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The Founders
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Swami Sivananda (1887–1963)

  • Was one of the great yoga masters of twentieth-century India:
  • Humanitarian work as a respected doctor in Malaysia
  • Intensive study and practice of yoga and meditation in Rishikesh, Himalayas
  • Founded the Divine Life Society in Rishikesh (an ashram that later developed into an international organisation)
  • Published more than 200 books in English on all aspects of yoga
  • Trained outstanding yoga masters, who would be instrumental in giving classical yoga the great reputation it now enjoys throughout the world
  • Established the Yoga Vedanta Forest Academy in Rishikesh, which would become the model for the first Yoga Teachers’ Training Course in the West
  • Carried on personal correspondence with yoga students worldwide
  • Swami Sivananda integrated all known yoga systems, teaching a yoga of synthesis which is the basis for the modern practice of yoga in the West

"Serve, love, give, purify, meditate, realise” – these teachings are the spiritual strength behind the Sivananda Yoga Centres and have inspired spiritual aspirants around the world to live a life of brotherly love and spiritual unity

Find out more about the life and legacy of Swami Sivananda >>

Swami Vishnudevananda (1927-1993)

  • Is an internationally recognised authority on yoga and the founder of the International Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centres
  • Training and intensive practice as a close disciple of Swami Sivananda
  • Professor for Hatha Yoga at the Yoga Vedanta Forest Academy in Rishikesh, Himalayas
  • “Go to the West. People are waiting” – in 1957, Swami Vishnudevananda leaves India on the instruction of his teacher; over 35 years of pioneering work in spreading yoga across the globe begins
  • The Complete Illustrated Book of Yoga, a best-selling book for the modern yoga practice, is published in 1960
  • His mission: Universal peace. He was convinced that outer peace cannot exist without inner peace. He became the first yoga master in the West to develop a comprehensive training programme for yoga teachers, who would then inspire countless numbers of people in turn
  • In 1969, the first Yoga Teachers’ Training Course in the West (Canada);
    today, some 1,000 students graduate each year
  • 1970 marks the beginning of symbolic peace flights to the world’s trouble spots (Northern Ireland, the Middle East, divided Berlin) under the motto: “Man is free as a bird.” His appeal to mankind: “Man is free as a bird, overcome man-made borders with flowers and love, not with guns and bombs!”
  • The first Sivananda Yoga Centre in Europe (Vienna) is established in 1974;
    today there are more than 70 Sivananda Centres and Ashrams worldwide
  • In 1985, the first Teachers’ Training Course in Europe (Spain)
  • Swami Vishnudevananda taught classical yoga in five basic points
  • “Health is wealth, peace of mind is happiness, yoga shows the way.”

Find out more about the life and legacy of Swami Vishnudevananda >>

Swami Sivananda
Swami Sivananda
Swami Vishnudevananda
Swami Vishnudevananda
The Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre

The Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre was founded by renowned authority on Hatha Yoga and Raja Yoga, Swami Vishnudevananda in 1957.
He was sent to the west by his Master, Swami Sivananda to spread the ideals of yoga and vedanta with the words 'people are waiting'.
Yoga Vedanta

Swami Vishnudevananda's Five Points of Yoga

By closely observing the lifestyles and needs of people in the west Swami Vishnu-devananda synthesised the ancient wisdom of yoga into five basic principles that could easily be incorporated into one’s own lifestyle to provide the foundation for healthy living. It is around these five principles that the activities at the Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre are based.


• Proper Exercise(Asanas) acts as a lubricating routine for the joints and muscles and other parts of the body by increasing circulation and flexibility. The asanas not only produce physical benefits, but are also mental exercises in concentration and meditation, promoting optimum good health.
• Proper Breathing (Pranayama) connects the body to the solar plexus, where tremendous potential energy is stored. Through specific breathing techniques this energy is released for physical and mental rejuvenation.
• Proper Relaxation (Savasan) is a vital part of keeping the body and mind healthy.
Yoga teaches three levels of relaxation – physical, mental and spiritual.
• Proper Diet (Vegetarian) is eating with awareness. A yogi takes food which has the most positive effect on the body and mind and the least negative effect on the environment.
• Positive Thinking and Meditation (Vedanta and Dhyana) relieves stress and replenishes energy. Meditation is well-known to improve concentration and to bring peace of mind and spiritual strength. Meditation is beneficial for everyone, especially those with a hectic, stressful life.

Teaching in London for Over 30 Years
The Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre has been teaching yoga in London since 1972 and the present Centre has been in Felsham Road Putney SW15 since 1991. It is ideally situated in a quiet residential area located just off Putney High Street within short walking distance of Putney Bridge and East Putney tube. Putney main line station is also nearby. The Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre is a non-profit organisation run by voluntary staff and dedicated to the aim of disseminating the knowledge of yoga.
Activities at the Centre Include:
• Daily drop-in Yoga Classes
• Free Trial Class - a 'taster' yoga class for beginners
• Open House - a free introduction to yoga
• Advanced Yoga Class
• Pensioners Yoga Class
• Pregnancy Yoga Class
• Children's Yoga Class
• Beginners' Yoga Courses (Yoga 1)
• Intermediate Yoga Courses (Yoga 2 and Yoga 3)
• Advanced Yoga Courses
• Meditation and Yoga Philosophy Courses
• Satsang - group meditation, chanting and talk on the philosophy of yoga.
• Saturday Workshops including Positive Thinking, Prana the Vital Energy,
  Finding Purpose in Life, Mantra and Kirtan (chanting) plus others.
• Special Programmes with guest speakers
• Cooking Workshops
• Ayurveda Workshops
• Yoga Teachers' Training Courses
• Advanced Yoga Teacher' Training Courses
• Yoga Vacations
• Yoga Retreats
• Yoga Shop
Yoga balances, harmonises, purifies and strengthens
the body, mind and soul of the practitioner.
It shows the way to perfect health, perfect mind control and
perfect peace with one's Self, the world, nature and God."
Swami Vishnudevananda

Voluntary Service
The activities of all the Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centres take place through the practice of karma yoga (voluntary service).
omAll talents are welcomed. If you have some time and energy to spare, please let us know.

The Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre is a registered charity. We try to keep prices to a minimum.
Donations of all kind are appreciated and are tax exempt.

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