Swami Vidyanand was born into a family of Bhakti Yogi’s, of an unbroken tradition of over 500 years old. Swamiji received his initiation into the spiritual and yogic practices at an early age and was trained by Swami Satyananda Saraswati (the founder of the Bihar School of Yoga), among other great Masters. He has been privileged to receive formal and informal teachings from many Himalayan Masters as well, including a long lasting friendship with the great Swami Rama.
Swami Vidyanand found his true calling while teaching yoga at the Sri Aurobindo Ashram in Pondicherry, inspired by the work of Sri Aurobindo and The Mother (Mirra Alfassa). They were two enlightened spiritual teachers born in the late 1800’s and their philosophy and teachings have inspired Swami Vidyananad’s Integral Transformational Yoga System.
Swami Vidyanand founded the SriMa International School of Transformational Yoga, to share his teachings. The SriMa School of Transformational Yoga offers teacher trainings and courses for all levels. Successful candidates will receive certificates from The SriMa International School of Transformational Yoga, endorsed by Yoga Alliance International (YAI) and recognized world-wide.
Sri Aurobindo was born on the 15 August 1872 and died on the 5th December 1950. He was an Indian philosopher, yogi, guru, poet and nationalist. He joined the Indian movement for independence from the British rule and for a while, he was one of the movements most influential leaders. He was imprisoned for writing articles against the British rule over India and later released, when no evidence was found. During his stay in jail he had a mystical and spiritual experience, after which he moved to Pondicherry, in the South of India, becoming a spiritual reformer, introducing his visions on human progress and spiritual evolution.
During his time in Pondicherry he developed a method of spiritual practice he called Integral Yoga, which is a full yoga for the whole nature. He believed that: “All of Life is Yoga” and the main theme of his vision was the evolution of human life into a divine life.
He believed in a spiritual realization, that not only liberated man, but transformed his nature, enabling a divine life on Earth. He believed that humans and Earth are evolving towards the full expression of the Divine and that the realization of our divinity is our true purpose on Earth.
Mirra Alfassa was a French Nationalist, born in Paris on the 21st of February 1878 and died on the 17th of November 1973; she was a talented artist, pianist and writer. In 1906 and 1907, she studied occultism with Max Theon and his wife, then returning to Paris, she founded a group of spiritual seekers, giving many talks to various groups in Paris. She sailed to Pondicherry on the 29th of March 1914, to meet Sri Aurobindo and finally settled in Pondicherry in April 1920.
She was a spiritual guru and collaborator of Sri Aurobindo, who considered her to be of equal stature to him and to her followers she was known as The Mother. She founded the Sri Aurobindo Ashram in Pondicherry in 1926 and she also established Auroville (the City of Dawn) in 1968, designed by architect Roger Anger.