Sivananda News Sivananda E-Gurugram
The Electronic Newsletter of the International Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centres
Issue #02/2017 Serve Love Give Purify Meditate Realize February 1, 2017
"God pervades the entire Universe as the Soul of this World (Visva Atman)." - 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
Da Lat Ashram, Vietnam

International News - Centres
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
Sao Paolo, Brasil
Tel Aviv, Israel
Toronto, Canada
Trivandrum, India
Vienna, Austria
Vilnius, Lithuania

SPIRITUAL CALENDAR
FEB 2017
07 Ekadasi
10 Full Moon
22 Ekadasi
24 Maha Sivarathri
26 New Moon

MAR 2017
08 Ekadasi
12 Full Moon
13 Holi
24 Ekadasi
26 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
With gratitude we can say the year 2017 began with much success for the Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Organization and its goals of expansion. We're blessed with the increase of attendance to our workshops, programs and Teacher Trainings. The Sivananda Centres and Ashrams continue to offer active programs and classes throughout the entire year. The Organization is blessed to serve the plentiful number of students and guests worldwide.

A highlight was the official opening of a new Ashram in the Organization, opening in Da Lat, Vietnam on 01 January 2017, with enthusiastic staff and students at its doors, excited to provide a vibrant space for the Sivananda teachings.

We are very thankful to each and everyone, for your continued support in the growth of the Organization as it finds even more new arenas for the teachings of Swami Sivananda and Swami Vishnudevananda.

All the best with your personal Sadhana. Much success in your spiritual path. May Master and Swamiji's blessings be with you always.

Pranams to all.

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Love all, because all are the manifestations of the One Self. - Sri Swami Sivananda

SIVANANDA YOGA FAQ
Q. The Bhagavad Gita touches on many subjects which are useful to an aspirant seeking God-Knowledge, but strangely enough, it omits to mention anything about the purpose behind Creation. Why did God embark on Creation at all?
A.

The Lord's silence, in the Bhadavad Gita, about the purpose of Creation, is truly a demonstration of His divine wisdom. This very same problem arises in various minds in various forms. How did Avidya arise in Brahman? When did Karma begin? Why did the Formless assume forms? How could darkness or Maya exist in the Supreme Absolute Light? And so on. There can be no answer to these questions. It involves the understanding of the Ultimate Principle, the Intelligence that is behind and beyond these questions, the Cause of all causes, the Subject of all objects. It cannot be known as an object. And, when the subject (Self or Atman) knows Itself, speech and thought cease. The questioner and question vanish in the quest. The doubt disappears in the doubter. In that Supreme Silence, the problem is inexpressibly solved! The riddle is solved; but speech is baffled and the question remains unanswerable. Therefore, the Lord is silent about the transcendental question in the Gita; but, such is the divine wisdom of the Almighty that He gives ways and means of solving the problem. Don't bother about why creation came into being, but try to know the Creator! Take creation for what it is and try to transcend it. This is wisdom. Trying to probe intellectually into the mystery is only buying psychological distress. There is no 'Why?' in respect of transcendental matters. 'Why?' is only for worldly things. Reason is finite and frail. God only knows the 'Why?'. Realize the Self. Then you will get the answer. Then you will know the origin and nature of Maya and everything.

Q. Are there fulfilled prophecies in the Hindu scriptures?
A.

The Lord has given His ever-standing promise that He would appear on earth whenever there is a danger to Dharma, whenever Adharma tries to vanquish Dharma. To fulfill that promise He has appeared many times in the form of saints and sages who have protected Dharma from decay and from the onslaughts of foreign oppression. They have instilled new elements of vigour and perspective in Hinduism. Therefore, Hinduism continues to flourish. Whenever there is a necessity, saints and sages will emerge, not from the heavens, but from among the people themselves. Hinduism does not believe exclusively in one prophet. The prophecies given in the Puranas about the state of affairs to come have also proved true.

Q. What is the difference between Jivanmukti and Videhamukti? As long as the body lasts how can there be Videhamukti?
A.

Jivanmukti itself is Videhamukti, but there is slight difference. In a Jivanmukta there is Svarupasana of the mind. In him Rajas and Tamas are destroyed, but the Sattvic frame of mind remains. It is on account of this Sattvic mind a Jivanmukta is able to do Lokasangraha. In Videhamukti there is destruction of the mind without form. Even Sattva is not there in him. So he cannot do any Lokasangraha

 
Previous FAQs at http://www.sivananda.org/teachings/faq/faq.html

Knowledge reveals itself. It is not taught. - Sri Swami Sivananda

HATHA YOGA TIP

SARVANGASANA - SHOULDERSTAND - All Levels

For All Levels:
The starting position is on the back with legs together and arms next to body, palms down.
Tip: Keep the chin down. Shoulders are kept down, away from the neck.
Inhaling, raise the legs together and lift to a 90 degree angle.
Tip: Keep legs straight. Relax shoulders, Keep head Centred.
On next inhalation raise legs and hips and place hands flat against lower back. Tip: Keep weight on elbows, hardly any weight on shoulders or neck. Keep legs together and relax them but keep knees straight. Hold up to 1 min.

Intermediate Level:
Come into final pose with body and legs now in straight line. Hold close as possible to shoulder blades. Chin is tucked down into chest, forming a chin lock- Jalandhara Bandha. Tip: Keep arms as parallel to each other as possible. Keep the pressure of arms and hands against upper back. Keep back straight and legs together. Relax the feet. Aim to align legs, hips and back. Keep head straight and Centred. Breathe slowly and rhythmically, using deeper abdominal breathing. Hold position up to 3 minutes.

An Advanced variation:
Remaining in full pose as in previous intermediate level, place both arms flat on floor, pushing them into the mat, palms face down. Hold pose up to 1 min keeping body straight and legs up.

BENEFITS:

Restores energy and balance
Improves metabolism.
Tones thyroid and parathyroid glands.
Relieves stress in shoulder and neck area, stretching shoulder muscles and neck ligaments.
Prana is concentrated in neck and upper spine.
Improves blood supply to roots of spinal nerves- keeps the spine elastic.
Helps varicose veins.
Improves mood and brings mental clarity.

Contraindications:
Practice Sarvangasana with caution, or not at all, in cases of existing painful neck condition - practice the beginner or gentle level only. Hold for less time, if high blood pressure - up to 15 seconds only.

Sarvangasana awakens Kundalini and augments the Jatharagni (digestive fire), It removes dyspepsia, constipation and other gastrointestinal disorders of a chronic nature. It energizes, invigorates and vivifies. Sarvangasana keeps a healthy thyroid. Healthy thyroid means healthy functioning of all the organs of the body. - Swami Sivananda

Sarvanga means "all parts", which suggests this pose is concerned with all parts of the body. - Swami Vishnudevananda


This yoga asana is an edited contribution for the Sivananda Gurugram partly sourced and edited from the Sivananda Publication : "Yoga: Your Home Practice Companion" – Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre – 2010.

Other yoga tips at http://www.sivananda.org/teachings/asana/101tips.html


Wisdom of the true Self is the ripe fruit of the beautiful flower of Virtue. - Sri Swami Sivananda

YOGA SANSKRIT GLOSSARY

IN THE NAMES of the ASANAS - Here are just some adjectives to help understand the names of the postures:

SUPTA – Reclining - ie. Supta Virasana (Reclining Hero Pose), Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclining Bound Angle Pose)
PARIVTTRA – Revolved. Rotated - ie Parivrtta Trikonasana (Revolved Triangle Pose)
ADHO – Downward – ie. Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward-Facing Dog)
MUK – Face – ie. Gomukhasana (Cow Face Pose)
ARDHA – Half – ie - Ardha Chandrasana (Half Moon Pose)
EKA – One - ie. Eka Pada Rajakapotasana (One-Legged King Pigeon Pose)
PADA – Foot – ie. Eka Pada Rajakapotasana (One-Legged King Pigeon Pose)
URDHVA – Upward - ie. Urdhva Mukha Svanasana (Upward-Facing Dog)
UTTHITA – Extended - ie. Utthita Parsvakonasana (Extended Side Angle Pose)
PARSVA - side, flank - i.e. Parsvottanasana (Intense Side Stretch Pose)
BADDHA - bound - i.e. Baddha Konasana (Bound Ankle Pose)

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

The moment you turn your mind Godward, you will gain immense strength and peace. - Sri Swami Sivananda

BHAGAVAD GITA

Chapter XII: The Yoga of Devotion

XII.17. YONA HRISHYATI NA DWESHTI NA SHOCHATI NA KAANGKSHATI;
SHUBHAASHUBHAPARITYAAGEE BHAKTIMAAN YAH SA ME PRIYAH.

