All about Sivananda Yoga
Sivananda Yoga teacher Sabrina tells you all about this practice… “Today I want to share with you my wonderful encounter with Sivananda Yoga. I had the chance to train at the Sivananda Ashram in Neuville aux Bois a few kilometers from Orléans. If you want to know more about this practice, this article is for you. Find also the description of all styles of yoga here.
- What are the principles of Sivananda Yoga?
- What are the 4 paths of Sivananda Yoga?
- Who are the Sivananda yoga masters?
- How does a Sivananda yoga course work?
- Where and how can I learn Sivananda yoga?
- How is the training going?
- What books should I read to learn more about Sivananda Yoga?
- What equipment do you need to practice?
The International Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centres teach classical yoga with a holistic approach: Yoga shows how to strengthen and harmonise body, mind and soul, so that we can have a healthy body, a balanced mind and find inner peace.
What are the 4 paths of Sivananda Yoga?
It is a yoga that requires a great rigor. During my training each principle was studied and practiced, as well as the 4 paths of yoga:
- Karma Yoga (selfless service),
- Bhakti Yoga (Yoga of devotion – mantra chanting),
- Raja Yoga (meditation),
- Jnana Yoga (Philosophy of Yoga).
This is a fact. Sivananda Yoga is like no other. Moreover, each yoga is different in its practice and teaching. But no matter what kind of yoga you practice, the goal remains the same. “Realize”.
Speaking of teaching…
Who are the Sivananda Yoga Masters?
The founding masters of Sivananda Yoga
His mission: to serve humanity
Swami Sivananda – 1887-1963 – was one of the great Indian yoga masters. Throughout his life, he maintained two careers, first as a physician and then as a yogi. Throughout his life, Swami Sivananda was continually focused on serving others: “Any kind of work that serves to heal and relieve human suffering fills me with great joy. For him, serving was the language of love.
On the road to peace
In October 1957 the Indian Swami Vishnudevananda landed in California. With only ten rupees, some (or very few) English phrases, he was given a great mission by Swami Sivananda: to spread yoga in the West. In the context of the Cold War and capitalism, Swami Vishnudevananda quickly realized that his work was essential. His goal: to launch an evolution towards peace.
I am literally in awe of the incredible journeys of these two men. The presentation of Swami Vishnu’s and Swami Sivananda’s background was one of the first topics of our lectures. The energy that their life story provoked was incredible. These men have been and still are an example. They have been at the service of the world all their lives. Swami Vishnu was a disciple of Swami Sivananda. He learned everything from his spiritual master. His Guru. Thanks to his courage and trust in his teacher, Swamiji went to the West to spread peace and yoga.
The story that touched me the most, concerning Swami Vishnu, is that for this man physical barriers do not exist and have never existed. They only exist mentally. So thanks to a twin-engine Piper Apache named “peace plane” he began to fly to the conflict zones to spread flowers and messages of peace at his own risk. I find this gesture symbolic and meaningful. These men were in love.
Then Pranayama exercise:
Then comes two pranayama exercises. (Breathing exercise). Anuloma Viloma and Kapalabhati. Pranayama, correct breathing, is one of the 5 principles of yoga as stated above. During these exercises we breathe consciously, and we release our energy reserves.
- Kapalabhati is used for lung cleansing. By forcibly expelling air, all stale air is removed from the lungs, creating room for the absorption of fresh, oxygen-rich air, while thoroughly purifying the entire respiratory system. A wonderful exercise to gain vitality.
- Anuloma Viloma As its name suggests, Anuloma-Viloma or alternate nostril breathing consists of breathing in through one nostril and out through the other. This pranayama exercise helps to balance the central nervous system.
We continue with a few cycles of sun salutation and our 12 basic postures.
Greetings to the sun:
We continue with a few cycles of sun salutation and our 12 basic postures.
The particularity of Sivananda Yoga is that between each posture, there is an intermediate relaxation. Savasana is an essential posture. Thanks to it, the body takes the time to assimilate all the benefits of each asana previously performed…
Watch how to perform a sun salutation in video ->
What are the effects of Sivananda Yoga on stress?
Where and how can I learn Sivananda Yoga?
The trainings are open to everyone. Whether you want to teach or not, it’s an unforgettable moment that awaits you. As soon as the training was over, I thought that everyone should have the chance to participate in this training. Beyond learning, we spent a month of sharing, laughing, dancing, emotions and confidences. Puja, fire ceremonies, mantra chanting, and many other unforgettable moments… Incredible. You have the opportunity to train in the four corners of the world. Whether it is in India in the Himalayas, in France, in Canada, in Austria… I put a link at the bottom of the article so that you can get more information and find the dates, the prices …. Whatever the country where you want to do your TTC, the schedule remains the same.
How does the Sivananda Yoga course work?
During this month, we have a fixed schedule.
- 5:30 am Wake up
- 6h Meditation, Mantra Chanting, Satsang or Silent Walk
- 8h Asanas and Pranayama
- 10am Brunch
- 11am Karma Yoga
- 12:00 Bhagavad Gita or Chanting Course
- 2:00 PM Main Conference
- 16h Asanas and Pranayama
- 6pm Dinner
- 8pm Meditation, Mantra Chanting and Satsang
- 10pm Bedtime
As soon as you arrive at the Ashram, you will be carried away by this schedule. It is true that at the beginning it is quite strange to eat only twice a day, to chant mantras so often, to get up so early every day (even on the day of rest, the morning satsang is obligatory) … but very quickly, one lets oneself be carried by the effervescence, the joy of being in this marvellous place with such benevolent people. Karma Yoga (selfless service) is very important. No matter what task you are asked to do, giving without expectation, because you have to, because you are expected to, is a singular feeling. As the days go by, it will be normal to complete one hour of Karma Yoga and more. (The practice of selfless acts reduces mental resistance, which has a positive influence on the nervous system. Service is a source of joy. The law of karma will also be explained, as well as the means to free oneself from it through the practice of karma yoga).
But I don’t tell you everything, I let you also discover, with your eyes, your feelings, your emotions.
What books can I read to learn more about Sivananda Yoga?
Books I recommend:
- Divine Bliss – Swami Sivananda
- The big book of yoga – Swami Vishnudevananda
Example of a 30-minute Sivananda yoga session on video:
What equipment do you need to practice Sivananda Yoga?
As we have seen in this article, Sivananda yoga is neither too gentle nor too dynamic. It is very similar to the classical yoga Hatha yoga .
An ecological yoga mat:
It requires a non-slip yoga mat to avoid slipping during classic postures such as head down dog, sufficient density to cushion the joints during balancing postures especially on one foot and the opposite hand, but to be thick enough to be comfortable in static positions.
I recommend the yoga mats with alignment Yomad by Yogom: very versatile, light and non-slip, they are perfectly adapted to the practice of Sivananda yoga.
In almost all yoga practices it is advisable to have at least two bricks to help your body to execute certain postures: especially the balancing postures on a hand that would not touch the ground, the brick can help, but also to perform stretching and relaxation postures of the back and also to open the heart.
Discover the yoga bricks of Yogom: 2 ranges, a premium range 100% cork and made in Portugal and a range of recyclable bricks in EVA.
I hope that you will enjoy this article and that you will dare to take this step very soon. I advise you, if you wish to go to a center, to listen to your heart, to listen to what vibrates inside you. Vibrate by chanting each mantra, vibrate by accepting each smile, vibrate with each meditation. Your body will (undoubtedly) ache, you will (probably) feel overwhelmed with emotion. But the essence remains the vibration.