Sivananda World News: The Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centres
Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Zentrum, Berlin, Germany
Om Namah Sivaya. The month started well with a Yoga Beginners course, some higher courses, as well as Meditation and Thought Power. The courses all ran well with students who were inspired to learn and evolve. Students like the continuous practise in fixed groups.
Many Karma yogis supported the Center throughout December to prepare for the upcoming special program in January: furniture was moved, deep cleaning projects and several maintenance tasks were done. We also had a very successful teachers’ meeting. Almost all Center teachers participated. We discussed teaching issues and looked into the next months with all the upcoming events. Spending time together with tea and cookies was as important and most of the teachers stayed for the Asana class and Satsang afterwards.
Later in the month we had a Christmas party for teachers, karma yogis and close students. We had a Christmas Satsang which was well received. Everybody enjoyed the Christmas carols. Afterward we had a feast which this time was catered by an Indian vegetarian restaurant. It was delicious and everybody loved it. People were happy and grateful to be able to be together and spend time with likeminded people. On Sunday we concluded the week with a well-attended Satsang with Sunday prayers which were chanted wholeheartedly. Many students brought flowers and the altar radiated joy and abundance.
The planning of the new brochure for spring is almost completed with inspiring courses and workshops.
The courses and classes were well visited until the last class before Christmas when the staff went to the Retreat House in Reith/Austria to celebrate Christmas there. Om shanti.
Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Buenos Aires, Argentina, South America
Om Namah Sivaya. You can contact us for any questions about practicing yoga at home through e-mail: [email protected] Call: 11 4804 7813.
For any queries, contact us. If changes or news arise, we will inform you. We salute you with a fervent desire for peace and health for all. We hope you are all well. May Masters blessings always guide us. Pranams. Om.
Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India
Prayers and Greetings from Chennai Centre. Our Online Beginners’ Programme came to an end in early December, with some students joining the Online Open classes. We also worked on promoting upcoming courses.
We started a six-day special course on Chakra, Kundalini and Meditation online on Zoom. We were delighted to see some of our regular participants. Everything went well with Master’s grace.
We also began two Beginners’ courses, however many students struggled to come to the Centre because of heavy rain.
We received a red alert from the Indian Meteorological Department on 8th and 9th of December due to cyclone Mandous. A holiday was declared for educational institutions and government offices across the district, but fortunately we were not affected so badly this time. Even in the middle of load-shedding, our online classes went smoothly. We even had our power restored right before our special course!
We added some lovely decorations all over the centre to create a festive atmosphere for Christmas. We also planned some programmes on Christmas Eve at the Centre. We performed Ganapathi Homam. We got an opportunity to teach at the Reserve Bank of India with the participation of around 30 employees.
We also organised a three-day online workshop on Anatomy of Yoga, a two-day Variations class, and an online course on Pranayama and Meditation. Finally, we had a special class on the topic Importance of Yoga in Retirement Life at the Reserve Bank of India in Chennai.
Just before Christmas we welcomed Swami Janardanananda from Gudur. We held a Christmas celebration at the Centre that was well attended. The celebration began with a special Satsang and talk led by Swami Janardanananda. Next, we had a festive game followed by dinner.
All staff are well and practicing and working with inspiration on their projects and duties. We end each week with Satsang.
Wishing everyone a blessed and Happy New Year.
Sivananda Yoga Vedanta DÀ LAT Centre, Dà Lat, Vietnam
Greetings from Da Lat City. Thanks to Guru’s blessing, our Center can keep the strong energy to serve the community. All the classes went well in December, including an Open House, two Yoga for Beginners courses, and a new thrice weekly Gentle class.
We were happy to receive help from a newly-graduated TTC on our staff.
We had two weekend workshops in mid-December: a Kirtan workshop and a Japa and Mala Bead workshop. A new course of Basic Meditation also opened for online students.
We also started to renovate the Centre kitchen and the first floor Asana area, with the plan to finish before Christmas. The renovation and preparations for Christmas made for a busy time.
On Christmas Eve all staff and residents came to the Ashram to join the Christmas’ evening.
On 25th night we celebrated Christmas at the Center with the presence of Swami Sitaramananda, and many Chaitanyas and Senior staff from the Ashram. Forty-five students attended It was a warm and loving evening highlighting the visit of a lively Santa, a singing choir and a delicious dinner.
The renovation of the Asana room and the kitchen was completed. Now we begin preparations for the opening of an Ayurveda room. Om shanti.
