Sivananda News Sivananda E-Gurugram
The Electronic Newsletter of the International Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centres
Issue #02/2015 Serve Love Give Purify Meditate Realize February 1, 2015
"Happiness is here and now. Become a friend of humanity. Become a radiant Yogi in this World." - 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
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

03 Full Moon
15 Ekadasi
17 Sivaratri
18 New Moon

MARCH 2015
01 Ekadasi
05 Full Moon
06 Holi
16 Ekadasi
20 New Moon
28 Rama Navami
31 Ekadasi
A complete e-mail directory of the Sivananda Yoga Centres and Ashrams is available at:
Sivananda Email Directory

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Blessed Selves,
Om Namah Sivaya

The New Year started in a very positive way in the entire Organization.

Most notable was the EBM visit to Madurai Ashram for Indian Directors and Trustee meeting, it was a joyous and inspiring occasion with EBM's first time visiting the Ashram, appreciating the calm and serenity of the facilities and location. Sivananda Organization India's Directors and Trustees were very inspired with EBM presence and hearing their new direction for India, wanting to help more poor people in India, in addition, to continue propagating Swamiji's teachings. The new Satsang Hall and Temple at Madurai Ashram were inaugurated with many dignitaries taking part in the program. A grand Puja was organized on 17th of January in the New Satsang Hall which from then onwards was appropriately renamed as "Swami Vishnudevananda Satsang Hall". May Master and Swamiji's blessings be with us always.

Pranams to all.

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Know, and then live the divine life, the Upanishadic life of Brahmic consciousness. - Sri Swami Sivananda

Q. What are the marks of spiritual progress?

Peace, cheerfulness, contentment, dispassion, fearlessness and an unperturbed state of mind under all conditions indicate that you are advancing in the spiritual path.
Spiritual progress is not measured by Siddhis or powers, but only by the depth of your bliss in meditation.

These are sure tests of your spiritual progress:
- Is your interest in inner spiritual activity and outer Sadhana increasing day after day?
- Does spiritual life mean to your consciousness a matter of great delight, a delight far transcending the happiness that the world of vital pleasures affords you or offers you?
- Has your personal awareness come to a possession of a sense of peace and strength which men who are not aspirants do not find in their everyday lives?
- Do you feel certain that your power of discrimination and light of thought have been steadily growing?
- Is your life being gradually led to such experiences which reveal to you the operation of a will and intelligence other than your own, the will and intelligence of the Omnipotent Lord?
- Has there come into the conscious activities of your everyday life, the active function of a new delightful angle of vision, a new perspective, a strong sense of self-possession, a steadily growing conviction of your dependence upon and intimate relation with the all-pervading Divinity?
If your answers to all these questions or to any one of them are in the affirmative, be absolutely sure that you are progressing, and progressing speedily, in the spiritual path.

Q. Why do Sadhaks fail to realize God quickly nowadays?

After attaining a certain stage of development, they begin to dissipate their energies in preaching, in making disciples, in publishing books. They become the slaves of name and fame. That is the reason why they fail to reach the highest goal of life, viz., Brahma Sakshatkar.

Q. Is there harm in not believing in God's existence?

If we have no faith in God, we will be born again in this world and will undergo considerable miseries. The ignorant, faithless doubting self goes to destruction. He cannot enjoy the least happiness. Neither this world nor that beyond is there for the doubting self. Those who have no faith in God do not know what is right and what is wrong. They have lost the power of discrimination. They are untruthful, proud and egoistic. They are given to excessive greed, wrath and lust. They hoard up money by unlawful means. They become men of demoniacal nature. They commit various sorts of atrocious crimes. They have no ideals for their lives. They are thrown into demoniacal wombs. They sink into the lowest depths, deluded birth after birth. Some one hundred and fifty years ago there lived a very famous Yogi-Jnani (a self-realized saint) by name Sadasiva Brahmendra Sarasvati in Nerur, near Karur, in the district of Tiruchirapalli in South India. He is the author of Brahma Sutra Vritti and Atma Vidya Vilasa and various other books. He has done innumerable miracles. Once when he was absorbed in Samadhi (superconscious state)Ashram on the banks of the Cauvery, he was carried away by the flood and thrown somewhere else. He was deeply buried underneath the sand. Labourers went to plough the fields. They hit against the head of the Yogi and some blood oozed out. They dug out, and to their astonishment, they found a Yogi seated in Samadhi. On another occasion, as an Avadhuta, Sadasiva Brahmendra entered the Zenana (tent) of a Mohammedan chief naked. The chief was quite enraged at the sage. He cut off one of the arms of the Mahatma (saint). Sadasiva Brahman walked away without uttering a word and without showing any sign of pain. The chief was greatly astonished at this strange condition of the sage. He thought that this man must be a Mahatma, a superhuman being. He repented much and followed the sage to apologize. Sadasiva never knew that his arm was cut off. When the chief narrated to the sage what had happened in the camp, Sadasiva excused the chief and simply touched his maimed arm. Sadasiva Brahman had a fresh arm. It is the life of this sage that made a very deep impression in my mind. I came to a very definite conclusion that there is a sublime divine life independent of objects and the play of the mind and the sense. The sage was quite unconscious of the world. He did not feel a bit when his arm was cut off. He ought to have been absorbed in the Divine Consciousness, he ought to have been one with the Divine. Ordinary people yell out when there is even a pin-prick in their bodies. When I heard of the marvelous incident in the life of Sage Sadasiva from Apta (realized) persons and when I read in the book, it gave me a very strong conviction about the Divine Existence and a divine eternal life where all sorrows melt, where all desires are satisfied and one gets supreme bliss, supreme peace and supreme knowledge.

Previous FAQs at

Go beyond all that causes duality.
- Sri Swami Sivananda



This pose resembles a peacock with feathers spread behind when the pose is practiced in its final position with extended legs. Described first is the beginner stage to get started with developing the necessary balance and strength in the wrists, arms, legs and body. Once this stage has been practised enough to proceed further, then continue to intermediate and final pose.

Begin by kneeling on the mat with knees wide apart. Sit between heels. Hold your arms in front with bent elbows, keeping elbows and hands together. Breathe deeply and rhythmically. Lean forward and lift your hips, placing palms on the mat close to your knees. The fingers are pointing backward just between knees. Keep your elbows together and place upper abdomen against the elbows. If this is difficult, place elbows farther apart. Keep the head lifted.

Slowly lean forward and lower the forehead to the mat. Keep the abdomen pressed tightly against the elbows which are still together. Continue with rhythmical breathing. Keep feet together with toes pointing back. Now test your weight on your wrists and hands by stretching out one leg, then the other. Tuck the toes under. Your abdomen must resist the elbow pressure. Keep the arms strong, keep the knees straight and the forehead on the mat. Once you succeed in reaching this position, then come down by exhaling and lowering knees to the floor. Sit and shake out the wrists and relax in child's pose.

