Sivananda News Sivananda E-Gurugram
The Electronic Newsletter of the International Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centres
Issue #03/2015 Serve Love Give Purify Meditate Realize March 1, 2015
"From the absolute standpoint, there is no substantial universe at all, except the temporary external form taken by the fluctuating imagination of the mental consciousness within." - 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
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:
MARCH 2015
01 Ekadasi
05 Full Moon
06 Holi
16 Ekadasi
20 New Moon
28 Rama Navami
31 Ekadasi

APRIL 2015
04 Full Moon
04 Hanuman Jayanti
05 Easter
15 Vishu (Malayalee New Year)
15 Ekadasi
18 New Moon
29 Ekadasi
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

We are coming to you this month with a very good news. The Sivananda Organization has enthusiastically decided to participate wholeheartedly in this year's International Yoga Day on June 21st. At the moment Europe is in full swing with pre-arrangements of demonstration and yoga activities in their respective cities. One highlight will be the Cruise Boat Float in London, with all European Acharyas present. An event not to be missed, so stay tuned. In Canada and India we are organizing similar programs and would not want to give out as more will be revealed closer to the date. Other arms of the Organization will band everyone together to bring out Swamiji's teachings on that day. Please contact your nearest Centre to see what they are organizing.

India & South America are currently very busy with their high season and so is Nassau. An abundance of Europeans are travelling to Rudraprayag, North India, for courses offered there this time of year.

After a 7-month hiatus and 30 years at the previous location, the selfless efforts of many karma yogis and supporters have assisted the opening of the doors of a new San Francisco Centre in a new building owned by SYVC. It is more or less in the same neighborhood of the old SF Centre, not too far from the ocean and park, with a large Yoga Hall to continue Swamiji's mission and vision of Peace.

We are so fortunate to have your continued support in spreading Swamiji's teachings.

Pranams to all.

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The Karma of the individual determines the form or shape of the experience that is to be had in this world. It is not the Atman, nor the body, that has any type of relative experience. It is the mind that has all this. - Sri Swami Sivananda

SIVANANDA YOGA FAQ
Q. Can a person really help others in this world, or is it that such an idea is due to a delusion in the mind? Is it not true that a man can rise or fall only as a result of his own Karma and that the Karmas of others can have no effect on him? Are not the circumstances that a person meets with earned by his own actions? Can a person take initiative and change the circumstances of himself as well as of others?
A.

Surely one can take the initiative. He can do good to himself and to others. He can determine the circumstances and environments. Just see how much one can do for others, how much one can really assist them in the relative plane. One can impart knowledge to the illiterate and the ignorant, extend monetary help to the poor and the needy. One can educate the orphans and contribute to the institutions that take care of the children. Indeed, one can spend not only his entire earnings, but something more! Why should there be any doubt in regard to one's being really helpful to others? Take the example of Gandhiji. Did he not do immense service and good to the nation and to the world at large?

Q. How to free ourselves from Karma, Swamiji?
A.

Feel, as you do your daily duties, that you are only a witness of all that goes on around you, of even your own actions. This is called Sakshi Bhav. You should inwardly realize that you are different from the active principle in you. This is the method of Vedanta. There is the other, easier, but equally potent method of Nimitta Bhav. Feel that the Lord alone is the real doer of all actions and that you are an instrument in His hands. Your actions will be transformed into worship of the Lord, and you will not be bound to them. Work without expectation of any reward and without egoism. Root out the idea of agency; feel, "I am not the doer". You will be freed from the shackles of Karma. You will not accumulate new Karma. Allow your Prarabdha Karma to work out; and you will attain liberation.

Q. Why do we not remember our past lives?
A.

Such remembrance under our existing limitations would considerably complicate our present life. Therefore, the wise and beneficent Lord has so ordered our mental evolution that we cannot recall our past lives until such time as it is good and helpful for us to remember. Such instances may well form a cycle which is all clear to us when we come to the end of it, when we see a whole rosary of lives threaded upon the one personality.

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

Divine activity is always a movement towards freedom, perfection, peace and bliss. It will never be a cause of even the slightest suffering or pain.
- Sri Swami Sivananda

HATHA YOGA TIP

INCLINED PLANE with an added leg and arm variation. - All levels

Use as a counter pose after forward bend.
Sit with legs outstretched in front, feet together, yet relaxed. Place hands behind you about a foot away on the mat with straight arms. Push your chest forward and drop your head back. Inhale, lifting up hips as high as you can while pushing your feet into the floor. Hold your breath in the pose and then lower the hips back to the mat with an exhalation. Repeat the pose twice more if desired. With practice, hold the pose longer, breathing rhythmically, up to 30 seconds. Relax in corpse pose.
Tip: Keep feet parallel on the mat in the pose and legs straight. Hold hips high and head back while relaxing the neck. Keep the chest high. Keep the fingers pointing back away from the body.

BENEFITS:
Strengthen arms, legs, and back.
Opens the chest, rib cage and abdomen area.
Maintain core strength.

Try these variations to incorporate use of the abdominal muscles and further strengthen arms:
VARIATION 1: In the pose with hips held high, raise one leg up straight, once to three times, replacing the foot and repeating with the other leg. Lower the hips back to the mat.
VARIATION 2: In the pose with hips held high and without turning the hips or turning them as little as possible, shift weight to one arm, inhale and lift the other arm straight up. Turn the face upward, to keep the head aligned with the spine. Keep the chest elevated. Exhale and lower the arm with hand back on mat to original pose. Lower hips and relax in corpse pose.

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

To cool the system, take a cup of pure cow's milk in the early morning and at night, before going to bed. Regulate your food. Take bath twice a day.
- Swami Sivananda

YOGA SANSKRIT GLOSSARY

AKASHVANI: ani - sound; Kash - celestial.
An announcement from the celestial realm; sounds or message coming from the sky.

NIRGUNA:
In a chapter of Brahma-Sutras which deals with the nature of qualities of Brahman, it mentions positive attributes like 'joyful,' 'intelligent,' etc., as well as negative attributes like 'measureless,' 'colourless,' etc. Both kinds of attributes are referred to the absolute and yet the contemplation of such a Brahman can be called Nirguna-Upasana or meditation on condition-less Brahman. The chief distinction between the contemplation of the conditioned (Saguna) and unconditioned (Nirguna) Brahman is that in the former the devotee looks upon it as really connected with those attributes, while in the latter, positive and negative qualities are not viewed as essentially connected with it, but as suggesting its absolute nature. Hence, joyful etc., do not enter into the essence of the contemplated Brahman but act as a gateway for grasping its true nature. In the contemplation of the conditioned Brahman, those and similar other properties form a part of the contemplation.

The term Nirguna does not mean that Brahman is a negative concept, the Brahman is a non-entity or zero. It means that the qualities found here in limitation, are found illimitable in Brahman. It means that the attributes are Brahman's essential nature or His Svarupa. It means that Brahman does not possess perishable qualities of matter like the blue colour of a cloth but possesses all auspicious qualities (Sarva-Kalyana-Gunas). Brahman is Nirguna-Guni.

The appearance of the world vanishes in the Reality of God. - Sw. Sivananda

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

BHAGHAVAD GITA

Chapter VI: The Yoga of Meditation

VI.17. YUKTAAHAARAVIHAARASYA YUKTACHESHTASYA KARMASU;
YUKTASWAPNAAVABODHASYA YOGO BHAVATI DUHKHAHAA.

(Krishna speaking to Arjuna)
Yoga becomes the destroyer of pain for him who is always moderate in eating and recreation (such as walking, etc.), who is moderate in exertion in actions, who is moderate in sleep and wakefulness.

VI.18. YADAA VINIYATAM CHITTAMAATMANYEVAAVATISHTHATE;
NIHSPRIHAH SARVAKAAMEBHYO YUKTA ITYUCHYATE TADAA.
When the perfectly controlled mind rests in the Self only, free from longing for the objects of desire, then it is said: "He is united."

COMMENTARY: Without union with the Self neither harmony nor balance nor Samadhi is possible.

In Nirguna Brahman, there are no Gunas of Maya. - Sri Swami Sivananda

RAJA YOGA

From CHAPTER II: "Sadhana Pada - On Spiritual Disciplines" [Introduction to Second Chapter]

Patanjali's second chapter sets forth the practice of Yoga, or 'sadhana'. It discusses Kriya Yoga, Which is purification through discipline, study, and self-surrender. It enumerates the five main afflictions, or causes for human suffering, and the methods for eliminating them. Finally, it discusses the first five limbs of Raja Yoga-'yama', 'niyama', 'asana', 'pranayama', and 'pratyahara'- the foundations for the meditation.

