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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. Transitioning into the month of October, the Yoga Camp began with a Navaratri festival. We had a regular guest program in the daytime with curious guests who attended the lectures on yoga philosophy and asked for guidance with their practice. In the evenings everyone would gather and walk up to the Subramanya Temple to celebrate the Divine Mother with Pujas, chanting, prayers, positive energy and delicious Prasad. Some of the guests were eager to come for a Puja every night of their stay, while some enjoyed in listening to stories from the scriptures about the Devi, that we read every morning in Satsang. For the staff members, the experience of this festival and intensified practice of bhakti yoga was unique and challenging at the same time. It shed light on the process of purification and power of devotion. Every day there emerged a different aspect of the Divine Mother as a gift to help us in the spiritual path. All the staff put their devotion to the Navaratri festival and providing support for everyone who came to the Ashram. The Navaratri weekend was more busy, both at the Ashram and at the Temple. We concluded the festival with joy, reflecting on the past 9 days and setting intentions for what is about to come in the future.

We were also grateful to have Mirabai with us as we welcomed new guests who came for Thai Yoga Massage Course. As this was an introductory course, for some of the students this was the first time in the Ashram and they were happy with the whole experience, already planning on coming again.

We organized a karma yoga evening and everyone, including guests, gathered to help deep clean the kitchen and dining hall. Teamwork again proved to be the most efficient way to keep energy levels high and get things done. Then the Ashram was pretty quiet with the regular guest program, workshops and asana classes. The weather improved right in time for the Canadian Thanksgiving weekend. The Ashram was again loud and joyous, as many kids arrived with their parents for a Thanksgiving Family Weekend. Not only because of the smell of pumpkin pies, but the whole atmosphere in the Camp felt warm and festive. Kids were the main helpers with decorations and cooking, along many other holiday activities we prepared for them. During Satsangs we reminded ourselves to be graceful and grateful for what life brings. Padmavati taught the weekend workshop on Bhagavad Gita, which was a perfect combination with the spirit of Thanksgiving. Some of the guests extended their stay especially for this program. Along with maintenance projects around the Ashram grounds, the staff was mostly focused on getting more involved with the guests, from holiday preparations for the families to getting ready for the upcoming TTC. Some of the staff went to nearby towns to spread the word and create stronger connection with local community. It is a great way to remind us of our purpose and follow Swamiji’s example on this never ending peace mission.

The first signs of frost and crisp air at the Camp foretold the approaching winter season, despite the still vibrant days and Ashram filled with guests and programs. We had a pretty enthusiastic group of guests, all inquisitive about the teachings and interested to spend time at Samadhi Estates and find out more about Swami Vishnudevananda. They concluded their Yoga Vacation with Padmavati and the lecture about the Power of Yoga. The Ashram was almost completely booked for the Juice Fasting program. Many guests came to detoxify and learn about purification from Suzanne and Sushila, who had been coming to hold this program for countless number times over the past years. Grateful to have visitors who are inspired by Swamiji’s vision, we welcomed David Caprara, a peace missionary and a senior executive in the Global Peace Foundation. He shared his insights from many peace initiatives that took place all around the world and made a connection between different schools of yoga following the same path. The Fall TTC teacher training, one of our main programs, was fast approaching in November, so the staff put a lot of effort into increasing the anticipation of the event, with the intention to promote it and expose the teachings to a wider community. They were handing out flyers, putting up posters and talking to people on the streets of Ottawa, Quebec City and Montreal, as a more direct way to bring people to the Camp. Along with guest services and daily Ashram duties, karma yogis had been working mostly on maintenance projects. Annapurna building was now finished. Painting projects moved to the Temple buildings. Everyone was happy to see Swami Shivabhaktananda return to the Camp, as he came back from India, ready to come up with new projects for the following weeks. May the Grace of Master and Swamiji bless you all.

