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Renata Sumar Gaertner (MahaJyoti) C-IAYT, E-RYT 500, E-RCYT, YACEP

Renata began practicing Yoga with her mother, Sonia Sumar, at three years of age. While still a child, Renata participated in many Yoga courses and conventions with her mother. At twelve years old, she completed her first Hatha Yoga teacher training program through Brazil’s Federal University at Minas Gerais (UFMG). At fifteen years old, she began her teaching career in Hatha Yoga. Since then, Renata’s passion for anatomy, neurology, physics, and physiology has guided the way she teaches Yoga. Her goal is to inspire each one of her students to use their abilities to their fullest potential.

In 1989 Renata advanced her teaching skills by completing the teacher training program for Yoga for the Special Child. In 1990 Sri Swami Satchidananda, the great teacher and founder of Integral Yoga, visited Sonia Sumar’s Yoga Center in Brazil and this visit caused Renata to begin following a new path. By the end of 1991, Renata went to Satchidananda Ashram–Yogaville in Virginia. In 1994 she received her university diploma in speech therapy. Her thesis, “Yoga as a Method of Global Stimulation for Children with Down Syndrome”, describes her original research which indicates Yoga is an effective method for stimulating the development of children with Down Syndrome.

In 1995 Renata returned to Satchidananda Ashram where she spent seven months under the guidance of Sri Swami Satchidananda. During that time, Renata participated in courses and attended many lectures, constantly trying to increase her knowledge about Yoga. Renata also assisted her mother by helping to teach her annual courses of Yoga for the Special Child at the ashram and in New York City.

Renata is the director of the Integral Yoga Center in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, and a member of the Integral Yoga Teachers Association, Yoga Alliance, and International Association of Yoga Therapy.

Renata moved to the United States in October of 2007 with her family. She now serves as the co-director, global program coordinator, and chief operating officer (COO) for Yoga for the Special Child. Renata is one of Yoga for the Special Child program teachers and leads the Part 1 and 2 program, CPD, and Hatha teacher training at the 200-hour and 300-hour levels. Renata’s passion is captivating and she is always encouraging people to find their inner power and full potential.

Renata loves anatomy, physiology, and neuroanatomy and she is always looking for tools to help her students to feel comfortable in their bodies during the Yoga practice. Renata’s expertise is guiding students step-by-step into Yoga asanas so that they feel comfortable and stable in each pose.

She continues to manage the Integral Yoga Center in Brazil with Prakash, her business partner, and she visits there with her family once a year in order to lead programs and workshops.

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