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Sivananda Yoga


Updated April 17, 2014

Sivananda Yoga follows the teachings of Swami Sivananda, as brought to the west by his disciple Swami Vishnu-devananda. Vishnu-devananda came to the United States in 1957, making this style of practice an important part of yoga's first wave of popularity outside India. There are now Sivananda yoga centers in major cities in the U.S. and western Europe, as well as nine ashram retreats.


The method is based upon five principles:

1. Proper exercise (Asana, focusing on twelve poses in particular)

2. Proper breathing (Pranayama)

3. Proper relaxation (Savasana)

4. Proper diet (Vegetarian)

5. Positive thinking (Vedanta) and meditation (Dhyana)

What to Expect

A typical class includes pranayama and is slow paced, allowing for a full exploration of each pose. After warming up with sun salutations, the focus is on mastery of the twelve basic poses:

1. Headstand

2. Shoulderstand

3. Plow

4. Fish

5. Seated Forward Bend

6. Cobra

7. Locust

8. Bow

9. Seated Spinal Twist

10. Crow

11. Standing Forward Bend

12. Triangle

Is Sivananda for You?

Sivananda will appeal to you if you want to take it slow and gentle. You will learn to fully reap the benefits of the twelve featured poses. The goal of this practice is to promote physical, mental, and spiritual well-being.

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