Sivananda World News: The Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centres
Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Zentrum, Berlin, Germany
Om Namah Sivaya. Our courses and classes were well visited. Students like the regular practise. The weather is finally getting warmer and for the first time this year the class could be on the platform in the garden. On Thursday a meditation course for beginners started with an inspired group of new students. On the weekend we did a workshop on “How to Overcome Anger”. It attracted a good group of participants, all keen to learn about the topic. We concluded the week with a well-visited Satsang with the Sunday prayers. The energy was uplifted, and everybody was inspired.
Monday was a holiday, and we offered a class and Satsang, both well-visited. On Saturday we had a Headstand Workshop with a good group of students. A Yoga Beginners’ Course started on Tuesday, all are inspired to learn the basics of asanas and pranayama.
Our dedicated Karma yogis helped all week to keep the center clean and tidy.
The following Saturday we had a Cooking Workshop with an inspired group of students learning new recipes and getting inspiration on yogic cooking on the topic of “How to Prepare Easy Meals in a Short Time for Busy People”. The result was delicious. Karma yogis were again very supportive this week with teaching, reception, and cleaning. Everybody was helping together and so it all went very smoothly. Students were happy that many of the classes were taking place outside on the garden platform.
We had good participation in classes, courses, and Satsangs. A Yoga 1 Course started with an inspired group of students. The International Day of Yoga was celebrated by the Indian Embassy on Wednesday. We were invited to participate at the asana practise in the residence of the ambassador in a beautiful open air location on the lawn. A group of students joined in, and it was a lovely event. Karma yogis were supporting the center in many ways.
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 the Chennai Centre. The beginning of the month was quite moderate for us, with our classes and courses running smoothly. As the summer heat continued to rise and with the school vacations underway, we observed a slight dip in the number of attendees. Nevertheless, we understand that this is a common occurrence during this time of the year. Our Kids Camp, on the other hand, has been a delightful experience for both the children and our instructors. It’s heartwarming to witness the energy and enthusiasm of our young yogis as they explore the world of yoga and spirituality. In a moment of great honour, we were extended a special invitation from the esteemed Raj Bhavan, the official residence of the Governor of Tamil Nadu. Our Centre Director Gopan, along with Sandhya had the privilege of attending a wonderful cultural program.
The following week the weather was hot and dry, with temperatures reaching 38 degrees Celsius. This affected the attendance for the 9:30 AM and evening Open classes. However, we saw more people joining the 6:00 AM Open class. We didn’t have any new courses. Instead, we focused on promoting the upcoming Beginners’ Courses, both online and in-person. We successfully completed the Kids’ Camp, providing a great experience for all the children. Everything else is going smoothly, by Swamiji’s blessings.
We commenced the following week with the launch of two Beginners’ Courses, one in-person with eight registrants and another online with six participants. While we are pleased with the initial response, the attendance for Open Classes remains lower than expected. To address this, we have initiated a survey among our existing students to understand the reasons behind this trend. It is worth noting that the scorching heat wave during June, which marked the hottest temperatures ever recorded in Chennai, could be a contributing factor. In the realm of creativity, our dedicated Karma yogi, Raagesh, has taken up the task of painting a beautiful landscape featuring Lord Krishna. His artistic endeavour adds aesthetic charm to our Center and serves as an inspiration to all who visit. In line with the International Yoga Day, we have been receiving inquiries for corporate yoga sessions.
Furthermore, we have initiated a fundraising program to rebuild the Tapaswini Ashram in Gudur, which was unfortunately devastated by a recent fire accident.
We started the Beginners’ Classes, both in-person and online, and witnessed positive progress among the participants. A special session at the Reserve Bank of India attracted a good number of attendees. Tragically, we received the heartbreaking news of the passing of our respected trustee member, Anjaya Sir. As a mark of reverence, our staff and Karma yogis visited his home to pay our heartfelt respects. Moving forward, we have organised a productive teachers’ meeting, where we delved into discussions regarding upcoming Yoga Day programs. We concluded each week with a Satsang led by Gopan, uniting our community in spiritual reflection.
The following week our focus was entirely on the International Yoga Day. We conducted corporate classes in various companies, spreading the essence of yoga to a wider audience. The Yoga Day celebrations were a tremendous success, and we were delighted to be featured in the local newspaper for our efforts. We successfully concluded our online Beginners’ Course on Friday. It was truly gratifying to witness the progress made by our dedicated students throughout the course.
On Sunday, we organized a special Satsang with Nataraj ji and Kalyani ji, which was attended by around 35 participants. The Satsang provided a beautiful opportunity for spiritual enrichment and community connection. Pranams. Om Om.
Sivananda Yoga Vedanta DÀ LAT Centre, Dà Lat, Vietnam
Om Namah Sivaya. The first week of the month passed by at a glance. We had a Beginners’ Course, a Restorative Course, as well as Yoga for Pregnancy classes. Students joined the classes and Satsangs as usual. On Sunday evening Swami Narayanananda gave a Satsang on Bhakti Yoga. A purple lotus flower blossomed in the middle of the fishpond.
