Sivananda World News: The Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Ashrams
Sivananda Ashram Yoga Camp, Sivananda Headquarters, Val Morin, Quebec, Canada
Om Namah Sivaya, Greetings from the Headquarters. In March the COVID related seclusion and lockdown has taken a new turn for us. We had only one guest staying with us. While she was here, she was given personalized attention and classes for asanas, philosophy, kirtan and any interaction she needed. She was attended by Jagadamba, Bhavana and Swami Vairagyananda for classes. Finally, the guest left promising to come back as soon as the Ashram reopens. Now we are all in complete lockdown with no people allowed to enter the Ashram. Our online presence as a community tapered off, as the province brought in a new Act prohibiting more than three people to be together and social distancing defined as two meters. As laws and stipulations changed every day, we adapted the best possible way. We resorted to teaching online workshops and classes. The Camp, Montreal, Toronto and Ottawa Centres coordinated this together with all efforts and resources converging to make this a success. Our first week streaming the morning Satsang and yoga class was given a good nod of approval as many students were interested in practicing from home, yet stay connected. We had an average of 1 to 2 thousand views of each program to start. As Quebec announced that it will be closing all non essential business and schools for the month of April, the Ashram followed suit. Staff took more time to focus on their Sadhana and their daily routine. Discipline was created to keep all motivated and inspired. The sauna repair work continued. May God’s grace and the teachers’ blessings always remain with us and guide us into impeccable service to the people who walk in through our doors.
With the updated regulations from the Government of Quebec, we will extend our closing date until May 1st. We are watching the news carefully and will keep you all informed of any changes. We understand that this is a difficult time for everyone. The best that we can do is to continue sharing the teachings online and be a support to the community, so we can all continue with our Sadhana to stay positive and peaceful amidst the fast changing situations. We have been working on moving all our classes, courses and workshops online, they will be available as of Friday March 27th. https://sivanandacanada.org/camp/online-courses/ Om.
Sivananda Dhanwanthari Ashram, Neyyar Dam, Kerala, India
Namah Sivaya to all. March passed smoothly with guests and staff in good spirits. Whilst our Ayurvedic doctors were visiting the few staff/guests in isolation with the odd mild cold/flu symptom ‘just in case’, the Yoga Vacation program continued with social distancing and no hands on assistance in the classes. In addition, some interesting extracurricular activities were provided such as Bharatnatyam workshops, creative doodling and aerobics, as well as volleyball. With a curfew throughout the day and with all places of worship more or less closed to the general public, a beautiful silence fell over the whole area. One or two guests managed to leave before all flights were stopped from coming into India. With Master and Swamiji’s Grace may all be well in health and free from fear.
In view of the Chief Minister’s Office of Kerala’s press release on 10 March, stating to avoid mass participation programs, we transferred the 15th March TTC to Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Meenakshi Ashram, Madurai to be held from 15 March – 11 April, 2020. We regret the inconvenience caused. Students coming to Trivandrum should report to Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Dhanwantari Ashram, Neyyar Dam from where they will be transported to Madurai. Students intending to travel directly to Madurai can contact sivananda.org.in/madurai/Ashram-information for travel information. Due to the increasing frequency of NCV in our area we have been advised to not accept any visitors or admit any new guests to the Ashram until further notice. This is to ensure the safety of the current Ashram residents. We truly regret this as we have tried to keep the Ashram open for the benefit of all in these trying times. Current Ashram residents should continue to strictly stay within the Ashram compound.
May Master and Swamiji’s blessings continue to support all in their Sadhana. Om.
Sivananda Ashram, Netala, Uttarkashi, Himalayas, North India
Om Namo Narayanaya – Greetings from Uttar Kashi.
Due to the increasing frequency of NCV in our area we have been advised not to accept any visitors or admit any guests to the Kutir until further notice (31 March). The Teachers’ Training Course due to start in April has been cancelled. May Swamiji and Master’s blessings be with all. Om.
Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Meenakshi Ashram, Madurai, Tamil Nadu, India
Om Namo Narayanaya. Namaste from Madurai. In March the current TTC started in early March with a Ganapati Homa to help us complete the program without any obstacles in view of the present tumultuous COVID 19 situation shaking the entire world. In an otherwise tight schedule of TTC, students don’t get to enjoy the scenic beauty of Ashram surroundings, but this time, thanks to the silent walks within the premises, students thoroughly enjoyed the greenery and their close association with Mother Nature. No one is permitted in or out of the Ashram but special food was prepared by staffs on Fridays, which was relished and cherished by all. The people who are going out for purchasing needful items were instructed to strictly follow the advised hygiene measures. All at the Ashram abided by the guidelines put forward by the authorities to combat the Coronovirus pandemic.
One of our recent TTC graduates from Madurai Ashram published an article in Livemint, a daily financial newspaper about his experience in the course.
