Sivananda World News: The Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centres
Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Zentrum, Berlin, Germany
We had good participation in classes and courses. A yoga beginners course and Yoga 4 started this month with a good and inspired group of students. The highlight of the month was the Christmas party. Teachers, Karma Yogis, close students joint for special Christmas Satsang with Chanting of Christmas carols and a small violon performance from one of our close students. Afterwards, we enjoyed a Christmas meal in the boutique area. It was a lively and positive atmosphere; students were happy to spend time together in the centre. Everybody left happy and inspired.
Staff went to the Retreat House in Reith/Austria on Monday for the upcoming Christmas program and in Berlin dedicated teachers and Karma Yogis took very good care of the center.
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
We started the month with Cyclone ‘Michaung’ marking its presence strongly but we resumed activities for the public by 7 December. We’ve rescheduled all our beginners’ courses to commence in January 2024. Additionally, we have announced an upcoming special three day-course, “Meditation & Mantras”.
Sivananda Yoga Vedanta DÀ LAT Centre, Dà Lat, Vietnam
Dalat center has a gentler rhythm at the beginning of the month, so we dedicated time to gardening and Christmas decoration. We started a Yoga for Beginner Online Course while the Online Basic of Meditation Course has ended successfully. The non-violent communication course was also completed with good feedback. The highlight of the week is the Yoga Massage Therapy Course and students became aware more about their body and learn some tips to release blockages by massage. Over weekends, we had a Candle Workshop and a Malabead Workshop. Our Boutique also displayed scented candle products for sale during Christmas.
During the month, staff practised walking meditation and pranayama on the hill near Xuan Huong Lake. On Christmas day, all the staff and some students went to the Ashram to join the Christmas Eve. We listened to Swami Sita’s lecture on the Meaning of Christmas, joined in the melody of the Christmas Carol and received gifts from Santa Claus. It’s a wonderful night for all of us.
Sivananda Yoga Vedanta DWARKA Centre, Delhi, India
Om Namah Sivaya. everything is going fine in the centre. The month started with Beginners course at 10 am with sufficient numbers of students. Open classes are going well. We also started pranayama classes. We conducted a headstand workshop as well as an advanced yoga class for regular yoga practitioner yogis, attended by a good number of students. The meditation course of the month did well. Later in the month, we organised 108 surya namaskar class for our regular students. After every Sunday public satsang, we serve food prepared by the staff. We celebrated Christmass with satsang, gifts and delicious food. The weather is getting colder and colder day by day.
Sivananda Yoga Vedanta NATARAJA Centre, Delhi, India
The weather has become cold in Delhi, however the daytime is sunny. The air quality has improved significantly. We are working on new promotions and programmes to inspire both the local residents and beginners to start yoga. Renovations continue to the staff dining area and kitchen, however moving slowly. At the end of the month, we had a special Christmas satsang with Christmas carols. We shared hot chocolate and plum cake together.
Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Geneva, Switzerland
The focus was the preparation of the Christmas party; cards, gifts, decoration and the xmas meal. Some students joined to help. The Christmas evening was very joyful with students participating with Christmas carol and special songs. We had some inspiring words on the meaning of Christmas and Jesus.
Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Hanoi, Vietnam
All classes still went well. We also started our evening basic yoga class and hosted a workshop of making a laurel wreath at the beginning of the month. The atmosphere of the workshop was very warm and full of energy. We opened many courses and workshops to celebrate Christmas. A lot of energy and inspiration to practice was transmitted to the students. We hosted a workshop of baking and decorating gingerbread to celebrate Christmas with mostly children. The children were very excited, focused and creative in this activity.
We celebrated Christmas and our center’s third birthday party together. Thanks to the help of our students and karma yogis, we had a day with many events like open house class, yoga class for all levels and restorative yoga class. Workshops on topics of meditation, self-healing and Ayurveda were also organised. There were a lot of students coming to our center on this day. Many birthday cakes, fruits and gifts were prepared by our staff members and karma yogis. The ceremony was cozy, light and full of positive energy and peace. Everyone enjoyed it and had fun together with deep gratitude to Gurus and those who has always supported our center.
Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
We welcomed special guest Joss Jaffe. He stayed at the center for 3 nights and had two very well attended workshop nights: Emotional transformation music and Kirtan concert. We organised an open house on Sunday. Thanks to the Guru’s blessings, all activities at the center are smooth and full of energy. Every course is running well, the students come to classes regularly. Satsangs are particularly well attended every Wednesday and Sunday.
We are busy moving the center to the new location, but still keep Sadhana steady. We are grateful to receive a lot of support from the Ashram staff and karma yogis.
Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, London, England
The painting of the asana halls came to a conclusion with a great karma yoga effort. The warm and light colour of the walls creates a harmonious and calm impression while the altar stands out as a homage to the Masters and Gods with it’s darker earthen colour. The air of renewal is well appreciated by the students.
A residential study retreat ‘The Meditation Experience’ took place with a small group of participants. They commented feeling uplifted and recharged in their sadhana by the five day immersion into the full yogic lifestyle.
Decorating the Christmas tree, redressing the altar, rehearsing the chants, a trial run of the vegetarian buffet recipes all contributed to the air of anticipation which grew stronger over the days. The Christmas Party was dedicated to peace and included mantra chanting for world peace and the release of balloons from the Peace Garden into the windy night. A small choir reminded everyone that Bliss is our essential nature and Swami Sivananda’s words on the true meaning of Christmas found a place into the hearts of all. We look back on a memorable evening in the presence of close members, teachers and well-wishers of the centre
A Saturday programme on Positive Thinking , living life with joy brought several newcomers to the centre. All left inspired by Master’s uplifting teachings with the intention to come back to the centre soon. Preparations for the Christmas Eve celebration are bringing much joy with staff, teachers and close students preparing a spiritual story with shadow puppetry.
The days before Christmas were marked by more intimate classes and satsangs. Close students brought small gifts, Christmas cards and donations to express their gratitude for the presence of the yoga teachings and the Centre in their lives. Christmas Eve was attended by many close students, teachers and also newer students – all sharing the joy of being part of the Sivananda family. The warm spirit of Christmas filled the evening programme which consisted of a puja, inspiring words from Swami Sivananda, Christmas carols, a beautiful spiritual story in the form of shadow puppetry and a delicious feast. All left with a joyful heart, looking forward to return to the centre after its reopening on the 3rd of January.
Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Los Angeles, CA, USA
At the beginning of the month, we had a nice group for a meditative Yantra Painting Workshop. We decorated the centre and prepared for the festive season with full enthusiasm.
We had a full house for our annual Holiday Celebration. We gathered around the tree to sing Kirtan and Christmas carols. We shared a delicious potluck meal and had a “surprise” visit from Santa, who brought gifts for everyone and made us smile and laugh with his jolly ho ho ho’s. The atmosphere was warm and jovial. Much gratitude was expressed. The next day, Swami Sivasankarianada and Swami Adiparashaktiananda connected with the San Francisco “family,” offering a Yoga class, Satsang and reception at the Unitarian Church there. It was wonderful to feel their support, and hunger for Satsang.
The weekend Holistic Health Retreat was on the topic of stress resilience. The students learned about the five causes of stress and how to work with yoga practices to achieve a deep sense of peace and well-being by integrating breath, body and mind. The guests left feeling rejuvenated and thankful for the personal attention and time spent here in the tranquil atmosphere of the Center.
We pray for the peace of all. We are grateful to serve.
Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Madrid, Spain
Classes and courses continued with good participation. Christmas arrangements decorated the reception and main hall of the Center. Over the first weekend, we conducted a two hour-asana workshop much appreciated by students attending. The busiest weekend was with the celebration of the Christmas party. It was a beautiful occasion to share the spirit of Christmas: after meditation and spiritual message some joyful traditional carols were sung. The theatre play prepared by teachers was the story of Ganesha and Kubera. The evening ended with a delicious bandhara for over 80 people. TTC online graduation was completed this month with a small group of six newly graduated and inspired teachers.
