Dean & Institute Acharya: Yogacharya Gowrishankarananda (Daniel Ross)
Yogacharya Gowrishankarananda D.AT. is the founder of the Atmalaya Institute, The Yoga Sadhana Foundation, & The Atmalaya Ashram. He is an Acharya of the Brighu Rishi Paramparai (Lineage). His education in the west was in Kinesiology & Athletic Therapy, with a focus on Anatomy, Injury Rehab, Sports Nutrition, Physiology, Science of Coaching, & Sports Psychology. He has certified nearly 1000 coaches & trainers over 24 years and has personally coached over 4500 clients & students totalling tens of thousands of coaching & teaching hours.
Being a student first Yogacharya Gowrishankarananda has participated in, & co-facilitated dozens of courses and various certifications. Applying his knowledge of Human psychology, physiology, as well as the art & science of coaching, he has now created the Spiritual Coaching Program and heads up the Teacher Training program as well as all the various courses offered through the Atmalaya Institute.
Having been initiated into hundreds of esoteric Yogic practices at the Ananda Ashram where he lived in south India he has been deemed fit by his example to guide others on the “Yogic Path”. Attaining an internationally recognized Yoga Teachers Certification (over 3 times the number of hours required for the highest North American certification) from the International Center for Yoga Education and Research he now offers internationally via the Atmalaya Institute an extremely powerful, and authentic form of Yoga from an unbroken lineage of Yoga Gurus and Acharyas. Recognized by the International Yoga Federation and the World Yoga Congress, Yogacharya Gowrishankarananda was also given the rare honour of being voted into the Indian Academy of Yoga as a life member. In July of 2004 the Senior Acharya, Smt Yogacharini Yogamani Pudavai Kalaimamani Meenakshi Devi Bhavanani and the Mahant of the order, Yogacharya Dr. Ananda Balayogi Bhavanani Giri gave Gowrishankarananda their permission for him to found an Ashram. Later that same month the grace of his guru Mata Amritanandamayi Devi was showered upon Gowrishankarananda as she gave him her permission and blessings to found, as the Acharya, the Atmalaya Ashram whose purpose is to propagate the teachings of Yoga.
As the institute Acharya (Spiritual Guide),Yogacharya Gowrishankarananda offers through the Atmalaya® Institute a system of Yoga that is highly esteemed in India but virtually unknown in North America that could best be described as a complete classical system of Yoga. The foundation for all practices taught are through the step by step progression of Yogic practices taught in the Bengali Tantric system of Classical Ashtanga Yoga.
Having lived within the context and intensity of Ashram life allowed Gowrishankarananda to develop a deeper understanding and profound acknowledgement of his own divinity and the nature of humanity. Having been required to study, understand, embody, and propagate the teachings and philosophies of the classical and the obscure Yogic texts such as The Bhagavad Gita, The Mahabharata, The Yoga Sutras, The Hatha Yoga Pradipika, The Gherenda Samhita, The Srimad Bhagavatum, The Vedas, The Upanishads, The Ramayana, and The Puranas, Yogacharya Gowrishankarananda has now been granted the Title of Yogacharya. Yogacharya Gowrishankarananda guides students to their inner Guru though the Yogic paths of Hatha Yoga, Bhakti Yoga, Kriya Yoga, Tantra Yoga, Yantra Yoga, Raja Yoga, Laya Yoga, Karma Yoga and Jnana Yoga.
British Columbia Director: Yoga Sadhaka Raghavan (Tyler Vaughan)
Yoga Sadhaka Raghavan is heading the BC classes, courses and retreats for the Atmalaya Intitute. He has achieved the title of Yoga Sadhaka, “One whose life style is dedicated to the path of conscious evolution in accordance with Yogic Principles” in the Brighu Rishi Paramparai (lineage). He has an educational background of fitness and wellness techniques, specifically targeting preventative and supportive methods that approach the concept of wellness from a holistic perspective of body-emotions-mind. Over the last 7 years he has been assisting hundreds people in developing and maintaining higher degrees of health and wellness in their lives.
He has been a student of the Yogic path of Rishiculture Ashtanga Yoga as taught by Yogamaharishi Dr. Swami Gitananda Giri for the last 8 years and practiced Yoga for the last 9 years. He successfully completed the 300 hour Yoga Teacher Training in Rishiculture Ashtanga Yoga taught by Yogacharya Gowrishankarananda Giri in ’09, offered by the Atmalaya Ashram in Calgary, AB. He also achieved the title of Yoga Shikshaka “Coach of Yoga” at the end of this course. Furthering his Yogic education he attended the 2014-15 46th annual Six Month Teacher Training Course held by ICYER, International Centre for Yogic Education and Research, taught by Yogacharini Yogamani Puduvai Kalaimamani Smt. Meenakshi Devi Bhavanani, Yogacharya Dr. Ananda Balayogi Bhavanani, and a few other senior teachers of our lineage. This is a 1500 hour teacher training certification that offers unparalleled education in the traditional and modern aspects of Yoga with over 300 Asanas, Kriyas, and Mudras, 40 Pranayamas, and a multitude of relaxation and concentration techniques taught. This course is also recognized by the International Yoga Federation, World Yoga Congress, and the Council for Yoga Accreditation International (CYAI). The course is taught in the traditional “Guru Kula” (Womb of the Guru) Where students live with the teachers in an Ashram. This gives an authentic cultural experience of these practices and through which allows for a greater transmission of the subtle aspects of Yoga. These courses initiated Raghavan into the beautiful practices and techniques of Rishiculture Ashtanga Yoga which is ultimately based on the teaching of Maharishi Patanjali and also includes aspects from the Bengali Tantric system of the Brighu Rishi Paramparai and the Shaiva Siddhanta south Indian Tantric system. Through these courses he has experienced and been educated in multiple aspects of Yogic concept and theory including Hatha Yoga, Bhakti Yoga, Kriya Yoga, Tantra Yoga, Yantra Yoga, Raja Yoga, Yoga Therapy, Karma Yoga and Jnana Yoga. He has also been educated in physical fitness techniques and methodology achieving a Personal Trainer Specialist certification through Can-Fit-Pro and worked as a personal trainer for several years while also teaching Yoga. Raghavan also worked with patients in facilitating SRI (Somato Respritory Integration) a series of breathing techniques that aid in promoting health. He has completed the Hoffman Quadrinity Process which has given him an even greater understanding of the depth of how mind and emotions can affect many different aspects of our lives, and a greater understanding of how the process of family and cultural influences takes shape for many individuals. Raghavan also served in the Canadian Armed Forces for 3 years and learned many of the benefits from discipline, dedication, and deportment that are taught and upheld in the Forces.
Raghavan is blessed to have such inspiring teachers who have guided him on the spiritual path of Yoga and has dedicated his life to its study for self-realization/conscious evolution and also Yoga’s development and expansion in the world scene as a powerful practice that can allow people to achieve greater degrees of health, wellness, spiritual growth/understanding and conscious evolution of the human species. He is aiming to specialize in practicing Yoga Therapy for the supportive and preventative health for those in middle age to seniors and is passionate about educating and discussing alternative viewpoints on the process of aging and the stigmas that come along with it. It is his greatest desire to be in service to others towards their highest state of consciousness, health, and evolution.
“With skilful use of Devotion, Dedication, Discipline, Practice and Focus, we can all become our greatest Self, free from all limitations. It is the appropriate application of these principles that when followed will bring you success in any of your endeavors.”