Do you ever wonder what makes a yoga teacher famous?
Why are some yoga teachers great?
Why are some so influential?
Being an influential yoga teacher is about more than perfecting a handstand. Some come from profound lineages, others use their practice to promote important causes. All of these yoga teachers have this in common: a commitment to their practice, and to the healing and freedom of all living beings.
Read on to learn about the original yoga masters of India and their lineages all the way to current famous yoga teachers, and even where you can practice with them.
- 1 The Great Gurus of India
- 1.1 Mahavatar Babaji (Born 203 AD)
- 1.2 Lahiri Mahasaya (1828-1895)
- 1.3 Swami Yukteswar Giri (1855-1936)
- 1.4 Paramahansa Yogananda (1893-1952)
- 1.5 Tirumalai Krishnamacharya (1888-1989)
- 1.6 B.K.S. Iyengar (1918-2014)
- 1.7 T. K. V. Desikachar (1938-2016)
- 1.8 Sri K. Pattabhi Jois (1915-2009)
- 1.9 Maharishi Mahesh Yogi (1918– 2008)
- 1.10 Geeta Iyengar (1944-2018)
- 1.11 R. Sharath Jois (1971- present)
- 2 Influential Western Yoga Teachers
- 2.1 Alan Finger
- 2.2 Alison West
- 2.3 Manouso Manos
- 2.4 Patricia Walden
- 2.5 Baron Baptiste
- 2.6 Carrie Owerko
- 2.7 Rodney Yee
- 2.8 Maty Ezraty
- 2.9 Richard Freeman
- 2.10 Seane Corn
- 2.11 David Life
- 2.12 Nevine Michaan
- 2.13 Rod Stryker
- 2.14 Shiva Rea
- 2.15 David Swenson
- 2.16 Cyndi Lee
- 2.17 Eddie Stern
- 2.18 Dana Trixie Flynn
- 2.19 Dylan Werner
- 2.20 Adriene Mishler
- 2.21 Vanda Scaravelli
- 2.22 Sri Dharma Mittra
- 2.23 Ana Forrest
- 2.24 David Williams
- 2.25 Kino MacGregor
- 2.26 Travis Eliot
- 2.27 Chelsey Korus
- 2.28 Bernie Clark
- 2.29 Meghan Currie
- 2.30 Esther Eckhart
- 2.31 Kathryn Budig
- 2.32 Briohny Smyth
- 3 FAQs
The Great Gurus of India
Mahavatar Babaji (Born 203 AD)
“Even in the world, the yogi who faithfully discharges his responsibilities, without personal motive or attachment, treads the sure path of enlightenment.”
The Father of Kriya Yoga, Indian yogi, guru, and saint. It is said his spirit still resides in the mountains of the Himalayas. In Sanskrit, Mahavatar means the great avatar, and Babaji means revered father. He was the guru and teacher of Lahiri Mahasaya and instructed him to spread the teachings of Kriya yoga. He also appeared to Yogananda in a dream before Yogananda left for America, confirming to him that he was the chosen one to spread the practice to the west.
Many yoga teachers say that Babaji taught the first-ever sun salutation thousands of years ago.
Lahiri Mahasaya (1828-1895)
“Solve all your problems through meditation. Exchange unprofitable religious speculations for actual God-contact. Clear your mind of dogmatic theological debris; let in the fresh, healing waters of direct perception. Attune yourself to the active inner Guidance; the Divine Voice has the answer to every dilemma of life. Through man’s ingenuity for getting himself into trouble appears to be endless, the Infinite Succor is no less resourceful.”
Lahiri Mahasaya was an Indian yogi and guru, instrumental in the renaissance of Kriya Yoga in India. He was the student and disciple of Mahavatar Babaji and the teacher and guru of Yukteswar Giri. He was born Shyama Charan Lahiri in the Brahmin caste.
Pranayama practice was central to his teachings as he believed it would provide his students with accelerated spiritual growth and direct access to the divine truth. He was very unique in that his students included disciples from all backgrounds and walks of life. As long as they had a genuine passion and commitment to spiritual growth, he did not care what caste they came from or if they were Catholic or Muslim. Additionally, instead of living in a temple or monastery, he lived in the physical world, raising a family and working as an accountant.
