Sivananda World News: The Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Ashrams
Sivananda Ashram Yoga Camp, Sivananda Headquarters, Val Morin, Quebec, Canada
Om Namah Sivaya. Greetings from the Sivananda Yoga Camp where we are currently open to restricted size retreats and TTCs only. Due to the restrictions on the number of people allowed at the Ashram, we will be able to welcome only students attending the pre-registered retreats during October. If you are interested in coming for the weekend only (Friday to Sunday), please register to the waiting list, shown at the bottom of the retreat description. One week before the retreat we will contact you if space is available.The next Teacher Training Course is November 15th-December 13th. Meanwhile, continue your practice from the comfort of your own home with our online classes/courses to assist in keeping you connected, inspired, and energized. Let us take this time to reconnect with ourselves through the practice. https://sivanandacanada.org/camp/Online-courses/
Meanwhile in September, at the Yoga Camp was at the threshold of our beautiful Fall weather as leaves changed colours and reminded us of the cycles of life and change. We concluded our second program after the TTC with a series on positive thinking, meditation and practices. The program was led by Swami Vairagyananda and attended by 19 guests. We included beginner and intermediate asana class series for our guests. Our week programs for COVID related logistics were structured from Tuesdays to Sundays and seem to be well accepted. Guests enjoyed the community life and being together for a few days where they get a good experience of the Ashram and practices. Slowly we started preparing the Ashram for the winter ahead of us. We closed one dorm, the staff cabins and bath house and a portion of the dorms bath houses as well. The staff were engaged in karma yoga and also very engaging in classes and Satsangs, which provided a good support for the guests. The Temple was busy on the weekends and very quiet on the week days. After the labour weekend, the school started and not many people visited during the week.
Mid September saw temperatures sliding to sub-zeroes, albeit in the single digits. We enjoyed the Fall, with a sprinkle of chill thrown in. We concluded a week long program, led by Atmaram on Self-improvement and maximum fulfillment. Guests gave good feedback on what they learned and the entire retreat. People left with a better understanding on their life and with tools to carry on their practice. Our province rolled out a new colour coded COVID regional alert system. Montreal was coded orange while Val Morin was marginally better at yellow. While keeping all required precautions, we remain hopeful that we are up, open and engaged with our community and guests, without having to go through another lockdown in the future. Hoping, wishing and praying we continued to prepare for and were looking forward to our next TTC. We busily geared up for the oncoming winter, regrouping spaces for guests residences in the Lodge. The staff, being limited in numbers, will be clustered in the registration building. This further helps mitigate the risk of excessive contact between the guests and staff during the current pandemic times. Temple functions continue with consistent number of devotees visiting and hosting Pujas during weekends, whereas week days are quiet. 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.
Sivananda Dhanwanthari Ashram, Neyyar Dam, Kerala, India
Om Namah Sivaya to all. Due to the unpredictability of the on-going COVID-19 situation nationally and locally we have had to change our opening dates. We request that you contact your local Centres and Ashrams directly for their latest update.
Meanwhile, at the Ashram in early September the Senior Yoga Teacher Training course started online, with the enthusiastic energy of Padmini from Delhi. The 30 students had training and practice four hours a day for four days, including some input on anatomy and physiology from Nataraj. All those in the Ashram attended a Guru Puja for Master’s birth anniversary in the Satsang. For this joyful occasion we were joined by directors and staff across India through Zoom. The 7 Day Challenge online was offered after a few weeks break. A good number of participants joined for the two and half hours of meditation, pranayama and asana every morning for a week. Karma Yogis, Gripson and Kartikeya transferred to the Trivandrum Centre to support with the online programs and hopefully with opening for onsite classes soon. Whilst Krishna Jayanthi was celebrated in August in the rest of India, it was celebrated in Kerala on the 10th Sept. Staff chanted Om Namo Bhagavate Vasudevaya during the day and then the Satsang was all Krishna bhajans in the Rama Hall, finishing with an hour at the Krishna temple for the birthday Puja followed of course by Prasad. The last few interviews for the Sept Online TTC took place and the last batch of TTC manuals were sent out with a prayer to be swift. Then the course started with the traditional inauguration Satsang online with Kapoorji in Delhi, Padmavati at Neyyar Dam, Sandeep and Parvathy at Madurai plus all the staff from the two Ashrams. Also quietly in attendance was an English online student who was kindly sponsoring bursaries for some of the students. It was a beautiful start with the students showing enthusiasm, wonder and excitement.
