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Influential Yoga Teachers List

Introduction: Thought Leaders

The number of influential yoga teachers is surely countless! While there is no set criteria for the teachers on this list, our objective is to include teachers who have made an impact well beyond their own communities.

We want to make it easy for you to find information on teachers who, for instance:

  • Introduced yoga to the West or had a major influence on those who did.
  • Are widely-published, have large teacher training schools, or otherwise have had significant influence.
  • Teachers who were direct students of T. Krishnamacharya or of B.K.S. Iyengar, K. Pattabhi Jois or T.K.V. Desikachar.
  • Teachers who have developed specialized or therapeutic applications, or who have developed effective outreach programs.

We are absolutely not judging quality of teachers and we welcome your ideas for more teachers to add. Please email us with any recommendations.

See Also

Influential Teachers: Summary List

  1. Baptiste, Baron
  2. Bell, Baxter, MD
  3. Benagh, Barbara
  4. Bhajan, Yogi
  5. Birch, Beryl Bender
  6. Blossom, Scott
  7. Boccio, Frank Jude
  8. Bondy, Dianne
  9. Brower, Elena
  10. Carpenter, Annie
  11. Choudhury, Bikram
  12. Cole, Roger
  13. Cope, Stephen
  14. Corn, Seane
  15. Costello, Nikki
  16. Crandell, Jason
  17. Dass, Ram
  18. Desikachar, T.K.V.
  19. Devananda, Swami Vishnu
  20. Devi, Indra
  21. Devi, Nischala Joy
  22. Doane, Nicki
  23. Eggleston, Pamela Stokes
  24. Ezraty, Maty
  25. Farhi, Donna
  26. Farmer, Angela
  27. Feuerstein, Georg
  28. Finger, Alan
  29. Folan, Lilias
  30. Forbes, Bo
  31. Forrest, Ana
  32. Freeman, Richard
  33. Friedrichsen, Shari
  34. Friend, John
  35. Gannon, Sharron
  36. Gates, Rolf
  37. Guest-Jelley, Anna
  38. Heyman, Jivana
  39. Holcombe, Kate
  40. Holleman, Dona
  41. Howard, Leslie
  42. Iyengar, B.K.S.
  43. Jois, Manu
  44. Jois, K. Pattabhi
  45. Kaivalya, Alanna
  46. Kaminoff, Leslie
  47. Kest, Bryan
  48. Khalsa, Gurmukh Kaur
  49. Kraftsow, Gary
  50. Kripalu, Swami
  51. Krishnamacharya, T.
  52. Lappa, Andrey
  53. Lasater, Judith Hanson
  54. Le Page, Joseph
  55. Lee, Cyndi
  56. Life, David
  57. Little, Tias
  58. Maharshi, Ramana
  59. McGonigal, Kelly
  60. Miller, Chuck
  61. Miller, Elise Browning
  62. Miller, Jill
  63. Miller, Richard
  64. Miller, Tim
  65. Mitchell, Jules
  66. Mittra, Dharma
  67. Mohan, A.G.
  68. Muktananda, Swami
  69. Myers, Nikki
  70. Nelson, Sonia
  71. Palkhivala, Aadil
  72. Payne, Larry
  73. Powers, Sarah
  74. Prabhupada, A.C. Bhaktidevanta Swami
  75. Pransky, Jillian
  76. Radha, Swami
  77. Rama, Swami
  78. Ray, Kali
  79. Raye, Saul David
  80. Rea, Shiva
  81. Rosen, Richard
  82. Ross, Steve
  83. Rumbaugh, Desiree
  84. Sanford, Matthew
  85. Satchidananda,Sri Swami
  86. Schiffmann, Erich
  87. Schumacher, John
  88. Shankar, Sri Sri Ravi
  89. Sherman, Sianna
  90. Shyam, Padma
  91. Sivananda, Swami
  92. Snyder, Stephanie
  93. Sterios, Peter
  94. Stern, Eddie
  95. Stryker, Rod
  96. Swenson, David
  97. Tigunait, Pandit Rajmani
  98. Vernon, Rama Jyoti
  99. Vivekananda, Swami
  100. Walden, Patricia
  101. Walford, Lisa
  102. West, Alison
  103. White, Ganga
  104. Whitwell, Mark
  105. Wildcroft, Theo
  106. Yee, Colleen Saidman
  107. Yee, Rodney

About the Teachers

Baron Baptiste

  • Baptiste Power Vinyasa Yoga  link
  • About.com interview  link
  • Yoga Journal article 2018  link
  • Books & Media  link

Baxter Bell, MD

  • Baxter Bell website  link
  • Books & Media  link

Barbara Benagh

  • The Yoga Studio  link
  • Interview  link
  • Books & Media  link

Yogi Bhajan

  • Yogi Bhajan Library of Teachings  link
  • NY Times article link
  • Books & Media  link

