Sivananda World News: The Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Ashrams

Sivananda Ashram Yoga Camp, Sivananda Headquarters, Val Morin, Quebec, Canada

Om Namah Sivaya, from Sivananda Yoga Camp. 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. https://sivanandacanada.org/camp/Online-courses/

Meanwhile in December, the staff at the Ashram experienced the typical winter weather with temperatures at less than -20 deg C. The Christmas weather arrived. We concluded our winter TTC with 23 students and all passing their exams and graduating on the 12th Dec. The last week of TTC had the students teaching the last classes, learning and practicing the pranayamas and preparing themselves for the final exam. Many of the students participated in a photo shoot and also came to help prepare an Italian feast for the graduation. We held the traditional graduation ceremony followed by the last talent show. The day after graduation was an emotional day as everyone departed back home after the 4 weeks journey. The Ashram staff remained behind as we went into another closedown. Our government brought about complete lockdown restrictions on us as the region has moved into red zone. The Camp was officially closed for all residential guests. We then geared up to move on with more online courses, classes and workshops, plus, await for further news from the provincial government on the COVID status. Meanwhile the staff was busy with housekeeping, deep cleaning, year end inventory management of the boutique, etc and other small projects in the upkeep of the Ashram.

As December continued The Camp was yet deeper in the throes of winter, experiencing low temperatures and lots of snow everywhere. The staff was busy with snow shovelling and the general upkeep of the Ashram. We remained in complete lockdown until the designated third week January as per our Provincial Government’s latest guidelines. We moved on to online classes and workshops and Satsangs. We did three online Satsangs per week and a few classes. The Ken Whitley Christmas online concert, hosted by Toronto and co-hosted by us, was widely attended from students from all locations and we all enjoyed the carols. We look forward to the opening of the Ashram in January. 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 come to the Ashram. Om.

http://www.sivananda.org/camp

Sivananda Dhanwanthari Ashram, Neyyar Dam, Kerala, India

Namah Sivaya to all. 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 www.sivananda.org.in/neyyardam/covid-guidelines We look forward to welcoming you back and practicing together. We are continuing classes, courses & programs online. Please visit www.sivananda.org.in/weekly-schedule

Meanwhile, at the Ashram, December began with the sad news of the passing of S. Kumar who was one of the original trustees of the Sivananda Organization in India. Kumar-ji introduced Swami Vishnudevananda-ji to the Ayurveda doctor, Gopala Vaidya, who owned the property on which the Ashram has become established over the last 40 plus years. Having reached the age of 90 years, S. Kumar had been in poor health for a few years. His cremation was attended by Nataraj, Kalyani and long time staff Balachandran and Hari in respect for his long support of the Organization. TTC: After a beautiful Devi Puja and finishing their special classes, advanced pranayama classes etc., the first TTC of the season came to an end with all 46 students successfully graduating. Being a relatively quiet group, partly due to social distancing, they used the graduation and talent show to express appreciation and gratitude for the opportunity they have received to imbibe the ancient teachings and develop themselves over their four weeks. With online programs from India decentralized, Neyyar Dam has considerably reduced its contribution since the TTC began. Our programs included a TTC Taster, to encourage anyone interested to join whether onsite or online. Some of our teachers continued to support online open classes for other branches. Preparation for Christmas began with a little gift shopping and our first carol practice with the staff. May Master and Swamiji bless all with the yogic skills for finding peace and joy regardless of difficult circumstances.

With mid-December appearing, the Ashram started the preparation for the Christmas Eve program. With far fewer people in the Ashram than usual the decorating was limited to the Siva Hall. There was a carol practice for several days. Five graduates from the TTC stayed at the Ashram as workstudies and full of energy, being particularly supportive of the Christmas preparations. Several other graduates also stayed back as Yoga Vacationers. Teaching practice groups started for them to teach each other in the mornings. The number of Yoga Vacation guests increased very gradually with many of them taking Ayurveda treatment. A few are working from the Ashram as an alternative to working from home with the advantage of regular yoga classes, meditation and chanting. With all the Centres and Ashrams in India opening in November (except Netala which is always closed during the winter months) the online programs from the central platform were scaled down to allow the directors to provide online programs as their situation allows. We wish all well for the holiday season.  May Swamiji and Master bless all with good health and peace of mind for the new year and steady practice going onwards. We are grateful to Master and Swamiji for the opportunity to serve. May all have health and peace of mind. Om.

