Sivananda World News: The Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Ashrams
Sivananda Ashram Yoga Camp, Sivananda Headquarters, Val Morin, Quebec, Canada
Om Namah Sivaya. The Yoga Camp Ashram will remain closed until further notice. Continue your practice from the comfort of your own home with our online classes/courses to assist in keeping you connected, inspired, and energized. Let us take this time to reconnect with ourselves through the practice.
In March we welcomed Swami Rajeshwarananda and Swami Sankarananda who joined the Yoga Camp from the Rome Centre. After a compulsory 3-day stay at a hotel until they got their negative Covid test, both Swamis reached the Ashram just on time to participate in the Sivaratri celebration, though online because of their quarantine. This year’s Sivaratri was celebrated as usual in the Krishna Temple with a steady group of staff and a handful of close students from around the Ashram as well as a strong online presence, with 6 participants making it till the conclusion at 5:30am. Our Temple priest, Manjunath, performed inspiring Pujas which really helped us to sustain a high level of prana through the night. Swami Rajeshwaranda and Swami Shankarananda in spite of their jet lag started to teach an early integral yoga challenge and a backward bends asana workshop. We also held an online TTC information open day with 12 very interested students who were all motivated to take the TTC as soon as the Ashram opens.
The first official days of Spring were surprisingly sunny and warm mid March. The snow melted away at record speed. Swami Rajeshwarananda and Swami Sankarananda completed their second week of quarantine. They kept busy sharing the teaching of an integral yoga challenge. Swami Sankarananda also started a Bhagavad Gita course. They also spent a lot of time communicating with the staff and learning about Camp administration. Sharanam started a well-attended course on the Mahabharata and Dharma and Atmaram continued his Upanishads course. We said goodbye to Rudrani who went home after serving for almost a year at the Ashram. We welcomed Jaya and Philippe as temporary staff. May the grace of God and the guidance of the teachers be with us in extending our service to the aspirants, students and all others who visit the Ashram website. Om.
Sivananda Dhanwanthari Ashram, Neyyar Dam, Kerala, India
Namah Sivaya to all. We are happy to announce that we are accepting guests to the Ashram. Pre-booking via [email protected] is necessary. Terms & conditions apply. Visit www.sivananda.org.in/neyyardam/Covid-guidelines We look forward to welcoming you back and practicing together. We are continuing classes, courses & programs online. Please visit www.sivananda.org.in/weekly-schedule
In early March, we entered our final week of the TTC with increased numbers, due to online graduates joining for the last ten days or so. It was nice to put real faces to the virtual ones in our memory. And the students were thrilled to be in the real world of Ashram. The exam went well with a good percentage obtaining high marks. We had a very nice Graduation, with a Talent Show full of dance. A joyful end to the course. Our second Weight Loss & Rejuvenation Retreat began onsite. We tied in with the Sivananda Institute of Health, who provided daily massage and a weight-loss inducing diet for the students. The group attended their our private yoga classes, with emphasis on dynamism. Lots of sun salutations in the morning!!! We had a very lovely Sivaratri celebration, indoors as the rains had come, but a Homa nevertheless, with chanting until midnight. We live-streamed on Facebook and had a good many people tuning in and well as our staff, guest and TTC students keeping the energy alive. We said goodbye and thanks to some hard-working and dedicated staff who had come to help out with the TTC and welcomed in others from the TTC itself. An ever-revolving door. We welcomed Dr Kamlesh who paid a short visit from his north Indian home of Lucknow. It was very nice to have him here and he gave an inspiring and informative talk at Satsang as well as advice and guidance to students.
By mid March we were busy with the arrival of the new TTC group. 44 eager souls arrived sporadically, gradually filling up (with the social distancing spacing) the Siva Hall. On Sunday evening we had the Inauguration and heard the interesting stories of the students’ mental journeys here. Mahalakshmi ji arrived from Chennai to teach the Hatha Yoga and Yashpal ji came from Trivandrum to teach the chanting. We also welcomed seven members of the India Air Force for a two-week Yoga Vacation stay. They easily adapted to Ashram life, accustomed as they are to a life of discipline. The Weight Loss Retreat continued, with an appreciable slimming down of the participants. They were super-pleased with the results. The Panchakarma and the Yoga Vacation programs went well. There seems to be some more movement in the country. We kept our fingers crossed and know that the Gurus and God were giving us what we need. We said goodbye to Ilya, who has served with love for a full year during lockdown. We wished him well… and welcomed four newcomers here for the TTC and beyond. Otherwise, everyone seems fine, and sends their love and pranams. May Master and Swamiji bless all with a pure will to continue steadily in Sadhana. May all have health and peace of mind. Om.
