Sivananda News Sivananda E-Gurugram
The Electronic Newsletter of the International Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centres
Issue #4/2014 Serve Love Give Purify Meditate Realize Apr 1, 2014
"Brahman is from which the origin, subsistence and dissolution of the World proceeds." - Sri Swami Sivananda

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

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

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

SPIRITUAL CALENDAR:
APRIL 2014
08 Ramanavami
11 Ekadasi
12 Subramanya/Ayyappa Temple Reopens
15 Full Moon
15 Vishu (Malayalee New Year)
15 Hanuman Jayanti
20 Easter
25 Ekadasi
29 New Moon

MAY 2014
10 Ekadasi
14 Full Moon
24 Ekadasi
28 New Moon
E-MAIL DIRECTORY
A complete e-mail directory of the Sivananda Yoga Centres and Ashrams is available at:
Sivananda Email Directory
SIVANANDA "OM" PAGE
www.sivananda.org

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

NEWS

Blessed Selves,
Om Namah Sivaya

The Winter Season is been very busy throughout the Organization. Yoga Vacationers and TTC/ATTC Courses gather yoga students together in peaceful Ashrams, with attendance reaching almost to the maximum at a time. The Organization's Centres are extremely busy, with lots of extra programs and asana classes packed to capacity, evidence that the Organization is able to continue with Swamiji's vision in propagating Yoga in it's true spirit.

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

We thank you all for your continued support and encouragement. May Master and Swamiji's blessings be with us always.

Pranams to all.

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Religion, philosophy and meditation go hand in hand. - Sri Swami Sivananda

SIVANANDA YOGA FAQ
Q. Swamiji, you say, "Atman is our real Self and we are, in reality, universal and absolute". You also say, "The personal relative self involves the idea of individuality, but the Absolute does not ... The question arises-- are there two selves? One involving individuality, and the other, without individuality but universal?
A.

There is really one Self which is the Absolute. The relative self is not something different from the Absolute Self, but it is only the Absolute Self experienced through the adjunct or the instrument of the mind. An object has an independent nature of its own, but when it is seen through a distorted coloured glass, it also appears distorted and coloured. It does not however mean from this that the object is both perfect and distorted at the same time; the difference is only in the means of perception and knowledge. This is the case also with the experience of the Absolute Self with the help of the finite mind acting as the instrument of knowledge. The difference is in the medium of perception; the Reality is one.

Q. Is married life not an obstruction to God-realization? How can a married man please both his wife and God simultaneously?
A.

Married life can never be an obstruction to those who are endowed with dispassion and detachment to worldly objects and who consider that life is intended to mold one's own self by drawing lessons from the university of Nature. Study the lives of saints like Thyagaraja, Ekanath, Narsi Mehta, Bhadrachalam Ramdas, Tukaram, Namdev, Jayadeva, Chaitanya and Kabir. Probe deep into the world and the way in which the above-mentioned saints and a host of others actually led their lives.

It is disgraceful on the part of man if he tries to please himself by pleasing his wife. He who considers married life as intended to please his wife is worse than an abject slave. Be self-restrained. Let the partner be made aware of the aim and purpose of life and the ways and means of attaining it in and through Grihastha life. Do not yield to the lower impulses when prompted by your incorrigible nature or by the stubborn character of the other party, but arrange yourself in such a balanced way that the psychic and physical personality of neither is upset. Whatever actions you do, dedicate them to God and consider them not as yours. Pray for a self-purifying, contented and continent life. Resign yourself recklessly in the spiritual battlefield and make no retreat even if life happens to be at stake. Be a master over yourself and treat yourself as a servant of God, but not as a servant of your partner. Feign that you are one with your wedded partner, but be ever transcending in mental outlook. You can be on the safe side of life.

Q. I have been reading the Upanishads and other scriptures and I find one and the same thing in all of them. They say that everything we come across is unreal, only God is real and that we have to think and understand the Truth by ourselves. How are we to do it, Swamiji?
A. Reading will help you only to a certain extent. Too much reading will land you in confusion. You should meditate and concentrate on one particular idea. That particular idea should serve as the eye-opener. Then alone will you get Vairagya; you will be able to understand the false nature of things. Take, for instance, the life of Sri Swami Sadasiva Brahmendra of Nerur. The mere uttering of the word 'wait' by his mother, when he asked her to serve food, inflicted such a blow on his mind and stirred it so well as to make him understand the Reality. You may be convinced intellectually that the world is false, only God is real and all the sense-enjoyments bring misery only. But this conviction is not strong. You may think, "Let me enjoy the sense-pleasures for five minutes". Thus you are deceived by Maya. All sense-pleasures are sugar-coated pills made by Maya. You must reflect on such Slokas as "Ye Hi Samsparsaja Bhoga Duhkha Yonaya Eva Te...". You should identify with the Higher Self which is infinity, eternity, immortality. Always think, "Suddhoham, Shantoham, Satchidanandoham". You will be elevated. Abhyasa and Vairagya are necessary. Tyaga and Tapas will give you tremendous powers. Be not cheated by the temporary pleasures of the world-- car, property etc. Be not unnecessarily worried by undue attachment etc. Do your duty and leave the rest to Him. He will take care of you.
 
Previous FAQs at http://www.sivananda.org/teachings/faq/faq.html

Meditate on the Self or Atman that dwells in your own heart. Dive deep in to the ocean of bliss.
- Sri Swami Sivananda

HATHA YOGA TIP

SETHU BANDASANA - BRIDGE - All levels, with variations

SINGLE LEG LIFT
From the bridge position, perform a single leg lift. Lift one leg with an inhalation and lower the leg with an exhalation and repeat with the alternate leg. Release hands and lower your hips to come out of the pose.

LEGS STRAIGHT
Bring legs and feet together in bridge position, and walk feet away until legs are straight. Hold for up to 30 seconds. Breathe normally. Come out of the pose by walking your feet closer to your body, release hands and lower hips.

HALF LOTUS BRIDGE
In this pose start from shoulderstand (Sarvangasana). Bend left leg and using your right hand, bring your left foot closer to your hip into half lotus. Use the other arm to keep your balance.
While supporting your back with both hands, keeping the lotus pose, bring your right foot slowly to the floor into bridge pose. Keep the left knee horizontal to the floor. Walk the right foot away from the body. Hold up to 30 seconds. Either kick back into shoulderstand, or lower the left foot to the floor and releasing hands, lower hips and then return to shoulderstand. Then repeat with the opposite leg. Go back to shoulderstand and hold for up to 30 seconds. Come out of shoulderstand and relax in corpse pose.

BENEFITS:
Improves flexibility and strength of your spine.
Strengthens the abdominal and lower back muscles especially when coming from shoulderstand and back into shoulderstand
The legs are strengthened.

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

In essence, you are pure Soul. Desire, weakness, imperfection touch thee not. Thou art not the body, nor the mind. - Swami Sivananda

The yogi regards the physical body as an instrument for his journey toward perfection. - Swami Vishnudevananda

YOGA SANSKRIT GLOSSARY

ADHIVBHUTA: Pertaining to the elements; the primordial form of matter.

Adhibhuta-vidya: Science of the physical or material world.

ADHIDAIVA: Pertaining to the divine God who controls all beings and gives them what is their due; fate; destiny; controlling power.

Adhidaiva-vidya: Science of the heavens.

The Absolute Reality is not merely a matter of conception or metaphysical speculation. Brahman is free from the limitations of the attributer. It is transcendental. - Sw. Sivananda

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

 BHAGHAVAD GITA

Chapter VIII: The Yoga of the Indestructible Brahman

ARJUNA UVAACHA:
VIII.1. KIM TADBRAHMA KIM ADHYAATMAM KIM KARMA PURUSHOTTAMA;
ADHIBHOOTAM CHA KIM PROKTAM ADHIDAIVAM KIMUCHYATE.

Arjuna said(to Krishna):
What is that Brahman? What is Adhyatma? What is action, O best among men? What is declared to be Adhibhuta? And what is Adhidaiva said to be?

