Integral Yoga International lost one of its most beloved and long-serving center heads, Dr. D. Thilagavathi who passed away from cancer. Dr. Thilagavathi was a Naturopath by profession. She graduated as a doctor in Naturopathy and Yogic Sciences from Gandhi Naturopathic Medical College, Hyderabad. Her career as a physician began with private practice. Later on, she worked with hospitals like United Apollo, PSG and was the Chief Medical Officer at the RK Nature Cure ospital, Coimbatore.

Her spiritual sadhana began when she was young. She was an avid reader and was inspired by the Gita, Thirukkural, Thiruvasagam and many other scriptures. Her parents recall her that as a child she always had the thirst for knowledge. She read widely on various subjects, wrote, and started having a library of books. When she was in her twenties, Dr. Thilagavathi’s association with Shri Ramachandra Mission began. Over the years she was a preceptor giving meditation sessions for thousands of sadhaks.

Dr. Thilagavathi’s association with Integral Yoga Institute, Coimbatore began in 2007 and during the ensuing years she served as the Secretary of the Institute. Her dynamism was evident in the Institute’s successful programs like the Teacher Training Courses, Children’s Summer Camps and other specialized programs. She translated the Integral Yoga Institute’s Kirtan book from English to Tamil.

At the Integral Yoga Institute, she also provided consultations on naturopathy treatments, diet and lifestyle management. In the Teacher Training Course conducted by Integral Yoga Institute, she taught the modules on Raja Yoga, Sattvic and Naturopathy diets, Anatomy and Physiology.

Photo: Yoga for the Special Child. L-R: Dr. O.A. Balu, Sri K. Ramasamy, Sivakami Sonia Sumar, Mrs. Uma Ramasamy, Dr. Thilagavathi.



Dr Thilagavathi played a major role in bringing the Yoga for the Special Child (the Sonia Sumar method) program to India. Since 2010 to 2019, this program was conducted at the Institute in Coimbatore and has trained hundreds of teachers. During the pandemic this program was conducted online. From 2007 to 2023 (not including the Covid lockdown years of 2020 and 2021) she successfully conducted the children’s summer camp. Every year children looked forward to participate in the camp.

She was an excellent team builder. Dr Thilagavathi had the skill of identifying talent, motivating and guiding people in their personal and professional development. Her team recalls how she lived by the values she inculcated in people around her.

Photo: Dr. Thilagavathi (wearing an orange sari) hosting an int’l Teacher Training at the IYI.




Integral Yoga Institute, Coimbatore is a place where many come to learn, progress, and heal themselves. All along, she never lost sight of Gurudev Swami Satchidananda’s teachings and ensured that in the Institute’s functioning. She was a role model, mentor, guide, teacher and had the heart of mother and took care of everyone who came to the Institute to learn, teach, work and practice. Dr D Thilagavathi will remain a guiding star for people whose lives she has touched!



Photo: Integral Yoga International Special Honor for Dr. D. Thilagavathi.

Satchidananda Ashram–Yogaville, Integral Yoga International, and the Integral Yoga sangha offer our deepest love and gratitude for Dr. Thilagavathi and her far-reaching service to Integral Yoga, Sri Gurudev, and the world. Our sincerest prayers are with the Coimbatore IYI and all Dr. Thilagavathi’s family, friends, colleagues, and students. Om Shanti, Shanti Shanti.

Special thanks to Sri O.A. Balasubramaniam, Director of the Integral Yoga Institute of Coimbatore, for providing information and photos for this article.