(Krishna speaking to Arjuna)
He who neither rejoices, nor hates, nor grieves, nor desires, renouncing good and evil, and who is full of devotion, is dear to Me.

COMMENTARY: He does not rejoice when he attains desirable objects nor does he grieve when he parts with his cherished objects. Further, he does not desire the unattained.

Repeat OM. Chant OM. Sing OM. Meditate on OM. All desires will vanish. - Sri Swami Sivananda

RAJA YOGA

MEDITATION

Here, Swami Vishnudevananda advises on choosing the place to meditate.

At the feet of Swami Vishnudevananda - Thoughts on Meditation.

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.

We start with basic guidelines for the beginner, in the section 'Starting Out'.
Let's begin.

1 - THE PLACE
It is best to have a special room for meditation, but if this is impossible, as it is for most of us, try to separate off a portion of a room, reserving it solely for your practice if you can. Maintain it as a space to be used only for meditation, clean and tidy, free from distracting vibrations and associations, and allow only those who respect its sacredness to enter.

The place of focus
Set up a little table as the focal point of the room, with a candle, or better still, a small oil lamp, light being a potent spiritual symbol. Gazing at the steady flame before you start your meditation practice will bring concentration and introversion of the mind. This gazing is actually a concentration exercise in its own right, as explained later in the book. A flower or vase of flowers will enhance the atmosphere and fill the mind with joy. Burning incense in the morning and evening has a strongly purifying effect on the energy of the space. Use natural (not chemical) incense such as sandalwood, with its calming and cooling effect on the mind, or fragrances such as rose or frankincense. If you are of a religious nature set up an image of an uplifting spiritual symbol, such as the OM symbol, the Cross, or the Star of David; or a picture of Christ, Krishna, the Divine Mother, or Buddha. Choose what speaks to your heart and soul and helps your mind to turn within, away from worldly concerns. The powerful vibrations from repeated meditation practice will remain in the room, creating a magnetic aura, and within six months the peace and purity of the atmosphere will be quite tangible. In times of stress you can sit in the space, practice for half an hour, and experience great comfort and relief.

Which direction to face
Sitting on a clean mat (a folded woolen blanket or cotton mat are excellent for this) in front of the table, face north or east to take advantage of favourable magnetic vibrations. These directions are considered to be the most conducive to spiritual concentration.

Meditating in nature
It scarcely needs mentioning that natural environments are much more favourable to the practice of meditation than cities, where pollution from noise, traffic, electronic machinery, and the high stress levels of many of the people around can make it difficult to concentrate. If you can, try to take advantage of any opportunity to meditate in nature – on a beach facing the ocean, on a peaceful river bank, under a tree, on a mountain, with the rising or setting sun. You will find the meditation qualitatively different. If like most of us, you have to meditate in the city, you can still create a protected and sacred environment and it is certainly better to meditate in a city than not to meditate at all.

Excerpt from the book: "Swamiji Said – A Collection of Teachings by Swami Vishnudevananda in His Own Words"

Study thoroughly, prayerfully and unhurriedly with an alert mind and without interruption. - Sri Swami Sivananda

VEGETARIAN CUISINE

VEGETARIAN LASAGNE - Serve this lasagne with a fresh green salad. Serves 4-6.

Ingredients:

6 ounces spinach, steamed and squeezed dry
9 ounces firm tofu, crumbled and drained
Salt and pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 red bell pepper, cored, seeded and cut into matchsticks
2 zucchini, cut into matchsticks
1 quantity of tomato sauce
6 sheets of dried lasagne, cooked and drained
1 cup grated vegetarian cheese
2 tablespoons sunflower or sesame seeds
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast flakes (optional)
Tomato sauce - see recipe below

Preparation:
Heat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Chop the spinach and mix it with the tofu. Season with salt and pepper.
Heat the oil and sauté the bell pepper and zucchini strips over medium heat for 3 minutes.
Spoon a layer of tomato sauce into a greased 8 x 10 inch baking dish.
Cover this with a layer of cooked lasagne, then half the tofu and spinach mixture, and half the zucchini and bell pepper strips. Sprinkle with half the grated cheese.
Repeat the layers, then sprinkle the sunflower or sesame seeds and the yeast flakes, if using, over the top.
Bake in the oven for 50-60 minutes until bubbling and golden.
Serve at once.

TOMATO SAUCE for LASAGNE - Use deep red, juicy tomatoes if possible and make sauce in advance and let stand few hours to bring out the flavour. Makes about 2¼ cups.

Ingredients:
1 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound mixed diced vegetables (zucchini, green bell pepper, carrot).
1 bay leaf
2 ½ cups fresh or canned tomatoes
⅔ cup tomato paste
2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano or basil or 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
1 teaspoon salt
Pinch of pepper

Preparation:
Heat the oil in a skillet and sauté the vegetables over medium heat until soft.
Add the bay leaf, tomatoes and tomato paste and simmer for 45 minutes.
Add the herbs and season with salt and pepper.
Serve as a chunky sauce or puree in a food processor or blender for smooth sauce.

Notes for Tomato Sauce:
Option: To use this tomato sauce for pizza topping, use 2½ cups yellow and/or green bell peppers, cored, seeded and chopped, instead of mixed vegetables. Add pinch cayenne pepper if desired.

Option: This tomato sauce can be used on vegetables and grains. Instead of mixed vegetables use 2 sticks celery, chopped finely and 1 grated carrot.

This recipe is an edited contribution for the Sivananda Gurugram partly sourced and edited from 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

Enrich your blood through Japa, Kirtan, Meditation, Sattva, Pranayama, Asanas... tomatoes, grapes, spinach, pure air and sunlight. - Sri Swami Sivananda

UPCOMING EVENTS - TTC and ATTC Teacher Training Courses

2017

Feb 03 - Mar 02/17
TTC – English, עברית
Nassau, Bahamas
www.sivananda.org/nassau

Feb 11 - Mar 11/17
TTC - English 日本語 Русский язык 中文 Tiếng Việt
Dalat, Vietnam
www.sivanandayogavietnam.org

Feb 12 - Mar 12/17
TTC – English
Neyyar Dam, South India
www.sivananda.org/neyyardam

Feb 18 - Mar 18/17
TTC – English
London, England
http://www.sivananda.org/london/teachers_training_UK.html

Feb 25 - Mar 26/17
TTC – Deutsch English Español Français Italiano
Rudraprayag, Himalayas, North India
http://www.sivananda.eu/en/advanced-teacher-training-in-india.html

Feb 26 - Mar 26/17
TTC – English
Madurai, Tamil Nadu, South India
www.sivananda.org/madurai

Mar 04 - Apr 02/17
ATTC – Deutsch English Español Français
Netala, Uttar Kashi, Himalayas, North India
http://www.sivananda.eu/en/advanced-teacher-training-in-india.html

Mar 05 - Apr 01/17
TTC – English
Nassau, Bahamas
www.sivananda.org/nassau

Mar 12 - Apr 09/17
TTC – English
Woodbourne, NY, USA
www.sivananda.org/ranch

Mar 19 - Apr 16/17
TTC - English
Neyyar Dam, Kerala, South India
www.sivananda.org/neyyardam

