Free Registration for first 501 Teachers. hurry up!

What is Sivananda Yoga

What is Sivananda Yoga

Sivananda Yoga is a traditional and holistic approach to yoga practice that was developed by Swami Sivananda Saraswati (1887–1963). Swami Sivananda was a renowned spiritual teacher and yogi from India who founded the Divine Life Society and wrote extensively on yoga, Vedanta, and various aspects of spirituality.

Sivananda Yoga is known for its emphasis on a well-rounded and balanced practice that incorporates physical postures (asanas), breathing exercises (pranayama), relaxation, proper diet, positive thinking, and meditation. The practice is designed to promote physical health, mental clarity, and spiritual growth.

Key principles of Sivananda Yoga include:

Proper Exercise (Asanas): Sivananda Yoga includes a set sequence of 12 basic postures aimed at improving flexibility, strength, and balance. These postures are usually performed slowly and with an emphasis on proper alignment.

Proper Breathing (Pranayama): Breathing exercises are an integral part of Sivananda Yoga. Practitioners learn different techniques to control and enhance their breath, which can have a calming and energizing effect on the body and mind.

Proper Relaxation (Savasana): Each session of Sivananda Yoga ends with a relaxation period called savasana, where practitioners lie down in a comfortable position to relax and rejuvenate their body and mind.

Proper Diet: Sivananda Yoga advocates a vegetarian diet that is balanced, nutritious, and conducive to the practice of yoga and meditation. It emphasizes moderation and mindful eating.

Positive Thinking and Meditation: The practice of cultivating positive thoughts and attitudes is considered essential for spiritual growth. Meditation is also a core component of Sivananda Yoga, helping practitioners develop focus, concentration, and inner awareness.

Proper Relaxation: Sivananda Yoga emphasizes the importance of relaxation and stress reduction, helping practitioners manage the demands of modern life and achieve a state of inner calm.

How to do Sivananda Yoga

Sivananda Yoga follows a structured and systematic approach to practice, which typically includes a set sequence of postures, breathing exercises, relaxation, and meditation. Here’s a general guideline on how to do Sivananda Yoga:

Warm-Up: Begin with a gentle warm-up to prepare your body for the practice. You can start with a few rounds of gentle neck rotations, shoulder rolls, and ankle rotations. You can also do a few minutes of gentle stretching to loosen up your muscles.

Pranayama (Breathing Exercises): Start your practice with pranayama, or breathing exercises. Sivananda Yoga places a strong emphasis on proper breathing. You can practice techniques like the “Full Yogic Breath,” “Alternate Nostril Breathing” (Nadi Shodhana), or “Bhastrika” (Bellows Breath) to regulate your breath and calm your mind.

Sun Salutations (Surya Namaskar): Sivananda Yoga often includes a few rounds of Sun Salutations to warm up and energize the body. A typical sequence includes 12 postures that flow from one to the next, synchronizing movement with breath.

Asanas (Physical Postures): The core of Sivananda Yoga practice involves a set sequence of 12 basic postures. These postures work on various muscle groups, balance, flexibility, and strength. The sequence usually includes:

Headstand (Shirshasana)
Shoulderstand (Sarvangasana)
Plow Pose (Halasana)
Fish Pose (Matsyasana)
Sitting Forward Bend (Paschimottanasana)
Cobra Pose (Bhujangasana)
Locust Pose (Salabhasana)
Bow Pose (Dhanurasana)
Half Spinal Twist (Ardha Matsyendrasana)
Crow Pose (Kakasana)
Standing Forward Bend (Padahastasana)
Triangle Pose (Trikonasana)
Each asana should be performed mindfully, with attention to alignment and breath. Hold each posture for a comfortable duration, and be sure to listen to your body.

Relaxation (Savasana): After the asana practice, lie down in Savasana (Corpse Pose) for relaxation. This allows your body and mind to integrate the benefits of the practice and rejuvenate.

Meditation and Positive Thinking: Spend a few minutes in meditation, focusing on a chosen point of concentration or practicing mindfulness. Sivananda Yoga encourages cultivating positive thoughts and attitudes during meditation to promote inner peace and self-awareness.

Closing Prayer or Mantra: Some Sivananda Yoga sessions conclude with a closing prayer or mantra to offer gratitude and blessings.

Benifits of Sivananda Yoga

Sivananda Yoga offers a wide range of physical, mental, and spiritual benefits due to its comprehensive and holistic approach to practice. Here are some of the key benefits of practicing Sivananda Yoga:

Physical Fitness: Sivananda Yoga helps improve flexibility, strength, balance, and coordination. The practice of asanas (physical postures) targets various muscle groups and promotes overall physical fitness.

Stress Reduction: The emphasis on relaxation, pranayama (breathing exercises), and meditation in Sivananda Yoga helps reduce stress and promotes a sense of calm and tranquility.

Improved Breathing: Pranayama techniques practiced in Sivananda Yoga help enhance lung capacity, oxygenate the body, and improve respiratory function. This can lead to increased energy levels and a greater sense of vitality.

Mental Clarity and Focus: The combination of asanas and meditation in Sivananda Yoga enhances mental clarity, concentration, and focus. Regular practice can improve cognitive function and promote a sense of mental well-being.

Enhanced Flexibility: The regular practice of Sivananda Yoga postures improves flexibility, which can lead to better joint health, reduced risk of injury, and improved range of motion.

Digestive Health: Certain asanas in Sivananda Yoga stimulate the abdominal organs and help improve digestion and metabolism.

Cardiovascular Health: Sivananda Yoga, especially the practice of Sun Salutations, can improve cardiovascular health by increasing heart rate, promoting circulation, and enhancing heart and lung function.

Strengthened Immune System: The practice of yoga, including Sivananda Yoga, has been associated with improved immune system function, helping the body resist illness and disease.

Emotional Balance: The integration of positive thinking and mindfulness practices in Sivananda Yoga fosters emotional balance and a positive outlook on life.

Pain Management: Sivananda Yoga can help alleviate chronic pain conditions, such as back pain, by improving posture, strengthening muscles, and promoting relaxation.

Spiritual Growth: Sivananda Yoga’s holistic approach encourages self-awareness, self-discovery, and a deeper connection to one’s inner self. It provides a framework for personal growth and spiritual exploration.

Better Sleep: Regular practice of Sivananda Yoga, especially relaxation techniques and meditation, can contribute to improved sleep quality and a more restful night’s sleep.

Mind-Body Connection: Sivananda Yoga helps foster a strong mind-body connection, allowing practitioners to become more attuned to their physical sensations, emotions, and thoughts.

Detoxification: Through the combination of physical movement, breath control, and relaxation, Sivananda Yoga supports the body’s natural detoxification processes.