Indian Yoga Gurus and Spiritual Leaders
Top Yoga Gurus
B.K. S. Iyengar
B.K.S. Iyengar was the founder of the style of yoga known as “Iyengar Yoga” and was considered one of the foremost yoga teachers in the world. He was the author of many books on yoga practice and philosophy including Light on Yoga, Light on Pranayama, Light on the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, and Light on Life.
2. Sri K. Pattabhi Jois
Sri K. Pattabhi Jois was an Indian yoga teacher who developed the popular vinyāsa style of yoga referred to as Ashtanga Yoga. In 1948, Jois established the Ashtanga Yoga Research Institute (now known as the Shri K Pattabhi Jois Ashtanga Yoga Institute) in Mysore, India.
3. Swami Kuvalayananda
A researcher and educator who is primarily known for his pioneering research into the scientific foundations of yoga. He started scientific research on yoga in 1920 and published the first scientific journal specifically devoted to studying yoga, Yoga Mimamsa, in 1924.
4. Swami Sivananda Saraswati
Sivananda Saraswati or Swami Sivananda was a Hindu spiritual teacher and a proponent of Yoga and Vedanta. Sivananda was born Kuppuswami in Pattamadai, in the Tirunelveli district of Tamil Nadu.
5. Swami Chidananda Saraswati
He was President of the Divine Life Society, Rishikesh, India. He is well known in India as a yogi, jnani and spiritual leader. He succeeded as President of the Divine Life Society in 1963.
6. Swami Satyananda Saraswati
He was a sannyasin, yoga teacher, and guru in both his native India and the West. He was a student of Sivananda Saraswati, the founder of the Divine Life Society, and founded the Bihar School of Yoga in 1964. He wrote over 80 books, including Asana Pranayama Mudra Bandha.
7. Maharishi Mahesh Yogi
He was known as Maharishi and Yogi as an adult. He developed the Transcendental Meditation technique and was the leader and guru of a worldwide organization that has been characterized in multiple ways including as a new religious movement and as non-religious.
Indian Spiritual Leaders
He was believed to be the avatar of Adi Shesha. He is considered to be the compiler of the Yoga Sutras, along with being the author of a commentary on Panini’s Ashtadhyayi, known as Mahabhasya.
2. Sri Aurobindo
He was an Indian nationalist, philosopher, yogi, guru, and poet. He joined the Indian movement for independence from British rule, for a while was one of its influential leaders, and then became a spiritual reformer, introducing his visions on human progress and spiritual evolution.
3. Swami Vivekananda
He was an Indian Hindu monk, a chief disciple of the 19th-century Indian mystic Ramakrishna. He was a key figure in the introduction of the Indian philosophies of Vedanta and Yoga to the Western world and is credited with raising interfaith awareness, bringing Hinduism to the status of a major world religion during the late 19th century.
4. Sri Sri Ravi Shankar
He is a spiritual leader and founder of the Art of Living Foundation created in 1981, which aims to relieve individual stress, societal problems, and violence.
Current Yoga Gurus
Swami Ramdev-Patanjali Yogpeeth
He is best known for popularising yoga among Indians through his mass yoga camps. He founded the Patanjali Group of Institutions. Ramdev has more recently become interested in Indian political issues.
2. Bikram Choudhury-Bikram Yoga
He is an Indian yoga teacher and the founder of Bikram Yoga, a form of hot yoga performed in a series of 26 hatha yoga postures done in a hot environment of 40 °C. Bikram Yoga is a hot yoga style and is ideally practiced in a room heated to 40 °C (104 °F) with a humidity of 40%.
3. Bharat Thakur-Artistic Yoga
Bharat Thakur the Himalayan Master founded Artistic Yoga, a new style of yoga that is a combination of ancient yogic knowledge with sports medicine.
4. Suneel Singh
Yoga Guru Suneel Singh has been rated as one of the top five yoga gurus of India. He is one of the first yoga gurus in India, who cures his patients by using simple tools like Numerology, Sign, Hasya Yoga, and Yoga-Chi in order to treat them in a holistic way, yoga-chi which is a new thought pattern very similar to Meditation.