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Awards and Titles

Awards, Titles & Honorary Degrees

Maharshi Sandipani Encomium                                                                                                           2013

Ujjain Yoga Life Society International – 4th International Conference, Ujjain, India 

International Yoga Grand Master                                                                                                         2013

From Padma Shri H.H. Jagat Guru Amrta Suryananda Maharaj  
Only previous recipients of this award are:  

Padma Shri Dr.H.R. Nagendra, SVYASA University Bangalore   

B.K.S. Iyengar  


Inaugural Fellow of the Council for Yoga Accreditation International                                             2012

CYAI recognized 4 inaugural Fellows of the CYAI who have demonstrated 
extraordinary achievement and contribution to the field of yoga, Lisbon Portugal 


Grand Master of Yoga - World Yoga Day                                                                                             2012

Conferred by Portuguese Yoga Confederation, Lisbon Portugal     


Lifetime Achievement Award                                                                                                               2011

International Ayurveda Academy (IAA), Pune, India; and Tathagat Foundation, Dubai

Yogiraj Award                                                                                                                                         2011

from Paramanand Institute of Yoga Sciences & Research – Indore, India 


Natural Awakenings Holistic Magazine Lifetime Achievement Award in Yoga                              2010

Voted by the readers as one of the top 5 Organizations representing Natural Living  


Patanjali Award for Excellence in Yogic Research & Teachings in North America                        2010

Presented by the Association of Ayurvedic Practitioners of North America (AAPNA)  


Enlightened Mind Award by Yogadhi James Weldon                                                                         2008


Paul Harris Fellow Award                                                                                                                     2007

Received from the Rotary Foundation of Rotary International in Naples, Florida in appreciation

for tangible and significant assistances given for the furtherance of better understanding and

friendly relations among peoples of the world. 


Best Foreign Yoga Practitioner as Great Yoga Exponent                                                                  2007

Awarded by the World Yoga Society at the 15th All India UNI Yoga Competition ‘07, Kolkata India 


Bhaskar Award New Delhi India highest award of Bharat Nirman                                                  1998

in recognition of outstanding services rendered to mankin 

Awarded Membership in the Pan American Yoga Association                                                         1998

American Yoga Council

In recognition of outstanding service in the cause of true yoga              

Global Service Award                                                                                                                            1994

Awarded by Kripalu International Network 

For the fulfillment of the vision of the whole world is one family 


Unity in Yoga Plaque                                                                                                                              1993

Presented by Unity in Yoga Teachers Association 

Awarded in deep appreciation and honor for years of dedicated service to yoga in America 

Celebrating 100 Years of Yoga in America 


Yogacharya                                                                                                                                             1993

Awarded by the Pan-American Yoga Association 

Recognized by the Government of Buenos Aires 


Padma Vibhushan Nomination                                                                                                             1992

Nominated for the second-highest honor of India by the late Prime Minster,  

Shri Chandra Shekhar, with a positive response for the following year from  

then Prime Minister Narasimha Rao 


Professor of Yoga                                                                                                                                  1988

Awarded by the Latin American 

Confederation and the Union of National Federations of Yoga, 

Montevideo, Uruguay 


Yogacharya                                                                                                                                             1987

Conferred at the 19th Convocation of the Vishwa Unnyayan Samsad

Pitambar Bhavan Ananda Ashram 


Vishwa Yoga Ratna                                                                                                                                1987

Award conferred by the World Development Parliament of India, presented by the  
President of Indiain recognition of life long dedication and service in the field of Yoga to 

10 world renowned teachers from 10 countries (India, USA, England, Australia, New  

Zealand, Italy, Belgium, Switzerland, Brazil, France). Gurudev was selected to represent the USA. 


Jagadacharya                                                                                                                                         1986

Awarded by the World Religious Parliament of India in New Delhi, established in 1894

by Swami Vivekananda; this honorable title was awarded to five world renowned 

Teachers for spreading Hindu philosophy and wisdom worldwide. 


