A student is an empty vessel and a teacher is the source that fills this empty vessel with in-depth knowledge and wisdom. To be a great yogi, it is necessary to learn from the best yoga gurus and to gather information from the most authentic sources. Excellent teachers who can guide them and provide them with apt. knowledge are the ideal conduits that can lead a student towards becoming the best yoga practitioner and teacher. At Rishikul Yogshala, we believe in the same ideology and do not undermine the role of a good yoga teacher in achievement of desired outcome from a yoga teacher training program. Our entire team of yoga teachers and gurus are not just internationally recognized but also hold years of experience as yoga and spirituality educators.
The teachers recognize and analyze distinct aspects of each student on individual basis. With respect to their body type, requirement and level, the students are maneuvered as brilliant yogis with the help of specific training and learning methods. With this methodology, the students reap maximum benefits from the yoga teacher training program. Our teachers and gurus at Rishikul Yogshala ensure the students attain overall development along with a soulful yogic experience during the tenure of their entire program.
Our Yoga Acharyas are internationally certified and registered with Yoga Alliance. Along with exceptional teaching expertise, outstanding knowledge in the most authentic traditional forms of yoga and a distinct methodology has rendered them with the recognition of being some of the best yoga leaders in the globe. Yoga is not just a fitness tool; all our yoga teachers preach this majestic science as it originally is -- the eventual pathway to complete purification of mind, body and soul.
Swami Devatmanada Saraswati
Meditation, Inspirational and Spiritual Guide
A devotee of the proclaimed sage PoojyaGurudev Swami Chinmayanandaji, Swami DevatmanadaSaraswati is a beacon of peace, love and light. Devoting his life to yoga, he has renounced the worldly pleasures in 1987 and took Deeksha in 2001. An educated mind, he speaks many languages (English, Hindi, Sanskrit, Arabic, Kannada, Tamil, Telugu, Marathi), holds a degree in Law and was also a lecturer in Kerala in the field of Commerce. But after working in Arab countries & serving the society in mundane ways, his inner being broke free from the everyday duties and sought eternal gratification.Read more
He found the true meaning of existence in spirituality and visited India and abroad for many spiritual discourses and spread the divine light. He also has the privilege to serve his spiritual master’s mission in Kerala and has been the secretary of ChinmayaVidalaya& junior college for 12 years. These years& years of exposure have allowed him to translate his teachings in a beautiful way that touches his student’s heart and awakens them to open up their horizons& evolve spiritually.
Meditation, Inspirational and Spiritual Guide
Receiving the gift of Yoga from Kailash Ashram, Swami Atmananada Giri is a devotee of Guru Nutya Chaitanya Yati and has dedicated his life to the teaching of yoga and its facets. Swamiji met Guru Nitya in 1992 & his disciple, Sudhi Chaitanya in 1998 only to transgress above the everyday working of human life.
Born in Kerala, he was unaware of his spiritual capabilities but was humanitarian by nature, he wanted to help people and took up Homeopathy at Kerala and practiced Naturopathy for three years. Later on, he started in yogic practice in the year 2006 and since then there is no turning back for him. Read more
Annnamalai Prana Ji (Swami Thiyagaranjan)
Trained in the principles of the well recognized Swami Sivananda-Swami Vignanananda tradition of Tamil Nadu, the land of the Sidhhas, Annamalai Prana Ji is one of the most regarded masters of the yogic art. In Rishikesh, Prana Ji is recognized widely as the most experienced yoga master. Pranayama and yoga philosophy are his specialized fields of teaching. His classes are a syncretism of Indian and Western thought and could be highly interesting for a sincere learner.
Meditation, Kundalini Yoga and Ayurveda are among the other aspects of yoga learning that Prana Ji’s vast field of knowledge covers.
Meditation, Inspirational and Spiritual Guide
An expert in the yoga philosophy, Gangesha was introduced to the field of spirituality at a young age. Receiving his teachings from the great saint Swami Rama, this yoga guru dedicated his life in the up liftment of humanity.
