Welcome to Berkshire Wellness Radio with Nancy Fernandez Mills

In the Berkshires, we’re lucky to live side by side with many nationally recognized healers – yoga teachers, massage therapists, nutrition experts, personal trainers, energy workers and integrated medicine specialists.

Our podcasts will highlight their work and allow them to share their own stories of healthy living and personal transformation.

Steven Leonard is a Freestyle Healer

Steven Leonard comes from a family dedicated to health and wellness – his parents owned and ran a fitness center in his native New Jersey.  He’s taken that family background and expanded on it, studying yoga, meditation and Eastern philosophy and combining those with his passion for fitness.

Steve has spent time at Kripalu and is now the Director of Wellness and Recreation at Berkshire South Community Center in Great Barrington.  I spoke with him about his “freestyle” approach to healing.


Dr. Barbara Vacarr Aims to Maximize the Social Impact of the Kripalu Yoga Method

I recently had the good fortune of sitting with Kripalu’s CEO to discuss her vision for making Kripalu’s yoga-based practice more visible in the world. Barbara Vacarr, PhD, is a psychologist, an expert in higher education and adult learning and the former President of Goddard College in Vermont.

Listen as Dr. Vacarr reveals how her family connection to the Holocaust led to her work to heal the world…how she is taking Kripalu yoga “off campus” to facilitate a shift in the culture of large organizations…and how she is cultivating mindful leadership through Kripalu’s new RISE Program.


To learn more about Kripalu’s RISE Program, visit https://kripalu.org/rise

Ilana Steinhauer, FNP and Jeffrey Blake, MD Help Volunteers in Medicine Berkshires Thrive

Ilana Steinhauer, FNP, is a nurse practitioner and Executive Director of Volunteers in Medicine Berkshires, or VIM, a free clinic for income qualified adults who are uninsured and underinsured.

Dr. Jeff Blake is a retired cardiologist who was recruited to treat VIM patients when the free clinic opened its doors 13 years ago. Dr. Blake just stepped down after serving on VIM’s Board of Trustees for many years but continues to volunteer as a clinician.

Both are inspiring caregivers dedicated to promoting wellness. We recently spoke about VIM’s mission and its unique contributions to the community.

Full disclosure…I’ve been a volunteer nutrition counselor and patient educator at VIM for about eight years and I’m happy to say I’m starting my seventh year as a member of its Board.


To learn more about Volunteers in Medicine Berkshires, visit www.vimberkshires.org.

Nutritionist Deb Phillips, MS, LDN is a “Science Geek and Food Detective.”

Nutritionist Deb Philips has been working with mothers with babies, teens and adults of all ages in the Berkshires since 1977.

During her 40-year career, Deb has seen the science of nutrition and expert advice about healthy eating change in exciting, and for many of us, confusing ways.

But while the science has no doubt gotten better, our food environment has gotten a lot more toxic. I spoke with Deb about how she helps her clients choose the best foods for their own health and well-being.


For more about Deb, visit her website at www.debphillips.biz.

Kripalu’s Stephen Cope on Yoga, Friendship and Conscious Community

Yogi Stephen Cope, MSW, is a rock star at at the Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health. During his almost 30-year tenure he’s been a leader in its transformation from a large ashram led by a popular guru into a lifelong learning center for adults seeking wellness and wisdom.

Cope is a Senior Scholar-in-Residence and Kripalu Ambassador, an inspiring teacher, best-selling author, psychotherapist and researcher. He’s studied the impact of taking Kripalu yoga “Off the Mat” and into public schools, health care facilities and human service organizations.

I spoke with Stephen about yoga going mainstream, the power of friendship and his decision to build what he calls a “conscious community” in his sixties.



Karden Rabin Aims to Provide “Boundless” Healing

Karden Rabin doesn’t want to be restricted in the kinds of services he offers his clients.  His calls Boundless – his place of business in West Stockbridge – a “wellness center,” where he offers his private clients a wide range of healing arts, including yoga, personal training, acupuncture, massage and Chinese Medicine.

Boundless also offers Community Care Days, when folks who are willing to receive acupuncture and other treatments in a group setting can access services at a much lower price.


Learn more about Karden and his work at www.bound-less.com.

Mimi Rosenblatt Dances Her Way to Health

How did a junk food-loving couch potato from South Texas become a dancer and a popular fitness instructor in the Berkshires? Mimi Rosenblatt’s journey took her from Texas to San Francisco and finally to Great Barrington, where she teaches fitness and yoga, studies ballet and runs a used clothing store to benefit the Humane Society.


Connect with Mimi at www.berkshirepulse.org and at www.catwalkboutique.org.

Ken Nelson on Qigong & Creating Powerful Workshops

Ken Nelson

Ken Nelson, LMT is a senior teacher at Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health in Stockbridge where he offers his own special blend of the healing arts, including yoga, qigong, meditation and massage.

For several years, Ken has been focused on helping others create powerful workshops. He’s about to publish a book for workshop leaders, offering methods to link the heart and the mind, going beyond cognitive or even experiential learning.

Learn more about Ken Nelson and his work at www.sacredhealingarts.net and www.powerfulworkshops.com.

Pain Free Living with Lee Albert, NMT

Lee Albert

Lee Albert is a popular body worker at The Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health. He’s always in demand because he helps people get out of pain caused by muscle imbalances. Even the most experienced yogis at Kripalu flock to him for help.

Lee’s Integrated Positional Therapy is a non-invasive, gentle way to treat low back pain, migraine headaches, carpal tunnel syndrome, sciatica and other common conditions.

Lee is on a mission to give everyone with common aches and pains some “homework” – better sitting and driving positions, stretches, breathing techniques and meditation that can help us all stay out of pain.

Learn about Lee’s work, including his new book “Yoga for Pain Relief,” at www.leealbert.com.