"Disharmony of thought, word and deed is the cause for all troubles, miseries and quarrels in this worldEducation is introduction to life. It must be non-sectarian. It must aim at friendship and fellowship with all communities." - Sri Swami Sivananda|
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Sivananda Yoga FAQ
Hatha Yoga Tips
Yoga Sanskrit Glossary
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
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Dwarka, Delhi, India
Nataraja, Delhi, India
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Los Angeles, USA
New York, USA
Porto Alegre, Brasil
San Francisco, USA
Tel Aviv, Israel
A complete e-mail directory of the Sivananda Yoga Centres and Ashrams is
Sivananda Email Directory
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Guru Gram Archives|
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|OM NAMAH SIVAYA!|
Om Namah Sivaya
Greetings to all and from the Sivananda Ashrams and Centres worldwide. We are grateful, as with your continued support we are able to bring the teachings of Swami Sivananda and Swami Vishnudevananda to far and wide places that we were unable to reach before. Aside from the teacher training courses offered in our Ashrams, the Sivananda staff were extremely busy, during the month of October, teaching the modular TTC teacher training courses in North India, North Thailand and the most recent new location, Chengdu, China.
Another Sivananda Organization first found a graduating Sivananda TTC class from inside a federal prison in New York State, USA.
In India, the Sivananda Organization is now associated with new Ministry of AYUSH (Department of Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy) and QCI (Quality Control of India) whose aim is to set new international standards for yoga organizations and teachers.
May Master and Swamiji bless us always in our Sadhana and service.
Pranams to all!
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Lead the divine life of truth, love and purity. Live to serve humanity. - Sri Swami Sivananda
SIVANANDA YOGA FAQ|
|| What is the need to attain Moksha, Swamiji?
To understand this you should resort to Satsang and study of scriptures. An intellect that is clouded by all sorts of desires and evil Samskaras will not be able to grasp even the need for Moksha. Such an intellect is Asuric. Read the Gita. Attend Satsang. Listen to the discourses of saints and Sannyasins. Then Viveka will arise in you. You will understand that this world is full of pain and sorrow. The bungalow, the motor-car, the little position and the small salary that you are having now will not then satisfy you. Your aspirations will grow. You will want to liberate yourself. What great labour goes into the preparation of the microscope lens? After a lot of grinding only you are able to peep into the beyond. Similarly, after a lot of study and Satsang only will your intellect even think of the Beyond.
||How does the Yogi see the subtle rudiments of matter with his Yogic vision?
How does the Yogi see the subtle rudiments of matter with his Yogic visionAs you would see the material objects with the help of a material instrument in the form of the eye, the Yogi would see subtler objects through the help of subtler instruments. Except in the plane of intuition, in all other lower planes, there exists a subject-object relationship as far as cognition is concerned. The only thing is: the instrument used in perceiving the object should be of the same material of which the object of perception is made. For further grasping of the exact vision of the Yogi, you yourself should become one.
|| I took Sannyasa recently. Can I have a Parivrajaka life or should I live in seclusion?
For a new student of Sannyasa, strict seclusion for six years with intense Sadhana is essential. It depends upon the condition of your mind. In Parivrajaka life, you cannot have regular and systematic Sadhana. There is distraction everywhere. For some years you should be away from the sensual objects. Strict seclusion will bring immense benefit. Once in a year, for a few days, you can go to a place for change of climate. If you find that you are entering into Tamas, you should combine active service. For a beginner, Nishkama Karma for two or three years will prove good. Then strict seclusion. Occasionally you can have a Parivrajaka life for a few days to test the strength of your mind.
Previous FAQs at
All diseases take their origin in the mind. Treat the mind first. Physical diseases will disappear by themselves. - Sri Swami Sivananda
HATHA YOGA TIP
PASCHIMOTHANASANA - Forward Bend - VARIATIONS
In seated position with legs extended on the mat, extend forward from the base of the spine as in basic Paschimothanasana. Keep backs of the knees on the floor. Keep feet on mat flexed with toes pointed up. Hold the pose in the variations.
Variation 1: In Paschimothanasana pose, wrap your hands around your soles with fingers under heels, to increase the stretch on the hamstrings.
Variation 2: In the pose, place elbows on floor and interlock fingers around the arches of the feet.
Variation 3: With elbows on the floor, stretch left arm beyond the feet and clasp the left wrist with the right hand. Hold pose and switch hands.
Variation 4: Begin Paschimottanasa with your palms joined behind your back, or place the backs of the hands together. Stretch forward from the base of the spine using muscles of abdomen and back. This pose opens up the shoulders and you can press the spine down gently with your joined hands.
Lengthens the curve of the spine, opening up space between the vertebrae.
This also helps the spine bend further back in the opposite direction.
Improves circulation in the abdominal organs and helps digestion.
This yoga asana is an edited contribution for the Sivananda Gurugram sourced and edited from the Sivananda Publications - "Yoga: Your Home Practice Companion" – Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre - 2010 and "The Sivananda Companion to Yoga". The Sivananda Yoga Centre - 2000.
Other yoga tips at
Yoni-Mudra helps in the closure of the Nine doors, Navadvara and in the promotion of hearing\ the Anahata sounds. - Swami Sivananda
YOGA SANSKRIT GLOSSARY
ANUSHTHANA – Anushthana is the systematic practice of Japa, worship and Swadhyaya. Anushthana is concentrated spiritual practice. Full-time aspirants devote 12 to 16 hours per day, when they perform Anushthana for the practice of Japa Yoga. This is meant for quick spiritual progress, to have control over the mind and senses and for acquiring Asana Jaya. One who performs Anushthana for 21 days, 40 days or ten days or even one week will have great peace of mind and satisfaction.
If you want God, you must turn your back to worldly enjoyments. - Sri Swami Sivananda
A complete Sanskrit Glossary can be found at:
Chapter II: Sankhya Yoga
INDRIYANAM HI CARATAM YAN MANO NUVIDHIYATE
TAD ASYA HARAIT PRAJNAM VAYUR NAVAM IVAMBHASI
(Krishna speaking to Arjuna)
II.67. For the mind, which follows in the wake of the wandering senses, carries away his discrimination, as the wind (carries away) a boat on the waters.
COMMENTARY: The mind which constantly dwells on the sensual objects and moves in company with the senses destroys altogether the discrimination of the man. Just as the wind carries away a boat from its course, so also the mind carries away the aspirant
from his spiritual path and turns him toward the objects of the senses.
Religion consists in doing good to others, in the practice of love, mercy, truthfulness and purity in all walks of life. - Sri Swami Sivananda
Discourse II: "Sadhana Pada- On Spiritual Disciplines"
II.42. SAMTOSAD ANUTTAMAH SUKHA-LABHAH
'From contentment comes supreme happiness.'
Man is ever searching for happiness in external objects, but it can only be attained when the mind is satisfied with what has been allotted and is no longer looking. When the mind is stilled and contented, happiness is automatic.
Every disease is a Karmic purgation. - Sri Swami Sivananda
POTAGE CHOUX AU GRATIN - This sattvic variation of traditional French onion soup uses cabbage instead of onions. Tamari is used for the vegetarian broth. Cabbage contains fibre, Vitamins C, B6 and K and minerals such as calcium and potassium. Choose a cabbage that is firm, with tightly packed leaves and is heavy rather than light. White cabbage has light green leaves and is white in the middle. Serves 6-8.
2 to 4 tablespoons butter or margarine
1 white cabbage, coarsely shredded
1 ¾ quarts water
3 bay leaves
½ cup tamari
1 French bread (whole wheat can be used)
2 ½ cups grated cheese/ vegetarian cheese
Melt butter or margarine in a pan and sauté the cabbage over low to medium heat for about 15 min, until soft and translucent, stirring occasionally.
Bring the water to a gentle boil then turn down the heat. Add the sautéed cabbage and bay leaf. Cover and simmer for about 30 minutes.
