Swami Gitananda

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Fast Facts
Swamiji Gitananda.jpg
Other Names and Nicknames: 
Dr. Swami Gitananda, Yogamaharishi Dr. Swami Gitananda Giri Guru Maharaj, Yogamaharishi Swami Gitananda
Spiritual Teacher
Yoga, Sanatana Dharma, Scientific Spirituality, Vedanta, Spiritual Science
Main Countries of Activity: 
Date of Birth: 
July 24, 1907
Place of Birth: 
Maharajganj, India
In His/Her Body ("alive"): 
Date Left His/Her Body: 
December 29, 1993


Born in India as the son of a Sindhi father and an Irish mother, he went to England at the age of sixteen and spent most of his professional life as a physician in the West, holding many posts with the World Health Organization.

Upon returning to India in 1968, he founded Ananda Ashram in Pondicherry, Tamil Nadu, which now has seventy-five centers around the world.

Apart from training thousands of Western Yoga students, he was also a leading cultural figure in South India. The Kambliswamy Yoga and Cultural Arts Program launched by him has provided training in Yoga and classical dance and music for over 20,000 village children. Swami Gitananda Giri also wrote twenty-five books and published the monthly magazine "Yoga Life" for a quarter of a century.

He had spent most of his eighty-seven years in the propagation of Classical Rishiculture Ashtanga Yoga. The Paramparai (tradition) that he inherited is a fusion of Classical Ashtanga Yoga Promulgated by Yogamaharishi Swami Kanakananda Brighu of Bengal, and the South Indian Siddha Yoga tradition as exemplified by the Shakti, life and teachings of the great South Indian Siddha-Yogi, Srila Sri Kambali Gnananda Desiga Swamigal of Pondicherry.


From 1968 until his Samadhi on December 29, 1993, Swamiji offered every year a six month Intensive Residential International Yoga Teachers Training Course in his Pondicherry Ashram.

This annual course has been continued uninterrupted to this date.

Students are instructed in classical Rishiculture Ashtanga (Gitananda) Yoga. Hundreds of Asanas, Kriyas, Mudras, Pranayama, Raja Yoga practices, Kundalini techniques and higher meditative activities as well as yoga theory are studied 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.

In addition to this busy teaching schedule, in which every single class was taught by the Yogamaharishi himself, he also edited from 1970, an international English monthly Yoga journal YOGA LIFE.


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