Apr 04 - May 01/17
ATTC – English, עברית
Nassau, Bahamas
www.sivananda.org/nassau

Apr 04 - May 01/17
TTC – English, עברית
Nassau, Bahamas
www.sivananda.org/nassau

Apr 09 - May 07/17
TTC – English
Netala, Uttar Kashi, Himalayas, North India
www.sivananda.org/uttarkashi

May 03 - Jun 01/17
TTC – Français
Orleans, France
www.sivananda.org/orleans

May 04 - May 31/17
TTC – English
Nassau, Bahamas
www.sivananda.org/nassau

May 06 - Jun 03/17
TTC – English
Grass Valley, CA, USA
www.sivananda.org/yogafarm

May 14 - Jun 11/17
TTC – English
Netala, Uttar Kashi, Himalayas, North India
www.sivananda.org/uttarkashi

May 20 - Jun 18/17
TTC – Deutsch
Reith, Tyrol, Austria
www.sivananda.org/tyrol/en

May 27 - Jun 24/17
TTC – English
London, England
http://www.sivananda.org/london/teachers_training_UK.html

Jun 01 - Jun 29/17
TTC – English
Woodbourne, NY, USA
www.sivananda.org/ranch

Jun 03 - Jun 30/17
TTC – English
Nassau, Bahamas
www.sivananda.org/nassau

Jun 18 - Jul 16/17
TTC – English
Netala, Uttar Kashi, Himalayas, North India
www.sivananda.org/uttarkashi

Jun 30 - Jul 28/17
TTC – English, Français, Espaňol
Orleans, France
www.sivananda.org/orleans

Jun 30 - Jul 28/17
ATTC – Français, English, Español
Orleans, France
www.sivananda.org/orleans

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

Brahmacharya rejuvenates. It augments energy, nerve and brain power and vitality.
- Sri Swami Sivananda

SIVANANDA WORLD NEWS - JANUARY 2017

SIVANANDA YOGA VEDANTA Ashrams -

Sivananda Ashram Yoga Camp, Val Morin, Quebec, Canada

    Om Namah Sivaya! Greetings from the Sivananda Headquarters

    January began with New Years Eve starting with the 8PM Satsang, with the usual meditation session, followed by a talent show, which brought children, guests and staff alike to share their talents, and then a Puja for Lord Krishna accompanied by soul touching chants. Minutes before 12:00 hits, Prahlad with his intense and powerful voice filled the Krishna Temple with the sacred mantra Om Namo Narayanaya and the whole crew followed him. This is how we welcomed 2017 by chanting the peace mantra, praying and focusing on spreading peace all over the world.

    During mid-January we had a fairly quiet week with five guests present at the Camp. Guests were given coaching sessions, question and answer meetings, a relaxation workshop, and walks. Satsangs were held alternately by different staff including Bharata in Samadhi Estates. We had our regular silent walks to the lake, which is always beautiful with its pristine white cover. A group of the Camp went down to Montreal Sivananda Centre for Gita's surprise party. It was a lot of fun. Meanwhile that weekend was dedicated to theme "relaxation" and was conducted by Baghirati, who had already spent a week at the Camp. She led a Wednesday 8am yoga class and offered a deep relaxation session. During a Saturday morning Satsang, she summed up The Five Points of Yoga and introduced the weekend theme by explaining the importance and benefits of proper relaxation. She also offered 2 workshops and a lecture on relaxation. 27 people attended the program. A shipment arrived from India with the new steam chambers for the Ayurveda building. We were looking forward to the developments of the Ayurvedic Centre this summer! As usual, the Camp staff kept busy with various tasks: snow shoveling on Ganesha platform and around the Ashram grounds, typing transcripts from Swami Vishnu, advertising and communication, painting and flooring the rooms in the registration building and scanning pictures from the archives. Other Camp activities and maintenance went as usual. Atmaswaroopa left us temporarily to join Toronto Sivananda Centre. We are blessed to be carrying Swami Vishnu's mission! Om Shanti.


Sivananda Dhanwanthari Ashram, Neyyar Dam, Kerala, South India

    Om Namo Narayanaya!

    The end of 2016 saw the Yoga Ayurveda Cultural Program continuing.  Uma, our photographer returned just in time to take photos of many of the programs.  Guests learnt about Ayurveda from Dr Vishnu in two workshops and about Vedic Maths from Mr Haridas in another two.  Whilst in the evening, Monday's program involved a hike up Kalipara Hill for the annual Puja up there.  Other evenings covered tabla flute fusion, Kalaripyattu (Kerala martial arts) and Baul tradition devotional chanting. 2016 ended with a Puja with lots of chanting at 6 am for Swamiji's birthday, a Bharatnatyam dance workshop at 2 pm with concert by Lakshya and company in the evening Satsang. Indeed it was a very busy day, as some guests also provided a lively African dance workshop at noon with drumming and vocal backing. And as per the Ashram tradition guests were given herbal coffee (kashyam) and a bonfire with fireworks and music (sattvic devotional music) by the lakeside, until about 11.30 pm when all returned to the Siva Hall for Om Namo Narayanaya chanting, a little meditation into the New Year when the first message of 2017 was read from Sivananda Upanishads followed by final prayers and Arati. Of course, Prasad appeared in the form of a New Year's cake.  We will miss Shibin who transferred to Trivandrum and Sanju who transferred to Dwarka, Delhi.  We were sad to say goodbye and thank you to Haridas, Gauri Devi and Parvathi for their karma yoga efforts. We were happy to welcome Gauri Chaitanya who arrived to take care of Swami Sitaramananda. The monthly medical camp took place with 780 patients being seen by the doctors. In the meantime, 31 Japanese AWC students continued their studies under Dr Vishnu, discovering Ayurvedic cooking and the preparation of oils in addition to practicing some massage on each other and of course the theory. They travelled on day off to Kanya Kumari. 

    During mid-January we offered the premier screening of the film, Sivananda Yoga - Health, Peace & Unity produced by Benoy Behl in association with the Yoga Farm to commemorate the 60 years of Swami Vishnudevananda's world teaching. The film was well received by all. Sri Ananthapadmanabhan gave a highly charged veena concert which had everyone up for a standing ovation by the end. We celebrated Anoja (Sri Lanka) and Chandra (Iran) birthdays with Japanese food including miso soup, sushi, tempura and special rice and vegetables, made by the Japanese students for 100 staff and students. Some staff were able to attend traditional Kerala Indian weddings of the children of our paid staff, Lathakumari and Prasana. We wish them the best for the future. We welcomed Dr Ghanshyam (Ayurveda) who stayed for a week to assist the TTC A&P classes. Uma travelled to Sri Lanka for a new visa. Vinod and Bhavna have gone to Madurai to attend ATTC. May the Grace of God and the Masters keep us blessing all. Pranams to all the Sivananda Family.


Sivananda Ashram Kutir, Netala, Uttarkashi, North India
    Om Namo Narayanaya from Uttar Kashi

    For early January improvement works in the Ashram continued at a reasonable pace.  The Ganga dorm is in the finishing stages - just the new doors and windows to be fitted.  In the Bhagirathi dorm, the roof is being plastered and floor and bathroom tiling has commenced. Plumbers are also doing some work.  An old staff room next to the bridge pillar has been raised to the ground and is now being rebuilt; the slab roof will be poured in the coming week.  Staff are cleaning up other areas of the Ashram where works have been completed.  It helps keep them warm on these wintry days we are having. At night the temperature is dropping to minus 1, but the snow is on the mountain peaks only.  As the Ashram is closed, there is no celebration of Christmas here or even New Year!   However a bandhara feast was joyfully provided for all the workers in the Ashram (about 50) on the occasion of Swami Vishnudevananda's birthday.  May Swamiji and Master's blessings bring peace and happiness to all in 2017. Pranams to all. Om.



