Like the process of yoga unfolding, the lotus rises out of muddy waters to bloom in serene beauty. The blooming lotus represents the journey from darkness and confusion to clarity and light.
"What is yoga? Yoga is living a natural life, a life in which you are able to understand yourself.”
Swami Satyasangananda Saraswati
The Ancient Wisdom of Yoga for Modern Times
Many people in the West today think that yoga is a form of exercise, but what is it really? In Sanskrit, the word “yoga” means “union” – the process of union between our inner nature (who we think we are) and our deepest universal or divine nature. Yoga postures (asanas) and special breathing techniques (pranayama) awaken the kundalini energy (the source of the life force) at the base of the spine, and encourage its ascent through the body and crown of the head. As the kundalini rises it opens and purifies the energy centres (chakras) on its journey.
Asana practice prepares the body and the energy channels (especially the main energy channel, the sushumna nadi) for meditation. Gradually the whole body becomes ecstatic and radiant, the heart opens giving a profound sense of joy and love. The crown chakra is usually the last to open. By this point, the kundalini has almost served its purpose and this stage of the journey is complete. The crown chakra is the doorway through which divine energy can enter the body. The journey of yoga does not end with the process of the kundalini awakening. Each step of the path brings its own discoveries opening us to a whole range of new experiences.
Sivananda Yoga, the main yogic tradition followed at our centre with the Satyananda Bihar School of Yoga tradition, is an exact and easy-to-learn system that aims at naturally achieving experience of our deepest potential through creating a healthy body and mind which leads to spiritual evolvement.
Yoga brings alive parts of us, which we never dreamt existed and helps us live a more peaceful, satisfying and contented life. We hope to have the opportunity of sharing the joy of yoga with you. Click here for details of our yoga events.
“The yogic culture, way of life, philosophy and practices must not become extinct or adulterated with the ravages of time or restricted only to a limited sector of people. Rather, the mission must diversify and spread the systems of yoga to all corners of the world to elevate every sphere of life.”
Swami Satyasangananda Saraswati
Swami Sivananda Saraswati 1887-1963
Swami Sivananda was one of the greatest yoga masters of the 20th century. His teachings are summarised in six words: "Serve, Love, Give, Purify, Meditate, Realise."
Upon graduation Swamiji practised medicine and worked as a doctor in Malaya for ten years often providing free treatment to poor patients. Over time, a sense that medicine was healing on a superficial level grew in him, urging him to look elsewhere to fill the void, and in 1923 he left Malaya and returned to India to pursue a spiritual quest where he was initiated as a monk. He immersed himself in intense spiritual practices and went on extensive pilgrimages delivering lectures on his travels, wrote over 200 books, established The Divine Life Society and founded Sivananda Ashram in Rishikesh. His emphasis was on bringing the spiritual and yogic teachings to all without distinction, for health, peace of mind or spiritual upliftment.
Swami Satyasangananda Saraswati (Satsangi)
Swami Satsangi is a yogic master and scholar who embodies compassion with clear reason.
Born in 1953, despite her modern upbringing and education, she was drawn to a traditional life of renunciation and sannyasa. From the age of 22 she experienced a series of inner awakenings which led her to her Guru, Swami Satyananda, a close disciple of Swami Sivananda, and founder of Bihar School of Yoga, which is recognised worldwide as a reputed and authentic centre for learning yoga and the spiritual sciences. Swami Satyananda also wrote many yoga books used in schools and Universities internationally.
From 1981 Swami Satsangi traveled ceaselessly with her Guru in India and overseas as he took yoga to each and every corner of the world, to people of every caste, creed, religion and nationality. and developed into a scholar with deep insight into the yogic and tantric traditions as well as modern sciences and philosophies. Swami Satsangi is a truly inspiring teacher and author of several books on the topics of yoga and tantra.
She is an efficient channel for the transmission of her Guru's teachings. In 2007, she was appointed as the Peethadhishwari of Rikhiapeeth by her Guru. Presently she resides at Rikhia, working tirelessly for the material and spiritual upliftment of the local community. Swami Satsangi has dedicated herself to fulfilling her Guru's vision of uplifting the neglected, impoverished and downtrodden villagers in the surrounding areas of the ashram.