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Piyush (Thomas Goldenberg), Sanskrit Instructor

SanskritThomas is a native of New Haven, CT, USA. His college years were focused on the study of jazz piano at SUNY New Paltz, from 2000-2003. In 2002, he started to study classical Indian music as well, under the tutelage of Samir Chatterji. In 2003, he moved to India.

There he learned the Kerala language, Malayalam, and has so far translated two Malayalam scriptures into English ("Compassion for Living Beings" and "The Essence of Non-Dualism"). He began studying Sanskrit formally with the scholar Swami Kaivalyananda in 2005. Under his direction, Thomas learned the traditional Panini system of Sanskrit grammar, the system of Vedic logic, and the major texts of Indian philosophy. Thomas has been teaching Indian philosophical texts such as the Bhagavad Gita since 2006, and continues to study Sanskrit grammar and literature.

Brahmacharini Shobhana- Yoga Instructor

Sanskrit Shobhana was born in Tamil Nadu, South India. She received her undergraduate honors degree in Commerce from Seethalakshmi Ramaswamy College affiliated with Bharathidasan University, Tiruchirapalli. She took her Masters in Business Administration with specialization in Marketing and Human Resources from Maharishi Institute of Management, Chennai. She worked for Amercian Express Bank, Chennai serving as the Territory Manager for three years.

Shobhana joined Amritapuri ashram as a resident in 2001. Since 2006, she has been serving as a part of the Department of Commerce and Management in the University at Amritapuri campus.

Her exposure to hatha yoga started from her childhood. She studied the traditional Sivananda style from childhood itself with her uncle who was a sanyasi disciple of Swami Sivananda. She also has exposure to the Vivekanda style through attending camps at their center at Kanyakumari, Tamil Nadu. She studied individually for three years assisting a Senior Iyengar Yoga teacher and learnt hatha yoga therapy.

Her teaching started at the ashram in 2005. She has taught individual yoga therapy sessions to the residents and visitors at the Amritapuri Ashram. She is the coordinator of Amrita Yoga program. She travels around India teaching Amrita Yoga at schools, university and other MAM centers. Currently she teaches at the Amrita Yoga retreats and daily sessions.

Manisha Lewis, SRI Coordinator

Sanskrit Manisha Lewis was born in Vietnam. She came to the United States with her parents and completed her high school education in Texas. She obtained her B.S. Mechanical Engineer from Southern Methodist University while working with Texas Instruments under the co-op program. She joined IBM as a Systems Engineer, and then Account Advisor for 11 years in the Marketing Division. Later on she worked in the field of Training and Coaching for Baker Hughes where she traveled world wide to conduct leadership workshops for managers and executives. Before she came to Amritapuri, she served as Vice President, Director of Organizational and Employee Development for Sterling Bank. Her current duties are Chief Training Officer for Corporate and International Relations and Coordinator for Sanskrit Intensive Retreat at Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham University, Amritapuri Campus.