Sivananda Yoga | Benefits, Training, Video and Classes

Discover the world of Sivananda Yoga, its unique practices, and how it can transform your life. Join us on this journey to a balanced and harmonious existence.


So, you’ve decided to take the plunge and explore the world of Sivananda Yoga, huh? That’s fantastic! The journey you’re about to embark on will not only improve your physical well-being but also your mental and spiritual health.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll dive deep into the essence of Sivananda Yoga, its origins, and how it can transform your life.

  • Improves flexibility
  • Enhances mental focus
  • Boosts cardiovascular health
  • Increases strength and stamina
  • Reduces stress and anxiety
  • 12 basic poses
  • Proper breathing techniques
  • Meditation and relaxation
  • Focus on positive thinking
  • Dietary guidance
VideoSivananda Yoga Instructional Video
ClassesSivananda Yoga Instructional Video

The Origins of Sivananda Yoga: A Blast from the Past

The Mastermind Behind It All: Swami Sivananda

Sivananda Yoga, as the name suggests, was founded by Swami Sivananda (01), a renowned spiritual teacher and yoga master from India. Born in 1887, Swami Sivananda dedicated his life to the practice and teachings of yoga, eventually creating a unique system that would later be named after him.

The Birth of Sivananda Yoga

Swami Sivananda’s vision for a comprehensive and holistic yoga system led to the creation of Sivananda Yoga in the early 20th century. His teachings emphasized the importance of integrating physical, mental, and spiritual practices to achieve a balanced and harmonious existence. Today, Sivananda Yoga continues to be a popular choice for those seeking a well-rounded approach to yoga.

The Pillars of Sivananda Yoga: A Holistic Framework

Sivananda Yoga is built on five core principles that create a solid foundation for personal growth and transformation. These principles are:

  1. Proper Exercise (Asanas)
  2. Proper Breathing (Pranayama)
  3. Proper Relaxation (Savasana)
  4. Proper Diet (Vegetarian)
  5. Positive Thinking and Meditation (Vedanta and Dhyana)

Let’s take a closer look at each of these principles and how they contribute to the overall Sivananda Yoga experience.

1. Proper Exercise: Asanas for Flexibility and Strength

In Sivananda Yoga, the practice of asanas, or yoga postures, is essential for developing flexibility, strength, and overall physical well-being. The system includes a series of 12 key postures, with variations and additional poses to complement the practice. These asanas are designed to increase circulation, stimulate the internal organs, and promote overall health.

2. Proper Breathing: Harnessing the Power of Pranayama

Pranayama, or breath control, is a vital component of Sivananda Yoga. By practicing specific breathing techniques, you can regulate your body’s energy, reduce stress, and enhance mental clarity. Sivananda Yoga emphasizes slow, deep, and controlled breathing to promote relaxation and inner peace.

3. Proper Relaxation: Embracing Savasana

Savasana, or corpse pose, is an essential part of Sivananda Yoga, promoting deep relaxation and rejuvenation. By allowing the body and mind to completely unwind, you can release accumulated tension and stress, leading to a greater sense of well-being.

4. Proper Diet: The Importance of a Vegetarian Diet

A well-balanced, vegetarian diet is an integral part of Sivananda Yoga, promoting physical health and mental clarity. By consuming nourishing, plant-based foods, practitioners can support their yoga practice and promote overall well-being.

5. Positive Thinking and Meditation: The Path to Inner Peace

Vedanta and Dhyanta, the philosophical components of Sivananda Yoga, encourage positive thinking and meditation as a means to achieve inner peace and self-realization. By cultivating a calm, focused mind and developing a consistent meditation practice, you can gain a deeper understanding of yourself and the world around you.

The Sivananda Yoga Experience: What to Expect

A Typical Sivananda Yoga Class

When you attend a Sivananda Yoga class, you can expect a well-rounded experience that includes a combination of asanas, pranayama, relaxation, and meditation. Classes often begin with a short chanting session to set the tone and create a peaceful atmosphere. The practice then moves through the 12 key postures, incorporating variations and additional poses as needed. After the asana practice, a period of relaxation follows, allowing the body and mind to absorb the benefits of the practice. Finally, the class concludes with meditation and/or a short discussion on yoga philosophy.

The Sivananda Yoga Teacher Training Course

For those who feel a deeper calling to share the teachings of Sivananda Yoga, the Sivananda Yoga Teacher Training Course (TTC) is an intensive, four-week program that covers all aspects of the practice. The course is designed to provide a comprehensive understanding of yoga philosophy, asana practice, pranayama, meditation, anatomy, and teaching techniques. Upon completion, graduates are equipped with the skills and knowledge to confidently teach Sivananda Yoga classes.