Once you are ready to proceed with this pose further to an intermediate stage, then instead of lowering knees to the mat, keep legs straight and on inhalation raise your head and chest. Take a deep breath and contract the muscles of the legs, back, abdomen and neck. Keep feet down. Look forwards. Either come down on knees with exhalation as before, or come into the final pose. To come into final pose, keep looking forward, take a deeper inhalation and then hold breath, stiffen the body, tiptoe forward until legs come off the floor. Instead of lifting the legs to lift the body into the pose it is the forward walking movement that enables the torso to come up and forward. Keep the legs straight and on the same level as the head. Then lower the knees on an exhalation as before and come out of the pose.

Develops balance and patience.
Strengthen muscles of arms and shoulders, legs, back, abdomen and neck.
Tones abdominal organs and lungs.
A tonic for the whole body and mind.
Helps mental and physical sluggishness as well as hyperactivity with the concentrated and strong muscle effort and deep breathing.

This yoga asana is an edited contribution for the Sivananda Gurugram sourced from the Sivananda Publication “Yoga: Your Home Practice Companion” – Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre - 2010. Other yoga tips at

Look within. Do not join with the senses any longer. Learn to discriminate. Become wise.
- Swami Sivananda


SADHANA: a disciplined means of accomplishing spiritual goal; an ego-transcending spiritual practice; spiritual exertion towards an intended goal.

The goal of Sadhana is to attain some level of spiritual realization, which can be either enlightenment, pure love of God (Prema), liberation (Moksha) from the cycle of birth and death (Saṃsāra), or a particular goal such as the blessings of a deity, as in the Bhakti traditions.

Sadhana is a consciously systematized spiritual path. Sadhana is the purpose for which we have come to this place.
Abhyasa and Sadhana are synonymous terms. The object of Sadhana is to release life from the limitations with which it is bound.

Sadhana is a lifelong process. Every day, every hour, every minute, is an onward march. Obstacles are innumerable in this great voyage. But, so long as you hold God as thy guide, there is nothing to worry about. You are sure to reach the other shore.

Some people have curiosity for the spiritual line. They have no real thirsting for liberation. They think that they will get certain powers or Siddhis (psychic powers) if they do some Yogic practices. When they do not attain the powers, they lose patience and give up the practices, abandon the spiritual path, and pooh-pooh the Yogis and Yoga.
Mere curiosity will not help you to attain any spiritual progress. Curiosity-mongering is more abominable than mischief-mongering. Introspect. Analyze your thoughts and find out whether you have real spiritual hunger or mere curiosity-mongering. Transmute curiosity-mongering into real thirsting for salvation by constant Satsang (association with the wise), study of good religious books, prayer, Japa, and meditation.

You must have interest and liking in your Sadhana. You must understand well the technique and benefits of Sadhana. You must select a Sadhana that is suitable for you. You must have the ability and capacity to do Sadhana. Then alone you will have joy in doing the Sadhana and full success in it.

A person undertaking such a practice is known as a Sadhu or a Sadhaka.

There is no greater joy than that of a life of renunciation of egoism and desires. It is a grand life. Tyaga Renunciation alone can make you fearless and happy. - Sw. Sivananda

A complete Sanskrit Glossary can be found at:


Chapter IV: The Yoga of the Division of Wisdom


'As the blazing fire reduces fuel to ashes, O Arjuna, so does the fire of knowledge reduce all actions to ashes!'

Seek the Bliss Eternal in your own Atman. - Sri Swami Sivananda


From CHAPTER I: "Samadhi Pada- On Contemplations"


'He manifests in the word OM'

OM (AUM), the sacred word of the Hindus, is one of the oldest known words. Over 5000 years ago, and probably much earlier in ancient Sumeria, OM was known and used as a secret word by Sumerian mystics and priests. When the Indo-Aryan tribes wandered east from Sumeria to Northern India, they carried the precious and scared word OM with them. In the oldest known Indian scriptures, OM has always had a place of prominence. Nearly all Mantras and hymns begin and end with OM. Om is also used alone as a Mantra and is considered to be the most powerful one. There are countless stories still circulating in India telling that if a person can pronounced the word OM with the right vibration and proper concentration, he can attain all 'siddhis', that is power to perform all kinds of miracles, such as healing people, producing rain, or walking over water.

Do not tell anybody except your Guru, the realizations and the visions and other experiences that you get during your Sadhana. - Sri Swami Sivananda



A healthy satisfying topping on this favourite and easy to prepare desert, plus an unusual addition of fresh ginger makes for a delicious apple desert. Can be served with a sorbet, yoghurt or a custard, such as the Cornmeal Custard* recipe below. Serves 8 – 12

Ingredients for FILLING:
8 apples sliced
2/3 cup raisins (optional)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon grated fresh ginger root

Ingredients for TOPPING:
2 1/2 cups rolled oats or granola
1 1/4 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter or margarine
1 2/3 cups honey, or corn and barley malt syrup, maple syrup, or date syrup

Heat oven to 375° F. Butter 8 inch square baking pan. Mix all ingredients for filling together and transfer to the dish.

For topping, combine rolled oats or granola, flour, and salt. Melt the butter or margarine, add the honey or syrup and mix well. Stir the liquid mixture into the oatmeal. Spoon the topping over the filling. Bake for about 50 minutes. The filling (apple mix) should be soft when ready but not overcooked.

4 ½ cups milk or soy milk
2 tablespoons honey or maple syrup
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoons yellow cornmeal


Place milk, honey or syrup and vanilla extract in a pan and bring to boil.
Whisk in the cornmeal slowly and cook until the custard thickens whisking frequently.
Serve hot.

*The Yoga cookbook carries recipes for vegan alternatives for toppings such as tofu whipped dream.

This recipe is an edited contribution for the Sivananda Gurugram, sourced from The Yoga Cookbook: 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

Do not allow the mind to wander about in sensual objects. Practice Nirodha/self-restraint. - Sri Swami Sivananda

UPCOMING EVENTS - TTC, ATTC, Sadhana Intensive Courses


TTC - Teachers Training Course – English
Nassau, Bahamas

Feb 15 - Mar 15/15
TTC – English
Neyyar Dam, Kerala, South India

Feb 22 - Mar 22/15
TTC – English
Madurai, Tamil Nadu, South India

Feb 28 - Mar 29/15
ATTC – English, Français, Deutsch, Espaňol
Rudraprayag Himalaya Mountains, India

Feb 28 - Mar 29/15
TTC – English, Français, Deutsch, Espaňol
Rudraprayag Himalaya Mountains, India

