Sivananda News Sivananda E-Gurugram
The Electronic Newsletter of the International Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centres
Issue #02/2016 Serve Love Give Purify Meditate Realize February 1, 2016
"Today, many have turned away from the Rishis' ideals of service, love, sacrifice, renunciation, dispassion, devotion and meditation. Hence suffering, unrest, war, exploitation and misery thrive." - Sri Swami Sivananda

More quotes

TABLE OF CONTENTS
News
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

SPIRITUAL CALENDAR:
FEBRUARY 2016
04 Ekadasi
08 New Moon
18 Ekadasi
22 Full Moon

MARCH 2016
05 Ekadasi
07 Maha Sivarathri  
09 New Moon
19 Ekadasi
22

Holi

23 Full Moon
E-MAIL DIRECTORY
A complete e-mail directory of the Sivananda Yoga Centres and Ashrams is available at:
Sivananda Email Directory
SIVANANDA "OM" PAGE
www.sivananda.org

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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OM NAMAH SIVAYA!

NEWS

Blessed Selves,
Om Namah Sivaya

The New Year of 2016 started in a very positive mood. Sivananda Centres and Ashrams reported the attraction of many new students, with the onset of new year resolutions, spiking registrations in both long term and short term courses. Open classes in all Centres are also abundant with students.

An interesting phenomena for the upcoming year is people's interest and inquiry towards meditation. Many meditation courses are very full with new registrations. Also of note, regular morning and evening Satsangs are attended by very enthusiastic students. We, and all the Sivananda staff, are very happy that our hard work is appreciated and Swamiji's vision continues to grow very strong, as years pass. The Staff subsequently draw more inspiration with this new interest from the students.

May Master and Swamiji bless us always in our Sadhana and service.

Pranams to all!

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Maintain always serenity under all conditions and circumstances. - Sri Swami Sivananda

SIVANANDA YOGA FAQ
Q. Swamiji, could you please give some detailed practical hints to get non-attachment in mind in our every action?
A.

Think that you are an instrument (Nimitta) in the hands of God when you work. Egoism and respectability will vanish. Don't expect fruits for your actions (Nishkamya). How can you expect fruits when another, viz., God, is working through you? Further, when you are aware that the world is full of miseries, what is the use of coming back again into the world ? You are a toy in the hands of God. He holds the string. He is the Sutradhar. Do all actions from a sense of duty. Reduce your wants. Lead a very simple life. Hate luxury. Control the Indriyas. Look at everyone and everything in the world as the manifestation of Narayana. Think that this world is illusory and a long dream. How can there be attachment now in the mind, my dear Ramachandra? If you do actions in this way, you will become a practical Yogi. I assure you. Cheer your spirit. Gird up the loins and engage yourself boldly in the daily battle of life.

Q. God-realized souls, on leaving the mortal coil, merge in the cosmos and thus do not have any individuality on any plane. However, it is claimed that saints like Sai Baba and others, who have attained Moksha, do help and guide those devotees who seek their blessings. How can we explain this apparent contradiction?
A.

Realized souls, who wish to help the devotees even after they give up their physical bodies, retain their astral bodies (Sukshma Sarira) for the sake of their eagerness to help those that are in need of their help. But Jivanmuktas, generally, do not retain their astral bodies just in order to help the aspirants, since there will always be highly evolved souls on the relative plane, who will carry on the task of teaching the spiritual aspirants.

Q. May I enquire how the power of concentration increases?
A.

Concentration increases by curtailing your wants and desires, by observing Mouna for two hours daily, by remaining in seclusion in a quiet room for one or two hours daily, by practicing Pranayam, by prayer, by increasing the number of sittings in meditation in the evening and at night, by Vichar, etc.

 

Previous FAQs at http://www.sivananda.org/teachings/faq/faq.html

God is watching all your thoughts and movements. - Sri Swami Sivananda

HATHA YOGA TIP

VRKSASANA - TREE POSE - INTERMEDIATE and ADVANCED VARIATIONS -
Sanskrit: vriksa or vriksha (वृक्ष, vṛkṣa) meaning "tree" and asana (आसन) meaning "posture".

Includes variations to the tree pose to increase mind concentration. Work on balance, and flexibility of legs and hips.

Intermediate variation - In the classic pose, instead of the inner sole of the foot being placed into the inner thigh of the opposite leg, place the foot high as possible on the front of the thigh in a half lotus position. Palms can be joined in a prayer pose, then raised above the head. Maintain balance and concentration by focusing on a fixed point ahead. Focus on breathing slowly and rhythmically and deeply. Hold position as long as desired. Bring hands back to chest level prayer position and switch legs.

Advanced variation - With control, from standing in half lotus, slowly bend the standing leg knee and come down onto tiptoe of the standing leg, while keeping half lotus with the other leg, ankle over the thigh. Maintain balance. Hands in prayer position. Keep your upper body straight and your head level. Focus on a fixed point in front of you. Hold before resuming standing position very slowly and with breath control to aid concentration in getting back to standing position. Switch to the opposite leg.

Tip: It is best to practice the tree in stages. Before placing your leg in half lotus, get your balance on one foot, spreading the toes out and weight is spread through the entire foot. Keep the knee straight. Half raise the other leg while getting the balance rooted and then place the foot into the inner thigh, then half lotus. Maintain standing balance by keeping the standing leg straight and the weight through the entire foot, toes spread. Avoid distraction and keep the mind quiet. Fix the gaze onto a still point. Keep breathing slowly and deeply. Close the eyes once this pose becomes more effortless.

BENEFITS:
Strengthens the leg and back muscles
The bent leg opens the hip joint
Improves balance
Keeps the mind focused and improves concentration
Brings feeling of inner peace
Very conducive to meditation

This yoga asana is an edited contribution for the Sivananda Gurugram sourced and edited from the Sivananda Publication : "The Sivananda Companion to Yoga". The Sivananda Yoga Centre 2000.

Other yoga tips at http://www.sivananda.org/teachings/asana/101tips.html


Sing the song divine. Let thy face gleam with light. - Sri Swami Sivananda

YOGA SANSKRIT GLOSSARY

INDRIYAS -

The senses.

The Indriyas (senses) have two states, static and dynamic. When the desire begins to operate, the Indriyas are put in motion. This is the dynamic state. As soon as the desire is gratified, the Indriyas shrink through Tripti (satisfaction). This is the static or passive state of the Indriyas.

The Mind and Indriyas are one. Indriya is a prolongation of the mind. The sea is fed by the rivers; the sea cannot exist without the rivers. Even so, mind is fed by Indriyas and cannot exist without Indriyas. If you have controlled the Indriyas, you have already controlled the mind.

Eyes can only see. Ears can only hear. Tongue can only taste. Skin can only touch. Nose can only smell. But, the mind can see, hear, taste, touch and smell. Mind is the common sensory. The five senses are blended there. It can directly see, hear, smell, taste and feel independent of the senses. It is an aggregate of the five senses. All the sense-faculties are blended in the mind. You can see and hear directly through the mind by Yogic practice (clairvoyance and clairaudience).

Vasikaran - In this highest stage of Vairagya, the objects no longer tempt you. They cause no attraction. The Indriyas are perfectly quiet. Mind also is free from likes and dislikes (raga and dwesha). Then you get supremacy or independence. Now you are conscious of your supremacy

Kaivalya (perfect independence) is when the Indriyas are drawn into the mind, the mind into the Mahat, and the Mahat into the Purusha. - Sw. Sivananda

MAHAT: the Universal mind; the Cosmic mind

No one who is thirsting for name, fame, power and lordship and enjoyment here... or elsewhere, can achieve success in Yoga. - Sri Swami Sivananda

A complete Sanskrit Glossary can be found at: http://www.sivananda.org/teachings/glossary/glossary.html

BHAGHAVAD GITA

Chapter XIII: The Yoga of the Division Between the Field and the Knower of the Field

XIII.5. RISHIBHIRBAHUDHAA GEETAM CCHANDOBHIRVIVIDHAIH PRITHAK;
BRAHMASOOTRAPADAISHCHAIVA HETUMADBHIRVINISHCHITAIH.

(Krishna speaking to Arjuna)
Sages have sung in many ways, in various distinctive chants and also in the suggestive words indicative of the Absolute, full of reasoning and decisive.

XIII.6. MAHAABHOOTAANYAHANKAARO BUDDHIRAVYAKTAMEVA CHA;
INDRIYAANI DASHAIKAM CHA PANCHA CHENDRIYAGOCHARAAH.
The great elements: egoism, intellect and unmanifested Nature. The Ten Senses and the five Objects of the Senses.

COMMENTARY: Great elements: earth, water, fire, air and ether are so called because they pervade all modifications of matter. The ten senses are comprised of: the five organs of knowledge and the five organs of action. Plus, the One.

