August 13, 2011

“Whether you Believe in Yoga or Not, you’re All Practicing”

Watch Swami Vishnu drop proper knowledge way back in the day.

In 1957, Sat-guru Sri Sivananda instructed Swami Vishnu-Devananda to “go to America. There are people waiting.” For this journey to the other side of the planet, he gave Swami Vishnu 10 rupees (equivalent to about 25¢), and his priceless blessing. Swami Vishnu would later say:

These 10 rupees have taken me around the world countless times . It was only the energy of my master, Swami Sivananda, and his blessings that enabled me to do everything I have done. Everything I’ve done, I’ve done in the name of my master.

God! Does anyone else around here get off on such devotion?

Anyway, to make a long story short, Swami Vishnu made it to Montreal, where he established the first of the Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centers in Val Morin, Quebec, in 1962. There are now 60 centers around the world, including ashrams in upstate New York, northern California, Paradise Island in the Bahamas (where he gave George Harrison his first book on yoga… no big deal…), Austria, France and 3 more in India.

Starting with the catchphrase, “Yoga for health,” Swami Vishnu made the classical yogic path accessible to Western minds and bodies with the 5 points of yoga, integrating the 4 paths as taught by Swami Sivananda. Now, Sivananda centers have trained over 26,000 teachers to spread this ancient, ever-fresh, practical wisdom.


What is Yoga?

It is regulated life. Controlling the body, controlling the diet, controlling the breathing, controlling the thought-emotions, then thinking of the supreme being…

So whether you believe in yoga or not, you’re all practicing unconsciously or consciously. But if you practice consciously, systematically, in a scientific way, you can achieve a very good result in a short period of time.

Notice how yoga was all about fashion, even back then:

Bonus: Grainy clips of Swami Vishnu rockin’ it:

Then: Peter Max painting Swami Vishnu’s “Peace Plane” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uhCSLJixUYQ


Born on planet Earth, David Telfer McConaghay has since wandered across its surface in search of something which, when found, kindly insists that he continue searching. His immediate family lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota, though he also feels at home in Washington D.C.; Grass Valley, California; Bogotá, Colombia; and now, almost Boulder, Colorado. He completed his B.A. in English & Creative Writing at The George Washington University in 2008. Experiences at the Sivananda Ashram Yoga Farm are the primary source of any yogic inspiration David aka Sri Nivasan may express.

He plays on Facebook Here and can be followed on Twitter Here.

Read 2 Comments and Reply

Read 2 comments and reply

Top Contributors Latest

Elephant journal  |  Contribution: 1,375,490