Feb 28 - Mar 28/15
TTC – English, Vietnamese, Japanese, Chinese
Da Lat, Vietnam

Mar 01 - Mar 28/15
TTC – English
Woodbourne, NY, USA

Mar 01 - Mar 29/15
TTC – Espaňol
Bariloche, Patagonia, Argentina

Mar 10 - Apr 06/15
TTC – English
Nassau, Bahamas

Mar 22 - Apr 19/15
TTC - English
Neyyar Dam, Kerala, South India

Mar 29 - Apr 26/15
TTC – English
Namchi, Sikkim, Himalayas, North India

Apr 05 - May 03/15
TTC – English
Netala, Uttar Kashi, North India

Apr 09 - May 06/15
TTC – English
Nassau, Bahamas

Apr 26 - May 25/15
TTC – Français
Orleans, France

May 02 - May 30/15
TTC – English, Espaňol
Grass Valley, CA, USA

May 09 - Jun 05/15
TTC – English
Nassau, Bahamas

May 02 - May 17/15
Sadhana Intensive – English
Woodbourne, NY, USA

May 09 - Jun 07/15
ATTC – English, Deutsch
Reith, Tyrol, Austria

May 10 - Jun 07/15
TTC – English
Netala, Uttar Kashi, North India

May 18 - Jun 15/15
TTC – Français
Orleans, France

May 31 - Jun 28/15
TTC – English
Woodbourne, NY, USA

Jun 14- Jun 28/15
Sadhana Intensive
Val Morin, QC, Canada

Jun 02 - Jun 30/15
ATTC – English, 日本語 中文
Grass Valley, CA, USA

Jun 14 - Jul 12/15
TTC – English
Netala, Uttar Kashi, North India

Jun 28 - Jul 25/15
TTC – English, Français, Espaňol,
Val Morin, QC, Canada

Jul 03 - Jul 31/15
TTC – English, Français, Espaňol, Nederlands
Orleans, France

Jul 03 - Jul 31/15
ATTC – English, Français, Espaňol
Orleans, France

Jul 05 - Aug 02/15
ATTC – 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:

Desireless-nes, born of the love for the Eternal is called Vairagya. There can be no religion without Vairagya.
- Sri Swami Sivananda



Sivananda Ashram Yoga Camp, Val Morin, Quebec, Canada

    Om Namah Sivaya! Greetings from the Headquarters.
    Om Namah Sivaya from the Yoga Camp! During mid-January we welcomed guests back to the Ashram after the staff Sadhana week. Things were back in full swing quickly.  Guests enjoyed activities such as snow shoeing, asana and meditation coaching, bread making, a visit to Samadhi Estate,  a documentary called "Water has Memory" and talks on practical and philosophical aspects of yoga in a casual and relaxed setting.  Over the weekend Chandrika and Parimala ran the program "Learn Yoga in a Weekend", where guests learnt the five principals of yoga, the twelve asanas, basic meditation techniques and participated in the daily life of the Ashram. By the end of the program participants were joining the open (softer) class, including many who were completely new to yoga.  The weekend program attracted a French clientele so we were able to give the workshops and classes completely in French . As well on the weekends bilingual teachers are made available for the open classes, also given in French. Our extended family was ever present Uma, Gita, teaching an open class as well. Rama, a Swami Vishnu devotee, and close neighbour expressed his support with his cooking and particularly his bread, scone and desert making. Shambu inspired the staff every Thursday by telling stories about Swami Vishnu. All the trees were heavy with snow. Simple pristine beauty surrounds the Ashram. All is well in the Ashram. Pranams to all the Sivananda Family.

Sivananda Dhanwanthari Ashram, Neyyar Dam, Kerala, South India

    Om Namo Narayanaya!
    In early January, apart from the Yoga Vacation program, Ashram activities were geared towards preparing for TTC, this term with many translations. We welcomed Swami Sitaramamanda, Swami Pranavananda, Swami Shyamamanda, Swami Annapurnananda, Swami Satcidananda and Ananta Chaitanya to the Ashram, along with many TTC assistants and translators. The Reception office was a hive of activity, as nearly 200 TTC students arrived. Yoga Vacation guests graciously vacated dormitories to make space for the new students. We have set up 3 temporary dorms to accommodate the extra guests at this time of the year. Dance was the main theme of the Talent Show with a variety of dance forms exhibited including hip hop, Bollywood, an interesting blend of Bharatanatyam and Irish folk dance and a gracefully presented set of Kalaripyattu moves. The January TTC got off to a good start with 8 initiators on stage including Swami Gayatriananda and Swami Rajeshwariananda. Apart from English there are 8 language groups; Japanese, Singhalese, Farsi, Malayalam, Tamil, German, Hindi and Spanish. We look forward to an interesting month ahead.

    During mid-January, after the hectic activity of TTC registration, things settled down nicely. The stage was decorated with many fresh flowers for initiation. Students introduced themselves individually during Satsang and the staff did the same the next evening. With 197 students, and more than half non-English, speaking the experience has been one of Unity in Diversity. Highlights included eighty students for a Kanyakumari outing and a Kalipara silent. Nataraj, Kalyani and Suresh spent a few days in Madurai Meenakshi Ashram for the India directors meeting and opening of the new Satsang hall. We welcomed Narayanan and Nagaraj to join the teaching faculty. Pranams to all Sivananda Staff.

Sivananda Ashram Kutir, Netala, Uttarkashi, North India
    Om Namo Narayanaya
    May the Gurus' blessings of be with us all for 2015. Pranams. Om.

Sivananda Ashram Chateau du Yoga, Orleans, France
    Om Namah Sivaya
    In early January around 15 guests took advantage of our reduced price week. Lectures were mainly around the 5 points of Yoga. Satsangs were shared by Swami Bhagavatananda, Ananta & Girija. Some new teachers, who live locally, assisted in the classes and will start teaching soon. Swami Shyamananda went to Neyyar Dam to help with translating the TTC into German. Kailas developed a knee inflammation and had to go to the hospital (he is back now).

    During mid-January we offered the topic "The healing power of sacred sounds". A small, but inspired group came to participate. We had chanting workshops and lectures on the various aspects of using mantras. One weekend we had an additional topic on the opening of the heart and a few more guests arrived. We had more lectures and Satsangs on Bhakti, positive thinking and related topics. The work on the garden (creating new flower beds and paths) continued nicely. Salutations to all. OM.

Sivananda Ashram Yoga Farm, Grass Valley, California, USA
    Om Namah Sivaya
    In early January the Ashram offered the Beginners Level 1 course, taught by Padmini, as well as the Vedanta for Beginners with Swami Sankarananda, studying the Tattva Bodha of Adi Shankaracharya. We also had a Beginners Intensive Weekend with 12 students taking advantage of the mild winter weather to jump start their yoga practice in the New Year. Some of the staff and guests took a trip to historic Placerville (the 3rd largest city in California during the 1850's Gold Rush) to see the Tibetan Monks from Gaden Shartse Monastery making a sand mandala. The monks were very accessible and we were able to watch the exacting techniques used over the 11 days to create the mandala before its dissolution ceremony. Mahadeva left to join Swami Sitaramananda for the TTC in Neyyar Dam and Priya took leave to visit Mexico.