Sivananda Dhanwanthari Ashram, Neyyar Dam, Kerala, India

Namah Sivaya to all. October brought Australian Yoga Vacationers to the Ashram – a grandmother, mother and child, who had been advising the Ashram on possible developments for the nursery school. They kindly left various toys and books for very young children. A neat new pathway, without steps, leading from the boutique to the men’s dorm was completed just in time before the start of the second monsoon of the year. The afternoon heavy rains, thunder and lightning started their routine. The temperature was comfortable. We hosted a good number of Yoga Vacationers. There were new arrivals plus many who stayed on from the last YV batch. Several attended the evening chanting in the Devi Temple where the extra Navaratri chanting was going strong. Morning Lalita Sahasranama Namavali in the Temple with Archana was maintained by a number of the Ashram’s paid staff.

After an introductory talk, a long-time practitioner and researcher, Dr. Krzysztof Stec gave a series of workshops on dynamic Surya Namaskar and yogic cleansing for health. The staff team increased with the return of Kannan and the arrival of Sankara and Julie from France. The whole Ashram was inspected for final repairs, maintenance and general improvements. The staff as a team have been working on the housekeeping store area.

The next Yoga Vacation cycle started again mid-week with a reasonable number of new guests as well as others continuing their stay. All appreciate the tropical beauty of the Ashram which is definitely at it’s best with all the heavy rain over the week. Despite the rain, with the grace of Master and Swamiji, timely dry spells have allowed guests and staff to enjoy the morning silent walks. Japanese karma yogi, Eri, unfortunately had to be admitted to hospital for appendicitis; it had to be removed and she is much better now. Suresh went for a few days visit to Netala Ashram for admin. purposes and to meet up with Prahlada ji. On Sunday, architect karma yogi, Shraddha came from Bombay for meetings with Prahlada ji and Trustee, Ravi sir to discuss the drawings of the planned new SIH building. Hopefully it will not take too long to get the required permissions from local authorities in order to get construction started. At the end of the week we were happy to welcome Shakti from Spain to the staff team for six months.

Children of local staff piled up their books at the Temple for the blessings of Mahasaraswati. As Navaratri continued, the pile of books for blessing increased. Vijaya Dasami, was a joyful culmination of Navaratri. Whole families of locals mixed with staff and guests at the Raja Rajeshwari Temple for the final Puja of the Divine Mother, represented by a kalasham (pot of water, mango leaves & water) over the last 9 days at the Navaratri shrine. This was followed by Vidyarambhan, the introduction of very young children to writing. Four two-year olds were skillfully handled by the mother/grandmother and the priest who wrote mantra on their tongues with a coin and then introduced them to writing in a plate of sand. Then followed the Kumari Puja where nine young girls, dressed in their best dresses and jasmine mala in their hair, sat in a row to be worshipped as nine forms of the Divine mother. They were very well behaved and received a set of cloth, bangles, etc. A group of staff then chanted Lalita Sahasranama Namavali with Archana whilst the rest of the children wrote in the sand followed by the adults also under the watchful eye of the divine mother. Finally everyone received their books back and immediately sat to begin their studies. At this point one older girl or young woman presented a short Carnatic dance piece to the divine mother for her blessings at the beginning of her dance studies. Her obvious skill made it clear she had already been practicing! When all were gone, a contented atmosphere remained. After Dasami comes Ekadasi for which a group of staff chanted the whole of the Bhagavad Gita. For Poornima (full moon) some staff chanted Lalita Sahasranama Nama Vali in the Temple again. In the meantime, staff were busy with groups of karma yogis, cleaning out the house-keeping basement and gardening around the health hut. The guests attended the Yoga Vacation program in good numbers. There was enough interest to arrange a Kanya Kumari trip. There has been some heavy rain with thunder and lightning but the silent walks were not affected. The painting of rooms and dorms was in progress, along with other basic repairs and maintenance, to make the Ashram ready for TTC next month. We were happy to welcome Vinod and Roxanne back to the Ashram. With the blessings of Master and Swamiji all are in good spirits. May Master and Swamiji bless us with true devotion. Om.

