Sivananda World News: The Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centres
Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Zentrum, Berlin, Germany
Om Namah Sivaya! In April, several courses started, among them a Yoga Beginners’ course with a good group of students, a Thought Power course and a course on inspiring spiritual stories. From Friday to Sunday the Centre was temporarily transformed into an Ashram for our Centre’s retreat. The retreat started with an Asana class and Satsang on Friday afternoon. The participants comprised of Centre students, newcomers and some from outside of Berlin. An additional further training for teachers on the topic of “Expanding with the breath” was included in the retreat. Students and staff tuned into the Ashram rhythm quite easily. The weather was splendid and everybody enjoyed the silent walks and the garden platform for relaxation at breaks. Everybody left happy and recharged. We concluded each week with Sunday evening Satsang with Sunday prayers.
Later in April the first week of Easter vacation arrived and so did some intermediate courses started. On the Easter weekend we had a Surya Namaskar Workshop which was well attended. The weather was sunny and warm so the workshop was on our garden platform. Everybody enjoyed stretching, breathing and expanding in the fresh air under the trees. Also a Sunday drop in class in the afternoon took place on the garden platform. Another highlight was the Hanuman Pooja. Teachers and close students came to celebrate together with the staff. The energy was calm, strong and full of devotion. Swami Gokulananda left the Centre to participate in the Easter program in the Seminar House in Reith. Satya left to also spend some days in Reith. Many Karma Yogis supported the Centre. On the Easter weekend Srinivasan’s daughter Sivakami and her husband Diego stayed at the Centre for a private visit. OM.
Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Buenos Aires, Argentina, South America
Om Namah Sivaya. By Gods Grace and Masters’ blessings, all went well and smoothly in April. Gauri who took the TTC in Bariloche and also Nirmala who took the TTC in Brazil joined us. Three Beginners’ course began. We returned to studying the Bhagavad Gita with Swami Premananda. Swami Dayananda resumed the Vedanta Course. We also started a Meditation Course. We hope that all of you are well. Om.
Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Chengdu, China
Om Namah Sivaya from Chengdu. In April, because of the long weekend for the Tomb-sweeping holiday, we closed to clean up the Centre, do Puja and read together on the topic of death, from Swami Sivananda. We also chanted 108 times of Om Trayambakam, with some students at the Centre and some online, for 30 firefighters who died in a forest fire in Liangshan, Sichuan. We prayed they can rest in peace. In Shanghai, Swami Sitaramanandaji, Swami Adi Parashaktiananda and Dr. Ramkumar closed the 2-day Yoga and Ayurveda Intensive with Sivani then left for Japan right away for programs there. Sivani went to see her family near Shanghai. We prepared for a teachers’ training on how to teach Yoga 1 course at the Centre.
A mid-April highlight was the Sunday workshop, led by Janaki. She talked about digestion from the perspective of Yoga and Ayurveda. Sivani led a Sunday Satsang on Yoga Asanas. We reviewed the benefits of yoga asanas from the Bliss Divine. We also had some discussion on how to stay connected to the teaching, how to improve teaching qualities and how to recruit more students. We made some changes in the class schedules and some promotions of class passes. Good news was we had 4 new students signed up for the next Yoga 1 course. All is well by Guru’s grace. May Master and Swamiji continue to bless all with inspiration for staying on their spiritual path. Om Shanti.
Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India
Om Namah Sivaya to all Blessed Selves from the Chennai Centre. During the month of April we started a new Beginners’ Course, a 6:00am batch, by Praveen. We visit Resort Bank of India to talk about Yoga and taught Asanas and Breathing Exercises. We taught to the people working in the bank and going to retire soon. An Inner Transformation with Transpersonal Learning Workshop was held one weekend, by Saravanan. He is a Psychologist and recently finished ATTC in Madurai. This workshop format comprised of a guided two day drama and theatre based experiential process to ‘explore and immerse’ the student in Self, based on transformation tools from Vedanta and Yoga Psychology. We had a test class, taught by Gayathri. She has been doing karma yoga and assistance in the Centre after she did the Jan 2019 TTC in Neyyar Dam. Some of us joined the class and gave some feedbacks. Soon she will be ready as a teacher. Dr. Vishnu and Ajitha visited Chennai, from Neyyar Dam SIH, to apply for a Canadian Visa for this summer. Anand, one of the staff left the Centre. Some staffs became sick due to summer heat in Chennai, as it’s getting very hot.
