Sivananda World News: The Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centres
Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Zentrum, Berlin, Germany
Om Namah Sivaya. Many courses have started this month with good number of students. Trial classes are picking up, especially on Saturdays, more people inscribe for the Yoga 1 courses. Many poster runs were done to promote our monthly Open day, which welcomed many interested students. Cooking class named “Quick dishes for 1-2 people” introduced everyone into simple principles of cooking, spicing, 6 tastes and how to prepare tasty meal in a short period of time. TTC preparation day had a small but very motivated group of students, who went through the whole day program. We welcomed Swami Anantananda who gave a well appreciated program with Asana class, lecture about the different levels of relaxation and Stress management, and Satsang with many spiritual stories. Old and new students were very much inspired and didn’t leave the Centre till later in the evening. Mira had come from Reith to help us for several weeks. OM.
Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Buenos Aires, Argentina, South America
Om Namah Sivaya. In early February Swami Premananda and Swami Dayananda came back from the Teachers Training Course taught in Brazil. Some of the new teachers were from Argentina and three of them started assisting senior teacher´s classes. The beginners courses started with good attendant. Swami Premananda gave a workshop on “Prana”. New teachers of the last ttc have been training enthusiastically in classes. There is a new staff from Chile .She is Karen a teacher of English ,she is very friendly and demostrates her willingness. Now we are three staff and Swami Dayananda is in charge of the Centre due to Swami Premananda travelled to the south of the country. He is in Neuquen Sivananda Centre ,staying two month there to give a retreat and courses. We had full trial class and some Karma Yoguis came to help with the kitchen, the cleaning and other duties .
Mid-February saw a new teacher from the last “TTC” kept training to give regular classes and also the ” Beginners Course”. There were two workshops “Yoga and the back” and ” Karma and reincarnation” and a new beginners course started. Karen,the new staff from Chile, every day is getting more adapted to the Centre dynamics. We are getting ready for Shivaratri,with new volunteers to play the harmonium at the same time we sing Om Namah Sivaya. May Master, Guru and Mother’s blessings bring peace and love along the world. Prem & Om to all.
Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Chengdu, China
Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India
Om Namah Sivaya to all Blessed Selves from the Chennai Centre. In early February was a special one for all of us here at the Centre. The Toronto Centre Director, Sri Prahlad Ji visited us and praised us in our efforts to serve the Swami Ji and his objectives whole-heartedly. We were blessed by him in the form of a special event on the evening of the 7th when he took an advanced yoga class called “Challenging Asanas with Prahlad”. It felt like almost the whole of Chennai had turned up for the event and the energy was incredible. We also had a decent number of attendance in Sunday Satsang. The Centre was highly peaceful with all the classes running successfully and the students and teachers completely satisfied. Prahlad Ji’s visit coincided with the visits of several other teachers also somehow and the Centre’s energy was very high and the students were the biggest beneficiaries. We have got a lot of help from the three new Karma Yogis also and more are expected to come. Several students from the previous months Beginners Ladies batch joined in the Open Class batch and our numbers keep on increasing hence. The curves on the smiling faces of the yogis visiting the Chennai Centre are becoming steeper too. The staff members are working hard constantly to try to make the students feel more comfortable as soon as they enter the compound. We are constantly striving and planning how we can make them feel completely at home and comfortable and enhance their yogic experience. We are taking special care of all the plants and keeping the Centre impeccably clean and organized. All the teachers are putting their heart and soul into transferring all of their positive energy into their students. This month’s Ganapati Homam, our monthly auspicious ceremony was packed full with several happy devotees who chanted and prayed to Lord Ganesha and asked for a fulfilling month ahead. The vegan prasadam (sweets) being offered at the end of the ritual are becoming a huge favourite amongst the followers. We are glad that the Ganapati is blessing this Centre is with good energy and keeping everything going on smoothly without any major problems as such. The Sunday-special Satsang also saw decent attendance and the bhakti-yogis were thoroughly enjoying all the chanting and singing and the Sanskrit mantras and the readings from Swami Ji’s books. The vaastu shastra workshop held during one weekend was well attended too.
We are now looking forward to the upcoming workshop on 22nd February by Dr R Saravanan, Health Advisor SHARAN who will be talking about the whole food plant based diet, veganism and disease-reversal through diet program followed by a special documentary screening. We are being inundated with a whole lot of inquiries about it. In fact some people from states outside of Tamil Nadu also have asked for a complete video recording of the same. We will definitely oblige.
