Sivananda World News: The Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Ashrams

Sivananda Ashram Yoga Camp, Sivananda Headquarters, Val Morin, Quebec, Canada

Om Namah Sivaya, Greetings from the Headquarters. During April we enjoyed teaching the online classes and reaching students who are sometimes connecting with us from another part of the globe. We introduced 21 home Sadhana challenge program in order to inspire students to practice regularly. The program worked very well as many students appreciated being connected to teachers to guide them daily in their practice. We recorded some inspiring kirtans that will be part of our educational videos. Lalita Chaitanya led a very helpful training, aimed at allowing staff to get to know each other better and share their experiences. This is part of our scheduled staff training that will help with good communication and allow for increased compassion toward one another. Mayavan taught Ayurvedic Perspective on Yoga Asanas workshops that had very good online attendance. Ken Whitely offered a concert from his home yoga studio that was very inspiring and cheered everyone tremendously. For Easter Sunday we made a Wish Tree on which staff hung their good wishes, and we shared hot cross buns and other yummy delicacies. Swami Vairagyananda led the staff in chanting beautiful kirtans and Easter hymns that uplifted our soul.

Later in April we had lots of sunshine and some rains, which motivated us to pack up our winter paraphernalia of enclosures, mats and our other winter contraptions thus getting ready for the summer. The online classes went very well. We had 1207 participations one week. We offered 3-4 free open classes daily, plus, choices of workshops and lectures. Not just the staff from the Ashram, but also teachers from our community volunteered to teach and thus we re-established our non-resident karma yogi connections as well. We added a few more courses and workshops and opened registrations. The participation built and was very encouraging. Some of these new courses are Mastering the Mind, Yoga for Beginners, Raja Yoga, an Integral Yoga Challenge, Conquest of Fear. Swami Vairagyananda led quite a few workshops. We added cooking workshops, kicking off this initiative with Indian cooking workshop, then an Italian cooking workshop. We were thus able to share our happiness and skills with our online community. Many people participated, continued cooking and giving us feedback. We started a staff study circle on the topic of self-discipline, on Saturday and Sundays evenings. The varied perspectives on the subject was quite enriching. The new Ashram staff were also encouraged to lead the chanting of Jaya Ganesha during the study circle Satsangs, inspired and participating wholeheartedly. Apart from these initiatives, the staff was busy with regular karma yoga duties of maintaining the premises and getting ready for the summer. We, the HQ staff send out healing and prayers to the world. We have been chanting Om Trayambakams in the morning Satsangs for many people across the globe who send in prayer requests to us. May God’s grace and the teachers’ blessings always remain with us and guide us into being of impeccable service to the people around the world. Om.

COVID-19 Update: With the updated regulations from the Government of Quebec, we will extend our closing date until May 1st (or until further notice). Please click on the button below to see our online schedule for May. https://sivanandacanada.org/camp/online-courses/ Om.

Sivananda Dhanwanthari Ashram, Neyyar Dam, Kerala, India

Namah Sivaya to all. April passed smoothly with guests and staff in good spirits. Staff continued to take turns teaching a single class morning and evening. Senior staff led the Satsangs. Silent walks on Wednesday and Sunday mornings consist of a few rounds around the Ashram pathways before sitting down in the Dhanwantari Hall. A number of staff were involved in the various programs going out on-line under the supervision of Padmavati and Satya. Gauri worked on the gentle yoga classes with Ilya a staff from Russia, preparing to go on-line. Ashram maintenance continued smoothly with the support of the voluntary staff, guests and the few paid staff staying in the Ashram. Four guests managed to leave and begin their journeys to home. The weather continued to be extremely hot and humid and finally broke into a heavy electrical storm. It cooled the air for the night until the sun came up again the next day! Before the original government COVID lock-down end date arrived, the news broke of an extension for a further 18 days. For those who are interested a few staff started giving coaching sessions in kirtan and LalithaSahasranama chanting and also a Sreemad Bhagavatham session alternate days. May Master and Swamiji bless all with good health and peace of mind.

COVID-19 Update:
Due to the lockdowns announced by the Indian government, we will not be accepting any new visitors or guests to the Ashram until June 1, 2020. During this phase, we’ll be offering various classes, courses & programs online. Details regarding this can be found at sivananda.org.in/online-sessions. Please like our Facebook page to stay notified about live open classes, Satsangs & other programs. Our thoughts are with you all and we pray that you keep well and positive during these challenging times.