Link to the multiple videos and photo exhibits of the Neyyar Dam Ashram, including 360 degree views and a 90-minute Sivananda class, created for us by Google Arts & Culture. The videos can be found in the gallery.

Sivananda Ashram, Netala, Uttarkashi, Himalayas, North India

Om Namo Narayanaya – Greetings from Uttar Kashi. May Swamiji and Master’s blessings be with all. Om.

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

Om Namo Narayanaya. Namaste from Madurai. In October the first TTC of the season was off to a good start with 54 aspirants enrolled for the program. We had a beautiful Ganapati Homa to remove obstacles in the way of their learning quest and for the smooth conduction of the course. Students all seemed eager for the Yoga and Philosophy teachings that would give them guidance and clarity in their spiritual journey. The Rameshwaram trip though long was thoroughly enjoyed by all the students alike. Talent show showcased the students’ storehouse of energy with laudable performances of dancing and singing. With Master and Swamiji’s grace, we were very happy and grateful. Sending Prem and Om to all from our family of Guests, Students and Staff. Namaste. Om.

We would like to share a 2019 Madurai Ashram video. Please link here:

Also a brand new inspiring video about the Madurai Ashram TTC courses.

Sivananda Ashram Yoga Ranch Colony, Woodburne, NY, USA

October saw the Ashram celebrating the auspicious Navaratri. Our Ashram priest, Sankaraji, conducted powerful Pujas, each night, in honour of the Divine Mother, inspiring and cleansing staff and guests. Sankaraji also shared teachings each night following the Pujas about what he was doing during the Puja and why, based on the South Indian tradition of worship to the Divine Mother. There were also several guest programs. Lila Lolling, a long time Sivananda Yoga Teacher, taught Yoga for Healthy Backs. During this weekend program designed for yoga practitioners and teachers, participants learned the anatomical theory related to the spine as well as the subtle qualities of our back-body. Through hands-on assistance and visual cues, participants learned their own unique way to sit, stand, and walk that positively affects their mind, confidence, breathing, and life. Sundari lead a Vegetarian Cooking Workshop. Participants learned that “we are what we eat”, and what we eat affects the state of our body and mind. If we eat well, the energy is able to flow freely and we experience a better life. Participants learned our secrets for cooking delicious, healthy, and healing vegetarian dishes. Satyavati led a Goddess Weekend retreat. This weekend was filled with activities that inspired, empowered and celebrated participants inner Goddesses. Through Yoga, hiking, a Goddess workout, and a Native American Water Blessing Ceremony, participants awakened the Divine Goddess within. Sankaraji, Swami Paramananda and staff members traveled to the NYC Centre. Swami Paramananda taught an advanced asana class and Sankaraji conducted a Puja for Mother Saraswati for the people of NYC to enjoy!

We celebrating the final night of Navaratri and the Vijayadasami with beautiful and inspiring Pujas, led by our Ashram priest, Sankara Namboodiri. The following day the Ashram came together for a karma yoga night and deep cleaned the kitchen and then enjoyed apple crisp with vegan chocolate ice cream, golden milk, hot chocolate and popcorn. Swami Paramananda and several staff members traveled to NYC to Integral Yoga to participate in the Accessible Yoga Conference. The Accessible Yoga Conference is the world’s leading annual event, focused on making yoga accessible to people who are underrepresented and underserved in the yoga and wellness communities. Swamiji participated on the portion of the conference which focused specifically on Yoga and Veterans. We welcomed Heather Principe who conducted 2 Native American Sweat Lodges. Participants joined to help heal the earth through awakening their connection with nature and ancient Native American wisdom. Heather guided a traditional Native Cree Sweat Lodge ceremony of rebirth and purification.

