Sivananda World News: The Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centres
Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Zentrum, Berlin, Germany
Om Namah Sivaya! In March many courses were held: a small Yoga 1 course and several higher courses, all with inspired groups of students. We offered a successful Yoga and Detox day. The new schedule was very suitable for students, a longer break in the afternoon before the workshop helped them to be more focused during the workshop and in Satsang. In a morning yoga class students practiced some of the kriyas. The afternoon workshop was around different aspects of a healthy yogic diet, in Satsang we read from Bliss Devine about purity. The Ram Navami Puja was well visited, energy was soft and harmonious. Everybody left uplifted and happy. OM.
Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Buenos Aires, Argentina, South America
Om Namah Sivaya. The month of March we said goodbye to Juan Manuel who returned to Colombia. We received Victoria from Spain to stay for a few days with us. The Class of Elders was full. We also gave the Conquest of Fear workshop. We received Heyra, from Venezuela, who will be in Argentina for 3 months. Narayan, with other teachers, was painting parts of the Centre. We gave a Shirsasana workshop. Om.
Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Chengdu, China
Om Namah Sivaya. During the month of March Rukmini and Saraswati took care of the Centre. Open classes went well. They practiced leading Satsang. Sivani, Ambika and Chinmayi were serving in Vietnam and all were very inspired by the teachings through TTC/ATTC and the atmosphere at the Ashram. Another highlight was the Headstand workshop where students learned how to do headstand step by step. We closed the week with a Satsang on Ayurveda. Open classes were going on smoothly. We welcomed Karma Yogi, Kamala, who brought new energy to the Centre for one month as support while the main staff are away. A few more students signed up for the next Yoga Foundation Course. Om Namo Narayanaya to all the Sivananda family. Om.
Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India
Om Namah Sivaya to all Blessed Selves from the Chennai Centre. On the 5th of March we started our morning Beginners’ course with a good number of students. We were happy to do our regular Karma Yoga of cleaning the premises. Our staff had a pleasant time here with their regular Sadhana and yoga practice. On 9th, we concluded our evening Beginners’ course by wishing the best of luck to the students for their future yoga practice. Prahaladji visited the Centre on 11th March on his way back to Canada, on the same evening we arranged a special Satsang led by him which was an amazing experience for all who attended the event including the staffs and karma yogis. We invited students and teachers from American School who attend the Satsang and had a mesmerizing experience.
By mid March we started a Ladies Beginners’ course with a good number of students. On Friday the 16th we successfully finished the Beginners’ course. We had Swami Jnaneswariananda for a couple of days and we took her out shopping. We also celebrated one of our staff’s birthday, Radika, with a nice cake and we gave her a little gift. Sita Lakshmi came back from Neyyardam. We did our monthly Ganapati Homa that created a beautiful energy for that whole day bringing several students for the evening class. Malavika decided to leave for outside but she will continue to karma yoga here.
One Saturday evening Gopan invited all the members of the staff for dinner to show the new house, everybody was very happy with the food and the ice cream. Chin Mai (Chiharu) arrived from Neyyardam after completing ATTC and she will joining us until the end of April. All is well here with the blessings of our Gurus. All other classes went well. By the grace of God and our Masters, everything continued smoothly with peace and unity. Pranams! Om.
Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Chicago, USA
Om Namah Sivaya. During the month of March we experienced a lot of movement here at the Chicago Centre. Painting seemed like a never ending karma yoga, and in his last week, Terry helped finished painting the doors in the upstairs hallway. Mahadevi arrived from the Yoga Ranch to assume the directorship of the Centre, as Radha will be returning again to the Yoga Ranch as a karma yogi by the middle of April. Terry, on his last day here before returning to Florida, greeted Mahadevi and took her around the neighborhood to show her the best spots to hang posters for upcoming courses. He was on his way back to sunny and warm South Florida. We thanked Terry for his dedicated service. We welcomed Radha back to the Centre after her stay at the Yoga Ranch, attending the March TTC inauguration, where two Chicago Centre students were initiated. While back in Chicago, Radha began training and transferring responsibility of the Centre to Mahadevi. Spring was in the air. The new student introductory offer was successful. The Sunday evening Satsang, led by Radha, had a good turnout and a warm feeling of community. We wished Mahadevi all the best in service to the Masters, as she gets underway in this new and exciting role. Staff were happy and well and send pranams to all! Om Shanti, Shanti, Shantihi. Om.
