Who We Are
The International Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centres is a non-profit organisation founded in 1957 by Swami Vishnudevananda and named in honour of his teacher H.H. Sri Swami Sivananda Saraswati Maharaj, one of the most influential spiritual teachers of the twentieth century. The Organisation propagates the authentic teaching of yoga and vedanta, continuing the lineage of the two great yoga masters, preserving its purity and tradition dating back several thousand years. Their message that the individual must change before the world can change is at the core of all yoga. We are a centre for spiritual growth and learning, with many thousands of yoga teachers worldwide trained since 1963.
The mission is to spread the teachings of classical yoga, integrating the Four Paths of Yoga through the Five Points of Yoga of Swami Vishnudevananda into a means to achieve physical, mental and spiritual wellbeing, and self-realisation. We uphold the practice of all aspects of the classical teachings of a synthesis of yoga with a strong emphasis on practical experience. Swami Sivananda’s dictum ‘an ounce of practice is worth tons of theory’ is strictly followed. Many of the teachers dedicate their lives to the study and practise of yoga, living within the Organisation as renunciants or swamis.
With headquarters in Val Morin, Canada, the International Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centres is represented in over twenty-six countries with headquarters in Quebec, Canada, and overseen by an executive board of senior disciples of Swami Vishnudevananda. In India we have four Ashrams situated at Neyyar Dam (headquarters), Madurai, Uttarkashi and Gudur and five Centres—Kailash Colony (New Delhi), Dwarka (New Delhi), Chennai, Madurai and Trivandrum. Our Ashrams provide a spiritual retreat to live and study under the guidance of a teacher. Our Centres are an oasis of peace in the midst of the bustle of city life. They provide a calm environment conducive to the study and practice of yoga. Each of the Centres and Ashrams offers the opportunity to learn and practise Swami Sivananda’s Synthesis of Yoga and Swami Vishnudevananda’s Five Points of Yoga.