VIII.2. ADHIYAJNAH KATHAM KO'TRA DEHE'SMIN MADHUSOODANA;
PRAYAANAKAALE CHA KATHAM JNEYO'SI NIYATAATMABHIH.

Who and how is Adhiyajna here in this body, O destroyer of Madhu (Krishna)? And how, at the time of death, art Thou to be known by the self-controlled one?

COMMENTARY: In the last two verses of the seventh discourse, Lord Krishna uses certain philosophical terms. Arjuna does not understand their meaning. So he proceeds to question the Lord.

What is the highest achievement? It is not wealth, position, power or titles or degrees. What then? It is Self-realization/Atma-Jnana (Knowledge of Self). - Sri Swami Sivananda

RAJA YOGA

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

The Swami Vishnudevananda Instructions on Meditation Series

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

We start with basic guidelines for the beginner.

3 - THE HABIT
It is important that you maintain consistency in your practice as well as meditating at the same time each day. The subconscious mind needs regularity to develop the habit of settling down and focusing easily. Start with fifteen to twenty minutes' daily practice and gradually build up to an hour. If you can't manage this, aim for thirty minutes daily. It is better to meditate every day for thirty minutes than once a week for two hours. Even when you travel, meditate every day. As you establish the practice, you will actually feel the need to meditate every morning; if circumstances prevent you from practicing, you will experience an inner discomfort, similar to how you feel if you start your day
without washing. You will realize that meditation is a mental cleansing, necessary for mental wellbeing. You will find you do not want to miss even a single day of practice.

Be gentle and patient with your mind; do not expect miracles. The more care and attention you give to the preparation, the more positive the results'. Face north or east to take advantage of favorable magnetic vibrations. - Sw. Vishnudevananda

Next month... the sitting position while meditating.

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

Regular meditation alone can give you true happiness. - Sri Swami Sivananda

VEGETARIAN CUISINE

CHOCOLATE AND SILKEN TOFU MOUSSE
A creamy dessert low in fat and sugar and high in calcium. Easy to prepare. Serves 4.

Ingredients:
150 gram (5 ½ ounces) bar dark chocolate (organic)
350 gram (12 ounces) pack silken tofu
Grated zest one orange
Grated chocolate or chopped nuts for garnishing

Preparation:

Break chocolate into squares and place in small bowl with 3 teaspoons filtered water. Place bowl over pan simmering water and gradually stir until chocolate has melted.
Put silken tofu into blender and add melted chocolate and orange zest. Blend until chocolate mixed in.
Pour mixture into individual ramekins and place in refrigerator to set for 2 – 6 hours.
Before serving, sprinkle with grated chocolate or some chopped nuts.
Option: Substitute the plain dark chocolate for flavoured varieties, eg chocolate and orange or cinnamon.

This recipe from the Sivananda publication - "Yoga: Your Home Practice Companion" : Proper Diet. Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre - 2010.

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

This Atman sees, but is not seen. Hears, but is not heard. Thinks, but is not thought of. Know Atman and be free. - Sri Swami Sivananda

UPCOMING EVENTS - TTC, ATTC, Sadhana Intensive Courses

2014

Apr 04 - May 01/14
TTC – English
Nassau, Bahamas
www.sivananda.org/nassau

Apr 06 - May 04/14
TTC – English
Netala, Uttar Kashi, North India
www.sivananda.org/uttarkashi

Apr 26 - May 25/14
TTC – Français
Orleans, France
www.sivananda.org/orleans

May 05 - Jun 01/14
TTC – English
Nassau, Bahamas
www.sivananda.org/nassau

May 18 - Jun 14/14
TTC – English
Grass Valley, CA, USA
www.sivananda.org/yogafarm

May 12 - Jun 09/14
TTC – English
Netala, Uttar Kashi, North India
www.sivananda.org/uttarkashi

May 17 - Jun 15/14
TTC – Deutsch
Reith, Tyrol, Austria
www.sivananda.org/tyrol/en

May 31 - Jun 29/14
TTC – English
London, England
www.sivananda.org/london/teachers_training_UK.html

Jun 01 - Jun 29/14
TTC – English
Woodbourne, NY, USA
www.sivananda.org/ranch

Jun 08 - Jun 21/14
Sadhana Intensive
Val Morin, QC, Canada
www.sivananda.org/camp

Jun 27 - Jul 25/14
TTC – English, Français, Espaňol, Nederlands
Orleans, France
www.sivananda.org/orleans

Jun 27 - Jul 25/14
ATTC – English, Français, Espaňol
Orleans, France
www.sivananda.org/orleans

Jun 29 - Jul 27/14
TTC – English, Français
Val Morin, QC, Canada
www.sivananda.org/camp

Jun 30 - Jul 28/14
TTC – English
Madurai, Tamil Nadu, South India
www.sivananda.org/madurai

Jul 06 - Aug 04/14
ATTC – English
Woodbourne, NY, USA
www.sivananda.org/ranch

Jul 06 - Aug 03/14
TTC – English
Netala, Uttar Kashi, North India
www.sivananda.org/uttarkashi

Jul 26 - Aug 24/14
ATTC – English, Deutsch
Reith, Tyrol, Austria
www.sivananda.org/tyrol/en

Jul 27 - Aug 24/14
TTC – Français
Orleans, France
www.sivananda.org/orleans

Aug 03 - Aug 17/14
Sadhana Intensive - English, Deutsch, Français, Espaňol
Orleans, France
www.sivananda.org/orleans

Aug 03 - Aug 31/14
ATTC – English, Français
Val Morin, QC, Canada
www.sivananda.org/camp

Aug 10 - Sep 07/14
TTC – English
Netala, Uttar Kashi, North India
www.sivananda.org/uttarkashi

Aug 18 - Sep 14/14
TTC – Español, Portuguese
En Aluenda, Zaragoza, Spain
www.sivananda.org/madrid

Aug 30 - Sep 28/14
TTC – English, Deutsch
Reith, Tyrol, Austria
www.sivananda.org/tyrol/en

Aug 30 - Sep 28/14
TTC – English
London, England
www.sivananda.org/london/teachers_training_UK.html

Sep 06 - Oct 05/14
ATTC – English, Polski, Lietuvos, Русский
Ustka, Baltic Sea, Poland
http://www.sivananda.eu/en/yoga-teacher-training/teachers-training-course/ttc-venues/osteuropa.html#c2509

Sep 07 - Oct 05/14
TTC – English
Woodbourne, NY, USA
www.sivananda.org/ranch

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

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

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

Studying Vedanta is to realize Brahman in the individual.
- Sri Swami Sivananda

SIVANANDA WORLD NEWS - MARCH 2014

SIVANANDA YOGA VEDANTA Ashrams -

Sivananda Ashram Yoga Camp, Val Morin, Quebec, Canada

    Om Namah Sivaya! Greetings from the Headquarters.

    March came in like a lamb at the Yoga Camp this week. The Level 2 Thai Yoga Massage students successfully finished their intensive course, and after a warm graduation ceremony, Bhaskara, Chloe, Christian, France, and Martin have left with vast experience and keenness to both take the Level 3 and 4 courses, and to begin practicing in the "outside" world! As the temperatures gradually rose, what looked like what would be a fairly quiet week-end retreat for about a dozen guests ended in quite a surprise with many extra unexpected reservations, and several walk-ins last minute. We also had a number of families, all of whom had met at Kids Camp this past summer, and had stayed in touch since then. With a reduced staff, what with two staff members at the nearby Montreal Centre, the Ashram staff was bustlingly busy all week-end! The camp felt charmingly rejuvenated with the additional number of guests, and having several young children brought great prana, joy, and light to the camp. Also wonderful were the hints of spring, with guests tobogganing and snowshoeing under cloudless blue skies, able to see even a few buds making their way out onto Ashram tree branches. Guests were happily able to take advantage of the Vedic Astrology-themed week-end program, led by Tejas, including one Saturday afternoon workshop and three related Satsang talks. The enlightening and thought-provoking program served as a general introduction to different components of Vedic astrology, namely the charts, signs, houses, planets, and how they all work together, with the very engaged group of guests inquiring with numerous and various questions. A number of guests will remain with us for the next several days, as the mercury climbs closer and closer to above the freezing mark. There has been a lot of staff movement as well! Departing from the Ashram temporarily was Neeti, who will be at the Bahamas Ashram attending the advanced Bhagavad Gita course, returning in April. Also to be missed will be Krishna who, after several months of karma yoga, has gone back home to Toronto. Arriving at the Ashram were several familiar and new staff faces. We happily welcome back Vasishta, who will be at the Ashram until the autumn; Dharma, who will be working on the online registration program over the next few weeks; temporary staff Sangeetha and Bridget, both new to the Sivananda Ashram but very enthusiastic and joyful to be here as staff; and last but not least is Charles, who was keen to come back to the Ashram as work study after attending the Thai Yoga massage course earlier this winter. All new staff are adjusting harmoniously, even to that insistent 5:30AM bell!