The five Organs of Knowledge are: ears, skin, eyes, tongue and nose. The five Organs of Knowledge are: hands, feet, mouth, anus and reproductive organ. The One: this is the mind. The five Objects/Results of the Senses are sound, touch, form/colour, taste and smell.

Do not worry about obstacles. They will pass away. Dive into Japa. - Sri Swami Sivananda

RAJA YOGA

From Discourse II: "Sadhana Pada- On Spiritual Disciplines"

II.9. SVARASAVAHI VIDUSO 'PI TATHA RUDHO 'BHINIVESAH.

'Fear of death is the continuous desire to live which is rooted even in the minds of the wise'.

Commentary:
The fear of death is the fear of loss of identity, of letting go of the ego. Even when all else is given up, there is still the clinging to life. It is only when sages reaches the very last stage of 'asamprajnata samadhi' they care for nothing but merging with the Lord; and when this level is reached they remain in the body for only a few days.

The Lord's ways are mysterious. There is something good even in all seeming failures. If you are not able to see that now, time will reveal it. Be patient. - Sri Swami Sivananda

VEGETARIAN CUISINE

CUBAN BLACK BEAN SOUP -

Warming, earthy and filling soup. Black beans contain a substantial protein content (approx. 15 grams per cup) and fibre content (approx. 15 grams per cup) and in this recipe are enhanced with the goodness of yam (sweet potato). Black beans are linked to health benefits such intestinal health, cardiovascular health (help lower cholesterol) and help balance and regulate blood sugar levels. Serve 4-6.

(This soup recipe may be converted to a filling meal by keeping the mixture thick and some of the beans whole and serving with rice.)

Ingredients:
1¾ cups dried black beans, soaked for 3 -4 hours or use 2 cans black beans. If using canned beans, rinse the beans in clear running water.
4½ cups water - may need to reduce water if using canned beans
1 sweet potato or yam, diced
1 bay leaf
1 tablespoon chopped fresh ginger root (optional)
1 or 2 tablespoons butter or margarine
Salt (add after cooking beans or they will toughen up)
Yoghurt, sour cream or grated vegetarian cheese to serve (all optional)
Fresh, chopped cilantro to garnish

Directions:
Drain dried beans after soaking and place in large pan with water, boil for 10 min and then lower heat.
Canned beans- set aside while preparing other ingredients.
To the soaked dried beans, add sweet potato or yam, bay leaf, ginger. Cover and simmer for about an hour or until beans are tender, adding more water if necessary.
Leave to cool, remove bay leaf and purée in a food processor / blender until soup is smooth.
For canned bean alternative, simmer the sweet potato/yam with bay leaf and ginger in enough water to cover until cooked. Remove the bay leaf, then purée the sweet potato and cooking liquid with the canned beans in a blender.
Return purée to pan and add butter or margarine. Season to taste with salt.
Simmer 10 min and then serve, optionally topped with yoghurt, sour cream or grated cheese. Garnish with cilantro.

This recipe is an edited contribution for the Sivananda Gurugram, partly sourced and edited fromThe Yoga Cookbook. Vegetarian Food for Body and Mind. Recipes from the Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centres. 1999.

Previous Recipes: http://www.sivananda.org/teachings/diet/recipes.html
Other recipes can be found in the Sivananda publication - "Yoga: Your Home Practice Companion" – Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre - 2010

Be calm. Be cheerful. Be courageous. Be self-controlled. - Sri Swami Sivananda

UPCOMING EVENTS - TTC, ATTC, Sadhana Intensive Courses

2016

Feb 03 - Mar 01/16
TTC – English
Nassau, Bahamas
www.sivananda.org/nassau

Feb 07 - Mar 06/16
TTC – English
Madurai, Tamil Nadu, South India
www.sivananda.org/madurai

Feb 14 - Mar 13/16
ATTC – English, Francais, Deutsch, Espanol, Farsi, Japanese, Hindi, Tamil, Malayalam
Neyyar Dam, South India
www.sivananda.org/neyyardam

Feb 13 - Mar 12/16
TTC - Teachers Training Course - English with Chinese & Vietnamese Translation
Dalat, Vietnam
www.sivanandayogavietnam.org

Feb 14 - Mar 13/16
ATTC - Advanced Teachers Training Course – Deutsch English español français हिन्दी italiano 日本語 Русский язык 台語
Neyyar Dam, South India
www.sivananda.org/neyyardam

Feb 20 - Mar 20/16
ATTC – Deutsch English Español Français Italiano Portuguêse
Rudraprayag, Himalayas, North India
http://www.sivananda.eu/en/advanced-teacher-training-in-india.html

Feb 20 - Mar 20/16
TTC – Deutsch English Español Français Italiano Portuguêse
Rudraprayag, Himalayas, North India
http://www.sivananda.eu/en/advanced-teacher-training-in-india.html

Feb 21 - Mar 20/16
TTC – English
London, England
http://www.sivananda.org/london/teachers_training_UK.html

Mar 04 - Mar 31/16
TTC – English
Nassau, Bahamas
www.sivananda.org/nassau

Mar 06 - Apr 03/16
TTC – Espaňol
Bariloche, Patagonia, Argentina
http://www.sivananda.org.uy/index.php?option=com_acymailing&ctrl=archive&task=view&mailid=260&key=Gn7eNkPD

Mar 06 - Apr 03/16
TTC – English
Woodbourne, NY, USA
www.sivananda.org/ranch

Mar 20 - Apr 17/16
TTC - English
Neyyar Dam, Kerala, South India
www.sivananda.org/neyyardam

Apr 03 - Apr 30/16
TTC – English
Nassau, Bahamas
www.sivananda.org/nassau

Apr 03 - May 01/16
TTC – English
Netala, Uttar Kashi, North India
www.sivananda.org/uttarkashi

Apr 30 - May 29/16
TTC – Deutsch
Reith, Tyrol, Austria
www.sivananda.org/tyrol/en

May 03 - May 30/16
TTC – English
Nassau, Bahamas
www.sivananda.org/nassau

May 07 - Jun 04/16
TTC – English, Espaňol
Grass Valley, CA, USA
www.sivananda.org/yogafarm

May 08 - Jun 05/16
TTC – English
Netala, Uttar Kashi, North India
www.sivananda.org/uttarkashi

May 18 - Jun 15/16
TTC – Français
Orleans, France
www.sivananda.org/orleans

May 28 - Jun 25/16
TTC – English
London, England
http://www.sivananda.org/london/teachers_training_UK.html

See full list of International Teacher Training Courses: http://www.sivananda.org/yoga-teacher-training/ttc-schedule.html

See full list of International Advanced Teacher Training Courses: http://www.sivananda.org/yoga-teacher-training/attc-schedule.html

See full list of International Sadhana Intensives and other courses/events: http://www.sivananda.org/courses/schedule.html

Learn to depend entirely on God. Wait and watch. Despair not. Worry not.
- Sri Swami Sivananda

SIVANANDA WORLD NEWS - DECEMBER 2015

SIVANANDA YOGA VEDANTA Ashrams -

Sivananda Ashram Yoga Camp, Val Morin, Quebec, Canada

    Om Namah Sivaya! Greetings from the Headquarters.
    For New Year's Eve Baratha and Sita prepared a Lebanese feast, and a team of Karma Yogis decorated the dining hall in festive colors.  After dinner we had a Satsang with Prahlad and a talent show, MC-ed by Ganga. The priest performed Pujas for the Masters and for Lord Krishna, and old disciples of Swami Vishnu shared with us touching stories about his life and joyful and generous nature. While sharing her stories about Swami Vishnu, Marilyn Rossner followed with some advice, and finished with some predictions for 2016 and 2017 pointing that 2016 is the year of revelations of the truths of what's really been happening in the world. We welcomed the year chanting Om Namo Narayanaya, and were delighted by the fireworks Swami Shivabhaktananda rushed to light up. The last guests and families from the New Year's events returned home, and the Ashram remained open for guests and students coming to yoga classes. On the first Wednesday morning of the year the Yoga Camp closed for Sadhana week, and the ringing of the bell took its yearly break. We started the Sadhana week with a Puja for Lord Ganesha and continued our daily program: doing our pranayama and asana practice in Mathaji hall all together, then go on with our duties after breakfast, until we meet again for Bhagavad Gita chanting at 4:00 and an hour of study until dinner time. The evening Satsangs, were held in Swami Vishnu's house. During morning Satsangs, Swami Shivabhaktananda read and spoke about Patanjali Yoga Sutras which he encouraged we read from Meditation and Mantras as well. It was touching to see so many people avidly reading the Bhagavad Gita and Swami Vishnu's books. A beautiful sense of family reigned in the Ashram, with each doing their duty and, in turn, cooking for each other. We watched a documentary which brought an interesting perspective to the practice and to spirituality, starting interesting conversations. 

