YogaLife Institute Mumbai
Established in 1918 it is the oldest yoga center open to the general public in the world, spreading the true spirit of yoga for over 100 years. The Yoga Institute was founded by Shri Yogendra, who was taught yoga by his guru, Paramahamsa Madhavadasaj. This was at a time when yoga was taught only to an inner circle of gurus in monastic settings without wives and children. Shri Yogendra wanted to bring yoga to householders - the men and women who have to work, commute, raise children and engage in the world - because he believed that they could benefit immensely from the knowledge of yoga. This decision was revolutionary in the yoga world at that time and Shri Yogendra became known as the Father of the Modern Yoga Renaissance, reviving Classical Yoga ideals across the world. In bringing Yoga to the modern householder, Shri Yogendra simplified asanas, kriyas, pranayama, and meditation. He looked at the techniques from a scientific standpoint and encouraged their practical application.
Shri Yogendra wrote many books which were distributed across India. In 1919 he went to NYC to spread Classical Yoga to the West and founded the Yoga Institute on Bear Mountain in Harriman, in New York State. The Institute collected data to demonstrate the healing effect of yoga and participated in the Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research. When his widowed father needed assistance he moved the institute back to India in 1923.
He married Sita Devi in 1927 and although it was not the custom for women to practice yoga Mother Sita Devi joined her husband in his mission. She began teaching women and children at The Yoga Institute and has written many articles and books on the subject. Her book Yoga Physical Education for Women is also preserved in the Crypt of Civilization, to be opened 6000 years later.
Shri Yogendra’s eldest son, Dr Jayadeva Yogendra, took over Directorship of the Yoga Institute in 1985, continuing this mission until his death in 2018. Dr Jayadeva was a simple man and a true yogi and wrote several books and pioneered work in Yoga Education and Therapeutics. His wife Hansaji Yogendra continues to run the Institute. Her simple and practical approach and tips from the yoga way of life are very accessible and deep. She is well known in India as an author and charismatic yoga expert from a popular television series called Yoga for Better Living. She has achieved many awards and honors and is the chair of the Yoga Certification Committee for Quality Council of India and President of the International Board of Yoga. She is the Vice President of the Indian Yoga Association.
To this day, the Yoga Institute helps householders lead happy, healthy and balanced lives in a world that is constantly throwing up challenges. Over 1 million lives have been touched and over 100,000 teachers have been trained. There are centers inspired by the Yoga Institute’s approach across the world. Together they all work to carry on Shri Yogendra's vision of bringing the practical applications of classical yoga philosophy and lifestyle practices into the hearts and minds of householders, guiding aspirants to acquire "a healthy body, a superior mind, and higher spiritual consciousness."
In 1989, Dr. Bob Butera trained daily at The Yoga Institute of Mumbai with his guru Dr. Jayadeva Yogendra. He lived at the Institute for six months doing intensive personal applications of yoga philosophy along with classical yoga and yoga therapy teacher training. He began teaching other people yoga while he was at the Yoga Institute of Mumbai and upon returning home he began teaching Classical Yoga philosophy and practices to householders in the United States. He runs the YogaLife Institute of Pennsylvania with his wife Kristen. They have authored several books in the Classical Yoga tradition which are used as foundational texts for our Teacher Training Program.
Julie Rost received her yoga training with Bob Butera at the YogaLife Institute in Pennsylvania. She founded the YogaLife Institute of New Hampshire in 2006, directing its 200, 300 hour, and Comprehensive Yoga Therapy Training. Since then hundreds of yoga teachers have been trained, and in 2017 Julie partnered with Alice Bentley to bring YogaLife NH to the next level as an independent training center. Julie is so grateful to see the Teacher Training program continue under the leadership of Alice Bentley, Carter Siegel and Allison Parks Dugas. Julie is currently focused on providing a platform for a deeper dive into the living of yoga, through her writing, video classes, insights in nature and yoga therapy, on her platform at julierostyoga.com.
Alice Bentley, Allison Parks Dugas and Carter Siegel, now the owners and co-directors of the YogaLife Institute of New Hampshire Teacher Training Program, LLC bring a sincere appreciation and commitment to the teachings of Classical Yoga. They are ‘YogaLifers’, completing the YogaLife 200 hour, advanced 300 hour and Comprehensive Yoga Therapy training. Classical Yoga has been transformational for them personally and they are grateful to all the teachers of our tradition and are honored to continue to share these transformational teachings. Learn more.