Born in 1887, Swami Sivananda was a great yogi and sage who devoted his life to the service of humanity and the study of Vedanta. This great Indian master trained and worked as a Doctor before renouncing the world for his spiritual path. Writing over 300 books and journals he brought the authority of his medical background to bear on the teachings of yoga. He made yoga logical, understandable and accessible to everyone whilst maintaining the traditional and ancient roots. He explained the most complex philosophical subjects in simple , straight forward terms.
There are 5 main principles of Sivananda Yoga:
- Proper Relaxation: Releasing muscular tensions and resting the body leaves you feeling as refreshed as after a good night’s sleep. The deep relaxation is fundamental in Sivananda Yoga, on and off the mat. Teaching you to conserve energy and to let go of worries or fears.
- A Proper diet: One that is nourishing, well-balanced, meat free and based on natural foods.This keeps the body light and supple, the mind calm, energy balances and gives a higher resistance to disease.
- Proper exercise: This part if perhaps what we are most familiar with in Yoga; The Asanas (poses). This type of yoga consists of set-sequence which comprises 12 Asanas. This sequences was designed to stretch and tone the entire body includes all muscles, joints, ligaments and the nervous system. There is a big emphasis here on improving circulation and spinal flexibility. “You are as young as your spine is flexible.”
- Proper Breathing: Throughout the class, students are encouraged to breath fully and rhythmically, making use of the whole respiratory system to increase the intake of oxygen to the lungs. Yoga breathing exercises and pranayama teaches students to recharge the body and control the mental state by regulating the flow of prana- Life force energy.
- Positive thinking and meditation: Helping to remove negative thoughts and still the mind, ultimately transcending all thoughts and stilling the mind.