    During mid-January all was calm with one guest looking for some peace and one Work-Study looking for a mental break. They enjoyed learning about the culture of the Ashram, yoga, meditation and some cross country skiing. We enjoyed an evening at Bharata's home, having his famous homemade falafel. A group of over 20 people arrived for a weekend to attend a course introducing meditation, given by Chandrika. Morning and evening Satsangs, as well as workshops, covered the topic of meditation, its objectives, methods, challenges, experiences, etc. The guests experienced the different meditation methods: Japa, Likhita Japa, Tratak and the silent walk. We drove to Montreal Centre where we celebrated Thaipusan, with a Puja for Lord Subramanya. On the staff side, we continued to take advantage of the low season for the maintenance and cleaning of the Temples and buildings. May God's Grace bless all. Om Pranams.





Sivananda Dhanwanthari Ashram, Neyyar Dam, Kerala, South India

    Om Namo Narayanaya!
    For New Year's it was a high energy transition in the Ashram from 2015 into 2016. The cultural program featured stirring devotional singing by Vinod Vittal and Parvati Baul. The old year was closed with with a morning Guru Puja for Swamiji's birthday. In the evening, Dr Ananthapadmanabhan and his son Anand gave veena and vocal performance followed by fireworks, Om Namo Narayanaya chanting and special cake for prasad. The next morning staff and students respected Swami Rajeshwariananda on the occasion of her 25th Sannyas anniversary. This was celebrated with a modest Pada Puja performed in the Temple in front of Raja Rajeshwari Devi. Despite her poor health she kept up a good spirit and blessed everyone. We welcome new staff Luliya from Russia and Ganesh from Australia. Kailash has transferred to Trivandrum Centre. We thank Srinivas for conducting well appreciated Sanskrit and Patanjali Yoga Sutra talks during YACP.

    In early January 2016 TTC began with two hundred students, including eight language groups, Farsi, Japanese, French, Spanish, Russian, Tamil, Hindi and Malayalam.  We welcomed many new staff to assist and translate for the TTC. Main lectures were conducted by Acharya Swami Sitaramananda, chanting by Swami Dharmananda, Bhagavad Gita by Nagaraj, anatomy and physiology by Nataraj, Hatha Yoga by Vijay and Sandeep. We have completed renovation work on Ganesh Kutir, Vrindavan and Krishna Kutir to provide seven more accommodation spaces. Yoga Vacation lectures continued with Swami Janardhanananda with over one hundred guests. It promised to be a stimulating and busy period.

    During mid-January the Ashram was full and busy for both Yoga Vacation and TTC. Students enjoyed a silent walk to the top of Kalipara hill and outings to the back waters and jungle trip. We continued to move firewood from the lower parts of the Ashram property, with the help of all guests. It was a great experience in karma yoga and aerobic exercise. TTC completed the Shat Kriyas and enjoyed a well deserved break on their Fridays off. World renowned astrologer, Komilla Sutton gave an illuminating talk on Vedic astrology and what to expect in the next six months. 

    May the blessings of Master and Swamiji be with us all. Pranams and Peace to al the Sivananda Family at his special time of year from the staff at the Dhanwanthari Ashram.


Sivananda Ashram Kutir, Netala, Uttarkashi, North India
    Om Namo Narayanaya. Greetings from Uttar Kashi.
    Happy New Year to all! No special festivities here at Netala as we have no guests.  However the Ashram continued to be very busy with workers in every direction one looked.  Work on the Akhanda Kutir continued.  The Satsang Hall floor tiling was completed.  Various benches and chairs outside Bhagirathi dorm and other buildings were made from brick and cement.  Carpentry work for wardrobes was going on in the sun on the office roof, but the carpenter went for a week's holiday. Plumbing of the new bathroom washbasins, etc. in the Kailash double rooms began. Outdoor painting also started.  The creation of a new slightly bigger kitchen has begun behind the kitchen storeroom.  We look forward to all this being replaced by the sound of the TTC bell and the yellow and white of SYVC uniforms!

    Soon after, in early January the Kailash double room renovation work finished with bathrooms re-fitted, floors and walls tiled and painting re-done.  The Ashram still continued to be busy with work on the new Akhanda Kutir and external painting work around the Ashram.  The rooms on first floor of Akhanda Kutir now have roof slabs and the internal plastering began.  The other buildings of the Ashram were freshened up with yellow and red paint work on the external walls.  The carpenter returned, working on finishing shoe racks and cupboards and also new tables for Akhanda Kutir.  The staff were well, although the weather is cold.

    During mid-January work on the Akhanda Kutir moved along well. The outside plastering of the ground floor was finished and the basic plumbing of the bathrooms also. We still haven't moved into the kitchen as the plumbing had to be completed, as well as fitting of the hot water geyser. The carpenter made some cupboards and shelves for all the vessels.  We looked forward to being able to clean thoroughly as everywhere was dusty with all the work.  With Swamiji and Master's blessings we trust it will all be finished within two weeks. Pranams to all.


Sivananda Ashram Chateau du Yoga, Orleans, France
    Om Namah Sivaya
    We celebrated the New Year eve with a theatre play written and directed by Swami Bhagavatananda 'Heaven and Hell'. Alina came also and shared a joyful song that she composed on the teachings of Swami Sivananda which all enthusiastically sang in a round. We had a torch procession in the park of the Ashram chanting OM Namo Narayanaya, which was a beautiful sight in the night, under a clear star lit sky… We concluded the procession with Arati at the Temple and meditated a few minutes to enter the New Year in Peace. After the 'Yoga and Ayurveda' week we offered a week at a reduced rate for a quite international group. The 'Teachers' Training Preparation Weekend' was appreciated by many interested students. Other topics we offered were, the 'Magic of Yogic Breathing', the 'Yoga of Love', 'Raja Yoga, the path of Self-mastery' and the 'Power of Asanas'. OM.



Sivananda Ashram Yoga Farm, Grass Valley, California, USA
    Om Namah Sivaya
    For New Year's 2016 we continued our Holiday Retreat celebrations, with the highlight being New Years Eve.  Musician, Angelika, warmed our hearts with her beautiful singing and chanting.  All the guests and staff were deeply moved.  This was followed by an astrological predictions talk for the upcoming year, by Sadasiva, from the Bay Area.  He gave us insightful patterns and tendencies to be aware of in the coming year ahead.  We then moved over to the Radha Krishna Hall for a Puja ceremony with Swami Vashistananda to bring in the New Year at midnight.  The Vedic mantras and chants set a pure intention for all of us for the year ahead.  We chanted "Om Namo Narayanaya" for inner peace and world peace, as the clock struck midnight.  This was followed by special Indian prasad and an array of snacks prepared by the dedicated staff.  The next morning all the staff and guests took their New Year messages from Swami Sivananda and the Sivananda Upanishads.  Everyone felt the hand of grace as the message they took seemed perfect for them.  We then had a skype call with Swami Sitaramananda, where she personally wished all the staff a happy New Year and gave advice on how to deepen Sadhana and strength on the spiritual path.  Meanwhile Swami Sankarananda taught a Positive Thinking course for the holiday guests with much inspiration and Ananta Chaitanya gave a "how to keep a spiritual diary" workshop as well.  We welcomed a nice group of students for the Juice Fasting retreat which started on New Years day, led by Swami Jnaneswariananda and Annapurna. Swami Sitaramananda, Swami Narayananda, and Swami Dharmananda send their pranams from India where they had a busy week touring Temples Kanchipurum, Arunachala Hill, Bangalore and Madurai Ashram. The three swamis had the grace to have Darshan at every turn. They stayed 2 nights with gracious hosts Niranjan Babu and Umarani in Bangalore and visited the Vyasa University, the teaching university and hospital doing Yoga and Health research. They visited a local hospital and senior residence, a local village school with young kids very sweet and well behaved. Also, Swami Sitaramananda and Swami Dharmananda, with help from Swami Satchidananda had Darshan of Mother Meenakshi, Swami Vishnudevananda-ji's favorite Temple and most beautiful with stone carvings beyond imagination. A great blessing by Grace of the Mother herself they were permitted to enter, as westerners are not allowed.  We are all feeling the guidance and grace of Master and Swamiji.

