“So many ARE seeking and doing good. The Divine IS showing up in everyday life. We can live Thanksgiving Day every day; revealing natural enthusiasm for life and becoming beneficial creative beings in a tumultuous world when so many have given up to cynicism, resignation, or suicide. And we must…now.” -Leena
Leena St. Michael is that rare combination of wise woman, teacher, visionary, philosopher, consultant, counselor and…catalyst. Leena loves awakening life-time yogis by discovering ways simple ways for everyone to practics and experience the profound benefits of mind/body/spirit health through harmony with nature forces and principles. She has extensive leadership and organizational development consulting experience-listed below on this page. Her teachers and examples: Amma/Mata Amritanandamayi, Baba Hari Dass, Jesus, Sri Yukteswar, Paramahansa Yogananda, Dr. Michael Beckwith, Dr. Roger Fisher (Harvard Negotiation Project, “Getting To Yes”) and, of course, Archangel Michael.
Leena practices the principles she preaches and teaches through colorful stories, humor, demonstration, compassion, meditation and deep listening to her students/clients.
Her motto: It is not “How am I teaching.” It is “What are you learning?”
YOGA AND AYURVEDA STUDIES AND EXPERIENCE
- Leena has taught more than 6,200 hours of meditation and yoga classes since 2006. She currently teaches seven classes a week and maintains a private practice. Leena painfully attempted her first yoga poses from a book of pictures of Swami Vishnudevananda when she was 11. She was a serial yoga class drop-out up until she received Ayurveda and Yoga counseling starting in 1996 from Cynthia Copple, founder of both the National Ayurveda Medical Association and Mount Madonna Institute-Ayurveda Studies at the home of internationally respected Classical Ashtanga Yoga Master Baba Hari Dass in Watsonville, CA.
- Leena completed the Stanford University School Of Medicine, Department of Neurosurgery, Compassion Cultivation Training, Fall 2015
- Leena completed Amrita Yoga three-week intensive trainings in Amritapuri Ashram, Kollum, Kerala, in 2010
- Leena completed the 305-hour Ayurveda Lifestyle and Diet Counselor Diploma Program of Mount Madonna Institute in 2010.
- Leena was voted “Best East Bay Yoga Teacher” by readers of prestigious Diablo Magazine in 2009. Only two other teachers have held that honor since that time.
- She earned Yoga Teacher Training 200 and 500 certifications at Mount Madonna Center. She returned as a teacher-apprentice for both programs. 2006-2010
- Leena received 100 hours of Jon Cabat-Zinn’s Mindfulness Stress Reduction meditation training at Stanford Complementary Medicine and led the weekly Mid-week Mindfulness Meditations in the Stanford University Hospital Chapel in 1998-1999.
- Leena met Her Holiness Amma-Mata Amritanandamayi, in 1997 and is today, active in service at the M. A. Center, San Ramon, CA; Amma’s North American home. She is one of the earliest approved teachers of Amma’s IAM(R)-Integrated Amrita Meditation techniques, offered free worldwide with age-appropriate versions for ages 10 + up.
INTERFAITH SPIRITUAL COUNSELING, METAPHYSICS, PRAYER
- 1998-99. She was selected to Stanford University Medical Center’s internationally renown 2500-hour year-long Interfaith Chaplaincy Residency Program, earning four units of Clinical Pastoral Education-professional chaplaincy qualifications. She was sole chaplain for North ICU (all heart/lung transplants and surgeries), Cardiac Care Unit-CCU, and Day Surgery.
- In 1998-Leena was ordained an Interfaith Minister and Spiritual Counselor at the Presidio in San Francisco having graduated from the Interfaith Seminary of Santa Cruz.
- 1998-Leena became Third-degree Master-Teacher in the Usui Reiki Tradition of Natural Healing.
