Sadhana Intensive is a two-week program devised by Swami Vishnudevananda based on his own hatha yoga sadhana in the Himalayas. He said that six months of this intensive practice gave him the energy to carry out his mission of spreading the teachings of yoga in the West for next 40 years.
This course is based on individual self-practice divided into two or three sessions per day. The emphasis is on intense and prolonged pranayama. Students work towards eight hours of hatha yoga per day which is balanced by the study of classical scriptures.
The course demands a high level of self-discipline and students are guided according to individual needs. Students are expected to remain within the ashram premises throughout the course with no free days, no access to telephone or email and a strict sattvic diet (salt, spice, tea and sugar free).
The highly controlled environment is vital for this type of practice.
The course requires some preparation from the student. Interested students are advised to prepare by following a regular daily hatha yoga practice and a sattvic lifestyle. Sound physical and mental health is a pre-requisite.
Sadhana Intensive affords a unique opportunity to extend the limits of our capabilities, strengthen our stamina and develop self-confidence with long lasting effects.
- Explanation and practice of advanced pranayama, bandhas (locks) and mudras (seals).
- Daily self practice of asana.
- Practice of shat kriyas (cleansing techniques).
- Meditation and chanting.
- Keeping spiritual diary.
- Mouna (at certain times of the day) to conserve the vital energy
- Study of:
- Viveka Chudamani by Sankaracharya A standard text on Vedanta philosophy which describes the practical methods towards realizing the Self and the necessary preparations for it.
- Hatha Yoga Pradipika by Yogi Swatmarama with commentary by Swami Vishnudevananda. This classical text on Hatha Yoga explains in detail asanas, pranayama, Mudras, Bandhas and the process of awakening the Kundalini.
- Srimad Bhagavatam by Vyasa Maharishi is one of the most important works on Bhakti Yoga. Listening to these stories fills the mind with universal love and opens the heart, which is the key to experiencing the deepest levels of Hatha Yoga and for the practice of Bhakti yoga.
- Sadhana Intensive course manual (supplied)
The daily schedule includes:
- Practice of kriyas.
- Morning and evening satsang with meditation and chanting.
- Two or three practice sessions of asana and advanced pranayama incorporating bandhas and mudras.
- Study of Hatha Yoga Pradipika / Viveka Chudamani / Srimad Bhagavatam.
- Morning almond milk drink, brunch and dinner.
Participation in entire daily schedule is mandatory. The course director may change the schedule according to the need of the students.
Sadhana Intensive courses are open only to Sivananda Teachers Training Course (TTC) graduates. Good physical and mental health as well as a high degree of self-motivation are required due to the very intensive nature of the course.
An internationally recognized certificate from the International Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre organization (ISYVC) is awarded on completion of the course.
How to Apply
Look at the schedule of upcoming Sadhana Intensive courses. To apply visit the website of the location offering the course for an application form and modes of payment.
What to bring
Copies of the texts, personal toiletries, towel, asana mat, meditation cushion, comfortable footwear, warm clothing and shawl are useful. The ashram boutiques stock most of these items including books, stationery and clothing.
Remember to take your TTC uniforms and a copy of your TTC diploma. Students are expected to wear their uniforms during satsang and lecture times.
Uniforms are not provided for the course but are usually available for purchase at the ashram boutique.