Mid-February saw a totally busy affair with a lot of planned and unplanned activities and events and lots and lots of people visiting the Centre and energetic classes full of happy students. The Centre was graced first by the visit of a group of doctors from Canada who attended a special yoga class and they thoroughly enjoyed it and left happily for their next destination. It was their first experience of yoga and they all loved it. Dr R Saravanan, Health Advisor, SHARAN (a non-profit organization) obliged us by giving a special talk about Veganism, the disease-reversing, whole-food plant-based diet one weekend and showed an enlightening documentary also followed by an intensive question-answer session. This special event was attended by many people from all across the city and was a major success. We are already planning more such events in the coming months and the next sessions will include a little vegan meal for the attendees too. We also saw the arrival of the 23 beautiful South Indian Yatris and and the accompanying staff members and we happily organized a healthy Kerala style traditional meal (sadhya) for them and some special yoga classes too. There was a traditional Indian dance (Bharatnatyam) and music performance also organized by a group of highly talented local artists and they were all well-applauded. This special function was attended by several people from the city also along with the South Indian Yatris whose journey culminated in Chennai after covering all the major holy destinations of South India. Direct bus service right in front of the Chennai Centre has been started, so the students can come for their practice comfortably using public transport now. May the spirit of Swami Ji guide us forever. All the staff send Pranams to the Sivananda family. Blessings to all!
Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Chicago, USA
Om Namah Sivaya from Chicago. In early February fully subscribed sessions of Positive Thinking, Yoga 2, and Yoga 3 began and are going well. We were very happy to see students coming for class and Satsang as the weather’s pattern of two days of snow followed by two days of frigid wind chills continued. Often students came in saying, “I really need this.” The weather cycle seems to be breaking now, and we are enjoying the last of the fresh greens from the greenhouse tunnels in the garden. More new students came in redeeming the group on for a 10-class pass, and all seemed to enjoy the practice very much. Slowly the weather is improving, so we are beginning to enjoy some more seasonal temperatures. Happy pranams to all. Om Shanti, Shanti, Shantihi from the Centre in Chicago.
Sivananda Yoga Vedanta DÀ LAT Centre, Dà Lat, Vietnam
Om Namah Sivaya. Swami Sitaramananda, Swami Narayanananda , Pandit Samavedula and Devaki travelled to the beautiful DA LAT Centre for three days to do a vaastu Homa and finalize the ATTC location. The Homa and Puja turned out to be at the auspicious timing of Ratha Saptami and became a very elaborated event of 4 hours during which Swami Sitaramananda initiated to Sannyas an old vietnamese buddhist yogi monk of 75 years old who has been practicing Yoga and meditation all his life and who has been 3 years in India at his younger age. His name is Swami Sivajyotirananda. 2 Beginners Courses going on with a good number of students attending. We had an Open Lunch with some of the students and Karma Yogis. They all appreciated the Yogic cooking. All is well in Dalat.
Sivananda Yoga Vedanta DWARKA Centre, Delhi, India
Om Namah Sivaya. In early February two Yoga 1 batches got started. Another new meditation batch got started on Mondays. An advance classes beginners courses started on Mondays. All other courses went on smoothly as per the schedule. Anil left for the Neyyar dam Ashram for the ATTC course. The weather here continues to be cold but student’s numbers is increasing now. Another 4 day meditation course concluded. All other courses and few private classes workshop were offered reflecting the students’ needs. The Centre rejoiced during the evening Satsang attended by few students too.
Mid-February started with beginners course at 10 am and 6.30pm with good numbers of students. With gurus grace all the classes, courses are going very well. We had beautiful satsang and amazing dinner, participated by students and staff. Pranams to all. Om Shanti.
Sivananda Yoga Vedanta NATARAJA Centre, Delhi, India
Om Namo Narayanaya. In early February we bid farewell to Lakshmana after staying at the Centre for a few months. We thank him for his service and wish him all the best for his journey. Also we would like to thank Gayatri, who returned home after teaching many classes and courses at the Centre during the last three weeks of her stay. Ajaya left the Centre to attend the upcoming ATTC in Neyyar Dam. Binoy and Praveen teach most of the open classes, and Karuna and Sri Prabhu are teaching two new Yoga 1 Beginner Courses. we started two new batches of yoga 1 beginner courses, taught by Siham and Manju Sharmaji. Binoy led Sunday Satsangs.
Mid-February saw a highly energetic week, with many courses and activities in the Centre. Also some maintenance works have been going on, and Shiva hall has been beautifully repainted. We welcomed Sobhal from Bangalore who joined as a staff. Despite the unusual cold at this time of the year, many students continue coming for the open classes. We also started two new Yoga 1 Beginner Courses taught by Karuna and Sunaina. Manju Sharmaji is teaching the Foundation to Meditation Course for a few weeks, and Praveen taught a vegetarian cooking workshop for seven students who received an introduction to the principles of a yogic diet and joyfully put it into practice. Sunday Satsang was led by Mani Chaitanya and many new students and guests joined for his inspiring talk on why we practice yoga and how it helps to penetrate the human nature layer by layer. Om Namah Sivaya from Delhi! We send our prayers to all. May the Gurus’ blessings of be with us all. Om Namo Narayanaya!
Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Geneva, Switzerland
Om Namah Sivaya. Highlight of the month was a beautiful special programme with the South Indian priest. We had a wonderful week with inspiring daily morning-Pujas and three evening-Pujas which included two Yantra-Pujas and a Murthi Puja for Ganesha. Everyone present benefited from the pure and strong energy. On the weekends we had a TTC-information, a workshop about Stress management and a cooking class for new vegetarians which filled our kitchen to a maximum. The students were quite new and some of them came with friends and had never been to the Centre before. They enjoyed the sattvic food and the energy of the Centre as well as the information about the principles of a yogic diet. Everyone left highly satisfied. The project to reorganize and structure the office and the computer started and the search for a new Centre continued. A couple of places were visited and staffs are becoming more familiar with the real estate situation in Geneva. Fresh plants were bought for our terrace bringing spring-colors to the Centre. OM.
Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Om Namah Sivaya. In early February the HCM Centre reopened after the Tet (Chinese New Year Holidays) on the 7th and classes slowly started rolling again. All efforts are in Cu Chi , helping the TTC, leaving two staff at the HCM to hold the fort down. We received two new residents from Ecuador and Spain. We had an Open House with many people signing up for Beginner’s Yoga-1 and Yoga-2 courses. the Centre welcomed Swami Sitaramananda and Pandit Samavedula to inaugurate the 4th floor addition, a new asana room with lots of air and space for hatha yoga practice. we did a wonderful puja to Ganesha and Lakshmi, invoking their energy and blessings. we also changed the direction of the altar in our meditation room on the second floor and included that into the puja ceremony. a beginners course in English started with a good number of students attending. Open Classes continue and the Centre is doing well. the staff enjoyed their day off by visiting the temporary Ashram in Cu Chi, where Swami Sita other other international teachers finished their first week of TTC.
Mid-February saw full Open Classes and the continuation of ongoing courses. We were very pleased to welcome Swami Pranavananada who visited from the TTC in Cu Chi to teach a workshop on “Yoga for Back Pain”. The students appreciated his knowledge and benefited from his experience. In the evening he led an inspiring satsang with many people attending for the first time. All the staff were happy, with the Guru’s blessings. We send Pranams to all the Sivananda family. Om Tat Sat.
Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, London, England
Om Namah Sivaya. In early February a pranayama course started with 12 students. We had a TTC preparation day with 5 eager students, most of them have booked already for the course or have already decided to come. It was a successful day. Swami Anantananda went to Berlin for a weekend programme. We are preparing for the upcoming mailing, the new brochure went to the printers. Salutations to all! Om.
Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Los Angeles, CA, USA
Om Namo Narayanaya! In early February Swami Omkarananda arrived back in LA after a month away visiting New York Centre and family in UK. A highlight was the visit of Peace Walker, Pierrette, from Canada. For the last 9 months she has been walking alone down the west coast of US, praying for peace, hers and others, and raising awareness of the need for individual peace in order for world peace. She stayed at the Yoga Centre for 3 days and inspired many students with her humble explanation of her call to walk and the purification which she has received as a result of it. Her arrival coincided with daily morning Satsang readings about peace and happiness!
We thank Janaki from NYC for helping to look after the Centre during January. We have several courses running at the moment – Yoga1, yoga2, positive thinking, introduction to meditation and a new course called Big History (the Big Bang, Life on Earth and the Rise of Humanity) which offers contemporary explanations of creation and the answer to the question ‘Who am I? We held a yantra painting workshop. Swami Omkarananda presented a workshop ‘ Making Enlightened Choices”.
In mid-February, everything was running smoothly with good energy at the Centre. Attendance at asana classes is steady and all courses are well attended. We had a very informative weekend with Saraswati who introduced chair modifications for the Sivananda class. Students were inspired to share what they had learnt with elderly friends and those with movement challenges. Sun salute performed in a chair is still quite a workout! May the Gurus’ blessings of be with us all. Pranams.
Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Madrid, Spain
Om Namah Sivaya, Blessed Selves. February was a very dynamic and eventful month at the Madrid Centre with a number of new courses starting and events taking place, among which a cooking course with Gauri and a much anticipated by teachers and students alike Bhagavad Gita course with Swami Atmaramananda. Priest Yagneswara came to the Centre for a one week visit during which he performed daily morning pujas, a purification ceremony and three beautiful evening Pujas: a Ganesha puja, a Lakshmi-Narayana yantra Puja and a Sri Yantra with Lalita Sahasranama – all of which were well attended by a devoted group of close teachers and students, as well as new visitors of the Centre. In the beginning of the month, Swami Atmaramananda left for a meeting in Munich which was followed by a weekend program in Holland. One of the Centre’s monthly projects was sorting out the books in the Centre library and arranging them on the new book case which was completed in the beginning of the month. The entry of the office area looks very fresh and nicely organized now. The main project at the end of the month was the three day winter retreat in ‘La Hospederia del Silencio’, which attracted a friendly and enthusiastic group of more than 30 participants – Centre teachers and students as well as a good number of new, first time participants. We enjoyed a lovely spring weather with lots of sunshine and perfect Spanish blue skies, and we all came back from the retreat much recharged and inspired. OM.
Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Madurai, India
Om Namah Sivaya. In early January we began with a morning beginner course. We had a Teachers meeting with 9 teachers in the presence of Natraj ji followed by an energetic Satsang with Kalyani and Natraj ji with Teachers, Students, and many guests. Soon after Satsang we were invited by Dr. Leena Lalan one of the teacher and old student in the Centre for the dinner in her Hotel. Every one enjoyed the food. On the same Night we said good bye to Usha who were serving in the Centre for past five month. She done a wonderful job and fulfilled her commitment we expecting her back in near future. Everything is going fine with the grace of god and our Satgurus.
Mid-February started with new batch in morning beginner course on Mondays. We offered a workshop of jala neti and neti sutra with the good number of students attending. We offered one more time kriya workshop with 8 students. Everything is going well with the grace of our God & Satgurus. Pranams to each and everybody in the Sivananda family. Om Shanti.
Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Montevideo, Uruguay
Om Namah Sivaya. In early February it was very quite at the centre due to outside summer activities. Kanti & Chandra came from TTC/ATTC and Yoga Vacations program in Garopaba, Brazil. They arrived with Yashoda ATTC Student and long time student from Rio, who came as 2 months temporary staff. Shankari arrived from Madrid, to have her month of vacation working as staff in Montevideo, an angel. She also had as staff in Porto Alegre for 2 months in 2012. Lalita who has totally alone January with Karma Yogis teachers, felt more relaxed. He had a hard month with a secretary paid staff not attending to work, without any reason, not replying any message or call. The Masters blessed her and all flowed normally. Classes and beginners courses are ok. The weather is of summer but unpredictable. Many things are organizing with the new energy. Painting, programs, nice meals etc…
Mid-February we had a workshop administered by Kanti Devi. The theme was “How to Increase Your Energy”, with a good group of people attendeding. There was a large group for the Open Class. The regular classes and the Beginners Course also happened regularly. The Karma Yogis Yashoda, from Brazil and Shankari from Spain have adapted well and are doing a good job. Lalita, who was responsible for all the activities concerned to the Centre during the month of January, felt a bit relieved with the help. Shankari was painting the columns of the mail asana hall in dark yellow, giving a nice feeling and good taste. Also she is painting a screen that divides the front hall to areas. Yashoda has been working on the library, cleaning and organizing the books. She cleaned the pujas and altar materials closet. She was also translating the Sivananda Upanishad into Portuguese. Om and Pranams to everyone in the Sivananda Family from the staff at Montevideo.
Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Om Namah Sivaya. In early February regular students have continued to come to Centre to practice asanas and attend Satsangs. A Yoga 1 started with 10 students attending, it was inspiring to see people starting their yoga journey with openness to learn. New children have been attending the kids class, and have appeared to enjoy the experience together. Satyadev departed to continue with his travels, we are thankful for his contributions at the Centre. Swami Shivabhaktananda spent time in the Centre before heading to India, providing guidance to staff in preparation for his time away, his support and presence continues to be greatly appreciated. W we are pleased to have more people attend the open classes in the evenings, it created a good flow of energy. A Yoga 2 commenced on Tuesdays after the group of students completed the beginner’s course they continue to demonstrate their enthusiasm for their new found practice. A Yoga 1 also started on Thursdays with a large group of 12 students eager to learn and practice yoga. We appreciate the new students at the Centre for their spirit of pursuing further peace in their lives, it’s a good reminder of the voyage of yoga that we began and are all on. Yamuna arrived from the camp, where she will now be staff at the Centre, her joyful presence is welcomed. The Centre was pleased to have Sita from the Camp to teach a Lebanese cooking class with considerable care. Uma from the Camp also attended and she shared some enchanting stories of when Swami Vishnudevananda would ask for the stuffed vines leaves from Sita, the connection to the food was that much greater upon hearing this. A headstand and variations workshop was held, the small group made large progress giving them further encouragement to continue to practice.
Mid-February saw open classes and courses operating well. Tejas from the Camp came for Wednesday Satsang, he spoke on the theme of ‘Stress Management’ sharing practical methods to alleviate stress. The talk allowed everyone to be involved and discuss. This created a light energy and fellowship between the people there, as they could relate to each other. The Centre hosted a ‘Juice and Silence’ programme. A small group of 12 people attended. The day consisted of organic juices and broths to cleanse the body. It started with an open class and finished with a Ganesha Puja, with a tratak session, a chanting workshop, meditation and more in between. Chandrika from the camp came to support for the day. It was good for the students to connect with her and encouraged them to go to the Camp for a weekend break. The day enabled the individuals to gain space and time to reflect. It was also a cleansing time for the Centre. Friday morning the Centre had a big clean up in preparation, which raised the vibrations. Yamuna, with a team of karma yogis, started to paint the changing rooms on the lower ground. It has shifted the energy and the students appreciate the feel. The Centre is ever grateful for the students that continue to practice and share their beautiful energy. These dedicated individuals allow the Centre to have a purpose and light. We are thankful to Master and Swami ji for their continued inspiration and presence. Pranams to all the Sivananda family at this time of year.
Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Munich, Germany
Om Namah Sivaya. The Open Day as well as beginners courses and Open classes continued to be well attended. There was a new one day retreat with the title “The Yogic Deep Relaxation”. The participants stayed for the whole day of Yoga practice and learnt about the various levels on which the yoga helps us to relax and prevent stress. The highlight of the month was a two day special program with Swami Sivadasananda. He gave two well appreciated asana workshops with a special focus on pranayama. The topic of the two Satsang lectures were “dharma – harmony in action” and “mantras – cosmic sounds of silence”. One close teacher took Mantra initiation. On the same weekend we held our yearly teachers meeting for all the active teachers of the Centre. Swami Sivadasananda presented a lot of interesting points how the practice of asanas helps to balance the body on many different levels. A Bhakti & Kirtan Course with a lots of Chanting of the classical Kirtans draw a lot of attention and continued for another 4 weeks. Swami Vasudevananda and Resident Amba left for Rudraprayag, India to support in the Yoga Teachers Training Course. OM.
Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, New York, USA
Om Namah Sivaya! Mid-February was very busy, with new courses starting. Two new philosophy courses, the “Bhagavad Gita – An Overview”, and the “Upanishads – An Overview”, began, with excellent registrations. We would also like to announce that Swami Sadasivananda has left the New York Centre and the Organization to pursue a new direction in life. His contribution in New York has been immense and he has built a vibrant and inspiring Centre over the ten years that he has served here. He will be sorely missed by students and staff alike and we wish him Godspeed in his new direction and know that the Gurus’ blessings will be with him always. Om Namah Sivaya from all the staff here at the NYC Centre. May the Gurus’ blessings of be with us all for 2014.
Centre de Yoga Sivananda Vedanta, Paris, France
Om Namah Sivaya. The highlights of the month were the teachers’ weekend and the Yoga Festival. The month started with the uplifting programme for the teachers given by Swami Kailasananda, Swami Gopalananda and Sita (from the Sivananda affiliated Centre in Hamburg) were there for the programme. The Centre was very alive with the teachers’ weekend and the regular classes. The Masters were present sending many hands to help and giving inspiration to everyone. Big family for the morning Satsangs with the teachers who stay over the night and some others who came early. Beautiful and inspiring asana classes, Satsangs and workshops. All the participants appreciated the teachings and felt more in tune with the Masters. Cheerful atmosphere after the Satsangs with many close students, teachers and karma yogis. There was a period of calm after the teacher’s weekend and a then another powerful “storm” for the Yoga Festival. The Masters sent many new comers, many regular students and many karma yogis to assist everywhere. 625 visitors were there for all the activities of the day. Apart from the regular classes of the morning, there was a Mantra workshop and an introduction to yoga with asana demonstration. We had also a big trial class with 101 students and a big Intermediate class in the afternoon with three more extra classes improvised in small asana rooms. At 4:30PM the house wasbfull with classes in all the asana rooms, an introduction to Meditation in the Meditation room and a demonstration of vegetarian recipes in the reception area. Swami Kailasananda gave an inspiring Satsang on the topic of the mind from the book “Swamiji said”. There was a joyful mood for the chanting and the 125 participants of the Satsang felt uplifted with the words of the MAsters. The day after, Swami Kailasananda finished a weekend programme with a beautiful asana class and an inspiring Satsang on the topic of karma from Vishnudevananda Upadesha. The month ended with a mantra initiation for several students. OM.
Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Porto Alegre, Brasil, South America
Om Namah Sivaya from Brasil. In early February Kanti devi, Chandra, Tandava Chaitanya and Iashoda (a new Staff at South America) arrived from the TTC at Garopaba on Sunday 2/2. Kanti Devi, Chandra and Iashoda went back to Montevideo. Because of the incredible hot weather that was happening in Brazil Kanti Devi decided to install two more air conditioners at the Centre plus something to protect the windows from the sun. The Centre was with good assistance besides February be a low students month. We started a beginners course with 11 students. Ashoka from Italy arrived. He just completed the TTC at Garopaba and is now the temporary Staff of the Porto Alegre Centre. He was taking care of the Ganesha Temple, helping at the clean up, cooking and started to help at the classes, soon he will teach Hatha Yoga by his own. The Centre saw lots of movement for February. We finished a beginners class.
During mid-February we started a beginners class with 6 students. Ashoka is a very good help.The new brochure is ready to be printed and the new program is already on the web. Pranams, from all the staff at Porto Alegre Centre for the New Year.