A batch of guests participated in The Power of Positive Thinking Retreat, led by Jagadambika. This 5-day course offered numerous tools for empowerment and for improving the quality of everyday life. Participants examined the nature of their thoughts and learned to transform them, making way for a calmer mind and better relationships. Tere were 2 other special programs: The Yoga of Recovery program, taught by Durga Leela was an invitation for participants to undertake heartfelt self-reflection about the addictive processes that are experienced in life. Participants gained tools from Yoga and Ayurveda for profound healing of self-destructive habits and addictive personalities. The group learned emotional regulation, self-soothing techniques, deep relaxation, and participated in group sharing and attended optional 12-step meetings. The second program was a Chair Yoga training, conducted by Anjaneya, a longtime Sivananda yoga teacher. An inspired group of participants learned how to teach a complete Sivananda class with the use of a chair and explored how to adapt the class for those with limited mobility. Other topics taught included anatomy of aging, tools for communicating with a population that often has limited hearing and sight and how to approach retirement homes and community. Srinivasan, Swami Paramananda, Sitaram Chaitanya and Sankara Namboodiri traveled to Rabbi Zoe Zak’s Temple Israel of Catskill and participated in celebrating the end of Sukkot. Om.

Sivananda Ashram Yoga Farm, Grass Valley, California, USA

Om Namah Sivaya. In October we were blessed to welcome back Swami Sitaramananda ji from her travels teaching in the Vietnam TTC, participating in an India Yaatra, teaching at the China TTC and opening the new LA Centre. Also welcomed was Swami Adiparashaktiananda who was also teaching the China TTC and LA. The Navaratri celebrations concluded with a beautiful Vijaya Dasami Puja, performed by Swami Vasishtananda ji, with all guests and staff feeling the blessings of the Divine Mother as we began the next TTC. We received 20 students for this TTC. Most are from the US, with other students from Australia, Portugal, and Ukraine. The TTC initiation and Guru Puja was very inspiring with Swami Sitaramananda and the swamis sharing words of encouragement to introduce the course. The morning Ganapathi Homa by Swami Vasishtananda ji was beautiful, performed in the Krishna Temple, with all setting sankalpas for transformation, healing and Self-knowledge. Swami Sitaramananda taught Meditation and Satsangs; Swami Jnaneswariananda taught Anatomy and Physiology, Chanting, and Satsangs; Swami Dharmananda taught the Main Lecture and Satsangs; Swami Vasishtananda taught the Bhagavad Gita; Swami Adiparashaktiananda led the Hatha Yoga team.

The TTC students did well, completing their first week and settling into the Ashram discipline. The group was tightly knit, inspired to receive the teachings and learn the Yoga practices. Swami Sitaramananda and Swami Jnaneswariananda shared inspiring talks about the lives of Master and Swamiji, while Ambika introduced Ayurveda and the doshas to the TTC students. We thanked Peter van Gelder and Indranil Mallick for a beautiful and sublime sitar and tabla concert, much appreciated by the students and staff. The Fall weather was cool and ideal for Sadhana. The leaves changed colors as the staff progressed through beautification projects, painting, weed-whacking, deep cleaning etc. All felt Master and Swamiji’s blessings. Om.

Sivananda Ashram Yoga Retreat, Nassau, Bahamas

Om Namo Narayanaya, Blessed Selves. In early October we held the Navaratri festival with a special Puja every night. Karma yogis and guests contributed by preparing many delightful Prasads and arranging the Temple spaces each evening. VishnuPrasad Namboodiri conducted the Pujas for the first several nights. We welcomed back our priest Krishnan Namboodiri, who continued to lead the Navaratri celebrations with the assistance of VishnuPrasad. We also welcomed guest presenters Ambika Katie Papo and Steven Weiss. Ambika taught the program Yoga, Stress, and Food in a series of four well-attended workshops. Participants learned the principles of utilizing Yogic techniques to establish a positive relationship with food and lead a more balanced life. Steven Weiss began a series of workshops entitled Principles of Asana Alignment, which allowed participants to go deep with their asana practice while maintaining good alignment. People of all levels attended the workshops, and there was something of benefit to everyone in attendance. Morning Satsangs explored two distinct topics. Krishna Chaitanya presented Karma Yoga: Love in Action. During this three-day program, he drew from the teachings of Swami Sivananda to show how the practice of karma yoga transforms the way we conceptualize daily actions and purifies the mind. We continued to learn about purification of the mind in the three-day series Cultivating Virtues and Eradicating Vices, led by Iswara Chaitanya.

