The Yoga Institute, Mumbai- Oldest centre of yoga in the World

The Yoga Institute, Mumbai- Oldest centre of yoga in the World

The Yoga Institute, Santacruz (East), Mumbai, India was founded in 1918 by Shri Yogendraji, and is the oldest centre of yoga in the world. Shri Yogendraji believed that yoga was not meant exclusively for bearded men living in the mountains, and he wanted to bring it to householders—the men and women who have to work, toil, commute, earn a living, raise children, and fight the battle of life everyday. He wanted to bring it to people living in the town and the city, because he believed that the householder could benefit immensely from this knowledge. Little surprise then that Shri Yogendra is known as the Father of Modern Yoga Renaissance.

Although most people wished to learn yoga only to address their physical problems, Shri Yogendra wanted the Yoga Institute to be more than a place that would help them cope with physical ailments. He wanted it to be a `Life School’ where one learnt to live. The Yoga Institute, with its simplicity, sincerity, and non-commercial outlook, reaches out to householders and attempts to help them lead happy,healthy, and balanced lives in a world that is constantly throwing up challenges.

Spearheading the “Yoga for the Householder” movement in the world, the Institute interacts with over a thousand people everyday for training, health benefits and consultations. It also offers Yoga teacher- training courses, and brings out books on yoga therapy, asanas, pranayam, couples counseling, traditional scriptures, ethics for everyday life, and a variety of other subjects on yoga education.

Shri Yogendraji’s son, Dr. Jayadeva Yogendra, who passed away recently, was a sincere and committed torch-bearer of the founder’s legacy. His spirit continues to guide us. Yog Guru, Smt. Hansaji Jayadeva Yogendra, well-known all over the world, is now the Director of The Yoga Institute and also serves as President of The International Board of Yoga.


Is there a life-school where one learns to live? There are many schools that teach people to chase money and power, but no school teaches us to be happy and healthy, no institute teaches us to be balanced in mind, body, and spirit. A life-school teaches us to care and share, it teaches us discipline and responsibility, it teaches us the other things that matter in life instead of showing off its sprawling lawns and high-rise structures as most campuses do these days.

The Yoga Institute is one such life-school. Everything here–including interpersonal relationships in classrooms and also in administrative offices–is imbued with the sweet fragrance of spiritual awareness. Whether the student is learning asanas or the yoga sutras, it only adds to the pure, sattvik experience. Techniques are also taught, but they become secondary when change is occurring at the deeper level of one’s values, motivations, attitudes, and habits. Yogic living can help re-establish the homeostatic balance, and treatment of disease then becomes a natural consequence of a yogic life.

Faith in a higher reality and a broader, philosophical outlook can instill a positive approach to life, and neutralize the anxiety responsible for many psychosomatic and neurotic conditions. It enables total and joyful participation in life, it imparts meaning to life. A life-school prepares men and women to live fuller lives. Besides learning it themselves, they also learn to share it with others. Can we dream of such centers of learning in the country? It does not matter if we call this life-school “The Yoga Institute” or by any other name. There is an overwhelming need today for such life-schools in society. What is lacking is not the skills or knowledge required to build such a school, but actual living models of such a school. The Yoga Institute seeks to fill this vacuum.


The Yoga Institute was founded on 25th December, 1918 by the founder, Shri Yogendraji. It found a permanent base in Santacruz, Mumbai, in 1948. Spread over one acre of land amidst nature, with three buildings dedicated to Yogic activities, this non-profit organization has been running on its own strength for 100 years now. About 2000 persons visit the Institute every day for training, and health consultations. PARAMHAMSA MADHAVADASJI (FOUNDER’S GURU)


His Holiness Paramhamsa Madhavadasji was born in 1798 to a Mukhopadhyaya family in Bengal. His environment and his parental influences inspired in him a devotional attitude and faith. A lawyer in the courts during the British Raj, he left his home at the tender age of 23 in search of higher pursuits. His early association with Bhakti rituals could not satisfy the reformist concepts he was looking for. He learnt from different traditions and after traveling in Assam, Tibet, the Himalayas, etc., he was able to get a first- hand knowledge of technical yoga.

In 1916, at the age of 118, Paramhamsa Madhavadasji was in Mumbai at Madhavbaug for a discourse where he met Yogendraji (then known as Mani). A strong bond developed between the teacher and student, and he personally guided and trained Mani on the path of yoga.


