(Last Updated on : 10-11-2014)
The International Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centers is a nonprofit organization founded by Swami Vishnu Devananda .He wanted to spread the teachings of Vedanta worldwide. Swami Visnu Devananda's Guru was Swami Shivananda of Rishikesh who headed to the west and and began traveling and teaching throughout the United States in 1957. Swami Vishnu Devananda set up the first Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centers in Montreal, Canada in the year 1959.
There are now approximately eighty Shivananda locations around the world that includes ashrams, yoga centers and affiliated centers. The organization has trained more than ten thousand yoga teachers. The Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centers have worldwide fame for teaching Yoga authentically, preserving its purity and tradition that is coming from ancient India over a period of several thousand years.
The Shivananda Yoga Vedanta Centers teaches the process of Yoga and Vedanta. They publish Yoga Life Magazine (available online also) that contains many useful information.
To simplify and clarify the complex philosophies and teachings of Yoga, Swami Vishnu Devananda summarized the wisdom of Yoga in five principles, which show the way to develop physical and mental health as well as spiritual growth.
These are-Asana (proper exercise), Pranayama (proper breathing), Savasana (proper relaxation), vegetarian diet (proper diet), Vedanta (positive thinking) and Dhyana (meditation). The four paths of Yoga are-Gnana Yoga, Karma Yoga, Raja Yoga and Bhakti Yoga.
There are numerous ashramas of Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centers around the world. Except the Gangotri Ashram, which is a cave the other Ashramas are opened all year round. The Ashramas are generally located countryside and equipped in such fashion that one can stay any number of days, weeks, months or year according to his/her need and wish. Each Ashram follows the same basic Ashram schedule with daily two yoga classes, two meditations and Satsangs and two vegetarian meals. The ashram dwellers are mostly guests, also the temporary or permanent staff and those who reside for work or study purpose.
The various centers are located in Quebec, Canada ; Newyork, California in USA; Bahamas. In India they are situated in Kerala,U.P, Tamil Nadu and in many other places. The other affiliated centers are: Berlin, Buenos Aires, Chicago ,Geneva ,London , Los Angeles, Madras , Madrid ,Madurai ,Munich ,Montevideo ,Montreal ,New Delhi ,New York , Paris, San Francisco ,Tel Aviv ,Toronto ,Trivandrum ,Vienna and many more places.