Sivananda News Sivananda E-Gurugram
The Electronic Newsletter of the International Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centres
Issue #01/2017 Serve Love Give Purify Meditate Realize January 1, 2017
"Time is the soul of the World." - Sri Swami Sivananda

More quotes

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

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

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

JAN 2017
08 Ekadasi
12 Full Moon
14 Makara Sankranti
23 Ekadasi
27 New Moon

FEB 2017
07 Ekadasi
10 Full Moon
22 Ekadasi
24 Maha Sivarathri  
26 New Moon
A complete e-mail directory of the Sivananda Yoga Centres and Ashrams is available at:
Sivananda Email Directory

Online registration for TTC courses has been added. We hope to include online registration for all courses in the near future.
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Blessed Selves,
Om Namah Sivaya
While we reflect on the year 2016, the feeling was unanimous among the Sivananda staff on how Swamiji guided us in every step to impart the pure teachings of the ancient scriptures. All Centres and Ashrams worked hard in sharing the Knowledge with the most needed throughout the World, just the way Swamiji wished.

At Sivananda we are excited to see the increased inquiry into the beneficial teachings of Yoga. It is more evident than ever. In India, with the plethora of Indian students walking through the Ashram doors, the halls and the yoga teacher trainings are filled alongside the guaranteed steady steam of international students. Still growing, many SVYC Centres and Ashrams sprouted and flourished in Asia of late, including the new Sivananda Ashram in DaLat, Vietnam, with the new facilities well appreciated by its citizens near and far.

On the subject of continued growth and development of the Sivananda Organization, we are also very glad to inform you that soon we will be owning one of our oldest SVYC Centres in Munich, Germany.

We are also happy to announce sanyas and brahmacharya initiations in Europe. With Master's, Swamiji's and the EBM's blessings a sanyas and brahmacharya initiation was held at the Retreat House on 29th December 2016. Saraswati Chaitanya is now known as Swami Santosananda Saraswati. Vishnupriya is now known as Vishnupriya Chaitanya. Sivani is now known as Sivani Chaitanya. May Master and Swamiji guide them on the path.

In the publishing side of things, the Sivananda GURUGRAM has always something interesting and uplifting to read. This month the GURUGRAM begins a monthly series on meditation, located in the Raja Yoga section. The written commentary will alternate from Swami Sivananda and Swami Vishnudevananda. At the Sivananda Headquarters at the Yoga Camp the staff started typing precious Master and Swamiji's books that have been out of print.

We thank you all for your continued support and wish you all a Happy New Year 2017. All your contributions help nourish Master and Swamiji's mission.

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

Pranams to all.

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The initial stages in Sadhana will be one of ups and downs. Obstacles and unfavourable circumstances are God-sent chances to make you more steady and strong in will. - Sri Swami Sivananda

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

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

Q. When I sit for prayers, the lower mind wanders astray, but the other mind recites the Stotras without the slightest flaw, because of habit. But when I consciously try to recite the prayers, I sometimes miss the link, and have at times to repeat a Stotra from the beginning. Thus, are there two minds? How to overcome this difficulty?

There are no two minds. But the mind gets concentration little by little, and the portion of the mind which is spiritually inclined -- call it the higher mind -- engages itself in Sadhana, whereas that part of the mind which is more aware of its worldly Samskaras runs along its set grooves. Force of habit makes the repetition of prayers mechanical. But the higher mind should be made to concentrate on the meaning. Then the attention of the mind will be held and the lower part of the mind will have less opportunity to detract from the object in view. The whole trouble with careless Sadhana is that it tends to become mechanical without making an impression on the life of the aspirant.

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, Swami-ji?

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

All misery in the World is due to ignorance and false identification of the perishable body with the Imperishable Atman. - Sri Swami Sivananda


CANDLE - An Intermediate Variation of the Shoulder stand - An advanced Sarvangasana

Starting from shoulder stand, slowly lift right arm off the ground and place the right hand onto the front of the right thigh, arm straight. Balance, then, lift left arm to thigh. Keep the balance on the shoulders, neck and head. Hold for up to 1 minute. Slowly return the arms and support the back, lowering down from shoulder stand.


Tones and revitalizes the thyroid and parathyroid glands.
Improves and balances the metabolism of cells in the body
Improves the blood supply to the roots of the spinal nerves
Stretches away the stress in thence and shoulder muscles
Relieves the pain of varicose veins
Stimulates cheerfulness and helps cure depression
Helps relive mental sluggishness
Promotes clear thinking

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

Other yoga tips at

Little acts make great actions. - Sri Swami Sivananda


VAIRAGYA - [Sanskrit] - Non-attachment; Dispassion

Commentary from Swami Vishnudevananda -
"What is the cause of all problems, individual as well as universal?The root which everything spreads out? Attachment. Attachment is the cause of all pain. For example, this glass is very special. I bought it at an auction and it was used by King George 100th!! King George 100th used this glass. It is MINE. D. said, "Is that so Swami-ji? Can you give it to me - I would also like to have it." "No way," I said, as I held it tight. When I go to sleep I lock it up in a special vault with a special lock and put on a special electronic alarm, so if anyone tries to touch it I will know. I am unable to sleep because of this glass. Any sound I hear I think someone is after my glass. L. is coming over. She is only trying to be friendly because of the glass. I trust no-one now. I ask Swami P. to check on D. to see what he is up to, but later I see Swami P. and D. outside talking together. Oh my God, they are plotting against me for my glass.

What we call love - L.O.V.E. becomes completely depleted because of attachment. This applies to anything. I just took an example of the glass, but it could be to anything, to money, to anything. Our main problem is that we get attached to various objects. And why do we get attached? Two things are the cause of attachment. The two causes of attachment are I-ness and Mine-ness. You want an object because you think you can get happiness from it. You then get attached to it. " It is mine. I own it." I-ness and Mine-ness are the root cause of all problems.

Swamis and Yogis also get into problems. " This is my Yoga Centre, my disciples, my money." They also get attached, but to different things. The purpose of life is to get rid of this problem. But we do not even know that we have it as a problem. We do not recognize the level of our attachment to things. Nor do we recognize the trap of attachment. Slowly Maya (illusion) binds us.

Attachments can come slowly. We are not aware that they are slowly creeping up on us. The movement is very subtle. This is why an aspirant should have purity, so he can understand and become aware of the subtle attachments, by which he can so easily be trapped. This problem is not because you are living in society. People who live in the Himalayas, the forest or in the jungles may not have attachment to the same objects as a city dweller, but they become attached to their kamandalus (water pot). They decorate them, put their initials on them and become possessive or envious of another's. Attachment is not about having or not having, a house or a big car. You can get attached to even the smallest thing and the same problem, the same pain, will result.

A complete Sanskrit Glossary can be found at:

Destroy Moha first. Possess real Vairagya. Renounce the world on the very day you get Vairagya. 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. - Sri Swami Sivananda


Chapter XI: The Yoga of the Vision of the Cosmic Form


(Sanjaya narrating to Arjuna's cosmic vision to King Dhritarashtra)
Wearing divine garlands and apparel, anointed with divine unguents, the all-wonderful, resplendent (Being), endless, with faces on all sides.

If the splendour of a thousand suns were to blaze out at once (simultaneously) in the sky, that would be the splendour of that mighty Being (great soul).

Keep a fixed time each day for study of scriptures (Svadhaya) - Sri Swami Sivananda



In January, the beginning of a new year plus, the blanket of darkness of winter in the northern hemisphere, both set the stage for beginning or diving deeper into a meditation practice.

An integral part of yoga, Meditation is an important key to achieving peace of mind in our increasingly chaotic lives. Regular practice will enhance our mental, physical and spiritual well-being. You will learn about the beneficial effects of meditation, including how this powerful art will help you to:

Reduce stress and experience greater clarity of mind
Treat health problems, ranging from depression, anxiety, insomnia to chronic pain
Develop your powers of concentration and positive thinking
Lead a more balanced life

The first look in our series on Meditation, Swami Vishnudevananda asks us to think about where meditation fits into our lives.

