About

Garrett Sarley (Dinabandhu) and Ila Sarley are the founders of the Natural Yoga system for self-development and coauthors of Walking Yoga and The Essentials of Yoga. For 35 years, Garrett (also known by his Sanskrit name, Dinabandhu) and Ila have been leaders and teachers in the fields of yoga, spirituality, and personal development and have held leadership roles in two of the largest and most influential holistic learning centers in the United States, Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health and Omega Institute for Holistic Studies. Their workshops are practical and grounded, infused with both humor and spiritual depth.

Garrett Sarley (also known by his Sanskrit yoga name Dinabandhu) is the cofounder with his wife Ila of the Natural Yoga™ system of self-development and the Essential Communications™ method.  He is the coauthor with Ila of Walking Yoga, (Simon and Schuster, 2002) and The Essentials of Yoga, a book in the Omega Institute Mind, Body, Spirit Series (Dell, 2000).  Garrett has been a leader in the field of spirituality and human development for more than 34 years and has been a key leadership figure in the two largest and most successful holistic educational centers in the United States during their periods of greatest institutional vitality.

Garrett has devoted his life to the intensive practice of a wide variety of both Eastern and Western disciplines for spiritual growth, personal transformation, and organizational leadership.  He has studied with yoga masters, swamis, and teachers from India and the United States as well as physicians, physiologists, physical therapists, psychologists, and organizational and communications experts. And he has studied different styles and traditions of yoga including Kripalu, Iyengar, Bikram, Ashtanga, and Kundalini yoga and incorporates the principles of each school of thought into his teaching.

He lived as a yoga monastic at Kripalu Yoga Ashram for twenty years and was a key member in developing many of the resident instruction programs over that time period.  He developed and taught several thousand hours of resident education, covering nearly every aspect of yoga in the areas of Bhakti, Karma, Mantra, Jnana, Raja and Hatha Yoga.

He is currently the chief executive officer for the Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health, returning to that organization after a nine-year stint as president of the Omega Institute from 1995 to 2004.  Kripalu Center is the largest center for yoga, holistic health, and self-development in the country and the Omega Institute is one of the premier holistic learning centers in the world.

Before his time at the Omega Institute, he was a founding member of the Kripalu Center and served as president of that organization for many years. His many successful initiatives for cultural change, organizational development, and strategic positioning have generated outstanding growth for both organizations.
Garrett led a renewal of vision, mission, and business development at Kripalu Center with his wife and president, Ila Sarley, from 2004 to 2007, which resulted in a 41% increase in revenues going from $16,500,000 to $27,900,000 in a three-year period and taking a nonprofit organization from a net loss of $500,000 to a net profit of $1,350,000. He continues in his role as CEO of Kripalu Center recently leading the organization through one of the worst economic downturns in US history keeping the institution serving its mission while generating strong financial results during a time when many retreat centers are in deep financial distress.

In 2007, Garrett was a finalist for the Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of The Year award in New England, and Kripalu Center was a finalist for the Top Small Workplace award given by the Wall Street Journal and Winning Workplaces.  Garrett is an active speaker and workshop leader in the areas of Yoga, Spirituality in the workplace, organizational development, and the Yoga of leadership. He regularly consults with organizations where he applies his spiritual and developmental insights, catalyzing fundamental organizational change and business success.

Formal training includes
•    Lemoyne College, Syracuse, New York Philosophy Major    1973-1976
•    Kripalu Yoga Ashram, resident student, teacher 1976-1995
•    Kripalu Yoga Teachers Training Level I and II 1975 and 1979
•    Kripalu Yoga Therapy Teachers Training and Structural Yoga November 1982
•    Body, Mind, and Health Educator, Kripalu Center Training 1982
•    Touch For Health training, Kripalu Center 1982
•    Option Dialogue Mentorship training, Option Institute 1981-1982
•    Bikram Yoga Training, Kripalu Center 1991
•    Advanced pranayama and meditation teacher training, Kripalu Center 1993
•    Sahaj yoga teacher training, Kripalu Center 1994
•    Program Design Professional Training, Kripalu Center 1992-1995
•    Multiple trainings in the application of psycho/spiritual therapeutic techniques, Kripalu Center,1980-1995.  Curriculum included: introductions, intensive practice, and training in the use of gestalt, bioenergetics, and group psychotherapy
•    Iyengar Yoga workshops and study, Omega Institute 2000-2003
•    Ashtanga Yoga workshops and study, Omega Institute 1999-2003
•    Certified Adizes Practitioner 1988-1990
Two year training in Adizes Methodology, an 11 phase approach to transforming groups and organizations.  Trained in understanding organizational life cycles, analyzing organizational problems and current life cycle stage, facilitating problem solving teams, creating bottom up communications channels, and re-creating organizational culture.
•    Contegrity Training Institute 1993-1995
Training program focused on the technology of personal transformation and elements for designing powerful training programs. Directed by Dr. Ken Anbender.

