Kanya Kanchana from Kerala, India, is a practitioner and teacher of yoga. She has trained for over 15 years and taught for 12.
I am Kanya Kanchana from Kerala, India. I am an initiated tantric yogini, teacher of hatha yoga, and founder of a yoga service entity that creates free community yoga projects, particularly for those with specific needs. I am engaged in practice, teaching, and Sanskrit philological research at the intersection of tantra and yoga, and have an MPhil in Sanskrit Studies from the University of Cambridge.
Born in Kanyakumari and brought up in the beautiful southern Indian state of Kerala, I learned the first steps of yoga as a child from my grandfather, a disciple of Swami Sivananda Saraswati.
My maternal grandfather R Subrahmanya Iyer and his mother (ie my great-grandmother) Narayani Ammal with Swami Sivananda, Rishikesh, sometime in the late 30s or early 40s
Inspired to go deeper, I returned to yoga as an adult, and have over 15 years of study and practice. I am connected to the Bihar School of Yoga lineage of Swami Satyananda Saraswati.
My journey also led me to wisdomkeepers of Amazonian (Shipibo-Conibo, Kichwa) and Andean traditions who introduced me to shamanic practice. Guided and informed by insights from these transformational experiences and by life itself, I started sharing what I had learnt, conducting several classes, seminars, workshops, and retreats internationally over the last ten years.
In 2010, I founded the entity Mind’s Eye in Singapore, and worked for three years with people with blindness/severe visual impairment and other challenges. Upon my return to India, I expanded the scope of this work to other communities and am currently doing documentation and research.
I am also a trained architectural engineer whose professional trajectory included programming, technical writing/editing, and information design.
I now continue my studies and practice in yoga, tantra, and Sanskrit with my Gurus, teachers, and peers, and spend some time writing.
- Certification in Yogic Studies, Bihar Yoga Bharati, Institute of Advanced Studies in Yogic Sciences
- Certification in Universal Yoga & Shiva Nata, 300h teacher training with Andrey Lappa
- Certification in Yin Yoga & Anatomy for Yoga with Paul Grilley
- Certification in Anatomy for Yoga with Martin Kirk
- Certification in First Aid, Singapore Red Cross
- Certification in CPR + AED, Singapore Heart Foundation
and several others with reputed teachers from around the world
Bio photo © Kavya Kanchana
Family photo © The Divine Life Society Archives, Rishikesh