Sivananda Yoga Vedanta DÀ LAT Centre, Dà Lat City, Vietnam
Om Namah Sivaya. The month of March saw students attending the open classes regularly. Durga Devi and Sundaram continued Yoga 1 courses. The Satsang with Swami Sankariananda was full of energy with 15-22 people each time. An Advanced Yoga Class taught by Sundaram had 10 people. We continued the Pregnancy Yoga course, led by Durga Devi and the Gentle Yoga class, led by Haridas. We said goodbye to Omkara after staff time. We pray for the Guru’s grace to be always with us. May the grace of the Masters be with you. Om.
Sivananda Yoga Vedanta DWARKA Centre, Delhi, India
Om Namah Sivaya. The weather was improving here in Delhi in March. Beginners’ Courses on Mondays at 10 a.m. & 6:30 p.m. were popular. To ensure that everyone gets a chance to practice yoga irrespective of their physical and mental limitations, Gentle Yoga classes were offered. Kids’ classes channeled the energy of the next generation and Prenatal Classes kept future mothers in good health and mood. Headstand workshops helped practitioners struggling with Headstand. One Sunday Trial Class aimed at helping participants understand what Yoga really is all about. Management of the Centre was in good hands of the hardworking and dedicated Staff.
By mid March the Beginners’ Courses switched to 6:00 A.M. & 4:00 P.M. In order to teach participants how to clean their body using the elements of nature, Shat Kriya workshop was conducted on Saturdays. Prenatal Yoga classes kept both mother and baby in good health. Gentle classes are held 3 times a week. A Meditation course began one weekend, initiating a new set of practitioners into the life of spirituality. Our Trial Class was conducted again later this month. By the grace of God and the blessings of Gurudev all is well here. We hope the same for all of you. We send our Pranams to all. Om Namo Narayanaya! Om.
Sivananda Yoga Vedanta NATARAJA Centre, Delhi, India
Om Namo Narayanaya. The month of March started with two Beginners’ courses at 10.00am & 6.30pm. We also offered a weekend yoga course. The number of students increased in the open classes because of fine weather. Our weekend meditation course continued smoothly. Abeba came back from Neyyar Dam after finishing ATTC successfully.
By mid March we started two Beginners’ course, one at 6:30am and the other at 4:00pm. Janakiji reached to the Centre, staying with us until end of the week. She conducted two workshops: “Yoga for Healing” and “Yoga for Creativity” during her stay. Both workshops were conducted for the first time at the Centre. The response from students & teachers was good. Both the weekend meditation course & Beginners’ course which started during the previous weeks completed. We started the Navratri days on by chanting Sree Lalitha Sahasranama while offering flowers at the feet of the divine mother. With the grace of the Masters March went well as per schedule (open classes, gentle yoga, kids class, prenatal class & Satsangs) along with few private sessions. We send our Pranams and hope everyone is happy and peaceful. Om.
Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Geneva, Switzerland
Om Namah Sivaya. In March we had the first workshop on Prana, Nadis and Chakras, with a general explanation of the topic, including some slides. Next, we will have the more practical workshop, part 2. One Saturday we had an open day. We received lots of help from our teachers and Karma Yogis. As it was a sunny day, we had only a small student number. We celebrated Ram Navami with a Puja. The altar was beautifully decorated with flowers and Rama pictures (we have no Rama statue, so we used a Krishna statue for the Puja). Afterwards we had some explanation of Rama, Ramayana and Hanuman. It brought lots of good energy to the centre. Om Sri Ramaya Namaha. OM.
Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Om Namah Sivaya. The month of March we started the new Beginners’ course, taught by our staff Lilamayi, with good number of enthusiastic students. The “Massage for Healing” course, taught by Tarini, attracted full attendance. They all were interested in learning the teaching of self care and self healing in the process of massage. The Satsangs were also busy with 30 people sharing, meditating and chanting together under invisible guidance of Guru’s energy.
By mid March we started another new Beginners’ course, taught by our staff Durga with 18 students. We offered an advanced asana 4-day-course, taught by Karma Yogi Ganapati plus a healing massage 8-day-course, taught by Karma Yogi Tarini with good number of enthusiastic students. We welcomed Swami Jnaneswariananda from the Yoga Farm. Swamiji stayed for 4 days and led an energetic Satsang. The Sunday Satsang was also busy with lots of people sharing, meditating and chanting together. Pranams to the Sivananda Family. Om Shanti, Shanti, Shantihi. Om.
Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, London, England
Om Namah Sivaya. The London Centre was honoured to run March’s wonderful and inspiring TTC. It was beautiful to see the confidence and joy of teaching coming through the students and their intrigue with the advanced pranayama and samanu. We were very happy to welcome Swami Rajeshwarananda to the Centre who gave a lovely Satsang and initiated 10 students into their mantra during a beautiful ceremony in the early morning hours. The study day arrived and students were very serious with their revision. The exam went successfully and all students passed, bringing forth 12 new shining Yoga Siromanis into the world. The graduation was a very lovely event, the celebration feast was Italian themed and was certainly a feast, the students loved it. After the students had all left, there was only a moment for the Centre to feel quiet, then in came the regular students for their classes. Staff felt blessed to have been able to serve during an inspiring month of TTC teachings. May the Gurus’ blessings of be with us all. OM.
Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Los Angeles, CA, USA
Om Namo Narayanaya! During March we offered a Chair Yoga Teachers’ training course, with Saraswati. Eleven students including several health care professionals joined, some live far and flew to LA for the course. It was a very happy and engaging group, all learnt a lot in a short weekend on how to practice yoga with chairs. Meanwhile weekend yoga classes and courses all went smoothly, students were sincere and eager for knowledge. A Yoga One course graduated continuing onto Yoga Two next week. One Sunday Satsang we watched the new documentary with the Chair Yoga graduates on Sivananda Yoga Health Educator Program. Everyone was very moved and inspired. Some had tears of Hope. A group of Karma Yogis assisted one weekend, helping with registration, driving, shopping, cooking, cleaning and taking care of special guests. We feel very blessed to have a community of dedicated and caring yogis. May the Blessings of Gurudev be upon all. Pranams. Om.
Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Madrid, Spain
Om Namah Sivaya, Blessed Selves! The Staff are well. OM.
Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Madurai, India
Om Namah Sivaya. Namaste. We thank our Masters for all blessings and support bestowed. Om Shanti, Shanti, Shantihi!!
SivanandaSivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Montevideo, Uruguay
Om Namah Sivaya! Our Satsangs saw many people attending, including students and teachers, conducted by Parvati. We welcomed new people for the Open House activities. Anandi led the Meditation talk and spoke on Five Points of Yoga. Regular classes continued on as well. Love to all. May all live under the Masters’s grace. With Prem and Om. Om Shanti!! Om.
Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Om Namah Sivaya from the Montreal Centre! During the month of March Winter’s feet were still well planted in Montreal with still snowy and chilly days appearing. Regardless, our classes ran smoothly. Bhagirathi completed the “Ayurveda for Beginners” course and with students very happy and grateful for everything they learned. We ran two Yoga 1 and one Yoga 2 courses. Satyabhama gave a 108 Sun Salutation class with 20 students, some of them were doing it for the first time and they were very happy that they succeeded in completing the full practice. Sunday Satsang, with Narayani, gave a nice talk about forgiveness. The annual “Spring Forward” time change made it difficult for some students to show up for morning classes but by mid-week they adapted and everything was back to normal. Apart from our regular schedule we had a mini-intensive Yoga 1 (as an immersion week) with Socco. The current Meditation 1 course was completed. Atmaram ran a workshop on prana, pranayama and mind control, with 21 students attending. The students were very grateful, enjoying the workshop very much. Sunday Satsang, with Atmaram, gave us a talk about what happens after death and how to get ready for it. It was a nice Satsang, very interactive, fun and insightful. We were ever grateful for our Guru’s grace. With Master and Swamiji’s grace we can continue to serve and keep up the spirit! We send Pranams to all the Sivananda family! Om.
Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Munich, Germany
Om Namah Sivaya. At the beginning of March we had a special program on the “Mental Benefits of Yoga Practice” with Yoga-Acharya Swami Sivadasananda: two asana workshops and two inspiring satsangs on the “3 Bodies of Man” and on “Meditation and the Unity of Consciousness”. Our series of regular asana workshops continued – we had workshops on leg and hip flexibility, on the balancing poses with special focus on the variations crow and peacock and on handstand and headstand variations. We also held a Yoga and Relaxation day. The program included a practical yoga class, a delicious vegetarian lunch, a silent walk, a workshop in which different yogic relaxation techniques were explained and practiced and a satsang on the topic “Inner Balance through Detachment”. We started a meditation course and a “Raja Yoga – Yoga Psychology course”. Further events were a cooking course with the topic “Light Dishes for the Spring Season”, a kirtan and mantra chanting workshop and a session of the course “Inspiring Wisdom Stories from the Yoga Tradition”. We also organized a teachers further training day with the topic “Pranayama and Relaxation” and held our monthly Open House with trial class, meditation workshop, asana demonstration and cooking workshop. OM.
Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Neuquén
March was very busy at the CSYN. Neuquén started in the Fall season in March. The weather forecast predicted it will be very cold. In the Centre we programmed the cleaning of the heaters of the house. The team of teachers at the Centre counts included Jayadevi and Vishnu once again, who returned very recently from Buenos Aires. Jayadevi gave a practice workshop to control emotions and stress. It was very busy!
The karma yoga team was constant and attentive. We are happy and grateful. Shanti and Prem to everyone!
Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, New York, USA
Om Namah Sivaya from Manhattan. In March we bid farewell to two Karma Yogis – Devaki and Prasanta. Devaki stayed one month here while Shakti was away in the Bahamas and then left to continue her studies in Ayurveda. She was of great help with all of her various talents. We wish her all the best. Prasanta, also here a month, went to the Ranch to assist TTC – an exciting opportunity! We were very happy for him and thankful for all of his hard work. One Wednesday, the weather was a bit of an obstacle – rainy, snowy, icy! We had to reschedule our special guest for that evening to the next week and Shakti led the Satsang instead. Despite the weather, we still had some brave souls come for a nice, cozy Satsang… with more chanting! Mokshapriya went to the Ranch to help with the Beginner’s Weekend. Weekends were busy with courses and a workshop on pranayama with a good turnout of people. Sunday Satsangs kept it’s tradition with the Sunday prayers! Next we had Manu Dawson’s Satsang, Swami Shivabhaktananda’s visit and Rabbi Zoe Zak’s performance! Both Satsangs were fantastic – Manu Dawson led a Wednesday’s Satsang and with his vast knowledge of nutrition and herbology, he spoke about the topic of staying strong as a vegetarian. His Satsangs are always a hit with everyone and he never fails to answer any question! Sunday’s Satsang was led by Rabbi Zoe Zak and her band, The Peace Ensemble. They have been performing in the Yoga Ranch for several years but this was their first time at the Centre. Rabbi Zoe Zak sang and played the accordion and along with her bassist, percussionist and gospel singer. They sang for Peace in both English and Hebrew. It was a great Satsang, full of joy! We were very blessed to have Swami Shivabhaktananada as a guest! He taught the advanced class and chanted the Jaya Ganesha at the Satsang afterwards. We were grateful for his energetic spirit! We continued on with gratitude for this beautiful opportunity to serve. By Gods Grace and Masters’ Blessings, all is going very well and smoothly! May we all vigilantly continue our effort to receive Guru’s Grace. We are all well and send our blessings to the Sivananda Family! Om.
Centre de Yoga Sivananda Vedanta, Paris, France
Om Namah Sivaya. Om Namah Sivaya, Life gave us sunny and luminous days with the visit of the snow. We had also some spring days in between with mild temperatures and the chanting of the birds. There were some troubles with public transport because of the snow and of some strikes. In spite of the winter holidays, the snow, and the strikes, the Masters continue to send good numbers of students and precious help. Maria Enid, our employed cook, had five week holiday this month. Radhika started to take charge of keeping the sattva in the kitchen and the laundry. Vyasa started his new role as a main cook and he prepared delicious and sattvic food with the assistance of Sarada Devi. Parvati who stayed in the Centre for a month, prepared a couple of perfect and artistic lunches, she also prepared delicious snacks and gave a successful cooking class. Asha enjoyed assisting many classes every day. Many French teachers help Asha with French asanas’ instructions. She’s learning French a big steps. During the month, almost every day, the staff did japa together in a small asana room on the first floor with the company of the sun’s rays. We had a couple of festive mornings in the kitchen with the preparation of doshas for breakfast. We had three informal asana workshop with the staff and some teachers who were there. We reviewed the preparations, instructions and adjustments for the crow, the scorpion and the pigeon. Vyasa is helping the staff with the harmonium and mainly Sivakami who is learning the Sunday prayers. We had an inspiring weekend with the visit of Kailas. He gave a teachers’ workshop on Friday the tenth. In the workshop, we all learn many tips on how to teach and adjust the sun salutation. We also saw general rules for the adjustments focusing in shoulderstand, halasana and the sitting forward bend. Kailas generously shared his experience with everyone in a very inspiring way. These meetings are very important for all of us to improve the level of the classes at the Centre. Kailas gave also two open classes appreciated by all. He gave also a Saturday’s satsang on the topic of Mahabharata.