    During mid-March just when we thought the snow drift mountains all over and around the camp couldn't possibly get any higher here at the Yoga Camp, we thankfully welcomed spring…with two massive snowstorms! Even apart from the extra shoveling, staff remained busy, taking care of a handful of guests at the Ashram and working on various maintenance and administrative projects. We also finished the painting of the registration building, where guests and some staff stay in single rooms, and we have begun painting the conference room under our beloved Krishna temple. As the week-end approached the tempo began to pick up even more and we equipped for a massive influx of guests. Suzanne Cliche, our local juice fasting retreat leader and organizer, led a 2-Day Juice Fast and Detoxification, with more registered participants than ever before. Graciously going over the usual 40-person cap, she led 41 guests and 2 visitors participating in the fast, most of whom were completely new to both fasting and the Ashram. Each available room at the camp was booked, with more guests than even during the Christmas holidays. The week-end held a wonderfully refreshing energy  brought by the fasters, "eaters", former TTCs, and karma yogis. With a variety of cleansing and nutritious vegetable and fruit juices  and broth consumed throughout the days (and several guests eating delicious, "regular" meals as well!), all took part in our program, enjoying classes taught by staff and Chandra and Ganga (karma yogis from Montreal), Thai Yoga and Ayurvedic massages, a unique and spirited talk on Hindu deities and mantras by Gauri Devi, and a wonderful Saturday evening Satsang with vibrating and prana-filled kirtan. Most fasters were surprised by their high energy levels, enforced by the high prana at the camp; even our Sunday morning silent walk was well-attended, in spite of the -20 degree temperatures and occasional blowing snow! A couple of guests will be with us as the staff begin to turn our attention to joyfully preparing for the EBM, in order to offer the most warm welcome possible. Staff are also very much looking forward to Swami Shivabhaktananda's return from his teaching and travels in India. Peace and Pranams to all. Lord Siva's blessings to all, and may happiness and peace surround you. Salutations to the worldwide family from the Sivananda Headquarters.


Sivananda Dhanwanthari Ashram, Neyyar Dam, Kerala, South India
    Om Namo Narayanaya!
    In early March, the final week of ATTC was filled with high energy and focus on the exam. The guests enjoyed a dynamic Kalaripayattu performance. One Friday a small group went on a trip to Kanya Kumari. On the same day a group of staff made a day trip to Pattamadai, Swami Sivananda's birthplace. The ATTCs  took their exam, had the graduation ceremony and received  their certificates. As usual featured some unusual and inspiring presentations including Bharatanatyam dance set to Celtic folk music and a short video about ATTC shot on mobile phone. With the end of the course, we bid farewell to a number of staff who assisted during the course. We thank them for their hard work and dedication. We also welcomed new staff and work study Ilcen from Turkey, Radha from Canada and Ayaka from Japan. Pranams to all Sivananda Staff.


Sivananda Ashram Kutir, Netala, Uttarkashi, North India
    Om Namo Narayanaya
    With guidance and blessing from Master and Guru, Uttarkashi is functional and operating again, after the floods from 2013. The April TTC course is full in numbers. All courses are going on as planned. May Master and Guru be with us all. Om.



Sivananda Ashram Chateau du Yoga, Orleans, France
    Om Namah Sivaya
    The guest programmes of the month focused on the following topics : "Yoga for Well-being in Body and Mind", the "Power of positive thinking", and  a "Detoxification with yoga" with a one day carrot juice fast and the practice of kriyas which the guests enjoyed very much. We welcome Matthieu, a local resident who took TTC last year as a new teacher at the Ashram. We also welcome Sundari from London as a new staff member at the Ashram. Spring is in the air, some trees are in full bloom already, and the flowers in the Ashram park are starting to come out in a symphony of colours. We are happy about the arrival of  of a most beautiful bronze full size statue of Swami Sivananda, carved by a sculptor from Hamburg, Nataraj, with much dedication and talent. He truly captured the presence of the Master in a form. We put the statue at the temple right now, and will install it properly when the priests come. The bathhouse construction is nearly finished now, and will inaugurated by the TTC students in the april TTC. We look forward to the start of the high season soon. Pranams to all. OM.



Sivananda Ashram Yoga Farm, Grass Valley, California, USA
    Om Namah Sivaya
    In early March the Yoga Farm welcomed students for the 5-day Beginner Course taught by Priya. The students enjoyed an excellent week of practice and the beautiful Ashram environment full of spring blooms. The Beginners Weekend with Shambu das was a great success with a full house of first-time guests. The weekend included a lovely and peaceful kirtan concert with Angelika.

    During mid-March the Yoga Farm welcomed a full-house of guests for the weekend. Many guests are visiting the Ashram for the first time on the Groupon promotion which is reaching out to many who would not ordinarily come to the Ashram. The guests enjoyed talks on Stress and Relaxation led by Tara Durga Devi as well as a morning Gentle Yoga class with emphasis on relaxation. We thank Joann Lutz for a wonderful Yoga Therapy for Trauma course. This course is designed for yoga teachers and therapists and focuses on therapeutic techniques for healing traumas through yoga. Shambu taught the vegetarian cooking course, offering the foundations to yogic cooking for a healthy lifestyle. Om Namo Narayanaya to all the Sivananda family.


Sivananda Ashram Yoga Ranch, Woodbourne, New York, USA
    Om Namo Narayanaya
    In early March we celebrated blessed Ishwara's birthday with a three tiered chocolate cake that signified rising of the lotus from the mud. This set the tone for the following activities, including the successful first week of Teachers' Training.  It is a great group of women and one gentleman who are all creating a strong and calm environment for training.  Swami Ambikananda  traveled from New York City to teach the chanting class.  We all enjoyed having her and her contagious enthusiasm for kirtan very much.  Staff members continue to provide excellent service and food for the guests.  The weekend program was Yoga and Hiking.  The weather finally warmed up a bit and we had with a good number of outdoor enthusiasts in attendance to enjoy the scenic Catskill Mountains.  We are looking forward to a busy spring and summer season of programs and many guests.

    During mid-March the first TTC of the season brought much additional positive energy to the Ashram. Andrew Faust was a guest speaker for one Tuesday night Satsang.  He gave a thorough presentation about Permaculture its benefits and why it is so important.  The weather is still a bit cold,  but the sun is shining and the snow is melting.  We began planting lettuces and have resumed weekly meditation walks in the morning. Padmavati arrived from the New York Centre to teach a weekend Meditation workshop and the "Diet and Nutrition" class for the teachers in training.  The Ashram Staff is in good spirits and all are looking forward to getting outdoors as the spring season approaches.Staff are well and send there pranams. May the Gurus' blessings of be with us in 2014.