Maharishi                                                                                                                                                1982

Awarded by 105-year-old H.H. Ved-Darshanacharya Sadguru Swami Gangeshwaranandji                                   

Maharaj Udasin, Chancellor of Udasin Sanskrit University, Benares 

Founder of 12 ashrams in India and 600 Ved Mandirs 


Yogacharya                                                                                                                                             1980

Conferred by Amritji’s guru, H.H. Swami Shri Kripalvanandji, founder of Kayavarohan

Tirtha Shiva Temple And Malov Ashram, and Lord Lakulish Yoga Inst. In honor of years

of intensive study, teachings and practice of philosophy and spiritual principles of yoga. 


Acharya Pravaraha                                                                                                                                1975

Awarded by Swami Vedavyasanandji    

Chancellor of Rishikul Sanskrit University, Haridwar 


Doctor of Yoga Science                                                                                                                         1974

Awarded by H.H. Jagadaguru Shakaracharya Maharaj (Dwarka), spiritual leader of Hinduism

For outstanding contributions to humanity.                                                 


Honorary Doctor of Philosophy                                                                                                            1971

Florida Research Institute, Melbourne Florida   


Title of “Yogi”                                                                                                                                          1969

Conferred by H.H. Swami Shri Kripalvanandji

For significant knowledge of philosophy, principles and practice of yoga 


Winner of 12 prizes in art shows                                                                                                   1962-68

work displayed at the Philadelphia Museum of Art (March 19-May 2, 1965)

Book Awards

Publications & Book Awards

Seven Literary Awards: Ancient Wisdom, Modern Master (2012) Shri Amritji’s biography

1st place in the Yoga and Meditation division from the Living Now Book Awards

Book of the Year Finalist for Biography in the Foreword Reviews

Honorable Mention in five festivals:

Paris Book Festival

New York Book Festival

London Book Festival

Hollywood Book Festival

Southern California Book Festival

Five Awards: Yoga of Relationships (2015)

Winner of the Nautilus Book Award

1st place in the Great Midwest Book Festival

2nd place in the Spiritual Division in the London Book Festival

Honorable Mention in two festivals:

Southern California Book Festival

Paris Book Festival

Three Awards: Love and Bliss: Meditations on the Art of Living (2014) – Collection of inspired poetry

2nd place in the poetry division from the Great Midwest Festival

2nd place in the poetry division from the Southern California Book Festival

Honorable Mention in the Florida Book Festival

Shri Amritji’s books represent a distinctive original approach, filling the gap in what is missing from the popular approach to Hatha Yoga. In addition to the award-winning titles listed above, he is also the author of Kripalu Yoga Meditation in Motion (Books 1 & 2); Amrit Yoga: Explore, Expand Experience, The Spiritual Depth of Yoga; and Amrit Yoga and the Yoga Sutras, as well as the Amrit Yoga and Amrit Yoga Nidra teacher training manuals.

Humanitarian Recognition

Humanitarian Recognition

Paul Harris Fellow Award received from the Rotary Foundation of Rotary International

in Naples, Florida in appreciation for tangible and significant assistances given for the furtherance of better understanding and friendly relations among peoples of the world.


The Yug Prabha newspaper, Halol, India stated in a 2007 article,

“Yogishri Amrit Desai was honored in his home town of Halol for his humanitarian works known to offer scholarships to the poor, approximately 5,000 women are helped financially through the Bhuriben Trust he established… Helpless and poor patients receive free medicines and medical treatment… [H]e has financed the building of the new children’s school in Halol.”

Bhuribhen Trust - Established to support children’s education with scholarships and educational supplies, provide for widow’s home industry with sewing machines, and offer medicine and medical treatment to the destitute.

Lord Lakulish Shiva Temple, Kayavarohan; Kripalu Ashram, Malav (founded by Shri Amritji's guru, H.H. Swami Shri Kripalvanandji) - Provided services and funds to the humanitarian works connected to these organizations.