There was a calm silent walk to Montmartre one early morning. When we were on the top of the mount next to the church, the sun raised beautifully. Then we went inside of the church, sit for a while and came back in silence. A karma yogi who is a professional photographer did five photo shoots in order to refresh the website with new pictures. The pictures turned out to be excellent. Padmini updated the web page with all the new courses and workshops and with the new pictures. The roof specialist came to repair a leak in one of the bathrooms. The electricity people continued their works in the Meditation room and in the reception area. There were workshops on the topics: ‘Ethics of Raja Yoga’, ‘Yoga for the eyes’, “yoga at home”. The Masters sent precious help: Vishnu, Vyasa and Sarada Devi did many full days of karma yoga at the Centre. The students were happy to have The new brochure online and on paper. The was a kirtan course and an advanced asana course and the regular Meditation and Positive thinking courses. We had a successful Open house on the 24th. That day, life gave us a beautiful afternoon with snow. That afternoon. There was a fashion show in the courtyard in the middle of the snow. Hundreds of people were there and the students couldn’t go inside the Centre. We rescued some students at the main gate and accompanied them to the Centre. On the 25th God gave us an uplifting and joyful Celebration of Ramnavami at the same time of Sivakamis’ birthday. Two priests arrived in the morning from India on the same day. The Main Altar was shining. The New priest’s voice was very powerful. 112 people where there for the puja. Sivakami had also a rain of flowers, a big cake and many gifts. She also had more than 50 inspiring cards from many people who love her. She had messages from the Masters, from Swami Kailasananda and from many teachers, karma yogis and students. The staff appreciate having Swami Kailasananda always close to all guiding, and giving love and prana to everyone. Swamiji remains with us even when she is far away. OM.
Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Porto Alegre, Brasil, South America
Greetings from Porto Alegre. Blessings and Peace to all of the Sivananda Family. Om.
Centro Yoga Vedanta Sivananda, Rome, Italy
Om Namah Sivaya, Blessed selves. The month of March saw heavy rains. We had less attendance for classes and courses. We started a Raja Yoga Course. Students were happy to start this new course after attending other courses on meditation and positive thinking. They were eager to continue on the path with new inspirations that the course offered. A good group attended the headstand workshop. Most of the students were happy to achieve the posture. We also started a Yoga 2 course. We are all well and send our blessings to the Sivananda Family! Om Shanti. Om.
Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, San Francisco, California, USA
Om Namo Narayanaya, Blessed Selves. March began with a cease in the rain and more lovely warm days. Beginning Course students continued their instruction with Yoga 3 & 4. The Positive Thinking course students attended the Ayurveda cooking workshops, reinforcing the importance of a sattvic diet and positive thinking. Students who joined the diabetics workshop attended a cooking workshop that explored alternate proteins and complex carbohydrates, to assist the diabetic students in making healthier, greener choices. Swami Sitaramananda was a much-welcomed guest in the Centre via Zoom, for a lovely shared Satsang from Vietnam. Karma yogis and staff alike are using the time change to begin spring cleaning in the Centre.
By mid March we saw a rise in attendance in the gentle classes. We offered an Asana Jaya class, very meditative and peaceful, plus a workshop on Grief, a first time offering at the Centre. It included lessons in non-attachment and Vedanta and concluded with a relaxation. Sunday Satsangs were well-attended, with students staying on for soup, and more. Om.
Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, San Paulo, Brasil
Om Namah Sivaya from Sao Paulo. Regular classes continued during March. We started a new Beginners’ course. There were many sunny days of hard work and lots of energy.
By mid March we finished another popular Beginners’ Course and prepared to start a new course. We looked forward to the 7th and 8th of April when we will receive a visit from Kanti Devi with lectures, workshop for teachers and Satsang. Om Shanti Shanti to all the Sivananda family. Om.
Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Tel Aviv, Israel
Om Namah Sivaya. With the Jewish holiday of Passover at the end of March, the staff put great emphasis in promoting the annual Passover Retreat. Taking the time to fine tune the program, the reservations were quickly starting to fill up with both regular attendees and new students coming to join for this four day retreat of yoga, music, meditation and celebration. The Teaching Yoga to Pregnant Women Course, taught by Sita from the Jerusalem Sivananda Affiliated Centre, was completed. Pranava Chaitanya held an introduction to Meditation class and also opened a Meditation Course on Fridays.
One weekend the staff enjoyed a wonderful stay in Amirim, a village established by vegetarians and one of the holistic healthcare capitals of Israel. After a relaxing stay in one of its cozy wooden cabins, the staff went to a Kirtan night in the Sivananda Affiliate Centre in Tivon, to support the wonderful spread of Sivananda Yoga through the land of Israel.
By mid March the Centre experienced an overwhelming amount of activity with many courses starting, ending and offering introductions. Pranava Chaitanya held an Introduction to Meditation class and led the Sunday evening, staying on the topic of ‘freedom’. Bhargavi Chaitanya finished a Meditation 2 course and held introductions to Integral Yoga and Positive Thinking, whilst Sivakami opened a Yoga 3 course.
Dr. Eran Magon, held an Introduction to Ayurveda session and then opened the course with 10 students. Yana Lakshmi held an introduction to her popular Yoga Nidra course, which, once again, was overflowing with potential students. Staff also continued to promote the bi-annual 4 day Passover Yoga Retreat in early April and have already sold out half the available rooms. Pranams and Peace to the Sivananda family from the Tel Aviv Centre. Om.
Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Tokyo, Japan
Om Namah Sivaya. In March we offered a weekday trial class for the second time, attended by good number of people, and a half of them signed up for Yoga 1 course and our membership. Yoga 1 and Yoga 2 courses are also going well. For a weekend workshop, Kalyani, a Karma yogi, showed us how to make a hand-made soap out of cooking oil, and the students learned how to reduce the use of chemicals in our daily life taking environment into account. Some of the TTC graduates visited us and started the service to the Centre as Karma Yogis. Another weekend trial class was a big success with a good number of people attending, which we got some people on the waiting list. Many of them signed up for our membership and enrolled in Yoga 1 course. We provided various programs such as Vegan sweets workshop, Headstand workshop, Ayurveda workshop, etc., by which the Centre is filled with vibrant energy. The Yoga 1 course on Sundays was completed and the students proceeded to Beginner class and Yoga 2 course. Om Shanti, Shanti, Shantihi. Om.
Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Om Namah Sivaya. Several Yoga 1 courses and a Yoga 2 course started during the month of March. We painted the staff bathroom plus, started removing and replacing caulking this week. Mayavan taught Mudras workshop one Saturday with twelve students attending. Bhavani taught the last class before the March break at the youth shelter and Saraswati taught at a mental health centre. Several schools booked yoga courses to start after the March break. Bhavana continued to work on some of the Ashram advertising projects while in Toronto and on the Centre’s social media. Saraswati worked with Wendi on our new website. Nalini started teaching open classes and is assisting with the Beginner courses, making nice progress in her English skills as well.
By mid March we started preparations for painting our student waiting area as well as worked on organizing office and boutique. Our teacher, Vijay, had full workshop for Indian Vegetarian cooking one Saturday. Nikhila came to visit from Montreal for a week and helped with some painting as well. Prahlad came back from India where he spent last five weeks at Neyyar Dam Ashram. We send Om Namo Narayanaya to every one. Pranams to all. Om.
Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Trivandrum, Kerala, India
Om Namah Sivaya. A Beginners’ batch started in the evenings in March. All other classes went smoothly. Prahlad ji conducted a staff meeting while here. He gave his valuable advice for the betterment of the Centre. Sreelakshmi went to Chennai for a couple of days.
By mid March a Beginners’ batch for ladies started on Mondays. All other classes went smoothly. Yashpal ji went on a pilgrimage to Sabarimala shrine. Ganapathy Homa was conducted on the first day of the new Malayalam month. Satsangs were led by Yashpal ji. Om Shanti, Shanti, Shantihi. Om.
Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Vienna, Austria
Om Namah Sivaya. In March we offered a variety of workshops and courses for our students at the centre. We had two Sanskrit introductory workshops with Dr. Kintaert on two weekends, designed for students who wanted to improve their understanding and pronunciation of the Mantras. We were happy about the scholar’s profound background information for a better understanding of Sanskrit. We had a Pranayama course starting; a practical meditation workshop with tratak and other objects of meditation; we also had a Prasad workshop; and on one weekend we had a full Yoga day called “Yoga and Detox” with Kriya workshop, valuable hints for the proper diet, carrot juice and Kitcheree and a Satsang on thought power. Our Open Day this month attracted many newcomers, with cooking workshop, introductory lecture and free trial class. OM.
Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Vilnuis, Lithuania
Om Namah Sivaya. Different levels beginner’s courses and classes went well as usual. The busiest days of the week were Tuesday and Thursday when we had 7 different levels Yoga courses for the beginners from 1 to 11. The Open Day on Sunday saw interested in yoga participants. Few registered for Yoga for beginner’s courses and few even for Meditation course. Nice that quite a few young people came for the trial classes on Mondays and Saturdays. The Headstand workshop saw 5 students eager to master this great asana. The Meditation course started and continued successfully. All the participants are very new, but interested in meditation and even chanting. The Bhagavad Gita chanting before the Saturday morning Satsangs attracts more students and creates very special energy. Few Centre teachers are learning to play harmonium very enthusiastically and this week they accompanied during the Satsangs very successfully. We had interesting and useful for the students Saturday seminars/workshops. Bhakti yoga was given by Narada with the right bhava and devotion. Students appreciated it very much. Lakshmi and staff Radhika gave very good workshop ”Cooking with the 6 tastes according the science of Ayurveda”. Dishes came out very sattvic, balanced and delicious. The workshop ”The art of breathing” was well prepared and given by our close teacher Jnaneshwara. It was very useful for the students to go deeper into the theory and to practice main pranayama plus to try a bit brahmari and sitkari. This month the TTC preparation Day happened as well. We could feel the joyful TTC energy during the Satsang and festivity was felt the whole day: bit special lunch made by Mother Parvati with full Love, more than usual students during the day. The students from Lithuania and Russia are registering for TTC Lithuania in July. The weekend visits to the other towns with the promotional and supporting the local teacher’s yoga program started in March. We are lucky that quite a few center teachers are experienced enough to do this. Bharata, Jnaneshwara and Surya went to the mainly Russian speaking town and gave there asana class and lecture. Datatreya and Surya visited two other towns and besides the asana class gave the Satsang. Atmadev and Durgadevi went to the West of Lithuania It was nice to give the Satsang and asana class there, because the students have a very rare opportunity to take part in the classical Sivananda yoga events, so they were very attentive and grateful. Ramnavami puja on Sunday morning was organized and performed by our closest young teachers Surya and Nirmala. OM.
HATHA YOGA, ASANAS, PRANAYAMA:
Hatha Yoga relates to the restraint of breath (Pranayama), Asanas, Bandhas and Mudras. ‘Ha’ and ‘tha’ mean the union of the sun and the moon, union of Prana and Apana Vayus. ‘Hatha’ means any tenacious practice till the object or end is achieved. Trataka, standing on one leg, (a kind of Tapas) and similar poses are all Hatha Yoga practices. Hatha Yoga is inseparable from Raja Yoga. Raja Yoga begins where Hatha Yoga ends. Raja Yoga and Hatha Yoga are interdependent. Raja Yoga and Hatha Yoga are the necessary counterparts of each other. No one can become a perfect Yogi without a knowledge and practice of both the Yogas. Hatha Yoga prepares the student to take up Raja Yoga.
A Hatha Yogi starts his Sadhana with body and Prana; a Raja Yogi starts his Sadhana with his mind; a Jnana Yogi starts his Sadhana with Buddhi or intellect and will.
A Hatha Yogi gets Siddhis (psychic powers) by uniting Prana and Apana and by taking the united Prana-Apana through the six Chakras (Centres of spiritual energy) to Sahasrara at the crown of the head. A Raja Yogi gets Siddhis by Samyama, i.e., combined practice of Dharana, Dhyana and Samadhi at one time. A Jnana Yogi exhibits Siddhis through pure will or Sat-Sankalpa. A Bhakta gets Siddhis through self-surrender and the consequent descent of grace. Kriyas, viz., Neti, Dhauti, Nauli, Basti, Tratak and Kapalabhati belong to Hatha Yoga. All need not practise these Kriyas. Those who have got much phlegm in the body should practise these Kriyas. Learn these under an expert Hatha Yogi. Hatha Yoga is not the goal. It is only a means to an end. Take to Raja Yoga after possessing good health.
