Sivananda News Sivananda E-Gurugram
The Electronic Newsletter of the International Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centres
Issue #1/2018 Serve Love Give Purify Meditate Realize January 1, 2018
"Reduce wants and desires. In proportion to the reduction of the egoistic self, all negative tendencies will disappear." - Sri Swami Sivananda

More quotes

TABLE OF CONTENTS
News
Sivananda Yoga FAQ
Hatha Yoga Tips
Yoga Sanskrit Glossary

Raja Yoga
Bhagavad Gita
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
Da Lat Ashram, Vietnam

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
Milano, Italy
Montevideo, Uruguay
Montreal, Canada
Neuquen, Argentina
Munich, Germany
New York, USA
Paris, France
Porto Alegre, Brasil
Rome, Italy
San Francisco, USA
Sao Paolo, Brasil
Tel Aviv, Israel
Toronto, Canada
Trivandrum, India
Vienna, Austria
Vilnius, Lithuania

SPIRITUAL CALENDAR
JANUARY 2018
02 Full Moon
12 Ekadasi
14 Makara Sankranti
16 New Moon
28 Ekadasi
31 Full Moon

FEBRUARY 2018
11 Ekadasi
13 Maha Sivarathri
15 New Moon
26 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.
SUBSCRIPTIONS
Subscribe to this newsletter
Unsubscribe from this newsletter
GuruGram Archives
View issues of the GuruGram from the past:
OM NAMAH SIVAYA!

NEWS

Blessed Selves,
Om Namah Sivaya

In 2017 the Sivananda staff worked hard all year, diligently propagating Swamiji's teachings. For example, the newest of the Sivananda Ashrams in Gudur, Andhra Pradesh, India is presently offering rejuvenating Yoga Vacation programs to a plethora of guests since its opening in September 2017. In 2018 the Sivananda Organization will continue to provide even more opportunities for the enthusiastic and eager student of yoga. This can only be accomplished through the guidance and grace of Master and Swamiji, plus your continued support. We wish you all a successful Sadhana for the coming year. May Master and Swamiji's blessings be with us always in 2018.

May we all honour Swami Vishnudevananda on his birthday celebration day - 31st December.

Pranams to all.

This is the HTML formatted version of the Gurugram email newsletter.
Subscribe to receive this newsletter via email once per month.

A saint's life is one long prayer. - Sri Swami Sivananda

SIVANANDA YOGA FAQ
Q. Are the senses meant to be starved or destroyed?
A.

The Greek ideal, however, is moderate enjoyment of life. Most of the Western Modern psychologists assert that by denying or refusing the needs of the body such as food and sex and suppressing emotions like attachment and love, people generally create mental problems for themselves. Is there any substance in this?

No. The senses have not been given only to be starved or killed. Neither are they given for being indulged in and fattened. In truth, the senses are not given for any earthly purpose whatsoever. That is the highest view that the sages uphold for spiritual aspirants. The senses are given for being utilized consciously and deliberately for the attainment of something altogether above and beyond the farthest reach of the senses. To understand the right import and significance of self-restraint, one must take a more comprehensive view of the question.

In the human being, these senses are given together with the superior, directive faculty of intelligence with its aspects such as discrimination, selection, etc. The senses are to operate under its wise supervision. The aim is not the ultimate denial of the senses, but the achievement through restraint, of a pleasure a million fold greater than that achieved through gratification. When one realizes this fact, he will understand, how, with the Yogic aspirant, this self-restraint is not a matter of bitterness or reluctant, unwilling repression at all. Understood in its correct light, it is a joyous, voluntary discipline undertaken for the acquisition of an infinitely greater and more blissful experience. Does the angler ever grudge the loss of the worm cast for catching a big fish?

Moreover, the rationale of asceticism is not rightly understood by most people. The ideal of asceticism and penance is not based upon repression. Conservation and sublimation are the principles underlying asceticism rightly practiced. The true ascetic withholds, diverts, canalizes and finally transmutes his natural propensities. The untoward repercussions of forced repression such as complex, neurosis, etc., have no place here. No doubt, modern psychologists are correct in their view about repression, but one must know that it does not apply to religious asceticism, wherein the process is sublimation and not just repression; and it must always be remembered that asceticism is a part of Yoga which provides such a marvelous system of mental training and culture that most effectively counteracts and wards off any possibility of neurotic complexes or obsessions.
It is, however, true that asceticism is very much misunderstood by the majority of persons, and unfortunately by the ascetics themselves, as a result of which we hardly come across a real ascetic in the aspirant world.

Yoga recommends a proper utilization of the tremendous faculties of undissipated senses for higher purposes of inner culture, social welfare, inventions, scientific progress, and finally, intuition. The senses are to be sublimated through restraint applied through reason and intelligent judgement. Their unlimited potentialities are to be harnessed for the greater good and not allowed to be most shamelessly dissipated for a momentary pleasure, unintelligent and animalistic. Viewed from this angle, the aspirant is asked not to starve and destroy the senses, but really to strengthen them and utilize them for his good. Dissipation, on the contrary, actually causes destruction of the senses.
The Greek ideal was enunciated as a general philosophy of life for the average humanity. Asceticism, as understood by the sages, is a distinctive discipline specially incumbent upon that class which would walk the spiritual way, the aspirant class dedicated to the goal of Self-realization. This class is vividly aware that the conception of "moderate enjoyment of life" is a conception alone and is well-nigh impossible to put into actual practice. For, the very nature of enjoyment is such that it tends to progressively increase in force each time the senses are indulged in. The habit gets man in its grip and draws him down. This has been the uniform experience of the sages. Therefore, at one stage or the other, a rigid religious self-control and denial becomes imperative in the march to spiritual progress.

The rank materialist may not care for it, but the seeker does. The seeker is marked out for a special achievement. You know how an ultra-modern acrobat, a ballet dancer or an expert boxer willingly imposes a rigid regimen upon himself to keep perfectly trim and healthy for his professional success. Mark the denials and restrictions during the training period of any serious candidate trying for a championship in athletics! His keen zest and enthusiasm serve to keep his mind in a high mood of inspiration and anticipation. What, then, should be the interest and aspiration in true asceticism undertaken as a part of the training for an infinitely greater achievement in the spiritual path?

Q. Swamiji, I have often come across this word 'Kala' in the Indian scriptures. What exactly is meant by it?
A.

It is the Great Time personified. It is the destroyer of name and form. In the Hindu pantheon, there are various gods and goddesses who are members of the divine hierarchy. Just as we have our government here composed of various ministers and officers, the celestials who rule the world, too, have their own deities who control the various aspects of creation, preservation and destruction of this world. Some are in charge of the various elements like air, fire and water; some are in charge of birth, death, preservation of life and disease. Kala or Yama or Dharmaraja is the Lord of Death. The entire universe is under his control in a way; for, when the time comes, he brings about the end of the earthly sojourn of all beings. It is only the man of Self-realization who transcends this Kala and realizes his own Self. All Sadhana is meant to help us transcend this Kala, to conquer death, to go beyond time.

Q. What is the easiest method of developing devotion?
A.

The easiest method of developing devotion is to hear again and again the Lord's Lilas. Each time you hear the Lord's Lilas and glories, an image of the Lord is formed in your mind. And when you go on hearing the glories of the Lord, in due course, the Lord's image in your mind gets strong and bright, even as the piece of wax which a goldsmith uses for collecting the gold particles which fall on the ground while cutting gold pieces, accumulates gold in it every day, and after some days, itself begins to shine like a piece of gold, when the maximum number of gold particles have stuck to it. And when the form of the Lord is bright and firm in the mind, the devotee has ceaseless remembrance of Him and surging devotion for Him.

 

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


Thinking of disease constantly will intensify it. Instead, always feel "I am healthy in body and mind". - Sri Swami Sivananda

HATHA YOGA TIP

AKARNA DHANURASANA - SHOOTING BOW -
All levels, with variations

One leg is drawn back like an archer drawing a bow. One side of the body maintains a forward bend, and the hips and shoulder joints on the other side are opened up.
Start from forward bend Paschimotanasana, holding the big toes in the classical foothold wrap, which is wrapping the index finger around the big toes and the thumb on top of the toe. The other three fingers are curled into the palm). Inhale and bend the right knee, pulling the right foot back and up as close to your right ear as possible. Keep your raised elbow as high as possible. The left leg remains stretched out straight on the mat while you continue to hold the left big toe and keep the left foot in a flexed position. After a few breaths, release your right foot and repeat on the opposite side. Return to forward bend, then inclined plane.
Keep the head up in this pose and look straight ahead. Breathe slowly and deeply to help pull the leg further back and help you to balance more easily.
From this classic position, on an exhalation, you can release the leg like an arrow, shooting it forward heel first.