Add the tamari and simmer another 10 min. Avoid boiling the cabbage on high heat or overcooking it.
Meanwhile heat the oven to 375°F. Slice the French bread into 2 inch pieces and place on a greased baking sheet. Sprinkle the grated cheese on top and bake in the oven for about 20 min.
Remove the bay leaf. Serve the soup hot in individual bowls, topped with one or two slices of toasted bread with the melted cheese.
Note: Vegans can omit cheese and combine 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning with 1 to 2 tablespoons margarine and spread this on the French bread, before toasting it in the oven for 10-20 minutes.
This recipe is an edited contribution for the Sivananda Gurugram, sourced from The Yoga Cookbook: 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
Always do good to others. Be selfless. Mentally remove everything and be free. This is divine life. This is the direct way to Moksha/Salvation. - Sri Swami Sivananda
|UPCOMING EVENTS - TTC, ATTC, Sadhana Intensive Courses|
Nov 08 - Dec 06/15
TTC – English
Neyyar Dam, Kerala, South India
Nov 15 - Dec 12/15
TTC – English, Français, Español
Val Morin, QC, Canada
Nov 20 - Dec 19/15
TTC – Français
Nov 22 - Dec 20/15
TTC – English
Madurai, Tamil Nadu, South India
Nov 28 - Dec 26/15
TTC - English, 中文
Taichung City, Taiwan
Dec 04 - Dec 31/15
TTC – English
Dec 12/15 - Jan 10/16
TTC – English, Deutsch
Reith, Tyrol, Austria
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:
Practice of Hatha Yoga to a limited extent is necessary to keep you quite fit, hale and hearty. - Sri Swami Sivananda
SIVANANDA WORLD NEWS - OCTOBER 2015
SIVANANDA YOGA VEDANTA Ashrams -
Sivananda Ashram Yoga Camp, Val Morin, Quebec, Canada
Om Namah Sivaya! Greetings from the Headquarters.
In mid October the Yoga Camp received the first snow of the season. Still, Navaratri brought along an intense spiritual wave and an unexpected crowd. Many guests joined our prayers for the Mother Divine and enjoyed the Pujas at the Subramanya Temple. Sponsors, guests, Temple and Ashram staff were pleased to receive the blessings of the celebrations, and enjoy the feasts that followed. Morning Satsang readings, talks and Q&A sessions explained the significance of Navaratri. Swami Shivabhaktananda's sense of humour brought lightness to the intensity of Durga's battles, and Chandrika helped people relate to the story by mirroring this battle to our mental battle. The Temple received a group of Indian music students & their teacher who performed to the Mother during a Friday evening Puja, making the first comers experience even more incredible. The 3 Lebanese brothers hosted another Puja and filled us with their generosity, great hummus and baklava. It was inspiring to see the spiritual hunger of so many guests and short term Karma yogis, showering everyone with questions about the Deities, the Masters, and the practice. Three guests requested and received a Mantra initiation and spiritual names, which they celebrated with a lot of enthusiasm and devotion, equipping themselves with all there is to support their Sadhana: books, statues, posters, scarves, etc. Other guests were inspired by the Ashram activities and expressed interest to serve the Ashram as Karma yogis in the future. Another highlight for the guests was an open house, which received 44 guests, who were delighted to learn about the Ashram, enjoy a yoga class, and an Indian meal. "I don't know what happened in there but this feels so good, I will never stop" one guest exclaimed delightfully after the asanas class. On the staff side, Swami Gayatriananda left the Camp after the busy Temple season back to South India, demolition work continued at the Annapurna building preparing it for the new kitchen and laundry, shoe racks were cleared of summer left-behinds, and the peace trail cleared of the fallen leaves. Narayani, other staff and guests worked together to continue closing the gardens, which "felt like giving the plants a haircut, aiding them for the long sleep" as Sivapriya put it. Other work continues as usual. May the Grace of Masters continue to bless us all.
Towards the end of October we continued Navaratri's Pujas celebrating the Mother Divine. Saraswati's energy brought musicians, writers, and students who offered their instruments, notebooks, and books for blessings for the last day of the celebrations. On the 22nd, we had the final Puja during the day, then brought the offerings out, and cracked all coconuts and the exhilarated shouts of the new Karma yogis. Later, all the team of staff stayed and gave the Subramanya Temple a good cleanup. As the wave of the Pujas slowly faded, another wave quickly arose. A large group of guests arrived for the Juice Fast, led by Suzanne. The guests were very pleased with the experience, which to many was a first in experimenting with fasting. For the rest of the guests, the daily program ran as usual. The morning walk turned to a little adventure in the mountain. Q&A sessions answered questions about the culture of the Ashram, the gurus, the practice, etc. Following a workshop on Desire, Swami Shivabhaktananda clarified during a Satsang talk that desire is the outcome of separating oneself from others, an eye opening concept to many. A beginners course started with students who are hungry to receive the teachings and eager to experience a new transformation in their lives. Some returning guests were glad to introduce friends and family members to the Ashram. A lady from France happily exclaimed after a yoga class she and her father had just taken, "I came here with my mother and sister during the summer and we spoke so much about it, that my father finally decided to come from France and visit". Another man said in tears, as he counted his story on how yoga had saved him after a stroke and an "extremely unhealthy life" - "I am starting to believe in miracles again". To finish, all Ashram staff and the priest Harisha drove to the Montreal Centre to perform a Lamp Puja, recitation of the 1008 names of the Divine Mother and enjoy a delightful time with the Montreal staff and members. The work at the Ashram continued, with construction at the Annapurna building, closing the gardens of the Ashram and the Temple, printing new signs, and deep cleaning of the different buildings. We are grateful everyday for the blessings of the Masters. May they remain alive in us. Pranams.
Sivananda Dhanwanthari Ashram, Neyyar Dam, Kerala, South India
Om Namo Narayanaya!
In mid-October unseasonal heavy rains continued. For two days we hosted a film crew who were shooting a series program about Swami Vivekananda's life. Pri left the Ashram for Madurai TTC. Abhinanda, new workstudy has taken over his duties. Two new staff joined from Quebec, Sri Devi and her son Nourredine. Prahlada ji came for a lightening speed visit from Thailand TTC. He managed to lead morning Satsang to everyone's surprise.
Towards the end of October, high season preparations with cleaning, painting and general repair works continued. Most of the paid and some voluntary staff were able to attend Anil's (Meenakshi Ashram staff) marriage to Swetha. The Ashram gave donation and brass lamp for the occasion. May Gurus' bless them for their future together. Dr Vishnu traveled to Thailand to teach TTC A&P and have a break with his wife. Pranams & Om Namah Sivaya from all staff at Neyyar Dam.
Sivananda Ashram Kutir, Netala, Uttarkashi, North India
Om Namo Narayanaya. Please note: The Yoga Vacation program at Sivananda Kutir will not be available for the rest of 2015. Om.
Sivananda Ashram Chateau du Yoga, Orleans, France
Om Namah Sivaya
The month was full of activities. We had a 5 day certificate course on 'Ayurveda Cooking' with Swami Bhagavatananda. Then there was a 'Yoga Vitality Week' for the guests. Ganga, teacher from the Paris Centre came to give the "Yoga and Vegetarian cooking workshop" for the next weekend. Then, we offered a week program with the title, "You are the architect of your reality". Jayabharati, a long time teacher from the Paris Centre, came for the "Further Training for Sivananda Teachers, How to teach Yoga to seniors". It was a big group, most of whom took TTC here; the team of staff worked very well together, to make the program successful. It was especially nice to see so many teacher again back in the Ashram, mostly from France, one from Hamburg, one from Algeria, etc… It was inspiring to talk with them and listen to their experiences after the TTC. The staff had a final meeting with Swami Kailasananda before she went to Paris and on to the Rudraprayag TTC. We marked the beginning of Navaratri, and during the pm Satsang the priest conducted a powerful Durga Puja, with a beautifully decorated altar. The priest then went to Paris for a few days. The Ashram looks beautiful in autumn, the gardener is putting much effort to keep everything clean, and we are working on the gardens and putting the bulbs for spring next year. Om Gam Ganapatayeh Namaha. OM.
