Sivananda News Sivananda E-Gurugram
The Electronic Newsletter of the International Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centres
Issue #11/2013 Serve Love Give Purify Meditate Realize Nov 1, 2013
"Go beyond your limitations through purity, devotion, aspiration and meditation to recognize yourself as the Absolute Being." - 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

02 Diwali
03 New Moon
09 Swamiji's Mahasamadhi
10 Subramanya/Ayyappa Temple Closes for winter
11 Swamiji's Jalasamadhi
13 Ekadasi
17 Full Moon 
29 Ekadasi

02 New Moon
13 Ekadasi
17 Full Moon 
28 Ekadasi
31 EkadasiSwami Vishnudevananda's Birthday
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

By the grace of Master and Swamiji all the Ashrams and Centres continue Swamiji's teachings to the full extent. Our Uttarkashi Ashram still remains closed due to the floods and road damage. We are hoping by January 2014 we can re-start our operations there.

We are fortunate, after Swamiji left his physical body 20 years ago, the EBM with their dedicated faith, is moving the Sivananda Organization in a positive direction. Between 9th and 11th of this month all Ashrams will be celebrating the 20th Anniversary of Swamiji's Mahasamadhi. There will be Pujas and rituals. Please come and join us for this auspicious occasion at your nearby Sivananda Ashram or Centre.

We have a new section in the GURUGRAM, reporting the outcome of the TTCs worldwide. As reports are offered from each TTC they can be found in the International News Section, the last section of the GURUGRAM, following the Ashram Reports.

Happy Diwali.

May Master and Swamiji's blessings be with us always.

Pranams to all.

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Saturate your mind with divine thoughts. - Sri Swami Sivananda

Q. Why does God create rogues?

As this is a relative world, there must be rogues and honest men. A rogue is not an eternal rogue. A rogue is the saint of the future. Roguery is a negative virtue. It is not a separate entity. Honesty will have no existence in the absence of roguery. The raison d'etre of roguery is to glorify honesty. Roguery and honesty are the obverse and the reverse of the same coin. They are mental creations only. Even a rogue has some virtues. There is neither absolute roguery nor absolute honesty. God Himself plays the part of a rogue in the world's drama for His Lila. There is neither John nor Peter.

Q. When I was living in Uttarkashi, I had good Nishtha, exalted Vrittis and good Dharma. I have lost them now after entering the plains, even though I do Sadhana. Why? How to raise myself as before?

Contact with worldly-minded people at once affects the mind. Vikshepa comes in. The mind imitates. Bad, luxurious habits are developed. Bad environments and bad associations play a tremendous part and produce a bad influence on the mind of Sadhaks. Old Samskaras are revived. I will ask you to run at once to Uttarkashi, back again. Don't delay even a single minute. As the mind is formed out of the subtlest part of the food, i.e., gets attached to that man from whom it receives its food. Don't be under obligation to anybody. Lead an independent life. Rely on your own self.

Q. On what grounds should one refrain from meat-eating?
A. On medical, psychological, moral and spiritual grounds. The mind is made up of the essence of the food that a man takes. Tamasic food results in a Tamasic mind. Meat is Tamasic and hence should be avoided. When an animal is killed or butchered, a contraction of its nervous system takes place on account of fear. (And you might have felt certain disturbances in your own stomach when you have experienced fear.) This leads to the secretion of certain poisons in the liver, etc., of the animal. These poisons are cumulative in their nature and are never removed or lost during the process of boiling or cooking meat. Hence, meat-eating is poisonous and dangerous in the long run.
Next, there is no difference between you and an animal when both are considered as souls inhabiting the bodies. From whichever source you derive the right to live and enjoy in this material body, from that very same source, the souls of these animals have derived equal rights to live and enjoy in their material bodies. Hence, you do not possess the moral right to kill a single living being, however small it may be.
Lastly, but not the least, there is One Consciousness which has expressed itself in the form of the various beings, animate and inanimate. And this makes you one with all beings. When you have known this, will you consciously hurt any being? Can you willingly and joyously cut your own fingers and cook them and eat them? Knowing this oneness alone is the purpose of your coming again and again into the mundane plane. You can know, feel and experience this oneness only when you stop injuring and hurting others and begin to love all, as your own Self. Verily, the animals are thy own Self. Thou alone art residing in these animals as the individual souls and thou alone art manifest in the form of the material bodies in which these souls reside. Hence, wake up; stop meat-eating and butchering the animals. Develop love for them and promote oneness.
Previous FAQs at
Develop the eye of intuition. Have a vision of the Infinite. - Sri Swami Sivananda


A balance posture

Begin by standing firmly on both feet. Balance on your left foot keeping the weight firmly on this foot throughout the balance and lift the right ankle to grasp with the right hand.
Breathing slowly and rhythmically helps establish the balance. Concentrating on a spot in front of you and spreading the toes of the standing foot helps stabilize balance.
Keeping the back straight and the head level, inhale and raise the left arm straight up stretching the fingers up with the hand. The arm is kept alongside the left ear. Keep establishing and maintaining the balance while breathing and focusing on a spot. Keep the straight arm in line with the standing leg which is straight. This vertical alignment will help stabilize the balance and provide a stable base for the back bending to follow.
Now as the right foot is taken up and back, the right thigh is also going back. The chest will push out. The right shoulder can be rotated back to help with the back bending. The left arm remains straight up by the ear.
Deep breathing is natural in this posture with the chest open. Keep breathing rhythmically.
Hold for up to 30 seconds and release the posture slowly, then repeat on other leg (right) and holding the left ankle following the above steps.
Once this posture has been successfully and comfortably accomplished, then the back bend can be increased gradually while holding up the ankle and leg. The foot is pulled up and closer to the shoulder on that side. The thigh also then needs to stretch further back while the standing leg is straight and firm, weight firmly on that foot. The elbow is lifted while still holding on to the foot. The wrist is rotated holding the upper part of the foot now. While maintaining the deep rhythmical breathing, hold posture for up to 30 seconds. Rather than having the body tipping forward, the chest is pushed out and the back considerably more arched with this advanced version. The opposite arm is held up straight as previously. Release and repeat on the opposite side.
In the full pose, bring the left arm over the head and place it on the right foot, you are holding the foot with both hands. Again hold the pose then release and repeat opposite side.

Mental: Standing in a one leg balanced pose keep the mind focused with the concentration required in these postures. Gazing at a spot in front increases this level of concentration.

Physical: The long femoral muscle on the front of the thigh is given a good stretch. Caution- ease into the stretch gently without over stretching this large muscle. The required standing and balance on one leg strengthens all the muscles in that leg. The shoulder and arm muscles are toned, the triceps muscle in the arm stretched with the upward angle of the arms. The rib cage and sternum are stretched out in the front of the body, increasing lung capacity, while the muscles of the back are contracted and toned.