The following week was rather meaningful, regardless of the obstacles we faced. All the classes went well. We are especially amazed at the regularity of the students. The Yoga for Beginners Course continued. Satsangs are attended by staff, karma yogis and students regularly. We are fortunate to keep the spiritual company. We are editing the new website for the Center, hopefully able to reach out more to the public and become more internationally friendly. Internal training on sewing was held for staff. We are learning and growing in every way we could. All in all, we are grateful to serve Guru in every way.
The next week was quite intense because we sent two staff to support Kids camp in the Ashram, leaving only three staff at the Center, but with the support of Guru’s Grace and Karma yogis, the Center’s activities went well. We had a three-day course of Stress Management as part of SYHET practicum as well as a new Beginners course with seven students. Yoga Nidra classes were also taught at the Center. On Saturday the Center staff and Karma yogis participated in the Yoga Federation for 108 Rounds Sun Salutations. On Sunday, we celebrated the International Yoga Day with a full-day free-of-charge event: a Meditation Walk to the lake in the early morning followed by a free trial yoga class, Yoga Deep Relaxation, Restorative Yoga class and a Workshop on Health. The day was nicely wrapped up with a well-attended Satsang led by Swami Narayananda. We also celebrated our Resident Cô Nhung’s Birthday. Many stayed for dinner with us at the Center.
There were fewer events the following week, however, the classes went on well as usual, with two Yoga Beginner Courses, Prenatal Yoga, and Gentle Yoga.
Many TTC Graduates and Karma yogis in Dalat came for Sunday Satsang regularly, and last week we were fortunate to have Swami Narayan lead the Sunday evening Satsang.
We spent a few days building up the fence in the garden, cleaning the fishpond and rearranging the pot plants. We also had a training on Beginner’s Crochet and a fortnight session for Mandala Painting. All in all, the energy of the Center is uplifting. Everyone is doing their best to serve the Center under Guru’s name. Om shanti.
Sivananda Yoga Vedanta DWARKA Centre, Delhi, India
Om Namah Sivaya. All is going well in the Centre. Classes are running smoothly. We started a Beginners Course and a Headstand Workshop, both attended by good numbers of students. Our regular Open classes are going well. The weather is getting hotter day by day. On Sunday we conducted a Kriya Workshop, attended by sufficient students.
The following week we conducted a Pranayama Workshop, attended by a few enthusiastic students, followed by Satsang and delicious food cooked by Asha.
Our regular classes, Kids classes, and Gentle Yoga classes continue to go well. We started Meditation and Beginners’ Yoga courses as well with good numbers of students. We conducted the public Satsang attended by sufficient numbers of students.
The week started with the Beginners Course at 6 am, attended by a good number of students. Regular Open classes are going fine. The 9th International Day of Yoga was the highlight of the week where we conducted yoga sessions in the Centre attended by 80 students. T-shirts and refreshments were also given to all the participants. They all enjoyed the Day of Yoga. For the weekend we have organized a Headstand Workshop followed by Satsang and dinner. Pranam to all.
Sivananda Yoga Vedanta NATARAJA Centre, Delhi, India
Om Namah Sivaya. We have seen a slight increase in registrations for Yoga 1 and we started a Weekend Yoga 2 course. We also had a request for a new Yoga 2 group, which is encouraging. On Saturday we conducted a Balancing Workshop with three students who wished to focus mainly on Vrischikasana. We are continuing to look at ways of bringing new students into the centre.
We had a visit by the national TV network Doordarshan who filmed an Open Class in progress and interviewed one of our teachers about Swamiji’s Five Points of Yoga. We started an evening Meditation Course with six students, morning and evening Yoga 1 courses with three and four students respectively. We also started an evening Yoga 2 Course with four students. It is good to see the increased interest in Yoga 2 among the students. We are continuing to look at ways of boosting these courses. The weather continues to be hot in Delhi which may account for fewer numbers in our Open Classes. Staff are helping to explore new promotions for the classes and learning how to edit small videos for social media.
The highlight of the following week was an onsite interview conducted by MyGovIndia which was broadcast on the Government’s own Instagram and YouTube platforms. They interviewed students, staff, and teachers on the importance of yoga in Indian culture and the International Day of Yoga. We started two Yoga 1 courses with nine and six students respectively and wrapped-up a Meditation 1 course with six students. We continue to work at improving our course promotions and student numbers.
Our onsite Centre activities continued as usual, while our offsite teachers conducted special programmes for the International Day of Yoga. Kapoorji taught a programme at PowerCorp for 100 students and our outside teacher Ravi taught a session as part of a Mass Yoga Demonstration organised by the Government’s Ministry of AYUSH at the Delhi Development Authority’s Siri Fort Sports Complex.
We started two Yoga 1 courses with fewer students registered. We cancelled the onsite Kids’ Camp due to the small number of registrations. We are working on our new schedule from August and looking forward to trying some new things and to generate increased interest in the centre. All staff are well and send their pranams.
Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Geneva, Switzerland
Om Namah Sivaya. The main event of the week was the International Day of Yoga at the UN organised by the Indian Mission of Geneva. The Ambassador guided the presentation. A yoga class was shared between five different yoga school of Geneva. Sivananda gave the asana part of the class. The event was very well attended by almost 500 people. The good weather and very positive energy contribute to make this day very successful.
Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Hanoi, Vietnam
Greetings from Hanoi. We started a Meditation course with eleven students and our “How to Teach the Five Points” training course for TTC graduates continued beautifully. There are seven TTC graduates in the course, and they are all inspired and eager to learn and teach. All classes went well. The weather starts to get hotter, and we plan to organise more classes outdoors in the Temple yard. The highlight of the following week was the SHYET practicum three-day course on “Classical Yoga for Stress Management”. Again, the students have shared their deep gratitude to the teacher Priya Thom and the SYVC Center for organising such a profound course in only three days with nine hours. They gained insights about the causes of their stress and learned the applicable practices to adjust their lifestyle and their thinking in order to live healthier and be able to manage their stress. Other classes went well. The Beginners course continued. Pregnancy Yoga is good, the Meditation Course is coming to its last week. How to Teach the Five Points training for TTC graduates continued beautifully, giving everyone a lot of inspiration. We had an international Satsang with Swami Sita on Viveka Chudamani, and we enjoyed the strong and refreshing teaching of Swamiji on discrimination very much.
The following week we had a lot of rain, especially during the morning and the evening, hence the number of onsite students dropped a little but the temperature is better. The Meditation course finished: both students and teacher were so grateful for the teachings, we felt blessed by the Guru. We are proud of the dedication of the students: their attendance was excellent during the course; we hope their enthusiasm will continue for a long time. We did a half-day workshop on “Enhance Vital Energy through Classical Yoga, Retreat and Proper Diet” with 24 participants, organised by three organisations: Sivananda Yoga Hanoi, DTC Responsive Travel, and An Young healthy food. The workshop gave useful information and inspiration to many participants. At the workshop we taught “What is Yoga?”, “The Five Points of Yoga”, and a Beginners’ Gentle class. We had an international satsang with Swami Sita on “Forbearance”, inspiring and refreshing as always! Other classes went well. Staff sadhana is steady.
Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Om Namah Sivaya. Greetings from Ho Chi Minh City. We had a beautiful week beginning with a vacation on Long Hai Beach near the city for all staff. The trip was terrific: we had a great time together, did asana on the beach, swam all day, cooked our tasty meals, and recharged with plenty of energy. We returned to the Center on Thursday. All courses continued as usual. On Sunday, two courses finished: the Yoga for Kids course with fourteen children and the Yoga for Deep Relaxation course with thirteen students. We had an Open house on the same day, so more people signed up for the Beginners’ course.
We opened two new courses: Introduction to Meditation taught by Swami Pranavananda, and Yoga for Beginners taught by Atmaprema. The Restorative Yoga course finished, receiving positive student feedback. We had an excellent outdoor Yoga class at Sala Park on the weekend with twenty-two students joining.
The number of students coming to classes gradually increased. We opened the new Yogic Nutrition course for seven students. Other than that, a new SYHET practicum course “Yoga for Cancer” took place over three days. On Friday, the Intermediate Meditation course finished with tremendous joy and inspiration from the teaching. In addition, we had a Sirsasana workshop on the weekend, which five students attended and found very helpful. Thanks to the Grace of Guru, we keep the Center steady despite the smaller number of staff. We do morning and evening Satsang as well as online Satsang with Swami Sita regularly. We are working on our kitchen to make it more organized and cleaner.
Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, London, England
Om Namah Sivaya. The Centre is blooming. God sends us sunshine, a few more students, Karma yogis, and teachers. Everyone appreciates the flowers, the classes, the Satsangs and the peaceful mood of the Centre. The main Altar looks joyful in pink.
Ganapati who was in France for two weeks, did Karma yoga from home and took the online classes every morning. Swami Jyotirmayananda went to teach the two first weeks of the Lithuanian TTC. We had a Headstand Workshop and one of the students who does the online classes, came all the way from Wales to learn the posture. Happily, she did it.
Swami Dayananda enjoyed giving an inspiring Satsang on the topic of Karma from Bliss Divine. On Sunday, we had the Sunday prayers and inspiring words of Master on the topic of Sadhana from Bliss Divine. For the morning Satsangs, we are reading from Masters’ book ‘The Ethics of the Bhagavad Gita’. The mornings are cheerful with the regular students. The staff enjoyed uplifting moments listening to some Saptaha recordings from last summer. Some close Karma yogis and students were also there. On Friday there was a big family for the evening Arati with the presence of some students and Karma yogis.
The Silent walks are inspiring and luminous at this time of the year. There are many sweet baby birds and blooming roses everywhere. On Saturday, Swami Nityananda led the silent meditation and the Jaya Ganesha. A musician who came to the Satsang played the harmonium. Chandra gave an inspiring lecture on the Gita from Masters’ book ‘Ethics of the Bhagavad Gita’. On Sunday, Swami Dayananda gave an uplifting satsang on the topic of Peace from Bliss Divine. We have the beautiful Sunday prayers led by Swamiji with the harmonium.
