Sivananda News Sivananda E-Gurugram
The Electronic Newsletter of the International Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centres
Issue #6/2014 Serve Love Give Purify Meditate Realize June 1, 2014
"The vision of Truth, the vision of God, is possible by annihilating the ego." - 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
Bangkok, Thailand
Berlin, Germany
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Chennai, India
Chicago, USA
Dwarka, Delhi, India
Nataraja, Delhi, India
Geneva, Switzerland
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
London, England
Los Angeles, USA
Madrid, Spain
Madurai, India
Melbourne, Australia
Milano, Italy
Montevideo, Uruguay
Montreal, Canada
Neuquen, Argentina
Munich, Germany
New York, USA
Paris, France
Porto Alegre, Brasil
Rome, Italy
San Francisco, USA
Tel Aviv, Israel
Toronto, Canada
Trivandrum, India
Vienna, Austria
Vilnius, Lithuania

JUNE 2014
09 Ekadasi
13 Mariamman Flag Hoisting
13 Full Moon
22 Pongala Festival
23 Ekadasi
27 New Moon

JULY 2014
05 Kavadi Flag Hoisting
08 Ekadasi
09 Subramanya/Ayyappa Temple 21st Anniversary
10 Krishna Temple 12th Anniversary
12 Guru Purnima (Full Moon)
13 Mariamman Flag Hoisting
14 Masters Mahasamadhi
20 Kaavadi Festival
23 Ekadasi
27 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

With the upcoming high season approaching the Ashrams and Centres of the Northern Hemisphere, Centres and Ashrams are busy preparing for students and guests to the many educational programs and teacher trainings. The Southern Hemisphere enjoys a pause and time to prepare for their high season in Fall. The number of trained teachers around the world that have been taught in Master and Swamijji's methods, exponentially increases each year, given the skills of spreading Peace to all. It is the abundance of these inspired students that gives life to the Sivananda Organization.

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

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

Pranams to all.

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This ego is a false non-entity. It is a mere false shadow. - Sri Swami Sivananda

Q. How are life and meditation intermingled?

There is no man in the world who is not divine by nature. The divinity in man differs only in degree, but not in kind. Even the so-called atheist has got a ray of divinity in him. No man is devoid of the three Gunas--Sattva, Rajas and Tamas--in varying proportions. Whether one is a skeptic or an atheist or a nihilist or some other, that portion of Sattva that abides in man helps him do some virtuous actions, which result in further actions of like nature, either in this birth or in some future births. While he does actions of Rajas and Tamas, he also does Sattvic actions according to the degree of purity and Sattva in him. No man in the world  be he a robber, a thief, a pirate or some other-- commits vicious actions alone. Every man commits both virtuous actions and vicious actions in life. That is, he is prone to do mixed actions so long as he is under the grip of Prakriti. When virtuous actions are done, his mind naturally turns towards the divine, however slightly it be. A sense of inner joy he experiences, though he may not be able to express why. Meditation is essentially the quality of Sattva. When life is made ennobling, sure is the man to think of God.

In this connection, the point worthy of remembrance is that Sattvic actions themselves are to be considered as worship or meditation. Meditation need not necessarily mean sitting in a lonely corner or sequestered spot and thinking over Rama or Krishna or Jesus or Mohammed or pouring forth verbal or mental prayers. Actions that tend to purify the grossness of the individual are to be collectively treated as meditation. Life is thus meditation coupled with Ajnana to an immeasurable degree in the case of an ordinary individual. If meditation is deliberately taken up on the instructions of a Guru who ought necessarily to be a more evolved soul, man cannot but perform good and selfless actions with Akartritva (non-doership) and Abhoktritva (non-enjoyership) Bhavas to make and feel his life more and more cheerful, more and more enlightening, more and more attractive. In the latter course which is but a deliberate step, man evolves more quickly with the speed of lightning, while in the former course man moves forward with the pace of a snail. Thus, life and meditation are intertwined.

Q. Are the senses meant to be starved and destroyed?

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. Can asceticism lead to enlightenment?
A. Asceticism is really the austere life of sense-control and mental concentration lived for the purpose of devotional practices or spiritual meditations. True asceticism necessarily includes a strict observance of the moral and ethical disciplines, on the basis of which the higher practices are undertaken. Asceticism is a means to enlightenment in as much as it prepares the ground for meditation which leads to wisdom and realization. Sometimes, asceticism is taken in its narrower sense of bodily mortification alone. But this is a grave error and this alone cannot lead to enlightenment without the calming of the passions and discipline of the mind.
Previous FAQs at

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


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.

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 tip from the new Sivananda publication - “Yoga: Your Home Practice Companion” – Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre - 2010. Other yoga tips at

Realize the Self/Atman and you will realize that Life is a waking dream. - Swami Sivananda

The mind consists of energy. The energy has to be trained to flow in a harmonious way. - Swami Vishnudevananda


Padma means Lotus. When the Asana is demonstrated, it presents the appearance of a Lotus, hence the name Padmasana.

Amongst the four poses prescribed for Japa and Dhyana, Padmasana comes foremost. It is the best Asana for contemplation. Padmasana is suitable for lean persons and for youths as well.

Sit on the ground by spreading the legs forward. Then place the right foot on the left thigh and the left foot on the right thigh. Place the hands on the knee-joints.
You can make a finger-lock and keep the locked hands over the left ankle. This is very convenient for some persons. Or you can place the left hand over the left knee and then place the right hand over the right knee with the palm facing upwards and the index-finger touching the middle portion of the thumb (Chinmudra).

I. Ardha-Padmasana
II. Virasana
III. Parvatasana (Mountain Pose)
IV. Samasana (Equal Pose):
V. Karmukasana:
VI. Utthita Padmasana

God is a question of supply and demand. So is Yogic aspiration. - Sw. Sivananda

A complete Sanskrit Glossary can be found at:


Chapter XII: The Yoga of Devotion


(Krishna speaking to Arjuna)
They verily who follow this immortal Dharma (doctrine or law) as described above, endowed with faith, regarding Me as their supreme goal, they, the devotees, are exceedingly dear to Me.


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 twelfth discourse entitled: "The Yoga of Devotion".

Love all, because all are the manifestations of the One Self. - Sri Swami Sivananda


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

The Swami Vishnudevananda Instructions on Meditation Series

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

We start with basic guidelines for the beginner.

Consciously try to relax and make the breath rhythmic. Begin with one minute of deep
abdominal breathing to bring oxygen to the brain. Then, slowing the breath down to an
imperceptible rate, inhale and exhale rhythmically, for approximately three seconds each. The breath becomes light and completely silent. This technique is a pranayama (breath control) exercise that steadies the prana (breath) and thereby quietens the mind.

