Spotlight on our co-founder: Aadil Palkhivala

With degrees in law, physics and mathematics, Aadil Palkhivala is one of the world’s top yoga teachers and, for over 35 years, has had the reputation as the “teacher of teachers,” since the world’s finest teachers study with him*. He has completed over 51 years of yoga practice!

Aadil's experience of holistic healing was originally prenatal, as his mother could not conceive for 7 years and, only after practicing yoga with B.K.S. Iyengar, did she conceive her first child: Aadil! Aadil began observing Iyengar's classes at the age of three, commenced formal study at the age of seven, and was the youngest person to be awarded the Advanced Yoga Teacher's Certificate at the age of twenty-two!

Aadil and his wife, Savitri, moved to the Pacific Northwest from California (where he introduced Iyengar yoga to the original founders of Yoga Works in Santa Monica) in the 1980’s. Once his family moved to Bellevue, Aadil taught out of his home studio and several other places like the Washington Athletic Club, leaving his law practice to pursue yoga full-time. He opened the first yoga studio in Bellevue in 1992. As one of only 6 Advanced Iyengar teachers in the world, and as a part of the Iyengar Association, he was one of the only teachers offering teacher trainings in the area. He taught Beginning Teacher Trainings, Intermediate Teacher Trainings, Therapeutic Teacher Trainings, and multiple week-long asana immersions every year. After 25 years in business, we are the oldest yoga studio in Bellevue.

Aadil studied for over 14,000 hours with B.K.S. Iyengar and 5,000 of those hours were focused on yoga therapy. Aadil has worked with thousands of students therapeutically.

In 2004, Aadil’s teacher training officially became a state certified vocational school and with BKS Iyengar’s blessings, Aadil formally stepped away from the strict Iyengar curriculum to teach a more holistic yoga called Purna Yoga. Aadil and his wife, Savitri, are the founders of Purna Yoga, a holistic synthesis of yogic traditions based on the work of Sri Aurobindo and The Mother. Aadil and Savitri are the founders and directors of Alive and Shine Center™ in Bellevue, Washington and Purna Yoga College™, a 200-hour, 500-hour, 2,000-hour and 4,000+hour Teacher Training program.

Aadil is the author of Fire of Love, a book that seeks to restore the rapidly fading essence of yoga. He has also co-authored three manuals with Savitri, which are used in his beginning, intermediate, and therapeutic teacher trainings. In addition, Aadil has written and filmed extensively for Yoga International and Yoga Journal as the "Asana Expert" for both the magazine and the website. He has served as advisor and board member to Prevention Magazine, Yoga Alliance, Yoga Journal and The Iyengar Yoga National Association of the United States. Aadil developed the use of short series and created the Opening Series, the Hip Series and the Spinal Rejuvenation Series (Reversing the Aging of the Spine Series). Aadil also refined the Morning Series and Classical Surya Namaskār to integrate principles of safety and alignment.

Aadil expanded Iyengar's work with props to make yoga more accessible and therapeutic, by creating specific props and modifications that address the issues of our modern lifestyle. Aadil invented new systems and series using the wall ropes for relaxation, anti-aging, traction, āsana modifications, as well as therapeutic applications.
Therapeutic applications influence all of Aadil’s teachings. His ingenuity and constant inspiration to create benefit for his students and the world are at the forefront of his yoga teaching.

* Local teachers that have studied with Aadil: Ian Gray, Lisa Black, Liz Doyle, Jo Leffingwell, Theresa Elliot, Kathleen Hunt, Kitty Whittkower, Felicity Green, Karen Guzak, Richard Schactel, and Ana Forrest. National teachers: David Life and Sharron Gannon, Barron Baptist, Seane Corn, Maty Ezraty, Tias Little, David Swenson, Chuck Miller, Roger Cole, Joan White, Bryan Legere, Patricia Walden, John Schumacher, Natasha Rizopoulos, Annie Carpenter, Erich Schiffmann, Rod Striker, John Friend, Jason Crandell, Bo Forbes.