Lahiri wrote many spiritual texts and commentaries on the Bhagavad Gita. He distributed his teachings to the masses for free. He founded the Kriya Yoga Institute to promote the practice of Kriya Yoga in Kolkata. He was the guru. of Yogananda’s parents. When Yogananda was just a baby, Lahiri prophesied that the babe would become a world-renowned yogi and “spiritual engine.”
Swami Yukteswar Giri (1855-1936)
“Pain and pleasure are transitory; endure all dualities with calmness, while trying at the same time to remove their hold. Imagination is the door through which disease as well as healing enters. Disbelieve in the reality of sickness even when you are ill […].The power of unfulfilled desires is the root of all man’s slavery.”
Swami Yukteswar Giri was the student and disciple of Lahiri Mahasaya and the teacher and guru of Paramahansa Yogananda. He was a noble saint and great yogi. He was born Priya Nath Karar before being initiated into Kriya yoga as a monk by his guru.
Yukteswar Giri was a scholar and Vedic astrologer, from a young age he was an intelligent boy always curious to learn more. He is the author of Kaivalya Darsanam, which explains the similarities between Hinduism and Christianity by comparing the Bhagavad Gita with the Bible. The purpose of this text was to illustrate how all faith is one in essence. He is the founder of Yogoda Satsang Society of India, whose mission is to foster connections among like-minded people and promote harmony in society.
His disciple, Yogananda, bestowed the title Gyanavata onto him, meaning “divine incarnation of wisdom.”
Paramahansa Yogananda (1893-1952)
“The reflection, the verisimilitude, of life that shines in the fleshly cells from the soul source is the only cause of man’s attachment to his body; obviously he would not pay solicitous homage to a clod of clay. A human being falsely identifies himself with his physical form because the life currents from the soul are breath-conveyed into the flesh with such intense power that man mistakes the effect for a cause, and idolatrously imagines the body to have life of its own.”
Paramahansa Yogananda was the student and disciple of Swami Yukteswar Giri and teacher and guru to many students he lead at the Self-Realization Fellowship in California. He was the first great Indian yoga master to make the United States his residence. He was the most influential and instrumental yogi to bring the ancient teachings to the west. He is the author of the world-famous book, Autobiography of a Yogi, which is considered to be one of the most important texts in yoga.
Yogananda was a spiritual young boy and began his quest to find his guru at a young age. He knew he was destined to be a servant of the truth of yoga and spread its teachings far and wide. He was initiated into the swami order of Kriya yoga in 1915, and later in 1935 bestowed the title Paramahansa by his guru, meaning “the supreme swan.”
This world-renowned spiritual teacher instructed the masses on meditation, the unity of all world religions, the science of Kriya yoga, and the liberation of the mind.
Kriya yoga is an ancient yoga system. It is a science, advanced pranayama technique, and movement practice. The practice of Kriyas revitalizes the life force in the brain and moves energy along the spine. It elevates consciousness and facilitates a feeling of oneness with the Universe. The goal of the Self-Realization Fellowship was to spread the teachings and practice of Kriya Yoga to the entire world.
Tirumalai Krishnamacharya (1888-1989)
“Inhale, and God approaches you. Hold the inhalation, and God remains with you. Exhale, and you approach God. Hold the exhalation, and surrender to God.”
The Father of Modern Yoga, Krishnamacharya was an Ayurvedic healer, scholar, and yoga teacher. He revived Hatha yoga and created Vinyasa yoga by combining breath and movements. He was the teacher and guru of B.K.S. Iyengar, T.K.V. Desikachar, Indra Devi, and K. Pattabhi Jois.
Krishnamacharya deeply believed in the teachings of Patanjali and the differing paths of yoga taken by each individual practitioner. Many credit this famous yoga teacher for developing what we are familiar with in a modern yoga class, such as the emphasis on shoulder stand and headstand.
B.K.S. Iyengar (1918-2014)
“Yoga is when every cell of the body sings the song of the soul.”
B.K.S. Iyengar is the founder of Iyengar yoga, a derivative of Hatha yoga that emphasizes exact proper alignment and the use of props. He was one of the most instrumental yoga teachers to popularize Hatha in the west. He taught thousands of devoted students and wrote many books. His most famous book, Light on Yoga, is still considered one of the most essential texts in yoga asana practice.
He was the student, disciple, and brother in law of Sri Tirumalai Krishnamacharya. In 2004 he was named one of the most influential people by Time Magazine. His teachings and practice emphasized “good health, mental peace, emotional equanimity, and intellectual clarity.” His children, Geeta Iyengar and Prashant Iyengar continued his lineage.