An E-RYT and gaining an extensive experience in the field of yoga, he is successfully taking classes at various schools of Rishikul Yogshala. Bringing forth newness and variety to his classes, he is a master of meditation, Kundalini yoga and pranayama. A Naga Guru once, he has been in a pursuit to unlock the gateways of mystical realm only accessible by the adepts.
He inspires his student to tap this mystic kundalini energy lying inside them and reach higher realms. Focusing on the final assimilation, he is a grounded soul and a true nature lover.
“Knowing the self is important, the teacher cannot show you who you are, you have to know yourself...The teacher is only the mirror which will show you how you look.”
Qus. When is your birthday and star sign?Ans. March 14th and I am a Pisces.
Qus. As a teacher what do you focus on most?Ans. Ashtanga Vinyasa, Hatha and Teaching Methodology.
Qus. What Yoga teacher training course do you teach and for how long have you been with Rishikul Yogshala?Ans. I teach students both in the 200hr and the 300hr yoga teacher training course and I have been officially working with Rishikul Yogshala since 2010, so nearly 6 years. However, I have been practicing consistently since 2009. Read more
Qus. When did you first start practicing the physical aspect, Asanas, of yoga?Ans. I started practicing during my childhood at school but only at a physical level because I liked sports and my physique was very good. Around 2000 my family left Delhi and moved to Rishikesh but I left home and decided for the next 6 years not to join them. This of course meant that I couldn’t attend school because I had to take care of myself.
Qus. You practiced as a child but stopped because you left home, what made you return to this path?Ans. In 2006, when I was about 17, I realized that I had certain responsibilities and that to live and work in this modern society, in any field, I would need a higher education. So I moved to Rishikesh to be with my family and help with their pharmaceutical business for the next 3 years. But during this time, a lot happened within me, I felt imbalanced and that I wasn’t made to work in a building selling medicine! I wanted to do something for society and for myself but due to lack of education I couldn’t and that depressed me. My cousin suggested that it wasn’t too late and that I could still get back into education or even start practicing yoga again for myself. I went to an Ashram and practiced Asanas and learned more about other parts of yoga until I met Yogi Mahesh who I later asked to become his student for the next 2 and a half years.
Qus. It’s a huge topic but what is spirituality for you as Bipin?Ans. Spirituality for me is to know yourself. I consider it very important and I think it is lacking from a lot of yoga practice today but at the same time you can’t teach spirituality. It comes from self practice, devotion and will power. Knowing the self is important, the teacher cannot show you who you are, you have to know yourself. Because they cannot look within you. The teacher is only the mirror which will show you how you look and how you should be. In summary, spirituality is when you apply what you have learned and have a self practice.
Qus. You seem like a very confident individual, some might even say ‘scary’, but what would you say?Ans. I have not seen the world but I know a bit from yoga of how it should be. I am trying to save this tradition by creating myself in a way that will change others to save it for the next generation and the following. Now regarding the people being scared [smiles softly] I take my subject very seriously. I don’t want to just watch time pass, so when I see people just passing time in class I don’t argue with them any more or try to change their mind. I just focus on those who know what they want and are serious about yoga. If people spend time with me outside of class they will see another side of me as well.
Qus. How can someone become focused and disciplined?Ans. Patience. You cannot expect to learn everything at once. Focus on one thing and keep practicing until you feel all the pain and the joy from the Asana. Make it a daily task because only that way can you truly focus and become disciplined. You will learn a lot on this course but that is only the beginning because yoga is a continuous life process. Hari Om!
Yogi Prashant Ji
“Knowing the self is important, the teacher cannot show you who you are, you have to know yourself...The teacher is only the mirror which will show you how you look.”
Qus. When is your birthday and star sign?Ans. September 11th and I am a Virgo.
Qus. As a teacher what do you focus on most?Ans. Hatha Yoga, Ashtanga Yoga and Adjustment/Alignment.