Ila Sarley is the cofounder with her husband, Garrett, of the Natural Yoga system of self-development and the Essential Communications method, and is co-author of Walking Yoga (Simon and Schuster, 2002) and The Essentials of Yoga (Dell, 2000).  She is a founding member of the Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health, one of the largest residential yoga centers in the country, where she lived as a yoga monastic for 21 years.

For the past 35 years, Ila has dedicated her life to the intensive study and practice of all aspects of the science of yoga. She has studied with yoga masters, swamis, and teachers from India and the United States as well as physical therapists, physicians, physiologists, , She has also studied many different styles and traditions of yoga including Kripalu, Iyengar, Bikram, Ashtanga, and Sahaj yoga.
In her leadership role in the two largest and most successful holistic educational centers in the United States, Ila studied with world renowned psychologists, psychotherapists, organizational development experts, and experts in the field of psycho-spiritual development and communications.

For over 30 years Ila has developed and taught programs for students and employees with a focus in yoga, health, and communications using the core principle of Yoga, Integrated Functioning, as a cornerstone for personal and organizational development.   She has led workshops throughout the United States, Costa Rica, and Canada ranging in topics from yoga, meditation, yoga and walking, yoga for health and longevity, yoga for stress management, and the art of communications and leadership. She was a faculty member of the Month long Kripalu Yoga Teacher training programs for several years and a senior teacher for the Kripalu resident training programs for 16 years.

Ila currently serves as Kripalu’s President and co-leads the organization in partnership with her husband and CEO, Garrett Sarley. Ila co-led a renewal of vision, mission, and business development at Kripalu center with her husband and leadership partner, Garrett Sarley, from 2004 to 2007 which resulted in a 41% increase in revenues going from $16,500,000 to 27,900,000 in a three year period, taking a non- profit organization from a net loss of 500,000 to a net profit of $1,350,000. She continues in her role as President of Kripalu Center recently helping to guide the organization through one of the worst economic downturns in US history keeping the institution stable during a time when many retreat centers are in deep financial distress.
During her tenure at the Omega Institute for Holistic Studies, Ila developed their highly successful series of national yoga conferences, including the business planning and curriculum development.  She also helped developed Omega’s yoga programming and then created a marketing strategy to attract the NYC yoga market to Omega significantly increasing sales in this area of programming.

Ila is a finalist in the 2007 Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the year awards for New England.

Formal training programs include:
•    Kripalu Yoga Ashram, full time resident, student, and teacher 1974-1995
•    Kripalu Yoga Teachers Training Level I and Level II 1975 and 1979
•    Kripalu Yoga Therapy Teachers Training and Structural Yoga 1982
•    Body, Mind, and Health Educator Training, Kripalu Center 1982
•    Touch For Health training, Kripalu Center 1982
•    Bikram Yoga Training, Kripalu Center 1991
•    Advanced pranayama and meditation training, Kripalu Center 1993
•    Sahaj yoga training, Kripalu Center 1994
•    Certified Adizes Practitioner 1988-1990
Group facilitation professional training.  Two year training in Adizes Methodology, an 11 phase approach to transforming groups and organizations.  Trained in understanding organizational life cycles, analyzing organizational problems and current life cycle stage, facilitating problem solving teams, creating bottom up communications channels, and re-creating organizational culture. Dr. Ichak Adizes directed the training.
•    Program Design Professional Training, Kripalu Center 1992-1995
•    Multiple trainings in the application of psycho/spiritual therapeutic techniques.  1980-1995 Curriculum included: introductions and preliminary training in the use of gestalt, bioenergetics, and group psychotherapy
•    Iyengar Yoga workshops and study, Omega Institute 2000-2003
•    Ashtanga Yoga workshops and study, Omega Institute 1999-2003
•    Contegrity Training Center, Ann Arbor Michigan 1993-1995
Training program focused on how personal transformation works and elements for designing powerful training programs. Directed by Dr. Ken Anbender.
•    Center for Creative Leadership, Greensborough, N.C. 1992
An intensive training experience focused on developing personal facilitation and leadership skills.

2 Responses to About

  1. ezekiel das says:

    Hello –Is there an email address, phone number, or other contact information I could use to get further details on programs and instruction?

    Thank you,
    –ezekieldas

  2. Shawna Spaulding says:

    Hello Ila & Dinabandhu!

    I wanted to see if you received the Real Estate info I sent a couple of weeks ago to 1440′s address in Saratoga? I really enjoyed meeting the two of you and wanted to make sure you had my contact information and some information on Real Estate in the Scotts Valley area.

    Please don’t hesitate to reach out when the time is right for you!
    Shawna Spaulding
    Coldwell Banker
    831-239-0999

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