Our Board


“There is no need for temples. No need for complicated philosophies. My brain and my heart are my temples. My philosophy is kindness.” – The Dalai Lama

Together, we can make a difference…Brynne Sheehan, Ed.D., RYT 500

Brynne (previously known as Donna Helm-Yost) began practicing yoga and exploring Eastern philosophy at the age of 12. In addition to being a registered yoga teacher with Yoga Alliance, Brynne is a licensed psychologist, a certified school psychologist, and the Founder and President of the Karma Yoga Project. In 2007, she learned about the plight of older orphans in Ethiopia through the volunteer efforts of Australian pilot, Geoff Hucker, who founded Beyond the Orphanage. And in July, 2008, she visited Addis Ababa, Ethiopia to do volunteer work with a medical team from Arizona. After the medical team left, she stayed behind and met the Beyond the Orphanage kids. It was love at first sight and Brynne realized that she had to do more to help these amazing kids!

Brynne has always been interested in what makes people resilient and what inspires them and gives them hope. Brynne is currently using her interests and training to design and implement a research study to determine the long-term effectiveness of BTO in the lives of their children. It is her hope that the BTO program can be a model to help older orphans across the planet. Brynne also provided psychological support and helped to create a yoga program in an orphanage in Quito, Ecuador and she frequently speaks to high school students, yoga students, and mental health professionals about the benefits of therapeutic yoga and volunteerism.


Gail Smith Tieken
Gail, who has a background in business management and has worked in the fields of marketing, advertising, graphic design, public relations and artist management, is KYP’s Development Director. For over 20 years, she owned and operated a graphic design and marketing firm with her husband Fred. During that time the firm garnered over 250 industry awards and achieved international acclaim. Prior to that, Gail worked in talent management. In the early 1970s she launched one of the most influential talent agencies in the Midwest and over the next decade she booked and promoted rock bands. She is a founding director of her family’s private charitable foundation, which has been providing support to nonprofit organizations worldwide since 2008. Gail brings with her an awareness of the difference that we can make in the world by reaching out to those in need and is committed to helping KYP achieve its objectives.




Janice Hourihan
Janice is the acting Secretary for the Board of Directors of the Karma Yoga Project. She moved to Arizona from Massachusetts with her husband in 1999. She was the Area Manager for Lancôme, division of L’Oreal, Managing Director for Reebok, Ltd, Retail Director of The Stride Rite Corporation and Vice President of Sales-East for Decker’s Outdoor Corporation. She is currently a Real Estate Agent in the greater Phoenix market. She has volunteered her time to support the MA Department of Social Service, Arizona Healing Hearts Animal Sanctuary, Phoenix Fresh Start Women’s Foundation and currently sits on the Board of Directors for Dusty Boots Riding Therapy, Inc.






Lauren Brown
Lauren, KYP Clinical Director, has worked both as a School Psychologist and prior to graduate school, with youth in diverse populations–particularly with students with behavioral and emotional needs. Lauren has been volunteering since she was a child starting in geriatrics, then moving to young children at Head Start and as a psychologist on various committees related to her clinical work. She has her Masters through Teacher’s College, Columbia University and travels there annually to teach a lab about suicide assessment and prevention to graduate students studying School Psychology. Lauren has taught educators both in New York and Arizona and graduate students at Fordham University about students with emotional disabilities.

Lauren uses her training and experience in functional behavioral assessments, behavior intervention plans and positive behavioral supports (PBS) to train other mental health professionals. Lauren participated in a committee that developed and implemented a system wide positive behavioral support program in a residential treatment center and works with current staff to increase their PBS knowledge and execution. She uses her background at Karma Yoga Project to train our yoga instructors in working with at-risk youth and to help ensure a therapeutic curriculum. Lauren has a passion for supporting youth who have been affected by trauma.


Kathi Nunley, BSc Nutrition, RYT

As a registered yoga teacher and nutritionist, Kathi guides others towards self-healing through living yoga, deep nutrition, and nature therapy.  After decades of work in the corporate world, she retired to follow her passion for health, earning a BSc in Nutritional Science. In 2011, she founded Präna Boot Camp™, inspiring mid-life women to balance their body and mind, and think big about the second half of their life.

Kathi knows first-hand the profound self-healing benefits of therapeutic yoga, and is proud to serve as Director of Marketing for the Karma Yoga Project. She is a member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, the American College of Sports Medicine, and the International Association of Yoga Therapists. She teaches workshops, seminars, and boot camps to women seeking to recharge their lives, and gratefully thanks these amazing women for all they have taught her.


Cheryl Oliver, E-RYT500 has been teaching Sanskrit, vedic chant and yoga philosophy since 2004. Cheryl’s teaching style is warm and compassionate, enthusiastic and patient.  Every workshop is experiential (and fun!) as Cheryl gently encourages students out of their comfort zone toward practice, understanding and transformation. To date, Cheryl has completed two trips to India to study at Vedavani and the Krishnamacarya Yoga Mandiram.  Cheryl is blessed and so grateful to be a volunteer yoga teacher at Devereux, and the Director of Yoga Teacher Training for the Karma Yoga Project.