Sivananda Ashram, Netala, Uttarkashi, Himalayas, North India
Om Namo Narayanaya from Uttar Kashi. We are happy to announce that Sivananda Kutir will reopen in April starting with the TTC on 4th April. Our Ashram will following the MHA guidelines closely to ensure the safety and comfort of all. The continued practice of social distancing and limited class sizes are to meet these requirements. These guidelines will be posted in all our India Centres and Ashrams. Please familiarize yourself with these safety precautions: MOH Guidelines for Yoga Institutions. We look forward to having you at the Ashram.
Please note we also continue to offer classes, courses & programs online. Details regarding this can be found at www.sivananda.org.in/Online-sessions. Please like our Facebook page to stay notified about live open classes, Satsangs & other programs. Our thoughts are with you all and we pray that you keep well and positive during these challenging times. Om.
Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Meenakshi Ashram, Madurai, Tamil Nadu, India
Om Namo Narayanaya. Namaste from Madurai. We are happy to announce that we are accepting guests to the Ashram. Pre-booking via [email protected] is necessary. Terms & conditions apply. Visit https://sivananda.org.in/madurai/covid-guidelines/ We look forward to welcoming you back and practicing together. We are continuing classes, courses & programs online. Please visit www.sivananda.org.in/weekly-schedule
Sending Prem and Om to all from our family of guests and staffs. Our thoughts are with you all and we pray that you keep well and positive during these challenging times. Namaste. Om.
Meanwhile in March at the Meenakshi Ashram the major highlight was Maha Sivarathri celebrations, the enthusiasm and spirits kept high by all the guests, students and staffs alike. The succeeding day was a day off which helped the TTC students rest enough to continue with their teaching schedule the next day. We had quite a few students from the recently concluded ATTC joining us, along with their families and friends adding a sense of reunion to the festivities. TTC on the other hand has progressed smoothly into their final week being joined by 2 more students from online TTC. They began teaching their second class after having completed their Beginners class teaching the previous week. Saturday’s Talent Show was very enjoyable with few but adorable performances.
Mid March saw the final week of TTC begin continuing with the teaching groups and the usual schedule of theory and practice of Advanced Pranayama. Review of all subjects culminated with a Meditative Asana Class. The study night was followed by a day off, hich was utilized to the maximum by the students to study, resulting very well in their answer papers. The weekly Talent Show was very beautiful with one last performance by all the 10 TTC students to show their love and gratitude to all. Praying for them to be guided by the blessings of our Master and Guru in all their spiritual endeavours. We are grateful to Master and Swamiji for the opportunity to serve. Sending Prem and Om to all, from our Madurai Ashram family. Om.
Sivananda Ashram Yoga Ranch Colony, Woodburne, NY, USA
Om Namah Sivaya from the Ranch. The Sivananda Yoga Ranch is currently closed to the public. We have set up a residential program for those who are able to stay more longer term – https://sivanandayogaranch.org/residential-program/ Since the start of the pandemic, we have put all programs online and we are grateful for all your support and connection in these times! It has and continues to be an innovative time where we can see how easily accessible it is to connect & share the teachings with people everywhere in the world! https://sivanandayogaranch.org/
As March progressed, we continued our devotional practice with Sri Lalita Sahasranama Stotrum each Sunday and Hanuman Chalisa on Saturdays online. A new Meditation and Mantra 2-week course began and Bhagavad Gita, Pre-Natal yoga and Hatha yoga classes continued. With the warming of weather and coming of Spring, outdoor activities were on the increase. Already 3 truckloads of wood chips have been spread helping to minimize mud exposure and smoothing out rough areas around the main area. The Ananda remodeling project went well, having completed 3 rooms, with anticipated completion of 3 more rooms within the next few weeks. In the garden, slow growing perennials like echinacea and sage plus annuals like tulsi and spinach were already hardening off in the green house, with 3 kinds of kale, lettuce, cabbage, and celery started in the nursery. Satsangs saw a steady group. May Masters’ Blessings and Gurus Grace be with us all. Pranams from the NY mountains. Om.
