Gitte Bechsgaard, PhD, CIYT, RP


Gitte Bechsgaard, the founder of Vidya Institute, has studied, taught and researched in the field of Yoga, Eastern psychology and Contemplative traditions for over 25 years. She is certified as a Senior Iyengar Yoga teacher (CIYT), and teaches throughout North America and Europe. In 2011 Gitte completed her PhD thesis on Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras which is published as The Gift of Consciousness: Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras, (Cambridge Scholar Press), and has recently published The Sacred in Exile along with her colleague Gillian McCann (release October 3, 2017; Palgrave Macmillan). Aside from Gitte’s work in Iyengar Yoga she has studied privately with her mentor Sri Krishan Mantriji in the areas of Yoga philosophy, Sanskrit, Jyotish and Contemplative practice. She received her foundational training at the BKS Iyengar Yoga Centre of Copenhagen, and is currently studying with Gloria Goldberg and Manouso Manos in the USA.

Since 2011 Gitte has been working together with Dr. Gillian McCann to organize annual conferences in Health, healing and Religion in conjunction between Vidya Institute and Nipissing University. These conferences and health initiatives are centered on themes related to the cultivation of religious tolerance, health and spirituality. She is actively involved in yoga research in various hospital settings in Toronto, in conjunction with York University.

Aside from Gitte’s work in the field of Yoga she is also a registered psychotherapist (RP), working in private practice in Toronto. Her main area of interest is the dialogue between Eastern and Western approaches to the mind and consciousness. She is a graduate from the Centre for Training in psychotherapy (CTP), Toronto.