About the Brahmananda Ashram:
The Yoga Society of San Francisco, incorporated in 1972 by Shri Brahmananda Sarasvati, operates its Ashram in a beautiful yellow Victorian in the sunny Mission District. The facility incorporates single, double, and dormitory-style room options for residents and a full kitchen were nutritious Ayurvedic meals are prepared by the community. It is also home to several meditation spaces, a large, mirrored yoga studio, a fire temple, large rooftop deck, and backyard garden.
About your teachers:
Mahendra Briksha, Lead Yoga Teacher
Mahendra Briksha was born in a small village of Himalaya. He is a yogi, a certified rebirthing breathwork practitioner, Integral coach, and raw vegan chef. Mahendra Briksha combines Hindu Yogic practices, Buddhist wisdom, and Integral Insights in his teaching. He is a longtime Vipassana meditation practitioner. In his Journey with the breath, Briksha draws from a variety of yogic breathing modalities, including Holotropic Breathwork, Clarity Breathwork, and Anapanasati. Briksha shares his knowledge and experience to help people awaken their body, breath, and mind and learn to live a peaceful life in the midst of busy world. He is a graduate of the yoga teacher-training program at the Vivekananda Yoga Research Center, Bangalore, and holds certificates in integral yoga from California Institute of Integral studies, and yoga therapy from Purusha Yoga. Briksha lives and offers programs at the Yoga Society of San Francisco (www.yssf.com).
Sumukhi Kristina Lanuza, Lead Yoga Teacher
Sumukhi Kristina Lanuza has dedicated her life to understanding and knowing the nature of life and existence. She began practicing and teaching Yoga in 1997 and in 2001, she stepped onto Ananda Ashram in Monroe, New York and found what she had been looking for in Shri Brahmananda Sarasvati, Ramamurti S. Mishra (Guruji), the Founder and Guru of Ananda Ashram’s, teachings. Since then, Guruji’s emphasis on pulsation, vibration, nature, meditation, Sanskrit, the Music of Silence and the true Nature of I-AM has inspired Sumukhi’s life and teaching in every way. She fills her yoga classes with creativity, joy, laughter, music, science, meditation, and intention. Sumukhi has completed multiple teacher trainings and is certified in several Hatha Yoga techniques: Ashtanga (Power Yoga), Anusara, and Therapeutics. She created and co-leads a highly respected Yoga Teacher Training program in Austin, Texas – Yoga Illumined (now also a Yoga Studio) – with Zoe Mantarakis – which immerses students in a life-long practice of Yoga and provides them with the tools to teach others. Sumukhi has a Bachelor of Science in Biology from St. Edward’s University.
Brandon Bui, Yoga Teacher
Brandon Bui found yoga through meditation, pranayama, and mantra as a means to free his mind. Shortly after he discovered the asana after stepping into a Power Vinyasa class at Yoga to the People and realized the incredible potency of the practice to liberate and heal the body. Here he completed a teacher training and apprenticeship and continues to teach open level classes weekly in SF and downtown Berkeley ranging from 20-120 students. Brandon came to the Yoga Society of San Francisco to develop his understanding of classical yoga, philosophy, and Sanskrit so he may inspire others to seek truth through the integral teachings of our Guru – Shri Brahmananda Sarasvati. As a resident teacher and member of the Hatha yoga committee – Brandon enjoys guiding Vedic fire meditations, drumming in kirtan, and questioning the universe and our existence in satsang. Outside of Yoga to the People and Yoga Society of San Francisco he teaches for Moksha Life Center and San Francisco State University for students and faculty.
Marcelo Carvalho, Yoga Teacher
Marcelo Carvalho began teaching yoga in 2001. His yoga classes include asana (poses), pratyahara (internalizing the focus of the mind and the senses), and pranayama (expansion of primordial energy – prana). He emphasizes meditation, yoga psychology, and Self-knowledge as principle tools for personal transformation and healing. Marcelo studies Sanskrit with Dr. Ram Karan Sharma and the Yoga Society Sanskrit faculty. An active member of the Yoga Society of San Francisco, Marcelo has been on the board of directors since 2000, and is elected Board member for the term 2012-2014. Although he did not meet Shri Brahmananda during his lifetime, he has embraced him as his Guru.
Ram Karan Sharma, Sanskrit Teacher
Professor Ram Karan Sharma is an eminent scholar and educator, Sanskrit poet, translator, editor, author of a number of books, and long-time President of the International Association of Sanskrit Studies (IASS). With his background of traditional Vedic education combined with modern university training, he taught as Professor of Sanskrit, Linguistics and Philosophy in India and the U.S., and was Vice Chancellor of two prominent Sanskrit Universities in India. He is the recipient of numerous honors and awards including the President’s Award (India). Professor Sharma’s interest is in the unifying aspects of Sanskrit and other classical traditions of the world. He is based in Delhi.
Kiranavali Devi, Sanskrit Teacher
Kiranavali Devi began studying yoga in 1969. In 1972 she met her guru Sri Brahmananda Saraswati and began studying Sanskrit with him. She taught Hatha yoga and meditation in New York, Florida, and the West Indies before moving to the Brahmananda Ashram in 1977. In 1993 she began teaching Sanskrit. She holds a BA from New College in San Francisco, a JD from the University of San Francisco Law School, and today she continues her Sanskrit studies with Professor Ram Karan Sharma.