Sivananda Yoga Vedanta DWARKA Centre, Delhi, India
Om Namah Sivaya to all. December started with a 6 am Beginners Course. Open classes and Kids’ classes are going well. The temperature is going down day by day.
We conducted a Kriya workshop, a Beginners Course at 10 am and 4 pm and a Headstand workshop, attended by a good number of students. December finished with Christmas celebrations followed by Satsang and dinner. The staff are doing well. Pranams to all.
Sivananda Yoga Vedanta NATARAJA Centre, Delhi, India
Om Namah Sivaya. Greetings from Nataraja Centre. This month we started a 10 am Yoga 1 course as well as a 7 am and 4 pm Beginners Course on Mondays with a good number of students. The number of students in Open class as well as in Gentle Yoga is almost the same.
We taught a group of Spanish students from the Embassy of Spain who were quite happy with the yoga session. They mentioned that they will frequently send students. The number of foreign students has increased in the Centre. Gentle Yoga students are happy as from mid-December we started Gentle Yoga for five days Monday to Friday as against three days a week previously.
Rohini visited our Centre for a photo shoot to update the photos for our website and courses. Later in the month she went to Chandigarh with our outside teachers to see the TTC location for a photo shoot for the TTC advertisement. Kapoor ji came back from Madurai after his teaching and visited the Centre as well.
Even though the increasing cold in Delhi is affecting our student numbers, we started a Yoga 2 course and conducted a Headstand and Kriya workshop. Staff are doing well with the Grace of Gurus. Om shanti.
Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Geneva, Switzerland
Om Namah Sivaya. December was busy with the preparation for the Christmas party. Karma yogis helped with the Christmas cookies and decoration. The altar was nicely decorated. On Christmas Eve, karma yogis were active in the kitchen preparing the evening meal. We had very joyful Christmas evening with Christmas carols and mantras. Om shanti.
Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Hanoi, Vietnam
Om Namah Sivaya. Thanks to Guru’s blessing, our Center can keep up the strong energy to serve the community online and onsite during the pandemic.
All classes went well. We opened Yoga outdoors and had Satsang online with Swami Narayanananda on the topic: Spirit of Karma Yoga. We opened Beginner Courses offline on Wednesdays with four students. We had Satsang online with Swami Pranavananda on the topic: Meditation in Daily Life on Thursday.
Later in the month we organized two workshops to prepare for Christmas: we decorated the Center; and handmade cookies. We had Satsang online with Swami Adiparashaktiananda on the topic: Hatha Yoga and the Mind. Staff’s Sadhana is steady. Om shanti.
Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Om Namah Sivaya. Early in December we opened the new Yoga for Kids course. The children had a joyful time practicing asana and learning how to grow stone lotus flowers. Thanks to the successful Open House two new Yoga for Beginners courses will be opened.
In the Ayurveda course, the students learned how to make Kitchari and some herbal teas. They were very interested, and everyone bought the spices to bring home and practice cooking by themselves. We also had the last workshop in the Kirtan series. On the same day, Satsang was full of energy because about 30 people participated. We repaired and upgraded the entire roof system and interior of the Center. Swami Sita, Priya Chaitanya and Sivakami Chaitanya came back from the Yoga Farm and had a short visit in HCM Center.
We opened a new Yoga for Beginners course and the Yoga for Kids continues to run well. The children enjoyed the class about positive thinking and meditation. In the last lesson of the Ayurveda course, the students were so interested in learning how to do abhyanga that after the session, six treatments in Ayurveda room were booked.
We also had a “Calligraphy applied in Writing Mantra” workshop. All of the students found that writing mantras in this way was a wonderful method to calm the mind. In the afternoon, about 30 people participated in the Satsang bringing plenty of energy for the Center.
At the conclusion of the Yoga for Kids course all of the kids showed great interest in joining the classes on the weekends. The course finished with a cozy tea party with cake.
Later in the month we began three new courses: Yoga Training for Teaching Beginners course and Yoga for Beginners. In addition, we have Advanced Asana courses on weekends as well as a three-day workshop on Stress Management as SYHET practicum. We still have a stable number of students in the Yoga for Cancer classes. Weekly satsangs led by Swami Pranavananda are full of energy as always because many people participated.
All of the staff were also busy preparing for Christmas. The Center was decorated beautifully, and the students enjoyed taking pictures here. Everyone including staff and students had great fun in the center.