T. K. V. Desikachar (1938-2016)
“The success of Yoga does not lie in the ability to perform postures but in how it positively changes the way we live our life and our relationships.”
Yogi and Ayurvedic healer, T.K.V. Desikachar is the son of Tirumalai Krishnamacharya. Although he was disinterested in yoga as a child, he returned to his roots in his 20s to study under his father. He believed that yoga could be a powerful practice for all people, regardless of their ability. Adapting yoga asanas to be accessible for all was one of his greatest legacies.
He used yoga therapy to integrate asana, pranayama, meditation, and Ayurveda to promote health and well-being in his students and clients. He authored Health, Healing, and Beyond; The Viniyoga of Yoga; and The Heart of Yoga. He founded Krishnamacharya Healing Yoga Foundation with his son, a worldwide organization for yoga teachers and therapists.
Sri K. Pattabhi Jois (1915-2009)
“Awake my dear be kind to your sleeping heart take it out into the vast fields of Light and let it breathe.”
Sri K. Pattabhi Jois was the founder of Ashtanga yoga, a style of Vinyasa based on specific sequences that originated in the Hatha style. Not only a great yogi, he was also a scholar and professor. He was the student and disciple of Krishnamacharya and the teacher and guru to many students in Mysore, India.
He studied under Krishnamacharya from 1927 to 1953 and founded the Ashtanga Yoga Research Institute in 1948. His grandson, Sharath Jois, continues his lineage.
Maharishi Mahesh Yogi (1918– 2008)
“All that we are is the result of what we have thought. The mind is everything. What we think, we become.”
Maharishi was an Indian yogi and guru. He created the Transcendental Meditation technique and famously was the guru of George Harrison. One of the most influential Hindu yogis to teach in the west, he authored over 20 books, and dozens of magazine articles, and even appeared on television shows. He was the student and disciple of Swami Brahmananda Saraswati.
Most well-known as a meditation teacher, he trained over 40,000 teachers in Transcendental Meditation (TM). TM is favored by westerners for its scientific, simple, and effective nature. The practice involves chanting a personal mantra in order to overcome mind chatter and stress and promote personal development.
Geeta Iyengar (1944-2018)
“Yoga is the study of the functioning of the body, the mind and the intellect in the process of attaining freedom.”
Geeta is the eldest daughter of B.K.S. Iyengar. She was described as “the world’s leading female yoga teacher.” She was the co-director of the Ramamani Iyengar Memorial Yoga Institute (RIMYI). She is the author of Iyengar Yoga for Motherhood: Safe Practice for Expectant & New Mothers, Yoga in Action- Preliminary Course, Yoga in Action- Intermediate Course, and Yoga: A Gem for Women. She highly promoted specific yoga practices for women for different stages of a woman’s life.
R. Sharath Jois (1971- present)
“There is no one place for yoga. Many places yoga has reached, many countries, many nationalities. Yoga doesn’t belong to one culture. Everyone should practice yoga for their own well-being. Once that happens, the whole planet becomes a spiritual place. The whole planet will become totally different. Everyone will realize their own responsibility in their life towards this planet, towards humanity, so that’s what we have to think about. Yoga will give you that kind of knowledge. It’s not just physical, it’s overall how to keep your own well-being, and keeping others’ well-being. So, that is called yoga.”
Sharath Jois, param guru, is the grandson of K. Pattabhi Jois, continuing his lineage in the Ashtanga Yoga tradition. He is the director of the K. Pattabhi Jois Ashtanga Yoga Institute (KPJAYI) in Mysore, India. He has advocated for the inclusion of yoga practice and teachings into school curriculums. Because of his work, the University of Virginia has a traditional Mysore program.
Sharath holds annual teacher trainings for authorized and certified practitioners to ensure the Ashtanga method is being upheld with respect to the tradition and lineage. He has committed his life to the practice.
Influential Western Yoga Teachers
Many of these famous yoga teachers are direct descendants of the most important yoga lineages, students of the gurus discussed above. Still, others are highly influential because. of their publications whether they be in print, DVD, or online. Many of them have also adapted traditional systems of yoga into their own unique flows or styles. All of them have been instrumental in mainstreaming yoga in the west and making it accessible to all.
