Sivananda World News: The Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Ashrams
Sivananda Ashram Yoga Camp, Val Morin, Quebec, Canada
Om Namah Sivaya. The Yoga Camp Ashram is currently open for daily yoga class and will re-open for retreats on July 5th. Visit our website and continue your practice from the comfort of your own home with our online classes/courses from the Montreal Centre, keeping you connected, inspired, and energized. https://sivanandacanada.org/camp/Online-courses/
New to online yoga and practice? Use code: FREE7 at checkout to get 1 week of unlimited classes for free and take time out to rest, recover, and replenish with our virtual yoga classes! Sign up!
In early July we entered into the third week of TTC. 16 students were inspired and grateful to be here. We celebrated the anniversary of the Subramanya Ayyappa Temple. Many devotees visited the Temple everyday. TTC’s attended the Puja of the festival and were very happy and touched by the kindness and welcoming of the devotees and sponsors of the Puja. Satsang online is still ongoing and students are happy to continue connecting with the Satsang. We received our first group of Yoga Retreat guests. A very nice group of people who were happy to be at the Ashram. The Satsangs were vibrating with the presence of the TTCs and Yoga Vacation guests. Manju performed the Puja for the liberation and peaceful passing of our dear long time neighbor and Swamijis disciple Iswara who passed peacefully at the end of June in Saint Agathe hospital. It was a simple beautiful Puja with seniors, staff and neighbors of the Ashram. We had a nice talent show. Staff, TTCs and Yoga Vacationers participated with lots of enthusiasm. TTCs and staff enjoyed the nice sunny days. The gardens looked beautiful in July. Nature was at its best. We welcomed new karma yogis, cooks, maintenance and helpers in housekeeping and translators. 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. Greetings from Kerala. Visit www.sivananda.org.in/neyyardam/Covid-19-guidelines We look forward to welcoming you back and practicing together. We continue with online classes, courses & programs. Please visit www.sivananda.org.in/weekly-schedule
In early July the weather turned very wet with blustery winds and not much sun. But the guest numbers increased, some to enjoy yoga in this beautiful semi-tropical environment, others to experience Ayurveda. The staff continued to keep busy with serving the Yoga Vacation guests and with hosting, teaching or demonstrating for NGO classes and also for a Covid Recovery class, conducted by Nataraj. The students for this five-class program of yogic practices to improve health following a Covid infection, were very regular and appreciative. We were sad to say goodbye to Hamsa who began her journey back to Japan after 2 years non-stop service in the Ashram. We look forward to her return at some point in the future. Staff chanted the whole Bhagavad Gita on the occasion of Ekadasi; always a purifying and energizing experience. We happily welcomed Meera back to the Ashram after some months of service at the Trivandrum Centre.
Later in July the wet and blustery weather continued with bits of sunny skies occasionally. Our youngest karma yogi, Lucky left for her home town for a few weeks to sit an exam. We look forward to her returning in August. We were happy to welcome Rajeev and Sonal back after some weeks away with family in Mumbai, and also Vinod from 2 weeks of Ayurveda treatment. Our guests are appreciating their panchakarma and the Ashram routine – the classes, 2 pm talks and Satsangs. Many are from North India and some are not comfortable with english, so Hariom began developing the skills in translation this week in the Satsangs; a much appreciated service. The highlight of the week was the Guru Poornima which was celebrated in Kerala on Friday. The Ashram priest conducted a Guru Puja in the morning Satsang. Guests and staff expressed their respect and devotion for the Gurus with chanting of Kirtan and mantra whilst abhishekam took place and then archana in which everyone took a turn to offer flowers. Registrations for the onsite/online August TTC are coming in steadily. Preparations for the online/onsite Satsangs and lectures have begun with the checking of equipment required and technicalities. Other August online programmes were also decided this week. We wish all the Sivananda family good health and peace of mind. May Master and Swamiji bless all the efforts to follow the teachings.
The staff are in good spirits and doing lots of karma yoga and Sadhana. May all be blessed with equanimity and steadiness in practice. All of us send our pranams. Om.