II.1. TAPAH-SVADHYAYESVARA-PRANIDHANANI KRIYA-YOGAH.

'Austerity, self-study, and surrender to God constitute Kriya Yoga'.

Commentary by Swami Sivananda:
Austerity does not mean physical abuse or serve rigors. It refers to strict control of the senses in order to conserve energy for higher pursuits. Austerity in this means fasting occasionally, rising early to meditate instead of sleeping late, and reducing certain physical comforts for the sake of greater control of mind. Study of scriptures and other spirituals works keeps the mind flowing in the desired direction. In surrendering to God's will one also surrenders the fruit of work performed. This leads to Karma Yoga, the path of selfless service, in which one regards oneself as the instrument of God, and serves humanity with no thought of either credit or blame.

If anyone injures you, forgive him and forget the injury done by him. You will gain immense spiritual strength. - Sri Swami Sivananda

VEGETARIAN CUISINE

LENTIL DAL (DHAL)

A satisfying and tasty meal, dal is made with various types of pulse, usually lentils, which when cooked become soft and the pulse breaks down to a thick sauce-like texture. This recipe utilizes dal prepared with a red lentil (known as masoor dal) that when cooked becomes yellow and fairly smooth. (If using Indian chick peas (Chana dal) the cooking time needs to be longer and the peas pre-soaked.)

Nutritionally, dal is a good carbohydrate source for energy while being almost fat-free. It is an excellent source of protein. It is also rich in B vitamins such thiamine and folic acid and minerals iron and zinc. This version adds tomato for some acidity and robustness as well as spices for flavour. Serve over rice or with naan. Can be served with curried vegetables and thick yoghurt. Use any left- over dal as a base for a hearty soup.

Option:
Add garam masala and make it as spicy as you like! Add more side dishes to serve a larger meal with the dal, such as vegetables, rice pilau,* raita,* chapatis.*

Serves 4-6

Ingredients:
1 cup red split lentils - rinsed
3 1/3 cups water
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 bay leaf
1 to 2 tablespoons ghee, butter or oil
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
1 teaspoon cumin or fennel seeds
2 teaspoons ground coriander
2 tomatoes, coarsely chopped
1 teaspoon salt
½ to 1 tablespoon lemon juice (optional)
4 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

Directions:
Simmer the lentils in a pan with the water and turmeric and bay leaf. Simmer for at least 15-20 minutes or longer, until the lentils break down and become tender and soft. Generally it is recommended to cook the lentils slowly and with low heat so the lentils do not brown at the bottom of the pan. Stir the lentils as they become thick and soupy and reduce the heat further.
Meanwhile heat ghee, butter or oil in a heavy skillet.
Add the mustard and cumin or fennel seeds and cook over high heat until they "pop".
Add the ground coriander and tomatoes and cook for 5 minutes longer, then add the mixture to the cooked lentils.
Add more water if the mixture is too thick, or cook a little longer to make it thicker.
Add salt and lemon juice, if desired.
Retain the fresh flavour and bright green colour of the cilantro by stirring it in the dal at the end of cooking time and serving the dal at once.

* These recipes are available in The Yoga Cookbook.

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

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

Prayer invokes the inner potentialities of the individual, which flow only from God. Prayer can certainly work miracles. - Sri Swami Sivananda

UPCOMING EVENTS - TTC, ATTC, Sadhana Intensive Courses

2015

Mar 01 - Mar 28/15
TTC – English
Woodbourne, NY, USA
www.sivananda.org/ranch

Mar 01 - Mar 29/15
TTC – Espaňol
Bariloche, Patagonia, Argentina
http://www.sivananda.org.uy/index.php?option=com_acymailing&ctrl=archive&task=view&mailid=260&key=Gn7ekNPD

Mar 10 - Apr 06/15
TTC – English
Nassau, Bahamas
www.sivananda.org/nassau

Mar 22 - Apr 19/15
TTC - English
Neyyar Dam, Kerala, South India
www.sivananda.org/neyyardam

Mar 29 - Apr 26/15
TTC – English
Namchi, Sikkim, Himalayas, North India
sivananda.org.in/sikkim.html

Apr 05 - May 03/15
TTC – English
Netala, Uttar Kashi, North India
www.sivananda.org/uttarkashi

Apr 09 - May 06/15
TTC – English
Nassau, Bahamas
www.sivananda.org/nassau

Apr 09 - May 06/15
ATTC – English
Nassau, Bahamas
www.sivananda.org/nassau

Apr 26 - May 25/15
TTC – Français
Orleans, France
www.sivananda.org/orleans

May 02 - May 30/15
TTC – English, Espaňol
Grass Valley, CA, USA
www.sivananda.org/yogafarm

May 09 - Jun 05/15
TTC – English
Nassau, Bahamas
www.sivananda.org/nassau

May 02 - May 17/15
Sadhana Intensive – English
Woodbourne, NY, USA
www.sivananda.org/ranch

May 09 - Jun 07/15
ATTC – English, Deutsch
Reith, Tyrol, Austria
www.sivananda.org/tyrol/en

May 10 - Jun 07/15
TTC – English
Netala, Uttar Kashi, North India
www.sivananda.org/uttarkashi

May 18 - Jun 15/15
TTC – Français
Orleans, France
www.sivananda.org/orleans

May 31 - Jun 28/15
TTC – English
Woodbourne, NY, USA
www.sivananda.org/ranch

Jun 14- Jun 28/15
Sadhana Intensive
Val Morin, QC, Canada
www.sivananda.org/camp

Jun 02 - Jun 30/15
ATTC – English, 日本語 中文
Grass Valley, CA, USA
www.sivananda.org/yogafarm

Jun 14 - Jul 12/15
TTC – English
Netala, Uttar Kashi, North India
www.sivananda.org/uttarkashi

Jun 28 - Jul 25/15
TTC – English, Français, Espaňol,
Val Morin, QC, Canada
www.sivananda.org/camp

Jul 03 - Jul 31/15
TTC – English, Français, Espaňol, Nederlands
Orleans, France
www.sivananda.org/orleans

Jul 03 - Jul 31/15
ATTC – English, Français, Espaňol
Orleans, France
www.sivananda.org/orleans

Jul 05 - Aug 02/15
ATTC – 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

Nirguna is not nothingness. It is the fullness of everything that is good. From a distance this fullness becomes inconceivable and so the sages called it Nirguna.
- Sri Swami Sivananda

SIVANANDA WORLD NEWS - FEBRUARY 2015

SIVANANDA YOGA VEDANTA Ashrams -

Sivananda Ashram Yoga Camp, Val Morin, Quebec, Canada

    Om Namah Sivaya! Greetings from the Headquarters.
    In early February we had a range of wonderful teachers come to teach, including Mahadev, Amelie, Narayani and Yamuna. Each with their own teaching style gave us some nice variations for the classes. The guests enjoyed daily activities such as snow shoeing, baking as well as gluten-free baking and workshops, highlighting an array of tools that can be used in our daily activities deepening our comprehension of ourselves and adding depth and meaning to our lives. It was Shambu's birthday which we celebrated during Satsang at Samadhi Estates. There was another birthday, our staff member Sophia, which was celebrated in Uma's house. One of our weekend themes was Bhakti Yoga and Kirtan. The guests were very interested and participated in the activities. With the freezing temperatures and lots of snow still falling, the staff has been spending time shovelling walkways and roofs. The wood-fired sauna has been much appreciated! We have also done some work on repairing all the Ashram's instruments in preparation for the coming Sivaratri. We send warm regards from the bitter cold Canadian winter.


    During mid-February we had a wonderful Sivaratri celebration. Staff spent the day taking turns and chanting OM Namah Sivaya until Satsang began. Mr. Mahalingam came with his wife and other devotees to conduct the Pujas throughout the night and also prepare all the prasads and his famous Indian feast. All through the night we had locals coming from the nearby villages and at midnight Sushila came with another 15 students of the Montreal Centre to join in. The chanting went on joyously as the hours passed by and everyone had a chance to participate in the ablutions and offerings during the Pujas. At 5:00 we concluded with arati and served the most-deserved feast to all the 80+ present. Other actitvites continued smoothly. The energy could be felt in the Temple. Another weekend theme was meditation and the obstacles that create agitation in the mind. The workshops were well attended by the guests who not only listened, but participated with questions and practical examples. Now with the worst of the winter behind, the staff looks forward to warmer and sunnier days. All is well in the Ashram. Pranams to all the Sivananda Family. .



