With warmth and wisdom, Asha weaves spiritual teaching into daily, ordinary life. She is a master teacher, considered by many to be one of the most nuanced and clear teachers of Yoga in the world today.
Asha means “hope” in Sanskrit. Her teachings are non-sectarian — sharing the truths that underlie the great religions. She draws freely from both the Bible and the Bhagavad Gita in her teaching.
Asha’s video talks on YouTube and audio recordings are a spiritual lifeline for people of all faiths around the world. Thousands of students have been immeasurably helped by her unusual insight and clarity.
Asha is an amazing speaker. She has an incredible ability to explain the teachings so clearly that it’s really a joy to listen to her. I absolutely love to listen to her Sunday services.
—Gregor Leban, professor, Slovenia
About Asha Nayaswami: a brief biography
Asha was a spiritual seeker since her early youth. While studying at Stanford University in 1969, she heard Swami Kriyananda speak for the first time. “I knew the moment he walked into the room that he possessed the consciousness I had long been seeking.”
She soon became a founding member of the new community Swami was starting near Nevada City, California, called Ananda Village, based on Yogananda’s dream of world brotherhood colonies for “simple living and high thinking.”
Swami Kriyananda placed Asha in the role of teaching and counseling soon after her arrival. She also served as Swami's correspondence secretary and personal assistant for many years.
She has served as one of the spiritual directors of Ananda Palo Alto since 1987, guiding the development of Ananda’s work in the San Francisco Bay Area, including helping to launch Living Wisdom Schools and Ananda Farm, and supporting a large staff and volunteer team involved in East West Bookshop, Ananda Community, Ananda centers and meditation groups in the Bay Area, Ananda music, and a vital, lively theater arts program.
Asha is a nayaswami. In 2009, she took vows in the renunciate order that Swami Kriyananda founded. (“Naya” means “new” in Sanskrit). You will often recognize a nayaswami by the rich blue color they wear. “Blue suggests calmness, kindness, and an expansive consciousness,” writes Swami in A Renunciate Order for the New Age. This new renunciate order is very much like the ancient swami order in spirit, but is a new expression for an age of higher awareness. Its emphasis is on positive renunciation—a joyful expansion to Infinity. The vows of the new renunciate order.
Asha is author of Swami Kriyananda As We Have Known Him, a collection of more than 200 stories by people who have been touched by his teachings and spiritual friendship, often in remarkable ways. She is also author of Ask Asha: Heartfelt Answers to Everyday Dilemmas on the Spiritual Path, and Loved and Protected: Stories of Miracles and Answered Prayers. Her most recent book is Swami Kriyananda: Lightbearer, published in 2019.
“I’ve spent countless hours watching videos of Swami’s talks on YouTube — he seems like an old friend to me. I started meditating shortly thereafter and I haven't been the same since. Things seem clearer, calmer, deeper, richer. This whole experience has been beautiful. As a writer, I’ve found that my store of creativity is more or less endless, all thanks to the counsel and guidance of Ananda's online resources.
I found your YouTube channel a week or so ago, and have been loving your talks. Watching and listening to you gives me the same sense of warmth that I feel when I watch and listen to Swami Kriyananda. I just wanted to thank you for the instruction, and for the company, from afar.”
—Joseph Massey, poet
“We haven’t had a chance to meet (at least not in this lifetime). It seems like I know you. And to tell you the truth, sometimes you are my best friend. I listen to your talks almost every day while I walk. And I love those walks with you! How grateful I am for all your great work and all your words. Thank you so much!”
“I could just listen to you for hours. Well, actually, I do!