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Sivananda World News: The Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Ashrams

Sivananda Ashram Yoga Camp, 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.

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

We are happy to announce that we are accepting guests to the Ashram from 15th October, 2020. Pre-booking via [email protected] is necessary. Terms & conditions apply. Visit We look forward to welcoming you back and practicing together. We are continuing classes, courses & programs online. Please visit

Meanwhile, at the Ashram, January 2021 began with a new program at the Ashram, a weight loss retreat. Six people arrived to participate in ‘dynamic’ classes, powder massages and an Ayurvedic reduction diet. They soon settled into the routine. We were sad to see karma yogi, Adidev, leave after a year or so of steady service in various departments.  The staff were busy preparing the Ashram for the January TTC. Despite less numbers, all dormitories were prepared due to the 50% occupancy COVID policy currently in place – one person in each cubicle of two beds. Karma Yogis have been jet hosing pathways and walls clean of the usual Kerala algae. We were happy to welcome Dwarka Centre director, Vijay for the TTC and a handful of assistants. We hosted the initiation of 66 students from across India into the TTC, with all looking forward to a challenging month. The office was particularly busy as registrations for the third online TTC also started on 10th January and were being managed from Neyyar Dam. With many registrations, there was a flurry of activity in sending out the necessary information and packing up TTC manuals to send through speed post. May Master and Swamiji guide the teachers and students in the coming four weeks of study together.

By mid-January, the TTC had started with Ganapathy Homa, nicely conducted by the Ashram priest, along with energetic mantra and kirtan, led by Swami Gayatri, Nataraj and Vijay.  Sureshji who taught the online TTC, joined with his laptop, technical karma yogis and cameras for the teachers and students of the online TTC to share in the blessings of Sri Ganesh for a good start to teaching and learning. The students quickly settled into their intense schedule. After many days of continuous rain, the sun finally broke through mid-week taking away the cold and damp. Meanwhile online, Dr Vishnu gave a two-day workshop on Herbs that Heal which received good attendance. The number of guests onsite is gradually increasing along with interest for panchakarma. The weight-loss retreat came to an end with the participants happy with their weight lost and improved mobility and energy.  The Satsangs appeared full because of the social distancing. We thank Master and Swamiji for their Grace enabling everything to go smoothly.

The weather continued to be bright during the day and cooler at nights as January progressed. It made for a comfortable practice of the kriyas in the open air. The participation was good. The students were surprisingly energetic still later in the day; perhaps due to the super nutritious but simple kidgeree lunch with boiled vegetables, plus ghee, of course. Some of the students joined the staff in the kitchen to make masala dosa and vada for everyone for lunch, to make up for not being able to go out on the ‘day off’.  The students began their teaching groups enthusiastically and also appreciated the shift to Anatomy and Physiology classes. The two day workshop, by Dr Manjeri on Yoga for Back, Neck and Shoulder Pain was attended well with 10 registrations from India and overseas.  The February online programs from Neyyar Dam were assembled by Padmavati and Rohini. We looked forward to seeing them. Our small group of yoga vacationers and panchakarma ‘patients’ continued to enjoy the relaxed Ashram schedule. May Master and Swamiji continue to bless us all with the ability and opportunity to share the teachings and steady practice going onwards. May all have health and peace of mind. Om.

Sivananda Ashram, Netala, Uttarkashi, Himalayas, North India

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.

We will also continue to offer classes, courses & programs online. Details regarding this can be found at 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. Due to the unpredictability of the on-going COVID-19 situation nationally and locally we have had to change our opening dates. We request that you contact your local India Centres and Ashrams directly for their latest update. Join us through online classes, courses and programs online. 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, Meenakshi Ashram started 2021 with a beautiful Ganapathi Homa for the Sadhana Intensive course. The students finished their first week of Sadhana, taken from Basic Pranayama to more and more advanced methods as the course progressed. The lectures on Hatha Yoga Pradipika were also thoroughly enjoyed by the students. They were very well adapting to their diet of Khicheri and Almond Milk. A few ATTC students also arrived to the Ashram to start with their asana practice prior to their course, preparing themselves well ahead of the program. We also had Lalitha Sahasra Naama Pujas, creating divine positive vibrations and uplifting the energy for the group.