Sivananda Ashram Yoga Farm, Grass Valley, California, USA
Om Namah Sivaya
In mid-October the Yoga Farm welcomed a wonderful group for the October TTC with students coming from the US, Brazil, Italy, Ukraine, and Japan. Stephen Longfellow Fiske inspired all with stories of Sw Vishnudevananda and his mission of peace, generating energy and inspiration for the coming month. The Guru Puja and Ganapathi Homa were conducted by Sw Vasishtananda while Swamis Jnaneswariananda and Narayanananda led the initiation of the TTC. Swami Jnaneswariananda taught the Main Lecture and Anatomy; Sw Narayanananda led the Hatha Yoga; Sw Dharmananda taught the Gita and Chanting classes. Swami Vasishtananda led the daily beautiful Devi Pujas for Navaratri including a special Chandi Homa at the Durga Temple. The Ashramites were very inspired and felt the Mother's Grace descending on the Ashram and the TTC.
Towards the end of October the TTC course saw the students adjusting to Ashram life and their daily Sadhana. They were an enthusiastic group and very open to receiving the tachinas and inspired to learn about Master and Swamiji's lives. Swami Vasishtananda led the beautiful Vijaya Dasami Puja, with all the Ashramites and TTC gathering into the Radha Krishna Hall to have their tools of karma blessed by the Divine Mother. We welcomed specials guests Ambika (Jennifer Andrews), introducing Ayurveda and Bidyut Bose, founder of Niroga Institute, who gave a dynamic talks on the four paths of Yoga and finding one's purpose as a Yoga teacher. The Ayurveda Massage Retreat ran alongside the TTC, with talks given by Ambika. Guests also received Ayurveda treatments and consultations. Om Namah Sivaya to all blessed selves from the Yoga Farm.
Sivananda Ashram Yoga Ranch, Woodbourne, New York, USA
Om Namo Narayanaya
In mid-October Srinivasan and Mahadev Chaitanya were teaching in the prison several mornings, preparing the students for the conclusion of the prison TTC. The students had their mantra initiations and we celebrated the first ever TTC graduation in a US federal prison. Srinivasan and Mahadev Chaitanya went into the prison early and administered the exam. All of the students passed, doing very well on the exam, demonstrating an understanding of the course material. Staff from the Ranch, Radha, Janaki and Esther joined the graduation ceremony after receiving special clearance to enter the prison for this historic event. It was a moving ceremony. The graduation took place in the gymnasium where a temporary alter had been set up. On the altar were two smiling photos of Master and Swamiji. Their presence and blessings were felt strongly this day. There were about 10 prison staff in attendance, including the warden, who spoke words of gratitude to the teachers and congratulated the students. Srinivasan awarded each student their diploma and gave out spiritual names. The experience of working with this isolated population and seeing the change and transformation the course had on them, is truly fulfilling, both individually and in the purpose of Swamiji's mission. The inmates, now yoga teachers, have the tools to experience inner peace, even while living in conditions that can be challenging to maintain peace. They have their mantras, the teachings and the practice, and with this knowledge, they can transform their lives and be positive role models for other inmates. At the Ashram we began the celebration of Navaratri, performing evening Pujas and reading from the Devi Mahatmyam at the evening Satsangs. One weekend brought a large group of guests, going from just 3-4 during the week, to 42 on the Saturday night, many coming for the Devi Puja. Srinivasan taught a weekend workshop on Raja Yoga. Neeti came up from New York City to teach an Indian Cooking workshop. By the Sunday, the Ashram settled down to a quiet atmosphere again, back to a handful of guest. Mahadev Chaitanya went into New York City to teach the advanced asana class and lead the evening Puja.
Towards the end of October Navaratri celebrations continued, with beautiful Pujas and chanting every night in the Krishna Temple. Construction was underway on the new septic system in the front field. The large cranes being used on the work site managed to knock down the power lines twice in a week, leaving us without power until repairs trucks arrived. Fortunately, the generators kicked in and we not effected by the mishap. Srinivasan and Mahadev Chaitanya went to Boston Massachusetts to teach one weekend to Sivananda teachers and students. We had a large group of Sivananda practitioners in Boston, and by them going there to teach, helps to keep the students inspired and connected to the Ashram. At the Ashram Michael Hutkins (Anjanaya) came down from Canada to teach a weekend Chair Yoga training. It was very well attended and brought a gentle energy to Ashram. The weather was getting cooler so efforts were being made to winterize the buildings and grounds before the freezing temperature set in. Staff were adjusting to the quieter days and are maintaining their regular hatha yoga practice as well as making sure to get outside daily for physical exercise. All staff are well, strong in their Sadhana and send their pranams.
Sivananda Ashram Yoga Retreat, Nassau, Bahamas
Om Namo Narayanaya, Blessed Selves
In mid-October we had a full schedule with many special guests. Narayani (Olga Mandodari Sokolova) started explaining the principles of Vaastu Shastra Design. She brought with her a vimana for use during meditation, and educated us on sacred geometry in architecture and interior design. Shyam and Mohini gave workshops on the secrets of hatha yoga, exploring pranayama, asana and deep relaxation. Stephen Michael Pague gave a hugely popular series of workshops on waterfall Qigong. We welcomed back Swami Brahmananda from Israel and Krishna Namboodri, our resident priest. They arrived just in time for the beginning of the Navaratri celebrations. The Ashram was very happy to have our priest leading the Pujas for the first time this year. With many creative ideas, every day the Divine Mother has been worshiped with beautiful rituals. We look forward to the climax of the celebrations!
Towards the end of October we saw the close of the Navaratri celebrations, with evermore elaborate Pujas performed by our resident priest Krishna Namboodri. Celebrations continued on the day of Vijaya Dasami that evening with a short re-enactment of the Ramanyana. Dussera, the victory of Rama over Ravana culminated in the burning of a Ravana scarecrow. It was great to see karma yogis and guests getting involved with the play and prop making. To round off a beautiful 12 days of worship, a Sudarshana Homa was performed to welcome in the high season, inviting new energy into the Ashram in preparation for the TTC that was about to begin. We welcomed a group of teacher training graduates into a renewal program, ran by Swami Brahmananda and Saraswati Sylvie Boisclair, and a group of detox-ers who came in light of autumn. Special guest Ram Vakkalanka educated us in how Nada Yoga is used for inner healing and chakra balancing through a series of workshops and lectures, accompanied by his sitar. Connie Numbers rounded off the week with talks about her experiences with exploration of the soul, combining her qualifications as a psychotherapist and a spiritual teacher to show us how self-discovery exercises can help us gain a more profound understanding of our humanness and our divinity. High season preparations were well on the way - the weather was drying off, and construction was full steam ahead on many projects that will improve the Ashram and it's growing population. Tent hut platforms have been officially opened over a month earlier than usual to keep up with guest demand and karma yogis moved from rooms into tents as we embark on room renovations. Om Shanti from all the staff in Nassau.
