Sivananda News Sivananda E-Gurugram
The Electronic Newsletter of the International Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centres
Issue #01/2015 Serve Love Give Purify Meditate Realize January 1, 2015
"Work out your salvation in and through the World." - Sri Swami Sivananda

More quotes

Sivananda Yoga FAQ
Hatha Yoga Tips
Yoga Sanskrit Glossary
Raja Yoga
Vegetarian Cuisine
Upcoming Events

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

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

JAN 2015
01 Ekadasi
05 Full Moon
14 Makara Sankranti
16 Ekadasi
20 New Moon

03 Full Moon
15 Ekadasi
17 Sivaratri
18 New Moon
A complete e-mail directory of the Sivananda Yoga Centres and Ashrams is available at:
Sivananda Email Directory

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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Blessed Selves,
Om Namah Sivaya

We wish you all a healthy and prosperous New Year 2015. The coming year seems to be very bright for the Organization with a new Satsang Hall and Temple being inaugurated at our Madurai Ashram in India; the Organization reaching to China and Taiwan with Swamiji's teachings and teacher trainings; a popular increase of Advanced Teacher Trainings worldwide: a new permanent place for our San Francisco Centre, presently in the works and the acquisition of new land in Austria for a permanent Sivananda home. All this translates to Master and Swamiji's teachings reaching more and more people on their way to health, peace of mind and happiness.

In 2015 the Organization will continue to strive and provide more opportunities for enthusiastic and eager new students. It is accomplished through their enthusiasm plus the guidance and grace of Master and Swamiji. We thank all of you for the continued support. We wish you all a successful Sadhana in the coming year. May Master and Swamiji's blessings be with us always.

Pranams to all.

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Character is what you are, reputation is what people think you are. The best treasure of humanity is noble character". - Sri Swami Sivananda

Q. When everything is predestined and pre-planned by the Lord, why does man endeavour to do and undo things? Should one's repeated failures in respect of a certain work be also taken as the Will of the Lord? Is it a fact that we get what we deserve or is it that we are not really fit for what we actually aspire for? This doubt is eluding a clear-cut answer from my own limited brain. I refer the same to your greater brain to re solve this doubt and I hope you will do so?

It is true that everything is predestined and pre-planned by the Lord; and only in accordance with the holy writ, everything takes place. God has given free will also to the individual to do right or wrong, to discriminate between the Preyo Marga and the Sreyo Marga. If one is endowed with true wisdom as to the fleeting and painful nature of the worldly enjoyments, one can exert oneself in the right direction to do or undo his Prarabdha, the portion of Karmas ripened for actual experience in this current birth. Without the Lord's special grace, none can make or mar himself. Even for realization, the Lord's grace is necessary. For obtaining the Lord's grace, intense Purusha Prayatna, otherwise known as Purushartha, which is voiced forth throughout the famous "Yoga Vasishtha" is to be put forth.

Whether it be failure or success in any undertaken work, it is but the effect of the Lord's grace and will alone. Accept everything in the light of Vedantic indifference. Be a silent witness and rejoice over the mystery of the Lord.

Everybody gets what he actually deserves; nothing more, nothing less. The Divine Law is altogether different from man-made law. The Law and Verdict and Judgement of the Lord is final and unquestionable. No bribing business there. His Law is always impartial and uniform and even, with the whole of mankind, why only mankind, with the whole of His own creation.

Aspiration on the mundane side is but an expression of egoism that bursts forth in every moment of man's life through actions, thoughts and speech. Unless it is, as already stated, willed by the Lord, nothing mundane or spiritual is possible of attainment by any human being on earth. God actually helps those that help themselves, provided that the thing aspired for is in strict conformity with the injunctions of the holy writ. From the cradle to the grave, from birth till death, from the moment of awareness to that of eternal rest, the guiding factor of man should be self-effort, self-effort, self-effort and self-effort alone, based on surrender, without minding the results.

Q. If escape from this world be the goal, where is the incentive for social work?

Escape from the world is not the goal, but freedom from worldliness is what is desired. Social work has got its own valuable part in life until a certain stage, though after a time, it is transcended by a higher consciousness. The value of social work, however, is purely subjective. It is not that one makes himself a great reformer or a saviour of mankind, but that he offers his ego as a sacrifice at the altar of universal love and so obtains purity of mind, which is the basis of all spiritual progress. It is an urge born out of compassion for his fellow-beings that signifies a realized being.

Q. Through which opening does the soul leave the body?
A. So long as Prana pulls up and Apana pulls down the life-forces, there is continuity of life. But, the moment either of these becomes weaker, there is an exit of the life-force. If the Apana gives way, then the Jiva will pass out of the body through either the head or the nose or the ear or the mouth. If the Prana gives way, then it will pass out of the body through the anus.
Previous FAQs at

The end and beginning are dreams. Endless and beginningless is the Soul, the Atman.
- Sri Swami Sivananda


LOCUST - SALABHASANA - A list of variations

BOAT - Navasana

Lying face down with forehead on the mat, have arms stretched out in front and feet extended behind. Inhale and exhale completely. On the next inhalation, lift both arms and legs as high as possible. Hold breath or take a few deep breaths in the abdomen. Balance on the pelvis. Keep arms by ears when raising them and keep feet together. Relax neck and shoulders. Exhale, slowly release and repeat.


Forehead down on mat and legs and heels together, place arms behind your back and hold your elbows or as close to elbows as possible. Exhale completely. On next inhalation, lift up your legs, head and chest simultaneously, as high as possible. Keep holding arms behind back. The whole back is contracted. Look up. Exhale and slowly release, repeat.

ADVANCED VARIATION WITH HIGH LEGS (Requires strong lower back)

Begin from locust position with chin on the mat, arms and elbows and hands tucked under the body, hands interlocked together or with clenched fists as preferred. On an inhalation, contract the lower back and quickly raise feet and legs up high, keeping legs straight. Continue quickly swinging the legs up and pushing strongly with your arms against the floor. Hold a few breaths and come out of pose, slowly releasing the contraction of the back.

ADVANCED VARIATION FEET TO HEAD (Requires strong lower back)

From the high leg variation, bend knees and lower feet as close to head as possible. The knees are apart. Hold for a few breaths and come out pose, releasing the contraction of the back slowly, using arm resistance.

Strong contraction of back muscles without undue pressure on vertebrae, therefore strengthening the whole back.
Strengthens lower back, abdomen and leg muscles.
Opens chest.
Massages digestive organs, helping efficient functioning of the digestive system and intestinal elimination.
Thought, breath, movement and prana are brought together in one powerful contraction.

