Yoga Paramparas Revealed

Web Exclusive

IYA Central Secretariat’s Outreach Efforts 

On the 19th July, IYA team including Prof Kambhampati Subrahmanyam, Sri DR Kaarthikeyan and Ravi Tumuluri visited Rajarajeshwari Temple and paid their respects to Sri Sri Sri Jayendra Puri Mahaswamiji, the present pontiff of Sri Kailash Ashrama Mahasamshtana. Sri Sri Sri Tiruchi Swamigal was the…

Daaji’s Message from Kanha! 

Heartfulness proposes meditation on the heart with an aim of attaining subtler levels of consciousness. The heart is not merely a pump for blood circulation – its role goes far beyond that. References in ancient Indian literature on Yoga, especially that from Sages like Patanjali,…

Book your PRINT copies

05 Feb 2023


Kaivalyadhama: Where Yoga Tradition & Science Meet
Legacy Series

Kaivalyadhama: Where Yoga Tradition & Science Meet 


Kaivalyadhama is one of the oldest and the most comprehensive Yoga Institutes in the world. It doesn’t just teach, but since 1924 it has carried out substantial and innovative studies into almost every aspect of Yoga’s practice. It is one of the foremost scientific yoga research institutes in the world. Kaivalyadhama teaches and follows the Ashtanga Yoga of Patanjali, the yogic seer of the eighth century. Swami Kuvlayananda knew that the society has lost its way, and only a new and happy ‘marriage’ between traditional Yoga with modern science could help to regenerate and build a better life for all. He was a strong advocate of Yoga and used to say, “I have brought up this institute out of nothing. If it goes to nothing, I do not mind, but Yoga should not
be diluted.”

Shri 0. P. Tiwari

Kaivalyadhama is following this legacy till date under the guidance of Shri 0. P. Tiwari who is Honourable Secretary of the Institute and responsible for executing decisions
of the Governing Body. A disciple of Swami Kuvalyananda, he is one of the few sincere masters who teach the subtle techniques of Yoga, Pranayama in the classical way where the scientific outlook harmonizes with traditional wisdom.


Swami Kuvlayananda

(30 August 1883 – 18 April 1966) was a great visionary and a researcher and educator who is primarily known for his pioneering research into the scientific foundations of yoga.

Inspired by his Guru, Paramahansa Madhavadasji, a master of yoga, coupled with his own innate desire to bridge the gap between the physical and psycho-spiritual aspect of yoga, Swami Kuvalayananda was led down the path of a spiritual journey. This journey ultimately manifested in the founding of Kaivalyadhama, which has built itself on Swami Kuvalayananda’s legacy and mission to bring together traditional yoga with modern science.

Paramhamsa Madhavdasji Maharaj

Paramhamsa Madhavdasji Maharaj was a yogi who originally came from Bengal, and lived in various parts of India as a part of his spiritual pursuits. Swami Kuvalayananda owes his spiritual training and inspiration to serve humanity through propagation of yoga to Madhavdas ji of Malsar.

Raj Ratna Prof. Manikrao of Baroda played a major influence on Swami Kuvalayananda, especially his command of Shastravidya and collective gymnastics, which led him to introduce mass participation in yogic exercises.

Swami Kuvalayananda started scientific research on yoga in 1920, and published the first ever scientific journal specifically devoted to studying yoga, Yoga Mimamsa, in 1924. It was declared that “nothing that has not been tested either clinically or in the laboratory will appear in the pages of this periodical.”

He conducted the first ever designed and controlled scientific experiment in Yoga – Madhavdasa vacuum. Uddiyana and Nauli were the two important yogic practices first scientifically investigated by Swami Kuvalayananda using X-Ray method.

Swami Kuvalayananda designed a unique experimental design to test the energy expenditure in terms of oxygen consumption and carbon dioxide tolerance. The famous experiment was referred as Bhugarbha Samadhi or Air Tight Burial Pit experiment. Swamiji confirmed that carbon dioxide tolerance increases after yogic practices.

He also conducted an experiment to show significance of nostrils in breathing. His studies also showed how emotions like anger cause irritation and disturb the muscular tone, size and shape of stomach. He demonstrated how Yoga and Meditation are good therapeutically to manage stress.

His notable students were Mahatma Gandhi, Pandit Madan Mohan Malviya, Dr. B. R. Ambedkar, Pandit Motilal Nehru, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, Dr. Rajendra Prasad, Dr. H.V. Kamath, Mr. J. R. D. Tata, Mr. G. D. Birla.

Other Notable Members of bombay branch were Maharaja Of Travencore And Cochin, Morvi, His Highness Maharaja Shri Lakhdirji Saheb Bahadur, Maharaja Ranasaheb, Porbandar, Baroda, Hh Maharavalji Saheb Bahadur Maharaja Saheb. From 1927 onwards, Mahatma Gandhi was in touch with Swami Kuvalayananda. A glimpse of a letter written by Gandhi ji to Swami ji is displayed alongside.

Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi released a commemorative stamp on Swami Kuvalayananda on August 30th, 2019.