We celebrated the final night of Navaratri with special Pujas and Prasad. Krishnan Namboodiri performed the Vijaya Dasami Puja, which endowed everyone’s everyday objects with the blessings of the Divine Mother. We celebrated Dussehra with performative excerpts from the Ramayana, depicting the victory of Lord Rama over Ravana. We thanked all those who helped with the ten days of celebration: Krishnan Namboodiri and Vishnuprassad Namboodiri for performing the Pujas, Swami Brahmananda for teaching about the meaning of Navaratri, and to those who dedicated their time to decorate, clean, and prepare offerings for Prasad.

We warmly welcomed back Swami Shambhudevananda after his month-long sabbatical to Israel. Several guest presenters also joined us. Steven Weiss delivered a four-day workshop series entitled Principles of Asana Alignment. During the workshops, participants of all levels learned methods of alignment to aid in finding a steady, comfortable seat within each asana. We were also joined by the Mayapuris, an energetic musical group and longtime friends of the Ashram, who gave two exhilarating concerts and hands-on workshops. The highlight of their concerts was a riveting presentation of the mridanga, which included complex polyrhythms, deftly-synchronized dance and the spoken language of the drum. Other programs included a series of Satsangs, led by Swami Brahmananda, about the Four Paths of Yoga, as taught by Swami Vishnudevananda in the Meditation and Mantras book. Each Satsang detailed a different path. Narayani Chaitanya began a program on the Yamas and Niyamas, and Krishna Chaitanya presented Swami Sivananda’s teachings about life. Workshop attendees learned from Parvati Chaitanya about Swami Vishnudevananda’ Five Points of Yoga. Bhargavi gave a workshop on Yogic tools for overcoming fear in order to find inner peace, as well as a workshop on establishing a home practice. Karma yogis who arrived throughout the past two weeks had been learning about the Five Points of Yoga from Iswara Chaitanya in the Essentials of Yoga I course. The new karma yogis received well-established both in the foundations of asana and pranayama, as well as in their departments.

We welcomed guest presenters David Vago, Rukmini (Aira Guevara) and Jeff Migdow. In a program entitled Core Mindfulness-Based Meditation Practices: Experiential and Didactics, David Vago explored what happens with the mind in meditation from the perspective of neuroscience. The presentation of his research included the difference in response to pain between experienced meditators, beginning meditators, and non-meditators, as well as steps for how to label thoughts, sensations, and emotions in order to decrease the time spent in evaluation and increase the time spent truly in the present moment. Rukmini led three well-attended afternoon workshops on the use of Yoga and aromatherapy for reduction of stress, anxiety, and insomnia. Participants not only experienced the effects of aromatherapy first-hand, but they also received information they can take with them to use in daily life. Jeff Migdow taught the program Chakra Healing Through Movement, Meditation, Breath, and Sound. In these Satsangs and workshops, explained the significance of the seven primary chakras and guided attendees through meditations on each one in turn. He also incorporated practices of energy healing to remove blockages from the chakras. We had the pleasure of hosting teachers Robin Carnes and Larisa Harrington, who brought with them a group of veterans, who are students at Manhattan College. Throughout the weekend, they attended yoga classes and learned techniques of yoga and meditation for working with the mind and finding healing after the term of military service. Members of the senior staff also led several programs this week. Narayani Chaitanya explained the foundations of Raja Yoga in a series of Satsangs about the Yamas and Niyamas. Swami Shambhudevananda taught about the devotion of the disciple and what it means to relate to the spiritual teacher. Swami Brahmananda gave many practical examples about Living Vedanta, drawing primarily from Swami Vishnudevananda’s book Meditation and Mantras. Krishna Chaitanya spoke from Swami Sivananda’s Bliss Divine on the topic of Vairagya. A group of newly-minted positive thinkers celebrated their graduation on Sunday. During the weekend, Swami Shambhudevananda taught karma yogis and vacationers the principles of living an empowered life by harnessing the subconscious mind. May all continue to receive the blessings from Master and Swamiji. Om.

