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Tragic End to Search: Body of Missing Yoga Teacher Found in Mexico

in YD News

Hari Simran Singh Khalsa in his selfie from his hike in the mountains of Tepoztlan, Mexico.

It’s a tragic end to the search for a missing American yoga teacher in Mexico. Hari Simran Singh Khalsa was on a yoga retreat with his wife in Tepotzlan, Mexico when Tuesday morning, December 30, he decided to take a solo hike up in to the mountains and went missing. After an extensive search, his body was recovered Friday by Mexican authorities.

Khalsa had sent a text message to his wife at 12:30pm, a few hours after he’d set off on his hike, with a selfie looking down on the retreat site. About two hours after that, he sent a final text message reading: “I accidentally summited another mountain. Looks like I’ll be a little later coming back. Save me some lunch if you can.”

Sadly, after a massive search went into effect to find Khalsa involving helicopters, hundreds of police and a campaign set up to raise funds for the efforts, local authorities recovered the body of Khalsa four days after he’d gone missing. He had apparently died after sustaining an injury from falling from the rugged terrain. “He appears to have fallen while hiking and sustained a fatal injury to the head,” a statement from Khalsa’s family and friends said. An autopsy is planned to confirm the actual cause of death.

According to his wife, Khalsa, a Brooklyn native, was an experienced hiker, but was just exploring backcountry hiking and was not highly trained in survival skills.

“He hasn’t done a lot of overnight hikes, or a lot of backcountry hikes,” she said during the search. “He has gone on accidental overnight hikes before and had to come down the next day … He’s very adventurous and strong and smart and capable.”

Khalsa’s body was recovered in a wooded area not far from where his last photo was taken – it appears the jagged cliffs and canyons proved too rough for his unplanned trek. Khalsa is the son of GuruSurya Kaur and Sat Jagat Singh Khalsa, the directors of Kundalini in Park Slope, in Brooklyn, NYC. He was 25.

Our hearts and thoughts go out to his family and friends.



Search On For Yoga Teacher Gone Missing From Retreat in Mexico


6 comments… add one
  • Emily

    That is so sad 🙁

  • Laura

    What a tragedy. So sorry to hear that. Prayers to his wife and family

  • Hari Simran was a friend and bright light in the Kundalini Yoga community. Son of yogis, husband, and brother to all. He will be dearly missed. He was an active organizer with occupy yoga, where I got to know him well, and he was widely loved for his kindness, innocence and spirit of selfless service. There will be a service for him in the DC/Virginia area on Monday, Jan 5th, and we lit candles for him in NYC tonight at Zuccotti Park where he taught nightly meditation classes at Occupy Wall St in October 2011. The list of his service and involvements would take up several pages, and at 25 years of age, he already left behind a legacy of kindness and spirit that I admire and can do nothing but appreciate. He gives me a height to reach for, and for that I look up to him, forever. Sat Nam. Thanks to Yoga Dork for carrying this story. Peace in light.

    • YD

      What a lovely comment, thank you for sharing it. He was clearly an inspirational person who affected many others. So sorry for your loss.

  • JerseyHighlander

    “He’s very adventurous and strong and smart and capable.”
    Apparently he wasn’t very capable… The open country of Mexico is not a community park in Brooklyn. Going out there completely unprepared, with no knowledge or training, on a whim & a prayer, typically winds up with this sort of result. “He has gone on accidental overnight hikes before and had to come down the next day” Accidental overnight hikes, sounds like more than one… and still no thought on being a little more prepared? Map, compass, planned route (studied before leaving) and fallback plan, food/water, signalling devices, proper footwear, extra clothing, a way to stay dry & warm, first aid and fire starting supplies. Always!
    I don’t intent to sound harsh, but this loss was completely avoidable. The backcountry is not a place to be so carefree.

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