May Master and Swamiji’s blessings continue to support all in their Sadhana. Om.

Sivananda Ashram, Netala, Uttarkashi, Himalayas, North India

Om Namo Narayanaya from Uttar Kashi.

COVID-19 Update: Due to the lockdowns announced by the Indian government, we will not be accepting any new visitors or guests to the Ashram until June 1, 2020. During this phase, we’ll be offering various classes, courses & programs online. Details regarding this can be found at sivananda.org.in/online-sessions. Please like our Facebook page to stay notified about live open classes, Satsangs & other programs. Our thoughts are with you all and we pray that you keep well and positive during these challenging times.

Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Meenakshi Ashram, Madurai, Tamil Nadu, India

Om Namo Narayanaya. Namaste from Madurai. In April the guests stranded at the Ashram spent time productively with self practice and allotted karma yoga duties to help with Ashram functioning. The time spent in real seclusion was actually being enjoyed by them with nothing to be bothered about future plans be it the travel ones or work related ones, amidst lockdown rules and regulations. Vishu, the harvest festival of Kerala also marking the New Year in Malayalam calendar passed without much ado. The only luxury of celebration we had was the serving of a traditional South Indian feast sans plantain leaf. Sending Prem and Om to all from our family of guests and staffs. Om.

COVID-19 Update:
Due to the lockdowns announced by the Indian government, we will not be accepting any new visitors or guests to the Ashram until June 1, 2020. During this phase, we’ll be offering various classes, courses & programs online. Details regarding this can be found at sivananda.org.in/online-sessions. Please like our Facebook page to stay notified about live open classes, Satsangs & other programs. Our thoughts are with you all and we pray that you keep well and positive during these challenging times. Namaste. Om.

Sivananda Ashram Yoga Ranch Colony, Woodburne, NY, USA

Om Namah Sivaya from the Ranch. April saw us adapting to the unfolding COVID-19 pandemic situation plus making constant improvements with the ongoing online programs. Maitri, the director of the Chicago Centre, stayed with us, being a big support for us, as well as we have been for her in these times of isolation. We merged the teamwork of the NYC Centre, the Chicago Centre and the Ranch since the closure to the public, in order to stabilize the online structure to benefit all of the Centres and their communities. We reached out to many teachers from the East Coast Sivananda community, who were happy to serve from home and to teach weekly courses as well as Asana classes, thank God. We offered 1-3 classes daily, led by a few teachers who are staying at the Ranch and by those who are part of the NYC Centre and Chicago Centre. We continued with daily morning Satsangs on Facebook Live where we studied the teachings of the Shrimad Bhagavatam with Srinivasan. We also go LIVE with Sunday and Wednesday evening Satsangs, following the NYC schedule. Along the week days we offered several courses; “Intro to Meditation”, “Knowing the Scriptures”, “Yoga 1” and a workshop on Ayurveda and cooking with Ghee. Each had a successful attendance. We had a celebratory Passover service, led by our beloved Rabbi Zoe B Zak. we hosted Manu Dawson with a program on the subjects: “Strengthening the Immune System and Detoxification”. On a sunny Easter Sunday we offered a special morning Satsang. We were joined by two leaders from the ‘Community of Living Traditions’ (CLT), Amy Dalton and Warren Cooper, who led a beautiful Easter service for their community and ours.

We offered an immersion week for beginners, led by Mokshapriya & Ganga. We are also continued with the ongoing program of studying the scriptures with Neeti and daily asana classes – which vary between ‘all levels’, ‘Gentle’, ‘intermediate’ and ‘yoga for kids’. We hosted Mitchell Rabin with a program on Qi-Gong and shared many practical ideas for keeping a healthy mental state and connecting with mother earth energy. Also, we had 2 session workshops on the topic of Positive Thinking, led by Maitri. We enjoyed a morning hike along with snow and beautiful sunrise. Evening Satsang with Sunday prayers continued. Staff sends healing prayers and Pranams to all!

