The last events that have taken place in the US have taught us a valuable lesson, we need to make some changes! We need to support minorities in our community, empower them, and give them a voice. Thus our team is on a mission to celebrate and support the Seattle yoga community’s minorities and make the information accessible for you, so you can learn more about them and support them.
This week we have decided to celebrate our amazing south Asian yoga teachers & studios who share a part of their culture and identity with us and embark us on a journey to mindfulness, and liberation. Scroll down to see a message from Seattle’s yoga masters Savitri and Aadil on why you might consider taking classes with a South Asian Yoga teacher. You can also, check the full list of south Asian yoga teachers & studios based in the Seattle area to learn more about them and their services. If you know other yoga teachers or studios that you think should be on this list, please reach out to us and we will make sure to include them.
You might also enjoy reading Arundhati Baitmangalkar’s article “Yoga In India Vs. Yoga In America“
|Aadil Palkhivala (Alive & Shine Center and Purna Yoga College)||- Aadil Palkhivala began studying asana with Iyengar at the age of seven and shortly after was introduced to the Purna Yoga of Sri Aurobindo. When Aadil was twenty, Iyengar encouraged him to embark on his first teaching tour of Europe and North America. Two years later, he awarded Aadil the Advanced Yoga Teacher’s Certificate.|
For nearly thirty years, Aadil has been regarded as a “teacher of teachers,” and many of the world’s top yoga instructors have studied with him. He has a unique teaching style, mixing melodious instructions with recitations of poetry, philosophical insights, and in-the-moment humor.
Aadil and his wife, Savitri, are the founders of Purna Yoga, a holistic synthesis of yogic traditions based on the work of Sri Aurobindo and The Mother. Aadil and Savitri also founded Alive & Shine Center in Bellevue, Washington, and Purna Yoga College, a 200, 500, 2,000-hr, and 5,000-Hour Certificate-Level teacher training program licensed by the State of Washington and Yoga Alliance Certified. Aadil teaches classes, teacher trainings, and workshops at Alive and Shine Center and throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico, Europe, India, and other parts of Asia.
An encyclopedic knowledge of health matters informs Aadil’s teaching. He is a certified shiatsu and Swedish bodywork therapist, a clinical hypnotherapist, and an Ayurvedic health practitioner recognized by the American Ayurvedic Association. Learn more about Aadil
|Savitri (Alive & Shine Center, Purna Yoga College, and Heartfull Meditation™)||- Savitri, Co-Founder of Purna Yoga College® , co-director of Alive and Shine® Center , Founder of Heartfull Meditation & The Alive and Shine® Foundation.|
Savitri, renowned Meditation Master and visionary, was born in India and grew up in Bombay until the age of 7, when she moved to America with her family. Her inspirational mother was of Italian-American descent and her father was Indian.
Today, Savitri teaches meditation, yoga philosophy, pranayama, nutrition and a loving lifestyle to welcome the Soul into one’s body. She has developed a one-of-a-kind meditation method that came from her own connection with her Soul and sacred masters. Heartfull® Meditation provides practical techniques to help students connect their bodies and mind to their inner wisdom, Light and Love. Savitri is also a profoundly powerful energy worker, medical intuitive, psychic healer and kundalini master. Savitri and her husband, Aadil Palkhivala, created Alive and Shine® Center, a world-renowned yoga studio, and are the founders of the Purna Yoga College®, creating extremely high standards of yoga and meditation instruction for the modern world. Learn more about Savitri
|Arundhati Baitmangalkar (Aham Yoga)||- Arundhati is one of the leading yoga teachers in the Seattle area. She came to yoga after nearly a decade of teaching dance. Born and raised in India, Arundhati has been teaching since 2006. Trained in vinyasa and hatha styles of yoga from renowned yoga masters. Known for sequencing, alignment, and educating her students. She represents a great balance of classical and modern yoga. She offers challenging, dynamic, fun, and precise classes and hosts a well known yoga blog & travels to teach. |
Arundhati founded Aham Yoga studio in October 2013. The studio is located five minutes from downtown Redmond, and is offering multilevel yoga classes, beginners yoga series classes, yoga teacher training, workshops, pre/postnatal yoga classes, and yoga retreats. At Aham Yoga, you can find high-quality yoga instruction and personalized attention that will help you succeed in yoga.
