curriculum vitae

Lex presenting at MD Anderson Cancer Hospital, 2015 - photo credit: Bob Levy


The Yoga Institute




1974 - Present

The Yoga Institute, Founder and President

Established 1974



Stephen F. Austin State University

Bachelor of Science, January 1969


(Hatha and Raja Yoga and Meditation) - Primary Teachers


Mentor Joseph M. (Josh) White, Jr. My first teacher. Introduced me to Jungian psychology and yoga.

1971. Therafields Commune, Toronto. An experiential psychoanalytic hippie commune.

Introduction to psychoanalysis.


School of Yoga

Houston, Texas

Hatha and Raja Yoga

1971 - Present

Monastery of Christ in the Desert

Abiquiu, New Mexico

Benedictine monastery/personal retreats

Summer Early 1970's

Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche, Tibetan Lama

Rocky Mountain Dharma Center

Fort Collins, Colorado



Houston, TX

Dharma and Vipassana (Insight) Meditation Teacher

Buddhist Philosophy and Meditation Teacher

1973 - 1994

Ram Dass, Spiritual Icon

New Mexico and Texas

A long connection first as a chela (student), then as a yoga instructor on staff at several retreats and finally as a host and promoter of his lectures and retreats in Houston and Chappel Hill, Texas

1979 - 1982

Stephen Levine, Spiritual Teacher and Author

Houston, Texas and Chappel Hill, Texas

Meditation, death and dying and grief work teacher

1980 - 1996

Andy Gold, Sufi Master and Rabbinic Pastor

New Mexico and Texas

Sufi teacher

Summer, Early 1980’s

Father Thomas Keating, Trappist Monk

New Mexico

Contemplative prayer teacher

Summer 1982, 1983

Lama Foundation, Ecumenical Retreat Center

San Cristobal, New Mexico

Christian, Buddhist, Sufi, and Hindu practices

Summer 1989

St. Benedict’s Monastery

Snowmass, Colorado

Trappist monastery/ personal retreat

2002 - 2006

Stan Hafner, Yoga Master

New Mexico, Connecticut, and Texas

Ashtanga Yoga, Vinny Yoga and Vinyasa Krama yoga teacher

July, 2010

Roshi Joan Halifax

Upaya Zen Center

Santa Fe, New Mexico

Zen Teacher

2003 - 2013

James Ezelle, M.D.

Houston, Texas

My Analyst


  • ERYT (Experienced Registered Yoga Teacher), License number 20588

  • Certified Yoga Teacher through Yoga Alliance, one of two national registries for yoga teachers and teacher certification courses. 500 hour level (highest possible)

  • Founding President of NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF CERTIFIED YOGA TEACHERS, one of two national registries for certified yoga teachers and teacher certification courses. Certified as a teacher at the 500 hour level (highest possible); the teacher certification course is also compliant at the 500 hour level.

  • Owner and teacher:

  • Yoga Teacher Training and National Certification Course and Advanced Yoga Studies Course licensed through the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF CERTIFIED YOGA TEACHERS at the 500 hour level (highest possible). License Number 4300

  • On a more esoteric level:

  • Thrown to the masses by the grace of the guru.

  • 1 April, 1975


  • Pioneered full-time yoga instruction as a profession in stand-alone studios. Founded The Yoga Institute, one of the oldest independent yoga studios in the country, in 1974. Built business to four studios (Houston, Clear Lake, Sugar Land, Bryan College Station) and minority ownership in the bookshops of ten other studios around the country. Each of the four original studios had a bookstore with 2,000 volumes of classic yogic texts.

  • Personally taught more than 40,000 yoga classes and 300 two-day weekend meditation workshops to more than 100,000 students out of the original Houston studio. Sold the studio piece of the business in 1997 to concentrate on teaching Yoga Teacher Training & National Certification Course (started in 1993) and The Advanced Yoga Studies Course. These courses are ten day and five day courses respectfully which are taught at retreat centers around the country. More than 200 ten day courses have been taught certifying more than 3,000 yoga teachers. These courses pioneered yoga teacher certification in the United States.

  • Co-founder of Rose Mountain Retreat Center (not-for-profit established 1986) located outside Las Vegas, New Mexico. Seed money of $50,000 was obtained through a grant from Charles Miller of Houston. The center offers a potpourri of spiritual retreats with world-class teachers June through October each year.

  • Founder and president of National Association of Certified Yoga Teachers, a national registry for yoga teacher certification courses and certified yoga teachers.

