The word “Yoga” means union or yoke in the ancient Sanskrit language. It is a perfect description of the science and philosophy of Integral Yoga. Integral Yoga® synthesizes the various branches of Yoga into a comprehensive lifestyle system. The purpose is to support the harmonious development of every aspect of the individual. The six branches of Integral Yoga® are each powerful tools to gain self-mastery. When combined to affect the whole being the results are at once subtle, profound and measurable.
Integral Yoga Institute was founded in New York City by Sri Swami Satchidananda, a spiritual teacher from India, who came to America at the invitation of the artist Peter Max. On October 15, 1970, a beautiful brownstone building on West 13th Street in historic Greenwich Village was dedicated as the New York IYI. Both an ashram and a teaching center, it became a beacon for spiritual seekers from all over New York City and is the place where thousands of people experienced Yoga for the first time.
Over the years, the New York IYI has grown to become one of the most respected and beloved Yoga centers in the city, an oasis for busy New Yorkers and out-of-town visitors. Four Yoga rooms, each painted a different color and each displaying a symbol honoring all faiths to reflect Swami Satchidananda’s credo that “Truth is One, Paths are Many,” together constitute an environment of peace and serenity. Traditionally, more than 6,000 students each month attend 125 weekly Hatha Yoga classes at all levels, including Prenatal, Postnatal, Flow, Restorative, and Gentle. IYI pioneered Yoga for those with H.I.V. and AIDS. Nearly 200 active teachers teach as Karma Yoga—that is, as an unpaid offering.
Courses and workshops in meditation and breathing practices, health and nutrition, and other, related teachings create a unique and rewarding atmosphere for learning and sharing. Students gather both online and in-person for Scripture Study to read and discuss such fundamental works as the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali and the Bhagavad Gita. Kirtans (devotional chanting) and Satsangs (spiritual discussions) draw people from all over the country. Over the years, IYI’s renowned Teacher Training program has certified hundreds of teachers in Beginning, Intermediate, and Advanced Hatha Yoga, Prenatal and Postnatal Yoga, Meditation, and Gentle and Chair Yoga.
IYI offers many classes and workshops on using Yoga to deal with a wide variety of life-threatening and chronic physical and mental health conditions, including Yoga Therapy, Cardiac Yoga and more. It has introduced programs called Yoga At Work® and Yoga At School™ to promote its message that Yoga is for everyone in every setting.
The New York IYI is a living embodiment of Sri Swami Satchidananda’s teachings, a community where the goal for all people is to have an easeful body, a peaceful mind, and a useful life.