“Yoga is a discipline to improve the quality of life; a philosophy to attain peace. If you want to experience health, if you want to experience peace, and to evolve, make yoga a part of your lifestyle.”Swami Satyananda
21st June 2015, was declared the International Day of Yoga and represents the international recognition that yoga has gained as a holistic approach to physical wellbeing, mental peace, and emotional balance. Across the globe, millions of people have embraced yoga to attain health and harmony, and to explore their inner potential. The acceptance of the International Day of Yoga proposal, adopted with a record consensus vote at the United Nations General Assembly, was a historic moment for India.
On the occasion of the first International Day of Yoga we offer our deepest respect to the ancient science of yoga, a science of transformation and spiritual evolution perfected and handed down by the ancient sages and seers of humanity over the ages. This is our real spiritual heritage.
To honour and benefit from this heritage, we need to connect with the teachings, the wisdom of yoga as a lifestyle. Only when yoga becomes a lifestyle, there is enhancement of physical health and stamina, development of mental clarity and inner creativity, and an experience of peace and fulfillment from life.
The yogic lifestyle is based upon the precepts of practice, awareness, attitude, action, detachment and discrimination. Awareness is the ability to observe and understand the environment, conditions, situations and events that influence us. Attitude involves developing a positive and creative outlook on life, and the ability to convert the negative influences into positive inspirations to improve and encourage others to improve also. Action involves an understanding of how we act, think and interact in the world, which should be assisted by viveka (discrimination): knowing just from unjust, right from wrong, appropriate from inappropriate and universal from limited.
This day is of special importance for the disciples of Swami Satyananda Saraswati, as it marks the fruition of the vakya, the vision and the prophecy of our guru, when in 1963 he proclaimed:”Yoga will emerge as a mighty world culture and change the course of world events.”
It was Sri Swami Sivananda who realized that the need of modern society was not Vedanta and high spiritual scriptural knowledge, but rather practical, simple, applicable yoga. Yoga was to address the needs of modern man, on physical, mental, emotional and spiritual level and provide a complete method of transforming the human personality. In 1963 yoga was an unknown word in the West, and in India considered a practice for sannyasins and sadhus who lived in seclusion. As Sri Swamiji said “There was a time when seclusion was a necessity but times have changed and now everyone can practice yoga. Peace and wisdom are everyone’s birthright and everyone should make an effort to achieve it.”
The disciples of Sri Swami Sivananda, such as Swami Venkatesananda, Swami Satchidananda, Swami Chidananda, Swami Sivananda Radha, Swami Nadabrahmananda, and Swami Satyananda took yoga from Rishikesh, a small hamlet in the foothills of the Himalayas, to all the corners of the globe.
Today, history recognises the International Day of Yoga. For me it is a day to honour and respect the vision of my Guru, a vision he proclaimed over fifty years ago, and dedicated his life towards. The first International Day of Yoga is an occasion of great significance, for when the words of the guru manifest, all are blessed by the grace, auspiciousness and beauty they reveal.
As a sannyasin my first duty is to my guru, Swami Satyananda, and to honour him, his mission and vision of yoga, I have chosen to spend the first International Day of Yoga at the Samadhi of my Guru, at Rikhiapeeth.
As a sannyasin I have dedicated myself to working for yoga as a science, a lifestyle and a culture, as I follow the instructions of my guru to develop and live the vidya of yoga, sannyasa and spiritual life.
Bihar School of Yoga has been receiving numerous invitations from across the world and also from many national organizations, NGOs and government departments, requesting the institution to guide and participate in the celebrations in different locations. The sannyasins of Bihar School of Yoga have lent their full support to the International Day of Yoga and they are conducting a program in Munger to encourage the community and family, to embrace yoga not only as a set of practices, but as a component of daily life.
For the last 53 years, Bihar School of Yoga has worked towards this day, as have other institutes of yoga such as the Divine Life Society, Iyengar, Kaivalyadham, S-VYASA, Moraji Desai and many others for whom every day is a day of yoga, and every moment is a yoga moment.
On this day I wish to acknowledge and thank all the supporters of yoga, all those who have worked to uphold this ancient wisdom of our ancestors so that the future generations may benefit from the wisdom, purity, and grace of its teachings.I wish to thank all those who have walked along the path of yoga, whether as teachers, students or wellwishers and friends; you have all contributed to the light of yoga which is now shining in every corner of the world.