Another highlight this month was the December International Yoga Malaga retreat in the town of Cómpeta (Málaga, Andalussia) was fully booked with last minute enrolment. Many long-time teachers joined our first retreat in this location. An outing to the beach was organised and a beautiful flamenco concert with local artists took place with very enchanting tunes. More dates were schedule for the next year as we feel this is a wonderful place to rest and recharge, with mild weather and excellent food.
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.
Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Munich, Germany
Temperatures dropped significantly. At the beginning of the month, the landscape was well covered under the snow. During the first week of the month, we spent time with the organisation for the Christmas party enthusiastically: the reception and the yoga hall were decorated and the theatre play karma yogis continued their preparations.
The Christmas party evening was spent with the closer students of the center. After a satsang part with Jaya Ganesha, a peace meditation and a message from the words of Master Sivananda, we joyfully sang the Christmas carols. Swami Vasudevananda and three of our students/teachers performed a theater play of two spiritual stories – one of them the story about imaginary fear from Swami Sivananda’s book “Sadhana”. The party ended with a homely get-together and a snack as well as many Christmas cookies brought by the students.
The students of the EU-Business School came for their last yoga class this year. It was inspiring to see how they had made progress since they started two months ago. The trial class of the month was very successful with participants eager to start with yoga in the New Year.
We spent time to work on the new brochure and to update the Web with programs coming up in January. Later in the month, staff went to the Retreat House in Reith/Tyrol/Austria to spend Christmas and New Year there.
Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, New York, USA
Om Namah Sivaya from the New York Centre. May the Grace of Gurudev and Swamiji be upon us all. Om Shanti. Om.
Centre de Yoga Sivananda Vedanta, Paris, France
During this month, we held a special teachers’ day guided by Swami Kailasannada. She gave a very inspiring lecture on how to evolve in one’s teaching. We dedicated time to the preparation of the Christmas Party. There were various thematic workshops on Friday evening. They were well appreciated. We organised the last Open House of the year.
For the Christmas eve, there was an intermediate class, followed by a satsang with Christmas songs and reading of the Jesus Christ chapter of Bliss Divine. We had a Christmas meal with the staff and the students of the Center.
Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Tel Aviv, Israel
Two new courses started – a meditation course and a yoga course for beginners. Simultaneously, a yoga course for beginners also started on Zoom to accommodate distant students. The center continued recruiting additional instructors for both in-person and online instruction. External teachers received training to be able to guide beginner courses in the centre. Additionally, a WhatsApp group for daily study sessions was formed, conducted in the morning.
We invited students and teachers to light the first Hanukkah candle at the yoga center. This holiday symbolizes the triumph of light over darkness, holding deep and tangible meaning for all of us. We held a sacred singing evening in honor of Hanukkah holiday, which included lightning of the candles, singing, and prasad. It was a significant and heartwarming occasion.
The evening concluded with a vegetarian meal prepared by the participants, some brought things from home and some came early to prepare a dish. Students appreciate the center’s activities and contents as a great support during difficult time.
A retreat was held at the centre. It focused on releasing stress and anxiety using yogic tools, addressing the five principles of yoga and their daily application in life. About forty students and teachers participated, with many yoga teachers volunteering to assist in preparations and during the event. Participants included teachers, students, and those newly introduced to the center, as well as students who are new to yoga. The atmosphere was very uplifting, allowing significant connections within the group. People left the retreat feeling equipped to cope with the challenges, and with a sense of a safe and serene place to return for practice, learning, and inspiration.
Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Tokyo, Japan
At the centre, we started Yoga 1 course, meditation course, ayurveda beginner course, japa meditation course, kriya workshop. Most of students are new and eager to learn. We offer Jyotish monthly classes online. There was a workshop for shoulder pain; students shared their shoulder problem and learned how yoga can help. We had a “how to teach yoga to seniors” yoga teacher training and it brought very joyful energy. The Satsangs were well attended.
This month, we hosted two Open House days. One of the Open House was planned for the Christmas celebrations. Students were introduced them to the Tokyo center yoga community, and were offered yoga class, vegetarian food, kirtans and Karma yoga.
