It was devised by Swami Sivananda and given to his student Swami Vishnu-devananda to take to the west in 1953. Swami Sivananda was a well known and respected in India and was ordained a saint, who died in 1963. Swami Vishnu-devananda was known as the flyer yogi. He and Peter Sellers would fly to war zone areas in a bi-plane trying to spread peace.
What is Sivananda Yoga?
It's basically Hatha yoga, that initially follows a set sequence of 12 asanas. These asanas can be built upon to increase the level of difficulty. Pranayama and sun salutations are included in each class. Something that is not so well known is that towards the end of Krishnamacharya's life, he devised a set of 8 asanas for people in the west, that he called, "LIFE SAVER". Krishnamancharya was Iyengar's and Patabi Jois's teacher. All the 8 asanas are included in the list of 12 asanas in the basic Sivananda Sequence.
The Vedanta Centre Approach to Sivananda Yoga
We are offering Sivananda classes every Friday (level 2) evening at 18:30. Beginners should take the beginners course. Students should be familiar with the alignment principles that the Centre follows, covered in the Beginner's course and Hatha Open Class.
Peter feels that the Sivananda yoga classes is best attended by those who been practising yoga for a while, so that they can follow the sequence safely and effectively. Sivananda yoga is a meditative practice and students will become familiar with Stira Sukham Asanam Ch2.V46 Yoga Sutras of Patanjali.
Last Thoughts on Sivananda Yoga
For someone who has either reached a reasonable level of strength and flexibility physically or comes to the realisation that yoga is not about cahsing the next difficult asana and looking good, Sivananda Yoga is a great class. It works very deeply on the hormonal and nervous system. It is also very meditative, in other words a strong spiritual practice.