This yoga asana is an edited contribution for the Sivananda Gurugram sourced from the Sivananda Publication “Yoga: Your Home Practice Companion” – Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre - 2010. Other yoga tips at

The basis of body-building and spiritual growth is Brahmacharya.
- Swami Sivananda


Nivritti Marga - the path of renunciation
Preyo-Marga - the path of ignorance / the path of pleasure.
Sreyo-Marga - the path of knowledge.
Pravrittimarga - the path of action or life in the worldly society
Bhakti-marga - the path of devotion
Jnana-marga - the path of knowledge
Nivrittimarg - The path of renunciation or Sannyasa; the path of return to Brahman.
Archiradi-marga - The path of the gods; the northern path; taken by the Jiva after death through which the Yogi ascends to the world of Brahman.

MAYA: The illusive power of God.
Maya is powerful. Except, in very rare cases, where the Samskaras are very strong, a taste for a life of contemplation does not manifest itself in man. The Avarana of Avidya /the veil of ignorance is so thick that spiritual practice is not sufficient to easily pierce it. Life then only creates Samskaras which take shape in future births. No doubt, Satsang, Japa and Dhyana help a Sadhaka a lot. But, if at the same time you do Vichara, develop Viveka and cultivate Vairagya, then the progress is extremely rapid. Vairagya and Viveka are absolutely necessary. Without these, no amount of Satsang, Japa or Dhyana will produce immediate results. Because Maya is extremely powerful: she can be annihilated only through Dridha Vairagya, only through intense dispassion.

Live in the present, forget the past. Release hopes of the future. - Sw. Sivananda

A complete Sanskrit Glossary can be found at:


Chapter III: The Yoga of Action


(Krishna speaking to Arjuna)
'Janaka and others attained perfection verily by action only; even with a view to the protection of the masses thou shouldst perform action.'

'Whatsoever a great man does, that other men also do; whatever he sets up as the standard, that the world follows.'

You can elevate others only if you have elevated yourself. This world can be saved only by those who have already saved themselves. - Sri Swami Sivananda


From Chapter IV: "Kaivalya Pada - On Realization"


'Nor is it (the mind) self-luminous, for it is in the realm of perception.'

The mind is something that can be observed as an object, and not the source of knowledge, just as the moon is not a source of light but a reflection of the sun.


'It cannot perceive two things at once.'

Even though thoughts are formed in but a split second, still only one thought-form can exist in the mind at one time. So it is impossible for the mind to be perceiving itself while it perceives something else.

Philosophy deals with man, God, Brahman and Universe. - Sri Swami Sivananda



A delectable vegetable dish with a crunchy topping, good enough to serve at any dinner party. Fennel is a low calorie vegetable with a good fiber and potassium content in the bulb. Raw, it is sweetly aromatic with delicate anise-like aroma and flavor. When baked till tender, it has a delicious flavor. Ricotta cheese complements fennel in this recipe, or for a vegan diet, use silken tofu instead of cheese. The fennel bulb is first steamed for a short while on stove top then baked in the oven. Choose medium sized fennel bulbs that are fresh and pearly white. The fronds contain folic acid and B vitamin and can be used raw for garnishing.

2 bulbs fennel
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons caraway seeds
2 tablespoons butter or margarine
2 cups fresh white bread crumbs
¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons drained ricotta cheese
2/3 cup milk or soy milk
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley

Heat oven to 400 degrees F.
Slice the fennel bulb fairly thinly, or cut thicker slices in lengths on the diagonal. Reserve the feathery fronds for garnishing.
Place the slices in a steamer pan, pour the lemon juice over them. Cover and steam over simmering water on medium heat for 5 – 10 min, or just until the fennel begins to soften.
Transfer the fennel to an oiled baking dish.
While the fennel is steaming, toast the caraway seeds in a dry skillet over high heat for a few seconds, then crush them slightly.
Melt butter or margarine in a separate pan and fry the bread crumbs over medium heat until lightly brown.
Beat the ricotta cheese with milk, caraway seeds and salt.
Pour the mixture over the fennel. Sprinkle the bread crumbs on top and then the chopped parsley.
Cover with foil and bake for 25-30 min, until the fennel is tender.
Serve hot.

This recipe is an edited contribution for Gurugram, sourced from The Yoga Cookbook: Food for Body and Mind - Recipes from the Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centres" 1999.

Previous Recipes:
Other recipes can be found in the Sivananda publication - "Yoga: Your Home Practice Companion" – Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre - 2010

Live in tune with the Infinite. Rejoice in the Self within. This is the great slogan of life. - Sri Swami Sivananda

UPCOMING EVENTS - TTC, ATTC, Sadhana Intensive Courses


Jan 04 - Jan 18/15
Sadhana Intensive – English
Madurai, Tamil Nadu, South India

Jan 04 - Jan 31/15
ATTC - English
Nassau, Bahamas

Jan 04 - Jan 31/15
TTC - English
Nassau, Bahamas

Jan 11 - Feb 08/15
TTC – English, Deutsch, Espaňol, हिन्दी, 日本語, فارسی
Neyyar Dam, Kerala, South India

Jan 11 - Feb 08/15
TTC - English, Español, Portuguese
Garopaba, Santa Catarina, Brazil

Jan 11 - Feb 08/15
ATTC - Español, Portuguese
Garopaba, Santa Catarina, Brazil

Jan 18 - Feb 15/15
ATTC – English
Madurai, Tamil Nadu, South India

Jan 24 - Feb 08/15
Sadhana Intensivo - Español, Portuguese
Garopaba, Santa Catarina, Brazil

Feb 03 - Mar 02/15
TTC - Teachers Training Course – English
Nassau, Bahamas

Feb 15 - Mar 15/15
TTC – English
Neyyar Dam, Kerala, South India

Feb 22 - Mar 22/15
TTC – English
Madurai, Tamil Nadu, South India

Feb 28 - Mar 29/15
ATTC – English, Français, Deutsch, Espaňol
Rudraprayag Himalaya Mountains, India

Feb 28 - Mar 29/15
TTC – English, Français, Deutsch, Espaňol
Rudraprayag Himalaya Mountains, India

