United Nations Headquarters June 20th and 21st, 2019
Om Namah Sivaya,
We celebrated the 5th International Day of Yoga with a Yoga class taught by different teachers of different traditions on June 20th and a panel discussion on June 21st at the United Nations Headquarter in NYC.
For the preparation of the events we created online forms for registration, getting 792 registrations for the Yoga class event. Staff, TTC students and guests from the Ashram joined the event, as well as Karma Yogis from the center. In total 74 Karma Yogis were present during the event.
United Nations Headquarters June 20th, 2019
Due to rain on June 20th the Yoga class event was moved inside the building and took place for the first time in the General Assembly Hall of the UN. This marks the first time in history that asanas were practiced inside the General Assembly Hall of the UN. The Sivananda Organizations contribution to the event on the 20th of June was a 20 minutes Asana class taught by Swami Paramananda, out of which the first 10 minutes were a demonstration of the Sivananda practice.
This year, the International Day of Yoga at United Nations is based around the topic of Sustainability.
Yoga is right living. We practice yoga not only to become healthier in body and mind, but that we may live in peace and harmony with nature and all of our relationships. The teachings of all the classical Indian scriptures: of the Bhagavad Gita, the Ramayana, the Mahabharata, are scriptures honoring nature and a life connected and supporting both the unity and the diversity of Life. The teachings of our gurus, Swami Vishnudevananda and Swami Sivananda offer a disciplined path to the “Yoga Life” or the “Divine Life”, a life of Dharma.
These twenty instructions contain the very essence of all Yoga Sadhana, Karma, Bhakti, Jnana and Yoga will all come to one who follows them whole-heartedly. They are the unfailing keys to quick and effective development and culture of the physical, mental, moral and spiritual self of man.
Marmas are special Ayurvedic energy points on the body similar to acupuncture points. Through manipulating them we can direct our Prana or vital energy for health, wellbeing and personal transformation. Marmas are connected to the Chakras and nadis of Yoga and can be used for balancing both body and mind. The condition of marmas is an important diagnostic tool in Ayurveda. At marma sites toxins, stress and negative emotions get lodged and are held, sometimes for years. Disease is reflected in pain, blockage or swelling these areas even before it may manifest outwardly in the full range of disease symptoms. Relieving pain, blockage or swelling at marma sites is an important therapeutic aid and one of the first stages of many ayurvedic treatments.
We are coming into a very special time of year, with the approach of Autumn and of Navaratri, the Festival of the Divine Mother. This festival provides a sacred space for reflection, worship, chanting of devotional songs and hymns, and readings from Devi Mahatmyam, the epic story of the Divine Mother.
60th Anniversary Celebrations June 30 – July 4, 2017
It has been an amazing 60 years since Swami Vishnudevananda headed west from the Rishikesh Divine Life Society Ashram under the direct guidance of his guru Swami Sivananda. It is a different world from the one in 1957, both by grace of the balancing effects of the Yoga renaissance and in spite of it.
As a small child growing up in the cold winters of Canada, I remember at the first sight of spring, my mother would open up all the windows, clean out the closets & move the furniture to get at all the dust that had accumulated over the long winter. The place felt amazing after that, fresh, clean, new energy. Back then, my family didn’t know much about health or how beneficial an internal spring cleaning would have been. Funny how sometimes we put a great deal of importance on the external, while neglecting what is going on inside.
The sweat lodge is an Indigenous Native American tradition that has different meanings depending upon the tribe who builds it and the number of saplings used to construct it. Built of bent saplings, generally in the form of the Plains wickiup, sweats are dome-shaped structures used primarily for purposes of purification. The larger purpose of sweat lodge can range from simple cleansing to spiritual rebirth, and nearly all tribes of the Plains and Northern Medicines practice sweat ceremony in some way.
This Life is an opportunity to work through our karma. Everyone has challenges in life. In fact, character is defined by the way we meet our challenges. The ultimate question is, “To be, or not to be!” in the midst of those challenges. When we need help who do we go to? – A busy person who is skillful in dealing with challenges.
Swami Vishnudevananda set out upon his mission of World Peace with the seemingly simple slogan – “Unity in Diversity”. Yet within this slogan lies not only the essence of the Yoga and Vedanta philosophy, but also a call to action for all who wish to realize Yoga in this life. Philosophy is a powerful tool when it helps us change the attitudes which guide the waywe relate to and act in the world.