YOGRISHI VISHVKETU

Yogrishi Vishvketu

Founder and Head of Training

Read more

Himalayan Yoga Master, author and founder of the Akhanda Yoga approach, Yogrishi Vishvketu (Vishva-ji) is known for his infectious laughter and stories. He offers students a profound yet accessible approach to the yoga tradition, inspiring people to connect to their true nature, which is fearless, joyful, expandable and playful. He combines all aspects of yoga in his classes, including asana, pranayama, mantra, meditation and themes that connect to yogic wisdom.

A yogi at heart, Vishva-ji has studied and practiced Yoga in the Himalayas since the age of 8 and holds a Ph.D. in Yoga Philosophy. He is co-founder of the Anand Prakash Yoga Ashram Trust in Rishikesh, India, where he lives part of the year and leads the 100-, 200- and 300-hour Akhanda Yoga Teacher Training programs.

He is also the author of Yogasana: The Encyclopedia of Yoga Poses published by Mandala in the North America and by Jaico Books in India. His teachings are also available through Akhanda Yoga Online, a virtual platform with hundreds of classes in all of the Akhanda class styles, such as Classical Kundalini, Hatha-Raja, Five Koshas and Inner Reprogramming. Read more about Vishva-ji’s journey.

Chétana Panwar

Chétana

Program Coordinator and Akhanda Teacher Trainer

Read more

Chétana is thrilled to be back with Akhanda Yoga as the Program Coordinator, designing trainings and retreats, enrolling students, connecting with graduates and working on newsletters and blogs. A writer, she has published a number of articles and blog posts on yoga philosophy, teaching and holistic living.

Chétana co-founded World Conscious Yoga Family in 2003 and the Akhanda Yoga approach, and has facilitated philosophy, methodology and transformational experiences sessions for about 25 Akhanda Yoga Teacher Training programs. She has been blessed to have the opportunity to explore the yoga of motherhood and the moment-to-moment presence being with children can inspire.

Chétana leads Akhanda Satsangs every other Wednesday, Akhanda yoga classes and workshops in Ottawa. She is also a guest presenter on some of the YTT and Retreat programs. You can also enjoy her teaching through her virtual classes in the Women’s Health and Philosophy section of Akhanda Yoga Online

Akhanda Yoga teacher Versha Panwar

Varsha Panwar

Akhanda Yoga Teacher and YTT–Ashram Liaison

Read more

Varsha has be practicing yoga since childhood in Rishikesh, India. For her Yoga is a science of well-being and a multi-facetted methodology for integrating body, mind and soul.

 

Varsha holds a BA in Yoga from University of Patanjali, Haridwar and an MA in Yoga from Uttarakhand Sanskrit University, Haridwar. She completed her YTT 200 and 300 with Yogrishi Vishvketu at Anand Prakash Yoga Ashram, where she now teaches Akhanda Yoga classes and the Akhanda Foundation Course. She also works as a Liaison for teacher training students and the Ashram Office.

Akhanda Yoga Teacher Trainer Yog Sundari

Yog Sundari (Julia Anastasiou)

Senior Akhanda Teacher Trainer

Read more

Yog Sundari strives for beauty and clarity in her language and is constantly investigating effective ways to present the ancient teachings, opening the door to her students’ self-discovery and illumination. As a yoga teacher, her passion is bringing healing mantras and the symbolism of the primordial elements to her classes, encouraging the nurturing flow of breath by creating space and freedom in the body.

Yog Sundari began her journey within the healing arts in 1994 as a Holistic & Ayurvedic Therapist. This has become an integral part of her yoga and meditation teachings. In 2010, she obtained her 200-hour teacher training in California at The Chopra Center where she studied ‘The Seven Spiritual Laws of Yoga’ with Deepak Chopra. It was during an Ayurvedic Conference at Parmarth Niketan in Rishikesh that she met Yogrishi Vishvketu. She was so impressed with the philosophy behind Akhanda Yoga that she returned to India later that year to complete her 500-hour certification in Akhanda Yoga at Anand Prakash Ashram in Rishikesh, India. She is now registered as an E-RYT 500.

Yog Sundari teaches Akhanda (Holistic) Yoga classes each week in London, including Hatha Raja, Yoga Nidra and Classical Kundalini. As the director of Akhanda Yoga London, Yog Sundari offers Akhanda Yoga 200-hour Teacher Training in London, England. Her YTT courses are accredited by Yoga Alliance UK. She also teaches on Akhanda Yoga Teacher Training programs in Rishikesh, India.