    During mid-January the Ashram offer the 5-day Beginners Meditation course taught by Swami Jnaneswariananda with guests and staff learning more about the mechanics of the mind and the practice of meditation. The Ayurvedic Massage and Rejuvenation Retreat over the weekend was a great success with Ambika giving talks on the science of Ayurveda and its practice in daily life. Guests enjoyed the sauna, Ayurvedic massage and treatments, and free time to rest and rejuvenate. We said goodbye to Shambu who ran the kitchen during the December TTC and the hectic Holiday Season as well as taking care of the Llamas, Alpacas, and goats and fixing the roads on the Ashram. We look forward to seeing him back soon. Swami Dharmananda left Friday for programs in Chicago. Om Namo Narayanaya blessings to all the Sivananda family.

Sivananda Ashram Yoga Ranch, Woodbourne, New York, USA
    Om Namo Narayanaya
    Early January started relatively quiet. Staff that had been away for the holiday began to return back to the Ashram. Long time staff, Paul, took ill and was brought to the hospital where he spent several days being treated for an infection. He was later transferred to a physical therapy rehabilitation Centre for a few weeks to help gain back strength and improve his walking. Staff took turns visiting him and helping through this challenging time.  We are happy to report he is strong has a positive attitude, determined to be back at the Ashram quickly.  One weekend program was a beginners immersion and was well attended with 20 guests.  Mahadev Chaitanya taught a workshop on the five points and during Satsangs expounded on the teachings of yoga.  We offered coaching classes and daily nature walks for the guest to enjoy the beauty of winter.

    During mid-January the National holiday celebrating the life of the great peace and civil rights activist, Martin Luther King, Jr., attracted a large group of guests. This is always a busy weekend at the Ashram, as we had a full house partaking in the Positive Thinking weekend program. An upbeat and inspired energy pervaded the Ashram. Many of the guests were first time visitors and left with positive feedback and the promise to return soon. Swami Narayanananada came up from the New York Centre to give Satsangs.  The freezing rain made it a challenge for the guests to get around.  Not only were walkways frozen and slippery, but the roads also froze, creating some difficulty for guests to drive home.  Staff all pitched in sanding the driveways, parking lot and walkways in the freezing rain to help ensure a safer situation for the guests on their departures.  There was a true spirit of Karma Yoga felt, as everyone did what was needed, selflessly.  Staff are remaining strong in their Sadhana.  Paul is still in rehab for his walking stability and is making great progress.  His prognosis is good and he should be returning to the Ashram next week. Staff sends Pranams to all! May the Gurus' blessings of be with us at this time of year.

Sivananda Ashram Yoga Retreat, Nassau, Bahamas
    Om Namo Narayanaya, Blessed Selves
    In early January, a new year began with new resolutions for spiritual practice and well-being. We were happy to have Srinivasan back with us at the Ashram, teaching the ATTC and also the Foundations of Raja Yoga Retreat from January 6-30. The Yoga, Stress and Food workshops with Ambika were held from January 7-11.  These were well-attended and enjoyed by guests. The Power of Positive Thinking Weekend was held from January 9-11 with 16 participants. Life After Life talks with Raymond Moody began on January 9 and continue. Dr. Moody presents case studies and information gathered from his many decades of research on the subject of Life after Life and Near death experiences. We are building a new covered deck beside Swami Vishnu's house which will serve for smaller yoga classes and courses. The deck went up quickly within a span of a week start to finish.

    During mid-January On the Wings of Ecstasy Interfaith Devotional Singing Festival concluded on January 17. This year's performers included Davod Azad from the Sufi tradition and Ken Whiteley, Canada's respected roots musician with a rich background in blues, gospel and folk. Also, welcoming for the first time Luna Ray, chant artist and teacher co-founder of the True Nature Education Centre in Costa Rica; Satkiring Kaur Khalsa performer and teacher of the Sikh kirtan founder of the Naad Academy of Gurbani Kirtan; Rabbi Andrew Hahn, the 'Kirtan Rabbi', an ordained rabbi with a doctorate in Jewish philosophy. The 5 day course with Robyn Ross: Refilling Your Well: The Art of Sacred Self-Care graduated 12 students on January 17.  We were happy to welcome back Madhavi with Robin Carnes to teach the January 14-18 Teaching Yoga and Meditation for Anxiety and Trauma Part 1:  A Certification Training for Yoga Teachers. Surya taught the Yoga Vacation Program workshops from January 15-17, Creating a Yogic Lifestyle to assist in developing a yogic lifestyle through simple breathing exercises and develop a positive thinking mind all day long. Our beloved priest Krishnan Namboodiri conducted the Ayyappa Puja on January 15 to protect our spiritual wealth and power by maintaining the thought of godliness and destroying impure thoughts and bestowing clarity. It continued to be busy at the Ashram with smooth moving lines at mealtimes.  Om Shanti Staff are well and send lots of Prem. Pranams and prayers for Peace to all!

Sivananda Ashram, Retreat House, Reith, Tyrol, Austria
    Om Namah Sivaya
    Mid-January was peaceful at the Retreat House. The guests enjoyed the asana workshops and lectures on Raja Yoga. We started a thorough clean up of the guest houses and were catching up with office work. The new installed Krishna, Saraswati, Ganesha and Siva Lingam Murthis radiate a calming energy to all. Swami Keshavananda left to Madurai, South India where the ATTC was about to start. OM.

Sivananda Ashram Meenakshi Ashram, Madurai, Tamil Nadu, India
    Om Namo Narayanaya
    Early January commenced with a Ganapathy Homam as an auspicious start for the Sadhana Intensive. The students are guided to gently pick up the module which is kept lighter to begin with. Planning for the upcoming IDM on the 15th of Jan and the Inaugural ceremony that would follow on 18th were the prime focus for which the staff are in their best shape supporting in all areas of work. Prahladaji is multitasking, giving perfect attention to everyone, official to personal, in addition to handling Sadhana Intensive. The Maha Sudharshana Homam, a powerful and grand Homam consisting of the recitation of many Veda mantrams preceded by Beejaksharams and Prayogams, was organized especially for Sadhana Intensive students. The yoga vacationers were invited to participate in the course, the Satsangs, the food and the overall spiritual gravity of this place. We bid farewell to Ishwaraji who was heading to Neyyar Dam who was accompanied also by Swami Satchidananda. The Saturday talent show was given up in order not to interfere with the Sadhana which was getting gradually intense.