Sivananda Ashram Yoga Farm, Grass Valley, California, USA
Om Namah Sivaya. Warm greetings to you from the Sivananda Ashram Yoga Farm. We are grateful for your love and support as the Yoga Farm continues to thrive in this challenging time. We are adapting along with you to keep Satsang with each other and to share the teachings in new and creative ways. The Grass Valley Ashram remains closed. We will keep you updated as events unfold as we consider the health of our guests and staff and the pandemic situation. Please visit https://sivanandayogafarm.org/yoga-classes-online/ to easily join Online workshops, classes and courses. Your generous support to Swamiji’s mission will keep the Yoga Farm strong and vital during the pandemic. Please donate here: https://sivanandayogafarm.org/donation/
By the Grace of Master and Swamiji, in early March we were all blessed with a beautiful Sivaratri celebration that began with morning Puja at Siva Temple followed by the main worship in the Radha Krishna Hall with Swami Vasishtanandaji leading Pujas into the night. We had wonderful chanting and bhajans and feel the high vibration chanting Lord Siva’s name. Swami Vasishtananda cooked the Prasad (a feast) in between Pujas for all to enjoy in the morning. At the same time, the Online TTC completed the 2nd week; students were inspired to dive into the teachings and practice. Swami Sitaramananda gave a Satsang talk from Vietnam, on “Concentration”. We thanked Dr. Fred Luskin for his talk on “Grit”, describing the qualities of endurance and perseverance needed for success in our relationships and the spiritual path. The TTC Talent Show concluded with wonderful sharing from the group that included poetry, Native American flute, dance, and more.
By mid March the Online TTC completed their 3rd week, successfully very focused in their Sadhana. Swami Sitaramananda gave a Satsang talk on Karma and Reincarnation with many extraordinary examples of children referring to past life experiences. Swami Jnaneswariananda taught A&P along with Satsang “Stress” talk; and Swami Dharmananda introduced Positive Thinking techniques. TTC began their teaching groups and were doing very well, enjoying teaching and getting more comfortable each day. We thank Manu Dawson for the online Spring Detox workshop, offering practical knowledge for detox practices. The Ashram was very green with Spring growth. The garden grows under the guidance of Prema. Staff visited the Yuba River for meditation and pranayama practice. We are grateful for this opportunity to serve. May all feel Master and Swamiji’s blessings. Om.
Sivananda Ashram Yoga Retreat, Nassau, Bahamas
Om Namo Narayanaya, Blessed Selves. There is still a small group of us on property who are maintaining the Ashram way of life through daily Satsangs, yoga and teachings.
March 2021 in the Bahamas: We celebrated Mahasivaratri with an all-night vigil in the main Temple. Our priest, Krishnan Namboodiri, led five Pujas throughout the night and he recited all 100 slokas of Sri Adi Sankaracharya’s Sivananda Lahari, as well as the Sri Rudram. The atmosphere was festive as mantras to Lord Siva filled the air. About 40 of the people who joined us online via Zoom and Facebook stayed with us the whole night! Within the Ashram, everyone was involved with the preparations of offerings for Prasad, decorating the Temple, and cleaning afterward. For the online courses, Rukmini Chaitanya began to teach Who Am I? The Practice of Vedantic Inquiry on Monday evening. Jnaneshwari Chaitanya gave a weekend intensive on the 20 Important Spiritual Instructions of Swami Sivananda. During the Satsangs, we heard from Dr. Menas Kefatos about the significance of Mahasivaratri from the perspectives of Kashmir Shaivism and quantum physics. Swami Brahmananda also gave a Satsang on the meaning of the Sivaratri in preparation for the celebration. We began a program on Ayurveda with Drs. Jose Rubeiro and Marc Halpern. Dr. Rubeiro spoke about Ayurveda for heart disease and cancer, and we look forward to hearing from Marc Halpern in an upcoming week.
The students of our first online TTC continued to dedicate themselves to their practice and studies in their final week of classes. Dr. John Beaulieu began a three-week course on the use of tuning forks entitled Sound Healing, Yoga, and Science. For students interested in Raja Yoga, Swami Brahmananda continued the teachings from Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras in a course focused on the Sadhana Pada (second chapter). Many students followed the Sadhana Challenge course series since late December, with a new session with Swami Paramananda.
May all be well and may this be an opportunity to turn inward to that which is eternal and ever-free. Om Shanti. Om.
