Eleanor studied at Shri Kali Ashram for three years. She now lives in the Sacramento area where she is an Engineer with the California State Water Resources Control Board. She has a MS, Civil & Environmental Engineering from the University of California, Davis. She is a registered E-RYT 200™ with Yoga Alliance® and RYT 500™ and frequently teaches Tantra Yoga workshops in and around Sacramento and remains very close to the workings of the Ashram.
Eleanor came to Shri Kali Ashram after serving for several years with the U.S. Peace Corps in Madagascar. (She is fluent in the Malagasy language.) She came for a short stay to learn āsanas. However, after realizing that there is much more to the science of yoga, she stayed on in India and persevered in her training.
She performs very advanced āsanas. During her time at Shri Kali, Eleanor has grown from a quiet, nerdy girl to a strong, intelligent woman with a free spirit.
Eleanor is proficient in Tantra and Yoga. She is a skillful and popular teacher, and is appreciated by new students for her clear understanding and ability to explain the Tantric and Yogic philosophies. Students who have attended her classes often comment on the wholesomeness of the experience. She also reads fluent Sanskrit and knows by heart the mantras and rituals of the Kālī tradition, which she practices.
Now, as one of Shri Kali's senior teachers she laughs about her initial idea of yoga as consisting only of āsanas! She says, “If I had done a standard two-hundred hour training in any other school, I would have missed out on the actual value of the teachings and practices of Tantra. Like any other science, it takes a little time and effort. It seems sad to me now that so many people think that something like Yoga or Tantra can be mastered in two-hundred hours. I spent four years in university learning how to program a computer—which is in essence a simple machine. How much more effort should it take to understand the programming that runs myself and the universe? Tantra is an amazing, beautiful spiritual science. Through Tantra, I regard things wholesomely, not from just a limited perspective. This gives me success in my relationships, my career and every aspect of life.”
“The original science of Tantra is different from the make-believe Tantra that New Age has fabricated to help deal with the limitations of contemporary existence. Tantra emphasizes on one's autonomy and honoring of the self. Tantra as a science teaches one to adopt wholesome values and ideals which naturally wean one from being trapped in the limited views of a politicizing mind-set. It makes us feel wholesome and understand beyond the limitations of the subjective self which frees us from our limited identities and trips. I have seen people come with all sorts of neurosis yet walk away healthy and wholesome after their time at Shri Kali Ashram,” says Eleanor. “The whole time that I've spent here has been worthwhile.”
“The Tantric āsanas taught at Shri Kali Ashram are subtly different from those taught in other systems. They have inner content. It is not just about muscle leverage or workout, but a whole science in itself based around energy. If you read the ancient texts, they considered prāṇāyāma as the key to health, long-life, and mastery of our inner energy. Yet if you go to a contemporary yoga class, they relegate prāṇāyāma to three minutes at the end of class. Similarly, with Tantric meditation, I have seen so many students progress in a very short period of time from being unable to sit still to having a deep, quality meditation (pratyāhāra, dhāraṇā, dhyāna / bhāvanā, samādhi). Shri Kali Ashram offers a precise understanding of these sciences, not just performance-based āsanas. Bhagavan Shanmukha just has too much information for anyone to do justice to in one website. I still find it remarkable that there can be such a science as that taught here at Shri Kali.”