Variation 1 - Straight leg shooting bow
Starting from the forward bend, inhale and take the right leg straight up above your head, holding the right big toe, while keeping hold on the left foot or toe with the left hand and the left leg outstretched on the mat. After a few breaths, release and repeat on the other side.

Variation 2 - Diagonal shooting bow
Starting from the forward bend, cross the left arm over the right so each hand holds the opposite foot. Clasp the left big toe in your right hand, inhale, bend the left knee and pull the left foot to the chest or toward the right ear. Hold the right elbow up. After a few breaths, release and repeat on the opposite side. Cross the arms the other way and pull the right foot to the chest or toward the left ear.

BENEFITS:
Helps improve on your forward bend, whenever practicing the shooting bow, return to forward bend and then practice inclined plane for a counterpose.
Leg muscles are stretched and arms and legs strengthened.
Opens hips and shoulder joints.
A useful preliminary to the leg behind head pose.

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


Practice Sirshasana, Sarvangasana, Matsyasana and Paschimottanasana and a few rounds of Pranayama each day. You will possess wonderful health. - Sri Swami Sivananda

YOGA SANSKRIT GLOSSARY

SATSANG: Satsang is a combination of two words - sat and sanga.

Sat means absolute existence, it is the essential nature of Brahman, it is permanent among the ever changing and it upholds the world of appearance.

Sanga means company or union. To be established in Brahman is the literal meaning of the word Satsang. As long as ignorance remains, direct realization of Brahman is impossible. When ignorance is replaced by wisdom, the real nature reveals itself. This is the highest Satsang.

Satsang means 'association with the wise'.

The glow and power of Satsang is indescribable. The spiritual vibration and the powerful currents of a developed adept produce a tremendous influence on the mind. Satsang elevates the mind to noble heights. Knowledge originates in those whose faults have been washed away by the force of Satsang. Satsang is the easiest and quickest way to change the mind of a worldly person towards the spiritual path and to thoroughly overhaul negative samskaras.

The other possible interpretation is when we feel such devotion for God that He has to come to us in a form according to our desire. The means to this realization is also called Satsang. The company of the wise leads to the realization of Brahman and, therefore, is also termed Satsang. In this sense, Satsang means the company of those who have realized truth, as well as those who are aspirants after truth. The association with holy sages is quite enough to instill wisdom and love. Service to such a person purifies the mind rapidly.

Satsang is the heart of the yoga practice. Sitting together in a group setting creates a strong spiritual atmosphere which allows a deeper experience of meditation. In Satsang, people of different levels practice together – from newcomers to experienced yoga teachers.

Regularly scheduled Satsangs are offered at Sivananda Ashrams and Centres, consisting of:
30 minutes of silent group meditation
30 minutes of meditative chanting of mantras and kirtan
An easy-to-follow lecture on yoga philosophy or psychology

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

It is not the Atman or the body that has any type of relative experience, though the body is a gross means of experience; it is the mind that has all this. - Sri Swami Sivananda

BHAGAVAD GITA

Chapter X: The Yoga of Divine Manifestations

X.41. YADYAD VIBHOOTIMAT SATTWAM SHREEMADOORJITAMEVA VAA;
TATTADEVAAVAGACCHA TWAM MAMA TEJOM'SHASAMBHAVAM.

(Krishna speaking to Arjuna)
Whatever being there is that is glorious, prosperous or powerful, that know thou to be a manifestation of a part of My splendour.

X.42. ATHAVAA BAHUNAITENA KIM JNAATENA TAVAARJUNA;
VISHTABHYAAHAMIDAM KRITSNAMEKAAMSHENA STHITO JAGAT.

But of what avail to thee is the knowledge of all these details, O Arjuna? I exist, supporting this whole world by one part of Myself.

HARI OM TAT SAT
ITI SRIMAD BHAGAVADGEETAASOOPANISHATSU BRAHMAVIDYAAYAAM
YOGASHAASTRE SRI KRISHNAARJUNASAMVAADE
VIBHOOTIYOGO NAAMA DASHAMO'DHYAAYAH

Thus in the Upanishads of the glorious Bhagavad Gita, the science of the Eternal, the scripture of Yoga, the dialogue between Sri Krishna and Arjuna, ends the tenth discourse entitled: "The Yoga of the Divine Glories".

Always do good to others. Be selfless. - Sri Swami Sivananda

RAJA YOGA

From Discourse I: "Samadhi Pada - On Contemplations"

I.14. SA TU DIIRGHA-KAALA-NAIRANTARYA-SATKAARAASEVITO DRDHA-BHOOMIH

'Practice becomes firmly grounded on being continued over a long period of time without interruption and with sincere devotion.'

Commentary:
If there are interruptions in the practice of stilling the mind, or if the effort is not continued over many years, the results will only be temporary, and all progress will fade. Practice must be constant. It must also be done with an attitude of earnestness. Only when there is true desire to reach the Goal is success assured.

Satsanga gives the aspirant inner spiritual strength to face the struggle, overcome temptations, kill inner cravings and fill the mind with positive divine thoughts. - Sri Swami Sivananda

VEGETARIAN CUISINE

OLIVE SPREAD

A tasty picnic or lunch snack, or party nibble. This makes an attractive sandwich stuffing or use as topping for crackers or wholewheat bread and garnish with salad cress or parsley. Serves 4.

Ingredients:

20 green olives stuffed with pimento
½ red bell pepper, cored, seeded and chopped
3 tablespoons walnut pieces
2 tablespoons vegetable oil of choice, eg. Olive, canola, avocado oil.

Directions:

Blend the ingredients together, blending to a coarse puree or chop the ingredients very finely.
Leave to set for about 1 hour before serving.

COTTAGE CHEESE TOPPING
A flavourful topping for steamed vegetables and new or baked potatoes, or spread on toast for a light meal. Serves 4-6.

Ingredients:
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon raw wheat germ
3 tablespoons cottage cheese
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 cup plain yoghurt or sour cream

Directions:
Mix the ingredients together in a bowl.
Serve immediately.

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: http://www.sivananda.org/teachings/diet/recipes.html

The love that you bear to everything in life is a reflection of the love that you bear to the Atman. - Sri Swami Sivananda

UPCOMING EVENTS - TTC and ATTC Teacher Training Courses

2018

Jan 04 - Jan 31/18
TTC – English, עברית
Nassau, Bahamas
www.sivananda.org/nassau

Jan 04 - Jan 31/18
ATTC – English, עברית
Nassau, Bahamas
www.sivananda.org/nassau

Jan 06 - Feb 04/18
TTC – Français
Orleans, France
www.sivananda.org/orleans

Jan 06 - Feb 02/18
TTC – English, Español, Português
Garopaba, Brazil
www.sivananda.org/montevideo/mailing-ttc-2008/ttc_2008eng.htm

Jan 06 - Feb 02/18
ATTC – Español, Português
Garopaba, Brazil
www.sivananda.org/montevideo/mailing-ttc-2008/ttc_2008eng.htm

Jan 07 - Feb 03/18
TTC - English
Madurai, Tamil Nadu, South India
www.sivananda.org/madurai

Jan 07 - Feb 03/18
TTC – Deutsch English español français हिन्दी italiano 日本語 فارسی
Neyyar Dam, South India
www.sivananda.org/neyyardam

Jan 07 - Feb 03/18
ATTC – English, 日本語
Neyyar Dam, South India
www.sivananda.org/neyyardam

Jan 20 - Feb 18/18
TTC – Deutsch
Reith, Tyrol, Austria
www.sivananda.org/tyrol/en

Feb 03 - Mar 02/18
TTC – English, עברית
Nassau, Bahamas
www.sivananda.org/nassau

Feb 11 - Mar 10/18
TTC - English
Madurai, Tamil Nadu, South India
www.sivananda.org/madurai

Feb 17 - Mar 17/18
TTC – English
London, England
http://www.sivananda.org/london/teachers_training_UK.html

Feb 24 - Mar 25/18
TTC – Deutsch English Español Français Italiano
Rudraprayag, Himalayas, North India
http://www.sivananda.eu/en/advanced-teacher-training-in-india.html

Feb 24 - Mar 24/18
TTC – English 日本語 中文 台語 Tiếng Việt
Da Lat, Vietnam
www.sivanandayogavietnam.org

Mar 03 - Apr 01/18
ATTC – Deutsch English Español Français
Netala, Uttar Kashi, Himalayas, North India
http://www.sivananda.eu/en/advanced-teacher-training-in-india.html

Mar 04 - Apr 01/18
TTC – Espaňol
Bariloche, Patagonia, Argentina
http://www.sivananda.org.uy/index.php?option=com_acymailing&ctrl=archive&task=view&mailid=260&key=Gn7eNkPD

Mar 07 - Apr 03/18
TTC – English, עברית
Nassau, Bahamas
www.sivananda.org/nassau

Mar 11 - Apr 08/18
TTC – English
Woodbourne, NY, USA
www.sivananda.org/ranch

Mar 18 - Apr 14/18
TTC - English
Neyyar Dam, Kerala, South India
www.sivananda.org/neyyardam

More 2018 TTC and ATTC courses can be viewed here.

