SWAMI SIVANANDA (1887 – 1963)

Swami SivanandaThe spiritual strength behind the Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centres, Swami Sivananda’s teachings are a synthesis of all the formal doctrines of yoga. Author of more than three hundred books on yoga, Swami Sivananda was a medical doctor before renouncing worldly life for the spiritual path. His main message was: Serve, Love, Give, Purify, Meditate, Realize. In 1957, he sent one of his foremost disciples, Swami Vishnudevananda to the West to spread the ideals of yoga. Swami Sivananda entered Mahasamadhi on July 14 1963.


Swami VishnudevanandaBorn in South India in 1927, Swami Vishnudevananda entered the ashram of Swami Sivananda at the age of 18. A world-famous authority on hatha and raja yoga, Swami Vishnudevananda founded the International Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centres in 1957 and was author of The complete Illustrated Book of Yoga, Meditation and Mantras, Karma and Disease and a commentary on the Hatha Yoga Pradipika. Swami Vishnudevananda entered Mahasamadhi on November 9, 1993.


Swami Durgananda





Kanti Devi
Kanti Devi

The Executive Board of the Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre is comprised of senior disciples of Swami Vishnudevananda, personally chosen by him to direct the organization after his departure. Each of them has had many years of experience in teaching all aspects of yoga. They are renowned for their devotion to Swami Vishnudevananda and Swami Sivananda and their profound knowledge, inspirational teaching and guidance, and their wisdom imparted to many thousands of students throughout the world.

To contact the Executive Board Members email HQ@sivananda.org


Swami Durgananda was born in Cologne, Germany in 1943. After a period of intense spirtual quest and study in Rishikesh and various Ashrams in India, Swami Durgananda, following a recommendation from the Sivananda Ashram in Rishikesh, met Swami Vishnudevananda in 1973, at the Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre in San Francisco.

She was trained in Yoga by Swami Vishnudevananda and received Sannyas initiation on New Years Day in 1976. As one of his most senior and closest students, she accompanied Swami Vishnudevananda during his many travels both in the East and the West.

Following the wish of Swami Vishnudevananda, Swami Durgananda went to Europe in 1975 to establish the Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centres. She was appointed director of the European Sivananda Centres in 1984, and was personally guided by Swami Vishnudevananda in the training of Yoga teachers. She received from him the title of “Yoga Acharya”, thus becoming one of his spiritual successors. She has guided with deep intuition many people on the spiritual path and teaches meditation, yoga psychology, nutrition, positive thinking, mythology and eastern philosophy.

Swami Durgananda founded the Sivananda Yoga Retreat House in Reith bei Kitzbühel in the Tyrol region of Austria in 1998. The Retreat House attracts people from all over the world for Yoga Vacations. It year-round programmes are highlighted by the Sivananda Yoga Teachers Training Course and Advanced Teachers Training Course.


Srinivasan was born in California in 1952. Awakened to his spiritual commitment amidst the brutality of the Vietnam War, Srinivasan studied at UC Berkeley looking for some social or political answer to human suffering and cruelty. Frustrated by all attempts at finding a material solution, he left for Quebec in 1977 to find his guru and yoga master in Swami Vishnudevananda at the Sivananda headquarters in Val-Morin. Swami Vishnudevananda was a living example that the greatest offering to world peace and brotherhood was a total commitment to service and meditation. Srinivasan was initiated into the Sannyasa order in 1979 by his guru, and he served under the close guidance of Swami Vishnudevananda at the Sivananda headquarters in Val Morin for over ten years. Srinivasan was the director of the Val-Morin ashram from 1992 – 1994. He also directed the Paris Centre from 1980 – 1983 and the Los Angeles Centre from 1983 -1986. Since 1994, Srinivasan has served as the Acharya for the Sivananda Ashram Yoga Ranch, the New York and Chicago Centres, and the affiliated Sivananda centres of the eastern region of the USA.

Srinivasan and his wife served together as householder disciples in the Sivananda Organization for 21 years while raising their daughter. Swami Vishnu blessed the marriage with the instructions to “live like Rishis”; and the Guru’s last instructions to Srinivasan were to “be a good father” not only to his daughter and wife, but to the whole world.” This great blessing has helped Srinivasan to hold a profound respect for the sacred monastic order of Sannyasa, as well as to understand the spiritual importance of the Grihastha, or the householder stage of life.

Srinivasan has dedicated his life to the path of Inner Peace and Unity in Diversity as taught and lived by Swami Sivananda and Swami Vishnudevananda. With this vision, he heads a community of Yoga practitioners at the New York Sivananda Ashram Yoga Ranch; he acts as the American editor of the Yoga Life magazine; he is now studying world religions in the All-Faith Seminary with the great Interfaith Rabbi Joseph Gelberman; and like all the Sivananda Acharyas, he trains Yoga teachers and tours extensively propagating the teachings of Yoga.”