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

Om Namah Sivaya. The spiritual energy October was uplifted with the Navaratri Puja celebrations. Daily walks and asana classes focussed on different asana series. We had good interest during the TTC preparation workshop. Small groups joined us for the further education course ‘Relaxing with Yoga’. The lectures gave us insight into how yoga helps to reduce stress on all the body systems. Theme based asana classes put the theory into a practical perspective. Several staff members left to support the TTC in Rudraprayag.

We used this off-season time for various projects. Renovation works on the Seminar house bathrooms started and the new Vishnukutir kitchen was assembled. Other renovation works continued with staff working on different projects. The program for 2020, shop orders for Christmas, reorganizing in the Ganga house and preparing the garden for winter kept everyone busy. OM.

Sivananda Ashram Chateau du Yoga, Orleans, France

Om Namah Sivaya. OM.

Sivananda Ashram Dà Lat, Vietnam

Om Namah Sivaya from DaLat Ashram. In October we welcomed a group of eleven students for a week long program giving an introduction to the principles and practice of Ayurveda, taught by staff Shambhu. All staff busily prepared 3 weekend events, the largest being the course “Life without Disease”, taught by Vietnamese doctor and specialist in cancer prevention Dr. Hung. In addition we started a Yoga and Detoxification program, led by Dr. Ramadas. Ten students joined the first part of the three-week program. At the same time a group of 15 students arrived for our regular Yoga Vacation.

The Ayurveda Detoxification program continued with a new group of guests, under the guidance of Dr. Ramdas and Nitya. The new Ayurveda house was filled with energy and steady activity. Daily workshops on Ayurveda, led by Dr Ramdas, were greatly appreciated by guests and staff. We welcomed back Swami Narayanananda after 5 weeks away in China for TTC and programs in Chengdu. Regular Yoga Vacation programs continued as normal. We were happy to be able to have both morning Satsang and evening Satsang outside on the mountainside, in the morning to watch a beautiful sunrise, and in the evening to enjoy the light of the full moon and the warmth of a bonfire. All were busy with preparations for a large upcoming retreat where we will welcome more than 100 guests, and for the upcoming TTC.

Our Ayurveda team, under the guidance of Dr Ramdas and Nitya, continued to be busy as the next group of guests arrived for the next detoxification program. Guests reported receiving great benefit from the program plus the healthy air and environment of the Ashram. Saraswati left the Ashram to teach a special course in Ho Chi Minh City. We said farewell to Dr Ramdas who returned to India, at the same time we welcomed a new small group of participants who will stay for the final week of the 3 weeks of detoxification programs. SYHET practicum courses continued, we received many senior students who took special classes, taught by our soon to be graduating SYHET students. Yoga Vacation guests from Vietnam and international locations continued to arrive steadily. We were able to enjoy a beautiful evening Satsang outside on the hillside under the light of the full moon. Staff are well and inspired, thankful for Guru’s blessings. Om.

TTC ATTC Reports from other locations worldwide:

TTC China : The highlight was Navaratri celebrations with daily private Pujas with limited number of participants and two magnificent Pujas shared with the students. We have large beautiful murtis of Devis who became more and more attractive by the day. The students were grateful and blissful participating in the Puja and as much as they can chant the sweet chants of Devimahatmyam and the strong chants of Mahishasura Mardini stotrams.3rd week of TTC went smoothly with students starting their group teaching classes and studying Anatomy Physiology with Swami Adiparashaktinanda. By the end of the 3rd week, 19 students took mantra initiation and received beautiful yoga names. By the end of the 4th week, 22 students graduated as Yoga Siromani and one Booshana. There were tearful testimonies of personal self transformation as students expressed their gratitude at the graduation. The Holidays brought a group of Yoga Vacationners who enjoyed the daily schedule , specially the 2 concerts and one music and chant workshop of Atmaramdas. TTC graduates are happy to meet the teachers again and refresh their memories . There are about 200 TTC graduates now in China.