Sivananda Ashram, Retreat House, Reith, Tyrol, Austria
Om Namah Sivaya
Beginning of October a small group of yoga vacationers enjoyed their stay at the Retreat House. We offered gentle yoga classes with detailed explanations on each asana. Due to mild and sunny weather we had some nice and long nature walks during the days. In Satsangs we discussed about health and prana which was received with full interest. The following week we explained about Vedanta philosophy in 3 afternoon lectures. The philosophical aspects of life regarding the better understanding of reality and the true nature of our existence. In the asana classes the guests tried to experience the deeper levels of the asana practice through detailed corrections and instructions and meditative holding of the postures. One weekend we welcomed a nice group of TTC graduates for the further yoga teacher training on "yoga for children". We discussed how to adapt the 5 principles of Swami Vishnudevananda and the 12 basic postures to the children's needs and expectations in a yoga class. Especially the practical parts of the training brought fun and awakened the creativity of everyone. Swami Ramapriyananda gave inspiring Satsangs on Ahimsa and on Swami Sivananda's letters in the Sivananda Upanishad. Some guests were here to get information on TTC and some were happy to get information on healthy diet in combination with healthy snacks lovingly prepared by Mira. All Navaratri Pujas created a strong, uplifting energy in the meditation hall. The guests happily joined the celebrations. The energy was building up day by day. OM.
Sivananda Ashram Meenakshi Ashram, Madurai, Tamil Nadu, India
Om Namo Narayanaya.
Greetings from Meenakshi.
Pranams from Madurai. In mid-October we participated in the Navarathri week! The opening Pooja was performed in Temple. Staff were chanting Lalitha Sahasranamam everyday in the shrine, joined by guests. The other highlights were an invited lecture on eco awareness by Mr. Hariharan from ZED buildings and, of course, the beginning of TTC on Sunday the 18th. P.C. Kapoorji arrived to teach Vedanta for TTC students and Kalyaniji arrived for chanting class. Anoopji will be teaching Hatha Yoga. New karma yogi, Koely, has come along with Kapoorji who will be assisting in the course. Most students arrived by the Saturday prior and were already made to involve in karma yoga helping us out in every area. Seventy students, predominantly resident Indians, were initiated into the program. The students are an interesting mix of yoga graduates, fitness trainers, musicians, police officers and home makers. It was an energetic beginning of busy days ahead.
Towards the end of October saw the first week of TTC underway. The trainees were disciplining themselves into the module and are coping up well with little push and motivation from faculty. Beginner classes and how to teach sessions were scheduled for mornings while asana practice is given in the evenings with just the basic postures simultaneously fine tuning pranayama and sun salutations. Chanting classes were received enthusiastically, more so by foreign nationals. Vedanta lectures, by Kapoorji, were gradually taking the students into philosophical inquiries. Michelle, a new short term karma yogi joined the team. We saw a special day that marked the inauguration of the Sivananda Mobile Ambulance and Clinic, launched for the benefit of the rural neighborhood. Minister of Electricity Hon. Shri. Natham Viswanathan graced the occasion, as chief guest, along with other dignitaries. The same day was the concluding day for Navarathri celebrations. A Pooja was arranged in the Temple, chiefly attended by garden and kitchen workers. Saturday talent night was a treat showcasing the students' skills in music and theater. The next morning students and guests were taken for a good long walk to a distant pond. The same day, in chanting class, the sunday prayers were introduced that acquainted the students to its chanting for Satsangs. Om Shanti. All are well and conveying Pranams.
TTC Reports in locations other than Ashrams:
TTC China: The TTC delved in the teaching of Anatomy and Physiology with Swami Pranavananda. The students enjoyed the Navaratri Pujas, specially the Lakshmi Puja workshop. They put up a very nice "Chinese" talent show with chinese opera, folk songs, dances, traditional poems, and a very clever skit on the "Sadhaka and his Mind". We also got a Russian poem and a Vietnamese song from our two international students. The students improved much in group teaching. We went to Chengdu City to inaugurate the Chengdu Centre and have sent a separate email reporting the ceremony. Swami Pranavananda held an Open House at the new Centre on his way leaving back to Vietnam, with enthusiastic students for classes and Satsang.
The last week of the Chengdu TTC was intense with Navaratri Pujas and Vitaya Dasami final Puja accompanied by auspicious rain and which coincides with Mantra Initiation of 21 students who happily received their spiritual names. Swami Sitaramananda for the first time knew how to call students by name as the chinese names are like "Chinese" for her. Students did very well on the exam and all passed. Students started tearing at the graduation feast and ended up crying again at the graduation ceremony which started with Guru Puja and ended with testimonies and words of gratitude to all staff, teachers and karma yogis. We packed up in a few hours and said goodbye to the beautiful trees and the Temple to come to ChengDu Centre for an intensive One-day program where Swami Sitaramananda taught about Yoga and stress management to a nice group of students. Many students who already were Yoga teachers decided to "convert" their teachings to "Sivananda Yoga" and continue with Sadhana and service at the Chengdu Centre. They made resolves to connect with each other and encourage each other to keep Sadhana till the next retreat or come to assist next TTC course, next year in September/October again. One student, Lalita, joined staff at the Chengdu Centre and another one, Saraswati, will join later on. Guru's grace is shining over China as all went so well as if "the people are waiting".
TTC Thailand: By the grace of Master, and with the blessings of Swamiji, we entered the third week of TTC with all the group staying together and happy. The group is quite tuned into Satsangs with a lot of them already chanting. We had a very nice Thai Cultural program where we had traditional dance and drums, which was enjoyed by students. The talent show had a very good range of variety program. Students started teaching their beginners classes and were slowly absorbing Swamiji's teachings and getting more tuned to the energy. Prahladaji was away on the day off and went to Cochin to meet some lawyers and then to Neyyar dam Ashram to over see the matters there and was back two days later in time for main lecture.
The group stayed together and was happy, tuning into Satsangs a lot of them already chanting. We had 38 of 48 students taking Mantra initiation and a spiritual name. We had a very nice light and sound program which is showcasing the Thai origins and culture. From India, Dr. Vishnu, and his wife arrived. He will be doing A&P classes for the group, in addition to Ayurveda presentation. This relieved Prahlada to go to Utttarkashi, Delhi and Trivandrum to oversee official matters there and meet officials of AYUSH Ministry. On the Saturday talent show we had a very good range of variety program. Students started teaching their beginners classes and were slowly absorbing Swamiji's teachings and getting more tuned to the energy. Pranams to all.
TTC Rudraprayag: TTC in Rudraprayag started with 91 students from many countries. Translation was offered in German, French and Spanish. Students and staff enjoyed the warm weather in the middle of the Himalayas with the view of the Ganga. The group was eager to absorb the high vibration of Master and Swamiji's teachings. Pranams to all.
TTC of the first Sivananda Prison Teachers Training Course:
On Friday, October 16, 2015, the Sivananda Yoga Ranch staff joined with 12 graduating prisoners and several staff of the Otisville Federal Prison for the graduation ceremony of the first ever Teachers' Training Course, taught inside a USA federal prison. Because we had to teach the course in the prison, we extended it for 6 months, which not only allowed us to teach the entire TTC material, but also to create a daily group sadhana within the prison. Witnessing their development and progress over this extended period has been an extremely rewarding opportunity. The course was done without charge as karma yoga for this confined population. The students, over the several months of training, opened up to each other, crossing the boundaries of separateness that defines the various groups in prison, and became brothers in a common goal of yoga, supporting each other and practicing together. All took spiritual names and all but two took mantras. Srinivasan, Mahadev Chaitanya and Bharata, teachers in the course, arrived early for satsang and to proctor the examination. All of the students passed the course, proving they were serious and dedicated by excelling in all aspects of the course, including the exam. Several ashram staff arrived in the afternoon, after receiving clearance to enter the prison, in order to be part of this historic event and to show support to the inmates. It was a short but very touching ceremony. About 10 prison staff attended the ceremony and the main directors, including the warden, spoke at the graduation, expressing gratitude to the teachers and congratulating the inmates. They also requested that we continue with another TTC next year, after witnessing the positive effect it has had on the inmates and how it reverberates throughout the incarcerated community. Srinivasan began the ceremony with the Dhyana Slokas and gave an inspiring speech regarding the students' effort and dedication. Mahadev Chaitanya also said a few words of thanks to all involved in making this possible and acknowledging the motivation and commitment of the students. The diplomas were then given out. The students had taken mantra initiation on Thursday and were inspired by the spiritual names given with their diplomas. Afterwards, Srinivasan read the chapter entitled "Freedom" from Bliss Divine offering hope to the inmates, that even though some may never live outside of a prison again, true freedom lies within and can be theirs, wherever they are.
