Yogacharya J. Oliver Black
September 1, 1893 – September 16, 1989
The Golden Lotus Yoga Teachers Association was founded by J. Oliver Black, known to thousands of Self-Realization Fellowship followers as Yogacharya Oliver. Yogacharya means yoga teacher. This title was given to him by his Guru, Pararmahansa Yogananda, founder of Self-Realization Fellowship and author of the spiritual literary classic, Autobiography of a Yogi.
Yogacharya Oliver was an industrialist, building a multi-million dollar company, and an avid inventor, holding several patents. He decided to give up the business world to dedicate his life to instructing others in Yogananda’s teachings. He succeeded in enhancing the lives of thousands by sharing the knowledge and understanding he himself had received.
Yogacharya founded The Self Realization Fellowship Yoga Teachers Association in March of 1966. Later in 1976 the name was changed to The Golden Lotus Yoga Teachers Association to avoid conflicts with Self Realization Fellowship. The Association is made up of qualified Hatha Yoga teachers who have undergone a specialized yoga training program under the guidelines set down by Yogacharya himself. Yogacharya’s purpose for creating the Association was to provide a corps of qualified and dedicated teachers to introduce to Westerners the ancient scientific methods of Eastern exercises. He taught that although Yoga has a spiritual aspect, bringing its students a deeper awareness of life, Yoga is not a religion but a way of life, a practical science refined over thousands of years that anyone and everyone can enjoy.