Sivananda Ashram Chateau du Yoga, Orleans, France

    Om Namah Sivaya

    In January we had a wonderful TTC with 36 students. The inauguration was guided by Swami Kailasananda. Students are coming mainly from France, but also from Belgium, Switzerland, Austria, Germany, Argentina, Denmark and Martinique. By the grace of the Masters the TTC is going well. Swami Kailasananda and Swami Bhagavatananda are giving the main lectures. It is a smaller TTC group, therefor we are having a guest program at the Ashram at the same time, the topic of one week was for example "how to increase strength and flexibility". OM.



Sivananda Ashram Yoga Farm, Grass Valley, California, USA

    Om Namah Sivaya from the Yoga Farm

    On New Year's Eve we had a 45 student yoga class, taught by Ananta Chaitanya, which was much appreciated followed by a New Years Eve feast, prepared by Karuna Devi, Rudra and karma yogis. At Satsang we had an enlivening concert with Habib Khan who was joined by two professional tabla players. This was followed by a birthday Puja for Swami Vishnudevananda and 2017 new year predictions by Sadasiva.  We then chanted Om Namo Narayanaya and sat in silent meditation as the clock hit midnight.  We had celebratory refreshments and snacks to finish the celebrations. The next morning we were joined on Skype with Swami Sitaramananda from Vietnam who interpreted to staff messages from Sivananda Upanishads. We felt the blessings of Master and Swamiji. For early January the Ashram had the Juice Fasting Retreat led by Swami Jnaneshwariananda and Keshava.  Students drank delicious juices three times a day and had workshops with Swamiji on the benefits of fasting. We had the Ayurveda Massage Rejuvenation Retreat with Ambika and a Positive Thinking Weekend, with Ananta Chaitanya. The guests very much enjoyed their weekend stays at the Ashram and went home revitalized with positivity. We also experience a weather phenomenon called an "atmospheric river" that dumped 12 - 17 inches of rain in the Sierra Nevadas causing mudslides in many areas that were just having forest fires a few months earlier. The Ashram remained a safe haven and welcomed the water to the land. Swami Jnana headed to San Francisco Centre for a weekend of city teaching. Meanwhile, the Ashram was very happy to welcome back Sundaram and Chandrika from their time away. 

    During mid-January we had an inspiring Bhagavad Gita course taught by Swami Jnaneshwariananda. Swamiji covered all 18 chapters in 10 hours of teaching time and everyone was given a deeper understanding and knowledge of the sacred scripture. In the evenings we watched the Mahabharata movie and enjoyed the scenes and the acting. We had a course called Dharma of Family and Marriage, taught by Tara Durga Devi and Chandranatha, long time devotees of Sivananda since the 1970s. The students were inspired to learn from their personal experiences of how to bring yoga into a householder life and learned from many funny personal examples of how to make relationship work. We also had a Beginners Weekend Intensive, taught by Amrita, who covered the Five Points of Yoga. We said farewell to Tarini who flew to India for a Pancha Karma retreat, returning in March. We also said bye to John who helped as a karma yogi for a few weeks. We welcomed former staff Nandini for a week long visit and especially enjoyed her classical Indian cooking. We also welcomed Yashoda as staff who will soon fly to Vietnam for TTC.  Michelle received mantra initiation and now has the spiritual name Uma. We all felt the grace of Master and Swamiji this month. Om Namah Sivaya to all Blessed Selves from the Yoga Farm.


Sivananda Ashram Yoga Ranch, Woodbourne, New York, USA
    Om Namo Narayanaya

    By New Year's Eve of 2017, the Ashram was fully-booked. Many karma yogis visited the celebration plus 7 longer term karma yogis. A feast was enjoyed! In the evening Satsang Radhakrishnan Namboodri led a Guru Puja in celebration of Swami Vishnu's birthday, followed by a violin performance by Galina. Prem Sadasivananda and Dileep Kumar led energized chanting until close to midnight where prayers for world peace were then offered. Prasad, birthday cake and a New Year's message from the Sivananda Upanishad were distributed to all. The first day of 2017 welcomed us with glorious sunshine and blue sky. After the very busy welcome to the New Year, the Ashram gradually quietened down. The staff busied themselves with clearing up after the celebrations and catching up on housekeeping and other tasks. Srinivasan and Saraswati departed for the Bahamas, where Srinivasan taught for a month. Swami Satyapremananda also left for a month retreat in India. Ambika, Sophie, Mirabai, and Vibhuti departed too, while two new karma yogis, Narayana and Gabriel arrived. Swami Paramananda presented an inspiring introductory program on meditation to the weekend guests. The winter weather insured that walks in the woods and the weekend sauna were also enjoyed.

    During mid-January Satsangs moved to the Annapurna room to make the Temple available for painting. It became beautifully refreshed. Swami Paramananda traveled to New York City and then on to Chicago, where he taught a meditation course and led a Satsang, hip-opening workshop and teachers' meeting at the Centre. We welcomed Jayanta and Mukti Devi, to host the well-attended weekend vegetarian cooking workshop and Satsangs. We all enjoyed the meal the participants had prepared. Narayan returned for 3 months of karma yoga. A new work-study also arrived to the Ashram. The staff are well. Pranams to all from the beautiful Catskills Mountains! Om.


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

    To finish 2016 the priest conducted a Puja for Swami Vishnudevananda's birthday. Everyone offered flower petals. Swami Brahmananda read some inspiring messages from the Vishnudevananda Upadesa and the rest of the evening Gaura Vani gave a Kirtan concert. We welcomed the New Year with joy and devotion in our hearts. The Ashram started 2017 with a special morning Satsang on the beach, where the priest performed a fire ritual to greet the first sunrise of the new year, called Surya Vandanam Puja. Everyone made an offering to the fire and when the sun was first seen, everyone did a few rounds of Surya Namaskar, prostrating in front of the sun. In the evening Gaura Vani and his band, which included two of our own Karma Yogis, continued with a beautiful Kritan concert. Fittingly, Swami Brahmananda gave a talk on New Year's Resolves, reading from Swami Sivananda's instructions on resolves. We welcomed Rachel Fiske who presented the topic "Celebrate the Divine Feminine" in a Satsang and multiple workshops. We were very happy to welcome Srinivasan and Swami Shambhudevananda, who were also teaching in the January ATTC. Srinivasan gave a month-long-program on Raja Yoga. We welcomed Tao Porchon-Lynch, who is possibly the oldest Yoga Teacher in the world. With her positive and simple approach she gave very inspiring Satsangs and workshops on "Aging Gracefully through Yoga". We inaugurated the January TTC and ATTC. Many many students came for the courses, so after they were initiated and changed into their uniform, the Satsang Hall was filled with white and yellow. We wished them a very spiritually productive month! Swami Brahmananda started a new program on "Swami Sivananda on God", in which he read from the chapter on God from the Bliss Divine. We welcomed Sister Greta Ronningen. She works as a chaplain with incarcerated men, women and girls in Los Angeles. In her program "Journey to Divine Love", she elaborated on her personal journey to God and the steps we can take to that goal.

