Shanti Gowans is a renowned Yogi, spiritual teacher and Living Master. As founder of the Shanti Yoga system and Meditation Institute, Shanti is one of the most celebrated amongst the new generation of great yoga and meditation masters of our time.
Shanti, the word for peace in Sanskrit (the ancient language of India), epitomises Shanti Gowans, deferentially known as Shantiji. Born in India and educated in both the eastern and western traditions, Shanti migrated to Australia in 1972 where she currently lives and teaches on the Gold Coast in Queensland.
Shantiji is known for her ability to convey the teachings of yoga in a fresh, profound and straightforward style. She believes in the power of yoga as a catalyst for social change and is the author of more than 20 acclaimed books and programs on various dimensions of spiritual and yogic life.
Shantiji’s teachings spread beyond the stereotypical, into influences such as parenting, relationships, the visual arts, physical and mental health care, business management and hospice work. She weaves together the positive time proven Eastern healing arts of yoga, ayurveda and meditation with the latest breakthroughs in neuroscience, psychology and modern medicine. Internationally sought after as an inspirational speaker with global and cosmic perspectives, her profound teachings although vast and subtle, are incomparably direct and revolutionary in their impact.
Shanti’s Philosophy of Yoga
Yoga – marvellous in theory, miraculous in practice, is an Indian philosophy, that is over 5,000 years old. Yogis reveal mind-body therapy that looks at the total person: from diet and the environment to mind and consciousness.
The word ‘yoga’ can be defined as ‘union’ and is a way of living that brings together three fundamental needs of a human being for a contented and fulfilled life:
- the physical needs for health (body);
- the psychological needs for knowledge and heightened awareness (mind); and
- a strengthened inner focus, joy and inner peace (spirit).
Some years ago, Shanti and husband Peter purchased seventy secluded acres in a rain forest on the crater crest of Lamington National Park at Beechmont. Here in the magnificent, mountainous hinterland of the Gold Coast they have created a purpose built authentic yoga and ayurvedic wellness centre – the Nirvana Wellness Retreat. Nirvana now serves as the center for the Shanti Yoga community, and is utilised for group retreats and public conferences by like-minded groups who have a genuine heart connection to spiritual and meditation ideals.
I regard myself as richly blessed to know Shantiji personally, both as a student and as a dear friend. It was Shantiji who taught me yoga and meditation, and we are now working together designing and building a lush organic garden at Nirvana. Based on sustainable permaculture principles, the “Touch The Earth” community gardening project is a source of great joy and fulfilment to all of us who participate. Our gardening days are total bliss! Spending time outdoors in the peace and beauty of Lamington, being in touch with nature , then topping it off with delicious Ayurvedic meals – what more could anyone wish for?
Shanti is an inspiration to all whose lives she touches. Though her blissful style of being she introduces people to the divine life – a state of profound stillness within and a vital joyous life without. By only teaching what she lives, she has made the seemingly impossible practical. Her high energy level and unwavering enthusiasm conveys the promise that all can reach their maximum potential.