The summer arrived with long days, blue skies, and sunshine. There was a big family for two evening Aratis with close students and Karma yogis to celebrate a birthday. Master Sivananda gave inspiring letters. We chanted the Shanti Mantras and we read its meaning in English. Swami Dayananda went to Orleans to teach during the TTC Refresher and the Academy retreat. A Beginners’ course started with motivated students, most of whom came to the last Open House. A Positive Thinking course ended.
There were train strikes in the city. Some students who had booked classes couldn’t come.
We had two inspiring Satsangs over the weekend. One led by Swami Nityananda with uplifting words of Master Sivananda on the topic of Life from Bliss Divine. The other, given by Chandra on the topic of Fearlessness from Master’s book ‘Ethics of the Bhagavad Gita’.
The Main Altar looks beautiful in yellow and blue.
A lot of prana was put on the promotion of the Open House. The students took little posters and flyers to display in the places where they usually go. We have been having sunny days with gentle breezes and little rains. The regular students and teachers look happy, some of them went out of the city on holidays some new students visited London on holidays.
For the public satsangs we had two inspiring chapters of Bliss Divine. Chandra led a satsang on the topic of Health and Swami Nityananda led the other on the topic of Life. We all enjoyed the inspiring words of Master, many beautiful anecdotes of Swamiji and little stories. We appreciated also the kirtans and the Sunday prayers.
There was a detox and fasting day on Saturday parallel to the regular classes. The students enjoyed the asana classes, the kriya and fasting workshop, their delicious broth, their carrot juice and the satsang.
We had an inspiring Saraswati Puja on Saturday. Everyone appreciated the Puja and the beautiful letter given by Master Sivananda addressed to Mother Tripura Sundari. The Main Altar was dressed in white for the occasion. Like in the old days, there was a beautiful gathering in the garden with close teachers and Karma yogis after the Ceremony. The staff enjoyed the uplifting online presentations on the life of Swamiji, done by Kamala.
The Centre was happy to have a big family during the week. Swami Dayananda was back from Orleans, Swami Jyotirmayananda came back from the Lithuanian TTC.
The peace garden was growing wildly. There were cheerful Karma Yoga mornings: trimming hedges, sweeping the peace garden and staff, the students and the Karma yogis sharing the lively moment. The jasmine is giving a pleasant perfume.
The students appreciated their classes. In the morning they had plenty of prana. In the evening they had more relaxation. On the 21st we mentally tuned to the celebration of the Yoga Day all over the world.
We had a beautiful outing in nature. There were big trees, beautiful flowers, sunshine, and a pleasant breeze. We had picnic under the trees. We visited a house with artistic ceilings, big mirrors and a beautiful garden with jasmine, lilies, lotus flowers and a little fountain. Close teachers took care of the Centre. We were back for the evening Satsang with Sunday Prayers and inspiring words of Master from the commentary on the Bhakti Sutras of Narada.
Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Los Angeles, CA, USA
Om Namah Sivaya. The week was spent promoting and preparing for Swami Sitaramananda’s Memorial Day weekend visit. Swami Dharmananda accompanied her. The topic of her three talks was Yoga for Mental Health: Why Control the Mind; Dealing with Life Struggles; and Finding Purpose. There was a good turnout, both in person and online. Students deeply appreciated Swami Sita’s considered answers to their sincere questions. She tied it all together connecting the three gunas, four castes, ashramas and purusharthas on the last day. Swami Dharmananda taught the yoga class on Monday morning while Swami Sita cooked a lavish Vietnamese feast for us. It was a joyful weekend. We are grateful to support this mission of Love.
Guests had two options from 1:00–6:00pm Saturday for our Joy of Ayurveda Weekend. Rashee Rohatgi gave an Introduction to Ayurveda and then moved her class to the kitchen for hands-on experience making yellow mung dosas, sambar and aloo matar, plus two chutneys. At the same time, Ajita Patel taught an in-depth class on Ama—how to detect and clear out toxins from the body. We all came together for a truly joyful feast in the end. The Sunday Self-Abhyanga Workshop was well-received, and two people took the opportunity to have an Ayurvedic consultation with Rashee. Shubha offered an online Yoga Nidra session on Friday evening. We had a guest from Mumbai all week. The highlight of his stay was offering us an impromptu workshop on making the perfect besan ladoo! They were offered to Lakshmi at our Friday puja.
For Wellness Weekend, former guest Dr Jasmine Chow returned as a presenter and gave a talk on Diabetes and Weight Control on Saturday afternoon. We learned about continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) which uses a patch or implantable monitor. Dr Chow was a great resource for the students’ questions. Rita Burgos offered an immersion—Yoga Nidra and the Healing Power of Affirmations—on Sunday afternoon. The participants were happy—and very relaxed. Our downstairs shower needed replacing; the new one is quite an upgrade. Atmashakti Chaitanya visited LA Center on her way back to Japan from the Yoga Farm. We enjoyed taking her out a bit. The rose bushes have more flowers than ever.