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

Where there are kindness, humility and purity, there spirituality springs up, saintliness shines, divinity descends and perfection manifests itself.
- Sri Swami Sivananda

SIVANANDA WORLD NEWS - DECEMBER 2017

SIVANANDA YOGA VEDANTA Ashrams -

Sivananda Ashram Yoga Camp, Val Morin, Quebec, Canada


    Om Namah Sivaya! Greetings from the Sivananda Headquarters

    At the beginning of December the Ashram was covered in snow with the scenery such a beautiful sight to see - a peaceful and serene time of year. As the holiday season approached we prepared the Camp. The staff put up decorations and lights bringing joy and excitement to all. The third week of TTC ran smoothly. The students taught the Beginner and open classes to each other, progressing nicely. The teaching groups were getting better and better. In addition, they have been having their anatomy lessons with Swami Shivabhaktananda. We brought the group down to Samadhi Estates for the evening Satsang. Swami Rajeshwarianandaji led an inspiring talk and retold some stories of Swamiji. We had many guests arrive for the Mala Making Workshop.  Friday night we had Pierre introduce the weekend during the Satsang. Saturday afternoon 48 people gathered at the Krishna Temple to choose their beads and learn how to string them all together. Everyone was very happy and left with their own handmade malas. The weekend also consisted of a concert with Uwe and Subir Dev.  They gave an amazing Sitar and Tabla concert which was very soothing and uplifting.  It is always a pleasure to welcome them back at the Camp. With regards to the staff, everyone kept up with their duties in December, doing their best.  There was much to be done during this time of year with the course and holiday preparations. Things ran smoothly.

    By mid-December concluded our last week for TTC. It was a full week with much going on and much excitement. We had mantra initiations. Swami Rajeshwarianandaji and Swami Shivabhaktananda initiated 31 students and also gave many of them their spiritual names during the evening Satsang. It was a beautiful day and they were all very happy.  By Thursday, they had their pranayama class and evening meditative asana class which concluded all the teachings for the course. Friday they were given the day to study and prepare for the exam Saturday morning. Everyone passed and we had the graduation that night along with a fun talent show that concluded with a very nice slideshow and video montage made by some of the staff. It included many great moments throughout the course. Having the TTC at the Ashram is always very inspiring and brings a lot of energy. We welcomed Swami Satyapremananda from the Ranch who stayed with us for the holidays. She led some chanting and helping in some tasks around the Camp. We were very happy to have her with us. We had many guests as well who came for a Yoga Vacation. It was a great opportunity to be outdoors in the snow.  The scenery was so beautiful and the sun was out. The Ashram Staff were able to go on a hike one Friday afternoon as well. We bid a lot of the students farewell and then headed to Montreal for the Centre's Christmas party. The Centre was full of people. Satyabhama made delicious food with the help of other karma yogis. We also said goodbye to Swami Rajeshwarianandaji and Padmavati as they left the Camp to return to Europe. As always, it was a pleasure to have them here during the TTC. We looked forward to their return. May the Grace of Master and Swamiji bless all. Om Shanti.


Sivananda Dhanwanthari Ashram, Neyyar Dam, Kerala, South India

    Om Namo Narayanaya!

    At the beginning of December the Ashram offered an Ailyam Puja, marking Swamiji's star birthday. As per tradition here we had Pongal with 108 pots of sweet rice cooking over wood fires. Staff and Yoga Vacation ladies joined the local ladies to try their hands at cooking over a simple fireplace.The main challenge was to bear the stinging eyes due to the smoke. The South India Yatra began their journey, with six participants. Suresh ji led the group and Uma ji will be documenting the travels in pictures. We were invited to attend Global Energy Parliament sessions, organized by the Isa Viswa Prajnana Trust. The parliament included people such as scientists, academics, politicians and bureaucrats, all from various countries. At the end of each session certain resolutions were drawn up to be forwarded to governments of all countries. Durgadas and Kalyani (Italy) left the Ashram after completing their service period. We wished them well.

    By mid-December thirty Sannyasis and Brahmacharis, from various parts of India, visited for six days reciting the original Upanishads from the Vedas. The Paarayanam started with a Ganapati Homa, performed by Swami Sharadananda. This was followed by the ritual lighting of a lamp in Rama Hall where the recitation continued every morning. Talks for staff and guests on topics from the Bhagavad Gita, were conducted by Swamis Kashimuktananda, Sharadananda, Tattvarupananda, Medhananda and Sharvananda. For Ekadasi, staff chanted the entire Bhagavad Gita. The Paarayanam group were treated to a bhandara (food offering) at the Ashram nursery school, prepared with devotion by some of the paid staff. The program finished with final Arati, giving of Dakshina and Sadhya. The event was appreciated by all alike. We offered our thanks to Swami Janardhanananda ji for coordinating and supervising the function. We were happy to welcome Swami Gayatriananda back to the Ashram. Unfortunately she was suffering from leg pain for which she is receiving Ayurvedic treatment. We prayed for her speedy recovery. We bid farewell to Aditya and Katarina. Omkari travelled with the Swamis to Madurai, where she will be doing the Fasting Detox Program. May Master and Guru be with us all. Peace and Pranams to the Sivananda family. Om.


Sivananda Ashram Kutir, Netala, Uttarkashi, North India

    Om Namo Narayanaya from Uttar Kashi

    The Ashram will be closed for Winter. Pranams to all until March. Om.


Sivananda Ashram Chateau du Yoga, Orleans, France

    Om Namah Sivaya

    At the beginning of December the TTC started in its second week. The students by then were more connected with each other and with the teachings. The students' headstands were becoming more steady and the chanting more fluid, creating a very beautiful development. Due to the dark and cold mornings, we started one day with a special schedule with the Asana classes held at 6.30 am, followed by a silent walk at 8.30am and it seemed to have appealed to the great majority. Padmavati from Vienna arrived to support the TTC and was welcomed warmly as well as the priest Yagneshwara. Swami Bhagavatananda left for the Vienna Centre. The priest Anil Kumar left for India. Vincent Maréchal arrived for two lectures on Ayurveda and how to bring our system back to balance. As a result, students and staff showed renewed inspiration to sleep by due time and many of the students registered for a short pulse detection consultation. The construction site was very active and we now have sight of the ground floor taking shape with pink bricks being laid. The office received a new table and some reorganization of furniture happened. One of the last herb harvests from the Ashram grounds was done for use in the kitchen. The preparations for the end of year play started and despite the cold, the temple continued to welcome students and staff for the chanting for the Lalita Sahasranama, equipped with a small portable heater.

    By mid-December TTC continued well with the students in good spirits. A highlight was the talent show with short and sweet presentations wanting you to see more and beautifully documenting the community spirit of the group. The TTC´s had the staff talk, advanced pranayama and a cooking workshop. After the final revision classes and the mantra initiation we ended with a chanting Satsang, students taking part with much zeal. They looked relaxed afterwards, even already jubilating ahead of their exam the next day. Three of the students decided to stay on or come back soon as staff for periods of a couple of months to permanent. Meanwhile we had a beautiful Devi Mookambika Murti Puja with Yagneswara who gave a nice introduction into the ritual. We also had a lively Baratanayam dance performance with Anousha who stayed on to give a dance workshop the following day. The program was appreciated by everyone we are looking forward to see her again in January. Manohara came from Paris for a photo shoot which took a whole morning with some of the TTC´s participating and a nice outcome. Parvati left for the London Centre and Kaivalya left for Paris after her program on "Yoga in Relationships". Swami Bhagavatananda arrived with some delay but safely from Vienna. Staff had rehearsals for the theatre play while Christmas decorations manifested in different places of the Ashram. We wish Gurus' grace on their Sadhana and an inspiring New Year. OM.



Sivananda Ashram Yoga Farm, Grass Valley, California, USA

    Om Namah Sivaya from the Yoga Farm

    At the beginning of December the Ashram was very happy to welcome Swami Sankarananda to the Ashram for the coming month, just returning from 6 months travel around the US giving Satsangs. We had a wonderful group for the 5-day Beginner Yoga course taught by Karuna Devi, sharing the 5 Points of Yoga teachings. The group was very inspired to continue their newfound practice. Swami Vasishtananda led the weekly Guru Puja in the Radha Krishna Hall, while continuing to give daily Pujas to the Ganesha shrine, Krishna and Durga temples, and Siva temple. Swami Adi Parashaktiananda led a weekend Meditation Intensive course, introducing the meditation technique and Raja Yoga teachings to gain control over the mind. The Ashram was decorated for the holidays with lights and Christmas tree. The staff prepared the holiday play with Swami Vasishtananda playing the main role. All the Ashramites and animals were doing well.