|Murali Venkatrao||- Murali was born in India and lives now in the Seattle area. Murali has studied different variations of Hatha Yoga both in India and the US. He has been teaching Yoga for the past 15 years. Added to his dedication to the path of yoga, Murali shares in a creative, insightful, and playful style for which students are most appreciative. Formerly a Software Architect at Microsoft, Murali is currently pursuing his PhD in Yoga at Prashanti Kuteeram in Bangalore, India. His research focus is the study of physiological pathways through which Yoga helps control blood sugar levels in people with diabetes. Murali directs the Ananda Yoga Teacher Training program at Ananda Washington with Michelle Marshall.|
|Sutapa Bose||- Sutapa started training and practicing Indian Classical Dance at a very early age of 5. Classical dance gave her foundations of the art of movement, complex foot work, beautiful hand gestures, and steady posture. They naturally paved her path to explore yoga, the ancient art interweaved with dance. She has been deeply motivated and influenced by the teachings of Shiva Rea and Baba Ramdev. It is through countless viewings of their DVDs and continuous practice of yoga and dance, she realized the true power of yoga in living well and with mindfulness. Such realization has developed in her a passion to learn and teach yoga. |
Sutapa is a 200 Hour RYT yoga teacher interested in Gentle Yoga Flow, Yoga Trance Dance, and Restorative yoga for health and wellness. She is excited to share my experience in yoga with everyone interested in increasing circulation, balance, flexibility, mobility and strength through the wonderful journey of yoga practice.
Sutapa is curently offering classes at Village Green Yoga.
|Ashish Arora||- Ashish (RYT500, ERYT200) grew up in New Delhi, India where he briefly practiced yoga in Elementary school and learned Sanskrit in Middle and High school. He did not practice yoga again till he went to a yoga class in January 2015 in his office gym at Nintendo(where he worked at the time). That's when he realized the possibilities yoga opened up for him. The same year he completed his 200-hour Teacher Training at Shakti Vinyasa Yoga with Lisa Black. Ashish is now devoted to practicing/teaching yoga. He loves to practice different styles of yoga, practicing about 15-20 hours/week across Seattle studios. He has practiced yoga at local studios/ashrams in cities across the US, Europe and India. |
Ashish currently teaches at some of the top yoga studios in the Seattle area including Hauteyoga Queen Anne, Be Luminous Yoga, and Bala Yoga (Kirkland, Fremont, Sammamish).
|Sonal Mittal (Yogalign LLC)||- Sonal is a finance professional, a 200 Hour Registered Yoga Teacher from Aham Yoga in Redmond, and is currently pursuing a 300 Hour certification. She teaches a combination of hatha and vinyasa yoga with basics of alignment in poses and specializes in sequencing classes and modifications based on the needs of her students. |
Sonal was introduced to yoga 17 years ago through a gym yoga class where the instructor was teaching alignment of body in pose and explaining the benefits of each pose and it got her hooked. She practiced for two years and then left her practice to take care of family and career and ten years after came back to yoga. Sonal is currently teaching classes at Aham Yoga and through her business called Yogalign.
|Srujana Aouk (Svadhyaya)||- Srujana Aouk, RYT200HR Yoga Teacher, has been practicing Yoga very sincerely since 2016. Born and raised in India, Yoga was a part of her culture but she didn’t get a chance or awareness about it until now. She took the Aham Yoga 200h yoga teacher training let by Arundathi Baitmangalkar, and is currently teaching groupand private classes at the Aham Yoga studio and through her business Svadhyaya.|
|Sumedha Khosla||- Sumedha has been teaching yoga for over 8 years. Her goal is to help others thrive in their lives by nurturing their mind, body, and soul through yoga. Her love of yoga, meditation, and overall wellness combined with her unique teaching style makes her classes a holistic experience for her students. She loves to combine creative sequencing, playfulness, and inspiration to help her students deepen their practice, with the hope that every class enables them to step off the mat feeling refreshed, nourished and balanced. Sumedha is currently teaching at Get Zen Hot Yoga.||firstname.lastname@example.org|
|Shruthi Krishnaswamy||- Shruthi was born in India, raised in the Middle East and India, and has lived in the US since her college days in 1998. She has lived in Seattle since 2006 with her hubby. Her adventurous nomadic life has allowed her to experience different cultures and perspectives, and she continues to travel a lot!|
Shruthi started practicing yoga in 2006 and is passionate about a variety of styles of yoga including Vinyasa and Yin Yoga ! In recent years, she believes that Yin Yoga has truly transformed her mind and body in incredible ways. Shruthi is a great believer in the benefits of Pranayama and meditation and likes to incorporate them into her classes. When she is not doing or teaching yoga, Shruthi is engaged in a variety of artistic endeavors including painting and writing.
