Sivananda News Sivananda E-Gurugram
The Electronic Newsletter of the International Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centres
Issue #12/2014 Serve Love Give Purify Meditate Realize December 1, 2014
"Vedanta has no creed, no ceremony, nor form of worship. Vedanta is the supreme science of the Supreme Reality." - Sri Swami Sivananda

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TABLE OF CONTENTS
News
Sivananda Yoga FAQ
Hatha Yoga Tips
Yoga Sanskrit Glossary
Raja Yoga
Vegetarian Cuisine
Upcoming Events

International News - Ashrams
Yoga Camp Ashram, Canada
Dhanwanthari Ashram, India
Kutir Ashram, India
Chateau du Yoga Ashram, France
Yoga Farm Ashram, USA
Yoga Ranch Ashram, USA
Yoga Retreat Ashram, Bahamas
Retreat House Ashram, Austria
Meenakshi Ashram, India

International News - Centres
Bangkok, Thailand
Berlin, Germany
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Chennai, India
Chicago, USA
Dwarka, Delhi, India
Nataraja, Delhi, India
Geneva, Switzerland
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
London, England
Los Angeles, USA
Madrid, Spain
Madurai, India
Melbourne, Australia
Milano, Italy
Montevideo, Uruguay
Montreal, Canada
Neuquen, Argentina
Munich, Germany
New York, USA
Paris, France
Porto Alegre, Brasil
Rome, Italy
San Francisco, USA
Tel Aviv, Israel
Toronto, Canada
Trivandrum, India
Vienna, Austria
Vilnius, Lithuania

SPIRITUAL CALENDAR:
DEC 2014
02 Ekadasi
06 Full Moon
18 Ekadasi
22 New Moon
31 Swamiji's Birthday

JAN 2015
01 Ekadasi
05 Full Moon
14 Makara Sankranti
16 Ekadasi
20 New Moon
E-MAIL DIRECTORY
A complete e-mail directory of the Sivananda Yoga Centres and Ashrams is available at:
Sivananda Email Directory
SIVANANDA "OM" PAGE
www.sivananda.org

Online registration for TTC courses has been added. We hope to include online registration for all courses in the near future.
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OM NAMAH SIVAYA!

NEWS

Blessed Selves,
Om Namah Sivaya

The year 2014 has seen a big transformation in the Organization in a positive way. It is evident the stability and clarity of the Organization's administration, plus the clear guidance from Master and Guru, all provide a sound direction for the future of the Organization.

It is timely that all Ashrams and Centres are thriving, as they support the inquiring new and old students coming eagerly to immerse themselves in the teachings and activities. Staff are working hard in propagating Swamiji's teachings plus, doing their own Sadhana, without failure.

We are happy the the big project of transcribing Swamiji's lectures is now underway, and already some publications are getting ready to be released.

This month the GURUGRAM concludes 2014's Raja Yoga series, reviewing Swami Vishnudevananda's Instructions on Meditation Series, with excerpts from book The Sivananda Companion to Meditation (2003).

We thank all of you for the continued support and looking forward to serving you even better in coming New Year.  May Master and Swamiji's blessings be with us always.

Pranams to all.

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The highest form of wisdom is the Knowledge: "The individual Soul and the Supreme Soul are identical". - Sri Swami Sivananda

SIVANANDA YOGA FAQ
Q. If God is almighty and all-powerful, why can't He see that everybody does his actions properly?
A.

Everybody does his actions properly. A thief must pilfer things. A scoundrel must do wrong actions. These are Kartavya. Remember this world is Trigunatmic and relative. Every movement of the foot, every step, is an attempt towards Sat-chit-ananda. The world is a relative plane. Prostitutes, saints, rogues, beggars, kings are all doing their respective duties. Good and evil are relative terms. Evil exists to glorify good. Hatred exists to glorify love. A rogue is not an eternal rogue. He can become a saint within the twinkling of an eye when he is placed in proper Sattvic company.

Q. Are there any definite indications to measure an aspirant's progress in the practice of Yoga? Some experiences, say, after three months of practice, others after a year and so on?
A.

Various Yogas give various experiences. The practice of Pranayam and Hatha Yogic Kriyas, for instance, would give a graded series of psychic experiences. Seeing all kinds of ethereal lights and hearing certain Anahata sounds belong to this category. Here, the sages who have propounded these Yogas have given very definite stages of spiritual experience. As the Kundalini passes from Chakra to Chakra, the Yogi has certain definite, verifiable experiences. That is because each Chakra governs a particular Tattva, and its mastery, therefore, gives specific experiences.

Similarly, in Tantrik Sadhana also, they have been able to give a definite chart of spiritual experiences. Each Sadhana has its own particular Siddhi; and therefore, the experiences of all Sadhaks following a particular Sadhana are invariably the same.
But, these are all lower experiences of an inferior type. They are psychic experiences which need not necessarily denote the aspirant's spiritual progress. Even the Bhakta's experiences of horripilation, shedding of tears, etc., though they are not so perfectly graded as those of the Hatha Yoga practitioner, do not necessarily indicate spiritual progress.

When you enter the domain of the Spirit, you come into the sphere of the Infinite. Infinite are the Yogas and infinite are the experiences too. Each man's Yoga is his own. For, he has brought his own Samskaras and Vasanas and he strives in his own way to reach the goal. These two, interacting on each other, give him his various experiences. For instance, as he approaches the transcendental, infinite, immortal Self, the aspirant would enjoy great inner peace and indescribable happiness. He is not easily affected by what goes on around him. Not only this, he is able to radiate peace and happiness to all those who come into contact with him. He becomes good and radiates goodness. This is the most important sign of spiritual progress. God is perfect goodness. The aspirant who progresses towards the realization of God, therefore, grows in goodness. His evil qualities slowly vanish and are replaced by sublime virtues. If this most essential element is not there, then all other visions and sounds are practically useless. By his mere presence the advanced Yogi is able to inspire people to lead a good life, free from hatred and malice. His heart is filled with cosmic love, and therefore, he serves all spontaneously and selflessly. These are all real signs of spiritual progress.
But, beyond all these, is the ultimate experience. That is indescribable. Peace and happiness, undisturbed tranquillity of mind-- these are all great signs of progress, but they do not constitute the goal. The goal is to become God. You must become one with God. This is achieved through ceaseless practice of meditation after establishing oneself in virtue and goodness. That supreme experience, when the Yogi feels he is one with God, no words can describe.

Q. There is such an expression as "The Flight of the alone to the Alone". Where is the necessity for a Guru's grace in this?
A. How will you get God's grace? When you discipline yourself. How will you know how to discipline? By observing others that had walked the path successfully to the goal of perfection. Who are these men who had walked to the goal? It is these that are known as Gurus. So you need their help, their personal example, their encouragement and their grace. Thus, we have come round to the answer that a Guru is necessary as well as his grace. Everything is necessary - Atma Kripa, Guru Kripa and Isvara Kripa.
 
Previous FAQs at http://www.sivananda.org/teachings/faq/faq.html

Lift veil after veil. There shines the self-luminous Atman.
- Sri Swami Sivananda

HATHA YOGA TIP

TREE - VRKASANA - A balance pose.

A one legged standing balance pose demanding concentration and single minded focus. Meditative.

A long straight body and spine as in the trunk of a tall tree is the FIRST point of focus. The SECOND point of focus is the breath. Use the full yogic abdomen breath. The THIRD point of focus is the balance, rooting the standing foot into the mat. Take full balance on one leg and foot, place the sole of the other foot on the inside of thigh of standing leg. Take a few moments to feel stable and secure in balance, using the breath. Focus on a fixed point in front of you. Place hands in prayer position at chest Centre. Open the chest. Relax the shoulders. Keep head level. Keep the knee of bent leg up. When ready, slowly lift your arms above the head with palms together, arms by ears, being the tall tree. Hold up to a minute or longer. Release and repeat on opposite side.
Tip: For stability, keep the standing weight on both heel and toes. Alternate weight till finding your balance. Spread toes into mat to create a firm rooted base.

