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"A Gurukul is a place where the vision and spirit of the masters of a tradition are kept alive.  It is an environment which is spiritual and where the vision of the guru can unfold. The Gurukul represents a tradition of visionaries."

-Swami Niranjan, “Integrating Head Heart and Hands”, YOGA, Year 6, Issue 6 June 2007.







What is NAG




What is NAG?

Connect. Discover. Serve.

The North American Gurukul (NAG) is a nonprofit organization established to support the awareness and growth of Satyananda Yoga® throughout North America in order to enhance the health, well-being, & human potential of individuals and society.

NAG, (pronounced “nahg”), founded in 2004 with the blessings of Paramahansa Niranjanananda Saraswati, provides a forum to connect the Satyananda Yoga® community, discover the many benefits of Satyananda Yoga® and serve the communities in which we live.


The North American Gurukul, Inc. is a trusted leader and catalyst for raising the awareness of Satyananda Yoga® in North America. We foster the growth of a collaborative community of Satyananda Yoga teachers, studios, practitioners, and residential centers across North America that offers multiple pathways for individuals to connect to and discover the benefits of Satyananda Yoga.  Our community engages in service to others and applies yogic principles to daily life. We realize greater physical and mental health, spiritual growth, inner peace, and are better able to cope with life’s challenges.  Our tradition contributes to the peace, prosperity and, ultimately, the betterment of the world in which we live. 

What is your Vision for the growth of Satyananda Yoga® in North America? Click here to share your vision with the North American Gurukul.


The Board of Directors and Advisors of NAG are a diverse mix of internationally renowned leaders and devotees of the Satyananda tradition. The following board members are actively engaged in NAG’s development.

Board Advisors:

The board considers candidates for board membership on an ongoing basis. Interested candidates are encouraged to volunteer with NAG for a period of time prior to formal consideration for board membership. Click here for volunteer opportunities.


Swami Atmarupa Saraswati, CRNA, BA, AYT, E-RYT 500, North American Gurukul Board President

Swami Atmarupa Saraswati

Beverly Roberts Singh, CRNA, BA, AYT, E-RYT

North American Gurukul Board President


Beverly Roberts Singh received Mantra Diksha and her spiritual name, Atmarupa, in 1995 from Swami Niranjanananda in Rikhia, India.  Atmarupa was initiated as a Karma Sannyasin in 2001 in Munger, India.  In 2007, in Rikhia India, Swami Niranjanananda Saraswati initiated Atmarupa as a Poorna Sannyasin, making her Swami Atmarupa Saraswati.  Through her devotion to the growth of Satyananda Yoga® in the United States, Atmarupa founded the North American Gurukul in 2004 and served as an advisor to the board prior to her current board membership.  She is one of 22 Bihar Yoga emissaries named to represent the yoga teachings of the Bihar School of Yoga.  She is the Education Director of the sole provider of Yogic Studies and Teacher Training courses in the Satyananda tradition in North America, currently licensed under the Satyananda Yoga Academy of Australasia.   Atmarupa is also the Founder and Director of the Atma Center, an award winning Satyananda Yoga center that opened in Cleveland Heights, Ohio in 1997.  She is the first Level Two Accredited Satyananda Yoga® teacher in the USA, accredited since 2003. 

Prior to following her passion for yoga teaching, Atmarupa was a certified registered nurse anesthetist for over 25 years and taught anesthesia for 10 years at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation.  Her medical background and her experience teaching thousands of yoga students over the past 12 years give her the insight to create yoga programs that support and improve the health and well-being of virtually any student.

Atmarupa is a registered member of the International Association of Yoga Therapists and is registered with the Yoga Alliance at the E-RYT 500 hour level.  She has studied over 100 hors of Anusara Yoga and completed Facilitator One training in YogaKids®.  She continues an in-depth study of yoga, often traveling internationally to both study and teach.


Vishalaksi Rao is a Satyananda Yoga practitioner on the board of North American Gurukul

Sannyasi Vishalakshi

Vishalakshi Rao

North American Gurukul Board Vice President

Sannyasi Vishalakshi has been an active yoga practitioner for 15 years and is certified as a teacher of Satyananda Yoga by the Bihar School of Yoga (BSY), India. She was initiated as a Karma Sannyasin in January 2001 by Swami Niranjanananda Saraswati, in Munger.

She completed the 4 month certificate course from BSY and has attended many advanced Yoga Courses including an intensive Kriya Yoga Course. Vishalakshi has had extensive ashram life experience over the past 9 years at BSY, Munger and Rikhia, in the presence of Paramhamsa Satyananda, Swami Niranjan and Swami Satsangi. She was the coordinator for the 2007 South India tour of Swami Niranjan’s called “Discovery of Human Potential”.  The same year she was one of the key organizers of “Yoga Sadhana Shibir and Guru Poornima Mahotsav, Bangalore” in the presence of Swami Niranjan which was attended by over 9,000 participants.

Vishalakshi is on the Board of Trustees of Atma Darshan Yogashram and has managed a yoga studio in Bangalore, India since 2001, conducting programs, corporate workshops and residential retreats. Her articles have appeared in YOGA magazine as well as the leading Indian newspapers.

She has been trained in mountaineering in the Indian Himalaya and specializes in adventure travel and photo-journalism. She is also a keen pianist and vocalist, with an exposure to both Western and Indian Classical music.

Having moved to North America in 2008, Vishalakshi wants to play an active role in the spread of Satyananda Yoga across the continent, keeping in mind the mission of her Guru of spreading yoga from "door to door and shore to shore”.


