photo: Dr. Amrita teaches a “Medical Benefits of Yoga” workshop, Richmond, Virginia.

Dr. Sandra Amrita McLanahan is a holistic and Yoga medical doctor with a family practice in Yogaville. She is a pioneer in the field of integrative and lifestyle medicine, having founded America’s first holistic health center in Connecticut in 1976. Personal physician to Swami Satchidananda, with whom she traveled widely, she is also the author of several books.

Her message, in what I call “Amrita’s Sutras” is simple: Love heals, loneliness is at the root of illness, a good natural diet can prevent and reverse many illnesses, as well as Yoga, deep breathing, and exercise.” These are components of Dr. Dean Ornish’s revolutionary method to reverse heart disease (and some cancers), with whom she worked to develop this life-saving method.

The Integral Yoga Center of Richmond (Virginia) recently hosted a series of programs by Dr. Amrita, which included a screening of her video “Health, Yoga and Anatomy.” I’ve watched it so many times, and I still keep on learning new things with my students and those who came to watch it. Although it’s more than 40 years old, it’s still not only relevant but is one of the best videos to learn how Yoga poses have a powerful effect on the anatomy of our bodies—not just bones and muscles, but our internal organs.

Dr. Amrita also offered a workshop on the “Medical Benefits of Yoga.” After more than 40 years, she continues to be as passionate about the miracle of our bodies, how to prevent illness with lifestyle changes, and how to heal through Yoga, as she was when she graduated from medical school.

As a medical doctor, she has direct experience in understanding and addressing the sources of so many illnesses her patients bring to her. Combining her long medical experience, her continuing study of the latest scientific research, as well as her knowledge of the Vedic and yogic scriptures, she’s a unique manifestation of deep wisdom on earth. Her presence is healing.

photo: Dr. Amrita (red hat), Rev. Vimala (in white, next to Dr. Amrita), and workshop participants.

Just as her red hat shouts to the world—as many of her friends like the late Ram Dass, Dr. Bernie Siegel, Dr. Dean Ornish, Dr. Michael Lerner, Dr. Andrew Weil, and so many more write and say: ”Love Heals.” This is one of the main teachings of her teacher and mentor, Sri Swami Satchidananda. Thank you Dr. Amrita for sharing your light with us.








In this short video, Dr. Sandra Amrita McLanahan gives an overview of the health benefits of the Integral Yoga Hatha method. This clip is part of the documentary, “Living Yoga: The Life and Teachings of Swami Satchidananda.”



About the Author: Nora Vimala Pozzi
In 1995, after working 13 years as an architect, Nora Vimala Pozzi, E-RYT500, PRYT, Ycat, transitioned from part-time to full-time owner and director of the Richmond Integral Yoga Center and a Yoga Educator. She became director of the Teacher Training Program in 1999 and a Yoga Therapist in 2001. Her Yoga postgraduate teaching certifications from Satchidananda Ashram–Yogaville, include: “Advanced Hatha Yoga”, “Yoga for Stress Management”, ”Raja Yoga” (Yoga philosophy and psychology), having also served as faculty for the teacher training program since 2006. She also offers Yoga classes for various levels of ability and health conditions, Yoga therapy—individual and group sessions, lectures and workshops on various subjects related to yoga, stress, health and mindfulness. She has been a speaker and presenter at many yoga conferences and at events for various public and private organizations. She also teaches and lectures nationally and internationally in English and Spanish, which is her original language.