The International Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centres is a non-profit organization which, for over 50 years, has been sharing the teachings of classical hatha yoga and Vedanta (yogic philosophy) as a means of achieving physical, mental and spiritual well being and self-realization for all.
Over 26 thousand teachers have been trained through the organization. The organization is named after Swami Sivananda who in his lifetime, was responsible for promoting the philosophy of Yoga and Vedanta in India. He was also the founder of the Divine Life Society, still in existence today, and the author of more than 200 books. His legacy was carried on by Swami Vishnudevananda who brought the teachings to the West.
The Yoga Camp
Swami Vishnudevananda was sent by Swami Sivananda in 1957 from his Ashram in Rishikesh, Himalayas, to bring yoga to the West. After travelling extensively in the Far East and the USA, Swamiji settled in Montreal in 1959 and established his first yoga centre there on boulevard Saint-Laurent, where it remains to this day.
During the summer weekends Swami Vishnudevananda noticed a considerable drop in class attendance, as people left the city to enjoy nature in the countryside. He devised the concept of a Yoga Vacation and held his first Yoga Camp in 1961 in nearby St Hippolyte. The Camp was a resounding success and an increasing number of visitors spent their weekends practicing yoga under his guidance. He realised the need for a permanent base and was drawn to Val Morin, nestled in the ancient Laurentian mountains. In February 1962 the present site of the Yoga Camp was established. Students worked tirelessly to clear the land and in the summer of that year the Sivananda Ashram Yoga Camp was opened.