    In early January we had the Yoga Beginners course at the Yoga Farm, taught by Karuna Devi and Saraswati.  The students were inspired to learn about the yoga teachings, philosophy and how to put this into practice.  We had a Beginners Intensive course, taught by karma yogi and long-time devotee Radha, from Mt. Shasta.  The weekend group was enthused to be in such a peaceful setting and to learn classical yoga in a serene atmosphere.  We welcomed back Sundaram who is leading the kitchen team and Chandrika who is helping in the reception and Swamiji house. We bid farewell to Swami Sankarananda whom we have been so blessed to have with us for the last few months at the Yoga Farm as he has been an invaluable asset at the Ashram manning long hours at the reception and in advertising and being such a wonderful example for us to follow.  He is now moving on to the next phase of his journey as he flies out to Miami, Florida today to start his walking pilgrimage north, towards Minnesota and then West carrying nothing but his smart phone and warming smile and faith in the Almighty.  Swami Sitaramananda and Swami Dharmananda send their pranams from India and are now in the Neyyar Dam Ashram where they have successfully started the TTC, with about 200 students.  Meanwhile Swami Narayanananda is in Madurai teaching the main lecture for the TTC.

    During mid-January Ananta Chaitanya taught workshops on the Four Path of Yoga which was well received by the staff and seva-studies.  They learned insightful ways to deepen their understanding of the different yogic practices.  We had a sunny day between rain storms so the staff ventured out to the near by Yuba River for an hour hike, pranayama, and chanting by the side of the fast flowing river.  The fresh prana from the scenic Yuba river trip energized all the staff.  We welcomed 18 guests for the Stress Relief weekend.  Tara Durga Devi, a long-time Ashram supporter and Sivananda teacher, presented the weekend, weaving inspiring stories from her own life with the Sivananda teachings and applying to learn how to handle stress in a more holistic way.  We were all feeling the grace of Master and Swamiji. Om Namah Sivaya to all Blessed Selves from the Yoga Farm.




Sivananda Ashram Yoga Ranch, Woodbourne, New York, USA
    Om Namo Narayanaya
    The Ashram was full of enthusiastic and inspired guests for the New Year's 2016 program.  The week long program was focused on Sadhana and establishing a regular practice for the new year.  Mahadev Chaitanya  taught an early morning pranayama class before Satsang everyday.  We offered beginners and open classes and midday workshops on various topics, such as meditation, positive thinking and how to keep a spiritual diary.  Guests made friends with each other over the week, were helping throughout the Ashram with karma yoga, especially in the kitchen, and became part of the Sivananda family quickly.  As New Year's Eve approached more guests arrived and by the 31st we had over 100 at the Ashram to celebrate the New Year.  Srinivasan lead the evening Satsang and read a New Year message from Swamiji.  A local Hindu priest joined us to perform a Guru Puja and Prem Sadasiva returned to the Ashram after a long absence to lead chanting into the New Year.  Galina Heifetz, a classically violinist, was also with us and gave a short performance before midnight.  At midnight we chanted Om Namo Narayanaya with a short silent meditation into 2016.  Afterwards, a double chocolate birthday cake prasad was offered, in honour of Swamiji before concluding with the Arati.  It was a beautiful evening, bringing in the New Year with vibrations of peace and love.

    In early January Srinvasan, Saraswati and Radha left for Nassau to spend the month of January at the Yoga Retreat. Srinivasan taught the Raja Yoga portion of the ATTC and led the morning Satsangs on the Yamas and Niyamas. We began the year with an immersion program for beginners. Jayanta and Mukti Devi, long time teachers from New York City, came up to teach the classes and conduct the workshops. We had only a few students, but they were an inspired group.  We took a Ranch field trip to Satyavati's house, a karma yogi that lives about twenty minutes from us. We the workshops and classes there, and also the staff and guests had the opportunity to enjoy walks on the property, a sauna, a piano, and ping pong.  The week after New Year's was quiet, allowing us to focus on our Sadhana and resolutions. We waited for winter and the snow, but all was quiet here.  Mahadev Chaitanya went to New York City for Satsang, and was delighted to see five of our new guests from the New Year's Week there at the Centre for Satsang. We were truly blessed to have a wonderful group of people here for the Sadhana week, many of whom have committed to returning or joined us at the New York City Centre.  By the blessings of Master and Swamiji staff are strong in their Sadhana.

    During mid-January we had two programs, The Joy of Kirtan and a Beginner's Weekend. Shakti, the New York City Centre Director, and staff member, Pranava, joined us for a weekend to lead The Joy of Kirtan program. It was an intimate group of 7 guests total, which made for a very nice energy and a blending of the programs, where both new and seasoned guests participated in the Kirtan workshop and volunteered to lead chants in Satsang. The Beginner's program included a one on one coaching class, led by Prasanta which was very well attended by both beginning guests, and staff aiming to perfect their handstands for the staff's "Asana of the Month". The weekdays were still quiet and peaceful, as we await the snow promised in February! Krishna, a New York City Centre karma yogi, arrived for a weekend to spend his 40th birthday with us. The staff very much enjoyed preparing a special cake for him.  Mahadev Chaitanya went to New York City to conduct Satsang, and to continue teaching the Sixth Chapter of the Bhagavad Gita.  Mahadev Chaitanya then flew to Chicago to give a program on Prana at the Chicago Centre, leaving just in time to miss the first blizzard of 2016, which deposited 2 feet of snow on NYC.  Luckily, the Ashram did not see much snow, making it easy for guests to return home after the restful weekend.  Staff were maintaining good Sadhana practices, send pranams to all! May the Blessings of Master and Swamiji grace all of our lives. Pranamsl!


Sivananda Ashram Yoga Retreat, Nassau, Bahamas
    Om Namo Narayanaya, Blessed Selves
    For New Year's we continued the Christmas and New Year's Symposium 'Unity in Diversity'. Snatam Kaur and Lama Surya Das both continued with their last few afternoon workshops as part of the program. Sheikh Abdul Haqq started a series of talks on the Islamduring Satsang. Rabbi Mitchell Chefitz shared workshops and Satsangs with talks on the Jewish tradition. In another series of Satsangs and workshops, Jan Saeed talked to us about Strength in Diversity – A Baha'i Perspective. The TTC graduated on New Years Eve. We enjoyed the TTC graduation feast as a welcome addition to the New Year's festivities. Our priest Krishna Namboodri performed a special Puja for Swami Vishnu-Devananda's birthday as well as a homa to ring in the New Year. Gaura Vani held a kirtan concert for New Year's Eve, accompanied by several musicians. He continued with one more concert in evening Satsang and two kirtan workshops during the afternoons. Surya started a Yoga Vacation Program about Growing Older and Wiser with Yoga. Vasudha Narayanan started a program on the Path of Bhakti. We welcomed a whole new group of TTC and ATTC, combined for the first time this year, moving them into the brand new tent huts that were finished only a week earlier. Finally we welcomed Srinavasan, Shankara Chaitanya and Saraswati, teachers of the ATTC and TTC.

    In early January Vasudha Narayanan continued her program on The Path of Bhakti during several afternoon workshops. Srinivasan, teaching in the ATTC also started a program on the Foundations of Raja Yoga, which will take place over the course of the month, exploring the practice of Raja Yoga, with an emphasis on the Yamas and Niyamas. The Yoga of Restful Being, taught by James Reeves, explored asana, pranayama, mudra, bandha, meditation and yoga nidra to help students leave distractions behind them and support the realization of their innate connectedness to all of life. Joan Borysenko shared a Yoga Vacation program on "Writing Down the Light: A Conscious Retelling of Your Life's Story". Through a series of workshops and lectures with writing exercises she invited guests to reconsider their life story and use the written word to transform darkness into light. The New Year's Cleanse, Detox and Juice Fast with Manu Dawson started, slowly guiding the group from raw food into a liquid fast. Tao Porchon-Lynch, a 97-year-old yoga teacher, shared a program "Aging Gracefully Through Yoga". She spoke in two evening Satsangs, sharing her life's story, She also taught two afternoon yoga classes, an inspiration to many. The January TTC and ATTC started with an initiation Puja during an evening Satsang, plus a student introduction the next morning. Both courses progressed steadily with the students already enjoying their first study day off.

    During mid-January Dr. Joe Dispenza concluded his talks on "Making the Mind Matter". We then began the Mindfulness in the World Symposium with Mirabai Bush, Gopi Kallaylil and Judith Simmer Brown. Each speaker presented one evening Satsang and two afternoon workshops. The Symposium concluded with a panel discussion between the three presenters. We began a two night event with Jai-Jagdeesh called "Sacred Sounds". Ambika (Katie) also presented two afternoon workshops on "Yoga, Stress and Food". Surya did four afternoon workshops; one was on creating a yogic lifestyle, one on Yoga Nidra and two workshops on energizing the light body. Srinivasan continued to present on the Yamas and Niyamas in morning Satsangs. TTC and ATTC continued into their third week. It seemed the teachings were sinking in, although it was tough week for all. Construction started again on the new bathrooms and we hoped to have them finished soon, but the cold weather is freezing the progress of the project, as well as all the guests. Om Shanti from all the staff in Nassau.


