We are a nonprofit organization that promotes health, wellness, and holistic living to urban professionals. We offer a variety of educational, health, and social programs aimed at bringing holistic living and sacred arts into everyday life.
Formed in 2005 by practitioners of bhakti yoga, we originally sought to find a better way of educating and training other practitioners within the tradition. But it soon became apparent that our programs would be of practical value to the general public.
After relocating to New York’s East Village in 2009, we reshaped our work into cooking classes, dining events, and eventually a subscription-based food service suited for people in Manhattan. Along the way, we were struck by the power of food to connect people with nature, each other, and themselves, and this became the basis of all our programs.
Our work seeks to connect people to the yoga experience in everyday life. That is, the experience of conscious connection to oneself, to others, and to life on all levels, and in the most basic ways of nourishing ourselves and each other. We are ever-conscious of how the vast majority of Americans (especially urban professionals) are prone to being “unwell” due to their eating habits and stressful lifestyle. Our mission seeks to heal this.
Our current offerings include wellness cooking classes, meal-delivery services, dining events, and seasonal cleanses. Our primary offering is a service called Wellness Meals in which monthly subscriptions for Ayurvedic meals are sold for delivery anywhere in Manhattan and western Brooklyn. These meals are individualized to meet the specific needs of the client to enhance their health and well-being through food.
Introductory and hands-on cooking classes touch on the underlying science and philosophy of Ayurveda, in addition to teaching menu planning and food preparation. Seasonal cleanses are also offered as a supplemental means of detoxification. Underlying all of this is a communal environment in which clients support and learn from each other.
We value equally the formal and informal aspects of learning. Our events are a mix of living-room, classroom, and kitchen-table experiences, and all of our programs promote the conscious preparation, sharing, and enjoyment of healthy food as the basis for health and wellness. Our programs aim to provide practical take-aways, active participation, theory and application, and the opportunity to connect with each other over fresh and wholesome food, while having fun.
Prentiss Alter co-founded and leads Bhagavat Life as its executive director and chief fundraiser. His wife and co-founder, Divya Alter, is Bhagavat Life’s culinary director and principal teacher. She also teaches cooking at the New York Open Center; contract-teaches for Baruch College, Eileen Fisher, and NYC yoga studios. Divya has cooked in India, Europe, and the U.S. for 25 years and currently studies Ayurveda with Vaidya Ramakant Mishra.