Half lotus tree
Take the pose further into an intermediate variation by assuming a half lotus position for the bent leg. Place the outside of the foot over the top of the other thigh. Then stretch up your arms overhead with palms together. Hold for desired length of time and switch sides.

BENEFITS:
Concentration: ignoring of distractions, practicing tratak with eyes.
Balance: practice on both sides of the body. Note vertical alignment of body while on one leg.
Increase strength of standing leg muscles.
Flexibility of bent leg & knee
The practice of prolonged rhythmical abdominal breath.


This yoga tip from the new Sivananda publication - “Yoga: Your Home Practice Companion” – Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre - 2010. Other yoga tips at http://www.sivananda.org/teachings/asana/101tips.html

Man can become God or Brahman even while he is in the physical body.
- Swami Sivananda

YOGA SANSKRIT GLOSSARY

SVARUPA: Essence; essential nature; the essential nature of Brahman; Reality; Satchidananda; True Nature of Being.

SVARUPADHYANA: Meditation on one's own essential nature.

Renounce your ego and attain divinity through Self-realization. - Sw. Sivananda

A complete Sanskrit Glossary can be found at: http://www.sivananda.org/teachings/glossary/glossary.html

 BHAGHAVAD GITA

Chapter II: Sankhya Yoga

(Krishna speaking to Arjuna)

II.52. When thy intellect crosses beyond the mire of delusion, then thou shalt attain to indifference as to what has been heard and what has yet to be heard.

COMMENTARY: The mire of delusion is the identification of the Self with the not-Self. The sense of discrimination between the Self and the not-Self is confounded by the mire of delusion and the mind runs towards the sensual objects and the body is taken as the
pure Self. When you attain purity of mind, you will attain to indifference regarding things heard and things yet to be heard. They will appear to you to be of no use. You will not care a bit for them.

Where there is no duality, there is no fear, no disease, no death. - Sri Swami Sivananda

RAJA YOGA

In the next several GURUGRAMs we begin the exploraion of the ways of meditation, it's benefits and deeper meanings.

The Swami Vishnudevananda Instructions on Meditation Series

Swami Vishnu-devananda would say that it is not possible to teach someone how to meditate, any more than it is possible to teach them how to sleep. Sleep overtakes us only when we detach our mind from its concerns. Meditation also cannot be forced, but unlike sleep, it is a conscious state. We need a degree of willpower to remain in the state of heightened awareness that occurs when we meditate. However, at the same time we need to relax, letting go of all expectations and desires. This subtle balance between the effort needed to sustain concentration on the one side and detachment from all distractions on the other is the art of meditation. We learn to focus the mind without struggle, yet maintain enough control to avoid a drift into reverie. To attain this state of relaxed awareness we need to prepare ourselves, and there are several steps that will help us. It is important to reiterate that meditation is a process, and as such, takes time. Be gentle and patient with your mind; do not expect miracles. The more care and attention you give to the preparation, the more positive the results.

Here are the basic guidelines for the beginner.

11 -PURE THOUGHT - Substitute pure thoughts for impure thoughts. This method of substitution will destroy all evil thoughts. This is very easy. This is the method of Raja Yoga. Sustained concentration leads into meditation. This occurs after many months, and in most instances, after many years of practice.

Eventually you must rise above Pure Thoughts and attain the supreme state of thoughtlessness. Only then can you rest in your own Svarupa. Only then will Brahman be revealed, like Amalaka fruit, in the palm of your hand.

12 - SAMADHI

Samadhi is the highest state of meditation and the eighth step in the raja yoga system. Here, duality disappears and you enter the superconscious state. Sustained meditation leads into Samadhi, a state we enter when we have trained the mind to find absorption in consciousness itself.

The stillness and calm of Nature acts as a perfect setting for the practice of meditation. - Sw. Vishnudevananda

This rich, most motivating series concludes. To read further, open this book: The Sivananda Companion to Meditation (2003) - The Sivananda Yoga Centre; Gaia Books, New York.

Excerpts from The Sivananda Companion to Meditation (2003) - The Sivananda Yoga Centre; Gaia Books, New York.

Kindness does not consist in gifts, but in gentleness and generosity. - Sri Swami Sivananda

VEGETARIAN CUISINE

CHOCOLATE AND CHICK PEA MOUSSE - Serves 8

An unusual mousse that is delicious, nutritious, yet low in fat and simple to prepare. Chick peas (also called garbanzo beans) are a good source of protein and calcium and are rich in fibre. They also have a low glycemic index. When a protein source such as chick peas which does not contain all the amino acids the body needs, is mixed with another protein such as dairy, eg yoghurt, then there is a more complete profile of amino acids. This mousse is baked and served warm. It can be served plain or with ice cream, decorated with fruit.

Ingredients:
⅓ cup plus 2 tablespoons plain yoghurt
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups cooked chick peas, drained (about 1 cup uncooked)
6 tablespoons orange juice
1 and 1/3 cups unpacked light brown sugar
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder

Directions:
Heat oven to 350 degrees F.
Grease an 8 inch round cake pan. Mix yoghurt and baking soda together and leave to fizz for 10 minutes.
Blend chick peas and orange juice in food processor or blender till very smooth.
When well blended, chick peas have a nice creamy texture. Add sugar, cocoa, and baking powder and blend till smooth.
Gently fold the yoghurt mixture into the chick peas mixture.
Pour batter into prepared pan and bake in oven for 50 minutes.
Remove from oven and let cool in pan on a wire rack for about 15 minutes.
Serve warm or at room temperature and enjoy.

This recipe from the Sivananda publication - "The Yoga Cookbook. Vegetarian Food for Body and Mind - Recipes from the Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centres" 1999.

Previous Recipes: http://www.sivananda.org/teachings/diet/recipes.html
Other recipes can be found in the Sivananda publication - "Yoga: Your Home Practice Companion" – Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre - 2010

Have a simple and unassuming manner of life. Live not to eat, but eat to live. - Sri Swami Sivananda

UPCOMING EVENTS - TTC, ATTC, Sadhana Intensive Courses

2014

Dec 04 - Dec 31/14
TTC – English
Nassau, Bahamas
www.sivananda.org/nassau

Dec 13/14 - Jan 11/15
TTC – English, Deutsch
Reith, Tyrol, Austria
www.sivananda.org/tyrol/en

See full list of International Teacher Training Courses: http://www.sivananda.org/yoga-teacher-training/ttc-schedule.html

See full list of International Advanced Teacher Training Courses: http://www.sivananda.org/yoga-teacher-training/attc-schedule.html

See full list of International Sadhana Intensives and other courses/events: http://www.sivananda.org/courses/schedule.html

The Upanishads, are revelations, not products of the individual mind and the intellect.
- Sri Swami Sivananda

SIVANANDA WORLD NEWS - NOVEMBER 2014

SIVANANDA YOGA VEDANTA Ashrams -

Sivananda Ashram Yoga Camp, Val Morin, Quebec, Canada

    Om Namah Sivaya! Greetings from the Headquarters.

