Sivananda yoga is wholeistic approach to yoga. The 12 basic posture sequence gives a workout on physical, mental and energetic levels. It facilitates a deep relaxation which not only de-stresses but also allows for spiritual growth. When you do the class you tap into the wealth of the ancient yoga tradition.
Swami Vishnudevananda was sent by his master Swami Sivananda to the West in the 1950s. ‘People are waiting’, he said. These days yoga asanas (postures) are commonplace and there is a readiness to go deeper. Meditation, service and the practice of devotion by chanting, for example, are all traditional paths of yoga and integrated in the Sivananda way. In addition, Vedanta – yoga philosophy – is studied.
Going deeper happens with regular practice. The 12 posture sequence can be learned and practised at home as a meditation in movement, without having to engage the thinking brain too much. Over the months and years, the subtle energy of the body flows more easily and awareness is developed. On a physical level flexibility, strength and health are raised. As postures are mastered, there are more variations and longer holding for ‘advanced’ levels.
Swami Sivananda and Swami Vishnu had a vision of Peace, both within the individual and in society, and both served tirelessly to generate this possibility. Part of this was the training of yoga teachers and the creation of yoga centres in cities and ashrams in full nature – now a global network. When you practice Sivananda yoga you are supported not only by the historical guru parampara or lineage of Swamis, but also by a vibrant community.
Fiona Sundari was called to study with Sivananda in 1997, and has taught regularly since 2001. She completed the Advanced Teacher Training course and is a ‘Bhaskara’ twice over through the Sadhana Intensive of deep pranayama energetic work. She has taught meditation and other courses and been staff at countless retreats, as well as full time at the Ashram in France (Foret d’Orleans) and the London Centre (Putney). In teaching yoga I try to facilitate the kind of personal growth, peace and understanding I have experienced, humbly and proudly in the grace of the Masters.