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

There is no pleasure in things finite. The Infinite alone is bliss itself. - Swami Sivananda

We must abolish lust, anger, greed, hatred, jealousy, envy and fear within ourselves
. - Swami Vishnudevananda



describes the qualities of darkness, inertia in an object. The root word, Tamas, is one of the three gunas that all objects are comprised. Tamasic is a quality attributed to describe dark, lethargic, unaware properties of thoughts, words or actions.

The Tamasic diet consists of a list of foods that practitioners of the ancient Indian medical system of Ayurveda consider to be Tamasic, meaning that they may cause certain potentially harmful mental and physical conditions. According to Ayurvedic beliefs, people wishing to become serious students of yoga should avoid Tamasic foods in their quest to achieve a healthy balance between their mind, emotions and body. Ayurveda teaches there are two other diets besides the Tamasic that can also affect this balance: Sattvic and Rajasic.

The natural medical system of Ayurveda has been practiced in India for thousands of years and bases its teaching on three Gunas, or primary qualities, that are said to exist in all natural things. Sattva, Rajas and Tamas. Each represents a different quality: Sattva is purity, Rajas is activity or passion and Tamas is inertia or darkness. In every material object, person or action, the characteristics of all three gunas are present; one, however, is always dominant. Whether a person's diet consists of Sattvic foods, Rajasic foods or Tamasic foods determines which Guna influences their thoughts and actions.

The Tamasic diet is characterized by the following foods: meat, fish, onions, garlic, curds, mushrooms, alcohol and any other fermented foods, including vinegar, bread, pastries and cakes. Any stale, overripe or under ripe, tasteless and rotten foods are also considered Tamasic, as is tobacco, or any kind of drug, plus any foods that have been processed, including those that are preserved in any way, canned or frozen. The prana/subtle life energy is low in these items.

Ayurvedic practitioners believe that a person who eats primarily Tamasic foods is doing harm to both their minds and their bodies. Ayurveda teaches that such a person will lose Prana, or life energy, and will be filled with strong, dark urges such as greed or anger, coupled with a lack of proper reasoning skills and a sense of inertia.

The Bhagavad Gita describes the nature of Sattvic, Rajasic and Tamasic natures in Chapter XVIII as follows:
"That which knows the path of work and renunciation, what ought to be done, fear and fearlessness, bondage and liberation-that intellect is Sattvic (pure), O Arjuna. That by which one wrongly understands Dharma and Adharma and also what ought to be done and what ought not to be done-that intellect, O Arjuna, is Rajasic. That which, enveloped in darkness, sees Dharma as Adharma, and all things perverted-that intellect is Tamasic."

Light, positive, sattvic or pure thoughts are calm and can be more easily transcended. Rajasic (extrovert) and Tamasic (dull) thoughts like anger, jealousy and greed are difficult to control. The question, then, is how to purify the thoughts and experience positive thinking.

When you love God, you love everything. All are manifestations of God. - Sw. Sivananda

A complete Sanskrit Glossary can be found at:


Chapter XIV: The Yoga of the Division of the Three Qualities of Nature


(Krishna speaking to Arjuna)
Those who are seated in Sattwa proceed upwards; the Rajasic dwell in the middle; and the Tamasic, abiding in the function of the lowest Guna, go downwards.

When the seer beholds no agent other than the Gunas, knowing that which is higher than them, he attains to My Being.

COMMENTARY: The seer knows that the Gunas alone are responsible for all actions and He is distinct from them.

The embodied one, having crossed beyond these three Gunas out of which the body is evolved, is freed from birth, death, decay and pain, and attains to immortality.

Concentrate to make the Rajoguna (excitement/activity) less and less prominent. Allow the Sattvaguna (purity) to become preponderant. Then alone the mind will become calm; the meditation steady and peaceful. - Sri Swami Sivananda


Discourse II: "Sadhana Pada - On Spiritual Disciplines"]
'It alleviates afflictions and brings about samadhi'.

By following the three practices of Kriya Yoga mentioned above, the student eliminates the source of his woes and eventually reaches the superconscious state.

Bhava or mental attitude is more important and not the object on which you meditate. - Sri Swami Sivananda


FA favourite in Fall/Autumn or cooler weather with its sweetness and creamy texture. A yellow vegetable with rich Vitamin A content. A good accompaniment with acidic foods. As it helps acidic stomachs. Serves 4.

1 butternut squash or 2 acorn squash
4 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted
2 cups fresh whole wheat bread crumbs
¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
½ teaspoon grounded cinnamon
2 large eating apples, peeled and cut into chunks


Heat oven to 350 degrees F.
Cut the squash in half and remove the seeds and stringy bits.
Mix the melted butter or margarine with the bread crumbs, spices and apples. Spoon this mixture into the squash halves.
Place them in the roasting pan, cover with foil and bake for about 45 minutes.
Remove the foil and bake 10 minutes longer to brown the tops.
Serve hot.

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

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

Live in tune with the Infinite. - Sri Swami Sivananda


Nov 10 - Dec 08/13
TTC – English
Neyyar Dam, Kerala, South India

Nov 17 - Dec 10/13
Ayurveda Wellness Course - English
Neyyar Dam, Kerala, South India

Nov 17 - Dec 14/13
TTC – English, Français
Val Morin, QC- Canada

Nov 24 - Dec 22/13
TTC - English
Madurai, Tamil Nadu, South India

Dec 04 - Dec 31/12
TTC – English
Nassau, Bahamas

Dec 14/12 - Jan 12/14
TTC – English, Deutsch
Reith, Tyrol, Austria

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:

Meditation is the divine ladder that connects Earth plane with the immortal citadel.
- Sri Swami Sivananda