Feb 28 - Mar 28/15
TTC – English, Vietnamese, Japanese, Chinese
Da Lat, Vietnam

Mar 01 - Mar 28/15
TTC – English
Woodbourne, NY, USA

Mar 01 - Mar 29/15
TTC – Espaňol
Bariloche, Patagonia, Argentina

Mar 10 - Apr 06/15
TTC – English
Nassau, Bahamas

Mar 22 - Apr 19/15
TTC - English
Neyyar Dam, Kerala, South India

Mar 29 - Apr 26/15
TTC – English
Namchi, Sikkim, Himalayas, North India

Apr 05 - May 03/15
TTC – English
Netala, Uttar Kashi, North India

Apr 09 - May 06/15
TTC – English
Nassau, Bahamas

Apr 26 - May 25/15
TTC – Français
Orleans, France

May 02 - May 30/15
TTC – English, Espaňol
Grass Valley, CA, USA

May 09 - Jun 05/15
TTC – English
Nassau, Bahamas

May 02 - May 17/15
Sadhana Intensive – English
Woodbourne, NY, USA

May 09 - Jun 07/15
ATTC – English, Deutsch
Reith, Tyrol, Austria

May 10 - Jun 07/15
TTC – English
Netala, Uttar Kashi, North India

May 18 - Jun 15/15
TTC – Français
Orleans, France

May 31 - Jun 28/15
TTC – English
Woodbourne, NY, USA

Jun 14- Jun 28/15
Sadhana Intensive
Val Morin, QC, Canada

Jun 02 - Jun 30/15
ATTC – English, 日本語 中文
Grass Valley, CA, USA

Jun 14 - Jul 12/15
TTC – English
Netala, Uttar Kashi, North India

Jun 28 - Jul 25/15
TTC – English, Français, Espaňol,
Val Morin, QC, Canada

Jul 03 - Jul 31/15
TTC – English, Français, Espaňol, Nederlands
Orleans, France

Jul 03 - Jul 31/15
ATTC – English, Français, Espaňol
Orleans, France

Jul 05 - Aug 02/15
ATTC – English
Woodbourne, NY, USA

See full list of International Teacher Training Courses:

See full list of International Advanced Teacher Training Courses:

See full list of International Sadhana Intensives and other courses/events:

Pure, noble and good character, Sadachara, forms an indispensable part of spiritual life.
- Sri Swami Sivananda



Sivananda Ashram Yoga Camp, Val Morin, Quebec, Canada

    Om Namah Sivaya! Greetings from the Headquarters.
    In early December as we started the last week of TTC, the students were much more comfortable with the teaching classes, as the round of Open classes began. The confidence and trust could be seen and day by day the entire group could feel the improvement. Swami Rajeshwarianandaji led the mantra initiation ceremony in the morning with 26 of the students taking part. It was inspiring to see them all ready, with offering in hands and the mind set in their chosen mantras and practice. One Wednesday Satsang happened in Samadhi Estates. It was appreciated by all, as the energy in Swamiji's house was very peaceful. The students had their pranayama practice and after that most of them went through the day much quieter and focussed on their studies, as the exam was to take few days from there. Saturday morning exam day: We held a shorter Satsang and students were sent to have a light snack as the expected exam took place. With a good team of staff they were corrected quickly and the graduation ceremony was prepared. The evening ended with an inspiring talk by Swami Rajeshwarianandaji, the graduation and a beautiful talent show. Few guests were with us for the weekend and they all enjoyed and entire event. One could feel the friendship and love that had been developed through the intense 4 weeks of training. The next day the TTC students headed home and the staff began a massive clean up at the Ashram, preparing it for the holidays that were fast approaching. One evening we all went to the Montreal Centre to participate in the Christmas party. The Centre had been beautifully decorated by Sushila and a group of karma yogis that came throughout that week. Swami Rajeshwarianandaji then travelled back to Rome. Her presence during the month was greatly appreciated by all and she will be missed.

    During mid-December the staff all pulled in together to get the Ashram ready for Christmas. All the rooms were done, windows cleaned, wood polished, bathrooms scrubbed and the kitchen completely cleaned, organized and stocked. The decorations were hung and the beautiful Christmas trees were dressed up. The energy of celebration could be felt throughout the week as the holidays were fast approaching. Joanne did a wonderful job wrapping all the gifts and carefully placing them under the tree. During the week we had two snowshoeing outings, one going round the Ashram land, marking and packing the snow and another to Mount McMaster, that is right next to the Lake Raymond, where we have some of ours silent walks. This one was led by Uma. Guests and staff both joined. From the view point we could see not only the lake but also the Ashram. The weekend was very quiet and enjoyable, giving that last breath to the staff before the busy days ahead. We all looked forward to receiving our Gurubhais from the Ranch, New York, Montreal and Toronto Centres for the Christmas celebrations. All is well in the Ashram. Pranams to all the Sivananda Family as the New Year begins.

Sivananda Dhanwanthari Ashram, Neyyar Dam, Kerala, South India

    Om Namo Narayanaya!
    Early December was calm after the high energy of the November TTC. Tapovan, Nagraj and THomas rejoined the staff after finishing the course. Additionally Babeesh and Renjith from TTC have joined staff.  A group of six new teachers are now having regular training under the care of Nirmala and Shubash. Seventeen people were initiated into the two week Fasting & Detoxification Programme conducted by Narayana. Within a day the number rose to full capacity of twenty, including six staff members. We celebrated Swami Vishnudevananda's star birthday. We celebrated with big Ailyam Puja and Pongala at the lakeside temple near Swamiji's lakeside house. Many local ladies participated with the staff and guests. Puja was conduced by Aji Shanti. We welcomed Swami Gayatriananda for the season and Hasu & Anil Patel for the cultural programme.

    During mid-December the Christmas atmosphere crept into the Ashram, initially with some modest tinsel in Siva Hall. Then some coloured lights outside the Hall. A new magnificent 10 foot Christmas tree arrived from Cochin. Staff quickly decorated it for presentation on the stage.  Christmas carol practice took place every evening. We were blessed by the arrival of Hasu and Anil Patel, Poornam ji and family and six Yogis on Wheels. Hasu is a well respected sitar player and composer, living in USA. She performed and conducted daily music workshops for the guests. We were blessed by a long-awaited visit from Poornam ji and family. Poornam ji is a long standing teacher and supporter from Chennai. Six physically challenged young men, "Yogis on Wheels", enjoyed the Christmas festivities with us for a week. The Fasting Detoxification Program finished with a very sweet ceremony in the Rajarajeshwari Temple. All twenty participants benefitted from the program. On the same day the Yoga Ayurveda Cultural Program started with a Ganapati Homa and Duryodhanam Katakali performance that evening. We were sad to see Harish and Haridas leave. New staff member, Shyam, quickly fitted into the group. Pranams to all Sivananda Staff.

Sivananda Ashram Kutir, Netala, Uttarkashi, North India
    Om Namo Narayanaya
    Sending best wishes for a Peaceful New Year. May the Gurus' blessings of be with us all for 2015. Pranams. Om.