Mid April saw the start of another Beginners’ Course 6:30pm batch, this time taught by Sandhya. We started a Japanese private class twice a week. We started a 10 day Kids Camp on Saturdays, by Gopan. The election for Indian Prime minister was held on 18th April in Chennai, so we had less students for the Open Classes. We celebrated Vishu, the Kerala New Years Day. The Patanjali statue arrived to the Centre. It was positioned in front of Banyan tree near the gate. Nataraj and Kalyani came here before going to England. Also Pierre and Gita from Canada came before going to France on same date. Mangala Chaitanya arrived from Neyyar Dam Ashram. Lalitha, who was doing work study in Neyyar Dam, arrived. She will be here one month as a Karma Yogi. Priya finished her Karma yoga at the Centre, then left to travel North India before going back to Japan. Sundari also took 2 weeks holiday and traveling with Priya. The teachers’ meeting was held with Gopan teaching the Yoga class for the teachers prior to the meeting. The 2 TTC graduates from Neyyar Dam also joined. Other staff members are doing well, thanks to Master’s and Swamiji’s Grace. Pranams! Om.
Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Chicago, USA
Om Namah Sivaya. Blessings from Chicago, where Classes and courses continued as usual, including Yoga 1 and Positive Thinking. Hamsa presented a Crystal Singing Bowl Sound Bath, which was well attended and provided a soothing way for folks to experience deep relaxation. Durga gave a weekend retreat called “Transforming Trauma: Yoga for Self-Healing” as part of her Sivananda Yoga Health Educator Program. Durga shared self-healing yogic techniques to manage chronic stress and disentangle the effects of trauma. The weekend program included asana practice, theory, and practical tools including dietary suggestions, expressing needs, processing triggers, and accessing community resources.
As April continued we had our regular classes and courses. The second session of our Saturday Family Course was quite successful. We received positive feedback from both parents and kids. Prahlada and Saraswati (and family) visited, invigorating the Centre with prana, inspiration and encouragement. Saraswati presented a program called “Deepening Mind-Body Relaxation” and Prahlada gave a workshop called “Prana & Pranayama” plus taught an advanced asana class. Both led a heartwarming Sunday Satsang which included stories about Swami Vishnudevananda and discussion about how our city Centres are of particular importance in furthering his peace mission. Students and staff were grateful to Prahlada and Saraswati for spending quality time here in Chicago. Pranams and prem from sunny Chicago. We are grateful to the Gurus for continuing to protect and inspire our Sadhana. Om Shanti, Shanti, Shantihi. Om.
Sivananda Yoga Vedanta DÀ LAT Centre, Dà Lat, Vietnam
Om Namah Sivaya from the beautiful DaLat Centre. For the month of April the number of students remained stable. Many students joined the free trial classes and almost all people registered for a Beginners’ Yoga 1 class. The meditation class continued. More students arrived to Satsang.
As April continued we were delighted to welcome an increased number of students despite very rainy weather. Several workshops were organized in order to help the students understand more about Yoga and its benefits. The students were very interested to join the Headstand Workshop, plus, they gave positive feedback about the Ayurveda Workshop. Many people joined Satsang. The Staff keep practicing Sadhana daily, maintaining the good energy and positive atmosphere in the Centre. We give thanks for Guru’s grace. Om.
Sivananda Yoga Vedanta DWARKA Centre, Delhi, India
Om Namah Sivaya. By the guidance of the Gurus, the Centre ran efficiently and effortlessly in April with a weekday Beginners Batch from 1st April at 5am, 10am & 6.30pm on Mondays. We also started an advanced yoga class with good numbers of students. The headstand workshop was conducted by Mohanraj ji one Sunday evening with a decent number of students attending this workshop. We also started a weekend course at 8 am with good numbers of enthusiastic students. The remaining regular classes & schedule ran smoothly where both the teachers and students were happy with the continuous learning they are getting. On 7th April a teachers’ meeting was held, where any concerns and suggestions from the teachers were addressed plus discussions for keeping the Centre running smoothly and efficiently. With Grace of Swami Sivanandaji and Swami Vishnudevananda ji we have stepped into a new season. With blessings of our Gurus we look forward to another successful few months. All the staff members are deep in their practice and doing their best to improve themselves and the Centre. The words of the Masters resonate with us all. We hope that everybody in the Sivananda family is healthy and happy. Pranams to all. Om.
Sivananda Yoga Vedanta NATARAJA Centre, Delhi, India
Om Namo Narayanaya. In April we started with a weight loss course at 8:00am. We also started two Beginners’ Yoga 1 course on the same say, one at 10am and another at 6:30pm. We celebrated our youngest staff Bitanya’s birthday on 3rd April. Kapoor ji left for teaching TTC at Sivananda Kutir, Uttrakashi. We started a weekend Foundation to Meditation course. The course follows the same outline as the weekday meditation course. We fixed net & grill for Meditation room windows. We conducted the classes as per scheduled, along with few private classes. With the grace of the Masters, everything is going well at the Centre and every one is doing fine.