Swami Hamsananda arrived from the Yoga Farm to cover for Swami Sivasankariananda, who flew to the east coast to attend the SYTAR yoga therapy conference and visit her family. The sold-out conference was attended by aspiring students as well as seasoned yoga health educators, all eager to share and connect. Swami Sivasankariananda led a morning session on Pranayama. In LA, Parvati led the weekend Holistic Health Retreat on Positive Thinking for Optimal Health. The participants benefitted greatly. A Yoga 2 course ended. A few Karma yogis are being trained in the kitchen to support Parvati and Kamala with the cooking. There were several additional Karma yogis around, so outdoor garden furniture got oiled and refurbished.
Swami Hamsananda continued her visit covering for Swami Sivasankariananda. Swami Hamsananda gave a weekend retreat on the Paths of Bhakti and Karma Yoga that was well received. A Yoga 1 course ended, with students planning to continue on to Yoga 2. We are happy to report that three of our regular students have signed up for TTC this summer: two will go to New York in July, and one will go to the Bahamas. We are soliciting donations to support painting the exterior of the building; the ambitious project will begin as soon as next week. The sun is out in LA, the weather is perfect for classes on the yoga deck. We are grateful to serve.
Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Madrid, Spain
Om Namah Sivaya. Classes continued with good attendance. On Saturday we celebrated a lively open day with a focused group of students very interested in Yoga and meditation. Everyone stayed for the lecture after the trial class and some enrolments were done. Cookies and fruits were distributed. It was a very inspiring afternoon.
The summer temperatures have arrived in Spain and students are enjoying the practice on our patio. The highlight was the celebration of our weekend retreat in Girona, with Gopala and close teachers from the Sivananda affiliated Center in Barcelona. We had a good group of inspired students, many of them coming for the first time to a retreat. Many inquiries about the TTC and summer programs were received. The beautiful place allowed practice in nature, and it was a very healing and positive time for all.
Classes and courses continued to be well attended as the month progressed. The weekend saw a Beginners course with inspired students. The Center was represented in the Jerez Yoga Congress (South Spain) with a yoga class for over 100 people as well as a permanent stand supervised by Gopala. On Friday Swami Santoshananda went to Orleans for the TTC refresher.
Several special events took place the following week. The International Yoga Day was celebrated with an Open Day at the Center on Wednesday 21st. Yoga practitioners from all over Madrid as well as many long-time students attended the classes offered at different levels. The evening Satsang dedicated to world peace was the highlight. On Sunday we were blessed with the visit by Dr. Marilyn Rossner from Canada, who offered an onsite Satsang after 4 years. After silent meditation and mantra chanting, Marilyn shared beautiful words about Swamiji´s mission and gave much advice regarding diet, lifestyle, and the purpose of life. Many people attended and were inspired to continue the practice of the Five Points of Yoga. It was wonderful to see the Center glowing and with so many teachers and students supporting all week.
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. We had an Open House with a very nice group of students who registered for the upcoming Beginners course and for Open classes. On Sunday Swami Vairagyananda came from the Yoga Camp to lead Satsang.
Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Munich, Germany
Om Namah Sivaya. A new Yoga 1 Beginners’ course with a group of very motivated participants had its first class. Also, two of our Advanced courses started into new rounds. On Saturday we invited the Center teachers to join our weekly morning Puja. Afterwards we practiced asana and pranayama together, did Karma Yoga and shared a nice breakfast. It was an inspiring morning for everybody. Regular Karma yogis came to support the functioning of the Center. On Monday, which was the last public holiday of the Whitsun weekend, we offered a Drop-in yoga class in the morning. We took advantage of the longer weekend to wash all the blankets from our asana-rooms. Among the new courses starting were a Yoga 1 Beginners course and a Meditation course – both courses have very motivated participants. On Thursday and Friday, the staff went for one week to the Sivananda Yoga Retreat House in Reith/Tyrol/Austria to support the special program there. Our teachers support us by taking care of the Center and teaching most of the classes and courses until we are back.
The Kirtan-Workshop was very inspiring. It was beautiful to see how the participants overcame their initial shyness and full-heartedly joined into the chanting.
We participated in an event for the International Day of Yoga organized by the Indian General Consulate in Munich. It was a beautiful summer day and many people – mostly from the Indian community – came to a sports ground at the biggest park in Munich where the event took place. Swami Vasudevananda taught a short pranayama and asana sequence. It was nice to see so many people practicing yoga together –for instance 150 people doing the tree-pose simultaneously. We were also invited to teach a yoga class to the staff of one of the larger hotels in Munich. They enjoyed it very much and many of them were interested to come to the Center.
Some new courses started: a Yoga 1, a Yoga 2, two Yoga 3 and an Advanced course.
The trial class on Saturday was very well attended with lots of interest in the upcoming courses. An introduction into the Teachers Training was held on Sunday. The participants got a lot of information and a good feeling for the contents of a TTC with a lecture, a yoga class and a Satsang. They are already sure to inscribe for one of the next TTCs. In spite of the warm weather throughout the week Drop-in classes were well attended. Om shanti.