Qus. What Yoga teacher training course do you teach and for how long have you been with Rishikul Yogshala?Ans. I teach the 200hr and 300hr yoga teacher training course and I’ve been working with Rishikul Yogshala for about 4 years. Read more
Qus. When was your first experience with yoga and when did you truly start focusing on this path?Ans. I started practicing during school in 10 standard (14 years) because I was good at sports and I enjoyed doing physical exercise. But my yoga journey started when I was 16 and when I began my education at Sivananda at the headquarters here in Rishikesh. I then continued my studies in an Ashram and then started pursuing my own practice. I’m also finishing my Masters of Yogic Science at the moment.
Qus. What is Spirituality to you?Ans. Spirituality for me comes firstly through respecting one’s own body. You have to see your own body, through Asana but of course there are other practices in Yoga to see yourself. How can you respect others if you don’t respect yourself?
Qus. Do you ever feel imbalanced?Ans. Before yoga I was really imbalanced and a lot of people said yoga can balance you but I didn’t really believe it until I started practicing myself. When I entered into Yoga and started practicing and practicing it changed me. It brought balance to my life, it changed my energy. Of course I am human and feel imbalanced but I will never show it in the class. I always remain stable and focus on myself to show stability towards my student and never bring this emotional weaknesses because I want to deliver positivity.
Qus. What do you do in your spare time besides practicing and teaching yoga?Ans. I studied Bhajan, spiritual songs and the Harmonium, so I love to chant and sing when ever I have the chance! But the truth is I teach a lot so I also enjoy resting, good sleep, eating and watching tv/films.
Qus. What would you say to people who have never taken care of their bodies or may have physical issues but want to practice yoga?Ans. Find a good teacher who can guide, align and adjust you. Too many people are trying to learn from YouTube and they cause physical damage to their bodies because they don’t know what they are doing. The person who made the video made it for their own body, not your body so it won’t be adjusted to you. Start slow and easy and get help from a good instructor who provides modifications for your physical body.
“For me Love is to give happiness to yourself to not ‘beat up’ yourself...If you can share what you have and your happiness even with someone who hurt you, then that is love.”
Qus. When is your birthday and star sign?Ans. April 16th and I am a Taurus according to Indian Astrology.
Qus. As a teacher what do you focus on most?Ans. Meditation, Yoga Nidra, Mantra Chanting and Laughing yoga
Qus.What Yoga teacher training course do you teach and for how long have you been with Rishikul Yogshala?Ans. 200 hour and 300 hour and I have been teaching at Rishikul Yogshala for 2-3 years. Read more
Qus. When you are feeling stressed or a little ‘down’ emotionally, what yoga technique helps you the most?Ans. I focus on my breath and try to breathe more deeply, conscious breathing, in order to become calm. I also focus on my spiritual Master, Krishna and by doing so I am filled with so much love that I quickly forget about my stress or any anger that had previously arisen.
Qus. What is Spirituality to you?Ans. For me spirituality is happiness, being consistent within and finding a balance with yourself. It’s not a constant fluctuation of extremes, it’s a like a stable line that remains no matter the external factors.
Qus. Can spirituality be found around in nature?Ans. Yes, of course spirituality can be found in nature! Actually there is one kind of meditation, walking meditation, where each step is a conscious movement. A true observation and awareness of every single thing that is around you like the trees, flowers, birds etc.
Qus. Can you define happiness?Ans. Happiness is not like one day I get a gift and ‘oh I am so happy to get this gift!!’ that maybe is happiness for the moment, 1 hour or 1 day, it is not consistent, it is more celebratory. The happiness I speak of is like one state of your mind where you feel like you are satisfied with almost all situations because it comes from deep inside and it is not based solely on the situation.