    By mid-December most of the Ashram staff traveled to the SF Centre for the wonderful Christmas celebration, including the Crazy Baba play written by Swami Vasishtananda, playing the Crazy Baba himself, with Rudra as mother Kali blessing her devotees and a final dance scene with Kali leading the Christmas party guests in Divine dance. Many guests visited the Ashram for Yoga Vacation. Sw Sankarananda taught the 5-day Meditation course, introducing the Raja Yoga meditation technique and understanding the workings of the mind. All were greatly inspired to keep up their practice and dive deep. The weekend AMRR, with Ambika, included talks on Ayurveda, especially regarding the seasonal changes and daily routines. The weekend Beginners course with Bhavani shared the 5 Points of Yoga as foundation for healthy, sattvic lifestyle and positive health. We wish everyone a happy holiday and a happy new year! Om Namah Sivaya to all Blessed Selves, from the Yoga Farm.


Sivananda Ashram Yoga Ranch, Woodbourne, New York, USA

    Om Namo Narayanaya

    Greetings from the Yoga Ranch where during December it started to look a lot like Christmas. We had the first big snow of the season, and staff enjoyed putting up the indoors seasonal decorations and the Christmas tree. During the weekdays we offered the monthly Yoga Immersion for Beginners course, led by Satyavati. Renovation work continued on the Ananda women's bathroom, and we are pleased with the plans and the materials that are coming together nicely. The weekend program focused on chanting and study of Adi Sankaracharya's "Bhaja Govindam" in the Satsangs and workshop with Swami Satyapremananda. Sundari returned from several days away. We said goodbye to Shanti, Pia, and Jacqueline, who finished their initial commitments. We wished them continued inspiration and looked forward to seeing them here again soon.

    Mid-December welcomed back Swami Paramanda and Srinivasanji to The Ranch. The positive thinking workshop, led by Satyavati, went lovely. The snow helped make it feel a lot more like Christmas, as we continued with decorating outside and putting up lights on trees and entrance and decks. The Ayurveda consultations and treatments have been going well also. Siva Priya left to spend Christmas with her family. One weekend most of the staff visited the New York Centre for the Christmas party which was fun and beautiful with plays and nice dinner and desert with about 100 people joining, Swami Paramananda leading the Satsang. Santa also made a visit there. Staff are well, feeling grateful for the grace of the Gurus and sending pranams to all from The Ranch. Om.


Sivananda Ashram Yoga Retreat, Nassau, Bahamas

    Om Namo Narayanaya, Blessed Selves

    At the beginning of December the Ashram started with a beautiful and festive inauguration of the December TTC. Shyam and Mohini joined us from Fort Lauderdale to teach the Hatha Yoga portion of the course. The priest conducted an inspiring Vana Durga Puja including the chanting of the Lalita Sahasranama by the priest. We welcomed Vasudha Narayan, a professor in the Department of Religion and director of the Centre for the Study of Hindu Traditions at the University of Florida. She gave a 3-day program on "The Path of Bhakti" during Satsangs and workshops. Zuleikha, an international performer and educator, started her program "Awakening Healing from the Inside Out: Movement and Body Awareness". The priest conducted a powerful Ganapati Vidya Homa, in which all the participants could offer ghee and flowers to the fire and the Yantra he created. Mavis Gewant continued with her art workshops on "Chakra Immersion: Understanding Sacred Centres" and "Painting Planet Mandalas". Iswara Chaitanya and Krishna Chaitanya taught a 5-day Essentials of Yoga 1 Course for guests and Karma Yogis.

    By mid-December the Ashram was beautifully decorated with Christmas lights and Christmas trees for the upcoming holidays. We started to celebrated Hanukkah by lighting the Hanukkah candles at every evening Satsang, accompanied by singing and traditional Hanukkah sweets. We welcomed Dr. Paul Dugliss, who practices Ayurvedic medicine, Ayurvedic counselling and internal medicine. In his program "Ayurveda for Conscious Human Development" he shared with us the fundamentals of Ayurveda and taught us ways how to achieve our optimal health. Dan Millman, a former world-champion athlete, university coach, college professor and author, started his program "Peaceful Heart, Warrior Spirit", in which he shared with us how to live a balanced and powerful life in the present moment and how to discover our talents. Ajeet Kaur, a recording artist and yogi, arrived to the Ashram for her program "A Healing Journey". Ajeet and her band gave beautiful concerts, in which they brought together songs and sacred chants from the Sikh tradition and other healing traditions from around the world Swami Brahmananda gave inspiring lectures on "Karma Yoga: Love in Action" during multiple morning Satsang. Sundari (Nora Benian) offered afternoon workshops on Therapeutic Yoga. Swami Shambhudevananda taught a 5-day Essentials of Positive Thinking Course and a 3-day Essentials of Meditation Weekend Course. Sending best wishes for a Peaceful New Year. Om.


Sivananda Ashram, Retreat House, Tyrol, Austria

    Om Namah Sivaya

    At the beginning of December Mittersill's focus was on stress and yogic techniques for relaxation. In several lectures we presented the reaction of the body towards stress and talked in detail about the three levels of relaxation. Asana classes focused on rebalance for the nervous system. General hints on how to stay healthy in a holistic way were received with good interest. The weekend subject was "Thought Power and Positive Thinking". We introduced the model of the five yogic principles and their profound effects on mental strength. Despite the cold and foggy weather we led the guests on silent morning walks which always work uplifting for the mood.

    By mid-December all staff returned to the Retreat House after serving at various other Centres. We prepared for the TTC and the upcoming Christmas season. The first vacation guests arrived and enjoyed lectures and classes on "Tranquillity of Thought" and "Yoga, Mind and Brain". 28 Students for the TTC arrived safely through snow-filled weather conditions. We had a beautiful inauguration and looked forward to the next four weeks. Staff are well and send best wishes for a happy New Year to all. OM.


Sivananda Ashram Meenakshi Ashram, Madurai, Tamil Nadu, India

    Om Namo Narayanaya from the Meenakshi Ashram

    At the beginning of December the Ashram was in post event wrap up of the EBM meeting. The Ashram also was busy with the preparations of next Panchakarma Detoxification Program with a fair number of students registering for the same. Prahlada ji took an asana session for the ongoing TTC which was the first in the newly inaugurated Satsang Hall. The TTC students, into their third week, progressed impressively with their hands-on teaching sessions as well. Anatomy and Physiology classes commenced giving them a peep into the physiological changes happening during asana practice. Kapoorji left for Delhi owing to some personal function that needs his presence back home. We thank him wholeheartedly for his effort and time spent here for the last two months teaching two consecutive courses. Yoga Vacationers were doing well with their lectures and yoga practice even as more guests arrived. The talent show was memorable with lively and mind blowing performances from the guests and students.

    By mid-December a very positive week at the Centre led up to 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, the presentation of the Sivananda rural hospital project, the meditation hall enlivened by many gold coloured balloons accompanied by Om Namo Narayanaya chanting, lovely food, the theatre play "Hanumania, a divine tale of devotion" which came out so nicely and a pictorial overview of 2017 bringing back memories of a transformative year. All left with a joyful heart and the gift of Swamiji's radiant presence on the calendar for the New Year. Praying for the well being of all in the New Year from all Ashramites. Om.



Sivananda Ashram Yoga Resort, Tuyen Lam Lake, Da Lat, Vietnam

    Om Namah Sivaya, from Da Lat Ashram

    At the beginning of December the Ashram enjoyed beautiful blue skies and rain-free days, marking the start of the "dry" season. We entered the final week of November/December TTC with enthusiasm and much activity. We were very happy to welcome back Sitaramananda, accompanied by Swami Jnaneshwariananda. Students were fortunate to have them join in with teaching and Satsang for the final days of the course. This is Swami Jnaneshwariananda's first visit to the country, so we were happy to be introducing her to Vietnamese culture and showing her the local sights. Every one of the TTC students took mantra initiation. Students kept up their strong pace and full participation right through to the end of the course, their steady practice and diligent study was rewarded with the award of teaching certificates to the complete group of 35. Students prepared a performance of traditional dance and a special song to finish the graduation ceremony. By the next day most of the group had left and we settled back into a quieter pace, preparing for the beginning of a "Vedanta and Silence" course, taught by Swami Sitaramananda.