    During mid-January we warmly welcomed back our Acharya Swami Swaroopananda, Swami Prema Swaroopananda and their assistants Jnaneshwari Chaitanya, Rukmini Chaitanya and Kumari. They will be staying for the season, giving great support to the Ashram on many levels. We held an Interfaith Devotional Singing Festival entitled "On the Wings of Ecstasy", in which numerous musicians came together to represent many musical traditions. We started the festival with Nawang Kechog, who is one of Tibet's foremost musicians. In his concert he played beautifully on several flutes. Carrie Grossman and her musicians presented the concert "Nada Shakti: The Power of Sound, Story and Song", in which they shared some Kirtan with us. The Jewish representative, Aviva Chernick, played and sang devotional songs together with her bass player Justin Gray. Maggie Wheeler and Emile Hassan Dyer brought with them music from all over the world, mainly from indigenous people from Africa and Australia. They included the whole audience in their concert, creating a vocal, interpersonal and internal harmony.Jorge Alfano and his Tabla player Jeff Deen also shared world music, which was inspired by the Japanese, Indian and indigenous people of South and North America. The Sufi representative, Amir Vahab and his musicians, shared beautiful folk music from the Middle East and Central Asia. Silvia Nakkach and Joss Jaffe concluded the festival with South American and Indian songs. Srinivasan continued his teachings on the foundations of Raja Yoga, specifically on the Yamas and Niyamas during the morning Satsangs. May the blessings of Master and Swami ji be with all for the upcoming year. Om.


Sivananda Ashram, Retreat House, Reith, Tyrol, Austria

    Om Namah Sivaya

    Beginning of January 2017 the special Christmas programs continued into the first week of the New Year. The first highlight was a lecture with Swami Durgananda, Yoga Acharya, on the meditation experience. We were made aware of the common difficulties and experiences in meditation and how one should commit oneself again and again to strive to develop oneself. Inspiring asana workshops continued, ranging from cardiovascular workout to asanas in harmony with the five elements. Swami Mangalananda gave well appreciated lectures on unity in diversity, Vedanta philosophy and meditation. Swami Vasudevananda the lecture series with inspirations for the new year; love - the law of life and inner wisdom-inner peace. The sudden arrival of winter with lots of snow and icy temperatures pleasantly surprised us. All thoroughly enjoyed the beautiful walks in a snow filled landscape amidst the winter silence of nature. The second January week the teachers' training course went into its last week. The group joined together for a nice talent show that proved great fun for public and participants alike. The beautiful energy of the mantra initiation carried us through the rest of the second week of January. The examination was successful and the lovely graduation ceremony gathered the students for a final and relaxed meeting. After a few days of tidying, clearing and preparing a new TTC group arrived on the 21st of January. Asana classes, lectures and Satsangs are running smoothly and harmoniously. A small guest group is enjoying the positively charged atmosphere and the being closely together with the TTC students. They also show a lot of interest in the lectures on yoga life style and how to integrate different yoga practices into daily life. OM.


Sivananda Ashram Meenakshi Ashram, Madurai, Tamil Nadu, India

    Om Namo Narayanaya from the Meenakshi Ashram

    For early January the Ashram began with hopes running high for the upcoming events of the year. The ongoing fasting program students moved onto their final week now seemingly confident compared to the previous week. They were taken out on a Day Trip on Tuesday to take in the local sights of Madurai City. They were made to undergo gradual transition from their fasting and detox diet to the regular one in a scientific manner. On Friday all the students were graduated during which they were given the chance to discuss about their experience of the program with other guests. All of them described about the initial hurdles they had to face and the ultimate feeling of well being being experienced by them. We bade farewell to Narayana and his family, thanking them whole heartedly for the well organised conduction of the program. Preparations were going on  in full swing for the upcoming Sadhana Intensive program. Prahlada ji came from Canada to teach and guide the course participants. We also welcomed Swami Shivabhaktananda ji who reached here on Saturday. Students who had enrolled for the program started arriving from Friday. Some of our staffs also signed up for the course.  On Sunday 43 students were initiated into the course by Swami Hariomananda ji and Swami Shivabhaktananda ji. Students during their introduction mentioned that  what they expect is indepth know how about the Yogic practices along with satiation of curiosity about the program. Sandeep left for Neyyar Dam Ashram to be a part of January TTC commencing on Sunday.Yoga vacation program continued with moderate number of guests who are well benefiting from their daily schedule of activities. We pray to our Masters, for their blessings and guidance all throughout. Om.



Sivananda Ashram Yoga Resort, Tuyen Lam Lake, Da Lat, Vietnam
    Om Namah Sivaya, from Da Lat Ashram

    At the begiining of 2017, the Ashram was quieter in terms of guest numbers, but not in terms of activity. Most of our New Year guests left, leaving just a small but dedicated group with us. We welcomed Deviyani and Satyadeva, who will be joining staff for some months. Also special guests Niranjan Babu, along with his wife Umarani. Niranjan-ji, who is an expert in Vastu, spent his first hours looking at all the different aspects of the Ashram, making many suggestions for improvement of energy. He led us in a beautiful ceremony to mark the opening of the Ashram. A large square mandala was marked out in rose petal lines in the new Ganesha Hall. Twelve staff members and special guests sat around the edges of the square, the "matajis" all wearing sari and doing Puja for Lord Siva, and six "prabhus", all wearing dhoti, offering ghee into a small fire. Swami Sitaramananda was in a central position doing Puja also. Each group chanted different mantras for their offerings, creating a complex and wonderfully uplifting sound and energy. Niranjan Babu also led us in a Mahalakshmi Puja later to pray for prosperity of the new Ashram. Work continued on many different projects. A new stage was constructed in the Ganesha Hall which will be used for Satsang when the group at the Ashram is smaller. The walls of the hall have also been painted in vibrant tones according to Vastu, providing an inspiring environment for meditation and Satsang. Staff settled well into the regular routine. A special treat was an extra Christmas celebration, as our Ukrainian staff, Arjuna, and his family prepared a special Ukrainian style feast to celebrate the Orthodox Christmas. Swami Narayanananda left for a short trip to Taiwan, where he attended the opening ceremony of a small Ashram that has been constructed by close student Lakshmi. Swami Pranavananda also left to return to duties at the Ho Chi Minh Centre. Deviyani and Satyadeva went to conduct weekend programs in Ho Chi Minh City. Swami Sitaramananda and Swami Dharmananda traveled to India for TTC at the Neyyar Dam Ashram, leaving just a small group to take care of things for the weekend.  During mid-January we welcomed guests for a week of practice with the theme of Yoga for Stress Relief. Guests attended daily workshops on the beneficial effects of Yoga practice to build up resilience to stress, The topic was also covered in Satsangs. Plenty of practice accompanied the theory. In addition to our regular Satsangs we took advantage of beautiful weather to have two of our meditation sessions outside on the hillside. Guests appreciated the wonderful fresh air and prana of the forest. We made an excursion out to the local Buddhist temple to enjoy Darshan of the Buddha and to spend  time in the beautiful gardens. This was followed by a cable car ride over the hills down into the town, where we ended our excursion with some sweet treats. We welcomed back out first repeat visitor, a Danish guest who missed the Ashram after leaving and decided to come back and spend her final days in Vietnam with us. We started to prepare for the upcoming Lunar New Year "Tet" holiday, when Vietnamese staff will be leaving to spend the festival with their families following the local tradition. We feel every day grateful for Masters and Swamiji's grace. Om.

    vietnamyogaresort@sivananda.org

TTC ATTC Reports from other locations worldwide:

