Yoga Experts


Yoga is about union. The International Yoga Festival brings together teachers and students, introduces attendees, new or experienced, to the beauty of yoga and to take their practice to a new level.

In 2015 and 2016, we brought world renowned Yoga Masters from all over the world to Vancouver; Nirmala Raniga, founder of Chopra Addiction and Wellness Centre, Naseem Gulamhusein, Program Coordinator and Teacher Trainer of Langara YTT program, Yogacharini Maitreiyi, Yoga Expert and member of the advisory board of World Yoga Council in 2006 and Sri Venu, a Canadian-born Abonaki First Nation and French Ancestry who has since practiced Yoga since 1971. Sri Venu founded the Vancouver Sivananda Centre and teaches traditional East Indian Hatha Yoga, Meditation, Philosophy and Chanting.

In 2017, we invited our Gurus mentioned below.


She was given many titles such as Yogacharini (Guide), Yoga Chemmal (Expert) and Yoga Shiromani (gem) in India since 1997. Also asked to be on the Advisory Board of World Yoga Council in 2006. Originally from Chennai, India and lives in Vancouver. She has spoken in various conferences in countries like Sweden, Dubai, Italy, Hong Kong, Srilanka and U.S.A. Yogacharini Maitreyi was immersed in the Yoga life by her grandfather R.Krishnamurthy , then in the Shivananda ashram and then the ananda ashram where she was an acharini. She has over 100 published articles on Yoga and Holistic living in various journals like Life Positive, Yoga Life, Times Wellness and Heritage Healing in India, Asana Journal in Hong Kong, the Agora and Common Ground in Vancouver. She was a columnist for South India's largest news daily called The Hindu on Yoga and Holistic Health since 2006. Before that she wrote a yoga column for the Economic Times. She is a pioneer in breaking down many complex concepts in Yoga Psychology and Tantra into simple and digestible bits for the regular mainstream.


Born in Montréal Sri Venu (Stéphane Boisjoly) is a Canadian from Abenaki First Nation and French ancestry. He started to practice Yoga and Meditation daily in 1969. In 1971 he moved to the Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Ashram in Québec to study full time with Swami Vishnudevananda. One of North America’s most experienced Yoga Acharyas, Sri Venu started to teach at the Sivananda Headquarters in 1972 . Also a graduate of the International Meditation Institute of India, his studies take him to the Sivananda Ashrams in Kerala and Rishikesh at the Divine Life Society, Auroville in Pondicherry and Kullu-Manali in the Himalayas. Founder of the Vancouver Sivananda Centre, Sri Venu teaches traditional East Indian Hatha Yoga, Meditation, Philosophy and Chanting. He is also a professional Radio & Television broadcaster and has recently held the position of Regional director of French CBC-Radio Canada in Vancouver and of Planning Officer and Broadcast Manager of the Vancouver Winter Games in 2010 and of the London Olympics in 2012. With Production Company InformAction he co-produced Planet Yoga in 2011, a documentary feature film on Yoga around the world and the role of Swami Vishnudevananda in bringing it to the West.


Founder of Chopra Addiction & Wellness Center, Nirmala Raniga has an extensive background in helping people from all walks of life and helping them deal with addiction, addictive behaviours, depression, anxiety and PTSD. Drawing on more than 28 years experience, skills and commitment, her approach is to treat everyone with respect, dignity, care and compassion. She is a Chopra Certified educator of Primordial Sound Meditation, Seven Spiritual Laws of Yoga and Perfect Health Ayurvedic Lifestyle. She is passionate about sharing timeless wisdom tools for mind-body health, deeper life fulfillment and emotional healing. Nirmala has made appearances for television, radio and live events internationally. She is the host of weekly show, Journey of Healing which airs on JoyTv. The show provides practical information and tools to help address depression, anxiety, and stress. To date, she has released two meditation albums, The Divine Healing Mantra, and Meditation: An Introduction.

Jeffrey Armstrong

Founder of VASA – Vedic Academy of Sciences & Arts, Jeffrey is a Yoga philosophy teacher and inspirational speaker whose keen insights, delivered with humor and compassion, offer solutions to challenges facing our world. He is a poet and best-selling author who went from monk, to Apple executive, to motivational speaker. For the last 20 years he has opened hearts and minds with visionary presentations that blend modern science with timeless Vedic wisdom. Award-winning poet and best-selling author of numerous books including: Spiritual Teachings of the Avatar, Ancient Wisdom for a New World. Featured in the CBC documentary Planet Yoga and 2014 Leo Award documentary “Take Back Your Power.” Jeffrey is a relationship expert, philosopher, practitioner, Vedic Astrologer and teacher of the Vedas for over 45 years. For more information about programs & classes go to: