Swami Vishnudevananda's Five Points of Yoga
By closely observing the lifestyles and needs of people in the west Swami Vishnudevananda synthesised the ancient wisdom of yoga into five basic principles that could easily be incorporated into one’s own lifestyle to provide the foundation for healthy living. All activities at the Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre are based around these five principles which are:
Proper Exercise (Asanas) acts as a lubricating routine for the joints and muscles and other parts of the body by increasing circulation and flexibility. The asanas not only produce physical benefits, but are also mental exercises in concentration and meditation, promoting optimum health.
Proper Breathing (Pranayama) connects the body to the solar plexus, where tremendous potential energy is stored. Through specific breathing techniques this energy is released for physical and mental rejuvenation.
Proper Relaxation (Savasana) is a vital part of keeping the body and mind healthy. Yoga teaches three levels of relaxation – physical, mental and spiritual.
Proper Diet (Vegetarian) is eating with awareness. A yogi takes food which has the most positive effect on the body and mind and the least negative effect on the environment.
Positive Thinking and Meditation (Vedanta and Dhyana) relieves stress and replenishes energy. Meditation is known to improve concentration and to bring peace of mind and spiritual strength. Meditation is beneficial for everyone, especially those with a hectic, stressful life.
Teaching Yoga for Over 50 Years
In 1957, Swami Vishnudevananda on instructions from his guru, Swami Sivananda, went to the West to spread the teachings of yoga. He established the first Sivananda Yoga Vedanta centre in Montreal, Canada, in 1959 and to date there are close to 60 Sivananda locations (ashrams, yoga centres and affiliated centres) around the world. Over 26,000 teachers have been trained in TTC programmes. The Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Ashrams and Centres are recognized worldwide for teaching yoga authentically, preserving its purity and tradition dating back several thousand years.