About Us

About Us

Our Story

Shiva Priya Yoga Ashram began as a dream in the hearts of its owners and after years of hard work and dedication, it became what it is today.

The owner Yogacharya Sandeep first came to Rishikesh when he was a child. In his heart he felt that this is where he was meant to be, but bound by the constraints of a traditional Indian family, he followed the path that his parents desired, who wanted him to work a prestigious government job.

Though he was working in his comfortable government job, he couldn’t help but feel that his destiny was elsewhere and that his true purpose was passing him by. After 5 years of working there, he decided to take a leave of absence from his job to pursue a M.A. in Yogic Science from Uttarakhand Sanskrit University.

After completing his degree, he returned to his government job, but he immediately realized that this path was not for him. So, against the wishes of his parents, he left his job and went to live in Rishikesh to dedicate his life to the practice of yoga.

Gradually, a dream began to grow in his heart to open his own ashram, deep in nature, that followed closely to the traditional practices of yoga. He began working in some yoga schools in Rishikesh to support himself and work towards this goal. Finally, with the help of his partner Isa, this goal materialized into Shiva Priya Yoga Ashram.

Yogacharya Sandeep by the Ganges River

"Spreading Peace & Happiness Through Yoga"

Shiva Priya Yoga Ashram logo
Rishikesh Mountains
Doing yoga in the Himalayan mountains

Our Ashram

According to Indian tradition, an ashram is a place for practicing sadhana or spiritual practice. Ashrams are the primary institution for Hinduism and many spiritual practitioners go to live there. Parents also often send their children to ashrams to get religious education. Many people also live in an ashram to escape the stressors of daily life. 

Although an ashram is made up of buildings, it is so much more than that. The primary purpose of an ashram is to provide spiritual aspirants a place to complete their spiritual practice without the worries of the outside world. It allows people to focus all of their energy into their internal spiritual practices. Additionally, an ashram is a community of like-minded people who can support each other to continue on their spiritual path.

When living in an ashram you can automatically feel a difference in your energy because it is a place where people go to practice meditation and tapasya, or advanced spiritual practices. The ashram is the traditional place for learning yoga, and in line with our commitment to following tradition, we felt that an ashram would be the best place for people to both learn and live yoga. However, coming to an ashram does not mean you will automatically become a yogi and many people come to our ashram just to enjoy the beautiful surrounding nature and find some temporary peace.

So come to our ashram and get the real traditional experience of learning yoga in India surrounded by the beautiful nature of the Himalayan Mountains.

Our Name

Shiva, a prominent Hindu god, is also known as “Adiyogi”, meaning “first yogi”. Shiva’s first disciple was Parvati, his wife, who also manifests as the fierce warrior goddess Durga. Shiva Priya literally translates to “liked by Lord Shiva” and it is also a name for the goddess Durga.

At Shiva Priya Yoga Ashram, we consider ourselves to ultimately be disciples of Shiva, just like Parvati. So, we chose a name that both recognizes the lineage started by Shiva as well as Parvati’s fierce goddess manifestation as Durga who combats the evil forces that threaten peace in the world.

The Hindu God Shiva artwork

Meet the Team!

Yogacharya Sandeep
Founder & Lead Teacher

Completed an M.A. in Yogic Science from Uttarakhand Sanskrit University. Teaches yoga asana, pranayama, shatkarma, meditation and philosophy.

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Isabella Koepf
Co-Founder & Online Manager

Completed a B.Sc. in Psychology, Biology, and the Study of Religion. Completed a 200hr training in Hatha & Ashtanga Yoga at Shiva Yoga Peeth and a 50hr training in Yin Yoga with Bernie Clark. Runs all online marketing and ashram management.

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Gabar Payal
Chef & Assistant

Cooks all yogic food and helps in all daily aspects around the ashram. Spreads his happiness and positive energy throughout the ashram.

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