As September progressed, the online programs continued steadily although the India Centres began to open up, but with small numbers only having the courage to venture out so far. Karma yogis, Shiven and Chinmayi, left to return to their homes in Delhi and Japan. We thanked them for their service and looked forward to seeing them again sometime in the future. The first week of the TTC went smoothly. Kapoorji taught the 2 pm lectures; Padmavati taught the Bhagavad Gita; Parvathy taught chanting and A&P while Sandeep taught the Hatha Yoga Classes. With the reduced number of karma yogis, the Satsangs were with the TTC most mornings and evenings, giving the opportunity to refresh on the meditation theory and also various extracurricular subjects in the evenings. All the paid staff returned to the Ashram everyday now, for half a day. With lots of heavy rain, work in the agricultural area and gardens was limited. So the emphasis was on cleaning all the empty accommodations thoroughly in participation of a go ahead to re-opening… soon we hope. The voluntary staff continued their regular Sadhana alongside hosting and demonstrating for classes and courses. May all be blessed with a beautiful month. May Master and Swamiji’s blessings bring all good health and peace and that we continue to be useful for many. May all be blessed with peace of mind. Om.
Sivananda Ashram, Netala, Uttarkashi, Himalayas, North India
Om Namo Narayanaya from Uttar Kashi. The Uttar Kashi Ashram continues to be temporarily closed. Due to the lockdowns announced by the Indian government, we will not be accepting any new visitors or guests to the Ashram until further notice. 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. Om.
Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Meenakshi Ashram, Madurai, Tamil Nadu, India
Om Namo Narayanaya. Namaste from Madurai. Due to the unpredictability of the on-going COVID-19 situation nationally and locally we have had to change our opening dates. We request that you contact your local Centres and Ashrams directly for their latest update. Join us through online classes, courses and programs online. Sending Prem and Om to all from our family of guests and staffs. Our thoughts are with you all and we pray that you keep well and positive during these challenging times.
Meanwhile, in September we celebrated the Birth Anniversary of our Master, Swami Sivananda with a Guru Puja, conducted from the Dhanwantari Kerala Ashram with all the Indian Ashrams and Centres participating via Zoom online. Despite being online the connection and the bond could be felt amongst ourselves during this trying time. Also we had Akhanda (continuous) Naama Japa of Swamiji in our Mahakali Temple that culminated with an Arati at 5 in the evening. Another highlight was the inauguration of our second online TTC, with 32 students with one wild card entry for a Yoga Vacationer at Madurai Ashram. The online TTC classes commenced with a beautiful Ganapathi Homa, hosted by our Kerala Ashram, invoking blessings from the remover of obstacles. Though new for the students, they all seemed genuinely interested in the rituals and offerings and ventured with enthusiasm into their first class with an Asana Session. All the classes went smoothly with students easily getting in tune with the teachings of our Master and Guru. The online routine similar to our onsite course instilled discipline and spiritual values, exercising a positive influence on all students and everyone involved.
Sivananda Ashram Yoga Ranch Colony, Woodburne, NY, USA
Om Namah Sivaya from the Ranch. The Sivananda Yoga Ranch is currently closed to the public. Since the start of the pandemic, we put all our programs online. We are grateful for all your support and connection in these times! It has, and continues to be, an innovative time where we can see how easily accessible it is to connect & share the teachings of our Masters with people everywhere in the world! We encourage all to stay connected with the online yoga classes and online programs. Join us in meditations and Satsangs Sunday and Wednesday evenings at 7:30 pm (Eastern Time). The next Sivananda Yoga Teacher Training Online (TTC) Course (Yoga Alliance Certified 200 hours) is October 17 – November 14, 2020. https://sivanandayogaranch.org/
Meanwhile the staff remain at the Ashram. In September we welcomed 2 new residents. The residential program seems to be coming along and people enjoyed that they can have longer stays. It’s also nice for us to welcome new people and see faces offline! Renovations saw good progress, the garden produced many pumpkins!. Effort was made to keep the empty accommodations clean and sattvic for our residential program. We bid farewell to Mukundapriya, who served 2 months at the Ashram. It was good to have her support while she was here and we wished her all the best in her future endeavours. We also bid farewell to Apsara after one month here as a staff. She decided she will return to the Ashram shortly, so we are very happy to hear that news and look forward to her return. For news online, we continued with the offering of yoga classes. On Labor Day Weekend, we had a program on Ayurveda with Isvari. We thanked her for sincere service and teachings.