Sivananda Ashram Yoga Camp, Val Morin, Quebec, Canada

    Om Namah Sivaya! Greetings from the Headquarters.
    Greetings from the Headquarters. In early October we experienced brilliant sunny weather, almost like a second summer. Some of us were lucky enough to be outside and working, whilst others had to enjoy the rays of sunshine through the windows! We celebrated Thanksgiving. It was a family affair. Pierre also conducted his Japa Mala workshop. Over 25 guests checked in for the long weekend, with many coming for the first time. On the Friday evening up at the temple, all the staff and guests were informed by Harisha that they could make an offering to Saraswati, a book, tool used for their profession, something they would like to learn, etc.. It would be blessed by the priest, and returned on Vijaydashmi, the day of victory. The thanksgiving feast team started their preparation the same day, making pie crusts, and prepping vegetables. Swami Shankarananda joined us & also helped us with some manual labour, moving the picnic tables to storage for the winter! It is always inspiring for us as staff and karma yogi's to be able to work alongside him. On the Thanksgiving Saturday all the guests and some staff attended Pierre's mala workshop, which began at 12 noon and finished at 3.30. He always brings in many people, as they want to make their own mala, but he also explains to them the importance and benefits of doing Japa. When the guests left, they left with a new tool to meditation, and their own personalized mala to practice with. After the workshops, a few guests and karma yogi's helped to make bouquets and wreaths to decorate the dining hall. We laid paper on the floor, to put plates, cups and cutlery, and put in a few centrepieces and candles to give it a more festive atmosphere! There were nearly 80 people at the feast, and the food was simple yet absolutely delicious! We had pumpkin soup, nut loaf, mashed potatoes and gravy, sautéed red cabbage, roast veggies and salad for the main course, followed by pumpkin pie and apple pie with custard on the side. The kitchen team worked tirelessly throughout the day, making sure it was smooth sailing through and through. After the feast, all the guests and staff made their way up to the temple for the Navaratri Pooja. The temple was nearly full of people, as there were quite a few devotees attending as well! The chants and prayers were loud and powerful. After the Pooja, the sponsors organised a feast. Now, everyone had a second feast! Sunday morning we prepared a continental breakfast brunch, with scrambled tofu, steamed kale, fruit salad and whipped cream, cinnamon buns, mini cupcakes and cereal coffee! About half the guests checked out later on Sunday afternoon, with a good 10-12 guests staying till Holday Monday afternoon, until after the Vijaydashmi Pooja. Holiday Monday morning a few staff went up to the temple to cook food for after the Pooja, and to set up. By 12 all the guests and staff were up at the temple. We helped to conclude Navaratri along with a few of the sponsors of the Pooja's. After the Pooja everyone had a second meal, and then came back to the Ashram to continue with work, and regular schedule. Monday night was night off for staff, so we all had a chance to rest and sleep a little earlier. The following weekend Suzanne conducted a juice fasting and detox weekend, with over 20 guests coming especially for this programme! Tejas who is staff here at the Camp, left for Madurai, to teach the October TTC. We ample number of guests staying with us. Karma Yoga for staff was nailing the carpets in front of the buildings for the winter, and putting up plastic around the entrances to protect from the snow. Anything that is outside was moved inside for the winter, the gardens were trimmed and mulched. There was much to look forward too, the staff worked towards keeping the energy of the Ashram up, creating a positive environment for the guests and moving on in our Sadhana.

    During mid-October we had a very solid guest programme, so they were offered coaching classes for asanas and meditation, and well as afternoon lectures and walks around the Ashram trails. One Wednesday night some of the staff, along with Swami Shivabhaktananda, were invited to Montreal for dinner and Satsang. Swami Shankarananda made soup, salad and pizza for us, and we watched a video of Swami Sitaramananda. It was a Q & A session with Swamiji, where she answered many questions that we face in our Sadhana, as yoga teachers and in daily life. It was a short video, light, informative and gave some inspiration to take home with us. During one weekend Suzanne Cliche conducted the juice fasting and detox weekend. She had nearly 30 people booked just for her programme, and we had only a handful of guests eating food with us in the main kitchen! The guests enjoyed the programme very much, as well as the company and knowledge that Suzanne offers. The fasting weekend was one of our busiest weekends during the year. By that Sunday all but 2 guests checked out. We did a short Satsang with likita japa that night, giving a brief explanation of likita japa and writing in silence for a littler over half an hour. Arjuna From Aylmer, conducted a halloween retreat at the Camp, bringing in many of his students from Ottawa as well. There was pumpkin carving, a special meal, and a lantern walk in the evening! It has been cold and rainy towards the end of october. Winter was finally settling in. We have been working inside a lot, finishing projects in the office, kitchen and housekeeping. We have prepared quite well for the winter, with just a few things remaining. All the main paths have carpets and soon we will put up the plastic to protect the entrances from snow. The staff all worked towards keeping the energy of the Ashram up, creating a positive environment for the guests plus, moving on in our Sadhana. Salutations to the worldwide family from the Sivananda Headquarters.

Sivananda Dhanwanthari Ashram, Neyyar Dam, Kerala, South India
    Om Namo Narayanaya!
    In October high season to just around the corner, marked by the grand opening of the Ashram Health Hut with a small Aarati and complimentary fruit bowls to the guests. Soon the hut will feature some raw foods items which Lakita and Murali are working on. Continuing with the Navaratri celebrations in honour of Durga each day staff and guests have been chanting in the temple, led by Swami Rajeshwariananda. The yoga vacation program for beginners and intermediates went well. All staff are well.

    During mid-October it was electrifying with the commencement of the second monsoon which typically starts with unexpected blasts of lightening. We were particularly vulnerable as the Ashram is situated on top of a hill. The lightening strikes often damage electronic devices. The telephone, internet and reception computers were affected. Nevertheless life goes on with an enthusiastic yoga vacation group who were chanting with enthusiasm in Satsang and presented a highly charged talent show one Saturday. Kalyani and Nataraj were away for a few days to visit TTC and ATTC in Phu Chai Sai, Thailand. Kalyani stopped in Madurai on the way back to assist TTC there. We offered our condolences to Gopalan whose brother died this week of leukemia. All staff are in good spirits and send their pranams.

Sivananda Ashram Kutir, Netala, Uttarkashi, North India
    Om Namo Narayanaya
    The Uttarkashi Ashram still remains closed due to the floods and road damage. We are hoping by January 2014 we can re-start our operations. May Master and Guru be with us all. Om May Master and Guru be with us all. Om.

Sivananda Ashram Chateau du Yoga, Orleans, France
    Om Namah Sivaya
    We had several maintenance projects this month, including the continuation of the construction of the Hanuman temple, which looks already quite beautiful and majestic, although it is not finished yet.  The work on the new bath house was also moving along with building of the inside partition, the heating installation and thes digging of the trenches for the drainage. We cleared the asana platform, tidied up all the buildings after the summer and the gardener tidied up the flower beds and to make them ready for the winter. We are entering the low season now, nevertheless there is a constant coming and going of guests, eager to relax, learn and expand. We had a nice celebration of Navaratri in honour of the Divine Mother with an abundance of flower offerings from our own garden. The daily Pujas came to an end with a final Vijaya Dasami celebration.  It was a very nice ending note for Navaratri, staff and some guests brought their personal items to be blessed. We also had a small photo shoot for our next brochure. Although it was a very cloudy (if not raining at times), Madhavi, our photographer, managed to bring a beautiful light on the photos. Our young dog Tejas is getting professional training and is slowly improving its behaviour, a lot of work, like taming the mind! OM.

Sivananda Ashram Yoga Farm, Grass Valley, California, USA
    Om Namah Sivaya
    In early October and the ending of Navaratri, and big Pujas, we welcomed a large group of 54 TTC students, a mature and diverse group from 15 countries, many from Europe, Russia, Australia, South America, Thai, Vietnam and Taiwan. Also many temporary staff and translators arrived. We have for the first time Spanish translation (3 Venezualian students) and Vietnamese translation. Teacher for philosophy and meditation: Swami Sitaramananda; Anatomy: Swami Pranavananda; Bhagavad Gita: Swami Omkarananda; Hatha Yoga team: Swami Pranavananda, Kailas Chaitanya, Lalita Chaitanya, Shambhu das,  Deviyani and Karuna devi; Kirtan: Kailas Chaitanya. The TTC were welcomed with concert by Stephen Longfellow Fiske and the initiation ceremony was beautiful with Guru Puja with a message from Sivananda Upanishad about the power of initiation. On the first day of the course, as part of the initiation and initial purification, the students  were blessed with a special Chandi Homa  of 6 hours with pandit Samavedula and pandit Sharma who himself is taking TTC.