Beryl Bender Birch

  • Beryl Bender Birch bio  link
  • About.com interview  link
  • Books & Media  link

Scott Blossom

  • Shunyata Yoga  link
  • Yoga Journal article  link
  • Media  link

Frank Jude Boccio

  • Karuna Center bio  link
  • Yoga Journal interview  link
  • Books & Media  link

Dianne Bondy

  • Dianne Bondy Yoga  link
  • Yoga and Body Image Coalition interview  link
  • Books & Media  link

Elena Brower

  • About Elena Brower  link
  • Books & Media  link

Annie Carpenter

  • About Annie Carpenter  link
  • LA Yoga article  link
  • Books & Media  link

Bikram Choudhury

  • Yoga Journal interview  link
  • UK Telegraph article  link
  • Books & Media  link

Roger Cole

Stephen Cope

  • Yoga Journal interview:  link
  • Elephant Journal article link
  • Books & Media  link

Seane Corn

  • About Seane Corn  link
  • Deepak Chopra Interviews Seane Corn  link
  • Media  link

Nikki Costello

  • Nikki Costello bio  link
  • Article  link

Jason Crandell

  • Jason Crandell bio  link
  • Yoganonymous article  link
  • Media  link

Ram Dass

  • Yoga Journal Lifetime Contributors  link
  • Ram Dass website  link
  • Books & Media  link

T.K.V. Desikachar

  • Krishnamacharya Yoga Mandiram Founder bio  link
  • Mark Whitwell In Remembrance  2016  link
  • Leslie Kaminoff Interviews T.K.V. Desikachar in Madras, October 1992  link
  • Books & Media  link

Swami Vishnu Devananda

  • International Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centres  link
  • Books & Media  link

Indra Devi

  • Yoga Journal article  link
  • NY Times article  link
  • Books & Media  link

Nischala Joy Devi

  • Nischala Joy Devi bio  link
  • Books & Media  link

Nicki Doane

Pamela Stokes Eggleston

  • Yoga2sleep.com  link
  • Yoga Journal interview  link

Maty Ezraty

  • Maty Ezraty bio  link
  • Kathryn Budig Interviews Maty Ezraty  link

Donna Farhi

  • Donna Farhi bio  link
  • Books & Media  link

Angela Farmer

  • Victor and Angela bio  link
  • Books & Media  link

Georg Feuerstein

  • Traditional Yoga Studies  link
  • Books & Media  link

Alan Finger

  • ISHTA Yoga Lineage  link
  • Yoga Journal article  link
  • Books & Media  link

Lilias Folan

  • Yoga Journal article  link
  • Books & Media  link

Bo Forbes

Ana Forrest

  • Forrest Yoga  link
  • Books & Media  link

Richard Freeman

  • Richard Freeman bio  link
  • Books & Media  link

Shari Friedrichsen

  • About Shari Friedrichsen  link
  • Media  link

John Friend

Sharron Gannon

  • About Sharron Gannon  link
  • Books  link

Rolf Gates

  • Rolf Gates bio  link
  • Books & Media  link

Anna Guest-Jelley

  • About Anna Guest-Jelley  link
  • Books & Media  link

Jivana Heyman

  • About Jivana Heyman  link
  • LA Yoga interview  link

Kate Holcombe

  • About Kate Holcombe  link
  • Yoga International article  link

Dona Holleman

  • Dona Holleman and Iyengar  link
  • Books  link

Leslie Howard

B.K.S. Iyengar

  • B.K.S. Iyengar Yoga: The Official Website  link
  • Books & Media  link

Manu Jois

  • About Manu Pattabhi Jois of Mysore, South India link

K. Pattabhi Jois

  • K Pattabhi Jois Ashtanga Yoga Institute bio  link
  • Yoga Journal article  link
  • Books & Media  link

Alanna Kaivalya

  • About Alanna Kaivalya  link
  • Books & Media  link

Leslie Kaminoff

  • Leslie Kaminoff bio  link
  • Books & Media  link

Bryan Kest

  • About Bryan Kest  link
  • Books & Media  link

Gurmukh Kaur Khalsa

  • Yoga Journal Lifetime Contributors  link
  • Books & Media  link

Gary Kraftsow

  • About Gary Kraftsow  link
  • Books & Media  link

Swami Kripalu

  • Yoga Journal article  link
  • Books  link

T. Krishnamacharya

  • Krishnamacharya Yoga Mandiram  link
  • Yoga Journal article  link
  • Books  link