At the feet of Swami Vishnudevananda - Thoughts on Meditation.

Meditation starts in your day-to-day life. If you cannot detach yourself from the day-to-day activities, you cannot close your eyes and meditate. If we have continuous identification with our activities and nature, when we sit, the same activities will go on. Even if you keep your eyes closed, your hands clasped, your feet crossed, still the mind is not checked. The mind will play the part and you are going to identify with the mental play. You sit for three hours with eyes closed. Does the meditation come? Sitting with closed eyes like a statue is not going to bring you anything as long as the play is still going on inside. Continuously the play is going on; meditation is a continuous dehypnotizing of our identity with this play, this play of the body and mind.

Whether you are going to work with your physical body and identify with your physical body, or if you keep the physical body still and close the eyes, it makes no difference. The mind will play its part in all conditions.

Now, try just for a few minutes, to dive deep into a silence. Hear the silence, see the silence, taste, smell, and touch the silence. The last moment of your life, you'll hear that beautiful silence, that melody of your soul, the sound of your own soul, the music of your soul. That Godhead, that peace will come to you. You will leave your body with full awareness and peace and shanti. Now dive deep. Hear the eternal sound of Om in silence, and we'll keep silence just for a few minutes, just a few minutes.

In order to detach and keep the mind away from the day-to-day portion so that when you sit for meditation you will be able to withdraw the mind, you must take the first step which is called Karma Yoga. Karma Yoga is the fundamental step on which your meditation practice is built. No meditation is possible without Karma Yoga. It doesn't matter what else you do.

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


SAVORY CHEESE MUFFINS – Makes 12 large muffins

1¾ cups grated vegetarian cheese
2 teaspoons dried oregano
5 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup grated carrots
¾ cup finely chopped zucchini, or ⅔ cup finely chopped green bell pepper
Scant ½ cup canned corn kernels
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper
2¼ cups soy milk or buttermilk
1 cup oil

Heat oven to 350 degrees.
Set aside ½ cup grated cheese and 1 tsp oregano.
Combine all the rest of ingredients, except soy milk (or buttermilk) and oil in a bowl.
In a separate large bowl, mix the milk and oil together.
Add the milk and oil mixture to the dry mixture and fold together quickly until dry ingredients are moistened and evenly mixed.
Spoon into greased muffin pans.
Mix the reserved cheese and oregano together and sprinkle on top of the muffins.
Bake in oven for 20-30 minutes, until the skewer or fork inserted in muffin comes out clean.
Serve at once.

For vegan version, use soy cheese.
For wheat free version, replace whole wheat flour with buckwheat or spelt flour.
Substitute yellow cornmeal for half the whole wheat flour.
Use other fresh or dried herb combinations of your choice.

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

Previous Recipes:

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

A craving for comforts can weaken your fibre. - Sri Swami Sivananda

UPCOMING EVENTS - TTC and ATTC Teacher Training Courses


Jan 04 - Jan 31/17
TTC – English, עברית, French
Nassau, Bahamas

Jan 04 - Jan 31/17
ATTC – English, עברית, Deutsch
Nassau, Bahamas

Jan 05 - Feb 02/17
TTC – English, Español, Português
Garopaba, Brazil

Jan 05 - Feb 02/17
ATTC – Português, English
Garopaba, Brazil

Jan 07 - Feb 05/17
TTC – Français
Orleans, France

Jan 08 - Feb 05/17
TTC – Deutsch English español français हिन्दी italiano 日本語 Русский язык ภาษาไทย 台語 فارسی
Neyyar Dam, South India

Jan 21 - Feb19/17
TTC – Deutsch
Reith, Tyrol, Austria

Jan 22 - Feb 19/17
ATTC - English
Madurai, Tamil Nadu, South India

Feb 03 - Mar 02/17
TTC – English, עברית
Nassau, Bahamas

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

Feb 12 - Mar 12/17
TTC – English
Neyyar Dam, South India

Feb 18 - Mar 18/17
TTC – English
London, England

Feb 25 - Mar 26/17
TTC – Deutsch English Español Français Italiano
Rudraprayag, Himalayas, North India

Feb 26 - Mar 26/17
TTC – English
Madurai, Tamil Nadu, South India

Mar 04 - Apr 02/17
ATTC – Deutsch English Español Français
Netala, Uttar Kashi, Himalayas, North India

Mar 05 - Apr 01/17
TTC – English
Nassau, Bahamas

Mar 12 - Apr 09/17
TTC – English
Woodbourne, NY, USA

Mar 19 - Apr 16/17
TTC - English
Neyyar Dam, Kerala, South India

Apr 04 - May 01/17
ATTC – English, עברית
Nassau, Bahamas

Apr 04 - May 01/17
TTC – English, עברית
Nassau, Bahamas

Apr 09 - May 07/17
TTC – English
Netala, Uttar Kashi, Himalayas, North India

See full list of International Teacher Training Courses:

See full list of International Advanced Teacher Training Courses:

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

Spiritual awakening is a gradual progress of the unfolding of the Consciousness of the Divine.
- Sri Swami Sivananda



Sivananda Ashram Yoga Camp, Val Morin, Quebec, Canada

    Om Namah Sivaya! Greetings from the Headquarters.
    Early December was the 4th and last week of the TTC. With the Grace of the Masters it all went very well. Guests, students, teachers, assistants, and supporting staff all enjoyed the energy of the Camp that grew to feel like home to many. The TTCs had their mantra initiation, which most had taken, while the rest of the Camp guests and staff went on a silent walk through the beautiful white trails. And as Marion transformed to Mirabai, Marc Antoine to Santosh, and Rim to Saraswati, people shared feeling deep transformations in their own selves beyond that of their names. The group graduated on Saturday the 10th of December, and 4 of them decided to stay at the Camp for a few weeks and one for a few months. The talent show was very lively, many performed songs, dances, and a final group song in which everyone participated, then gathered in one big group hug and a few tear drops. On that same evening we bid goodbye to Swami Rajeshwaranandaji who left with Nikhila to spend the night at the Centre then travel the next day, back to Rome, after the month of teaching the TTC. We had a visit of Prahlada, who came for two days to meet the staff and lead the morning Satsangs. His presence was inspiring as he shared words of encouragement about the Yoga practice and how to continue the Sadhana when back home. We went to the Sivananda Montreal Centre to celebrate Christmas party, which was fantastic! Nikhila and Gita had transformed every corner of the Centre into festive colors. Gita, with the help of Swami Rajeshwarananda and Karma Yogis prepared a delicious Mexican feast. Christmas Carols and a visit from Santa brought us to our childhood and family time. We all received Sivananda calendars and mugs, while the kids got to take a photo with Santa. Another snow storm appeared, turning the Camp into a white blank page, preparing us for a new chapter: The Upcoming Christmas Season. Staff spread in every direction to clean up the Camp after the departure of the TTC. 

    During mid-December we got to wear our warmest clothes as temperatures hit -35°C. The calm Camp looked serene in its white drape. The Christmas trees arrived for the indoors and the spirit of Christmas filled the Camp. A few TTC participants decided to stay as Karma Yogis, and some got to teach their first classes already! It was inspiring, and the long term students coming from town complimented them for their aptitude. We went on a night silent walk as the following morning we were expecting a snow storm. We went through the forest to Lake Raymond, a walk that turned out to be pretty challenging with the frozen snow. By the lake, Ivan, a Karma Yogi from Russia played a flute - an enchanting moment we cherished dearly. One of the guests, Jennifer, has been with us for two weeks, and during one of the lectures, she shared with the new arriving guests the transformation she went through during her stay, and how she was inspired to read that even Swami Vishnu has experienced similar resistance at the beginning of his journey. By the second week, she was inspired to help out with the Camp work, and so she spent her last few days here working full time. Other guests expressed interest to learn more about meditation, and so we offered a meditation workshop, amongst the other usual activities. We had a morning Puja for the Masters and in the evening, we had the Satsang in Samadhi Estate. Bharata talked about Swami Vishnu's later years, and how even in his suffering and seemingly challenging requests, he was teaching his disciples life lessons. Every evening, one staff members chanted Om Namo Narayanaya in the Krishna Temple before Satsang - a practice dear to us. On the Staff side, we finished the Subramanya Temple cleaning and started painting the back area in Krishna Temple. We started typing books that have been out of print, relaying the typing between a team of 10 people. So far we finished "The Yogi" and started with a series of documents and articles. We often hear Karma Yogis talk over dinner about inspiring passages they had typed that day. One Staff night we watched "Pele, The Birth of a Legend", a moving story of talent, determination, and faith. May the Grace of God and the Gurus keep guiding us all on our journey in 2017. Om Shanti.

