suffered from being an over active martial artist. In 2004 he met his Guru and fell in love with Yoga. Alokananda has traveled in India where he was certified to teach Yoga and has lived, studied and taught at Ananda Ashram in Monroe NY.
He has been developing a deep practice drawing from a diversity of modalities including Tibetan, Kundalini, Hatha, Toaist and Qi Gong systems. Over the last 6 years he has studied extensively with various teachers developing the capacity to address all body types, ages, abilities and levels of practice.
In recent years Aloka has worked consistantly with a mentor in the field of bio-energetics therapy and has also dove deeper into the teachings and healing practices of Shamanism with Indigenous Elders from around the world.He continues to deepen his awareness and discovery of the relationship between the esoteric, scientific, ancient and new; Integrating Yoga, Ayurveda, Shamanism, Qi Gong, bio-energetics and other modalities.
Jazz has been studying spiritual practices since he was very little. He is a certified Kunlun Nei gong facilitator. Through Kunlun Nei gong, he was able to see and feel things that he had only read in books. Now he encourages everyone to try it at least once. Jas also came across Zen and Tibetan Buddhism which has helped him practice and share the idea of simplicity: keep practices very simple: no dogma, no scholarly minds, books or scriptures. practices yoga and zen. Eat a strawberry with gusto (“mmm”), and that’s zen! Jazz is originally from India and a Sikh. In his spare time, he practices and aspires to be with the essence! It has been his dream to be part of a group and a place like Galiana where people can come to refresh, to rejuvenate themselves. His special wish can be explained through the Bodhisattva vow,”May I attain Buddhahood for the benefit of all sentient beings.”
Favorite Quote: “You must be the change you wish to see in the world” ~ Gandhi
Jas says, “I know the Galiana place is magical…. a door… for people to come and enter into a higher dimension.”
Yelena Lebedinsky has an ability to perceive and understand the nature of things, and to facilitate the positive change in those around her. She sees her role in helping Galiana as an individual who aspires to the healing of the heart, body, mind, and soul. She hopes that she can use what she learns along her own continuing journey of self discovery to help others – to help participants allow their true selves to emerge and be seen. Yelena completed her undergraduate studies in Moscow, Russia. Personal dissatisfaction led her to the group of healers and to the study of parapsychology, psychology and comparative religion. Having learned from this encounter of her sensitivity to energy and the ability to work with it therapeutically, she studied bio-energy field therapy also know in US as Therapeutic Touch. Yelena came to US in 1981. Her original intention was to become involved in Parapsychology research. She entered Rutgers University and received a Ph.D in Biomedical Engineering. By the time of her graduation, Yelena learned of the limitations in the parapsychology research in this country. Subsequently she worked as a Senior Research Pharmacologist and continued her study of psychology. Being drawn to working with people, and the desire for a meaningful service-oriented vocation Yelena made a change in carrier and came to Boston to pursue her interest in energy medicine and psychology. Yelena graduated from the New England School of Acupuncture, where she currently teaches and supervises student interns. She maintains a private practice, known as Acupuncture Arts in Brighton, MA. Her particular interest is emotional disorders and she views acupuncture as a tool for personal transformation. Her treatments incorporate talk therapy, Therapeutic Touch and Reiki.
Yelena loves nature – being in the mountains, in the woods, by the water. She loves hiking, walks with her camera, skiing, swimming, and various forms of art.
Yelena says, “I wish to accept and celebrate at any current moment where I am in my life.”