Sivananda Ashram Chateau du Yoga, Orleans, France
    Om Namah Sivaya
    In early December we had a guest speaker on Ayurveda, Vincent Marechal, who gave two well-received introductory talks. He has on own clinic near Paris. Many TTCs took mantra initiation. Yagneshwara conducted a Kanya Kumari Puja. The TTC students loved it and afterwards they received their spiritual names. The next day was the final exam. The good news was that everybody passed, many were excellent. Overall, it was a very inspiring TTC, with 2 students staying on for Karma Yoga for a few months. Preparations for the Christmas celebrations were in full swing.

    During mid-December the sun hardly came out from behind the clouds. It was raining frequently. Still, we had a joyful week of final preparations for the Christmas season, a few temporary staff came to help in the various departments. Then, the first guests came for the special Christmas and New Year programme, and the prana began building. Staff were rehearsing and learning their part for our theatre play "Krishna and Sudama".
    Ishwara and Karuna, who both took the last TTC here, are already assisting in the classes. OM.

Sivananda Ashram Yoga Farm, Grass Valley, California, USA
    Om Namah Sivaya
    In early December the TTC began with a Ganapathe Homa held at the Krishna Temple platform by Swami Vasishtanandaji. We were fortunate to have a break in the weather to have this Puja outside. The weather cooperated again for the walk of the Peace Labyrinth during Satsang one Wednesday morning. Following meditation, chanting, and a short video on the history and use of the labyrinth, students, teachers, and staff walked the labyrinth, experiencing the unique energy produced by this practice. Severe storm warnings had been issued for the area. The staff worked very hard to bring in anything that might be damaged in the forecasted 60 mph winds and heavy rains. Most of the high winds occurred at night but the rain was continuous for 2 days. The TTC students held up well and kept their spirits up. The Ashram welcomed the Temple Bhajan Band for a Saturday kirtan concert (and workshop) with classical bhajans producing a sweet energy amongst all. It was a great way for the students to begin the second week of TTC. Swami Swaroopananda, accompanied by Swami Premaswaroopananda, Rukmini, and Jnaneswari stayed on following the EBM meeting and left for the Bahamas.

    During mid-December the TTC completed the second week and were diving into the daily practice. They began their teaching groups and were inspired by the many aspects of the teachings. The Ashram celebrated Channukah, with nightly lighting of the menorah before meditation. The group was exposed to several special guests with Mary Thompson ("Ayurveda Psychology") and Dr. Marc Halpern ("Prana, Tejas, Ojas") visiting from the California College of Ayurveda. Kirtan group Shakti Rising hailing from Mt. Shasta, led an inspired concert of classic bhajans. We thanked Dr. Fred Luskin of Stanford University for his insightful talks on "Happiness" and "Forgiveness", sharing tools to access the higher aspects of the mind. Swami Sitaramananda and Ananta Chaitnay, were on their way to India, stopped in Dubai to teach a 5 day Yoga retreat to a group of 62 serious and eager Russian students, organized by Rami Bleckt who brought a similar group to Vietnam last year. The retreat was held outside of Dubai in a nice hotel surrounded by desert mountains with hot springs. We enjoyed the nice chants from the mosque five times each day and night. The students enjoyed chanting, lectures, asana classes outdoors in the sun, taught by Ananta Chaitanya and Russian Atmajyoti who was translating non stop on everything. Om Namo Narayanaya and seasonal blessings to all the Sivananda family.

Sivananda Ashram Yoga Ranch, Woodbourne, New York, USA
    Om Namo Narayanaya
    In early December we started preparing for an ice storm by checking that we had all the supplies necessary and checking generators. Luckily, the weather was only contained to surrounding the area and we were able to get to New York City, to pick up Mahahdev Chaitanya from the airport, from his long awaited return from India. Mahadev Chaitanya had been in India for seven weeks, first participating in Sadhana Intensive and then teaching in the Kerala TTC. There were 14 participants for the weekend program on Positive Thinking. The Satsangs were full and lively chanting helped to lift the already positive energy of the Ashram. Kamala left the Ashram to serve at the New York Centre for a few months. We will miss her and wish her all the best. Staff sends Pranams to all! May the Gurus' blessings of be with us at this time of year.

Sivananda Ashram Yoga Retreat, Nassau, Bahamas
    Om Namo Narayanaya, Blessed Selves
    In early December the weather was sunny and cool. The Christmas lights were installed sending us into the festive spirit. Satsangs have moved to the garden platform to accommodate the growing number of guests. This was a perfect setting for Karnamrita Dasi's concerts "Harmonizing our Lives with Mantras, Ragas and Voice". She also led afternoon workshops for guests who wanted to practice chanting and sanskrit pronunciation. Mavis Gewant completed her painting series with workshops on the imagery of chakras and painting planet mandalas. We welcomed Father William Meninger who presented the Enneagram as a Tool for Personal Transformation. It was a very popular topic and he led a series of engaging Satsangs He also led afternoon workshops on "The Process of Forgiveness". Tulku Sherdor, from the Tibetan Buddhist tradition presented his course on Meditation: "Deeply Exploring Our True Nature". Katie (Ambika) Papo started her workhshop series: "Yoga, Stress, and Food". Pranava led the Essentials of Yoga I course which had quite a large number of students; therefore, we offered 2 yoga classes, one in the evening and one in the afternoon led by Omkari. Students completed and graduated from the course. The Essentials Yoga II course was also inaugurated. We also inaugurated the Transformational Cleansing with Dr. Tom Francescott who will lead the 7-day cleanse.

    During mid-December the winter season officially arrived. The days were warm and sunny with cool mornings and evenings. The Ashram was festive and lively. The Christmas trees were lit up and the lights were strung across the pathways. Each evening we lit the Hanukkah candles during evening Satsang. Our holiday guests and guest speakers were arriving as we prepared for our Unity in Diversity Symposium.
    Roshi Bernie Glassman and his partner Roshi Eve Myonen Marko joined us to present "Living a Life That Matters" talks during Satsang. Swami Brahmananda presented Raja Yoga: The Royal Path to Enlightenment during morning Satsangs; Sundari (Nora Benian) offered Restorative Yoga and Healing Therapies workshops and massages. We had 3 blissful nights of chanting with Durga Das (David Newman) who joined us with his wife Mira and musicians. Students completed a transformational cleanse with Dr. Tom Francescott. Dr. Tom, a naturopathic doctor, has a natural health Centre in New York and is the director of Dr. Tom's Tonics. Om Shanti Staff are well and send lots of Prem. Pranams and prayers for Peace to all!

Sivananda Ashram, Retreat House, Reith, Tyrol, Austria
    Om Namah Sivaya
    In early December final preparations were done for the TTC including hall set up and decoration. Twenty-one students arrived for the "winter" TTC. An harmonious inauguration ceremony followed. Shree Krishna contributed with a mantra recitation, purifying and elevating at the same time. Christmas preparations are also on the way. We were nearly fully booked and more enquiries were coming in daily. OM.

