Ginger Garner DPT, MPT, ATC, PYT
Founder & Executive Director
Faculty, Professional Yoga Therapy Institute
Founder of Professional Yoga Therapy – A Grassroots Movement in Evidence-Based Yoga Education to Improve Health Care In America
During her graduate studies in physical therapy and public health at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, almost 20 years ago, Ginger developed her original mission for the first education program in medical yoga, out of what she perceived as a great disconnect in American health care. Professional Yoga Therapy (PYT) was born out of the vision to see eastern and western medicine yoked to offer more comprehensive health care for both the healthy and complex American patient. Today, PYT offers a working model for educational standards in medical yoga education and integrative health care delivery in the US.
Ginger has trained hundreds of medical professionals across North America over the last decade in using yoga and Pilates in Complementary and Alternative Medicine; while at the same time working to raise awareness and funds for improving women’s health. As a result, PYTS graduates have created or taken jobs as integrative rehabilitation supervisors in hospital systems, clinics, and non-traditional settings in nursing, medicine, as well as therapy.
Says Ginger, “the quality of our students and their work is a testament to the effectiveness of the PYT method and to the model of medical yoga training it will become in the United States.”
Mentors & Teachers
Dr. Riane Eisler stands as Ginger’s most influential teacher in changing the conversation to value caregiving in the US and abroad. Her work in economics, and Ginger’s involvement as a Caring Economics Campaign member and Certified Conversation Leader in Caring Economics, has inspired Ginger to continue her mission in influencing health care policy and change in the US. In August 2012 Ginger was invited to be a Caring Economics blogger and since that time Ginger and PYTS have become Coalitions Members. Visit the Caring Economics Campaign.
Dr. David Frawley (Ayurvedic expert Pandit Vamadeva Shastri), Aadil Palkhivala, Sarita Shrestha (mother of Ayurveda in the west and Nepal’s first female Ayurvedic physician, female OB/GYN), and countless yoga teachers have directed Ginger’s path since 1992. Some teachers include Pattabhi Jois, Shiva Rea, Tias Little, David Swenson, Rodney Yee, Scott Blossom, and others; however, the most influential would probably be Dr. Shrestha, because of her powerful testament to breaking the glass ceiling and empowering women in India.
Ginger ultimately made the conscious decision to depart from claiming any specific lineage. Her time in PT school and through graduate work in public health in the mid-90′s led Ginger to develop methodology combining evidence based rehabilitation with non-dogmatic yoga. What has emerged is a discipline useable by licensed health care providers, known as medical therapeutic yoga.
Ginger states, I have learned the most about living my yoga, not from my education or experience, but from my mission/karma yoga projects, which include raising my own children They are the real gurus.
Jessica Hartmann, PT, PYT, RYT
Lecturer, University of North Carolina Wilmington
Jessica graduated from the Physical Therapy program at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, PA. She began her PT career with a focus on Osteopathic Manual Therapy and she is now the owner and operator of Integrative Rehab and Wellness, Inc. Jessica is grateful to have the opportunity to combine Medical Therapeutic Yoga with manual therapy. She specializes in treating back and neck pain, sacroiliac joint dysfunction, sciatica, musculoskeletal issues, chronic pain, fibromyalgia, migraines/headaches, anxiety, arthritis, and TMJ.
In addition to private practice, Jessica serves as part time faculty at the University of North Carolina Wilmington in the School of Health and Applied Human Sciences. She also teaches anatomy in various 200 and 300 hour yoga teacher trainings in NC, SC, and VA.
Jessica began her PYT experience in 2010 and it has truly been life changing. Practicing medical therapeutic yoga gave her the tools she needed to heal herself after a back injury and to educate and support her patients and students in countless ways. She values the structure of the PYTI program as it provides a unique opportunity for learning, self care, and building relationships. PYTI is so much more than just continuing education. Jessica had the privilege of participating in her first TA experience in 2016 and has continued to assist Ginger in the lovely pink house. She welcomes the continued opportunity to be a part of this beautiful community of bridge builders in healthcare, friends, and PYTI family.
Jessica currently lives in Wilmington, NC with her husband and her pets, where she loves the sunshine and coastal vibes. On a sunny day, you can find her stand up paddle boarding, surfing, biking, playing tennis, or any other outdoor activity!
Allison Marsden, PT, DPT, OCS
Owner, Marsden Physical Therapy marsdenpt.com
Allison Marsden, PT, DPT, OCS, is a 1996 graduate of the Ohio University School of Physical Therapy. She received her Doctor of Physical Therapy degree from Shenandoah University in 2009 and is a Board Certified Orthopedic Specialist. Dr. Marsden is the owner of Marsden Physical Therapy, which is a cash-based out-patient physical therapy practice in Canton, Ohio. She practices orthopedic PT, women’s health, and Medical Therapeutic Yoga. She has served as an adjunct faculty member at Walsh University instructing DPT students in the area of Therapeutic Agents, Health Promotion, and Wellness/Prevention in PT practice.