Sivananda World News: The Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centres
Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Zentrum, Berlin, Germany
Om Namah Sivaya! Early December saw many courses starting, among them a Yoga 1 course with a good group of newcomers eager to learn the basics of yoga. A highlight was the Christmas party. Many hands joined together to prepare, decorating the Centre, cooking, putting up the Christmas tree and preparing the presents. It all went very smoothly with everyone in a good mood. About 100 students and 20 children came to celebrate the festivities together. The theater play was again a highlight, as well as Santa Claus and a music performance by a student playing the violin. Everybody also loved singing the Christmas carols. The lasagna served at the end of the event was very much appreciated. Students stayed on to chat and enjoy the Centre’s energy. Many of them supported the tidying up of the Centre after the party was over. Pushpa left back to Reith soon after. Natalia, a new temporary staff for one year from Poland arrived. OM.
Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Buenos Aires, Argentina, South America
Om Namah Sivaya. In early December Swami Premananda returned from the tour of Chile. Amrita from Venezuela, who had already been at the Center as a Staff, returned to stay with us for 3 months. We finished the rehearsals for the play for New Year’s Eve Party. We continued with the study of Bhagavad Gita, with Swami Premananda. Durga of Uruguay came to give a special workshop on the Effect of Yoga Practices on Emotions with many people attending. We are blessed with the many Karma Yogis helping at the Centre. We hope all of you are well. Pranams. Om.
Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Chengdu, China
Om Namah Sivaya from Chengdu. In early December a Sunday workshop on shoulder and neck pain, led by Haring, was popular. Ambika finished teaching the AM Yoga 1 and her students were interested in learning vegetarian cooking so we organized a Kicheree cooking workshop. Saraswati and Hamsa continued teaching at the IT company. Saraswati also taught at the Sichuan Cancer Hospital for breast cancer patients. Open classes continued well. We also continued the weekly teachers’ meeting. Sivani went home to visit her family before heading to serve at the Vietnam Ashram. Jaya (Taiwan) also finished her 2-month service at Chengdu Center before her further study in Vietnam. We offered Satsang on the topic of Love and relationship, based on the transcription of Swami Sitaramananda’s lecture, which served as powerful inspirations for all. We also emphasized Bhakti yoga awareness.
In mid December a highlight was the Sunday Satsang, led by Saraswati. She shared the techniques for stress management from Swami Sitaramanandaji’s lecture. We also shared our own ways to release stress. The Beginners’ Yoga 1 course, taught by Janaki, was held as normal. Saraswati and Hamsa continued teaching at the IT company. Saraswati also taught the chair yoga class to cancer patients at the hospital. As the weather became colder open class attendance was just okay. We continued the weekly teachers’ meeting on Thursdays.
Meanwhile, Sivani finished translating for both the Vedanta Silence Course and Beginners’ Jyotish course in Vietnam. All students are very inspired by the teachings. By Guru’s grace, all staff are strong. May Guru’s Grace bless everyone in 2020. Om Shanti. Om.
Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India
Om Namah Sivaya to all Blessed Selves from the Chennai Centre. Although the Chennai weather was still rainy & windy in early December our centre is fully geared up with activities. We started the Beginners’ Yoga 1 & a Japanese Beginners’ Yoga classes, with great response with 8 and 4 students respectively. We conducted a demo in a community apartment for senior citizens led by Gopan, with Uma Natarajan & Shanthi Vijaya which attracted a huge positive response. We held the headstand coaching workshop with good response as well. We offered a special weekend program with Swami Paramananda, an open class & an electrifying Satsang with overwhelming response from our old TTC Chennaites & our current students with their families. All other courses & classes were running fine with an excellent increase in student numbers.
