Yogacharya Padmashri Sadashivrao Nimbalkar Guruji founded Yoga Vidya Niketan on 24th March 1974, with the motto “Yoga Vidya Gharoghari”. The prime objective of the Institute is to spread the knowledge of this ancient Indian heritage of Yoga Vidya to every household. The goal is to teach Yoga with traditional techniques to attain and maintain the positive health of every individual for the well-being of the society at large.
The sapling that was planted around more than four decades ago has now grown into a big tree and has spread its expanse even outside India. Although there is a break on all physical activities on account of Covid-19 pandemic, it provided an opportunity to spread the reach of the institute farther with online classes. Now the institute has become global, teaching Yoga online to participants all across the globe. Nimbalkar Guruji was born on 27th July 1926 in Ahmednagar. Since school days he was fond of physical fitness and used to go to ‘Talim’. Apart from his liking for acting, he was also a popular swimming coach in his village. During pre-independence days, he had even participated in non-cooperative movement.
After completing M.Ed., he joined Marwadi Commercial School as a Physical Trainer and retired in 1984 as Vice Principal. His wife Smt Shakuntala Nimbalkar retired as Deputy Education Officer from Education Department of Maharashtra Government. The real transformation moment in his life came when he met Swami Kuvalayanandaji in the year 1959. Swamiji is the first person who scientifically studied effects of Asana and Pranayama on human body systems at Kaivalyadhama Yoga Institute established by him. Kaivalyadhama Yoga Institute is a world-renowned research institute and Nimbalkar Guruji was in close association with Swami Kuvalayanandaji for eight years till Swamiji left for heavenly abode on 19th April 1966. He also learned anatomy from Mumbai’s Nair Hospital and also completed a course in Homeopathy but due to work load could not practice it. After the sad demise of Swamiji, Nimbalkar Guruji decided to start his own Yoga Teacher’s Training Institute. His wife Smt Shakuntala Nimbalkar, Shri Bapusaheb Dongare, Smt Ushatai Dongare, Shri Tijoriwala were amongst the first founder members. The dream he saw was supported by many of his Yoga loving associates and the stage where Yoga Vidya Niketan has reached today to become one of the renowned Yoga Institute of India is the result of their solid contribution only.
In 1977-78, his program “Yoga for Health” was being telecast on Doordarshan in ‘Prime Time’ slot which continued for two and half years and became very popular. He was writing in Marathi daily, Maharashtra Times, a column on Yoga and renowned Marathi writer Shri Jayavant Dalvi insisted that he should write a book based on this writing on Yoga to help people know more about this ancient Indian heritage science. Thus the first Marathi book titled “Arogyasathi Yoga” meaning Yoga for Health, was published in 1977. It also won that year’s National Award. Subsequently, this book was published in several Indian languages including English (Yoga for Health and Peace) and Hindi (Swasthya Ke Liye Yoga). More than 2 lac copies of this book have been sold as on date. Hindi version of this book received grant of Rs one lac from Government of India.
So far, 29 books authored by Nimbalkar Guruji on Yoga related topics are published by Yoga Vidya Niketan. 16 MAY 2021, ISSUE-16 www.yogaiya.in His paper on ‘Hypertension and Yoga’ received award in 2nd International Conference on Yoga. He visited many countries to attend different conferences on Yoga and his contribution in the field of Yoga has been thus acknowledged internationally. Taking inspiration from his Guru, Swami Kuvalayanandaji, Nimbalkar Guruji also worked intently to see effects of Yogabhyasa on human body and mind with the help of famous doctors and surgeons. Prominent personalities in the field of medicine, Dr K.K. Date, the world-renowned cardiac specialist, Dr Bavdekar and many more have their valuable contribution in this great work. With Dr B. N. Purandare, the famous Gynecologist, Guruji designed antenatal and post-natal Yoga courses for women. Till today he has received various awards and accolades. In 1978, Maharashtra Government presented him the award of ‘Best Teacher’. His book on Pranayama was acknowledged by State Government as ‘Best Literary Work’ in 1984. He received ‘Swami Kuvalayanand Award’ for his contribution in the field of Yoga. He was invited to train French and German Yoga Trainers at Paris in 1981. He was invited as Chief Guest at ‘Canada Yoga Conference’ held in Toranto-1992. When he presented his Yoga demonstrations at World Bank auditorium, Washington DC, the officials at World bank were impressed and offered him to stay back and continue his work over there, but he politely declined the offer. Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation awarded him and Yoga Vidya Niketan with ‘Navi Mumbai Ratna’ award in 2002-03. The highest accolade of his illustrious career came when “Padmashri” award was conferred on him on 30th June 2004 by President of India Late Dr APJ Abdul Kalam.