Centro Yoga Vedanta Sivananda, Rome, Italy
Om Namah Sivaya, Blessed selves, from the Centre in Roma. In early February we saw slighter class and course attendance due to the rains and bad weather. One weekend was sunny and warm so people took advantage to be outside.
Mid-February started a 2 new courses, Yoga 1 and Yoga 3, our English class on Saturdays is now very popular and students enjoy very much that class. All the rest is well. The staff are fine. May the blessings of Master and Swamiji be with all. Om & Prem.
Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, San Francisco, California, USA
Om Namo Narayanaya, Blessed Selves. Early February was steady with classes and learning. We gave the 2nd of our Yoga 1 Course to an enthusiastic group of students. A new resident, Venu arrived and will stay on for a while. We had a nice showing of the documentary “History of Yoga”. One Sunday we were blessed to have Swami Mangalanda come and gave a kirtan workshop then later that evening he brought in a full band and we enjoyed a very vibrant and energetic concert. The audience joined with enthusiastic clapping and everyone clearly enjoyed the bhakti devotion. We ended on a sparkling and positive note.
Mid-February saw a steady pace of classes and learning. We gave the 4th of our Yoga 1 Course to an enthusiastic group of students. Arjuna is still settling in slowly and receiving care from a group of caretakers through in home support services, but has joined us for a few Satsangs, and now has a hearing aid which has been very helpful in helping all us of communicate with him better. Our Wednesday evening Satsang was great as always and we had a few newcomers join us. Jaya Lakshmi’s father Jesus arrived for a visit and will stay for a while. Sunday satsang was a very pleasant sharing of stories about Sivaratri, as we introduced our upcoming festivities and had many people share their experiences and knowledge. We generated a lot of interest, and especially among the residents. The month ended on a congenial and pleasant note. Pranams to all from San Francisco Centre.
Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, San Paulo, Brasil
Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Tel Aviv, Israel
Om Namah Sivaya from the Tel Aviv Centre. Blessings and Peace to all of the Sivananda Family from the Tel Aviv Centre.
Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Tokyo, Japan
Om Namah Sivaya, Blessed Selves. May the blessings of Master and Swamiji be with all during 2014. Pranams.
Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Om Namah Sivaya. Early February was smooth, except for a big snow storm. There was a steady flow of students to open classes, courses of Yoga 1 and Yoga 2, Saturday morning kids classes and workshops during the weekends. Kamakshi conducted pre natal classes on Tuesday and Thursday evenings. All the students were very happy with the class and their progress. Saraswati and Upasana developed a strong connection with children and youth from a Residential care Centre here in Toronto and started a new initiative within the Centre, where they come for class every Monday at 4.15. The children, from varied age groups, were pleased with the activities and yoga, especially the homemade snacks and cake! Apart from the regular daily duties, we did regular poster runs, especially to promote our Family Day Open House and Yogic Parenting Series. We had a few enquiries about it, and hope to have a full house for the program. Our vegetarian meals served to students and teachers every Tuesday and Thursday evenings continued to be very popular. We had one new guest drop in to the Centre, who just to have some company for dinner, and he turned out to be very interested in yoga and meditation. We hoped he joins us more in the future. One Friday morning we had another surprise during Satsang, a young investment analyst, who just moved two blocks away from the Centre, and was looking for something, anything, between 6-7 in the morning. He caught on to chanting very quickly, had many questions about meditation and came back for Monday morning Satsang and bought yoga pants! It is always nice to have students join us for Satsang, as it gives us more inspiration and motivation for what we are doing. One Saturday Saraswati led a Puja and prepared a delicious lunch of tortillas, beans and guacamole, which made some staff happy, as they needed a change from dal and rice everyday! We also had two kids classes, taught by Upasana and Bhakti, for two age groups, 6-8 and 9-12. Most parents enjoyed the open class while the children attended activities and their yoga class. Saraswati 2 conducted a headstand workshop, plus, Anantya wrapped up a Yoga1 weekend series, in time to beginning a Yoga2 weekend. We also started yoga 2 meditation, taught by eVena. We have quite a few students signed up for the course already. We had a Satsang, attended by over 15 teachers and students, led by Saraswati one Sunday night. Prahlada left for India to teach TTC and attend construction matters. Nikhila came from Yoga Camp to be here until his return from India. The staff were also focused on their Sadhana, making sure to keep the energy of the Centre positive, being engaged with the students and moving forward with Swamiji’s teachings.