COVID-19 Update:
Om Namo Narayanaya Blessed Self, dear friends and students, As you may know the Sivananda Centres in New York City and Chicago, as well as the Sivananda Ashram Yoga Ranch have been closed to the public for over a week as a proactive measure to help stem the spread of the COVID-19 virus. Since then the epidemic in the USA and especially in New York has grown exponentially. From the day we closed we have gathered our Centre staff at the Yoga Ranch to continue our practice, to support each other and to do what we can to continue with our mission of disseminating the Yoga teachings and support the Sivananda Yoga community in a growing isolated environment. Respecting social distancing, we have started live Satsangs, study groups and hopefully soon – asana classes using the growing social media software of Facebook Live. We hope to get started soon with Zoom, and if we can all generate subscriptions of over 1000, YouTube (Please help us by subscribing to our channel). We are currently a collective of 12 yoga practitioners at the Yoga Ranch and we have been developing protocols during the past week to limit the danger of the group spreading the virus, should one of us get sick. These practices include:

1. Stocking up on food and medical supplies so no one need leave the Ashram for purchases for several weeks if necessary to avoid bringing in the disease.
2. We have further sequestered ourselves by closing the Ashram to all outside guests, staff, workers, students etc. If and when we receive an outside person, we have set off an apartment with a private bathroom for them to pass a mandatory quarantine before interacting with other staff.
3. We have started hand washing, sanitizing procedures for staff as well as communally used facilities like bathrooms, office, kitchen, etc. We are even quarantining delivered packages for a few days before bringing them into the house.
4. We have instigated the same social distancing disciplines as outside the Ashram of small gatherings, (10 or less), keeping the six foot physical rule whenever we come for meals, Satsang, or class.
5. We have a registered nurse on staff who is advising us on all matters connected to the virus.

With all of these protocols we feel that we can safely both participate in the small Satsangs and group asana practice, and to share these practices with those of you who can not join us physically for classes as the Centres and Ashram are closed to the public. We do not consider this group practice as public gatherings any more than a family coming together who live in the same house. We are all in excellent health and are doing everything we can to maintain our health. Obviously our health plan Centres around our yoga and meditation practice as well as the healthy diet of the Ashram. We hope to be able to share our practice with you, as well as to bring to you via Zoom, teachers and musicians outside of the Ashram for as long as this crisis continues and we cannot meet in person. We are entering a new world, trying our best to continue our practice and service while respecting the new rules. We are learning everyday. We hope that you will continue on this journey with us. We hope to soon offer interactive workshops and classes via Zoom. Though our income stream has been cut off since the closings, we know that you too are being challenged economically and we are making all of our sharings free of charge. However, if you have the means and the concern we will accept any donations to help support our full-time staff during these challenging times.

With the blessings of Master and Swamiji all are in good spirits. Our Staff send Pranams to all! Om.

Sivananda Ashram Yoga Farm, Grass Valley, California, USA

Om Namah Sivaya. In April we offered a beautiful Hanuman Jayante Puja performed by Swami Vasishtananda ji, including a lovely discourse about Hanuman’s life and stories of his devotion and service to Sri Ram. We feel inspired and blessed that the Yoga Stress Relief Service continues to expand as many swamis and staff around the organization begin to participate. Swami Dharmananda taught the Meditation 2 course with an eager group of students learning mantra, Japa Yoga, and going deeper into Raja Yoga psychology. Efforts to build up our online offerings are underway. The response from students was very inspiring to see as we develop a dedicated online Satsanga.

The Ashram had very high energy even in our “Stay in Place” mode as the staff came together to share the teachings online and focus on Sadhana and self-study. Santanu taught the online Beginner Yoga course introducing the 5 Points of Yoga and how to establish a strong stay at home Yoga practice. We were grateful for Tara Durga Devi sharing her workshop on Positive Affirmations, teaching a very practical and simple technique to shift a specific negative thought to a specific positive thought to create new positive habits in the mind. The workshop was greatly appreciated by all and included many of our Yoga Stress Relief teachers. We also thank Niranjan Babu for a wonderful Vastu Shastra 4-day course sharing the Vedic knowledge to create healing energy with space and architecture, including the use of mantra. The course was well-attended with many students from India. The Yoga Stress Relief initiative is moving forward quickly under the guidance of Swami Sitaramananda. Meanwhile, garden work continued with planting of veggies and flowers; lawn mowing and weed-whacking were in progress. We thanked Keshava for labyrinth beautification. Hara and team completed the Gazebo refurbishment. We were grateful for this opportunity to serve. May all feel Master and Swamiji’s blessings. Om.

