About the Speakers
Anodea Judith, Ph.D. is the author of eight best-selling books on psychology, spirituality, and social change. She is best known for her pioneering work with the chakra system, through the classics Wheels of Life and Eastern Body, Western Mind. She holds a doctorate in Human Health, a Master’s in Psychology, is a 500 E-RYT yoga teacher, and has engaged in lifelong studies in psychology, yoga, mythology, sociology, history, systems theory, evolution, and comparative religion. Her most recent book is Anodea Judith’s Chakra Yoga. She teaches worldwide.
Christopher is a Yoga practitioner and Sanskrit scholar specializing in the tradition of Tantric Shaivism. His research focuses in particular on the ritualized practices of ‘Hatha’ Yoga as originally presented in the earliest surviving (un-translated) Tantras which pre-date the later ‘Hatha Yoga’ manuals by centuries. He holds advanced degrees in Religion and Sanskrit and presents internationally on the history, practice, and philosophy of Yoga.In 2012, Christopher founded the ‘Kashmir Shaivism Preservation Project,’ which seeks to preserve and to freely share the literary legacy of Kashmir Shaivism, To date, he has acquired over 24,000 pages of manuscripts, most of which have never been seen in the west, which span the vast subject range of Philosophy, Ritual, and Yoga representing the medieval Tantric tradition.
Christopher Wallis, also known as Hareesh, has a B.A. in Religion and Classics from the University of Rochester, an M.A. in Sanskrit from U.C. Berkeley, an M.Phil. in Classical Indian Religions from Oxford, and a Ph.D. on the traditions of Śaiva Tantra from Berkeley. He received traditional education at yoga āshrams in upstate New York and India in meditation, kīrtan, mantra-science, āsana, karma-yoga, and more. He currently teaches meditation, yoga darśana (philosophy), Tantrik philosophy, Sanskrit, mantra-science, and offers spiritual counseling.
Hareesh is the Founder and Head Faculty of the Mattamayura Institute. Hareesh is the author of Tantra Illuminated: The Philosophy, History, and Practice of a Timeless Tradition.
Hari is a world renowned master teacher of Kundalini Yoga and Meditaiton as taught by Yogi Bhajan. For ten years, Hari worked alongside Yogi Bhajan, Master of Kundalini Yoga, directing his teacher training programs. Hari is part of the first wave of yoga teachers that pioneered the teaching of Kundalini yoga and meditation in the west.
Hari directs and teaches Kundalini classes and Teacher Trainings, Level 1 and Level 2, in the US and abroad. She is the former Director of Education and Training of Golden Bridge NYC (2007-2009), bringing new students to the study of Kundalini in NYC and creating breakthrough programs and classes. Hari pioneered teaching Kundalini Yoga in high schools and was the director and developer of Kundalini Yoga wellness programs at Newton-Wellesley Hospital in the Greater Boston Area from 1987-2004.
She has written A Woman’s Book of Meditation: Discovering the Power of a Peaceful Mind (Penguin 2006) and co-authored A Woman’s Book of Yoga: Embracing Our Natural Life Cycles (Penguin 2002).
Inspired by the powerful Kundalini teachings for women, Hari founded The Illumined Woman™ courses, instructing and empowering women at all stages of life.
Swami Khecaranatha has been teaching Kundalini MahaYoga since 1972. With a mastery etched from more than four decades of inner practice and selfless service, he is an authentic adept of Tantric Shaivism and an initiated carrier in the Shaktipat Lineage of Bhagavan Nityananda and Swami Rudrananda (Rudi). Khecaranatha is the spiritual leader of TrikaShala and director of Rudramandir: A Center for Spirituality and Healing, located in Berkeley, California.
He is the author of, most recently, The Divine Thread: The Stillness Sutras. Also, Merging With The Divine: One Day at a Time; Depth Over Time: Kundalini MahaYoga: A Path of Transformation and Liberation; The Heart of Recognition: The Wisdom and Practices of the Pratyabhijna Hrdayam; and Shiva’s Trident: The Consciousness of Freedom and the Means to Liberation.
Lorin Roche began meditating in a physiology lab at the University of California in 1968 and immediately fell in love with the practice. He began teaching meditation in 1970 and earned his doctorate from University of California, Irvine for his work on the subjective experience of meditation.
He trains meditation teachers worldwide and specializes in helping people customize individual meditation practices to align with their unique nature. Rather than imposing a standardized, one-size-fits-all model, he has drawn on insights from the best of Western science and Eastern yoga to create his own approach called Instinctive Meditation.