After the ceremony, a group photo was taken with photos of Master and Swamiji in front of the altar. Unfortunately, because of privacy laws we are not allowed to photograph the prison or inmates and do not have access to these official photos. The new TTCs are eager to teach other inmates in the prison. Many were asking when the next time teachers from the Yoga Ranch will be visiting. Mahadev Chaitanya plans on continuing to teach asana classes and send in Sivananda volunteer teachers as regularly as possible. We are also planning the next TTC to start in early spring of 2016. It was a day that left a lasting impact and gave us all the satisfaction of knowing we are carrying on the mission of the propagation of yoga, regardless of race, class or social circumstances. The Course was possible by the Grace of Master and Swamiji, and we feel grateful and blessed to be involved with this transformative process, through yoga in prison, giving the inmates tools to cultivate inner peace and freedom.
SIVANANDA YOGA VEDANTA Centres -
Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Zentrum, Berlin, Germany
Om Namah Sivaya
October started well this year. The monthly open house was well visited, students enjoyed the different activities like cooking workshop, trial class and intro into meditation. The asana demo was also well received by all. Yoga 1 courses as well as several higher courses started during the month, students are thankful for the continuous practice in a steady group. A Meditation course, thought power course and Gita course are the philosophy courses for the moment, all with good groups of students. Spiritual highlight were the Pujas for Navaratri conducted every day. A devoted group of close teachers and students joined all the morning Pujas. The evening Pujas attracted many students and teachers. More and more flowers came in every day and transformed the altar in an ocean of beauty and the energy was nicely uplifted. Beginning of the month the preparation for the reconstruction of the first floor of the Centre started. Ishwara and Fritz, father of our staff Amba, started to empty all rooms and deconstructed the old kitchen. The following Saturday a good group of highly motivated Karma Yogis helped to finish the preparations. All curtains, lamps, pictures, furniture were put out of the rooms and stored safely. Everything was ready for the work to be started with professionals, who demolished all interior walls and created a new big asana space as well as a smaller kitchen. The electric system was renewed and the new floor is to come. The work is ongoing for the next few weeks. Classes and courses are running without much disturbance, students are positive and looking forward to the planned changes and the new space. OM.
Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Om Namah Sivaya
Prem & Om to all.
Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Chennai, India
Om Namah Sivaya to all Blessed Selves from the Chennai Centre.
Towards the end of October we started an evening beginner's course. We saw a drop in the students' number, as vacations took place. On the 21st and 22nd we had a Saraswati Puja, and celebrated dussera along with the students. We also enjoyed watching a classical dance performance called Mohiniatam. The rest of the activities in the Centre were going on smoothly. Staff members were performing their karma yoga activities efficiently and productively. With the blessings of God and Masters, everything was fine here. Sending Pranams to the Sivananda family.
Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Chicago, USA
Om Namah Sivaya!
In mid-October we took great joy in celebrating Navaratri. Attendance for Pujas has been good, with a core group of regulars joining us and the altar getting more radiant each night. We have had, however, some additional competition for people's attention lately: the Chicago Cubs baseball team made it to the playoffs, which is a very rare occurrence and rather exciting for their large, loyal fan base. This means lower attendance and income for our evening and weekend classes and courses. Other area Yoga teachers, as well as area theaters, were noticing a corresponding dip also. All else continued well, particularly morning Satsangs. Kamala Chaitanya settled in well and will remain here for a few more weeks. The weather, in true Chicago style, kept making quick shifts from summer-like to winter-like to spring-like over the course of several days, though the tree in front of the Centre is adamant about Fall, displaying a more brilliant yellow every day. We are harvesting enough greens from the garden to share with teachers and karma yogis.
Towards the end of October all continued well here, by the grace of the Gurus. We had a wonderful finish of our Navaratri celebration with Vijaya Dasami Puja. Morning classes and Satsangs were well attended, though evening classes and courses continued to be a little quiet. A new fully registered Positive Thinking & Meditation course started, and the Bhagavad Gita study class will resume, both of which will bring more group Sadhana and thus more prana back into the evenings. We were also putting extra effort into scheduling and promoting upcoming courses. Staff were well and send pranams to all. We felt great gratitude for the guidance and protections of the Gurus. Om Shanti, Shanti, Shantihi.
Sivananda Yoga Vedanta DÀ LAT Centre, Dà Lat, Vietnam
Om Namah Sivaya
In mid-October three residents from different part of the world share their culture and yoga life with such an amazing Karma yogi's attitude (Ireland, Austria, American). Open classes were almost full of residents and students. We offered a beautiful online Satsang Q&A with Swami Sita. At the result, everyone who attended the Satsang got a lot of inspiration and cleared out their doubt about their spiritual practice. Guru's grace is always with us.
Towards the end of October one staff from Hochiminh Centre, Dharmini, came to Dalat to serve and learn various experiences in different Centres. She brought with her such a enthusiastic energy to the Centre. Two new residents from Argentina were impressed by yoga philosophy and eager to learn more in their spiritual path to continue after the time in the Centre. We offered a successful cooking workshop - Japanese style, lead by Mirabai - a Japanese staff from HCM Centre. Guru's grace is always with us. Pranams to all Sivananda Staff. Om.
Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Dwarka Centre, Delhi, India
Om Namah Sivaya
Towards the end of October, by the God Grace and Gurudev's blessings, the Centre's activities went well. We offered a beginners course at 6.30pm with sufficient numbers of students. On October 22nd we celebrated the Vijayadashmi with a Havan and Pooja early in the morning, attended by many of our regular students and teachers. Otherwise, everything was fine. We hope all the Sivananda family are happy and doing well. Sending all our love and wishes. Pranams. Om.
Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Nataraja Centre, Delhi, India
Om Namo Narayanaya
In mid-October we started two beginners' courses, one at 6:30am and the other at 4:00pm. The Navaratri started on 13 the Oct. On the same day, Swami Keshavananda arrived to the Centre on the way to Rudraprayag for TTC. Swami ji joined us for Chanting Sree Lalitha Sahasranama and offering of the flowers by evening. Although a short time notice Swamiji was happy to conduct a 'Yoga for Spine' workshop. A good number of students attended the class & it was enjoyed by all. He also conducted our daily morning Satsang and taught an open class. The priest, his wife and daughter arrived at the Centre on 14th. They also joined the Navaratri program by evening. We had a special Satsang with Meditation, chanting Shree Lalita Sohasranama/Om Parashaktaye Namaha and Devi chants followed by Aarti. Milan went to Kolkata for a month long Holiday. Babesh went to serve Noida Centre. Kapoorji left for the Madurai TTC. Swami Keshavananda and the Priest with his family left for the Rudraprayag TTC.
Towards the end of October the holiday week started with one beginners' course at 6:30pm. We continued chanting Shree Lalita Sahasranam every day evening until 22nd Oct. In celebration of Dasara we performed Durga Puja in the presence of the priest. We felt very good energy during the day. Swami Kashi came to the Centre with his assistant on the way to Bahamas. We welcomed Prahladaji from Thailand. He conducted our regular Saturday morning Satsang at 6:30am. His presence makes the Satsang more energizing and connecting us with the Gurus. He left for Sivananda Kutir, Uttrakashi on the same morning. Prahladaji came back from Uttrakashi. Abeba and Bishma left for Jammu to conduct "Healthy Living Through Yoga & Pranayama" workshop for three days.