Akhanda Yoga Teacher Eila Devi

Eila Devi

Senior Akhanda Teacher Trainer

Read more

Eila Devi is a dedicated practitioner and impassioned facilitator of yoga and embodiment. With extensive yoga training and a background in bodywork, her sessions enliven the human anatomy and physiology experience. She continues study in Ayurveda and asana, and offers seasonal practices for optimal health and vitality throughout the year. Eila has been teaching hatha yoga and therapeutic yoga since 2000, and enjoys teaching from the holistic spectrum that Akhanda Yoga offers. She values the local yoga class, the Ashram stay, and a home yoga practice as equal platforms for deepening self trust, and skillfully encourages students on their own path.

As a doula and birth educator, Eila has over a decade of experience supporting women and families in childbirth. More recently, as a Health Care Assistant in community, she gives support to people living at home with various health concerns and is developing skills and experience in palliative care.

Currently living in rural British Columbia with her partner, Eila is experimenting with homesteading, including food growing and conservation. She has a keen interest in herbal medicine and is grateful to the ancestors for all the guidance and wisdom available today.

Divya Elting

Akhanda Teacher Trainer

Read more

Divya was first introduced to yoga in 1999, and soon after she developed a regular practice and the desire to teach. She completed a 500-hour Yoga Teacher Training (YTT) in Los Angeles as well as a 200-hour Akhanda Yoga YTT in India with Yogrishi Vishvketu. Divya has taught yoga in Canada, Hong Kong, U.S.A., India and the U.A.E., in addition to managing a busy urban yoga center. She has presented workshops for teachers in Hatha Yoga, Pre-natal Yoga, and Mantra. She has been involved with Akhanda Yoga foremost as a student, but also as a teacher for the 200-hour YTTs at which she facilitates classes in philosophy/lifestyle/ethics, methodology and techniques. Divya is inspired by many teachers: in addition to Vishva-ji and Chetana-ji, Divya has enjoyed studying with David Life and Sharon Gannon of Jivamukti, Anusara’s Desiree Rumbaugh, Paul Grilley, Louisa Sears and Aadil Palkivala. She especially gains inspiration from her students and her “World Yoga Family”.
Divya encourages her students to: “Jump into the divine current with the essence of receptivity, and flow through the practice. Observe your breath, body, mind and heart, and embrace your own divinity, bringing yoga into every aspect of your life”.

Leala (Pragya) Enfield

Leala (Pragya) Enfield

Senior Akhanda Teacher Trainer

Read more

Leala’s yoga journey began in 1992 in NYC. Her first yoga class sparked a sense that there was much more to life than what the world had presented to her. Within a year, she had moved to the remote side of Maui where she met David Williams and began a three month intensive study of Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga. She went on to develop an intensive home practice. Living in community on Maui and traveling, she taught whoever wanted to learn, including the Secoya indigenous people in the Amazon tributaries of Ecuador. During this time, Leala began practicing Vipassana meditation, attending numerous 10 day silent retreats. In 2000, Leala attended an Ashtanga Yoga teachers training course with renowned instructor David Swenson and in 2003 completed her 200 hour training through Trinity Yoga.

 

After intensive physical yoga practices began leaving her deeply fatigued, Leala began seeking a more holistic approach to yoga, one that would synergize her love of meditation, mindfulness, breath and embodied movement. She had a dream where she met and merged with an Indian sage who fused yoga and meditation into heart centered awakening. A few weeks later she met Yogi Vishvketu and began her journey into Akhanda Yoga.

 

In 2006 Leala founded Prana Yoga Studio in Edmonton, Canada where she hosts workshops and trainings with Yogi Vishvketu every year. Leala is the Director of Training for the Akhanda Yoga Teacher Training program at Prana Yoga Studio. Along with owning a busy urban yoga studio, Leala has raised a family, guided international yoga retreats, and taught numerous YTT programs in both Canada and India. Leala’s passions include practicing yoga outdoors, hiking, swimming and quality time with her husband and their two vivacious daughters.

 

The benefits of yoga are precious and far-reaching. The invitation is to be profoundly open inside while holding vibrant presence for boundriless, limitless growth and evolution.

Akhanda Teacher Kathryn Mills (Kamalika)

Kathryn Mills (Kamalika)

Senior Akhanda Teacher Trainer

Read more

Kat’s journey of practicing and teaching yoga began in 1998. She draws on her two decades of professional background in leadership, teaching and communication, and as a fitness educator, to bridge yogic philosophy with modern life. At the core of her passion is the belief that the connection of mind and body is essential towards well-being and this thread remains an integral theme in her classes and workshops. She is grateful to her students for their continual lessons. “We are all both teacher and student. Learning is ongoing, and our process is constantly evolving; I learn something every time I teach or take a class and it’s a privilege to be part of that exchange. Yoga is a very powerful life tool, one that can help us access our fullest potential and truth.”