By mid September Autumn arrived in the New York Mountains. The brisk mornings motivated and uplifted us. Online we continued with programs – a start to the day with a morning pranayama challenge, followed by Srimad Bhagavatam Study. A Positive Thinking Course started which three of our karma yogis attended and enjoyed. A Yoga 2 with Meditation Course was taught by Neeti from the NYC Centre. Also offered was a nice workshop on Yoga for Healthy Bones & Joints, taught by Savitri Devi. As we stayed connected online, we also were very much present offline with the Ashram residential program, inviting guests to come for 2 week stays or more. We said farewell to a couple of the residents with more to come soon. We said hello to a few more karma yogis – Kaitlin, Lalita and Jean Marc. We were happy to have them here, on board with us! The Ashram grounds maintenance saw some progression with the renting of equipment to correct erosion problems especially re-grating and compacting the gravel driveway into place and also excavating gravel for a new pump house. Thanks to our staff Corey who worked extra hard on the project. With the blessings of Master and Swamiji all staff are in good spirits and send Pranams to all. Om.
Sivananda Ashram Yoga Farm, Grass Valley, California, USA
Om Namah Sivaya. Warm greetings to you from the Sivananda Ashram Yoga Farm. We are grateful for your love and support as the Yoga Farm continues to thrive in this challenging time. We are adapting along with you to keep Satsang with each other and to share the teachings in new and creative ways. The Grass Valley Ashram will remain closed at least until the end of 2020. We will keep you updated as events unfold as we consider the health of our guests and staff and the pandemic situation. Please visit https://sivanandayogafarm.org/yoga-classes-online/ to easily join Online workshops, classes and courses.
The next Sivananda Yoga Teacher Training Courses Online is October 17 – November 14, 2020 (for USA time-zones)
Your generous support to Swamiji’s mission will keep the Yoga Farm strong and vital during the pandemic. Please donate here: https://sivanandayogafarm.org/donation/
Meanwhile in September the Yoga Farm and the Yoga Ranch presented the Taste of TTC program to introduce the TTC teachings to new students and those interested in the October TTC. Topics were presented by Swami Sitaramananda (Importance of Lineage); Srinivasan (Bhagavad Gita; Chanting for Emotional Regulation); Swami Jnaneswariananda (Philosophy of Yoga; A&P of Hatha Yoga); Swami Dharmananda (Positive Thinking); Swami AdiParashaktiananda (Hatha Yoga Theory & Practice). The online event was very well attended and the students showed great appreciation for the teachings. Meanwhile, Swami Dharmananda taught the 5-day Gita Study course. Swami Vasishtananda led a beautiful morning Guru Puja in the RK Hall. The Ashram experienced heavy smoke in September from the California wildfires so we remained mostly indoors to protect our health. Thankfully we were safe and prayed for all affected by the fires.
Mid September, we were grateful to resume the Sivananda Yoga Health Educator Training program. We were supposed to meet in person for this time, but now are meeting online for Module 2 with focus on Yoga Philosophy (Swami Sitaramananda); Anatomy and Physiology (Sw Jnaneswariananda); Ayurveda (MahaVidya); Arun Deva (Ayurveda Yoga Therapy). The students nearly completed year 1 of the training and were eager to dive into the teachings. We also had a very special course with the beautiful 5-day History & Appreciation of Indian Art & Culture – Lectures and films with Benoy Behl. Benoy’s heartfelt presentation connected us to the paintings of the Ajanta caves, bronze and sandstone sculpture, sacred dance as devotion, and much more. The students were deeply moved and inspired by this wonderful course. The Ashram was beautiful as the fall weather arrived. The wildfire smoke has thankfully cleared. The staff and karma yogis are doing well. We are grateful for this opportunity to serve. May all feel Master and Swamiji’s blessings. Om.
Sivananda Ashram Yoga Retreat, Nassau, Bahamas
Om Namo Narayanaya, Blessed Selves. Our reopening date is scheduled for November 1st, 2020. There is still a small group of us on property who are maintaining the Ashram way of life through daily Satsangs, yoga and teachings.