The ATTC began on a highly energetic note with Ganapathi Homa followed by first class of Hatha Yoga practice. Advanced Pranayama started for most. The process of getting up early and being ready at 5am for the practice proved to be a novel experience. We offered the Lalitha Sahasra Naama Puja, giving the students an opportunity to wear vibrant and colourful attire, with all of us benefitting from the mantras and chants. A group of students came for the Yoga Vacation program, thoroughly enjoying the yogic lifestyle, schedule and Ashram atmosphere. Our Talent show was also a grand affair with singing and dancing helping us all discover our jovial selves. 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 –

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!

Meanwhile the staff remain at the Yoga Ranch Ashram. By Master’s Blessings and Gurus Grace all went well in January. The weather was quite chilly and snowy. The Online TTC went well as students started to teach the asana class to each other. The Srimad Bhagavatam Study continued each weekday morning, led by Srinivasan. Online Yoga Classes continued steadily. We also have in-person yoga classes in the Ashram for staff and the handful of residents here. One Saturday Omkara taught a Qi Gong Workshop both online and in person. In the Ashram, residents participated in karma yoga with cleaning duties around the Ashram creating a vibrant karma yoga spirit. Sitaram Chaitanya planted in the greenhouse nursery in preparation for the upcoming season. In general, all is going well by God’s Grace.
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 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:

The January Online TTC North America began during the first week of 2021 with the Yoga Farm and NY Ranch sharing the teachings. The TTC Initiation welcomed 12 students, led by Swami Sitaramanandaji who shared the history of Swamiji’s vision in creating the TTC and offered inspiring words to the students. Srinivasanji welcomed the students and offered his words of encouragement. The Guru Puja was led by Swami Vasishtananda and the swamis and teachers of the course were introduced. Swami Sitaramananda offered weekly Satsangs and Q&A Satsang; Swami Jnaneswariananda taught the Main Lecture and A&P; Swami Dharmananda taught Bhagavad Gita, Meditation, Positive Thinking; Swami AdiParashaktiananda, Swami Sivasankariananda, and Mokshapriya formed the Hatha Yoga team. Satsangs were led by all the swamis. The students were split between east coast and west coast North America plus included one student from Colombia and another from Denmark. They were a diverse and very sincere group. Meanwhile other courses included the 5-day Beginner Course with Mahadevika introducing the 5 Points of Yoga and the asana and pranayama practice. The weekly Good Karma Vegetarian Diet with MahaLakshmi was very well received, introducing sattvic foods for all seasons.

As January progressed, the Online TTC continued very well. The students adapted to the TTC schedule and are a serious group, very engaged and appreciating the many practical aspects of the Yoga teachings: health, stress reduction, diet, hatha yoga, positive thinking and philosophy. The group became more tuned as we began week 2 and connected more and more to each other. Hamsa Chaitanya taught the 5-day Positive Thinking course with dedicated students seeking tools to overcome their fears and anxieties in this stressful time. All were very happy with their new Yoga tools to keep their mind positive and present. MahaLakshmi continued with the weekly Good Karma Vegetarian Diet workshops, sharing sattvic recipes with Yoga and Ayurveda knowledge and cooking secrets. The Ashram was very sunny and warm as some of the staff took an outing to the beautiful Yuba river for pranayam and meditation. Swami Sitaramananda zoomed in from Vietnam to share a Satsang talk on “Concentration”, explaining the power of concentration and effects on the mind. We welcomed Dr. Fred Luskin to speak on “Resilience”, offering practical understanding and simple breathing/ meditation techniques to calm the “fight or flight” response. The Ashram became extra beautiful with some rain. Projects included tree trimming, getting the garden ready for spring, and painting the women’s dorm. 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.