Qus. How do you feel that one of the few female teachers not only in Rishikul Yogshala but also in Rishikesh?Ans. As an Indian woman, I started off in an environment where women normally don’t go. Even my family and friends thought that I was crazy for following this path because of all the difficulties that would arise as a woman. I kept practicing and following my path and managed have been in places where women aren’t allowed to go e.g. meditating in a cave in the Himalayas. I think with many years of dedicated practice, I have gained the support and respect of all those around me. If you love something truly and you know how to show that then people will respect and support you no matter what.
Qus. Apart from teaching Yoga, what are your hobbies?Ans. Oh I like many things! But I mainly like to take photographs, walk in nature, travel and discover. I also love to cook for myself but mainly other people!
Ashtanga Vinyasa, Hatha Yoga & adjustment alignment
Pankaj is a certified yoga teacher and a badminton coach. Belongs to traditional spiritual family, he is guided and trained under expert and traditional yogis. He has completed his Masters in Yoga, covering all the elements of yogic science. He has been teaching Hatha and Ashtanga Yoga since 4 years after his RYT200 certification.
His students love him for his perfection in correcting the postures while considering their body limits and safety. An encouraging yoga teacher, he hold a deep understanding of teaching asana classes with mindful integration of meditation, breathing techniques, yoga philosophy and mantra.
“ I am not a teacher, I just share my experiences and memories...We are all equal and I try to understand everyone by being open.”
Qus. When is your birthday and star sign?Ans. February 10th and I am an Aquarius.
Qus. As a teacher what do you focus on most?Ans. Mudras, Yoga Nidra, Chair Yoga ( modern day style of yoga for desk workers), Shat Kryia both practical and theoretical, Ayurveda specialist, Cooking.
Qus. What Yoga teacher training course do you teach and for how long have you been with Rishikul Yogshala?Ans. I teach the 200 Hr YTTC and I’ve been at Rishikul Yogshala for 1 year. Read more
Qus. When was your first experience with yoga and when did you truly start focusing on this path?Ans. I did my Panchakarma course in 2007 and began practicing Ayurveda since then but it wasn’t until 2009 that I began practicing Hatha yoga. I went to Shivananda Ashram located in South India in 2009 to learn from my master and other students. Although I technically started in 2007, yoga has always had a large influence in my life from a young boy growing up in Mahakaleshwar, a place which has a large temple dedicated to Lord Shiva.
Qus. How has yoga helped you find your spirituality?Ans. Using techniques of yoga to understand what exists, past what we can see, to ask questions and find the answers about myself and that which surrounds me, is how I define and seek spirituality. I’m trying to find a balance with my inner being and the external environment as well as expand my consciousness. I could say that it’s been a little over 5 years since I began my quest to find my balance and even though on a rare occasion I get sad or slightly emotional, it doesn’t bother or disturb me anymore.
Qus. So, was there anything in specific which use to cause an emotional imbalance in your life?Ans. I left home at a young age, back in 1999, due to financial difficulties caused by a cyclone which destroyed my home, school and created a negative atmosphere as well as a lack of jobs in my home town. Since then I have had numerous jobs before becoming a teacher which include being a cleaner and working as kitchen staff. I’ve had bosses which have been tough and extremely horrible but now I realise that if it wasn’t for these people I would have never saved up enough money to enroll in the Panchakarma course.
Qus. What do you do if and when you get sad/emotional?Ans. Well, there isn’t a real reason for me to get upset or to have fluctuations in my feelings because I am happy inside. But, it took a conscious effort to reach this point. Initially, I used Mudras, observed my breath, detached myself from the moment and took a walk to meditate. Nowadays, if I am emotionally imbalanced it’s primarily because I am quite receptive and I feel the energy and suffering of others. For me, nothing is bad any more because everything can teach you something either about yourself or about others.
Qus. One thing that makes you imbalanced?Ans. Not teaching! I have a need to share and don’t want to keep any knowledge to myself. Teaching is my medicine.
Yogi Manoj Rawat
Yoga has been Manoj’s calling since early childhood. He received his fist initiation to the yoga ideas from his grandfather who asked him to follow the path of karma yoga. Later on in his life, Manoj explored Bhakti and Karma in depth to take his yoga journey further. Born in the holy city of Rishikesh, which is also recognized as the ancient seat of yoga practice in India, the vibes have always been strong around Manoj and that is why he finally chose to share and spread his yoga skills as a teacher.
