Our teachings at SUN YOGA are based on the essential teachings of Swami Sivananda and Swami Vishnudevananda.
The contents you will find here are reproduced from the book “Essentials of Yoga Practice and Philosophy” compiled by Swami Sitaramananda, my Yoga Guru at Sivananda Yoga Farm, Grass Valley, Calofornia.
Swami Sivananda observes Swami Vishnudevananda doing the scorpion pose.
Quote: “Serve, Love, Give, Purify, Meditate, Realize.”
– Swami Sivananda
Swami Sivananda (1887-1963) was born in South India to a pious Brahmin family. He became a medical doctor and hospital director during his pre-sannyas life in Malaysia. He found out that curing people of their physical ailments did not really solve the problem of human suffering and he started his quest to find the answer, becoming a wandering sadhu and starting to practice intense tapas (austerities) and meditation in Rishikesh, Himalayas. He became not only a doctor of the body but also a “doctor of the soul”. He founded the Sivananda ashram in 1932 and the Divine Life Society in 1936 and published 200-300 books in English outlining practices for a spiritual life.
Swami Sivananda’s teachings can be summarized in six words: “Serve, Love, Give, Purify, Meditate, Realize”. Swamiji attained Mahasamadhi in 1963. The government of India published a stamp in his honor for his 100 year birthday anniversary, as he is recognized as an authoritative teacher in classical Yoga. Swami Sivananda, foreseeing that the whole world would need Yoga teachings, wrote his books in English, accepted western disciples, and sent some of his closest disciples to the West to teach Yoga. One of his foremost disciples is Swami Vishnudevananda, whom he sent to America in 1957 with the words: “Go to America, people are waiting”
Swami Sivananda is a modern day saint from India who lived from 1887 – 1963.
Swami Vishnudevananda (1927-1993) was born in Kerala, South India, and took sannyas under Swami Sivananda at age 21. Master Sivananda nominated him as “Hatha Yoga Professor” at an early age, recognizing his extraordinary talents in this field.
Swami Vishnudevananda stayed with his Master in Rishikesh for 10 years before he was sent to America in 1957 to spread the teachings of Yoga and Vedanta to the masses. He was a pioneer in teaching the Yogic Lifestyle of the five points, and introduced the West to the concept of Yoga Vacations, Yoga Teachers Training courses, and Yoga Children’s camp.
Swamiji’s approach was classical yet practical, adapted to modern needs and lifestyles.
Swamiji is the author of the best selling “Complete Illustrated Book of Yoga”, translated into more than a dozen languages around the world. He also authored “Meditation and Mantras” as well as wrote a commentary to Swami Swatmarama’s “Hatha Yoga Pradipika”.
Swamiji founded the International Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centers with a dozen ashrams and 30-40 centers around the world. In 1969 he also founded the True World Order to train new leaders in inner Peace. Thus Swamiji and the Sivananda organization have trained 45,000 Yoga teachers around the world and continue to reach out to millions.
Swamiji was also a world renowned Peace missionary, famous for his dangerous peace missions and flights around the world to where actual conflicts were taking place, such as the Suez Canal, Belfast, Pakistan, Berlin Wall etc.
Swamiji tirelessly brought to mankind the message of “Unity in Diversity” and “Health is wealth, peace of mind is happiness, and Yoga shows the way.” He attained Mahasamadhi in 1993 in India.
Swami Vishnudevananda brought the classical Yoga teaching to the West in 1957. He lived from 1927 – 1993.
The International Sivananda Organization has actively carried on with his teaching mission in many countries, with worldwide Teachers Training Courses and by publishing books such as “The Sivananda Companion to Yoga”, and “Yoga, Mind, & Body”.