Yogi Shanti Desai Biography


Yogi Shanti Desai and his guru, Swami Kripalu, 1974
Yogi Shanti Desai and his guru, Swami Kripalu, 1974

Yogi Shanti Desai was born in Gujarat State, India. A religious home environment made basic spiritual disciplines a natural way of life for him. From an early age he studied Yoga and Yoga scriptures, and practiced meditation and spiritual discipline. Shanti has met many yogis and was initiated in his youth by his Guru, Swami Kripalu.

Shanti received a Bachelor of Science degree in India before coming to the United States in 1961. In 1964 he received his Master of Science degree in Chemistry from Drexel University and worked as a research chemist while teaching Yoga until 1972, when he chose to devote himself full-time to the practice and teaching of Yoga.

In 1974, Shanti opened the Yoga Retreat in Ocean City, NJ to provide intensive Yoga training and to introduce Yoga as a way of life. From 1977 to 1985, Shanti directed the Glassboro Ashram for spiritual communal living. From 1981 until 2000, Shanti, an experienced nutritionist and consultant, successfully operated Prasad, a yogic holistic health food store and vegetarian restaurant. The Yoga Retreat was sold in 2013 after successful operation of 39 ½ years. Shanti downsized to have more time for personal growth and mobility to reach larger audiences internationally.

Shanti has taught thousands of students and has trained many Yoga teachers. He has written several books on Yoga based on his personal practice and teaching experiences.


Yogi Shanti Desai with his family
Yogi Shanti Desai with his wife, kids and grandkids

Shanti currently resides in Egg Harbor Township, NJ, with his wife Nayana, an author & teacher of creative yogic cooking. Shanti has reached renunciation (Sanyas) stage of life to dedicate life to meditation and selfless service. But he continues to offer private classes and consultatons, and spends time with his wife Nayana and their children and grandchildren who also follow a holistic lifestyle.

Shanti's teaching is based on his personal practice and a lifetime of successful integration of Yoga in everyday life. His teachings are dynamic, creative, scientific and practical, and suitable for all ages, physical conditions and social and religious backgrounds.


Dynamic Personal Transformation

Shanti DEsai and harmoniumShanti has a vision of creative transformation from the personal to the global level. He wants to be instrumental to serve by awakening and transforming individuals, families, groups and community leaders. Like a lighted candle, with the inner spark of wisdom, Shanti can assist in lighting the inner spark in others. Others in turn, can become instrumental to ignite the wildfire of global awakening.

He has practiced yoga, meditation and spiritual disciplines his entire life and has taught yoga and meditation for the last forty years. By living a life with conscious awareness, he has found fulfillment and contentment. His spiritual maturity has resulted in natural renunciation (Sanyas). Renunciation means giving up selfish worldly ambitions and to dedicate life for meditation and selfless service.

He has written sixteen books during the years as he has evolved in his own practice. These books provide practical guidance for yoga teachers and students. They can be used as daily inspiration and guidance. He has simplified the teachings so that everyone can benefit by applying the principles.

His main message is acceptance of life, gratitude, self-love, flowing with life, expansion of consciousness, universality and selfless service. He emphasizes being rooted in Self and to maintain undercurrent of awareness instead of dependence on external authorities. He recommends personal transformation instead of conversion. Personal transformation can produce selfless service and global transformation.

Shanti is available to individuals, families, work place, office workers or any groups with open minds and the desire to explore their own potential and find bliss.