Sivananda Ashram Meenakshi Ashram, Madurai, Tamil Nadu, India
    Om Namo Narayanaya
    In early December we said 'cheeeese' as we photographed the cheers from the TTC group. The courses, both Yoga vacation and TTC, proceeded well. Together we worshiped Goddess Devi with a special Pooja in the midst of Devi chants especially the Lalitha Sahasranamam. The students and guests were highly exited to dress themselves in Indian ethnic costumes for the celebration. They participated in the ritual with same enthusiasm. The Temple construction reached its completion with picket-fencing done on its northern boundary using nutmeg wood as a creative alternative for the cliché style wall. The lighter colored wooden fence, with green forest landscape behind. Plus the saffron canopy above made a scenic sight. December 11th, a significant date for all members of the yoga community to celebrate, was the declaration passed in the UNGA, announcing June 21st, chosen for being the longest day of the two solstices in the Gregorian calendar, as the International Day of Yoga. As an early celebratory step to welcome the New Year we were equally happy to receive the 'Calendar 2015', featuring rare pictures of Swamiji, matched with his appropriate quotes.
    May Master and Guru be with us all. Peace and Pranams to the Sivananda family.

    TTC Reports in locations other than Ashrams:

    Pranams to all.


    Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Zentrum, Berlin, Germany

    Om Namah Sivaya
    In early December the main focus was on the Christmas party. The preparation went well. Lots of karma Yogis supported the work party and with much dedication much decorating was done. The children from Kids Yoga decorated the tree. Padmavati gave it a final touch afterwards. The kitchen team created a magnificent Christmas feast. The party itself went very well. We welcomed long term and new students, with a bit less kids then normal due to the flu going round. Everybody enjoyed the different activities. Highlighted among others was the theatre play. Everybody left happy and inspired. Ishwara Chaitanya arrived. Swami Annapurnananda left for Reith.

    During mid-December it was quieter as Christmas approached. Students enjoyed the asana classes and courses. We worked on the new brochure as well as the flyer for the special programs in February. New people were taking resolves for new year already, as many people called or passed by to get information about Yoga 1 courses in January. People bought vouchers for courses as Christmas gifts. We concluded the week with nice and well visited Satsangs. There is a quiet and peaceful atmosphere in the Centre. Swami Karunananda and Amba left for Reith. All staff are well. Pranams. OM.

Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Buenos Aires, Argentina
    Om Namah Sivaya
    In early December Kanti Devi and Chandra came from Montevideo to be part of our holiday Satsang celebration, which was held on Saturday, December 13th. Shakti and Maheswara, two professors, also came to help us put together Satsang. Vegetarian empanadas (pot pies) and other goodies were baked, in addition to some delicious lemonade. Around 80 people attended Satsang. Kanti Devi led the meditation and offered a Christmas message. Later we enjoyed an asana demonstration organized by Omkari, a play entitled "Christ said it, Krishna said it," written by another professor (Madhuri) The night ended with the Sivananda choir singing three uplifting songs. At the end, all of our guests received presents and enjoyed the vegetarian meal. Everyone departed happy and inspired. May the Gurus' blessings of be with us all. Prem & Om.

Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Chennai, India
    Om Namah Sivaya to all Blessed Selves from the Chennai Centre
    During mid-December we greeted all a Merry Christmas to the Sivananda Family! Our classes continued regularly. The student number was less because of the Christmas season. On Dec 17th, Swami Sitaramanandaji and Ananta Chaitanya Ji came here. Swami Ji went for Pancha Karma in Coimbatore. Ananta Chaitanya stayed with us for 2 weeks. He taught some open classes Yoga and conducting a meditation workshop. Everything went well, with the blessings of our gurus. The rest of everything else was fine and classes continued smoothly. All the staff were happy and continuing their Sadhana, by the grace of Gurus and God. All the staff send Pranams to the Sivananda family.

Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Chicago, USA
    Om Namah Sivaya!
    In early December all continued well. Attendance at morning Satsangs was particularly strong. Shakti returned from California and is settling in for service and sadhana in the wintry Windy City. Lalita Chaitanya taught a special by-donation asana class to a full house. A student wanted to share the practice with her friends on her birthday. It was an enthusiastic group, and we hope to see some of them again. Courses were coming to a close. We looked forward to a visit from Swami Narayanananda and our holiday Satsang and potluck. Staff are well and sending wishes for peaceful holidays for all. Om Shanti, Shanti, Shantihi from the Centre in Chicago.

Sivananda Yoga Vedanta DÀ LAT Centre, Dà Lat, Vietnam
    Om Namah Sivaya!
    During mid-December the Dalat Centre had a beautiful week with more people coming over the Christmas holiday. Our Beginner's course went very well with all the students who had signed up for the course buying open class passes. We had a handmade cosmetic workshop which attracted a lot of students. On the same day we joined the Japanese festival held at the University of Dalat with some of our Japanese instructors teaching Yoga. Many of the people expressed interest in the Centre and we hope to have them join us for classes. Guru blessed us. Om.

Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Dwarka Centre, Delhi, India
    Om Namah Sivaya
    In early December, by the guru's grace everything went very well. We started with a usual beginners course at 6:30 am and 4:00 pm with sufficient numbers of students. We started a meditation course with few enthusiastic students. We had kriya workshop. We also had a very powerful and energetic 108 rounds of Surayanamasakar class, attended by more than 40 students. Otherwise the mercury dropped every day, due to cold weather. The city was getting foggy and cold, which is affecting our morning batch students. All the staffs were trying keep them self warm & healthy through their regular asana practice, meditation & Karma Yoga. Om Namah Sivaya & Pranams.

    During mid-December by guru's grace everything continued very well. We started a usual beginners course at 10:00am with sufficient numbers of students. A little renovation work was happening in the Centre. The weather was very cold now which is affecting our morning batch as well as in the evening. Students had very special  advanced Yoga class with basic pranayama, plus, our regular Satsang and meditation.
    We are all good and we all wish you a Very Happy Christmas. Blessings to all! Pranams.

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

    In early December we started one beginners' batch at 6:30am with good number of students. We also started Intermediate course Yoga 2 on Dec, 9th. Swami Kashi of Bahamas came to the Centre on Dec. 11th morning and went back by evening. The weather became cooler day by day and the number of students in 6:30am class are reduced. We scheduled to celebrate Christmas on it's eve 24th of Dec. The kids practiced the songs on Sundays when they come for the yoga class. The Sunday Satsang was attended by students, teachers and staffs. It helped all of us to feel the energy of our Masters and get blessings from thy, as usual. With the Grace of the Gurus everything else is going smoothly.