    By mid-December we underwent a big change of pace with the departure of newly graduated TTC students and the initiation of the Vedanta and Silence course, taught by Swami Sitaramananda and Swami Narayanananda. A group of 13 students took the course, going deeply into the practice of meditation, self-inquiry and the study of Sankaracharya's "Crest Jewel of Discrimination". Several of the Ashram staff, along with staff from the Dalat Centre and Ho Chi Minh Centre, took the course. During the course time our Yoga Vacation group continued with daily workshops. With drier weather work on outside projects started again in earnest. We prepared for the arrival of large groups for Christmas and New Year retreats. We looked forward to the continuation of the course and gave thanks daily for Master's and Swamiji's grace. Happy new year to all Sivananda family around the world! Om.

    vietnamyogaresort@sivananda.org


TTC ATTC Reports from other locations worldwide:

    None to report this month.




SIVANANDA YOGA VEDANTA Centres -

Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Zentrum, Berlin, Germany

    Om Namah Sivaya

    At the beginning of December the Centre saw several higher courses starting. Classes and courses were well attended. The focus was on the preparation of the Christmas party. Decoration, preparation of the Christmas feast, presents to pack and theatre preparation was ongoing. The painting of the Asana Hall was just finished in time to have it ready for the Christmas party. The party itself was very successful. Many students and teachers came and enjoyed the joyful program. Santa Claus came and brought presents for everyone, including children, teachers, Karma Yogis and all students present. It created a very joyful atmosphere. A highlight of the evening was the theater play. It was very well presented and very well received. The feast afterwards gave the opportunity to meet and chat with teachers and students. A good group of Karma Yogi was helping to make it so successful.

    By mid-December courses and classes continued very well, several higher courses started. Satsang participation was good, with people enjoying the common practice of meditation and chanting. We continued several maintenance projects, finished the painting of the kitchen and the special guest room. Pushpa left for Reith. Om Namo Narayanaya and seasonal blessings to all the Sivananda family. OM.



Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Buenos Aires, Argentina

    Om Namah Sivaya

    At the beginning of December Swami Daya returned from the Tour through Chile. We continued with the preparations for the End of Year Party. Pushkari a new teacher joined the team of teachers in regular classes. We saw the last week of Ximena as Staff. He loved the experience and thinks about going back. Swami Premananda came back from South India. Ximena from Bolivia returned home after being 6 months with us. We had a lot of help from karma yogis. We celebrated the End of the Year Party with fewer people than other years. Regardless, everything happened in an atmosphere of joy. May Master and Guru be with us all. Peace and Pranams to the Sivananda family. Om.




Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Chengdu, China

    Om Namah Sivaya!

    At the beginning of December students from Yoga 1 classes were progressing with their practice quite steadily. The meditation course inspired both staff and the students. We started a new class for Yoga 1. Sadsiva from Beijing/Brazil taught a well attended open class in English when he was passing through Chengdu. The workshop on alignment, with Tarini, was also well received. Staff were all inspired by the Skype meeting with Swami Sitaramananda.

    By mid-December we finished the two Yoga 1 courses and meditation course as well, and started a new Yoga 1 course. Staff were sending flyers out everyday to keep spreading the message and also be reminded of the masses of potential students in need of yoga. We welcomed our resident, Sherry, who studyed in Melbourne, Australia to join us for about 10 days. May Guru's Grace kept the seed strong in China. Om Namo Narayanaya to all the Sivananda family. Om.



Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India

    Om Namah Sivaya to all Blessed Selves from the Chennai Centre.

    At the beginning of December the Centre started a morning Beginners course with good number of students. On 09th December Sreenivasan Ji and his wife Saraswathi Ji, Kanthi Devi Ji and her husband Chandrasekhar Ji, Swami Premananda Ji and Swami Paramananda Ji all come to our Centre and we happily received all of them. On tenth of Dec evening Satsang, led by Kanthi Devi Ji, was lively as she shared her some of experience with our Guru Swami Vishnudevananda Ji. Students and teachers participated. A delicious prasad was distributed after the Satsang. The same day night Sreenivasan Ji, Saraswathi Ji and Swami Paramananda left to New York.

    By mid-December we started a Ladies Beginners and a weekend Beginners course, with good number of students. On 11th Dec, Kanthi Devi Ji, Chandrasekhar Ji and Swami Premananda Ji left back. We had Ganapati Homa, where staff and students participated in the Pooja. It created a vibrant energy through out the Centre. The Yatra team from Neyyar Dam arrived. We did a special Satsang that evening. After Satsang we gave them a very delicious Kerala feast. Thanks to God and our Masters for everything and all will continue to run smoothly in 2018. Om.


Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Chicago, USA

    Om Namah Sivaya!

    At the beginning of December the Centre started a Yoga and Meditation course on Monday nights, with a group of nine eager students.  There were lots of preparations for the holiday party, which we held after the Satsang.  It was a festive and fun evening. There were over 30 students and teachers in attendance, and we even had a visit from Mrs. Santa Claus, who lead the group in carolling.  A delicious potluck feast was enjoyed by all, as everyone took their time to linger and enjoyed each others company. By the grace of Master and Swamiji, staff are inspired and well. 

    By mid-December Yoga and Meditation is progressed well. Class attendance was steady, even though temperatures dropped below freezing and we saw our first snow fall. Staff focused on marketing preparing posters and Facebook events for the January programs.  Editing the content of the website was another project staff worked on together. Sending inspired pranams to all for the new year. Om Shanti, Shanti, Shantihi.



Sivananda Yoga Vedanta DÀ LAT Centre, Dà Lat, Vietnam

    Om Namah Sivaya

    At the beginning of December the Centre offered a meditation course, taught by Swami Narayananda, with 9 students attending. They were focused and attentive throughout. The students came to open classes regularly, continuing to develop with their asana techniques. Sundaram continued to teach Yoga 2 course. Students attended and enjoyed Satsangs. We had an Open House one weekend with 8 people attending and registering for courses. The Dalat Centre had a beautiful week with very good energy. The Yoga Beginner course started with 12 people. The open classes were always full although the weather started to get colder. Public Satsang was also always full. The meditation course continued with good progress. Sundaram went to the Ashram to take further training and Saraswati came to run the Centre. A lot of maintenance and house keeping was organized. Staff got training for teaching the Beginner course. We felt the Guru's energy always with us. May the grace of the Masters be with you in 2018. Om.




Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Dwarka Centre, Delhi, India

    Om Namah Sivaya

    At the beginning of December the Centre's Beginners Courses started on Mondays. We conducted a Shat Kriya workshop, which was joined by many of our teachers and staff, along with students which helped people deal with the harsh weather conditions. We also conducted a Positive Thinking workshop to help participants manage their stressful city lives. The Saturday Satsang was as good as ever and was attended by many of our teachers and students. The Prenatal classes and kids' classes also went well. Due to the Delhi winters, there has been a slight fall in the number of students visiting the Centre but this will improve as the weather gets better. All our staff members were deeply engrossed in their our Sadhana and worked dedicatedly towards the success of the Centre. We had a new addition to our staff, Ranjit, who is not only a Sadhak but also a tech expert. All was good and peaceful, by the grace of God and the blessings of Gurudev.

    By mid-December a new set of students were initiated into yoga with the Beginners Courses. A Shat Kriya workshop was conducted, in an attempt to make Shat Kriya a part of life for our students. On the same day, Meditation Course was started, motivating people to walk the path of spirituality. The Saturday Satsang was enchanting. The Kids' classes ran smoothly. The Prenatal Classes helped future mothers happy and healthy. Staff members were dextrously handling the day to day activities of the Centre and are deeply engaged in working towards their spiritual progress. By the grace of God and the blessings of Gurudev, all is well here. We hope the same for all of you. We send our Pranams to all.


Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Nataraja Centre, Delhi, India

    Om Namo Narayanaya

    At the beginning of December the Centre started a Beginners course and open class at 6:30am. We conducted a Hip opening workshop on Wednesdays. During the workshop Supernaji explained and taught the students the physical & emotional benefits of practicing hip opener asanas. Kapoorji came back on 7th from Meenakshi Ashram, Madurai. The kids prepared for the Christmas celebration during every Sunday's kids yoga class. We conducted the Yoga class for 50 grade 9th students at Bluebells school.

    By mid-December we started two Beginners' course one at 10am and the other at 6:30pm. We continued the Headstand workshop on Wednesdays. We also conducted a Shat Kriya workshop. Jaypal returned from holiday to the Centre. The cold weather especially during morning and evenings affected the attendance of students. Classes went well as per scheduled along with few private classes and outside class for Bluebells International grade 9th students at school. With the grace of the Masters, December passed smoothly and everything at the Centre went well. We send our Pranams and hope everyone is happy and peaceful in 2018. We pray to Almighty for everybody. Om.


Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Geneva, Switzerland

    Om Namah Sivaya from the Geneva Centre

    At the beginning of December the Centre had our Christmas celebration. Girija guided the cooking with Karma Yogis. The teachers prepared a theatre play. First we had a message about Love from Bliss Divine, with words about Christmas, unity of religions and the connection between Yoga and Christmas. This was followed by the Christmas carols, led by one of our teachers on the guitar. Then Father Christmas came to distribute some gifts. Then the teachers performed the play on Swamiji's life. It was quite inspiring and funny with the snake and the frog. Then we had an Indian dance performance with an Indian dancer who is a friend of the Centre. She made us all dance at the end. Finally we had a delicious dinner and a happy being together in the energy of our Masters. The new brochure arrived and we gave it to all students after the celebrations. We also say thank you to Mahadev who returned to Reith after helping here for one month.

    By mid-December a Yoga 1 Intensive started. We had a Kirtan workshop. Satsangs were well attended and a new teacher, who just finished his TTC in Rudraprayag, started assisting with the open classes. The staff were in Orleans during Christmas. Salutations to all and have a good recharge during Christmas and New Year's time!!! Om Namah Sivaya. OM.



Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

    Om Namah Sivaya

    At the beginning of December Swami Pranavananda came back from a two-month stay at the Dalat Ashram for TTC and other courses. Many new teachers attended evening Satsang, leading the open classes and teaching courses as well. All events went on with the usual high energy of the Masters and the wonderful joy and calmness of Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Dharmini came from Dalat to give a workshop on how to make malas and how to practice Japa meditation. Eight people attended and were happy to improve their meditation practice using a special mala. We had a meeting to plan for the coming month as Ganga Chaitanya and Durga were away in Dalat for the Vedanta Course and the Health Educator Course. 

    In mid-December Swami Jnaneshwariananda arrived at the Centre, as part of her first visit to Vietnam from the Yoga Farm in CA, USA. After spending a few days in the Dalat Ashram, she toured Ho Chi Minh City and some nearby areas, teaching a Stress Resilience course here in the Centre for four days, with 15 students. She guided Satsang one Sunday with 23 people attending. Ganga Chaitanya and Durga went to the Dalat Ashram to take the 10-day Vedanta and Silence course, taught by Swami Sitaramananda. Lilamayi returned after a one-week visit to her family in Hanoi and one Sunday taught a Christmas Cookies baking workshop. We had two guests from Hanoi staying for three days, one of whom took TTC and now runs a very successful Yoga studio there. Swami Jnaneshwariananda, Swami Pranavananda, Mahashakti and Hamsa went on a tour of the city for many hours and all enjoyed visiting some Hindu temples and eating some wonderful vegetarian dishes. May Master and Guru be with us all. Peace and Pranams to the Sivananda family. Om Sri Maha Lakshmyai Namah! Om Shanti, Shanti, Shantihi.


Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, London, England

    Om Namah Sivaya

    In December there was very positive energy at the Centre leading up to 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, the presentation of the Sivananda rural hospital project, the meditation hall enlivened by many gold coloured balloons accompanied by Om Namo Narayanaya chanting, lovely food, the theatre play "Hanumania, A Divine Tale of Devotion" which came out so nicely and a pictorial overview of 2017 bringing back memories of a transformative year. All left with a joyful heart and the gift of Swamiji's radiant presence of a calendar for the New Year. May the Gurus' blessings of be with us all for 2018. OM.



Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Los Angeles, California, USA

    Om Namo Narayanaya!

    At the beginning of December everyone at the Los Angeles Centre came to Guru's feet to celebrate holidays of different traditions and to honour the Holiness and Peace that is our true essence. Swami Sicasankariananda visited from San Francisco, Stephen Fisken gave a presentation of peace songs and stories, karma yogis Jesse and Priya led us in jolly carols. People contributed many delicious dishes, a wonderful community pot-luck feast manifested for all to enjoy. Everyone received gifts from Swamiji: a card in his own handwriting "I have given you all I have with all my heart and love. It is for you to give to others," along with a wrist mala and a silk mala bag. The energy of the Centre was high and blissful. During Sunday Satsang Swami Sivasankariananda talked to us about Yoga Health Education. A student serving as a director at Cedar Sinai Hospital raised the questions of how to use Yoga techniques to help his patients manage pain, commenting on the over usage of medical opiates. Swamiji illustrated the nature of pain and suggested practical techniques of using the breath to bring awareness and understanding to pain. In the group another student who is a nurse practitioner, we continued our discussion during Sunday soup time. It is a blessing to have Satsanga with medical professionals seeking to serve humanity with more harmonious methods that will continue to benefit the patients after they leave the hospitals. 

    During mid-December the Centre became quieter during Holiday season. Staff take advantage to focus on our own Sadhana and reflections. We spent time to meet and learning how to apply Sivananda Yoga Health lifestyle individually. For projects we worked towards the upcoming new year, adding new classes to better serve the students. The weekend Yoga Two course concluded with sincere students advancing towards Yoga Three, planning to take advantage of upcoming weekend workshops. We worked out a special schedule so they can participate in both the course and the workshops. The sale on the class passes concluded with regular and new students purchasing. Satsang and Puja were intimate and powerfully inspiring. We felt Swamiji teaching us with great love and attention. May the Blessings of Gurudev be upon all. May we vigilantly continue our effort to receive Guru's Grace this time of the year. Pranams.



Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Madrid, Spain

    Om Namah Sivaya, Blessed Selves!

    At the beginning of December there were several bank holidays in Spain and a reduced Centre schedule. Students enjoyed having five evening Satsangs. We offered an interesting "Yoga and Stress" workshop as well as a special asana class "How to Improve Concentration in the Asana". The Christmas decorations, the preparation of the Christmas feast, presents and rehearsals for the theatre play were attended to with the help of karma yogis. The party itself was a beautiful event. Over 100 students and teachers came and enjoyed the joyful program, as well as 20 kids from the children class. After the Christmas message and traditional carols, the South India charity project was enthusiastically received by everyone.  After the "surprise" visit of Santa Claus, highlight of the evening was the theatre play, the "Story of Druva". The feast afterwards gave the opportunity to meet and chat with teachers and students. Everyone left happy and grateful for this spiritual event. OM.





Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Madurai, South India

    Om Namah Sivaya

    Thanking our Masters for all blessings and support bestowed. Om Shanti, Shanti, Shantihi!!



Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Montevideo, Uruguay

    Om Namah Sivaya

    At the beginning of December the Centre had Karma Yoga day with 5 students. They put up the decorations and Christmas tree. At the same time the plants had their leaves cleaned (as it is spring here) and decorated and plants look very nice. Then we had a vegetarian meal with the karma yogis and they took the afternoon class. Theatre rehearsals continued in preparation for the Christmas party. Beginners' courses ended with many of these students coming to regular classes. All the other classes went well alongside all other activities. May all live under the Masters's grace for this coming year. Om Shanti!!




Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Montreal, Quebec, Canada

    Om Namah Sivaya

    At the beginning of December the Centre was quite calm. Student numbers dipped slightly in the classes and for Satsang. We started a one week Yoga 1 immersion, attended by 10 students from Monday to Friday. The students were very happy and looked for information for next years activities and class passes. We have been collecting clothes, food and hygiene products to donate to the Sun Youth Organization that does work with homeless youth and adults. For every donation we receive, the Centre will be matching it. Three Yoga 1 courses entered their final week of class. Karma yogi's helped put up the Christmas decorations. The window company came to finish their job, building a new frame under the window and sealing it from outside. As we enter into the last week before we close for the holidays we are completely focussed on setting up for the party as well as the advertising for next years programmes. We are every grateful for the grace of Master and Swamiji, pranams to all. 