Do Asana, Kumbhaka, Mudra and shake the Kundalini. Then take it to Sahasrara through Chakras in the Sushumna. O children of light! Will you drink not, will you drink not, the nectar of immortality?
Brother! Attain good health. Without health how can you live? Without health, how can you earn? Without health how can you get success in Yoga or any undertaking? Possess wonderful health through the practice of Hatha Yoga. Drink the nectar in Sahasrara and live in the immortal abode of Siva.
An Asana is a posture.
Health is wealth. Health is indeed a covetable possession. Good health is a valuable asset to one and all. It can be achieved by the regular practice of Yoga Asanas.
The practice of Asanas controls the emotions, produces mental peace, distributes Prana evenly throughout the body and different systems, helps in maintaining healthy functioning of the internal organs, gives internal massage to the various abdominal organs. Physical exercises draw the Prana (energy) out but the Asanas send the Prana in. The practice of Asanas cures many diseases and awakens Kundalini Shakti. These are the chief advantages in the Yogic system of exercises which no other systems have.
Practice a few Asanas daily at least for a period of fifteen minutes. You will possess wonderful health. Be regular in your practice. Regularity is of paramount importance. Practise Bhujang, Salabh, Dhanur, Sarvang, Hala and Paschimottasan Asanas. Bhujang, Salabh and Dhanur will remove constipation and muscular pain of the back. Sirsh, Sarvang and Hala will help you in maintaining Brahmacharya, rendering the spine elastic and curing all diseases. Paschimottasan will reduce fat in the belly and help digestion. Relax all muscles in Savasana in the end.
Asanas should be done on empty stomach in the morning or at least three hours after food. Morning time is best for doing Asanas. Do not wear spectacles when you do Asanas. Be moderate in your diet. Answer the calls of nature before you start the practice. Start with minimum time for each Asana and then gradually increase the period.
Pranayama is the regulation of breath or control of Prana. It is an exact science. It is the fourth Anga or limb of Ashtanga Yoga.
Pranayama steadies the mind, augments the gastric fire, energizes digestion, invigorates the nerves, destroys the Rajas, destroys all diseases, removes all laziness, makes the body light and healthy and awakens Kundalini.
Pranayama should be practiced when the stomach is empty. Be regular in your practice. Do not take bath immediately after the practice. Do not practice Kumbhaka or retention of breath in the beginning. Have only slow and mild Puraka (inhalation) and Rechaka (exhalation). Do not strain the breath beyond your capacity. Keep the ratio for Puraka, Kumbhaka and Rechaka as 1:4:2. Exhale very very slowly.
Sit on Padma, Siddha or Sukha Asana. Keep the head, neck and trunk in a straight line. Inhale slowly through the left nostril and retain the breath according to the ratio, then exhale slowly through the right nostril. This is half process of Pranayama. Then inhale through the right nostril, retain and exhale through the left nostril. Do not retain the breath for more than one or two minutes.
Do ten or twenty Pranayamas according to your capacity. Do not fatigue yourself. Increase the number gradually. You can go up to 16:64:32. This is Sukhapurvaka or easy comfortable Pranayama.
Practice Sitali in summer. This will purify your blood and cool the system too. Practice Bhastrika in winter. This will cure asthma and consumption. Repeat ‘Om’ or ‘Rama’ mentally during the practice. Observe Brahmacharya and diet-control. You will derive maximum benefits and will quickly purify the Nadis or nerves.
Prana and mind are intimately related to each other. If you control Prana, the mind will also be controlled. If you control the mind, the Prana will be automatically controlled. Prana is related to mind, and through it to will and through will to the individual soul and through individual soul to the Supreme Soul.
Start the practice this very second in right earnest. Control the breath and calm the mind. Steady the breath and enter Samadhi. Restrain the breath and lengthen the life. Subdue the breath and become a Yogi, a dynamo of power, peace, bliss and happiness.
Complete glossary can be found at:
Humility is not cowardice. Meekness is not weakness. Humility and meekness are indeed spiritual powers. – Sri Swami Sivananda