About Us

HARRIET L. RUSSELL (BHUMI), RYS, M.S. MT, Director, Bhumi’s Yoga Teacher Trainings, and International Keynote Speaker

Harriet L Russell is known as “Bhumi” in the yoga world. She is a leader of the yoga community in Ohio and has helped demystify and bring yoga to mainstream Northern Ohio without sacrificing the depth of the practice. She launched Cleveland’s first yoga and wellness center open to the public in 1992.  She introduced yoga classes to physical education programs in suburban high schools, and mindfulness in businesses. Over the years, she has trained thousands of teachers in the USA, over 300 in Ohio alone.

Bhumi’s Yoga and Wellness Center was the first in the Midwest and Ohio to be recognized by the national Yoga Alliance. Bhumi’s Yoga is a nationally Registered Yoga School at the highest level offered by Yoga Alliance. Bhumi is certified/trained in all major styles of Yoga: Kripalu, Iyengar, Ashtanga, Bikram, Amrit Yoga Nidra,  etc. A Bodyworker, and Certified Holistic Health Educator and Lifestyle Coach, she brings holistic and personal growth as well as a clinical view to wellness.

In addition, Bhumi is a Yoga Therapist, Shiatsu (Acupressure) Massage Therapist and uses Energy Balancing, Polarity, and specialized techniques she learned from numerous trainings and certifications in Asia and USA. and from Dr. Kenneth Klak, D.O. In Japan, she studied the martial art of Aikido. She has 40 years of a Macrobiotics foundation and 20 years Ayurveda experience with Dr. Vijay Jain, M.D.

Bhumi was introduced to yoga as a stress management technique while working in international business corporate life in New York City. Successful, yet searching, she changed careers, recognizing her life’s work is to share the deep benefits from yoga that she felt for herself with others. She lived a monastic lifestyle as a spiritual resident at the ashram of Kripalu Center in Massachusetts, the largest holistic health and yoga center in North America. She served as Program Director of Yoga Teacher Training and Bodywork Certification Programs there for 8 years. Her spiritual teacher was Dr. Yogi Amrit Desai, the founder. Afterwards, she studied with BKS and Geeta Iyengar and Rodney Yee, and took trainings in other styles for a complete view of yoga’s applications in her practice and work.

She is Co-creator of the “Moon Salutation”.

Harriet has been sponsored to lead workshops around the world on various health issues. She has appeared on TV in the U.S. and abroad, has  published many articles, manuals, books, videos and audio yoga routines and relaxations. She has an M.S. in Linguistics, is fluent in Spanish and Japanese, and proficient in several other languages. She even studied Russian.

She loves to teach Sanskrit to Yoga Teachers… so they can pronounce the postures correctly and feel the vibratory impact of this ancient language of yoga.

Long term travel is a part of what makes Harriet a world citizen. In 1975 she went overland from Europe to Asia through the Middle East on Marco Polo’s Silk Route.  She lived overseas for many years. She was in India, Nepal, and Tibet in 1975 and 1992 where she visited many spiritual sites.

In 2005 she returned to India where she participated in Rotary International projects and visited medical clinics with doctors practicing specialized yoga therapies. In 2008, she traveled alone to Kyrgyzstan for three months as an independent volunteer. She coached English teachers in methodologies and artisans in small business development. She taught stress management and yoga to social workers, teachers and school children as a part of their physical education curriculum. Harriet ventured to places even the Peace Corps is not allowed to go. You may read more about her trip and projects she started at VentureFromTheHeart

Harriet L. Russell (Bhumi ) was a dedicated member of Rotary International for over a decade and was named a Paul Harris Fellow “in appreciation of tangible and significant assistance given for the furtherance of better understanding and friendly relations among the peoples of the world.” She is an active member the National Speakers Association, Global Speakers Federation, International Coach Federation and ICF-Cleveland Board Member, Council of Smaller Enterprises (COSE), Formerly, she held memberships in yoga associations including the International Association of Yoga Therapists, Kripalu Yoga Teachers Association, Certified Amrit Yoga Nidra Teachers,  and the national Yoga Alliance.

For more about her background apart from yoga see BusinessEaseOverseas

Our Yoga Teachers and Professionals until 2020.

