Turning to the Mystics for Guidance on Our Spiritual Path


Swami Brahmananda

Swami Brahmananda is the manager of the Sivananda Ashram Yoga Retreat and a senior staff of the Sivananda organization. A long-time practitioner of yoga, he regularly teaches yoga philosophy and meditation for the Sivananda Yoga Teacher Training Courses as well as Meditation Immersion courses. He is a much-loved, inspiring, and knowledgeable teacher.

Mirabai Starr

Mirabai Starr writes fiction, creative non-fiction and contemporary translations of sacred literature.  She teaches Philosophy and World Religions at the University of New Mexico-Taos and teaches and speaks widely on contemplative practice and inter-spiritual dialog.  A certified bereavement counselor, Mirabai helps mourners harness the transformational power of loss.  She has received critical acclaim  for her revolutionary new translations of Dark Night of the Soul by sixteenth century Spanish mystic, St. John of the Cross, and The Interior Castle and The Book of My Life, by St. Teresa of Avila. She is the editor and writer of the 6-volume Sounds True series, Devotions, Prayers & Living Wisdom, the author of GOD OF LOVE: A Guide to the Heart of Judaism, Christianity and Islam and contributing author to Living Fully, Dying Well: Reflecting on Death to Find Your Life’s Meaning. Her poetry collection, Mother of God Similar to Fire, is a collaboration with iconographer, William Hart McNichols.


Greta Ronningen

Sr. Greta Ronningen, CDL, MA is a professed member of the Community of Divine Love, an Episcopal monastery in the Benedictine tradition located in San Gabriel, Ca. She is a chaplain working with both adult men and women, and young girls incarcerated in Los Angeles. She has been involved with yoga for 35 years and co-created Yoga Works in 1986 with her ex-husband Yogiraj Alan Finger. Greta holds a Master’s Degree from Claremont School of Theology in Spiritual Formation. She lectures and leads retreats based on her Master’s thesis - Becoming Beguines: Living Love both Mystically and Apostolically.

Suba Ramesh Parmar

Suba Ramesh Parmar is an award-winning dancer of the South Indian Bharatanatyam dance style. She is known for grace and dynamism in her expression and movement and is performing regularly at Sivananda yoga centers together with her gifted daughter Madhu Parmar.


Amir Vahab

Honored as a peacemaker and virtuoso, Amir Vahab is one of New York’s most celebrated and distinguished composer / vocalists of sufi and folk music. The virtuosos of Amir weave fiery instrumentals and songs of the historic lands of the Middle East and Central Asia; his work transcends political boundaries while maintaining traditional and mystical sensibilities in a way few artists can manage. Like Amir himself, his music symbolizes diversity-in-unity and his ensemble's aim is to draw the listener’s attention to the spiritual dimension of existence. His performances have been recognized world wide and have inspired many music students. Amir Vahab is currently Teaching and lecturing private and group classes in universities, libraries, museums and cultural centers on the one hand, and organizes music therapy and sound healing workshops on the other.