Sivananda Ashram, Netala, Uttarkashi, Himalayas, North India
Om Namo Narayanaya from Uttar Kashi. The Sivananda Kutir has reopened. 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 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-19-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
Meanwhile July saw the conclusion of TTC, most of the staffs took a brief hiatus visiting their homes away from the Ashram. We celebrated the Mahasamadhi Day of Swami Sivananda with a Guru Puja at our Kali Temple, complete with non stop chanting of Masters name till evening. Two families who were here as vacationers left after enjoying their Ashram stay with the promise of coming back as and when their schedule allows. On the online class front we had a class exclusively for women which most of them found as a platform for sharing their physical issues and bodily limitations. Also we started a month long Kids Camp online where we offered a variety of classes for kids including Vedic Maths and Memory Techniques in addition to Asana practice.
Seeking blessings from our Masters for all. Sending Prem and Om to all from our Madurai Ashram family of guests, students and staffs. Om.
Sivananda Ashram Yoga Ranch Colony, Woodburne, NY, USA
Om Namah Sivaya from the Ranch. After 15 months of Covid-19 lockdown, the Sivananda Ashram Yoga Ranch is opening cautiously for guest stays shorter than a month. We are maintaining the CDC restrictions, requiring all guests to show proof of completion of vaccination, and limiting guest stay to a maximum of 10, maintaining social distancing.
IN PERSON PROGRAMS:
Yoga Vacation is a shorter in-person stay for those who are fully vaccinated.
Residential: We have set up a residential program for those who are able to stay more longer term. The Ashram residential program requires a minimum 1 month stay (29 nights/30 days). https://sivanandayogaranch.org/residential-program/
The Karma Yoga (Selfless Service) Program requires a minimum 1 month stay (29 nights/30 days) https://sivanandayogaranch.org/karma-yoga/
We continue to offer online programs such as TTCs, courses and classes. 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/
By third week in July our online schedule continued with Satsang: Bhagavad Gita study, Monday – Friday AM and Wednesday and Sunday PM. The Ranch hosted a film crew and actors who shot a short promotional film turning the Ashram into a Bharatanatyam summer school camp. The Location centered around Sivananda Hall in Kailas Kutir and a few shots around the pond. The annual garden has sustained significant damage from critters who have become very brave with the drop in human population. Harvest included summer squash, green beans, chard. Tomatoes began to make a show. Fruit trees were heavy this year providing early currants, berries, plums and apples. The arrival of Joe the carpenter brings many building possibilities including a new pump house in the main area below the annual garden.
May Masters’ Blessings and Gurus Grace be with us all. Pranams from the New York mountains. Om.
Sivananda Ashram Yoga Farm, Grass Valley, California, USA
Om Namah Sivaya. By the Grace of Master and Swamiji, following the successful 4th of July weekend opening, the Ashram withdrew from guests to recoup and prepare for the official re-opening on July 21 for the Guru Purnima program. During this time we continue to offer Satsang online, including Swami Sitaramananda’s weekly Thursday morning Satsang broadcast to Vietnam, Japan, and Taiwan with translation and over 200 students present. Swami Sitaramananda, Swami Dharmananda and Mahalakshmi visited the LA Centre over the weekend for the LA Centre reopening and Swamiji’s “5 Tools to Rebuild Your Life” program and beautiful Chandi Homa. It was during the auspicious day of the birth of Varahi during this special Navaratri. During this powerful 5 hours homa by Pandit Samavedula and Pandit Sharma, we prayed to the Devi for protection of the organization and the destruction of demonic forces. Upon return to the Yoga Farm, we welcomed pandit Sharma of Andra Pradesh to the Ashram to assist Swami Vasishtananda-ji with Temple functions. Meanwhile dedicated staff and karma yogis are taking care of the Ashram, refurbishing the OM cabins, watering the lawns and trees, landscaping, and keeping cool in the hot summer heat.