In our final week we began a Meditation for Beginners course, an Ayurveda for Beginners course and two new training courses for TTC teachers.
We had a gingerbread cookie making workshop on Sunday, and a Christmas event on the same day with the participation of 110 people. Everyone had a good time enjoying the feast and performance.
The staff spirit has always been high because we keep Sadhana steady. Om shanti.
Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, London, England
Om Namah Sivaya. God gave us a successful Open House in early December with many sincere newcomers and precious help provided by the Masters. Many of the regular students invited their friends to come for the day. A couple of students from the last week residential course ‘Sadhana, Deeping your Daily Yoga Practice’ came for the event.
Everyone was grateful for the teachings and the welcoming and cheerful atmosphere of the Centre. There was a lively gathering at the reception while eating a healthy snack prepared with love. There was an uplifting satsang on the topic of peace from Bliss Divine.
The Centre was uplifted by the visit of Swami Kailasanandaji. Swamiji gave an inspiring satsang on the topic of inner peace and social transformation from Thought Power. We were also happy to see Narayana who arrived in the morning from France. He and Swamiji helped with the preparations for the upcoming special programme with Sri Venugopal Goswami and the Acharyas. The beautiful brochure with the programme was displayed in the reception area and given to the students.
As every weekend, there were some troubles with the public transportations. Some students couldn’t come to the Centre.
With the approach of Christmas, the actors studied their lines, the main cook prepared the shopping list and there was a long and joyful rehearsal of the play.
One of the trees in the peace garden bloomed with little pink flowers, and the hydrangeas became golden flowers.
Krishna in the Main altar looked beautiful dressed in blue with many peacock feathers.
The budget 2023 was finalised as well as the programming for the beginning of the year.
On the following Saturday there was movement in the kitchen the whole day. That day, the students of the morning class were happy to help with the setting of the piano and of the wood screen for the play. There was an inspiring satsang on the topic ‘Yoga: A Gift to Humanity’ with uplifting words of Master Sivananda. We all enjoyed the play ‘The Frog and the Well’ and the Christmas carols accompany by the piano by Naoko. Mother Christmas and her assistant gave beautiful posters to the participants. We gathered in a festive mood for the Italian feast which was perfect. The Celebration ended with Karma Yoga and Arati.
The next day started with Arati and ended with the Sunday prayers and two inspiring letters of Master. After Satsang the snow started to fall. The peace garden was covered with snow.
The Main altar was looking beautiful in red and gold with red candles.
In the final week before Christmas we had some beautiful white days with the snow covering the city and pink, orange and blue skies. In spite of the transport strikes, the low temperatures, the students going home for holidays, the winter flu and the shopping mood, the students were happy to visit the Centre. They appreciated having a warm soup, warm tea, and homemade brownies.
There was a festive mood with good attendance for the classes. There were some registrations for the retreats and the regular students bought classes with the 2022 prices.
There was a meeting with the staff to give an overview of the Budget 2023 in order to channel the prana efficiently.
On the Thursday, the staff had a beautiful and magic walk in a birds park nearby. The snow and the sunshine gave a magic light. On Friday, the staff appreciated gathering with the other European swamis to do little sadhana by Zoom.
For the public satsangs we had uplifting chanting and inspiring words of Master about the Gita from Bliss Divine on Saturday, and on the topic of looking good on anyone and on anything from Sadhana, on Sunday. We had also the analogy of the crow and the coconut to illustrate.
We started to prepare a little shadow play for New Year’s Eve with a group of close karma yogis
The Centre closed in the final week for the Christmas Holidays while the staff joined the Bhagavata Saptaha in Orleans. Om shanti
Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Los Angeles, CA, USA
Om Namah Sivaya. Our Open House at the beginning of December went well. Enthusiastic students stayed for snacks and asked many questions. We continue our first-weekend-of-the-month Ayurveda Massages. Dhanwanthari Das led a Holistic Health Weekend on Yoga for Addiction Recovery, with good feedback. Even one of our neighbors came.
We caught up on painting projects.
Later in the month we made a huge wreath of fresh Christmas greens to hang out the front and decorated inside with strands of lights and garlands of greens. It looked very warm and festive for our Holiday Celebration. We sang a lot of Christmas carols. Ganapati made a great Santa and distributed gifts to all. The potluck food options were many and all were happily satiated. It was a joy to be in community. On the Sunday afternoon, we offered a Hip Opening Workshop, and read about the Lives of Saints at evening Satsang. A lot of SYHET sessions and mentoring went on.