He spent his learning time in various Ashrmas, living the hermit way of life with communities of Swamis and Yogis. His understanding of traditional yoga intensified with the days spent at Swargashram, Sivananda Ashram and Jai Ram Ashram. Today, Yogi Manoj is a teacher certified from the prestigious Bihar School of Yoga.
Anatomy & Physiology
Gurmeet Singh was born and raised in the spiritual capital of India – Rishikesh. He teachers Hatha Yoga, Yoga Anatomy, and Physiology at Rishikul Yogshala. Gurmeet Ji holds a Post Graduate degree in Yoga from Uttarakhand Sanskrit University and is a Yoga Alliance certified E-RYT 500 yoga teacher. He has been teaching yoga since 2007. Gurmeet Ji started his yoga journey with Ved Niketan ashram under the supreme guidance and blessings of Swami Dharma Nanda. During his journey as a yoga professional, he was rewarded with an opportunity to be associated with a German organization where he worked closely with several renowned Physiotherapists for over 6 years. His time with them earned him an in-depth knowledge of adjustment and alignment and of various safe practice techniques. He also acquired knowledge regarding yoga science and modern science of Human Anatomy.
Being born and raised in a spiritually well-established family in Karnataka, Kavitha
Ji’s upbringing was instilled with all the values and teachings of Basavanna (one of
the greatest saints in 12th-century and a highly-distinguished Hindu philosopher,
statesman, Kannada poet). She spent most of her early days in her hometown. The
spiritual environment of her surroundings helped her in her spiritual studies and was
the greatest motivation behind her pursuing the path of spirituality at such a juvenile
phase of her life.
Our beloved Kavitha Ji began her real flight into the world of yoga and spirituality in the year 2006. She first practiced pranayama under the guidance of Sri Ganeshwer Avadhut in Srisailam forest. She then went on to practicing under another great master of Yoga and Spirituality, Swami Veda Bharthi, a disciple of Swami Rama. She mastered the art of meditation and philosophy in Swami Rama Sadak Gram under the careful guidance of Swami Veda Bharthi.
HathaYoga, Pranayama, Anatomy & Physiology
Nisha Ahya tried yoga first time when she was 13 and since then, she is in a regular touch with this sacred science. She was earning good in the corporate world , but felt stressed and unhappy internally, so decided to unroll her yoga mat again and to live life in a healthier manner. After realizing the amazing feeling of mindfulness and ‘being present in the moment,’ she thought of spreading this art through teaching.
She completed her yoga teacher training with Rishkul Yogshala and advanced studies from International Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Center, Madurai, India. Currently, she is a RYT500 and is experienced in teaching yogic sciences while focusing on breathing techniques and yoga philosophy. Read more
Her classes are highly praised by students because of the creation of intense positivity and strong connection with the students during the classes.
Born in the blessed land of Rishikesh, also known as the ‘yoga capital of the world’, Suraj Choudhary is majorly known for his calmness, patience, and strength. He started pursuing his yoga studies at a tender age under the supervision and guidance of Narendra Gussain, one of the most revered teacher of modern and traditional yoga. Suraj Ji holds a Master’s degree in Yoga Science and is a Yoga Alliance certified RYT500 teacher. With yoga in his blood, he is one of the very few yoga professionals in the country who have mastered the genre of yoga teaching known as the ‘modern yoga with traditional values”.
Shatkarmas, Asana, Mudra & Bandha, Pranayama & Meditation
Benkat Raman is born and brought up in a well-known Brahman family of Gangotri- one of the four sacred shrines of Char Dhams of Hindus. Indulged in the hour-long deep meditative practices under the guidance of his Grand father, he embarked upon his journey of self-discovery at an early age of 10. As he grew up, his quest for the yogic knowledge kept on increasing.
