Year Long Group Meditation Faculty
Pandit Rajmani Tigunait, PhD
Chairman / Spiritual Head
Spiritual head of the Himalayan Institute, is the successor of Swami Rama of the Himalayas. Lecturing and teaching worldwide for more than a quarter of a century, he is the author of fourteen books, including his autobiography Touched by Fire: The Ongoing Journey of a Spiritual Seeker, the best-selling At the Eleventh Hour: The Biography of Swami Rama of the Himalayas and a regular contributor to Yoga International Magazine. Pandit Tigunait holds two doctorates: one in Sanskrit from the University of Allahabad in India, and another in Oriental Studies from the University of Pennsylvania. Family tradition gave Pandit Tigunait access to a vast range of spiritual wisdom preserved in both the written and oral traditions. Before meeting his master, Pandit Tigunait studied Sanskrit, the language of the ancient scriptures of India, as well as the languages of the Buddhist, Jaina, and Zorastrian traditions. In 1976, Swami Rama ordained Pandit Tigunait into the 5,000-year-old lineage of the Himalayan Masters.
Co-author of the award-winning Yoga: Mastering the Basics, and columnist for Yoga International magazine, Sandra Anderson’s work draws on her studies of traditional yoga texts and her extensive visits to India, where she conducts an annual yoga teacher-training program. Sandra holds a degree in geology and began her studies in yoga while working in the environmental protection field. Initiated into the Himalayan tradition in 1988, she lives at the Himalayan Institute, and teaches all aspects of yoga nationally.
Shari Friedrichsen has been teaching yoga for over three decades. She is a key facilitator at the teacher training programs at Santa Monica Yoga and the Himalayan Institute. Shari has studied asana and meditation with respected teachers like Pandit Rajmani Tigunait, Amma Sri Karunamayi, B.K.S. Iyengar, and Judith Lasater. As a subtle anatomy expert, her unique style integrates the breath, proper alignment, and visualiza- tions to draw the student deep into the inner experience of each posture.
Rolf Sovik, PsyD
President / Spiritual Director
President and Spiritual Director of the Himalayan Institute and a clinical psychologist in private practice, Dr. Rolf Sovik has studied yoga in the United States, India, and Nepal, and holds degrees in philosophy, music, Eastern studies, and clinical psychology. Co-director of the Himalayan Institute of Buffalo, he began his practice of yoga in 1972, and was initiated as a pandit in the Himalayan tradition in 1987. He is the author of Moving Inward, co-author of the award-winning Yoga: Mastering the Basics, and a columnist for Yoga International magazine.
Founder of ParaYoga®, Rod Stryker is widely recognized as one of the country’s leading authorities on the ancient traditions of yoga, tantra, and meditation. Rod’s teaching weaves together his depth of understanding, experience, and ability to make the ancient teachings and practices accessible to students of all levels. Rod has trained teachers for over 25 years and leads retreats, workshops, and trainings worldwide. He lives in the mountains of Colorado with his wife and four children.