In the final week we offered our last asana class before the holidays, then packed up the car and drove the 450 miles to the Yoga Farm as their holiday program was beginning: Divine Love in Daily Life. Swami Sivasankariananda led two Satsangs and gave two workshops—one on Chanting and the other on Forgiveness and Grace. We joined the team in the kitchen cooking the Christmas Eve dinner feast. Satsang was joyful, with all singing carols together, punctuated by Swami Jnaneswari reading about Jesus’ life from the Bible. It is wonderful to have so much positive support and good energy at the Center. We are grateful to serve.
Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Madrid, Spain
Om Namah Sivaya. Classes and courses continued in December with good attendance. The weekend saw a Yoga 2 course with motivated students. Christmas decorations were installed and the boutique was re-stocked preparing for the season. The evening satsang about Bhakti yoga was an uplifting end of the week.
The following week everything was calmer and quieter because of national holidays on 6th and 8th of December. The Open classes at noon were full and festive. Preparations for the Christmas celebration on 17th started. A newsletter was sent to inform students about the Christmas class schedule.
The highlight of the final week was the Christmas celebration on Saturday, with the presence of teachers and close students of the Center. After silent meditation came the spiritual message and a reading of Swami Sivananda´s text about how to practice yoga in daily life. The Christmas carols were followed with joy and active participation. The evening ended with a theatre play about sage Narada and Lord Hanuman, and how humility was developed through music, and a delicious Indian snack done by a nearby restaurant. Everyone appreciated the opportunity to be together for the first time after three years. It was an inspiring event for all. Om shanti.
Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Madurai, India
Om Namah Sivaya to all. We thank our Masters for all blessings and support bestowed. May all be blessed with equanimity and steadiness in practice. Om Shanti, Shanti, Shantihi. Om.
Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Montevideo, Uruguay
Om Namah Sivaya from the Montevideo Centre. We are happy to serve, love to all. We pray intensely for peace and harmony in this world. May the Grace of Gurudev and Swamiji be upon us all. Om Shanti. Om.
Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Om Namah Sivaya. The highlight of this month was our Christmas party celebration. Bhagirathi was assisted by karma yogis from the Yoga Camp to prepare all for this evening. Almost all Camp staff drove to Montreal to attend the Christmas Satsang led by Acharya Kanti Devi accompanied by Camp Swamis. After a short kids friendly meditation and Jaya Ganesha, Kanti Devi read a beautiful message about Love, the true spirit of Christmas from Master Sivananda directed to children of light, followed by a very uplifting chanting of the Christmas carols in English, French, Spanish and Russian. The handful of kids were by that time eagerly waiting for Santa and his bag of gifts. Santa diligently distributed gifts for all kids, teachers, karma yogis and guests. All partook of the delicious dinner and left very happy and thankful for a very joyful and peaceful evening. Om and Prem.
Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Munich, Germany
Om Namah Sivaya. In early December a number of new courses with inspired students started: a Yoga 2, two Yoga 3 and a Yoga 6 course.
The theatre-play for the Christmas party had its general rehearsal.
Karma yogis helped us to put up the Christmas decoration to create a more festive atmosphere in the yoga hall.
The following week we started a Beginners Intensive course. Among the participants was a nice Indian family – father, mother and two daughters.
On the Saturday we had a wonderful Christmas party – the first time onsite since 2019! The program of the evening included a Satsang part, a Christmas message and Christmas carols, riddles by Swami Sivananda, a theatre play on a musical contest between sage Narada and Lord Hanuman and a delicious Indian meal. Everybody enjoyed celebrating together and meeting each other.
In mid-December our longest running course started into a new round. It is a group of devoted participants who have visited the Center for many years.
Christmas approached with cold winter weather, snow and ice – which prevented some students from coming to the classes.
Staff were busy finalizing the new Center brochure and concluding the bookkeeping for the year.
In the last week before Christmas we were happy to have Swami Durgananda and Swami Sivadasananda with us. The swamis stayed overnight on their way to the Ashram in Orleans. Swami Sivadasananda gave an inspiring Satsang on Wednesday evening – which was also the last onsite Satsang of the year. The staff went on Friday to the Sivananda Yoga Retreat House in Reith/Tyrol/Austria to join the Christmas and New Year program there. We are well and send greetings to everyone. Om shanti.
Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, New York, USA
Pranams from New York city. Things have been slow lately on account of the Thanksgiving celebrations and the impending Holiday season.
Gita classes started again after a long hiatus. Om shanti.
Centre de Yoga Sivananda Vedanta, Paris, France
Om Namah Sivaya. With the advent of December, Christmas was in the air with the rehearsals of the play and the preparations of the party. We continued to put prana into the new brochure, general planning for next year, and on the budget.
Apart from the regular classes and courses there was a Meditation course and a Positive Thinking course. For the public satsangs we had inspiring words of Master Sivananda on the topics of “Purity” and “Depression” and uplifting words of Swamiji on “Good and pleasant” from Vishnudevananda Upadeṣa.
Gopala guided the monthly Meditation for a Healthy Planet and gave the evening satsangs on the topics of” Spiritual progress” and “The importance of Karma yoga” from Sadhana by Swami Sivananda.
God gave us a successful and joyful Christmas Party celebration on Saturday with 92 participants. We started with the satsang given by, Swami Kailasananda with a an inspiring Christmas message for all, followed by the beautiful theatre play “Bharata, the hermit” directed by Vasishta. Then we had the Christmas carols and the visit of Father Christmas (Gopala) and his assistants Narayana and Puskar. It was hilarious as Pushkar (the yogi dog) was dancing with the Jingle Bells carol. After the feast, there was OM Namo Narayanaya chanting for Peace to end the party.
We were happy to see our Gurubais from Orleans who came for the party.
We had a calm week after the Christmas party and before the reduced schedule for the following week. Parallel to the regular classes there were two of Beginners’ courses and a Positive Thinking course. The staff and many students and teachers were ill this week. On Wednesday a close teacher Parvati gave the Satsang. She did a kirtan satsang with two inspiring letters on the topic of Kirtan from the Master.
The Centre was happy to see the priest Yagneshwara Dixit who who passed by on his way back from India to the Ashram in Orleans.
On the following weekend, Gopala gave two satsangs with inspiring words of the Masters on the topics of “Meditation and Unity” and “Maya”.
In the final week the Centre was uplifted by the visit of Swami Kailasananda who came to Paris to welcome and accompany to the ashram our special guest Sri Venugopal Goswami and the Acharyas, Swami Durgananda and Swami Sivadasananda.
Swami Nityananda was happy to be at the Paris Centre for a couple of days on her way to Orleans. She was grateful for having the opportunity of being in the energy of the Centre and giving the public satsang on Wednesday from an inspiring letter of Master on the topic of Prayer.
Gopala led the Christmas Satsang on the topic of “Jesus Christ” from Bliss Divine and with the Christmas carols. On Sunday, he continued with the same topic in the evening Satsang.
The weekly puja was for Krishna. The karma yogis and the staff enjoyed doing their sadhana with a recording of the Fire of Yoga on Thursday morning. The Masters keep sending precious help and many students for all the activities of the Centre.
We continued to chant for peace from Monday to Thursday. Om shanti.
Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Tel Aviv, Israel
Om Nama Sivaya. The month began with a new Advanced Meditation course.
We had a weekend retreat with Rukmini Chaitanya on the subject of ” The Yoga of Meditation”. Teachers and students got a lot of inspiration from the teachings, the yoga classes and the feasts. Rukmini Chaitanya was teaching from the sixth chapter of the Bhagavad-Gita, she chanted the verses in Sanskrit and then translated them and added commentary. We had wonderful karma yogis who helped us to cook, clean and prepare for the retreat. We are very thankful to everyone for this wonderful weekend.
We are promoting new upcoming courses in the Center like Yoga for Beginners and Meditation course.
The following week we had an evening Satsang on the subject of Likhita Japa. It was an interesting article about Swami Vishnu’s Om Namo Narayanaya bank and its effect on peace in the world.
During the weekend we had teachers gathering. We were very excited to see so many teachers coming to the Center. We hadn’t had such a gathering since covid and were very happy to see everyone.
The morning started with a beautiful satsang lead by Jnaneshwari Chaitanya on the subject of Japa and Meditation. Then we had two yoga classes on the subject of Relaxation and Challenge in the Practice. Afterwards we had a beautiful feast which was made from all the dishes that the teachers brought with them. And we finished the meeting with a workshop with Rukmini Chaitanya on the subject of Guru.
During the weekend all the teachers introduced themselves and it was inspiring to hear where and when each one of them did the TTC and what they are doing nowadays.