Ambulance - provided for the town of Halol

Computer College in Halol - Donation of computer equipment

The Urmila Amrit Desai Shrishuvihar - children’s school established in 2009.



International University of Yoga and Ayurveda in Salt Springs Florida                                           2014


Amrit Yoga Institute established in Salt Springs, Florida                                                                          2002

Current Programs at Amrit Yoga Institute Based on Core Teachings of Yogi Desai

Ayurvedic Treatment and Panchakarma Center with Dr. Vijay Jain                                                             2010

Integrative Amrit method (I AM) Quantum Breath Meditation                                                                       2007

Integrative Amrit Method (I AM) Yoga Nidra Professional Trainings                                                            2005

Integrative Amrit Method (I AM) Yoga Teacher Training Level II                                                                   2003

with Master’s Degree from Hindu University, Orlando, Florida

Integrative Amrit Method (I AM) Yoga Teacher Training Level 1                                                                   2002


Founder of Amrit Yoga and Amrit Yoga Institute                                                                                1997

Sumneytown, Pennsylvania

Originator of Amrit Yoga Teacher Certification Trainings leading to                        

Masters Degree from Hindu University of America.
Promoting advanced education, deepening the authentic values and
principles in the teaching and practice of Amrit Yoga®, plus in-depth

Intensive training in Yoga Nidra and Amrit Yoga

Founder and Teacher for Foxhollow Leadership Center                                                                   1991

Lenox, Massachusetts

Adjunct 230-acre, 37,000-square-foot conference facility with 120

rooms. The Corporate Wellness Center included health spa

amenities, indoor and outdoor pools, whirlpools, sauna, and steam

room. Catering to business executives from companies such as

General Electric, Phillips, IBM, Kellogg’s and Sony

Founder/Spiritual Director of Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health                                                  1983

Lenox, Massachusetts

350-acre estate in Massachusetts with a 167,000 square-foot- building,

consisting of 435 rooms that accommodated over 900 guests and staff.

Became an internationally recognized educational, health and spiritual

retreat center, renowned and highly respected for its excellence in training,
practice and professional certifications. Offering a wide range

of programs in yoga, personal growth and transformation.


The center was operated by 350 full-time volunteer resident staff,

who entered the in-depth practice of spiritual lifestyle and the study

of yoga and ancient scriptures. Established a renunciate order for 10-year
and above resident staff.

20,000 program participants per year

3,000 Kripalu Certified Holistic Health Practitioners

5,000 Certified Kripalu Yoga Teachers worldwide

5,000 Certified Kripalu Massage Therapists worldwide

Some of the Programs Designed Around the Teachings of Gurudev


Health and Fitness Programs: Health for Life, Fasting, Stress Reduction

Certified Professional Trainings: Kripalu Holistic Health Educator Trainings;

Kripalu Yoga Teacher Training; Bodywork Training; Spiritual Lifestyle Training

Spiritual Life programs: Yoga, Meditation, Sanskrit Training; Self-Discovery Programs

Ashram Residency Program:  for spiritual seekers who wish to dedicate their lives to

personal and spiritual development through an in-depth practice of yoga and study.

Selfless service not only integrates the teachings in their lives but plays an important

role in serving humanity. There are Apprenticeship and Summer Residency programs.

Corporate Wellness and Stress Management Trainings and Consultation

Founder of Kripalu International Network                                                                                          1993

Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam—The Whole World is One Family.

Network of professional yoga teachers, massage therapists,

holistic lifestyle teachers and inspiration groups represented

in all 52 states and 30 countries.

Founder/Management Potentials, Inc.                                                                                                1979

Summit Station, Pennsylvania

Provided training and consultation services to businesses

in the areas of stress management and corporate wellness.

Opened Holistic Health Center                                                                                                             1979

Summit Station, Pennsylvania

Provided group programs and individual services in holistic health.