COVID-19 Update:
Blessed Yoga Farm Community, The Sivananda Yoga Farm is now closed, but we are happy to let you know that you can connect to the Ashram and to each other through our online classes, courses, and workshops. We are offering online Yoga classes every day at 8am and 4pm. Please visit yogafarm.org/online to easily join. We have also added 2 online 90-minute Gentle Yoga classes at 10:30 and 5:30 being taught from our LA Centre. We began offering online workshops, which can be found at yogafarm.org/programs. This weekend you can join us online for Stress Relief workshops from 1-3pm. Or next week M-F @ 7-8:30pm for a Meditation Course. We will also have twice weekly Satsangs online with acharya Swami Sitaramananda on Sunday and Wednesday evenings from 6-8pm PDT. This challenging time is our opportunity to turn inward, deepen our practice, and to keep our community strong and healthy. Through Satsang and our collective positive thoughts we support each other and the world. Om Shanti.

Sivananda Ashram Yoga Retreat, Nassau, Bahamas

Om Namo Narayanaya, Blessed Selves. May all be well and may this be an opportunity to turn inward to that which is eternal and ever-free. Om Shanti.

COVID-19 Update:
Due to the worldwide outbreak of COVID-19, we regretfully inform you that the Sivananda Ashram Yoga Retreat Bahamas will be closed until at least May 30, 2020.

The Prime Minister of The Bahamas, out of concern for Bahamian residents, has implemented international travel restrictions. As of March 24th, all airports are closed to incoming international flights.

We are currently not accepting any new reservations between now and the end of May. If you are booking for the month of May and beyond, see below our booking/cancellation policy. Our guests, TTC’s and Karma Yogis have made arrangements to return to their home countries. A small group has remained to maintain operations. We will continue to monitor the latest updates. Everything is tentative depending on the news.

Our online courses are fully operational. Please visit our Online Program page for the latest schedule. We look forward to continuing to add online programs, courses and guest speakers to our calendar. https://www.sivanandabahamas.org/travel-update/ Om.

Sivananda Ashram Yoga Retreat House, Reith or Mittersill, Tyrol, Austria

Om Namah Sivaya. In April the province of Tyrol was part of the global self-quarantine. We continued to serve students with free online classes. The online evening Satsangs were held in Reith for students all over Europe. Twice a week Satsang was shared with the Orleans Ashram. We took part in a joint European Easter Retreat with parallel asana classes in several languages. The priest Yagneshwara Dixit joined us for a morning Satsang from Bangalore India with live mantra recitations. Dr. Kamlesh gave an authentic cooking workshop from his home in Lucknow, India. In addition, Dr. Chandrika (Cordula Interthal) gave two lectures from Munich on how Ayurveda can improve our immune system and alleviate stress. With the help of karma yogis all over Europe, the whole program was translated into seven languages (German, French, Spanish, Italian, Russian, Polish and Lithuanian). Many students gave positive feedback. During these challenging times, the online technology helped us to reach out to many students in a way we had never imagined possible.

Meanwhile, later in April the free online drop in classes, Satsangs and the Fire of Yoga weekend workshops went well, with a steady attendance. We expanded the online events including the priest Yagneshwara Dixit, who gave a 2-day workshop on the Shanti mantras. By popular demand, Dr. Kamlesh gave another cooking workshop with a question and answer session at the end. In addition, Swami Ramapriyananda gave a 4-day Life Style course with cooking workshops, temporarily transforming the Ganeshahall into a small kitchen. We finalized the plans for the first online TTC starting on May 4. We developed several new workshops for the coming weeks and are looking into upgrading the online shop. It was a joy to share classes and Satsangs online with a steadily growing audience. OM.

COVID-19 Update:
During the corona shutdown, in view of the measures taken to contain the coronavirus, the Sivananda Yoga Retreat House is closed until further notice. Meanwhile receive all the latest information via our newsletter. https://www.sivananda.at/en/newsletter

Sivananda Ashram Chateau du Yoga, Orleans, France

Om Namah Sivaya. God Blessed the European Sivananda family with a wonderful Eastern weekend retreat in April. The students were very grateful for the beautiful Satsangs, the chanting, the asana workshops, the asana classes, the lively cooking class with Doctor Kamlesh and the interesting lectures on Ayurveda and stress management with Chandrika. The retreat gave a momentum to the rest of the activities. Life sent many students for the three daily asana classes, the daily Om Namo Narayanaya chanting and the Satsangs. We together with hundreds of people enjoyed a weekend’s workshops with Swami Sivadasananda, the four day practice of the Shanti Mantras with our priest Yaneswara from Bangalore and the cooking class with Dr. Kamlesh. Three new 4 day courses started. There was a positive thinking course in French with over fifty motivated students. There was also a Sanskrit course given by Sivakami in English and a Beginners’ Yoga course with a small group of new students. Parallel to the regular classes we had a well attended Open House in English with a cooking class given by Swami Bhagavatananda, an Introduction to yoga with a free beginners class. The permaculture project moved forward in big steps. We began eating the first vegetables from the garden. The Online Boutique is now up and running. The staff continued to get familiar with webcams, microphones and Zoom meetings… God blessed us with beautiful sunny and inspiring days. The teachings of the Masters continued to inspire hundreds of people every day. OM.

