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Faculty Biographies

Swami Veda BharatiSwami Veda Bharati, D. Litt, Mahamandaleswara, is the founder and Spiritual Guide of both the world-wide organization, Association of Himalayan Yoga Meditation Societies International (AHYMSIN) and the Swami Rama Sadhaka Grama in Rishikesh, India. He is also the Spiritual Guide of Sadhana Mandir Ashram, his master's ashram in Rishikesh and of the Himalayan Institute Hospital Trust near Dehradun, India. He was born into a Sanskrit speaking family and raised in the centuries old Sanskrit tradition. From the age of nine he has captivated audiences with the depth of his knowledge and intuition in the Vedas and Patanjali's Yoga Sutras. All of his knowledge has come intuitively through which he has attained the highest academic degrees; BA (Honours) (London), MA (London), D. Lit. (Holland), and is the author of many books.

Swami Veda Bharati combines the best of the ancient and the modern. He is an inspired and loving teacher, a prolific author, poet and an international lecturer.

With his unique personality he radiates peace, divine love and joy.

Swami Ma Radha BharatiSwami Ma Radha Bharati, M.A. Philosophy, M.A. Public Affairs, has been a student of Swami Veda Bharati's since their first meeting in 1971 when he introduced her to meditation. This life-changing event led her to meet and become a disciple of Swami Rama of the Himalayas in the same year. Ma Radha has extensive experience in teaching ethics and philosophy at several Universities. Most recently she has been both the Academic Director and a permanent Faculty member of Swami Rama Sadhaka Grama in Rishikesh, India teaching and continuing her personal practice under Swami Veda's guidance. Her commitment to serve her community is inspired by the ocean of love that has been shown to her through the presence of Swami Rama and Swami Veda. She took sanyasa (renunciation) initiation on November 29, 2007.

StephenStephen (Stoma) Parker Psy. D., L.P., ERYT-500 is a licensed psychologist in private practice at Northland Therapy Center in St. Paul, MN. An initiate of the Himalayan Tradition since 1971, he has been a yoga teacher since 1974 and is a principal faculty member of the international teacher training program of the Association of Himalayan Yoga Meditation Societies International. He has taught workshops and seminars on yoga, meditation and spiritual practice worldwide. A Sanskrit scholar, he edited the second volume of Swami Veda Bharati's definitive translation and commentary on the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali.

He also serves as an adjunct assistant professor of counseling psychology at Saint Mary's University of MInnesota, the School of Professional Psychology at the University of St. Thomas and he has been an adjunct lecturer in the United Nations Peace Studies Training Program at the University of Innsbruck in Austria.

PaulPaul Emerson, Ph.D. began practicing hatha yoga in 1969 after reading Jess Stern's "Yoga, Youth and Reincarnation." Around 1975 he attended one of Pandit Arya's (Swami Veda) lectures on Superconscious Meditation and was initiated in the tradition by Jim Young that same year. His first official yoga teacher was Dan Richey (Swami Ritavan). He has been teaching through The Meditation Center in Minneapolis since 1976 and is certified through the Rockford school of yoga by the late Behram Guard (disciple of Swami Rama and student of BKS Iyengar). Outside of yoga he is a bioengineer with a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering and has done dialysis research, ventilator design and pacemaker/defibrillator firmware. He currently holds about 8-9 patents and has written a number of articles for medical journals.

PeterPeter Fabian, P.T., CFP, ERYT-500 has been a student of Swami Rama and Swami Veda since 1978, taking mantra diksha in 1980. He is currently a permanent Faculty member at Swami Rama Sadhaka Grama, Rishikesh India. His duties involve the training of Yoga Teachers in the residential Gurukulam Program and individuals and groups that are visiting the ashram. He also travels in Asia and North America in support of Swami Veda Bharati’s Mission as one of the Lead Teachers in the Himalyan Yoga Tradition - Teacher Training Program. His degrees include Psychology and Physical Therapy (1973 and 1979) and is a certified Feldenkrais Practitioner and Yoga Teacher. He maintains a private practice in Physical Therapy in California.

JimJim Nelson, M.A., MAT, holds two Masters Degrees in Teaching and Counseling Psychology and has over 35 years of experience as a teacher, therapist and consulting psychologist. He helps emotionally disturbed youth at the Anoka-Hennipen School District and has a private counseling practice. He is a member of the Who’s Who of American Teachers and was the first recipient of the Medtronic’s Outstanding Teacher Award. Jim has taught yoga and meditation for decades, and is Vice President of the North American Region for AHYMSIN—an international non-profit organization dedicated to non-violence, and spreading the teachings of the Himalayan Tradition.