Mid-February saw the yoga 1 and yoga 2 courses continuing. We had a few teachers and students missing, as there was a sick bug going around, but they all came back. On Monday, during the day Shankara and his father fixed a new counter top for the kitchen, everything was cleaned and prepared for tuesday night for Vijay, who as always cooked a very delicious north Indian meal. The morning open classes continue to bring in a lot of students, as do the afternoon lunch classes. Thursday morning, Kanti Devi, Saraswati and Nikhila cleaned the kitchen and reception area, giving it an Ashram style deep cleanse. Thursday night was an invasion by the local Japanese community, Saraswati 2 cooked a delicious Indo/Western meal, and we had 8 japanese students stay back for the meal, who all very graciously stayed back to help with clean up. Friday was a cheerful day, for two reasons, firstly because the weather was absolutely brilliant, the sun was out, sky was clear, the birds were chirping and it was lovely! Secondly, purely because it was friday, the end of the week! We had nearly full open and advanced classes, and many of the students and teachers stayed back for Satsang conducted by Saraswati 1. We cleaned the Centre and conducted puja for all the altars, followed by open and kids classes at 10.30. The kids never fail to bring in a great force of energy in the mornings, we have no choice but to just flow with the energy! There are 2 more kids classes left for this session, with a few weeks in-between before we start the next. Kanti, our resident prepared a delicious Indian meal (staff here are all well trained in south Indian cuisine) for lunch, Anoosha who was visiting from Montreal joined us with her university friend, as did Harsha, Saraswati, Mayavan and a few teachers. At 2 pm Mayavan conducted a hip opening workshop, and judging by the walk the students did on their way out, it was successful! We had 10 students, and a few staff attend the workshop. Wendy taught the Sunday afternoon Yoga 1 course from 12-1.30pm, a very popular timing, as there were 12 students signed up for it. At 4 pm we had advanced asanas class, the free trial class, and The Yogic Voice workshop with Ausar. The voice workshop proved to be very popular, Ausar gave them a deeper understanding of their voice, did some voice asanas, and helped the students get more in tune with themselves. Maheswarie conducted the Sunday Satsang followed by Kitcheri cooked by Bhakti. We had a few new students sign up for memberships and 10 class passes, and for the trial class on Sundays we see that many people are bringing their friends along, so word of mouth is doing well for advertising. The staff are putting in more energy for advertising, pushing for new courses and doing poster runs. We are also focusing on our sadhana, and directing all our energy to the students and the Centre. Pranams to all. Om.
Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Trivandrum, Kerala, India
Om Namah Sivaya. In early February two new basic courses started on Mondays at 9.30 a.m and 6.15 p.m with considerable number of students joining for the classes. The weekend classes moved onto the second week of their course schedule. All other classes went on as per routine. We conducted a kriya workshop with good number of students. There was a Volunteers Meeting on Yoga walk led by Prahladaji, in which several aspects like sponsorship and transportation of participants were dealt with. He presented to the gathering a summary of the Yoga walk campaign and also invited suggestions from them. This was followed by an Advanced Pranayama and Yoga asana class by Prahladaji at 4 p.m. He told the students that advanced posture means holding the basic posture long enough through proper breathing. After the class, Prahladaji left for Neyyar Dam. There was Meditation and Satsang led by Sandeep at 6 p.m.
Mid-February saw two new basic courses were started on Monday in the morning at 9.30a.m and in the evening at 6.15p.m. The weekend batch moved onto its final schedule of classes.On Thursday morning we had Sudarshana Homam with puja and special prayers to celebrate the 5th anniversary of Centre’s new building inauguration. We had months of our hard work and perseverance being paid off by the massive success of our Yoga Walk campaign. On Thursday at 4p.m, the walk was flagged off by Sri. P. Vijayan IPS, DIG Armed Police Battalion. The event saw the joining together of around 1400 participants with students from 13 different schools including Student Police Cadets and also students from Neyyar Dam and Madurai Ashram along with the Centre students and other participants as well. The walk from East Fort upto Kanakakkunnu palace spanning a distance of 4kms had the participants wearing T-shirts with Yoga walk logo and carrying carrying placards upholding the benefits of Yoga. A demonstration float accompanying the walk had students giving Yoga posture demonstrations. A huge stage with elegant lighting was erected for the concluding programs with Jail DGP Sri. SenKumar IPS as our Chief Guest, Rev. Fr. Felix CMI, Founder Director of Central Institution on Mental Retardation and City Mayor Smt. Chandrika as our venerable Guests. We also had Prahladaji, Natarajji, Swami Sivabhaktananda and Swami Gokulananda gracing the occasion with their esteemed presence. Prahladaji gave a talk on Yoga and its wide array of benefits with the accompaniment of demonstration by the students. We had dinner served to the people who had gathered to support our cause ensuring the success of our campaign. We offered a 4:00pm asana class by Swami Sivabhaktananda followed by Meditation and Satsang led by him at 6p.m. This was followed by Thanks-giving celebration to the Yoga walk volunteers wherein they were applauded for their dedication and hard work towards making the campaign a success among the people. As a token of thanks they were served a sumptuous dinner and were also presented with the Volunteers Group Photo taken during Yoga Walk.Om Shanti Shanti Shantihi.
