Sivananda World News: The Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Ashrams
Sivananda Ashram Yoga Camp, Val Morin, Quebec, Canada
Om Namah Sivaya. Unfortunately the present situation does not allow us to hold on site programs. Still we are doing our best to offer opportunities to practice yoga as much as possible during these difficult circumstances via our online programs.
In early January the main focus was planning the different programs online, such as retreats, classes, workshops and Satsangs. Besides that, the staff concentrated on various projects like making inventory of the boutique, deep kitchen clean up, fixing tiles in the Krishna Temple and of course lots of shovelling of snow. We had an Open House on Zoom, for the Teachers Training Course. It started with an information session about the TTC, followed by Asana class and Satsang. We received the first inscription for TTC online and there were few others who were interested as well. We are very glad to have daily Bhagavad Gita chanting sessions, led by Swami Vashishtannada, which gave calm and peaceful energy to the Ashram. There was a good spirit of togetherness throughout different activities & Sadhana. We looked forward to more possibilities to serve our students.
By mid January Swami Shankarananda and Karma yogis continued with painting the Krishna Temple. During the evening Satsangs Swami Vashishtananda led the chanting of the Bhagavad Gita, Lalita Sahasranama and Hanuman Chalisa. The Satsangs are very inspiring for the staff. We joined the inauguration of the online TTC organized by the Ashram in Reith and the European Centres. A small Canadian group of students attended this course. We also held an online workshop about the development of positive and constructive habits.
We are looking forward to meeting you online. May Master`s and Swamiji’s Blessings be always there for everyone. Prem and Om.
Sivananda Dhanwanthari Ashram, Neyyar Dam, Kerala, India
Om Namah Sivaya to all. Greetings from Kerala, India. Visit www.sivananda.org.in/neyyardam/Covid-19-guidelines We look forward to welcoming you and practicing together. We continue with in person and online classes, courses & programs. Please visit www.sivananda.org.in/weekly-schedule
Early January was busy, moving from Xmas cleaning up to accommodation cleaning, and from the greeting of teachers, assistants and students, alongside grappling with registration software and connectivity issues. We initiated 52 students into the January 2022 TTC. As usual, it was a pleasure to see the transformation of the hall from drab colours to refreshing yellow and white. Swami Gayatriananda, Mr Nagaraj from Delhi, Nataraj, Vijay, Yashpal and Kalyani initiated the students, which also involved Nataraj popping upstairs to Ganesh Kutir to initiate three Europeans who have to stay in isolation for a week under the current Covid regulations for international arrivals. For their first week, the quarantined students joined the TTC schedule through Zoom. With the YV guest numbers remaining above 30, the hall looked relatively full again as we looked forward to lots of prana in the Satsangs over the next few weeks. We thank Master and Swamiji for the opportunity to share the teachings despite difficulties.
By mid January the Online programs attendance increased after the distraction of various festivals. Streaming of all the elements of TTC continued as well as the food delivery karma yoga, due to three or four students testing positive for Covid. Everyone was very calm and carrying on as usual focused on their TTC, YV programs, karma yoga and Sadhana. The TTC students made a good attempt at the kriyas. Everyone enjoyed the very sattvic kedgeree/kitchari for lunch following the Kriyas. The TTC teaching groups started as well as the anatomy and physiology lectures. Suresh and two or three staff were occupied morning and afternoon with Week One of online hatha yoga classes for five students joining the Madurai TTC online. The guest numbers were steady mid month. The future looks good with the number of enquiries for courses, yoga vacation and panchakarma distinctly picking up. Saturday’s talent show was light-hearted and relaxing. The chanting in Satsangs was heartwarming.
We thank Master and Swamiji for all their blessings and pray for joy and peace for all. May Master and Swamiji bless all. All of us send our Pranams. Om.
Sivananda Ashram, Netala, Uttarkashi, Himalayas, North India
Om Namo Narayanaya from Uttar Kashi. Please note we 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
Early January we saw a gradual and modest increase in the number of yoga vacationers, them initially planning for a minimum stay of 3 nights later extending as they are able to find peace and happiness within through Yogic practices. Also, being in close association with nature uplifted their minds to higher realms of consciousness. On the construction front, work progressed at a rapid pace for Sivananda Rural Hospital but the new Office-Reception block comparatively slow due to lack of adequate manpower. We also prepared for the upcoming TTC with queries for direct registrations. Lots of volunteers from the immediate previous TTC batches also showed utmost interest to assist and learn. All is happy with prayers and regards to all, from our family of guests and staffs.
