Swami Gitananda and Gitananda Yoga

Gitananda Yoga and its paramparaya (lineage)














Swami Gitananda

Yogamaharishi Dr Swami Gitananda Giri Guru Maharaj The yoga taught at Swami Gitananda’s ashram (Ananda Ashram) has passed down from Guru (master) to Chela (student) for 1000’s of years. It is a system that works and runs very deep. Our practices are thorough and encompass all aspects of the self.

Yogamaharishi Dr. Swami Gitananda Giri was a medical doctor. He also studied Classical Yoga in his youth with his Master, the Bengali saint Sri Swami Kanakananda.

He combined his scientific background with these ancient techniques of classical Yoga. The result is what Swami Gitananda called “Rishiculture Ashtanga Yoga”. This is now known as “Gitananda Yoga”.

In 1972 Swami Gitananda established the Ananda Ashram (ICYER) in Pondicherry. From 1968 until his Samadhi on 29 December 1993, Swamiji offered a yearly six month Intensive Residential International Yoga Teachers Training Course.

This annual course has continued uninterrupted to this date. In an intensive 5 am to 9 pm daily schedule, students learn classical Rishiculture Ashtanga (Gitananda) Yoga. During the course, they study hundreds of Asanas, Kriyas, Mudras, Pranayama, Raja Yoga Practices, Kundalini techniques, higher meditative activities and yoga theory in great depth.

The Yogamaharishi used to tell his students, ‘In six months I will give you enough material to occupy your Yoga Sadhana for not only one, but several lifetimes’. Besides this busy teaching schedule, teaching every single class himself, he also edited Yoga Life, an international English monthly Yoga journal YOGA LIFE.

Both the course and the magazine continue to this date, managed by YOGACHARINI Meenakshi Devi  Bhavanani and Yogachariya Dr Ananda Bhavanani. Swami Gitananda has a long list of achievements to his name. To find out more about him, please visit www.icyer.com.

Yogamani Kalaimamani Yogacharini Meenakshi Devi Bhavanani

Meenakshi Devi BhavananiYogamani Kalaimamani Yogacharini Meenakshi Devi Bhavanani is Director and Resident Acharya of the world famous International Centre for Yoga Education and Research (ICYER / Ananda Ashram) at Pondicherry.

She is the Dharmapatni (life partner) and senior most disciple of the internationally acclaimed Yoga master, Yogamaharishi Dr. Swami Gitananda Giri Guru Maharaj. She has devoted her life to his teachings and to institutions founded by him.

As well as her life in Yoga she is also a journalist, an author and a professional Bharat Natyam Dancer.

A living siddha, lovingly known as Ammaji. In addition to her duties on the government’s Council for Yoga, she runs Ananda Ashram and Yoganjali Natyalayam in Pondicherry, the city’s centre for Yoga and the Cultural Indian Arts.

Again we can find an endless list of titles, awards, books, articles etc on the amazing work of this incredible woman – please visit www.icyer.com to find out more

Yogacharya Dr Ananda Balayogi Bhavanani

Dr Ananda Balayogi BhavananiYogacharya Dr Ananda Balayogi Bhavanani is the son and successor to Swami Gitananda and Yogacharini Meenakshi Devi.

He was born and grew up in the powerful energy of the Gurukula. Although he is following in the footsteps of his parents he is clearly creating his own path.

Already at such a young age, he is a Medical Doctor, a Classical Carnatic Musician and a Bharat Natyam expert.

Ananda has written numerous books and dvd’s on yoga and has quite a few world tours under his belt. He has conducted many controlled yoga projects with patient groups. He has published his findings in various medical journals.

Like his parents, Ananda has prestigious awards and titles. He is a member of the Indian Government Yoga council and assists his mother with all the ashram and city centre activities.

Find out more about Ananda at www.icyer.com.

Based on moral and ethical values (Yama and Niyama) Swami Gitananda taught:

  • Asanas (Body Postures)
  • Pranayamas (Breath Controls)
  • Kriyas (Controlled Movements of Mind or Body)
  • Mudras (Gestures)

Taken to their full potential, the values and techniques Swami Gitananda taught can lead the student to the experience of Yoga (unity).

Om Studio Yoga Classes and Courses

Our general yoga classes are based around this system. We also offer opportunities to study other aspects of yoga and to go deeper. Keep a lookout for our Foundation Course dates which we run three times a year and our yearly Teacher Training Course and Pregnancy Teacher Training. We also run at least two retreats yearly in the UK and often an India retreat to Swami Gitananda’s ashram. If you can’t find what you are looking for then please email or talk to Kalavathi.

Kalavathi has taught yoga classes and courses since 2000.  She founded OM STUDIO in 2013. She has been the main correspondent for the ashram in the UK since completing her studies.

Credit for the information on Swami Gitananda, Meenakshi Devi and Ananda Bhavanani goes to their website www.icyer.com