In mid December Chennai’s weather was pleasantly sunny. We started a Beginners’ Yoga 1 class 6.30pm batch. We had a three day workshop on “Go Deeper in Hatha Yoga” by Nirmala Chaitanya, which received a great positive applaud and attended by 15 people all giving positive feedback saying they received a different insight about hatha yoga. We welcomed the new Tamil month of Margazhi with a Ganapathi Homa. Teaching at the Senior Citizens community apartment went well with increasing publicity & motivation. We welcomed a new karma yogi, Yusoef from Iran and welcomed back our staff member, Parvenu, with his wife Aradhana & child Anjaneya. Aradhana participated in the new Beginners’ Yoga 1 batch. Yoga Vacation participation picked up with good numbers. Lady staff members enjoyed the outing to Gudur Tapaswini Ashram with Gopan for the graduation program. We held headstand coaching. We had a “Gyan Sunday Evening Satsang” by Bhavana from Delhi, along with our staffs, students & families. Otherwise all our courses and classes ran fine with positive increase in student numbers. All staffs doing their personal Sadhana. May all live under the grace of Master and Guru in 2020. Prayers and Greetings from Chennai Centre. Pranams! Om.
We would also like to share a video, highlighting the Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre in Chennai, India. There’s an endearing section on family yoga. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qFfdbT2iChg
Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Chicago, USA
Om Namah Sivaya. In early December Candrika finished Yoga 2 and continued Yoga 1, while Radhika continued with Positive Thinking. Satsang and open classes continued with variable attendance. Staff and karma yogis finished decorating the Center which felt festive and cheerful. A visiting teacher, Sivajyoti, offered a pranayama workshop to 9 eager students.
We are grateful to the Gurus for continuing to protect and inspire our Sadhana. We wish you awareness of Guru’s Grace in 2020. Pranams to all. Om Shanti, Shanti, Shantihi. Om.
Sivananda Yoga Vedanta DÀ LAT Centre, Dà Lat, Vietnam
Om Namah Sivaya from the beautiful DaLat Centre. In early December we were happy to welcome new a new staff member, Santoshi, who will be staff for 6 months. We opened a new Beginners’ Yoga 1 course with 11 students attending. We organized a TTC information day. Students were very interested and planned to take TTC in 2020. One afternoon, all staff and some Karma Yogis decorated the Da Lat Centre for Christmas, having a lot of fun. Swami Narayanananda visited us one evening and led Satsang with 20 people attending.
By mid December we were happy to welcome Swami Narayanananda’s visit and lead Satsang. We organized the annual Christmas Party with 09 people attending, having a lot of cheer connecting with students. All the classes in the Centre ran well, with stable student numbers. Staff maintained their Sadhana, helping to keep the good energy of the Centre. We pray that the Guru’s grace will always be with us for 2020. Om.
Sivananda Yoga Vedanta DWARKA Centre, Delhi, India
Om Namah Sivaya. By God grace and Guru’s blessing the Dwarka Centre was functioning very well in December. We started a Beginners’ Yoga 1 course at 10 am & 6:30 pm with good numbers of students. For the advanced students we started asana pranayama and meditation classes at 5am and 4 pm. The student numbers went down due to cold weather in the northern part of India. Meanwhile it was a good opportunity in the Centre for a small renovation and the addition of two altars, one for Lord Nataraja and other for Lord Vishnu. We conducted an ASANA VIJAYAM yoga class for advanced students. The students appreciated the class. All the staff were busy in December with their karma yoga and taking care of the Centre. Satsang took place on Saturdays at 6pm followed by delicious food cooked by staff and karma yogi. Otherwise all the classes and courses continued well. Om.
Sivananda Yoga Vedanta NATARAJA Centre, Delhi, India
Greetings from Sivananda Nataraja Centre. Early December we started two Beginners’ Yoga 1 courses at 6.30 am and 4.30 pm with fewer students. We also offered 12 class Weight Loss program with a good number of students. We conducted a workshop on Shat Kriyas on Saturdays which was also attended by good number of students. The air quality index is improving in Delhi which resulted in increase in students arriving to class.
By mid December we started with one Beginners’ Yoga 1 course at 6.30 am. The number of students reduced a little because of severe cold and the holiday season. All the staff are well including Jaypal (cook) who returned from home after spending one month with family. The rest of the Centre’s activities went well, with the Grace of Gurus. Good wishes to all the Sivananda community with Merry Christmas greetings from Nataraja Centre. Sending Pranams for Peace and Happiness for all in 2020. Om.
Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Geneva, Switzerland
Om Namah Sivaya. The main event for early December was our Christmas party. We started with a Satsang and a message about the connection between Jesus, Krishna and Yoga. Then we had a theatre play, which was written last year by Swami Bhagavatananda, about Kanya Kumari. The teachers worked on it for several weeks and did a wonderful performance. They were beautifully dressed as Siva, Durga, Indra, Surya, Narada and Banasura. The play also included also a Sadhana message. We served the Christmas dinner, beautifully prepared by Girija, with help from our Karma Yogis. Then we chanted the Christmas carols. Afterwards Nadapriya, one of our teachers and a circus artist, did a performance of tap dance and handstand with music and finally we had an Indian dance performance, by Poonam, which was very joyful and inspiring. We gave small booklets with poems by Master Sivananda as presents to everybody and some homemade curry powder to the teachers and close students. The energy of the Masters could felt and everybody went home with a happy heart. OM.
Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Om Namah Sivaya. The Hochiminh Centre continued having a good number of students for courses and open classes in early December. We started a Beginners’ Yoga 1 course with 10 students, taught by Devika; a 5-day SYHET practicum course on stress management, with 5 people, taught by Daya Chaitanya and lastly a TTC information day, taught by Priya Chaitanya and Swami Pranavananda, with more than 20 people attending. Ganga Chaitanya came back from Dalat with lot of energy. All went well. In latter December a highlight was definitely the annual holiday party for the Christmas season, with everyone here helping to decorate and make preparations. We were blessed with a very high turnout of 63 people. The event started with a 15 minute meditation with many children completely silent! We chanted and tried to name Christmas tunes played from recordings when Santa Claus (Hamsa) suddenly appeared with gifts for all, lifting up the small children and raising everyone’s spirits! We went downstairs for a wonderful selection of food, brought entirely by Karma Yogis. The staff performed a beautiful play about the “Snow Queen” (Jagadamba) and many others sang popular songs from the West and Vietnam. Ganga Chaitanya studied Jyotisha, the science of light, from the 17th to the 21st at the Dalat Ashram. The other courses continued as usual with very good attendance. Pranams to the Sivananda Family for 2020. Om.
Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, London, England
Om Namah Sivaya. The London Centre was honoured to host the EBM meeting in early December. The staff were focused on the organization of the EBM meeting, with a lot of dynamism and enthusiasm. Much preparation was done by an active staff team to prepare all rooms, the meeting room and the kitchen for the event. Most of the EBM arrived on December 2nd. Kumari was in charge of the kitchen and organized all the meals beautifully. Durga, who had come for 10 days of karma yoga, was a precious support to the Centre. She continued to serve in the Paris Centre as a karma yogi and teacher. The first meeting day of the EBM started with a very beautiful and uplifting Puja, led by a priest from one of the Hindu temples in London. By the time the EBM meeting started the house was full of prana. Swami Nityananda left for Paris after one month of great service in London. Kailas taught the Bhagavad Gita study group to 4 very inspired students. The last day of the EBM meeting was a day of many departures. Swami Sitaramananda gave an inspiring Satsang with much generosity and wisdom. Swami Sitaramananda and Sivakami left the Centre to go back to Vietnam and Parvati returned to Paris. Kailas gave a successful enthusiastic workshop “Find the Right Alignment’. Swami Jnaneswariananda gave a very inspiring evening Satsang on the subject of meditation. Meanwhile, we had the theater rehearsal for the Christmas party. Swami Jnaneswariananda gave another beautiful Satsang, including the Sunday prayers that were very powerful. There was great energy and a lot of generosity. Students and staff were very inspired. We were happy and blessed to have benefited from the presence and the energy of Acharyas and Swamis during the EBM meeting.
By mid December Kailas gave the pranayama workshop and Savitri led the meditation course. Kailas, Ganga and Saraswati put sattva into the Centre by reorganizing the basement and also the offices. We were grateful to have a good team of karma yogis, including new ones, to assist in cleaning the house. The staff had half an hour of Swadhyaya. Kailas taught the Bhagavad Gita course to three inspired students. Staff member, Ganga, left the Centre after 7 months of precious service. Manisha took really care of the altar. We had a swadhyaya in the middle of the afternoon with Kailas on the adjustments in the asanas. Padma arranged the Christmas decorations around the Centre and Sivapriya took care of the administration and reception. Kailas gave the evening Satsang, where there were beautiful kirtans heard, and the reading of a letter from Sivananda Upanishad. Kailas mainly worked on the brochure and gave the evening Satsang, he read a chapter from “World Peace” by Swami Sivananda. We felt blessed and grateful to be able to continue the Swami Vishnudevananda’s Peace Mission. May the Master’s and Guru’s blessings be with all in 2020. OM.
Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Los Angeles, CA, USA
Om Namo Narayanaya. In early December the students who came for our Saturday afternoon Pranayama Workshop were attentive and grateful for the information and guidance shared. We planned a 5-session Pranayama Course for the new year to highlight this classical offering, which seemed to be omitted at other studios. Rita Burgos, student of Dr Marc Halpern, offered a Yoga Nidra session one Sunday afternoon, which brought a crowd! We continued to learn about the mechanics of the new building, making repairs to the roof and heating system. We were grateful for the referrals of several exceptional service people, creating grace again and again.
In mid December Doctor Suzanne Gilberg-Lenz, noted women’s health and integrative medicine expert, taught at SYHET in the fall at the Yoga Farm, made a fruitful visit to the Centre. She was enthusiastic about offering medical programs and helping us connect with the neighborhood, whether concerning gardening or social service programming. First-time visitors continued to be impressed with the facility as well. Staff were happy to connect with the Sivananda Organization at the milestone all-staff Zoom meeting and hope there will be more global opportunities to connect and learn. By the grace of Master and Guruji, may everything be well for all in 2020. Om.
The Los Angeles SIVANANDA YOGA VEDANTA Centre
3741 W 27th St,
Los Angeles, CA
Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Madrid, Spain
Om Namah Sivaya, Blessed Selves! In December classes and courses continued as usual. The new brochure was sent to the printer and the Centre prepared for the reduced Christmas schedule. Weekend satsangs were well visited with strong chanting and inspiring words of Peace. On Sunday staff left to the European Ashrams for the holiday season. We are grateful to Master and Swamiji for inspiring so many souls on their path. Pranams to all. OM.
Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Madurai, India
Om Namah Sivaya. All was good at the Madurai Centre for December. Courses ran smoothly, classes went well with everything else was fine, by Gurus’ grace. We thank our Masters for all blessings and support bestowed. Om Shanti, Shanti, Shantihi. Om.
Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Montevideo, Uruguay
Om Namah Sivaya! By early December we could feel the summer arriving. The Centre continued with the big project of repair and renovations to our 120 year old building, after an invasion of termites. We finished the popular provisory classes at the Saint Domingo School near the Montevideo Centre with a very good and understanding response from the students. Our teaching schedule continued to be on hold over December due to the large repair and renovation project in the Centre. We continued to hold Satsangs having a beautiful Satsang with teachers on the 19th December. May the Grace of Gurudev and Swamiji be upon all of us in 2020. Om.
Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Om Namah Sivaya and Greetings from the Montreal Centre! By the grace of the Masters and all the support of the community, everything ran well at the Montreal Centre in December. Through the grace of the masters, the Montreal Centre sends well wishes to all for 2020. Pranams to all! Om.
Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Munich, Germany
Om Namah Sivaya. An early December’s highlight was the Centre’s Christmas Party. Many karma yogis came to help with the preparations: decorating the yoga hall and the reception, wrapping presents, cooking and cleaning. On the day our yoga hall was full with many happy yogis, among them a good number of children, most of them regular participants of our kids yoga classes. Swami Sivadasananda gave us inspiration by reading a Recipe for World Peace, written by Master Sivananda. Swami Narayanananda sang one of the teachings songs of Master. Swami Vasudevananda told a story from the book “Inspiring Stories”. As to be expected, Santa Claus turned up making us laugh with a funny story and bringing presents for the children. After the Christmas carols the kids impressed us with a nicely choreographed asana demonstration. This year’s theater play was written by Swami Bhagavatananda, a story from the Siva Purana in which four Gods – Ganesha, Siva, Parvati and Ganga – made their appearance! Afterwards we served a nice meal – a delicious noodle salad and many Christmas cookies, brought by the students. After having received their Christmas present (a kicheree cooking kit consisting of a little bag with dhal, rice and spices and a recipe, as well as, a few words about a healthy yogic diet by Master Sivananda) everybody left in high spirits. As Christmas approached the open classes and weekend Satsangs were well attended. It seems that many students wanted to come for the last time before going on vacation. Gayatri travelled to join the Christmas program at the Sivananda Yoga Retreat House in Reith / Tyrol / Austria. Swami Vasudevananda and Mirabai stayed on to keep the Centre open till 23 December. OM.
Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Neuquén, Argentina
Om Namah Sivaya from Neuquen. Om Shanti and Prem to everyone. Om.
Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, New York, USA
Om Namah Sivaya from Manhattan, where we enjoyed a full range of precipitation possibilities, from sleet to snow to rain at the beginning of December. The Sanskrit and Yoga 2 courses continued well. The Bhagavad Gita study class resumed after a 2-week break. Swami Satyapremananda traveled to the Ranch to lead Satsangs one weekend, returning to the Centre in time for Sunday evening Satsang. We offered the monthly Open House, with 18 participants with a truly international group of staff and karma yogis sharing the teachings and preparing the meal. Staff were grateful for the community and the grace of the Gurus in December and send pranams to all. May Gurudev’s blessings continue to light our path in 2020. Om.
Centre de Yoga Sivananda Vedanta, Paris, France
Om Namah Sivaya. Life gave us a joyful time, with the preparations and the celebration of the annual Christmas party. Swami Nityananda came back from London and the EBM meeting, happy to see everyone. God gave us sunny days with blue sky in early December. The students were happy with the beautiful invitations of the saptaha. Outside our Centre there was a big general strike in France. There were large demonstrations passing by the street of our building. Thank God we are protected by the Masters and by the courtyard. Many students, karma yogis and teachers couldn’t travel to our Centre. Some others couldn’t go to their works and instead came to the Centre. Meanwhile, Life gave us a cheerful day with the preparations of the Christmas party. Decorations, rehearsal, cooking, gifts created Christmas in the air. Life gave us a joyful celebration of the Christmas party in the Spirit of the Sivananda Family. In spite of the strike 120 people arrived for the party, including Swami Kailasananda and Srinivasan. They gave a beautiful Satsang. Srinivasan read an inspiring letter of the Master. Swamiji talked about the rural hospital in Madurai and showed a short video. There was a sweet improvised asana demonstration with Narayana and three little girls. The play, written by Swami Bhagavatananda, was beautiful. The actors and the public appreciated it. The party was just perfect. We sang Christmas carols and chanted all accompanied by the piano. Gopala acted as a spontaneous, funny and cheerful Santa Claus. He sang three songs with the guitar. The kids were happy with their presents, the teachers and the students also. Ganga, Maria Enid and their team prepared a delicious feast with prem. To end the day, we sent thought of peace, repeating the Mantra Om Namo Narayanaya while lighting long sparkles in the courtyard. We also chanted Loka Samasta Sukino Bhavantu. After the party, Swamiji, gave gifts to all the staff. Swamiji, Parvati, Narayana, Madalasa and Pushkar then travelled to the Orleans Ashram by car. The most precious present we had was to be always protected by the Masters. The next day Srinivasan gave an uplifting evening Satsang. We all appreciated the meditative mood and the powerful and beautiful Sunday prayers. He talked about the gunas and he gave and interesting example of two siamese twins sisters and how one body had to obey to two minds. The Masters keep sending hands to help.
By mid December the people in Paris start to get use to the strike. Many students got new bikes as transportation, while others walked hours to work despite the cold of the winter. The strike demonstrations were strong. The police were in the streets and many streets were closed. The karma yogis and teachers diligently did their walking and cycling to and from the Centre. Life gave us the opportunity to teach more. Four of the active teachers were not teaching any more. The others (around sixty) were happy to teach and to do karma yoga. The strike and the spread of a heavy cold was affecting many people. We appreciated the staff meeting with the Acharyas, everyone was feeling positive and strong after the EBM meeting. The Satsangs were calm and joyful with many kirtans, mantras and an inspiring word from the Masters, inviting us to practice chanting, japa and meditation. We chanted Om Namo Narayanaya for peace almost every day. We offered a workshop entitled “ Spiritual Stories and Chants of India”. The participants were very inspired to have the saptaha in January. The Masters keep sending help. Soon the Centre will have the blessing of more new teachers as the new TTC’s Ishwari, Kanti and Ganga practice assisting the asana classes. They will soon be ready to teach as they are precise and confident. Christmas was in the air late December. We prepared for Christmas eve and the rehearsals of the little play written by one of our teachers. OM.
Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Porto Alegre, Brasil, South America
Greetings from Porto Alegre. May all live under Master’s and Guru’s grace in 2020. Om Shanti. Om.
Centro Yoga Vedanta Sivananda, Rome, Italy
Om Namah Sivaya, Blessed Selves. Staff are sending best wishes for an inspiring 2020 to all. OM.
Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, San Francisco, California, USA
Om Namo Narayanaya, Blessed Selves. We are always thankful to our teachers and Gurus that have created the space to hold so much important work. We felt the Gurus’ blessings this month. May the Truth be spread far and wide in 2020. Om.
Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, San Paulo, Brasil
Om Namah Sivaya. May the Masters continue to pour prana and harmony onto the Sao Paulo Sivananda Centre. Om Shanti Shanti to all the Sivananda family. Om Shanti.
Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Tel Aviv, Israel
Om Namah Sivaya. In early December we bid farewell to our Acharya Swami Swaroopananda who left for London for the EBM meeting, accompanied by Rukmini Chaitanya. Swami PremaSwaroopananda, Jnaneshwari Chaitanya and Kumari left to London as well, on their way to the Yoga Retreat. We thanked all of them for all their support, teachings and inspiration they gave us during their few months of stay in Israel. We are looking forward to seeing them back soon. We were very happy to have Swami Shambhudevananda with us at the Centre. He started a serious of lectures on the topic of ‘The Philosophy of Yoga’. The first lecture was the ‘Meaning of Life’. Everyone was inspired!. We spent time rearranging the staff rooms and took time to rest and practice.
In mid December we were so happy to have Swami Shambhudevananda with us! Every day he initiated a cleaning project around the Tel Aviv Centre, removing any bit of tamas and increasing the sattva. We started with a very thorough cleanup of the garden and planted beautiful flowers and plants. Then we moved to the meditation room, kitchen, office and the staff rooms which all got a deep cleaning. We also installed new curtains in the meditation room, donated by one of the teachers. Swami Shambhudevananda led a 2-day retreat on the topic of Prana and Pranayama. We had over forty participants and Swamiji managed to share the knowledge in a way that was inspiring to all of us. Everyone came out enthusiastic about their practice. During one Satsang we celebrated the first day of Hanukkah with the lighting of the candle, singing the traditional songs and having special doughnuts as prasad. Courses and classes went well. The staff is doing great, wishing everyone happy holidays full of light, strength, inspiration, and faith. May the Master’s grace be with all in 2020! Om.
Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Tokyo, Japan
Om Namah Sivaya. In early December a weekend Senior Yoga workshop was led by Padmavati. This workshop, given twice a year, has been a popular program with many TTC graduates attending for every time. We prepared the trees and decorations for Christmas, creating a bright and warm atmosphere within the Centre. A new Yoga 2 course started, joined by 5 students who keep learning Yoga more deeply.
We held a party for celebrating the 2019 holiday season, joined by 30 students who enjoyed the interacting with teachers and staff. At the evening Satsang, we chanted together to the music played by the Kirtan Band, comprised of Karma yogis and students who are good at violin, ukulele, tabla, guitar, and so on. It was a heartwarming holiday fest that made us realize the importance of a prayer for peace. Yoga 1 and Yoga 2 courses completed before the Tokyo Center entered into the year-end and new year holidays. Many new courses are expected to start at the beginning of New Year. May Master and Swamiji’s grace be with all in 2020! Om Shanti, Shanti, Shantihi. Om.
Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Om Namah Sivaya. In early December we started preparations for the annual Christmas party, decorating the Centre, preparing gifts for all teachers and students and baking. Vijay taught an Indian cooking workshop. Teens from the Saturday yoga class prepared yoga demonstrations for Christmas party talent show. Teens from the Sick Kids hospital made beautiful card for staff and were very touching in their expression of appreciation for our teachings. Nalini came back from Japan where she was visiting family. The Center was full with regular staff and karma yogis busy cleaning and filing before the end of the year is over. All are well. We send Om Namo Narayanaya to everyone for 2020. Pranams. Om.
Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Trivandrum, Kerala, India
Om Namah Sivaya. Pranams to all from gods own country, Trivandrum Centre. Early December brought a mystical change in climate. First it was sunny and then quickly heavy rain. We started a Ladies Beginners’ Yoga 1 course. All other classes continued at a good pace. A few Trivandrum staff joined the graduation ceremony of first TTC of the upcoming high season at our Dhanwantari Ashram. Devi Pujas were held on Fridays. Sunday Satsangs were well attended. We pray for one and all’s health in our large Sivananda family for 2020. Om Shanti, Shanti, Shantihi. Om.
Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Vienna, Austria
Om Namah Sivaya. Early December was joyful and lively with staff focusing on the preparations for the Christmas celebration. The decorations were put up, Christmas gifts (a kitcheree-kit) were prepared and a traditional Christmas tree arrived directly from tree nursery. We welcomed Swami Shyamananda who arrived to support us. It was a beautiful and well attended celebration. In the message we shared a recipe for world peace and Swami Sivananda’s uplifting words made everyone smile. The classical concert with flute and guitar with two excellent young musicians was much appreciated as well as the theatre play about “The Drought” which was carefully prepared under professional guidance and joyfully performed. Santa Claus came by and everyone was enthusiastic about the gifts, especially the children. The evening ended with an excellent feast which was lovingly prepared by Sivani with many karma yogis helping. We distributed the Saptaha flyer for the upcoming special program in January. Everyone left happy and satisfied.
Some of the courses paused over the December holidays, while asana classes and Satsangs continued with a reduced schedule. A good group of students signed up for the Christmas Beginners’ Yoga 1 course. Staff departed to the Retreat House in Reith while senior teachers and karma yogis were briefed to take care of the Vienna Centre during their absence. A few household and maintenance projects were completed before the new year: A lamp was installed above the main entrance; the mats from the main hall were washed; our heating system received last adjustments to become fully functional; colour samples were bought for a painting project with the first trial coating showing a promising result; the work on the brochure was in its final phase. Staff were inspired by the international meeting via Zoom and grateful for the clear words from the EBM. Swami Mangalananda left for the Retreat House in Tyrol. OM.
Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Vilnuis, Lithuania
Om Namah Sivaya. Early December and the last Yoga 1 course of the year started successfully. Our twice a week free trial classes attracted many people new to yoga. We noticed a good tendency: Vilnius is not a big city and not many places to learn yoga. More and more students come to the Centre just to try the free open class and in many cases, they choose our Centre to continue learning yoga and practicing. In quite a few cases even if they think that they know yoga asanas and pranayama it turns out the best decision for them would be to take the beginners courses. Our close teacher, Surya, gave a nice Mantra chanting workshop. Teachers and close students had a few rehearsals for the Christmas theatre play. New video blogs were created: Teacher, Datatreya, demonstrated a few more difficult asanas from CIBY. We continued work on the new January to May 2020 Vilnius Centre brochure. OM.
SIDDHIS [Sanskrit]: Psychic powers manifested as by-products of spiritual advancement through personal Sadhana practice, such as meditation, mantra repetition and yoga.
Commentary: Siddhis that are brought into the present life by birth indicate their attainment in a previous life, but it does not guarantee that the individual is making proper use of them in this life. Those gained through chemical means are not necessarily associated with any level of spirituality at all, and can be easily governed by the ego. Siddhis achieved by Mantra repetition or tapas, austerities, are generally of a very high order as long as they are performed for attaining God-Realization rather than personal or material gain. Powers that come from ‘samadhi’ are the purest, for they come to the aspirant without being desired. It must be remembered that siddhis are not the aim but a by-product of the path to God-Realization. Those who misuse Siddhi power for destroying others are themselves destroyed in the end.
Example: The repetition of Gayatri or Pranava or OM Namah Sivaya, OM Namo Narayanaya, OM Namo Bhagavate Vasudevaya, one and a quarter lakh of times with Bhava, faith and devotion will bestow a Mantra Siddhi.
When you love God, you love everything. All are manifestations of God. – Sri Swami Sivananda