  • Leading Yoga Institution – Certified by Ministry of AYUSH
  • Declared as an institute of Higher Learning by Govt. of India, Ministry of Education in 1962.
  • Ministry of Science & Technology, Government of India, New Delhi has given recognition as a Scientific and Industrial Research Organizations (SIRO’s).
  • Gordhandas Seksaria College of Yoga & Cultural Synthesis is permanently recognition by the NCTE, Govt. of India.
  • Declared as Resource Centre/ Nodal Agency in context with Introduction of Yoga in Schools” by Ministry of HRD , Dept. of Education in 2005
  • Recognized as an Institute for Scientific and Philosophico- Literary Research , Training & Treatment in Yoga, Recognized by University of Pune for in 2007.
  • Recognized by Council for Scientific & Industrial Research , Govt. of India as a Research Institute in 2010.
  • Certified as Recognised Institute for Specialized Studies by Kavikulguru Kalidas Sanskrit University.

KaivalyaDhama is virtually a university of Yoga, with many limbs.


The Kaivalyadhama Ashram is the spiritual heart and focus of the Institute, and it is under this influence that the various departments does function.


The Scientific Research Department studies the quantitative Physiological, Radiological, Psychological, Sportive, Biochemical and Neurological contexts of Yoga. The laboratories in the department are equipped with modern scientific instruments to carry out fundamental and applied research work in Yoga to establish the relation between yoga and modern scientific disciplines.

Cutting edge studies into the effect of Yoga practices, such as Asanas, Kriyas and Pranayama, on diverse subjects as for example school children, yoga students, and police officers are carried out.

The benefits of Yoga on various afflictions such as obesity, diabetes, stress, and blindness have been demonstrated.


The Philosophico Literary Research Department provides what may be the world’s most comprehensive archive specifically on Yoga. The Department’s first objective is to collect, analyse, disseminate, and protect ancient and modern works on Yoga. By way of unfolding the ancient yogic wisdom, which is embodied in Sanskrit language scattered in different scriptures or still hidden in manuscripts. By way of critically editing of ancient yogic texts pertaining to the different concepts and practices and arriving at most authentic readings so that common people can apply this wisdom in their day to day life

Classical Yoga education

The Gordhandas Seksaria College of Yoga and Cultural Synthesis provides was established in 1951 by Swami Kuvalyananda for the training of Yoga instructors. In fact, it has built a high international reputation for excellence, and students enrol from all parts of India and the world for yoga training. But the College’s excellence is not just for training people as Yoga instructors and teachers. Substantial activities are also undertaken with the military, police and medical professionals, business executives and, not least, school teachers.

There are eight courses:

  • Certificate Course in Yoga (30 days)
  • PG Diploma in Yoga Education (9 months)
  • Foundation Course in Yoga (21 days)
  • Foundation Course in Ayurveda (21 days)
  • Advanced Course in Yoga (1 month)
  • B.A. – Yoga Philosophy (6 Semesters)
  • M.A.  – Yoga Philosophy (4 Semesters)
  • Certificate Course for Assistant to Yoga Therapist (3 months)


The SADT Yogic Hospital and Healthcare Centre is a Yoga, Diet, Ayurveda and Naturopathy Treatment Centre, all under Medical Supervision. It is not a hospital in the usual sense. Just comfortable quiet twin rooms or family suites simple -yet excellent- vegetarian food, and a minimum of a week long programme of Yoga Naturopathy and Ayurveda (baths, cleansing and massage), talks, discussions, mantra chanting and walks, all at a reasonable cost. The treatment patients receive is individual as per the need and health conditions.
Kaivalyadhama being a Nodal Agency in context with Introduction of Yoga in Schools had started training teachers and students for 3 months each year in various school and creating master trainers this way in each for the last 15 years. As of now it has trained in 300 NVS with 1,07,744 students and taught 3,831 teachers till date.

Several Social outreach programs in colleges across Maharashtra, BMC schools, railways, Naval officers, Police personnel, children with Intellectual disabilities have been going on from lot many years to reach the unreached.


Since the inception of Kaivalyadhama in Lonavala, it was contemplated to have branches at various places in India. In 1932, the Bombay (branch was started in Santa Cruz, which was later shifted to the current location at Marine Dive.

Other branches are as follows

  • New Delhi
  • Jaipur
  • Bhopal
  • Rajkot
  • USA
  • France
  • Japan
  • China


  • Bodhi Yoga, Taiwan
  • Wellness Chandra, Japan
  • Instituto de Ensino e Pesquisas em Yoga, Brazil
  • Yoga Lite, France
  • Naturheilzentrum Neuer Weg, Germany
  • Loyola Marymount University, USA
  • University of La Laguna, Spain

This Happy Place

Situated on the western edge of the Western Ghats close to the town of Lonavala, Kaivalyadhama is at 120 km from Mumbai, and 60 km from Pune. Its height above sea level is 600 m, which means it is always refreshingly cooler than the coast area. The main railway and expressway between these two cities are close by, making the Institute quite easy to reach from all places. Kaivalyadhama itself is spread across 180 acres of parkland and gardens and is full of trees, flowers, birds and butterflies, making it a beautifully open and serene place to visit. The campus has Solar plant, wind mill as well as its own dairy. The staff and workers are a happy group and will give you a warm welcome whenever you may come.

The Legacy Series articles are contributed by institutional members of IYA and are published as provided by them; we encourage all Member Institutions of the Association to send a six page article with some photos about their organisations

Related posts