    During mid-December we offered one beginners' course at 10:00 am. As the temperature became lower and lower, the number of students coming for new courses and for regular practices reduced. With the grace of the Gurus everything else is going smoothly. The remaining activities continued in harmony with the Blessing of the Gurus. All staff are well and send their pranams. Om & Peace.

Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Geneva, Switzerland
    Om Namah Sivaya from the Geneva Centre
    In early December we focused on the preparations for the Christmas party with the help of many teachers and close students. The celebration was a joyful evening for the 84 participants, 15 of them children. The Christmas message about finding real happiness gave staff the opportunity to thank everyone. Most active teachers were present. The music performances of a Tyrolean trio and traditional Greek music were much appreciated as well as  the theater play "Narada and Maya". The bandhara was enjoyed by everyone. Students took time to inquire about the Centre search and offer collaboration. Everyone left with shining faces. Staffs were grateful to the Masters.

    During mid-December courses and classes continued plus, a Y2 started. The posters for 2015 were already put up, the envelopes for the next mailing were labeled and the Centre was prepared for the Christmas closure. Staff left for the Retreat house in Reith to support the Christmas program and to recharge. We send our prayers to all. OM.

Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
    Om Namah Sivaya
    During December the Centre was happy to see an increase in attendance in Satsang and in our open classes. It is by the Guru's Grace that people who now have some free time due to the holiday season and decided to spend it learning Yoga. Our Yoga 1 and Meditation courses continued to progress as the students continued to open up to the teachings. We also offered a Detoxification Cooking workshop where students learned new recipes for healthier holiday feasts. The Centre is running very smoothly with Guru's Grace! All the staff were happy feeling Guru's blessings. We send Pranams to all the Sivananda family and wishing all a very happy holiday! Om Tat Sat.

Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, London, England
    Om Namah Sivaya
    In early December the approaching Christmas Holidays were clearly felt in the Centre with class attendance slowing down. We spent time cleaning and reorganizing the Centre after the Christmas party, plus continued to work on small renovation projects with the help of karma yogi's who repainted the bathrooms in the main house. There was an inspiring weekday workshop studying from Masters book Conquest of Fear. We were happy to welcome a karma yogi from the Paris Centre who came to strengthen the reduced staff team for the upcoming 10 days. The last Open House of the year was attended by a small but enthusiastic group of newcomers and several regular Centre students took the opportunity to buy discounted class cards. Om Namo Bhagavate Vasudevaya. Salutations to all during this new year of 2015! Om.

Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Los Angeles, California, USA
    Om Namo Narayanaya!
    During December we celebrated the Holiday Season in grand style. We celebrated Hanukkah with a good turnout of our Jewish friends, who lit the Hanukkah candles, told stories and led us in singing. We have continued to light the candles every evening before class. We had a very joyful gathering of teachers - all but two were able to attend. At Sunday Satsang we celebrated the Winter Solstice, starting with a brilliant red sunset which lasted for a long time! Surya was certainly letting us know that he was there! We watched a documentary about the pagan origins of the celebration of Christmas - very interesting! Our winter sale continued successfully. We were grateful for a couple of good donations at the end of the year. Season's Blessings to all! May the Gurus' blessings of be with us all at this time of year.

Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Madrid, Spain
    Om Namah Sivaya, Blessed Selves!
    In early December we started a new course for beginners and a weekend Yoga Intensive course. We celebrated the Christmas Party with 100 people. The party started with a little meditation for Peace, with Gopala. Then we sang carols, enjoyed a beautiful theatre and ended with a delicious dinner. Children, students and teachers received the gift from Santa Claus. Many karma yogis collaborated during and after the celebration.

    During mid-December continued in a peaceful way. No new courses started. Lakshmi concluded a Yoga 4 course. The topics of the Satsang's lectures were Peace and Steps to Divine Life. May the Gurus' blessings of be with us all for 2015. OM.

Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Madurai, South India
    Om Namah Sivaya
    In early December we started a morning batch with a good number of new students. Old practitioners were coming back and the student numbers improved day by day. All classes held in the Madurai Centre such as Open Class, Beginners Course, Ladies Class, Private Class and Kids Class operated well. The Sunday Satsang was amazing with beautiful vibrations created by people who attend it. A few of them were new and they still sang which made a lot of difference than the Staff singing. We have this scorching heat, but managing with light run once in a while. By the Guru's Grace everything continues to run smoothly in the Centre.

    During mid-December we offered an evening batch, with a good number of students.  The great number of Kids poured in for the Kids Classes. It is a blessing to see them enjoying so joyfully. They brings Centre a different energy altogether. Madurai Ashram recently finished a TTC batch and our director was involved teaching chanting and it was even more special for the Centre Staff. We attended the graduation where all the students were praising the teachers and all the teachers were sitting on the Stage and giving the TTC graduations inspiration words for their future. All was good, with our Guru's Blessings. Pranams from the Temple city Madurai to each and everybody in the Sivananda family this time of year. Pranams, Peace and Om. Om Shanti.

Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Milano, Italy
    Om Namah Sivaya from Northern Italy.
    May the Gurus' blessings of be with us all for 2015. Pranams for Peace to all.

Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Montevideo, Uruguay
    Om Namah Sivaya
    In December Lalita traveled to El Pinar where she will stay until the end of December. Swami Premananda also returned to Buenos Aires. The activities at the Centre were normal. We had lots of help from teachers to cover some classes. Kanti Devi and Chandra traveled to Buenos Aires to participate in their Christmas Satsang. Humble thank yous to the Masters we had a good number of students. Om and Pranams to everyone in the Sivananda Family from the staff at Montevideo.

Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
    Om Namah Sivaya
    In early December we were pleased to receive the brochure for January – May 2015, which we started to distribute. The Centre prepared for the annual Christmas party and many karma yogis came throughout that week to clean the Centre, finish decorating, wrap presents, cook etc. The spirit of karma yoga was wonderful. Working together allowed inspiration to grow and spread. The Centre hosted approximately 130 – 140 students and children for the party. The space looked beautiful and the vibrations were high. The evening was a good opportunity to celebrate the spiritual family and appreciate Master and Swami ji for creating all of this for us to benefit from. Swami Shivabhaktananda and the staff at the Ashram attended, and their presence was greatly enjoyed, as usual. English and French Carols were sung by all, followed by a short talent show, with a good variety of performances from teachers at the Centre. The evening ended with a feast and a chance for people to connect with one another. We are thankful to all involved and wished everyone a good holiday season.