    In early November we had our Subramanya Temple closing ceremony. After a very successful season, in which thousands of pilgrims came by to worship, celebrate and share and also many projects got done thanks to the generosity of many of the Temple devotees, its season came to an end. On Saturday we had wonderful Pujas done by Harisha and Manjunath, culminating in the procession carrying the smaller deities down to the Krishna Temple through the Peace Trail under the OM Namo Narayanaya chanting. The Krishna Temple will throughout the winter accommodate its temporary guests, who also receive daily worship. Also during the weekend we had a program led by Kumari. The 'Navigating the Life Journey' was well attended by the guests, who packed in the Mathaji hall for the lectures and classes offered by Kumari. Satsangs were very inspiring, giving practical and philosophical ways of looking into the transitions in life. Sunday morning we had Swamiji's Mahasamadhi Puja done in the Krishna Temple. The morning was filled with devotion and love, bringing to the Ashram all those who had the blessing of meeting Swamiji personally, serving and practicing under his direct guidance. Vasishtha left us this week heading to South for the winter, but not until he finished the small desks that will be used and appreciated by the TTC students that will arrive next week. Swami Gayatriananda left us also on Sunday evening. Mathaji has served intensely for another year at the Temple and the staff will miss her energy and enthusiasm. The grounds have been completely clean and ready for the white blanket that is slowly coming. New staff are coming to help out with the TTC and bring new energy to receive and care for the students.

    During mid-November we started with a beautiful Ganapati Puja done by Harisha, who left back to India on the same day. The TTC had their first week, getting used to schedule, food, beds and all. The big group brings lots of joy and movement to the Ashram and keep the staff busy in the daily running of the Ashram. On Wednesday we said goodbye to Gauri Chaitanya who headed back to California for the EMB and then Bahamas and welcome Suzanne, who came right on time to replace Gauri in the morning kitchen. Satsangs became more lively as the students got familiar to the chants and musical instruments. Friday we hosted Alain Beaulieu for a drumming workshop, which was well attended by guests and TTCs alike. Alain always brings lots of joy with his lively presence and rhythm. The outdoors Christmas lights were put up and tested. All is well in the Ashram. Pranams to all the Sivananda Family as the year closes.





Sivananda Dhanwanthari Ashram, Neyyar Dam, Kerala, South India

    Om Namo Narayanaya!
    In early November the atmosphere in the Ashram has been transformed and elevated by Srimad Bahagavatam programme conducted by Hari Hara Chaitanya and his group. Hari Hara would do Bhagavatam readings for Swamiji. He has been coming to the Ashram for this programme every year for the last 21 years. On Thursday we celebrated Hari Hara's 75th anniversary by holding Kerala feast at brunch and a special program in the eveningwith a group from Trivandrum performing beautiful bajans. And we closed the day with big birthday cake shared with all the guests. Over the weekend we welcomed many TTC students. We also welcomed Swami Narayanananda and Mahadev Chaitanya from New York. New staff from different parts of the world  arrived to assist with TTC. Sunday morning we had final reading of Srimad Bhagavatam followed by bathing of Krishna in the lake and archana for Swami Vishnudevananda. In the evening we held the initiation of the new TTC course with 124 students. Tapovan, Nagraj and Thomas have joined the TTC.

    During mid-November during the first TTC of thé high season we started Bhagavat Gita class with Kalyani. We also celebrated Kalyani's birthday with small gift in Satsang and delicious cake in the staff meeting. Narayana and  Rohini stayed for a few days on their way to Meenakshi Ashram Madurai for the Fasting Detox Programme. Thursday night's cultural program was Kalaripyattu demo by the Bodhi Dharma group.  The lively performance raised everyones' adrenaline levels. On Friday we had a relaxing day trip to the backwaters, while some students stayed back in Ashram to catch up with studies and practice for the teaching groups that started on Saturday. The Talent Show was great fun for everyone with no lack of volunteers to perform  on stage. We are happy to welcome Arati from Thailand to join staff and Alev from Turkey to join workstudy program. Jayakumar has transferred to Madurai Centre to help out there. Pranams to all Sivananda Staff.


Sivananda Ashram Kutir, Netala, Uttarkashi, North India
    Om Namo Narayanaya
    May Master and Guru be with us all. Peace and pranams to all. Om.



Sivananda Ashram Chateau du Yoga, Orleans, France
    Om Namah Sivaya
    The Ashram was closed until November 13. During mid-November the first week of the TTC went well. Students are already well established in their routine, are enjoying the classes and lectures and are quite responsible in their Karma Yoga. Swami Kailasananda is giving the main lectures, Kailas is teaching the Bhagavad Gita, Kailas, Girija and Ananta are teaching the Asana classes. We received the visit of a TV crew from TF1, the french main TV channel : they took footage of the TTC Asana class, Swami Kailasananda gave them an interview on mediation, and  in the evening staff demonstrated a meditation session to them, since the TTC students went on a silent walk. A man from our security company gave a training to the staff about how to deal with the fire extinguishers in case of an emergency. Swami Bhagavatananda left to London for a few days. Much work is being done in the garden, with the redoing of the Ashrams path and the planting of thousands of tulips bulbs for the spring. We are also working of the 2015 brochure. OM.



Sivananda Ashram Yoga Farm, Grass Valley, California, USA
    Om Namah Sivaya

    In early November the Yoga Farm was fully occupied with staff, TTC and 19 students arriving for the 5 days "Meditation on the Ten Wisdom Goddesses" course. The teacher,  Amarananda Bhairavan  is a scholar of the vedas and sanskrit. The course focused on worship of the Goddess, as taught through from his ancient Kerala matriarchal lineage.  He gave a lecture at Satsang for the TTC students about reincarnation and what becomes of the soul after death, beautifully explaining our progression from darkness to light through our actions. The last days of the TTC went by very quickly with the final teaching groups, specialty asana classes, and review classes preceding the final day of studying. The hard work of the students over the 4 weeks was rewarded with all passing the exam and receiving their certificates at an afternoon guru Puja and graduation. The Satsang hall was quickly transformed into a dining hall for the graduation feast prepared by Shambu and many staff and karma yogis. After a short break we were treated to a powerful and inspiring bhajan concert by Acharya Mangalananda. We finished the celebration with a very entertaining slide show by Ashram photographer Atmaswaroop, illustrating the energy, spirit, and speed of TTC. While most TTC students left the following morning we were happy to welcome 6 new graduates as temporary staff for the next 3 months. We honored Swami Vishnudevanandaji on the anniversary of his Mahasamadhi with akanda kirtan in the Radha-Krishna hall in the afternoon and a guru Puja performed by Swami Vasishtananda in the evening. Swami Sitaramananda spoke about Swamiji's accomplishments and attributes as described in the 108 names of Swami Vishnudevananda. We recognized that Swamiji's Mahasamadhi fell on the same day on which the fall of the Berlin Wall is celebrated and Swami Sitaramananda told of her experiences in Berlin during Swamiji's flight over the Berlin Wall and the Peace Festival that followed.

    During mid-November the Yoga Farm was focused on study this past week with the Vedanta & Silence course with Swami Sitaramananda concluding with 16 students participating. The group studied Viveka Chudamani and had daily assignments on topics to draw closer to the Truth of the Self and the Supreme Reality. Sessions were very transformative as students were able to apply the Vedantic teaching to their own life situation in a practicable way. We thank Bill Wilson for the 7th annual Permaculture Design Certificate course at the Ashram. This 10-day certificate course trained students in the foundations of Permaculture practices. Teams came up with several projects to enhance the beauty, use and environment of the Ashram that included a walking path, meditation platforms, tent platforms and new trees to create a more harmonious and dynamic relationship with nature. The Ayurveda Detox retreat with Durga Leela was a great success. The group enjoyed daily kitcheree and greens at meal times for cleansing, received Ayurvedic consultations and Ayurvedic treatments for a relaxing and rejuvenating week at the Ashram. The final phase of the Siva cabin construction is underway and cabins will open for Thanksgiving weekend and the EBM meeting later this week. We are very honoured to host EBM meeting. Om Namo Narayanaya and seasonal blessings to all the Sivananda family.