- In 1995, Rev. Deborah Johnson asked Leena to leave Agape and Southern California and relocate to Santa Cruz to help start Inner Light Ministries. Leena founded the Inner Light Prayer Ministry holding bi-monthly meetings in her home. She also led “visioning” processes at board retreats and member homes to anchor the church, choir and youth ministries.
- For three years, Leena served many Agape ministries full-time including: The Agape Prayer Ministry, Practitioner Core, The Sunday Revealing Service team, Youth And Family Ministry, One From The Heart-Crisis Support/Hospital Visitation/Grief Support, Freedom Path Ministry, Season For Nonviolence and The Agape International Choir. Leena often led noon meditations. She founded the 6:00pm Meditation prior to the Sunday Revealing Service.
- In 1995, Leena became a licensed Spiritual Practitioner of Religious Science–New Thought/Ageless Wisdom teachings. She was trained by metaphysical masters including Rev. Peggy Bassett, Dr. Roger Teel–senior ministers of the Church of Religious Science in Huntington Beach, and Rev. Dr. Michael Beckwith, Rev. Nirvana Gayle, Rev. Coco Stewart and Rev. Joan Steadman at the Agape International Spiritual Center (4-year training program).
- Leena furthered ministerial studies at the Ernest Holmes College, Los Angeles, CA from 1994-5.
- Leena has been studying and practicing conscious transformation since the mid-80’s when she was introduced to Quantum Physics applied to life leadership via Quantum Management Systems programs
- Leena sailed from Florida through the Bahamas to the Virgin Islands for two years, connecting intimately with the power of Nature and simple, sustainable living. She survived a shipwreck on the southern-most Bahamian Island of Great Inagua.
- Leena was baptized and confirmed Episcopalian at St. Peter’s Episcopal Cathedral, St. Petersburg, FL. She sang in choir every Sunday from age eight. Leena was president of Episcopal Young Churchmen in 1970 until she realized there was more, and she began her seeking consciously at age 18.
LEADERSHIP/ORGANIZATION DEVELOPMENT/BUSINESS MANAGEMENT/COMMUNICATIONS & BROADCASTING
- Leena completed Walnut Creek CERT Basic Training and Get-On-The-Air HAM radio training in 2014 and then became a member of the Walnut Creek CERT Training Team instructing Disaster Psychology/Building Resilience in 2014-2016.
- Leena directed commercial production for three radio stations in Sonora, CA She was a radio personality counseling listeners after 9/11/2001 live on the pop and news radio stations.
- Leena directed a leadership/team-building high ropes program while living in Sonora, CA.
- From 1987-1995, she consulted in leadership development, professional services marketing, strategic planning and organizational transformation for corporations, individuals, governmental and community organizations including:
- Southern Pacific Railroad
- Los Angeles County
- Long Beach, CA, Department of Education
- Healthy Start Silverado Project
- Leadership Torrance
- Leadership Long Beach
- St. Michael and All Angels Church/School, Studio City, CA
- Squar and Clarke Accountancy Corporation
- Leena trained at the United Way Kellogg Training Center in Los Angeles and served as a volunteer business consultant to charitable organizations, 1993-5
- Leena completed Deming Quality Management Training while consultant for Southern Pacific Railroad, 1994
- Leena studied Principled Negotiation at Harvard Law with authors of GETTING TO YES, 1994
- Leena was one of four visionaries and the first executive director of Leadership Long Beach, now starting its 26th year.
- She became Facilitator Core Chair for Junior League of Long Beach
- Leena was project manager for the Long Beach Centennial, Long Beach, CA, supervising office operations, managing the Centennial store and coordinating 8-months of city-wide events.
- She was a licensed CPA in Florida for ten years. After graduation cum laude from Florida State University, she was an auditor for then Big 8 CPA firm Peat, Marwick, Mitchell and Co., Corporate Accounting Manager for Eckerd Drugs, Inc., Vice President of Marguerite Dawson Insurance and Assistant Vice President of Park Bank.
- Leena was one of the youngest to graduate from Leadership St. Pete, St. Petersburg, FL, community leadership development program.