    During mid-December the Centre continued to operate smoothly. The class numbers reduced due to the holiday period, however we have seen many people purchasing gifts at the boutique for Xmas. We took advantage of this quiet time to do a intense clean around the Centre and started the annual boutique inventory. We thank Master and Swami-ji for their continued grace. We send our best wishes for a prosperous New Year. May the blessings of Master and Swamiji be with all. Pranams to all the Sivananda family.

Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Munich, Germany
    Om Namah Sivaya from the Munich Centre!
    In early December we offered our Christmas Party. It was as always a very joyous event. Swami Durgananda who is always here for the party gave a very inspiring talk about the importance of the deep wisdom teachings of yoga for our daily lives. Swami Sivadasananda taught us and sang with us the Vedantic lullaby "Suddhosi Buddhosi". We were especially happy to also welcome Father Christmas to the party who brought presents for all the children. Another highlight of the evening was a theater-play of the story of Sudama and Krishna written by Swami Bhagavatananda. A group of students of the Centre with Swami Vasudevananda in the role of Sudama presented us this story of the poor childhood friend of Krishna who visited his former gurubai bringing only a handful of rice flakes as present and getting rewarded in a kingly way. Everybody left very happy after a delicious Christmas meal with pumpkin soup, lasagna and chocolate cake and Christmas presents.

    During mid-December we had the special program Wisdom Teachings of Vedanta with Swami Kashi Muktananda. Swamiji gave a well appreciated course on five consecutive days about the Kena Upanishad. During his stay with us Swamiji also gave the lectures in three evening Satsangs. Topics were Sloka 32 in chapter four of the Bhagavad Gita (our meal prayer), explanations about some slokas in our Arati and the live and teachings of Shankaracharya. Swami Durgananda and Swami Sivadasananda left at the beginning of the week to Christmas program and TTC at the Sivananda Yoga Retreat House in Reith, Tyrol, Austria. Also Gopika Chaitanya and Saraswati went there at the end of the week. OM.

Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Neuquen, Patagonia, Argentina
    Om Namah Sivaya!
    In December the Centre's activities increased slightly. The promotion to convene students in the summer was showing good results!! We received, with great joy, the birth of Milagros, daughter of our teachers Gopi and Jnanadev. Christmas greetings from Neuquén, with prayers for a peaceful Christmas and New Year. Pranams to everyone!

Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, New York, USA
    Om Namah Sivaya!
    In early December we were busy at the Centre preparing for our Christmas celebration. A large group attended. After our regular meditation and chanting we were entertained with Christmas music and carol singing led by one of our students, Andru. We were treated to a visit from Santa Claus, bearing many gifts for teachers, karma yogis and guests. The evening ended with a "potluck" dinner, the participants brought many delicious dishes with them so we enjoyed a real feast. On the evening of the event we were grateful for support from a group of staff from the Ranch, who brought some wonderful contributions for our meal and helped with organization, serving and clearing up. We joined an appeal from a local charity which provides shower facilities for homeless seniors in the city, many students brought the requested donation of "long johns" (special warm underwear), we were able to contribute about 70 pairs. Kamala, who has been serving at the Yoga Ranch, joined the staff here at the Centre, we are happy to welcome her to the city.

    Mid-December started to quiet down at the Centre after all the activity of the Holiday party. All staff except for Jnaneshwari were traveling by mid month. Swami   Narayanananda left for Chicago to visit the Centre there, then from there to go on up to the Camp to be there for Christmas. Kamala left to travel up to the Camp by road with Srinivasan and the staff from the Yoga Ranch. Our final Satsang before closing for a few a days was held on the 21st. Just Jnaneshwari and Rama remain to take care of things while the Centre is closed. All staff are well and sending their pranams. Om Namah Sivaya from all the staff here at the NYC Centre. We send our best wishes for a prosperous New Year. May the blessings of Master and Swamiji be with all. Om Shanti.

Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Paris, France
    Om Namah Sivaya
    In early December the Spirit of Christmas was present with the preparations of the Christmas party plus, the party itself.  The Masters blessed the Centre  with the presence of Swami Kailasananda, all the Ashram staff, many karma yogis, teachers and close students which made for a very joyful celebration. Everyone appreciated the Satsang, the inspiring asana demonstration, the beautiful play, the wonderful improvisation of Father Christmas, the delicious meal, the songs and  table demonstration given by Swami Gopalananda, some magical moments on the piano, the Christmas tree, the thoughts of peace, the recitation of Om Namo Narayananaya and the peace balloons. The best Christmas present was a new staff for the Centre, the young Arjuna who just finished his TTC in Orleans.

    During mid-December we saw calm and rainy days with the shortest day of the year on Sunday, 21st. The students of the morning classes did their asanas in the middle of balloons from the Christmas party. Everyone was very grateful for the Christmas party, the presents, the calendars and the copy of the new Yoga Life. The new staff Arjuna is a good support for the Centre. He seems to adapt well to the rhythm of the Centre and everyone has already adopted him. Nadapriya went to Orleans for some days to have a little rest in nature. Some of the new TTC's of the last group in Orleans, started already to do karma yoga at the Centre . We had a workshop on the topic the art of relaxation with a little group of motivated students. We started to work on the new brochure. We started with the preparations of the Christmas Eve's program. Swami Gopalananda went to Orleans to support the Ashram with the Christmas retreat. OM.

Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Porto Alegre, Brasil, South America
    Om Namah Sivaya from Brasil
    In December Munindra, a very nice student that helps with karma yoga, came to install the ceiling ventilators, it was a hard work and now the asana room has much better air flow in the summer. The weather here during our summer has been incredibly cool. This means that the climate is really changing in the world. Simone arrived to help here one week and a half. We had the Christmas party with a lot of students and a delicious prasad. Pranams, from all the staff at Porto Alegre Centre. May the blessings of Master and Swamiji be with all for thé upcoming year.

Centro Yoga Vedanta Sivananda, Rome, Italy
    Om Namah Sivaya, Blessed Selves
    Swami Rajeshwarananada returned from Yoga Camp in Canada. The staff at the Centre are fine. We wish Staff, Teachers, and Students throughout the world a Joyous New Year and pray that Master and Swamiji continue to guide and protect us. Om Shanti. Om & Prem.

Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, San Francisco, California, USA
    Om Namo Narayanaya, Blessed Selves
    We wish Staff, Teachers, and Students throughout the world a wonderful New Year and pray that Master and Swamiji guide us in our Sadhana in 2015. Om Shanti.

Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Tel Aviv, Israel
    Om Namah Sivaya
    December was very busy and fruitful in the Tel-Aviv Centre. First we welcomed a new karma yogini to the Centre. Her name is Durga and she graduated her TTC in the Bahamas two years ago, and then stayed as resident in the London Centre for one year. She is now visiting Israel for 3 months and will stay with us in the Centre. We've started a new Sattvic Indian Food workshop with Iswara who is a chef and a Yoga teacher. We had 8 students enrolled and a long waiting list of people waiting eagerly for the next one. The Centre was filled with amazing  scents and aromas, and you could close your eyes and really feel in India for a moment. A new Positive Thinking course started with 16 and Advanced meditation course with 12. The two Introduction lectures for Meditation were productive. We have 15 students enrolled for the course next week. Blessings and Peace to all of the Sivananda Family from the Tel Aviv Centre.

Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Tokyo, Japan

    Om Namah Sivaya, Blessed Selves
    In early December Yoga 2 courses started on Tuesdays and a Yoga 1 course started on Sundays. Four students participated for each course. As for workshops, we offered a monthly Tattva Bodha class by Swami Cetanananda with 22 participants joining. We had an NPO general meeting and teacher's meeting which was followed by a year-end party in neighboring vegetarian restaurant. At the party, 17 participants enjoyed a delicious dish and a pleasant conversation. The party was also served as the farewell party of Yamuna. She is going to leave Tokyo Centre and move to Kagoshima (prefecture of Japan at the south end).

    During mid-December Iswari Rika's "back bend workshop" was held with 17 students participating. A magazine crew from Yoga Journal Japan came over to write an article about the class. We were grateful to all students who were cooperative with photo shooting during the class as well as an interview after the class. There was a "headstand workshop" by Tara and 12 students participated. Staffs were all busy assisting each student. We also had a trial class on the same day and 17 participants joined for the class. It was a busy weekend for the staffs but it was rewarding also. May Master and Swamiji bless us to be able to provide this. Pranams and prayers for a peaceful Christmas and New Year.

Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    Om Namah Sivaya

    In early December courses slowly were winding up towards the end of the year, while open classes continue to be strong with good attendance. Satsangs had full participation with students reaping the benefits of group meditation and chanting. The Meditation course continued with the students enjoying the course. The students from the Waldorf school, who were treated to some Yoga classes and a vegetarian lunch, sent a card with drawings and letters from the students. The students from the Mental Health Centre continued to come for classes on Mondays. We spent the week with decorations for Christmas party and gift wrapping for all teachers and karma yogis. We had a wonderful Christmas party with 148 people attending. All rooms were full of visitors. They brought lots of fruits, flowers and food. After Meditation and chanting we had very a melodious and energetic Christmas carol chanting led by Ken Whiteley. We then had quite a few surprising acts in the talent show plus, the celebration of Harsha's birthday. Right after Arati Santa Claus surprised us all giving out beautiful gifts. Then we all followed for a delicious potluck dinner.  All left very happy with a beautiful New Year's message, a calendar and Yoga life to take back with them.

    During mid-December, as we were getting closer to the Christmas holidays, we could feel the increasingly festive mood among the students and teachers. On the last week of classes, before Centre holiday break, the staff and karma yogis spent the week cleaning the Centre, taking stock of the boutique inventory and preparing January workshops and courses. Prahlada  taught an Asana correction course that was very well attended and appreciated by all teachers. Saraswati finished the Meditation course and then led Satsang which was attended by lot of close students and teachers. Many students planned on spending their holidays at the Yoga Camp. All Centre staff are also looking forward to spending Christmas at the Ashram and celebrating Swamiji 's birthday and New Year there. The Centre remained closed from 22nd until 4th, while staff at the Yoga Camp. We wish you all a happy and healthy new year filled with Sadhana. We send Om Namo Narayanaya to every one. Om.

Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Trivandrum, Kerala, South India
    Om Namah Sivaya!
    In early December a new Yoga 1 batch for ladies started Monday mornings and a mixed beginners' batch Monday evenings. The current morning 6.15 beginners' batch completed the last week of their course. All other classes went well. We decorated the Christmas tree and made a Crib. Lalitha Sahasra Nama Pooja was conducted. We conducted a Kriya Workshop to cleanse the respiratory system through the practices of Jala Neti and Sutra Neti. A workshop on Meditation was conducted on Sunday evenings. Satsang was led by Sri. Ravi Eashwaran ji.

    During mid-December a new mixed batch for beginners started on Monday mornings. Open, Kids and Advance classes went well. A Ganapathi Homa was conducted as it was the first day of the new Malayalam month. As usual Lalitha Sahasra Nama Pooja was conducted on Fridays by our regular priest. We celebrated Christmas during a Sunday Satsang with Nataraj ji leading. We cut Christmas cake. Santa Claus distributed gifts to all the guests. After Satsang Nataraj ji, Sw. Gayathri Mataji, Sw Rajeshwariananda Mataji inaugurated our Spiritual Library. More than 100 people including Outside Teachers & Students attended the celebration. We wish you all a Merry Christmas & a Happy New Year. Pranams to the Sivananda family worldwide at this time of year.

Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Vienna, Austria
    Om Namah Sivaya
    In early December several courses started, among them a Thought Power course and Yoga & Anatomy 2. We were busy with preparations for the Christmas Party. Many Karma Yogis helped in the kitchen, for the theatre play and for decoration. The preparations were intense but everything went remarkably smooth. The party itself was successful, it radiated peace, joy and love to all. Highlights were the Christmas message from Swami Durgananda, a classical concert by two excellent musicians and the theatre play on Suddhama and Krishna. Everybody also enjoyed the very well prepared food afterwards. For dessert, some students brought sweets, among them some apple strudels, a Viennese speciality which Swamiji had often asked the Austrians to prepare on Christmas in the HQ.

    During mid-December three Yoga courses started. Staff prepared a course plan and teaching plan for after the Christmas holidays. Also a Karma Yogi plan was prepared for the Christmas holidays as the Staff will be in Reith. Working continued on the brochure. Many Karma Yogis supported the Centre during this time, especially the heating in the 3rd floor, as it was modernized with a more effective control-system. Swami Vidyananda left for Reith to assist the TTC and the holiday program in Reith. Other courses, drop-in classes and Satsangs were well attended. Staff are well. OM.

Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Vilnius, Lithuania
    Om Namah Sivaya, from Vilnius
    In early December we started with a good Yoga 1 course. Other courses and classes continued as usual. The Meditation Experience course with Ishwara Chaitanya finished with students leaving uplifted and grateful. We had a small but successful Open House Day where many students bought Yoga Asana cards and subscribed for the Yoga 1 and Yoga 2 courses. Ishwara Chaitanya left for Berlin. Sending Perm, Praams and Peace to all for the new year. OM.

Be thou in this world as though you are a passer-by on the road, or like a lotus in the water. - Sri Swami Sivananda

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