With the blessings of the Guru's, October's activities went well. Open classes were getting busier with more beginners successfully finishing their course and joining in for Open practice. The kids class was doing well with two more children joining in. With the grace of the Masters, we started chanting Lalita Sahasranama every evening from the 13th of October. The Sunday Satsang was attended by staff and one guest. Aarthy left Noida Centre to be at the Delhi Centre for a short term. Babeesh from Delhi Centre joined us here at the Noida Centre.
Towards the end of October, with the grace of the Masters', all went off well. Owing to the festivals and holidays there have been a little less number of students coming in to practice or enroll. We approached parents and students outside schools about the newly opened Centre in their neighborhood and handed over our brochure. On Vijay Dashmi day we had a concluding Lalita Sahasranama Puja in the morning with the priest. The Puja went off beautifully and was attended by the staff and 5 students. Sunday Satsang with the blessings of the masters was attended by staff. Pranams.
Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Geneva, Switzerland
Om Namah Sivaya from the Geneva Centre
During mid October courses and classes were well visited. One weekend we had a beginner's intensive course with most of the students continuing the following week. A Y2 started. Navaratri started with inspiring Pujas which create a devotional and pure atmosphere. Many of our teachers came with flowers and Prasad. The energy of the Centre built up beautifully. Madhavi, who just did her TTC in Orleans, started to teach open classes and is quickly improving her teaching skills. A meditation course started with a nice group of students. The celebration of Navaratri ended with a beautiful Pujas. Students participated actively and especially the chanting of the Devi Mantras was enjoyed by everyone. OM.
Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Om Namah Sivaya
In mid-October our new staff member, Mahalakshmi, from the last TTC here in Vietnam, started her first Yoga One course with 10 students. Other beginner courses were also finished. During one weekend we had many successful workshops, starting with the "Yoga Asana Hip-Opening" for the teachers taught by Priya, with 14 teachers. We had a Kriya work shop, taught by Ganapati, with 7 students, all very excited and happy to learn the yogic technique for cleansing. After that in the same evening was the special Satsang online with Swami Sitaramananda. The Students and karma yogis got many answers about spiritual path, and felt connected with the energy of Gurus. We also welcomed Swami Pranavananda back to HCM safely from China TTC.
Towards the end of October Ganga returned from the China TTC, with much prana, inspiration and nice presents for all of the staff. Mirabai went to our Dalat Centre for a weekend to teach workshops in Japanese cooking. We started a new Meditation course, with seven serious students, many of whom are already regular participants in the evening Satsangs. The course was taught in English with Vietnamese translation. The students seemed to appreciate the teaching. The staff were doing well and send their pranams to all. With Guru's Grace all were well and happy. Pranams.
Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, London, England
Om Namah Sivaya
In mid-October the London Centre was blessed by Navaratri, the daily Puja's and worship of the Divine Mother filled the Centre with a sweet and radiant energy. Several students have taken the opportunity to join the morning Pujas. The garlands and flowers have brought much colour to the altar. The Centre was also pleased to welcome Swami Gayatriananda as well as a new staff member, Santosha, who just graduated from the TTC in Poland. The renovations of the middle house progressed well and after several months of preparing the structural framework, the phase of decorating, tiling and laying wood flooring was now about to start.
Towards the end of October the daily Pujas for Saraswati brought much sattva and light to the Centre. The Navaratri celebrations culminated in a beautiful last Puja for Vijaya Dasami. Students came early in the morning bringing their auspicious items to be blessed by the Divine Mother. The focus during one weekend was the annual Yoga Show Exposition. We organized the show, printed leaflets, packed boutique items and set up the booth. The response was strong, with much sincere interest in the Centre and particularly in yoga vacations, retreats and the TTC. A well-attended class was taught at the exposition. Sunday Satsang was enriched by stories from the Mahabharata shared by Dr Shastry, a Sanskrit scholar. OM & Prem to All.
Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Los Angeles, California, USA
Om Namo Narayanaya!
During mid-October 60 people came to join Navaratri Durga Puja, setting a Centre record on attendance. The Centre was packed to the brim and charged with high energy and devotion. Cub Scouts came to join Lakshimi Puja as part of their project on Reverence. The children prepared the flower petals as their offering to the Divine Mother and enjoyed very much the Puja and Her sweet prasad at the end. Every night's Pujas were all well-attended. A Positive Thinking Course completed successfully with students continuing to the Meditation One Course. A Yoga Two Course started on Thursdays. The Centre held a Head Stand Workshop and an Ayurveda Workshop on Fall Cleanse, with good attendance. The Staff send their Pranams. Om.
Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Madrid, Spain
Om Namah Sivaya, Blessed Selves!
With the beginning of the fall season in Madrid, classes and Satsangs were well visited. Nine TTC graduates from Aluenda started assisting on the normal classes. Gopala went to Barcelona to lead the yoga retreat which went very well, with and an inspired group of 34 students and the support of Rajeswari. Saraswati Chaitanya arrived from Geneva to serve in the Madrid Centre for the next weeks. Navaratri started with elevating morning and evening Pujas. Both close students and teachers enjoyed the satvic and serene atmosphere and the altar is shining with beautiful fresh flowers. We are also happy to have Lakshmi back after her holidays. The main Centre projects were Boutique re-stock and the planning of the upcoming Centre reform. OM.
Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Madurai, South India
Om Namah Sivaya
October began with us starting two fresh batches for beginners, 06:00 - 07:30 am (Common Batch) 10:00 - 11:30 am (Women's batch). A contemplative week, we had a meditation course as well on the 28th of September, which went on really well. Students were asked for feed backs and meditational experiences, they had loads of questions to which tons of answers were given. Many of our students and random people we met said " It looks like now everyone in and around MADURAI seem to know SYVC". A very motivating phrase to hear, with which in mind we were working hard with the blessings of the Gurus and the Supreme. Kannan from the Thiruvananthapuram Centre arrived early the morning of the the 27th. He was here to help out until Yashpalji is back from Thailand. God Bless. The Staff convey their Pranams to all. Om Shanti!!
Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Milano, Italy
Om Namah Sivaya from Northern Italy.
Om Namo Narayanaya to the Sivananda family.
Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Montevideo, Uruguay
Om Namah Sivaya
In mid-October we continued with regular, beginners and pregnancy yoga classes. Some advanced students and teachers prepared themselves to demonstrate Advanced Asanas for Christmas' Satsang. We started a new Friday beginner's course, with a good number of students. Jagadamba Chaitanya, returned to Buenos Aires. She enthusiastically helped in the preparation of each Navaratri Puja. The week was full of devotion. Every day the Centre was cleaned and the altar set with love to celebrate the grace of the divine Mother. Kanti Devi performed all the Pujas and she prepared delicious prasads. Staff again travelled to Piriápolis to arrange last details for the next yoga retreat.
Towards the end of October the Center's Sirsasana workshop was very successful. The students loved the experience. Atmadev was very happy teaching the course for the first time. Lalita came back to the Centre after spending a month in Chile. Vijayadasami was very beautiful. The altar shined with the devotion from all participants. Beautiful flowers and delicious Prasad were offered. Kanti Devi talked very nice about the meaning of this victory over our lower nature. People left full of joy and peace. Narayan from Franca, Sao Paulo came over for a short visit. Also visiting were Tandava Chaitanya and Adhyatman from Porto Alegre. During one weekend we had a Yoga retreat in Piriápolis, Uruguay, the place where Swami Vishnudevananda gave the first Teachers Training Course in South America in 1986. Many teachers and many students participated. Kanti Devi directed all the program and Swami Premananda, Swami Dayananda and South American staff helped with classes. Everybody enjoyed the retreat!!! The weather was cool but we went in a nice walk to the beach nearby. The rest of the activities continued normally. With Prem and Om.
Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Om Namah Sivaya
In mid-October we started two Yoga 1 courses. We held the celebrations for Navarathri, with Pujas every morning. In the evenings we had a Puja for Durga then a Puja for Lakshmi. We had the blessing to have the priest with us for both Pujas, all students and karma yogis enjoyed these celebrations. We had one busy weekend with a full kids yoga class and a "How to Teach" workshop with Narayani and Omari, a workshop was for our yoga teachers at the Centre. We got very good comments from this workshop as Narayani and Omkari did a very good job. We had a nice group of karma yogis for a photoshoot session for the Centre. We had good time. Saraswati took very nice pictures. We are ever grateful for Master and Swamijis grace.
Towards the end of October we started a Sanskrit course with Mirabai. The Yoga I & 2 courses are running smoothly and we introduced many courses and workshops in to which many students were signing in. We continued with the Navarathri celebrations, with Pujas every morning, plus evening Puja for Saraswati. We ended with a big Puja for the 1008 names of the Mother Divine. We were blessed for having the priest with us, who performed a beautiful Puja. We were very happy to have Swami Shivabhaktananda and all karma Yogis from the Yoga Camp for the Sunday Puja. All students enjoyed the beautiful energy created with these celebrations. We welcomed Joanne from the Yoga Camp. We enjoyed her presence at the Centre for a week. We are ever grateful for Master and Swamijis grace. Om Namo Narayanaya. Pranams from Montreal.
Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Munich, Germany
Om Namah Sivaya from the Munich Centre!
In the last weeks we had a special program with Swami Sivadasananda. Swamiji gave two very interesting 2.5 hour asana-workshops about the effects of asanas on the muscles and the fascia. The Satsangs had the topics "Who am I – the aim of yoga" and "Light, Power and Wisdom". A further special program was with an Indian priest who performed several Pujas – among them a Krishna Puja, a Durga Puja and a Siva yantra Puja. We started a course "Mind and Evolution" with many practical Raja Yoga exercises and a "Yoga and Music" course with lots of mantra recitation and kirtan singing. Teaching cooking we had a cooking class "Healthy Cooking in 30 Minutes" and a four week "Yogic Cooking" class. This course consists of four sessions with 40 minutes of theory about a healthy and balanced yogic diet and 50 minutes of practical cooking. We performed the festival of Navaratri with daily Pujas. One of the special events of the next weeks will be an Ayurvedic Cooking program with Ayurveda Acharya S.K. Kamlesh on 12 and 14 November. OM.
Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, New York, USA
Om Namah Sivaya!
In mid-October we completed the Introduction to Meditation Course, started a new Yoga 2 course and completed a Yoga 1 Course. All of the students who have attended enjoyed their experience. Regarding staff at the Centre, Pranava left for India to assist Mahadev Chaitanya with the November TTC at the Neyyar Dam Ashram. He will be traveling as well, which will definitely be a wonderful experience for him. We have warmly welcomed Monia as staff to the Centre who will be with us until December. It was also really nice to have Janaki with us for a weekend who helped us by teaching a few classes and caught up on some needed rest. Also, Neeti went up to the Ranch for the weekend to lead a cooking workshop on Indian sweets. Furthermore, it's been a blessing to celebrate another Navratri here at the Centre. The Pujas have been wonderful, thanks to the support from the Karma Yogis and regular students. Everyone has been of great help and it's very much appreciated. We had a specially beautiful Puja with Mahadev Chaitanya (who also came to teach the Advanced Asana class), where close to 60 people attended. It really was an uplifting and joyful experience for us all.
Towards the end of October we celebrated the last few days of Navaratri. It really was a beautiful experience for everyone and we really appreciate all of the help from everyone who came to participate, as well as the karma yogis and staff who all worked very hard during the festival. We had a special program for 2 groups from FIT College, which was coordinated by their Professor who has been involved with Sivananda for many many years. The students participated in a 75 minute asana class taught by one of our staff, which was then followed by a vegetarian lunch. It was a nice experience for all of the students and we hope that they will come back and take some classes at the Centre. As for courses, we started Yoga 1, 2 & 3, as well as Positive Thinking. All of the students really seem to be enjoying their classes. We had 2 special classes at the Centre. We had Deaf Yoga in the morning and most of the students stayed for lunch afterwards. Later in the afternoon, one of our teachers Chandrika brought her Middle School students (12-13 years old) and taught them an asana class here at the Centre. All the Staff are well and send their pranams. With Guru's grace, we are blessed and inspired to carrying on his peace mission. Pranams to all.
Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Paris, France
Om Namah Sivaya
After the enlightening program 'The essence of Divine Love' at the end of last month, students, teachers, karma yogis and the staff expressed their gratefulness to Swami Durganandaji, Swami Kailasananda, Swami Sivadasananda and Sri Venugopal Goswami for the inspiration. When the special guests left, the priest, Kumara Swami conducted a powerful Durga Puja next day in the morning. The reorganization of the Centre was done in a very quick time with the help of many hands, and the decoration material was stored away safely. Swami Kailasananda gave two inspiring Satsangs to a large audience with the message of chanting for the soul and leaving the ego aside. Everyone felt uplifted and inspired. Swami Gopalananda gave a spontaneous and interesting Satsang on how to avoid worries from Swami Sivananda's book: 'How to cultivate virtues and eradicate vices'. The high light of the second week of the month was the two days program 'The beauty of asanas' with Kailas from Orléans Ashram. Kailas gave two asanas classes, one on "How to develop muscle strength" and the other one on "How to deepen awareness in stretching"; he also lead an inspiring evening Saturday Satsang on "The beauty of asanas". Swami Kailasananda went to Rudraprayag with Sudha Chaitanya for the TTC. We welcome the priest Kumara Swami again to stay with us for Navaratri. We had beautiful Pujas during the evening's Satsangs and also morning's Puja with some students joining. OM.
Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Porto Alegre, Brasil, South America
Om Namah Sivaya from Brasil
In early October Kanti Devi made a beautiful retreat at Maquine one weekend, we finished painting the doors and windows. Started a Yoga 1 with 9 students and Yoga 2 with 12. Caue left for a Buddhist retreat.
Towards the end of October we had a retreat with Kanti Devi in Piriapólis, Tandava Chaitanya and Adhyatman went by car in a beautiful trip. Bhaskari stayed on the Centre. Pranams to the Sivananda Family.
Centro Yoga Vedanta Sivananda, Rome, Italy
Om Namah Sivaya, Blessed Selves
In early October we added another Satsang during with a series of lectures. A good group of students came for the first time. Many new students registered for the Yoga 1 courses. Our 2 hour advanced class one Saturday had new students who liked to challenged themselves in this class.
In mid-October daily Pujas for Navaratri brought to the Centre amazing energy. Students were happy to participate. During one weekend we had a stand in the fair of the neighbourhood, it was a very good opportunity to advertise the Centre. Karma yogis helped a lot with the preparations. Om Shanti to the Sivananda Family from the Rome Centre.
Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, San Francisco, California, USA
Om Namo Narayanaya, Blessed Selves
In mid-October the Divine Mother has blessed our nightly Navaratri celebrations. The energy was vibrant. Swami Jnaneswariananda visited for a day and led that night's Puja. Gajananam led Puja on Sunday night and two very talented Odissi dance students performed to a mesmerized audience of 30. A celebratory feast was enjoyed by all. We welcome Rama back on the teaching schedule.
Towards the end of October the final Navaratri Pujas were joyful. The Wednesday evening Puja was especially sweet, with children of a regular student in attendance. During the Vijaya Dasami Puja, we were startled to hear drilling outside. Auspiciously, our exterior signage was being installed! We also got a public bench placed in front of the Centre. There has been an upsurge in people dropping by for information on the Centre. Yoga teacher Anita Joubel gave a chronic pain workshop based on mindfulness principles. Pranams to all from the new San Francisco Centre.
Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Tel Aviv, Israel
Om Namah Sivaya
In mid-October we were fortunate to have Swami Brahmananda staying with us for another week as a hurricane storm would not allow him to go back to the Bahamas. Swami Swaroopananda had the brilliant idea to seize the opportunity and have a second Urban Retreat with him. In a matter of one day we managed go register 20 people to the event which was a great success. Rukmini started a new Meditation course, with 19 participants. Jnaneshwari opened a Bhagavad Gita course with 11. Sri Devi left us for 2 weeks, travelling to Ukraine to visit her family.
Towards the end of October a new Prenatal Yoga training course for teachers
started on Mondays, with 6 students. The course was taught by Sita, the director
of our Jerusalem Centre. A new Indian Cooking workshop with Chef Etay (Iswara) started on Tuesdays, with 6 participants. A new Yoga 1 started, with 20 participants. Our Prana was focused on promoting the many new courses and introduction lectures taking place in the next couple of weeks. Narayani and Sri Devi landed in Israel. Both were eager to come back and join us at the Centre. Blessings of Peace to all the Sivananda Family.
Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Tokyo, Japan
Om Namah Sivaya, Blessed Selves
In mid-October we had a busy weekend with trial class, a Kirtan workshop, and a Puja. Kirtan workshop, taught by Mahadevi Maho from Nagoya City, attracted 15 students. And most of the students stayed for the next program which was Lakshmi Puja, performed as a part of Navaratri cerebration. We continued performing Puja every day until October 22nd. We also had a class called "Open Class in English" on Sundays. The class was added as our regular classes since September and had been gradually gaining popularity with 12 students attending the class so far.
Towards the end of October the Navaratri Pujas came to an end. We were glad to find out that students were eager to participate in a Puja despite the differences of the religion. A South Indian cooking workshop by Padmavati was held, with 12 participants. Then there was a tasting session. Teacher, students, and staffs all enjoyed tasting "Dosa" and "Sambhar". After spending whole summer as a worker in mountain lodge, Chandrika came down from Fuji mountain and joined us as a full time staff again. She started to teach classes right away. Students and karma yogis were happy to see her after several months of absence. Om Shanti, Shanti, Shantihi. Om and Prem to all the Sivananda family.
Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Om Namah Sivaya
In mid-October regular classes picked up after the Thanksgiving long weekend. Our morning Satsangs were well attended, with several university students and a high school students coming regularly. We started a Bhagavad Gita course on Sundays. Kumari, our teacher from Ottawa, taught "Yoga for Back Care" course to a group of enthusiastic students who appreciated her knowledge and sensitivity with which she conveys it. We celebrated Navaratri during our evening Satsangs, very busy with a group of 45 students. There was lots of chanting, stories and reflecting on how Divine Mother guides us all in our lives helped us lift our spirits and stay inspired.
Towards the end of October we started several courses, including early morning Yoga 1 course as well as a weekend Yoga 1. A group of students continued into new Yoga 2 course. One Sunday we had a Headstand workshop. Open classes were attended well with many regular and consistent students. Lots of them very often signed up for our dinners which is also helping create a strong community of yogis. Our upcoming weekend Yoga Retreat was getting filled. Several groups of teenagers from the local residential mental health Centre also attended classes, one on a weekend and another on Tuesdays. We partnered with Doctors Without Borders to fundraise and support their work in Syria and in refugee camps. We spent a lot of time planning the events and doing the fundraising promotion. It was an ongoing one month campaign with several events planned over the month. A lot of teachers and students were happy and eager to participate and contribute to this good cause. Everyone here felt uplifted this month, inspired to continue the path given to us by Master and Swamiji. Pranams.
Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Trivandrum, Kerala, South India
Om Namah Sivaya!
In mid-October, by the grace of God, the current ladies and evening beginners' batches successfully completed their courses. We look forward them to join the practice classes. We distributed notices in the neighboring areas regarding the upcoming courses. The Director Rajesh returned from SriLanka. We chanted Lalitha Sahasra Nama on Fridays. The best part was the visit of Prahlad ji. It was a very pleasant surprise for all of us. He conducted staff meeting and gave his advice for the better functioning of the Centre. Our Karma Yogi, Sreejith, went to Madurai to attend the TTC course. We wish him all the best for a bright future. We purchased a washing machine. The staff members were very happy for that. We conducted Ganapathy Homa on the first day of the new Malayalam month. Satsang was led by Sri. Rajesh, which helped to increase the positive vibes in the Centre.
Towards the end of October, with the blessings of God and revered Gurus, we had started 4 new batches on Mondays. A beginners' batch for ladies in the morning and a mixed beginners' batch in the evening. A fresh batch of Gentle Class started in the evenings of Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Along with these classes we had also started a 6 day long Meditation course, which will definitely help those students to attain tranquility of the mind. Due to Navratri all were in a celebratory mood. But still students found time to do their regular practice. We had conducted special Pooja on the auspicious days of Durgashtami, Mahanavami & Vijayadashami. We had also distributed Prasad to everyone. Friday was a holiday. As usual Lalitha Sahasra Nama Pooja conducted on this day. Sunday Satsang was led by Sw. Govindanandaji. Pranams to all. Om - Shanti, Shanti, Shantihi.
Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Vienna, Austria
Om Namah Sivaya
We had a wonderful and active month: in the beginning Swami Ramapriyananda came for a special weekend program on Prana & Vitality. The asana class with focus on breathing and stretching and the following Satsang on The Power of Positive Thinking were well attended and carried the energy of the Masters. The weekend included a mantra initiation and teacher's meeting: Swamiji gave inspiring news from the organization and there was a lively workshop on how to teach and correct the forward bend. The teachers had a good opportunity to reflect on their own teaching experience. This month our first regular Yoga 1 course on a Saturday mornings started which was well attended and we had a cooking course for new vegetarians. We also had a headstand workshop and an introduction into meditation. Drop In classes were running well and also the Satsangs were well attended. We were very happy to welcome Swami Bhagavatananda, who arrived form the Ashram in Orleans to support the Centre for the next 2 months. Swami Mangalananda paid the Centre a short visit for a few days and Vishnu, a new Karma Yogi began coming to the Centre on a regular basis.
Another highlight was the Navaratri festival. Swami Bhagavatananda was guiding the Pujas which transmitted their strong energy into the Centre. Many students and teachers attended the morning and evening celebrations and the Karma Yogis supported the Centre in household and maintenance very well. OM.
Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Vilnius, Lithuania
Om Namah Sivaya, from Vilnius.
In mid-October we were delighted to start with Navaratri celebration. Almost all our Pujas were held in the morning and we were nicely surprised to see so many students and teachers attending. The altar is fully decorated with flowers offered by students. Devi Mahatmyam was read and Devi Suktam was chanted, giving more depth and meaning for this celebration for Divine Mother. Parvati, our close karma yogi and teacher prepared special prasads for each Puja. We also started two Beginners courses.
Towards the end of October we started a Yoga 2 and Yoga 14, and we continued with Navaratri Pujas. For Pujas we saw our closest students and teachers, new students. We also welcomed families, students from Germany and India. Energy of the Vijaya Dashami Puja uplifted everyone`s mind to go onwards more diligently with spiritual practices and positivity towards fellow beings. A "Yoga for the Back" course took place with a nice group of students. We were happy to tell the news about our first Yoga Show in Vilnius, which continued for a whole weekend. Our program included three different events: Asana class for everyone, an Intro into Yoga with Asana demonstration and a group meditation with Mantra chanting. All was very well accepted. We received over two hundred fifty students for these events. Beside this activities we had an opportunity to distribute info leaflets, to talk to people and to invite them to Yoga Centre and to our monthly Open Day. Many Karma Yogis wholeheartedly helped. We were grateful having so many opportunities to serve and to share teachings of the Masters. Pranams and Love to everyone. OM.
Forget the past. Begin life afresh. Face life boldly. A glorious future is awaiting you. - Sri Swami Sivananda