The moment I first walked into Sivananda Yoga Center, I knew that this was the right place for me to further my yoga practice. The friendly staff, soothing atmosphere, and the pleasant smell of freshly cooked Indian food, or burning incense, are some of the reasons why Sivananda is so special. I often frequent the open classes, and always feel at ease by the time class has ended.
‘Yoga used to be a very important part of my life many years ago. Unfortunately, I put it aside while working in a very demanding job and raising two children. I came back to the Sivananda Yoga Centre in May 2012 eager to find the calm and relaxation that I had been lacking while trying to balance career and family life. I felt very welcome and very happy to be back. All staff members are very knowledgeable, pleasant, kind and helpful. I signed up for a year of unlimited open classes and I have taken several yoga courses, workshops and meditation classes. My yoga practice at the Sivananda Yoga Centre motivated me to incorporate yoga into my daily life and the benefits are great. Yoga provides relief to my health issues, it makes my body stronger and more flexible and it gives me a more relaxed and positive outlook on life’.
I came to the Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre Toronto mostly associating Yoga with the practice of “yoga postures” or asanas. Gradually, I have been learning more about the meaning of Yoga and developing the practice. The Center offers a wide variety of courses including the practice of asanas, philosophy, meditation and chanting. The Toronto Center is especially blessed as its co-directors Saraswati and Prahlad both lived and studied under Swami Vishnu Devananda and are committed to preserving the traditional teachings. The Center offers a warm and welcoming atmosphere. The Sivananda organization is spread throughout the world and is a registered non-profit. It’s mission is to show not only how yoga can help maintain a healthy body but also how yogic philosophy, applied in daily life, can help maintain a peaceful mind and spirit.
I found the Sivinanda centre after years of unsuccessfully looking for yoga classes that worked for me. Now it’s become an indispensible part of coping with the stress of modern life. The structure of the asana classes allows for true relaxation and continuous deepening of the postures, which are challenging enough to open all of the joints and — in my case — to undo the damage created by chronic injury as well as hours spent in front of the computer. I started taking one or two classes a week. After a while, when I noticed how much better I felt on days I took class, I started taking class whenever I could. Then I took the introduction to meditation course. That spurred me to integrate daily meditation into my life, which has been a huge benefit. In all classes the teachers are well-trained, gentle, generous, and respectful – focused on service rather than ego, and the path of yoga rather than the body beautiful. And everyone of every age, walk of life, and degree of flexibility is made to feel welcome. I’m extremely grateful for Sivinanda, and don’t know how I’d get by without it!
ivananda provides a beautiful space for deepening your yoga practice and exploring meditation. The volunteers at the front are always warm and welcoming, and each instructor brings something unique to the practice. I always feel calm and at peace after attending classes, and the close-knit group of attendees and teachers feels like a real community tucked away in Toronto. I’ve been attending classes every week for several months now and feel very grateful to have discovered such a wonderful place to come back to the mat.