Sivananda Dhanwanthari Ashram, Neyyar Dam, Kerala, South India

    Om Namo Narayanaya!
    In early February the final week of TTC past smoothly. Special yoga classes including advanced pranayama were taught by Swami Pranavananda, Ananta Chaitanya and Narayani. One of the highlights was the Lalitasahasranama Puja and Archana when all the guests and students participated in the worship of the Divine Mother. The energy was very high after one month of intensive Sadhana and the full moon. As usual there were smiles and tears during the TTC graduation. On the whole, students did well with only 2 Bhooshana. We thank Swami Sitaramananda, Ananta Chaitanya, Gauri Chaitanya and Mahadeva from the Yoga Farm for making this a fantastic course. Swami Sita ji gave useful talks and practices of meditation for the public at the Yoga Festival in Trivandrum. Fifteen Ashram guests were able to attend. Mehrnaz and Venkataswamy joined staff from the last TTC. Previous staff Annapoorna, Pradeep and Sivapas returned after being away for ATTC. Sadly we said good bye to Bhargavi and Bheeshma. The Ayurveda Wellness Course started with 7 students. We held the initiation and the Ganapati Homa for new TTC, with 61 students. We also welcomed Swami Keshavananda, Sita Devi, Isabel, Prajna to the Ashram.

    Mid-February the main event was Mahasivaratri. Potti Swami and his team performed the rituals and Pujas. Arun (SIH) dressed up in the form of Bhairava to fascinate the crowd. Chanting went on until final arati at the Dakshinamurti temple at 4 am. The high energy was palpable the next day with the mantra Om Namah Sivaya resonating in the ether. The South India Yatra (SIY) group departed with 15 participants and 4 staff. They will be making a tour of prominent South India pilgrimage places and other scenic spots for the next 2 weeks as far as Pondicherry, before returning to Neyyar Dam. New teachers and staff have been benefiting from Swami Kesavananda's teaching experience with workshops on how to correct asana postures. His input has inspired the staff tremendously. One Sunday guests went on the wonderful but challenging Kalipara walk. During the same day a group of 20 guests and staff traveled to Thengumvila Bhagavati Temple to give asana demonstration as part of the Temple festival. This was arranged by a ex-TTC student Suresh. S. We welcome new staff Divija, Akilash and Ranjith from the last TTC group. Pranams to all Sivananda Staff.


Sivananda Ashram Kutir, Netala, Uttarkashi, North India
    Om Namo Narayanaya
    May the Gurus' blessings protect and be with us all. Pranams. Om.



Sivananda Ashram Chateau du Yoga, Orleans, France
    Om Namah Sivaya
    In early February Swami Kailasananda came to the Ashram for a few days to discuss projects and complete the work with the brochure. We had many Karma Yogis to help with many projects, such as reception data entries, temple cleaning, TTC Refresher bookings, inventory, boutique restocking, etc. Gauri came from Paris to assist in the cooking course one weekend with most of the staff participating. She also gave the lecture on diet. Our week-end program was enthusiastically received by the nice group of guests we had. We offered a nice silent walk, very much appreciated by the guests. Kailas went to London for 10 days. The roofers finished the tiling of the roof of the chateau. We also started with some renovations in order to comply with the fire regulations.

    During mid-February we had the topic "power of positive thinking", which included guided contemplation and visualisation exercises. Swami Bhagavatananda gave inspiring lectures and workshops on exercises to develop thought power and concentration. Sivaratri was celebrated with two Pujas, all staff and some guests kept the chanting until midnight. Everybody felt uplifted by the experience. One weekend we had a programme called, "Yoga for Stress Reduction". Kailas returned from London where he was teaching for a weeklong program. A new glass door has been installed at the Temple. The constructions to comply with the fire regulations continued. Salutations to all. OM.



Sivananda Ashram Yoga Farm, Grass Valley, California, USA
    Om Namah Sivaya
    In early February the Ashram energy remained very high as many guests arrived for the first time during the mild winter months. Karuna devi taught the 5-day Beginner course, sharing Swamiji's 5 Points of Yoga to a group of eager students. It was nearly a full house for the Beginner Weekend Intensive led by Swami Jnaneswariananda and Sankari Chaitanya, with guests getting their first taste of meditation, chanting, asanas and delicious sattvic meals. The Ayurveda Massage Rejuventation Retreat (AMRR) was offered with Gita Devi giving talks on Ayurveda and the Well Being Centre offering Ayurvedic Massage therapies and Consultations. The Yoga Farm staff enjoyed a "field trip" to our neighbors Mike and Sarada's home for a tour of their organic gardens, orchard, and explanation of permaculture techniques and life "off the grid". The Ashram continued to have sunny weather with occasional rainy days. Spring is already arriving with almond trees blossoming and daffodils appearing all over the lush landscape.

    During mid-February Sankari Chaitanya and Atmaswarupa departed for San Francisco to get the keys of the new SF Centre location. After a 7-month hiatus and the selfless efforts of many karma yogis and supporters, the Centre re-opens to establish a foothold in San Francisco for Swamiji's mission and vision of peace, in the same place that Swamiji originally set foot in the West. Swami Dharmananda taught the Yoga of Change course applying Vedantic teachings in daily life to overcome attachments to ever-changing phenomena and providing tools to find stability within one's Self. One weekend was nearly a full house for the Stress Relief and Relaxation Course, with Sankari Chaitanya, as guests learned and practiced the 5 Points of Yoga with an emphasis on proper breathing and relaxation. The Ashram also thanks Dr. Dennis Chernin for his talk on Bhakti Yoga and relaxation, as he led everyone in several bhajans. Om Namo Narayanaya blessings to all the Sivananda family.


Sivananda Ashram Yoga Ranch, Woodbourne, New York, USA
    Om Namo Narayanaya
    In early February the Ashram was covered in snow with staff enjoying the beauty of Nature in the winter. Aside from the continuous snow blowing and shoveling, we had the opportunity to snowshoe and cross country ski on the property. One Wednesday, our neighbor and local yoga teacher, Satyavati, invited us to her home where we played ice hockey, took a yoga class and enjoyed a meal together.  It was a nice break for the staff to go on an outing together and enjoy some recreation.  Srinivasan flew to Florida to give programs at the affiliated Centres one weekend. One weekend program at the Ashram was on Yoga and Happiness. Mahadev Chaitanya gave a workshop on the 5 Points of Yoga to a group of 25 beginners. We had more snow on the way. Staff sends Pranams to all! May the Gurus' blessings of be with us all this year.


Sivananda Ashram Yoga Retreat, Nassau, Bahamas
    Om Namo Narayanaya, Blessed Selves
    In early February we held the 8th Annual 'Yoga for Peace: Changing the World from the Inside Out'. The speakers engaged us in topics which follow Swami Vishnudevananda's mission of promoting inner and outer peace. 
    Through his experience as both a Shaman, and a past 'Economic Hit Man, John Perkins shared his perspective on shape shifting the dream world. Brant Secunda, also a Shaman, shared with us the need for peace, balance, and harmony in life. Charles Eisenstein challenged us to consciously engage in the current paradigm-shift that is occurring within the world's great social constructs. Sister Greta Ronningen spoke of seeing the divine light in everyone, including those who are incarcerated. Elaine Valdov PhD spoke of her work with the United Nations, while Vicki Robin touched on the impact we have in our world through our daily consumption. Rukmini rounded out, and completed the Symposium with a grounding talk on the relation to activism and Swami Sivananda's teachings and philosophies - Can we Change the World? TTC students finished week 2. Many guests purified with Manu Dawson's 'Winter Cleanse, Detox and Juice Fasting, Program'. Dian Killian PhD's 'Freedom from Triggers' taught Students how to better self-manage emotions, while Surya (Silvia) San Miguel's 'Healing You Emotional Body' taught students emotional control through the teachings of yoga. Elaine Valdov's 'Yoga Peace Ambassadors Certification Course' challenged students to make a direct impact on the world with their own initiatives and projects. The weather has been cool and windy and seas have been rough. We had 2 morning silent walks, followed by a sunrise Satsang on the beach.