Tokyo center staff visited Shojiko retreat for a staff short trip, and enjoyed the time with Shojiko staff.
Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
During the month, we started a gentle course and Yoga 2 course. We started painting and clearing outside the center. Satsangs are well attended. On Saturdays, we offered an Ayurvedic Approach to Yoga Asanas workshop and a Spiritual Diary workshop which were both well attended. New year’s course planning was done with new courses.
Karma yogis and staff decorated the center on Sunday so it feels more festive. We had a beautiful Christmas party with a lot of regular students and teachers. One of our centre teacher, also a musician, helped us celebrate with joyful Christmas Carols and uplifting Gospel music.
Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Trivandrum, Kerala, India
Classes are going well. We started a ladies beginner course and a morning beginner course. Children, Advanced, and few private classes are running smoothly. All the staff visited our Neyyardam Ashram to be the part of Christmas celebration.
Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Vienna, Austria
This month, we started a new Yoga 1 course with very inspired participants. We organised Kirtan workshop which was well received; step by step, the students made good progress in developing confidence in singing, it gave them new joy. Another Saturday workshop was on flexibility for the shoulders; a good group of inspired students came to deepen their asana practice and experience. We had a successful meditation workshop for which students expressed much gratitude. The programme for 2024 was finalised and prepared for printing.
The highlight was the Christmas reception for teachers and students who came in great numbers to celebrate together. Mantra chanting, singing Christmas carols and a classical concert delighted the audience. This years’ Christmas message from Master was inspiring all to be aware of the unity in diversity. A little snack buffet was concluding the elevating evening – everybody was enjoying each others company in the reception area of the centre.
Staff joined the Sivananda Yoga Seminar House in Reith for the Christmas and New Year’s special programme.
Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Vilnuis, Lithuania
Despite the upcoming holidays and the beginners’ courses, classes and satsangs have continued. The Yoga Centre got ready for the Christmas party with decorations and theatre play rehearsal. Preparations brought a cheerful mood at the centre.
During the Christmas party, we sang Christmas carols, including old Lithuanian ones with the children who attended. The theatre play was very nice. Santa offered gifts to the children. After a tea break, we gathered for a concert: our old friends the young cellists delighted our hearts with classical music as always. The performance with spiritual stories brought a lot of joy and fun, especially the actors shone. After the concert, we enjoyed a wonderful soup with samosas and mountains of sweets brought by the students and karma yogis. From all this, a very beautiful energy of unity in diversity was created, the message of which was spread during the Christmas greeting in the Master’s words.
1 New Year’s Day
11 New Moon
26 Full moon
Understand life. Live divinely. Seek good company. Fear not. Waste not time. Depend on God. – Sri Swami Sivananda
Abhyasa or practice is the effort to secure steadiness of the modifications of the mind. The effort to restrain all the vrittis (waves) of the mind and to make the mind steady like the jet of a lamp in a windless place is called abhyasa. To drive back the mind to its source – Hridaya Guha (the cave of the heart) and get it absorbed in Atman (the Self) is abhyasa. To make the mind inward and to destroy all its outgoing tendencies is abhyasa. And this practice should be done for a long time without any break and with perfect devotion.
Through abhyasa you will have to change the outgoing vishaya vrittis of the mind. Without the vrittis of the mind you cannot enjoy sensual objects, and if the vrittis along with samskaras are controlled, manonasa or the annihilation of the mind follows.
Abhyasa becomes fixed and steady when practised for a long time without any break and with perfect devotion. Constant, steady application is indispensable for perfect control of the mind and attainment of asamprajnata samadhi which alone can fry all the seeds of samskaras. Therefore, constant and intense practice is needed for a long time. Then alone the wandering mind will come under your perfect control. Then alone wherever it is directed it will be ever at rest. Without practice nothing can be achieved. The practice should be accompanied by perfect faith and devotion. If there is no faith and regularity, success is impossible. Abhyasa should be continued until you get perfection.
From Sadhana by Swami Sivananda