Swami Kailasananda, Yoga Acharya, is a long time disciple of Swami Vishnudevananda and director of the Ashram de Yoga Sivananda in Neuville aux bois, Loire Valley, France, as well as of the Sivananda Centres in Paris, London and Australia. She studied Sanskrit at the Sorbonne in Paris. She has been teaching in Yoga teachers’ training course around the world for many years. She is the author of the book “The Sivananda Book of Meditation”. She is the editor of Yoga Life Magazine.


Swami Swaroopananda is a senior disciple of Swami Vishnudevananda. A practicing yogi from a very young age, Swami Swaroopananda has dedicated the past thirty six years to the practice and teaching of yoga. He is a member of the board of directors of the International Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centers. He is the director of the Sivananda Ashram Yoga Retreat and the Acharya for the Sivananda centers and ashrams on the West Coast of the United States, the Middle East, and the Bahamas.


Swami Sivadasananda is a direct disciple of Swami Vishnudevananda and Member of the Board of Directors of the International Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centers. He is greatly inspired by the combined approach of physical, psychological, and philosophical aspects of yoga. Since 1983, he has been training yoga teachers in Europe, India, Canada, and South America. He is author of The Sivananda Beginners Guide to Yoga and Yoga – Your Home Practice Companion. He is also the co-author of Practical Ayurveda.


Swami Sitaramananda is a senior disciple of Swami Vishnudevananda, initiated into Sannyas by Swamiji in 1985. She is the acharya of the US West Coast Centers and Ashram and also the acharya of the Sivananda mission in Asia, especially in Vietnam, from where she originally hails. She first met with Swami Vishnudevananda in Val Morin, Canada, Yoga Camp, in 1981 and served in the HQ ashram in Canada for six years before Swamiji sent her to many different centers and ashrams, most notably the San Francisco Center in 1989; and from 1995 as the full-time director of the Sivananda Ashram Yoga Farm, Grass Valley, CA.

Swami Sitaramananda has taught many international Teachers Training Courses in California, Vietnam, Taiwan and India, and is also teaching regularly at Sivananda Ashram Yoga Retreat, Nassau, Bahamas. She is the author of “Positive Thinking Manual”, a compiler of “Swamiji Said, a collection of teachings by Swami Vishnudevananda in His Own words” and “Essentials of Yoga Practice and Philosophy” (see also the Chinese, Japanese and Vietnamese version of this book). Swami Sitaramananda’s audio lectures on Yoga Life, articles and webinar presentations can be found on the Yoga Farm’s website at sivanandayogafarm.org


Kanti Devi is a direct disciple of Swami Vishnudevananda. She began her Yoga practice in Uruguay in 1969 at the age of 15 with Myrrha Talice, disciple of Swami Chidananda.

She was trained as a Yoga teacher at the Bahamas Ashram with Swami Vishnudevananda in 1975. In 1979 she took the Advanced Yoga course at Val Morin, Canada. She received the title of Acharya (Teacher) of the Sivananda centers of South America in 1990. In Reith, Austria (2004), she took the course of Nutrition Counselor in Ayurveda with Dr. Kamlesh. She performed, under the instruction of Swami Swaroopananda, a Sadhana Intensive, in June 2009.

She traveled with her Guru on a Peace mission to Havana, Cuba, in 1975. She visited with Swami Vishnudevananda the centers of Europe in 1985 and in 1986 she toured with Swamiji in several countries in Latin America. That year she organized the first course for Teacher Training Course in Piriapolis, Uruguay, South America.

From her beginnings in the practice of Yoga and the spiritual path, she has taught in International courses for Training of Yoga teachers dictated in Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Spain, India and Uruguay. She participated in seminars and courses on Yoga in different countries. She has translated several books of Swami Sivananda. She makes annual tours inf America, taking the teachings of her Master and the light of Yoga.

She has organized in various countries Symposiums and Yoga Retreats with outstanding personalities of the world related to the philosophy and art of India.

She has been a pioneer of Yoga in Uruguay and America. Vegetarian diet propellant and a new lifestyle based on simple living and high thinking.

She currently directs the Sivananda Centers in South America, as well as courses for teachers training taught in Argentina, Brazil and Colombia.


Prahlada, Yoga Acharya and a senior teacher of the International Sivananda organization, is a direct disciple of Swami Vishnudevananda, and has devoted his life to the study, practice and teaching of Hatha Yoga & Vedanta.

Personally trained by Swami Vishnu from a young age and with over three decades of experience, Prahlada is known for his practical and inspirational workshops and an ability to deliver the authentic teachings based on the yogic scriptures, in a simple, contemporary and relatable way. His dynamic Hatha Yoga classes are informative, engaging and filled with humor and he is also a dedicated karma yogi, encouraging others on the path by example.

As part of the executive board, Prahlada heads the organization’s activities and teacher training courses at the Sivananda centers and ashrams in Canada, India and Thailand.