    During mid-February we had a wonderful celebration of Maha Sivaratri. Our priest Krishnan Namboodiri conducted the event and the many Pujas. With record attendance this year, the energy was strong and lasted throughout the night till dawn. Edwin Bryant, PhD and professor of Hinduism at Rutgers University, gave talks on the Krishna Lila and the Narada Bhakti Sutras. Edwin is a long time friend of the Ashram, and is the author of six books including his translation with commentary of the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. Arujna shared with us the insight, and wisdom that he gained as a direct disciple of Swami Vishnudevananada in a series of talks 'Practical Spirituality:Life and teachings of Swami Vishnudevananada'. Swami Brahamananda gave morning talks on 'Deepening Meditation Practice', practical techniques that can easily be incorporated into daily practice. We also held the 'Yoga of Chant Retreat' with Krishna Das. Krishna Das has been preforming at the Ashram for many years. He arrived with a large following of devotees. The weather started off cool and rainy, however, it has slowly warmed up and we again enjoyed the sunshine. 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
    February saw many inspired participants. The topic was Vedanta. The yoga classes were more advanced. One weekend held a small, further training for Yoga teachers on back-bending asanas. We went into greater details of basic postures and variations, discussed the anatomy of the back and practiced how to correct a student in the asana. The Yatra leaflet went to the printer and a Newsletter was sent out. Another highlight was the Sivaratri night which we celebrated in a festive mood. Also most guests were new they stayed until midnight. We did one Puja to the black granite Lingam and the second on a beautiful metal Siva. Milk, ghee, curd and honey were flowing over the murti accompanied by constant mantra repetition. The night ended with a soft and peaceful energy which permeated the Retreat House even for the next few days. The guest otherwise were lucky with spring-like and warm temperatures which made them stay outside on the Ganesha platform studying spiritual books. A workshop on prana and breathing, a cooking workshop and Satsangs on happiness and mind made it a complete experience. OM.


Sivananda Ashram Meenakshi Ashram, Madurai, Tamil Nadu, India
    Om Namo Narayanaya
    In early February the temperatures were slowly setting in with mid days getting hotter. The students and guests were quite involved in their respective programs. Every day had something to look forward to. We experienced an auspicious Pooja in the Temple where one of the ATTC student who comes from an orthodox priest background did the ritual along with our priests explaining, in parallel, the reasons and rationale behind each step. One Wednesday a special chanting session was announced for the students and guests who used the platform to the best expressing their bhakti through beautiful kirtans. We offered Haridas' Santoor and Deepak's tabla concert who also guided us musically in meditation. One day was spent on shopping for supplies for the Canada Ashram. Swami Sivabhakthananda picked some interesting items for the boutique while also getting to watch the shopping style in Madurai, a mission it usually is. At the end of the exhaustive hot day we chilled ourselves with a double shot of 'Jigarthanda', a milky, icy, creamy drink famed only in Madurai. Saturday talent show was fun to watch, as always. Sunday morning silent walk was a long one in a beautiful serene road. The last week of ATTC and the trainees were going down a bit in their emotional quotient when an open challenge was thrown by Prahladaji to the students, inviting them to the volley ball court to play a match while also strategically provoking with his confidence by already declaring the staff to win. Good enough it was for the students to spring back with a sporty spirit. The game was lost, yet their prana was restored. From then onwards every day was energetic with exciting events, one after the other. Swami Sitaramananda visited the Ashram and spent two days during which she shared a recent footage on yoga which featured frames of Sivananda Ashrams and Centres. One Wednesday night during Satsang the floor was opened for a QA session which is when a question came up asking Mathaji to share her story of joining the Sivananda family. Not only was it an interesting narration with great humour in between but also had several enlightening highlights to ponder. A team of Kathakali professionals arrived from Kollam, Kerala, to stage the fascinating Prahlada Charitham from Srimad Bhagavatham, the triangle of Hiranyakashibu-Prahlada-Narasimma powerfully enacted through extraordinary costumes and colors of this pride art form. Then there was exam day, the last and big day of the course. It concluded with the graduation ceremony and Talent show. The next morning Prahladaji called in for a staff meeting to say the needed words and a good bye. Without choice we had to bid farewell to Prahladaji and Swami Sivabhaktananda, the two people who taught us just by being in their original, practical and spiritual self. The same day Swami Keshavananda left Madurai for Neyyar Dam, along with Kalyaniji, who was with us since a month. 

    During mid-February we concluded the last of the high season course series. The Feb-March TTC is up close. The Shivarathri night was grand. Two priests arrived from Kerala to conduct the Pooja. The beautifully lit lamps in the Temple, chanting until dawn, harmonium and drums, cardamom tea in between and delicious Prasad in the end were all quite an experience. We were glad to receive Swami Jnaneswariananda to teach the TTC. Janaki-ji who is here since a month already for helping with ATTC will be handling Hatha yoga and chanting. Simultaneously some improvements in the Ashram's facilities, small and big, are progressing in parallel. For example, our old bamboo laundry basket ; though it had been our plan since long to fabricate a better one we had to work on a new design quickly interestingly because of two tiny baby squirrels who were delivered in the laundry basket. Sorry and thanks to the orphaned squirrel brothers, our pets now, for the new well constructed closed wooden box. Yet another inclusion, as well concerned with laundry, is a more convenient Indian style laundry space which is being built in two places in the Ashram. Swami Satchidananda left for Sikkim and will join us back after a week. We held the TTC inauguration with 46 students initiated into the course and from their introductions it appears to be a group of substance and maturity. We bid farewell to our karma yogis Yamuna, Krishna and Gita who were all a big helping hand in the previous courses. Om Shanti. May Master and Guru be with us all. Peace and Pranams to the Sivananda family. Om Shanti.




    TTC Reports in locations other than Ashrams: Garopaba TTC:
    During the last week of the courses the students began to be concerned about the final exam. Every free moment was fully used to memorize the 7 bhoomikas, 8 limbs of rajas yoga and how to teach beginners or the 5 kleshas, Nyayas, the nervous system and the sanskrit alphabet. Students were very enthusiastic with the chanting, as we started calling volunteers to sing during Satsang. There were always many jumping from their sits to get to lead a kirtan! On the second of February Brazil celebrated the day of the ocean virgin, Imanja. Traditionally on that day devotees go to the beach to offer flowers, fruits and jewelry to the water singing hymns and doing processions with her image.
    During morning Satsang a couple of students chanted devotional songs to her and at night we performed an uplifting Lalita sahasranama Puja to the divine mother. Everyone felt the divine energy present with us. A delicious kheer was offered at the end. Nature here is incredibly beautiful. We always see a new creature to admire. Two giant beetles had caught our attention on the way to Saraswati hall, were the ATTCs practice. Their amazing designs and how they diligently were carving the tree to place their eggs left us in awe. At night the full moon enchanted us with her glow. The study day was really concentrated. Staff had some time to enjoy the most gorgeous beaches in the region.
    TTC and ATTC finished successfully for all the students. The graduation ceremony was highly vibrated. Teachers and staff talked to all the students from their hearts. We all cried and laughed full of joy and thanks full to our beloved Gurus. Endless moments of hugs, kisses, good wishes and pictures took us to the dining hall to enjoy a delicious dinner. Next day we all left Montanha Encantada and we are ready for 2016. Om Shanti Pranams to all.




    SIVANANDA YOGA VEDANTA Centres -



    Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Zentrum, Berlin, Germany

    Om Namah Sivaya
    In early February the Yoga and Music Festival starting and was a big success. Asana Workshops, Lectures and daily Indian concerts uplifted the energy day by day more. Participation in the festival was better than ever, and the Centre was stretched to its limits with Asana Workshops with 60 people. The ground floor asana hall, reception and boutique, all formed one big asana space. We had 2 full days of program with 2 well received lectures by Swami Durgananda. Topics were obstacles in Sadhana and the need for spiritual practice. The evening music programs were well received by all, highlight was the concert one Saturday evening. The Indian embassy sent representatives for this event. Teachers and students from Poland, Lithuania, Estonia and Russia joined the festival and everybody was happy to be able to participate. The Festival continued for two more days, concluding with the Sivaratri concert.

    During mid-February the inspiring Sivaratri concert left the student very happy. After the concert we started the Puja for Sivaratri with the ongoing chanting of "Om Namah Sivaya". There was full prana in the hall. Everybody chanted with lots of devotion. At the end we distributed Prasad with the students leaving inspired. The next morning was the big departure day for the Yoga and Music Festival. The Centre slowly came to its normal rhythm. Another Saturday we had a headstand Workshop and a beginner Crash course. Several courses started Y2, Y5 and Raja Yoga. Swami Gokulananda went to Munich for a short break. All staff are well. Pranams. OM.



Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Buenos Aires, Argentina
    Om Namah Sivaya
    A TTC in Garopaba report above, after the Ashram reports. 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
    In early February we started ladies beginner's class. Eswara conducted Sunday Satsang which was energetic to all students and staffs. Manoj left to assist TTC in Neyyar Dam. Our regular classes and karma yoga continued smoothly, by the Grace of Gurus. Summer weather started in Chennai. Prahaladji and Swami Shivabhakathanandaji were here at the Chennai Centre. An energetic advance class was conducted by Swami Shivabhakathanandaji. All staffs and students attended the class. We had teachers meeting with Prahaladji. During the session Prahaladji clarified various doubts about yoga classes. Prahaladji led the Sunday Satsang with inspiring talks which gave boost to the positive energy to all. Around 50 students with teachers and staff attended. After Satsang teachers, students and staff had a get-together with nice dinner.

    During mid-February we finished a morning beginners class successfully. One sunday we conducted monthly 108 sun salutation with good number of students. After sun salutation we had nice breakfast, prepared by Maggi & Sandhya. Arjun & Swadesh teaching staff, from Trivandrum and Sasidharan from Palghat joined as full time karma yogis. Chief Secretary of Tamil Nadu visited our Centre. Weather-wise the climate has changed to hot from hotter. By the grace of masters everything else is going on well. All the staff were happy and continuing their Sadhana, by the grace of Gurus and God. Om.



Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Chicago, USA
    Om Namah Sivaya!
    In early February all continued well at the Centre. After a lot of snow and a few days of frigid weather, it was pleasantly mild and sunny. Attendance remained very good. Satsang and drop-in classes were strongly attendened, especially for winter,. We had 7 courses running: two sessions of Yoga 1, two sessions of Yoga 2, Meditation, Positive Thinking, and the Kids' Yoga course. Our teacher and karma yogi, Chandranatha, installed a new water heater, replacing the old one that had started leaking. We are immensely grateful for that and for all the blessings of Centre life. We enjoyed some frigid February weather. Classes, courses, and Satsang continued to have very good overall attendance in spite of the cold snap. We were grateful for our core of inspiringly steady students, teachers, and karma yogis. Over the week the Positive Thinking and Meditation courses came to a close and both groups were happy, expressing appreciation and enthusiasm for the techniques, practices, and theory.

    During mid-February we had a wonderful Sivaratri celebration on Tuesday. Thirty people joined us from the beginning of the evening, 18 of whom stayed for the whole festival, which ended at 5:00am. Srinivasan came from the Ranch to give a weekend program on the Yoga of Relationships, which included leading our Friday-evening Bhagavad Gita study class, a Saturday workshop, and Sunday-evening Satsang. Students, teachers, and staff were all grateful for his presence and wisdom. Our winter weather continued to fluctuate greatly, with several days of sub-zero wind chills, sometimes followed by a sudden 30-degree warmup. Classes, courses, and Satsang remain strong, by the grace of the Gurus. We were still glowing from a wonderful Sivaratri celebration. Staff send their pranams and hopes that all had an inspiring Sivaratri. Om Shanti, Shanti, Shantihi from the Centre in Chicago.

Sivananda Yoga Vedanta DÀ LAT Centre, Dà Lat, Vietnam
    Om Namah Sivaya
    In early February the Dalat Centre was very calm and peaceful. As the Vietnamese New year Holiday approached most all of the Vietnamese students spent more time at home and work to ready themselves for the celebration. As a result the open asana classes were mostly foreigners and very few Vietnamese. We started an Advanced Asana course and Yoga 3, with inspired students. It is wonderful to see how they progressed from their arrival to the Centre up until now. They were stronger and more flexible in body and mind. At the end of week, we welcomed back a former resident from US. He stayed with us for one month and has now returned for another month. It is a gift from the Guru to be able to witness firsthand the change in people once they've spent time at the Centre.

    During mid-February the DaLat Centre was closed for the week for Lunar New Year celebrations. The staff enjoyed the blissfully weather while focusing on Sadhana. Many local Vietnamese returned home from the city to spend time with family creating a wonderful sense of community. We were in full TTC mode as we wash, pack and organize necessary items to set up for the upcoming course. We looked forward to Swami Sitaramananda's return to the land of her birth and to the arrival of the TTC staff. Guru blessed us. Om.


Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Dwarka Centre, Delhi, India
    Om Namah Sivaya
    In early February, by God's grace and Guru's blessing everything went very well in the Centre. We started with new beginners course at 6:30am with sufficient numbers of students. The weather was getting warmer. Our students numbers increased also. Wee finished with our regular prenatal class, gentle classes & weekend beginners course. Otherwise all the activities are going very well in the Centre.

    Mid-February passed by with an absolutely pleasing weather, better attendance levels- moreover the celestial celebration of Sivaratri. As usual we started with a beginner course and ended another. Better organization of Meditation Courses and other workshops happening at the background to encourage our students to extent and experience different practices of Yoga. We aimed to have increased participation from students as the climate improved. We saw enthusiastic support from Karma Yogis. Health issues arose which affected the Centre. Our guests we had from last week fell sick and we do miss them in the activities of Centre. Also we regret for not having enough space for a Karma yogi who had appeared without a prior notification after ATTC at Madurai. Saroj ji, our cook, was also unable to come for almost five days of last week due to his ill-health. However the coordination and better understanding of long-term staff could handle all situations to a great extent. We were glad to share that none of this has affected the smooth running of the Centre. In addition, we welcomed Praveen (who is a recent TTC graduate and also been associated to the organization through his uncles) to the resident-staff team. We wished him all the very best to keep up his Sadhana. By god grace and gurus' blessings everything else going well, ended the month as usual with a divine Satsang. Pranams to all!


Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Nataraja Centre, Delhi, India
    Om Namo Narayanaya
    In early February started with two beginners' course, one at 6:30am and the other at 10:00am. We started the Foundation to Meditation course on Wednesdays. With the Grace of Gurus our regular schedules of open class, gentle yoga, kids class and prenatal continued well. The temperature slowly increased as the winter time is getting over. The number of students also increased. The Sunday Satsangs were attended by good number of people, energizing and motivating.

    During mid-February with Grace of the Guru's we started with two beginners' course one at 6:30am and the other at 4:00pm. We celebrated Maha Shivaratri with Pooja and Abhishekam on Feb. 17th evening which lasted until mid night. The occasion was attended by good number of students and teachers, celebrated by chanting Shiva's songs and mantra with devotion. The Centre was filled with lots of positive vibration.
    Ishwara ji arrived at the Centre on the way back to home from teaching TTC's in South India. The Sunday Satsangs were attended by good number of students, teachers and staffs. 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 February a Y3 and Y1 started. Sarasvati Chaitanya left for the Vienna Centre to support the special program there. We had very nice help from Karma Yogis in many departments of the Centre. The search for a new place continued with their support. The Satsangs were well attended with many new students who are nicely connecting with the Centre.

    During mid-February a spiritual highlight was the celebration of Sivaratri with a harmonious and tuned group of teachers and students. We started with 26 attending the first Puja and the chanting remained steady until the end when we were still a group of 11 devotees. The altar was shining with beautiful flowers and the pure and uplifting energy could be felt for days. A Y1 and Y2 started. One Saturday we had a lively day with a very receptive group of students for a Kirtan workshop where students bought books afterwards and signed up for upcoming activities. We send our prayers to all. OM.



Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
    Om Namah Sivaya
    In early February the Ho Chi Minh Centre welcomed a new resident who currently resides in Japan but hails from Canada. It's always uplifting for the staff to meet new people who are actively seeking ways to integrate yoga in to their daily lives. The Centre finished off the Yoga 1 and Yoga 2 courses with many students choosing to continue their practice, purchasing passes for open asana classes. Many students reported that they felt very confident that they were practicing the safest way possible and eager to continue to learn what the physical body was capable of. Staff and Karma Yogi's continue to prepare for TTC in DaLat. The energy of the Centre was high as we are all grateful for the opportunity to continue to serve.