    TTC/ATTC Garopaba/Brazil: The third week started with a silent walk to one of the near waterfalls. The narrow path with its lush vegetation invited to silence. It seems that we were entering inside of the very Mother Nature. Far away we heard the tinkling water brought us the promise of its freshness and joyful movement between the rocks. We sat there letting the sound clear our mind of other thoughts allowing the present moment to merge deep within our Being. The spiritual songs arose with great devotion, carrying their vibration throughout the forest. When the Satsang ended, students and staff had time to enjoy a dive in the crystalline waters of the Atlantic Forest. No doubt the most important day was when we had the Mantra Initiation. The dawn gave us a rising sun in a clear sky and a beautiful blue, where the moon in zenith showed us its thin figure. The trees gleamed in a brilliant green, with their flower bathed in the dew of the night. Everything vibrated with great joy. The room had been prepared by the staff the previous night and looked very neat and tidy, really transformed into a temple due to all the affection and care put by each of the staff who were there. 46 of the 54 students took Mantra Initiation, divided into 11 mantras groups. The whole process took three hours. Each group received its mantra and each student with emotion, respect and fascination, cried and was moved by the initiation, which although simple, carries with it the tradition and strength of our beloved Masters. At the end of the ceremony we were very impressed by the beauty and creativity of the students, who prepared all the offerings with such care. At night, as it is tradition in our courses, they received their spiritual names. We also had the famous talent show, which was developed with grace, talent and lots of love. We had dances, songs, acro-yoga, tango … each of the presentations delighted us, allowing us to enjoy an entertaining and satvic evening. The day to practice the kriyas arrived and it was wonderful to observe how the students no longer have the resistance of other years for these practices. Very willing they did their nose wash, vomit, abdomen shake, etc. A quiet environment characterized the class and the willingness to perform each of the kriyas. The tratak was carried out the next morning. The ATTCs' students remain very concentrated; it is an exceptional group where everyone is present in body and soul in all classes. On Thursday we began the TTC refresher; students from Uruguay, Argentina, Chile, Brazil, Spain and the United States, arrived. For some of them, it is the first time in Brazil and they are enchanted with the exuberant nature, full of color, fragrance and sound. They are enjoying their classes and the intense program prepared for them. We granted a study night, for TTCs and ATTCs, which was very well received and we feel needed by them. We met with the refresher group in the meditation room to practice likita japa. From Montanha Encantada, we send an affectionate greeting to all the Sivananda family in the world.


SIVANANDA YOGA VEDANTA Centres -

Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Zentrum, Berlin, Germany

    Om Namah Sivaya

    The Centre reopened with a reduced Christmas holiday schedule. The offered open classes were well visited, students were happy to return to their practice after Christmas. The Christmas Intensive for Beginners had a big group of newcomers, all very happy to learn the basics of Asanas and Pranayama within four evenings. At the end most of them were eager to continue their practice and bought books and Yoga mats. The atmosphere was positive and joyful. New Year's Eve we celebrated with a good group of teachers and students: we had a lovely Puja, Om Namo Narayanaya chanting, new years resolutions and a peace meditation into the new year. The snack was well received and the evening concluded with a wonderful birthday cake and Arati to celebrate Swami Vishnudevanandas birthday. Happy New Year to all. Together with all staff and many Karma Yogis we prepared the Centre for the "60 years Sivananda Yoga in the West" festivities. Last maintenance works were done, the whole Centre was given a mirror finish and was nicely decorated for the big event, Yoga Acharyas Swami Durgananda and Swami Sivadasananda arrived together with the Indian musicians on Thursday and also the Indian priest came to Berlin on Friday. Many students from eastern Europe, especially Russia, Lithuania and Poland also came for this special occasion. Due to Masters' grace one of the highlights of the program was the initiation of the new idols in the meditation hall on Sunday morning. The preparatory Puja on Saturday was already well attended. On the main initiation day on Sunday morning the hall was full of devoted staff, teachers and students to attend the powerful 5 hours ceremony. It was followed by a day filled with activities: Asana classes with Kailas from Orleans, teachers' Workshop with Swami Sivadasananda, a very inspiring lecture by Swami Durgananda on Yoga Sadhana and an uplifting concert with the musicians in the evening. Many students, teachers and Karma Yogis joined the different events and it was a highly joyful and positive atmosphere in the Centre. The priest completed the installation ceremonies with the performance of three more powerful morning Pujas for the new deities at the beginning of the week. Every evening the three Indian musicians wonderfully accompanied the chanting of Mantras and Kirtans during the Satsangs. All program were well received and many students participated every day. The atmosphere was full of joy and collective spirit. OM.



Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Buenos Aires, Argentina
    Om Namah Sivaya

    Happy New Year to everyone. On the 31st, we celebrated Swami Vishnu's birthday party, doing Archana. We were a few but, participants were very active. We continued with the study of the Bhagavad Gita and also we sang "Lalita Sahasranama". For early January two Beginners' Courses opened, and also a Meditation Course. We taught a workshop on "Karma and Reincarnation". We have three new Karma Yogis: Gangadhara, from Argentina, comes from Thailand TTC, where he lived for four years; Narayani, also Argentinian, comes from the Madurai TTC; and Gandhakali. She is not a teacher yet.

    During mid-January everything was quiet at the Centre during these summer days. Although we were on vacation time, all the classes were taught by the teachers. The Karma Yogis helped us with the cleaning. We taught the "Yoga and the Back" workshop. Pranams to all the Sivananda Family.



Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Chengdu, China


    Om Namah Sivaya!

    For early January we opened two new classes on weekdays and the weekend class continued their class 4 on Sundays. Teachers also received lots of inspiration during the Course. We held a Kriya workshop. The classes in the Centre went smoothly. Students are all improving and our staff are doing well.

    During mid-January a highlight at the Centre was a One Day Intensive. All staff and students were very much inspired, especially by the message from Master Sivananda. The two weekday Beginners' courses both concluded. Students gave very positive feedback and expressed their eagerness towards self practice and new courses. We welcomed Lakshmi as a Karma Yogi at the Centre. Due to the Spring Festival holiday, we closed the Centre from Jan 25th to Feb 4th, to reopen on Feb 5th with our February Open House. May you all have a fruitful Year of the Rooster. Om Namo Narayanaya to all the Sivananda family.



Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Chennai, India
    Om Namah Sivaya to all Blessed Selves from the Chennai Centre.

    On 31st December 2016 we celebrated Swamiji's Birthday, performing a Guru Pooja. We prepared nice delicious Kerala feast. Around 50 members attended the feast. The same evening we celebrated New Year's Eve with Italian dishes. On the First morning of 2017 we distributed Yoga life magazine with a 2017 calendar to all our members. Even we chanted the Om Namo Narayanaya mantra for World Peace. We started a morning Beginners' with good number of students. Prahladji visited our Centre on 8th January and gave an amazing two hours special class with good number of students. Thomas went to Madurai to attend the Sadhana Intensive. Naveen returned to the Centre after his vacation. Ranjith from Cochin joined as a Karma Yogi. Construction work here was almost nearing to the finishing stage. With grace of God and Guru's blessings everything is fine and healthy. Om.


Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Chicago, USA

    Om Namah Sivaya!

    The beginning of January proved to be very busy with registrations for the upcoming Yoga 1 and Meditation courses and a Meditation Workshop scheduled for the beginning of the year. Class sizes began to increase with enrollment in the courses being very positive. Arjuna, from Ottawa, arrived for a two week visit, to help out while Minakshi was away visiting family. After a long day of air travel through snow and ice storms, turning what would normally be a 4 hour trip, into a 15 hour trip, Arjuna arrived vary late at night, still maintaining his positive attitude. Arjuna started teaching a  2 week Meditation workshop and also offered a one day workshop entitled "Yoga for Men". Both were well attended. We had our first Open House of 2017 at the teaching annex. Several participants signed up for classes and Yoga 1 courses. There as new student interest and registrations.

    Mid-January was busy and exciting at the Chicago Centre. We said farewell to Arjuna who was here for 2 weeks helping out, teaching drop-in classes and courses and welcomed Swami Paramananda, from the Yoga Ranch, for a weekend program on Meditation. We had many karma yogis helping us as we prepared for Swami Paramananda's visit.  Swamiji was very helpful spending the day advising Radha on planning and scheduling. Swamiji's program started with a workshops "The Workings of the Mind" and "Introduction to Meditation". After a invigorating walk to the lake, in what turned out to be spring like weather, Swamiji taught an afternoon workshop "How to Establish a Meditation Practice". Following the workshop we had a teachers meeting, with all teachers attending the inspiring and informative session.  After the meeting we gathered together for a delicious meal over at the Centre, sharing good company, and fellowship. The final part of Swamiji's weekend program was teaching the Sunday 4pm advance class with emphasis on Hip Openers and then leading the evening Satsang. Both the class and Satsang were full to capacity. The workshops were very well attended.  Staff greatly enjoyed having Swami Paramananda here to infuse his prana and energy into the Centre and inspire us with his lively chanting, spiritual discourses and his sense of humour. By the grace of Master and Swamiji, staff are regular in their sadhana and are doing well. Sending pranams to all! Om Shanti, Shanti, Shantihi.