2014 Yoga Walk Report: The much awaited day of the Yoga Walk campaign finally dawned on Feb 20th bringing along with it the fruit of days of hard work of our dedicated volunteers. We had around 1400 participants from various quarters contributing their part in making our campaign a huge success.The participants included students from 13 schools of the city and also students from Neyyar Dam and Madurai Ashram as well walking with placards upholding the benefits of Yoga.The venture provided us with a platform to reach out to the masses, helping in popularising Yoga and its Philosophy. The event began with the flag-off by Sri. P. Vijayan IPS, DIG, Armed Police Battalion. We had a float accompanying the walk in which the ATTC students from Neyyar Dam Ashram gave Yoga posture demonstrations. The walk with the participants wearing the T-shirt specially designed for the occasion with the Yoga Walk logo caught peoples attention and we had several of them enquiring about Yoga and our organization. After reaching the final destination of Kanakakkunnu palace grounds, the concluding programs at Nishagandhi Auditorium had Sri SenKumar, IPS, Jail DGP and Father Felix as our chief guests along with City Mayor Smt Chandrika. We also had Prahladji, Natarajji, Swami Sivabhaktananda, Swami Satchidananda and Swami Gokulananda sharing the dias. We had our guests sharing their personal experiences about Yoga with the audience. Prahladji talked about Yoga and its key benefits with the accompaniment of yoga posture demonstration. He also thanked all the people who had gathered to witness and support our campaign making this a grand event.
Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Vienna, Austria
Om Namah Sivaya. On the first Monday morning of the month close students participated in a strong Siva Puja which was the final Puja of the Priest’s special programme in Vienna. This month two school classes of teenagers came: one for a yoga class and another one for a separate cooking course later on. For many of them it was their first yoga experience. Especially the final relaxation was appreciated very much, because they could feel how deep they were recharged afterwards. Many weekend programs brought inspiration to students and staffs alike, among them a big TTC prep, a cooking course for new vegetarians, a seminar on deep relaxation and intensive courses on introduction into meditation and thought power. Swami Gokulananda came from the Berlin Centre. Many students and teachers remembered her and spent the whole day at the Centre, participating in the programme and doing Karma Yoga. Especially the evening Satsang was very well attended, the chanting was very powerful, the lecture lively and inspiring. Many Karma Yogis supported the Centre in the kitchen, in office work and especially in painting the Asana Hall. The walls are now painted in a light orange, adding even more warmth to the colour of the wooden floor. The feedback on the redesign of the hall is enthusiastic. OM.
Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Vilnuis, Lithuania
Om Namah Sivaya. Early February classes were well attended. A Yoga 1 beginner’s course with a very nice group of people started. Yoga 2 and Yoga 3 courses began on Mondays and Tuesdays. We had a cooking course with 15 students, who were happy to learn how to cook various vegetarian dishes using the spices and food ingredients in creative way. We were very happy to have two resident Yoga teachers as work studies: Polish Yoga teacher Sundari. She will live in the Centre and do Karma Yoga for 4 weeks. Estonian teacher Lakshmi stayed for a week. Our main concentration was on the maintenance project and preparation of the brochure for the Saptaha. One weekend we had a Crash course with a nice group of students. As part of the preparations for the upcoming May Saptaha, we started important maintenance projects in order to make the Yoga Centre more functional. The workers began to install an extra shower in the ladies changing room. The main focus was on the preparation and promotion of the Ayurveda program with Angela Hope-Murray at the end of March.
Mid-February saw us preparing the Yoga Centre for more comfortable stay of the guests, students and staff during the upcoming Saptaha in May. Workers almost finished the installing of the shower in ladys changing room. Also the roller blinds were installed in the reception and office for safety and in the rooms upstairs for more comfort. Many students attended open classes, Satsangs and courses. New Yoga 1 , Yoga 2 and Yoga 3 courses started, so all our rooms are used fully. On Saturday we had TTC preparation day. 4 students came and all of them are thinking to go to TTC in Ustka, Poland this year. Ishwara Chaitanya left to Berlin Centre to serve there for two weeks. Our Karma yogi from Poland, Sundari, served full-heartedly and always in a good mood, no matter she cleans, washes or cooks. OM.
01 – New Moon
08 – Ramanavami
Purushartha can give you anything. Change your habits. Change the mode of thinking. You can conquer destiny. You are now thinking: “I am the body.” Start the spiritual anti-current. You can conquer death and attain the immortal seat of supreme splendour.
Even for realization, the Lord’s grace is necessary. For obtaining the Lord’s grace, intense Purusha Prayatna, otherwise known as Purushartha, can be voiced forth throughout the famous “Yoga Vasishtha”.
By virtuous deeds and right thoughts you can disarm destiny. You have a free-will to act. By self-exertion, Ratnakar became Valmiki. By Purushartha/self-exertion Markandeya conquered death. By Purushartha/self-exertion alone did Uddalaka attain Nirvikalpa Samadhi (higher realization). By Purushartha/self-exertion, Savitri brought back her husband (Satyavan) to life.
Meditation leads to Samadhi – the super-conscious state. – Swami Sivananda