    During mid-February the Ho Chi Minh Centre was closed for the Lunar New Year holiday. The city was quiet as most everybody travels to various locations in which their families reside to spend quality time with loved ones. Though there are no classes being held at the Centre there is plenty to do as we prepared for a sattvic start to the new year by deep cleaning the entire Centre and organizing our accounts. We are also happy to host our arriving TTC staff as we prepared for the start of the course. Staff from all over the world spent a night or two at the Centre until they departed for DaLat. There was a deep feeling of unity as staff from Russia, China, Japan, Israel, India, Vietnam and The United States as they came together to support TTC and help spread the teachings of Yoga. The Centre ran very smoothly with Guru's Grace! All the staff were happy feeling Guru's blessings. We send Pranams to all the Sivananda family! Om Tat Sat.


Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, London, England
    Om Namah Sivaya
    In early February the Centre felt very positive and uplifted after the end of the 7-day special program, The Quintessence of Divine Love. Another highlight was the Winter Yoga festival, combining an Open House with workshops for existing students. We held a talk on "Yoga, The Art of Living A Well Balanced Life'', an asana workshop and a cooking demonstration. There was a good turnout for all the activities and with the support of teachers and karma yogi's, the day went well. There was a mood of inspiration in the air. The day ended beautifully with a Bharata Natyam Dance performance.

    During mid-February transformative energy of Sivratri was evident in the London Centre. Due to the increased need to respect the legal opening hours of the Centre in view of the proximity of the neighbouring properties, the celebration in the Centre was shorter then usual and allowed staff and a group of students to continue the celebrations in the Shree Ganapathy Temple. The Centre was blessed with the visit of Swami Kailasananda, Kailas and Girija. Lectures, asana classes, 1 to 1 guidance, organisational changes and activities have enthused the staff and student community. The team met to discuss ideas for improving the student experience at the Centre and using the various spaces of the Centre in a more inviting way. Seating arrangements were adapted in the tea room and shop, allowing for informal gatherings with students including meditation, kirtan and general guidance and conversation. The Shanti Kutir was made available for meditation and reflection and the Centre has been noticeably uplifted by the changes. Preparations for the International Yoga Day are in full swing and will take place on a boat, departing from the local pier close to the Centre and sailing on the Thames to the heart of the city. Om.



Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Los Angeles, California, USA
    Om Namo Narayanaya!
    In early February Swami Omkarananda has just returned after a month away, in New York Centre and visiting family in UK. While she has been away the Centre has been running smoothly under the direction of Janaki and Lakshmana. We prepared for the Sivaratri celebrations and several weekend workshops by visiting presenters. We were blessed with very gentle warm weather and lots of sunshine.

    During mid-February Sivaratri brought many to the Centre, some new and also many familiar faces. We started our first Puja with 40 participants and still had 15 by 6am after the last Puja. The energy was high, thanks to the support of local kirtan singers who encouraged lots of participation. Parameshwari led all of the Pujas with the assistance of staff members. Classes continued as usual with Yoga 1 and Yoga 2 courses. We were blessed with warm sunny days and also some rain! All are well. May the Gurus' blessings of be with us all.



Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Madrid, Spain
    Om Namah Sivaya, Blessed Selves!
    In early February we began a new course, with Lakshmi, about control of emotions. Gopala taught a breathing workshop. We had an inspiring visit of the priest Yagneswara. We celebrated beautiful Pujas in worship of Lord Ganesha, Lord Vishnu and the Divine Mother. We also had the second part of the first aid course as a TTC supplement for government recognition in Spain. 17 teachers of the Centre attended.

    During mid-February we began a new beginner's course with 11 students. 35 devotees attended the night of Sivaratri, which was celebrated with three Pujas and chanting the mantra in a quiet atmosphere. The Centre also participated in the Mantras Festival of Madrid presented by Gopala and Vishnu, where staff could enjoy the concerts and distribute programs of the Centre. May the Gurus' blessings of be with us all. OM.




Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Madurai, South India
    Om Namah Sivaya
    In early February we started a morning batch with a few number of students. All our classes ran smoothly which included - Open Class, Beginners Course, Kids Class. Swami Shivabhaktananda and few others had come down to City on 3rd Feb 2015 to get altar and boutique items for Canada Ashram. It was lovely helping him. A Saturday Headstand Workshop, with Sandhya explained and demonstrated the posture. When it was the students turn they were able to do half Headstand. We had a special guest who came all the way from Canada. Staff members of Madurai Centre started getting ready for his arrival, the students as well as the Staff were eager to meet him and know him even more. Finally Prahlada ji arrived with Janaki, Dr. Sunitha, Krishna, Yamuna & Rahul from Madurai Meenakshi Ashram. Prahlada ji's class was, as always, out of this world. We had a very good number of students and Staff on a Special Sunday Satsang with Prahlada ji. Practitioners for the class were 22 people, Satsang were 37 people and followed by dinner. The Satsang was mind blowing. We have never felt such a strong prana level from any other than Prahlada ji himself. He explained it very beautifully and with quotes "One should see God in everyone, no matter what the situation might be." " Just forgive and you will see God in them and everything else too and you only are God". It was lovely and very true. A challenge to implement it in this Kali Yuga. The Satsand was followed by a dinner, sponsored by two of our old practitioners Madhavan & Kaman, and prasad by Manoranjitham. Staff members thanked each and everyone coming forward and making this event one of the most beautiful moment to cherish. All students appreciated Prahlada ji's energy, class and overall everything else. We joined the graduation of ATTC at the Meenakshi Madurai Ashram. The students were happy to be called "Acharya". The weather was pleasant.

    During mid-February we felt good vibes from the students. All our classes continued on and well attended - Open Class, Ladies Class, Kids Class and Private Class. We attended the Meenakshi Ashram on Sunday to greet the new batch of TTC - a good number of students and a very smart group. Durairaji came to visit the Centre and spent couple of hours catching up, taking the staff for dinner. The weather continued to get even more hotter. The Satsangs were uplifting, helping the Centre to keep the positive energy by Meditating, Chanting the Gods' and Masters' name and also by reading the teachings of Our Gurus. All was good, with our Guru's Blessings. Pranams from the Temple city, Madurai, to each and everybody in the Sivananda family. Om Shanti.



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



Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Montevideo, Uruguay
    Om Namah Sivaya
    In early February we started the month with lots of energy. Picked up to give their lessons teachers Enrique, Kamala and Anandi. Karina, which was responsible for cleaning, was on leave. Lalita and Laura tried to maintain the cleanliness of the Centre. On Tuesdays a nice group gathers for the pregnancy class. The Centre was busy most of the month. Many people registered for the Wednesdays and Thursdays beginners courses. The Meditation was guided by Lalita. It was attended by people who are not members and students. The energy was beautiful. One Saturday, the people who came to the trial class signed up for the next course for beginners starting on February 20th. The rest of the activities developed normally.

    During mid-February two teachers came from Brazil - Narayani (Brazil) and Saraswati (Brazil) and Prema from Argentina to be with us as karma yogis. Prema will stay until March 14 after which she will attend the TTC Refresher in Bariloche, Argentina. We celebrated Sivaratri with good attendance and delicious prasads. Students and teachers were full of devotion. We continued with the beginners courses with a very enthusiastic group. Guillermo Carter (Gopala) just finished his TTC in Garopaba 2015. He began to assist during asana classes. We began a new Friday beginner course with an excellent amount of students. Atmadev came back to teach at the Centre after his beautiful experience at the ATTC in Garopaba, Brazil. We also had the Open Day, attended by a large group of people where they were very interested in the activities that we presented. It started with Introduction to Meditation guided by Kanti Devi, then followed with Introduction to Yoga dictated by Chandra and finally the Yoga class was conducted by Prema. The rest of the activities continued normally. 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 February the Centre is operating smoothly. We began two yoga 2 courses, which a large proportion of students signed up for, and the students have a good sense of determination. They have already been talking about joining the open classes. A 'Positive Thinking' course began with Sushila. The group included new students that have recently began their asana practice at the Centre. The group was open and have been coming to the Centre throughout the week, including Satsangs. We were reminded of all the paths of yoga that Swami Vishnu offered to students within the organization, which has supported the individuals' Sadhana. A few new children came to the kids class sand have appeared to enjoy the experience together. We held the winter 'Montreal Weekend' at the Ashram. We had a group of about fourteen people, including 5 children from the Centre. It was a wonderful weekend, where they joined the snowshoesing. The children had their own yoga classes that Yamuna came to teach, and activities run by the Montreal staff, which consisted of mainly playing in the snow!! It was a joyous sunny weekend, and for some, it was the first time in the Ashram. There was good feedback and we were pleased to see more people becoming more connected to the Ashram. We were thankful for everyone's contribution, which made it possible. This is the 4th Montreal weekend offered to the students and the momentum for them is growing.