Sivananda Yoga all poses with description

The practice includes a series of 12 basic asanas (postures) along with breathing exercises and relaxation techniques.

Here is a list of the 12 basic Sivananda Yoga poses with brief descriptions:

1. Sirshasana (Headstand)

Sirshasana Yoga pose

This inversion pose strengthens the upper body, improves circulation, and calms the mind. Begin by placing the head on the ground, clasping the hands behind the head, and lifting the legs up slowly until they are straight and aligned with the body.

2. Sarvangasana (Shoulder Stand)

An inversion that promotes circulation, aids digestion, and improves the immune system. Start by lying on your back, lifting your legs and hips, and supporting the lower back with your hands. Keep the legs straight and aligned with the body.

3. Halasana (Plow Pose)

This pose stretches the spine, shoulders, and hamstrings while stimulating the thyroid gland. From Sarvangasana, gently lower your legs over your head until your toes touch the floor behind your head.

4. Matsyasana (Fish Pose)

fish pose yoga

A counter-pose to the previous asanas, this pose opens the chest, throat, and abdomen. Lie on your back and press your elbows and forearms into the ground to lift the chest. Tilt the head back and gently lower the crown of the head to the floor.

5. Paschimottanasana (Seated Forward Bend)

This pose stretches the spine and hamstrings, improving digestion and concentration. Sit with your legs straight in front of you and reach for your feet, folding your torso over your legs.

6. Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose)

This pose strengthens the spine and opens the chest, shoulders, and abdomen. Lie face down and press the palms into the ground near the chest, lifting the upper body while keeping the hips grounded.

7. Salabhasana (Locust Pose)

This pose strengthens the lower back and glutes while opening the chest and shoulders. Lie face down and lift your legs, chest, and arms off the ground, reaching your arms back towards your feet.

8. Dhanurasana (Bow Pose)

This pose stretches the front body, strengthens the back muscles, and improves posture. Lie face down and bend your knees, grabbing your ankles. Lift your chest and thighs off the ground as you pull your feet back and up.

9. Ardha Matsyendrasana (Half Spinal Twist)

This seated twist increases spinal flexibility, detoxifies the internal organs, and improves digestion. Sit with one leg straight and the other bent, placing the foot of the bent leg outside the opposite knee. Twist your torso towards the bent knee, using the opposite arm for leverage.

10. Kakasana (Crow Pose)

This arm balance pose strengthens the arms, wrists, and core while improving balance and concentration. Squat down, place your hands flat on the ground, and rest your knees on your upper arms. Shift your weight forward and lift your feet off the ground, balancing on your hands.

11. Padahastasana (Standing Forward Bend)

This pose stretches the hamstrings, calves, and hips while relieving stress and tension. Stand straight and fold forward from the hips, reaching for your toes or placing your hands on the ground.

12. Trikonasana (Triangle Pose)

This standing pose stretches the legs, hips, and spine while improving balance and concentration. Stand with your feet wide apart and turn one foot out 90 degrees. Reach for the ground, shin, or ankle on the side of the turned-out foot, extending the other arm

FAQs about Sivananda Yoga

Is Sivananda Yoga suitable for beginners?

Absolutely! Sivananda Yoga is an excellent choice for beginners, as it offers a holistic approach to yoga that is both gentle and comprehensive. The practice can be easily adapted to suit individual needs, making it accessible to people of all ages and levels of experience.

How is Sivananda Yoga different from other styles of yoga?

Sivananda Yoga sets itself apart from other styles by emphasizing a holistic approach that integrates physical, mental, and spiritual practices. While other yoga styles may focus primarily on asanas or physical postures, Sivananda Yoga incorporates a broader range of practices, including pranayama, relaxation, diet, and meditation.

What are the benefits of practicing Sivananda Yoga?

Some of the many benefits of practicing Sivananda Yoga include:
1. Improved flexibility and strength
2. Increased energy and vitality
3. Enhanced mental clarity and focus
4. Reduced stress and anxiety
5. Greater sense of inner peace and well-being

Conclusion: Embracing the Sivananda Yoga Lifestyle

Sivananda Yoga offers a unique and holistic approach to personal growth and well-being. By incorporating its five core principles into your daily life, you can experience a greater sense of balance, harmony, and inner peace. Whether you’re a seasoned yogi or a complete beginner, Sivananda Yoga has something to offer everyone. So, why not give it a try and discover the transformative power of this ancient practice for yourself?

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