New York, NY
Alan began his instruction in yoga when he was 16 years old under the tutelage of his father, Kavi Yogiraj Mani Finger. His father was a student of the great gurus Yogananda and Swami Sivananda. Alan is also known as Kavi Yogiraj, “master of masters,” and is one of the most celebrated and respected yoga teachers in the United States. He and his father founded the Integrated Science of Hatha Tantra and Ayurveda (ISHTA Yoga) in the 1960s. The aim of the method is to teach students how to integrate various yoga styles and principles to best suit their individual needs. The practice now has its home based in two studios in New York City which Alan co-founded with his wife, Sarah Finger, and Bruce and Julie Wilcox. Alan is the author and creator of many books and DVDs. He founded the Yoga Tantra Institute in Los Angeles and Yoga Zone studios. He is the teacher of many of the great modern teachers currently, spreading the lineage of Yogananda all over the world.
New York, NY
Alison is an internationally celebrated yoga teacher across lineages and traditions. She studied in both Pune, India, with the Iyengars, and in Mysore, India, with Sri K. Pattabhi Jois. She has been teaching yoga since the 1980s. In 1996, she opened Yoga Union, a premier studio in New York City. Her classes focus on alignment, back care, and posture. She is currently the director of Yoga Union and Yoga Union Backcare and Scoliosis Center. She continues to study kinesiology to provide the best care to her clients at the center. She leads yoga teacher training programs and the only 100-hour backcare and scoliosis certification program in the world. She travels around the world teaching workshops and masterclasses.
San Francisco, CA
Manouso is one of two living people granted Advanced Senior certificate status by B.K.S. Iyengar. He is trusted to spread and teach the authentic Iyengar practice, along with Patricia Walden. He began studying with Iyengar in 1974 and has been teaching for over 40 years. He served as the chairperson for the first International Iyengar Yoga Convention in 1984. He was featured in many of the original Iyengar instructional videos on VHS. He is known for this advanced precision and knowledge as a yoga teacher as well as his humor and good nature in yoga class. He leads workshops around the world and still teaches yoga regularly at The Abode of Iyengar Yoga in San Francisco.
Patricia has been instrumental in spreading Iyengar yoga to the United States. She is one of two living yoga teachers who are Advanced Senior Iyengar teachers. For four decades, she made annual pilgrimages to Pune, India where she studied with her guru, B.K.S. Iyengar, and later with his daughter Geeta, after his passing. She was a member of the national certification committee, the B.K.S. Iyengar Yoga National Association of the United States for 25 years. She authored and created dozens of books and DVD series’ including The Women’s Book of Yoga and Health, and Gaia’s Yoga for Beginners DVDs. Now, she teaches at Down Under Yoga in Massachusetts, and continues to travel all around the world leading yoga teacher training programs, workshops, and retreats.
Baron Baptiste is one of the most influential yoga teachers in modern yoga and the united states. He was born into a family of yogis and started practicing at a very young age. He helped transform how yoga is viewed and practiced in the US. He is the founder of Baptiste Yoga, and his two studios in Boston, there are now 40 affiliate studios all around the globe. He is the co-founder of the Africa Yoga Project which seeks to support poverty-stricken youth in Kenya through yoga. He is the author of The Yoga Bootcamp Box, Forty Days to Personal Revolution, and My Daddy is a Pretzel.
New York, NY
Carrie holds a Senior Intermediate Iyengar teaching credential, Yoga Therapist certification (C-IAYT) and Functional Range Conditioning Mobility Specialist (FRCms) certification. She continues her studies with her yoga lineage by making a pilgrimage to India regularly. She values curiosity, openness, and affection in her approach to Iyengar Yoga. She honors the integration of science, yoga philosophy, and the poeticism of the yoga practice. She is all about facilitating playfulness during yoga class.
Sag Harbor, NY
Rodney was instrumental in bringing yoga to the mainstream in the early 90s in the United States. His yoga DVDs produced by Gaiam are still some of the most popular and most watched instructional DVDs ever made. He is a certified Iyengar teacher, practicing yoga for 40 years and teaching for 30. He co-directs the Yoga Shanti school in New York with his wife, Colleen Saidman. He is also the yoga director with Colleen at the Urban Zen Foundation which is a non-profit organization that seeks to bring yoga practice to the mainstream health care system.
Santa Monica, CA
Maty dedicated her life to mainstreaming yoga and making it accessible to the masses. She co-founded Yoga Works with her partner in 1987 in Santa Monica, CA. She recently passed away in 2019 but leaves behind a lasting legacy that sees over 700 students every day accessing their yoga practice through the platform she founded. She was mainly a practitioner of Ashtanga yoga, but later on in life was introduced to Iyengar yoga.
