Preserving “Authentic” Practices of Yoga and Incorporating Aspects of Hindu Philosophy at the Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Center

Written by Purvi Dave: May 2, 2005

Introduction

In mainstream American society, yoga has become a growing trend, with an increasing variety of styles and techniques being offered to “suit individual needs.”[1]  Due to the popularity of this practice in the fitness world, many people may not immediately think of a yoga center as an example of “lived Hinduism.”  Aside from hearing a mantra chanted by an instructor or repeating “Om” during a class, do practitioners see a connection between yoga and Hinduism?  Like many other practicing Hindus, I was raised with the rituals and customs of the Hindu religion; however, I was never exposed to yoga in a religious context.  The impression of yoga many Hindus have is that it is a practice of Indian origin that became an exotic exercise fad many Americans had latched on to.  In that case, how much does yoga really matter?  Members of the Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Center would say that the practice of yoga and meditation are vital for reaching any type of divine bliss and true happiness.  The center strives to preserve “authentic” yoga practices and incorporate traditions of Hinduism into their teachings, unlike the chic yoga centers of Manhattan geared towards wealthy clients looking to get a balanced workout.  Sivananda Yoga concentrates on connecting with the self and feeling spiritual energy through yogic practice and meditation. 

            Located on a rather quiet street in Manhattan, the Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Center is easily identifiable from two large signs outside the bright orange building.  A poster reading “Blessed Students,” providing the timings of the center hangs on the door.  When I first entered the center, I immediately noticed a large garlanded Ganesh statue, the scent of incense burning, the religious chanting playing from a stereo, and the shoe rack against the wall.  Instantly, I had encountered signs of religion and specifically Hinduism.  Students and visitors were expected to remove their shoes upon entering the center, a common custom in most Indian households and all Hindu temples. After walking around the center I noticed to my surprise that I was the only person of South Asian descent in the center.  I wondered, if there were no Indians, how this center could be considered an example of “lived Hinduism” in the New York area.  Did the Sivananda group effectively integrate Hindu ideals into their teachings?  How is religion and spirituality incorporated into the yoga classes?  What else is Hindu about this center?

            This paper examines the practice of various forms of yoga in western society and more specifically at Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Center.  I will briefly explain the history of yoga in the United States and then concentrate on the history of Sivananda Yoga in the west.  Although it is a yoga center in an America metropolis, Sivananda Yoga has sought to preserve the techniques and philosophies of what members of Sivananda call “traditional hatha yoga.”  I will explore how the center has kept these customary practices alive in their New York location and how they have attempted to teach “Self- Realization” and build community among their students.  I discuss the inspiration behind the practice of yoga and satsangs by non-Hindu, non-Indian students at the center. How does it affect their lives? I will touch upon the issue of misrepresentation of yoga and how Sivananda differs from various commercialized yoga studios in the greater New York area.  I focus my study on the incorporation of Hindu practices, rituals, and philosophy in the yoga classes, satsangs, meditation sessions, and various cultural events and workshops held at the center. I have conducted an interview with Swami Srinivasananda, a prominent spiritual leader at the New York center and head of the Yoga Ranch, and a former teacher named Aimee, who is currently a student at Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Center.  I also had informal conversations with a few students after a yoga class and a satsang. 

Background

The word yoga is derived from the Sanskrit yuj, which has been interpreted differently by various scholars.[2]  Sivananda Yoga defines yoga as “union or joining.”  In this sense yoga is seen as the union of the self, the human spirit, with the essence of the universe.[3]  According to the Sivananda publication 101 Essential Tips on Yoga, yoga is “a form of exercise based on the belief that the body and breath are intimately connected with the mind. By controlling the breath and holding the body in steady poses or “asanas”, yoga creates harmony.”[4] 

Yoga first appeared as a philosophy between 500 and 300 BC and its main ideas are presented in a work called the Yoga Sutras, compiled by the Indian sage Patanjali.[5]  The teachings of Patanjali were practiced and preserved by yogis all over the world, including Swami Sivananda, and continue to be used in yoga today. According to Patanjali, most physical and mental actions arise from a misunderstanding of reality. In his text he explains that human beings combine two realities: Prakriti, or the “unconscious material reality,” and Purusha, “pure awareness.”[6]  We tend to ignore Purusha and focus on Prakriti, which leads to suffering.  The goal of yoga is therefore to help human beings attain true self realization and reach enlightenment.  Although the techniques practiced at Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Center are based primarily on the principles of Swami Vishnu-devananda and Swami Sivananda, Patanjali’s works served as a fundamental guide for Swami Sivananda’s teachings.

Yoga was first introduced to American society by Swami Vivekananda, founder of the Vedanta Society.  Diana Eck writes, “Vivekananda brought more than ideas; he brought a path of realization.”[7]  He introduced the idea of this path through different disciplines of yoga: karma yoga, the path of action, bhakti yoga, the path of devotion, jnana yoga, the yoga of knowledge, and his particular focus was on raja yoga, the royal path, “a discipline based on the cultivation of concentration.”[8]  While the practice of yoga at Sivananda may vary slightly from Swami Vivekananda’s philosophies, these same four paths are also taught and incorporated into each class at Sivananda Yoga.