  • Hosted and promoted myriad lectures, workshops, and retreats (one-night stands to weeklong retreats) including:

  • Swami Kriyananda (Paramahansa Yogananda lineage)

  • Stephen Levine (numerous visits)

  • Ram Dass (numerous visits)

  • Judith S. (Emmanuel medium)

  • Lilias Folan (of PBS TV fame)

  • Elisabeth Kubler-Ross (death and dying)

  • Dhiravamsa (Dharma Teacher and Vipassana (Insight) Meditation Master)

  • Andy Gold (many visits)

  • David Swenson (Ashtanga yoga teacher)

  • Eloise Gold (Tai Chi teacher - many visits)

  • Residents of Lama Foundation (A medicine chest of spiritual practices taught in a three day course at Rothko Chapel)

  • Deepak Chopra


Early 1980’s

Lama Foundation

San Cristobal, New Mexico

Board of Trustees, 1 year appointment

1986 - present

Rose Mountain Retreat Center

Las Vegas, New Mexico

Co-founder, Board of Trustees

2005 - present

Institute for Spirituality and Health at the Texas Medical Center


2008 - present

Brazos Bookstore

Houston, Texas

Partner and Board of Directors

2012 - 2013

The Institute for Spirituality and Health at the Texas Medical Center

Houston, Texas

Executive Committee

2013 - present

Margaret Austin Retreat Center,

Chappell Hill, TX

Board of Directors

2013 - present

Hope and Healing Center and Hope and Healing Institute

Houston, TX

Advisory Director


YogaALLIANCE Standards Committee

YogaALLIANCE Compliance Committee

2013 - Present

National Association of Certified Yoga Teachers

Founder and President

November 2019 - Present

Yoga Teacher Central

Board of Directors


Late 1990’s

Presented two lectures on The Business of Yoga at a three day conference in Austin, Texas


Gillan, Lex. "Oasis 80 A CALENDAR FOR THE NEW YEAR." Bayland Publishing, 1979.

Gillan, Lex. "Conscious Eating." Tele-Scope Magazine. Volume 3 Number 1 (April, 1976).

Gillan, Lex. Oasis '80/'20 A CALENDAR FOR THE NEW YEAR. October, 2019.

Saxena, Kirti, MD, Gillan, Lex, et al. "Hatha Yoga Improves Attention in High Schoolers." Baylor College of Medicine. 1 December, 2019.


  • "Leisure Classes Feature." The Houston Post (4 January, 1976).

  • "Leisure Classes Feature." The Houston Post (8 January, 1978).

  • "The Yoga Institute Teaches Classical Indian Yoga." Houston Chronicle (29 April, 1978).

  • McFarland, Gary Elliott. "Christmas Survival - Head to Toe Tension May Be Gift of the Season." Houston Chronicle (14 December, 1978).

  • "Seekers in the City - Everything You Wanted to Know About Sects But Were Afraid to Ask." Houston City Magazine (February, 1979).

  • "Oasis 80 The Most Beautiful Calendar You Have Ever Seen." Houston Home and Garden Magazine (November, 1979).

  • "Yoga Works Mind and Body Totally." The Houston Post (14 September, 1980).

  • Serrano, E. Jeff. "Enjoy Yoga This Holiday." Houston Chronicle (December, 1980).

  • Kane, Karen. "The Fittest Bodies in Town - Lex Gillan." Houston Chronicle (6 January, 1982).

  • "How to Survive The Holiday Flabs." Houston City Magazine (November, 1983).

  • "Is Relaxing Taxing?" Houston Chronicle (5 November, 1983).

  • Sowers, Leslie. "The Yogi and the Realtor." Houston Chronicle (29 January, 1984).

  • "How to Relax." Houston Post (22 April, 1984).

  • DeSoto, Ben and Kane, Karen. "Heavy handed." Houston Chronicle Texas Magazine (16 September, 1984).

  • Smith, Michelle. "Bailey, Gillan Trim Fat Through Aerobic Fitness." Houston Chronicle (8 January, 1985).

  • "Fit or Fat Program Works." Houston Health and Fitness Magazine (November, 1985).

  • "Gift of the Yogi." Houston Home and Garden Magazine (December, 1985).

  • "Houstonians Turn to Yoga For Stress Reduction, Increased Flexibility." Houston Health and Fitness Magazine (June, 1987).

  • "H H & F Spotlights January’s Fit Physiques." Houston Health and Fitness Magazine

  • (January, 1988).