Sivananda Dhanwanthari Ashram, Neyyar Dam, Kerala, South India

    Om Namo Narayanaya!
    Early December the Ashram energy settled down after November TTC. A number of students decided to stay back to continue improving their teaching skills under supervision. Regular special new teachers' classes started with feedback back from more experienced teachers. Seven South India Yatris were initiated on Monday. They included people from around the world including Vishwakarma, USA, who did the Yatra twenty years ago. We wished them safe travels.

    During mid-December, the initial few challenging days, the attendees of the Juice Fasting Pregram steadily progressed with their purification process, under guidance of Narayan and Krishnapriya. A new Yoga Vacation group got off to a good start with over one hundred guests, many of them returning from previous stays. May the Grace of God and the Masters keep us blessing all. Pranams to all the Sivananda Family as the New Year begins.

Sivananda Ashram Kutir, Netala, Uttarkashi, North India
    Om Namo Narayanaya. Greetings from Uttar Kashi.
    For early December, although there are no programs at the Ashram, it wasn't quiet. Improvement work continued. The new roof of the Bhagirathi building was completed and construction of two rooms on the top floor began. The Ganga dormitories were also under renovation. The old windows were replaced and some additional windows were being created to give more light and ventilation. Outside the compound, about 20 Nepalese workers were being supervised by the local authorities in the preparation of materials for repairing the Ashram retention wall, damaged by the heavy flooding in 2013. The weather was distinctly cooler and often the sun was only appearing for a few hours in the middle of the day.

    During mid-December, despite the temperatures getting colder, the workers methodically continued with their various tasks around the Ashram. On the one hand, destruction was taking place with the old room being demolished next to the bridge tension ropes, whilst on the other hand, the new cement ceiling of the Bhagirathi dorm was being plastered. The carpenter was working on building new beds. The Ganga dorm floor tiling was completed. The plumbing repairs were taking place in various locations. The work on the compound retention walls continued in the hands of the local government. Held the regular medical camp, attended by Dr Chandok. The staff were occupied with general maintenance as well as their Sadhana. With Swamiji and Master's blessings all goes smoothly in 2017. Pranams to all. Om.

Sivananda Ashram Chateau du Yoga, Orleans, France
    Om Namah Sivaya
    Padmavati from Austria gave a nice program about "Yoga for senior citizen" at the beginning of the month. We had 3 special guests this last month, Cécile Dubois, a specialist in geobiology who spoke about the effects of mobile phones, electrical wires, computers, etc on the nervous system and Vincent Maréchal, a dynamic French Ayurveda practitioner who spoke about Ayurveda. Loic Sallet, a water specialist,  explain how to energize and purify water, using the latest technologies. He also explained the current situation about water, with all the toxins, chemicals, hormones, which pollutes it. The November teachers' training course was a very harmonious and positive group, quite disciplined and respectful of the teachings. Omkari, a long time teacher from Paris, came for a week to teach the anatomy. The students put together a lovely and lively  talent show, funny and inspiring - some of the students had circus training and could do amazing physical feats,  like standing on the head and lifting the arms. By the grace of the Masters they all passed the exam. There was great joy and inspiration in the Ashram during the last few days of the course and especially during and after the graduation. As most of them are from France, many said they want to come back for Karma Yoga, ATTC and the further trainings courses. Alina, a very long time student of the Paris Centre and very talented musician, came for 2 evenings and shared her amazing talent for piano improvisation, making everyone participate and creating a magical atmosphere of joy and creativity. We are now focusing on the preparation for the Christmas program and look forward to receiving swamis and staff from the European Centres. Pranams to the Sivananda family worldwide at this time of year. OM.

Sivananda Ashram Yoga Farm, Grass Valley, California, USA

    Om Namah Sivaya
    For early December Swami Sitaramananda-ji arrived to Vietnam for teaching programs in Dalat, Vietnam joined by Swami Narayanananda. Swami Dharmananda went to the Los Angeles Centre Holiday party while Sw Jnaneswariananda spent a weekend helping San Francisco Centre after arriving back from London. Sankari Chaitanya also went to Los Angeles Centre for a weekend. Staff worked on the year end donation campaign and the holiday drama, under the supervision of Swami Vasishtananda. Hara Mahadeva and Ananta Chaitanya met with lavender farmer, Ryan, as the Ashram was gearing towards the launching of the lavender farm on its Dhanvanthari adjacent land from which lavender products like Sivananda essential oils and hydrosol can come to be distributed to all. We will keep you updated. Swami Dharmananda led Bhagavad Gita workshops, reading from Chapter 13, The Field and the Knower of the Field, addressing our illusions about body/mind and emotions and understanding the nature of the Self. Ananta Chaitanya taught a weekend Stress Relief and Relaxation workshop, with focus on the 5 Points and 4 Paths of Yoga as practical techniques for reducing stress in daily life. Guests enjoyed the Ashram and the green landscape from all the rains. Sw Vasishtananda gave an inspired Satsang talking about how to understand the concept of God according to Yoga and how to live a life at ease.

    During mid-December, after days of heavy rain, the Ashram saw cold mornings blanketing the meadows with white frost, creating a beautiful winter scene. Staff traveled to San Francisco Centre for the annual Christmas Party and feast with Sankari Chaitanya and students. Meanwhile at the Ashram, the Brahma Vidya Hall was decorated with beautiful Christmas tree, wreaths and lights in preparation for the Christmas celebration. Many guests visited the Ashram to enjoy the Ashram energy and practice, including a sweet group of Beginners for the 5-day course with Karuna Devi. The group also enjoyed a special hands on Proper Diet cooking workshop. A weekend Ayurveda Retreat, with Ambika, gave guests the opportunity to learn daily routines of Ayurveda, understand constitution and how to make healthy lifestyle choices. Ananta Chaitanya offered a workshop on Prana and Sw Dharmananda taught meditation. We all felt the grace of Master and Swamiji this month. Om Namah Sivaya to all Blessed Selves from the Yoga Farm.

Sivananda Ashram Yoga Ranch, Woodbourne, New York, USA
    Om Namo Narayanaya
    For early December we saw some arrivals and departures at the Ranch. A new karma yogi, Nicolas from Uruguay arrived; Swami Paramananda returned from India and Srinivasan returned from Europe. After a month of managing the Ashram in Swami Paramananda's absence, Gopi and Adam departed the Ashram. The 5-day Yoga Immersion course was attended by 3 eager participants. Swami Satyapremananda and Gopi gave the afternoon workshops, while asana classes were shared between all teaching staff. Swami Satyapremananda also went to New York city to give a Wednesday evening Satsang at the Centre. Four new guests arrived for the Introduction to Meditation program, led by Srinivasan and Swami Paramananda. Swami Paramananda also visited the Centre, to teach an advanced asana class and give the evening Satsang. Our weather was a mix of snow, sun, and rain, but did not prevent outdoor projects, such as the fitting of the new greenhouse doors after completion. All staff were well and enjoying the winter lighting and atmosphere.