Lorin is the author of several books, including Meditation Made Easy, The Radiance Sutras: 112 Gateways to the Yoga of Wonder and Delight, and, with his wife Camille Maurine, Meditation Secrets for Women: Discovering Your Passion, Pleasure, and Inner Peace.
Mary Reilly Nichols is Program Director of the Yoga Psychology Program at the Nalanda Institute for Contemplative Science. She holds a B.A. in Anthropology from Harvard University and completed five years of residency in meditation ashrams in India and the US. A devoted student of Muktananda, she has taught yoga and meditation in New York City for over thirty years. Her teaching combines Iyengar, Integral and Anusara styles of Hatha Yoga with the Upanishadic tradition of the wisdom and experience of non-duality. She offers frequent workshops on classical yoga philosophy and psychology, including Advaita Non-Dualism and the Tantric methods of Kashmiri Shaivism. Currently, Ms. Nichols teaches stress management in psychiatric settings and is involved in ongoing research on the mind/body benefits of yoga and meditation.
Spiritual Head of the Himalayan Institute, Pandit Rajmani Tigunait is the successor of Swami Rama of the Himalayas. Lecturing and teaching worldwide for more than a quarter of a century, he is the author of 16 books, the most recent Practice of the Yoga Sutra: Sadhana Pada (releasing February 2017), following The Secret of the Yoga Sutra: Samadhi Pada, his autobiography, Touched by Fire: The Ongoing Journey of a Spiritual Seeker, and the best-selling At the Eleventh Hour: The Biography of Swami Rama of the Himalayas, and is a regular contributor to Yoga International.
Pandit Tigunait holds two doctorates: one in Sanskrit from the University of Allahabad in India, and another in Oriental Studies from the University of Pennsylvania. Family tradition gave Pandit Tigunait access to a vast range of spiritual wisdom preserved in both the written and oral traditions. Before meeting his master, Pandit Tigunait studied Sanskrit, the language of the ancient scriptures of India, as well as the languages of the Buddhist, Jaina, and Zoroastrian traditions. In 1976, Swami Rama ordained Pandit Tigunait into the 5,000-year-old lineage of the Himalayan Masters.
Ramesh Bjonnes is a writer, yogi and workshop leader. Currently residing in the United States, he lived in India and Nepal in the 1980s learning directly from an enigmatic master of Tantra. He has practiced yoga and meditation for over 30 years and lectured on Tantra, yoga and meditation in many countries. The co-founder of the Prama Institute, a holistic retreat center, he is also the Director of the Prama Wellness Center, where yoga therapy, meditation, juice fasting and Ayurveda is used to rejuvenate people’s health and wellbeing. He lives and practices in an eco-village in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina, USA. His is the author of two books on Tantra, Sacred Body, Sacred Spirit (Innerworld, 2013) and Tantra: The Yoga of Love and Awakening (Hay House India, 2014).
Sally Kempton is a master of meditation, yoga philosophy, and practical tantric philosophy. Her retreats and workshops are known for creating breakthroughs, born of her ability to help people turn sublime truths into lived, and life-shifting, experience. Sally spent 20 years as a swami in a Vedic order, and has been studying and teaching spiritual wisdom for 40 years. She is the author of Awakening Shakti: The Transformative Power of the Goddesses of Yoga and Meditation for the Love of It, a seminal book on basic meditation practice, and writes the popular Yoga Journal column, Wisdom. Learn more at sallykempton.com.
Shambhavi is the spiritual director of Jaya Kula. Her principle training is in the View and practices of Trika Shaivism, the classical Tantrik tradition of Kashmir, and the Dzogchen tradition of Tibet. She has been fortunate to have trained with several great teachers in these and other nondual traditions. Shambhavi is a householder sannyasini and a devotee of Anandamayi Ma. She hopes to bring more people to an understanding of the breadth and depth of Ma’s teachings. Read more about Anandamayi Ma. Shambhavi has studied Ayurveda for self-care for the past 15 years. She is also a Vedic astrologer and expert diviner. She is the author of Tantra: the Play of Awakening (2012), Pilgrims to Opennness: Direct Realization Tantra in Everyday Life (2009), Returning (2015), and No Retreat: Poems on the Way to Waking Up (2016). In addition, she published an academic book, Avatar Bodies: a Tantra for Posthumanism. She holds an MFA in Fiction from Mills College and a Ph.D. in Modern Thought and Literature from Stanford University. Shambhavi left academia in 2004 in order to devote herself to practice, writing and teaching in her spiritual tradition.