Shruthi is currently teaching yoga classes at Shakti Vinyasa Yoga and Earth Wind Fire Yoga.
|Ragini Gupta||- Ragini started practicing yoga in 2008 with “Iyengar Yogashraya” in Mumbai, India with Senior Iyengar teachers, and became an active student of “The Center for Yoga of Seattle” in 2014. She is a dedicated yoga instructor with advanced training in yoga postures and Iyengar principles. She enjois inspiring others to improve internal and external health by making yoga accessible in every body condition.|
Ragini's classes flow based on the type of level with ample detailed alignment instruction that assist her students to get stronger, grounded, and increase flexibility. She helps students understand their bodies and offer options to involve fully at their level, honor their limits, and challenge their soul to expand their boundaries. Also, she has a dynamic presence in class, students see her paying individual attention to their postures. Ragini is currently teaching at The Center For Yoga Of Seattle.
|Nitika Kohli||- - Nitika has been a student of yoga since 2006 and she is a 2,000 hr Certified Purna Yoga Professional and IAYT certified Yoga Therapist. She is also the Studio manager at Alive & Shine Center since 2015 after many years of working as an IT Project Manager. She loves teaching and helping students feel safe in the environment they are in so they can enjoy the adventure of opening up their body. Every class is different bringing elements of what the students in the class need.|
Nitika is also a licensed massage therapist and offers massage at Alive & Shine Center. She is trained in traditional massage as well as a certified craniosacral therapist and also has a license in intraoral massage. While working with her clients, she uses a combination of these massage techniques along with Purna Yoga philosophies and the intention of love to help her client's body open up and provide the most therapeutic massage for their body. She loves to travel, go hiking, meet new people, dancing and is currently learning how to salsa dance and sew.
|Ashok Rajagopalan||- Ashok grew up in an environment of yoga traditions and rituals. However, reconnected with yoga around 2010 for therapeutic reasons. Through the years he has been practicing different styles of Yoga to explore the subtle connections it provided between the body and mind. |
In 2018, he decided to take a sabbatical for a year from his 20-year career in the Technology industry and pursue the International Yoga Teacher Training Program (IYTTP) which is a 560+ hours intensive that provides students with an in-depth training in classical yoga that covers Chanting, Yoga Sutras & Philosophy, Principles of Asana and Pranayama, etc. He is also a certified Ayurveda Marma Practitioner from the Art of Living Sri Sri Ayurveda Institute. Marma is a subset of Ayurveda, the oldest holistic healing system, which uses energy healing methodology for unblocking channels (Nadis) to achieve whole health and well-being.
As a teacher, Ashok's primary goal is to bring the unique aspects of the classical tradition of Asana, Breath and Meditation techniques enabling people to a path of mindfulness through the practice of yoga through these classical traditions. His gratification is through seeing others realize their full potential through their practice. Ashok is currently teaching at Maya Whole Health and Discover Yoga.