Sivananda Ashram Yoga Ranch, Woodbourne, New York, USA
    Om Namo Narayanaya
    Early October culminated in a significant gathering, focus and Centering practice for the final week of the TTC course. The TTC students progressed into experiencing pregnancy yoga, children's classes and practiced advanced pranayama this week. One Friday several yoga teachers joined us from NY Centre to take part in the teachers weekend. They inspired the new TTC graduates and staff in Saturday's teachers meeting by sharing the ethos and commitment of karma yoga that carries the NY Centre. Several long-term teachers who have served for over ten years at the NY Centre shared their experiences of staying connected to the teachings and in the supportive community of the Centres and Ashrams. The successful graduation of all the TTC students was shared in a joyous celebration and a delicious Indian feast. Several guests and family members of the students joined in the graduation ceremony and they uplifted the evening with an entertaining talent show. As several of the TTC students departed on Sunday, it was reassuring to know that this committed group of individuals are further extending the teachings of yoga and sowing seeds in extending the vision of Swami Vishnudevananda to communities all over the world.

    As the natural environment transforms in the approach of the upcoming winter months we embrace this time as an opportunity to cleanse and renew our focus and embrace change at the Ashram. We began with a group of eight guests participating in our fall Detoxifying Juice Fast. Each participant embraced the opportunity to rejuvenate and refresh their energy with delicious and nutritious salads an juices. Three students successfully graduated from the Yogis without Borders Course with Elaine Valdor. Several guests joined us over a weekend to participate in a Native American Sweat Lodge and Medicine Wheel Ceremony led by Heather Principe. This beautiful sacred practice was experienced by many newcomers as well as several returning guests to the Ashram. A palpable grounding and shift in awareness was created in the supportive energy of the Sweat Lodge and the Medicine Wheel ceremony. The renewal experienced in these passing weeks offers us the opportunity to embrace the quieter weekdays at the Ranch and develop our internal practice in maintaining the energy of the Ashram for the active weekends ahead. Staff sends Pranams to all! May the Gurus' blessings of be with us.




Sivananda Ashram Yoga Retreat, Nassau, Bahamas
    Om Namo Narayanaya, Blessed Selves

    In early November everyone settled into their tents and our crews continue to prepare the tent hut platforms which should be operational by mid November. We welcomed a local guest speaker, Patti Symonette, this week as she presented her 2 day program on The Healing Power of Food on Body, Mind, and Spirit. Meenakshi Angel Honig presented The Yoga Approach to a Healthy Back and Strong Core; and, Swami Brahmananda presented Living a Divine Life during morning and evening Satsangs. We offered two courses this week, The Yoga Teacher Practicum with Sarawati (Sylvie Boisclair) and the Essentials of Yoga I course taught by Sivakami. 
    The construction of the Beach Villas continues as scheduled as well as many other projects around the Ashram. We will also be welcoming some TTC graduates as Karma Yogis in the upcoming week for a special short term Karma Yoga program to support us as we prepare the Ashram for the peak season.

    During mid-November we completed the Positive Thinking Weekend course that was taught by Pranava; as well as the Gracious Living 7-Day Liquid Detox Retreat led by Grace Van Berkum and Andrea Clark (Amrita). We also had two well attended programs: Principles of Asana Alignment with Steven Weiss and Dreamasana: The Yoga of Dreams with Tzivia Gover. Guests learnt safe techniques to get into their asanas while building awareness of their alignment in various postures; and, they also discussed and analyzed their dreams to explore deeper meanings or subconscious thoughts. We welcomed back Arjuna for the upcoming Thanksgiving Celebrations as well as Omkari and Sivaram for the Thanksgiving Holiday Yoga Vacation Program for Children. We are anticipating a busy week for the upcoming Thanksgiving Holiday as the grounds start filling up with tents, the sounds of children are being heard and our guest speakers are arriving for our special event: Walking with the Mystics. Om Shanti Staff are well and send lots of Prem. Pranams and prayers for Peace to all!




Sivananda Ashram, Retreat House, Reith, Tyrol, Austria
    Om Namah Sivaya
    A highlight was Swami Vishndevanandas Mahasamadhi. Sree Krishna did a beautiful Puja and sweet prasad was served at the end. We did a cleanup of the Kailash guest houses with last preparations of the garden for the winter. We started to accommodate the guests as the Biohotel is closing for some weeks. The Yogic cooking certificate course started with a small group. Narayani did the cooking classes and prepared wholesome dishes which everybody enjoyed for dinner. OM.


Sivananda Ashram Meenakshi Ashram, Madurai, Tamil Nadu, India
    Om Namo Narayanaya

    In early November, while the yoga vacationers are exploring the Ashram and what it offers, the TTC students in the third week have started to feel at home and are making new friends. We were happy to welcome karma yogi Yamunaji to Meenakshi Ashram who has come straight from Thailand after contributing her assistance in the recently concluded TTC there and so is Sandeep who is back with us here after a month of break for the same. Thursday concert night by Thiru. Rajamani Bhagavadhar and his team from Erode performed for the students and guests the popular bhajans of the Hindu order. The "Vittala Vittala" song is one of their powerful pieces with flamboyant 'aalaps' and beautifying 'gamakas' in between and a rhythmic finish in the end going 'vit-tal-vittal-vit-tal-vittal" for a good long stretch eventually raising the tempo to merge the energy of the song that stood in a mesmeric plateau 'Vitala…' - a must to watch. The talent night was yet another entertaining blast showcasing orchestrations of tabla and guitar with sweet vocals, stand up comedies, and uproarious rewriting of lyrics, this time the evergreen 'Hotel California' altered for Meenakhi Ashram as usual triggering a rib-tickling laughter. The week ended with celebrating one of the most memorable dates of the Sivananda network, the 9th of November, which commemorates the Mahasamadhi day of Swami Vishnu. The TTC students and yoga vacation guests participated in the Guru Pooja and were served a traditional feast of more than 15 varieties on their banana leaf passionately prepared by our Chef Sukumar chettan. Twenty one years passed now since Swamiji left his corporeal body yet such is the power of His soul that continues to watch us in every step to keep the mission going. Good going for the Teachers' Training and Yoga Vacation courses.

    During mid-November it was a sandwiching week between two TTCs that allowed us a brief moment of relaxation just enough to quickly recharge for the next one. We welcomed Narayana on 19th who is going to be with us for 2 weeks to conduct the Fasting and Detoxification program and as well Rohini his assistant in the program. A quite group of five was initiated into the program and is going through it devotedly. We were also happy to receive Kapoorji who arrived on 21st to be the Vedanta teacher for the upcoming TTC the initiation ceremony of which was traditionally organized on the 23rd. For most of them it was a dream come true moment to get initiated into a training course that comes from one of the most respected names in yoga. May Master and Guru be with us all. Peace and Pranams to the Sivananda family.






    TTC Reports in locations other than Ashrams:

    Pranams to all.




    SIVANANDA YOGA VEDANTA Centres -
    Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Bangkok, Thailand

    Om Namah Sivaya
    May the Gurus' blessings of be with us all. Om.


Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Zentrum, Berlin, Germany
    Om Namah Sivaya
    In November a Yoga 1 started with an inspired group of people. We got more registrations for the retreat which will take place next weekend. During the weekend the Centre was represented at a yoga fair in Berlin. We gave a yoga class and a lecture on pranayama both well received by the participants. We also had an information desk where people had the opportunity to get information about our TTCs, Ashrams and Yoga Centres and to buy books. It was a nice atmosphere, the message of the masters was spread to many new people. Several courses with good student numbers started, Yoga 1, some higher courses and a course on yoga and stress management. On Saturday we had a successful preparation day for the TTC with an inspired group of people. They all want to do TTC in India. The theatre rehearsal took place on Sunday in full swing, followed by well visited yoga classes and a lively Satsang with Sunday prayers, which uplifted the energy nicely. All staff are well. Pranams. OM.



Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Buenos Aires, Argentina
    Om Namah Sivaya
    We are all well and wish you a very Happy Christmas season. May the Gurus' blessings of be with us all. Prem & Om.



Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Chennai, India
    Om Namah Sivaya to all Blessed Selves from the Chennai Centre
    We opened a new weekend beginner course and Navaratri Puja. We had the Free Trial Class, we are doing this to promote yoga amongst anyone and everyone who would want to experience a yoga class for free on the first Saturday of every month. And we got a new staff Avtar from Neyyar dam would like to thank Nataraj ji. Now we are looking forward to Celebrate 25 Anniversary (Silver Jubilee) of Chennai Centre which we started in the year 1989. We planned everything for celebration on 11th Oct 2014. We invited our chief guest Hon'ble Thiru Justice V.Ramasubramanian (Judge Madras high Court, Chennai) & Dr. M.Rajaram, IAS (secretary to Government) and all the trusty members & Staff of our Organisation. In Chennai city some political issues are happening. That's why we are getting less number of students in class. Rest of everything else was fine and classes are going smoothly all the staff are happy and continuing their Sadhana, by the grace of Gurus and God. All the staff send Pranams to the Sivananda family. Blessings to all!



Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Chicago, USA
    Om Namah Sivaya!
    Early November was busy at the Centre.  Yoga 1 and 2 both started this week and the attendance for drop-in classes was high.  There was a lot of movement and change in the Centre as Radha and Iswara arrived on Wednesday from the Yoga Ranch to help out for the month.  Shakti left for California on Thursday,  for one month.  Lalita Chaitanya also  headed off to California on Friday, to the Yoga Farm, to participate in the Vedanta and Silence retreat.  On Sunday, we had a beautiful morning Puja in honor of Swami Vishnu's Mahasamadhi and in the evening, there was a special Satsang and a video on Swamiji's life was viewed.  Also, Radha (Gloria) told stories about her years as a staff under Swamiji.  It was an inspiring evening and a moment of expressing gratitude for Swamiji and his work.

    During mid-November Morning open classes are well attended, though evening classes and courses have been a little quieter, perhaps because the city's famous wind has blown in some winter chill and occasional periods of horizontal rain or snow. On Saturday, Lalita Chaitanya returned from at two-week stay at the Yoga Farm. We thank Radha, who came from the Ranch to take care of the Centre for those two weeks, for her enthusiastic service here. This week the Centre will close for one day in honor of the Thanksgiving holiday, though we need no special occasion to express our profound gratitude for all the blessings of this life and in particular for the ready guidance and grace of the Gurus. Pranams to all. Om Shanti, Shanti, Shantihi from the Centre in Chicago.



Sivananda Yoga Vedanta DÀ LAT Centre, Dà Lat, Vietnam
    Om Namah Sivaya!
    During mid-November the Centre had a beautiful week with two new residents from Germany. The yoga beginners' courses finished, and all of the students signed up for intermediate yoga courses. The garden project was in progress, and we soon will have a green garden. There is a lot of positive energy in Dalat. Guru blessed us. Om.


Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Dwarka Centre, Delhi, India
    Om Namah Sivaya
    In early November we saw a stunning week with impressive attendance levels in all sessions. Weekend beginner batch has a surprising number of participants and the staff team feel rewarded given that we could offer them sessions one of the senior teachers. We are now more contented with the way our website serve the public; we got it re-designed and updated with schedule till March 2015 http://www.sivananda.org.in/dwarka. Delhi now wakes up with freezing mornings; maintenance and repairs at Centre is now on to face the lower extreme temperature. The week ended with a Hawan conducted to commemorate Swami Vishnu's Mahasamadhi day and also at the usual Satsang.

    Mid-November started with fresh batch of beginners course with good numbers of students. Members and teacher are very happy to see new edition of Yoga Life. Temperature is following down day by day, which affects our morning classes' students. Otherwise all the classes, courses are going very well.  On Friday we had headstand workshop attended by few enthusiastic students. Weekend finished with surya namamskar workshop & Satsang. We are all good and we all wish you a Very Happy Christmas. Pranams to all.




Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Nataraja Centre, Delhi, India
    Om Namo Narayanaya
    In early November we started with two beginners' course at 10:00am and 06:30pm. We have started yoga 2 course on Tuesdays. We have also started the weekend intensive yoga 1 course on Saturdays. We conducted two workshops (Pranayama and spin & flexibility) on Wednesdays. To show the respect and love to our Guru Swami Vishnudevananda on his Mahasamadi day, we conducted a special Satsang on Sunday, November 9th. The Guru Pada Pooja was part of the main function which bestows the blessings to the Centre and for all of us. The Satsang was attended by good no. of staff, teachers and students. 

    During mid-November started with two beginners course one at 10:00am and the other at 06:30am with good no. of students.  On November 19th, we conducted a hip opening workshop and we started the foundation to meditation course. P C Kapoor left for Madurai on November 20th for  TTC. The second Bhagavat Gita study circle was conducted on Nov. 20th with Nagaraj ji. The Sunday Satsang was attended by staffs, teachers and students and it was as usual uplifting. With the blessings of our Gurus the rest of activities(open class, gentle yoga, kids yoga and Ayurvedic massage...) are going well. With Gurus' blessings, everything goes perfectly. The remaining activities continued in harmony with the Blessing of the Gurus. All staff are well and send their pranams. May the Gurus' blessings of be with us all. Om & Peace.




Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Geneva, Switzerland
    Om Namah Sivaya from the Geneva Centre
    In early November a Y2 started and on Saturday we had a Bhagavat Gita workshop which was well received. The students bought books afterwards and enjoyed especially the chanting of the mantras. On Sunday we celebrated Swami Vishnudevanandas Mahasamadhi with a Puja with close teachers and Karma Yogis as well as new students and students coming back to the Centre after a long time. We received beautiful flowers and a lovely Prasad. The atmosphere was peaceful and devotional, students left grateful and inspired. Our harmonium was repaired and sounds better than ever and the work on the brochure for next year started.

    During mid-November a Y1 started and over the weekend a Y1 intensive brought a good group of new students to the Centre, most of them will continue next week. On Saturday we had a cooking class about Indian snacks and healthy deserts with a very attentive group of students. The food was sattvic and delicious and enjoyed by all. Another focus was the Centre search and the work on the next brochure. Staff also try to learn about Vastu and an interesting place was visited with a Karma yoga architect. We send our prayers to all. OM.





Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
    Om Namah Sivaya
    In early November Swami Pranavananda and Mirabai returned from their visit of the last week of TTC in Thailand.  The Centre was very busy, especially evenings with the highest student count in many months.  Six courses, including Yoga 1 and 2, and Meditation 1 and 2, in Vietnamese and English began with full attendance.  Sunday we celebrated Swamiji's Maha Samadhi with twenty students and teachers, many coming for their first Puja or Satsang, with offerings of flowers and fruit.  Swami Pranavananda led a beautiful Puja and told stories about the Gurus, and many people stayed for a delicious meal afterwards.  Everyone was very happy to join the celebration.  We also welcomed Shymala to stay for one week as a resident.

    During mid-November a highlight was a wonderful retreat in nearby Cu Chi.  We had 21 students, teachers and Karma Yogis, all very happy to get away from the City and out to a beautiful place in nature for a yoga class taught by Ganga, vegetarian meal and workshop on how to detoxify from daily life given by Swami Pranavananda.  The Centre continued good attendance as we started a Yoga 1 course, finished all the Yoga 1 and Yoga 2 courses, and will start the next courses The Centre is running very smoothly with Guru's Grace! All the staff were happy feeling Guru's blessings. We send Pranams to all the Sivananda family. Om Tat Sat. Pranams, Peace and Om.




Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, London, England
    Om Namah Sivaya
    In early November Swamiji's Mahasamadhi was celebrated on Sunday with a lovely Puja on the main altar accompanied by the chanting of Guru bhajans. Many flowers were offered and Swamiji's garlanded picture looked radiant. We were happy to welcome Narada back to the Centre who came from the Ashram to support the London Centre for the upcoming weeks. There was a well attended Open House on Saturday, several newcomers to the Centre came after having visited the booth at the Yoga Show that took place three weeks ago. Regular Centre students also took advantage of the 10% discount to buy class cards and enrol for courses. Small renovations in the Centre continued with the installation of new carpet treads on the staircase and with additional help of karma yogis, the kitchen was reorganised which created much clarity. 

    During mid-November started with a 3-day programme 'How Yoga Works', studying the beneficial effects of yoga on the physiology.  We were happy to welcome Chandrika who daily gave workshops presenting scientific medical research followed by asana classes where the knowledge was put into practise. The programme has been very positive for the Centre and well received by the students. It was an active week transforming the Centre into a small Ashram for the arrival of 15 residential students on Saturday for the certificate course The Meditation Experience. We were happy to welcome Swami Bhagavatananda to the Centre for the first days of teaching. Om Namo Bhagavate Vasudevaya. Salutations to all! Om.





Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Los Angeles, California, USA
    Om Namo Narayanaya!
    In early November we held a guru Puja for Swami Vishnudevananda's mahasamadhi. Swami Omkarananda and Pranava led a working on Facing the Future with Emotional and Spiritual Maturity on Sunday afternoon.We are looking at ways of attracting more students to the Centre and increasing income. We have been enjoying sunny fall weather. May the Gurus' blessings of be with us all at this time of year. Pranams.



Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Madrid, Spain
    Om Namah Sivaya, Blessed Selves!
    Early November saw several courses: "How to improve your breathing", "Yoga and Stress" and Intensive of Meditation. The most important event of the week was the celebration of the Swami Vishnudevananda's Mahasamadhi, with a Puja, meditation and beautiful mantra chanting with high energy.

    Mid-November began a course of Meditation. The highlight of the week was The Festival over the weekend. We could enjoy a yoga class, a workshop with 54 teachers, a Puja and  a beautiful and inspiring Satsang with Swami Sivadasananda about Positive Thinking. We also had the opportunity to have the presence of Fernando Diez and Jorge Carvajal, who delighted us with a concert of sitar and a lovely conference on self-improvement. Gopala, Lakshmi, Yasoda, Vishnu and Jyoti taught different classes.
    Many karma yogis helped in the preparation and performance. Gauri and Arjuna were responsible for cooking delicious meals. OM.




Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Madurai, South India
    Om Namah Sivaya
    In early November we started a new morning beginners course with good number of students. Since we have our director back from Thailand on Wednesday all are very happy including staff and students. Yashpal went to teach TVS MD after a long break and hopefully we'll be starting TVS Lakshmi School very soon (3rd Batch). Sunday Satsang was sweeter because it was led by Yashpal. And of course one of our students brought prasad and it was the yummiest payasam. Unfortunately our cook Jyothi got Madras eye and due to this all our staff members took turns to cook for the whole week.
     
    Mid-November was a gloomy week due to the weather, its starting to get cold and its a lovely change. Started a morning beginner course with a good number of students and they are very quick to learn what has been thought to them. Interesting group.
    All our staff got together throughout this week and we clean the Centre bit by bit and the Satsang energy was amazing due to the clean atmosphere, which was created by staff. We had Yamuna from Japan staying with for five days, and it was pleasant to have someone new to share the Karma Yoga with. We were invited to TTC initiation in Madurai Meenakshi Ashram and most of the students were from Europe and a very few Indians. But they had interested things to share on why they choice to do TTC. Lovely week all of us had due to our Swamiji. May the Grace of the Guru's all are happy and full geared up for the next week.By the Grace of our Guru's all is well and safe at their feet. Pranams from the Temple city Madurai to each and everybody in the Sivananda family this time of year. Om Shanti.



Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Milano, Italy
    Om Namah Sivaya from Northern Italy.
    May the Gurus' blessings of be with us all. Pranams to all.



Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Montevideo, Uruguay
    Om Namah Sivaya
    Early November began with a pleasant climate that was reflected in the great assistance of students to classes. Some students are practicing advanced asanas and others began singing  in the choir so as to be present at the Year End party . On Thursday beginners courses began with a great number of students who were excited with the class. On Saturday, free class had an important number of participants who were very interested in the next activities. The rest of the classes developed normally.

    During mid-November Vani Devi and Gopala from Rio de Janeiro visited us. They performed a beautiful Brazilian music concert in a famous theater in Montevideo.
    We went with teachers and students. It was great!!! During the day they participated at the Centre activities. Staff and several teachers continued rehearsal the songs for Christmas´sat sang, as well as the advance students for asanas demonstration. The billboards were decorated for Christmas. We were distributing leaflets announce the last programs of the year. We had 50 students registered for TTC in Garopaba, Brazil and 10 for ATTC … Come to visit us and experience our lovely summer. Om Shanti. The rest of the activities continued normally. Thanks to the Masters we had a good number of students. Om and Pranams to everyone in the Sivananda Family from the staff at Montevideo.





Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
    Om Namah Sivaya
    In early November we finished a Yoga Complete Course and we are really happy that one of the students (60 years young) has been so much inspired that she is going to participate in the upcoming November TTC in Val Morin. This week's highlights was, on Saturday night, our "Double concert" of indian traditional music with Esha Bandyopadhyay (vocal), Uwe Neumann (Sitar) and Hindole Majumdar (tabla). The concert was a real success and gathered a lot of people from the community and new faces. On Sunday, we had our Master's Mahasamadhi Puja held by Harish the Priest from the Subramanya Temple in Val-Morin. We had the pleasure to welcome Swami Shivabhaktananda and some staff members from the Ashram for that special event, though it is always nice for us to have the Ashram vibrations in the Centre. The Puja, sponsored by one of our students, was very beautiful and over 70 people attended the event. Slowly we are preparing for winter in the city and Christmas at the Centre.

    During mid-November Uma's Sunday vegetarian Christmas cooking workshop where we had 10 people participating and learn how to prepare some nice tasty meals for Christmas. For Sunday's Satsang, we had the pleasure to welcome Swami Rajeshwarananda to lead the Satsang and to give an interesting talk on "The power of habits". She explained how habits determinate our daily life and our existence and how we can learn to overcome bad habits and create new and good habits, where awareness is the main key to transformation. Over 50 students and people from the Centre showed up and attended the Satsang/talk and asked a lot of interesting question. The evening gently ended with a shared vegetarian meal. We thank Master and Swami-ji for their continued grace. We send our best wishes for a prosperous New Year. May the blessings of Master and Swamiji be with all. Pranams to all the Sivananda family.





Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Munich, Germany
    Om Namah Sivaya from the Munich Centre!
    In early November we were very happy to welcome Swami Durgananda and Swami Sivadasananda who came back from India. On Saturday we had TTC preparation day with a motivated group of participants who were looking forward to take the course. On the weekend we also taught a "Thought Power" intensive course. On Saturday Swami Sivadasananda gave a very nice Satsang about the motivations to practice yoga. On Sunday evening we performed a Puja on the occasion of Swami Vishnudevananda´s mahasamdhi. Many students came showing their devotion by bringing lots of beautiful flowers.

    During mid-November attendance of classes and courses is still quite good. Also for the last Open House of the year many interested students came to the Centre on Sunday. On Saturday we held a successful cooking class with the title "Soups and Healthy Snacks". Further special events on the weekend were a meditation introduction course and a yoga beginners course. OM.





Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Neuquen, Patagonia, Argentina
    Om Namah Sivaya!
    In Early November all the activities are going well in the Centre. The house is neat and clean. The homeowner visited us and said he is very happy with the use of their property. He also agreed to do all the necessary to keep the home in the best conditions. We are organizing the repair of the roof !! One of our students, Yanina, started doing karma yoga. We are all very happy! Ananda gave Shiatsu workshop on Saturday and, as usual, was very cute. He offers this activity with love and joy as their contribution to the Centre. May the Gurus' blessings of be with us all. We send our best wishes for a prosperous New Year. Om Shanti.



Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, New York, USA
    Om Namah Sivaya!

    In early November participation in both our new Beginner's Open Classes is increasing and we are happy about that. The Yoga 1 and Yoga 2 courses continue. We had a visit from Srinivasan from the Ranch on Wednesday. He stayed for the night and led our Satsang that evening. The next morning he joined our early morning Satsang where he posed a question to us all. He asked us what motivated us to do karma yoga and follow the yogic path. We had a beautiful conversation about yoga and what inspires us. Shakti went to the Ranch on Thursday. She was leading the weekend program called the Power of Asanas. Bren Jacobson, the co-pilot on Swami Vishnu's Peace Mission flights, was here with us for a few days this week, which was such a treat. He came to share some his stories of his time with Swami Vishnu at our Sunday night Satsang. What auspicious timing as it was actually Swami Vishnu's Mahasamadhi that day.  If you were here you'd have to agree that Bren is one colorful storyteller and has many amazing tales to tell. We had a deaf yoga class. One of the deaf students interpreters for TTC attended the class too. Rama is purrrfect as is the rest of the staff. They are sending their pranams.

    During mid-November Although the sun is still shining and the temperature has recently come up a little we can already feel the winter season hitting New York City. Our backyard is once again changing its outlook and the blossomed flowers and greenery of the summer time start to fade away. On Monday we said good bye to Bren Jacobson who spent more than a week with us here at the Centre. It was very nice to be around him always listening to his fun stories about Swami Vishnu and other remarkable teachers in the organization. He also gave us a hand in karma yoga projects here, specially with the garden that has been suffering a bit since the temperature started to drop. We finished two "Yoga 1" and one "Yoga 2" courses. The gentle yoga classes are going on very well. Participation in both our new Beginner's Open Classes is increasing and we are happy about that too. On Saturday we had a deaf yoga class and the Yoga of Recovery workshop with Kamala and Girija. All the staff is well and inspired and send their pranams. All staff are well and sending their pranams. Om Namah Sivaya from all the staff here at the NYC Centre. We send our best wishes for a prosperous New Year. May the blessings of Master and Swamiji be with all. Om Shanti.





Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Paris, France
    Om Namah Sivaya
    Early November had intense days for the reception in the evening with some students looking for shelter during the rain, big courses starting and the regular classes. Full house everyday and the reception running smoothly thanks to the reception software Mindbody. On Tuesday, the accountant was in the Centre for the monthly meeting. On Wednesday,  Swami Gopalananda started a kirtan course with a group of joyful students.  On Thursday, a Pranayama course started with a little group of motivated students. That day we had also a Sun Salutation workshop and the last class of the inspiring Raja yoga course. On Saturday, we had a cooking class with 15 participants given by Ganga who share her cooking experience with lot of generosity. Two experienced cooks were there to support her. On Sunday, we had a beautiful Satsang celebrating the Mahasamadhi of Swamiji. Sudha went to The Vienne Centre for the weekend to give a programme there.  The Masters keep sending help. Many karma yogis were there to make the running of the Centre more fluently and to put a dose of sattva in the house.

    During mid-November the wonderful and successful Yoga Festival took place on Saturday. The Masters sent a storm of people thirsty for Yoga. Over 636 people visited the Centre for the different activities and regular classes. Swami Kailasananda came from the Ashram for the day for the Celebration and gave an inspiring workshop  on the topic of how to calm down the mind with the breath. She gave also an uplifting and joyful Satsang on the topic of mind.  Swami Gopalananda gave the Introduction to Yoga and a big and cheerful Open Class with 88 students. 109 participants were there for the  trial classes. We had an Introduction to Meditation with a big group of motivated students and a little and lively demonstration of recipes. All the visitors were very grateful for the teachings. The day run smoothly thanks to The Masters, to the prana of everybody and to mindbody. OM.





Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Porto Alegre, Brasil, South America
    Om Namah Sivaya from Brasil
    In early November Tandava Chatanya arrived on Monday from the retreat at Petropolis with Kanti Devi, everything was good, the mountains were very inspiring and meeting some old teachers from the sivananda Centre at Rio de Janeiro was a bless. The Centre at Porto Alegre is going well, bu probably on December the assistance will fall because of the summer vacation.

    During mid-November we finished a Yoga 1 on Tuesday with 6 students and started a Yoga 2 on Saturday with 5 students. Soon we will go back to the painting. Pranams, from all the staff at Porto Alegre Centre. May the blessings of Master and Swamiji be with all.





Centro Yoga Vedanta Sivananda, Rome, Italy
    Om Namah Sivaya, Blessed Selves
    During mid-November Swami Rajeswarananda went to the Val-Morin Ashram for TTC. We started 2 yoga 1. Open classes are well attended, teachers and students are commited to their sadhana. The staff are fine. We wish Staff, Teachers, and Students throughout the world a Merry Christmas and a Joyous New Year and pray that Master and Swamiji continue to guide and protect us. Om Shanti. Om & Prem.


Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, San Francisco, California, USA
    Om Namo Narayanaya, Blessed Selves
    We wish students throughout the world a Merry Christmas and a New Year and pray that Master and Swamiji continue to guide and protect us. Om Shanti. Pranams to all.



Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Tel Aviv, Israel
    Om Namah Sivaya
    In early November a big highlight was the celebration of Swami Vishnu-Devananda's Mahasamadhi. We started with a special evening Satsang that was dedicated to Swamiji's mission in the west. Than we continued with a most special Puja in which Swami Swaroopananda and Swami Prema Swaroopananda blessed us with their presence. Swami Swaroopananda inspired us all as he recounted to us many anecdotes from Swamiji's amazing life and missions.
    During the week we started a new workshop with Jnaneshwari featuring the topic of
    "How to Cultivate Virtues & Eradicate Vices". 22 students attended the workshop.
    On Saturday night Narayan Jyoti and friends gave a beautiful concert of Sacred Chanting. 90 people attended the event and were all totally inspired. Promotion of different courses in the Centre proceeds well and we have nice numbers both in open classes and to the upcoming events.

    During mid-November we had a very active and fruitful week in the Tel-Aviv Centre.
    On Saturday we held the concluding event for Swami Swaroopananda's visit to Israel this year. Swamiji gave a most uplifting Q&A evening attended by over 90 students and devotees. He showered blessings on the yogic community in Israel, and encouraged us all to continue to grow and prosper from the inside as well as on the outer levels.
    During the weekend we held a very successful City Retreat in the Centre led by Rukmini on the subject of Spirituality in Daily Life. 10 students participated and everyone was greatly thankful for the uplifting Satsanga and mutual practice. During the week a new course training teacher for Prenatal Yoga started with 8 students. The course is thought by Sita from the Jerusalem Centre. A new Pranayama course started with 12 participants and an introductory lecture for Ayurveda was held with Dr. Eran magon with the attendance of 21 students. On Thursday we all drove to Mata for the official opening ceremony of the new Ashram in Israel. The place is operated by Dr. Durga & Govinda, both are devotees and yoga teachers for many years, who dedicated themselves to the mission of creating a yogic community in nature. They bought a small farm and with another family of yogic teachers (Omkara & Iswara) started the initiative. The ceremony was led by Swami Swaroopananda with the presence of Swami Prema Swaroopananda and Swami Hridyananda. A beautiful Puja was held followed by a grand feast. 30 people attended the event which was very auspicious and joyous. Blessings and Peace to all of the Sivananda Family from the Tel Aviv Centre.





Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Tokyo, Japan

    Om Namah Sivaya, Blessed Selves
    In early November Junko and the cat named Tora (means tiger in Japanese) who moved out  in this August came back to the Centre this Thursday. They are going to stay in the Centre until the middle of January. Junko will help us with  teaching class and housekeeping. Sri Svar, an expert of Ayurveda and Vedic astrology was visiting Japan and offered us a workshop on Sunday. Though we announced it only a few days before the program, quite a few students participated. We felt that there must be high interest in Vedic astrology and Ayurveda in Japan.

    During mid-November weekend detox retreat was held first time in Tokyo Centre and 12 students participated. It indicates people's interest in detox these days.We did rice porridge fasting instead of juice fasting as the weather seemed too cold for juice fasting. The retreat included lectures on healthy meal, the effects of fasting, practice of asana and yogic kriyas, and a short meditation walk to the nearby park. We finished the retreat by Satsanga with powerful kirtan singing. May Master and Swamiji bless us to be able to provide this. Pranams.





Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    Om Namah Sivaya
    In early November we had a new Yoga 1 and Y2 started this week, Open classes are doing very well as the weather is nice once again.  Satsangs continue to be very popular including daily morning Satsang. We had a Meditation Workshop for Yoga teachers. on how to teach Meditation. Taught by Saraswati, which was attended by 9 Students. Some teachers came from out of Toronto to attend the workshop. We got very good feedback from them. All were very happy with the workshop.  Prahladji was back from Thailand on Monday. He also went to the Yoga Camp, Temple closing ceremony on Saturday and came back same day.  On Sunday he lead Satsang and a beautiful Puja for Swamiji's Mahasamadhi with ablutions by all participants of Satsang.  Our upcoming retreat is already full with people on waiting list.

    During mid-November Y1 and Y2 courses started. Open classes are picking up more numbers as winter is officially here now. Satsangs were well attended. We had a  busy week.  Saraswati taught  Kids teacher training certification course which was huge success. A student came all the way from Ireland and another one  from Newfoundland (province in the  far east of Canada.) Anoosha came from Montreal to assist with  the course that was well appreciated by all students. We also have a group of teens from a well known Toronto mental health Centre attending classes every week. This was in response to the initiative started by Saraswati last year - teaching groups of  teens and   children from residential m.h.Centres and a  group home who reported lots of improvement through their yoga and meditation practice. Upasana, our teacher and psychiatrist by profession was trained by Saraswati and is now assisting these classes.  Ram Vakkalanka, Toronto based sanskrit scholar, taught workshop on Sri Vidya. We are happy to have Saraswati (Saori) back after a month visit to her parents in Japan. We wish you all a happy and prosperous new year. We send Om Namo Narayanaya to every one. Pranams to all. Om.





Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Trivandrum, Kerala, South India
    Om Namah Sivaya!
    In early November a new mixed batch for beginners started on Monday 6.30 am morning. Open and Kids classes went well. Lalitha Sahasra Nama Pooja was conducted on Friday. We have no week end beginners' course starting this month. On Saturday we conducted a Kriya Workshop to cleanse the respiratory system through the practices of Jala Neti and Sutra Neti. A special pooja was conducted on Sunday morning for Swami Vishnudevananda's samadhi day. Around 50 people attended and we provided breakfast afterwards. In the evening the staff members went to the Neyyar Dam Ashram to attend the inaugural function of November TTC and the Satsang. Karma yogi Arjun has joined the TTC at Neyyar Dam Ashram.

    Mid-November began with Ganapathy Homa as it was the first day of the new Malayalam month. A new Yoga 1 batch for ladies in the morning and a mixed beginners' batch in the evening also started on the same day. The current morning 6.15 beginners' batch the last week of their course. Open, Kids and Advance classes went well. Lalitha Sahasra Nama Pooja was conducted on Friday by our regular priest. We are planning to start a spiritual lending library in the Centre soon. We are thankful to Urashima ji, an outside teacher who had donated 2 shelved cupboards with locking glass doors for this purpose. Sunday Satsang was led by Swami Narayanananda ji. All the staff members are fully engaged with their classes, regular karma yoga & their own practice. Pranams to the Sivananda family worldwide at this time of year.





Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Vienna, Austria
    Om Namah Sivaya
    In early November many courses started, among them a big Yoga 1 beginners course and Yoga 46. A Highlight of this week was the weekend special program with Sudha, the Centre director from Paris. Saturday she gave a further training for teachers on asana variations, including an asana class, a lecture and a correction workshop. Many teachers came and gratefully received knowledge and inspiration. All left the Centre in high spirits. On Sunday morning Sudha gave a Sunday special class for all, which was also well attended. The whole program was a great success, its Prana also brought many students to the drop in classes on the weekend. The second highlight was the Mahasamadhi Pooja for Swami Vishnudevananda on Saturday evening. Many students and teachers came to join the celebration. The energy was high, Swamijis presence could be felt strongly.

    During mid-November several courses started, among them a Mantra course, a meditation course, a Yoga 25 and Yoga 19. Highlight of the week was our participation at the first Vienna yoga fair Yogaplanet. From Friday to Sunday inspired students, teachers and staff handed out over 1000 flyers, counseled many interested visitors. Narayani from Reith had come to represent the Vienna Centre at the fair. She gave two yoga workshops which were very well attended. On Saturday we had a cooking workshop for new vegetarians. It was well attended and the outcome was delicious. On Sunday the new Christmas theatre play was rehearsed for the first time in a very creative atmosphere. Many Karma Yogis supported the Centre in reception, household and kitchen. Other courses, drop-in classes and Satsangs were well attended. Staff are well. OM.





Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Vilnius, Lithuania
    Om Namah Sivaya, from Vilnius
    In early November Yoga 1 started and another extra morning yoga 1 was created and started as well. Swami Vishnudevananda Mahasamadhi celebration saw many close students and teachers. Puja was well prepared with special chair for Swamiji. There were many kirtans and 108 names for the Krishna and the Masters and readings from the book "Yogi". Open Day with usual introductions into Yoga, meditation, TTC and trial class went very well.  Some inscriptions for the the different courses and seminars followed. On Friday first time we visited one of the biggest cities of the country, Klaipeda, presenting yoga and upcoming TTC in Lithuania. Satsang, asana class and lecture saw around forty students and all were very happy being able to participate in such a Yoga festival. Three of them are seriously thinking to do TTC in 2015. In the Centre big poster advertising Lithuanian TTC was hanged and spreads lots of Prana. The rehearsals of the play "Everything for the best" for the Christmas party has started and everyone enjoys taking part in it.

    During mid-November there was a the Special program with Swami Sivadasananda. Three days program started on Tuesday with the asana class "Asana variations for strengthening of the breathing" and lecture afterwards focused on stress management. Wednesday's workshop attention was drawn to three levels of spinal movements in asanas. Satsang with many chants and talk "Discovering the true Self", followed by mantra initiation. The last day saw a dynamic asana class "Expanding energy in asanas" and lecture on "How to strengthen memory and will power". Many students from different yoga Centres of Lithuania joined the activities. The teachings of the Masters were present in a precise, joyful and caring way. Two beginners' courses started this week, plus on weekend we received five students for the Yoga 1 intensive course. Ishwara Chaitanya installed shelves for the new Centre library in the meditation room. We are going to order more spiritual books to fill up the library. Sending Prem to All. OM.






Develop equal vision. - Sri Swami Sivananda
 
 

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