http://www.sivananda.org/neyyardam

Sivananda Ashram, Netala, Uttarkashi, Himalayas, North India

Om Namo Narayanaya from Uttar Kashi. The Uttar Kashi Ashram continues to be temporarily closed for the winter months. Due to the lockdowns announced by the Indian government, we will not be accepting any new visitors or guests to the Ashram until further notice. During this phase, we’ll be offering various 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.

http://www.sivananda.org/uttarkashi

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, in mid December the Meenakshi Ashram saw the last week of TTC saw 3 students from previous online TTC joining for the on site sessions. Though pretty new to the batch, they soon mixed well with their batch mates and seemed to enjoy the final week with teaching open class and attending other classes. Friday had all the students preparing diligently for the exams utilizing their off day to the fullest. Their hard work and dedication paid off well with all of them clearing the exam. Graduation ceremony was a very joyful and special occasion for the students marking the commencement of their journey as Yoga Teachers to play a pivotal role in spreading the teachings of our Master and Swamiji. Sending Prem and Om to all from our Madurai Ashram family. Om.

www.sivananda.org/madurai

Sivananda Ashram Yoga Ranch Colony, Woodburne, NY, USA

Om Namah Sivaya from the Ranch. The Sivananda Yoga Ranch is currently closed to the public. We have set up a residential program for those who are able to stay more longer term – https://sivanandayogaranch.org/residential-program/

Since the start of the pandemic, we have put all programs online and we are grateful for all your support and connection in these times! It has and continues to be an innovative time where we can see how easily accessible it is to connect & share the teachings with people everywhere in the world! https://sivanandayogaranch.org/

Meanwhile the staff remain at the Ashram. By Master’s Blessings and Gurus Grace all went well here in the Yoga Ranch Ashram in December. Some snowfall made an appearance early December! Online, we continued with Morning Pranayama Sessions and Morning Satsangs given by Srinivasan ji on Srimad Bhagavatam. We had a 2 day course on an Introduction to Tattva Bodha with Srinivas from India. In the Ashram, we keep up with the maintenance of the Ashram with ongoing projects of renovation.

We were surprised by a snowstorm mid December. We all came together to shovel, snow blow and make sure the greenhouse was safe! An early white Christmas for us. We joined in with Sivananda Yoga Farm in their Holiday Retreat. Jorge Alfano presented a Nada Yoga Workshop to the participants. The Farm put a wonderful and full program together and we are grateful to be a part of it. We introduced a new Jan online brochure with an offer of a monthly subscription. We have themed the month “Wellness Month”, with weekends offering special guest teacher lectures on this topic. We were excited for the innovation and trying to enjoy the process rather than think of the results! A few karma yogis left for the Holidays hence not many of us remain at the Ashram. We continued to keep up the renovations, cleaning, cooking, greenhouse activities and Sadhana! We wish you all Happy Holidays and may Masters’ Blessings and Gurus Grace be with us all in 2021! Pranams from the NY mountains. Om.

www.sivanandayogaranch.org/‎

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 will remain closed at least until the end of 2020. We will keep you updated as events unfold as we consider the health of our guests and staff and the pandemic situation. Please visit https://sivanandayogafarm.org/yoga-classes-online/ to easily join Online workshops, classes and courses. Your generous support to Swamiji’s mission will keep the Yoga Farm strong and vital during the pandemic. Please donate here: https://sivanandayogafarm.org/donation/

Wishing everyone Happy Holidays from the Yoga Farm. During December 2020 the staff put up the Christmas lights and tree in the Brahma Vidya Hall bringing a festive holiday feeling to all. Meanwhile our online sangha continues to grow with very well attended morning online Satsangs. Swami Dharmananda taught the online 5-day Raja Yoga Sutras course with focus on Chapter 2: Sadhana – learning about the 5 kleshas and the practical approach to daily Sadhana to overcome obstacles in our life. Bharati led the online 5-day Beginner Course with a group of first time students establishing their new Yoga practice. Other courses in progress include the weekly Ayurveda for Self-Healing with Arun Deva and the weekly Good Karma Vegetarian Diet cooking workshops with MahaLakshmi. Swami Jnaneswariananda just began the online 10-day Vedanta and Silence Course with daily readings from the Viveka Chudamani and introducing practical self-enquiry practices to the students. The Ashram was beautiful in the winter time. We have received some rain and frost. The staff remain positive and inspired in their Sadhana.