January 2021 in the Bahamas: Swamini Atmaprakashanandaji concluded the teachings on the Kena Upanishad after two months of detailed study. We were very appreciative of her warmth and dedication to the teachings and looked forward to the next Vedanta course. Since the conclusion of the course and of the Christmas & New Year’s Symposium, the hours spent in classes and workshops were re-allocated to sattva projects around the Ashram: sweeping the paths, raking leaves, and an archeological dig in the maintenance workshops. Evening Satsangs resumed their rhythm of three days with the Srimad Bhagavatam, three days with the Mahabharata, and one day with a Puja. The resumption of two additional chants after the Jaya Ganesha was most welcome. Online yoga classes continued to be well-attended, both in the morning and in the afternoon. Quite a few new online courses began, some of which were taught by guest presenters. Dr. Marc Halpern began Ayurvedic Medicine: Disease Prevention and Maximizing Your Healing. Samani Chaitanya Pragya, Dr. Naina Mehta, Dr. Devendra I Mehta, and Ramesh Parmar began a certification course for both yoga practitioners and health care professionals entitled Healing Disorders through Yoga, Pranayama, and Meditation. Students interested in Vedanta had the opportunity to commence study with Swami Brahmananda (Teachings from the Upanishads) and with Rukmini Chaitayna (Vedantic Meditations). Jnaneshwari Chaitanya began a weekend intensive course on chapters 1 & 2 of the Bhagavad Gita.  As a staff, we decided to embark upon a week long kitchari cleanse, and so far the results have been good. We also celebrated the birthday of longtime staff member Radha. We bade a fond farewell to Gauri Devi, who had been serving dedicatedly in the Temple, assisting with TTCs, and helping us with our first aid needs for the past fifteen months. We wish her all the best during her time away, and look forward to seeing her back in the Ashram soon!

We celebrated the Makara Sankranti (the day that the sun begins its northern path) with an Ayappa Puja. Krishnan Namboodiri led us in the memorable refrain “Swami ayappa, ayan ayappa…” while the swamis lit candles symbolizing the eighteen steps of the spiritual path. During a Sunday Satsang we enjoyed kirtan and healing with guest presenter and long-time member of the Ashram family, Narayan Jyoti. Sleep specialist Dr. Rubin Naiman joined us to give a well-attended talk about dreams and their importance in our lives. Four new online courses began – Swami Hridyananda, together with Narayan Jyoti, taught students the sacred music of kirtan in Yoga and Chanting for Peace of Mind and Heart; Swami Paramananda commenced Cultivating the Power of the Mind and a new session of Asana Challenge, while Swami Brahmananda began teaching the eleventh chapter of the Bhagavad Gita. There was excitement in the air as we prepared for our first online TTC, beginning late February.

Towards to end of January we bade a very fond farewell to Swamini Atmaprakashananda Saraswati. Swaminiji arrived last February to present a six-week Vedanta immersion course on the Taittiriya Upanishad and due to the global circumstances, she stayed with us for nearly one year. Throughout this year, she taught us the Dakshina Murti Stotram of Adi Shankaracharya, Aitareya Upanishad, Mundaka Upanishad, and Kena Upanishad, in addition to countless hours of teaching her worldwide students online classes in Sanskrit, the Bhagavad Gita, and many other sacred texts. Swaminiji blessed us with her presence in various Pujas and in daily life around the Ashram, often stopping to share warm encouragement with the Ashram dwellers. We were happy for her students in other parts of the globe who were eagerly anticipating her arrival, and we very much look forward to welcoming her to this Ashram again soon.

In other news, online courses and daily yoga classes continued to go well. Krishna Chaitanya began the Chair Yoga Teacher Training Course, assisted by Kumari, Savitri Devi, and Padmavati. Graduates of this course received certification to teach chair yoga to their students. For those interested in learning about Raja Yoga, Swami Brahmananda began Patanjali Yoga Sutras: the Practical Guide. Jnaneshwari continued the sequence of courses on the Bhagavad Gita with the commencement of the fourth chapter.

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. We look forward to continuing to add Online programs, courses and guest speakers to our calendar.

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.

At the beginning of 2021, the fresh motivation of the online visitors was particularly noticeable. The course “Inspirations for the New Year” with Swami Gokulananda was very well attended, the yoga one intensive course, which had started in the old year, turned into a yoga two course. The early pranayama classes at 5.30 am were again well attended. The staffs gathered ideas for new online courses with special topics. New dates for future TTC online courses were posted on the web. Dr. Kamlesh gave a very informative lecture on “Ayurveda for Women” – live from Lucknow, India. Yagneshwara Dixit also spiritually enriched the prana with mantra chants and Pujas.