He studied various scriptures of different religions and attended three months Satsanga at the acclaimed Geeta Bhawan ashram in Rishikesh. After completing his graduation from HNB Garhwal Univ. Srinagar in the year 2005, Benkat decided to make yoga a permanent part of his life.Read more
To turn his dreams into reality, he first earned a P.G. Diploma in yogic Science from Pt. L.M.S. Govt P.G. College Rishikesh in 2006 and later did M.A. in Human consciousness & Yogic Science from Gurukul Kangri Univ. Haridwar Uttarakhand in 2008.
Being a brilliant learner and practitioner, he was selected as a Yoga Instructor in Govt. P.G. College New Tehri Uttarakhand and served there for the year 2008-2009. His working experiences include 6-month learning and sharing experience with Himalayan based tradition as a student yoga teacher in Swami Rama Sadhaka Grama Rishikesh,
1-year experience in yoga teaching in Yoga Niketan Ashram in Rishikesh, and 6+ years of yoga teaching experience in China. Benkat is an expert in subjects like Shatkarmas, Asana, Mudra & Bandha, Pranayama, Yoga-Nidra, Meditation, and Mindfulness-walking. At present, he is associated as a yoga teacher in Rishikul Yogshala.
Immersed in yogic practices from an early age of 11, Aacharya Vimal has been on the path of Yoga and Spirituality since childhood. Born and brought up in a traditional North Indian family, he spent his entire childhood amidst the sublime beauty of enthralling Himalayas.
In the pursuit of deeper and authentic knowledge of yoga, curious Vimal devoted his entire life to the yogic science and expanded his knowledge and wisdom by earning various degrees including Bachelor’s degree in Sanskrit, a Master’s Degree in Philosophy and a PG diploma in Yogic Science.
The most enlightening moment of his life came in 2005, when Mahamandaleshwar Sri Swami Veda Bharati- a disciple of Swami Rama, under his profound guidance helped Vimal discover his ‘true-being’.
Curious Vimal transformed himself into Acharya Vimal by learning yoga, mantra and other mystic methods with best of his efforts, will, commitment and dedication.
A Master’s degree in Yogic Science and an experience of working with the Indian army as a yoga trainer, Kushal has explored the complicated aspects of yoga through the scientific perspective.
With a belief that Yoga and science are deeply connected and complement each other, his motive is to discover the spiritual aspects of this science and enhance the anatomical/physiological awareness of each of his apprentices.
Spreading the yogic wisdom, Kushal has helped thousands of souls in relieving stress and enhancing their physical strength. He doesn't leave any chance, when it comes to yoga and loves to volunteer at several yoga camps in Uttarakhand.
Dr. Murugan Pillai
Yoga and Meditation Practitioner and Teacher
Dr. Murugan Pillai is the Honorary Secretary of Nithya Chaithanya Kalari (Regd.) as well as the Joint Secretary, National Silambam Federation. Having over 30 years of experience, he has been decorated with the honorary Gurukal title, signifying that he has attained mastery from all his previous gurus in his lineage of this art.
Murugan Gurukal has revived the art of Kalari in North India. His zest for excellence has won him the respect of a number of disciples both within, and outside India.
Dr. Murugan Pillai is one of the few existing people in modern times who know the ancient art of Kalari Marma Chikitsa (Ancient Indian Touch/Healing System) or knowledge of special pressure points in the human body used in ancient warfare and medicinal system for treating several non-treatable diseases.Read more
- Mastery in Kalarippayattu(Ancient Martial Art form of Kerala)
- Mastery in Silambam (Ancient Martial Art form of Tamil Nadu)
- First Degree Black Belt in Taekwon-Do (Martial art form of Korea)
- Traditional Physician in Ayurveda Therapy
- Traditional Physician in Kalari Marmma Therapy
- Siddha Medicine Practitioner (SMP)
- Yoga and meditation practitioner and teacher
- Ayurveda practitioner and Vaidya