Richard was one of the first Westerners to be certified to teach Ashtanga yoga by Sri K. Pattabhi Jois almost 50 years ago. He founded Yoga Workshop in Boulder, Colorado in 1987. Also influenced by Iyengar yoga, he teaches a fusion method called Ashtanga Vinyasa yoga. He is a devout practitioner of Vipassana Buddhist meditation. He teaches and studies yoga and meditation all around the world. He is the author of Mirror of Yoga and the creator of multiple yoga DVDs. He is an influential leader in yoga asana and yoga philosophy.
“When we heal the fractured parts of ourselves and learn to love who we are and the journey we’ve embarked upon we will see that same tender humanity in all souls. This is the revolution of the soul.”
Seane is not only a widely respected yoga teacher of over 25 years but also a public speaker. She is known for her social activism, impassioned style of teaching, and her raw and honest self-expression. She is the author of Revolution of the Soul: Awaken to Love Through Raw Truth, Radical Healing, and Conscious Action. She has received recognition for her activism including the “Conscious Humanitarian” award from Detox flow Yoga for her efforts in raising funds and awareness during the HIV/AIDS crisis. She also received the “Global Green Millenium Award” for her sustainability and conservation efforts. She is the co-founder of Off the Mat Into the World and Seva Challenge Humanitarian Tours, encouraging yoga teachers to get involved in social issues around the world.
David has an impressive lineage, having studied with Shri Brahmananda Sarasvati, Shri Swami Nirmalananda, and Sri K. Pattabhi Jois. In 1984 he was certified to teach Ashtanga yoga by Pattabhi Jois. He spent several years as a renunciate monk and received Kalachakra and Bodhisattva initiation from His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama. David is a world-renowned teacher and animal rights activist. His Jivamukti training programs are considered to be among the best in the world. He is the co-founder of Jivamukti studio with Sharon Gannon. They live on a 76-acre wildlife sanctuary outside of Woodstock, New York.
“We are not medical bodies, we are mystical bodies.”
Nevine has been practicing yoga for over 40 years and teaching yoga for over 30. She is the creator of the one-of-a-kind Katonah yoga method, which integrates Daoism, math, yoga, and spirituality. She is the founder of two New York City yoga studios. She is known for drawing inspiration from an eclectic and diverse source pool including Taoism and geometry. A deeply spiritual being, she is renowned for being able to “read” people’s bodies upon meeting them. She enjoys reading philosophy, and poetry, and communing with friends.
Rod has been practicing yoga since he was 18 years old and teaching all over the world for over 35 years. He was a student of Kavi Yogiraj Mani Finger, Alan Finger, and Pandit Rajmani Tigunait, Ph.D., the spiritual leader of the Himalayan Institute of Yoga Science and Philosophy. He is the founder of ParaYoga, a method that integrates Tantra, Ayurveda, and yogic philosophy. He is the author of The Four Desires: Creating a Life of Purpose, Happiness, Prosperity, and Freedom. His book is celebrated for encouraging people to find inner-fulfillment and peace by following the path of yoga. He travels around the world teaching yoga and meditation, and lecturing about yoga philosophy.
Los Angeles, CA
According to her website, Shiva is a “global movement and yoga teacher, founder of Prana Flow, creative catalyst, lover of life, energy activist, and explorer.” She has been a prominent and beloved Vinyasa yoga teacher in the United States and around the world for 25 years. Her method, Prana Vinyasa, integrates many schools of yoga into a system that brings greater “vitality, fluidity, longevity, satisfaction in the soul, passion, and compassion in the heart.” Shiva is the founder of Samudra Global School for Living Yoga and several activism initiatives. She has a background in Ashtanga yoga- studying under the lineage of Krishnamacharya- Tantra, and Ayurveda. All of her teachings and offerings integrate the variety of her background. She appears in many DVDs and CDs and is the author of Tending the Heart Fire: Living in Flow with the Pulse of Life.
David first started learning Ashtanga yoga from his teacher Nancy Gilgoff in 1973 in California. Four years later, he made his first trip to Mysore, India to learn under the guru, Sri K. Pattabhi Jois. While on this trip, he learned the full system of Ashtanga yoga. Upon his return, he began teaching and is now one of the world’s most prominent Ashtanga yoga teachers. He is the creator of dozens of DVDs and audio tapes teaching the Ashtanga system. He is also the author of Ashtanga Yoga: The Practice Manual. The book was released in 1999 and to this day is one of the most thorough guides for learning and practicing Ashtanga yoga. He teaches in Houston, Texas, across the US, and all over the world.