Sivananda Yoga Vedanta DÀ LAT Centre, Dà Lat, Vietnam
    Om Namah Sivaya

    By Guru's grace, the Grand Opening of Ashram on the first day of the year 01.Jan.17. It was very successful with many students attending. Twenty people from DaLat Centre travelled to the DaLat Ashram to celebrate and experience a full day of yogic living. This was a memorable day for all students and staff. The rest of early January was beautiful in Da Lat Centre. All classes re-opened as normally after the Retreat. The Open House was successful with some students registering for the beginner course after that. All staffs focused on rearranging the Centre, from the office to the store while preparing for the 3rd Birthday anniversary of Centre which was held later in January. Om.


Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Dwarka Centre, Delhi, India
    Om Namah Sivaya

    By Guru's and God's Will, everything went very well at the Centre in January. We celebrated Swami Vishnudevananda ji's birthday with a Morning Havan and a special yoga class for Slum area kids. In the name of Swami ji, we donated 80 yoga mats to the children. After receiving the mats we could see the smiles on kids' face. On same day we had Bhandara with more than 1000 people receiving food. That evening we had Satsang, followed by cake cutting and dinner, which was attended by many devoted students. A couple of days later we started the Beginners batch at 6:30am and 4pm with good numbers of students. We started with a weekend Beginner classes with bunch of peace loving busy office people. We had a teachers correction class with all the teachers who are teaching the Centre. We discussed on how to work to improve on our teaching skills, with Vijayji giving us valuable advice. The new teachers who finished their TTC showed enthusiasm and willingness to serve here in the Centre. We conducted an Advance class, followed by Satsang and dinner, which was attended by many devoted students. Apart from that, all classes and special classes continued doing very well.

    During mid-January the weather was still quite cold in the mornings. We started a 6:30 am and 4 pm Beginners' classes. We conducted two workshops – Headstand workshop and Shat Kriya Workshop, for the students. We have also started a weekend Beginners' course for the new students on Saturdays. We also had evening Satsangs, conducted by Janakiji. Quite a large number of participants attended and were very happy and joyous. A nice dinner was served after the Satsang to all. Apart from that all the open classes and special classes went well. We pray to the Almighty for peace and joy to everyone. Om Namah Sivaya. Om Namo Narayanaya. Pranams.


Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Nataraja Centre, Delhi, India
    Om Namo Narayanaya

    We celebrated Swami Vishnudevananda's birthday and New Year's Eve 2017 with cultural program. We showed Swamiji's Video, Chanted Om Namo Narayanaya, read a message from Swami Vishnudevananda's Upadesha and from Swami Sivananda's daily message. A cultural dance and song presented by talented children and also instrument (Sarod, Tabla and Harmonium) was played by professionals. The program concluded with Arathi. As we entered January we started with a Beginners' course at 6:30am and 4:00pm. The Mishra family of Indian classical artist performed Bhajans with tabla, violin and Harmonium one Sunday evening. We conducted few private classes. The program was enjoyed by the attendants. With the grace of the Masters everything is going well at the Centre. 

    During mid-January we started a Beginners class at 4:00pm. Nitya of New York joined the Centre for a month as a temporary staff. Although there was no any special program, with the blessings of the Masters all the regular schedules: open class, gentle yoga, prenatal, kids yoga and Satsang went well. Om.


Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Noida, Delhi, India
    Om Namah Sivaya, from Noida

    With the Blessings and Grace of our Beloved Masters, we send Pranams and our best wishes to all the Sivananda family. Om.

    http://sivananda.org.in/noida

Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Geneva, Switzerland
    Om Namah Sivaya from the Geneva Centre

    The Centre had a good start after a two week pause. Staff arrived inspired and recharged from the Retreat house in Reith. Courses and classes started with good attendance and the trial classes were well visited. The outside classes at the United Nations Organization started with good attendance as well as the pensioners course which is held in cooperation with the city of Geneva. We had a nice open day where half of the students signed up for upcoming Beginners' courses and a TTC-preparation with seriously interested students. Many of our teachers and students had a wonderful time at the Ashram in Orleans and the Retreat House in Reith; two of them took the TTC. Everyone came back with shining faces and we had a well visited Satsangs full of prana and joy. OM.



Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
    Om Namah Sivaya

    During early January we closed the Centre for two days Jan. 1st and 2nd for the new year retreat in Dalat. It was a very good retreat for the students and staff.  Afterwards we welcomed Swami Narayanananda ji (from Dalat on his way to Taiwan) to lead a wonderful Satsang, which many people attended, and all received new-year messages from Bliss Divine. The highlight of the week was the Open House on Sunday and the special talk of Deviyani on an "Introduction to Ayurveda."  Outside teacher Harapriya came to stay at the Centre to help us as Ganga was still in Dalat.  We look forward to another blessed year of teaching here in the City, and now with a beautiful Ashram nearby! Om Shanti, Shanti, Shantihii.  


Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, London, England
    Om Namah Sivaya

    New Year's Eve celebration was attended by many close students, teachers and also newer students, all sharing the joy of being part of the Sivananda family. The evening started with a beautiful Puja performed by a local priest and continued with a feast, inspiring words from Swami Vishnudevananda and Om Namo Narayanaya chanting for World Peace. The New Year was welcomed with a silent meditation. Swamiji's birthday was celebrated at midnight accompanied by chanting and a delicious cake. All left with a joyful heart filled with prayers for peace. OM.



Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Los Angeles, California, USA
    Om Namo Narayanaya!

    We gathered Saturday evening to celebrate the birth of Swamiji and to welcome the new year. The celebration started with silent meditation and a beautiful Vishnu Puja with beautiful kirtan. We talked about Swamiji and read his hand-written holiday letter: wishing us to become a true Jyoti to humanity. After Puja we chanted three-malas of Peace Mantra into 2017. The chanting was loud and focused, we were untouched by the noise outside. Afterwards we enjoyed snacks and sparkling juice prepared by karma yogis. At Satsang on 1/1/17 we walked through Swami Sivananda's instruction and made individual plans and resolutions for our Sadhana. We also read Swami Sitaramananda's new year message which was full of nice reminders on how to live a yoga life. Everyone was inspired, charged with new possibility of a healthy and joyful year. Mirabai returned from her visit to Yoga Farm Ashram in time to join the Center's celebration. Students were good at signing up for upcoming workshops and courses to begin 2017 in learning and in Satsanga.

    We had a nice Open House with students visiting Los Angeles, making a special trip to learn about Sivananda Yoga. The first Yoga One Course this year started with sincere students seeking to start a year with healthy living and learning. We offered a wonderful kirtan night. All felt uplifted by the chanting. We did a Devi Puja for mother Durga during a morning Satsang. We were joined by students visiting from Europe. It's very inspiring to see Swamiji bringing people together in Satsanga. We enjoyed meeting gurubais from all over the world, all living the spirit of yoga. Staff did a Siva Puja at the apartment, it was an intimate and heart-felt ceremony. Omkar went to Yoga Farm Ashram to take the Hatha Yoga Sadhana course. 

    During mid-January we offered the Yoga and Vedanta Intensive, taught by Gajananam. The program started 9am with a yoga class and lecture on Yoga and Vedanta, following by community lunch and karma yoga. That afternoon were lectures on Drig Drishya Viveka and mantra chanting sessions. It was well attended despite the heavy rain, students enjoyed the immersion schedule and the study of Vedanta philosophy. We learned to apply Vedantic thinking techniques to help sharpen our discrimination. At a Sunday Satsang we talked about the importance of understanding the symbols and significance of our Sadhana, to not fall into the mode of blind routine. It was high energy weekend of learning. A Yoga One course continued onto it's third week. We learned to chant Adi Sankaracharya's Nirvana Shatakam at Satsang. Pranams. 



Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Madrid, Spain

    Om Namah Sivaya, Blessed Selves!

    The Madrid Centre had a reduced schedule over the Christmas period. Staff entered the New Year with a silent meditation for Peace. Students and teachers received with much joy the news of the Sanyas initiation of Swami Santoshananda at the Retreat House in Reith. With the new season everyone returned motivated and with positive resolutions for their Sadhana. The Centre brochure arrived just on time for the first Open day of the year: we had a full house with 125 students. We had to arrange three overflow classes in order to fit everyone. The atmosphere was cheerful and attentive and most of them stayed for the lecture and asana demonstration. Promotion of the International Easter Retreat in Almeria, South Spain, started and enrolments are already coming. OM.



Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Madurai, South India

    Om Namah Sivaya

    Swami ji's birthday was celebrated with small Puja the same evening the New Year Eve was celebrated. We were invited for dinner by one of our student on New Year Eve. All staff stayed awake to welcome 2017. There were different program in Madurai city from different groups of people. We invited our students to join our Satsang of the New Year. Many people attended the Satsang. Early January started with evening Beginners' course at 6.30 pm. All is well in Centre, by Gurus' blessings. Once again all staff member of the Centre, wish our huge Sivananda family members to have a blessed 2017. May Gurus blessings be with us always. Pranams to one and all from Madurai Centre. Om Shanti, Shanti, Shantihi!!



Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Montevideo, Uruguay

    Om Namah Sivaya

    On December 31st we celebrated Swami Vishnudevananda's birthday. It was directed by Kanti Devi. She showed a variety of pictures of Swamiji while she told her own personal stories about him. As January began we received Gopika, who came to support the karma yoga at the Centre. We were closedafter New Years for a couple of days.

    During mid-January we saw a good number of students, despite the hot weather and vacation season in the city. We had a Divine Mother Pooja with the participation of the Staff, teachers and a student. Our demo class on the Montevideo Rambla (pedestrian boulevard in front of the sea) provided a meeting point to Beginners to yoga and regular students. Also, people on the Rambla started to become familiar with the Sivananda classes. For example, the people received the Sivanand Centre's brochures more positively than before. Om Shanti!!!



Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Montreal, Quebec, Canada


    Om Namah Sivaya

    Om Namo Narayanaya and blessings to all the Sivananda family. Om.



Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Munich, Germany


    Om Namah Sivaya from the Munich Centre!

    We had a good start into the new year with our New Year´s Eve celebration where we entered 2017 with the chanting of the peace mantra and a silent meditation. In January we always offer many interesting activities: We had a one day retreat with the title "Yoga and Nutrition": It started with a cooking class in the morning. After a delicious lunch there was a lecture "Elements of a Balanced Vegetarian Meal" followed by a yoga class and the evening Satsang. We also taught an advanced asana-workshop "Asanas with focus on the Neck, Shoulders and Upper Back". Furthermore we started meditation courses part 1 and part 2 as well as a new open meditation course. This course which will take place once a week and aims at students who want to start meditation. In each session a specific aspect of meditation (e.g. breath, mantra repetition, thought control etc.) will be practiced and explained. For the first Open House of the year many interested people came to the Centre. We also got five more nice small and medium size teaching rooms one floor above our big yoga hall. We are looking forward to a special program with Swami Sivadasananda on the weekend 4 and 5 February: asana workshops, yoga teacher workshops and Satsangs. OM.




Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, New York, USA


    Om Namah Sivaya!

    For the first day of the new year 2017, familiar and new faces came to the Centre on Monday January 2. Shakti left early morning to the Bahamas to do the ATTC course. There was a lot of movement and visits at the Centre. Priest Radhakrishnan and family came down from the Yoga Ranch and stayed at the Centre for a couple days. On the day that the priest left, Prahlad and Saraswati, from the Yoga Camp and Toronto Centre, stayed here for a few days too. Prahlad taught an open class and gave an interactive Satsang on Wednesday. By the end of the week Shraddha left to visit family in the states and Bhawani, a regular karma yogi, came to stay at the Centre and substitute for Shraddha. The weather was amazing. Although it was freezing all week, the real gift came on Saturday. It snowed!!!  The silent walk just before the snow fall was just peaceful.  And despite the inclement weather conditions, slippery sidewalks, students continued to come. Their dedication to their personal practice was admirable. However, cold weather brings the flu and Neeti and Swami Paramanda were in the trenches of fighting the flu and not fit to give Satsang on Sunday. Luckily Mukti Devi (one of our teachers) was able to give Satsang. She gave an inspiring talk about health and happiness.  You could tell by the chuckles and sighs in the room that many people could relate to and were in awe of the passages that she read from in Bliss Divine.

    During mid-January the weather ranged from cold, rainy and sunny. A new yoga teacher gave her first class on Monday and the Positive Thinking course began. The Yoga 1 and Yoga 2 courses are going well and a few students are planning to take Yoga 2 next month. Ganesha, who runs the affiliated Centre in Eilat (Israel) came from the Yoga Retreat and stayed at the Centre for the weekend before returning home to Israel. He shared a few photos and stories when he was staff at the NY Centre over 14 years ago. The Centre was quite different then yet many things were still the same. Neeti, Samyukta, and Joanna are breathing life into the Centre Library on the 5th floor and in the book selection in the boutique. There are many untapped books in the basement and Library and it has been nice to see over abundance transform into order and mystery containers turn into discovery and purpose. A meeting was had with two Indian representatives from the UN who want to organize an event for International Day of Yoga with SYVC NYC. Stay tuned and come to New York for the big day celebration. All the Staff are well and send their pranams. Om.



Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Paris, France
    Om Namah Sivaya

    There was a peaceful mood to end 2016 and to start the new year. Life gave us a cheerful time with the preparations and the celebration of Christmas and New year's eves. The spirit of unity was there for both celebrations. On the 24th, the program started with the chant of Om Namo Narayanaya while the people were arriving for the Satsang. Then we had a short Satsang with some inspiring words of Swami Sivananda on the topic of Christmas. After the Satsang, we had a short magical play on the topic of peace. Beautiful piano music was present the whole evening: for the play, the carols, a little concert  and accompanying all the participants to set the room for the meal. There was a cheerful mood with everyone dancing while setting up. Everything was perfect. The spirit of karma yoga was awaked by the music and we were all one family. On the 31st we had Swamiji's  birthday Puja, a delicious meal and a cake with candles. We had also the resolutions for 2017, The 'Om Namo Narayanaya' chanting and a silent meditation around midnight to welcome the year. Everyone seems happy and positive with the starting of the year. The Centre went back to its normal schedule on the 1st of January after two weeks of reduced classes. On the 4th, The Centre was uplifted by the presence of Swami Kailasananda who listened to everyone, guided everyone and gave an inspiring Satsang on the topic of positive thinking, giving many examples of Swami Vishnudevananda and Swami Sivananda's life. Sivakami came from the Ashram to be staff in Paris. Her presence is a good support. This month we had a successful  workshop on the topic of yoga to overcome trauma and stress in the main hall with over than 60 people.  We had also a cooking class. We had a review of the teaching planning during the renovations, all the courses of the month had to be limited in number and one cooking was cancelled. We had the good news that a close karma yogi will be in the Centre to supervise the workers. The Centre was blessed with some visits of the priest during his European Tour. He performed a public Puja on the 12th and some morning Pujas with the staff. On The 21st The Masters sent many karma yogis to support the Centre and many students for the activities of the Open House and the regular classes. The new comers were eager to start their practice soon. OM.



Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Porto Alegre, Brasil, South America
    Om Namah Sivaya from Brasil

    We are forever grateful