Sivananda Ashram Yoga Retreat, Nassau, Bahamas
    Om Namo Narayanaya, Blessed Selves
    In early March TTC students completed their second week of studies and are sailing along smoothly.  We held a 'Near Death Experience and Life after Death Conference'.  We heard talks by Nathan Katz, professor; Rabbi Arthur Seltzer, teacher of Kabbalah from South Africa; Raymond Moody, author of Life after Life; Samani Unnata Pragya, Jain nun and professor of Jain philosophy and comparative religion; Eben Alexander, neurosurgeon and author of Proof of Heaven. All speakers delivered very interesting and informative talks and the final night there was a panel with all speakers participating and answering questions. Marc Halpern (Dr. Siva) taught Yoga Nidra Teacher Training, a 4-day course, to 26 students. Swami Atmananda, disciple of Swami Sivananda, began his Godly Gossip talks on the 14th. Everyone enjoys his wonderful, seemingly simple stories which teach of the highest truths. Our Satsangs continue to be held on the garden platform (since Christmas) as we are too many for the temple.

    During mid-March our Annual Classical Indian Music and Dance Festival concluded March 19 after a truly inspiring four days of superlative musicians and dance. The Ayurvedic Yoga Therapist Certification course with Marc Halpern and Marisa Laursen began on March 17 with 13 students. We enjoyed Russill Paul's unique blend of sounds in his 'Yoga of Sound' program  held March 21-22. The First Annual Sivananda Ayurveda Conference  "The Healing Side of Yoga" began on March 23 with an introduction by Marc Halpern who organized the event. Staff are well and send lots of Prem. Pranams to all!


Sivananda Ashram, Retreat House, Reith, Tyrol, Austria
    Om Namah Sivaya
    End of February we celebrated the Sivaratri night and all guests participated with full enthusiasm. The Pujas and mantra chanting created a strong and supportive energy which could still be felt the next few days. We had a  serious group of guests. Due to their special interest in meditation we did tratak in the morning Satsangs and likitha japa at night. We had the joy of Swami Atmaramananda visiting the Retreat House for a few days. Guests and staff enjoyed Swamijis Satsangs a lot especially the stories about Swami Vishnudevanandas life and peace mission. We received a set of new pictures of the Masters for the Ganesha hall and the altar looks again very bright. The mellow weather allowed us to have some lectures outside on the platform. A major event was the fresh painting of the Ganesha hall and the reception area. The karmayogis worked tirelessly for a few days to have it ready when we ended with the Sunday prayers and a short retelling of the Ramayana. Towards middle of march we went with the yoga vacation guests on an lovely excursion to the Hahnenkamm mountain peak and took some splendid Asana pictures with the mountains as a setting. The Satsangs were full of energetic chanting and clapping. Mira returned from her stay in Berlin and started to give Ayurvedic massage again. We started a Yogic cooking certificate course with 7 participants. Swami Karunananda showed her advanced cooking skills to the delight of everybody. OM.


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

    In early March The TTC had the students entering into the third week of their course schedule. All of them are going through a memorable and wonderful phase of their lifes, under the guidance of their teachers to take in and imprint upon their selfs the knowledge imparted by their Gurus. They had their daily routine of lectures, practice classes and the Karma Yoga schedule bringing along an overall change in them.  The TTC students were given Mantra initiation by Swami Jnaneshwariyananda and Swami Satchidananda. In the evening on the same day we had rendering of Bhajans by a group from Erode. Their Bhajans were received with huge applause from the audience who were captivated by the charisma of  their chanting prowess. The students were taken for the Friday outing to Raameshwaram and Dhanushkoti. They were all in for an enjoyable experience with fun and frolic all along the way. The trip was an ecstatic one for them, elevating their moods to a higher level of happiness and contentment. The Saturday Talent Show was presented to a sizeable audience enthralled by the show, receiving the performances with awe and delight. The Yoga vacation program had the students having a grand time interacting with all and our new budding teachers sharing with them their TTC experiences. The daily schedule at the Ashram acting as a catalyst for respite from their usual tensions and worries. Their life here at the Ashram helped them to adopt a changed perception about life and its subtleties. May all of us continue to be satisfied and happy under the blessings of the Almighty and our Masters. Let us all be showered upon by the Lords grace and be protected from all harm.

    During mid-March, with the final TTC of this season over, we bade fare-well to the students who left for their homes with their newly found identity as  Yoga Teachers, to scale new heights and live up to the expectation of their Teachers  making them take pride in their students. They went back taking along with them loads of experiences and lessons to last a lifetime, to aid them in their coming days as Yoga Teachers propagating the ideals and values long established by our Masters. May they be guided upon by our Gurus blessings to inculcate in them the qualities required of a Teacher to bring about peace and solace to the minds of aspiring students. We had the Yoga Vacationers going with their routine of lectures, practice classes and Karma Yoga schedule. They had their minds calmed and relaxed from the usual hustle and bustle of their daily life. They also had memorable and enjoyable time revelling in the quiet and serene atmosphere of the Ashram and its surroundings. With the onset of summer the weather has become seemingly hot , all forgotten under the cool shade and lush green canopy of trees at our Ashram. Saturday Talent Show had scintillating performances by our guests displaying their expertise and skills in singing, dancing, acting and various other entertainment fields. Their show providing the audience with tons of fun and joy  was lauded and greatly appreciated by all the viewers. We had a grand happy time at the Ashram by the grace of God. Looking forward to the continued  blessings and guidance from the Almighty and our Masters  leading us to traverse the right path in times of uncertainty and difficulty, keeping us all away from harm.May Master and Guru be with us all. Peace and Pranams to the Sivananda family.

    TTC Reports:

    March 2014

    TTC Cu Chi:
    The last week of TTC Cu Chi was intense with students getting ready for the exam, graduated and us packing to move the Ashram to Dalat for the ATTC. Needless to say that it was very hectic to send everything and everybody in a turn around of one day by bus, by plane and by courier. Dalat is Swami Sita's birth town, 6 hours by bus away and is in the hills. The ATTC is being organized in Edensee, a large 5-star hotel next to a beautiful lake. The air and atmosphere are fresh and pure, and we have a perfect temperature with no need of A/C. We almost have the whole hotel to ourselves. We are getting used to the luxurious surroundings, the comforts and the good food (specially greens as Dalat is the producer of vegetables having good temperature year round) being served by the hotel staff in attendance. Overall the environment is sattvic and conducive to sadhana.  We are very thankful and bow to Gurus to be able to be here in a good environment and get the necessary permit from the government in the nick of time. ATTC was inaugurated - with 27 students - with Gurus Pujas and the support of a local Buddhist monk and his group. In his address, this teacher and author Thich Hue Dang and newly named Swami Sivajyotirananda, to the delight of Vietnamese buddhist students, declared that Sakhyamuni Buddha practiced Yoga and that he himself has practiced Yoga for 45 years.

    At the end of March we were very busy with teaching and serving a group of 70 very serious yoga students from different parts of Russia who spent one week eagerly attending to all classes, Satsangs, workshops, outings and Ayurvedic abhyangas. They were amazed to discover the classical teaching of Swami Sivananda and of Swamiji. A Guru Puja was appreciated by all. A local mountain tribal dance performance was a delight to all. The group came with  Sri Rama (Rami Bleckt) who is a long-term graduate and devotee of the Yoga Farm who came to VN for Pancha Karma purpose and the group came with him. Atmajyoti, a Russian TTC and ATTC graduate from Yoga Farm served as translator. The group left very happy with the promise of return.
    The Ayurveda therapists did a fantastic job at the Well Being Centre along with serving the Pancha Karma guests. ATTC students carried on with daily discipline despite a few stomach upsets. Staff and teachers are doing fine and happy to visit spectacular waterfall on the day off and enjoyed wonderful Vietnamese food. We welcome Durga Leela from California who will be teaching an Ayurveda and Yoga Counselors Course.