Please visit our Online Program page for the latest schedule. https://sivanandabahamas.org/visiting-the-Ashram/Online-program/ We look forward to continuing to add Online programs, courses and guest speakers to our calendar. https://www.sivanandabahamas.org/travel-update/
Sivananda Ashram Yoga Retreat House, Reith or Mittersill, Tyrol, Austria
Om Namah Sivaya. The Seminar House is closed to the public. We continue to teach classes, webinars and Satsangs online. We offer live Online Yoga Classes, Workshops, Talks, Teacher Trainings and group Meditations. Receive all the latest information via our newsletter. https://www.sivananda.at/en/newsletter
Life online. During March a highlight was the European Sivaratri celebration. Yagneswara Dixit performed two very powerful Siva Pujas from his home in Bangalore and the Centres and Ashrams shared the chanting. All staff enjoyed the dance workshop with Ragunath Manet. The students appreciated the online celebration very much. A new part of the online course Meditation Experience started with students from the Retreat House, the German speaking Centres and from the UK. The Ayurveda Vaidyas Sreelal Sankar und Vaidya Poornima Sreelal from Kerala, India taught the second part of their four month online course “Ayurveda – the Science of Life”. They share their very comprehensive and well-founded knowledge on Ayurveda with the students. One topic was “Toxin build up and Elimination”.
The TTC Online went very well into the 3rd week by mid month. The students put together a humorous and inspired Talent Show. A few new online courses started successfully – the “Hatha Yoga Inspirations” course which combines Hatha Yoga practice and study, with scriptures and courses on Relaxation, Yoga Psychology and the Bhagavad Gita. Dr. Kamlesh from Lucknow, India now gives his 5th Ayurveda Course on various aspects of physical and mental health and nutrition. Every week a group of students very steadily practiced the Early Morning Pranayama Course. We had concert with Klaus Falschlunger, a wonderful Tyrolean musician who also plays the sitar. We pray that all remain healthy and safe. OM.
Sivananda Ashram Chateau du Yoga, Orleans, France
Om Namah Sivaya. Please accept this invitation to join us for the Unite for a Healthy Planet worldwide meditation – Every 1st Sunday of the month at 2PM Continental European Time, for 30 minutes. https://sivanandaorleans.org/unite-for-a-healthy-planet OM.
A March highlight was Sivaratri. The program preparations built up the right energy for the event. The Orleans Ashram participated online with the European Ashrams and Centres. We were all very happy that we could connect with Yagneshwara and welcome him live into our meditation hall again this year. We welcomed Raghunath Manet for the Great Night of Siva; he performed live from Pondicherry, India, and also took all attendees through some foot work of Bharata Natyam. After the online event, the staff and some TTCs stayed through the night until 4am. As we are a good number of staff now, we had a strong team until the morning. In the morning, we broke our fast with a simple Indian breakfast. All created a very strong and lasting cleansing energy. Raghunath Manet intervened live from India again to introduce his upcoming course “Introduction to Indian Classical Dance”. After a brief run through the history of Indian classical dance in South India, the students and participating staff were quickly carried by his enthusiasm coaching into some fundamentals steps of Bharata Natyam. Our TTC students progressed well, nearing to the end of their second week. We had a group of new practitioners as guests for the “Basic Asana Practice Week”. We welcomed another group of guests for a week of “Positive Thinking”.
We welcomed a group of sincere students on their yogic immersion journey in the form of a Teachers’ Training Course. The TTC students experienced the Kriya workshop, advanced pranayama and performed at their talent show. They also had evening lectures on the subject of Ayurveda. They are thoroughly enjoying themselves. Our guests followed “The Power of Positive Thinking” program with a strongly organized team of teachers and a coordinator. The guests left very happy at the end of their week, eagerly looking forward to connect again to the Ashram via zoom once back home. Raghunath Manet started his four week course on classical Indian dance, connecting from Pondicherry. We continue to participate in the online European activities including Satsangs and special courses. Swami Kailasananda gave two online Satsangs. The staff team is very grateful to be able to spread the message of Yoga in these challenging times, using various channels available at the moment. OM.
Sivananda Ashram Dà Lat, Vietnam
Om Namah Sivaya from Da Lat Ashram. The Da Lat Ashram is open.
In early March we had a beautiful celebration for International Women’s Day. Tea Master Amba joined us to conduct a special tea ceremony, assisted by Swami Narayanananda. Staff performed some meditation songs, and roses were presented for all women present. There was a further special occasion as we celebrated Sivaratri. After a Puja with the TTC students present, staff continued the celebration until early morning Friday with further Pujas and a Homa ceremony. The special events continued with a mantra initiation for most of the TTC students, who received spiritual names the same evening. TTC continued well with group teaching practice and study of anatomy and physiology. A system of mentoring for all TTC students has proved very helpful. Work on cleaning up and planting on the Ashram grounds continued in anticipation of the onset of the rainy season.