    During mid-January we saw the most happening week in the history of Meenakshi Ashram in the recent past! Visit by Executive Board Members, Indian Directors' Meeting, Graduation ceremony for Sadhana Intensive, Inauguration of the New Satsang Hall and lastly the Initiation of Advanced Teachers' Training Course, all came close in the same time and needless to say it also was the busiest week. The EBM Swami Durgananda, Swami, Kailasananda and Swami Sivadasananda made their first ever visit to the Ashram on 14th and appeared completely impressed with its rustic and simplistic ambience. For the IDM which followed from the 15th to 17th we were very happy to receive and host all the Directors from across the Country. Also we were glad to welcome Swami Kesavananda who will be staying with us for a couple of months and help with the courses.   A grand Pooja was organized on 17th in the New Satsang Hall which from then onwards was appropriately renamed by Swami Durgananda as "Swami Vishnudevananda Satsang Hall". In the same evening Swami Sivadasananda performed a musical concert comprising some of our popular chants along with the Ashram staff and guests. His skill in composing was so evident on seeing the beautiful outcome of the chants brought out in such a short time. The Inaugural ceremony on the 18th was a grand event attended by VIPs in and around Madurai with Ashram guests and public as spectators. The function was followed by a grand feast cooked and served by an outside catering team. The same night was the ATTC Initiation ceremony; a good strength of 79 students was initiated into the course by Swamijis Rajeshwariananda, Sivabakthananda and Kesavananda. Om Shanthi. May Master and Guru be with us all. Peace and Pranams to the Sivananda family.

    TTC Reports in locations other than Ashrams:

    Pranams to all.


    Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Zentrum, Berlin, Germany

    Om Namah Sivaya
    January started in full swing. Students seemed to be full of new year's resolves there were many people calling, sending emails or coming to the Centre for information of courses. The first Yoga 1 this year started on Wednesdays with a good group of students. The weekend cooking course was also well visited. One Sunday many people came for the Open House, all activities were well received, people booked for courses and bought cards for the open classes. The new brochure arrived just in time for the Open House so everybody got the updated information for the new year. Swami Annapurnananda left for Neyyardam to serve in the TTC.

    During mid-January classes and courses were well visited. The Centre was very active, many people registered for courses, requests for the retreat in March started to come in. We had a good group of students for the headstand workshop and a big group for the weekend intensive beginners course. The mailing of the new brochure was done with the help of Karma Yogis. We focused on the promotion of the upcoming Yoga and Music festival which is taking place in 3 weeks. We held well-attended Satsangs on Saturdays and Sundays which uplifted the energy nicely. All staff are well. Pranams. OM.

Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Buenos Aires, Argentina
    Om Namah Sivaya
    In early January the temperatures were over 30ºc in Buenos Aires.
    We were busy in preparation for the journey of Swami Premananda and Swami Dayananda to the TTC in Garopaba, Brazil. In the Centre remained Paola with Jagadamba. We started 2 "Beginners Course". We had a "Trial Yoga Class" one Saturday with many participants, and a workshop named "The Conquer of Anger".

    During mid-January there were many days of rain, but the students came to class anyway. There are a lot of our Centre's teachers attending the ATTC in Brazil. Their classes were all covered by other teachers. We have 2 new Karma Yogis in the Centre. We were distributing pamphlets in Buenos Aires about the TTC in Bariloche. We also delivered a "Trial Class" that was very well attended. May the Gurus' blessings of be with us all. Prem & Om.

Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Chennai, India
    Om Namah Sivaya to all Blessed Selves from the Chennai Centre
    During mid-January we started the new ladies beginners' class with good number of students. We did monthly Ganapathi Homam on 15th of Jan 2015. We had a good number of people for our Sunday Satsangs, as usual. We celebrated the Tamil Nadu festival Pongal grandly, with staffs and students. Because of Pongal holidays we received less students for a week. All the staff were happy and continuing their Sadhana, by the grace of Gurus and God. All the staff send Pranams to the Sivananda family.

Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Chicago, USA
    Om Namah Sivaya!
    In early January a new Yoga 1 course started. Temperatures dipped below zero for several days, and the cold snap seemed to have an effect on drop-in class attendance but didn't keep regulars away from morning Satsang. Now, as temperatures move into the 20F's and 30F's, Chicagoans are remarking on the "springlike" weather. Lalita Chaitanya was one of the presenters at the Vivekananda International East West Yoga Conference, held at the Hindu Temple of Greater Chicago, doing a session on Bhakti and Kirtan with the help of one of the Centre's teachers, Eric Jensen, on tablas. A few of the Centre's teachers and students attended the conference as well. We looked forward to a visit from Swami Dharmananda and to the Yoga 1 and Meditation courses which are fully subscribed.

    Mid-January was lively at the Centre, with warmer weather, courses starting, and special programs with Swami Dharmananda. A new session of Positive Thinking began, and on Saturdays a new Yoga 1 and a new Meditation course started, all with full groups. Swami Dharmananda arrived from the Yoga Farm to visit the Centre for the first time, leading programs on Karma & Dharma. Sunday-evening Satsang was particularly well attended, and students, teachers, and staff all found his presence and programs very inspiring. We then appreciated a visit from Mahadev Chaitanya, who visited to lead programs called "Prana: the Secret to Vital Living." Staff are well and sending wishes for peace. Om Shanti, Shanti, Shantihi from the Centre in Chicago.

Sivananda Yoga Vedanta DÀ LAT Centre, Dà Lat, Vietnam
    Om Namah Sivaya
    In early January three yoga classes started, as students are eager to take care of their health through Yoga for the new year. Staff distributed Vietnam TTC brochures to many places in town and also contacted many foreigner website for  advertising online. Many resident cooked and introduced their cuisine to the Centre. Everyone was enjoying the Yogic spiritual company at the Centre.

    Mid-January was inspiring to see many of it's residents serious about their spiritual growth in the yoga life style. The residents come from many different parts of the world: Netherlands, Italy, Spain, Switzerland and England. The garden project has gone from the planning stages to a successful vegetable garden. At the end of week, the Purifying Indian Cooking workshop was very successful, with many students participating. The Centre is well known throughout town as a healthy, spiritual place. Guru blessed us. Om.

Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Dwarka Centre, Delhi, India
    Om Namah Sivaya
    Mid-January was as usual, beginning with a beginner course. We completed another weekday batch and also a weekend batch of beginners. Mohan Raj left the Centre to attend the ATTC in Madurai. It was indeed a pleasure to have him here and we wish him to have the courage to successfully deal with everything on his path. Though we see a drastic fall in number of students attending regular sessions, we are pleased and proud about those who make it to here in this freezing cold. With Gurus' blessings all other classes and activities went well. As usual, the divine, uplifting Satsangs are well attended. Pranams to all!

Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Nataraja Centre, Delhi, India
    Om Namo Narayanaya
    In early January we started two beginners' courses, one at 6:30am and the other at 4:00pm. We also started a Foundation to Meditation course on 7th of January. We conducted a shat Kirya workshop on Saturday, Jan 10th. The Sunday Satsangs were attended by good number of students, teachers and staff. It was, as usual, uplifting for all, helping the Centre keep the positive energy by Meditating, Chanting the Gods and Masters name and also by reading the teachings of Our Gurus.

    During mid-January we started two beginners' courses, one at 10:00am & another at 6:30pm with good number of students. Kapoorji went to Madurai for IDM and inauguration of the new yoga hall at Madurai Meenakshi Ashram. In spite of the severe cold, the number of students increased compared to the last few weeks. The Sunday Satsangs were attended by good number of students, teachers and staffs. The remaining activities continued in harmony with the Blessing of the Gurus. All staff are well and send their pranams. Om & Peace.

Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Geneva, Switzerland
    Om Namah Sivaya from the Geneva Centre
    In early January we had a lively reopening of the Centre after a two weeks pause. Students and teachers were happy to come again. In the Satsangs staff had the opportunity to share impressions from their stay at the Retreat House in Reith. The outside classes at the United Nations also started with good attendance. Throughout the whole week we had excellent support from karma-yogis. Some of them are new and trained in different departments of the Centre. On the weekend Swami Mangalananda left to Vienna.

    During mid-January a Y1 and the Pensioners' class which is held in cooperation with the city of Geneva started with good groups of students. The trial class as well as the open day on Saturday which was actively promoted with the help of Karma yogis had excellent attendance and many students booked for upcoming courses. The brochure arrived from the printer and was sent out. Fresh plants in lively colors were planted on the terrace and the boutique was restocked. Swami Mangalananda returned from Vienna on Friday. We send our prayers to all. OM.

Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
    Om Namah Sivaya
    In early January we were inspired to see many students committing to their resolves and showing up to asana classes and Satsangs. This week Mangala started a Yoga 1 Course and Chandika taught a two hour advanced asana class. The students showed great determination and acceptance as they tried new postures while at the same time honoring their bodies and not demanding too much of themselves. The staff prayed for Swami Pranavananda's safe travels as he made his way to Neyyar Dam India to teach Hatha Yoga to TTC students. Though his presence is missed at the Centre we are all uplifted with the knowledge that the teachings continue to be shared and will do our best to maintain the spiritual energy in his absence. The staff's discipline is strong and we are thankful for the Guru's Grace that continues to guide us.

    During mid-January we worked hard to promote the upcoming Teacher Training Course in DaLat, Viet Nam. Karma Yogi's and staff stuffed envelopes, folded brochures and prepared mailers to be sent to various locations around Viet Nam. There was a strong sense of spiritual family as we brainstormed to think of new ways to promote and therefore share the teachings. Over the weekend we held a workshop for people who have already signed up for TTC and those who needed a little more encouragement to do so. During the workshop potential students asked questions, were taught a little history about Swami Sivananda and Swmai Vishnudevananda and saw photographs from past TTC's. Students were given a brief overview as what to expect which was helpful to calm anxious minds. Afterwards we had a couple of people register for the course and make deposits! Ganga started a Meditation 1 course, Kumari started Yoga 1 and Mangala is staring a Yoga 2 course. It has been a very productive and inspiring week for all. The Centre is running very smoothly with Guru's Grace! All the staff were happy feeling Guru's blessings. We send Pranams to all the Sivananda family! Om Tat Sat.

Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, London, England
    Om Namah Sivaya
    In early January students and teachers gradually returned to the Centre after their holidays and the first Open House of the year was well attended with an enthusiastic group of newcomers to the Centre. We were happy to welcome Shambu back as staff at the Centre who returned from France. Swami Jyotirmayananda travelled to The Netherlands where a program was given in Amsterdam and Rotterdam. Both programs were enthusiastically received by TTC graduates as well as newcomers to the Sivananda Organization. With the Grace of the Gurus everything is going well at the Centre. Om Namo Bhagavate Vasudevaya. Om.

Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Los Angeles, California, USA
    Om Namo Narayanaya!
    In early January the New Year got off to a good start. We started a new Yoga 1; Janaki taught a vegetarian cooking workshop and a local dance teacher offered a workshop on Yoga Dance with a Jewish flavor, using Hebrew chants as mantra. We also showed an eco-movie called 'Who cares?' Janaki offered another cooking workshop. We also held the monthly yoga sutras study group at the Yoga Centre. We have been blessed with rain, warm weather and sunshine.

    Mid-January saw a very successful weekend mini-retreat with Gajananam. He taught the 9am asana class on a Saturday and Sunday morning and then took the students through specific teachings points to enable them to deepen their teaching and personal practice. In the afternoon he offered sessions on yoga psychology and philosophy in response to issues raised by the students, many of whom were teachers. It was an intensive weekend and very much appreciated. Swami Omkarananda left for New York, where she spent a few days at the Sivananda Centre. She is now in the UK visiting family. In her absence the Centre was supported by Janaki and Lakshmana. Attendance at asana classes has improved and energy at the Centre was good. We were grateful for a couple of good donations at the end of last year. May the Gurus' blessings of be with us all.

Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Madrid, Spain
    Om Namah Sivaya, Blessed Selves!
    Early January began the regular schedule after the Christmas. Two Beginners courses started and Yoga for the Heart beginners course was completed. We had our first meeting of Kirtan group in the New Year. The students enjoyed the Satsangs with devotion and joyful spirit.

    Mid-January started a new course of Meditation. We started the first edition of First Aid Course with 18 teachers of the Centre. A very entertaining and instructive course. One Sunday we had an Open Day, with 50 people. Several people registered for the beginners' courses. May the Gurus' blessings of be with us all. OM.

Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Madurai, South India
    Om Namah Sivaya
    Early January started with two beginners' course one at 6:30am and the other at 4:00pm. We also started a Foundation to Meditation course on 7th of January. We conducted a shat Kirya workshop on Saturday, Jan 10th. The Sunday Satsangs were well attended by good number of participants (Students, teachers and staff). The Satsangs were uplifting, helping the Centre to keep the positive energy by Meditating, Chanting the Gods' and Masters' name and also by reading the teachings of Our Gurus. All was good, with our Guru's Blessings. 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.
    May the Gurus' blessings of be with us all for 2015. Pranams to all.

Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Montevideo, Uruguay
    Om Namah Sivaya
    In early January Lalita returned from El Pinar where she spent the entire month of December. We started the year with hard work, preparing the final details of TTC in Garopaba. On Tuesday 6th January we had one class at 18 pm, because it was a holiday. Kanti Devi, Chandra, Mirabai y Krishna traveled to Brazil where TTC will begin on Sunday 11th January. We again offered the free trial classes, attended by several people interested in future courses for beginners.

    During mid-January the masons worked on repairing the roof and the painting the inside of the Centre. The Centre was very nice and neat. We offered the pregnancy class series at 19:30. Friday Meditations, guided by Lalita, saw a cute group of people attending, among teachers, students and people who are not members. One Saturday, a trial class was attended by a large number of people. They were very excited and some registered for the next beginners' course. The rest of the activities developed normally. Humble thank yous to the Masters for we had a good number of students. Om and Pranams to everyone in the Sivananda Family from the staff at Montevideo.

Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
    Om Namah Sivaya
    In early January all classes flowed well after the holiday period, despite many teachers, karma yogis and students having left Montreal for the winter season. Students were returning to Satsangs,and signing up for up-coming courses.  We were pleased to hear students talk about their 'new years yoga resolutions.' Our focus was mainly on small maintenance jobs and Centre scheduling/preparing for the winter courses and workshops. 