|Sandhya Banda||- Sandhya Banda began her yoga training in India at a very young age. She is now a certified Ananda Yoga teacher. She finds that the practices of Hatha Yoga and meditation anchor, balance, and help her navigate the challenges that life poses on a daily basis. She is grateful for the invaluable teachings of ancient wisdom and is thankful for inspiring guidance from teachers in the West as well as the East. Sandhya is motivated by the self-empowering transformation that can happen through the practice of Yoga and cherishes the opportunity to share and learn through teaching yoga. She is currently teaching yoga at Ananda Washington.|
|Afrin Sopariwala||- Afrin is a climate activist, student of yoga and Ayurveda, who grew up in Bombay, India, and is attempting to move toward living a zero-waste life. She has been practicing Iyengar Yoga for 3 years and completed her 200- hour teacher training with Richard in 2014. In addition, she received an Ayurvedic Wellness Practitioner Certification through Kerala Ayurveda Academy. Afrin is currently teaching at The Center For Yoga Of Seattle.|
|Anjani Kodali||- Anjani's personal practice started in 2005 and her teaching yoga journey began after she left her business consulting career in 2010. It was a move waiting to happen as weekly travel and the heavy mental load started taking a toll on her. She received her 200 hour hatha yoga certification at YogaNow with Amy Beth Treciokas in Chicago. She began teaching yoga in the workplace – the place she felt needed a break in the day to free many minds! While teaching hatha yoga to adults, her guru, Gopikaji provided her with an opportunity to teach yoga to children. Through Gopikaji's spiritual guidance Anjani has been able to incorporate what she learned into her classes for adults and children. |
Not having children of her own at the time, Anjani was shocked to learn the level at which kids were getting stressed from school, extra-curricular activities, social media and society. In 2012, she decided to focus her attention on children’s yoga and completed 55 hours of training with certifications in Yoga for the Special Child with Sonia Sumar and Kidding Around Yoga with Haris Lender. She has taught at various child care centers, recreational facilities, country clubs, kids camps and currently teaches a Sunday kids spiritual class, an annual children’s retreat in Texas hosted by Gitananda where her guru resides, and offers classes at Sri Janani Yoga.
|Nisha Kunder (Nisha Kunder Yoga & Wellness Coaching)||- Nisha is a Yoga instructor and Wellness coach, she offers tips and techniques that anyone can use to obtain sustainable and mindful lifestyle.|
Nisha left her high-stress corporate job as a technical program manager to resolve her own health issues. Coming from a culture that believes in finding the root cause instead of merely masking the syndrome, she began her health journey by changing her lifestyle to include more self-care, self-inquiry, and energy healing.
Amazed by how simple tools had such profound effects she began sharing them with other busy people, coaching them to reconnect with their deepest desires and start living an authentic life. She helps her clients by utilizing the tools of yoga, chanting, meditation, and radical self-inquiry to create conscious sustainable change through her one-on-one coaching and yoga programs.
Being a lifelong learner, she continues to experiment with new tools to help her balance life that includes motherhood, caring for aging parents, and everything else in between, especially in this dynamic period in our lives.
|Sona Desai Buchanan (Loom Wellness Yoga)||- Sona is a world traveler, military spouse, and a dog mom. She has been a yoga student for 16 years and a teacher for 10years. She studied various styles of yoga, most extensively from the Anusara, Iyengar, Vinyasa and Restorative yoga traditions. She gratefully attained her RYT-200 teaching certification in 2009 at Kripalu in Lenox, MA and her RYT-500 at 8 Limbs Yoga in Seattle, WA. Sona is an experienced registered yoga teacher (E-RYT) with 2,500 hours of teaching experience, a Certified Thai Yoga Bodywork practitioner, and owned her own studio for 2 years before moving to the west coast. In addition she is a YACEP provider, offering continuing education in the form of workshops, modules and teacher training at the 200-hr level. |
Sona's classes range from challenging, playful and dynamic to fluid and restorative but ultimately weave together exploration and self-study. She is currently offering private yoga sessions, and group yoga sessions at Tacoma Yoga, Source Yoga, and Tuladhara Yoga.
|Shumit Vatsal||- Shumit was born in the small town of Salem in South India in a family where bakthi and karma yoga was practiced regularly. He practices Vipassana meditation daily and often do 10 day silent retreats every year. Shumit believes that eternal happiness is attainable through continuous, structured and holistic practice. Shumit teaches classical hatha yoga as purely as possible, based on his own study and years of practice. He is inspired by a desire to communicate with others in a more meaningful way, and to help others to overcome fear and to find peace. Shumit only teaches what been taught. He believes that when teachings are transmitted purely from teacher to student and so on, without much influence of individual egos, we can be more certain of the efficacy of the teachings. Shumit is currently offering yoga classes at Sangha Yoga in Queen Anne.|
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