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

Next months... the mind while meditating. Following month address choosing a point of concentration an object of concentration, giving space to the mind, disassociating from the mind, pure thought, then Samadhi to conclude.

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

There is no bond equal in strength to Maya. There is no power greater than Yoga, to destroy this bond. - Sri Swami Sivananda


This month we have two appetizer-style recipes to offer:

A tasty picnic or lunch snack, or party nibble. Makes attractive sandwich stuffing (serves 4 ) or use as topping for crackers or wholewheat bread and garnish with salad cress or parsley.

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.

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


A flavour ful topping for steamed vegetables and new or baked potatoes, or spread on toast for a light meal. Serves 4 -6.

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

Mix the ingredients together in a bowl.
Serve immediately.

This recipe from the Sivananda publication - 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

Knowledge reveals itself. It is not taught. It embraces everything in its fold. - Sri Swami Sivananda

UPCOMING EVENTS - TTC, ATTC, Sadhana Intensive Courses


Jun 01 - Jun 29/14
TTC – English
Woodbourne, NY, USA

Jun 08 - Jun 21/14
Sadhana Intensive
Val Morin, QC, Canada

Jun 27 - Jul 25/14
TTC – English, Français, Espaňol, Nederlands
Orleans, France

Jun 27 - Jul 25/14
ATTC – English, Français, Espaňol
Orleans, France

Jun 29 - Jul 27/14
TTC – English, Français
Val Morin, QC, Canada

Jul 06 - Aug 04/14
ATTC – English
Woodbourne, NY, USA

Jul 06 - Aug 03/14
TTC – English
Netala, Uttar Kashi, North India

Jul 26 - Aug 24/14
ATTC – English, Deutsch
Reith, Tyrol, Austria

Jul 27 - Aug 24/14
TTC – Français
Orleans, France

Aug 03 - Aug 17/14
Sadhana Intensive - English, Deutsch, Français, Espaňol
Orleans, France

Aug 03 - Aug 31/14
ATTC – English, Français
Val Morin, QC, Canada

Aug 10 - Sep 07/14
TTC – English
Netala, Uttar Kashi, North India

Aug 18 - Sep 14/14
TTC – Español, Portuguese
En Aluenda, Zaragoza, Spain

Aug 30 - Sep 28/14
TTC – English, Deutsch
Reith, Tyrol, Austria

Aug 30 - Sep 28/14
TTC – English
London, England

Sep 06 - Oct 05/14
ATTC – English, Polski, Lietuvos, Русский
Ustka, Baltic Sea, Poland

Sep 07 - Oct 05/14
TTC – English
Woodbourne, NY, USA

See full list of International Teacher Training Courses:

See full list of International Advanced Teacher Training Courses:

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

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



Sivananda Ashram Yoga Camp, Val Morin, Quebec, Canada

    Om Namah Sivaya! Greetings from the Headquarters.
    Early May saw great prana, naturalistic energy, and a lot of change. The weather was almost unbelievably beautiful, with most days seeming like the beginning of summer. Flowers were blooming beautifully and hurriedly, and almost all of the grass is a rich, vibrant green (with a couple of rogue chunks of snow here and there). Several guests were with us, most participating in Kumari's Yoga for the Soul programme, which was a series of afternoon and Satsang talks on how to use yoga to connect to the innermost self. She also led morning yoga classes, which served as largely modified classes well suited to beginners to understand the practice of hatha yoga and asanas in detail. One week-end drew a couple of dozen guests, with many returning guests and new-to-the-Ashram walk-ins. The program was the very unique Sweat Lodge week-end, and ancient spiritually purifying experience, led by Pierre and assisted by his partner, Gita, long-time staff at the Ashram, both personally trained in Shamanism and with much experience leading Native Canadian rituals. After Pierre's moving and inspiring introduction to the ritual, complete with authentic Native Canadian drumming and chants, guests worked on constructing the hut from scratch the next afternoon. The ceremony itself involved the guests sitting in the balmy and pitch-black hut, with ceremonial chanting, drumming, and a great deal of release of toxins both physical and emotional. Some participants described the experience as having to confront their egos, others as letting go of their fears, with others remarking on the great emotional release they were able to experience through the sweat, which allowed them to release massive spiritual and emotional baggage. Gita led Satsang that evening, with a guided meditation allowing us to meet an animal spirit guide, to help us find strength or answers in areas of need. Throughout that same week we had great staff movement as well. We welcomed Sherman, a very spirited karma yogi who will be at the Camp for the next several months; Joanne from her vacation; Sanaz, a computer engineer from Iran, Bridget, Lucia, who's been at the Ranch for the past 2 months, and Ishwari, who will be doing one week of karma yoga. We also said good-bye to two staff: Kate, a work-study, and Sivani, who went back home to Ottawa. Staff for about 6 months, Sivani was a breath of fresh air at the Camp, and will be dearly missed. Returning staff have adjusted well and find it great to be back home.

    By mid-May Summer seemed to have come as a rapid surprise to the Ashram with nearly every day brilliantly sunny and warm, and a couple of officially hot days as well. Taking great advantage of the certainly-temporary Summer weather, we held the first classes of the season outside and spent a karma yoga evening with all staff and guests working on assorted gardening projects. We also spent one afternoon hiking up Mount Condor with all the guests and most of the staff, which allowed all the opportunity to see the breathtaking view of the surrounding mountains and valleys. For two days we held an unprecedented statistic with 100% of our guests being men (compared to our usual 5%)! Gauri Devi and Bridget worked happily and diligently in the gardens, weeding, soiling, and planting flowers and future food. After finishing renovations on the Orange House, we were able to celebrate both its renewal and Gita's birthday, with a festivity of unspeakably delicious Mexican food, a delectable carrot cake, and a movie for staff and guests afterward. Later that week, staff worked on prepping the summer buildings, cleaning the dorms, kids' camp cabins, staff cabins, and bathhouses. By the time the week-end rolled around we had nearly 30 guests, most participating in Alain Beaulieu's drumming workshop. With many of the guests using drums for the first time, they learned how to equilibrate their energies using sound, which raises our vibratory levels and allows us to heal emotionally, physically, and spiritually. Incorporating drumming with sacred chanting from Hindu, Inuit, Native Canadian, and Tibetan traditions, guests re-connected with their divine spirits and opened their hearts. Many found the workshop left them in a serenely peaceful, meditative state, while others found the experience palpably intense and more viscerally powerful. Swami Shivabhakta and a couple of staff travelled to the Ottawa affiliated Centre, where Swamiji led a meditative hatha yoga class and inspiring Satsang before the Centre's current location closes, to reopen at its original location in Ottawa in September. Apart from the growing number of day and week-end guests, the Ashram was also being explored by many tourists coming to visit the Subramanya Temple, which is now in full swing! Jeeva and Kamala were cooking outside, where visitors and devotees from near and far enjoy the delicious Sri Lankan food prepared with bhakti and care. The only downside is the growing amount of garbage that doesn't quite seem to make it to the garbage bins! Staff are generally well and send to all wishes of peace, for our individual selves and for the world. Staff sends wishes of peace, happiness, and Pranams to all! Lord Siva's blessings to all, and may happiness and peace surround you. Salutations to the worldwide family, from the Sivananda Headquarters.