    During mid-February a highlight for the Centre was the celebrations of Sivarathri. It was a blessing to share the evening with students and devotees. Approximately 45-50 people attended the celebration, which consisted of chanting and a beautiful Puja, conducted by Priest Siva. The vibrations were raised that evening and remained high for the whole week. Staff and a group of attendees carpooled to the Ashram in 5 cars. The energy there was vibrant and high and rejuvenated us all to continue chanting throughout the night. The program ended with a large feast and an abundance of sweet prasad. We thank Master and Swami-ji for their continued grace. Pranams to all the Sivananda family. May the blessings of Master and Swamiji be with all.



Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Munich, Germany
    Om Namah Sivaya from the Munich Centre!
    In early February we had a retreat "Stress and Stress Management", with Chandrika. The participants learned about stress within two lectures - how it develops and how yoga helps to prevent it. Afterwards they had two special asana classes with lots of stretching and relaxation. One of the courses, which we teach for a German health insurance company here in the Centre, had its last class. The next one is going to start in March. Swami Narayanananda went to the special program to Vienna. The cooking class "Vegetarian Dishes for Busy People" was a big success. Swami Narayanananda went one weekend to the special program in Berlin.

    During mid-February we had a special program "Prana – Link between Body and Mind" with Swami Sivadasananda. Swamiji taught two 2.5 hours asana workshops "Dynamic Variations in the Forward and Backward Bends" and "Physical and Mental Strength in the Standing Postures". Two inspiring Satsangs had the topics "Prana – From Breath to Intuition" and "Wisdom Pearls of Mantra Yoga". One Saturday we also had our yearly teachers meeting in which we exchanged a lot of inspiration about teaching. A further highlight was the celebration of Sivaratri. The chanting of the Siva-mantra and the Pujas created a very strong spiritual atmosphere in the whole enter. We were happy to have Swami Durgananda with us who returned from the special program in Berlin. OM.



Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Neuquen, Patagonia, Argentina
    Om Namah Sivaya!
    Pranams to everyone! May the blessings of Master and Swamiji be with all. Om Shanti.



Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, New York, USA
    Om Namah Sivaya!
    In early February new courses started for Introduction to Meditation and Positive thinking, along with Yoga Beginner and Beginner part 2 courses, the courses have been well attended. One weekend an Open House event attracted a good number of newcomers to the Centre.  We were happy to have a visit from Srinivasan and Saraswati, on their way to visit affiliated Centres in Florida. They were accompanied by Mahadev Chaitanya who stayed over to teach our Advanced class and join us in a joyous Satsang. We started the first of a series of ten meetings for a group of 12 students to practice and explore further NVC, or Non-Violent Communication. This is held in collaboration with an NVC teaching organization here in New York. The first evening was a success with participants looking forward to much growth and learning in the coming weeks. We also saw the successful conclusion of the Sanskrit workshops held by the organization Samskritam Bharati. 

    During mid-February the city continued to experience very cold weather, with a fair amount of snow. One Tuesday evening we headed up to the Yoga Ranch directly after closing the Centre in the evening, to celebrate Sivaratri with the staff there. Karma Yogi Raj was kind enough to drive us. We arrived at the Ashram just after midnight to join in with the joyful night's  practice of Puja and Kirtan. We left the Ashram in the morning just after the celebrations ended, arriving back in the city just in time to open for the next day, a little tired but most definitely inspired. We were pleased to welcome Srinivasan for a short stay on his way to the Chicago Centre. One Sunday we welcomed a large group of the Centre's teachers for a special Satsang, teacher's meeting and asana workshop with Mahadev Chaitanya. Many useful ideas and suggestions were brought up during the meeting. As always we held joyful Satsangs on Sunday evenings. All are well and full of gratitude for Masters' and Swamiji's grace. Om Namah Sivaya from all the staff here at the NYC Centre. Om Shanti.



Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Paris, France
    Om Namah Sivaya
    In early February a highlight was the arrival of Swami Kailasanandaji from London for a weekend program on "Reconnect with Yourself" and Yagneswaraji, who arrived from Vilnius. Yagneswara gave beautiful morning Pujas for the staff and close students and a Ganesha Puja during the evening Satsang and a Lalita Sahasranama Yantra Puja - well appreciated by all. Swami Kailasananda started her program with a Meditation workshop, plus gave the Sunday open class and led the two evening Satsangs, which attracted many students. One Saturday we had on Open house, many new people came and registered for courses as well as many students from the Centre to get the 10% discount that day. Swami Kailasanandaji came back from London and gave two inspiring evening Satsangs on "Vedanta", well appreciated by all students, teachers, residents and staff. We had a good headstand workshop one Saturday, taught by Kaivalya assisted by Nadapriya, with 19 participants plus, a workshop on Yoga at Home, taught by Gauri. We updated our webpage and made some posters to announce the next activities of the Centre in March. We sent the new brochure to get ready for printing.

    During mid-February a highlight was the celebration of Sivaratri with the priest Yagneswaraji who performed three Pujas during the night, the first two Pujas with the repetition of the 1000 names of Lord Siva and the last Puja at 3am with the repetition of 300 names of Lord Siva. Swami Bhagavatanandaji, from Orleans, joined us for the night. About 90 participants joined the first part until 12pm and 50 participants stayed the all night until 5am. Parameshwara cooked a nice and light Indian break-feast for all. Everyone felt inspired with the spiritual energy of Lord Siva. Swami Kailasanandaji came back from London and gave an inspiring Sunday evening Satsang on "Purity, Master and disciple relationship". Prem to all. OM.



Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Porto Alegre, Brasil, South America
    Om Namah Sivaya from Brasil
    Pranams, from all the staff at Porto Alegre Centre. In early February the Garopaba TTC finished. Kanti Devi, Chandra and Tandava Chaitanya came to the Centre. A lot of teachers also came to help to put everything in place. The Centre had less students visiting than usual, but the beginners courses were very popular. We started a Beginners 2 with 25 students (a record) and a Beginners 1, with 13 students. We painted the small asana class and prepared to change the floor. Pranams, from all the staff at Porto Alegre Centre. May the blessings of Master and Swamiji be with all.



Centro Yoga Vedanta Sivananda, Rome, Italy
    Om Namah Sivaya, Blessed Selves
    In early February, due to the weather in Rome, with heavy rain everyday, the attendance was a little lower. When the rain stopped it was our busiest day ever, with all classes full that day.

    Mid month saw a very energic week with the celebration of Sivaratri. One Saturday we had an Open House, with many newcomers who registered for the next courses. Karma Yogis helped during the day to make the event very successful. One Sunday we had a special 3 hours yoga class. All the students were very happy to be able to participate in the long, deep and detailed practice. The staff at the Centre are all fine. We pray that Master and Swamiji continue to guide and protect us. Om Shanti.


Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, San Francisco, California, USA
    Om Namo Narayanaya, Blessed Selves
    After a 7-month hiatus and the selfless efforts of many karma yogis and supporters, the Centre re-opened to establish a foothold in San Francisco for Swamiji's mission and vision of peace, in the same place that Swamiji originally set foot in the West. The grand reopening of the Centre will be on May 3 with an Open House day. In the meantime, a temporary asana class schedule will begin Tuesday March 12th. Visit our website for details. May Staff, Teachers, and Students throughout the world see a wonderful beginning to 2015 and that Master and Swamiji guide us in our Sadhana. Om Shanti.



Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Tel Aviv, Israel
    Om Namah Sivaya
    In early February Shankara Chaitanya returned from his month long trip to the Yoga Retreat. Both the staff and the students were happy to welcome him back to the Centre. During the week an Advanced Meditation course started with 14 students and a Yoga 1 with 16. The weekend program attracted many students and the classes were packed. The winter visited us once again with a cold, windy and rainy storm. We started a new Yoga 3and Yoga 1 both with 12 students. A great progress was made with the April-June program and we expect the brochure to be on its way to print in the next two weeks. As the Sivaratri approaches, the energy of Lord Siva is really felt in the Centre, especially during the morning Satsangs' chanting. 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
    February is the coldest month of the year in Tokyo, but students who practice yoga eagerly come to Tokyo Centre despite cold weather. We held a workshop named "Yoga and Meditation", taught by Vishnu.  Workshop consisted of 2 hours of class per day, for 2 successive days. We received quite a few inquiries beforehand, and the workshop quickly became fully booked with 22 students. It was nice to know that many people in Tokyo are interested in meditation. Next step for us is planning to start 5 weeks meditation course in the near future. Despite the cold weather, the blooming plum trees tell us that spring is coming. There was a student who came from very far away only to take a class in Tokyo Centre. Staffs were all impressed and were thankful for her eagerness to learn yoga. We sold a lot of Valentine's Day special version of Sivananda Cookies made with chocolate chips. Those cookies became popular among the students, we had to bake them repeatedly.