Sivananda Ashram, Retreat House, Reith, Tyrol, Austria
    Om Namah Sivaya
    The New Year's programmes continued until 6th of January. There were still many guest who stayed the whole week. We immersed ourselves into the wisdom teaching of the Srimad Bhagavatam accompanied by truly divine Bansuri flute music. Swami Sivadasananda challenged the yoga vacation guests with longer asana workshops, detailed sun salutations and the practice and theory of pranayama. We bid farewell to many swamis and staff day by day. Being together in Satsang and sharing Sadhana was a great enrichment for all. Swami Durgananda and Swami Sivadasananda left after this inspiring time and continued their tour in Berlin. In the second week of January winter has arrived with power. Much snow came down within a short time and enchanted the whole landscape beautifully. Everyone enjoyed the uplifting silence which gave a welcome support to our meditations and yogic activities. An interested group of guests came for the topic "Yoga-lifestyle". In the asana classes we focused especially on physical tensions and their conscious release and on a gradual development of the breathing exercises. Many tips for a yogic and sattvic start into the day and on yogic diet were received with a lot of interest. The weekend on thought power and positive thinking was about purposeful and flexible thinking and exercises to build up mental strength and clarity. The end of the month is topped by two powerful programs: Yoga for the back and a further training for active relaxation and stress reduction. Both seminars will focus on increased awareness, flexibility and careful use of body and mind. OM.


Sivananda Ashram Meenakshi Ashram, Madurai, Tamil Nadu, India
    Om Namo Narayanaya. Greetings from Meenakshi.
    In early January, with a new batch of Yoga vacationers, a New batch of TTC, a new floor in Yamuna Nivas, ready for inauguration and many newly signed up karma yogis, the New year 2016 opened with positivity. Swamiji's Janmadina celebrations on December 31st began with Guru Pooja in the Temple. Staff took turns in chanting Swamiji's name and glory, from morning till sunset. A good feast was served for guests. The day ended with New Year's Eve celebrations which was made memorable through best talent performances by YV guests, candle lights and of course a rich black forest cake cutting. With the dawn of January 1st, TTC students started to arrive. A day earlier to this, Swami Sitaramananda, Swami Narayananda, who will also be the Philosophy teacher for the course and Swami Dharmananda arrived and initiated the students along with Swami Satchidananda. Mahalaskhmi will be handling Hatha yoga and Anatomy-Physiology. Bhagavad Gita classes by Padmavati while chanting sessions will be taken by Yashpalji.

    On the 21st January, Swami Narayananda conducted a beautiful and peaceful mantra initiation for 10 TTC students and 4 Yoga Vacationers at the Temple. A group of 35  enjoyed their off day with a trip to Raameshwaram Temple and Dhanushkoti beach. The following Saturday after a wonderful Satsang, spiritual names were given by Swamiji. Om Shanti. We send Om Namo Narayanaya to every one. Pranams to all.




    TTC Reports in locations other than Ashrams:

    TTC - ATTC Garopaba: By the grace of Swamiji and Master, the third week of TTC and ATTCs began with wonderful energy. The weather was stunningly beautiful with clear skies and soft breezes. Both groups were quite diligent in their studies and continued going deeper into their practices. We also had the visit of Gopala, Vani Devi and Ganapati who delighted us all with two beautiful concerts. The first focused on Classical Hindustani Music and the second focused on Bhajans and Kirtans, which had the audience happily joining in. They also led the retreat program of The Yoga of Sound. Guests were able to gain insight into the science of Nada Yoga and get first hand experience of its transformative effect. We also started the TTC Refresher course with students from Brazil, Argentina and Bolivia who came eager to reconnect with the teaching of Master and Swamiji. Swami Sivadasanandaji shared his loving presence, knowledge and sense of humour during classes. Everybody enjoyed his classes and Satsangs. Pranams to all. Om Shanti.

    SIVANANDA YOGA VEDANTA Centres -


    Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Zentrum, Berlin, Germany

    Om Namah Sivaya
    Many helping hands gave support for the final preparation of the special program: The Celebration of 25 years of Sivananda Yoga Centre in Berlin.  The main part of the renovation project at the Centre was completed with everybody looking forward to the big new asana hall as the main location for the event. We gave a warm welcome to Swami Durgananda, Swami Sivadasananda, guest of honour Sri Venugopal Goswami and the accompanying musicians. Inspiring lectures with Swami Durgananda, teachers workshops and asana classes with Swami Sivadasananda and the Bhagavatam discourses and Nada Yoga concert, with Sri Venugopal Goswami, were the highlights of the event. Students came specially from Hamburg as well as Poland and Lithuania. The atmosphere was very joyful and positive. OM.



Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Buenos Aires, Argentina
    Om Namah Sivaya
    In early January Swami Premananda and Swami Dayananda travelled to Brazil for the TTC, staying at the Jagadamba Chaitanya Centre with a great group of professors and karma yoguis helping out. See TTC and ATTC report above, after the Ashram reports. Prem & Om to all.



Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Chengdu, China


    Om Namah Sivaya!
    For New Year's we offered a Puja on the New Year's Eve to wish the Centre and all the people associated a wonderful year of 2016! 

    In early January the Centre continued to be calm as the winter season continued. We were still learning how to promote our services. We had one new student came to try the hatha yoga class. The Staff focused on reconnecting with karma yogis and members and also promoting upcoming courses with Swami Sitaramananda in Vietnam.

    During mid-January, Jyoti from Hong Kong, stayed for another week to support the Centre as a karma yogi and went through basic training on Centre normal operation, which will prepare her for running the Centre in March when Sivani is in Vietnam. We also had a few new male students to try out the Hatha Yoga class. We also welcomed Baldwin one weekend to lead a workshop on how to make tofu from soybean and lime juice, and we closed the week with a community dinner with the freshly made tofu. Prem & Om to all.

    http://www.sivanandayogachina.org


Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Chennai, India

      Om Namah Sivaya to all Blessed Selves from the Chennai Centre.
      On 31st December we celebrated Swamiji's birthday and New Year's eve in the presence of Swami Ayyapaanandaji. We held a Satsang and many of our trustees karma yogis and teachers participated. We cut the prasad cake and offered a dinner for all. Everybody enjoyed the evening. While Chennai was recovering from the floods, our Centre was getting back to normal. Even though the number our students was low during December month, it is now slowly picking up. We started a pregnancy yoga course for two students. Supriya from Neyyar Dam arrived to the Centre.

      In early January we started a morning beginners course, with a total number of 7 students. We also started a weekend beginner's course, with a total number of 8 students. The student number in the Centre still remained low following the recent flood situation. The city has been recovering from the disaster. Slowly we see a significant increase in student numbers from week to week. Many households have families busy cleaning and refurbishing work so we expect higher interest from local people hopefully in February. At the Centre we completed all the necessary cleaning and disinfecting work to keep the area for our students and staff safe and maintain the healthy environment. We also invited carpenters, painters, plumbing workers and electricians to evaluate the amount and cost of work which has to be done following the floods. As we have mentioned before one of the Centre's buildings were badly affected by flood situation, we have to replace electrical wiring completely, do painting and carpentry work inside the building. We welcomed a new staff member - Unnikrishnan from Neyyar Dam. We have explained our daily Centre operations and hope he will stay with us for a long time. Also one of our karma yogis, Rajesh, left the Centre due to family reasons. We wish him all the best and hope to see him return to the Centre soon. The rest of the activities in the Centre were carried on as usual, with all the staff members performing their karma yoga duties and making sure that, with the blessing of Swamijis, the Centre operates efficiently and for the benefit for the local community.

      During mid-January we started an evening beginners' course, with a good number of students. We also welcomed a new staff member Satyamji from Neyyar Dam. We introduced him to our Centre operations and internal procedures and hope Satyamji will stay in the Centre as long as possible. With the blessing of Swamijis we received a new PC for the office. Now all administration operations could be organized in an efficient manner. We resumed outside classes with our long time partners - American School and IT Company Extreme Network. The rest of the activities in the Centre were carried as usual, with all the staff members are performing their karma yoga duties. We continued all the necessary refurbishment and cleaning work to clear up the consequences of recent floods. Some repair work was delayed because carpenters are quite busy as many locals were affected by floods and were eager to use their services. Otherwise, with the blessing of Swamijis, the Centre operated efficiently, for the benefit of the local community. With the blessings of God and Masters, we send Pranams to the Sivananda family.



    Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Chicago, USA
      Om Namah Sivaya!
      In early January we enjoyed a cold snap and a little bit of snow. The Centre was closed until the Centre's staff returned from the Ranch, where we had been visiting for the New Year's retreat. On Tuesday, the 5th, the Centre reopened with its regular schedule, and that evening a Yoga 2 course started. Bhagavad Gita study class resumed on Fridays. One Saturday, staff and some teachers and students went to the suburbs to participate in the Vivekananda International East West Conference at the Hindu Temple of Greater Chicago. There, area yogis and monks gave presentations on the different paths and practices of Yoga, including Lalita Chaitanya and Chicago Centre teacher and tabla player, Eric Jensen, with a session on Bhakti & Kirtan. We added three new open classes to our schedule, set to start in February, including an 8am class on Mondays.

      During mid-January Mahadev Chaitanya visited and gave programs called "Prana: the Way to Vitality, Inspiration, and Success in Life." His visit was very well received and uplifting for all. A new Sunday Yoga 1 course started. We had many new students coming for classes recently and a particularly good number of membership and class-pass sales. Staff are well, feeling grateful for all the blessings of this life, and send pranams to all. Om Shanti, Shanti, Shantihi.


Sivananda Yoga Vedanta DÀ LAT Centre, Dà Lat, Vietnam
    Om Namah Sivaya
    We are grateful for Guru's grace within us. Om Namah Sivaya.


Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Dwarka Centre, Delhi, India
    Om Namah Sivaya
    On the 31st December we celebrated Swami Vishnu's birthday in the Centre with a special Satsang. We had a very good gathering for the Satsang and everybody had the dinner in the Centre that night.  We also conducted a special class on Saturday for the teacher to improve there postures.

    In early January everybody was well, with God's grace and Gurus' blessings. We started our beginner's course for 6.30 A.M and 4 P.M batch on Mondays. We also started the kids' yoga camp for two weeks in the Centre on Mondays. The kids were coming regularly and enjoying the classes. The number of students attending the open classes was slowly increasing. The gentle classes in the morning were still quiet.  Apart from that, Prenatal was well attended. We were taking in private classes whenever it is possible and also giving trial classes every Sunday for the new students who enquire about the classes.

    During mid-January, the open classes especially the early morning and the late evening classes are lesser this time as the climate got to 8 degrees Celsius. Our supporting staff, Saroj got sick so the other staff worked harder. We were hoping that the coming days will be better and we can serve more people, for that, we were putting our efforts. Apart from that Prenatal, Gentle Yoga and Kids classes were fine. Tryambakams for everyone. Sending all our love and wishes. Pranams. Om.


Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Nataraja Centre, Delhi, India
    Om Namo Narayanaya
    On Thursday Dec 31st we celebrated Swami Vishnu's birthday along with a New Year's cultural program - a good way of sending 2015 and welcoming 2016. The 10 minute "In the Name of Peace" video of Swami Vishnu shown, a talented group of children performed a dance and chanting, a professional musician played the Sarod, Harmonium, accompanied by Tabla player. A flute was played by Siddartha, Sivananda Yoga Teacher, enjoyed by all. The program was concluded with Arati & cake cutting.

    In early January, with the blessings of the Gurus, we started with two Beginners' course one at 6:30am and the other 4:00pm with good number of students. We conducted a Vegetarian cooking workshop one Saturday. The students participated in the cooking and they enjoyed the sattvic food cooked by them. Rahul, the new staff, shifted to Noida Centre as the Centre needs staff. We conducted the Sunday Satsang and it was, as usual, motivating. With the Grace of the Masters, the regular schedules at the Centre are doing well. An article regarding Gentle Yoga at the Centre was published in a leading English daily news paper, Hindustan Times.

    During mid-January we started the coldest week of the season with a beginners' course at 4:00pm and with our daily Monday schedule. We started a Foundation to Meditation course. We conducted a Shat Kirya workshop one Saturday. We conducted the Sunday Satsangs, attended by good number of students. The practice of meditation, chanting and reading from the Gurus' book lifts us up and motivates us at the Centre to stay in tune with the Masters & with the Divine. With the Grace of the Masters everything is going well at the Centre. Om.


Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Noida, Delhi, India
    Om Namah Sivaya, from Noida.
    In early January, with the Blessings and Grace Of our Beloved Masters, we had a cheerful first week of the year 2016 with our Gentle Yoga Batch, Beginners Batch at 7am and 4pm. Open Batch ongoing classes were well attended, as well as the continuing Kids Camp with cheerful tiny guests at 10am. Sunday evening Satsangs were led by Kapoorji.

    Krishna's guest, Isabella from France, visited the Centre for a day and conducted a Kids Meditation class during Kids Camp on 7th January. Krishna took a winter break for a month from 8th January, with Isabella and Alakananda, leaving Sivananda and travelling home on 8th January. Rahul joined the Noida Centre on 8th evening. We aimed to have a positive week!

    During mid-January, with the Blessings and Grace of our Beloved Masters, we had a quite a good group in our Gentle Yoga Batch, Beginners Batch at 7am and 6:30pm. Open Batches were ongoing. We send Pranams and our best wishes to all the Sivananda family.



Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Geneva, Switzerland
    Om Namah Sivaya from the Geneva Centre
    By the beginning of the month staff returned inspired and recharged from the Retreat House in Reith to prepare the reopening of the Centre after the Christmas closure.  Courses and classes started with good attendance and the students were happy to continue their practice. Mahadev arrived from the Retreat House in Reith to support the Geneva Centre and the new brochure was sent out. The outside classes at the United Nations started as well as two beginners' courses and the Pensioners' class which is held in cooperation with the city of Geneva and on Saturday we had a good open day where half of the students signed up for upcoming beginners courses. OM.



Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
    Om Namah Sivaya
    In early January the Centre welcomed back our students after the holidays. All the open classes were in full attendance. The Yoga One started with 7 students, as well as the Yoga 2 with all the students from the previous course Yoga 1 continuing. One weekend, two workshops were taught, one by Mary on "How to Control Blood Pressure Through Yoga Practice" and the other by Saraswati "Making Handmade Natural Soap". Both were happily received by the students. We were also busy preparing for the TTC Vietnam coming soon. We also said goodbye to our staff Mahalakshmi who has sincerely served more than 3 months at the Centre. All the staff were healthy and grateful to able to live and share the yogic practice with others.

    During mid-January a new resident student joined us, very happy to find the classical Yoga teachings and even taking three asana classes in one day!  We now have two residents, both very serious Yoga students, participating in all events and helping with cleaning, gardening and cooking.  We started a Yoga One Course with four students.  Some new staff were teaching courses and very inspired.  We prepared for the Vietnamese New Year, organizing the garden and doing a deep cleaning of the Centre. Om Shanti, Shanti, Shantihi.  


Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, London, England
    Om Namah Sivaya
    New Year's Eve was a warm and joyful celebration attended by a nice group of 50 people, mainly close students and teachers of the Centre. The evening programme started with a Puja for the Divine Mother, accompanied by chanting and followed by a delicious feast. There was an elevating New Year's message from Master's book on World Peace, the chanting of Om Namo Narayanaya was vibrant and we meditated into the New Year. Swamiji's birthday was celebrated at midnight with a cake which was festively illuminated by many sparklers.
    The first weekend of the year traditionally brings many students to the Centre and it was good to see the asana halls well filled again after the quieter holidays. We were very happy to welcome Swami Keshavananda to the Centre to prepare the newly renovated house and reception for the special programmes coming up in January.

    During mid-January, after 6 months of extensive renovations and refurbishments, the newly renovated middle house and reception were auspiciously taken in use during the special 7-day programme The Divine Play of Life. The beauty and practicality of the new space indicate a milestone in the history of the London Centre which shone like a beacon of Swamiji's work throughout this special week. The programme was beautifully filled  with lectures on yoga philosophy, asana and pranayama workshops and discourses on the meaning of life, accompanied by live music. The energy of the Centre got further uplifted by daily early morning Puja's performed by the priest. Swami Durgananda's presence in the Centre and her inspiring weekend lectures on the topics "Know Yourself and Be Free" and "Guidance from the Vedantic Scriptures" were of much support for staff, teachers and students. Swami Kailasananda gave four elevating evening lectures on yoga philosophy, which were warmly appreciated. Swami Sivadasananda gave dynamic and instructive asana workshops which were enthusiastically received and very well attended. Swami Keshavananda was supporting the Centre over the last 3 weeks with a series of strong asana classes and transformed the new area from an empty space to a colorfully furnished new home. We thank Swami Durgananda, Swami Sivadasananda and Swami Kailasananda for all the energy shared through the teachings and the guidance of staff. We look back on a memorable week and are looking forward to the official inauguration of the newly renovated Centre in the beginning of April. Om Shanti.



Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Los Angeles, California, USA
    Om Namo Narayanaya!
    The highlight was New Year's Eve's celebration of Swamiji's birthday with a beautiful Guru Puja. The celebration continued with a silent meditation that lasted into 2016 as the world welcomed the New Year with joyful cheers. We then began the year chanting a mala of Peace Mantra, Om Namo Narayanaya together. Basking in the high vibration from Puja, meditation and mantra chanting, we concluded with an inspiring message from Master Sivananda, prasad and ginger tea. We came back for 6am Satsang with little sleep but super-charged with prana. January 5th there was a lovely Puja at the staff house, honoring mother Durga and Lord Siva. We started to make new clothing for the Deities for the new year and continued to clean and organize the Centre and House. 

    In early January we had a very successful Yoga and Vedanta immersion course one weekend, with Gajananam. Students, Karma yogis and teachers were at the Centre from 9am to 5pm for the entire weekend. We took Yoga class, enjoyed sattvic lunch, did Karma yoga and learned about Vedanta philosophy together as a community. Everyone was incredibly attentive, focused and very grateful to hear the teachings. All expressed the request to have more similar retreats and community experiences in the future. Gajananam also led an inspiring Satsang Sunday evening, speaking about the qualifications of aspirants, elaborating on Tenacity, especially. We chanted loudly and blissfully, the energy was so high that no one wanted to go home. Much effort from Gajananam, karma yogis and students to make this unforgettable weekend happen. A Yoga One course began on Mondays, with 6 aspiring students signed-up. One Friday morning Satsang we did a beautiful Devi Puja. Staff are well and are sending Pranams to all.



Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Madrid, Spain
    Om Namah Sivaya, Blessed Selves!
    The Centre had a strong beginning of season with many inquiries and new visitors. Several courses started, including yoga 4, 5, 6. The first open day of the year, with a group of 74 students, brought a lot of prana to the Centre. Promotion of the International Easter Retreat in South Spain started. We also welcome Sundari as new resident of the Madrid Centre. OM.



Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Madurai, South India
    Om Namah Sivaya

    On 31st of December 2015, Swami ji's birthday was celebrated with special Satsang and Puja. Then after the New Year 2016 was welcomed by all. Early January started with new yoga beginner course at 6 am. Other classes such Kids, Advanced and Regular open classes were progressing well. Leena left home after serving some time in the Centre after finishing her TTC in Madurai Ashram in Oct 2015. We received Thiru from the Ashram to replace Yashpal while he went Ashram to take chanting classes. We were happy to see our old students back in this new year. Staffs are well and keeping up their Sadhana.

    During mid-January, with the pleasant weather, all classes and courses continued just fine here. We started the new yoga beginner course in the mornings, with good number of students. One Saturday a trial yoga class was given for all parents whose kids were currently taking our weekend Kids' classes. The class was given at the same time they came to drop off their children for Saturday class. They appreciated the class and hoped they will join our beginner course in near future. We welcome two new staff both from Neyyar Dam Ashram, Hiran and Pariah. We thank to Neyyar Dam Ashram for supporting us time to time. The rest of everything went well at the Centre. All the staffs send their pranams to all who is contributing for the Gurus mission. Pranams to all from Temple city Madurai Centre. Om Shanti, Shanti, Shantihi!!



Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Milano, Italy
    Om Namah Sivaya from Northern Italy.
    Om Namo Narayanaya to the Sivananda family.



Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Montevideo, Uruguay
    Om Namah Sivaya
    In early January the Centre started the year relatively quiet as most people were enjoying the first weeks of summer vacation. We only gave the class of 18:00 as it was the Kings Day, traditionally held in Uruguay. Some teachers were on vacation, yet others appeared wanting to start the year as karma yogis. Regular and pregnant classes were developing normally. Kanti Devi and Chandra were in Garopaba, Brazil, beginning the TTC, ATTC plus, other activities scheduled for the month. See TTC and ATTC report, above, after Ashram reports.

    During mid-January, after a lot of heat, we began regular classes. People registered for the beginners' courses with a good number of students. The beginners' course continued normally. The rest of the activities developed normally. Om Shanti!!



Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
    Om Namah Sivaya
    During mid-January the Centre was very busy with classes, courses and many celebrations. Since the New Year, we started 3 beginners courses, attended by groups of 6-10 students, all of whom were enthusiastic and eager to learn. Roy and Bhagirathi offered free workshops on meditation and Vedanta, for those looking to deepen their practice beyond asanas. One Saturday morning Krishna conducted a workshop focussing on variations of forward/backward bends, to a small group. We had two special Pujas - Ayappa Swami Padi Puja which Prahlad attended specially and Thaipusam Puja. Families close to the Temple sponsored the Puja, cooked a delicious feast and helped increase the vibrations of the Centre through their devotion. Teachers and students were grateful for the opportunity to be part of their tradition. Staff from the Yoga Camp attended the Puja, along with Swami Shivabhaktananda, and helped with setting/cleaning up after. Their presence and support was always appreciated. The New Year also brought us new teachers and karma yogis looking to be a part of the Sivananda community, which is ever expanding! The teachers were assisting classes. We trained the karma yogis in various duties that they will commit to every week. We also tested our new software for the reception, in hopes of having a much more efficient system and concrete database. Attendance for classes continue to be strong, only seeing a drop in the numbers when the weather is bad! We were grateful for the support from teachers and students alike, especially the grace our Master and Guru. Sending Pranams to all!!



Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Munich, Germany
    Om Namah Sivaya from the Munich Centre!
    We started into the new year with lots of prana and many new courses and events:  a one-day retreat with the title "Asanas for Improving your Posture, a meditation course, a course "Thought Power and Positive Thinking" and a special asana course in which the focus is on practicing the different planes of movement of the spine. We also had a successful cooking class "Soups and Healthy Snacks" and an Open House. We are looking forward to a special program "Yoga and Psychosomatic" with two asana workshops and Satsangs with Swami Sivadasananda on 6 and 7 February. OM.




Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, New York, USA
    Om Namah Sivaya!
    In early January we prepared for a busy month full of courses and special Satsangs and workshops. We welcomed back Vinith, a veteran karma yogi to the Centre. She is planning on being with us for at least 3 months. Pranava also returned after spending a few months in India and will stay with us for some time as well. Mahadev Chaitanya came down from the Yoga Ranch to lead the Wednesday and Sunday evening Satsangs in addition to teaching the advanced asana class on Sundays. Neeti went to the ranch for a weekend to conduct a cooking workshop, then returned with other Ranch staff. It was a really good beginning to 2016 with a lot of people registering for memberships and courses!

    During mid-January New York City experienced a large blizzard that resulted in accumulation of over 2 feet of snow. The amount of people coming to the Centre declined due to the storm, but we expect those numbers to rise once the snow clears. We started a Yoga 1 on Monday mornings after a long time of not offering morning courses on weekdays. Mahadev Chaitanya arrived from the Yoga Ranch for his Bhagavad Gita course and also led the evening Satsang. Jayanta taught the second class of his cooking course. The attendees have all really enjoyed the course and the food coming out of the kitchen! Shakti and Pranava went to Ranch for a weekend program on Bhakti Yoga. Because of the blizzard, Deaf Yoga, a new Yoga 1 course and some regularly scheduled classes were cancelled. Neeti led the Sunday evening Satsang to a small group of brave souls that battled the storm to come to the Centre. Kamala Chaitanya, Shakti and Pranava returned from the Ashram. Later we witnessed another busy week as the attendance numbers climb back to normal.  All the Staff are well and send their pranams. With Guru's grace, we will be blessed and inspired to carry on his peace mission. Om.



Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Paris, France
    Om Namah Sivaya
    We had many students for the New Eve Celebration with Puja, resolutions, meditation, music, table concert, talent show and delicious food. Karuna, newly graduated from TTC Rudraprayag, started to teach on her own beginning of the month. The entrance for the Centre looks very inviting now with the new and colorful flowers, planted by Kamala Devi. Satsang with the participation of 130 students, a record so far. Swami Nityananda left on Monday to Colombia for three weeks, Madalasa came from Orleans to give some support during her absence. Positive thinking course and Bhagavat Gita course were appreciated by the students. Middle of the month we had a successful Open House, with many seekers coming to discover the Centre and learn yoga; they enjoyed the lecture with the asana demonstration followed with the introduction to meditation and the evening Satsang. OM.


Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Porto Alegre, Brasil, South America
    Om Namah Sivaya from Brasil
    See TTC and ATTC report above after Ashram reports. Staff are well and sending pranams to all the Sivananda family. Om Om Om.



Centro Yoga Vedanta Sivananda, Rome, Italy
    Om Namah Sivaya, Blessed Selves
    During mid-January we were happy to receive more regular students back to the Centre after the holidays. We had more courses starting plus two workshops. Swami Sankarananda gave a delicious cooking workshop, which was very much appreciated by students, plus a 3 hour asana class. We send Pranams to all Staff, Teachers, and Students around the World and 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
    In early January Swami Jnaneswariananda came from the Yoga Farm for a weekend to offer two afternoon talks on Yoga and Stress Relief, reminding us that relaxation is a conscious process, never automatic, plus, the source of stress is in the mind. We had a surge in yoga class attendance one weekend. Gangadhara left on vacation. The Gurus are sending teachers and karma yogis to fill the gaps.