Meanwhile, in September in the Bahamas, we celebrated the birthday of Swami Sivananda Saraswati with a morning Puja in the main temple, as well as an Indian feast for supper and Akhanda kirtan from eight in the morning until eight at night. During the Puja, we processed around the Ashram and paused at the dock to welcome the rising sun to the serene accompaniment of lapping waves and calling gulls. Later in the week, we gathered again in the main temple for a Puja in honor of the Devi and one’s Ishta Devata. A couple of weeks ago, we began to have regular Puja on Saturday evenings in order to maintain a high vibration within the Ashram and to contribute to the upliftment of humanity through the subtle powers of prayer and devotion. Throughout several Satsangs, Jnaneshwari Chaitanya regaled us with tales both inspiring and heart-rending from the voluminous epic Mahabharata. This time we heard about how the Pandavas and Kauravas came to young adulthood, and next week we will hear more about the events that eventually led to the fateful battle of Kurukshetra. In addition to continuing to stream our Satsangs and yoga classes daily, a couple of new online courses began this week: Krishna Chaitanya taught Healing Stress Through Yoga and Swami Paramananda gave lessons on Cultivating Yamas and Niyamas.
We celebrated Rosh Hashanah (the Jewish New Year) with a traditional seder which consisted of a delicious feast, prayers, and beautiful songs. Swami Swaroopananda and Swami Brahmananda led the seder, Swami Hridyananda led several songs, and honored guest Swamini Atmaprakashanandaji joined us for the festivities. Spirits were high as everyone worked in harmony to decorate the hall and prepare the meal. At the conclusion of the feast, we celebrated Swami Paramananda’s birthday. The following day, Krishnan Namboodiri led a Puja in the main temple in honor of Bala Krishna. On Sunday afternoon, Swami Paramananda gave the successful webinar Cultivating Non-Attachment. The other online courses continue to go well, and preparations are underway for the upcoming courses. In the Satsangs, we heard the tragic tale of Radheya in a continuation of Jnaneshwari Chaitanya’s series of stories from the Mahabharata. Rukmini Chaitanya picked up the storytelling from where the Mahabharata ends by beginning a series of tales from the Srimad Bhagavatam. We continue to send our prayers to the worldwide community. May all be well and may this be an opportunity to turn inward to that which is eternal and ever-free. Om Shanti. Om.
Please visit our Online Program page for the latest schedule. https://sivanandabahamas.org/visiting-the-Ashram/Online-program/ We look forward to continuing to add Online programs, courses and guest speakers to our calendar. https://www.sivanandabahamas.org/travel-update/
Sivananda Ashram Yoga Retreat House, Reith or Mittersill, Tyrol, Austria
Om Namah Sivaya. The Seminarhaus is open. We look forward to seeing you for a relaxing yoga vacation in the mountains and Nature. We offer live Online Yoga Classes, Workshops, Talks, Teacher Trainings and group Meditations. Receive all the latest information via our newsletter. https://www.sivananda.at/en/newsletter
In September the TTC students progressed nicely with their program. The atmosphere was joyful yet focused. The vacation guests were grateful for the opportunity to be here and take part in the yoga classes, Satsangs and walks in nature. The live online yoga classes, webinars and Satsangs continued also. From India, the priest led us in a series of elevating Pujas for Masters Birthday and the Divine Mother Sarasvati, with recitation of the Lalita Sahasranama. We had the second part of the very interesting online webinar with Marilyn Rossner on The Eternal Journey of the Soul.
As September progressed so did the TTC course, with the students enjoying the course very much. The vacation guests were happy to take part in the yoga classes, Satsangs and walks in nature. We had a little ceremony to reinstall the ‘Kitz’ mountain goat statue in front of the Seminar House. TTC’s from this and the previous TTC newly painted our ‘Kitz’ in a shining gold color. The live online yoga classes, webinars and Satsangs continued. From India, the priest led us in elevating Pujas for the Divine Mother Lakshmi with recitation of the Lalita Sahasranama. We prayed for our Gurubais to remain safe and healthy. We were thankful that we are able to serve the students both online and at the Retreat House. OM.
Sivananda Ashram Chateau du Yoga, Orleans, France
Om Namah Sivaya. As a precautionary measure due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we will not have yoga retreats or day visitors during the month of October 2020. We will only welcome students from the Teacher Training Course. We aim to re-open the Ashram for Yoga
Vacation October 30th. For more information, please call us on 02 38 91 88 82.We continued to offer special interest courses online. You can keep in touch via our newsletter. The teachings of the Masters continued to inspire hundreds of people every day. 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.
Meanwhile at the Ashram in early September, we were joined by a group of yoga vacationers for the yogic detoxification week. They thoroughly enjoyed their stay which included a day of juice fasting and kriyas. Alongside, we had a further teacher training on how to teach yoga to children, with Ananta. The course was well attended, given the timing and the world’s situation. The teachers much appreciated the insights, ideas and inspiration for teaching as well as for their own practice. We continued to contribute two Satsangs online with the European team, with the Ashram guests participating. This left them inspired to join online once they return home. A good number of students joined the free course with Dr Kamlesh on Ayurveda while we had a nice small but sincere group of students for the course with Dr Marilyn Rossner. A couple of staff members were away.