Established Kripalu Institute                                                                                                                1978

Summit Station, Pennsylvania

Offering Master’s Degree in Yoga, Philosophy and Psychology

Established Yoga Retreat as Adjunct Facility                                                                                     1976

280 acres in Summit Station, Pennsylvania

Professional training for yoga teachers, massage therapists,

holistic health practitioners and personal growth.

Resident staff of 170 with accommodations for 150 guests

Inaugurated by Swami Shri Satchidananda and Indian Ambassador

to the United States, Mr. Kaul

Founder and Director of Kripalu Yoga Ashram in Sumneytown                                                      1971

A non-profit, tax exempt 75-acre facility in Sumneytown, Pennsylvania

Comprising 6 buildings and large dormitories accommodation

70 resident staff and 80 guests.

Originator of Kripalu Yoga                                                                                                                    1970

Pioneering work in spiritualizing Hatha Yoga Practice in America.

Today it is taught by more than 8,000 trained yoga teachers in 45 countries.

Presently continued in the form of Amrit Yoga.

Kundalini Awakening Experience                                                                                                         1970

from which he redesigned his approach to the practice of yoga

Founder and Director of Yoga Society of Pennsylvania                                                               1966-71

trained 50 yoga teachers; offered 150 classes per week

More than 2,500 students taught per 10-week semester

Yoga Teacher                                                                                                                                    1960-66

Philadelphia and New Jersey Area

Higher Education

Higher Education

Yogacharya                                                                                                                                             1980

Intensive study, teaching and practice of the philosophy

and spiritual principles of yoga. Conferred by

H.H. Swami Shri Kripalvanandji

Advanced Study with H. H. Swami Shri Kripalvanadji                                                                       1969

Title of "Yogi" received in recognition of significant knowledge

of philosophy, principles and practice of yoga

Philadelphia College of Art—B.F.A.                                                                                                1960-63

Philadelphia, PA

Training and Education in Yogic Discipline and Scriptures                                                         1948-60

with H.H. Swami Shri Kripalvanandji (part time)

Including asana, pranayama, meditation, bandhas, kriyas, scriptures

Chosen as one of only four disciples to carry on his work

Recipient of shaktipat diksha and empowered to impart shaktipat diksha

Government Service


Indian Air Force                                                                                                                                1953-54

Selected as first-class Airman and received

complete military training at Madras.

International Seminars & Conferences

International Seminars & Conferences


CYAI Fellow                                    CYAI Meeting Ujjain with Subodh Tiwari, Rajan Narayan                                                2016

                                                        Swami Veda Bharati and representatives from Ananda Ashram

                                                        and Svyasa Yoga University


Leader Workshop                         Kumbha Mela Bhakti Yoga                                                                                                  2016


Leader Workshop                         Kumbha Mela  Third Eye Meditation                                                                                  2016


Opening Keynote                          Kumbha Mela, Yoga Life International Convention                                                           2016


Special Guest                               Simhastha Convention Madhya Pradesh                                                                            2016

                                                       with Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan

                                                       also attended by Jaggi Vasudev, Swami Ramdev

                                                       Prime Minister Modi


Keynote Speaker                        World Peace Harmony Day hosted by Acharya Lokesh Muni                                            2016

                                                      Vijyan Bhawan New Delhi


Keynote Speaker                        World Yoga Day, Lisbon, Portugal                                                                                        2014


Chief Guest Speaker                  4th International Yoga Seminar, Ujjain                                                                                2014


Keynote Speaker                        World Ayurveda Conference, Pune                                                                                       2012


Founding Fellow                         Council for Yoga Accreditation International CYAI Inaugural                                            2012

                                                      Inaugural Meeting, Lonavala


Keynote Speaker                        7th Kaivalydham International Conference Lonavala                                                        2012

Guest of Honor                            Bombay Women’s Yoga Competition by Yog Vinayasa Assn.                                            2010


Featured Guest                          Hinduja Hospital, Mumbai,                                                                                                     2007