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
Om Namah Sivaya. The spring sun illuminated Paris and the Center. We had slightly fewer Karma yogis and teachers because of the long Pentecost weekend. The staff therefore concentrated on the essential activities of the life of the Centre: cleaning, cooking, reception and teaching. We had the joy of opening a new workshop: The Yoga of Relationships, which aroused great interest on our social networks. The students were very inspired and hoped that other sessions can be scheduled in the future. Particular care has been taken to maintain the plants that bloom in the inner courtyard that have been filled with new flowers.
We also started sorting out our latest photoshoot in preparation for editing the new brochure and Vasishta began planning for the coming months under the guidance of Swami Kailasananda Ji. Vasishta ensured that the order of Indian products could take place in view of the Bhagavata Saptaha and the coming of the Acharyas to the Ashram in Orleans. The highlight of the week was the weekend with the Narayana Chaitanya, who gave a well-appreciated new Yoga and Anatomy workshop on the theme “Anchoring and Verticality” and, of course, the presence of Swami Kailasananda Ji who came to give a special program on Sunday with the monthly Meditation for a Healthy Planet and Satsang on Swami Sivananda’s “Twenty Important Spiritual Instructions”.
The following week was marked by the start of the TTC Refresher and the Bhagavata Saptaha and Vasishta began a course on Raja Yoga with six inspired students. We also had a Cooking class attended by thirteen enthusiastic students and an Introduction to the TTC in which five students, who were determined to get involved in the training, took part. On Sunday, following a major storm, the Center was flooded in several places, which was an opportunity to contact the architect again and repair the leaks. We inaugurated the new set-up for the online activities and held a successful open day.
Finally came the preparation and the celebration of International Yoga Day. On Wednesday, we were honoured to welcome to the Center Swami Kailasananda, Yagneshwara, and Saraswati Chaitanya to celebrate Yoga all together. Saraswati Chaitanya gave the intermediate practice attended by about forty people. Then Swami Kailasananda Ji gave an inspiring workshop on the Future of Yoga in the World. The day ended in style with a Yantra Puja for world peace performed by Yagneshwara and Swamiji. Om shanti.
Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Tel Aviv, Israel
Om Nama Sivaya. On Sunday we had a beautiful evening Satsang on “Silence”. The teaching was taken from “Bliss Divine”. We opened a new Advanced Yoga course and on Thursday evening we celebrated the Shavuot holiday with teachers and students of the Center who joined us. It is a beautiful holiday when we keep vigil and learn from the Bible during the whole night.
On Sunday we had a beautiful evening satsang on the subject of “Guru” with Rukmini Chaitanya. This week was dedicated to celebrations of Swami Swaroopananda’s birthday. Swami Brahmananda together with Krishna Namboodri travelled to Israel for few days to help with the celebration. Most of the celebration took place in our Ashram in Mata.
On the actual birthday which was Wednesday we had a big Puja in the morning. This was a special Venkateshwara Puja for Lord Siva and also Lord Vishnu. It was followed by Navagraha Puja for the nine planets and Guru Puja. The Pujas were followed by a beautiful celebration with cake and presents and lots of prasad. Afterwards we had a big delicious feast. In the evening we had a beautiful Maha Mrityunjaya homa for long life, prosperity and happiness. We then watched a special video with greetings for Swamiji from many people all around the world. We also had a special abhishekam puja for the purification of brahmacharis. All the activities were very well attended. People came from all around Israel. Some stayed for the whole day, some could come only for a part of the program. The following day, we had a beautiful “Sarva Deva Puja” in the Tel Aviv Center. It was a special Puja for the five elements for purification and protection. We had eighteen steps beautifully decorated symbolising the eighteen chapters of the Bhagavad-Gita of Lord Krishna. The purpose of the Puja was to bring spiritual and material blessings to the Center and also peace and unity for people of Israel. The event was very special and uplifting. On Saturday evening Swami Brahmananda and Krishna Namboodri flew back to the Ashram in the Bahamas. We are very thankful to both of them. We really appreciate all the effort and the amazing pujas and homa that the priest conducted and are very grateful to Swami Brahmananda for all the help in arranging and participating in all the events.
We had a beautiful evening Satsang on the subject of “Japa” with Krishna Chaitanya. We opened a new Yoga 2 course as well as a new Meditation course for beginners.
The following Sunday we had a beautiful evening Satsang. The teaching was taken from the chapter “Life” from the “Bliss Divine” of the Master. We finished the Meditation for Beginners course and we opened a new Yoga for Beginners course. During the weekend we had an Open House with a morning Satsang, two levels of yoga classes (advanced and easy yoga) and also a Shabbat feast. All the activities were free of charge. Many people attended and the atmosphere was very good. May the blessings of the Masters be upon us all! Om Shanti.
Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Om Namah Sivaya. Several Yoga Introductory courses continued as well as Meditation Levels 1 and 2. Anantya taught a Scorpion workshop on Saturday to a group of brave students. We had a nice Kirtan workshop as well as an Intensive Yoga class. Sunny weather inspired us to finish all the planting of vegetables and flowers and we enjoyed the time spent outside.