    During mid-February the weather was still cold, but we got a feeling of the "Spring" little by little after the New Year in the lunar calendar of Japan. Some plants and flowers were ready to bloom. Spring is best season to practice Yoga in Japan. We are waiting for that. One Saturday, we held a workshop of "Ayurveda Cooking" by Padmavati Masako. 8 people joined this workshop who enjoyed the cooking and eating. One Sunday, we had held workshop called "Pelvis Adjustment", by Tara.  This workshop was very popular and had full of reservations - 20 students. They were very much interested in the lecture and listened to the guidance very carefully. Tara prepared to teach the "Headstand Workshop" next month. May Master and Swamiji bless us to be able to provide this. Pranams.



Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    Om Namah Sivaya
    In early February a prenatal course started, led by our teacher Padma, who is experienced mother of two boys. It is very nice to see how our prenatal courses don't just teach prenatal practice but also build a community of new mothers who often stay connected once babies are born and support each other in their Sadhana.
    As our online registration is repaired, we noticed more sign ups for upcoming courses and workshops. We continued to offer meals for students twice a week, which are very  popular and appreciated as many students come to the Centre straight from work and do not have time to prepare a healthy late dinner.
    It was nice to have Ganga, a karma yogi from Montreal, visit for the weekend. She very much  enjoyed hospitality of the Centre staff. On Saturdays, after Puja, teen and open class, we have our regular staff lunches to which our teachers and karma yogis are always welcome. Many of them often express that this helps them feel as part of the Centre family and gives them a nice break from their hectic lives. We saw the coldest week of the winter with temperatures around minus 20 C! We started new beginners course and we ended our  meditation course on Friday with lots of students signing up for the next level. Our teacher Simone made delicious lasagna for our Tuesday dinner that many joined as a goodbye dinner for Durairaj who is leaving to India for few months. One Sunday ten students attended Stress Management course and appreciated learning yogic tools to manage busy city life. One evening Satsang a close student brought Valentine cake and we asked Durararaj to read a message from Sivananda Upanishad and wished him well for his upcoming trip.

    During mid-February Prahlad returned from India where he went to teach Sadhana Intensive and ATTC in Madurai Ashram. We said goodbye to Durairaj who went to India for few months to visit family and help with getting boutique stock ready for Toronto Centre and Yoga Camp. We didn't have our regular class with teenagers from mental health Centre this week because of the long, Family Day weekend that is celebrated in Ontario. One Friday we started Meditation 2 course with students from the introductory meditation course that ended previous week as well as other students who needed support with the practice. Our teacher Lisa gave Introduction to Vegetarian Cooking workshop this week, in which she taught students basics of vegetarian as well as yogic nutrition and helped them make simple recipes they can easily use at home. The weather continued to be very cold with snow falling daily and although Toronto looks beautiful, driving conditions made it harder for students to get to yoga classes after their work. Pranams to all. We send Om Namo Narayanaya to every one.



Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Trivandrum, Kerala, South India
    Om Namah Sivaya!
    In early February a Yoga 1 batch for ladies began in the morning and a mixed beginners' batch in the evening. The current early morning beginners' batch completed their last week. All other classes went well. Swami Parameshwariananda spent the day with us before returning to the Himalayas. As well as the regular Lalitha Sahasra Nama Pooja we also had Ganapathy Homa for the first day of the new Malayalam month. Prahlad ji visited briefly, having meeting with the staff to useful guidance and advice for running the Centre before returning to Madurai in the evening. Students were introduced to the practices of Jala Neti and Sutra Neti in a Kriya Workshop. Early month Satsang was led by Moni ji. 

    During mid-February a new Monday beginners' batch started. All other classes went well. We cleaned the outside of the Centre's front boundary wall. Suresh ji & the South Indian Yatra Group visited our Centre. They attended the Satsang which was led by Sw. Rajeshwariananda Mataji. They all had dinner in the Centre. Regular Lalitha Sahasra Nama Pooja conducted on Fridays. Moni went home for two days. Surendran ji, a senior teacher led a Sunday Satsang. Pranams to the Sivananda family worldwide. Om.



Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Vienna, Austria
    Om Namah Sivaya
    In early February a highlight was the 4 day special program, On the Wings of Devotion and Wisdom. Preparations were finished just in time of the arrival of the Acharyas Swami Durgananda and Swami Sivadasananda, who arrived with our Indian Guest of Honour and the three accompanying musicians. Also Swami Narayanananda arrived. The programme was a great success. Many students and teachers came to participate and find inspiration. Swami Durgananda gave 2 lectures - one on the importance and necessity of spiritual practice and the other on how to overcome spiritual obstacles. Swami Sivadasananda and Swami Narayanananda gave inspiring lectures and asana workshops. Our Indian Guest of Honour led us to the wings of devotion and wisdom with his soul stirring recitations from the Srimad Bhagavatam. Also part of the program was a teacher's meeting for the active Centre teachers. Many staff and Karma Yogis had come to support the program and the Centre activities. Om Namo Bhagavate Vasudevaya. The departure of the Acharyas, the special guests and visiting staff after the special program went well, despite heavy snowfall during the whole day. The Vienna staff, still supported by Sivani from Reith, started bringing the Centre back to normal operation. 11 new courses started, among them Yoga 71. We had a weekend Yoga 1 course with good attendance and also on a Saturday TTC prep, with very interested participants. Most of them were students from the Centre. All became inspired to start their TTCs this year. Weather conditions in Vienna were quite winterly at the beginning of the week, which reduced attendance in classes and courses. Many Karma Yogis supported the Centre.

    During mid-February a highlight was the Sivaratri celebration. Many teachers and students, also some newcomers, joined the Poojas and the mantra chanting. The altar and the room was nicely prepared by the staff. The energy had built up during the whole day and was gentle and strong. Almost half of the devotees stayed until the final Pooja at 3 o'clock, then kicheri was being served for all. Everybody was highly inspired by the celebration. One Saturday we had a workshop on mastering emotions – which was well attended. On a Sunday we had a successful Open House with many, mostly young, visitors. Most of them participated in all of the Open House activities. Drop In classes and courses were moderately attended. Staff almost finished bringing the Centre back to normal operation after the special programme. The Centre had good support from Karma Yogis. 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 February courses and classes went very well. Yoga 1, 2, 3 courses started. Also we created a Yoga 4, morning course, which has started with 6 students. One Saturday a lively group of twenty students came for the cooking class named "Vegetarian Dishes for Breakfast and Dinner". Students learned about gunas, proper cooking with spices and to prepare balanced meal. We focused very much on different advertisement of TTC in Lithuania, posters and leaflets were done and distributed to Yoga Centres in different cities of Lithuania. We started a Yoga 2, as well as morning Yoga 1 course, with eight students. Inscriptions for the upcoming Yoga 1 continued to come in. Many students were calling and subscribing for the TTC in Lithuania by reading a local magazine, where our advertisement and interview with Acharya were placed. Karma yogis were of great help as well as teachers supporting the Centre nicely by teaching some extra classes.

    During mid-February the Centre worked on a reduced schedule because of a public holiday - Independence day in Lithuania. Yoga 1 and Yoga 2 courses started. Sivaratri celebration was very inspiring for all students and staff plus, for those who visited this Centre for the first time. We started with a Siva mantra repetition, followed by a beautiful Puja. Energy builded up very nicely and students offered thanks after feast came into the end. Prasad was lovingly prepared by close karma yogi and the Centre`s Staff. One Saturday we had TTC prep day. 8 students attended lecture and even 3 subscribed for the TTC in Lithuania! Yoga for seniors happened for the first time. Durga Devi came back from Berlin on weekend inspired, sharing some experiences she had. Prem to all! OM.




It is Prana that gives strength to the senses. Withdraw the Prana and try to centralize it and the senses will have no vigour to run outside. - Sri Swami Sivananda
 
 

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