    During mid-January eight eager students attended a Yantra Painting workshop one Saturday afternoon, with Sankari Chaitanya. They drew and painted a Ganesha Yantra. Their sustained concentration was remarkable. Gajananam began a monthly series on the Bhagavad Gita at Sunday evening Satsangs. He pointed out the identity confusion that occurs when making decisions based on "I" and "mine." On top of very good general attendance, we started a Sunday afternoon Yoga 1 with 7 students, mostly brand new to yoga. They settled into relaxation gratefully. We were happy to welcome Gangadhara back to the Centre from his vacation. Pranams to all from the new San Francisco Centre.



Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Tel Aviv, Israel
    Om Namah Sivaya
    In early January, at the conclusion of wonderful two months which included the meeting of the EBM in Tel Aviv, special Pujas, Christmas and New Year celebrations and extensive renovations at the Centre, the Centre started returning to routine. An advanced Meditation course, as well as a Yoga 1, started with 12 students registered to each. A focused effort was done to promote the new program schedule for 2016 plus the courses scheduled for the next couple of weeks. After 2 months of dedicated karma yoga Iswari (Kyle) left the Centre, on her way for a short visit with her family and then back to the Yoga Retreat to continue with karma yoga for a few months. With Shankara Chaitanya at the Yoga Retreat, teaching the Hatha Yoga portion of the ATTC, Bhargavi, Pranava and Durga operated the Centre.

    During mid-January we started a new Karma Yogi Recruiting Project as Durga was about to leave back to Canada. We distributed leaflets to our students explaining our mission and the spirit of karma yoga and asking them if they would like to step forward and help us in anyway. Many responded the initiative with a positive spirit and were willing to help in many different ways. A Yoga 1 and Yoga 3 started, both with 12 students. One weekend the staff travell ed to Mata to the new Ashram to have some time to rejuvenate and revitalize in Nature. Pranams to all the Sivananda Family from the Tel Aviv Centre.



Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Tokyo, Japan

    Om Namah Sivaya, Blessed Selves
    On New Years Eve, about 10 karmayogis came over to the Centre and helped clean the place. After that, we performed a Puja in celebration of Swami Vishnu Devananda's birthday. The New Year's program was started with 108 times of Surya Namaskar. The class was booked full with 28 students. It was amazing that all students performed well and nobody dropped out during the session.

    In early January the New Year's holiday was over, and those people who visited hometown to stay with their family returned to Tokyo. In spite of the cold weather, we had substantial numbers of students during the first week. One Saturday a Yoga 1 course started, with 10 students. Our regular classes also attracted more students than usual, so with Satsang. Another good news was we found out that two of our regular students decided to take TTC in Vietnam in February. One of them was attending morning Satsang almost everyday for the past several months.

    During mid-January we had a heavy snowfall. It had been very cold. The number of attendants dropped drastically as snow piled up on the street, which is rare in Tokyo. Fortunately, the weather recovered and we were glad to see sunshine again. A headstand workshop was held one Saturday, fully booked with 21 students. Regular classes attracted substantial number of students as well. We hoped even more students come back to their classes. Om and Prem to all the Sivananda family. Om Shanti, Shanti, Shantihi.



Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    Om Namah Sivaya
    In early January the Centre reopened to receive returning students plus, many new students signed up for upcoming beginner's courses and free trail class. Our teachers were very happy to find the new Swamiji's calendar waiting for them at the Centre. A new Yoga 1 started on Saturdays and a Meditation course on Fridays.
    Saraswati taught a Spiritual Diary workshop that presented Swami Sivananda's techniques for tracking and reflecting on Sadhana. Our new karma yogi, Bhavani  arrived from the Yoga Ranch to help at the Centre for several weeks.

    During mid-January we started two new  Yoga 1 courses. The meditation course was on it's 3rd week. Teens yoga started on Saturdays. We also had the teens from the Hinks Delcrest for a class with Upasana and Saraswati teaching them. Bhavani cooked them a meal. We had a "Discover Indian Spices" workshop, taught by Bhavani, with Jaya assisting. The free trial class attracting close to 20 people. Satsangs continued to attract many new students, some signing up for the beginner courses. Pranams to all.



Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Trivandrum, Kerala, South India
    Om Namah Sivaya!
    A special Pooja was conducted on the 31st December 2015 to celebrate Swami Vishnudevananda's birthday. As well as giving Prasad, we served breakfast to approximately 60 students and teachers who attended the Pooja. A new karma yogi, Vignette, joined the Centre. A Headstand workshop conducted helped the students to improve their posture. Shiju, who was teaching in the Centre for a few years, got married. Staff members, outside teachers and many students attended the wedding and wished the couple a happy married life.

    In early January, with the blessings of God and revered Gurus, we started three new batches of classes. A mixed beginners' batch started on Monday mornings, with good number of students. A fresh batch of Gentle Class started on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday evenings. Along with these classes we had also started a 6 day long Meditation course, which will definitely help those students to attain tranquility of the mind. The current evening Beginners' batch completed their last week. All other classes went well. Lalitha Sahasra Nama Pooja was conducted on Fridays by our regular priest. One Saturday students were introduced to the practices of Jala Neti and Sutra Neti in a Kriya Workshop. Satsang was led by Sri. Ravi Easwaran.

    During mid-January, by the grace of God and Gurus, a Beginners' batch started for ladies, with a good number of students attending. The current early morning Beginners' batch completed their last week. All other classes went well. Lalitha Sahasra Nama Pooja was conducted by our regular priest on Fridays. Satsang was led by Sw. Janardhanananda ji which gave a boost to the positive energy of the Centre. Pranams to all. Om Shanti, Shanti, Shantihi.



Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Vienna, Austria
    Om Namah Sivaya
    In early January the Christmas Holidays were over and the courses were taken up in their usual rhythm. Students eagerly returned for open classes and courses. The Staff returned to the Centre from their stays in Orleans and Reith. The two new Swamis received a warm welcome from teachers, Karma Yogis and students. During their absence Karma Yogis had taken care of the Centre in a collective effort and with great enthusiasm and success. With strong support from the Acharyas, staff finished the work on the new brochure so it could be sent to the printer.

    During mid-January we held a cooking course with the topic Soups & Co. Many students came to get recipes and inspiration for a better nutrition. Many students from the open classes parallel to the course felt inspired to participate in the student lunch after the class, so we had a big bandhara for all in the Yoga Hall. Everybody enjoyed the healthy and tasty dishes. We also offered a Yoga 1 weekend course, with many newcomers eager to learn the first steps in Yoga. The headstand workshop at the same time also attracted many participants. They all left with fresh knowledge and motivation for their personal practice. Satsangs were very well attended. The bulk mailing of the Centre brochure was sent out. Students were giving a positive feedback on the new program. Staff are well and are sending Pranams. OM.



Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Vilnius, Lithuania
    Om Namah Sivaya, from Vilnius.
    On the 31st of December 2015, the evening Satsang was full of energy, inspiring 108 Om Namo Narayanaya chanting and the reading of a message from Swamiji's Upadesha about the Resolves. Nobody wanted to leave home. The unity was felt very nicely. Right after the New Year event, students came for a weekend of asana classes and Satsangs. A New Year's letter from Swami Sivananda inspired everybody. Many prepared a form with their spiritual resolutions for the upcoming year, eager to deepen their Sadhana.

    In early January Yoga 2 and Yoga 5 courses started well. One Sunday we had a successful Open Day, with twenty two newcomers. We explained, in detail, the five points and also benefits, different aspects of asanas during demonstration of the twelve basic poses. Students had questions during the lecture and everyone seemed to be quite interested in the topics. After the trial asana class an introduction into meditation followed. Everyone was focused to know about upcoming courses with ten students subscribing for the Yoga 1 course. Some subscribed as well for the Yoga 2, meditation course and cooking class. Durga Devi left the Centre for some inspiration and small break during a special celebration in Berlin. Swami Vairagyananda came back from Reith inspired and recharged.

    During mid-January we started with Yoga 1 course and a Meditation course. We did a Yoga 1 Intensive with students who were very attentive and focused. Some bought the CIBY books afterwards with one student interested in doing TTC. We welcomed more students and many teachers for different Satsangs. Prana was building up well with the different chants, Kirtans and readings from Master's book, Bliss Divine. Our yearly brochure planning went well. We were grateful a team of karma yogis supported the Centre within many different departments. Pranams to all the Sivananda family. OM.



    Beware of Siddhis! If you are drawn to the psychic powers or Siddhis, you will miss the supreme goal. - Sri Swami Sivananda

 
 

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