I wish to extend my good wishes to all those who have been inspired by the tradition and the teachings of yoga. I hope and pray that inspiration and the spirit of yoga remains with you and in turn, you are able to assist others on the path of yoga and yogic living.
The resolution for the International Day of Yoga was cosponsored by 175 of the 193 member nations of the United Nations, and it is through their goodwill that this international celebration of yoga is possible. The openness and enthusiasm with which the world community has embraced yoga and the collective goodwill that yoga has inspired, is a matter of great happiness and joy which all can share, and history will remember forever.
Best wishes to students and aspirants of yoga on this day.
Hari Om Tat Sat
"By proclaiming 21 June as the International Day of Yoga, the General Assembly has recognized the holistic benefits of this timeless practice and its inherent compatibility with the principles and values of the United Nations."
United Nations Secretary-General
Welcome to Satyananda Yoga® in Greece
Satyanandashram Hellas is a non-profit association with a residential ashram near Athens and associated city centres, offering yoga sessions, seminars and yoga instructor training in the tradition of Satyananda Yoga® as taught by the Bihar School of Yoga. It is a style uniquely adapted to the needs of modern society. It is suitable for all ages, body types, and levels of fitness and health.
Satyananda Yoga is a system of yoga developed by Swami Satyananda Saraswati and his lineage, which incorporates practices derived from the ancient and traditional sources. Satyananda Yoga practices include asanas (postures) to balance the body and mind through the physical body, pranayamas (breathing practices) to work on the energy body, and meditation to calm and focus the mind. It also takes a broader outlook to encourage a yogic lifestyle.
Satyananda Yoga comprises a variety of branches of yoga, which include:
Hatha Yoga to balance the two energies in our body to overcome the dissipation and distractions of the body and prana, in order to attain peace, balance and harmony. Hatha yoga comprises of 5 components. These are purification techniques or shat karmas, asanas, pranayama, mudras and bandhas.
Raja Yoga is the science of the mind. The aim and aspiration of Raja yoga is to manage the vrittis or fluctuations of the mind. The practices of Raja yoga aim to overcome the dissipation and distractions of the mind and refine the mental energies to expand one's awareness, in order to experience one's Self.
Other branches of yoga include Jnana Yoga (the path of knowledge), Bhakti Yoga (the path of heart and emotion), Karma Yoga (the path of service), and Kriya Yoga (practices for awakening kundalini)
The Satyananda approach addresses the whole person, not just the body.
The practices of Satyananda Yoga promote an integral, holistic lifestyle, and a balance between the energies of the Head, Heart and Hands.
Head refers to the mind: intellect, thoughts, reason, cognition, perception awareness, etc.
Heart refers to feelings, emotions, desires, love etc.
Hands refer to physical action and performance.
According to Swami Satyananda
The head, heart and hand must synchronize if you want to realize your goals, whether they are material, spiritual or both.
Through the emphasis on awareness, one learns to discover their own personality, nature and strengths, and how to transform their weaknesses into strengths, so as to develop the inherent dynamism that exists within each and every one of us.
Positive changes take place naturally as a consequence of regular practice with full awareness, rather than by forcing the mind and body to their limits. Scientific research and experiments conducted throughout the world now scientifically prove the benefits of Satyananda Yoga on the body and the mind.
Satyananda Yoga practices comprise four stages:
Yoga Practice, where one practices yoga for one's own needs, requirements and benefit.
Yoga Sadhana, where one moves from the practices of yoga, to the practice of yogic sadhana, which is sustained and regular practice for the deepening of one's experience of yoga. With yogic sadhana, one's goal is defined by the tradition of yoga to improve and transform one's nature and personality, and for the harmonization of the grosser and subtler levels of one's being.
Yogic Lifestyle is when one incorporates the yogic practices into their daily lifestyle to improve one's life. Here yoga becomes a lifestyle, where the body, mind and emotions are balanced and harmonized.
Yogic Culture is when one cultivates the faculties of the head, heart and hands, and yoga becomes a natural expression of life.Each stage takes the practitioner into a deeper experience of their body, mind and emotions and progressively brings about a better understanding of one's self, others and the world around them.
The term Satyananda Yoga is a trademark owned by IYFM.
All ashram programs SPRING/SUMMER 2015
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