    ATTC/TTC - Rudraprayag, Himalayas:TTC and ATTC in Rudraprayag, Himalayas by the Grace of the Masters are going well. The TTCs are making progress in their asana practice. They were introduced to the kriyas and although for many of them they were new everybody was trying them out afterwards! The ATTCs are gradually building up their early morning pranayama practice and are deepening their understanding in the Vedanta, Raja Yoga, Physiology and Sanskrit lectures. We were very happy to welcome Swami Durgananda who had come all the way from Europe and the long drive up to Rudraprayag to be with us. The seven day long recitation of the Srimad Bhagavatam started with Sri Venugopal Goswami and ensemble. Students enjoy listening to the deep wisdom teachings of this scripture which was also so dear to Swami Vishnudevananda in these very special surroundings of the Himalayas. On the day off we did a beautiful walking excursion to have Darshan in the Chamunda Devi Temple in Rudraprayag. The temple is situated on a rock above the meeting point of the two holy rivers Alknananda and Mandakini and is one of a few temples in India which is run by female priests - a very sweet elderly Mataji and Swamiji.

    TTC and ATTC Rudraprayag went quite smoothly. The TTCs really got into teaching in the groups and enjoyed their last main lectures. The ATTCs finished their Sanskrit, Raja Yoga and studies of Vedanta, Bhakti and Karma Yoga in high energy from their morning pranayama practice. Everybody passed the exam successfully. 85 shining faces left to carry the prana and inspiration they got to the next stations in their lives. The staff stayed for one day longer to pack everything (for the next courses here in October) and had Darshan.


    ATTC Dalat, Vietnam: The first week of the ATTC went very fast as students are getting used to the schedule and we are getting used to the new location. We did a Full Moon Puja with our special guests, the owners of the resort. We gave Abhishekam to their large Buddha murtis and it was very uplifting for all. The students had Satsang and visit of the local monastery and heard about Yoga and Buddhism. One Saturday we have a surprise visit of a group of local traditional musicians and singers of Buddhist meditation songs. Dr. Rami Bleckt gave an introduction to Jyotish, and Ambika gave an introduction to Ayurveda. Ambika started a Pancha Karma program as well. Staff and students are inspired and busy. We received a large group of 70 Yoga vacationers, Russian speaking, from many countries who will be staying with us for 6 days.




SIVANANDA YOGA VEDANTA Centres -
Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Bangkok, Thailand
    Om Namah Sivaya
    In early March all regular programmes ran smoothly, with many open classes. We started a new Yoga 1 Beginner Course taught by Savitri. Devi taught the Thai open class. Four students joined. Milan has settled in and has taken on much of the daily cooking, preparing delicious Indian meals for all staff and supporting them in all other activities in the Centre. All staff enjoyed the weekly gardening, as the steady work of the last months and daily watering throughout the dry season is now paying off: many plants, from hibiscus to lotus, are in full bloom with the temperatures rising by the day, and the students appreciate the beautiful view of a healthy, lush garden from the glass house where the open classes are held. During Sunday Satsang, Mirabai again beautifully played the harmonium, concluding with the peaceful and quiet Sunday prayers. Om Namo Narayanaya, all staff are well and send their pranams from Bangkok.

    Mid-March was good, with more students coming for open classes despite the school summer holidays. We started a new yoga 1 beginner course taught by Savitri. We welcomed Shobal from New Delhi who will support the teaching. The open classes and trial class taught by him were much appreciated by all students. The Thai open class has many regular students now, and Savitri taught a kids' class with many children. Mirabai put some energy in creating a welcoming space in front of the Centre's main gate, and many flowers and plants are inviting students to come inside. Om Namah Sivaya! Om Namo Narayanaya!


Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Zentrum, Berlin, Germany
    Om Namah Sivaya
    In early March the main focus was to organize everything for the retreat weekend. Thirty students took part in the different activities of the retreat. There were Satsangs on topics of Health, Peace, Life, Mantras, and we had two lectures focused on steps to mind´s control and tips for the spiritual practices at home. Asana classes were split into two groups: for beginners and more advanced students. Meals were prepared by an experienced cook with lots of love. The silent walks to different lakes were very appreciated by everyone, we had a chance to have a most beautiful weather for the whole weekend. We were happy to have so many yoga teachers for this weekend and good help from karma yogis. Weekend in the new retreat place fully met expectations of students, teachers and staff, all left satisfied and recharged. The Centre was very well organized by dedicated karma yogis and teachers. We are thankful to Ishwara Chaitanya for all his help, he left for Vilnius after the retreat. OM.



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

    In early March we had two carnival holiday days in which there were classes at 5:00 pm only. The staff had the time to do Karma Yoga in the backyard. We were visited by Ganga who was staff here last year, she was doing karma yoga in the Sivananda Ashram of Kerala .She looked radiant and happy. One Saturday we had the "Surya namaskar" workshop, and due to the beginning of March and the ending of vacations the students are attending to classes again.

    During mid-March two groups of beginners started .We also have three new teachers joined up for regular classes. We had "Yoga and the Back" workshop. We are promoting the "Easter Retreat",and it is almost full. Prem & Om to all.



Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Chennai, India
    Om Namah Sivaya to all Blessed Selves from the Chennai Centre
    Early March was full of activities and the energy in the Centre was at its highest. We started the new Ladies Beginners Course and several students have joined in enthusiastically. The main event was the second instalment in the vegan events series, Healthy Fast Foods – Workshop by Dr Saravanan from SHARAN, the NGO based in Auroville which is spreading the message of real compassion, peace and health through the whole food plant based diet, vegan. Representatives of SHARAN came and displayed several recipes to the participants using organic ingredients and no animal milk and no cooking, blending and mixing salads, smoothies, shakes and cakes much to the surprise of the participants. The special Sunday Satsang with Swami Jnaneshwariananda was also a success and the devotees meditated, chanted and sung the name of the lord and Swamiji with full vigour and devotion in their hearts and made the event a memorable one.

    Mid-March was peaceful at the Chennai Centre and all the classes were attended with full vigour and enthusiasm by the students. The staff members also continued their sadhana and we started the new evening Beginners Course batch full of energetic and excited yoga students. We are busy preparing for the next meditation course with Swami Satchidananda and promoting it heavily to help the maximum number of students learn the proper techniques of meditation. May the spirit of Swami Ji guide us forever. All the staff send Pranams to the Sivananda family. Blessings to all!



Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Chicago, USA
    Om Namah Sivaya!
    In early March we welcomed Janaki, who has been resident at the Centre since June, as full-time staff. She is settling in well to staff life. New students are coming in more regularly now because of the Groupon deal that is still on offer, and they seem quite happy to have found the Centre and our practice. Two new courses started: Yoga 1 and Yoga & Meditation for Beginners. Attendance at morning Satsang continues to be particularly steady, even in the face of continued wintry weather.

    During mid-March courses, drop-in classes, and Satsang are continuing steadily, and a new Yoga 2 course began. Attendance has been good enough that we are inspired to add some additional new courses and workshops to our spring schedule. The temperatures are still wintry, but the sky is bright and we have started some seedlings growing in the windows. Staff are well and send their pranams - Happy pranams to all. Om Shanti, Shanti, Shantihi from the Centre in Chicago.

Sivananda Yoga Vedanta DÀ LAT Centre, Dà Lat, Vietnam

    Om Namah Sivaya!
    In early March the Dalat Centre was doing well with more students. Saraswati is going to the Ashram at Lake Tung Lam to help with Pancha karma. Amba is replacing her running the Centre with two new TTC graduates: Narada and Kumari. All is well in Dalat during March while the ATTC is being held. We have a resident stay for 3 days with a good energy. All the beginner courses were finished, students joined open classes morning and evening. More and more foreigner traveler know about us and come for single class. We feel a lot of blessing from Guru. All is well in Dalat.


Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Dwarka Centre, Delhi, India
    Om Namah Sivaya
    In early March Delhi welcomed the spring season and shed the warm clothing a bit more. We began 2 yoga 1 batches. The Centre is all ready to receive the big numbers and specialized classes of the students in the coming summer. All the courses, workshop and routine classes went quite smoothly. The weekly Satsang was celebrated with devotional chants, spiritual talks and the Prasad in the end. Now Centre has got new permanent gas connection.

