By closely observing the lifestyles and needs of people in the West, Swami Vishnu-devananda synthesised the ancient wisdom of yoga into five basic principles that can easily be incorporated into our own lifestyle to provide the foundation for healthy living. It is around these five principles that the activities at the Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centers are based:
Proper Exercise –Asanas- acts as a lubricating routine for the joints and muscles and other parts of the body by increasing circulation and flexibility. The asanas not only produce physical benefits, but are also mental exercises in concentration and meditation, promoting optimum good health.
Proper Breathing -Pranayama- connects the body to the solar plexus, where tremendous potential energy is stored. Through specific breathing techniques this energy is released for physical and mental rejuvenation.
Proper Relaxation -Savasan- is a vital part of keeping the body and mind healthy. Yoga teaches three levels of relaxation – physical, mental and spiritual.
Proper Diet –Vegetarian- is eating with awareness. A yogi takes food which has the most positive effect on the body and mind and the least negative effect on the environment.
Positive Thinking and Meditation -Vedanta and Dhyana- relieve stress and replenishes energy. Meditation is well-known to improve concentration and to bring peace of mind and spiritual strength. Meditation is beneficial for everyone, especially those with a hectic, stressful life.
Read Swami Sivananda and Swami Vishnu-devananda’s biographies here.
More information can be found on the International Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centres website.
(1887 – 1963)
The spiritual strength behind the Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centres, Swami Sivananda’s teachings are a synthesis of all the formal doctrines of Yoga. He trained many exceptional disciples in yoga and Vedanta – among them, Swami Vishnu-devananda, whom he sent to spread the practice of yoga in the West.
(1927 – 1993)
Disciple of Swami Sivananda, founder of the International Sivananda Vedanta Centres, world renowned authority on hatha and raja yoga and author of the bestseller The Complete Illustrated Book of Yoga and other books.