About Michael, RYT 200

Always spiritually curious, Michael first came to Yoga as a method to relieve the physical and emotional symptoms of diabetes and to take back control of his health in middle age. Once he experienced the power of Yoga’s transformative abilities first hand, be became inspired to share the gift of Yoga and teach others to do the same.

Michael earned his 200-Hour Yoga Teacher Certification under the tutelage and guidance of Nancy McPartland LCSW-C, MS, E-RYT, YACEP, and Bonnie Tarantino MFA, E-RYT. Both Nancy and Bonnie are co-Directors of the University of Maryland School of Medicine’s Center for Integrative Medicine Yoga Programs. In addition to Yoga training, Michael has also completed Level I, II, Advanced, and Master Level Usui Shiki Ryoho Reiki Training with Ms. Tarantino, a 15-year practicing Reiki Master in the Usui and Karuna traditions.

Michael has also completed a 20-hour Savasana Intensive program by Judith Hanson Lasater as well as a 30-hour Relax and Renew® Restorative Yoga Teacher Training with Judith at the Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health.

A recent transplant to the Central New York area, Michael’s mission to help every person reconnect physically and mentally to their truest self so they may achieve their highest potential and enjoy the very best quality-of-life.

His gentle and restorative sequences are simply structured and always adapted to the individual’s specific needs, leaving room for the student to continually explore and expand their personal practice. He believes that the practice of yoga provides an environment for each student’s mind to determine which things are important, beneficial, and good — both for the body and for the soul. His style embodies a holistic approach to the practice, incorporating Yoga philosophy, pranayama, meditation, as well as mantra.

Contaren Yoga Teacher - Michael Johnson, RYT 200
  • RYT 200 – ‌The Center for Integrative Medicine at the University of Maryland School of Medicine
  • 20-Hour Savasana Intensive
    Judith Hanson Lasater, Ph.D., P.T.
  • 30-Hour Relax and Renew® Restorative Yoga Trainer Training at Kripalu
    – Judith Hanson Lasater, Ph.D., P.T.
  • 30-Hour Restorative 101
    – Jillian Pransky, E-RYT 500, C-IAYT
  • 27-Hour Restorative Yoga Therapeutic Teacher Training at Kripalu
    – Jillian Pransky, E-RYT 500, C-IAYT
  • Prenatal Yoga Teacher Training
    –‌The Center for Integrative Medicine at the University of Maryland School of Medicine
  • Level I, II, Advanced, and Master Usui Shiki Ryoho Reiki Training
    Bonnie Tarantino, E-RYT 500, C-IAYT
  • Private Yoga Instruction
  • Corporate Clients (Group Chair Yoga)
  • Spiritually-Oriented Yoga
  • Gentle/Restorative Yoga
  • Specialty Yoga (Diabetes)
  • Restorative Yoga
  • Chair Yoga (Corporate clients)
Light Purple Watercolor Divider

Overcoming Obstacles: A More Personal Story

My name is Yoga Mike and I am a former diabetic.

On a more personal note, here’s a little more about me: I used to weigh around 300 pounds and I needed insulin shots twice daily (in addition to an oral dose of Metformin) to control my Type II diabetes.  My A1C was 11.7 and my fasting blood glucose levels hovered in the neighborhood of 220+ mg/dl. My hands and feet were always numb and tingly, I had cuts and wounds and rashes that refused to heal, my eyes hurt, and my vision was getting blurry. I was exhausted all of the time. I was depressed. The doctor told me that I was now clinically categorized as “Morbidly obese”. I was miserable.

After I was diagnosed, I spent the next 5 or 6 years trying to follow the American Diabetes Association’s dietary and lifestyle modification recommendations with very little success. I’d get a little better…then I’d get a little worse. Get a little better, then a little worse, then worse still. It was depressing. On and on it went until one day I began eating a plant-based diet, quit drinking alcohol, and re-kindled my interest in the philosophy of Yoga.

Suddenly, everything changed.

The weight came off effortlessly. My blood glucose levels normalized. I became happier.

Sri Dharma Mittra hit the nail on the head when he said, “The practice and study of Yoga helps to bring about a balance of body and mind through which the natural state of health can begin to manifest.”.

Through a combination of gentle, restorative Yoga and a plant-based diet, my health turned around quickly and dramatically. I’m developing the Yoga for Diabetes program because I want to help others to do the same.

“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.”
“The mind is everything. What you think, you become.”
“Willpower is nothing but willingness to do.”
“The part can never be well unless the whole is well.”
“A wish to be well is part of becoming well.”


Subscribe to our monthly newsletter to learn more about yoga and diabetes research, receive invites to our upcoming Diabetes for Yoga workshops, and get fun and relevant practice tips delivered straight to your inbox.

* = required field