                                                     Yoga Nidra Seminar for doctors, nurses and staff


Seminar leader                          Amby Valley, Sahara City                                                                                                       2007

                                                    (Mahashtra Chamber of Commerce and Indusind Bank)

                                                    Introduction to Amrit Yoga and Yoga Nidra for business leaders


Guest Speaker                           Mumbai Rotary Club                                                                                                                2007


Seminar Leader                        Sponsored by World Human Development Center, Mumbai                                               2007


Speaker                                      Micro Inks Corporation with Executive Staff, Vapi                                                               2007


15th All India Uni Yoga Competition Awarded Best Foreign Yoga Practitioner Calcutta                                                     2007


Seminar Leader                       Vile Parle Gymkhana Club, Juhu, Mumbai                                                                             2004


Seminar Leader                       Jamnabai Narsee School, Juhu, Mumbai                                                                               2004


Featured Speaker                    International Yoga Festival    Government of Pondicherry                                                  1993


Keynote Speaker                      International Conference on Science and Religion                                                               1988

                                                   by Bharat Nirman bringing religion and science together

Special Event                            H.H. Shri Kripalvanandaji                                                                                                        1971
                                                   first public speech after observing12 years of silence;
                                                   attended by 25,000 devotees


Keynote Speaker                      World Conference on Scientific Yoga, New Delhi                                                                  1970


Pilgrimage Tours                      to the sacred seat of Shaktipat Kundalini lineage                                                1969-present                                                                            

                                                   the Temple of Bhagavan Brahmeshwara Lord Lakulish;

                                                   Malav Ashram trainings and darshans with Swami Shri Kripalvanandji                     


Chief Guest                              International Yoga and Ayurveda Conference                                                                        2014


Seminar Leader                      Young Presidents Organization and                                                                                        2006

                                                  Consultation to employees of The One Company

Costa Rica

Guest speaker                         Invited by the University of Peace in San Jose for                                                                 2000

                                                  international radio interview.


Seminar Leader                      Week-long Seminar, Pura Vida                                                      



Seminar Leader                      Explore the Spiritual Power of Yoga, Maya Tulum                                                                 2001


Seminar Leader                      Amrit Yoga and Yoga Nidra Workshop, Istanbul                                                                    2006


Bali                                  Seminar at Anahata Resort                                                                                                      2007


Seminar Leader                      Seminar Frankfurt                                                                                                                     2013


Guest of Honor                        Sponsored by World Yoga Day Lisbon Portugal                                                                     2013



Keynote Speaker                     Sponsor: European Yoga Teacher's Association, Switzerland                                   1982-1986

Workshop Leader                    Advanced Instruction for 1500 European Yoga Teachers

                                                   from 23 countries.


Lecturer                                    World Academy of Yoga                                                                                                           1986

                                                   European Union of Yoga Federations

                                                   Royal Holloway College, England

                                                   Various other conferences and yoga associations


Workshop Leader                    Seminars and lectures in Reykjavik                                                                             1990, 2007


Keynote Speaker                     Invited by Soviet Ministry of Health to speak at first                                                             1990

                                                  Soviet-American Conference on Yoga and Meditation,

                                                  Leningrad and Moscow. Attended by over 700 people


Lectures/Seminars                Tokyo,Yamaguchi, Kanazawa, Nagasaki, Osaka                                                                     1991

                                                  and Oguchi where 1,000 attended within 3 days


Consultations                          With Japanese Government to introduce                                                                                1991

                                                  Yoga (body/mind fitness) to Japan


Workshop Leader                    Week-long tour and seminars in several cities                                                                     1991

                                                   sponsored by the Shanghai Youth Federation                                             


Lecturer                                   University of Sydney, Melbourne, and the Emissary                                                             1991

                                                  Community at Yogeshwar Muni Ashram


Lecturer                                   Invited by Kala Mandir in Singapore                                                                                        1991

                                                  Lecture Series

Special Guest                          Invited to attend three separate national yoga teachers                                                       1992