Our Ashram Holiday Program “Classical Yoga for Self-Healing” was in full swing mid December and included 30 presenters over the two weeks through the New Year. It was a wonderful and inspiring program and so far included talks from Swami Sitaramananda; Swami Jnaneswariananda “Yoga and Vedanta”; Swami Vasishtananda “Stories of the Mahabharata”; Swami Dharmananda “Health” and “Yoga to Overcome Anxiety”; Swami AdiParashaktiananda “Prana” and “Science of Pranayama”; Swami Sivasankariananda “Yoga for Stress Relief” and “Kirtan Workshop”. We have also enjoyed very much our special guest presentations from Benoy Behl on “Indian Art”, sharing his beautiful films of Indian classical depictions of divinity in sculpture, paintings, and dance; Olga Mandodari “Vastu for a Happy House”; Manas Kshirsagar on “Ayurveda and the Mind”; Jorge Alfano “Nada Yoga”; Ram Vakkalanka “Nada Yoga Concert”. Swami Vasishtananda-ji also led a special Saturn/Jupiter conjunction Puja to alleviate effects of the planetary conjunction with Hanuman representing Saturn and Sri Krishna for Jupiter. We are grateful for this opportunity to serve. May all feel Master and Swamiji’s blessings. Om.

http://www.sivananda.org/farm

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.

December 2020 in the Bahamas: We began the eight-night celebration of Hanukkah with nightly lighting of the menorah, beautiful songs, and many, many delicious sufganiyot (jam-filled doughnuts)! We also celebrated the birthday of Narayani Chaitanya, who has been serving with devotion for many years. In terms of online courses, Jnaneshwari Chaitanya began the course Bhagavad Gita Chapter 3: The Yoga of Action. During the Satsangs, we continued to hear presentations from staff on the teachings of Swami Sivananda, as well as stories from the Mahabharata and the Srimad Bhagavatam.

Mid December we continued to celebrate Hanukkah every evening until its conclusion. Every night, we got to take turns lighting the candles of the Hannukia (menorah) and singing the Hanukkah songs. Our bellies were happily full of latkes and sufganiyot! In preparation for Christmas, our Ashram choir worked diligently to learn the songs for Christmas Eve. There were lights strung around the main Temple and dining area, and we spent a couple of days trimming the tree and festooning the Temple’s rafters with garlands. Although this year the Ashram grounds were much quieter than usual, the spirit was still festive and we were enjoying the respite. The marketing team worked hard to arrange the Christmas and New Year’s Symposium, which includes many guest speakers, hosted on Zoom over the course of eleven days. In terms of online programming, Rukmini Chaitanya began the course Bhagavad Gita Chapter 5: The Yoga of Renunciation of Action. New students joined the yoga classes following the halfway-through-the-month class discount. Narayan Jyoti and Shambhavi taught a ThetaHealing Level 1 certification course and guest speaker Marc Halpbern offered a free webinar introducing Ayurvedic medicine to interested students. We wish everyone a most blessed and joyous holiday season! May all be well and may this be an opportunity to turn inward to that which is eternal and ever-free. Om Shanti. Om.

Please visit our Online Program page for the latest schedule. https://sivanandabahamas.org/visiting-the-Ashram/Online-program/ We look forward to continuing to add Online programs, courses and guest speakers to our calendar. https://www.sivanandabahamas.org/travel-update/

http://www.sivananda.org/nassau

Sivananda Ashram Yoga Retreat House, Reith or Mittersill, Tyrol, Austria

Om Namah Sivaya. The Seminar House is closed to the public. We continue to teach classes, webinars and Satsangs online. We offer live Online Yoga Classes, Workshops, Talks, Teacher Trainings and group Meditations. Receive all the latest information via our newsletter. https://www.sivananda.at/en/newsletter

In December the staff prepared for the first online Christmas party. The cooperation of all European Centres made the celebration a joyful and uplifting event. Each of the three Acharyas gave an inspiring Christmas message – full of wisdom mixed with ease and humor. The online Santa Claus was a great success and many small sketches and a yogic theater-play enriched the evening and delighted the audience. Many of the online guests thanked us very warmly and touchingly for the successful evening. Swami Gokulananda and Satya from Berlin and Swami Santoshananda and Parvati from Madrid came to Tyrol to spend the Christmas days together and to recharge. The next online TTC is planned for December 20th. A new interested group of students was forming. In Tyrol it was snowing a lot. An idyllic Christmas landscape delights the heart.

