Nayaswamis Jyotish and Devi Novak
Narayan and his wife, Dharmadevi, serve as spiritual directors and lightbearers for Ananda LA. After reading Yogananda’s spiritual classic, Autobiography of a Yogi, in New York City, he was inspired to learn Kriya Yoga and share the teachings of Self-realization. He was a founding member of Ananda NYC before moving to Ananda Village in Northern California where he lived for six years. He served at Ananda’s publishing arm, Crystal Clarity, and as a yoga and meditation instructor at the Expanding Light Meditation & Yoga Retreat. He co-founded Ananda Virtual Community–an interactive, online community with classes on yoga, meditation, and spiritual living. His interests include making ravioli, playing soccer, and exploring the divine grace and wonder of rudraksha beads.
Dharmadevi and her husband, Narayan, serve as spiritual directors and lightbearers for Ananda LA. She is a Certified Meditation & Yoga Teacher and was part of the core group that started Ananda Los Angeles in 2007. Dharmadevi lived at Ananda Village for 2 years and helped launch Ananda Online Classes and the Ananda Virtual Community. She has been practicing and teaching energy & holistic healing modalities since 2000 and especially enjoys sharing Paramhansa Yogananda’s teachings on health and healing. Dharmadevi has worked extensively on the AKASH (Ancient Keys to Attaining Success & Happiness) series that Swami Kriyananda wrote while he lived in LA. Along with other teachers, she offers it around the LA area. She also offers energy healing sessions and spiritual counseling.
Paul is an Ananda Minister and a certified Ananda Yoga and Meditation Instructor. He has offered yoga classes weekly at the Ananda South Bay Center for over ten years, and continues to lead regular yoga and meditation workshops in the South Bay area. He also has been serving as an instructor and meditation group leader with Ananda Los Angeles since its inception in 2007. More recently, Paul has been helping teach The Art and Science of Raja Yoga Class series. He also offers inspiring yoga workshops that combine practical wisdom, storytelling, spiritually focused asana, and meditation. These carefully selected modalities work together to facilitate a child-like sense of exploration to feel the spaciousness of body and mind. Visit Paul’s website to learn more about the yoga classes he offers.
Robert “Ram” Smith
Ram has been an Ananda Minister for over 35 years. He has presented Paramhansa Yogananda’s and Swami Kriyananda’s teachings of Self-Realization around the world. Ram was a founding member of Ananda Assisi, Italy in 1987 where he lived for seven years and met Pope John Paul II at the Vatican in 1989. Ram helps to inspire great devotion and spiritual understanding during his classes.
Dikshini was raised in Hungary. Having read Autobiography of a Yogi in 2004 changed her life dramatically to the extent that she left Hungary and flew straight to Ananda Village to get Kriya initiation. She served there for 4 months and then moved to Ananda Assisi for 7 months. In September 2005, Dikshini returned to the U.S., and she and her husband, Ram, were married. They served together in Ananda Rhode Island for 5 years. In 2010, they moved to LA to support Ananda LA.
Keshava was born and raised at Ananda Village. Taught to meditate before he learned to read, he was steeped in the teachings of Yogananda from birth. He began playing music when he was very young, learning the cello under David Eby, long time head of Ananda Music world-wide. He now serves as assistant to the spiritual directors in Ananda LA, and is the head of the music ministry. Keshava leads the Ananda LA choir (please inquire if interested in joining), teaches meditation, and energization classes.
Aryeh is a Peaceful Lion born and raised in the concrete jungle of Los Angeles roaming the streets for years on a skateboard. Led to yoga in high school with the thought flexibility and balance would support his passion for skateboarding. Years of flow classes brought him a desire to become a yoga instructor, but he wanted something deeper from the practice. He found what he was looking for in the practice of Ananda yoga and is now a 200hr certified instructor in the practice of Ananda yoga for higher awareness. He is grateful for the opportunity to bring light, love and healing to all great souls through the practice of yoga. He wants to remind you to breathe, be humble, enjoy the asana, and smile forever. Life is a beautiful journey and it is all practice.
Padma has been a member of the Ananda South Bay Center since 2004. She is an Ananda Minister and leads Sunday Services, teaches, and assists with Sunday School at the Center. As a disciple of Paramhansa Yogananda, she tries to live His teachings the best she can. She is grateful for the spiritual friendship and community she enjoys at the Center. Padma lives in Rancho Palos Verdes with her husband and two daughters. She is also a high school science teacher.
Andra is a certified Ananda Yoga & Meditation Instructor. She has been teaching yoga since 2001 and is currently enrolled in Ananda’s Yoga Therapy Program. Andra lived at the Ananda community in Seattle for several years. A music lover, she enjoys playing live harp or tanpura for the deep relaxation portion of her yoga classes. Andra has had an active healing practice since 2001. Please visit her website for more information about her healing practice and other yoga classes in the LA area.
Akemi is a Los Angeles native, a Libra, and she truly loves to balance the scales. She is a healer, and to please her intellectual side, she went to school and got her doctorate in physical therapy. Yes, you can call her Doc! On the other hand, she is also an artist, and now makes healing gemstone jewelry to release the creative energy that lay dormant within for many years. And finally, to combine both sides, she is in the Ananda Yoga Therapy Program, where she gets to combine her extensive scientific knowledge of the human body, biomechanics and kinesiology with the wondrous beauty of healing with energy, sound, music and color.
Aaron is a young devotee from Monterrey, Mexico who was transformed after reading Autobiography of a Yogi and was inspired to travel to Ananda Village, where he spent a year immersing himself in the teachings of Paramhansa Yoganada. There he got certified as an Ananda Yoga® teacher as well as an Ananda Meditation Teacher and became part of the staff in the Expanding Light Retreat as a Sadhana Leader (Yoga Instructor). He has been traveling throughout the west coast to visit all Ananda communities and is currently residing in Los Angeles and serves through the Spanish Ministry.