    During mid-October the TTC is underway with wonderful initiation that included Chandi Homa on Vijaya Dasami day performed by pandit Samavedula and pandit Sharma at Krishna Temple, giving great blessing and uplifting the TTC teachers, students and staff. TTC teachers are: Swami Sitaramananda - Main Lecture / Philosophy; Swami Omkarananda - Bhagavad Gita; Sw. Pranavananda - Hatha Yoga and Anatomy; Kailas Ch. - Hatha Yoga and Chanting. The TTC have had an inspiring week of asana, pranayama, chanting and philosophy classes. This excellent international group is sincere and very studious, diving into the teachings and Ashram life. We have had many wonderful special guests including Ayurvedic specialist Ambika introducing Ayurveda and the doshas; Mary Thompson from the California College of Ayurveda speaking in Ayurvedic Psychology; John Beaulieu giving fascinating talk on the Yoga of Sound and the relationship between sound vibration and emotional states; the Temple Bhajan Band, hailing from Los Angeles, giving a wonderful kirtan concert. We are all feeling the grace of the Gurus. Om Namo Narayanaya to all the Sivananda family.

Sivananda Ashram Yoga Ranch, Woodbourne, New York, USA
    Om Namo Narayanaya
    In early October life started to quiet down with the last of the TTC's departing.  A few have stayed on as staff and several more have committed to return soon for karma yoga this winter.  We have been having the most beautiful autumn weather, and staff have been taking guests on daily walks through the forest, enjoying the colorful fall foliage.  The Navaratri Pujas, reading of the Devi Mahatmyam and chanting of the Ya Devi, continued throughout the week, lead nightly by Anoopji, our priest.  The energy has been very powerful during this most blessed time of year as we experience the Grace of the Divine Mother.  Staff are focused on service and full of bhakti.

    During mid-October the Ashram was busy because of the three day weekend holiday, and several guests were still with us on the holiday Monday. We celebrated Vijaya Dashami with an elaborate Puja and blessing of personal items and vehicles, all performed by our priest, Anoopji.  Staff and guests brought their books, musical instruments and various other personal items into the Krishna temple the night before.  It was a joyous occasion, followed by the blessing of the cars. There were over a dozen cars to be blessed and Anoopji gave careful attention to each one. Weather continued to hold up with warmer temperatures than usual hence, staff spent as much time working in the gardens and grounds taking advantage of the beautiful warm sunshine.  The Yoga Peace Ambassadors program began, led by Elaine Valdov.  The participants were led by Elaine's ability to help them focus on their passions and develop action plans for accomplishing their goals of spreading peace to others.  We had a teachers weekend, attended by several Sivananda teachers that teach at the New York Centre and from around the North East. The weekend started with a Devi Puja.  Mahadev Chaitanya taught special hatha yoga classes, advanced pranayama and gave a workshop on the importance of classical hatha yoga in modern times. The teachers left highly inspired to continue spreading the teachings of yoga in their communities.  The energy of the Ashram was positive and full of gratitude for the the blessings bestowed upon us all by the Grace of Master and Swamiji. Staff were in good spirits and send pranams to all! May the Gurus' blessings of be with us.

Sivananda Ashram Yoga Retreat, Nassau, Bahamas
    Om Namo Narayanaya, Blessed Selves
    In October our new 2-storey tent hut platform will be completed by end of November and will add an additional 24 furnished tents for guests. The second storey will be roofed to protect from the rain. We are beginning renovations to add private bathrooms to 2 of our private (single) rooms. Senior staff gave inspiring Satsanga on Repeating the Divine Name, Mantra Immersion, including evenings devoted to chanting. We had a Gentle Yoga Weekend, emphasizing the theme of 'Yoga Meets You Where You Are'. The lectures reminded us to tune our minds to joy, relaxation and rejuvenation during the yoga practice, and not push beyond our limits into pain. Om Namah Sivaya. Pranams to all!

Sivananda Ashram, Retreat House, Reith, Tyrol, Austria
    Om Namah Sivaya
    In October the sweet and pure energy of Navaratri was very present and uplifted staffs and guests alike. After the fall-TTC the activities and the atmosphere in the Retreat House calmed down. The weather in October was so enjoyable that the yoga guests were led to various scenics mountain spots. Navaratri celebrations were conducted with much zeal. Readily everybody joined the beautiful festivities. Even the beginners received them with open mind and interest. Before Swami Keshavananda left for India many maintenance projects, mainly in our guesthouses, were induced and supervised by him. Beside the regular yoga programs the retreat house received a group of 19 ttc graduates for further training on how to teach yoga for children. Everyone left inspired and more motivated for their teaching at home. After her return from TTC Poland Swami Ramapriyananda put much effort in arranging the new Ashram brochure for 2014. Swami Durgananda and Swami Sivadasananda spent some time here to support the Ashrams projects. OM.

Sivananda Ashram Meenakshi Ashram, Madurai, Tamil Nadu, India
    Om Namo Narayanaya
    In October the spirit of karma yoga possessed our bodies! We prepped for the first TTC of the season. Big karma yoga projects were listed in the agenda. With a great support from the yoga vacationers we started to clean the temporary dorms, store rooms, main halls and gardens. Happily, the YV have been surprisingly eager in helping out without even being requested. We appreciate so much the great energy that is surrounding us nowadays. People are active and enthusiastic about immersing themselves in the Ashram life with all its requirements.
    Inspired and full of love "Giani" an Italian guest once delighted our tummies with an amazing pasta for dinner. One Saturday evening we had also a special talent show while siting outside, combining the natural moon light and the warmth produce by a bonfire. We had so much fun an enjoyed the several musical talents displayed for the occasion.
    One Sunday Swami Satchidananda came back from Chennai after concluding the Meditation course at the Centre. On the same evening we had the Satsang by the temple area for celebrating the 9th day of the traditional Navratri. Staff and guest all brought books, tools and musical instruments to mother for her blessings. We continued to prepare to welcome the teachers and students who are arriving for TTC

    During mid-October we celebrated the last day of Navratri with a special Puja at the Ashram Kali temple. Chants for the Devi took place and as it is customary for this celebration, we collected the books and musical instruments we left the previous night after being blessed by the priest. The Yoga Vacation group keeps on flowing well, focusing on the group karma yoga projects to get the Ashram ready for the first TTC of the season. Another meeting was held to discuss about the remodelling project of the Ashram, with the presence of Prahlad, Nataraj, Kalyani, Ravi and some other architects involved in the project. At the same time we started to welcome the early arrivals for the TTC. Mini, one of our staff left the Ashram after spending several months in service. We are very grateful with her and wish her the best in her new pursuits. On the other hand Indira, Aneesha and Rahul joined the staff, as well as Yamuna who came back from Japan to help us out in the October TTC. Kapoorji from Delhi, Tejas from Canada and Kalyani from Neyyar Dam also arrived as part of the TTC teachers' team. We had the TTC inauguration in which 52 students were initiated by Kapoorji, Swami Satchidananda and Tejas. This time we had a high number of Indian nationals joining the course. We enjoyed the occasion and the presentation of all the students who seem enthusiastic about undergoing this new journey. We wished them all the best! Staff were well and looking forward to enjoying this course. All the staff send their pranams and hope all are well and contented. May Master and Guru be with us all. Peace and Pranams to the Sivananda family.