We also started some new courses and students enjoyed the Yoga Day celebrations. We had Mookambika and Gopala visiting us from Montreal and helping with all classes and Karma Yoga duties. We were happy to see some long-time teachers joining us that we had not seen for some time, as well as some older students. The weather in Toronto has been almost tropical, with intense heat and a lot of rain. Sending pranams to all.
Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Trivandrum, Kerala, India
Om Namah Shivaya. Greetings and pranams to all from God’s own country Trivandrum, Kerala, South India. All are fine here with Guru’s grace. The activities of the Centre carried forward as scheduled. We started a Monday morning Beginners’ course with a good number of students. On the same day a Meditation course started with six people. On the weekend we conducted a Headstand workshop. The week ended with a spiritual gathering for Sunday Prayers along with some guests and staff members. A Beginners’ course for the ladies started with a good number of students. On the weekend a Kriya workshop was conducted for a few students. Sunday Satsang went well with many people attending the Sunday Prayers. While we were expecting the monsoon, we tried to divert the mind from the heat. It was not only heat but record heat that affected the students’ numbers. Once the monsoon started, we had very good rainfall. It was very much needed as it was the longest summer this year and was very hot. We still followed our scheduled classes for the week and our regular classes went well. The week concluded with Sunday Prayers attended by many outsiders along with staff.
As with all our Ashrams and Centres we were asked from many places to provide a teacher to conduct Yoga Day classes. We did our best and did many programs, from the morning to evening. We also had few trial classes for free for the public to know the basics of Yoga along with our usual classes. On Monday we started an evening Beginners’ course with 13 students. All other regular classes went as per schedule. Sunday Prayers was conducted for the staff as well as outsiders. Om shanti.
Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Vienna, Austria
Om Namah Sivaya. Our Drop-in classes and Satsangs were well-attended. On Saturday we started a Bhagavad Gita study group, meeting once a month to draw inspiration from the scripture by reciting verses and tuning to its meaning. At the Indian embassy there was the first meeting for the International Day of Yoga taking place in Vienna in two public events: one in a public park and the other on the premises of the UN with staff, teachers, and students to participate in both locations. The following week started on Pentecost Monday with the Centre’s holiday schedule: an afternoon Drop-in class and an additional evening Satsang. On Tuesday two Yoga courses started. On Thursday staff left Vienna to support the special programme at the Sivananda Yoga Retreat House in Reith. Teachers were continuing to teach Drop-in classes and courses, keeping up the service for the students. There was good support by Karma Yogis.
The teaching schedule was a little modified, but the classes were well visited. On Friday Swami Satyananda returned to Vienna and Kailas was continuing to support the special programme which was moving now to the Ashram in Orleans, France. On Saturday a Headstand workshop inspired the students to continue to refine their practice. In addition, an Asana workshop helped the participants to deepen their breathing experience by becoming more aware of their diaphragm in the postures.
A Yoga 2 weekend course and a Wednesday Intermediate Yoga course started with inspired students. On Friday we had a successful workshop on overcoming anger. The Center staff and some teachers joined the celebrations for the International Day of Yoga on the premises of the UN with about 60 participants. The Center had good support from Karma Yogis.
Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Vilnuis, Lithuania
Om Namah Sivaya. On a sunny Thursday afternoon, a group of 25 students arrived for the Eastern European TTC in Lithuania. They travelled from within Lithuania, Poland and Ukraine to join the course, which is simultaneously translated into Lithuanian, Polish, and Russian. Staff arrived two days ahead of the course to prepare the venue. The course is taking place at the recreation centre Zelva, situated on the shore of a beautiful lake and set amidst forests of countless shades of green. Close teachers and Karma yogis travelled to Zelva to support the teaching in the three different language groups and the translation of lectures and Satsangs.
The Inauguration Ceremony provided a warm welcome to all the students, teachers and Karma yogis and students slowly settled into the rhythm of the daily course schedule during the first teaching days. The sunny weather allowed all to enjoy the natural beauty of the place: meals were served outdoors, and part of the afternoon classes were held in the open air. A Yoga Vacation programme ran parallel to the TTC, and a first guest joined us for a day of yoga, meditation and relaxation.
The TTC students had an auspicious first week of their course. A Ganesha Puja was held to mark a propitious start of the course, the altar was set up beautifully and the evening created a lovely atmosphere. Everyone slowly settled in into the daily schedule of satsangs, asanas and study of the Bhagavad Gita and yoga philosophy and chanted their first kirtans around an evening bonfire with beautiful views on the unruffled lake. Students have already bonded well, and translators play an active role throughout the day, overcoming language barriers in the multilingual group. Students enjoyed a quiet day off, some Lithuanian students returned home for a few hours, while others were seen studying, sunbathing, swimming in the lake, and making use of the sauna.