                                                 conferences in Receife Purnambuco, Rio de Janeiro and

                                                 Vitoria, Espirito Santos

Special Guest                          Yoga for Peace Conference and Planetary Healing                                                                1995
                                                  Taught yoga and meditation to Palestinians and Israelis,
                                                  empowering them to foster peace and deal with conflict
                                                  issues with consciousness


Various Seminars

                                                  England, Belgium, Holland, Portugal, Canada,                                                        1986-present

                                                  Italy, France, Germany, Switzerland, Australia,

                                                  Barbados, St. Croix, St. John, Hong Kong,

                                                  Jamaica, Puerto Rico, Mexico, Sweden, Turkey, Dubai


Keynote Speaker    

                                                 Repeated invitations to national and international                                                  1966-present

                                                 yoga and health conference, world religious

                                                 parliaments and Vishwa Hindu Parishad events.

U.S. Seminars & Conferences

Major u.s. Seminars & Conferences

3rd International Conference on Integrative Medicine

Harvard Medical School - Role of Yoga and Ayurveda


4th International World Yoga Day 

Conversations with Yoga Masters on Yoga for Peace


1st International World Yoga Day 

represented Southeast USA with Atlanta Embassy


Ayurveda & Yoga Conference

with Shri Shri Ravi Shankar, Boone, NC


Yoga and Psyche Conference

California Institute of Integral Studies Key Note Speaker


Jet (Jeevar Educational Trust) Convention

Orlando Honored Guest


Speaker and Sponsor for Medical Understanding of Yoga Conference AYI


Keynote Speaker  with Shri Ramesh Oza

at Swarnin Gujarat Celebration New Jersey attended by 3,000


Association of Ayurvedic Professionals of North America (AAPNA) Conference

Miami Florida Guest Speaker


International Conference on Total Health-Research Perspectives ; 

Modern Medicine, Yoga and Ayurveda Hindu University Orlando Florida,

Guest Speaker


New York Yoga - New Life Expo

Guest Speaker


Gandhi Memorial Lecture, Univ. of Massachusetts, Dartmouth


Inaugural Speech at 7th WAVES Conference University of Central Florida

Attended by Scholars, Professors, Doctors, Swamis


Baroda Medical College Alumni Association Annual Conference

Orlando, Florida


Hindu Temple - Seminar

Tampa, Florida


Satchidananda Ashram, Yogaville, WV


Midwest Yoga Conference, Ignite Your Spirit Chicago

Keynote Address 30 teachers from various traditions


Hindu University of America, Orlando


Holistic Holiday Cruise


Midwest Yoga Conference, Chicago

Keynote Address 20 workshops by prominent yoga teachers


Global Dharma Conference attended by Gurus Swamis Yogis and Philosophers

Los Angeles Convention Center Yoga Expo

with Bikram Choudhury and Deepak Chopra


Conference of the Yoga Research Society

Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, PA


WAVES International Conference, University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth

Attended by Vedic Scholars, Professors and Swamis

2001, 2002

Chopra Center for Well Being Guest Teacher - Seduction of the Spirit

7-day Seminar with Deepak Chopra


Stone Mountain Evergreen Conference Resort, Georgia

Opening Keynote Address and Special Intensive on Amrit Yoga for teachers

24 workshops offered by teachers from various traditions


Midwest Yoga and Wellness Conference, MI

Keynote Address 33 seminars conducted by prominent yoga teachers       

Special guests Deepak Chopra and Gurudev


Southeast Yoga Conference, GA


Three Masters Retreat, Hawaii & NYC

With Deepak Chopra and Bikram Choudry


Yoga Vision Conference, Arizona State Un. Tempe, AZ

Opening Keynote Address Seminars by 22 distinguished yoga teachers


Vraj Bhumi Temple, Summit Station, PA

Seminar with Ramesh Oza and Swami Sri Chidanandji (Muniji) Rishikesh


Deepak Chopra New Millennium Celebration, Guest Teacher

Palm Springs, CA


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