Cyndi has been practicing yoga since 1971 and teaching yoga full-time since 1994. She is the founder of OM Yoga Center in New York City which fully integrates yoga asana and Tibetan Buddhism, a wholly unique offering at the time of its opening. During its 15 years in operation, OM was considered one of the most comprehensive studios in the world. Now, she is based in Virginia where she runs Yoga Goddess Studio, an alignment-based Vinyasa yoga studio. They also include meditation offerings based on mindfulness and compassion. Cyndi leads teacher training programs, retreats, and workshops around the world.
New York City, NY
Eddie is a devout disciple of Sri K. Pattabhi and a highly respected and beloved Ashtanga yoga teacher. He co-founded the Broome Street Temple in 2001 with his wife in New York City. The temple was the only Vedically consecrated Ganesha temple in Manhattan. It was also the home to their Ashtanga yoga school. It closed in 2015 and they opened a new school in Brooklyn. Eddie is a scholar and devotee of Hinduism. He is the co-author of Guruji, a book on his guru, Pattabhi Jois. He also collaborated on a photography book, On Yoga. He is passionate about spreading the teachings and healing power of yoga to all, especially at-risk youth.
Dana Trixie Flynn
New York, NY
Dana is one of the most colorful yoga teachers, and co-founder of the Laughing Lotus Yoga studio in New York City. She and her partner opened the studio in 1997 and have run it ever since. With their signature Lotus Flow sequence, the studio is one of the leaders in the NYC yoga scene. Practitioners are also attracted to the studio because of the fiery, playful, and colorful nature of Dana herself. She sports an ever-changing hairstyle and color, and dizzying patterns, all on her orange and purple Vespa. She blends ecstatic movement, poetry, dance, music, and philosophy into her teaching style and teacher training programs all over the world.
Dylan is the author of The Illuminated Breath: Transform Your Physical, Cognitive, and Emotional Wellbeing by Harnessing the Science of Ancient Yoga. He is passionate about helping others on their journey toward healing by spreading the teachings of yoga and sharing about his own journey. He teaches Vinyasa yoga, Power yoga, and Yin yoga all over the world. Even more than the asana practice, Dylan focuses on pranayama and meditation.
Adriene has made it her mission to make yoga and well-being accessible to all. She is an international yoga teacher, writer, and entrepreneur. Her YouTube channel, Yoga With Adriene, attracts over 9 million subscribers. Her videos are watched by people of all ages, ethnicities, and backgrounds all over the world. She breaks down barriers to access by providing these videos on yoga and well-being at no cost to her audience. She also co-founded Find What Feels Good, a subscription lifestyle app.
Vanda was one of the early students of B.K.S. Iyengar, who taught her asana practice, and T. K. V. Desikachar who taught her pranayama practice. She passed away in 1999. Although she had a strong influence on yoga in the west, she specifically requested that no yoga school be named after her. Her long-time student Diane Long helped her develop her style and keep her wish. She is the author of Awakening the Spine.
Sri Dharma Mittra
New York, NY
Sri Dharma Mittra founded the Dharma Yoga New York Center in 1975. He created the “Master Yoga Chart of 908 Postures” poster as a gift to his guru, Yogi Gupta. The poster features 1,350 photographs of postures, 300 of which were his own creation. Now, it is used as a teaching tool around the world. He is the author of Asanas: 608 Yoga Poses, and the creator of the DVD series Maha Sadhana: The Great Practice Levels I and II. He has been teaching spiritually grounded yoga for over 50 years in the Hatha and Raja traditions. He is known to be big-hearted with a big smile, appearing to have taken about 20 trips less around the sun than his age would imply. You can still find him teaching weekly in New York City.
Orcas Island, WA
The founder of the Forrest Yoga Method, Ana Forrest is a force of nature. In 1982 she found her method based on Hatha yoga. It is intensely physical yet produces subtle shifts in the body. By holding poses for an extended period of time, practitioners are encouraged to release and explore the traumas held within the body. Ana leads retreats and training all over the world. She also practices Native American medicine, Reiki, and regression therapy. She is the author of Fierce Medicine: Breakthrough Practices to Heal the Body and Ignite the Spirit. Of all Patanjali’s Yamas, ahimsa, non-violence, is most important to Ana.
