Brahmachari Sagar

Brahmachari Sagar resides in the Ananda Monastery located at Ananda Village in Northern California and serves Ananda’s Online Ministry.

Born into a family of kriya yogis, Sagar read Paramhansa Yogananda’s Autobiography of a Yogi at a young age, an influence that culminated in his decision to serve Yogananda’s mission through Ananda.

Sagar led Ananda’s work in Mumbai for about five years. He has served Ananda’s work in India in several capacities: as a teacher and counselor to students, as a meditation and stress-relief workshop facilitator for corporations, and as Ananda India’s fundraising coordinator. Prior to commencing his life of service at Ananda, Sagar was a graduate student with full scholarship at Boston University. He holds advanced degrees in Engineering.

Jitendra Guindon

Jitendra Guindon is a certified Ananda Yoga and Meditation Teacher with Yoga Alliance. He serves as the assistant director of Online with Ananda, home of Ananda’s Virtual community, online courses, and live broadcasts. Through Online with Ananda, he shares the ancient teachings of yoga as brought by Paramhansa Yogananda and acts as a spiritual counselor to hundreds of truth seekers around the world.

Jitendra is one of Ananda’s most popular yoga class and retreat leaders due to the depth of understanding and heart centered energy he brings to each course and session.

Jitendra’s spiritual journey began in 2006 when he read Autobiography of a Yogi. He was initiated into Kriya Yoga in 2009, and has dedicated his life to sharing the teachings of his Guru, Yogananda. He has been deeply inspired by witnessing the power of Yoga and Meditation to transform the consciousness of people all around the world, and has trained himself to help this expanding awareness grow.

In Rhode Island, where he grew up, Jitendra helped lead the Ananda Yoga and Meditation Center. Expanding outward to Boston and New York City, he has taught meditation, yoga, and chanting in such diverse settings as yoga studios, colleges, high schools, and rehabilitation centers.

Peter Van Houten, M.D.

Dr. Peter is a graduate of University of California San Francisco Medical School and founder of the Sierra Family Medical Clinic, an award-winning rural community medical clinic near Ananda Village in Northern California. As the Clinic’s Medical Director, Peter has been instrumental in bringing new and highly effective tools in Behavioral Health to patients in need.

In 2009 Dr. Peter was awarded the Rural Champion award for the State of California. This prestigious award, given to one physician annually, was in large part for his pioneering work bringing behavioral health into the medical care setting.

Dr. Van Houten is an Ananda Minister and a long-time meditator, has co-authored several books on the use of yoga for health problems, and lectures on the effects of relaxation and meditation on the brain and behavior.

Murali Venkatrao

Murali Venkatrao is the Director of Yoga Teacher Training at the Ananda Institute of Living Yoga. The Institute is an RYS 200 and RYS 300 registered school. Born in India, he practiced yoga there as early as when he was eight years old.

Murali has studied different variations of Hatha Yoga, both in India and the US. He has been teaching Yoga for the past 14 years. Formerly a software architect at Microsoft, Murali is currently pursuing his PhD in Yoga at Prashanti Kuteeram in Bangalore, India.

Asha Nayaswami

About Asha Nayaswami: a brief biography

Asha was a spiritual seeker since her early youth. While studying at Stanford University in 1969, she heard Swami Kriyananda speak for the first time. “I knew the moment he walked into the room that he possessed the consciousness I had long been seeking.”

She soon became a founding member of the new community Swami was starting near Nevada City, California, called Ananda Village, based on Yogananda’s dream of world brotherhood colonies for “simple living and high thinking.”

Swami Kriyananda placed Asha in the role of teaching and counseling soon after her arrival. She also served as Swami’s correspondence secretary and personal assistant for many years.

She has served as one of the spiritual directors of Ananda Palo Alto since 1987, guiding the development of Ananda’s work in the San Francisco Bay Area, including helping to launch Living Wisdom Schools and Ananda Farm, and supporting a large staff and volunteer team involved in East West Bookshop, Ananda Community, Ananda centers and meditation groups in the Bay Area, Ananda music, and a vital, lively theater arts program.

Asha is a nayaswami. In 2009, she took vows in the renunciate order that Swami Kriyananda founded. (“Naya” means “new” in Sanskrit). You will often recognize a nayaswami by the rich blue color they wear. “Blue suggests calmness, kindness, and an expansive consciousness,” writes Swami in A Renunciate Order for the New Age. This new renunciate order is very much like the ancient swami order in spirit, but is a new expression for an age of higher awareness. Its emphasis is on positive renunciation—a joyful expansion to Infinity. The vows of the new renunciate order.

Asha is author of Swami Kriyananda As We Have Known Him, a collection of more than 200 stories by people who have been touched by his teachings and spiritual friendship, often in remarkable ways. She is also author of Ask Asha: Heartfelt Answers to Everyday Dilemmas on the Spiritual Pathand Loved and Protected: Stories of Miracles and Answered Prayers. Her most recent book is Swami Kriyananda: Lightbearer, published in 2019.

