History of Toronto Branch

The Toronto branch of Shri Ambika Yoga Kutir was started in 1996 by Suresh and Saroj Shukla, about a year after their arrival in Canada. The Shuklas learnt Yoga under the direct guidance of Shri Nikam Guruji at one of the branches in Mumbai, India. Initially the course was conducted in their apartment with a very small number of students.

A large hall and smaller rooms were available to Shri Ambika Toronto in January 1999 at the Oriole Community Centre in North York without charge, and from that date until end April 2006, the Yoga classes were conducted at that facility. However, from May 2006, the City of Toronto decided to charge rental for the facilities at the Oriole Community Centre (and at all other such centres across the city). Consequently, Shri Ambika Toronto was no longer able to continue Yoga classes at that location since the courses are offered on a no-charge basis.

From January to August 2006, the Shri Ambika Yoga course was conducted at the L’Amoreaux centre in Scarborough.

During the last trimester of 2006, i.e. September to December 2006, the Yoga class was conducted at the Sringeri Vidya Bharati Foundation’s (SVBF) recently acquired facility in Etobicoke. However, from January 2007, Shri Ambika Toronto was unable to conduct courses since the SVBF facility was under construction / renovation. The Yoga classes were restarted in January 2009 after the opening of the newly renovated SVBF facility in December 2008.

Over the years, the Yoga course has been conducted by about 15-20 sevaks who impart knowledge of Yoga to the students.

In 2005, two of the sevaks, Rita and Ravi Sharma, moved to Kitchener, Ontario and since 2006 have been conducting Yoga classes at their residence there. While this course was suspended for some time, it has been restarted in 2012.

In the Fall of 2010, Shri Ambika Toronto began conducting courses in St. John's Polish National Catholic Church in the Parkdale area of Toronto. Courses were also conducted there from May-August 2011 and from May-August 2012.

Since its inception, until September 2023, Shri Ambika Toronto has enrolled over 4800 sadhaks (students) in the Yoga class and has granted certificates of successful completion to over 3100 sadhaks.

The course conducted in Toronto and Kitchener is essentially the same, in content and duration (4 months), as that run at the Shri Ambika Yoga Kutir centres in India which was designed by Shri Nikam Guruji.