Due to the increasing frequency of NCV in neighbouring states we will not be accepting any visitors or admitting any new yoga vacation guests to the Ashram. This is to ensure the safety of the current Ashram residents and guests. We truly regret this as we have tried to keep the Ashram open for the benefit of all in these trying times. As an additional cautionary measure, at this time resident guests and staff are required to strictly stay within the Ashram boundaries during their stay.
Sending prayers and regards to the Sivananda, students and staff members. Namaste. Om.
Sivananda Ashram Yoga Ranch Colony, Woodburne, NY, USA
Om Namah Sivaya from the Ranch. With the onset of the Coronavirus pandemic in March we started online live programs: Morning Satsang studies of the Shrimad Bhagavatam, led by Srinivasan, as well as evening Satsangs on Wednesdays and Sundays, discussing different topics. There was a great group of 10 karma yogis here who decided to stay despite the Ashram being closed, commit to their Sadhana and maintain the Ashram duties. We continued to teach a daily morning asana class for staff and soon that class will be online too, as well as the Bhagavad Gita chanting & study group. Staff Send Pranams and many healing prayers to all.
The Sivananda Centres in New York City and Chicago, as well as the Sivananda Ashram Yoga Ranch are closed to the public as a proactive measure to help stem the spread of the COVID 19 virus. Since then the epidemic in the USA and especially in New York has grown exponentially. From the day we closed we gathered our Centre staff at the Yoga Ranch to continue our practice, to support each other and to do what we can to continue with our mission of disseminating the Yoga teachings and support the Sivananda Yoga community in a growing isolated environment. Respecting social distancing, we started live Satsangs, study groups and hopefully soon – asana classes using the growing social media software of Facebook Live. We hope to get started soon with Zoom.
With the blessings of Master and Swamiji all are in good spirits. Our Staff send Pranams to all! Om.
Sivananda Ashram Yoga Farm, Grass Valley, California, USA
Om Namah Sivaya.
Currently the Yoga Farm is closed. We are happy to let you know that you can connect to the Ashram, and to each other, through our online classes, courses, and workshops. We are offering online Yoga classes every day at 8am and 4pm. Please visit yogafarm.org/online to easily join. We have also added 2 online 90-minute Gentle Yoga classes at 10:30 and 5:30 being taught from our LA Centre. We also started offering online workshops, which can be found at yogafarm.org/programs. Join us online for Stress Relief workshops from 1-3pm or for a Meditation Course. We will also have twice weekly Satsangs online with Acharya Swami Sitaramananda on Sundays and Wednesdays from 6-8pm PDT.
This challenging time is our opportunity to turn inward, deepen our practice, and to keep our community strong and healthy. Through Satsang, and our collective positive thoughts, we support each other and the world.
May all feel Master and Swamiji’s blessings. Om.
Sivananda Ashram Yoga Retreat, Nassau, Bahamas
Om Namo Narayanaya, Blessed Selves. In early March Swamini Atmaprakashananda Saraswati gave a series of Satsangs unfolding the meaning of Adi Shankaracharya’s Bhaja Govindam, a work designed to instill great discrimination and dispassion in the listener. Arjuna led one final silent walk for the season before he returned home, in which he shared stories of Swami Vishnudevananda. Local shaman Theodore Tsavoussis visited to give a couple of popular afternoon workshops exploring shamanic medicine, entitled Healing the Light Body.
In some well-attended workshops, Narayani Chaitanya taught some much-needed tools for relaxation, while Naryani Karnit taught about pranayama for stress management. Swami Paramananda relayed with some humor the teachings of Swami Sivananda on How to Cultivate Virtues and Eradicate Vices. No month would be complete without Swami Sivananda’s article How God Came Into My Life, which Krishna Chaitanya devoutly shared with the community. Iswara Chaitanya taught about Swami Sivananda’s 20 Important Spiritual Instructions. The joyful tones of kirtan filled Ashram with an evening Satsang led by Swami Hridyananda, as well as a few workshops led by Ananda Prema. A Level 4 travel advisory was issued by the United States government and the ensuing travel restrictions, all but a small group of staff were asked to return home. We are deeply grateful to all of the karma yogis who devoted their time in service and we send prayers for good health and safe travels to them, to the students of the March Teacher Training Course, and to the vacationers as they return home amidst the unfolding global crisis. May all be well and may this be an opportunity to turn inward to That which is eternal and ever-free. Om Shanti.
Due to the worldwide outbreak of COVID-19, we regretfully inform you that the Sivananda Ashram Yoga Retreat Bahamas will be closed until the end of April 2020. The Prime Minister of The Bahamas, out of concern for Bahamian residents, has implemented international travel restrictions. As of March 24th, all airports are closed to incoming international flights. https://www.sivanandabahamas.org/travel-update/ Om.
