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Om Prakash Tiwari

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Known for  Pranayama
Name  Om Tiwari
Om Prakash Tiwari
Occupation  Yoga Teacher, Secretary of Kaivalyadhama Yoga Ashram

Air Vice Marshal Om Prakash Tiwari

Om Prakash Tiwari (born December 5, 1933) is Secretary General of Kaivalyadhama Yoga Institute, and one of the world’s leading authorities in Pranayama. Shri. O. P. Tiwari is the direct disciple of late Swami Kuvalayanandaji, founder of Kaivalyadhama, the world's pioneer institute in the field of scientific research in yoga. He is the author of many books, namely “Asana: Why and How,” which was given the “Book of the Year” award by the Indian Government in 1987. He is also currently the President of the Indian Yoga Association (IYA) formed under the aegis of the Ministry of AYUSH, Government of India and the President of the Council of Yoga Accreditation International. He is a member of the Governing Body of the Central Coucil of Research in Yoga and Naturopathy under the Ministry of AYUSH, Government of India.

Early Life

O.P. Tiwari was born in the city of Etawah in Uttar Pradesh (UP) on December 5, 1933 and is one of two children. His father was a landlord and owned up to thirteen estates around the state of UP. At the age of seven, Tiwariji lost his father to sepsis, making him the only man of the household. Too young to ward off the greed of others, all thirteen properties were stolen stripped away from his family, leaving them with relatively no income and in poverty.

At a very young age, Tiwariji bore all household responsibilities on his head. In high school, throughout the 1940s, he worked as a teaching assistant, earning five rupees a month as the primary means to support his sister and mother. Additionally, he took up a job working for an ayurvedic physician, helping write addresses, for which he earned 1 rupee per every thousand address that he wrote.

In 1953, Tiwariji graduated from high school and moved to Allahabad, UP, to continue his college education and pursue a B.A. in economics, English and philosophy. While pursuing his degree, he came into contact with the Bharadwaj family, who’s eldest daughter, Abha, studied classical sitar with Tiwariji’s cousin. The two, Tiwariji and Abha, with the blessings of Abha’s father married in 1955. Tiwariji went on to complete his M.A. in economics and upon completion of his degree in 1958 began to look for work to support his new family.

Yogic Education

An avid reader of the newspaper, Tiwariji came across an article depicting Prime Minister Nehru’s visit to Kaivalyadhama Ashram in 1958. The article included an advertisement for male students to come to the ashram and participate in a two-year course on Yoga and Pranayama. Having missed the deadline for admission, Tiwariji feared that he would not be accepted but decided apply for the course regardless. Shortly after, he received a personal letter of acceptance from Swami Kuvalayananda, founder of Kaivalyadhama, to join the program. Shortly thereafter, he left to study in Lonavala, the institute’s headquarters.

Tiwariji was one of six students studying under Swamiji at the time. The ashram, which was primarily 170 acres of jungle land at the time, comprised a few administrative buildings, a scientific research center, living quarters for the students and a food mess. Tiwariji spent two years learning Pranayama directly from Swamiji, who then went on to monitor his practices until the mid 1960s. In doing so, Swamiji also included Tiwariji in many of his scientific studies on the effect of various different Pranayama practices and their impact on the Oxygen vs. Carbon Dioxide value in the brain. Tiwariji spent a total of eight years under Kuvalayanandaji’s tutelage.

Upon completion of the course in 1960, Swamiji appointed him as manager of the Yogic Hospital. In 1964, he received license in both Hindi and Sanskrit from the University of Pune. He served under this title for five years, where after Swamiji nominated him as Secretary General of the institute in 1965, which was approved shortly thereafter.

Secretary of Kaivalyadhama

Upon being appointed, Tiwariji was initially tasked with the duty of developing the institute, both financially and from an infrastructural standpoint. Much of his efforts were spent lobbying for grants, which culminated in many new job posts and facilities to supports scientific research, grow its Yoga college and house both students and staff. As Kaivalyadhama started to develop further, so, too, did people’s interest in pursuing an education in the field of Yoga. What started as eighteen buildings, quickly doubled in size to thirty six and has continued to grow until this day. He continues to serve as Secretary today, overseeing all areas of administration and education within the institute.

After completing his initial education in Yoga in 1960, Tiwariji began to teach asanas and Pranayama within Kaivalyadhama. In 1975, he attended his first International Conference on Yoga and Mental Health in Chicago. Following this, he was invited to hold his first international Pranayama workshop in France in 1983. This coincided with the establishment of the Kaivalyadhama France branch. For the past thirty years since, he has been traveling globally to teach Pranayama. He regularly travels to China, Thailand, Taiwan and France, where some of his more advanced students are based.

In 1989, Tiwariji published his first book “Asanas Why and How?” which provides a commentary on the prescription and method behind various different Hatha Yoga asanas. The book was awarded the “Book of the Year” award by the Indian Government. In the late 1960s, he also translated Swami Kuvalayananda’s “Yogic Therapy” from English to Hindi and provided written commentary on Saint Charandas’ “Ashtanga Yoga,” which is written in Hindi prose.

He has also served on several government committees, working to bring Yoga into the education and health system of India.


Om Prakash Tiwari Wikipedia