About The Teacher
Serge Berliawsky, E-RYT500, is the Founder, Director, and Lead Teacher of Shivakali Yoga School.
He has been practicing the Yogic arts of India & Tibet since his youth, and teaching Yoga since 2001. His approach evolves out of a deep transmission from younger years living in Kula (yogic community), engaging in lengthy daily practice before the hours of dawn, and undergoing rigorous study with his teachers. In classes, Serge blends his knowledge of traditional Yogic practice & philosophy with 1000’s of hours of training in Vinyasa Yoga, Ashtanga, Yin Yoga, Rudra Yoga, Kundalini, Ayurveda and Tibetan Buddhism. He holds a BA in Religious Studies with an emphasis on South-Asian traditions, a certificate in Yoga Philosophy, a diploma in the study of Yoga & Ayurveda, many teacher training certifications from diverse lineages of practice, an E-RYT 500 designation from the Yoga Alliance, he reads/writes Sanskrit, and is currently enrolled in a Ngakpa (Tibetan Yoga) Seminary program.
Serge entered residential training in a tantric yoga school as a homeless 19-year-old, completing a 1000-hour yoga teacher training program in traditional lineage-based Hatha Yoga. There he further studied, practiced, and completed intensive retreats in Kundalini Yoga, Taoist Yoga, Tibetan Yoga, and Sufism. During this time, Serge began managing the school’s local yoga center, teaching countless yoga classes each week and organizing retreats. Upon completing his training and being initiated as a teacher, Serge moved on to complete over 20 retreats with Pema Khandro Rinpoche, wisdom holder & Lama in the Nyingma school of Tibetan Buddhism. He further took refuge with and continues to honor/attend teachings with Lama Acharya Dawa Chhodak Rinpoche, and spent years studying and practicing Kundalini Tantra intensively with Umaa (Uma Inder), master kundalini tantrika & dedicated practitioner of Ayurvedic medicine.
While continuing to practice with his heart-teachers, Serge refined his studies in Sanskrit mantra with Vedic priest and pujari Shri Shiva Kumar. He deepened his knowledge of sacred texts studying with Srivatsa Ramaswami, longest-standing disciple of Sri T. Krisnamacharya (outside the guru’s family). Serge studied Yin Yoga with it’s founder, Paul Grilley, and completed residential training with Yogiraj Ganga White, founder of the original Center for Yoga in Los Angeles in 1967. He has undertaken in-depth studies with (Yogarupa) Rod Stryker, received certification in Vedic Yoga from Mas Vidal at Dancing Shiva Yoga & Ayurveda, completed multiple residential trainings in Atma Yoga with Saul David Raye, and studied advanced vinyasa architecture with Chad Dennis & Jenn Perry of Wanderlust/Roam LA. In India, Serge was certified to teach traditional Tantric Asana practices by Shri Kali Ashram, and studied the system of Sri Vidya extensively in a remote complex of Goddess Temples. He has stayed in many Ashrams, received meditation instruction from many Swamis, learned classical Hatha Yoga directly from Nath and Kanpatha Yogis in the North, and received Puja & Homa instruction from a wide variety of priests, sadhus and tantric adepts throughout the Indian sub-continent.
Academically Serge studied Samkhya, the Yoga Sutras, the Upanishads and many other sacred texts/philosophies under Dr. Christopher K. Chapple, founder and director of the Yoga Studies program at Loyola Marymount University. He further completed a wealth of coursework and large body of papers under the advisory of Dr. David White. Perhaps the greatest living historian of Hindu Tantra, Dr. White is known for publishing encyclopedic works such as Kiss of the Yogini, Tantra in Practice, and The Alchemical Body: Siddha Traditions in Medieval India.
When not teaching, you can find Serge DJing, making music + digging for records around Los Angeles under the name Sahaja (sahajasounds.com).