Sivananda Dhanwanthari Ashram, Neyyar Dam, Kerala, South India
    Om Namo Narayanaya!
    Early May started with the anniversary celebration of the Rajarajeshwari Devi Temple. We held morning Satsang in the temple area and Aji Shanti and helpers conducted elaborate Pujas and Kalash Abhishekam. During a Thursday evening Satsang, guest Parvathi offered to share her poetry and mystical dance invoking the energy of different goddesses. The dance light and joyful leaving everyone happy. We celebrated Swami Sivasaranananda's, 23rd samadhi anniversary.  Staff chanted Om Namo Narayanaya and arati was performed at 10am for Swami Vishnudevananda's mother. South Indian feast was then offered to the guests, staff and workers.  Kids Camp came to a grand end. After welcoming the parents, one of the children gave a detailed camp report.  Certificates were presented to the children with proud parents looking on. The children then sang bhajan and gave an asana demo. Finally gifts were presented to the dedicated staff and various prizes awarded to the childrens' groups for different feats. Staff made sure all the children received at least one prize. Finally everyone partook of a feast with a huge cake for good measure. By evening most of the kids had left and the Ashram felt noticeably quieter.

    During mid-May it is mango season at the Ashram! The days and nights were punctuated by regular thudding sounds as mangoes constantly keep falling from the trees. We were enjoying this sweet season. With some extra free time of low season staff have formed a study group and have been studying Raja yoga sutras from Meditation & Mantras, everyone shared a little about their view, opinions and experiences. Staff were chanting regularly in the evenings at the temple every Tuesday and Friday. Half an hour of daily Om Namo Narayanaya continued. Nataraj went away for a few days to visit Chennai and Madurai Centres, accompanied by Swami Rajeshwariananda who will stay on at Madurai Ashram for a few weeks. When he returned he shared to the staff about the on going developments such as the construction of the new temple and Satsang hall in Madurai Ashram. Bheeshma finished his period of karma yoga and has moved on to travel. We thanked him for his service especially for the website work and computer maintenance. Pranams to all Sivananda Staff.

Sivananda Ashram Kutir, Netala, Uttarkashi, North India
    Om Namo Narayanaya
    With guidance and blessings from Master and Guru, Uttarkashi is functional and operating again, after the floods from 2013. Saturday May 10, evening, saw the arrival of 15 vacationers from Chennai. On the previous day we had 5 vacationers come in from various parts of the world.  We began the program with a Ganapathi Homam. Hatha Yoga class was a mixture of, never done yoga, beginners, and intermediate advanced students.  A few had also taken TTC course somewhere in the world. We chose to teach the beginners course as many struggled with some of the very basics. We saw the arrival of another vacationer 2 days into the program.  The lectures were very well received and the students actively participated in the course.  The ages ranged from 20 to 79 and all were happy to receive and share in the teachings.  We had our silent walks on Wednesdays.   Satsangs were very vibrant and many joined in the chanting. Sixteen of our guests left mid-month happy and eager to come back to the Ashram, excited to have supercharged themselves and their practice. Pranams to all. Om..

Sivananda Ashram Chateau du Yoga, Orleans, France
    Om Namah Sivaya
    The Ganesha Homa by our priest at the beginning of the month marked a powerful start of the May TTC. The TTC students adapted nicely to the daily routine, the group proved to be quite positive, open and eager to learn. Angela Hope Murray visited the Ashram and gave a series of talks on Ayurveda; both TTC and guests enjoyed the ayurvedic cooking demonstration given by her together with Swami Bhagavatananda. Another guest-speaker, Loïc Sallet, gave two nice and well received lectures, answering the question of "which water to drink in daily life?" and about the energising of water. Stephen Quong came and gave a serie of lectures on Vedic Astrology. On one weekend, Swami Kailasananda gave a special programme for a good group of teachers of "How to Teach Meditation and Mantra-chanting to beginners". Claude Aubert gave one lecture about the importance of organic agriculture; he is the author of many books on this subject, and presented lots of very interesting scientific findings. Finally, Madhavi came as a special guest from the affiliated Sivananda Yoga Centre in Miami for her course "Healing though Deep Relaxation". She taught well received "Yoga Nidra" classes. Swami Bhagavatananda went to Paris for a one day teachers's programme there. The garden looks most beautiful and vibrant with the input of both spring and Karma Yoga energy. Pranams to all. OM.

Sivananda Ashram Yoga Farm, Grass Valley, California, USA
    Om Namah Sivaya
    For early May the Yoga Farm welcomed a wonderful teacher, Tulku Sherdor, a Tibetan Buddhist monk from the Blazing Wisdom Institute of New York, for a powerful meditation intensive. All attendees were blessed to receive this pure and traditional teaching that revealed the obstacles to meditation and offered insights into the nature of mind and heart. Swami Pranavananda taught the Anatomy and Yoga course during the week, providing practical understanding of the physical anatomy and Yoga practice. By Guru's grace the Ashram was very busy with programs and preparations for the upcoming TTC. Staff and karma yogis poured their energies into beautification of the grounds, yoga halls, and general deep cleaning to welcome the TTC students to the Ashram.

