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.
A monastic tradition, the emphasis is on practice and service. Swami Sivananda sent yoga 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, devotion and the study of Vedanta – yoga philosophy – are the traditional paths of yoga and integrated in the Sivananda way.
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 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 had a vision of Peace, within the individual and in society, and 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 began 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. In 2016 she established Viveka Gardens Yoga Farm retreat place in Mid Devon. In teaching yoga I try to facilitate the kind of personal growth, peace and understanding I have experienced.