  • Charlene. "Mastering the Art of Snoring and Candle-Staring." The Houston Post (20 March, 1988).

  • Allendar, Ann. "the Search For Inner Peace." The Texan Newspaper (2 April, 1989).

  • Baird, Jane. "Being Fired a Blessing for Yoga Buff." The Houston Post (31 July, 1989).

  • Selby, Holly. "Mainstream Meditation - America’s Outlook Changing." Houston Chronicle (1 May, 1990)

  • "Tips for a Better Life." Houston Health and Fitness Magazine (January, 1991).

  • Lewis, Gwen. "Moonlit Runs, Yoga Bring Gillan Peace." Houston Chronicle (24 January, 1991).

  • "Turning, Twisting, Stretching Movements." Houston Health and Fitness Magazine (February, 1991).

  • Baird, Jane. "Leave Your Troubles at the Yoga Institute." The Houston Post (19 May, 1991).

  • "Lex Gillan - Profile." Houston Press (31 October, 1991).

  • Paris, Wendy. "Yoga Classes Teach Relaxation." Houston Chronicle (13 April, 1994).

  • Morgan, Barbara. "The Art of Prayer." Houston Life Magazine (17 April, 1994).

  • Fleming, Chris. "Yoga, The Missing Link." Houston Health and Fitness Magazine (January, 1995).

  • "Art of Yoga." The Gazzette (Cedar Rapids, Iowa newspaper) (9 March, 1998).

  • Jordan, Becky and Rath, Raye Lynn. "The Yoga Institute, A Gem in the Heart of the City." Small Change Newspaper (March/April, 2004).

  • Neporent, Liz. "What Can Yoga Really Do For You?" Shape Magazine Volume 25 Number 10 (June 2006).

  • Waldman, Dorothy. "Mastery of Yoga Worth Stretching For." Greater Houston Weekly (27 December, 2006).

  • Zotomayor, Alexie."Less Is More." Island Locator Magazine-Island of Saipan (July/August, 2008 cover story).

  • Dunne, Diane. "The Institute for Spirituality and Health." Change Magazine (May 2009).

  • Nickell, Cathey Graham. "Uniting Faith, Medicine and Healthcare: A 57 Year History of The Institute for Spirituality and Health at The Texas Medical Center." Lightning Source Press (2012).

  • Swartz, Mimi. "Downward Dog." Texas Monthly Magazine Volume 40 Number 5 (May 2012). Page 237.

  • Galehouse, Maggie. "Brazos Bookstore Enjoys a Streamlining Makeover." Houston Chronicle (23 April, 2012).

  • "Turning the Page - Physical, Technological Overhaul Moves Venerable Houston Bookstore into the Modern Age." Houston Business Journal (11 May, 2012).

  • Hank Hancock, "Margaret Austin Center." CITE Number 91(Spring 2013). Page 29.

  • Nelson, Stuart, "Institute for Spirituality and Health at the Texas Medical Center." April 2015. Page 14.

  • Casselle, Tania. "Be Here Now and Then: Voices of Counterculture of the Southwest." Bienvenidos Magazine, Santa Fe New Mexican newspaper (May 2017). Page 56.

  • Cobb, Ahad. "Early Lama Foundation." Lama Foundation (2008). Page 103.

  • New Mexico History Museum, Santa Fe, New Mexico. July 2017 - February 2018. "Voices of the Counterculture of the Southwest." Display of the original edition of Ram Dass' book, BE HERE NOW. Donated by Lex.

  • Becker, Alexandra. "De-Stressing in School." TMC (Texas Medical Center) PULSE Magazine Volume 5 Number 3 (April 2018). Page 7.

  • Gray, Lisa. "Opening the Door to Mindfulness at an Early Age." Houston Chronicle (28 February, 2019).

  • Saxena, Kirti, MD, Gillan, Lex, et al. "Hatha Yoga Improves Attention in High Schoolers." Baylor College of Medicine. 1 December, 2019.


M.D. Anderson Cancer Hospital, Houston.

        • Weekly meditation for faculty and staff (2006-2008).

Houston Independent School District. (Rose Haggerty, Manager, Health and Physical Education, contact).

        • Three one-hour classes in hatha yoga for HISD teachers for winter in-service program (January, 2006).

Methodist Hospital Oncology Unit. (Bross, Ann, contact).

        • One hour instruction and practice in five different meditation techniques on how to deal with stress, pain and uncertainty while undergoing cancer treatment. For patients, staff and faculty (March, 2006).