    During mid-May the TTC May began with the initiation of 48 students from many countries including USA, Singapore, China, Japan, Ireland, England, Canada, Switzerland, Australia, Costa Rica, Brazil, Mexico, Russia, and the Dominican Republic. Swami Sitaramananda welcomed the group with inspiring words about Master and Swamiji and Swamiji's inspiration for the TTC to create new leaders for peace in the world. Initiation continued with beautiful Ganesha Puja and Saraswati Homa at the Krishna temple by Pandit Sharma. The group enjoyed the welcoming concert by Stephen Fiske and has begun the first week of classes with Swami Sitaramananda teaching Main Lecture; Swami Pranavananda and Ananta Ch. leading the Hatha Yoga team; Swami Dharmananda teaching Bhagavad Gita; Rajeshwari teaching Kirtan Chanting; Swami Pranavananda presenting Anatomy. In the week leading to TTC the Karma and Dharma course taught by Swami Dharmananda prepared all to dive into Karma Yoga spirit getting ready for the TTC including many Karma Yoga nights in garden, housekeeping and kitchen cleaning. We welcomed new staff Atmajyoti (from Taiwan), Atmaswarupa (from Singapore) Rajeshwari (from LA) and many seasonal returning staff. Hara Mahadev and Sundaram went for a break after intensive work to finish the two new Siva cabins right on time, ready for use by TTC.  We are all doing well here in Vrindavan by Guru's Grace. Om Namo Narayanaya to all the Sivananda family.

Sivananda Ashram Yoga Ranch, Woodbourne, New York, USA
    Om Namo Narayanaya
    During early May the Sadhana Intensive was into its first week bringing much additional positive energy to the Ashram. The weather was still a bit cold,  but the sun was shining.  We began harvesting lettuce, spinach and arugula and planting herbs, fennel and flowers.   Mavis Gewant arrived to teach the Chakra Mandala Painting Workshop. Other guests came to hike in the Catskills and were hosted by Swami Ambika and Srinivasan.  Staff were in good spirits and all are looking forward to getting outdoors.

    During mid-May guests joined staff for a Karma Yoga night in the garden.  We enjoyed quick progress making new pathways, planting and weeding.  The guests were happy to help outdoors during beautiful spring days, interspersed with clouds and much needed rainfall.  The successful Sadhana Intensive concluded with a graduation ceremony and simple feast.  Srinivasan and Mahadev Chaitanya guided a bike ride for guests through the hills around the Ashram one Saturday afternoon.  Heather Principe returned to conduct two Sweat Lodges one Saturday and Sunday.  Several of her students also began a Vision Quest that continued through that week.  The Ashram staff were consistently busy with guests and tending the grounds. Staff sends Pranams to all! May the Gurus' blessings of be with us.

Sivananda Ashram Yoga Retreat, Nassau, Bahamas
    Om Namo Narayanaya, Blessed Selves
    For mid-May, during the interfaith symposium entitled 'The Ultimate Goal', we heard from teachers of 5 great religions each presenting the ultimate goal as it is formulated within their tradition. The presenters were Swami Medhananda giving the Vedantic perspective of the Ultimate Goal; Daniel Matt who is an authority on Kabbalah; Father Joseph Mitchell, Catholic priest; Lama Rodney Devinish from Tibetan Buddhism and Imam Jamal Rahman of the Sufi/Muslim tradition. Vianna Stibal, who developed the Theta Healing method of healing and her husband Guy were at the Ashram this week to teach Theta Healing courses.We also welcomed Radhanath Swami and Gaura Vani and his band to the Ashram. This is their 3rd year coming to the Retreat and along with them come many, many devotees of Radhanath Swami who is a disciple of A.C Bhaktivedanta Prabhupada (founder of ISKON - Intenational Society for Krishna Consciousness). Radhanath Swami spoke in the evening Satsangs telling beautiful stories from the scriptures and Gaura Vani and his band gave morning concerts as well as midday workshops. The TTC students began their third week of studies. Staff are well and send lots of Prem. Pranams to all!

Sivananda Ashram, Retreat House, Reith, Tyrol, Austria
    Om Namah Sivaya
    The month started with a 4-day further training for Yoga Teachers on the topic of "Yoga and Anatomy". We explored musculature and connective tissue, the six planes of movement, relaxation and the autonomic nervous system and anatomy and physiology of the basic postures and some classical variations. A Yoga and Stress management course started with a small but eager group. Lectures on modern stress research, burnout and yoga psychology alternated with specific yoga classes on stress release and the different levels of relaxation. Later in the month we had a nice week with "yoga and hiking" as topics. The guests went to nearby lakes and mountains and enjoyed the brisk air and long walks. Padmavati, a long-year disciple of Swamiji, from Vienna came to teach a seminar on gentle yoga. The guests loved it a lot and appreciated the deep effects of adapted asanas and gentle pranayama. A karma yogi renovated the stairs along the Retreat House. We continued with the preparations for the upcoming TTC, the garden got new soil and pots with beautiful plants are now decorating the House. TTC started on June 17th with 40 students eager to study yoga in the Gurukula system. They quickly adapted to the daily schedule and are open-minded and receptive. Towards the end of the May two guest speakers came to enrich the programmes of the Retreat House greatly: Stephen Quong, Vedic Astrologer gave insights into the connection between health, personality, karma and astrology. Molly Birkholm, gave a three day Seminar on Yoga and trauma which was highly appreciated by guests and staffs alike. Weather was changing a lot this month but spring broke its way with wonderful flowers, green meadows and a lot of birds. Highlight of the month was the Sapthaha with readings from the scriptures accompanied by classical Indian life music. OM.

Sivananda Ashram Meenakshi Ashram, Madurai, Tamil Nadu, India
    Om Namo Narayanaya
    For early May there were Mango showers in Madurai again!!! Meenakshi Ashram was greener, cooler and brighter. Completely relieved off its busy schedule since a couple of months now and added by the surprising hails, the Ashram radiates positivity, peace and charm restoring a true Sattvic ambience, an ideal place for the individuals who have under taken a self-seeking spiritual voyage. Also Meenakshi Ashram was on its way in taking a better shape, with fresh infrastructures upcoming, a brand new Satsang hall and extended arena of Kali Temple being the beginning points of the bigger project. Expected to be launched soon, the construction process was happening at a promising pace. The Talent show was under the canopy of the stars amidst a warm bright campfire and exhibiting a platform of cultural exchange as it always had been. It was one of those picture perfect nights for the guests. We looked forward to yet another pleasant month with our Gurus' grace.

