Joy Ravelli started her business when she was 20 years old providing fitness, health, and nutrition coaching to the staff and students at the college she was attending.  Soon Joy was leading her “Health In Motion” programs at several colleges and corporations throughout Massachusetts. She ran this business successfully in Massachusetts for 20 years. In 1999 her life long passion for Yoga moved into the center of her business and in 2004 she created the Purusha Yoga School. The Purusha Yoga School has graduated over 400 students. The school provides 3 levels of training plus many specialized certifications and is registered with the National Yoga Alliance at the 200, 300, and 500 hour levels. Joy founded the non profit organization The Purusha Seva Project in 2009.  The Purusha Seva Project provides yoga, health, movement, somatic healing, and life skills to at risk and underserved populations. Joy completed writing a practical guide to the Yoga Sutras in 2009 and looks forward to it being published soon. She is currently writing other practical guides for her students to navigate their way through the Upanishads and the Bhagavad Gita. “Writing helps me to understand these practices and has always been a way of expressing my deeper ideas and feelings.” Joy opened the Purusha Yoga Studio in San Francisco in 2011 as a way of providing opportunities for her teachers to share and grow while also nourishing a local community with a wide variety of classes, programs, and a place to gather and celebrate together. The true spark of light that ignited the studio was the death of her son Alex in 2009.  Alex& need for simplicity, his love of nature, and his deep empathy for the suffering of this world is an inspiration for much of the work at Purusha. Joy continues to find ways to teach yoga to those that may not otherwise be exposed to these valuable practices and ultimately create a healthier world for all of us. Joy & greatest teachers are:  Nature, wild animals, children and many special human beings-including her students and all the great teachers that have come before her.


A native of California, Eric began studying yoga in 1998. A classically trained ballet dancersince 1982, Eric has been a company member of Boston Ballet, Cleveland/San Jose Ballet and, a Soloist with Miami City Ballet. Eric is a graduate of the Urban Flow 100 Hour YTT, the YogaWorks 200 Hour YTT. And the Purusha Yoga School 500 hour Professional Yoga Therapist Training. Additionally, Eric is owner with his wife Joya of Purusha Yoga Studio & School. A Thai Massage graduate, and a life long student of Anatomy and Kinesiology, Eric has been teaching Anatomy, Kinesiology through the lens of Asana and movement for over 6 years. He has taught the Purusha Yoga School Level I 200 Hour Yoga Teacher Training as well as advanced trainings in Asana and teaching methods and leads a number of classes, groups and individuals in Yoga, Yoga Therapy, Fitness, and Dance at the Purusha Yoga Studio and various Dance schools throughout the Bay Area. He brings a practical sense of body-movement coupled with a grounded spirit creating a rich yoga flow and fulfilling experience for the beginning yogi as well as the “fumbling sage.”


Fred earned B.A. degree from U.C. Berkeley and a J.D from U.C. Hastings College of Law. He was admitted to practice in California 1976 and continued to practice until 2012. Fred first studied yoga in 1969 and continued to study with dozens of studios in the California Bay Area. Fred came to Purusha yoga where he met founder Joy Ravelli in 2011. In 2015, Fred joined Purusha Seva’s mission trip to Nepal to broaden his knowledge and experience. He is currently writing novel-length fiction about life's endless journey. Fred serves as the Chairman of the Board of Directors and focuses on legal compliance.


David earned a B.A. in Environmental Education, Administrative Services Credential and M.A. in Educational Leadership from Sonoma State University. He completed his teaching credential and M.S. in Curriculum and Instruction from Dominican University and completed his doctorate in Educational Leadership and Policy from the University of California. His original research and dissertation explored Social Capital, Social Replication Theory, and Critical Race Theory.

With a leadership background spanning the K-12 Public School System, David emphasizes learning at all levels of the organization and self-discovery to reach our potential. His experience includes outdoor education, environmental education, classroom teaching, K-12 administration, curriculum development, mentoring, and Human Resources. During his two decades in public education he developed curriculum, established and evaluated programs, opened schools, facilitated and established institutional accreditations.

Dr. Putney has branched out to share his experience and skills outside the traditional school setting by establishing his own consulting business. He is passionate about teaching, learning, and believes that everyone is capable of achieving high levels of success and that only the individual shall define himself or herself.  In his early years he discovered yoga as a method of personal growth, health, and wellness.  Dr. Putney interweaves his traditional leadership practice with his yoga and spiritual path to not only facilitate his personal growth but to steward his community.  This is achieved by infusing conscious leadership, creativity, entrepreneurialism, and empowerment as tools to leverage growth and development for the individual or organization.

As a board member David is focused on supporting the development of the board, cohesion, public relations, and social media.  He has been a member of the Seva Project Community since winter of 2014.