Online courses and classes continued to be well attended mid January. Since the hard lockdown remained in place, there was generally a steady group of listeners in the morning Satsangs. Four times in the morning we studied “Vedanta in Daily Life” by Swami Sivananda, which is full of suggestions for spiritual contemplation. The New Year’s course “Inspirations for the New Year” merged into the course “Spiritualize Your Everyday Life”. The  inscriptions reflect the spiritual hunger and the desire for more inwardness. Swami Jyotirmayananda started her course on the “Narada Bhakti Yoga Sutras”, which she had presented very lovingly and invitingly in the evening Satsang prior. A new Yoga 1 course started with motivated participants. The online TTC had a very successful final exam and a harmonious graduation ceremony. A lot of gratitude and inner satisfaction were expressed during the virtual handover of the diplomas. Staff enjoyed the positive motivation of the online participants and the variety of programs on offer.

As the Seminar House remained closed throughout January, we utilized the time between TTCs for various (office) projects. We had the inauguration of the next online TTC with a diverse group of students. We looked forward to the coming four weeks of learning together. The online classes, webinars, morning and evening Satsangs continued. A new course on ‘Deep Relaxation’ started as well as follow-up courses on ‘The Bhagavad Gita’ and ‘Hatha Yoga Inspirations’. From India, Dr. Kamlesh continued his Ayurveda course, ‘Ayurveda, Nature’s Care for Body and Mind’. Vaidya Sreelal Sankar and Vaidya Poornima Sreelal, Ayurveda experts from Kerala, India, gave an introduction into an upcoming educational course ‘Ayurveda, the Science of Life’. Professor Marilyn Rossner inspired us in her course ‘The Eternal Journey of the Soul’. 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. OM.

In January 2021 we had a small group of TTC students. We started with a Ganesha Puja and the students participated well. Teaching went smoothly. For Swami Nityananda’s birthday, who is now in Paris Centre, staff and students from Orleans joined her in the Om Namo Narayanaya chanting. On the TTC day off, the staff took time to meet and speak openly about their experience in the Ashram. A small group of Yoga Vacation guests arrived. They were very grateful to be able to spend a week in the Ashram’s energy. There was combined gardening party for all – students, guests and staff. Among the staff, swadhyaya continued twice a week and there was also a weekly staff night. One Sunday, it snowed a lot. OM.

Sivananda Ashram Dà Lat, Vietnam

Om Namah Sivaya from Da Lat Ashram. The Da Lat Ashram is open.

As we moved into the New Year 2021 we welcomed students to the Ashram to join two different courses. The 3rd 2 week residential module of the SYHET course began with an initiation. A group of 19 of the students who are resident in Vietnam joined us in person. Other members of the group from overseas participated online. Swami Sitaramananda taught many of the classes, joined by Swami Jnaneswariananda online from California; Swami Pranavavanda from Da Lat Ashram; Lila Lolling online from the US and Dr. Sharma online from India. In addition we welcomed special guest Dr. Loan, a Vietnamese doctor who specializes in natural methods to correct spine issues. Alongside the SYHET course we started an Ayurveda Therapist training, with 8 participants. Ayurveda specialist Nitya was the main teacher for the course, teaching online from the US, joined by doctors from Vaidyagrama online from India. Swami Sitaramananda and Swami Narayanananda made a trip to Hanoi, accompanied by Shakti Chaitanya and Sivakami. A group of students in Hanoi sponsored the opening of a small Yoga Centre there, in a quiet but central location near the famous West Lake. We celebrated the opening of the Centre with Puja and an “Open Day”, followed by a full schedule of classes.

Both the SYHET and Ayurveda Therapist courses continued steadily. The SYHET course was taught with translation into Vietnamese and Japanese. Special guest teachers were Lila Lolling, teaching online from the US, and a doctor from the local Da Lat medical school who taught classes on back pain. Ganga Chaitanya joined us from Ho Chi Minh City for one day, teaching adapted yoga for SYHET. Participants were happy to receive the completed volume 4 of the SYHET manual, titled “Adapted Yoga and Therapeutic Yoga Practices”. Alongside the two courses we welcomed a group of 36 beginner students, members of the Ozen meditation club. Almost all experienced an immersion into yoga life for the first time. Taking advantage of the current good weather we were able to hold 3 of our Satsangs outdoors, including one morning Satsang to watch a beautiful sunrise. All very much appreciated their stay.