    During mid-May Madurai glitters with its season of prime popularity! The 'Chithirai Thiruvizha' festival is a celebration of the marriage of Goddess Meenakshi to Lord Shiva, one of the longest celebrations of the world, lasting for one month. The carnival was in its concluding phase, with almost the entire city thronging the temple and participating in the festival's finale.  The celebration with its elaborate rites and rituals was indeed a sight to reckon with. For Meenakshi Ashram too it was a good change brought by two guests who visited from Neyyar Dam. Nataraj ji, the Director of Dhanwantri Ashram paid a visit and through his simplicity and good vibrations quickly inspired the staffs and guests here. As per his proposal, the Ashram joined the Centre in its evening Satsang on the 16th which was attended by a good number of Centre students along with their families and as well by some erstwhile patronages of the Gurus who served emphatically in the Organization. It also served as a perfect rendezvous for the staffs to socialize with each other while the Ashram staffs were also getting to understand and appreciate the activities of the Centre. Another important visit is by Swami Rajeshwariananda from Neyyar Dam who stayed with us for few more days. Swamiji's presence has not only added grace and charm to the Ashram but also brought in enthusiasm of devotional dimension. Special Kirtan sessions were initiated, dedicating an exclusive hour of focused chanting of 'Om Namo Narayanaya' which is chanted in turns by staffs each day which brings in pure and positive vibrations to the place. We also bid farewell to a promising Karma yogi Subashini from Sri Lanka who effectively served here since March and is also positive about returning to the Ashram after few months to continue her service. Though the heat made it a less preferred season, it is truly fulfilling to see the few guests who arrive here with serious focus on their inner self, sincerely absorbing into the yogic lifestyle of this rustic Ashram. May Master and Guru be with us all. Peace and Pranams to the Sivananda family.

    TTC Reports in locations other than Ashrams:

    May 2014 - No reports this month on satellite TTCs.

    Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Bangkok, Thailand

    Om Namah Sivaya
    During early May the political situation in Bangkok has aggravated again, resulting in lower student numbers in the open classes. The rainy season started, and there is heavy rain on a daily basis now. Uma Krishna's Yoga 1 Beginner Course continued, as per the schedule. Many new students came for the trial class on Sundays.

    During mid-May the Centre saw many students in the courses and open classes, as well as the trial class. Prajna stayed with us for a few days to help out in the Centre. Also the local karma yogis joined us for Satsang on Sundays. Om Namo Narayanaya! Om Namah Sivaya!

Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Zentrum, Berlin, Germany
    Om Namah Sivaya
    The month of May started with the retreat during the long weekend. After packing, organizing all kind of details we left on the 1st of May in the morning to the Retreat place, which is located 3 hours north of Berlin in a beautiful surrounding with rolling hills, lakes and open fields. The group was very homogenous and all newcomers integrated well and adapted easily to the daily Ashram routine. Satsangs, lectures, asana classes and walks were well received by all. In lectures and Satsangs we focused on the topic of Thought power and Positive thinking. Everybody left recharged and inspired on Sunday evening. Dedicated teachers and karma Yogis took care about the Centre with the regular teaching schedule. Second highlight of the month was the Ayurveda program with S.K. Kamlesh. 2 well visited lectures and a fully booked cooking course created a nice and joyful atmosphere in the Centre. Lectures were very informative; students had many questions about different details of Ayurveda. The cooking course with 50 participants was a real event, dishes all came out very tasty and people enjoyed it very much. We had good participation in courses, classes and Satsangs during this month. A small but open minded group joined the monthly open house, mainly young people, some already yoga practitioners and interested in taking TTC. An inspired group joined the headstand workshop and all of them improved their posture. On the first of May we welcomed Swami Karunananda and also our teacher Savitri as a resident for one month. One week later Swami Vairagyananda left for Vilnius to continue her service there. OM.

Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Buenos Aires, Argentina
    Om Namah Sivaya
    In early May classes and activities continued as usual. We started a Viveka Chudamoni workshop with 9 students. We had a sirshasana workshop with 6 students. Prem & Om to all.

Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Chennai, India
    Om Namah Sivaya to all Blessed Selves from the Chennai Centre
    During early May the 'Kids Camp' finished. We started the fresh morning beginner's batch of the month. The weather was not too favourable hence the number of students was dwindling because of the summer vacations. We installed a new air-conditioner in the office to get a little respite from the heat and keep the computer machines cool as well. We also installed a new aquarium with beautiful young fishes for a soothing energy to the Centre.

    Mid-May was peaceful and comforting at the Centre. All the classes went smoothly and we started the new ladies beginners batch on Mondays. We celebrated the Ganapati Homam too which was well attended by several spiritual students and teachers. The highlight was the special backward bends workshop by Shri Nataraj Ji who had graced us with his presence for just a day. The workshop was successful and many students got to learn a lot of intricate details about backward bends specifically. In the evening, he also led the special Sunday Satsang. The atmosphere in the Centre was positively energetic and calming. All the participants chanted and praised the lord and the Swamiji's by singing along with Shri Nataraj Ji. Everything else was fine as the staff continued their sadhana and eating good food and enjoying the peaceful life of Sivananda Chennai Centre. May the spirit of Swami Ji guide us forever. All the staff send Pranams to the Sivananda family. Blessings to all!

Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Chicago, USA
    Om Namah Sivaya!
    For early May classes, courses, and Satsang are continuing well. We were happy to have Swami Narayanananda here for a week. Over the weekend, a new Yoga 3 course started, and Swamiji taught workshops on the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. With a few days of warmer weather and some rain, the city is finally starting to bloom, vegetables are coming up in the garden, and we are already starting to enjoy some fresh greens.

    During mid-May a new Monday-evening Yoga 1 course began last week, with Janaki teaching, and the other courses and classes are going well. Morning Satsang continues to enjoy good attendance, with several regulars joining us on a daily basis. On Thursday mornings, when the weather is good, we take a silent meditation walk to the lake. Chicagoans are getting getting a lot of practice in adapting as the weather keeps up its sudden strong fluctuations. This coming weekend is Memorial Day Weekend, and though in the past we have often closed the Centre for the holiday, this year we plan to offer a special limited schedule of one open class per day, and the students seem happy about it. Staff are well and send their pranams By the grace of the Gurus all continues well. Pranams to all. Om Shanti, Shanti, Shantihi from the Centre in Chicago.

Sivananda Yoga Vedanta DÀ LAT Centre, Dà Lat, Vietnam
    Om Namah Sivaya!
    In mid-May we finished yoga course for beginners. The pranayama workshop was very successful with a teacher from the HoChiMinh Center - Sivadas. Many students attended and they were all happy with the results. We had Satsang online with Swami Sitaramananda - Director of Yoga Farm, all the students and staffs were inspired after Satsang. All is well in Dalat. We feel a lot of blessings from Guru. Om.

Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Dwarka Centre, Delhi, India
    Om Namah Sivaya
    For early May, with gurus grace, everything continued to flow well at the Centre. The temperature continued to rise higher and higher every day, which has affected most of our classes. We started a Yoga for Beginners class at 10am, with sufficient numbers of students. We offered a Shat Kriya workshop. On weekends we offered beautiful Satsangs, followed by delicious dinners cooked by staff.