Nim Short, BS (Nityam), North American Gurukul Board Member


Nim Short, BS

North American Gurukul Board Treasurer

Nim Short received Mantra Diksha in the late 1980s when Swami Niranjanananda stayed with her family during his time in the US.  In 2007, she received her spiritual name, Nityam, from her Guru.  Following her mother’s example, Nityam has been intimately involved with the Satyananda tradition for most of her life, commencing with her family’s hosting of Swami Niranjanananda and culminating with her role in NAG.

Nityam was one of the first Yogic Studies participants in North American and has completed her home study through 1b.  She looks forward to continuing her yogic studies and hopes to take teacher training.  Nityam is eager to support the development of NAG as she believes it is part of her life journey to share Satyananda Yoga with others. 

Nityam is Senior Vice President and Business Manager for the Exchange Traded Funds Division of First Trust Advisors L.P., where she has worked for over ten years.  She is currently involved with product development, marketing, sales and national accounts.  Nityam has represented First Trust at a variety of sales conferences around the country speaking about financial services.  In addition, she has been instrumental in building the firm's women's program aimed at mentoring, growing and developing team talents.   Prior to her financial services experience, Nityam worked as a merchandise buyer supporting retail expansions for a national department store.  Nityam holds a Bachelor of Science in Business and Communications from the University of Illinois at Urbana/Champaign.


Jignasu Kriyadhara, Carrie Nelson,  North American Gurukul Board MemberSannyasi Kriyadhara

Carrie Nelson, RYT 500

North American Gurukul Board Member

Kriyadhara has been imbibing and teaching yoga in the Satyananda (Bihar) tradition for 13 years. Her learnings have led her to New Zealand, Australia and to India to study with living masters of the Satyananda Yoga lineage. She recently traveled to India with her two young children and husband Karma Sannyasin from her Guru, Paramahansa Niranjanananda. She strongly believes in the power of the children and that children are the truest livers of yoga. Kriyadhara knows that yoga is a practice far beyond the mat, and incorporates yoga into each moment of life. She has completed Yogic Studies 1 and 2 and Teacher Training 1, and is an Accredited Satyananda Yoga teacher.



Swami Satyadharma Saraswati, Acharya of Satyananda Yoga and North American Gurukul Board MemberSwami Satyadharma Saraswati

North American Gurukul Board Advisor


Swami Satyadharma Saraswati is an eminent Yoga teacher who has spent over 30 years in India with her guru, Paramahamsa Satyananda Saraswati. She is an Acharya (authority) in the Satyananda lineage and teaches Yoga and advanced meditation techniques throughout the world. She played a key role in the development of Bihar Yoga Bharati, the first government accredited university dedicated to Yoga and is a member of the Yoga Education Council. She spends part of the year teaching at BYB in India and part of the year touring overseas. In 2002 she was appointed as one of three ambassadors representing the Satyananda Yoga  tradition internationally.

Swami Satyadharma takes a special interest in advanced concentration and meditation techniques derived from the ancient Vedic texts. She is the author and editor of several Bihar School of Yoga books and publications. Born in the United States, she has lived in India since 1975.


Sannyasi Sivamaya

Gloria Nieto, JD

North American Gurukul Board Advisor


Gloria Nieto (Sivamaya) received mantra diksha in 1971 and was initiated as Karma Sannyasin by Paramhansa Satyananda in 1986.


Sannyasi Sivamaya was born in Bogotá, Colombia. She met Paramahansa Satyananda in 1971 and has been dedicated to the Satyananda mission in Colombia and the world ever since.   Sivamaya worked with Satyananda Ashram Colombia and with Swami Niranjananananda from 1972 to 1982 and has spent long periods of her life in India, close to the Masters.  In 2004 Sivamaya was nominated by Paramhansa Niranjanananda as one of the 9 Guardians of Yoga for Satyananda Yoga Academy Europe. She is currently helping with the development of the Yogic Studies at Satyananda Yoga Academy in Colombia, where she also teaches.


Prior to her full time devotion to the Masters, Sivamaya practiced law and served as the Colombian Ambassador to India.  Sivamaya is a member of the Board of Directors and Academic Board of Academia de Yoga Satyananda, Colombia.

Sivamaya received her Law Degree in 1965 with Especializatión in Labour Law and Family Law in 1965 and 1977 respectively from Pontificia Universidad Javeriana, Bogotá.




Gita - Lynn KennedyGita

Lynn Kennedy, BA, M.Ed, LSW
ASYT-2, RYT 500

Executive Director, North American Gurukul


Gita (Lynn Kennedy) has been a student of Satyananda Yoga since 1998. She credits the Satyananda discipline with helping her overcome a nagging back injury. Lynn’s yoga teacher, Swami Atmarupa, encouraged her to become a yoga teacher. In 2001 Lynn travelled to India with Atmarupa and received Mantra Diksha and her spiritual name, Gita, from Swami Niranjanananda in Munger, India. Gita continued her studies of Satyananda Yoga. She is a level 2 accredited Satyananda Yoga® Teacher and holds a Diploma of Satyananda Yoga Teaching.

Gita joined The Peace Corps in 2008 and taught yoga in the Philippines to Filipino locals and fellow Peace Corps volunteers alike. She was able to combine service and yoga and witnessed the powerful impact.

In addition, Gita has taught yoga in prison, schools, centers, the workplace, in social service programs and in therapy. Most recently she has seen the positive results of yoga while working with women suffering from traumatic brain injuries.

Gita is honored and humbled to be serving as the Executive Director of the North American Gurukul. She is committed to the awareness and growth of yoga throughout North America in order to enhance the well being of individuals and society.


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