Shri Yogendraji was born as Mani Haribhai Desai in 1897 in Gujarat. Through a chance meeting, he found his Guru, Shri Paramhamsa Madhavadasji, and learnt all about yoga from him. With the blessings of his Guru, Yogendraji went on to spread what was then considered the secret knowledge of yoga among the masses, as he believed it could improve the lives of householders..

He founded The Yoga Institute at ‘The Sands’, the residence of Dadabhai Naoroji in Versova, in 1918. At The Sands, he used therapeutic yoga to cure various ailments. Later, he traveled to America and founded a Yoga Institute in Harriman, New York, in 1920. A lot of research work, along with doctors and scientists of repute, was carried out under his guidance on the subtle physiological and psychological effects of yoga.

Shri Yogendraji then returned to India and, following the wishes of his father, married and remained a `householder yogi’. He has written many authoritative texts on yoga based on ancient scriptures. Some of his books are preserved in the Crypt of Civilization for posterity; they are to be opened after 6000 years. Along with his wife, Sitadevi Yogendra, he continued to teach and spread awareness of authentic classical yoga at The Yoga Institute, Santacruz, until his death in 1989.


Smt. Sitadevi Yogendra, fondly known as Mother, married Shri Yogendraji in 1927 and joined him in his mission of spreading the knowledge of yoga in the world. She began teaching women and children at The Yoga Institute and has written many articles and books on the subject. Her book Yoga Physical Education for Women is also preserved in the Crypt of Civilization, to be opened 6000 years later. Mother Sitadevi passed away in 2008 at the age of 97.


Born in 1929, Shri Yogendraji’s son, Dr. Jayadeva Yogendra, was a simple man and a true Yogi. Having seen his complete dedication to a life of discipline and simplicity, the sadhakas of the Institute considered him as their true Guru. Born in a family of Yogis, he was spiritually inclined since childhood. Until February 2018, when he passed away, as President of The Yoga Institute, he carried on the Founder’s legacy in his silent and sincere way. He was also the Editor of the Institute’s monthly Journal, “Yoga & Total Health,” published since 1933. Dr. Jayadeva completed his Masters in Samkhya and Yoga at the Bombay University in 1952. In 1955, he was awarded the Hargobindas scholarship for a Ph.D (Dr. of Philosophy) for his thesis on `Moksha Parvan’. At the Institute, he introduced several courses, and did pioneering work in Yoga Education and Therapeutics. Students at the Institute still continue to drawinspiration from his wisdom, compassion, wit, and unflinching commitment to truth.


A dynamic and charismatic personality, Smt. Hansaji, wife of Dr. Jayadeva Yogendra and present Director of The Yoga Institute, has dedicated her life to the running of the Institute and to teaching yoga as a way of life in a completely practical way. Smt. Hansaji Jayadeva has been selected as “Woman of the Year 2000” by the American Biographical Institute, U.S.A. for her outstanding accomplishment and the noble example she has set for her peers and entire community. She is perhaps best known throughout the nation due to her involvement in the popular television series ’Yoga for Better Living’, first aired in 1980.

She was recognized for her contribution to Women’s Health through the award presented by SPARC. She has conducted several seminars and lecture tours in India and in Europe, Australia, Canada, Pakistan, Hong Kong and United States of America. She has also authored many Yoga books and articles. She was invited by the National Council for Education Research and Training along with Dr.
Jayadeva to advise on formulating a Yoga education syllabus for schools nationwide.


One Month Basic Teachers’ Training Course (English / Hindi)

(English course scheduled beginning of every month. Please enquire for Hindi course.)

1 month – starts on the 1st day of every month.

Timing: Monday to Saturday, 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.

All participants are required to attend at least one Satsang on Sunday between 9.30 am to 10.30 am.


Non-Residential: Rs. 23,000/- (Inclusive of course fee, study material, lunch and snacks)
Residential: Rs. 40,000/- (Inclusive of course fee, study material, accommodation on triple occupancy
basis and 4 meals a day)


Three Months Advanced Yoga Teachers’ Training Course (Three Months TTC) (English)


Non-Residential: Rs. 75,000/- (Inclusive of course fee, study material, 4 meals a day and 7 Day Camp)

Residential: Rs. 1,20,000/- (Inclusive of course fee, study material, accommodation on triple occupancy basis and 4 meals a day and 7 Day Camp)

A non refundable advance payment of Rs. 40,000/- is necessary for registration.

7 months to 2 years courses also offered Please contact

The yoga institute.

Contact :

The Yoga Institute Shri Yogendra Marg, Prabhat Colony, Santacruz East,

Mumbai – 400055, India.


Tel: +91-22-26122185 Tel: +91-22-26110506


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