Anand Prakash Ashram Anand Prakash Ashram
P.O. Tapovan, Shivananda Nagar, Rishikesh
Pin 249192, Tehri Garwal (U.K.), India

28 Prescott St. PO Box 309
Kemptville, Ontario K0G 1J0, Canada

+91 8449108668 or +91 1352442344


Please visit World Conscious Yoga Family to learn more about this international community of yoga teachers.


VishvaYogrishi Vishvketu – Founder 

Yogrishi Vishvketu (Vishva-ji) is the Founder and Spiritual Director of Helping Hands for India. He has studied and practiced Hatha and Raja yoga and the Vedic healing arts in northern India since childhood.  Vishva-ji went on to attain a Bachelor’s degree from a renowned Sports College with a specialization in yoga and its use in optimizing athletic performance, followed an M.A. and Ph.D. in Yoga Philosophy at Gurukul Kangri, the Sanskrit university of Haridwar.

He moved to Canada in 2001, and began to teach internationally, bringing a passion for yoga and his fun-loving nature to the classes. Vishva-ji is committed to offering holistic yoga workshops, incorporating diverse aspects of the practice: asana, pranayama, cleansing kriyas, Ayurveda and Vedic chanting. He and his wife, Chétana Panwar, founded Anand Prakash Yoga Ashram in Rishikesh (India) where they live and teach Yoga Teacher Training (YTT) programs six months of the year.

Board of Directors


Danielle Vachon – Director (Treasurer)

Danielle (Drishti) oversees and organizes the financial transactions of Helping Hands and is the first point of contact for public inquiries. She can be reached directly at

She was introduced to yoga in the 70’s and giggled at the Lion pose/breath. In 2009, she travelled to Rishikesh, India to further explore yoga’s philosophy and to obtain the 500-hour Yoga Teacher Certification. The 5 week intensive re-acquainted her with the Lion pose/breath and she giggled even more, thanks to Yogi Vishvketu. She is currently teaching yoga and strives to unite Pranayama, Asanas and Meditation for an Akhanda, as well as a fun, yoga experience.

Elizabeth Hall – Director (Secretary)

Elizabeth is responsible for taking minutes and preparing and maintaining the official documents needed for the operations of Helping Hands for India.

Elizabeth’s yoga journey began 11 years ago when she started experimenting with different styles of yoga to help with the physical tension leftover from her running days.  She was first introduced to Vishva’s classes in 2013 and was so happy to find an approach that not only nourished her body, mind and spirit, but also brought with it laughter and the reminder to not take herself too seriously.  She became a yoga teacher one year later and now teaches simple, soulful yoga that reflects her love of the Akhanda Yoga approach.

She was blessed to be raised with a strong sense of community service that has continued to this day. Her career has largely been spent in advancing social and educational programs and she finds great happiness in volunteering to help people, who have not experienced the same freedoms and opportunities as herself, to improve their lives.

GayatriGayle Poapst – Director (President) 

Gayle (Gayatri) manages the planning of the organization’s activities and delegates the operational tasks to board members and volunteers. Gayatri is the owner / director of Bodhi Tree Yoga in Kemptville Ontario Canada. She holds a BScN, MBA and is a Registered Nurse and Registered Yoga Teacher.

After a 20 year career in health care, she opened The Bodhi Tree and has been teaching there full time since 2006. She is a volunteer on the Kemptville District Hospital Board of Directors and is the current president of the Old Town Kemptville BIA.

Sarah Wall – Director (Vice-President)

Sarah (Shobhana) is responsible for managing the web site and for coordinating the fundraising efforts of Helping Hands. Her aim is to establish and maintain cooperative relationships with representatives of the community involved in this project. Sarah can be reached directly at

After ten years of practicing asana and pranayama techniques, Sarah decided to further her yoga experience by venturing to Rishikesh, India where she completed both the 200 and 500 hour Yoga Teacher Training programs under the guidance of Yogi Vishvketu.

She is a business & life coach, and yoga teacher, volunteering time in various projects and traveling around the world.


StuartBuenosAiresFedoraStuart Loewen – Helping Hands Ambassador

Stuart’s (Abhay’s) aim as an Ambassador is to help move HHFI onto a sustainable future by sharing it’s compelling story with charitable foundations, corporations and the broader yoga community. Stuart can be reached directly at

After 6 years of practicing mostly the physical aspects of yoga, Stuart deepened his yoga practice at Anand Prakash Ashram in Rishikesh, India where in 2007 he completed the 200 hour, and then in 2011 the 500 hour Yoga Teacher Training programs under the guidance of Yogi Vishvketu.

Stuart grew up in a successful business family which has a long history of charitable giving. He then spent 9 years in university studying mathematics and physics, originally known as natural philosophy, the study of the language of this universe. He currently occupies himself in more earthly matters as a consulting physicist of paper and paper-making in mills throughout the world. His passions include friends, family, yoga, mountain biking and motorcycles where he regularly re-earns his spiritual name, Abhay (Fearless).

Alison FrancisAlison Francis – Helping Hands Ambassador

Alison (Anandi) is an Ambassador for Helping Hands, helping to spread the story of the school and to assist with fundraising.

Anandi is a senior yoga teacher and has completed both the 200 and 500 hour programs with Yogi Vishvketu. Anandi is also an Ayurvedic Consultant and trained through David Frawley.  Being an ex-insomniac herself, Anandi’s passion is helping people overcome their sleep issues through the principles of Ayurveda, yoga and in particular the breath.

Barb_22-8x10Barb Pierce – Helping Hands Ambassador

Barb’s (Ratan Jyoti’s) role as Ambassador is to help share the mission for Helping Hands with her community. Barb has served as a long-time board member of Helping Hands since the organization’s inception. In addition to Barb’s love of practicing, teaching and sharing yoga, she is a full-time professional life coach and speaker.

Barb has been practicing yoga since 1998 and has completed the 200 hour and 500 yoga teacher training course with Yogi Vishvketu and the World Conscious Yoga Family in Rishikesh India.  Barb has also completed a ‘Yin yoga’ and ‘anatomy for yoga’ intensive course with Paul Grilley.

Prior to becoming a yoga teacher, Barb enjoyed more than one career including: 13 years as an army engineering officer and 4 years as a high tech project leader. Yoga has helped Barb find a calmness and inner peace that previously eluded her and she wants to share that feeling with anyone who wants to join her.

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