The Sivananda yoga tradition is named after Swami Sivananda of Rishikesh, India. This is Swami Sivananda on the banks of the river Ganga:
The main tenets of the Sivananda tradition are to “serve, love, give, purify, meditate, and realize”.
Swami Sivananda also taught the yoga of synthesis as described in the Bhagavad Gita. The yoga of synthesis says that each person should practice each of the four main paths of yoga in whatever combination best suits their interests and capabilities.
These four main paths of yoga are:
1. Bhakti yoga – the yoga of devotion
2. Karma yoga – the yoga of action
3. Raja yoga – the yoga of meditation and self-control
4. Jnana yoga – the path of knowledge and wisdom
Swami Sivananda also started the Divine Life Society to disseminate spiritual knowledge. Many advanced yogis lived with him in his ashram and travelled around the world spreading his message. He is considered one of the greatest yoga masters of the 20th century. He wrote over 200 books on yoga, spirituality and health.
One of Swami Sivananda’s most prominent disciples was Swami Vishnu-devananda:
Swami Vishnu was sent to the west in 1957 from Rishikesh to spread the yogic teachings. He started the True World Order (T.W.O.) aimed at promoting world peace and understanding. He also started the Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centers (SYVC) through which thousands of people have been trained to be yoga instructors in the Sivananda tradition.
At the heart of the Sivananda teacher’s training program, Swami Vishnu presents 5 principles for total health and spiritual growth. These are proper exercise (asanas), proper breathing (pranayama), proper relaxation (savasana), proper diet (vegetarian), and positive thinking and meditation (dhyana).
Swami Vishnu is also considered one of the greatest and most dynamic yogis of the 20th century and had many close disciples and students.
One of Swami Vishnu’s students was Swami Atma:
Swami Atma met Swami Vishnu in the late 1980’s. He then spent 12 years on the SYVC ashrams training intensely in the yogic teachings. He also taught many Teachers Training Courses and was the director of the Chicago and Los Angeles Centers.
In 2000 Swami Atma started the Advaita Yoga Ashrama (AYA). Currently Swami Atma travels around the world spreading the yogic teachings wherever he is needed.
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
For more information on all of the above, the best place to go is the AYA website. They have the most comprehensive and easy to understand yoga and spirituality website from which you can learn more about all these topics. They are also updating frequently so be sure to check back often.
Rather than repeat all the teachings here, I will give you some links to get you started and then let you continue on your journey…
advaita yoga ashrama home page
swami sivananda bio
swami vishnu bio
swami atma bio
swami atma’s teaching itinerary
four paths of yoga
hatha yoga class