    By mid-December it was slow with the students numbers in classes dropping slightly as we approached the holiday season. Christmas party preparations started full swing. All the gifts were wrapped, Centre decorated and menu planned. We made an exciting trip with 2 karma yogis to Costco to shop for the feast. We held the last workshop for the year - a deep relaxation workshop, attended by 19 students. Clearly everyone was feeling the stress of Christmas approaching! We also started cooking and prepping for the feast and in the evening drove to the Ashram to attend the TTC graduation ceremony. We had anywhere between 7-12 karma yogis throughout the day helping with cleaning/mopping/cooking/rolling/reception etc. Swami Shivabhaktananda arrived with the Ashram staff, who as always, were quite loud! Quite a few students from TTC also joined in for the evening. By 6:45 there was already a big crowd waiting to go up to the hall. We were a head count of over 165 for the party! It was a joyful and positively amazing night with all the staff, karma yogis and students. The children too enjoyed themselves and received gifts from Santa. Everyone also received OM hats as well as a calendar. Karma yogis and teachers received a special one of a kind sweater, which they were very happy with. The feast, as always, was delicious and there seemed to be more deserts than food! Almost all the food was sold out and by 11pm the Centre was partially cleaned and closed for the holidays. Through the month we collected clothes and food. We were set to donate many bags of rice/lentils from the temple, 3 boxes of food and hygiene products and 3 bags of clothes to the Sun Youth Organisation, who work with homeless families and youth. 2017 has been a great year for the Centre in every aspect made possible only through the grace of Master and Swamiji, and all the wonderful staff/students. We looked forward to our short break and re-opening in 2018r with full devotion and energy, continuing to find new and inspiring ways to spread Swamiji's teachings and mission. Wishing everyone a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from Montreal! We were very thankful to have such a strong team of teachers and staff helping us and keeping us inspired. With Master and Swamiji's grace we continued to serve and keep up the spirit! We send Pranams to all the Sivananda family and wishing all a very happy 2018!! Om.



Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Munich, Germany

    Om Namah Sivaya from the Munich Centre!

    At the beginning of December highlight at the Centre was of course our Christmas Party. Many old and new students came and enjoyed an evening full of love and yogic inspiration. Swami Ramapriyananda and Vishnupriya Chaitanya from the Sivananda Yoga Retreat House in Reith/Tyrol/Austria also joined us for the Christmas Party. Swami Sivadasananda talked in his message about the positive quality of generosity reading, from one of Master Sivananda´s books. After a peace meditation, Kirtan and Christmas carols we were finally visited by a very funny Santa Claus. Santa apologized for being late and told us that he had the typical problems of Western people which Swami Vishnudevananda had often mentioned: finding a parking space and loosing weight – therefore he informed us about his keen interest to learn yoga. We will see if he will inscribe for one of the next Beginners courses! This year's theatre play was based on a story from the Mahabharata in which Lord Krishna visits the Pandavas in their forest exile and saves them from being cursed by the sage Durvasa. After a delicious meal (pumpkin soup, lasagna, salad and cake) and the distribution of presents (a wisdom quote of Swami Vishnudevananda, for the teachers additionally a Satsang / Kirtan CD of Swami Vishnudevananda) everybody left thankful and in a very joyful mood. Swami Sivadasananda flew the following morning to Moscow for a program organized by the affiliated Centre.

    By mid-December Swami Sivadasananda and Lakshmi returned from their 4-day teaching tour to Moscow and Vilnius. We were happy to have an evening Satsang with Swami Sivadasananda. Swamiji talked about some of the Jnana Yoga Nyayas and read from Swami Vishnudevananda's book "Meditation and Mantras". We held a Kirtan-workshop and an advanced asana workshop. We organized a karma yoga Satsang to prepare the mailing of the new brochure by putting the address labels on envelopes. Best holiday wishes to the Sivananda Family from the Sivananda Yoga Centre Munich. OM.




Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, New York, USA

    Om Namah Sivaya!

    The New York Centre sends our pranams. Top events for December included the return of Shakti, the arrival of Swami Rajeshwarananda and SNOW! A lot of familiar faces appeared for classes. We welcomed back the lovely Bhavani, who was staff here for six months prior to her new karma yogi position at the Farm in California. She joined us with a big helping hand in organizing the Centre as well as teaching a few classes. It's always lovely to have her around and we wished her the best as she returns to warm California! Wednesday's Satsang was led by our newest staff member, Sushila, with a very beautiful, devotional Jaya Ganesha and a topic touching on Ananda. The next day Shakti made her grand entrance after a 3 week hiatus in Colombia. She came back feeling refreshed and ready for Christmas operations! Swami Rajeshwaranda arrived! Neeti made her famous dal makhani and we all had a movie night. After all of the festivities, we let Swami ji rest then she led a fantastic workshop with a big amount of students called "Mind: Its Mysteries & Control." During that time we also had a deaf yoga class and celebrated Geeta's 50th birthday and 5th year of teaching the deaf community here in the Centre. This was followed by a Christmas cooking workshop with a full house! Swami Rajeshwarananda held an inspiring Satsang and talked to us about "Sadhana - the purpose of our lives". May we all stay steadfast in our Sadhana!

    By mid-December we noticed scents of pine and cookies in the air with a feeling of warmth and joy! Santa came to visit us early, bringing Elves and even Jesus along with him, Hallelujah! As we prepared extensively for our Christmas spectacular, the Centre remained with great consistency all by the Grace of God and Master's blessings. Decorations, including but not limited to, the Christmas tree, were put up. It even snowed, really making it feel like the Holidays! In the midst of all of this, we had our regular Satsang led by Tandava with an interesting topic of "Ego in Society". It was inspiring and relatable. Hard work from a lot of karma yogis continued, wrapping presents, organizing new arrivals in the boutique, kitchen prep and… more wrapping. We held the big celebration and the return of Swami Paramananda after his month away! He gave a fantastic advanced class followed by the Satsang which both had a good turnout of people. Many Carols were sung. Many presents were given out. Neeti really put a cherry on top of the mountains of ice cream with such an amazing feast! We are all well and send our blessings to the Sivananda Family! Om.



Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Paris, France

    Om Namah Sivaya

    At the beginning of December life gave us a festive mood with the preparations of the Christmas party at the Celebration itself. The Masters sent precious help to support the Centre. Many karma yogis were there supporting the party. Swami Kailasananda, Swami Gopalananda and Rukmini were also there. Swami Kailasananda gave an inspiring Satsang with a presentation of the Madurai medical camp. The kids did a sweet asana presentation. Narayana and a team of teachers did a beautiful asana demonstration. We had the play entitled "Hanumania: the divine tale of devotion" written by Narada. All the actors enjoyed playing and sharing the uplifting example of devotion given by Hanuman. Alina played the piano for the Christmas carols and we all chanted. We had the visit of Santa Claus, presents and a delicious feast prepared by Ganga and her team. The celebration ended by the chanting of Om Namo Narayanaya and the traditional and magic moment of the balloons for peace. The day after, we had a calm morning with the Sadhana in the middle of colourful balloons. May the spirit of Christmas remain with all of us. The Masters keep sending precious help. Ganapati arrived to stay with us for a couple of weeks.

    By mid-December the rain accompanied us, giving peace of mind and fresh air. The company that did the maintenance works in the roof sent a worker to evaluate the situation of some new leaks and to clean the gutters. We sent an e-mail to the architect with pictures taken by Narayana and explanations of the possible source of the leaks. We also had an invasion of tiny mice everywhere. The specialist should come tomorrow. They are very beautiful but there were so many. The specialist of the mice found a whole in the Main Hall that should be fill to stop the mice visiting The Centre. She will find a friendly traps that we would have to empty in the park daily. Omkari, Shanti Roopa, Ganapati and Radhika started to work on the inventory. The planning for the holidays and the beginning of the year was almost done. The 2018 calendars arrived and the teachers were happy with them. We had the first rehearsal of the little play that we will present for Christmas. The Centre was calm. The days became shorter and God gave us longer and earlier nights. May the blessings of Master and Swamiji be with all for the upcoming year. OM.



Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Porto Alegre, Brasil, South America

    Om Namah Sivaya from Brasil

    The regular activities are running normally. Blessings and Peace to all of the Sivananda Family. Om.



Centro Yoga Vedanta Sivananda, Rome, Italy

    Om Namah Sivaya, Blessed Selves from Roma

    Pranams and prayers for Peace to all from Roma. We wish Staff, Teachers, and Students throughout the world a Joyous New Year and pray that Master and Swamiji continue to guide and protect us. Om Shanti.


Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, San Francisco, California, USA

    Om Namo Narayanaya, Blessed Selves

    At the beginning of December Swami Sivasankariananda spent a weekend in Los Angeles to attend the LA Centre holiday celebration, which went off very well with lots of hard work by the LA Centre staff. She also led a Sunday evening Satsang in LA, speaking about the Yoga Health Educator Training. In attendance was a director of a major medical Centre, asking about alternatives to opiods for chronic pain! Gajananam led Sunday Satsang at the SF Centre. 

    During mid-December we offered a Yoga Nidra session before attending a holiday event at the neighbouring Chinese Church. We sang carols and shared hot cocoa and cookies and made a very nice connection with the youth minister. Eighteen staff from the Yoga Farm arrived to join the Centre's Holiday celebration. Our local rabbi friend brought his two children and lit a menorah. They enjoyed the novelty of singing Christmas carols with us. The Yoga Farm staff put on a elaborate play to the delight of all. There was a sumptuous potluck meal and Santa brought a gift for each guest. The room was full of gratitude and joy. Our one-week Holiday Sale was offered. Kumari left to spend the holidays with her family. Blessings and Peace to all of the Sivananda Family from the San Francisco Centre. Om.



Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Sao Paolo, Brasil

    Om Namah Sivaya from Sao Paolo

    At the beginning of December the Centre offered a new Beginners course. We received a visit of Sivananda teachers from the city of Franca. We also did a Workshop on Advanced Asanas. We finished the Beginners course. Good movement in the Centre. Harmonious days. We offered the regular number of classes this month. We did Surya Namaskar and a Satsang for Christmas. Much prana and love. Om Shanti Shanti to all the Sivananda family.

    http://www.sivananda.org.br/saopaulo/



Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Tel Aviv, Israel

    Om Namah Sivaya

    At the beginning of December the Tel Aviv Centre was busy with several new courses opening and an introduction being offered. Dr Eran Magon, an esteemed Ayurvedic Doctor, led another introduction to his eight week Ayurveda Course, and then officially opened the course two days later. Pranava Chaitanya opened two courses, including a Meditation Course with 14 students and a Yoga 1 course with 15 students. After enjoying a quiet shabbat, the staff prepared the Centre for a special evening of Questions and Answers with Swami Swaroopananda. Around 100 people came to listen to Swamiji speak about topics such as mantras and on 'How to be a Good Yoga Teacher'. Staff and devotees were very inspired after the evening and glad to be able to hear Swamiji speak! Rukmini Chaitanya led a beautiful Sunday evening Satsang on the topic of 'Guru'. 

    By mid-December the Tel Aviv Centre celebrated the Festival of Light by lighting candles every evening, singing traditional songs and eating Hanukkah doughnuts and latkes. Many students participated in the events, especially in Sunday evening's Satsang, in which Rukmini Chaitanya spoke about the meaning of "light". Staff were busy working on the next Centre brochure, filling it with new and exciting courses. Bhargavi Chaitanya led a full day photo shoot with many students coming in to be in the beautiful pictures for the brochure, whilst Pranava Chaitanya worked on the programming and scheduling of the next season. Sivakami held an introduction to her new Meditation Course and Bhargavi Chaitanya a second introduction to her Positive Thinking Course. Pranams and Peace to the Sivananda family from the Tel Aviv Centre.



Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Tokyo, Japan

    Om Namah Sivaya, Blessed Selves

    At the beginning of December Machiko, our director, moved to Yamanashi to prepare for opening a new Retreat Centre. Mirabai succeeded to the director of Tokyo Centre. A new Yoga 1 course started on Fridays with many enthusiastic students attending. Radha, a 2017 Thai TTC graduate has started to stay at the Centre as a temporary staff. We offered a Kirtan workshop joined by 18 people who attend Satsangs regularly including TTC graduates, which turned out to be a very vibrant workshop. A trial class was held one Sunday, with 16 people attending. The morning Satsanga scheduled on Thursdays changed into a new regular program, Guru Puja. We do hope that worshipping Guru and the Divine will be common practice for students. A Sunday Yoga 2 course concluded and the students were set for the open regular class. A new Yoga 1 course started and many students were inspired by a yogic life style that we introduced. Machiko, the former director, finished with moving and organizing a new place in Yamanashi and started preparation for opening a new Retreat Centre in next April. The evening Satsangs were filled with vibrant energy joined by many students and Karma yogis. Pranams and prayers for a peaceful New Year. Om Shanti, Shanti, Shantihi.



Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

    Om Namah Sivaya

    In December our programs were entered into the registration system and our brochure went to the printers. There were no new courses started as the end of the year approached. We had an inspiring Sunday Satsang as we all watched nice documentary on Swamijis life, specially appreciated by new students. We started our Christmas collections for a nearby refugee Centre. Prahlad came back from India. It was very inspiring to see everyone working together in continuing Swamiji's mission. We wish you all a happy and healthy new year filled with Sadhana. We send Om Namo Narayanaya to every one. Pranams to all.



Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Trivandrum, Kerala, South India

    Om Namah Sivaya!

    At the beginning of December the Centre offered a morning Beginners' batch on Mondays. All other classes went well. Yashpal ji came back from Madurai. Lalitha Sahasra Nama Pooja was conducted on Fridays. Jayalakshmi went home for a few days. Satsang was led by Yashpal ji.

    By mid-December all were in a celebratory mood. People were getting ready to celebrate Christmas. Still people found time to do their regular practice. The Evening Beginners' batch started on Mondays. We had conducted a Head Stand workshop for the students, which helped them to improve their posture. Ganapathy Homa was conducted on the first day of the new Malayalam month. We celebrated Christmas with the staff members making a Crib. Sri. Nataraj ji & Smt. Kalyani ji celebrated Christmas with us. A special Satsang was led by Nataraj ji. We cut the Christmas cake. Santa Claus distributed gifts to all the guests. 50 people including outside teachers, students and guests from the Neyyar Dam Ashram attended the celebration. Wishing you all a Merry Christmas & a Happy New Year. Om Shanti, Shanti, Shantihi.



Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Vienna, Austria

    Om Namah Sivaya

    At the beginning of December we had a public holiday which meant, we had an additional Satsang on that day. Courses beginning were a Yoga 1, 2 and 3. We had our Xmas party, with 70 guests. Swami Bhagavatananda gave a nice welcome address. We sang the traditional Christmas carols and enjoyed the visit by Santa Claus, who brought presents for one and all. Two professional musicians gave a wonderful classical concert and Krishnaraj also played his guitar and delighted the audience by his own compositions. Our Christmas play was about Krishna helping out the Pandavas from the wrongdoings of Duryodana; the title was "How the Hunger of the Soul is Satisfied" and all the actors gave their best under the professional guidance of Gabriela, who works for the theatre. Swami Bhagavatananda left to Munich and we thanked her for her support.

    By mid-December we could feel the approaching holidays, a few courses were continued in the New Year even though the overall the student count was a little less due to the festive season approaching. Still, we had Yoga 5, 36 and 99 starting and Amba also continued with our outside class. Krishnaraj left to go back to Reith and we thanked him for his dedicated service! Work continued on the new brochure and a few renovation projects were finalized. Pranams to the Sivananda family worldwide at this time of year. OM.



Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Vilnius, Lithuania

    Om Namah Sivaya, from Vilnius

    At the beginning of December the Centre had two Yoga 1 courses started successfully on the same day but different time. This is quite convenient – in case if some student can't come for 18.15 p.m. class, he/she can join the later class at 20.00 p.m. On some days we had many courses and we use all the rooms of the Centre, even an emptied staff room. For example we had 7 different levels yoga courses plus Meditation experiences/obstacles course. The Senior yoga class given by Mother Parvati is constantly growing and it is nice to see how happy these senior yoginis are to practice, to taste fresh warm soup or just to stay at the Centre. Some of them have very flexible bodies. Nirmala gave a nice workshop on Mantras and Kirtans. The registration and preparation for the special program with Swami Sivadasananda continued with success. More than 60 students were registered for each day for the asana classes. The comfortable big hall was rented for the asanas in the hotel just next to the Centre. The atmosphere there was very calm, comfortable and cute. Some teachers and students came for the program from different towns of Lithuania. The evening Satsangs with Swami Sivadasananda were very well attended, so we could hardly fit in the main hall of the Centre. Everyone's mind was uplifted, students and teachers could draw lots of inspiration for their Sadhana. Everyone willing could talk to Swamiji after the Satsangs and get the personal advice and important answers. The most precious was the morning Satsang which saw the closest teachers and students. Very special atmosphere and readings together from Sivananda Gita. We held the Christmas party. Everything went very smoothly and according the plan. The message from the Master, Christmas carols and ancient Lithuanian Advent songs and Om Namo Narayanaya created the right spirit and feeling of unity. Santa Claus made children very happy, giving interesting gifts that develops creativity and logic. Students received a very useful gift – a Likhita japa notebook. The play about Markandeya was so well prepared. The actors knew the words by heart and has prepared beautiful costumes so that some students asked if they were professionals. The concert, the food – samosas and sweetmeats – were sattvic and tasty. After the party many students and teachers joyfully helped to clean the Centre and all left happy and inspired with the nice service to the others. Pranams and Peace to the Sivananda family worldwide for 2018. OM.



    http://www.sivananda.org/vilnius/


Realize your oneness with the eternal and infinite Supreme Atman and thus go beyond all sufferings, sorrow, fear and death. - Sri Swami Sivananda
 
 

[ OM Page ][ Introduction Page ][ Swami Sivananda ][ Swami Vishnu ][ Yoga Vacations ]
Published from the Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Toronto, Canada
The E-Gurugram is published the first of each month.
Subscribe or Unsubscribe to this newsletter
Questions or Concerns? Please contact Prahlada@sivananda.org

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