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Arsha Vidya Gurukulam is an institute for the traditional study of Advaita Vedanta, Sanskrit, Yoga, Ayurveda, astrology, and other classical Indian disciplines.

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Mark Hertel


Mark Hertel is honored to have been the Resident Staff Yoga Teacher at Arsha Vidya Gurukulam since July, 2011.  He has practiced Yoga since 1992, training with senior teachers in the lineage of BKS Iyengar.  In 1995 and 1996, he apprenticed as a teacher-in-training in the Washington, DC area with John Schumacher, one of Iyengar’s senior-most students in America.  He studied Sanskrit and Indian Philosophy at the University of Virginia and taught yoga classes to members of the university community, graduating in 1997.  After college, he participated in the teacher training program at the Iyengar Yoga Institute of San Francisco, the longest-established Iyengar yoga teacher-training program in America.  Ramanand Patel quickly became his principal teacher, and a profound influence on the course of his life.  For several years, he lived with Ramanandji and trained extensively with him.  Ramanandji, through his own elucidation of philosophy, and through weekly discourses given by Dr. Carol Whitfield (Radha), also introduced Mark to the philosophy of Advaita Vedanta as taught by Pujya Swami Dayananda Saraswati and his lineage.  In 1998, Mark travelled to Pune, India for two months of training with the Iyengar family at the Ramamani Iyengar Memorial Yoga Institute.  He has continued to train with Ramanandji in lessons, classes and workshops, including the annual Yoga and Sound Workshops at the Gurukulam.  Ramanandji has trained Mark in the art of teaching through a series of intensives held in Stuttgart, Germany, which began in 2010.

Mark is grateful to have encountered a number of teachers who not only have profound knowledge but also the ability to convey that knowledge.  Still, his first allegiance is to the truth, not to any particular teacher or lineage.  A relationship of devotion to a particular teacher or lineage develops naturally when the student and the teacher are devoted to looking into the truth together.

Mark’s professional qualifications outside the field of yoga include a J.D. from Columbia Law School, where he was granted a full scholarship to study, and graduated in 2006.  For several years, he practiced corporate law at a large firm in New York City, and more recently practiced law in a small firm in Virginia.

Arsha Vidya Pitham. P.O. BOX 1059, Saylorsburg, PA 18353
Phone: (570) 992 2339. Email:

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