Mid month we started a beginners class at 10:00am. We also started the Intermediate course, Yoga 2 on Wednesdays at 10:00am. We started a teachers practice class two weeks ago to prepare new teachers who are volunteering to teach at the Centre. The week continued as per the schedule. We conducted Satsangs, open classes, kids yoga, gentle yoga and other courses which started earlier like Beginners’ Yoga at 6:30am, Weight loss and weekend foundation to Meditation. With the grace of the masters, everything at the Centre is going well and we are doing fine. We send our Pranams and hope everyone is happy and peaceful. Om.
Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Geneva, Switzerland
Om Namah Sivaya. To begin April we had a Beginners’ Yoga 1 start. We had a workshop on Asanas for Hips and Shoulders. The main event was our monthly mini retreat on the Salève. We had a group of 12 people, some of them completely new. There was snow everywhere and the sun was very strong, so the silent walk was truly illuminating. One of our students brought a big version of the Ramayana with miniature pictures, a version of 7 large books; so on Sunday Satsang the focus was on Ramayana with pictures, stories and philosophy. OM NAMAH SIVAYA. OM.
Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Om Namah Sivaya. For the month of April we were inspired by very good attendance in both courses and open classes, despite the tremendous heat of the dry season, now in full form. Ganga Chaitanya departed for her trip to the West, first staying at the Los Angeles Centre and afterwards visiting the Yoga Farm in Grass Valley, CA, USA. We continued the training of TTC graduates with 90-minute classes Monday through Friday, taught by Swami Pranavananda. The TTC group reviewed making corrections and adjustments and teaching in both Vietnamese and English. We had a good turnout for Open House, taught by Durga and Mahashakti, with 13 people attending.
Mid April we continued to have good attendance, especially for the workshops on Sundays. Saraswati came from the Ashram in Dalat to lead two workshops morning and evening, introducing the SYHET program with free information sessions. Many people attended. Some of the SYHET students also came to speak about their experiences in the course. An outside teacher, Sarada, came to lead a Kriya workshop with 12 people attending. Samadeva taught a special Pranayama workshop with 24 people attending! The workshop included a talk about the theory of Pranayama and then practice of Asana and mainly Pranayama. Samadeva also continued to train the TTC graduates every weekday for nearly two hours as they each taught test classes (in both English and Vietnamese) to see if they are ready to teach the open classes in the Centre. We are happy to continue spreading the wisdom of Yoga follow the teachings of the Master and Guru. Pranams to the Sivananda Family. Om Shanti, Shanti, Shantihi. Om.
Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, London, England
Om Namah Sivaya. During early April the London Centre had a study retreat, with Swami Kailasananda. Students received their diplomas after a last in-depth workshops about how to channel emotions and benefit from the chanting of mantras. We had very positive feedback from the students and Swamiji returned to Paris after this beautiful program where she took much time for students and staff, giving individual guidance and support. Another focus in April was the planning for the Easter retreat. The gardeners came to cut and tidy up the whole garden. A highlight was the Yoga Spring Festival with more than 40 new students. All activities saw excellent attendance. Students enjoyed the atmosphere and felt in good hands. Staff were inspired and happy to see so many newcomers connecting with the Centre. Many of them stayed on until the evening Satsang which drew inspiration from the book “World Peace”, touching many aspects of yoga and the teachings of the masters.
Mid April’s highlight was the Family Easter weekend with a nice group of students which included six children. Swami Vairagyananda, Kailas and Girija, arrived from Geneva to support the retreat. They left for Oxfordshire to set everything up and to welcome the students. Savitri, a closer teacher of the Centre, was assisting with the program for the children. The retreat went very well with perfect weather, inspired teachers and happy and grateful students. Meanwhile, at the Centre, a Level 1 started. New receptionists were trained and did well. Staff had a brainstorming about the next brochure and the work on the summer program started. Karma yogis were nicely helping with retreat preparations, housekeeping, reception, cooking and gardening. The retreat weekend was quiet at the Centre and students enjoyed the calm and peace of the place during classes and Satsangs. The month ended with an uplifting Satsang. Staff were nicely working together, adding to the good support from Karma Yogis. OM.
Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Los Angeles, CA, USA
Om Namo Narayanaya! During early April Swami Jñaneswariananda visited and offered Bhagavad Gita class, followed by a program on meditation, including how to overcome obstacles and keep a steady practice. Swamiji also gave Mantra initiation to a long-time Karma Yogi (20+ years) Jayani, she is very grateful and “beyond words with joy to have received such a gift.” Open classes carry on as many students go on vacation and some return, along with new faces visiting from different Sivananda Centres around the globe. A Yoga 3 course continued into their third week. We gathered for Durga Puja with Pundit Mani Sharma. All devotees joined to supply Puja items and finished the uplifted evening with soup together. Ganga Chaitanya arrived from Vietnam to stay for 2 months to direct the Centre. Karuna Devi departed for the Yoga Farm. Karma Yogis devoutly supported the Centre. Hands come from far and wide to maintain the energy of the Centre. May Guru and God continue to brighten the Way.
Later in April we had student numbers increase in open classes. The current Yoga 3 completed and students are ready to take Positive Thinking and Meditation Courses. Two Beginners’ Yoga 1 courses began and full of eager students. We held a Kriyas & Ayurvedic cleaning/nourishing workshop. All attendees felt lighter, brighter, and grateful for tools to take home and implement into a daily routine. Staff and Karma Yogis went for an Easter Yoga Nature Retreat where they hiked, practiced asanas, pranayam, had a workshop on corrections/adjustments and enjoyed a picnic lunch together. All were feeling the boost of Prana from Mother Nature. We gathered for Easter Puja. Satsang was filled with many devotees, all contributing prasad and their loving voices, as we chanted to Lord Vishnu, as well as, a special chant for Jesus (the Beatitudes). May the Lord support our service. May the Blessings of Master and Swamiji continue to light the way. By Guru’s Grace and our sincere efforts may we be instruments of Peace. Jai Gurudev! Pranams. Om.
Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Madrid, Spain
Om Namah Sivaya, Blessed Selves! We opened April with preparations for the Easter family retreat in Almería, South Spain, for around a hundred adults and children. Swami Santoshananda went to Reith for a few days to recharge and plan ahead. Parvati took good care of the Centre with the help of close teachers. One Saturday we had a well-visited Open Day at the Centre. A new program began, called “Yoga for Peace” which consisted on 30 minutes recitation of the mantra “Om Namoh Narayanaya”, a meditative yoga class, likhita japa and a special Satsang with the projection of the video “In the name of Peace” of Swami Vishnudevananda. Beautiful energy was created.
The Centre continued mid April with a reduced schedule as the staff went to Almeria, South Spain, for the one-week Easter family retreat. It was an inspiring and joyful multicultural retreat. We had 34 yoga teachers, all from Spain. Yoga classes for all levels were offered, from beginner to advanced. The highlight was the 17 kids participating in a full program, including children’s Satsang. The final talent show was inspiring. Swami Vasudevananda from the Munich Centre came to support with enriching lectures and Satsang. Everyone returned on Sunday happy and recharged. OM.
Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Madurai, India
Om Namah Sivaya. Namaste. By Gurudev’s grace everything runs well. Courses ran smoothly. Regular classes at Centre and our private outside classes were also going well. We thank our Masters for all blessings and support bestowed. Om Shanti, Shanti, Shantihi.
Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Montevideo, Uruguay
Om Namah Sivaya! We enjoyed wonderful autumn weather in Montevideo. The 10th floor two tower building on the left side of the Centre, continued working. The sound of the construction sometimes breaks the peacefulness of the Centre. We have beautiful new poster for the July TTC in Colombia. Classes and activities run fluently.
Later in April we saw a traditional week long vacation in the country and Holy Week for the Christians. We have only classes from Monday to Wednesday. It was a very quite and relaxing week for the beginning of autumn. It was sunny in the morning and humid and little cold at the evening. People enjoyed the City and the coast very much. Kanti Devi travelled to Montreal and HQ. Om Shanti. Happy Easter and Passover. May the Peace of the Lord be with you. May all live under Master’s and Guru’s grace. With Prem and Om.
Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Om Namah Sivaya and Greetings from the Montreal Centre! We had a very good month of April, with a lot of positive energy. By the grace of the Masters and all the support of the community, everything ran well at the Centre this month. The classes and the Yoga 1 and 2 courses ran smoothly. We had our uplifting Sunday prayers, led by Satyabhama, with 52 participants. We had a good team of karma yogis helping with some deep cleaning projects.