Sending Prayers and Regards to all from our family of guests and staffs. May Master and Swamiji bless all the efforts to follow the teachings in 2022. Om.
Sivananda Ashram Yoga Ranch Colony, Woodburne, NY, USA
Om Namah Sivaya from the Ranch. In early January Srinivasan gave a workshop on setting intention which had lots of interaction and interest from the community. Talks on Bhagavad Gita continued during the morning Satsangs. Staff put aside regular duties to get out and move snow before it turns to ice. We averaged about 8 inches, with much more in places.
January continued with staff finding depth in Sadhana and joy in service. Morning Satsang with Bhagavad Gita and much Kirtan could be heard coming from the Ranch. The packed snow with light coverings brought beautiful, glistening white surroundings bringing peaceful and Sattvic thoughts.
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, we initiated the 3rd batch of the Sivananda Yoga Health Educator Training (SYHET) program with a Guru Puja and a Dhanvantari Puja. We had 18 students joining. The SYHET is 2-years intensive study and practice. Students developed skills in how to apply Yoga techniques to specific health conditions, and to guide people to their own innate healing nature by connecting to their spirit. Students were all Yoga teachers from the US, Canada and Morocco. We began the 1st 17-day Module of study focused on Yoga Philosophy and Psychology. We shared classes each day with the Vietnam SYHET group, with Swami Sitaramananda and Swami Narayanananda teaching many classes with us. Swami Jnaneswariananda, Swami Dharmananada, Swami Adiparashaktiananda, Swami Sivasankariananda complete the main faculty for SYHET along with our team of mentors that include the swamis, Hamsa chaitanya, Maha Lakshmi, Tara Durga Devi, Kanti and Gayatri. With the Omicron Covid variant surge in place we moved our January courses online and prayed that we can host guests again soon in February.
As January progressed the Ashram was peaceful and beautiful. We had a beautiful SYHET Module 1 graduation ceremony led by Swami Sitaramananda from Vietnam and joined by US students, making a total of 58 students completing the first Module of the SYHET program. Congratulations to all the students! It was an intensive 17 days of study and practice, covering Yoga Philosophy and Psychology for Health and Healing. We thanked all the teachers, mentors and students for a wonderful beginning. The swamis offered words of encouragement and all are very inspired. Swami AdiParashaktiananda and Radha Chaitanya travelled to Vietnam to help with their programs for the next several months. We wished them a safe journey. The Omicron Covid variant continued to peak in Nevada County. Two residents of the Ashram tested positive for Covid and went into quarantine. They both emerged, doing fine. All others tested negative and continued to take care of the Ashram.
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/
January 2022 in the Bahamas: We inaugurated the first onsite TTC and ATTC in nearly two years. Students came from around the world to participate in the training. They found a good rhythm within their studies and karma yoga assignments. We bade farewell to many of the vacationers who joined us for the holidays and we look forward to seeing them again soon, whether virtually for courses and Satsangs or in-person for a future vacation.
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 January the in-person and online New Year program finished with a morning Satsang on “Destiny and Self Effort”, a personal coaching for the guests and a lecture on “Health and Hatha Yoga”. Guest and online students expressed their gratitude for the inspiring and intense two week program. Some of the guests stayed for the Yoga Vacation program – ”Yoga and Winter Magic” – which focused on the benefits of yoga for the heart and body alignment. Padmavati arrived to stay with us for 3 days and supported us in translating lectures. Swami Santoshananda left to Madrid. Other Swamis went back to their Centres in Berlin, Munich, Vienna and London. Kailas accompanied Swami Satyananda to serve in the Vienna Centre. We were very grateful for the presence of all visiting Swamis and staff during the Christmas and New Years season.
By mid January we were happy to have a small TTC group here in the Retreat House. They were welcomed by lots of fresh snow. We had two separate inauguration ceremonies, onsite and online. Participants from 9 different countries and different time zones joined the Online TTC. Kamala Devi from the Blue Mountains in Australia started her online course “Japa Yoga – Liberation through Sacred Sound” with an introduction into the 3000 year old history of OM. Marilyn Rossner from Canada gave a wonderful online lecture. It was the free introduction into her new online course “Raja Yoga – a vision of Freedom”. The new online course with Dr. Shanti Kumar Kamlesh started with a lecture on “Ayurveda Principles of Choosing and Preparing Food Items” and a video cooking demonstration.