Asha’s free video talks on YouTube and her audio recordings of classes are a spiritual lifeline for people of many faiths around the world. Thousands of students have received training from her over the past 40 years, and been immeasurably helped by her unusual insight and clarity.

Nayaswami Maria

Maria McSweeney came to Ananda in 1976 and worked on the Ananda Farm. In 1986, Swami Kriyananda asked Maria and her husband Ananta to direct the Ananda community in Sacramento, where they served for 23 years as ministers and community managers.

In 2009, Maria and Ananta were asked to return to Ananda Farm at Ananda Village to restore it to organic production and to direct the Living with Spirit Ashram and summer programs for people between the ages of 18 and 30.

Nayaswamis Narayan and Dharmadevi

Narayan and Dharmadevi Romano

Narayan and Dharmadevi

Nayaswami Narayan and his wife, Nayaswami Dharmadevi, serve as spiritual directors and lightbearers for Ananda Los Angeles.

About Narayan:

After reading Yogananda’s spiritual classic, Autobiography of a Yogi, in New York City, Narayan was inspired to learn Kriya Yoga and share the teachings of Self-realization. He was a founding member of Ananda NYC before moving to Ananda Village in Northern California, where he lived for six years.

He served at Ananda’s publishing arm, Crystal Clarity, and as a yoga and meditation instructor at the Expanding Light Meditation & Yoga Retreat. He co-founded Ananda Virtual Community–an interactive, online community with classes on yoga, meditation, and spiritual living.

Narayan’s interests include making ravioli, playing soccer, and exploring the divine grace and wonder of rudraksha beads.

About Dharmadevi:

Dharmadevi is a Certified Meditation Teacher and was part of the core group that started Ananda Los Angeles in 2007. Dharmadevi lived at Ananda Village for 2 years and helped launch Ananda Online Classes and the Ananda Virtual Community.

She has been practicing and teaching energy & holistic healing modalities since 2000 and especially enjoys sharing Paramhansa Yogananda’s teachings on health and healing.

Dharmadevi has worked extensively on the AKASH (Ancient Keys to Attaining Success & Happiness) series that Swami Kriyananda wrote while he lived in LA. Along with other teachers, she offers it around the LA area. She also offers energy healing sessions and spiritual counseling.

Nayaswami Parvati

Nayaswami Parvati is a founding member of Ananda, and is one of Ananda’s most widely traveled and experienced ministers.

With her husband, Pranaba, Parvati has been involved in the creation and direction of Ananda centers and communities in Palo Alto, Portland, Seattle, Dallas, and Assisi, Italy.

Parvati has served as the Executive Director of the Ananda Janaka Foundation ( since March 2004.

Nayaswamis Hriman and Padma

Padma and Hriman

Nayaswamis Hriman and Padma are co-spiritual directors and kriyacharyas for Ananda Sangha and Community in the greater Seattle area.





Hriman has taught Ananda Seattle’s most popular course, the Raja Yoga Intensive, for over twenty years. His specialty has been scripture classes such as the Bhagavad Gita, Yoga Sutras, and the Yoga of the Bible. Hands-on classes in leadership, community, non-violence, and advanced meditation classes in pranayam and kriya techniques are among just a few of Hriman’s wide ranging class topics.

In his leadership roles, Hriman oversees the Ananda Community, Ananda Farms and the class planning for both Ananda Sangha and the Institute of Living Yoga, as its founder and director. Recently Hriman established a lending organization to raise private funds to finance the construction of a combined fellowship hall and yoga studio on the grounds of the meditation temple in Bothell.

As director of the Institute of Living Yoga located at the Meditation Temple in Bothell, Hriman guides its teacher certification programs and is the lead instructor for the meditation teacher training program. The Institute specializes in the “spokes of the wheel” classes in how-to-live the yogic way of life.



Nayaswami Padma is the co-spiritual director and a kriyacharya of Ananda Sangha and Community in the greater Seattle area.

Padma offers classes in spiritual counseling,inspired parenting, habits, and other relevant subjects to the spiritual journey. Her leadership and teaching skills were honed in her many years of working with Swami Kriyananda in the publishing and foreign rights licensing of his nearly 150 books.

Padma is the lead teacher for the very successful seven month kriya training program which she established many years ago. Padma has organized and directed the weekly kriya study groups for over twenty years. These groups have grown to include upward one hundred participants. She also oversees the activities of the Sangha (events, personnel, and counseling), Ananda’s East West Bookshop, Living Wisdom School, and Thrift store.


Prior to accepting Swami Kriyananda’s invitation in 1993 to move to Seattle to guide the work there, Hriman and Padma were residents of Ananda Village in California since the 1970’s where they raised their two children.