    TTC Reports:

    Thailand TTC News: We started our first week with a Homa for Ganesha's blessings for an auspicious beginning of TTC and ATTC. The energy of the TTC group is high. All students readily received the first classes of introduction to Swami Sivananda's and Swami Vishnudevananda's lives and teachings and enjoyed their Kirtan classes taught by Vijay. The ATTC students have taken up their intense practice of Pranayama under the guidance of Prahladji in a secluded location. Two scenic silent walks to the countryside and to close-by tea plantations were much appreciated, as well as the cultural programme with traditional Thai dance and music on Thursday evening. To further deepen their experience of Thai culture, the group went to Doi Tung, the Queen Mother's palace, to visit the gardens and villas on their day off. On Saturday, the students then had the opportunity to share their own artistic skills in the talent show, resulting in beautiful contributions from Chinese, Taiwanese, Thai and other groups of students. This very auspicious first week of TTC and ATTC ended with a Devi Puja on Sunday evening with Manjunath, concluding the celebrations of Navaratri.

    The second week of TTC and ATTC started with heavy rains, and foggy weather continued throughout the week. This week, the silent walk led the students to the mud house on top of which they enjoyed a beautiful sunrise, in stunning mountain scenery. On Thursday, the kriyas brought much cleansing and almost all students were successful in all kriyas. In the evening, priest Manjunath then performed a wonderful Guru Puja. A beautiful explanations of the tradition and lineage and of Guru Bhakti was appreciated by all students and the energy was high at the end of the session. Prahlad had a short trip to Madurai Ashram to overlook the new construction meeting on Thursday morning and returned by the Saturday morning. This week, we had to say good bye to Dr. Ashutosh after two weeks of inspiring and dedicated teachings. We welcomed Nataraj and Kalyani who made a surprise visit to Thailand TTC, and shared their energy by giving classes on the Bhagavad Geeta, anatomy and physiology. On Friday, all students visited the Long Neck Karen, where they enjoyed the beauty and peace of the Thai tribal life style. The second talent show on Saturday again was a full success, with many students beautifully sharing their talents. All staff are doing good with their hard work making the atmosphere inspiring and Sattvic. Om Namo Narayanaya!

Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Bangkok, Thailand
    Om Namah Sivaya
    In October the Centre's activities calmed down noticeably. With school holidays still on, students' attendance of open classes remained limited, and many regular students and teachers are out of Bangkok for TTC and ATTC. We continued back office work and garden maintenance, each day culminating in a Navaratri Pooja with a joint chanting of the Sri Lalita Sahasranama. The energy built up by the day. We had a cheerful kids' class, good attendance of the open classes and trial class and two staff from California joining us for Satsang on their way to Vietnam.

    During mid-October, with Swamiji's grace, the newly launched website and word of mouth are drawing new students. The visit of a Japanese magazine to the Centre confirms this steady increase in visibility. Two authors and a photographer joined a drop-in open class in order to recommend Sivananda yoga to the large Japanese community in Bangkok. All staff, and especially Mirabai as a Japanese national, gave them a brief introduction, highlighting the benefits of classical hatha yoga as taught in Sivananda yoga as opposed to other systems of physical exercise. For the first time since the establishment of the Centre in April, we started a Yoga 2 course for two regular Thai students. Uma Krishna will teach the course for two more weeks, and both students appreciated the first two classes with his knowledgeable teachings of advanced variations of the twelve basic asanas. Amit was out of Bangkok for five days this week to assist the TTC in Chiang Rai. The rainy season took its leave for this year with an impressive finale: after three days of heavy downpours, the entrance area of the Centre was flooded, and the pump was running for hours on end to stop the water from entering the glass house where the daily open classes are held. The end of the rainy season also marks the end of vassa, a three-month retreat observed by Buddhist monks, and the occasion was celebrated with a national holiday. Om Namo Narayanaya!

Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Zentrum, Berlin, Germany
    Om Namah Sivaya
    Highlight of the month was Navaratri celebration which was attended with full devotion by many close students, Karma Yogis, teachers and staff. The priest from South India led four Pujas with powerful mantras and chanting of Devi Mahatmyam in Sanskrit. The Vijaya Dashami Puja gave us lots of prana for the whole week. We had a well-received Seminar on Relaxation with a good group of students with two asana classes, lecture and Satsang. The monthly open house was very successful and saw many newcomers. We focused on mailing our new brochure. Staff and karma yogis were busy unpacking the boxes which came back from TTC Poland and repacking everything for the annual autumn retreat. It received a good group of people from Berlin and Hamburg. More than half of the group was new, all of them were very open and interested, enjoying asana classes, lectures, Satsangs and nice nature walks. OM.

Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Buenos Aires, Argentina
    Om Namah Sivaya
    May Master, Guru and Mother's blessings bring peace and love along the world. Prem & Om to all.

Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Chennai, India
    Om Namah Sivaya to all Blessed Selves from the Chennai Centre
    In October several great events/courses were initiated to keep our students engaged in yoga. For starters, Swami Satchidananda, of the Madurai Ashram, stayed with us through the week as he led another well attended meditation course. Always a pleasure to have him as our guest, he also offered daily talks on "The Bhagavad Gita, a Modern Perspective" for our students to reflect upon and enjoy. A special "Yoga for Knee Pain" workshop was held, led by one of our outside karma yoga teachers and yoga therapist, Uma. This was the first of a series of 2-day workshops that she will offer every weekend focusing particularly on pains at various parts of the body. And to finish off the week, a wonderful Saraswati Puja was held as part of Navaratri to bless/honour the tools that we use here at the Centre and to ask for the blessings of the Divine Mother. Several teachers and their families attended the event, bringing a tremendous energy and feeling of well-being to the Centre! The staff continued to be in good spirits, working diligently on their Sadhana.

    During mid-October our Sadhana went on as usual, here at the Chennai Centre. On Mondays we started a new ladies-only Beginners' Course at 9.30 am. We welcomed a few special guests who were en route to the nearby Madurai Ashram: Nataraj, Kalyani and Prahlada. Their presence is always a pleasure for the staff, and this time even the students were treated with delight as Nataraj taught a wonderful and relaxing morning class. We continued with a special Ganapathi Homa on Friday morning, bringing energies of prosperity and success to the Centre. Gopan, Sandhya and their son Karun travelled to Madurai. Karun will be taking the TTC there so in one month time we will have a brand new teacher to join in the team! Our 2-day yoga therapy workshops - this week focusing on back pain - were carried out to an eager group by our yoga therapist, Uma. The Centre experienced a delightful week, overall. We're all looking forward to seeing what positive experiences lay ahead. Blessings to all!

Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Chicago, USA
    Om Namah Sivaya!
    During early October we experienced much uplift through the celebration of Navaratri, with the participation of many students. We continued work with redecorating our boutique, which is near completion. Lalita Chaitanya left to help out at with TTC at the Yoga Farm. Courses and classes continued well.

    During mid-October the weather started to change and the first of the cold weather arrived. We finished the work on our boutique which is now more spacious and welcoming. We worked on some greenhouse "tunnels" for the garden so that we can keep up with production of vegetables in the colder weather. Courses and classes continued well, including our ongoing Bhagavad Gita class. A small group of teachers and students meet regularly now also for study of Sanskrit. All the staff send Pranams to the Sivananda family. Om Shanti, Shanti, Shantihi from the Centre in Chicago.

Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Dwarka Centre, Delhi, India
    Om Namah Sivaya
    October started with a beginner's batch in the mornings. There was a spiritual atmosphere due to the Navaratri days. We did a Hawan at the Centre on the day of Navami. The Centre is going fine and adding more and more people with it every day.

    During mid-October we introduced the arrival of winter here in Delhi. We continued the two beginners batches. The Centre was able to maintain the flow of students both beginners and students already practising. The weekly Satsang was enjoyed by all staff and few students. With the grace of Gurudev the Centre was filled with fresh positive energy. Pranams to all. Om Shanti.

Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Nataraja Centre, Delhi, India
    Om Namo Narayanaya
    In October we continued with positive energy. Bhishma taught a new Y1 beginner course and we had a private class for a group of 26 German students who appreciated Anuj's introduction to Sivananda yoga. This time of year was especially marked by our Navaratri celebrations. Binoy led the daily chanting of the Sri Lalita Sahasranama. We concluded the week with a Durga Pooja with many students joining us for Satsang, with the altar being beautifully decorated in honour of the Divine Mother.

    During mid-October construction, renovation and painting works continued, which created a continuous buzz of activity for the staff. Finally, all works have been completed and the Centre looks beautifully brushed up, especially the kitchen and dormitories. The new brochure with the winter schedule has been finalized and is being distributed to the students. All are getting ready for the winter, which is slowly but steadily approaching, leading to noticeable drops in temperature during the nights. The temperatures as well as the upcoming Diwali holiday season start affecting students' attendance of the open classes. Still, we were glad to start a new Yoga -1 beginner course with nine eager students, taught by Manjuji.  The new Yoga Life magazine has been distributed to all Members and Teachers. 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
    Highlight of the month was the celebration of Navaratri which brought a lot of prana to the Centre. Students came with flowers and Prasad and energy at the altar was building up beautifully. The inspiring Pujas and the chanting of the Devi-Mantras uplifted the atmosphere and left everyone grateful and satisfied. An open day on a Saturday went very well with many of the students signing up for upcoming courses as well as buying class-cards. We had a staff change: Sundari who served in Geneva for one month went back to Spain and we really appreciated her dedicated support. Saraswati Chaitanya returned from Madrid and students and staff are happy to have her back at the Centre. A new and faster printer was installed in the office and the work on the next general brochure started. OM.

Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
    Om Namah Sivaya
    In October we celebrated 10 days of Navaratri.  It was beautiful to have the daily Pujas and worship the Divine mother.  We also had an inspiring Skype Satsang with Swamiji.  The topic was on karma, dharma, and Sadhana. Open classes and courses continued to run well.  We felt the blessings of Master and Swamiji.

    During mid-October we were happy to be blessed by the Divine Mother, Master and Guru. All the staff were happy, with the Guru's blessings. Pranams to all the Sivananda family. Om Tat Sat.

Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, London, England
    Om Namah Sivaya
    In October Swami Kailasananda spent the week in London and uplifted the Centre with a program of advanced asana classes and insightful Satsangs which were enthusiastically received by all. Much guidance was given in the various ongoing projects in the Centre as well as personal guidance for the continued Sadhana of staff. Swami Bhagavatananda returned to France after three weeks of dedicated service in the London Centre and we welcomed Vishwakarma from Orleans who started with the construction of a small additional bathroom in one of the Centre buildings. We welcomed Dr. Raymond Moody for a captivating lecture on the topic Life after Life, explaining about his research in the phenomenon of the near-death-experience. Om.

Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Los Angeles, California, USA
    Om Namo Narayanaya!
    In October we had very successful and well attended Pujas for Navaratri celebrations and the efforts of the Pujaris was very much appreciated. At this time we received visits from many people who do not attend the Centre because they like to participate in the Pujas. We continued to run two Yoga 1 courses, Positive Thinking and Intro to Ayurveda courses.

    During mid-October we concluded the Naravatri celebrations with a lovely Victory Puja with many students offering their instruments of karma for blessings. We continued with the two Yoga 1 classes and the Positive Thinking and Meditation class.  One weekend, Dutch master artist, Pieter Weltevrede and his wife, returned to present his amazing paintings of deities.  He gave two workshops on the Saturday and Sunday to teach students how to draw and paint yantras. The students were very inspired by this meditative and devotional practice. May the Gurus' blessings of be with us all. Pranams.

Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Madrid, Spain
    Om Namah Sivaya, Blessed Selves!
    The month of October at the Madrid Centre started dynamically with the uplifting energy from the TTC in Alluenda brought back to Madrid by the returning staff, teachers, and new TTC graduates. With each week, the Centre teaching schedule has been getting busier and busier with more and more well attended beginner courses starting, as well as other meditation and philosophy courses and special workshops. Two very successful and well attended Open Doors days took place at the Centre with a lot of first time visitors getting inspired to sign up for beginner courses as well as for the upcoming October retreat which has gathered a record number of first time participants. Swami Atmaramananda and Karuna returned at the Madrid Centre after an inspiring one month of TTC and ATTC in Poland. They were happy to be able to join the rest of the Madrid staff in time for the Navaratri celebrations with priest Venugopal who stayed at the Centre for 5 days of beautiful and inspiring Navaratri Pujas. On Oct 12th, Saraswati Chaitanya left for Geneva after a month of dedicated service at the Madrid Centre. Throughout the month, staff at the Centre has been reinforced by visiting karma yogi: a dynamic and enthusiastic group of Portuguese teachers during the Navaratri weekend, and a new TTC graduate from Orleans. A new TTC Aluenda graduate, Krishnapriya, also joined the Centre as temporary staff for the next three months, and her vibrant energy and enthusiasm have been a nice addition at the Centre. The combined forces of the summer rest for teachers and students, TTC energy and enthusiasm of teachers and staff, and the much anticipated return of Swami Atmaramananda, are visibly giving a push to the Centre with high enthusiasm and motivation for everybody and increased numbers of students and visitors of the Centre. OM.

Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Madurai, South India
    Om Namah Sivaya
    In October we started an evening beginner's course on Mondays. We started Lalitha Sahsranamam chanting a little before Navaratri, to raise the energy of the Centre. The North West monsoon set in and Madurai received some relief from the scorching heat. All is well by the grace of our Gurus. Pranams to all from Temple City.

    During mid-October Vijayadashami all the members of staff visited the famous 1st Divya Desam (108 temples visited by the one of the 12 Vaishnavite Self Realized Saints - Azhvars), Sri Rangam Temple, 5 km from Tiruchy,  to have darshan of Sri Ranganatha Swamy(Lord Vishnu). We later visited Thanjavur Brihadeeshwarar temple. We started a new project with TVS Group of Schools for their teachers on Thursdays. We had 22 teachers in the first batch. The program included Pranayam, Asanas and meditation for four weeks, Monday to Friday. All other classes and activities went well at the Centre. All is well by the Grace of our sadgurus. Pranams to each and everybody in the Sivananda family. Everything went well, by Gurus' blessings. Om Shanti.

Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Milano, Italy
    Om Namah Sivaya from all staff in Milano. In early October we had a very nice weekend retreat at a location an hour south of Milano. Open classes at the Centre continued to do well. We had a small Yoga 1 course start. Staff and students are well. Pranams to all.

Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Montevideo, Uruguay
    Om Namah Sivaya
    In October, with the blessings of Durga, Laxmai and Sarswati , the Montevideo Centre was abundant with new and renewed monthly memberships. The yoga classes, a special course and Navratri Pujas were all well attended.  One weekend we offered a special course on music, mantra and movement with Gaston Gerónimo, who captivated the audience with his instruction and concert. We continued to promote (via website, announcements, and flyers) the first Sadhana Intensive course offered in South America and the TTC 2014 in Garopaba. We continued to promote special activities that will take place here in Montevideo and all South American locations that are being offered until next year. Lalita returned to the Centre. Kanti Devi and Chandra left for the retreat in Porto Alegre, Brazil. Look for retreat photos on our Facebook page.

    During mid-October with the blessings of Durga, Laxmai and Sarswati, the Montevideo Centre was abundant with new and renewed monthly memberships. Regular yoga classes and the last two nights of Navratri Puja were well attended. We were looking into finding a bike rack for students who ride their bikes to the Centre. We prepared for the executive committee and fiscal committee elections that will be held Oct 22. We continued collecting e-mail addresses for the mass e-mail that will be sent via Joomla. We continued to promote (via website, announcements, and flyers) the first Sadhana Intensive course offered in South America and the TTC 2014 in Garopaba. We continued to promote special activities that will take place here in Montevideo and all South American locations that are being offered until next year. Om.

Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
    Om Namah Sivaya
    In October we had beautiful fall weather in Montreal. Swami Sitaramananda and her assistant spent a few nights at the Centre. During morning Satsangs, Siva (local priest) came to lead the Navaratri Pujas. The Pujas where sponsored (flowers, prasad. and donation to the priest) by different teachers and students. We celebrated Vijayadasami, there was a lot of participation and all felt love, protection, blessings from the Divine Mother. Classes and courses are well attended.

    During mid-October we had beautiful fall weather in Montreal. Friday night Sankirtan was conducted by an Hare Krishna group. We also had a successful Indian cooking class with Neeti from the Ashram who spend a few days at the Centre. Satsangs, classes, and courses are well attended. We felt thankful for Swamiji's and Master's grace. Pranams to all the Sivananda family.

Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Munich, Germany
    Om Namah Sivaya from the Munich Centre!
    In the last weeks we had a special program with yoga-acharya Swami Sivadasananda with the title "The Power of Hatha Yoga" with special asana workshops and Satsangs. Furthermore we held two cooking classes – one with the topic "Indian Spices" and one with the title "Soups and Healthy Snacks". We also had a workshop with the title "Thoughts – the Architects of your Destiny" and a further teachers training day with the topic "backward-bending asanas and meditation postures". Spiritual highlights of the last weeks were a program on Indian temple ceremonies with an Indian priest and the celebration of Navaratri. OM.

Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Neuquen, Patagonia, Argentina
    Om Namah Sivaya!
    May the Gurus' blessings of be with us all. Pranams.

Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, New York, USA
    Om Namah Sivaya!
    In early September we were busy with new Yoga 1s, Yoga 2s, Positive Thinking and Meditation courses starting. The enrolments were encouraging and we are hoping to sustain a good level of attendance throughout the coming weeks. We had a successful Saturday Workshop on Balancing Postures led by staff member Bharata who has a doctorate in physiotherapy. The participants definitely looked steadier after the class than when they went in!!!! Satsangs continue to be well-attended. We said good-bye to Sarada Devi as full-time staff and and thank her very much for her loyal service in the Centre. She will continue to be a teacher and karma yogi here.

    Mid-September was very busy with an increase of student numbers and also the visit of Srinivasan with Saraswati. We had a great weekend programme with a workshop on Resilience and Balance through Yoga and a very nice Satsang both with Srinivasan . Students and staff were very happy and inspired. The Fall/Winter brochure was mailed and already we are getting a very good response from it. The staff are well and sending their pranams. Om Namah Sivaya from all the staff here at the NYC Centre. May the Gurus' blessings of be with us all.

Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Paris, France
    Om Namah Sivaya
    Beautiful weather at the end of October. God gave us some extra pleasant days, everybody appreciates the music of the rain, the beautiful drops hanging everywhere, the sun playing hide and seek and the wind giving fresh air and blowing many leaves and petals in the air. Swami Gopalananda left to Orleans to stay there until the 4th of November. We had a big family with some of the European staff who went to the draprayag's TTC and the South Indian priest who went back home, they all spend one day in the Centre on their way to India. The priest did a strong Siva puja before leaving. We had a relaxation workshop and the continuation of three courses: meditation, positive thinking and Anatomy. Many postcards for the Open house were distributed, the karma yogis helped to put a good dose of sattva in the house, the staff enjoyed teaching and helping with the running of the Centre. In spite of the school holidays, there were many students especially in the evening. Some new TTC's started to assist in the open classes. On Saturday, we had the Open house. The morning Puja gave us the prana for a good an intensive day. The Masters sent many students to the regular classes and the different activities. They also sent many hands to help. There were almost 100 students for the trial class. The new comers were very receptive to the teachings of the Masters and inspired to register for courses and workshops. Vishnupriya arrived from Orleans in the afternoon; she will stay as work-study for one week. One Sunday the day started later with the change to the winter's hour. Cheerful and serene atmosphere for the classes and the Sunday Prayers. OM.

Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Porto Alegre, Brasil, South America
    Om Namah Sivaya from Brasil
    In October we received Kanti Devi and Chandra who came to the retreat and Jyoti returned to his city. We had many entries for the retreat that ended with twenty-two people enrolled three more people like Staff. The retreat took place from 11 to 13 October in the city of Sinimbu 200km from Porto Alegre, in a secluded place and very close to beautiful nature. Remained an atmosphere very spiritual and seven people have made their mantra initiation. The Navaratri celebrations were very beautiful and full of good vibes goddesses.