We completed a certificate course with Swami Kailasananda – “How to Find Purpose in Life”. There were guests at the Ashram for the course as well as online students. Soon after it was decided to close the Ashram. The expected guests reacted positively to the decision. During the closure, we prepared the Ashram for the October TTC, taking a set of precautionary measures for the health and safety of the students and staff. While we have no guests at the Ashram, staff took time to do extra japa collectively. New staff members had a chance to try their hand in the kitchen. September also felt that nature was taking this opportunity to mark its presence with birds singing very strongly and the flowers shining very brightly. Vishwakarma arrived from London to start building a larger platform and roof around our Kanya Kumari shrine. Please accept this invitation to join us for the Unite for a Healthy Planet worldwide meditation – Every 1st Sunday of the month at 2PM Continental European Time, for 30 minutes. https://sivanandaorleans.org/unite-for-a-healthy-planet
Sivananda Ashram Dà Lat, Vietnam
Om Namah Sivaya from DaLat Ashram. The DaLat Ashram is open. In September Asia Online TTC continued well into its second week. A very special occasion was the participation of teacher and musician Ram Vakkalanka, who gave a talk on Nada Yoga and played some beautiful ragas on sitar. All other online classes and Satsangs went well. The TTC students, who are all supported by a daily meeting with individual mentors, all passed their first week exam. At the Ashram we began a course in Ayurveda and Ayurvedic massage. Our experienced therapists at the Ashram did the teaching, directed and supported online by teacher Nitya, along with doctors from Vaidyagrama in Coimbatore, India. At the Ashram we continued to receive regular yoga vacation guests and new seva study participants. The rainy season continued, albeit we enjoyed beautiful sunny mornings, and the occasional Satsang outside to watch the sunrise.
During mid September we started a building project to replace our existing, temporary dining hall with a permanent structure. After the existing structure was removed, we helped a Puja ceremony on the site of the new construction to pray for the smooth completion of the project and the good future functioning of the building. We were excited to see this improvement of the facilities and grateful to the local benefactors who made this project possible with their financial support. The Ayurvedic massage course continued, with students making good progress in both practice and theory. The Asia TTC Online continued, Students were very steady in their study and practice. The Anatomy and physiology classes started, taught by Swami Pranavananda from the Ho Chi Minh Centre. We were happy to have Keilko Shanti, from Tokyo, also joining the teaching team. Keiko offered two classes on karma according to Jyotish, giving a clear exposition of the subject that was much appreciated by the students. TTC students also began their group teaching practice, facilitated by Swami Adiparashaktiananda from the California Ashram. Later in September Vietnam returned to the status of having community transmission of COVID-19 so several courses at the Ashram were postponed, We decided not to accept new guests during the current outbreak of COVID-19, however, TTC continued as usual, though with stringent daily checks and reporting to local government health officials. The Staff continued to be inspired and looked forward to busy times in the coming months, grateful for Guru’s grace and protection. We were grateful for the Guru’s blessings.
Sivananda Ashram Tapaswini, Gudur, Andra Pradesh, India
Om Namah Sivaya. Due to the unpredictability of the on-going COVID-19 situation nationally and locally we have had to change our opening dates. We request that you contact your local Centres and Ashrams directly for their latest update. 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. Om.
01 Full Moon
01 Full Moon
Sacrifice is truly the sacrifice of egoism. Realize the Self or Atman. You will then realize that Life is a waking dream. – Sri Swami Sivananda
ANTARYAMIN – The Inner Self. the Inner Controller. The Supreme Indweller.
The Inner Controller that exists in a person. The Antatyamin manifests intuitively to that person.
May the Lord, the Antaryamin, the Supreme Indweller, inspire all to attempt mind-control and Yoga. May He bestow success on the sincere aspirants that struggle to master the unruly mind. May you reach the Goal of Life, Immortality, Supreme Knowledge and Bliss. – Swami SivanandaEquip yourself with these means: Hear. Reflect. Meditate. Then alone can you have Self Realization. – Sri Swami Sivananda
SWADHARMA – swa, own; dharma, duty
Dharma means the way, literal law or duty. A person’s swadharma is their own unique role in life or way of being in the world, which it is their duty to realize and fulfill.
Equip yourself with these means: Hear. Reflect. Meditate. Then alone can you have Self Realization. – Sri Swami Sivananda