Bhupendra S. Soneji
BHUPENDRA SHIVJI SONEJI is the founding director of Sarathi Yoga Foundation. At the young age of five, Soneji was drawn to the discipline of Yoga as practiced diligently by his own father and went on to become a consummate disciple of the subject under the tutelage of his encouraging father and the further teachings of Swami Satyananda Saraswati of the Bihar School of Yoga. Yoga became a strong and essential part of Soneji's life and living.
Soneji is a civil engineer by profession. He earned his engineering degree from the University of Bombay in 1967 and then continued his education in the United States, earning a Masters degree at Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn in New York. He continues teaching and conducting classes, seminars and retreats in Southern California and has traveled across the U.S., Canada and world over doing the same.
Soneji formally founded a nonprofit organization called Sarathi Yoga Foundation in 1998, even though the movement itself was established well before 1970. Sarathi does not exist as a traditional organization and therefore has no president, no secretary, no guru and no overhead. It is a common platform under which everybody studies under the ultimate direction of the Supreme Divinity, who resides in the bosom of every manifestation. Even a first-time attendee experiences love, peace and compassion. Since the source of this divine knowledge and guidance is Divinity Itself, there has never been any required fee or donation. However, any donation received is fully and totally utilized to support educational and health fields. The right hand does not know what the left hand donates and still every penny is well-documented and auditable.
In Sanskrit, Sarathi means a charioteer, a guide, a helper to living life with the Divine. With Sarathi, every single being learns, irrespective of nationality, race, gender or religion, that spirituality is a singular journey of one’s own. No fixed, laid-out path is to be followed. Each one has to carve one’s own journey distinctly. It can be said that Sarathi is an institution without an institute. Whether it is a regular yoga class, seminar or retreat, everyone finds an opportunity to experience the richness of a human culture that originated in Bharat/India.
Sarathi is more or less a research institute in disguise where a Sadhaka explores that we are not a body that possesses a spirit, but instead we are consciousness with a body. We are eternal beyond time and space.
Yoga is more than an exercise or work out. Rather, it is a science and an art pointing in the direction of carving one’s individual and distinct path. It is an inward spiritual journey to explore one’s potential to realize “I am THAT.”
Chandrashekhar S. Bhatt
Chandrashekhar S. Bhatt, is a founding member of Sarathi Yoga Foundation. He has degrees in Physics-Chemistry and Chemical Engineering. He practices yoga for more than thirty five years and teaches yoga for more than twenty-five years. He shares his deep treasure of spiritual knowledge so spontaneously. His teaching inspires aspirants to subtler aspects of this lovely art and science. He has led many yoga retreats and seminars. He shares this knowledge in ancient traditional way. Many social organizations have taken advantage of his knowledge. He believes that the heritage of this ancient knowledge is vital in today's turbulent time of mental and physical abnormalities. It should be taught to children in early stage of their lives to nourish human potentiality.
Margie Hunter began practicing yoga in 1999 after being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.
The process of her yoga practice enabled her to create a life she thought would never be possible again. She found herself incrementally regaining her health and becoming stronger than before the diagnosis. After years of practice under the guidance of Bhupendra Soneji, she transitioned into teaching. Now she wants to give back and pay it forward by helping those in need to regain health, and those who want to maintain good health.
She is the author of Transcending MS, a guide and companion for anyone suffering from chronic disease.
She has made it her life’s mission to help others who are going through a disease process.
Sanat Shah has been a Sarathi member for last 21 years. Since last 12 years he has assisted in teaching yoga at weekly classes, seminars and retreats. Additionally, he taught yoga for 5 years at the juvenile correctional facility in Santa Ana, CA. His favorite yoga posture is the Surya Namaskar Series. He has taken leadership role in organizing several Sarathi retreats and seminars. His talent lies in incorporating difficult yoga and spiritual subjects into our daily life. His passion is to bring simplicity and contentment in life using the principles of Yogic knowledge.