Online courses and classes continued to be well attended mid December. The staffs took care of various maintenance projects, sending of newsletters and planning of online activities. We received many letters of thanks for the successful and uplifting Christmas party and for the great variety of online offers. There were already numerous registrations for the upcoming Christmas programs. The Berlin and Madrid staffs were happy that the Covid test turned out negative and the quarantine is over. Three Swamis had the beautiful opportunity to celebrate their birthdays together. Their spiritual present was a heartwarming Puja and special birthday songs. Everyone is healthy and looking forward to the coming Christmas days and New Year. We pray that all remain healthy and safe. OM.

http://www.sivananda.org/tyrol

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.

In December the intensity increased for the TTC students. Along with the many asana variations, they had dynamic sessions of the kriyas with Swami Nityananda, the TTC talent show and the Christmas party. They completed the anatomy section and resumed philosophy classes. They hosted a beautiful talent show, with the participation of some staff. Some of the TTC students also dropped in and joined the daily «Om Namo Narayanaya» chanting. The Indian classical music course, with Raghunath Manet, ended on a high note and students were eagerly looking forward to a second course. We participated in the online Satsang with all the TTCs and Swami Kailasananda quoting from the “Autobiography of Swami Sivananda”. We were again together for the online Christmas party with all the other European Centres and Ashram. It was a blessing to all to see all the staff from the various Centres and Ashrams all in good health and contributing so enthusiastically. The TTC students felt the strength of a bigger family. On that day, we also celebrated the birthday of our resident cook, Juliette. Another special day for all of us – after the afternoon garden party where staff and TTC students help in gardening maintenance, we regrouped to inaugurate the new Ashram fountain which was positioned behind the meditation hall, by the Temple. Pushkar, our dog, had all his senses peaked by the gushing water while we chanted the Ganga Aarati. While the TTC students had a special workshop with Swami Bhagavatananda, Swami Jyotirmayananda led the staff for a chanting Swadhyaya.

By mid-December The TTC was into their final week. They practiced advanced pranayama and participated in a beautiful mantra initiation. Spiritual names were given at the end of a lamp Puja for the Divine Mother. The energy was very gentle and protective. All the students passed their exams well. That evening there was a very creative photoshow to complete the course. The TTC group departed the next day after helping to clean the Ashram in the morning. Swami Nityananda also left for Paris to take care of the Centre and the karma yogis. Soon after the Ashram was much quieter. As it was sunny and less cold, the staff team went on a walk in the nearby woods. We are happy that Girija joined us for the festive season. OM.

http://www.sivananda.org/orleans

Sivananda Ashram Dà Lat, Vietnam

Om Namah Sivaya from DaLat Ashram. The DaLat Ashram is open.

In December a group of TTC graduates joined us for a TTC reunion week. All followed a “TTC schedule” for the week, with teachers providing a full range of refresher classes for all the TTC subjects. We welcomed several new staff from the recent TTC, and said farewell to Swami Pranavananda and Ganga Chaitanya who returned to the Ho Chi Minh City Centre. We welcomed a group of 60 new students, members of a Vietnam meditation club for business people, for a 4 day retreat. Satsangs were adapted to accommodate the newcomers, and daily Yoga classes were offered at three levels, beginner, gentle and open class. The group enjoyed a beautiful sunrise meditation at our newly built deck on the mountainside, and in the evening were able to enjoy Satsang outdoors with a bonfire. The group left just as the participants of the upcoming Vedanta and Silence course arrived. 15 participants for the Vedanta and Silence course, taught by Swami Sitaramananda, were initiated that Sunday evening.