    During mid-May we had a beautiful Havan and Pooja, attended by all the staff and students.  We started the fresh batch of a 6am Yoga 1 on Mondays, with sufficient numbers of students, despite the hotter weather. Otherwise all the activities continued smoothly. Satsangs were joined by staff and students. Pranams to all. Om Shanti.

Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Nataraja Centre, Delhi, India
    Om Namo Narayanaya
    Early May started off with a new Yoga 1 Beginner Course taught by Bhishma, who has been very steady and dedicated in his service, along with all other karma yogis. Bhishma also taught the Yoga 1 Weekend Intensive course with eight new students. Sunday Satsang was led by Mani Chaitanya, ending peacefully with the Sunday prayers. We said goodbye to Praveen whose service of six months came to an end this month. We wished him all the best and the Gurus' blessings for his journey. Also, we welcomed Emily at the Centre for the coming weeks.

    During mid-May, with temperatures rising above 40 degrees Celcius in Delhi, student numbers in the open classes have been slightly lower this week. Yet, we started a morning Yoga 1 Beginner Course taught by Amit with twelve new students. Binoy and Srividya returned to Delhi, and we were glad to welcome them back. We said goodbye to Shobal and thanked him for his service during the last months. Sunday Satsangs were led by Mani Chaitanya. All staff are well and send their pranams. Om Namah Sivaya from Delhi! We send our prayers to all. May the Gurus' blessings of be with us all. Om Namo Narayanaya!

Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Geneva, Switzerland
    Om Namah Sivaya from the Geneva Centre
    The highlight of the month was a special programme with the South Indian priest which started with beautiful daily morning Pujas for all the deities, a Centre purification and Pujas in the evening: We had a Murti Puja for Krishna and Ganesha and a Sri Yantra Lamp Puja with the recitation of the 1008 names of the divine mother which uplifted and purified the energy of the Centre.  The program ended with a Shiva Yantra Puja, illustrated with many stories and beautiful explanations about the Mudras. On a Saturday we had a workshop "Yoga for the back" with 7 participants mainly interested in the posture analysis and recommendations for the personal practice. We also had a Meditation-workshop with a nice group of new students and a very well visited open day.
    The work on the fall brochure started. With the help of Karma yogis the terrace was decorated with fresh plants and the spring cleaning continued. Swami Mangalananda left for the Vienna Centre for two weeks and Sundari, from Spain, came to support the Centre during this period of time. Saraswati Chaitanya left for the Madrid Centre for a week to support the special programme. All staff are well and send their pranams. Om Namah Sivaya from Delhi! We send our prayers to all. May the Gurus' blessings of be with us all. Om Namo Narayanaya!

Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
    Om Namah Sivaya
    All the staff were happy, with the Guru's blessings. We send Pranams to all the Sivananda family. Om Tat Sat.

Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, London, England
    Om Namah Sivaya
    For early May we had a certificate course "Yoga & Stress Management" with 3 residential students staying in the Centre. One had already done TTC, the others knew the Centre also beforehand. There were 7-9 students here every day for the main lectures, which lasted from Wednesday to Sunday. Students participated in the open classes at 10.30 AM and 4 PM. We also had a 4-day intensive Yoga 1 and Meditation course. It was an inspiring event.

    Mid-May saw our Peace Day event, which was a combination of an Open house for beginners and a Yoga for Peace Day for everybody. The Peace Day included an hour of Om Namo Narayanaya chanting, a lecture on peace, the video "In The Name of Peace" and 30 Min of sun salutation for world peace. The day concluded with a Puja with a local priest from Sri Lanka, who comes to the Centre for more than 10 years now. We also had 20 % discount offer. Many teachers and Karma Yogis were here to help plus, lots of visitors came. A new course on the Bhagavad Gita started and the course on the Upanishads finished with a conclusion of the Katha Upanishad. We also welcomed 2 new residents: Francine and Jaganathan, who came from the Bahamas where he did 3 months of Karma Yoga. Om Namo Narayananya Salutations to all! Om.

Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Los Angeles, California, USA
    Om Namo Narayanaya!
    For early May we had a very successful Anatomy for Yoga course one Friday evening, and Saturday and Sunday afternoons. It was presented by Parameshwari, a therapeutic yoga instructor and one of our students who is an anatomy professor. Participants were very appreciative. This month three levels of Positive Thinking and Meditation courses are running as well as a Yoga 1.

    During mid-May Sivajyoti, one of our teachers, held a workshop 'Optimal Breathing' about the mechanics of breathing. We also had a workshop on Ayurveda and Nutrition led by local Ayurveda practitioner, Lois Leonhardi. The weather was unusually hot, but fortunately the Yoga Centre remained cool and pleasant for classes. A new Yoga 2 started and the 3 levels of Positive Thinking and Meditation courses continued. Vishnupriya completed her time as staff and she has been replaced by Deviyani from the Yoga Farm. May the Gurus' blessings of be with us all. Pranams.

Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Madrid, Spain
    Om Namah Sivaya, Blessed Selves!
    After completing his teaching program at the Center, Dr Kamlesh spent time to show different recipes to the staff who appreciated it very much. A new beginners course has started with 11 students and a special asana workshop with 8 students. The Center continues the preparations for the upcoming Spring Festival, preparing the sound system, general spring cleaning and participating with an information table at a 2 days conference organized by the alternative magazine "Universo Holistico". OM.

Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Madurai, South India
    Om Namah Sivaya
    For early May classes and courses continued as per scheduled well. The Chitrai festivals in Temple City Madurai continued from the last 15 days. The event took place where Goddess Meenakshi marrries lord Siva. The whole city was full of devotion and bhakti during this festival, where lakhs of people use to come across Tamil Nadu as well as other state to get blessings. Kids camp came to its third week where kids are enjoying a lot.

    During mid-May the Centre was again busy with the festival. The result is a slight down fall of students numbers. The city was full of divine energy. We started a new ladies batch with sufficient no of students. Natural-Ji from Neyyardam along with Swami Rajeswaryananda visited in the Centre. We had a special Satsang with Nataraj ji where all the staff from Ashram along with our Centre students with out side students participated. The Satsang was energetic, enjoyed by all the people. Soon after Satsang the dinner was served for Ashram staffs. The special food was prepared by Arathi for special occasion. A Kriya workshop was given by Natraj ji a good number of students attended the workshop and then a Yoga class. Sunday Satsangs saw a good number of participants. Everything went well with the grace of our God & Satgurus. Pranams from the Temple city Madurai to each and everybody in the Sivananda family. Om Shanti.

Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Milano, Italy
    Om Namah Sivaya from Northern Italy.
    All staff and students are well. Pranams to all the Sivananda Family.

Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Montevideo, Uruguay
    Om Namah Sivaya
    For early May we started with 3 new Beginner's courses. We continue with the regular, pregnant and children classes. We are also having a weekly class for seniors. Most of the people are really enjoying this class.
    Parvati, a teacher who is always helping us, is being trained to do the Arati. So now we can have the Arati ceremony every day in the evening. Kanti is in Brazil leading a retreat and many activities in Sao Luiz de Maranhao.

    During mid-May courses and classes were running regularly on this week. On Tuesday Chandra came back from Porto Alegre. Kanti Devi returned from northeastern Brazil on Friday and immediately she started to work at the Centre. On the weekend of this week we had two interesting activities: Karma Yoga Day on Saturday, and Meditation for Peace on Sunday evening. Although few people came, both activities were very nice.Om and Pranams to everyone in the Sivananda Family from the staff at Montevideo.

Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
    Om Namah Sivaya
    Early May was steady, with classes and attendance seeing good numbers. Sushila began teaching a positive thinking course at the beginning of the week. Towards the end, we held a Yoga Nidra workshop on Saturday, which was well-attended and enjoyed by all. Soon after the workshop finished, Swamiji, Sankara, and a few eager and willing karma yogis got to work on our reception renovations. The interior wall was removed and reinforced with supporting beams, making for a much more open space. All of the students are noticing the effects and are very positively receptive to the change. There is a lot more work to be done, but the most difficult parts are over. We look forward to continuing to put our positive energy into the work, and keeping up with our daily sadhana.

    During mid-May the Centre was busy. We were happy to receive many different guests in the Centre. Srinivasan and Radha from the Yoga Ranch, and Lanny from New York came on Tuesday and stayed the night and a day. Another teacher, Shanti, stayed over the weekend while taking a course nearby. It's always good to host guests and have more opportunities to serve. We held a headstand workshop which was well-attended by senior students and newcomers alike. Class and Satsang numbers were a little low this week due to the NHL Hockey playoffs. We are thankful to Master and Swami ji for their continued inspiration and presence. Pranams to all the Sivananda family.

Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Munich, Germany
    Om Namah Sivaya from the Munich Centre!
    We had a lot of interesting programs in the last weeks – among them an information day for the yoga teachers training course, our monthly Open House, a mantra workshop and a further teachers training day. We also had a program on Ayurvedic Nutrition (with lectures and a big cooking class) with Ayurveda-Acharya S.K. Kamlesh and a program on Jyothisha - Vedic Astrology with Stephen Quong. A couple of our asana rooms got very nice new carpets and were painted freshly. We are very much looking forward to our celebration of "40 Years Sivananda Yoga Centre Munich" from 23 to 29 June. Highlights of this very special week will be lectures with Yoga-Acharya Swami Durgananda, asana-workshops with Yoga-Acharya Swami Sivadasananda and a seven day long recitation of the Srimad Bhagavatam (wisdom teachings and live music) with Bhakti-Yoga-Acharya Sri Venugopal Goswami and musicians. OM.

Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Neuquen, Patagonia, Argentina
    Om Namah Sivaya!
    During mid-May we signed the renewal of the lease and now we are prepared to make some repairs to the Centre. The classes and courses are running well. On Saturday we had two workshops, one of them on "Transforming the emotions" led by Swami Dayananda and the other about Pranayama taught by Jñanadev.
    The weather is becoming cold in Patagonia, where the Neuquén Centre is located, but the air is full of prana coming from the Andes Mountains. Next weekend Swami Dayananda is going to look for a new place for the Argentinian TTC, which we hope would be in Bariloche. May the Gurus' blessings of be with us all during 2014.

Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, New York, USA
    Om Namah Sivaya!
    For early May the Centre very busy for the last few weeks including changes in our computer system, (we have a new web site which is being newly built), two bedrooms completely redecorated and our Centre frontage now almost completed. Still some work needs to be done but we have new gates, new doors, new paving, a new sign, so we are on our way!!! We had a very nice Open House on Saturday and a very sweet Satsang on Sunday which was Mother's Day here. Swami Narayanananda left for Chicago and the UK for a few weeks.

    During mid-May the Centre welcomed Susan, a new temporary staff from Canada who will be with us for one month. On the weekend Mahadev Chaitanya came down and gave an Advanced Asana class to students and staff and inspired them all. New courses are starting on a weekly basis, keeping the staff busy with teaching and assisting. We are starting to see warmer weather and the garden is beginning to show the effects. All staff are well and sending their pranams. The staff are sending their pranams. Om Namah Sivaya from all the staff here at the NYC Centre. May the Gurus' blessings of be with us all.

Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Paris, France
    Om Namah Sivaya
    Many colourful flowers are blooming in the entrance area to welcome the students. In spite of the long weekends with many bank holidays, the Masters sent many students and karma yogis. The highlights of the month was a visit of Swami Kailsananda and an inspiring one day programme for Sivananda Yoga teachers given by Swami Bhagavatananda – she specially came from Orleans - and by Swami Gopalananda. The Sunday Prayers in the evening were very powerful and a little play at the end of the Satsang ended the programme. Everyone appreciated the day and felt more connected with the teachings of the Masters. Once again during the month, Swami Kailasanda visited to give a two-day programme. Many students, teachers and karma yogis came for the asana class and the Satsang given by Swamiji, which concluded with Mantra Initiation. She gave also a cheerful Mantra and kirtan workshop. Everyone enjoyed and the "Viveka Cudamani course" given by Swami Gopalananda. The kirtan course was continuing, and also the advanced asana course and the regular meditation and positive thinking courses. We also had a headstand workshop and a Prana workshop.  The monthly cooking class went well with a perfect team in the kitchen, peaceful atmosphere and delicious food. On the 23rd, the staff went to Orleans to celebrate the Anniversary of the Ayyappa Temple with Karma yogis helping with the running of the Centre. At the end of the month we had a successful Open House. OM.

Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Porto Alegre, Brasil, South America
    Om Namah Sivaya from Brasil
    During mid-May we started a beginner's course with 9 students and we had a cooking workshop with the teacher Jagadamba with 10 people. The Satsangs had good attendance with 9 on Friday and 6 Saturday.  Pranams, from all the staff at Porto Alegre Centre.

Centro Yoga Vedanta Sivananda, Rome, Italy
    Om Namah Sivaya, Blessed Selves
    Early May saw an Open House on Sunday, many people attended and we had registrations for the new courses started this week, people stay for Satsang with introduction to meditation and the meal at the end. The staff are fine. May the blessings of Master and Swamiji be with all. Om & Prem.

Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, San Francisco, California, USA
    Om Namo Narayanaya, Blessed Selves
    Pranams to all from San Francisco Centre.

Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Tel Aviv, Israel
    Om Namah Sivaya
    During mid-May Shankara Chaitanya is in the Yoga Retreat -Bahamas assisting with the TTC for the next 4 weeks. Bhargavi and Pranava are doing great work keeping the Centre satvic and fully active. Iswari our devoted karma yogini stayed as temporary staff to help during this time, and her support is of great value. On Tuesday we celebrated Pranava's birthday with a day full of inspired surprises and presents. During the week a lot of prana was focused on the promotion of upcoming courses and now we have 18 students for the upcoming meditation course, 12 participants for meditation 2 course and 11 for the special yoga for children teachers training program. Many people attended the weekend open house activities and were much inspired by the program. Blessings and Peace to all of the Sivananda Family from the Tel Aviv Centre.

Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Tokyo, Japan

    Om Namah Sivaya, Blessed Selves
    May the blessings of Master and Swamiji be with all during 2014. Pranams.

Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    Om Namah Sivaya
    For early May the weather had finally turned around, bringing in the sunshine. We could see everyone outside enjoying the sunny weather. We also started to see a drop in the open classes. due to the good weather. We started an Yoga 3 at 7 am, with Kanti teaching for 8 classes. The kids classes continue to liven up our Saturdays, we will miss them in the summer. The Asana correction workshop with Prahladji was getting more interesting with more teachers signing up. Kanti devi has taken the task of videoing the whole workshop. We are also inviting any students who need help in asanas to come in and get helped by the teachers. We are seeing new faces in Satsangs every time. With a lot of positive feed back.  Our regular retreat in June should see a full house, with teachers and students signing up. We have a few more places left. We still have 3 weeks for the retreat.

    During mid-May a new Yoga 1 started this week.  Saraswati has started a Raja Yoga course as well this week.  We continued to have a busy week, with the weather getting a bit warmer. Classes are on as usual, we had the Victoria long weekend, But response was good for all classes and Satsang's were overflowing. We continue to get new people coming to Satsang.  We are sorry the kids classes ended this week. Our Saturday's were very lively at the Centre. With the kids running around. We are going to miss them.  The Asana correction workshop with Prahladji was having good response from the teachers. All of them were very enthusiastic about the classes. Wanting to practice more corrections on each other. A few students joining to get help with their asanas.  It was also a sad week for us, when we heard the news of Prahladji's mother passing away in India on Wednesday morning. We wish her soul a peaceful journey. The Children from the local Mental health Centre continue to come here on Monday's and Tuesday's. With Saraswati and teachers from the institute teaching and feeding them. We do see them very happy with the classes. Pranams to all. Om.

Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Trivandrum, Kerala, South India
    Om Namah Sivaya!
    During early May the Centre started the week with a new basic course on Monday in the morning schedule at 6.15 a.m. The remaining practice sessions and Vacation Kids classes followed their normal routine schedule. We had Kriya workshop on Saturday morning at 7 a.m, that had the students being taught the  cleansing procedures of Jala Neti and Sutra Neti. We also conducted yet another  workshop on Meditation on Sunday at 4.30p.m, prior to the week long Meditation course starting on Monday evening.The talk provided a chance to the Meditation enthusiasts to get their queries answered and doubts clarified. This was followed by Sunday Satsang for the gathered devotees at 6 p.m. by Sandeep.

    During mid-May we began two basic courses on Monday at 9.30 a.m and 6.15 p.m with several students joining the classes. The week long meditation course also started on Monday at 6.30 p.m.,with the participation of a good many number of aspirants. During these classes the students were given a short synopsis of the miraculous effects meditation can bring about in enhancing their will power, determination and perseverance. They were made to understand the essence of meditation in improving their concentration and developing their strength of minds as well. On Thursday morning we had Ganapathi Homam welcoming the new month of Malayalam calendar, 'Edavam'. The month considered to mark the onset of monsoon season in Kerala, had made known its arrival with torrential rainfall during the previous weeks. The Sunday Meditation and Satsang at 6 p.m. for the gathering was guided by Sandeep.

Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Vienna, Austria
    Om Namah Sivaya
    Highlight of this month was the 7-day Yoga Festival. Every day there were asana workshops and lectures given by Swami Sivadasananda, Swami Narayanananda and Swami Mangalananda and in the evening the recitation of the Bhagavata Saptaha by Sri Venugopal Goswami and accompanying musicians. The priest Yagneshwara conducted Pujas in preparation of the scheduled prana prathista of a new Krishna idol which was still to arrive. The highlight on Saturday was Swami Durganandas lecture on Sadhana filled with wisdom and love, and the evening Nada Yoga concert. On Monday the long expected Murthi of Lord Krishna arrived at the Centre. Again and again his arrival had been postponed by adverse conditions. The Priest Yagneshwara held the welcoming ceremony and started preparing the installation of the idol. The prana pratistha Puja was on Tuesday morning at 7.00 o´clock. Many students, teachers, staff and Swamis filled the new temple room which was already vibrating with energy. The Puja was guided by Yagneshwara and Swami Durgananda. The ceremony made Krishna reveal his love, power and light more and more until the whole room and everybody inside it was bathing in His energy. All activities were well attended, especially the enchanting and inspiring evenings with the recitation from the Bhagavata Saptaha. Many Karma Yogis supported the Centre with diligent and devoted service. The Prana of the Centre was tremendously uplifted, filling everybody with joy, aspiration and wisdom.
    At the end of the month Dr. Kamlesh arrived for a special programme, and gave a lecture on Friday evening and a cooking course an Saturday. Inspite of the long festival programme and the midsummerly warm weather the Ayurveda programme was also well attended. OM.

Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Vilnius, Lithuania
    Om Namah Sivaya, from Vilnius
    During mid-May we have completed our four day Yoga and Music festival with many old and new students, teachers and karma yogis. We were very blessed to have beautiful music evenings with Sri Venugopal Goshwami and his ensemble, inspiring lectures with Swami Durgananda and Swami Sivadasananda, as well as informative, dynamic asana classes with Swami Sivadasananda and Narayani. Morning Satsangs attracted many dedicated students and created lots of positive energy in the Centre. We are very thankful for all guidance, love and Prana which was shared with us all. After the program the Centre continued with it`s usual activities, classes and started with Yoga 2,3,6 courses. We continue to promote the upcoming concert with Raghunath Manet as well as a retreat in beginning of June. Ishwara Chaitanya left for Madrid. Staff are well and inspired. Om and Prem to All. OM.

Banish all barriers from your mind.  Barriers are illusory products of Avidya or ignorance. - Sri Swami Sivananda

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- Swami Vishnudevananda