Sherry has a 20+ year background as a dance instructor as well as a lengthy career in Los Angeles as a Senior Spot Television Broadcast Buyer and Spot Television and Radio Broadcast Media Supervisor.  After 15 years of practicing yoga,  Sherry “began again” with 200 hour YTT at Purusha Yoga School and is currently pursuing additional knowledge through independent study.  Sherry joined the Purusha Seva Board in November 2014 with an open heart and passion for yoga and its life changing abilities.  She came to the non-profit with an expansive knowledge of the day to day workings of a 501c3 as she had been an integral part Stages, Northern CA Performing Arts, in Folsom CA.  There she worked in conjunction with the Board of Directors for over 8 years, heading up publicity, promotions, all aspects of event planning and performance coordinating, fund raising as well as facilitating various outreach programs to under-served in the Sacramento community.  Sherry’s greatest assets to the board is her energy, willingness to help out where ever needed, her ability to multi task as well as to accomplish tasks in a timely manner.


MA Transpersonal Psychology, BA Music, Yoga Therapy, Thai Bodywork, Reiki


Traveling through central America as a bartender and ocean-lover after undergrad and difficult times, discovered a clear connection to people and the land, and had to look deep within at my path and heal reckless behaviors streamed from childhood traumas, Returned from that journey in 2010 with a broken femur, I learned to meditate and re-learned to walk, I have been on a path to heal myself. Through the healing work I have done with myself, discovering the importance of community on this path, I realize I may be able to help others heal themselves too. What special skills do you bring to Prusha Seva - loving, focused, gentle energy through touch, vibration, and words.

-Board member, Secretery, Yoga Teacher, Foundation

-Purusha student and instructor 

- training in music, therapy, psychology, philosophy, anthropology, energetic and physical bodywork

-power of vibration on the body and our environment

-power of breathe and movement

-power and joy of service

-important to hold space for transformation however that may look for each individual

-after breaking her femur in 2010, Vanessa became a meditation practitioner to accompany the healing of her leg, then a regular yoga student to regain flexibility and strength.


Certified Yoga Teacher (200YTT, 300YTT) – Purusha School.

Certified Yoga Therapist (700hr Yoga Therapy Course) - Crimea Institute of Practical Yoga.                                                                

Certified Master of Hatha Yoga – 1999.

M.A. in Hospitality Management – 1995.

Board member to Purusha SEVA Project since 2014, she is the board’s official photographer and yoga teacher.

She was born in Siberia and was first inspired to learn yoga from her mother, who discovered the practice as a means of overcoming several major physical illnesses before opening what would become the first and largest yoga school in the Ukraine.

Alexandra graduated from and taught at the Crimea Institute of Practical Yoga in 1999 before moving to Israel and opening her own yoga studio and school. As a business owner and teacher, she utilized her profound knowledge of yoga and human anatomy to adapt classes based on the particular needs of students as well as train new yoga instructors with a thorough understanding of the physical, mental, and spiritual facets of the practice. 

She moved to San Francisco in 2011 where she continues her training and teaching at Purusha Yoga Studio.


Originally from Columbia, South Carolina John attended Furman University and The University of Utah before moving to California where he found yoga after spending many years searching for inner-peace in the outside world. A hobby quickly turned into a new passion of the study and teaching of classical Hatha and Raja Yoga.

“I did not come to yoga because I was flexible, strong, disciplined, or serene. But through dedicated practice, I found those qualities and so much more. I say this from the bottom of my heart: yoga did not just enrich my life, it saved it!

So, come! Be curious; be open; be courageous; and be yourself. I call you specifically who feels that you don't know what it means to be those things.  Bring what you know to be true of you, and stay to find out the rest!”

John is an advanced RYT-500 Yoga Teacher, Holistic Coach, Bodyworker, Group Facilitator and Community Builder. He possesses certificates in Traditional Thai Yoga Bodywork and Chakra Yoga Therapy.

John’s firm belief in the effectivity of Yoga Therapy as complementary health care stems from his own experience and recovery from trauma. John is passionate about wellness, community building, and non-profit work. 


After college, I was looking around for an internship and stumbled upon The Yoga Seed in Sacramento, CA. And coming from a dance and movement background, yoga seemed like a natural progression. After a year and a half at The Yoga Seed, I came to Purusha in 2015 and recently graduated from their 200 Hour Yoga Teacher Training.

Yoga has made a big impact in my life. The first time I ever took a yoga class and went into savasanna, I was overwhelmed with a feeling of release that manifested itself into actual tears. I had no idea how much I was holding back until that moment. The memory of that cathartic moment has remained with me and is the reason why I continue to align myself with people and organizations that want to spread health, wellness, and mindfulness in the community.

I am a board member of the Purusha SEVA Project and a part of the committee that handles marketing and social media.