TTC Thailand: Om Namah Sivaya! Greetings from Thailand. We have just completed the 2nd week of TTC. On Monday night the students had study night, with many of them practicing for teaching and helping each other. Tuesday night we showed “In the name of Peace” during Satsang, once the video was over we could see that everyone had a better understanding of who Swami Vishnudevananda was, after seeing him and hearing him directly. Thursday morning was a very special day as we did the Kriyas! After an explanation by Prahlada on each of them and demonstration by staff, the students took their time in practicing them. Almost all of them tried each of the kriyas, and throughout the day they remained in high spirits. In the evening we had a bonfire we a lot of chanting, dancing and singing, this way the students were able to spend their energy and bond together as a group. Friday morning many of the students and some staff took advantage of the day off and did some local tourist activities. By Friday afternoon we had 38 students arrive for the Refresher course, and they set the mood for the rest of the weekend with their excitement and high energy. Their program schedule was very full with Prahlada leading the Satsangs, main lectures, morning pranayama and evening asana classes, and,Sandeep and Vijay teaching the morning yoga classes and 2pm workshop. All this while continuing to the TTC. Saturday night was the famous Sivananda Talent Show, our performers were mainly from Thailand and Japan, and they treated us to dances and songs. Throughout the week we also had guests arrive for yoga vacation program which was taken care of by Ivan. We had few staff join us during the week – Anjeli from Tokyo, Mirabai (Director of Tokyo Centre), Mangala and Ganga from Bangkok.

TTC Thailand: Greetings from Thailand! We have completed the 3rd week of the TTC, and everyone is high on energy. Wednesday morning 10 students took mantra initiation with Prahlad and he gave them their spiritual names on Thursday. Students learnt how to teach the open class on Thursday with Prahlad and started their teaching groups on Saturday. We had another exciting bonfire Thursday evening with a lot of dancing and singing, even the resort staff joined in with us. Prahald let on Thursday for his tour of the Centres and Ashrams in India, leaving Vijay and Sandeep in charge. Dr.Suneetha joined us on Friday to lead the anatomy and physiology lectures. We had 9 yoga vacation guests join us for the weekend. They had yoga classes and lectures wiht Ivan and even took part in the famous Sivananda talent show. We thought that the students had run out of talents, but they surprised with possibly the best show out of the last 3 weeks!! We had a beautiful walk up the mountains on Sunday morning, enjoying meditation up in the clouds, and Sunday evening energised ourselves with the Sunday prayers. Overall the staff and students are in good spirits and enjoying the last few days left in these beautiful mountains. With the Grace of the Guru’s the teachers, assistants and students are all doing well and happy. Pranams to all!

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During meditation you are in the presence of the Supreme Being. – Sri Swami Sivananda


PRAYASCHITTA [Sanskrit]: Atonement; Penance; Expiation.

Prayaschitta is of two kinds, viz., 1. Extraordinary (Asaadharana) and 2. Ordinary (Saadharana). Extraordinary penances are those which are prescribed in the Code of Manu for the destruction of particular sins. In doing Prayaschitta the offender actually suffers, he punishes himself by long fasting and other ordeals.

Action and reaction are equal and opposite. Complete fasting on Ekadasi and Pradosha days destroys many sins. Everyone should practice this. Bathing in the Ganga, Japa and ordinary pilgrimage constitute ordinary Prayaschitta for the destruction of small sins.

If you want vigour and vitality, become a true Brahmachari from this very moment. – Sri Swami Sivananda