By mid month our focus was on the last week of the TTC course, with all students passing the exam and graduating. We were pleased to have a visit from Dr. Hung, who is the head of a clinic for traditional medicine in Ho Chi Minh City, and also runs a department for the holistic treatment of cancer. Dr Hung spoke about lifestyle, positive thinking and diet as factors influencing the occurrence of cancer, and on how to make positive changes. Teachers and staff celebrated the successful conclusion of TTC teaching with a special meal and party, featuring South Indian style “vada”, prepared by Swami Adiparashaktiananda. Almost half of the students in the course attended a meeting for those interested in joining different Karma Yoga programs, from seva-study to staff, after the course. Eight of the TTC group made a commitment to at least 6 months service at the Ashram or in one of the Centres. The TTC graduation ceremony was accompanied by a sudden, heavy and what seemed to be very auspicious rainfall, and was followed by a wonderful meal of Vietnamese specialties. All participants gave thanks for the successful conclusion of this TTC in difficult times. Swami Adiparashaktiananda and Shambhu left for the Hanoi Centre to offer four days of special programs there. Staff at the Ashram remained busy with preparation for the upcoming ATTC course. We were grateful for Guru’s grace in being able to offer the course at this challenging time. Staff remain well, inspired and thankful for Guru’s grace. Om.
Sivananda Ashram Tapaswini, Gudur, Andra Pradesh India
Om Namah Sivaya. We are delighted to welcome you to Sivananda Tapaswini Ashram.
After a long and unprecedented break due to the pandemic, we are happy to announce the Ashram has re-opened. Our Ashram will following the MHA guidelines closely to ensure the safety and comfort of all. The continued practice of social distancing and limited class sizes are to meet these requirements. These guidelines will be posted in all our India Centres and Ashrams. Please familiarize yourself with these safety precautions: MOH Guidelines for Yoga Institutions. We look forward to having you at the Tapaswini Ashram.
A highlight of March was celebrating Mahashivratri in the Ashram Temple with great enthusiasm. In the Sivaratri morning, all Ashram staff got together to clean the Temple and prepare it for the evening Puja. Our old students and friends visited us from Chennai to take part in the overnight chanting and Puja. Our cook made an array of Prasads which were distributed amongst all. Cowshed construction was completed with the help of Venugopal Sir. The new cowshed can now accommodate our 6 cows very well and there is space for more in future. Two new Ashram billboards have been put up in prominent locations in Nellore & Tirupati, this will help us publicize and reach wider audience. Our online classes were well received, with 2 more courses planned. Sonam & Poona visited Madurai Ashram before they left for their hometown, Uttarkashi.
It’s mid March and we were busy with group Karma Yoga and online classes. Staff took part in looking after the organic garden. We also gather together at 8 am to focus on different aspects of the Ashram. We completed 2 online courses. One of our staff Niranjan left for his home, we pray for his safe journey and hope to have him with us again soon. Every evening we chanted Dakshinamurthy Stotram & one chapter of the Bhagavad Gita, keeping us motivated. Staff kept up with their Sadhana and practice.
We will also continue to offer classes, courses & programs online. Details regarding this can be found at sivananda.org.in/Online-sessions. Please like our Facebook page to stay notified about live open classes, Satsangs & other programs. Our thoughts are with you all and we pray that you keep well and positive during these challenging times. May Master and Swamiji bless us with true devotion and blessings be with us all! Pranams. Om.
There is no virtue like Truthfulness. – Sri Swami Sivananda
APANA – a vayu; the negative vital air; the opposite to prana (positive vital air)
Hatha Yoga means the Yoga or union between ‘Ha’ and ‘Tha’. ‘Ha’ means the sun. ‘Tha’ means the moon. Prana is known by the name of sun. Apana is known by the name of moon. Hatha Yoga is the union of the Prana and the Apana.
KUMBHAKA – retention of breath during pranayama practice; a pause where there is no exhalation and no inhalation.
When both air currents are completely stopped, one is said to be in Kumbhaka. Through Kevala Kumbhaka, the knowledge of Kundalini arises. Kundalini is aroused and the Sushumna is free from all sorts of obstacles, attaining perfection in Hatha Yoga. You can practice this Kumbhaka three times a day. He who knows Pranayama and Kevala is the real Yogi. This Kumbhaka cures all diseases and promotes longevity.
Saturate your mind with divine thoughts. – Sri Swami Sivananda