Memorial-Hermann Hospital System, Katy. (Lempertz, Isabelle, contact).

        • A five hour meditation workshop entitled Taking The One Seat. Introduced, educated and practiced ten meditation techniques drawn from many of the world’s wisdom traditions. For hospital staff only (April, 2006).

Memorial-Hermann Hospital System, Katy. (Lempertz, Isabelle, contact).

        • Four 25-minute meditations practiced over a four week period (each meditation is different) done in the hospital chapel. For staff and faculty. (2006)

Menninger Clinic, Houston.

        • One hour instruction in four meditation practices for faculty for their personal use and also to pass the practices on to their patients at this psychiatric hospital (October 2006).

The Institute for Spirituality and Health, Houston.

        • Ongoing Faculty responsibilities which include annual Art of Yoga workshops, the annual Nurses Retreat for the Texas Medical Center staff and ongoing workshops for Baylor and University of Texas third year medical students. For upcoming classes at The Institute for Spirituality and Health click here.

Rice University, Fall 2008.

        • Two six week courses: The Art and Science of Meditation and Basic Techniques of Beginner Meditation

2014 Presenter at the 23rd Annual Psychotherapy and Faith Conference sponsored by Institute for Spirituality and Health/Baylor College of Medicine/Menninger Clinic, Houston

January 2015 Presenter at:

        • "Art, Medicine and Contemplation Conference", West Chester University (PA), held in Houston.

        • "Collective Soul Conference" - Palliative Care, MD Anderson Cancer Hospital, Houston

February/March 2015

        • Baylor College of Medicine Six Week Yoga Class for Mental Wellness

Specifically for the Psychiatrists of BCM and Menninger Clinic

February, 2015

        • Baylor College of Medicine Meditation 101: Cultivating a Listening Heart

A Workshop on How to Navigate our Interior Landscape

Specifically for Psychiatrists and Psychoanalysts

March 2015

        • In collaboration with Baylor College of Medicine/Menninger Clinic/Texas Children's Hospital, a three month Yoga and Meditation Study with bipolar adolescents and their caregivers.

March 2015

        • Recorded meditations for the Meditation Station, a portable pop-up meditation hall that will be placed in different venues, i.e. hospitals, farmers markets, corporations. This project is in collaboration with Dawn Mountain Tibetan Temple and is featured in the Fall 2014 edition of TRICYCLE magazine.

October 2015

        • "The Use of Yoga as an Adjunctive Treatment for Psychiatric Illness in Children and Adolescents" (in collaboration with Baylor College of Medicine/Texas Children's Hospital/Institute for Spirituality and Health at the Texas Medical Center) presented at the 62nd Annual American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Conference in San Antonio.

January 2016

        • YogaMass, in collaboration with Grace Episcopal Church, Houston.

        • Yoga/meditation/liturgy/communion taken on yoga mats in an effort to appeal to today's younger yogis in an effort to bring them back into a church service.

        • Presenter at:

Collective Soul Conference

Palliative Care, MD Anderson Cancer Hospital

Houston, TX

March, 2016 and 2017

        • Annual Medicine and Religion Conference presented by Harvard University/University of Chicago/Institute for Spirituality and Health in the Texas Medical Center, hosted by ISH in Houston.

        • "The Use of Yoga as an Adjunctive Treatment for Psychiatric Illness in Children and Adolescents".

October 2016

        • "Living in Your Spiritual Heart - How to Be Here Now," An Advanced Yoga Studies Course with Ram Dass.

November 2016

        • "A History of Religion in 51/2 Objects" with Professor Brent Plate from Hamilton College

2017-2021/22 Academic Year

        • "Yoga and Meditation." Required curriculum for grades 9-12 at the Michael E. DeBakey High School for Health Professions (18th nationally ranked high school as per U.S. News & World Report). In collaboration with Baylor College of Medicine.

        • Results of Yoga and Mindfulness study at DeBakey High School for Health Professions (Houston) presented by Dr. Kirti Saxena at the International Association of Child and Adolescent Psychiatrists in Budapest, July 2018 and in San Francisco, October 2021.

Spring 2020 and Fall 2021

        • “Yoga and Meditation.” Baylor College of Medicine Biotech Academy at Rusk Middle School. In collaboration with BCM. A formal study with Dr. Kirti Saxena.


  • An avid reader and book collector having amassed a very deep collection of yoga, philosophy, and spiritual books. Number of books in home library - now north of 6000.