    During mid-January regular students continued to come to the Centre for their practice. Satsangs were gaining a boost of prana with many new people attending. Fifty people were present for one Sunday Satsang. The vibrations were raised with the sound of Sunday prayers. We welcomed 3 new karma yogis to participate in the Centre and started to train them in various areas. Through their presence and devotion, the Centre received some renewed energy. A Yoga 1 course began on Monday evenings, with twelve enthusiastic students eager to learn about the practice. It was inspiring to see people starting their yoga journey with open minds. We held a Sunday gentle yoga class, which attracted students that do not attend classes regularly. Sushila taught a cooking workshop of 'Simple North Indian Cusine'. It seemed to be popular as the 10 students were more than we expected. The students were all involved making various items, such as chapati, paratha, yogurt, and chickpea curry. In the end the group ate and shared together with their family members, including children. We're looking to see if there will be an opportunity to teach another such course during the winter months. The children's class has become larger and averaging double the expected numbers, so we have decided to have two teachers per class. In this way, the needs of the children can be met. We started to train an assistant, Katya, from the July TTC. We were pleased with her approach. The new website was launched in French and English. A mobile friendly version was also created to make it accessible for current media. Students were immediately using it and commented on how clear and simple it is to use. They have also given a few useful suggestions, which we will be pleased to implement when the website creator comes to Montreal. Together, we will make final changes and train staff and a few karma yogis to learn how to update it ourselves so that we can keep it as current as possible. We appreciated everyone that contributed to the development of the website and we hope that it will serve the community more efficiently. We thank Master and Swami-ji for their continued grace. Pranams to all the Sivananda family. May the blessings of Master and Swamiji be with all.

Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Munich, Germany
    Om Namah Sivaya from the Munich Centre!
    In early January many students returned to the Centre after the school holidays. The trial class had very good attendance. One Saturday we had a one day mantra retreat at the Centre with a yoga class, a Satsang and lots of mantra practice. Gopika Chaitanya returned recharged from the Sivananda Yoga Retreat House in Reith / Tyrol / Austria.

    During mid-January the first Open House of the year, held on a Sunday, attracted many interested newcomers. We started a new course with the title "Understanding Stress". Each teaching unit of the course comprises 60 minutes of theory about stress and stress prevention and 30 minutes of practice. We had two weekend intensive courses: a yoga beginners course and a "Thought Power / Positive Thinking" course. Priest Yagneshwara Dixit was here for the whole week. He performed daily Pujas in our meditation room and three public Pujas: a Ganesha Puja, a Saraswati Yantra Puja and a Puja for all the murtis on our altar. The energy of the Pujas can still be strongly felt in the Centre. We were happy to welcome Swami Durgananda and Swami Sivadasananda back from India. Swami Sivadasananda gave the Sunday evening Satsang in which he taught us to sing the song of "Ananada lahari" written by Master Sivananda. OM.

Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Neuquen, Patagonia, Argentina
    Om Namah Sivaya!
    Pranams to everyone!

Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, New York, USA
    Om Namah Sivaya!
    In early January activity picked up at the Centre as the holidays fully came to a close. New courses started, including Introduction to Meditation and Positive Thinking which were fully subscribed. Our daily schedule has been expanded with a new early-morning class on Friday mornings. We were pleased to welcome back Ommurti, who plans to stay at the Centre for several months, having taken a break at home in the Netherlands. We welcomed our Deaf Yoga group who joined for a class with teacher Geeta, and then stayed for lunch. Mahadev Chaitanya drove down from the Yoga Ranch accompanied by a group of staff. He taught a special advanced class that was filled to capacity, then joined us for a joyful Satsang. Temperatures were very low in the city. Despite this, attendance was good for classes and Satsang. We feel Masters and Swamiji's grace with us.

    During mid-January was lively at the Centre, with current courses getting into full swing and new courses starting, providing plenty of practice and challenge for our new staff. Attendance picked up in general with the holiday period well and truly over. We were happy to welcome Swami Omkarananada for a short visit, staff were delighted to have her company and inspiration for a couple of days. Swami Narayanananda left to spend the weekend at the Yoga Ranch. He returned along with Mahadev Chaitanya who taught a busy Advanced class. We also welcomed Nischala, from Germany, who has been staff at the Yoga Ranch for some weeks. She will spend a few days in New York to get experience of karma yoga at the Centre before heading back home for a while. All are well and full of gratitude for Masters' and Swamiji's grace. Om Namah Sivaya from all the staff here at the NYC Centre. May the blessings of Master and Swamiji be with all. Om Shanti.

Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Paris, France
    Om Namah Sivaya
    Early January was quiet. We continued the preparation of the new brochure and the planning of the Centre for the next two months during Sudha's absence. Arjuna adapted very well to the rhythm of the Centre and started to assist classes. Sudha left to Colombia for a few weeks. For three days we had terrorist attacks in Paris, which created some agitation in Paris and the whole country. The police took the life of the three terrorists for the security of the country. One of the biggest manifestation was organized by the French government with the participation of about 1.5 million people and some official vip from many countries in the honor of the victims of the attacks, mainly journalists but also some people from the police and civilians. The main topics during the evening Satsangs was on Ahimsa and Peace.

    Mid-January was peaceful after the agitation of last week. Gauri arrived to help during Sudha's absence. More students came to the Centre for classes and courses to start with good resolutions in the beginning of the year. The main project was the ordering of IKEA furniture for our dormitory and then building of the furniture. Another highlight was the Open House, with about 60 participants. Many registered for classes and courses with the 10% discount offer. We started an advanced asanas course, taught by Nadapriya. Swami Kailasanandaji arrived safely on Sunday from India. OM and prem to all. OM.

Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Porto Alegre, Brasil, South America
    Om Namah Sivaya from Brasil
    Pranams, from all the staff at Porto Alegre Centre. May the blessings of Master and Swamiji be with all for thé upcoming year.

Centro Yoga Vedanta Sivananda, Rome, Italy
    Om Namah Sivaya, Blessed Selves
    In January, after a very successful Open House, we started many new courses. Three Yoga 1 classes, one yoga 2 and one yoga 3. Swami Sankarananada gave a delicious Cooking class on Friday. Students were happy to get back to the practice after the holidays. The staff at the Centre are all fine. We pray that Master and Swamiji continue to guide and protect us. Om Shanti.

Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, San Francisco, California, USA
    Om Namo Narayanaya, Blessed Selves
    May Staff, Teachers, and Students throughout the world see a wonderful beginning to 2015 and that Master and Swamiji guide us in our Sadhana. Om Shanti.

Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Tel Aviv, Israel
    Om Namah Sivaya
    In early January we experienced some rough weather in Israel. The temperature dropped considerably and strong winds kept many people in their home. Regardless, our students were brave enough to come to the Centre and most classes were full. A Yoga 1 opened with 10 students, Yoga 3 opened with 13, and a new meditation course stated with 16 participants. Introduction lectures well attended were held for a new Jyotish course, a new Yoga for Kids class and an upcoming meditation course. A weekend program was very successful with many attending, despite the rough weather.