Helping her access those lessons are the teaching and guidance she’s received from esteemed leaders within the Ashtanga, Kundalini, Hatha, and Jivamukti Yoga practices. She completed Ashtanga teacher training with David Swenson, Raja Yoga and Traditional Hatha Yoga in India with Yogirishi Vishvektu and Chetana Panwar.

Kat’s unique energy and passion for her teaching is infectious. By linking experiences in asana practice to life, she encourages participants to explore their own perceived limits in mind, body and being, through movement, breath, and listening to the teacher within. While this sounds serious, the challenge of the practice is balanced by her joyful and playful approach to the process.

Kat lives in Ottawa, Ontario, and teaches and presents in corporate, private and studio environments in Canada and internationally. She holds a bachelors degree in communication and certificates in adult education, leadership and coaching.

Akhanda Teacher Christine Withiel

Christine Withiel (Krishnaa Mukti)

Akhanda Teacher Trainer

Read more

Christine began practicing Hatha Yoga in 1995. Up to this time she had practiced meditation and been interested in yoga philosophy for many years. She began her practice with a Sivananda teacher and after two years shifted to an Iyengar teacher who later became her husband. Christine began teaching in 2001 and by 2003 had created a beautiful yoga studio space in Durban with her husband. An E-RYT since 2005, Christine has been training yoga teachers since that time. She and her husband travel to India regularly, often taking groups of students with them. When Christine first discovered yoga, her body was so tight, her toes seemed miles away and knees didn’t want to leave her ears in baddha konasana. Sitting up straight in dandasana was not an option. With consistent practice, her body loosened up and strengthened. She credits her own body as her my best teacher.

Christine can identify with and inspire others who are new to yoga, while teaching them how to practice safely without injury. She is equally passionate about asana, pranayama and yoga philosophy. Together these are the most wonderful tools for self-transformation and growth. Christine feels blessed to be able to share her passion with so many. She teaches Yoga Philosophy for Akhanda Yoga YTT 200 and 300. 

Akhanda Teacher Robin Campbell (Prem)

Robin Campbell – Ziffer (Prem Sagar)

Akhanda Teacher Trainer

Read more

Robin (Prem Sagar) holds a Bachelors degree in Psychology & Anthropology and a Masters in Counselling Psychology. He is a registered psychologist in Calgary, and works in private practice. Prem has pursued the art of yoga and spiritual transformation since 1999, when he first met his teacher, Yogi Vishvketu in Rishikesh, India. He developed a deep connection with Yogi Vishvketu and has remained a dedicated student. Since then, Prem has been part of the teaching faculty for the Akhanda Yoga Teacher Training programs, in particular spearheading the Yoga Life Coaching 100-hour training module. As part of the teacher training programs, Prem taught courses on the psychology of yoga and has developed courses on yoga therapy in North America and in India. In addition, Prem has been part of the teaching faculty of Mt. Royal University yoga therapy program for the past 6 years and has taught courses on yoga for mental health and wellness and therapeutic relationships. Prem has developed a unique form of yoga therapy that integrates the disciplines of yoga, psychology and body centered mindfulness therapies.

Akhanda Teacher Piero Casanova (Pranav)

Piero Casanova (Pranav)

Akhanda Teacher Trainer

Read more

The first time he crossed the Ganges in Haridwar, India, Pranav experienced a strong revelation that has compelled him to go to India every year since 1994 to look for his spiritual nature, and to practice yoga. In December 1999, he met Yogrishi Vishvketu, from whom he started learning many precious techniques. Since then, every year for a month he studies and practices pranayama and meditation at Yoga Niketan Ashram in Rishikesh, India. To carry on learning about Vedantic philosophy, he studied with professor Mark Dyczkowski from the Benares Hindu University. In February 2005, he obtained his 200-hour yoga teacher training certificate from Yogrishi Vishvketu. In October 2005, he taught yoga and pranayama at the Yoga Niketan Ashram. Every year in June Pranav holds two seminars in Italy: one with Yogrishi Vishvketu, in which Hatha, Raja and Kundalini yoga lessons are held, and a second seminar called Soul Therapy, that combines yoga with modern dance and kathak. His mission is to demonstrate to beginner and advanced students that yoga is a spiritual discipline, a soul technology.

