Meet the Directors
Swami Atmananda Saraswati
Swami Atmananda Saraswati (Swamiji) is the Co-Director of the non-profit Kashi Nivas Shiva Meditation Ashram in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Swamiji began practicing yoga and meditation in 1970 when he studied Integral Yoga with Swami Satchidananda Saraswati and Hatha Yoga with Swami Vishnudevananda Saraswati who were both disciples of Swami Sivananda Saraswati of Rishikesh. He met his Guru Mahamandaleshwar Swami Shankarananda Saraswati in 1974, who then introduced him to Swami (Baba) Muktananda Paramahansa when Baba came to Ann Arbor Michigan to inaugurate his Siddha Yoga Dham Ashram. Swami Atmananda was given the name 'Atmaram' by Baba and he lived and worked in Baba's Ann Arbor ashram for 6 years where his Seva included Hatha Yoga instructor, Pujari, and member on the board of directors. During this time he received Shaktipat, the spiritual awaking, through both MM Swami Shankarananda and Swami Muktananda.
In 1978, while on retreat with Baba Muktananda at his ashram in Ganeshpuri India, Swami Atmananda was initiated into Brahmacharya and became a certified Siddha Yoga Meditation Teacher. Swamiji was subsequently trained by MM Swami Shankarananda Saraswati in his Shiva Yoga Meditation and Shiva Process techniques. Swami Atmananda has over 40 years experience as a meditation teacher and is an accomplished Self-Inquiry facilitator. On Makar Sankranti 2019, while on retreat in Ganeshpuri India, he took Sannyas Diksha in the Mahanirvani Akhada under the guidance of MM Swami Shankaranda Saraswati. He has been leading and accompanying the practice of Bhakti Kirtan (devotional chanting) for over 45 years, facilitating Kirtans at ashrams, temples, retreats, yoga studios, festivals, and homes around the US, Australia, and India. See Atmananda Chants for access to his free/donation-based recordings.
Swami Lalitananda Saraswati
Swami Lalitananda Saraswati (Kashi Amma) is the Co-Director of the non-profit Kashi Nivas Shiva Meditation Ashram in Ann Arbor, Michigan. She first met her Guru Mahamandaleshwar Swami Shankarananda in Australia in March of 2011 and received Shaktipat, the spiritual awakening, through him shortly there after. Inspired by her awakening she was a resident of his Shiva Ashram, Mount Eliza, Australia for three years. Under the guidance of MM Swami Shankaranda Sararwati she became an adept facilitator of his unique method of Self-inquiry, the Shiva Process. She is also a graduate from the Shiva Yoga Meditation and Hatha Yoga Teacher Training programs. In January of 2019 Kashi Amma took Sannyas Diksha (inititation) under the guidance of her Guru MM Swami Shankarananda Saraswati, and was given the name Swami Lalitananda Saraswati along with the affectionate title of 'Kashi Amma'. The initiation ceremonies occurred while on retreat in Ganeshpuri, India the home of The Sri Nityananda Lineage. Kashi Amma is also a devoted Kirtan leader and was an integral part of the Shiva Ashram chanting group in Australia.