As the TTC Lithuania entered its second week, the students seemed to have found in the Ashram environment a new spiritual home away from home. The philosophy study deepened as the main lectures progressed and classical variations of the Twelve Basic Postures were introduced along with the first prolonged holding class. This week saw bright and sunny days with summery temperatures, bringing life outdoors. Students were seen teaching in their little groups on the lawns in the park, there were peaceful silent walks through the surrounding forest, and all enjoyed an auspicious Ganga Arati in front of the tranquil lake with reflections of the forest trees and blue sky. We watched the video on the life and legacy of Swami Sivananda who entered the hearts of all from his presence on the screen. There was a beautiful Puja dedicated to Durga in which all participated wholeheartedly.
After an uplifting Yoga Teachers’ Weekend programme, with over 90 yogis in total, there was a calmer atmosphere, guiding TTC students to concentrate on completing the course successfully. On Monday evening we had our last Satsang with Swami Jyotirmayananda, who returned to London. It was a very beautiful farewell, and the students’ eyes shone with gratitude. The final week saw Samanu practice, review of the whole course, the long holding asana class, and the final plumb line photo. On Wednesday morning fifteen students took mantra initiation, connecting deeply to the spiritual energy. During the day off, most students stayed and studied seriously. Spiritual names were announced, and we watched a photo show prepared by the students. Thursday was a nice end to it all: exams, graduation, and a festive lunch. Over half of the students passed the exam with an excellent grade. There were many helping hands to organise and pack everything, with the last Satsangs around the bonfire and also by the lake. It was most uplifting to have Atmaram and family in the TTC. A truckload of items was driven back to the Vilnius Centre to be stored for next years’ Eastern European TTC. Thanks to the vision and efforts of Master and Swamiji we were blessed with this wonderful month. We thank the volunteer team both at the TTC place and at the Vilnius Center which remained open for the whole month.
03 Full Moon
03 Guru Purnima
14 Swami Sivananda Mahasamadhi
17 New Moon
Thoughts of God cheer up the body, mind and spirit. Names of God soothe the nerves. Love of God bestows peace and joy. Knowledge of God breaks the fetters of Karma. – Sri Swami Sivananda
Ganesh Chaturthi is one of the most popular of Hindu festivals. This is the birthday and the day most sacred to Lord Ganesha. It falls on the 4th day of the bright fortnight of Bhadrapada (August-September). It is observed throughout India, as well as by devoted Hindus in all parts of the world. Clay figures of the Deity are made and after being worshipped for two days, or in some cases ten days, they are thrown into water.
Lord Ganesha is the elephant-headed God. He is worshipped first in any prayers. His Names are repeated first before any auspicious work, or any kind of worship is begun. He is the Lord of power and wisdom. He is the eldest son of Lord Shiva and the elder brother of Skanda or Kartikeya. He is the energy of Lord Shiva.
Without the Grace of Sri Ganesha and his help nothing whatsoever can be achieved. No action can be undertaken without his support, Grace or blessing.
Lord Ganesha is an embodiment of wisdom and bliss. He is the Lord of Brahmacharins. He is foremost amongst the celibates. He has as his vehicle a small mouse. He is the presiding Deity of the Muladhara Chakra, the psychic centre in the body in which the Kundalini Shakti resides. He is the Lord who removes all obstacles on the path of the spiritual aspirant and bestows upon him worldly as well as spiritual success. Hence, He is called Vigna Vinayaka. His Bija Akshara (root syllable) is Gung, pronounced to rhyme with the English word “sung”. He is the Lord of harmony and peace.
Lord Ganesha represents Om or the Pranava, which is the chief Mantra among the Hindus. Nothing can be done without uttering it. This explains the practice of invoking Ganesha before beginning any rite or undertaking any project. His two feet represent the power of knowledge and the power of action. The elephant head is significant in that it is the only figure in nature that has the form of the symbol for Om.
The significance of riding on a mouse is the complete conquest over egoism. The holding of the ankusha (goad) represents his rulership of the world. It is the emblem of divine Royalty.
Ganesha is the first God. Riding on a mouse, one of nature’s smallest creatures and having the head of an elephant, the biggest of all animals, denotes that Ganesha is the creator of all creatures. Elephants are very wise animals; this indicates that Lord Ganesha is an embodiment of wisdom. It also denotes the process of evolution–the mouse gradually evolves into an elephant and finally becomes a man. This is why Ganesha has a human body, an elephant’s head and a mouse as His vehicle. This is the symbolic philosophy of His form.
On the Ganesh Chaturthi day, meditate on the stories connected with Lord Ganesha early in the morning, during the Brahmamuhurta period. Then, after taking a bath, go to the temple and do the prayers of Lord Ganesha. Offer Him some coconut and sweet pudding. Pray with faith and devotion that He may remove all the obstacles that you experience on the spiritual path. Worship him at home, too. You can get the assistance of a pundit. Have an image of Lord Ganesha in your house. Feel his Presence in it. Take fresh spiritual resolves and pray to Lord Ganesha for inner spiritual strength to attain success in all your undertakings.
May the blessings of Sri Ganesha be upon you all! May He remove all the obstacles that stand in your spiritual path! May He bestow on you all material prosperity as well as liberation!
From Hindu Fasts and Festivals by Swami Sivananda