Sivananda Ashram Yoga Retreat House, Reith or Mittersill, Tyrol, Austria
Om Namah Sivaya. In March the province of Tyrol moved from curfew to global self-quarantine. We learned to apply the various self-disciplines of disinfection and social distancing. Swami Vidyananda and Narayani returned inspired from TTC and ATTC in Rudraprayag on one of the last flights from Delhi. The next day, India went into three weeks of complete lock down. With Swami Durgananda’s guidance the staff team settled into the new situation. It was a joy to share classes and Satsangs online with a steadily growing audience. OM.
Sivananda Ashram Chateau du Yoga, Orleans, France
Om Namah Sivaya. The main focus in March was helping the Paris Centre with the online classes plus, implementing online Satsangs and classes here at the Ashram. Swami Kailasananda came back from India with other staff. The staff from Paris and London arrived also to the Orleans Ashram. The only two employees left here are Juliette and Gopala who agreed to stay as Karma yoga to continue the gardening and permaculture projects. The first online Satsang, with Swami Kailasananda, was very successful.
Following decisions taken yesterday by the French government, the Ashram de Yoga Sivananda at Neuville aux bois will be closed as from tonight, Sunday 15 March 2020, until further notice. We will keep you informed of the progress of the situation. During this period of uncertainty, the practice of yoga is more important than ever. Yoga teaches us to see the positives in all situations. What appears as a disaster can also come as a source of transformation and evolution. Now that we have been asked to stay at home, why not use this time to go deeper into our practice? It is the ideal moment to go within, reflect on life, slow down the mind and come back to the source. Take time for oneself, decide how to start or go deeper into your practice of meditation, spend time to read spiritual texts, learn vegetarian cooking, repeat mantras for world peace and the health of the planet…so many possibilities are now offered to us! Let us use this time like a period of spiritual retreat, during which we can regenerate and give us a fresh impetus to our spiritual practice, and contribute to the peace and health of the planet. Change in the world starts with our lifestyle. Modern technology makes all this possible. We can be connected together online! We are working now to offer courses, retreats and Satsangs on Zoom. We hope to offer our first classes online as from tomorrow. If you do not know Zoom, we suggest that you familiarize yourself with this software as soon as possible today, so that you can be ready to take your first class online as from tomorrow! We look forward to continue to serve you in this way. Together, we can put to practice one of the instructions of Swami Sivananda: “Adapt to all situations”. Take care of yourself, take care of others. See you very soon online. OM.
Sivananda Ashram Dà Lat, Vietnam
Om Namah Sivaya from DaLat Ashram. In early March, we continued steadily with the March ATTC, though two international participants had to leave the course and the country, due to upcoming restrictions on travel. We were happy to be able to have scheduled talks on Ayurveda by Dr Ramkumar via video link from Coimbatore, India. One Saturday night we were well entertained with a talent show, the highlight being a play on the devotion of Radha, Krishna and the gopis, performed by the staff with much humour. Swami Sitaramananda started to offer Satsangs online twice a week, which were well attended and much appreciated by the participants. We continued to monitor the situation and government advice in Vietnam carefully, of course stepping up hygiene procedures in the Ashram, and reducing the movement of staff outside. We also stopped accepting new guests. All are in good spirits and taking opportunity of this time for reflection and turning inward. In gratitude for the grace and guidance of the Masters. Om.
Sivananda Ashram Tapaswini, Gudur, Andra Pradesh India
Om Namah Sivaya. In March staff are inspired and thankful for Guru’s blessings.
Due to the increasing frequency of NCV in our area we have been advised to not accept any visitors or admit any guests to the Ashram until further notice. This is to ensure the safety of all our students and staff. We will keep you posted as new developments occur. Please stay connected. May Master and Swamiji bless us with true devotion and blessings be with us all! Pranams.
TTC ATTC Reports from other locations worldwide:
None this month. Return to this page each month to read submitted reports on satellite TTCs and ATTCs.
08 Full Moon (Hanuman Jayanti)
14 Vishu (Malayalam New Year)
22 New Moon
07 Full Moon
22 New Moon
Keep your heart tranquil, pure, empty of desires and thoughts. – Sri Swami Sivananda
This sacred syllable, sometimes written AUM, is the original mantra. The Sanskrit letter represents the journey of the human spirit towards eternal peace.
OM is everything.
OM represents all.
OM is the basis of your life, thought and intelligence.
OM is the name or symbol of God, Isvara or Brahman.
OM is your real name. OM covers all the threefold experiences of man.
OM stands for all the phenomenal worlds.
From OM this sense-universe has been projected.
The World exists in OM and dissolves in OM (AUM).
AUM: “A” represents the physical plane, “U” represents the mental plane and astral planes, the world of spirits, all heavens, “M” represents the deep sleep state, and all that is unknown even in your wakeful state, all that is beyond the reach of the intellect.
All words which denote the objects are Centred in OM. Hence the World has come from OM, rests in OM and dissolves in OM. – Sri Swami Sivananda