In mid-December we had an evening satsang on the subject of Service from a beautiful article by Swami Sivananda from the Bliss Divine.
Krishna Chaitanya finished teaching the Chair Yoga course. All the students graduated successfully.
The Meditation, Positive Thinking and Advanced Raja Yoga courses concluded and a new Yoga Beginners course began.
During the weekend we had a warm meeting of some of the families of the staff members. It was inspiring to hear their life stories and have a beautiful meal together.
On the Sunday of the final week we had a beautiful evening Satsang in which we started the celebration of the eight days of Hanukkha. We lit the first candle and had many songs dedicated to the holiday. Rukmini Chaitanya did a beautiful teaching on the subject of light in the spiritual path. At the end we had plenty sufganiyot- a special kind of donuts for the holiday.
Every day of the week we lit candles with the students who came to the Open classes and courses and sang holiday songs together. The atmosphere was very festive and full of light.
On Saturday evening we celebrated Christmas with a beautiful puja. Swami Swaroopananda gave a deep teaching on the significance of Avatar and the life of Jesus. We were very inspired and happy. We had a small cradle with baby Jesus, and each one could come, offer flowers and gently move the cradle.
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! May the blessings of the Masters be upon us all! Have a wonderful, blessed week!
Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Om Namah Sivaya. In the first week of December, we spent time preparing all our December workshops and scheduling courses for January. Most of the courses were to end in third week of December and students were looking forward for our Christmas Satsang. The Center was busy on the weekend as we had puja, a regular Open class, several courses ,a workshop and Kids class and we enjoyed the busy-ness and enthusiasm of the students.
Many students still opt for an online class, some due to health concerns and some out of convenience. We are happy to teach all.
We had the last class of all our courses towards the end of December as we will start new courses in January. Open classes continue. Karma yogis helped decorate the Center, put up the Christmas tree and make hundreds of cookies for the Christmas party. It was very nice to spend time with all the students and teachers on Sunday and sing Christmas carols, share a talent show, and enjoy the feast together. We are inspired by everyone’s help and participation. Om shanti.
Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Trivandrum, Kerala, India
Om Namah Sivaya. All is going well here with the grace of God. All our regular classes are going well, and at the beginning of the month we started a Beginners course for the ladies. Our monthly teachers meeting took place on Sunday. All other activities are kept on proper basis by all the resident staff. Sunday Satsang uplifts the prana and energy level of every one and boosts up the energy for the beginning of the new week.
Student numbers are increasing. In early December we started a Beginners course with a good number of participants. All the staff visited Neyyar Dam Ashram for the TTC graduation ceremony. The climate is pleasant. Staff are taking care of the Centre and their personal sadhana.
We conducted a Kriya workshop with a few students. The week concluded with our regular Sunday satsang with many spiritual seekers.
As we approached Christmas, Trivandrum was full of festive mood to be able to publicly celebrate Christmas, after a few years of covid time. The city was crowded with shopping and decorating the houses and public places with Christmas trees and a lot of lights. It really looked nice.
We started a ladies Beginners course with minimum participants. Some of our staff members took a short break to visit family on Christmas. Few staff members went for a day trip to Varkala as the centre was closed during the weekend for Christmas. Apart from this the Center is going well and the staff are also fine. The number has gone down as it is normal to the end of the year. Pranams to all.
Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Vienna, Austria
Om Namah Sivaya. Courses and classes were well visited in early December. We had a Headstand workshop, successfully supporting the students in their practice of this asana. Later, we had a well-attended asana workshop on Flexibility and Strength of the Shoulder Girdle. The Thursday trial class was well visited; other classes were also visited by newcomers as trial classes. Preparation for the Christmas party started. Karma Yogis began decorating the Centre and giving the reception area and the asana halls a festive touch. Everybody is looking forward to the celebrations.
Several yoga courses started the following week, among them a Beginners course with a good number of inspired participants. We were surprised how many students wanted to start their Yoga practice in the middle of all the Christmas activities in the city. Also a Bhagavad Gita course with some long term students continued with course 2. Thursday was a public holiday in Austria, which gave the centre an additional public evening Satsang. During the week Staff and Karma Yogis were focusing on the preparation of the Christmas party, which took place on Sunday for the first time again in Vienna after 3 years. All the teachers and the Karma Yogis came and celebrated together with the staff in a festive Satsang with Christmas carols in several languages and a Christmas message. The evening concluded with a simple but delicious dinner which had been prepared by two teachers and various deserts which had been contributed by the guests. All enjoyed being together again after a long time and sharing the inspiration of the Advent season.