Chuck Linke, RYT-500, received initiation into the Himalayan Tradition in 1970, after spending twenty years travelling the globe studying and practicing meditation with monastics. Chuck serves on the Board of Directors for the Association of Himalayan Meditation Societies International (India) and the Los Angeles branch and is the Director of the Teachers Training Program (HYT-TTP). He currently resides in Portland Oregon working as an Engineering Manager, teaching hatha, meditation and Heart Math programs at the Raphael House, a safe-house for victims of domestic violence. Weekends often find him on the slopes of Mt Hood volunteering for the Portland Mountain Rescue. 


Barbara Aschettino, BS, RYT-500, is a long time student of Yoga and was initiated into the Himalayan Tradition by Swami Veda Bharati in 1982. As a former sales and marketing executive for a high tech firm in Silicon Valley, Barb’s yoga and meditation practice helped her to thrive in the corporate jungle. She switched gears 10 years ago by retiring from the high tech world, and began studying Physical Therapy and teaching Yoga. Her dream is to simplify and make the wisdom of the Himalayan Tradition accessible to everyone. 

She lives with her husband in Atlantic Highlands, NJ where she teaches Hatha & Meditation at several locations near the Jersey Shore.

ChuckRandall Krause (Mokshadeva), MS, RYT-500, received initiation into the Himalayan Tradition in 1988 by Swami Veda and continues to be guided by Swamiji. Randall has served on the board of Divya Jyoti Himalayan Yoga Meditation Center, in Napa, California and has founded and now directs the Himalayan Yoga Meditation Society of Los Angeles (known as HYMLA). As part of the HYT-TTP Faculty he teaches in both Minnesota and Rishikesh, India. He mentors many students, and also has taught internet based courses in Pacifying and Purifying Emotions and The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali.

Randall has a Masters degree in “Interdisciplinary Consciousness Studies” from JFK University in Orinda, CA, and a Law degree from the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA). He also has a Certificate in Yoga Philosophy from Loyola University, Los Angeles. Randall is qualified as a Life Coach, and employs the skills and knowledge he learned in that profession to most effectively work with those he mentors and guides in yoga.

MaryMary Bowman-Cline, CMT, ERYT-500, began teaching Hatha Yoga in Michigan in 1986 as a member of the Yoga Teachers Association of Greater Detroit. After moving to Minneapolis, she became a student and teacher at The Meditation Center and was initiated by Swami Veda Bharati in 1998. In 2007 she completed the HYT-TTP 600-Hour Teacher Training Program and is now a member of the faculty with a specialty in Hatha Yoga and Anatomy for Yoga Teachers, using the “Anatomy in Clay” system. She teaches at The Meditation Center, in the Twin Cities community, and at Swami Rama Sadhaka Grama (SRSG) in India.

As a Nationally Certified Massage Therapist Mary combines her yoga and anatomy training, with rehabilitative massage, to design a session best suited for the client. She also volunteers at the University of Minnesota Hospital bringing gentle massage, and Healing Touch Therapy, to cancer patients and their families. 

ChuckPierre Lefebvre, M.A, RYT-500, joined the Dhyana Gurukulam at Swami Rama Sadhaka Grama in 2005. He studied with Swami Veda Bharati and many other senior teachers of the Himalayan Yoga Tradition for over seven years.

Today, Pierre is teaching hatha yoga, pranayama, meditation and philosophy in Canada as well as in India. As a yoga teacher, he is certified by both the Fédération Francophone de Yoga and Yoga Alliance. Pierre is a very caring teacher, focusing on each student’s needs so that all will benefit from the many merits of yoga.

Born and raised in the province of Quebec, Pierre studied western classical music at the University of Montreal. His musical career includes concerts, master classes with great guitar virtuosos as Pepe Romero, and Balinese and North Indian classical music performances.

Michael Smith, E-RYT 500, has been teaching yoga for over 40 years and is currently a curriculum coordinator for the International Himalayan Yoga Teachers Association.  He has also been certified by the Himalayan Institute Teachers Association and the Behram Guard School of Yoga Meditation (an Iyengar-based Hatha Yoga School) .  He was a public school teacher for 35 years and also a professor of Comparative Religion at North Hennepin Community College.  

He has edited and illustrated many books on yoga and has lectured widely on stress management, holistic health and a yoga-based life style. 

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