sashajwolf: photo of me sitting on the grass with hands extended (park)
[personal profile] sashajwolf
Sivananda is the style of yoga taught by the International Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centers and Ashrams, which were founded by Swami Vishnudevananda, who was sent to teach yoga in the West in 1957 by his guru, Swami Sivananda Saraswati, and named the centers after him.

Sivananda is a form of hatha yoga. Teachers tend to pride themselves on staying close to the original teachings of both Swami Sivananda and Swami Vishnudevananda as well as to their Hindu context. Asana practice is set firmly in its spiritual context; students are not pressured to adopt any spiritual practices themselves, but students who are interested in yogic spirituality will probably be more drawn to Sivananda than those who are not. Yoga is presented as a holistic lifestyle and as a set of techniques which can be used in conjunction with any form of religious practice in a student's personal life, but for classes and communal gatherings, Hindu symbolism is used by default. Students who are not comfortable with attending (even passively) ceremonies of other religions may therefore find that this is not the style of yoga for them.

Classes use a consistent basic sequence of twelve asanas, each one typically held for six to twelve breaths, with a short savasana after each asana or cycle of asanas to allow the muscles to recover and the breathing to return to normal. Sivananda can therefore be a useful style of yoga for students with disabilities, injuries or chronic illnesses. Weight loss talk, tight-fitting clothing and competitiveness in asanas tend to be discouraged, which may make it a good fit for those with body image issues.Read more... )
pepper: Swan on green river (Swan)
[personal profile] pepper
I've tried a (relatively small) variety of different yoga types over the last fifteen or so years. I used to mainly focus on Hatha yoga, because it seemed slow enough to not be aerobics, but hard enough to give me a workout (depending on classes, though – some were far too gentle for my liking, and some far too fast). I've never done it consistently, but I always go back to it.

About three years ago, my mum suggested we take a yoga holiday together, to India, to the Sivananda yoga centre in Kerala. It was a strange holiday – it took me a week to accept being there (no internet, no television, no CHOCOLATE OMG), but by the end I didn't want to leave.

Anandoham, Anandoham, Anandam Brahman Andam )


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