COVID-19 Update:
The Ashram de Yoga Sivananda is closed at the moment. We are offering classes and Satsangs online. You can keep in touch via our newsletter. For more information, please contact us on +33 (0) 2 38 91 88 82. Let us use this time like a period of spiritual retreat, during which we can regenerate and give us a fresh impetus to our spiritual practice, and contribute to the peace and health of the planet. Change in the world starts with our lifestyle. Modern technology makes all this possible. We can be connected together online! We now offer courses, retreats and Satsangs on Zoom. We look forward to continue to serve you in this way. Together, we can put to practice one of the instructions of Swami Sivananda: “Adapt to all situations”. Take care of yourself, take care of others. See you soon. OM.

Sivananda Ashram Dà Lat, Vietnam

Om Namah Sivaya from DaLat Ashram. In early April, the Sadhana Intensive students settled well into their routine of practice, gradually building up the practice each day. All are enjoying the fresh and clear air of the Dalat mountains. Some early rain (rainy season usually begins in May) meant that afternoon practice mostly had to be indoors. The Ashram staff were very busy with setting up and teaching of online courses – an introduction to meditation, taught by Shakti Chaitanya, and a course on Yantra painting taught by Saraswati. Both courses were much appreciated by students who asked for continuation courses to be offered. Swami Sitaramananda offered 2 online Satsangs, on the subjects of Stress Relief Counselling – from Darkness to Light, and on “How to turn Adversity into Opportunity”. Work continued on the program to offer stress relief counselling online. Staff continued a steady Sadhana, all in good spirits.

Our Sadhana Intensive course students continued very steady in their practice as well, with a significant increase in practice time. All did well, and enjoyed continued study of Hatha Yoga Pradipika and Srimad Bhagavatam. A graduation ceremony was held, course graduates were shining with increased prana. Online courses continued. Sivakami offered a course on proper nutrition and vegetarian cooking which proved very popular. Swami Sitaramananda offered online Satsangs with translation into several languages, which were well attended. Swami Narayanananda taught a two day introduction to classical Yoga with translation for students in South Korea. Satsangs in the Ashram were split into 3 groups to accommodate all while abiding by physical distancing guidelines. Morning staff enjoyed a special Satsang outdoors, which was followed by action to clean up the forest area around the Ashram, organized by our Swiss seva study participant Clement. Over 120kg of construction trash was collected! All are well, in good spirits and thankful to be in this beautiful location, taking opportunity of this time for reflection and turning inward. In gratitude for the grace and guidance of the Masters. Om.

Sivananda Ashram Tapaswini, Gudur, Andra Pradesh India

Om Namah Sivaya.

COVID-19 Update:
Due to the lockdowns announced by the Indian government, we will not be accepting any new visitors or guests to the Ashram until June 1, 2020. During this phase, we’ll be offering various classes, courses & programs online. Details regarding this can be found at sivananda.org.in/online-sessions. Please like our Facebook page to stay notified about live open classes, Satsangs & other programs. Our thoughts are with you all and we pray that you keep well and positive during these challenging times.

May Master and Swamiji bless us with true devotion and blessings be with us all! Pranams.

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Spiritual Calendar

MAY 2020

03 Ekadasi
07 Full Moon
18 Ekadasi
22 New Moon

JUNE 2020

02 Ekadasi
05 Full Moon
12 Mariamman Flag Hoisting
17 Ekadasi
21 New Moon
21 Pongala Festival

Keep your heart tranquil, pure and empty of desires or thoughts. – Sri Swami Sivananda

Glossary

VRITTI:

A thought-wave; mental modification; mental whirlpool; a ripple in the chitta.

CHITTA:

The energy of the mind.

Do not tell anybody except your Guru, the realizations and the visions and other experiences that you get during your Sadhana. – Sri Swami Sivananda

2020-05-03T00:12:29+00:00