All staff are well and send greetings to all. We pray that all remain healthy and safe. OM.
Sivananda Ashram Chateau du Yoga, Orleans, France
Om Namah Sivaya. By the Grace of the Masters, all went well in early January. The French TTC started well and the student settled in their routine. There was online evening Satsang in French on Mondays, and in English on Wednesdays and Sundays. Online Pujas were also shared from Orleans. The works for the new kitchen restarted. Trenches have been dug towards the construction site for transporting gas and electricity. The staff team was doing well. They continued with their daily study and weekly staff night.
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
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 January the Ashram had a very busy beginning to the New Year. All teachers and translators joined in a Homa ceremony as part of the preparation of the upcoming SYHET course. Staff and teachers were busy with online induction interviews for the new students, while also putting finishing touches to the updating and translating work of 3 manuals to be used in this module of the course. We celebrated the graduation of the 2019 SYHET batch of students, with most of the students participating online. Teachers and mentors spoke with encouraging and inspiring words for the graduating students. Students shared their stories of personal growth, especially in the areas of greater patience, empathy and compassion, plus, stories of transformation seen in clients that they have worked with. On the following day the initiation ceremony for the SYHET 2022 batch took place. By the grace of the Gurus all students arrived safely despite difficult traveling conditions. Many special arrangements have been made at the Ashram to keep everybody safe, most of the students are staying in private rooms, there is a system of quarantine and testing for those arriving from areas of higher incidence of Covid-19, and special arrangements for social distancing. Included in the SYHET group are 5 students participating online from Japan and one participating online from China. We started the initiation ceremony with Puja. Swami Sita inspired all with her talk on the importance of the work of the Yoga Health Educator in these challenging times. The first day of teaching included talks by Swami Jnaneshwariananda on the differences between Western medicine and more holistic approaches to health care, by Swami Narayanananda on the importance of Sadhana for the Yoga Health Educator, and Swami Pranavananda on the health benefits of asana practice. All here continue our practice with inspiration in this busy time.
By mid January the final week of the first two-week residential module of the new SYHET course went well. In addition to the classes delivered live onsite here in Vietnam by the resident teachers we were pleased to have the participation online of Swami Dharmananda and Swami Jnaneshwariananda at the Yoga Farm, plus Lila Lolling from the US who gave an excellent talk on the effects of trauma. Students continued with their diligent studying with all successfully completing the end of module on exam morning. After a short graduation ceremony all enjoyed a special celebration meal. After the departure of course participants the staff immediately started preparation for the resumption of visits by Yoga Vacation guests, also for the celebration of “Tet”, Lunar New Year, the most important celebration of the year in Vietnam.
We were grateful for Guru’s grace during these challenging times. Om.
Sivananda Ashram Tapaswini, Gudur, Andra Pradesh India
Om Namah Sivaya. Namaste. Praying to Masters to bless us so that we continue on this selfless path.
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.
02 New Moon
Replace doubts with Satsanga, company of those with no doubts. – Sri Swami Sivananda
The Vedantic Kumbhaka in Pranayama
Being without any distraction and with a calm mind, one should practice Pranayama. Both expiration and inspiration should be stopped. The practitioner should depend solely on Brahman; that is the highest aim of life. The giving out of all external objects, is said to be Rechaka. The taking in of the spiritual knowledge of Sastras, is said to be Puraka, and the keeping to oneself of such knowledge is said to be Kumbhaka. He is an emancipated person who practises his Chitta thus. There is no doubt about it. Through Kumbhaka the mind should always be taken up and through Kumbhaka alone it should be filled up within. It is only through Kumbhaka that Kumbhaka should be firmly mastered. Within it, is ‘Parama Siva’. At first in his Brahmagranthi there is produced soon a hole or passage. Then having pierced Brahmagranthi, he pierces Vishnugranthi, then he pierces Rudragranthi, then the Yogin attains his liberation through the religious ceremonies, performed in various births, through the grace of Gurus and Devatas and through the practice of Yoga.
Sharpen the intellect. Thin out the ego. Purify the mind. – Sri Swami Sivananda