The Ashram opened again on July 21 with a devoted group of guests for the wonderful “Guru Purnima & Yoga for Transition” program. Swami Sitaramananda gave daily morning Satsang talks on “Inner Motivation”; ““The Guru Tradition”; “Yoga of Relationships”; “How to Find Meaning and Purpose in Your Life”; Swami Jnaneswariananda taught on the need for courage in transition, the stages of life, and the Yoga of Devotion; Swami Dharmananda “Teachings on Self-Responsibility”; Swami Adiparashaktiananda taught morning asana classes; Hamsa chaitanya “Positive Thinking workshop”. Pandit Mani Sharma led a beautiful Guru Purnima Mandala Navagraha Puja at Swamiji’s house, with offerings to Lord Siva, the adi Guru. We thank also our special guests Silvia Nakkach for her beautiful “Yoga of Sound” sessions, leading the group in chanting and sound healing; and MahaVidya (Mary Thompson) offering “Ayurveda Daily Routines”. Students from Vietnam, Japan and Taiwan joined the Satsangs daily. Meanwhile Swami Sitaramananda also taught the online Raja Yoga Sutras course for Asia in the evenings. Staff and karma yogis did their best to stay cool in the high summer heat. Thankfully we have not been directly affected by the wildfires. The Ashram remains a peaceful oasis for all. 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. 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/
July 2021 in the Bahamas: We began our third Online TTC with a cohort of 25 students. After their first week of classes, the students continued to be engaged in the teachings and attentive in their classes. A couple of other online courses began: a study of the eighth chapter of the Bhagavad Gita with Jnaneshwari Chaitanya and a new session of the Asana Challenge course with Swami Paramananda. Throughout the Satsangs we heard inspiring presentations from the staff on the teachings of Swami Sivananda and Swami Vishnudevananda, covering topics such as positive thinking, a screening of the perennial favorite In the Name of Peace, the power of Satsang and Sadhana.
Well into July a highlight was the beautiful Guru Purnima celebration, led by Krishnan Namboodiri. In a continuation of the celebration of this auspicious day, staff chanted mantras for Swami Sivananda and Swami Vishnudevananda throughout the day. During Satsangs, attendees learned the teachings of Swami Sivananda and Swami Vishnudevananda about such diverse topics as the Guru, peace, and Raja Yoga. A wonderful team of devoted offsite Sivananda Yoga teachers continued to support the daily yoga classes offered through the Ashram. The onsite staff worked diligently to maintain the Ashram and share the teachings online through the Satsangs, Online TTC, and many other online courses. Around the Ashram, a team of workers came and cleaned up the hedges near the beach pathway, leaving the area feeling fresh and inviting. Wishing everyone a very good and blessed month.
May all be well and may this be an opportunity to turn inward to that which is eternal and ever-free. Om Shanti. Om.
Sivananda Ashram Yoga Retreat House, Reith or Mittersill, Tyrol, Austria
Om Namah Sivaya. In early July the Ashram saw the participants of the TTC become completely used to the rhythm of the course as they enjoyed their classes and lectures. We had some nice meditative walks in the evenings and online Satsangs with Kamala Devi from Australia. Sankar and Poornima Sreelal started the second part of their course “Ayurveda – the natural Rhythm of Life” with the topic “Seasonal routines for immunity throughout the year”. All staff went for an relaxing outing to the “Wildpark Aurach” where we have seen a large number of wild animals.
Later in July the TTCs had a chance to practice the Kriyas. They also performed a musical and an entertaining talent show on the outdoor platform, creating a beautiful and atmospheric evening. We took them on a walk and and on the way we surprised them with a hot chocolate. Padmavati from Vienna arrived to support the Yoga Vacation program for one week. The lectures and classes where focusing on the physical aspects of the asanas. 16 guests arrived for the Yoga and Mountain Magic programme. We had a wonderful Guru Poornima Puja together with TTCs, Yoga Vacation guests and the online community. Sita and Ram from the affiliated Centre in Hamburg arrived to the Ashram. 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. We continue to participate in the online European activities.
In July we were steeped in a TTC and ATTC. The students coped well with the rhythm and all stayed focussed. There was an introduction to mantras as well as Kriya workshop. We also had a nice group of guests. They followed the course “The power of positive thinking”. We had construction work to build a little Temple around the Kanya Kumari shrine. The framework of the roof was put up. The work looked promising. The water lilies in Ganga Sagar, our pond, steadily bloomed in July.