    During mid-March all activities are going very well.all the classes and course are running very smoothly and well. We started new beginners courses with good numbers of students. We welcomed Shivabhkatananada ji. We had very beautiful classes & Satsang with Swami Shivabhaktananda ji.  The weather is getting warmer day by day. With gurus grace all the classes, courses are going very well. We had beautiful Satsang and amazing dinner, participated by students and staff. Pranams to all. Om Shanti.


Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Nataraja Centre, Delhi, India
    Om Namo Narayanaya
    Early March was very energetic with many students, and many visiting staff and guests in the Centre. We started a new Yoga 1 Beginner Course taught by Mani Chaitanya. The new brochure for the next three months has been finalized and is ready for distribution. Many teachers attended the Satsang on Wednesdays, and all staff and teachers left uplifted and inspired for their own Sadhana. The weekend was busy, with a well-attended prenatal class and a Yoga 1 Weekend Intensive started with ten new students. The trial class one Sunday was attended by many new college students. We were glad to welcome Swami Shivabhakthananda and Ivan Stanley at the Centre on their way to Gangotri Cave. Swamiji led a special Satsang, and explained the beauty which lies in all the efforts we make in the crowd and in our daily life to live a higher life, and how we can appreciate even a bit of progress given the many distractions we are confronted with. He was happy to see many teachers and students for Satsang. Praveen prepared a healthy soup, which was enjoyed by all.

    During mid-March student numbers are increasing after the cold months, and we had a big kids' class and a few students for prenatal class. Amar Sant arrived from Pune to help with the courses and classes, and Shobal left to assist with the teaching in Bangkok Centre. All staff are well and send their pranams.Om Namah Sivaya from Delhi! We send our prayers to all. May the Gurus' blessings of be with us all. Om Namo Narayanaya!


Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Geneva, Switzerland
    Om Namah Sivaya from the Geneva Centre
    Spring came to Geneva with warmer temperatures and in spite of the really beautiful weather a good group of students came for the open day one Saturday which had been actively promoted. Some of our students came with their friends to share their yoga-experience and the atmosphere was focused and relaxed. Also a sun salutation-workshop, a fasting day and a Saturday workshop about Yoga@home as well as a workshop about anger management had good attendance and inspired students. A lot of prana was put into the Centre search and many possible places for a new Centre were visited. Spiritual highlight of this month was of course the celebration of Sivaratri. The atmosphere was very calm and devotional. We served a simple kicheree to those students who had stayed and ate it together in a very quiet and peaceful energy. OM.



Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
    Om Namah Sivaya
    In early March the Ho Chi Minh Centre continued with beginner course's and full open classes. Some of the Staff has left for ATTC in Dalat, while some newly graduates from TTC in Cu Chi have joined us here in HCMC. We received a beautiful new Murti from North India made of marble (Lakshmi Narayan). To add the new addition to the altar we had a special Puja, led by Ganga who joined us from Cu Chi. Staff: Mangala, Lakshmana, Vishnu Das, Priya. 

    During mid-March is Well in south Vietnam. We welcomed Durga Leela from the states as she was in transit to ATTC Dalat. Mangala and Sita went on scheduled trips for the weekend and came back just in time for Sunday Satsang, which had a great turn out with many students and local teachers. The Kirtan was lively. We started painting the meditation room in a very nice yonder blue. A batch of Yoga1 students finished and all the students registered for Yoga2. All the staff were happy, with the Guru's blessings. We send Pranams to all the Sivananda family. Om Tat Sat.


Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, London, England
    Om Namah Sivaya
    In early March a meditation course started as well as a Vedanta course with a group of close students, many of them have already done the Bhakti Yoga course or regular Satsangs and karma Yoga. Spring has arrived and prompted us to deep-clean the Centre and plant new, colourful plants and flowers in the garden. Students are starting to use the peace garden before and after their classes. We are happy to see the number of students for the June TTC gradually rising and found a close teacher who is living nearby willing to open up her house as the number of students is close to exceeding the capacity of the Centre. We had a stand in a local shopping Centre, the Putney exchange. It went very well and we handed out ca. 500-600 postcards and did asana demonstrations. Most of the people we met live just around the corner and some of them already made their way to the Centre. We hope that this will create a good interest in Yoga and attract more new students to the Centre. Many teachers and Karma Yogis helped, as the stand was active from 9 AM to 7 PM. A "Yoga for the Back" workshop took place and a Pranayama 2 course started, with 7 students.

    During mid-March was good at the London Centre. One Saturday there was a workshop on using yogic techniques to combat anger. Four additional new courses were planned on a variety of topics as Kirtan chanting, Bhagavad Gita, Vedanta and asana variation cycles. The cherry tree in the peace garden was in full bloom and it's elegance and beauty were a source of joy for all passing through the garden. Salutations to all! Om.



Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Los Angeles, California, USA
    Om Namo Narayanaya!
    Early March was very busy with many events. An introduction to raw food and yogic nutrition by Lakita and Murali who are visiting LA. Rose offered a session on Emotional Freedom Technique and Abundant Wealth; Vishnupriya hosted a meeting of yoga teachers with a potluck meal; later that night a group of musicians met to record our daily chants and some kirtan for a CD; we held a Sacred Earth Community Salon with local food forager, Erica Wohldmann, followed by a hatha yoga master class with Murali. Swami Omkarananda was away at an interfaith retreat where she met three other swamis from the Sivananda lineage! Everyone is very busy preparing for our big Fundraiser event. We had a very successful fundraising event with a gourmet raw food meal, prepared by Lakita and Murali (recently from Neyyar Dam), followed by a silent auction and music. It was great teamwork and wonderful community spirit. March 10 we launched our new website www.sivanandala.org  after several years of delays and false starts. Feedback has been very positive and we are already benefiting from the positive exposure. The energy is high and all are well.

    During mid-March we have been focusing on our annual fundraising pledge drive, encouraging students to donate monthly to supplement income from classes and courses. Attendance at the Centre is steady. Last weekend we held an Ayurveda Beauty workshop and the monthly Nonviolent communication workshop. May the Gurus' blessings of be with us all. Pranams.



Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Madrid, Spain
    Om Namah Sivaya, Blessed Selves!
    In the beginning of the month, Swami Atmaramananda left the Madrid Centre to participate in various special programs at the Munich Centre, the Ashram in Reith, and in Warsaw, Crakow and Bielko Bieva in Poland. On the 21st of March, he left for India to lead the the annual two-week Sivananda pilgrimage there. In March, the Centre was busy with a number of new beginner and philosophy courses starting. One of the highlights of the month was the night of Shivaratri, attracting a total of 56 teachers, students and visitors of the Centre for an inspiring night of mantra chanting.  Later in the month, the Centre had a well attended and lively Open Doors Day with a total of 45 first time visitors coming to learn about yoga and to try a Sivananda asana class. Two much anticipated lectures with scientist Teofilo Calvo, 'We are What we Eat' and 'We are What we Think', also took place in March, attended by more than 30 attentive and eager participants, including a strong group of teachers. OM.


Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Madurai, South India
    Om Namah Sivaya
    In early March, by the grace of the Gurus, our classes continued running smoothly. The climate became hotter everyday. We started a beginner course in the mornings with two batches: 6:00 am & 10:00 am. We received a new staff from Meenakshi Ashram for one week. We thanked Anoop ji .

    During mid-March the activities of the Centre are going smoothly. We begin morning Beginner course with 3 No. of students. Classes are going fine with kids enjoying the weekend classes. Everything is going well with the grace of our God & Satgurus. Pranams to each and everybody in the Sivananda family. Om Shanti.





Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Milano, Italy
    Om Namah Sivaya from all staff in Northern Italy.
    All staff and students are well. Swami Jnaneshwarananda is teachingteacher training courses in India. Pranams to all the Sivananda Family.



Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Montevideo, Uruguay
    Om Namah Sivaya
    In early March on Mon 3rd and Wed 4th the Centre did not open due to Carnival holidays. Kanti Devi and Chandra invited all the staff to spend two days at Chandra´s mother´s beach house at Costa Azul, a nice beach near Montevideo (50 km distance). So we all prepared to leave on Sunday afternoon and there we went for a wonderful rest with the nicest view, fresh air and green all around. Meditation in the early morning with the sun rising above the sea, long walks along the beach, bike rides, wonderful vegetarian treats prepared by Kanti and the presence of 94 year-old-lady (Chandra´s mom) who still plays the piano and entertains the guests, made these days unforgettable, inspiring and energizing. On the way back home, the Spanish karma yogui Shankari, who did the beautiful painting job at the Centre, stayed at the International Airport to take her flight back to Madrid. Lalita traveled to Chile. The Centre started its regular activities. We had a large group for the Opening Class, many of the students enrolled for The Beginners course. The weather is nice, warm, though Autumn is beginning to change the temperature.

    During mid-March we continued with the Meditation Course with good participation, also Pregnant Classes and Beginners courses. We had our regular Saturday Satsang in the evening with participation of many teachers who wanted to say goodbye to Yashoda. We had a special energy in the Satsang and after that a delicious goodbye party prepared by Kanti Devi. Yashoda and teachers enjoyed  it very much. The weather is fresh and sunny,  the classic autumn in Uruguay 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 March we started to see signs of spring, which has felt encouraging to know that winter will soon be passing. Classes and courses are continuing to flow well. We were pleased to welcome a new group of 8 students to the Meditation 1 course. The group were curious and open to learning about the practice and philosophy of meditation. Chandrika from the Camp came to teach the course, her precision and care was appreciated by the students and Centre. A North Indian cooking course was taught by Neeti from the Camp. The small group enjoyed learning how to create simple dishes. Neeti's years of experience enabled the group to gain awareness of how to use spices to enhance the natural flavours of the food. A free trial class was offered every Sunday a small groups attending. We hope further promotions for the trial class can create further interest in the community for the Centre. Tejas from the Camp came to deliver a workshop in 'Forward bending asanas.' It attracted regular students that wanted to enhance their daily practice. The group was thankful for the detailed teachings and care that Tejas offered. Sivaram & Sashi hosted a South Indian Cooking workshop with 12 people attending. The food was authentic and the instructions for the dishes were simple. The group therefore felt encouraged to create the menu at home. We were thankful to Sivaram and Sashi for sharing their knowledge and teaching with joy.

    During mid-March there has been a consistent number of students for the open classes, courses continue to run well. Renovation is still commencing with a committed group of karma yogi`s and Yamuna. We are spending some time to promote upcoming programmes in the next few months.We are thankful to Master and Swami ji for their continued inspiration and presence. Pranams to all the Sivananda family.



Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Munich, Germany
    Om Namah Sivaya from the Munich Centre!
    One of the special activities was a workshop with the title "Overcoming Fear" in which practice and theory focussed on techniques to change our thought patterns and increase courage and inner stability. The monthly Open House in March was again a possibility to get to know the different activities of the Centre: we had yoga trial classes, a yoga asana demonstration, a lecture on the benefits of yoga, a meditation workshop, a small cooking class and a video-show on the yoga vacation programme, the teachers training course and the Ayurveda nutrition courses. We are looking forward to our next cooking class with the topic "Easy Vegetarian Cooking" on Saturday, 5 April and our Yoga and Fasting Day on Sunday, 6 April. OM.



Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Neuquen, Patagonia, Argentina
    Om Namah Sivaya!
    In early March Swami Premananda was helping at the Centre since the beginning of February and will stay until the end of March. A local television station came to the Centre to interview us and several people have since contacted the Centre about activities. A major local newspaper also published an article about our Yoga for Women class. We had a very positive meeting of professors with 14 participants. We have a list of 40 professors in the region who have done the TTC. We did a Karma and Reincarnation workshop with 12 participants and were active to promote yoga in the region. we had a Open House with 40 students; we went to a near park for the class - we had 5 teachers helping. We had a "Conquest of Fear" workshop with 8 students. Staff are well and sending their pranams. We held a retreat at a beach that is approximately five hours from Neuquen. 23 people participated, including 7 professors from the Centre and another 3 professors from other cities. It was a very fruitful gathering. Two professors stayed at the Centre to oversee the activities. May the Gurus' blessings of be with us all.



Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, New York, USA
    Om Namah Sivaya!
    In early March we were just beginning to see the start of Spring after a particularly hard winter. The energy of the Centre is picking up and students come in looking cheerful and positive. Our courses and classes are going on steadily and we had a very nice workshop with Sri Dhira Chaitanya on An Overview of the Bhagavad Gita which gave us all an insight into its deeper teachings. Quite a few of our teachers attended and all said it enriched their understanding. We said good-bye to Mahakanta who left as resident and former staff. We thank him for his service and wish him well in the next phase of his studies.

    During mid-March we started to spring clean, looking at what needs decorating and making a plan to do some projects in the coming weeks. We were busy with a workshop by Srinivasan on the Foundations of Raja Yoga as well as Sunday Satsang which was very well attended. Padmavati was at the Ranch doing a program on Introduction to Meditation. Winter is still very much around keeping some of our regulars indoors. The staff are well and sending their pranams. Om Namah Sivaya from all the staff here at the NYC Centre. May the Gurus' blessings of be with us all.



Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Paris, France
    Om Namah Sivaya
    Early March was busy with classes and courses, without special programs or workshops. We started two Yoga 1 and we continued the Raja Yoga and Meditation courses.We had beautiful weather in Paris and everyone are in the parks outside after a grey winter. We were busy with TTC Orleans registrations as many people start to register for the next months and summer. The TTC Orleans registrations continue to flow nicely for the next TTC in April and for the summer. Pranams to all from Paris. OM.



Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Porto Alegre, Brasil, South America
    Om Namah Sivaya from Brasil
    In early March we had Carnival at Brazil, so the Centre was closed for one weekend. We started a beginners course with 8 students. Vishwanatha is helping a lot with karma Yoga, the cleaning & cooking and supermarket. The Saturday Satsang was better than usually is. We are doing a lot of diffusion with brochure.

    During mid-March the air conditioner for the staff Room. It was rainy and the roof had some infiltration what was not very pleasant, but is easy to fix. We started a beginners course with 5 students. At Satsangs we have not many students. We will think of something to change that. Pranams, from all the staff at Porto Alegre Centre.



Centro Yoga Vedanta Sivananda, Rome, Italy
    Om Namah Sivaya, Blessed Selves
    In early March we had Carnival at Brazil, so the Centre was closed for one weekend. We started a beginners course with 8 students. Vishwanatha is helping a lot with karma Yoga, the cleaning & cooking and supermarket. The Saturday Satsang was better than usually is. We are doing a lot of diffusion with brochure.

    During mid-March the air conditioner for the staff Room. It was rainy and the roof had some infiltration what was not very pleasant, but is easy to fix. We started a beginners course with 5 students. At Satsangs we have not many students. We will think of something to change that. Pranams, from all the staff at Porto Alegre Centre.


Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, San Francisco, California, USA
    Om Namo Narayanaya, Blessed Selves
    In early March we had steady classes and learning.  We were happy to welcome back Lalita, a former staff member who has signed on to stay with us for 2 months. Arjundas had some medical issues and had to be hospitalized, and we miss his presence. Our Satsangs had very nice and edifying studies of scriptures.  Sunday evening Satsang was very sweet and well attended.  Narayan is finishing up his film project in India and we all look forward to his return.

    During mid-March we held an engaging Gita class with Gagananam and a splendid Kirtan Satsang with a local group called "Astrud and the Cosmic Caravan".  We also had the pleasure of hosting a recent TTC Bahamas, grad, Elle and kicked off spring in the Community garden lot just across the street. Pranams to all from San Francisco Centre.





Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Tel Aviv, Israel
    Om Namah Sivaya

    In early March winter paid us a visit in Tel-Aviv after many sunny months. We were so glad for the rain that cleansed the air, the plants and the streets. The Centre is very busy with many activities and programs and all three staff members are teaching two courses every evening. Two new beginners courses started, one with 16 students and the other with 13. A New Bhagavad Gita course opened, taught by Shankara Chaitanya with 13 participants. 14 students enrolled to a Positive thinking course and with the same number a new Advanced Yoga course opened. Introduction classes for two new meditation courses were held. Both courses are expected to start with full capacity. We've finalized the brochure for our upcoming Pass-Over Yoga Retreat. It will be printed and mailed to our mailing list, Centres and teachers. A fund-raising concert is being organized by close teachers and devotees, scheduled for a weekend with a view of supporting Shambudas Chaitanya financially. His heroic struggle with cancer for so many years is now getting to the level that demands an expensive treatments and medication. Many are contributing on so many levels, and it's moving to see the entire yogic community acting together to support him.

    Mid March saw Spring set back in and we enjoyed beautiful sunny days with perfect temperature. Two meditation courses started, with 12 students on Mondays and 14 on Tuesdays. We've also started a new Advanced Yoga course with 16 participants. During the weekend our open house activities attracted many old and new students who joined us for a free yoga class, a vegetarian feast and spiritual study. One Saturday night we've conducted the special fundraising concert for Shambudas Chaitanya. Over 100 guests were crowded in our main yoga hall where a Chanting concerted was led by Rama, Shanti Devi and Lakshmi. Many many more who wanted to come to the concert were told to wait for the next one, scheduled for next month. The event was a great success on any level, and every one came out exhilarated and inspired. 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
    May the blessings of Master and Swamiji be with all during 2014. Pranams.



Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    Om Namah Sivaya
    In early March the Toronto Centre was busy and full of energy. Yoga 1 and 2 courses started last week, each class having 5 students, many of whom signed up last minute. Maheswarie started the Positive Thinking course with 6 students. We saw a lot of new faces, not just to Sivananda but to Yoga in general, a few tried the open classes and others the free trial class. Few students who finished Yoga 1 the previous week, signed onto Yoga 2 and bought the yearly membership. The open classes in the morning bring in a little over 10 students, whilst the evening open classes are almost always full. The colder the weather gets the more people want to stretch their bodies out, so it is good for us! We also saw an increase in the number of students staying for vegetarian meals on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Both days had more than 10 students sign up, apart from the teachers and staff. It is nice to enjoy a meal with the students as we have the opportunity to spend time and talk to them more. Saraswati continues to conduct yoga classes on Mondays for children from the Residential Care Units along with Upasana. There were 7 older children and 5 younger kids  for the class, and they stayed after for snacks and conversation. We had Satsang with Saraswati, and a steady number of 20 teachers and students attended it. Saturday morning open class was full, and we had the last kids yoga class for winter session, with a few kids missing as March break holidays have begun. The next kids session will start on the 22nd of March. We started a new Yoga 1 course, Yoga and Ayurveda workshop with Mayavan and Kriya workshop with Anantya. The weather over the weekend has been kind to us, a lot of sun and warmth everywhere, the snow has almost gone, although we are told to expect a snow storm soon! Apart from regular duties at the Centre, we are continuing to push through the social media and poster runs all the courses and workshops. We are putting a lot of energy into promoting the Kids Camp programme in Thailand. At the end of the month we will be taking part in the Toronto Yoga Show, so we are making preparations for our booth and material for advertising. Prahlada arrived from Neyyardam, as did Shankara would left the Centre for a few weeks to be with his family. We continue to focus on our sadhana, and on Swamiji's mission and teachings through the students, teachers and Centre. Our teacher Mayavan taught an Ayurveda and yoga workshop on the weekend, combining the teachings of Ayurveda with yoga asanas to deepen one's practice according to their Prakriti. Another teacher, Anantya, led a kriya workshop on the weekend as well, teaching basic cleansing techniques. Satsangs continue to have strong attendance and many new students are joining the Beginner Courses after having good experiences in our Free Trial class. The weather is slowly warming up and we look forward to opening the windows for some fresh air. The staff continue with their sadhana and are uplifted by Prahlada's return to the Centre.

    Mid-March began with the Hindu festival of Holi. The celebration is not popular here in Canada, but it fell on the same day as St. Patrick's Day, so the predominant colour was green. We saw the last week of March break pass, for certain people. Many teachers were away, but we were blessed with a multitude of karma yogis whom are always willing to step up in the moment of need. Yoga 1 and Yoga 3 courses wrapped up during week, and a new Yoga 1 course began with 6 students signed up for it. We also started a Hatha Yoga Intensive with Prahlad. Room full of students plus staff attended the evening weekday classes. As always the vegetarian meals on Tuesdays and Thursdays continue to draw in many students and teachers. Our staff, Sankara, celebrated his birthday after Satsang and was very happy to receive the love, blessings, and gifts of his friends and peers. He is now heading to the Yoga Camp to help out there. We had the kids class in the morning, along with a full open class. In the afternoon Saraswati 2 taught a head stand workshop for 4 students, and Mayavan continued his workshop on Yoga and Ayurveda. The weekend advanced classes are popular and almost always full. Our longtime teacher, Janaki, returned after being away for a few months  while teaching TTCs in Madurai.. We had new Yoga 1 and Yoga 2 courses starting, as well as Mindful Yoga course with Saraswati. Our sadhana continues daily and we are getting excited for the city-wide Yoga Show this coming weekend. We are also focusing on our sadhana, and directing all our energy to the students and the Centre. Pranams to all. Om.



Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Trivandrum, Kerala, South India
    Om Namah Sivaya!
    In early March two basic courses commenced on Mondays, one in the morning session at 9.30 a.m and another in the evening at 6.15p.m, with a considerable number of students joining the classes. All other practice classes followed the routine schedule. We had Lalitha Sahasra naama Puja and chanting, to seek blessings from the Almighty Goddess and to keep us away from all harm. We conducted a Kriya Workshop one Saturday morning at 7a.m with several students attending the session, some new and some others of previous stint with the Neti Kriyas. One Sunday at 6 p.m. there was Meditation and Satsang led by Sandeep.



Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Vienna, Austria
    Om Namah Sivaya
    For the first time we had a Vastu program at the Vienna Centre. Special guest was Doris Buchner, a local Vastu expert who gave an introductory lecture in the afternoon and a second talk during the evening Satsang, during which she showed impressive slides from ancient and recent temple buildings which had been designed according to Vastu. For the open house many students came and again a good team of Karma Yogis supported the Centre with the cooking class, asana demonstration and reception and provided an atmosphere of kindness, joy and service. The renovation work in the 2nd floor was successfully completed. The wooden floors in two Asana rooms were renovated and new radiators were also installed. During the Karma Yoga weekend afterwards many inspired students came for painting both rooms and the mens' wardrobe on the 3rd floor. In spite of all the renovation work the attendance for courses and classes was good and the energy in the Centre high – we are grateful for the Masters' blessings! OM



Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Vilnius, Lithuania
    Om Namah Sivaya, from Vilnius
    In early March Sundari - karma yogi from Poland left home. Four weeks she served very sincerely in the Centre. We hope she comes back soon.  The Centre was very active: many students, many courses going on - Centre was full of prana. The elderly group came for a Wednesday evening Satsang. It was their first time, but they were very open and glad to join chanting the mantras. The new Vilnius brochure went to the printer.  Almost all the posters and leaflets for Saptaha advertising were prepared in 4 languages: Russian, Lithuanian, English and Polish. This weekend the traditional large annual folk arts and crafts fair Kaziuko mugė was going on in Lithuania. So the student count was a little less as usual. Lithuania celebrated the Independence Day. It was a holiday, so the Centre had just a Satsang and an asana class. Yoga 2 and Yoga 4 courses successfully started on Thursdays. We are happy that the students are so eager to learn and willingly continue the practice of yoga. Yoga teacher Sudhama came to the Centre for the Weekend. He helped a lot with maintenance projects in preparation for the upcoming special program in May. The main focus was on the preparation and promotion of the Ayurveda program with Angela Hoppe-Murray next Weekend. The Students were intensely registering for the lectures and especially for the upcoming cooking course. OM.


You are in essence the spiritual Being. You are made up of the same substance of Sathidananda of which Brahman is made. - Sri Swami Sivananda
 
 

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