The SYHET module 3 course was completed by the end of January. We were joined by Mary Thompson, teacher of Ayurveda, teaching online from California. Participants continued steady with their study, completing the interim exam successfully. All were awarded certificates of completion of the 168 hours of tuition. We celebrated the end of the module with a special dinner and “graduation” ceremony. Participants spoke about how at this point in the course they are seeing clearly how to apply theoretical knowledge to real cases. We also saw the completion of the Ayurveda Therapist course, with 8 new therapists completing their study and practice. We welcomed a group of 73 beginner students, all managers from one of Vietnam’s biggest hospitality companies. All joined in the full program with great enthusiasm, enjoying their introduction to a yoga lifestyle. 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.

We will also continue to offer classes, courses & programs online. Details regarding this can be found at 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.

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Spiritual Calendar


07 Ekadasi
11 New Moon
23 Ekadasi
27 Full Moon

MARCH 2021

09 Ekadasi
11 Maha Sivarathri
13 New Moon
25 Ekadasi
28 Full Moon
29 Holi

Become a friend of humanity. Become a radiant Yogi in this World. – Sri Swami Sivananda


SATTVA, RAJAS, TAMAS: The three Gunas: three forces; the three qualities

The natural medical system of Ayurveda has been practiced in India for thousands of years and bases its teaching on three Gunas, or primary qualities, that are said to exist in all natural things. Sattva, Rajas and Tamas. Each represents a different quality: Sattva is purity, Rajas is activity or passion and Tamas is inertia or darkness. In every material object, person or action, the characteristics of all three gunas are present; one, however, is always dominant. Whether a person’s diet consists of Sattvic foods, Rajasic foods or Tamasic foods determines which Guna influences their thoughts and actions.
Sattva is harmony or light or wisdom or equilibrium or goodness. Rajas is passion or motion or activity. Tamas is inertia or inaction or darkness. During Cosmic Pralaya these three Gunas exist in a state of equilibrium. During Srishti or projection a vibration arises and the three qualities are manifested in the physical universe. The three qualities bring bondage to the Jiva or the individual soul. Though Sattva is a desirable quality, yet it also binds a man. It is a golden fetter. Rajas is the source of attachment and thirst for life. It causes attachment to action. Tamas binds man to heedlessness (Pramada), laziness (Alasya) and sleep (Nidra).

These three qualities are inseparable. No one is absolutely Rajasic or Sattvic or Tamasic. Sometimes Sattva prevails in man. He is calm and serene. He sits quietly and entertains sublime, soul-elevating thoughts. He studies religious scriptures. He talks on divine topics. When Sattva prevails, the other two qualities are overpowered for the time being. At other times Rajas prevails. He does action. He moves about. He plans, schemes, speculates. He craves for power, wealth and action. When Rajas prevails, Sattva and Tamas are overpowered for the time being. Sometimes Tamas prevails and the man becomes slothful. He feels lazy, indolent and lethargic. He is dull and feels sleepy. When Tamas prevails, Sattva and Rajas are overpowered for the time being.

The Bhagavad Gita describes the nature of Sattvic, Rajasic and Tamasic natures in Chapter XVIII as follows:
That which knows the path of work and renunciation, what ought to be done, fear and fearlessness, bondage and liberation-that intellect is Sattvic (pure), O Arjuna. That by which one wrongly understands Dharma and Adharma and also what ought to be done and what ought not to be done-that intellect, O Arjuna, is Rajasic. That which, enveloped in darkness, sees Dharma as Adharma, and all things perverted-that intellect is Tamasic.”

Light, positive, Sattvic or pure thoughts are calm and can be more easily transcended. Rajasic (extrovert) and Tamasic (dull) thoughts like anger, jealousy and greed are difficult to control. The question is how to purify the thoughts and experience positive thinking…

Do not allow the mind to wander about in sensual objects. Practice Nirodha/self-restraint. – Sri Swami Sivananda