By the third week in July the international TTC and ATTC courses at the Ashram came to a successful closure. All the students passed well. They left happy and equipped. Several students from the TTC already joined the Paris Centre for karma yoga. Staff reorganized the Ashram rooms and facilities for the guests arriving immediately afterwards. We welcomed a promising group of students for the «Introduction to TTC Weekend» and guests for «Boost your vitality and mental health». We welcomed a good group for the certificate course «The Meditation Experience ». The staff had a lot of opportunities to teach. We had a few guests who chose to join the programme of «Half Yoga Vacation / Half Karma Yoga» bringing much support to the Ashram while allowing them to have a closer experience of life in the Ashram. Swami Kailasananda went to the Paris Centre to lead Satsang. The staff were full of gratitude for this opportunity to serve dynamically. Om.
Sivananda Ashram Dà Lat, Vietnam
Om Namah Sivaya from Da Lat Ashram. In early July the Ashram continued to be quiet as far as guest visits are concerned, due to the ongoing outbreaks of Covid-19 in Vietnam. Within the Ashram we followed strict protocols for social distancing, separating the group for Satsang to avoid gathering in high numbers. Many staff supported online course activities for students from all over Vietnam and further afield in Asia. Swami Narayanananda completed a five part course on the art of listening/compassionate communication which included groups of students in China and Japan. Staff was happy to join online events streamed from the LA Centre, and also to join Satsangs with Swami Sitaramananda, streamed from California. Staff are well and making good use of extra time available with some additional karma yoga projects together, clearing out one of the Ashram ponds and establishing new vegetable growing areas around our kitchen.
By the third week in July the province where the Ashram is located was under lockdown conditions, meaning no new guests were able to enter the Ashram. We continued to have a highly motivated group of students who were here since before restricted movement began. We were able to continue with many activities by splitting the Ashram inhabitants into small groups for each activity, in this way personal Sadhana and group Satsang continued to be strong. All here considered themselves to be very fortunate to be in such a well-shielded yet comfortable situation, where all can still exercise and move about freely within the Ashram boundaries. We continued to join online Satsang led by Swami Sitaramananda. We celebrated Guru Purnima with Pujas held in different locations to minimize group gathering. All staff are well, busy with many projects to improve the Ashram facilities. We were grateful for Guru’s grace in being able to offer courses at these challenging times. Om.
Sivananda Ashram Tapaswini, Gudur, Andra Pradesh India
Om Namah Sivaya. Namaste. We are delighted to welcome you to Sivananda Tapaswini Ashram. Our Ashram will follow the MHA guidelines closely to ensure the safety and comfort of all. Every guest/student must arrive with a negative Covid-19 (RT PCR) test. 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. https://sivananda.org.in/gudur/Covid-19-guidelines/
In July the Ashram was keeping well. Two staff members from Meenakshi Ashram Yogendra and Siddharth joined us. We conducted a Pranayama session with our students and also discussed their practice and doubts. It was good to meet and connect with them virtually. Ashram is very quiet at the moment with only one guest.
We continued to offer classes, courses & programs online. Details regarding this can be found at https://sivananda.org.in/online/Ashram/. 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.
08 New Moon
22 Full Moon
30 Sri Krishna Jayanti.
DRISHTI – view, gaze, point of focus
Drishti is a specific point for locking the eyes or inner vision onto. Drishti is used most commonly during meditation or while holding a yoga posture. The ancient yogis discovered that where our eyes are directed our attention naturally follows. The practice is believed to help cultivate insight and inner wisdom through the third eye.
There are two main categories of focal points. A bahya drishti is an external gazing point that is used in asana yoga practices. An antara drishti is an internal gazing point that is used in meditative practices to encourage pratyahara (withdrawal of the senses).
An early reference to the practice of Drishti occurs in the Bhagavad Gita, in which Krishna instructs Arjuna to “hold one’s body and head erect in a straight line and stare steadily at the tip of the nose.”
There is no greater obstacle to divine life than the craving for pleasures. – Sri Swami Sivananda