Andrey Lappa

  • About Andrey Lappa  link
  • Media  link

Judith Hanson Lasater

  • About Judith Hanson Lasater  link
  • Books  link

Joseph Le Page

  • About Joseph Le Page  link
  • Books & Media  link

Cyndi Lee

  • About Cyndi Lee  link
  • Books & Media  link

David Life

Tias Little

Ramana Maharshi

  • Sri Ramana Maharshi Website  link
  • Hridaya Yoga  link
  • Books  link

Kelly McGonigal, PhD

  • Kelly McGonigal bio  link
  • MindBodyGreen article link
  • Books  link

Chuck Miller

  • Chuck Miller Bio  link
  • Centered Yoga Article  link

Elise Browning Miller

  • Yoga Journal interview  link
  • Books & Media  link

Jill Miller

Richard Miller

  • Yoga Journal Lifetime Contributors  link
  • Books  link

Tim Miller

  • Tim Miller bio  link
  • Yoga Journal interview  link
  • Books  link

Jules Mitchell

  • About Jules Mitchell  link
  • Article  link
  • Books & Media  link

Dharma Mittra

  • Sri Dharma Mittra Yoga Bio  link
  • Books & Media  link

A.G. Mohan

Indra Mohan

Swami Muktananda

Nikki Myers

  • About Nikki Myers  link
  • Yoga Journal interview  link
  • Black Enterprise article  link
  • Media  link

Sonia Nelson

  • About Sonia Nelson  link
  • Huffington Post interview  link
  • Media  link

Aadil Palkhivala

  • Aadil Palkhivala bio  link
  • Book  link

Larry Payne

  • About Larry Payne  link
  • Books & Media  link

Sarah Powers

  • About Sarah Powers  link
  • Books & Media  link

A.C. Bhaktidevanta Swami Prabhupada

  • ISKCON – The International Society of Krishna Consciousness  link

Jillian Pransky

  • Jillian Pransky bio  link
  • Books & Media  link

Swami Radha

  • Yasodhara Ashram bio  link
  • Swami Radha  link
  • Books  link

Swami Rama

  • Himalayan Institute bioy  link
  • Books & Media  link
  • See also: Biographies  link

Kali Ray

  • Kali Ray bio  link
  • Books & Media  link

Saul David Raye

  • Saul David Raye bio  link
  • Books & Media  link

Shiva Rea

  • Shiva Rea bio  link
  • Books & Media  link

Richard Rosen

  • Richard Rosen Website  link
  • Books  link

Steve Ross

Desiree Rumbaugh

  • Desiree Rumbaugh bio  link
  • Books & Media  link

Matthew Sanford

  • Matthew Sanford bio  link
  • Yoga Journal interview  link
  • Books & Media  link

Sri Swami Satchidananda

  • Satchidananda Ashram Yogaville  link
  • Books  link

Erich Schiffmann

  • Erich Schiffmann bio  link
  • Article by Erich Schiffmann  link
  • Books & Media  link

John Schumacher

  • John Schumacher bio  link
  • BBC article  link
  • Media  link

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar

  • Sri Sri Ravi Shankar bio  link
  • The Art of Living  link
  • Books & Media  link

Sianna Sherman

  • About Sianna Sherman  link
  • Media  link

Padma Shyam

  • Padma Meditation & Yoga  link

Swami Sivananda

  • International Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centres bio  link
  • Yoga Journal article  link
  • Books  link

Stephanie Snyder

  • Stephanie Snyder website  link
  • TEDx Talk  link
  • Media  link

Peter Sterios

  • Peter Sterios website  link
  • Media  link

Eddie Stern

  • About Eddie Stern  link
  • Huffington Post article by Eddie Stern  link
  • Books  link

Rod Stryker

David Swenson

  • Ashtanga Yoga Productions Bio  link
  • Books & Media  link

Pandit Rajmani Tigunait

  • Himalayan Institute bio  link
  • Yoga Journal interview  link
  • Books & Media  link

Rama Jyoti Vernon

  • Rama Jyoti Vernon Website  link
  • Seattle Yoga News interview  link
  • Books & Media  link

Swami Vivekananda

  • Swami Vivekananda bio  link
  • Books  link

Patricia Walden

  • Patricia Walden bio  link
  • Books & Media  link

Lisa Walford

  • About Lisa Walford  link
  • Iyengar Yoga Institute of Los Angeles  link

Alison West

  • About Alison West  link
  • NY Times article  link

Ganga White

  • White Lotus Foundation  link
  • Books & Media  link

Mark Whitwell

  • Mark Whitwell bio  link
  • Huffington Post articles by Mark Whitwell  link
  • Books  link

Theo Wildcroft

  • Wild Yoga website  link
  • Yoga Alliance interview  link

Colleen Saidman Yee

  • Colleen Saidman Yee bio  link
  • Yoga Journal interview link
  • Books & Media  link

Rodney Yee

  • Rodney Yee Bio  link
  • Books & Media  link

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