    During mid-December the staff were busy preparing the Ranch for Christmas. A beautiful tree was decorated in the hallway, outdoor lights were hung up around the grounds and Ambika paid great attention to indoor decoration detail. Srinivasan and Swami Paramananda traveled to the New York Centre to give an evening Satsang. We greeted 11 weekend guests for the "Karma Yoga: Love in Action" weekend, and one returning Karma Yogi, Narayana. Swami Satyapremananda led a Friday evening Satsang, introducing the intrigued guests to the ideals of selfless service. The following day, after a winter wonderland walk in the woods, the group of guests enthusiastically engaged in various cleaning activities around the Ashram. One guest even filled in the karma yoga application form. Srinivasan and 5 other staff attended the Christmas party at the New York Centre. Swami Paramananda taught the afternoon advanced asana class, the other karma yogis helped with food preparations and running errands. Srinivasan led an evening Satsang with Christmas carols. Santa Claus and two elves made a surprise appearance to distribute gifts. We wished everyone a peaceful Christmas of inspired service and joy to all! By the grace of Master and Swamiji, staff continued to maintain strong in their Sadhana. Sending pranams to all for 2017. Om.

Sivananda Ashram Yoga Retreat, Nassau, Bahamas
    Om Namo Narayanaya, Blessed Selves
    For early December we started beautifully with the December TTC Inauguration. In their introduction we learned of all their great intentions for the month. We welcomed scholar Michael Hattwick, who shared his knowledge of the Jewish religion in a Satsang talk titled "The ABBA Tradition: Rediscovery, Reconciliation, Reunion". We were delighted to welcome back Father William Meninger. He presented inspiring and humorous talks on "The Cloud of Unknowing and the Bhagavad Gita; A Comparison", in which he skillfully drew parallels between the two scriptures. The priest conducted a Ganapati Vidya Homa mainly for the TTC students and teachers. Everybody was invited to offer ghee into the fire and flowers to the beautiful Yantra, which Krishnaji created the night before with many different colored powders. We welcomed Lama Karma Chutso, a Buddhist Nun. She offered multiple Satsangs on "Practicing Compassion for Yourself and Others", in which she included the audience by teaching short exercises of how to cultivate compassion. We welcomed back Sundari (Nora Benian), who gave workshops on Restorative Yoga and healing. There was a wonderful Sri Gita Jayanthi Puja, celebrating the birthday of the Bhagavad Gita, in which we chanted all 18 chapters during the evening Satsang. An Essentials of Yoga 2 Course was taught by the staff of the Ashram, with guests and Karma Yogis participating.

    During mid-December we started by watching a movie by popular film maker John Kastner, called "Not Criminally Responsible, Wedding Secrets", which is a sequel to a movie he screened last year. We welcomed Lama Karma Chutso, who shared her practices of developing compassion to oneself and others. We watched the inspiring movie "In the Name of Peace". Gregg Krech gave a Satsang and multiple workshops on the "Art of Self-Reflection", based on his knowledge of Buddhism. We were happy to welcome back Steve Gorn and his musicians. They gave two beautiful performances of Indian classical music, playing the Bansuri and the Tablas. They continued with workshops, in which they shared their knowledge of classical Indian music and also involved the participants with some singing with flute and rhythm lessons. Zoe Weil gave two informative talks on "Becoming a Solutionary for a Better World and Meaningful Life", in which she introduced the art of finding problems and solving them correctly. Swami Brahmananda gave several Satsangs on the "Practice of Karma Yoga", explaining the inner aspect of the practice in a humours and clear way. Parvati Chaitanya taught a beautiful "Essentials of Meditation" weekend course. May the blessings of Master and Swami ji be with all for the upcoming year. Om.

Sivananda Ashram, Retreat House, Reith, Tyrol, Austria
    Om Namah Sivaya
    In the first week of December we still had Yoga programs in Mittersill near Salzburg. To experience the magic of the close by mountains even more we took some of the Yoga guests to a Gondola ride up to a nearby peak. A breathtaking panoramic view revealed the three thousanths of the "Hohe Tauern" in their pure  brilliance. Everyone appreciated the good mix of Yoga classes, meditations, spiritual lectures and hikes in untouched landscapes. For the last weekend in Mittersill mainly young guests joined. They appreciated the more demanding asana classes with detailed corrections. In the Satsangs we explained the working of the mind and the conditions for the development of greater mental strength and stamina. On Sunday noon we had a warmhearted farewell. We thanked the owner of the hotel Sonnberghof in Mittersill for their dedicated service towards the yoga vacationers and returned back to the Retreat House in Reith. After a nice get together with all staffs at the beginning of the week we focused on making the final preparations for the upcoming TTC and Christmas season. A group effort transformed the hall to a festive place full of color and light. By the end of the week the first guests arrived followed by the TTC group. The 22 souls from a wide array of backgrounds were very grateful to be here and settled nicely into the new daily schedule and the rhythms of the Seminar house. Now we are looking forward to the arrival of more guests and visiting staffs to spend a wonderful Christmas time together. Blessings and Peace to all of the Sivananda Family. OM.

Sivananda Ashram Meenakshi Ashram, Madurai, Tamil Nadu, India
    Om Namo Narayanaya. Greetings from Meenakshi.
    For early December the TTC entered the 3rd week of their course schedule with their teaching skills put to practical test under the scrutiny of teachers. Anatomy and Physiology sessions commenced by Dr. Sharavanan giving a theoretical take on the physical aspects of yogic practices. Simple and informative slides kept them glued to the interactive sessions, intriguing them to ask questions. Staff Karma Yoga at 12 noon saw the staff cleaning and tidying up the backyard, giving it a more spacious look. Weeding and brooming followed by collection and disposal of wastes kept them occupied. A Day Off trip was organized to Rameshwaram, the one most eagerly awaited trips by all the students and staffs alike. After the Temple Dracaena and deviating from the routine, we went to a beach in the contiguity of Rameshwaram, Khushi Beach. The beach has a very beautiful shoreline, lined with pine trees. All the students seemed to be reliving their childhood by playing pranks and games by the sea side. We had a cultural night one Sunday, blessed by rendering of bhajans by the Erode group. The night was reverberating with the positive vibrations of their chanting, brought to a crescendo when the students were dancing in joy to express their emotions. We were thanking God for his blessings.

    During mid-December our concluding week of TTC was switched over to silent mode reflecting the students' focus on the upcoming exams. Bhagavad Gita classes concluded with Gita Arati with a special prasad distribution. The students did an overall revision of all the subjects, on the same day, to help them with exam preparation. On Friday Day Off, the students went out only for the sake of getting some change from their learning and revising sessions with the majority of them preferring to be left in the rejuvenating atmosphere of the Ashram. It seemed evident from their answer papers their hard work during the TTC was very well rewarded. Students were served a traditional south Indian feast complete with Payasam and varieties of Vada on plantain leaves which proved to be satiating to any gourmet's taste. That day's Satsang saw the students assembling with renewed energy levels as newly graduated teachers were ready to spread forth the ideologies and teachings of our Masters. This was followed by Talent Show where we were introduced to a jamming session by a wind instrument being played to the accompaniment of percussion, well applauded by all. Yoga vacationers continued with their schedule, savouring every second of their relaxed Ashram life. We bade farewell to Nagaraj ji and thanked him for all his enchanting teachings of Bhagavad Gita. We were thankful to the Almighty and our Masters for the successful completion of the course. We pray to our Masters, for their blessings and guidance all throughout. Peace and Pranams the Sivananda Family for the New Year.

    TTC ATTC Reports from other locations worldwide:

    No reports this month.


    Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Zentrum, Berlin, Germany

    Om Namah Sivaya
    We had a good month. Courses and classes were running well, and like every month several higher courses started. We offered many workshops, as a full day with TTC preparation seminar. We were preparing for the Christmas party, decorating, shopping, packing the Christmas presents and planning the meal, with a large team of Karma. It was a party full of love and joy, the Christmas message was well received. Almost all of the active Centre teachers had come, many newcomers and especially many children. After a short meditation and the Christmas message everybody joined the singing of the Christmas carols full heartedly and the whole Centre was vibrating in full Christmas mood. Also Santa Claus came and most of the children presented a small poem or song for him, the two daughters of one of our teachers and our receptionist Solvejg, who is trained as a professional opera singer gave heart stirring small musical performances. This year's gift was a small Likitha Japa mantra booklet, which was very appreciated by all. The highlight of the evening was the theater play: the story of Markandeya was very well and impressively performed. We concluded with the classical christmas feast. The energy in the Centre was light and full of joy and love. Pranams to the Sivananda family worldwide at this time of year. OM.

Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Buenos Aires, Argentina
    Om Namah Sivaya
    For early December we painted the second floor of the Centre with a vibrant color, renewing the atmosphere. We gave the workshop "Yoga of the Heart". We had the last theater rehearsal for the "End of the Year" party. The acting teachers were very inspired by Narasimha's story. Whomever saw the play could not stop being amazed and rejoiced about this sacred story. Govinda, a very close teacher and great karma yogi left the country to go to live in the United States, helping in the Yoga Farm Ashram. Pranams to all the Sivananda Family as the New Year begins.

Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Chengdu, China

    Om Namah Sivaya!
    For early December a highlight was the new Yoga 1 courses. We were excited to start the first Yoga 1 courses at the Centre, one on the mornings of weekdays and one on Sunday afternoons. Sivani and Ambika taught the two courses respectively. Both courses were well attended and enjoyed by 6 students in total plus staff members. The Staff gained more faith in the intelligence of the course setup. Sivani continued daily training for staff members on how to teach classes/courses as well as Centre daily operations. We said goodbye to Swami Narayanananda, who departed to continue serving in Vietnam. Saraswati also went to Vietnam to support the Ashram and receive more training.

    During mid-December we finished our first Yoga-1 course at the new location, as well as the Meditation 1 course. The weekend Yoga-1 course continued. Students felt very inspired by the Yoga 1 course, and continued their practice at home. Our TTC graduate, Samba, and his wife also came here to support us for few days before the Vietnam Meditation Course. Sivani and 7 chinese students joined Swami Sitaramananda for the 10–day course at the new Dalat Ashram. Ambika and Shakti, stayed at our Centre, teaching and serving. Students were generally happy with their progress. Om Namo Narayanaya and seasonal blessings to all the Sivananda family.

Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Chennai, India
    Om Namah Sivaya to all Blessed Selves from the Chennai Centre.
    For early December we completed a Ladies Beginners' course successfully. Chennai experienced cyclonic storm for four days. Lucky enough we were all were safe from it, affecting less at our Centre. Building construction works continued at a normal pace. All other activities like open classes, kids classes, courses, private classes and American school classes continued with the Grace of our masters.

    During mid-December we started a Ladies' beginners' course, with good number of students. The cyclone storm (Vardha) resulted in no water connection or electricity for four days. Locally, trees fell down, no communication facilities were available and some building structures destroyed. We did repairs to the damage on our main building. The rest of the maintenance continued over the month. The new building and roof was safe. Three karma yogis joined us after the TTC in Neyyar Dam (Sajeev, Vishnujith, Rajani). Somakumar and Naveen rejoined us after assisting TTC at Neyyar Dam and Madhurai respectively. Umesh finished his karma yoga period and left for his home. All other activities like open classes, kids' class, short term courses, private classes, American school classes continued smoothly with grace of our Masters. We wish you serenity and peace of mind in 2017. Om.

Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Chicago, USA

    Om Namah Sivaya!
    For early December construction was moving along with the framing completed and plumbing work next. We prepared for the 2017 schedule, updating the website and developing a marketing plan, to be implemented before the end of the year.  A highlight was the annual Holiday Potluck Satsang. Despite the snow storm that started the night before, we had an excellent turnout, with several attendees coming to Satsang for the first time. We even had a baby Santa show up to warm all of our hearts. It was a joyful evening, with song, laughter, good cheer, and oh so good food! The teachers and karma yogis were all presented with new Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Chicago Illinois t-shirts, the first Chicago Centre t-shirt printed. They were very pleased to say the least, and no one went home empty handed, as everyone in attendance was given a copy of Masters' booklet, "Elixir Divine".  We had the party a little early this year to allow Minakshi to be present, since she plans on returning to Canada next week, for the holidays. By the grace of Master and Swamiji, staff were inspired and supporting each other with the daily maintenance of the Centre. Sending Prem, Pranams and Peace to all for the new year. Om Shanti, Shanti, Shantihi.

Sivananda Yoga Vedanta DÀ LAT Centre, Dà Lat, Vietnam
    Om Namah Sivaya
    For early December all Yoga Beginners' courses and open classes were full. Students came to class very regularly. The Kriyas workshop was wonderful with many students attending. They learned different ways to clean nose, mouth, lungs, and stomach. Every student's face looked so bright after the workshop. After the workshop we offered lunch, serving Kitchari.

    During mid-December most staff travelled to the new DaLat Ashram to prepare for the opening on 15th of December. Although there were a lot of difficulties at the beginning, all staff were trying very hard. We were very happy that Ashram can be operated on time and on schedule. Also, after 3 weeks staying at DaLat Centre, two residents came to join the first course at Ashram. We hoped that they will have progress in their spiritual path. All classes at Centre were running well, too. May Guru's Grace always be with us for the development of the Centre and Ashram.

    A Special Report from the new DaLat Ashram, Vietnam: There was a lot of activity at the new DaLat Ashram location as staff and karma yogis prepared for our first course - a 10 day meditation course beginning on December 17th; for upcoming Christmas and New Year retreats and for our official opening ceremony on January 1st & 2nd 2017. Construction of a new kitchen and laundry/housekeeping facilities is almost finished. Remodeling of the Yoga Hall has provided us with a 2nd large new enclosed teaching space, a separate library and a medical room. The property is vibrant with life and color from the many plantings that have been done. Staff have been busy round the clock with different preparations to get everything ready for the first guests to arrive on December 15th. An international group will join us, with translation provided for Vietnamese, Chinese and Russian. Swami Sitaramananda and Swami Narayanananda spent two days at the location before leaving to meet a group of students at Cam Ranh, on the coast, for a five day retreat. Many of the retreat group will accompany us back to Dalat to join the meditation course.

    We felt the blessings of the Gurus as the Vietnam Ashram entered its first full week of operation. Work on the buildings and facilities continues in many areas, both by karma yogis and by local workmen who we see complete tasks at lighting speed. Day by day the beauty of the location and facilities increases. An area has been located for a vegetable garden. The meditation and self-inquiry course continued, participants finding the sattvic atmosphere of the pine forests and the fresh mountain air conducive to their practice. The first guests started to arrive from all over Vietnam, and from further afield, for our Christmas retreat. The sun started to shine right on time after many days of rain. Guests enjoyed Satsangs and workshops introducing Classical Yoga practice. For our Christmas Eve special program all joined in singing Christmas songs, including versions in Vietnamese, Chinese and Russian. Swami Sitaramananda read from Swami Sivananda's writings on Lord Jesus, reminding us of the true meaning of the festival. All, especially the children, were delighted to have a surprise visit from Santa Claus, accompanied by two small elves, who first of all showered the gathering with chocolates, and then distributed many gifts. Later that evening we went out onto the meadow adjacent to the Yoga Hall to enjoy the warmth and light of a large bonfire, hot chocolate and a special cake. Christmas Day was also exam and graduation day for our Meditation course students. In the evening they received certificates and gave moving testimony of their experiences during the 10 day course. The next morning all took part in a silent meditation walk up to a high point in the Ashram which has wonderful views of the sunrise and the lake. After most guests departed the ashram was left in relative quiet, with staff already starting to prepare for the large number of guests planning to join us for the New Year's celebrations. Staff were inspired and grateful to have the opportunity to participate in the opening of this new Ashram. We are thankful for Master's and Swamiji's grace. Om Namo Narayanaya and seasonal blessings to all the Sivananda family. We are thankful for Master's and Swamiji's grace. Om Namo Narayanaya and seasonal blessings to all the Sivananda family.

Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Dwarka Centre, Delhi, India
    Om Namah Sivaya.
    By Guru's Grace and God's will everything went very well at the Centre in December. For early December we started the Beginners' batch at 6:30am and 4 pm evenings. We conducted a Positive Thinking workshop on Wednesdays. Natarajji also visited the Centre, staying over night and giving an nice open class to the students. All felt happy for his presence at the Centre. We conducted Satsangs which were attended by many devoted students. Apart from that, all the open classes and special classes are going very well. We pray to the Almighty for peace and joy to everyone. 

    During mid-December the weather got colder day by day, which affected our morning classes students. We started a Monday Beginners' batch at 10:00am and 6:30pm with good numbers of students. We conducted Yoga for Back workshop. Students appreciated the workshop. We started a meditation course attended by many uplifting souls, keen to know more about meditation. We conducted an Advanced class, followed by Satsang and dinner, attended by many devoted students. One Sunday we had very special yoga class with Slum area kids, organized by Sai Baba foundation, all the kids enjoyed yoga class and mantra chanting. The Centre promised to teach them often. Apart from that all the classes and special classes continued very well. We pray to the almighty for peace and joy to everyone for 2017. Om Namo Narayanaya. Pranams.

Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Nataraja Centre, Delhi, India
    Om Namo Narayanaya
    For early December we started the week with a Beginners' course at 6:30am. We also started a "Foundation to Meditation" course on Wednesdays. Kapoorji came to the Centre after the meeting with Ministry of Ayush. We conducted a few private classes. Mr Mamlan of Trivandrum visited us and spend few hours at the Centre as he travelled through Delhi. The daily schedule at the Centre (Satsang, Open class, beginners' course, gentle yoga, prenatal and Kids yoga) continued well, with the grace of the Masters. 

    During mid-December we started another Beginners' course at 6:30pm. We also started a Yoga 2 course. The weekend Beginners' course started on Saturdays at 8:00am. The kids continued the preparation for Christmas Eve celebration. We decorated the Christmas tree. Arathy shifted from Nataraja Centre and rejoined Noida Centre. We conducted few private classes. Although the cold increased, with the grace of the Master, everything went well at the Centre. May the Gurus' blessings of be with us all for 2017. Om.

Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Noida, Delhi, India
    Om Namah Sivaya, from Noida.
    During mid-December the activities went well, with the Grace of Gurus. With the Blessings and Grace of our Beloved Masters, we send Pranams and our best wishes to all the Sivananda family for 2017. Om.

Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Geneva, Switzerland
    Om Namah Sivaya from the Geneva Centre
    Highlight of the month was a beautiful Christmas celebration with more than 60 souls attending. The Satsang-part included a Christmas-message about 60 years of Swamijis peace mission in the west and Love overcoming boundaries. The programme continued with Christmas carols and the story of Markandeya beautifully and lively conveyed in a scenic reading with teachers and students. Traditional alpine folk songs were performed by one of our senior students with a friend. A highlight of the evening was the Kathak-performance with Krishna Dances with Poonam Mohan who invited everybody to participate in the last dance which was a big success. Most of our guests stayed for the dinner and everybody enjoyed the joyful and warm atmosphere. On the weekends a TTC-information and a Y1 and Y2-intensive brought new students to the Centre. Text and dates for the programme 2017 were sent to the graphic designer. Staff left for the Retreat house in Reith to support the Christmas programme and to recharge. With Gurus blessings and Gods grace we pray for all for the New Year. OM.

Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
    Om Namah Sivaya
    For early December we started a Yoga One course in the afternoons with a good number of students, plus, a Yoga Two private course. The popular Restorative Yoga course also started. The Prenatal Yoga started a new course in the afternoon. The highlight was the information day for the upcoming TTC in Feb 2017 in Dalat, Vietnam, held with almost 20 people attending. The event was very inspiring with a lot of sharing and information, plus the teachers who graduated from this year's TTC came to share their stories and experiences. We also did a lot of moving and shopping to prepare for the Dalat Ashram's opening on January 1st & 2nd 2017.

    During mid-December we did much shopping to prepare for the new Dalat Ashram's grand opening. Ganga went to the Ashram to help with the Meditation course. Here at the Centre we finished a Yoga One course and started a new Yoga Two course. An outside teacher, Harapriya, taught a Yoga Two private course. Restorative Yoga (now taught by Ganga) and Prenatal Yoga continued. One weekend we held a Headstand workshop with 13 students, taught by Kishnadas and a Yoga for Back Pain workshop, with six students, taught by Swami Pranavananda. With the Grace of our Gurus, many students were showing their appreciation of the teachings and becoming more involved with the Satsangs and Karma Yoga. Pranams and prayers for Peace to all! Om Shanti, Shanti, Shantihi.

Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, London, England
    Om Namah Sivaya
    The London Centre feels very blessed to have been able to host the EBM meeting at the beginning of the month. It was an honor and privilege to welcome all the Acharyas and their assistants to the London Centre. All were accommodated in the Centre and it has been a source of inspiration for the staff to live together with Swamiji's most senior disciples for the duration of the meeting. Like all the other Centres, we also had the Christmas Party. The celebration was attended by many close students, teachers and also newer students – all sharing the joy of being part of the Sivananda family. The evening was very beautiful with inspiring words from Swami Sivananda's book on World Peace, children performing their asanas with much ease and flexibility, the reception lit up by sparklers accompanied by Om Namo Narayanaya chanting, lovely food, the theatre play on "Markandeya – the conquest of death" which came out so nicely and a pictorial overview of 2016 bringing back memories of a remarkable and transformative year.  All the guest left with a joyful heart and the gift of Swamiji's radiant presence through the book Yoga Life and on the calendar for the New Year. The energy of the Christmas Party has beautifully uplifted the Centre and  many of our students are expressing their gratitude for the work of the Centre with Christmas approaching and are bringing Christmas cards, flowers and small gifts. We already started with the preparations for the upcoming 60th anniversary of Swamiji's teachings which will be celebrated half January. The inflatable solar system was put up, reminding us all to think beyond our personal universe, giant world maps have been ordered as well as large images with Swamiji holding the globe. Salutations to all during this new year of 2017. OM.

Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Los Angeles, California, USA
    Om Namo Narayanaya!
    For early December the staff and karma yogis busied with preparing the Centre for annual holiday party. We sent invitations and phone calls to members, visited all our neighbours, and handing out flyers at many farmers markets. Students decorated the Christmas tree with hand-made ornaments of varies virtues, quotes and positive thoughts. We hung lights and gave the Boutique a fresh look with gifts baskets. All over the Centre was warm and inviting. Swami Dharmananda visited from the Yoga Farm, with staff Radhakrishnadasa. Sankari Chaitanya also joined from San Francisco. We had a Puja Workshop. Swami Dharmananda spoke about the theory of Bhakti Yoga then all students learnt to do Puja with own individual altars. There were many questions as the students participated very attentively. Sankari Chaitanya taught a special yoga class focused on Heart Opening. The Holiday party brought about 45 people together in celebration. We started with meditation, then karma yogis Jesse and Priya led wonderfully in Carols and Bhajans. After the joyful gift giving by Santa, Swami Dharmananda gave an inspiring report on the continuous happenings Swamiji's Mission: The new Dhanvantari Temple at Yoga Farm; the starting of Sivananda Institute of Health and Yoga program at San Francisco Centre; in Asia the upcoming Vietnam Ashram; the new building for the Cheng-du Centre and the new Taiwan affiliated Centre. The party concluded with a dinner of many pot luck dishes contributed by all. Everyone had a great time and brought lots of joyful energy to the Centre. 

    During mid-December, as the holidays approached, we had many karma yoga activities. We worked on organizing and de-cluttering the storage space and improving the staff apartment so it can become a work space. Karma yogis continued on improving our website, making new look for the online store. We began to send out weekly email news letters to our students. Staff and karma yogis went on a photo shoot in nearly beaches/parks to create new photos for promotions. It was a very nice outing for all. The Holiday Sale ended well with students stocking up on class passes for the new year or gifting Yoga gifts to their loved ones. There was a flurry of registration for upcoming courses and workshops as people were inspired to continue into the new year healthily and with teachings of yoga. May Grace of the Guru continue to shelter and guide us. Pranams to all the Sivananda Family as the New Year begins.  

Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Madrid, Spain
    Om Namah Sivaya, Blessed Selves!
    Despite several bank holidays we had good attendance in all classes and courses. The highlight was the weekend Sankrit intensive course, with Lakshmi. Fourteen students joined for this full two-day program eager to learn the Sanskrit alphabet and slokas. We had six residents staying for this course. We also had the last teachers 'meeting of the year on the topic "Corrections in forward bends". Preparations for the Christmas party were in full swing: decorating, shopping, packing the Christmas presents and cooking. It was a party full of love and joy, and especially many children. After a short meditation and the Christmas message everybody joined the singing of the Christmas carols full heartedly. Also Santa Claus came to the delight of the children. This year's gift was a small "Inspiration" booklet, one phrase of Master for each day of the week.  The highlight of the evening was the theater play: the story of Prahlad was very well performed. We concluded with the classical Christmas feast. Everyone was happy to share this moment of Peace and joy at the Centre. OM.

Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Madurai, South India

    Om Namah Sivaya
    For early December we started with two new Yoga Beginner Courses - a 6am open class batch and a 10am Yoga for Ladies, with good number of students in both batches. Private classes continued as usual. One Sunday we attended the Bhajan program at the Meenakshi Ashram, which was good change for staff.

    Around mid-December we were blessed with first seasonal rain, which people were waiting a long to happen. The weather was then pleasant in Madurai, as it is known for extreme heat through out the rest of the year. Nataraj-ji visited our Centre for some time while he was on way back to the Neyyar Dam Ashram. Sunil visited home as he planned to visit Sabri Mala Temple. We welcomed Ujjwal from the Madurai Ashram to help us in our Centre until Sunil is back. All was well at the Centre, with blessings of our Gurus. Pranams to one and all for 2017 from Madurai Centre. Om Shanti, Shanti, Shantihi!!

Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Montevideo, Uruguay

    Om Namah Sivaya
    In early December the summer arrived to Uruguay. We continued preparing the Centre with Christmas decorations, with students practicing advanced asanas, kids preparing their demonstrations and others singing in the choir for participating at the Year End Christmas Satsang on 10th of December. Kanti Devi travelled to EBM Meeting in London. We began open free classes in an open air green place in front of the Sea, behind Mahatma Gandhi Statue (good support). 10 Students. Good spirit. All were happy. Thanks to God and Gurus, everything resulted perfectly. May the Gurus' blessings of be with us all at this time of year. Om Shanti!!

Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Montreal, Quebec, Canada

    Om Namah Sivaya
    For December students, teachers and karma yogis all continued to support the Centre, giving us inspiration to keep marching forward. We are ever thankful for the grace of Master and Swamiji. May the Blessings of Masters continue illuminating our path. Om Namo Narayanaya and seasonal blessings to all the Sivananda family.

Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Munich, Germany

    Om Namah Sivaya from the Munich Centre!
    We had a wonderful Christmas Party with Christmas carols, a visit of Santa Claus, a theater-play about the sage Markandeya and a delicious Christmas meal. Our last one-day retreat of the year with the title "Yogic Relaxation – The Key to Unite Body and Mind" attracted a good group of motivated participants. Furthermore we had a number of special asana workshops, among them one with the topic "Prana- and Nerve-Impulses in the Asanas" and one "How to Expand Mentally in the Asanas". Swami Sivadasananda gave a number of inspiring Satsangs. We are looking forward to the New Year with lots of new courses and events at the Centre! OM.

Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, New York, USA

    Om Namah Sivaya!
    For early December the temperatures were quite cold. It snowed one evening although it didn't stick long! Our beloved Neeti departed to visit her family, enjoy her life and feel her heart strings for the Centre tug her gently back within a week. In her absence, the Centre has been running like a wagon with four well-greased wheels. Swami Satyapremananda, came down from the Ranch to gave a talk during Satsang about Mantras and Japa. It was so inspiring having her here. We had our regular deaf Yoga class with Greta one Saturday, plus a well-attended headstand workshop with Shanti and Shakti. After being away in India to teach a TTC course, Swami Paramananda came to the Centre and taught the advanced Asana class. Afterwards he led the Satsang where he talked about the importance of yogic resolutions. He gave a reading from Master's book "Sadhana" to inspire a new year resolve in all of us.

    During mid-December the weather was very cold but the students, teachers and Karma Yogis kept arriving to the Centre. Srinivasan and Swami Paramananda came to the Centre from the Ranch for a few days where Srinivasan led an evening Satsang. Neeti returned from Houston after having had a well deserved break. A beautiful blanket of snow appeared one Saturday morning, followed by rain, so New York by sun down was like a snow cone. Despite the weather, eleven people showed up for the chanting workshop, led by Shakti. We had the second highlight of the month: The long-awaited Christmas celebration! The Centre staff, karma yogis, teachers and Ashram staff pulled together and decorated the Centre, prepared food for the potluck, wrapped the remaining presents and helped with cleaning up after all of the guests and students left. Students and guests also brought food for the potluck. There was homemade granola for everyone to take home. Srinivasan led the Satsang, then the students and members shared their talents. "Ave Maria" was sung by an opera singer/student; carols were lead by a Yoga teacher and the keyboard was played by a long time student and concert pianist. Santa Claus and two elves arrived on cue by the song, Jingle Bells. Presents, laughter and Ho Ho Ho's were infinite. About 85 people were present for Satsang and the potluck Holiday Feast. Everyone at the NY Centre wishes a wonderful New Year to all the Centres and Ashrams! Om.

Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Paris, France
    Om Namah Sivaya
    The Centre was happy to welcome the staff coming back from Rudraprayag's TTC. Swami Kailasananda and Kailas went to the Ashram on the same day to be there for the start of a new TTC starting the next day in Orleans. Good days for the Centre with some technical problems to be overcome and a successful yoga festival and Christmas Celebration. Some technical challenges were there with the central heating not working properly and no  internet connection for some time. A long wire was pulled from the first floor in order to have internet in the reception and in the office. Happily we found this temporary solution, enabling us to at least function at the reception. The Masters sent a storm of people. For the fall festival, over six hundred people participated to the different activities of the day. Swami Kailasananda gave a workshop on how to calm the mind trough the breath. The 74 participants of the workshop appreciated the teachings. Swamiji gave also an inspiring Satsang from a letter of Swami Sivananda afterwards. There was a cheerful mood all day along. Many hands were there to support the Centre. We found an easy way to update the pictures of the webpage. Now we have a fresh looking page. Philippe Bobola, a quantum physicist and biologist gave an interesting lecture of four hour on stress management. Christmas was in the air bringing a calm and harmonious atmosphere. The Masters sent many hands to support the Centre with the celebration of the Christmas party. There was a cheerful atmosphere in the Centre with the rehearsals of the play and the various preparations. Swami Kailasananda, Swami Gopalananda, and the staff of the Ashram came to support the Centre with the organization. The evening started with a beautiful and inspiring Christmas Satsang given by Swami Kailasananda. Then there was a sweet kid's asana demonstration guided by Shankari. There was also an amazing asana demonstration led by Kailas. Then we had a joyful Christmas play on the topic of "Markendeya, the conquest of death", followed by a delicious meal, Christmas carols in many languages accompanied by Alina at the piano, the visit of Santa Claus and his elves, the distribution of gifts, and 200 colorful balloons flying with the chanting of Om Namo Narayanaya for world peace. It was a magical evening and the students were very touched and grateful for it. On the last week we had a reduced schedule and a reduced staff, with time to do a little extra sadhana, work in the inventory and prepare the second Christmas party on the 24th with over than seventy people expected. May the blessings of Master and Swamiji be with all for thé upcoming year. OM.

Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Porto Alegre, Brasil, South America
    Om Namah Sivaya from Brasil
    We are forever grateful for the guidance and protection of the Gurus. Good wishes and Pranams to all the Sivananda family. Om.

Centro Yoga Vedanta Sivananda, Rome, Italy
    Om Namah Sivaya, Blessed Selves
    Pranams and prayers for Peace to all from Roma. Om Shanti.

Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, San Francisco, California, USA
    Om Namo Narayanaya, Blessed Selves
    For early December Sankari Chaitanya gave a talk at the local library on relieving stress, including simple chair yoga and standing poses. It was well-received and they have asked that it be a quarterly offering. We began to promote the SIHY Health Educator program. We had a student taking private classes with us, hoping to relieve back pain. We started a Meditation 1 course and a Yoga 2 course. Swami Jnaneswariananda spent the weekend at the Centre while Sankari Chaitanya went to the LA Centre to join their holiday celebration. It was a blessing to be in the embrace of the larger Sivananda community. Peace and Pranams to the Sivananda family from the new San Francisco Centre. May the blessings of Master and Swamiji be with us all always. Om.

Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Tel Aviv, Israel
    Om Namah Sivaya
    For early December we welcomed back Swami Swaroopananda and Rukmini Chaitanya, who flew back from a week in London, where they attended the EBM meeting. A new Meditation Course opened with 12 students as well as an exciting new course "Introduction to Vegetarianism", with 10 eager students. The course was taught by Bharagavi Chaitanya and Masha - a vegetarian chef. The students were introduced to the yogic diet and also practical experience. We celebrated the Gita Jayanti, chanting the entire 18 chapters in Sanskrit.

    During mid-December the temperature dropped once again in Israel and Tel-Aviv was freezing and flooded with heavy rains. Despite the cold weather, a new Yoga 1 course opened with 12 students. A successful introduction to meditation course was held and all the 5 attendees enrolled for the upcoming course. Moreover, we renewed our Teenage Yoga weekly class, with 8 students attending the first class. The Centre hosted an Open House one weekend which drew many for the various day's activities, as well as for the evening concert, featuring beautiful ragas and Kirtan; chanting by Lakshmi joined by Ron Cohen on the bansuri; Daniel White on the tablas and Vered on the tanpura. Peace and Pranams to the Sivananda family.

Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Tokyo, Japan

    Om Namah Sivaya, Blessed Selves
    For early December a trial class was guided by Kumari Noriko, with 11 students. Five of them signed up for memberships. Two students booked for Yoga 1 course starting a week later. For two Sunday afternoons, Machiko offered a 2-day meditation workshop, attended by 18 students. The English Open Class was well-attended by 13 students, including 3 foreigners living in Japan. There was a consistent good number of students attending this class lately. Sanskrit and Vedanta classes, taught by Kiran, resumed when he returned from India.

    Mid-December's weather was fair, however, we felt the arrival of winter as the temperature dropped only slightly. Komilla gave a Vedic astrology workshop titled "Moon and the Mind", with interpretation support by Keiko, a professional interpreter with expertise in astrology. 32 people, including several new comers to the Centre, participated in the workshop despite the course being held on a week night. We felt the interest in Vedic astrology among Japanese people is on the increase. One weekend Annapurna Tamiko offered an "Ayurvedic Rokumi (6 tastes)" workshop, attended by 14 students in total for the two days. The participants learned the concept and theory of Rokumi, actually tasting various kinds of Indian spices and Japanese fresh vegetables. A new Yoga 1 course, taught by Sivakami Masako, started with a group of 8 students. Om and Prem to all the Sivananda family for the New Year. Om Shanti, Shanti, Shantihi.

Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    Om Namah Sivaya
    For early December Toronto welcomed the winter's first big snow fall. Mild temperatures remained but with the city covered in white it was just in time for the Christmas party. We prepared and packed all the gifts for our teachers, close students and children connected to the Centre. We also had several karma yogis helping decorate the Centre putting up a beautiful Christmas tree in the Satsang hall that our karma yogi, Rick, generously donates each year. After a short Satsang and chanting, we enjoyed Christmas Carols, led by energetic Ken Whiteley, the long time devotee and teacher, and well renowned musician of Gospel tradition. The Christmas talent show was shared by musicians, poets, dancers and a kids karate team. Several families came with children and some Yoga Camp Ashram Kids Camp and Teen Camp students brought their parents. A real Santa Claus luckily appeared at the last second, just after Arati, as our original Santa got too shy to arrive and deliver the gifts. We shared a lovely potluck that consisted of dishes from every imaginable part of the world, reflecting the diverse Toronto student community. Prahlad contributed an Indian portion of the feast. We had to set up several tables for all the desserts. Everyone was happy to share this celebration with us as it reminded them they are not just students and teachers of the Centre but truly part of the Sivananda family.

    During mid-December, as the holiday season approached, very cold weather came to Toronto. All courses came to an end and students used the opportunity of holiday discounts to buy passes for the next year's open classes and courses. We spent some time organizing course sheets for next year, plus, other reception and administrative duties. We also started pre-holiday cleaning as we prepared the Centre for the new year. The Centre's brochure arrived with the new schedule, vibrant new photos and colours. Our last Satsang of the year had lots of students and teachers bringing mountains of desserts and chocolates for prasad. Lots of them joined the staff at the Ashram for the holidays. Durairaj went to India for few months to visit his family and will be back by the end of March. Peace and Pranams to the Sivananda family.

Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Trivandrum, Kerala, South India
    Om Namah Sivaya!
    For early December a new batch for ladies started on Mondays. Students were introduced to the practices of Jala Neti and Sutra Neti in a Kriya Workshop. All other classes went well. Satsang was led by Sri. Nataraj ji.

    During mid-December a new batch was started on Monday mornings. All other classes went well. Ganapathy Homa was conducted for the first day of the new Malayalam month. Satsang was led by Sri. Nataraj ji. Lalitha Sahasra Nama Pooja was regularly conducted on Fridays. All other classes went well. May the Gurus' blessings of be with us all at this time of year. Om Shanti, Shanti, Shantihi.

Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Vienna, Austria
    Om Namah Sivaya
    The month was inspiring and went very fast. A few introductory courses and also higher courses were beginning. Christmas celebration was the highlight, of course. It started with a short silent meditation, after which Swami Ramapriyananda, who came from Reith for the occasion, elaborated on the triple motto, "unity, tolerance, perseverance", which was followed by the Christmas carols. Vyasa alias Santa Claus distributed the presents and we were happy to receive Swamiji's calendar in time to give it to our teachers. We had a nice performance on violin and clarinet of two members of the "Vienna Philharmonic orchestra". Our theatre play "Markandeya" was a big success and inspiration to the audience. We were fortunate to have Gabriela, working in the theatre business as director of the play! We thank the Masters for their guidance this whole evening and for giving us the opportunity to continue with the tradition in the spirit of Swamiji. Pranams to the Sivananda family worldwide at this time of year. OM.

Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Vilnius, Lithuania
    Om Namah Sivaya, from Vilnius.
    The month started with Y1, 2, 6, 30. On Saturday over one hundred students and children joined us for the Christmas evening. We were happy to see many students coming with their families. Some students even arrived from far away. We had a lovely evening with Christmas carols, message, meditation and of course Santa Claus. For the Christmas theatre this time we presented Sudama and Krishna story. All enjoyed the play a lot, it was done very professionally and with lots of love. We had also classical music concert where close karma yogis and teachers could share their joy playing different pieces and compositions. At the end we had some time together during the bandhara and sweets prepared by the students and karma yogis. Everyone received a very nice small booklet with the inspiring words from the Masters for seven days of the week. Students left inspired and thankful for this warm and successful evening. We are also grateful for the support of karma yogis in the various departements of the Centre. May the blessings of Master and Swamiji be with all for the upcoming year. OM.

    Be calm. Be cheerful. Be courageous. Be self-controlled. - Sri Swami Sivananda

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"Health is Wealth. Peace of Mind is Happiness. Yoga Shows the Way." - Swami Vishnudevananda