    During mid-October Kanti Devi and Chandra went back to Montevideo. Tandava Chaitanya went to Blumenau to a program with Satsang and a yoga class. We are now organizing the Centre for the period he will be at Merlo (Argentina) for helping on the Sadhana Intensive. Pranams, from all the staff at Porto Alegre Centre.

Centro Yoga Vedanta Sivananda, Rome, Italy
    Om Namah Sivaya, Blessed Selves
    In October we held the last Puja for Vijaya Dasami, students participated bringing their books and instruments of work for blessing. The rest of the schedule went on smoothly. Navaratri brought a beautiful energy to the Centre. 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
    In October courses (Yoga 1, Positive Thinking and Meditation) continued with very steady attendance. The Wednesday evening Satsang continued with more of our spiritual poetry readings, with emotional and heartfelt recitations.  We created a spontaneous poem which was led by one of our students. We were honoured to present award-winning Canadian filmmaker Velcrow Ripper who spoke about action, love and spirituality, and led the group in inspiring reflection and a few heart opening exercises. Celebration and Puja for Navaratri culminated the Sunday night with several new community members coming for the very first time.  A few members shared Navaratri stories from their youth. The atmosphere was happy and very spiritually charged.

    During mid-October classes were well attended and we had a steady week of karma yoga and learning for our residents. Wednesday evening Satsangs continued with more of our spiritual poetry readings. We were happy to have Yi Zhou, a former resident of our Centre, come and lead a workshop on mindful parenting. The participants participated in exercises to deal with stressful situations.  We had a lively Satsang one Sunday evening, with a very open and warm atmosphere. Pranams to all from San Francisco Centre.

Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Tel Aviv, Israel
    Om Namah Sivaya
    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
    Pranams to all.

Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    Om Namah Sivaya
    In October we started a new Yoga 1 this week.  Open classes continued to be full in the weekdays, then they were slow due to the Thanksgiving Long Weekend. Most teachers and students had gone out to spend the weekend with their families. We had Gauri Chaitanya and her son Hanuman visiting us. Gauri Chaintanya offered to cook the Saturday lunch for all at the Centre. It was enjoyed by the teachers and children. Shankara left after the Pooja to his home to London, Ontario for the Thanksgiving weekend.

    During mid-October we started a new Y1 and Y2.  Open classes continued to be strong.  Satsangs were well attended, plus the kids classes are in full swing. Classes were slowly picking up after the Thanksgiving weekend. The Centre was open on all days, we did have regular Satsang and classes. Shankara returned after going home for Thanksgiving. Gauri Chaitanya and her son Hanuman travelled to the Yoga Camp Ashram. Om.

Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Trivandrum, Kerala, South India
    Om Namah Sivaya!
    In October a new beginners batch was started at 6.15 a.m. on Monday. Six day long meditation course also began at 6.30 p.m. The course that concluded on Saturday was well received by meditation enthusiasts. Kriya workshop was conducted at 7.00 a.m. Navarathri Puja with 9 day long festivities marked the entry into the new realms of knowledge for young and old people alike. It is celebrated throughout India with worship of Saraswati Devi, the goddess of knowledge. Scriptures, books and other study materials were kept for Puja as part of Maha-navami celebration. Special Satsang with Durga Puja was held at 6.00 p.m. which was attended by a crowd of  considerable number.

    During mid-October Vijaya-dasami day marked the end of Navarathri festival with a special Pooja in the morning. Traditionally, on this day children are made to write their first letter on platter of rice into the world of letters seeking the blessings of Saraswati Devi, goddess of knowledge and wisdom.  As per schedule, two beginners batch started at 9:30am and 6:15pm. We had a Ganapathy Homa, to mark the beginning of Malayalam month 'Thulam' considered to be the month of heavy rainfall in Kerala. Vipin, who had been dedicated and hardworking karmayogi staff for the last 8 months, left for his home-town in Palakkad. We wished him good luck and success in all his future endeavours.  In the evening Satsangs we sent our prayers for and good wishes to each member of the Sivananda family. Om Shanti Shanti Shantihi.

Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Vienna, Austria
    Om Namah Sivaya
    Many new courses started this month, among them Y8, Y13, Y35 and Y58. Open classes were also well attended. We had a cooking course with tasty autumn dishes. Highlight of the month was the celebration of Navaratri. Many students and teachers came to worship the divine mother in her different manifestations – morning- and evening Pujas were well attended. Sivani (Staff Munich) arrived from Reith to support the Centre. Swami Karunananda left for going to Munich, Reith and London with the Acharyas. Swami Ramapriyananda arrived for a special program. There was a further teachers training Advanced Asanas in Practice and Teaching. Most of the participants were active teachers from the Centre. Sunday there was a general special program for everybody, entitled Yoga and the Mind. Again many teachers participated. During Satsang Swami Ramapriyanada presented a power point show on Yoga, Brain and Mind – the asana hall was crowded. The programme concluded with a Bandara, where all were sitting together enjoying Prasad, soup and the high collective energy. OM.

Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Vilnius, Lithuania
    Om Namah Sivaya, from Vilnius
    In October the Navaratri festival with the everyday Pujas was very elevating and purifying for the Centre. Durgadevi came back from the TTC Poland. For two weeks we were intensively preparing for the upcoming main event. The priest Venugopal Bhatt arrived, who performed wonderful Ganesha Puja attended by many teachers and students in the presence of Swami Sivadasananda and Swami Atmaramananda. Then the new venue for the Vilnius Centre was officially inaugurated. The Centre had been functioning for a few months in its new location . First the entrance to the house was blessed with a small Ganesha Puja , then the priest performed an auspicious Sudarshana yantra Puja with the repetition of the Vishnu Sahasranama (1008 names of Vishnu). Asanas workshops  taught by Swami Sivadasananda and Swami Atmaramananda took place in the university hall across the street because of the large number of participants exceeding the capacity of the Centre . The highlight of the day was the slide show presentation of Swami Vishnudevananda 's life mission including his peace missions in western and eastern Europe. Swami Sivadasananda gave a very inspiring and lively account of the flight over the Berlin wall which had been organized by the European staff team led by Swami Durgananda and which open the doors for the spreading of Master's teachings in eastern European countries . Swami Atmaramananda concluded by a short historical description of the development of the mission in Eastern Europe and the start of the first eastern European SYVC Centre in Vilnius in 2010 . The inauguration ended with a very elevating Satsang with Swami Sivadasananda on inner peace for outer peace . The celebration united  the Lithuanian Sivananda family : all Vilnius staff, teachers , karma yogis  and students feel very  inspired and blessed to be able to serve and practice in the house of Masters. Many students and teachers came from the other Eastern European countries: Poland, Latvia, Estonia and from different towns in Lithuania. We felt that Vilnius Centre is really becoming the gates to the Eastern Europe. OM.

Samadhi is awareness of the one essence. - Sri Swami Sivananda

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