We were happy to welcome Sita and Fumio, they stayed at the Centre for 3 nights. They conducted a voice celebration workshop, with 32 participants. Sita with the harmonium and her beautiful voice and Fumio with the tabla, guided the participants to open their voice in joy and sing from the heart. They insisted that everybody with a voice can sing and experience their Divinity. They inspired the participants to use mantras and spiritual songs to heal themselves and raise their vibration. We celebrated Sri Rama Navami with a beautiful Puja, with 47 participants. We were blessed to have the priest Manju to conduct the Puja and Sita and Fumio to lead the Kirtan. The evening was full of joy and devotion. Everyone left feeling grateful and uplifted. We closed for Easter and joined the Yoga Camp Ashram for their Easter program. The Masters sent us lots of support with very devoted and committed karma yogis. We feel our Guru’s grace guiding us. Pranams to all! Om.
Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Munich, Germany
Om Namah Sivaya. Swami Sivadasananda came from the Sivananda Yoga Retreat House in Reith/Tyrol/Austria to Munich to give the evening Satsang. After silent meditation and a very uplifting kirtan, Swamiji spoke about “Clear Thinking and Meditation”. We were very happy that many people came for this inspiring Satsang. We had an Open House with the following program: lecture and asana demonstration, meditation workshop and trial class. We also held a weekend kirtan workshop and an advanced asana workshop with the topic “Hip-opening asanas and leg behind the Head”.
Though Easter vacation time had started a good number of students came for open classes and courses. The highlight was the Puja at Hanuman Jayanti. All enjoyed Spiritual Stories, Kirtans and Mantra chanting and left inspired. The Vedanta course continued with thoughts on how reality is veiled by Avidya of the mind. Preparations for the Special Program in May started. With the help of lots of Karma yogis we did a thorough cleanup of all Centres carpets and cushions as well as other small projects. Swami Karunananda came to support, Swami Vasudevananda who left for Spain to teach in the Easter retreat in Algeria. Gayatri went to Reith,Tyrol to assist in the Special program there. Staff are well and send their greetings to everybody! OM.
Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Neuquén, Argentina
Om Namah Sivaya from Neuquen. Om Shanti and Prem to everyone. Om.
Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, New York, USA
Om Namah Sivaya! In New York City the trees started to bloom and the weather warmed up beautifully in early April. We taught a special class for students of the Fashion Institute of Technology. Swami Satyapremananda started a new course on Raja Yoga, focusing on Sadhana Pada of the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. By the Grace of the Gurus, the other courses continued well. Drop-in attendance seems to be improving. One of our regular karma yogis started work in the office, repairing the ceiling. We offered the monthly Open House, which was attended by a group of wonderfully receptive people who were very happy with the classes and the meal. They asked many good questions and signed up for courses and passes. We have seen some of them back for classes already and look forward to growing together with them. Saraswati, Mayavan and Bhavani, all from Toronto Centre, arrived after a visit and program at the Ranch. Mayavan taught a special asana class called “Yoga Asanas According to Ayurveda,” assisted by Bhavani. Saraswati led the evening Satsang with wit, warmth and practical wisdom. It was an inspiration to learn from and connect with them.
As April progressed Swami Paramananda and Shakti briefly visited from the Ranch, bringing with them Lalita, who had just graduated from March TTC and joined our Centre staff for a couple of weeks. By the grace of the Gurus, the Yoga 1, Yoga 2, Positive Thinking and Raja Yoga courses all continued well. Swami Narayanananda arrived, stopping through for the night, on his way to the Ranch. We offered a Puja for Hanuman Jayanthi, which was well attended and was wonderfully uplifting. The Centre was closed for a few days in honour of the Passover/Easter holiday weekend. Swami Satyapremananda traveled together with Swami Narayanananda to the Ranch Ashram. Tandava also joined the weekend celebration at the Ashram. In 2019 we celebrate 55 years of the Centre in New York. Staff are doing well and sending our blessings from the New York City Centre. By Masters’ blessings and God’s Grace, all is running smoothly. Om.
Centre de Yoga Sivananda Vedanta, Paris, France
Om Namah Sivaya. During April, Life gave us beautiful sunny days. Saraswati was now in charge of the Centre’s accounts. Swami Kailasananda guided her. Sivakami explained the petty cash to her. Swami Kailasananda stayed for a couple of days on her return from London. Swamiji’s presence uplifted the Centre. She had a meeting with a new food provider. She also guided everyone. We had an inspiring Satsang from an article of Swami Sivananda, on the meaning of life. There was a joyful and positive mood after the Satsang. Many close karma yogis, teachers and students were there. Sivakami had some days off to rest and to prepare for teaching the Bhagavad Gita in the TTC in Orleans. Ramdas was happy to teach a Yoga 1 for the first time. Swami Kailasananda and Sivakami went to Orleans for the April TTC. Gauri went home for a long weekend. Ramdas went home for few days to take care of administrative things. We had workshops on the topics of prana and concentration with little groups of motivated students. The skylight in the meditation room was functioning again after one month of being blocked. The public demonstrations departed from a subway station nearby so those metro stations were closed that afternoon. For the evening Satsangs we had inspiring words from Master on the topics of forgiveness and prayer.