Midway through December we began a Yoga 7 course. Attendance at drop in classes was moderate, increasing again on the weekend. Students are happy to relax and revitalize in the Centre. Staff were preparing the new brochure, so it would be ready before the Christmas holidays. Karma Yogis gave good support to the Centre with housekeeping and maintenance. Staff were contributing online with yoga classes and Satsang lectures.
Drop-in classes were well visited in the final week. It seemed that students appreciated finding a haven of peace in the Centre. Staff finalised the Centre brochure for printing. On Thursday Staff were leaving the centre to support the Sivananda Retreat House in Reith, Tyrol, Austria with the upcoming Christmas and New Year’s programme. The Centre will stay open almost daily for drop-in classes, with the support of many devoted teachers. Om shanti.
Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Vilnuis, Lithuania
Om Namah Sivaya. Classes and courses for beginners continued. In the winter time students are really grateful for the warm fresh vegetarian soup served after the asana classes. In the middle of the week staff and two teachers visited one possible new place for TTC Lithuania in the summer time. The buildings and rooms there are quite simple, but we were very impressed by the nature: a beautiful natural lake surrounded by pine and spruce forests, and mighty oak trees in the grounds. Amazing energy.
We were getting ready for the upcoming Christmas party. Savitri provided gifts for the children – different educational games. We plan to have 34 children. From 3 to 19 years. We designed and printed beautiful greeting cards. Narayani baked 70 large chocolate gingerbread cookies, which we packaged beautifully. We decorated the hall with beautiful modest yellow light bulbs. And also the whole main façade. The owner of the premises loved it and wanted to decorate his own house next door. We have a live fir tree. It is two metres high, very beautiful, growing in a pot. It needs to be watered like a flower. But the most important thing is that, once it has been used for the festivities, it will return to its home, where it will grow until next year, when it will be rented again. The hearts of the students open – we received many donations for the Christmas gifts, food, etc.
Classes and courses continued. The whole week some focus was on preparing for the Christmas party: making Christmas cards, packing gifts and so on. We had more than 100 participants including kids: around 40 yoga teachers from Vilnius Center, from Kaunas Center. Everything went very well, students and teachers were very grateful and happy. Everyone liked chanting, even the owner of the premises Lionginas took part in it actively. Santa Klaus (Shambu) was very generous: the children, all the yoga teachers and all the other participants received gifts. This time the Center prepared special gifts for the teachers and closest karma yogis, inviting everyone on stage. We also spontaneously came up with the idea of honouring all the other teachers in the room. Some of them were not registered, so we were happy to have some extra gifts ready. The concert was very good: some gongs, crystal bowls and other instruments, a cello performance, Atmadev’s son played the violin, his daughter played the piano and there was a musical performance with three violins and a piano. The refreshments were also good: the food was tasty and the sweets were quite sattwic. It is so nice when everyone contributes to the celebration and then helps to tidy up everything. Beautiful energy. We received generous donations, the students also brought their own baked cakes and fruits.
Classes and Satsangs continued in the final week, but with fewer participants. The last Beginners’ course finished this week. We will now be expecting beginners only in January. The focus has been on developing the teaching plan for the last weeks of the year and the first weeks of the New Year. Also the preparation of the contract for the TTC Lithuania location in summer 2023, and the renewal of the lease for the Vilnius Centre. The students are grateful for the peaceful energy, the cosiness and beauty of the Centre and the warmth of the teachers’ hearts when they visit the Yoga Centre. Om shanti.
06 Full Moon
21 New Moon
05 Full Moon
18 Sri Maha Sivaratri
20 New Moon
Desire causes misery and anxiety. Abandon all desires. Be serene and happy. – Sri Swami Sivananda
Abhaṅga – A devotional poetic composition
Abhimāna – Ego-centred attachment
Abhyāsa – Spiritual practice
Ācārya – Preceptor
Ādhāra – Support
Ādhāra Śuddhi – Purification of the Mūlādhāra, centre of spiritual energy located at the base of the spinal column
Adharma – Non-righteous conduct
Adhikāri – A qualified person
Ādhyātmic – Spiritual
Ādi Śakti – The Primeval Power
Advaita – Non-duality
Āgāmi – Current action, Karma now produced to be enjoyed in the hereafter
Agni – Fire