    Mid-January was really eventful in the Tel-Aviv Centre. Many introduction classes were offered including an introduction for Tabla Playing, an Introduction to Classical Indian Dance, an Introduction for Yoga for Kids and a Jyotish class. All the classes were well attended and registrations were good. The staff traveled to the newly opened Ashram in Mata to rest and rejuvenate. Once back at the Centre we held a kirtan concert with Rama, Swami Hridyananda's son. The event was really sattvic, uplifting and well attended. 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
    In early January the weather was nice but getting even colder than last weeks. Students for early morning classes decreased even more than last month but the afternoon and the weekend classes kept a good number of participants. Once a month, a Bhagavad Gita 2 day weekend workshop was taught by Swami Cetanananda, with 13 students participating. In addition, there was a Saturday advanced asana workshop, offered by Rumika from Hyogo prefecture, which attracted 12 participants. A briefing session of the next TTC in Vietnam and ATTC in Yoga Farm was held with 8 students participating. Besides the briefing and Q & A session, we showed slide shows of past TTC programs and video of Yoga Farm to help students have an idea of these courses.

    During mid-January, despite the cold weather, the number of enrolled students for Yoga 1, Yoga 2, and the weekend classes haven't decreased so much. As for the boutique sales, we started to sell the "Sivananda Cookies". They became so popular among students, they were sold out within a short time whenever we put them out. Several karma yogis joyfully joined for the cookie baking team and worked by turns. A new full time staff member, Sivaroopa, arrived and started to live in Tokyo Centre. He graduated from October TTC in Yoga Farm and remained as the staff there for another 2 months before came back to Japan. May Master and Swamiji bless us to be able to provide this. Pranams.

Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    Om Namah Sivaya
    In early January we started several Yoga 1 and Yoga 2 courses as the beginning of the year brought some enthusiastic students ready to start with the practice. We had a workshop on Sivananda prayers that brought some new students who wanted to learn our prayers as well as some older students who wanted to make sure they were pronouncing them correctly. We continued to receive teens from a mental health Centre for their weekly classes, accompanied by their caretakers. Our evening Satsangs are well attended and students seem very happy that they could join them again, after the Centre's holiday break. We said goodbye to Bhakti, our temporary staff, who returned to Japan. She prepared a lovely sushi meal for Satsang that  everyone enjoyed, along with a cake brought by a close student. We read a message for her by Swami Sivananda on importance of staying connected with the teachings through Swadhyaya. Everyone prayed for her safe travels.

    During mid-January we started again with our twice a week evening meals that we offer to students. These meals are are great community builders. We always had a lot of students sign up. Saraswati started new Meditation course with a full class. We noticed that meditation classes, in general, bring in a lot of new students who are not signed up for yoga asana courses. Our long time student, Vijay, offered an Indian vegetarian cooking workshop. We had a full kitchen as his recipes are delicious. He is known to be a very organized cook. Saraswati taught a class in a local all-girl catholic high school that she has been connected with through past internships. She was assisted by Saraswati (Saori) in teaching the girls all the basics of asanas and relaxation. Both students and teachers were appreciative and it was nice to see a lot of initially skeptical teen girls enjoying deep rest during the final relaxation. Pranams to all. We send Om Namo Narayanaya to every one.

Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Trivandrum, Kerala, South India
    Om Namah Sivaya!
    In early January a new mixed batch for beginners started on Monday mornings. Open, Kids and Advanced classes went well. Lalitha Sahasra Nama Pooja was conducted by our regular priest. A new weekend beginners' batch started on Saturdays.  We also conducted a Kriya Workshop on the same day to cleanse the respiratory system through the practices of Jala Neti and Sutra Neti. Satsang was led by Annapoorna ji from Neyyar Dam. Staff, residents and karma yogis were busy with their classes, karma yoga & personal practice.

    During mid-January the evening beginners' batches successfully completed their course. We look forward to them joining the open classes. Open, Kids and Advance classes went well. We did some plumbing work. We conducted Ganapathy Homa as it was the first day of the new Malayalam month. Lalitha Sahasra Nama Pooja was conducted on Fridays by our regular priest. Satsang was led by Nagaraj ji from Delhi. Pranams to the Sivananda family worldwide.

Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Vienna, Austria
    Om Namah Sivaya
    In early January, after two weeks of Christmas holidays in Vienna the regular Centre schedule started again on Wednesdays with drop in classes and courses. A highlight was the weekend workshop on the asana Scorpion, plus an introduction into meditation. Both courses were well attended. In the Scorpion workshop the students were guided in detail how to practice and hold this advanced posture. In the introduction into meditation a group of students were eager to learn and deepen their practice of this fundamental yogic practice. Many students came for the drop in classes especially on the weekends. Swami Vidyananda returned from Reith so that staff were able to continue working on the brochure and to prepare courses and the teaching plan.

    During mid-January eleven courses started among them a Yoga 70, a meditation course 2 and a Mantra course 2. Students have now mostly arrived from their winter vacation. A highlight was the weekend cooking course on winter dishes and an Open House. The cooking course was attended by a nice an open minded group, many of them were visiting the Centre for the first time. Most of the newcomers felt inspired to come again for Open House or a trial class. For the Open House many visitors came and participated. Especially the trial class was well attended. The overall feedback was good, in particular the hearty atmosphere in the Centre was mentioned. Work in the Centre brochure were reaching their final stage, getting ready for printing next week. Preparations for the special program in the 1st week of February are gaining momentum with many Karma Yogis supporting the Centre. Other courses, drop-in classes and Satsangs were well attended. Staff are well. OM.

Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Vilnius, Lithuania
    Om Namah Sivaya, from Vilnius
    Early January was active starting with many higher courses: Yoga 2, 3, 4, 5, 7. We are receiving many students for the trial classes and inscriptions for the upcoming beginners courses afterwards. Open Day saw 20 well-inspired students. All of them stayed for the whole day activities, Introductions into Yoga and Meditation and trial class. Subscriptions for the many courses followed. Newsletter for the special program was sent. We were very happy to receive 2 more application forms for the TTC in Lithuania, now we have 4 inscriptions.

    During mid-January courses and classes are attended very well. Big Yoga 1 has started as well as two Yoga 2 and Yoga 3 courses. We started a Meditation course with students who already practiced yoga for some time. A dynamic cooking class named "Vegetarian dishes for the winter" with more then forty students took place. We were happy to have so many sincere students asking lots of questions on nutrition and yoga. Some were completely new so they were introduced also into different activities of the Centre, like trial class, open day etc. All students left happy and uplifted. A new Kirtan book arrived from the printer and we started using it in the Satsangs. We received one more inscription for July's TTC in Lithuania. Prem to all! OM.

Take the fullest advantage of this human birth. Have a real, inner, divine life. May divine grace illumine your spiritual path. May the divine power actuate you to perform great deeds. May the divine grace transform you into divinity. - Sri Swami Sivananda

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