MISA and the practice of Satya

I was just looking at the list of current members of the International Yoga Federation, because I was reading on Gregorian Bivolaru's official website that he was a lifelong member.
Turns out he's not, but that's nothing new. A certain woman by the name of Maa Parvathi Nath Saraswati cought my eye. According to the description she is based in India and the Co-Director of the School of Awakening, U.K. And the Saraswati River Yoga USA. I thought I'd do a search for these schools maybe their in English. And lo and behold:

Turns out the British branch is closed now 
But apparently the US school is active (last class was on November the 26th if it's 2010, because it does not specify)
What I found strange is that the founder (note the reference to her as the founder) was being promoted a bit too much for my cultish sensitive taste so I went to her website
And the first thing that greets you there is a big picture of Parvathi (note the use of the chosen spiritual name instead of the civil name) in a classic yoga pose sitting on what appears to be a jaguar skin. I don't know if this is a classic Hindu imagery or not but the newagers do love this image

Reading on her website and the website of the yoga school I kept finding passages or phrases that reminded me very much of the cultish texts of MISA. For example: 
Parvathi is the disciple of Lalita Devi and heir of the deepest tantric tradition of Kashmirian Shaivism. The lineage of the Nath goes back to Matsyendranath himself and through him to the oldest sources of Shaivism. 
MISA loves the  Kashmirian Shaivism too.

She received the transmission of the deepest teachings of the Kaula lineage and became an adept in the art of mantras and the different sadhanas. She practiced the sadhana of the Ten Mahavidyas dedicated to Kali, Tara, Tripurasundari, Bhuvaneshvari, Chinnamasta, Bhairavi, Dhumavati, Baglamukhi, Matangi and Kamala. Then she was initiated to the teachings and cosmic practice of Shree Vidya that she transmits today. As the years passed she also received training in the Mishra and Samaya schools of Tantra. She is heir to three profound streams of Tantra and Yoga lineage.
 Not just one but three ey? Wow three for the price of one.

She trains teachers in this integrated method of yoga transmitted originally from the yoginis, the Vedas and the Tantras. 
The aim of Parvathi's teaching is to assist men and women's growth in integrating the depths of consciousness including the physical, the mental, and the spiritual levels. To bring the individual consciousness at its fullest to merge with something greater - the integral whole of consciousness. 
Under the Traditional Sadhana Opportunities (teachings and practice) section we find the following statement:
If you are not known to Parvathi, a letter of introduction will be required from a spiritual teacher.
Do they have to send in photos of themselves in bikini's (two pieces for women, one piece for men) as well? 

Under Sadhana Descriptions we find description's of a few of the Ten Mahavidyas mentioned above, which strike me as very similar to the version taught at MISA.
Stunningly beautiful, radiating the brilliant yellow light of a thousand suns, Baglamukhi is the stillpoint where duality is transcended as the mind returns to emptiness. (….)
The email address that is given for contact is also similar to another MISA superstition: magical names. In MISA the most advanced or spiritual desciples also use such usernames and email addresses inspired by Hindu mithology. 
Please email tripurasundari9@gmail.com for an appointment and for fees. 

But on the upside (or maybe not) at least she notes that:
Private consultations are not psychotherapy and this work is not meant as a substitute for psychotherapy or as an alternative to seeking medical treatment.
And also there's another disclaimer on the front page regarding Tantra:
This is not to be confused with neo-Tantra sexuality from which Parvathi and this lineage distinguishes themselves. 

So all in all my impressions of a world yoga council recognizes yoga school are not much better than those of MISA. Maybe the only differences are that they post disclaimers on their sites and maybe don't organize in ashrams but sell their classes in gym membership style because it's a faster profit. Hey maybe this woman does not have aspirations to become a spiritual guide to the largest yoga school on the continent like Grieg but I'd say the potential is still there. 
Not to mention the pseudo-science which is even more shamefull because 
As a young girl Parvathi traveled throughout America, Europe and India due to her father's profession as a scientist.
Now maybe that's a different kind of scientist than the one I'm thinking of.

Now why the long post about some American yoga teacher and her school? Not to attack them or anything (although I don't agree with her on many things) just to note that the unofficial yet close to the leadership of MISA blog uses her image to promote their ideas. 

A different source for the picture.
Link appears to be broken, here's the picture. 
Note the fact that her name is visible on this version not like the one used by the MISA yogis. 
Now if Ms. Kirin Mishra would like to distance herself from “neo-Tantra sexuality from which Parvathi and this lineage distinguishes themselves” why did she give consent that her picture be up on such a site that promotes the heavily neo-Tantra school MISA? 

Oh wait, maybe she didn't? No way that could be considered theft of intellectual propriety and a breach of the basic human right to define oneself.*

*note the sarcasm

Update: The http://www.parvathinandanath.com/ site seems to be under construction and the content to which I linked is no longer available. Wonder why.
Update 2: Site is back up, with the official portrait changed. 


  1. This is true she is was an teaching exercise classes when I met her. several marriages later a new name and bio was created..

  2. Ok, if it's a name change because of marriage. But the whole thing smelled foul and I suspected that it's the popular cult tactic of name changes. Good to clear that up.