The participants of our Vedanta and Silence course completed their intensive study and practice by mid December. Many reported a boost of inspiration for their practice and even significant breakthroughs in progress on their path. At the same time a large group of beginner students followed an Introduction to Meditation course. We welcomed more Yoga vacation guests than has been normal at this time of year. Staff were busy preparing for the upcoming holiday period, specially preparations for “Tet”, the Lunar New Year. We were also preparing to welcome guests for a celebration on January 1st to mark 11 years of Sivananda TTC courses in Vietnam, along with the completion of the 4th year of operation of the Dalat Ashram. Staff are well and thankful for Guru’s grace. Om.

www.sivanandayogavietnam.org/

Sivananda Ashram Tapaswini, Gudur, Andra Pradesh India

Om Namah Sivaya. 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 Centres and Ashrams directly for their latest update. 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.

www.sivananda.org.in/gudur

Quick Links

Spiritual Calendar

JANUARY 2021

09 Ekadasi
13 New Moon
14 Makara Sankranti
24 Ekadasi
28 Full Moon

FEBRUARY 2021

07 Ekadasi
11 New Moon
23 Ekadasi
27 Full Moon

There is some truth in everything. Views and opinions are subjective aspects. – Sri Swami Sivananda

Glossary

NIMITTA: an instrument; a sign

There are three types of nimitta:
Parikamma-nimitta – also known at the preparatory sign, this is the perception of an object at the beginning of concentration
Uggaha-nimitta – also known as the acquired sign, in which the mind reaches a mild degree of concentration with an unsteady or unclear image
Patibhaga-nimitta – also known as the counter-sign, where a clear and static image is a sign of pure concentration.
Nimitta Bhava – an instrument-in-the-hands-of-the-Lord attitude

When the thread of Ahankara is broken by ‘Aham Brahma Asmi’ Bhavana or Sakshi Bhava or the self-surrender method by taking the Nimitta Bhava (instrument-in-the-hands-of-the-Lord attitude), all the Indriyas will be broken down or destroyed. The connection with Indriyas will be severed.

Serve everyone with intense love, without the idea of agency, without expectation of fruits, reward or appreciation. Feel that you are only a Nimitta or an instrument in the hands of God. Worship God in the poor and the sick. Have no attachment to any place, person or thing. Keep up mental poise amidst the changes of the world without consideration of success or failure, gain or loss, pleasure and pain. Have the mind always rooted in the Self amidst activities. Then you will become a true Karma Yogi. – Swami Sivananda

A weak will is overpowered by the strong desire. Reduce your desires and live contently. – Sri Swami Sivananda

Quick Links

Spiritual Calendar

JANUARY 2021

09 Ekadasi
13 New Moon
14 Makara Sankranti
24 Ekadasi
28 Full Moon

FEBRUARY 2021

07 Ekadasi
11 New Moon
23 Ekadasi
27 Full Moon

There is some truth in everything. Views and opinions are subjective aspects. – Sri Swami Sivananda

Glossary

NIMITTA: an instrument; a sign

There are three types of nimitta:
Parikamma-nimitta – also known at the preparatory sign, this is the perception of an object at the beginning of concentration
Uggaha-nimitta – also known as the acquired sign, in which the mind reaches a mild degree of concentration with an unsteady or unclear image
Patibhaga-nimitta – also known as the counter-sign, where a clear and static image is a sign of pure concentration.
Nimitta Bhava – an instrument-in-the-hands-of-the-Lord attitude

When the thread of Ahankara is broken by ‘Aham Brahma Asmi’ Bhavana or Sakshi Bhava or the self-surrender method by taking the Nimitta Bhava (instrument-in-the-hands-of-the-Lord attitude), all the Indriyas will be broken down or destroyed. The connection with Indriyas will be severed.

Serve everyone with intense love, without the idea of agency, without expectation of fruits, reward or appreciation. Feel that you are only a Nimitta or an instrument in the hands of God. Worship God in the poor and the sick. Have no attachment to any place, person or thing. Keep up mental poise amidst the changes of the world without consideration of success or failure, gain or loss, pleasure and pain. Have the mind always rooted in the Self amidst activities. Then you will become a true Karma Yogi. – Swami Sivananda

A weak will is overpowered by the strong desire. Reduce your desires and live contently. – Sri Swami Sivananda

2021-01-01T01:18:29+00:00