David Williams is a disciple of Sri K. Pattabhi, and his son, Maju Jois. He was the first non-Indian to be taught the entire Ashtanga system in Mysore, India directly from Sri Pattabhi Jois. He was certified to teach Ashtanga Yoga in 1974. He has had a daily devoted practice for over 45 years. He has been the teacher for some of the world’s most influential yoga teachers. Currently, he continues teaching on Maui.
After seeing her guru in a dream, Kino boarded a plane to India and not two weeks later was bowing before the feet of Sri K. Pattabhi. She studied with him for ten years before making her way back to Miami to open Miami Life Center. Her mission is to keep the traditional silent self-paced Ashtanga practice alive. She makes annual pilgrimages to Mysore, India to study with her Ashtanga yoga lineage. She is the author of Sacred Fire, Power of Ashtanga I, Power of Ashtanga II, and Yogi Assignment.
Los Angeles, CA
Travis is a holistic healing artist and entrepreneur. He is an E-RYT 500, meditation teacher, kirtan musician, and certified Ayurveda practitioner. He also is the CEO of Inner Dimension Media, a subscription yoga and meditation streaming service. He is the creator of his signature yoga class and teacher training, Holistic Yoga Flow. He is also the co-author of Holistic Yoga Flow: The Path of Practice. And the creator of the DVD series, The Ultimate Yogi. He is based in California but teaches at workshops, festivals, and retreats all over the world.
Los Angeles, CA and Hong Kong
“Yoga is the thing that makes my heart return back to its original state —LOVE— it’s a process, a returning.” — Chelsey Korus
Chelsey has been teaching yoga since she was 15 years old. She practices Anusara yoga, Power yoga, Vinyasa yoga, Ashtanga yoga, and acro yoga styles, as well as martial arts, free-form dance, and ballet. She teaches at festivals and retreats around the world and has been featured in PopSugar, Prevention Magazine, Yoga Journal, Women’s Fitness, Mantra Magazine, Fitness Magazine, and Shape. She is a lead teacher on Yoga International.
Bernie is the author of Your Body Your Yoga, The Complete Guide to Yin Yoga, From the Gita to the Grail: Exploring Yoga Stories, and Western Myths. Bernie practices Ashtanga and Power Yoga as well as Yin Yoga. He offers classes, teacher training, and workshops in Vancouver.
Meghan began practicing Ashtanga yoga when she was 19 years old living in Costa Rica. She fell in love with the practice and began exploring Yin, Vinyasa, and Anusara. Eventually, she created her signature style called Breath Flow Movement. It combines each of these yoga traditions into a slow, deep, flowy practice that focuses on the mind-body connection using the breath. Her goal is for practitioners to deepen their relationship with the body through somatics. She strives for all of her classes, workshops, retreats, and teacher training programs to be fluid, creative, and playful while getting strong and staying safe.
Esther is a yoga and meditation teacher and founder of EkhartYoga. She has been teaching Hatha yoga, Vinyasa yoga, and Yin yoga for over 20 years. She enjoys a holistic yoga practice that is practical, down-to-earth, inspiring, strong, and meditative.
Kathryn is a world-renowned yoga teacher, author, podcaster, and designer. She is the creator of the Aim True Yoga DVD series and author of The Women’s Health Big Book of Yoga. She has been featured in Yoga Journal, Yogi Times, LA Metro, E! Entertainment, and other publications. She also writes for multiple online publications including Glam and Yoga Mates. Her teacher training is grounded in Ashtanga and included in YogaWorks. She is also the co-founder of Poses for Paws, which raises money for animal shelters.
Los Angeles, CA Angeles
Briohny teaches and practices Vinyasa yoga. During her invigorating flows, she manages to provide unique and precise cues. Her alignment instruction is what makes her teaching style stand out. She co-founded and cultivated Bryce Yoga School in LA.
Who is the most famous yoga teacher?
Paramahansa Yogananda is widely thought to be the most famous yoga teacher. He was the first Indian guru to take up permanent residence in the US. He was invaluable in bringing the Eastern teachings to the west.
Who is the god of yoga?
Shiva is regarded as the patron god of yoga, meditation, and the arts.
Who founded yoga?
Although yoga was practiced before the Vedic age, Patanjali was the first to systematize and codify the existing practices of yoga.