Akhanda Teacher Trainer Mary Hammerstein

Mary Hammerstein (Shant Prem)

Akhanda Teacher Trainer

Read more

During a time of personal challenges, I instinctually immersed myself in yoga. The practice helped me regain my health and reconnect with myself after a car accident left me bed-ridden for a year. Yoga helped me breathe my way home as I cared for my mother during her 4-year battle with uterine cancer. Teaching yoga provides me connections that have carried me across continents and through cities and towns all over the world.

I received my 200-hour certification from the Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health. This gentle and compassionate style of yoga emphasizes meditation, physical healing and spiritual transformation that overflow into daily life. I returned to live at the Kripalu Center for a year in 2013 as a volunteer after a 14-year career teaching high school English in both the United States and overseas. The urge to learn about yoga at the source led me to India, where I studied and completed my 300-hour certification in Akhanda Yoga at Anand Prakash Yoga Ashram. The program further immersed me in a yoga as a holistic path to compassion, personal bliss and spiritual transformation. My deep connection to this approach lead me to spread Akhanda Yoga worldwide.

My classes cater to multiple levels and emphasize the body as the teacher. Students are encouraged to recognize the wisdom of their own bodies and listen. I teach from a place of joy and offer suggestions for postures with many variations so each individual can customize their own practice. I watch, to promote safety, encourage inner alignment in the Kripalu and Akhanda traditions, and foster energy flow as taught in Kundalini Yoga. Finally, I invite students to treat their bodies and minds with kindness and patience on the mat and in the world.

I am thrilled to be returning to the Ashram as a philosophy/methodology teacher trainer on the YTT 200 program in February 2020.

Akshata Sheelvant

Akshata Sheelvant (Akee)

Ayurveda Teacher Trainer

Read more

Akshata (Akee) Sheelvant is an Ayurveda/Yoga Lifestyle Consultant living in Phoenix, USA. She is an Akhanda Yoga RYT certified yoga teacher having studied with Yogrishi Vishvketu in Rishikesh, India. Akshata is also a disciple of her Guru Paramahansa Yogananda and has been practicing Kriya Yoga for more than 15 years.

Akshata has used the scientific wisdom of Ayurveda and practice of Hatha Yoga to successfully regulate her hypothyroidism. The Ayurvedic saying let ‘food be thy medicine’ is a living mantra in her personal life. She brings her knowledge of Ayurveda and Yoga in her workshops and personal 1/1 consultations. Her forte is crafting multi-cuisine nutritiously delicious food-medicine. She specializes in helping her clients with dosha-specific diet recommendations for endocrine health, diabetes management, weight issues, hormone balance and other lifestyle disorders.

For more details about Akshata and her work, please visit JeevaLifestyle.

Khyati Saroha

Khyati Saroha

Akhanda Teacher Trainer

Read more

Khyati is a professor of Business Administration at a girls’ college where she also offers 1 week or 10 day yoga camps for students and teachers to nourish their mental and physical growth and foster a stress free life. She has found yoga truly helpful because it enables one to have some time off from the office, family, friends, social media, phones, and computers. “When we remove our sense of sight, we become open to experience a different kind of vision, an intense self-awareness that ultimately leads to life-changing growth and discovery through yoga.”

Khyati did her YTT 200 in February 2015 with Yogrishi Vishvketu. She maintains a yoga practice and is pursuing her Masters in yoga from Sanskrit Vishv Vidhyalya, in Haridwar. She loves spiritual sessions and spiritual talks that bring a spark to her.

“For me, teaching is about connecting with people’s hearts and giving them the tools to develop their own potential and strength.”

Akhanda Yoga teacher Lauren Dodds

Lauren Dodds (Yog Jyoti)

Akhanda Teacher Trainer

Read more

Yog Jyoti began her journey with yoga as a teen, planting a seed of stillness and peace that would blossom into her dedication to the practice today. She came to Akhanda Yoga in 2014 when she met Yogrishi Vishvketu during her YTT 200 in Edmonton (Canada). She was immediately drawn and deeply connected to the blissful and holistic approach of the Akhanda practice.

 

In 2015, Yog Jyoti left a corporate career in Engineering to pursue her love and passion for the healing arts, and travelled to Rishikesh, India, to complete her YTT 300. She has been teaching full-time in Calgary ever since. Her classes hold space to explore the inner world with a sense of curiosity and wonder, inviting students to dive deep into the languages of the body and breath, and realize their brightest, shiniest selves. Outside of yoga can be found exploring the nearby Rocky Mountains and dancing under the stars at music festivals.

 

Yog Jyoti has assisted at Akhanda Yoga Teacher Training programs at Anand Prakash Yoga Ashram and will be teaching the April YTT 200 in 2018.