Who We Are

Yoga Alliance International (YAI) is a network of dedicated, like-minded people and institutions devoted to the cause of authentic Yoga.

Inspired by Sri. Aurobindo and the Mother of Pondicherry, YAI was founded by Swami Vidyanand, the well-known Yoga Master, assisted by Sri K.M.Chandrashekaran, who has had a lifelong interest in Yoga and allied matters.

YAI has a number of Divisions around the world, each headed by a dedicated Director, who serve as our representatives in their respective countries. They come from all corners of the world and share a passionate commitment to the cause of authentic Yoga traditions.

YAI’s Ambassadors serve as our flag-bearers and take YAI’s message around the world.


Sri Swami Vidyanand

Founder & President

Sri Swami Vidyanand is a renowned yoga master from India. He is the founder and spiritual head of SriMa International School of Transformational Yoga® and the Founder and President of Yoga Alliance International® (YAI) and Meditation Alliance International® (MAI) spread over all continents.

Hailing from a long line of renowned Bhakti yogis, Swami Vidyanand was born into the deeply spiritual environment of Datiya (Madhya Pradesh) recognized as being one of the 17 sacred centres of Tantra in India. Swamiji mastered yoga in the traditional Indian way, through apprenticeships under enlightened yoga masters such as Swami Satyananda, founder of Bihar school of yoga and anonymous ascetics in the Himalayas, he has also practiced Satsang with Swami Rama, the late founder of the Himalayan Institute and learnt esoteric meditation techniques from Tibetan masters.

Swami Vidyanand developed the Transformational Yoga system and taught Transformational Yoga® courses at the Centre of Behavioral Health at the University of Hong Kong where he also conducted a thorough research about the effects of this method on the health of practitioners.

Having founded the SriMa International School of Transformational Integral Hatha Yoga in New Delhi and later established its headquarters near Pondicherry in South India, he is currently working at these locations to spread authentic knowledge about Yoga and Meditation.

Presently partnering with Annamalai University in order to spread the right knowledge of Yoga through government-recognized programs all over the world. He is a life-time member of the Sri Aurobindo Educational Society in Sri Aurobindo Ashram Delhi branch.

Swami Vidyanand’s teachings are well recognized in India, evident from the respect he has received from cultural bodies, such as ‘The Bhaskar Award’ from the prestigious Bharat Nirman, an organization that recognizes individual efforts to promote ancient Indian wisdom, systems and practices.

K.M. Chandrashekaran

Organizing Director

As Organizing Director, YAI, K.M. Chandrashekaran, with his background in Engineering & Management, brings to his work his life-long interest in Yoga and allied matters. He also writes, and sometimes talks on Yoga: you can read some of his essays on YAI’s Facebook page.

He also runs a blog (http://janachandra.in/) which features his short-stories, essays and poems.

Camille Gicquel

Director, YAI Europe

Director, Yoga Alliance International Europe, Camille was born in the West of France and got introduced to Yoga thanks to her Mom, an experienced practitioner, who convinced her to attend a class of Hatha yoga thinking that it may help channelize her energy and anxious nature, and it was a revelation! However, after studying a diversity of fields and working in a lot of others, something was still missing in her life for her to be truly happy. Her love for travelling and her thirst for discoveries, encounters and new experiences finally took her to India, the ancestral place of traditional yoga.

Her encounter with Swami Vidyanand and his system of Transformational Hatha Yoga have then totally convinced her that she wanted to live her life following the path of Yoga. Camille is a Yoga Alliance International Certified Yoga Teacher for 500 hours level, Master in Transformational Yoga and Meditation. She studied under the guidance of Swami Vidyanand in New Delhi and Auroville. She is also the Chair Person of Yoga Alliance International France and in charge of SriMa School Auroville branch. Cecile Vieillard Director, Yoga Alliance International, France.