Bhumi could not have served fully without the help of the other teachers, staff, and karma yoga volunteers. We all share a common interest in the well-being of our students. Our yoga teachers, each certified by Bhumi’s Yoga and Wellness Center, are an integral part of the community. These devoted souls taught and took classes with Bhumi, continuing to learn and share what they love.

Bhumi’s Yoga is primarily a training and workshop center with a limited number of regular weekly classes, but our graduate teachers teach outreach programs at hospitals, recreation centers, and wellness facilities and other yoga studios around the Cleveland-Akron area. There are over 250 Bhumi’s Certified Teachers in Ohio alone. The more yoga, the better!

Following are the senior teaching staff for Bhumi’s classes and programs.

  • All teachers are Certified Graduate Teachers of Bhumi’s Yoga Teacher Training.
  • RYT means “Registered Yoga Teacher” with the national Yoga Alliance.
  • YTT means Yoga Teacher Training (at Bhumi’s Yoga)

NIKKI ROGERS, MPT, RYT, Yoga Teacher Training Assistant Director,  Senior Level Certified Yoga Instructor, Physical Therapist

Nikki Rogers is a Licensed Physical Therapist (Master’s Degree), a registered teacher with the Yoga Alliance, Bhumi’s 2008 Yoga Teacher Training graduate, a certified Strength Training Specialist through IWA, Inc.

Nikki has developed specialized therapeutic classes for seniors, and children on the autism spectrum for Fisher-Titus Medical Center. She uses a scientific and holistic approach to teach individuals of all ages and abilities.

Nikki and her husband Rollie are the proud parents of two young daughters, Kaia and Sasha.

KAREN SCOTT,  RYT 500,  Yoga Teacher Training Special Sessions,  Senior Level Certified Yoga Instructor

Karen Scott is a 2011 graduate of Bhumi’s YTT (200 hour) and 2019 graduate of Bhumi’s Advanced Training (500 hour). She is certified in Yoga Nidra, Accessible Yoga and Reiki. Her mission is to help people realize the dream of a grounded and balanced life.

She completed a Trauma-sensitive yoga training with Yoga on High in Columbus. Karen is currently pursuing additional certification as a Yoga Therapist.

Karen currently resides in Akron, Ohio with her husband Brian and daughter Keira and two cats.

JACKIE SARTSCHEV,  Yoga Teacher Training Assistant, Certified Yoga Instructor

Jackie Sartschev is a 2014 graduate of Bhumi’s Yoga Teacher Training. She is a full time assistant in the Bhumi’s Yoga Teacher Training program,.

“I teach yoga to help students find the greater power inside themselves waiting to be revealed. I hope to show them that the beautiful advanced yoga poses are a journey, not a goal, a gift of self love, self discipline and self dedication. Practicing balance in each asana, reflects balance in life. I dream to show people that yoga offers self-reflection, personal growth, mindfulness, self- awareness and the practice of kindness and compassion. I hope to inspire others to share the light of yoga.

In Bhumi’s Yoga Teacher Training, she assists in the sessions so each trainee has even more personalized attention, and supports the Director Bhumi in other tasks.

On a personal note, Jackie just got engaged!

TOM CARNEY,  Yoga Teacher Training Special Session,  Certified Yoga Instructor

Tom Carney, “TJ”, has been married with Annie since 1981.  They have five grown children, two daughter- in- laws, and 7 grandchildren.

Tom went to his first yoga class with his mother in 1972 and took up a regular meditation practice in 1975. He didn’t know there was such a thing as a yoga studio or a commercial yoga enterprise or even so much as a public teacher training until 1995 when his friend Rick Schwartz told him he had just been to California to learn Bikram Choudury’s method.

Tom graduated from Bhumi’s Yoga Teacher Training certification in the year 2000.

A word of advice from Tom:
“When it comes to practicing and teaching yoga, learn from everyone and imitate no one, and compare yourself only to what you know you are capable of.”

LAUREN PLAGENS YOUNG, Yoga Teacher Training Special Sessions, Certified Yoga Instructor

Lauren Plagens Young is originally from Cleveland, Ohio.  She currently lives in Chicago, Illinois with her husband, son and 2 dogs.

She graduated from Bhumi’s Yoga with her 200 hour certification and later became an assistant in Bhumi’s Yoga Teacher Training.