On 15thApril the Notre Dame Cathedral was on fire. There were some renovations being done on the roof and a fire got out of control. We kept a minute of silence in the reception area and we chanted the Om Tryambhakam mantra with the students. Everybody was sad. In April we had a four-day pranayama course. We had the continuation of the nutrition course and the Meditation course, both with groups of motivated students. Ramdas started a Yoga 1 course twice a week for the first time. The students were very inspired. Saraswati gave a Yoga and Anatomy workshop. The students appreciated the workshop. There was also a cooking class. The students appreciated the food and the teachings. The Centre appreciated the short visits of the priest Yagneswara who passed by on his way back to Orleans from India and plus tard in the week from Orleans to Reith. Saraswati continued to put prana into the accounts. Swami Kailasananda helped her. The staff went to Orleans. Saraswati went for Easter. Daya went there for two weeks to finish her TTC. Swami Nityananda also went to the Orleans Ashram. Shanti, a close teacher, came to help out at the Centre for the long weekend. For the evening Satsangs we had beautiful kirtans and some inspiring words of Master from The Universal Companion. Kaivalya gave an inspiring Satsang on the topic of knowledge from Yoga Vashista. She also talked about the fire in Notre Dame as she was inside of the Cathedral that day. God gave us a joyful Celebration of Hanuman Jayanti. A group of close students, karma yogis and teachers where there. The altar looked like a blooming garden. OM.
Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Porto Alegre, Brasil, South America
Greetings from Porto Alegre. Blessings and Peace to all of the Sivananda Family. Om.
Centro Yoga Vedanta Sivananda, Rome, Italy
Om Namah Sivaya, Blessed selves. In April, our teachers and students participated in a big yoga event in Rome were many yoga schools presented their styles. Everyone who participated were very keen and practiced to make a nice presentation. It created a very nice energy. Swami Sankarananda did a good job in organizing the program and the participants. Swami Rajeshwarananda taught a meditation course in Rimini, with 30 students. A new Yoga 2 started in the mornings. We send pranams to all. May the Masters guide you and protect you to carry on their mission. Om Shanti. Om.
Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, San Francisco, California, USA
Om Namo Narayanaya, Blessed Selves. The beginning of April was busy. For the second time, Dr. Jain saw clients at the Yoga Centre. Rudrani did the SIHY followup sessions, as prescribed by Dr. Jain, which was covered by health insurance. Simultaneously, we had our regular Open House program. That night an eager audience attended a dhrupad voice concert with Nirmalya Dey. Bulbul taught another Kitchari Cooking Workshop to support our health programs. The community lunch following was so appreciated. Meanwhile we started a Yoga 2 course, a Yoga 4 course and a Positive Thinking course. Ten courses in progress!
By mid April our morning Sangha attendance was growing. Chanting was more and more joyful. We offered a Yoga Nidra session one Saturday afternoon. We finished a Meditation 2 course and Positive Thinking 2 course. The students were eager to continue. The Centre was contracted by a second senior centre to do a weekly chair yoga class, at the recommendation of the senior centre we have been teaching at for two years. The activity coordinator herself participated and was the most enthusiastic student! A karma yogi has come forward to care for the planter garden in front of the San Francisco Centre on a regular basis. We felt the Gurus’ blessings. May the Truth be spread far and wide. Om.
Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, San Paulo, Brasil
Om Namah Sivaya. The Sao Paulo Centre received a good cleaning, with the help of karma yogis. Shankar, staff and karma yogi, conducted the Satsang, playing harmonium for the first time. The “Free Yoga at the Park” had a good attendance. We started a Beginners’ Yoga Course. We did gardening and outdoors cleaning. We closed the Centre for the Easter Holiday. On return we offered an Open Doors Day. Presently we are trying to recruit more teachers at the Centre. May the Masters continue to maintain prana and harmony in the Sivananda Centre of Sao Paulo. Om Shanti Shanti to all the Sivananda family. Om.
Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Tel Aviv, Israel
Om Namah Sivaya. During the month of April courses and classes went as usual. Bhargavi Chaitanya came back after her 1 month visit to the Yoga Retreat. In her time there she attended an advanced Vedanta course with teachings from the Upanisad and still dedicated her time promoting the Centre’s activities. We are very happy to have her back! She will open many new courses. Many of her students waited patiently for advanced courses with her. Passover cleaning of the Centre went smoothly with a very detailed projects plan, with specific tasks for each day. The staff traveled to the north of the country, visiting the Hermon mountain which was full of snow! It was a great refreshing experience! Spending time in Nature was rejuvenating and we came back with fresh energy. Sunday evening Satsangs were on he topic of “The Upanishads”. Many people came and we celebrated the birthday of one of our long time teacher and karma yogi. We also celebrated the birthday of Swami Shambhudevananda, the director of the Centre who was at the Yoga Retreat.
Mid month we celebrated the Jewish holiday of Passover with a Seder (feast). Many people joined us and the atmosphere was happy and holy. We had a huge feast and did the traditional reading of the Hagada, with some additional inspiring teachings. Everyone was uplifted and happy! We had the second Holiday feast and again many joined us for the celebration. Prior to the holiday the kitchen went through a very deep clean, which took several days and the help of numerous karma yogis, as part of the pre-Passover cleaning tradition. Amidst the festivities and chores, a Yoga 1 course finished with most of the students continuing to Yoga 2. Introductory classes to positive thinking and meditation courses were held. Even though during the Holiday times many students went on vacation, classes were still very full! One Sunday Satsang was on the topic of “Contentment”. We have plenty of help and are feeling very grateful and blessed! Om.
Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Tokyo, Japan
Om Namah Sivaya. Early April was the most significant and blissful time for the Tokyo Centre. Swami Sitaramananda, Swami Adi Parashaktiananda and Dr. Ram Kumar arrived in Japan and gave a program “2-day Master Course for Yoga & Ayurveda”. Yoga philosophy navigated by Swami Sitaramananda, Asana led by Swami Adi Parashaktiananda and Ayurveda guided by Dr. Ram Kumar were provided. The students were greatly inspired that they learned Yoga, Asana and Ayurveda from experienced and knowledgeable teachers whole-inclusively. The intensive programs were offered at the Shojiko Retreat and at the Tokyo Centre. Thankfully, large number of Karma yogis joined us for the support. Nearly 270 students in total attended the programs, by which the Centre was filled with positive, uplifting energy. Gurus and Acharyas brought us great joy and blessings.
By mid April people enjoyed the arrival of a beautiful Spring with plenty of flowers blooming everywhere. A new batch of Yoga 1 started, with 11 people attending, of which, 10 have participated in the trial class given some weeks before. The number of male students in the classes continued to grow. Sivananda Yoga is recognized by people in various generations. We offered a Sun Salutation workshop one Saturday, joined by 8 students in which detailed guidance of Sun salutation was shared, one’s habits were corrected and the method and techniques that enable a more smooth yoga practice were shown. A Kriya workshop was given, with 13 people joining. The students enjoyed basic Kriya practice such as neti, tratak, nauli, etc. in our small back yard at the Centre. Om Shanti, Shanti, Shantihi. Om.
Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Om Namah Sivaya. April was busy, teaching many outside classes. All staff participated in teaching in schools with class sizes ranging from twenty to fifty plus students. We spent most of our Monday to Thursday mornings in the schools while in the afternoons we had our regular classes at the Centre. Saraswati and Nalini also taught class at the Centre for teens from a residential mental health centre. We were all very happy to celebrate Bhavani’s birthday. Saraswati went to Yoga Ranch and New York Centre to teach a weekend program.
We welcomed Sita and Fumio to the Centre to present their program “Voice Celebration”. They gave an uplifting concert and a workshop the following day, teaching everyone how to use their voice to celebrate Divine. We continued teaching at a high school and finished one of the courses for several grade 9 and grade 10 classes. Prahlad and Saraswati went to Chicago Centre to give a program during Easter holiday. Bhavani joined our teacher, Mayavan, in their visit to the Ashram. Janaki came from India to spend a week with us before going on to the Yoga Camp. Nalini taught a group of visiting teens while Saraswati went to give class at the hospital. Everyone enjoyed Satsang in celebration of Easter and lovely chocolate desert made by staff. We send Om Namo Narayanaya to everyone.
Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Trivandrum, Kerala, India
Om Namah Sivaya. With the blessings of God we had started 2 new batches in April. A Beginners’ batch started on Monday mornings. A one month Kids Vacation Yoga course started with good number of students. We also offered a weight loss workshop. All other classes continued smoothly. We celebrated ‘Vishu’. This festival follows the solar cycle of the Lunisolar Hindu calendar as the first day of month called Medam. We arranged ‘Vishukkani’. It means “that which is seen first on Vishu”. Vishukkani setting consists of items such as rice, lemon, cucumber, coconut cut open, jack fruit, metal mirror (Vaalkannadi), yellow Konna flowers (Cassia Fistula) which bloom in the season of Vishu, holy Hindu texts, coins or currency notes, oil lamp (Nilavilakku), and an idol of the Hindu God Krishna. The tradition has been that one of the senior members of the house, lights up the lamps at dawn, then goes to each member of the family one by one, blindfolds and wakes each one up, walks them to the front of the setting. He / She then releases the blindfold so one can see the beauty and opulence of Vishukkani, and then greets the Vishu day. To celebrate Vishu we distributed new clothes to the staff members. Ganapathy Homa was also conducted on the same day since it was the first day of the new Malayalam month. A ladies Beginners’ batch started. Lalithasahasranama Pooja was held on Fridays. Satsangs were led by Yashpal ji. Om Shanti, Shanti, Shantihi. Om.
Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Vienna, Austria
Om Namah Sivaya. Greetings to all from Vienna. Early April saw a new Yoga 1 beginning and the students of the last Beginners’ course continuing with Yoga 2. Apart from that the students of all the other courses continued to the next level. We had a “Mantra-day” with a nice meditation and mantra workshop, a meditative Yoga class and nice Satsang that evening. The Easter week was a good opportunity for staff to go to our Retreat house in Reith to recharge. Sivani was the first to go to return early to take care of the Centre while Swami Shyamananda, Swami Gitananda and Pushpa went there for the Easter Program. 2 new courses started but due to vacation time, the children’s’ and pregnancy classes were cancelled. Staff are healthy and continuing with their regular Sadhana. With greetings from Vienna! Om Shanti. OM.
Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Vilnuis, Lithuania
Om Namah Sivaya. April was very dynamic. The Vilnius Centre teachers and close students took full care of the Open day. It was good training and an opportunity to grow for everybody. Durga Devi and Nirmala were in Kaunas city visiting the affiliated Sivananda Yoga Centre PRANA with the program. It was so good to reconnect to the energy together in the Satsang, asanas and sharing the experiences. Quite a few students were interested in TTC Ustka Poland 2019.
Mid April students and teachers were focused on the upcoming Easter. Still, the courses and classes took place as usual with 4 girls arriving for the trial class. We had a small Puja for Sri Hanuman. This wonderful coincidence of Hanuman birthday and The Great Friday created very peaceful and humble energy that resettled nicely to the Satsang the next morning with nice chants and every participant reading the peace of the Master’s text about Jesus from Bliss Divine. The other nice thing – we opened the season of asana practice outdoors on the platform in our small beautiful garden. Students were very happy. OM.
04 New Moon
18 Full Moon
Renunciation is the bestower of peace and immortality. – Sri Swami Sivananda
SIDDHIS – Psychic Powers
The Aspirant becomes free only when his individual will becomes merged in the Divine Will. Licentiousness and autocracy must not be mistaken for spiritual freedom. By becoming a tool (Nimitta) in the hands of God, the Bhakta destroys the egoism or the little false ‘I’, but gains all the Divine Aisvarya or the Siddhis of the Lord. He becomes perfectly free. He has become one with God now.
Siddhis that are brought into the present life, by birth, indicate their attainment in a previous life, but it does not guarantee that the individual is making proper use of them in this life. Those gained through chemical means are not necessarily associated with any level of spirituality at all and can be easily governed by the ego. Siddhis achieved by Mantra repetition or tapas, austerities are generally of a very high order as long as they are performed for attaining God-Realization rather than personal or material gain. Powers that come from ‘Samadhi’ are the purest, for they come to the aspirant without being desired. It must be remembered that siddhis are not the aim but a by-product of the path to God-Realization
A Hatha Yogi gets Siddhis (psychic powers) by uniting Prana and Apana and by taking the united Prana-Apana through the six Chakras (Centres of spiritual energy) to Sahasrara at the crown of the head. A Raja Yogi gets Siddhis by Samyama, i.e., combined practice of Dharana, Dhyana and Samadhi at one time. A Jnana Yogi exhibits Siddhis through pure will or Sat-Sankalpa. A Bhakta gets Siddhis through self-surrender and the consequent descent of grace. Kriyas, viz., Neti, Dhauti, Nauli, Basti, Tratak and Kapalabhati belong to Hatha Yoga. All need not practise these Kriyas. Those who have got much phlegm in the body should practise these Kriyas. Learn these under an expert Hatha Yogi. Hatha Yoga is not the goal. It is only a means to an end. Take to Raja Yoga after possessing good health.
Beware of Siddhis! If you are drawn to the psychic powers or Siddhis, you will miss the supreme goal.- Sri Swami Sivananda