Baba Hari Dass
Baba Hari Dass is the founding inspiration for my personal yoga journey and this training. Brenna and I, along with other members of our staff have studied with him for decades.
Baba Hari Dass was born in the foothills of the Himalayas on March 26, 1923 in Almora India. He left home at age eight in search of peace. In this early part of his life he engaged in intense spiritual practice in remote areas.
In 1952 he took a perpetual vow of silence and wrote on a small chalkboard, his concise words communicated volumes. He arrived in the USA in 1971 and eventually found his base in Northern California and helped to establish Mount Madonna, a residential yoga community and retreat center.
In 1982 he established Sri Ram Ashram, a loving home for abandoned children. For ten months each year Babaji taught, encouraged, worked, and played alongside the Mount Madonna community. Two months of the year he would return to India to give guidance and energy to caring for abandoned and destitute children.
Babaji was deeply knowledgeable in yoga theory and practice in the classical system of Ashtanga Yoga. He taught regularly and authored commentaries on Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras, the Bhagavad Gita, Vedanta, and Samkhya Karika. He also written several children’s books.
As a teacher, Babaji lead by example. He was loved and admired for his wisdom, humility, patience, humor, encouragement and acceptance of all who came to meet him and learn from him. He left this world in 2018.
Yogarupa Rod Stryker
The teachings of Yogarupa Rod Stryker, an internationally recognized adept at the sciences of hatha yoga, tantra and Srividya, are foundational to the training. I consider him to be my core teacher (along with Baba Hari Dass), spent hundreds of hours with him as a student and assisted him at retreats and workshops.
He is the founder of ParaYoga® and the author of The Four Desires: Creating a Life of Purpose, Happiness, Prosperity, and Freedom. and most recently, the app Sanctuary app.
A living link to a venerable lineage of sages and teachers, Rod is distinguished for his ability to make ancient wisdom and practices accessible to modern audiences. A thought-leader for how best to live with meaning, creativity, responsibility and freedom, he guides experienced students and teachers of yoga and meditation seeking to deepen and share their understanding of the ancient wisdom and timeless practices.
He began his study of yoga at the age of nineteen. Following nearly two decades of studentship, Rod became the first American disciple of Kavi Yogiraj Mani Finger and Yogiraj Alan Finger to be given the title Yogiraj––master of Yoga. Since 1999, Rod has been a student of Pandit Rajmani Tigunait, Ph.D. in the tradition of Sri Vidya.
After decades of study, intensive practice and apprenticeship with these internationally renowned Yoga masters, Rod founded ParaYoga® as a resource for the time-tested wisdom of the yoga tradition. Rod is mentor to hundreds of teachers and thousands of students worldwide. He currently lives in Colorado with his wife, Gina D’Orazio Stryker where together they’ve raised their four children Jaden, Theo, Asha and Atreya.