Swami Sivananda (1887 - 1963)
The spiritual strength behind the Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centres, Swami Sivananda's teachings are a synthesis of all the formal doctrines of yoga. Author of more than three hundred books on yoga, Swami Sivananda was a medical doctor before renouncing worldly life for the spiritual path. His main message was: Serve, Love, Give, Purify, Meditate, Realize. In 1957, he sent one of his foremost disciples, Swami Vishnudevananda to the West to spread the ideals of yoga. Swami Sivananda entered Mahasamadhi on July 14 1963.
Swami Vishnudevananda (1927 - 1993)
Born in South India in 1927, Swami Vishnudevananda entered the ashram of Swami Sivananda at the age of 18. A world-famous authority on hatha and raja yoga, Swami Vishnudevananda founded the International Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centres in 1957 and was author of The complete Illustrated Book of Yoga, Meditation and Mantras, Karma and Disease and a commentary on the Hatha Yoga Pradipika. Swami Vishnudevananda entered Mahasamadhi on November 9, 1993.
Executive Board Members
The Executive Board of the Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre is comprised of senior disciples of Swami Vishnudevananda, personally chosen by him to direct the organization after his departure. Each of them has had many years of experience in teaching all aspects of yoga. They are renowned for their devotion to Swami Vishnudevananda and Swami Sivananda and their profound knowledge, inspirational teaching and guidance, and their wisdom imparted to many thousands of students throughout the world.
To contact the Executive Board Members email HQ@sivananda.org
Swami Mahadevananda was born in Rome, Italy in 1939. Swami Mahadevananda spent the early years of his life traveling throughout Europe, the U.S. and Canada on a quest to find his life purpose. In 1968 during a visit to Canada he was introduced to Swami Vishnudevananda at the Sivananda Ashram Head Quarters in Val Morin, Quebec. Since that meeting, Swami Mahadevananda dedicated his life to learning yoga, and serving Swamiji and his mission.
New year's day, 1972 Swami Mahadevananda was initiated into the holy order of Sanyas by Swami Vishnudevananda. Swami Mahadevananda served as the director of the Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre in Montreal, Canada for ten years (1969-79) During this time, a period of two years was also spent overseeing the Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centres in New York, Los Angeles and Washington D.C.
In 1979 Swami Vishnudevananda sent Swami Mahadevananda to serve the people of India. Swami Mahadevananda was appointed the Director of the newly founded Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Dhanwantari Ashram located in the small village Neyyar Dam, in Kerala, South India. To this day Swami Mahadevananda continues to serve as director of this Ashram, and has gone on to open centres throughout India (Trivandrum, Chennai, Delhi, Madurai, Mumbai and Uttar Kashi). He is the present Acharya of all Ashrams and Centres throughout India and Canada.
Swami Mahadevananda travels extensively throughout the year propagating the teachings of yoga with devotion and deep insight. As one of the main teachers for the International Sivananda Yoga Teachers Training Course, Swami Mahadevananda has touched the hearts of future generations of yoga teachers and spiritual seekers around the world.
Swami Durgananda was born in Cologne, Germany in 1943. After a period of intense spirtual quest and study in Rishikesh and various Ashrams in India, Swami Durgananda, following a recommendation from the Sivananda Ashram in Rishikesh, met Swami Vishnudevananda in 1973, at the Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre in San Francisco.
She was trained in Yoga by Swami Vishnudevananda and received Sannyas initiation on New Years Day in 1976. As one of his most senior and closest students, she accompanied Swami Vishnudevananda during his many travels both in the East and the West.
Following the wish of Swami Vishnudevananda, Swami Durgananda went to Europe in 1975 to establish the Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centres. She was appointed director of the European Sivananda Centres in 1984, and was personally guided by Swami Vishnudevananda in the training of Yoga teachers. She received from him the title of "Yoga Acharya", thus becoming one of his spiritual successors. She has guided with deep intuition many people on the spiritual path and teaches meditation, yoga psychology, nutrition, positive thinking, mythology and eastern philosophy.
Swami Durgananda founded the Sivananda Yoga Retreat House in Reith bei Kitzbühel in the Tyrol region of Austria in 1998. The Retreat House attracts people from all over the world for Yoga Vacations. It year-round programmes are highlighted by the Sivananda Yoga Teachers Training Course and Advanced Teachers Training Course.
Srinivasan was born in California in 1952. Awakened to his spiritual commitment amidst the brutality of the Vietnam War, Srinivasan studied at UC Berkeley looking for some social or political answer to human suffering and cruelty. Frustrated by all attempts at finding a material solution, he left for Quebec in 1977 to find his guru and yoga master in Swami Vishnudevananda at the Sivananda headquarters in Val-Morin. Swami Vishnudevananda was a living example that the greatest offering to world peace and brotherhood was a total commitment to service and meditation. Srinivasan was initiated into the Sannyasa order in 1979 by his guru, and he served under the close guidance of Swami Vishnudevananda at the Sivananda headquarters in Val Morin for over ten years. Srinivasan was the director of the Val-Morin ashram from 1992 - 1994. He also directed the Paris Centre from 1980 - 1983 and the Los Angeles Centre from 1983 -1986. Since 1994, Srinivasan has served as the Acharya for the Sivananda Ashram Yoga Ranch, the New York and Chicago Centres, and the affiliated Sivananda centres of the eastern region of the USA.
Srinivasan and his wife served together as householder disciples in the Sivananda Organization for 21 years while raising their daughter. Swami Vishnu blessed the marriage with the instructions to "live like Rishis"; and the Guru's last instructions to Srinivasan were to "be a good father" not only to his daughter and wife, but to the whole world." This great blessing has helped Srinivasan to hold a profound respect for the sacred monastic order of Sannyasa, as well as to understand the spiritual importance of the Grihastha, or the householder stage of life.
Srinivasan has dedicated his life to the path of Inner Peace and Unity in Diversity as taught and lived by Swami Sivananda and Swami Vishnudevananda. With this vision, he heads a community of Yoga practitioners at the New York Sivananda Ashram Yoga Ranch; he acts as the American editor of the Yoga Life magazine; he is now studying world religions in the All-Faith Seminary with the great Interfaith Rabbi Joseph Gelberman; and like all the Sivananda Acharyas, he trains Yoga teachers and tours extensively propagating the teachings of Yoga."
Swami Swaroopananda is a senior disciple of Swami Vishnudevananda. A practicing yogi from a very young age, Swami Swaroopananda has dedicated the past thirty six years to the practice and teaching of yoga. He is a member of the board of directors of the International Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centers. He is the director of the Sivananda Ashram Yoga Retreat and the Acharya for the Sivananda centers and ashrams on the West Coast of the United States, the Middle East, and the Bahamas.
HEADQUARTERS - SIVANANDA YOGA ASHRAM YOGA CAMP
673 8th Avenue,
Val Morin, Quebec,
Canada J0T 2R0
The International Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, with ashrams and centres around the world, was founded by Swami Vishnudevananda and is a non-profit organization whose purpose is to propagate the teachings of yoga and vedanta as a means of achieving physical, mental and spiritual well being and Self-realization.