In 2014, she  went on to successfully open 3 SISTERS YOGA in Avon, Ohio, where she was responsible for hiring and managing their 20 staff members.  Most recently, she & her family just sold their family business to Cultivate Yoga Space — she has seen the entire life cycle of a small yoga business, from start to sale!

She remains a yogi at heart and feels it’s important and possible to look at a business through a yogic lens.

CAMERON  M. PLAGENS, PhD, ATR-BC, Yoga Teacher Training Special Sessions, Certified Yoga Teacher, Psychotherapist

Cameron M. Plagens is a Bhumi’s Yoga Teacher class of 2015 graduate. She went on to study Yin Yoga and brings this to Bhumi’s Yoga Teacher Training and local area classes.

Cameron also teaches women’s nurturing, reflective, and personal development spiritual one day retreats at Bhumi’s using her art therapy and other expertise.

Cameron is a mother of three daughters, who are all certified yoga teachers, and has two grandsons.

DR. VIJAY JAIN, MD, Ayurveda Consultant / Lecturer For Yoga Teacher Training, Founder Of Mind Body Wellness Florida

Dr. Vijay Jain M.D. brings 40 years of experience in General Surgery and 20 years of focused study of Integrative Medicine to his engaging integration of traditional/Western medicine with ancient Ayurvedic medicine.

In addition to his Ayurveda practice, Dr. Jain teaches Ayurvedic certificate courses on behalf of International University of Yoga and Ayurveda which he cofounded in 2013. He specializes in Ayurvedic Detoxification (Panchakarma) therapies and Rasayana (Tissue tonifying) therapies for chronic life style diseases and graceful ageing.

Dr. Jain also co-authored a book titled “Unfolding Happiness” based on the principles of Yoga and Ayurveda.
More at: MindBodyWellnessFlorida.com

YOGI AMRIT DESAI (GURUDEV), Spiritual Inspiration, Online Lectures

An internationally-recognized authority on yoga and holistic living, Yogi Desai began teaching yoga in 1960, making him one of the earliest pioneers of yoga in the West.  He was founder of the Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health where Bhumi resided for 8 years.

The methodology he developed has evolved into the Amrit Method, which he continues to refine. Today, his approach is practiced by thousands around the world, with certified teachers in 40 countries.

Yogi Desai’s teachings contain a powerful experiential component that creates profound shifts for those who are ready, receptive and open. He has integrated ancient wisdom into a practical methodology for dealing with the challenges of modern life. See AmritYoga

NASA Outreach Teachers until 2020.

Certified Yoga Instructor, Yoga Teacher Training Special Sessions

Zeynep began practicing yoga after she was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2001. Yoga provides a solid foundation for life’s physical and spiritual journeys. Yoga helped her to manage the emotional and physical aspects of the cancer treatments.

Zeynep graduated from Bhumi’s Yoga Teacher Training in 2011. She has been a registered yoga teacher with the Yoga Alliance.

She has been teaching Vinyasa Flow Yoga at the NASA Glenn Research Center since 2012. She’s passionate about community outreach to promote and support holistic lifestyles. She has taught yoga to children, special groups and adults (children summer camp yoga, LGBT yoga, Muslim Ladies yoga)

Certified Kundalini Yoga teacher ~ Tara Amrit Kaur ~ – 2016
Reiki master level 3 – 2018
Certified “y4c” teacher –  2019 – (Yoga for Cancer)

SIMONA DAVIS, RYT, Certified Yoga Instructor

Simona is a graduate of Bhumi’s Yoga Teacher Training in 2011. Through Bhumi’s Outreach program, she has been teaching yoga at NASA Glenn Research center since 2012.

Other Teaching Professionals until 2020. 

Aaron Vaughn, J.D., CFP®, APMA®, BFA®
Legal/Financial,  Yoga Teacher Training Special Session

Aaron Vaughn graduated from Bowling Green State University (BSBA) and Case Western Reserve School of Law (JD).  He is a member of the Financial Planning Association.  Aaron likes golf, reading, travel and spending time with family. Aaron and his wife Marybeth have two young sons.

Aaron’s community participation: St. Christopher’s Finance Committee, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation.

Aaron teaches a special session for Bhumi’s Yoga Teacher Training on the legal and financial matters for forming a small business. AND, he offers a complimentary private consultation to all Bhumi’s YTTs graduates! He is Life Planning Pathfinder at Defiant Services LLC  Link to Aaron’s Website