            The Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Center of New York was founded by Swami Vishnu-devananda in 1964.  Swami Vishnu-devananda came to the West under the direction of his guru, the renowned Swami Sivananda of Rishikesh.  He told Swami Vishnu, “People are waiting.  Spread the seeds of Yoga in the West”.[9] Like many others such as Swami Vivekananda, it became apparent to Swami Vishnu that “Westerners were so caught up in the whirlwind of their lives that they neither knew how to relax nor how to live healthy lives”.[10]  Swamiji set up yoga ashrams and centers throughout the nation in various cities and developed an integrated approach to yoga that focused on relaxation of the mind and body.  He trained teachers to teach asanas (positions), pranayama (breathing exercises), relaxation, proper vegetarian diet, positive thinking and meditation.[11]  Swami Vishnu also published two books, an illustrated book of yoga and a work on meditation.  After his death in 1993 this center, along with eighty others worldwide, is run by volunteer staff, student teachers, and qualified teachers. The mission of the organization is to “propagate the teachings of Yoga and Vedanta as a means of achieving physical, mental and spiritual well-being and Self-Realization”.[12] Swami Vishnu-devananda simplified the vast teachings of Yoga to make them relevant and practical for westerners with no previous exposure to yoga into by means of five principles: Proper Exercise (Asanas), Proper Breathing (Pranayama), Proper Relaxation (Sayasana), Proper Diet (Vegetarian), Positive Thinking (Vedanta), and Meditation (Dhyana).[13]

            Swami Vishnu-devananda’s work The Complete Illustrated Book of Yoga serves as a principal reference on yoga philosophy for members of the Sivananda community.  Swami Vishnu defines yoga as a science, which gives a “practical and scientifically prepared method of finding truth in religion.”[14]  In this text Swami Vishnu explains that yoga along with the purity of mind is a way for man to transcend suffering and problems.  He emphasizes that yoga philosophy does not challenge any religion or faith and “can be practiced by anyone who is sincere and willing to search for the truth.” [15]  The book includes several photos of Swami Vishnu-devananda demonstrating various asanas and his detailed scientific explanations on the five principles of yoga. 

Sivananda Yoga: An Establishment of Authenticity

The Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Center offers daily yoga classes, satsang, kirtan and bhajans (devotional singing), and meditation at 6:00 am as well as evening satsangs on Sunday and Wednesday.  The center has open beginners’ classes and open intermediate classes that are available on a drop-in basis. According to members of the Sivananda community, the center is one of New York’s most inexpensive yoga centers, charging only ten dollars for each drop-in class.  In addition, the first open class taken at the Sivananda Center is free for all students.  Many Sivananda students believe that these policies allow the practice of yoga to be available to the community, a central part of the center’s mission.  The center also provides advanced classes, gentle classes for seniors, and prenatal classes for expectant mothers. Interestingly, at Sivananda the name of the instructor who is teaching the class is not indicated on the schedule. This is done to discourage students from forming attachments to specific teachers and to focus on the inner self.  Sivananda Yoga publishes a magazine called Yoga Life that is available for purchase along with various texts written by Swami Sivananda and Swami Vishnu-devananda. There are books on the Ramayana and the Bhagavad-Gita, vegetarian cook books, meditation CDs, yoga mats, pictures of Hindu deities, and other merchandise all available at reasonable prices.  The affordability of Sivananda Yoga exemplifies its accessibility and openness to a range of students and the lack of commercial influence.  According to Swami Srinivasananda, or Swami Sri as he sometimes called, the center serves five-hundred to six-hundred students a week, and provides residency programs for serious aspirants.[16] 

A variety of students from different age groups and ethnicities attend sessions at the center. There are, however, usually more women than men and many of the students are middle-aged and older.  Although I did not see any people of South Asian descent at the New York center, Swami Sri told me that the organization does have some Indian members.  From my time at Sivananda, I believe that the center is geared towards westerners and possibly Americans of Indian descent.  I do not think that many Indian immigrants would practice yoga at this center, which is run completely by non-Indians.  I think immigrants wanting to take yoga classes would look primarily towards yoga centers affiliated with temples or religious organizations. Also many Hindus may not follow the beliefs of Vedanta or feel comfortable with a non-Indian Swamiji leading a satsang.  Although I am not certain, there may be members of the Sivananda community that are religiously affiliated with the Hare Krishna movement, and this may make certain Indians uneasy. 

While many Hindus in the area may be doubtful, Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Center is definitely a site of “lived Hinduism.”  It is a yoga center with Hindu teachings and Hindu conventions.  The lineage of the Sivananda Center is “Advaita Vedanta, coming directly from the Saraswati order of Sankracharya through Swami Vishnu-devananda”.[17]  All of the Yoga asana classes taught at the center begin with Dhyana Slokas and finish with Maha Mrityunjaya and other mantras.  The words of the Maha Mrityunjaya mantra are chanted three times:

Om thrayambakam yajamahe sugandhim pushtivardhanam

Urvarukamiva Bandhana Mrityor Mukshiya Mamritat

“We worship the three-eyed Lord (Siva) who is full of sweet fragrance and nourishes human beings.  May he liberate me from bondage, even as the cucumber is severed from the vine.”[18]

Swami Vishnu-devananda explains that this mantra removes diseases, prevents accidents, and bestows liberation and it should be repeated daily.[19] Chanting is used in worshipping the Lord, honoring the guru, and asking for blessings from both.  Along with chanting and meditation, the Sivananda organization refers to lessons from the Bhagavad-Gita and they teach bhakti, or devotion, karma, reincarnation, and vegetarianism.

The Sivananda Teachers’ Training Course is a thirty day course where students become certified yoga instructors.  They are trained in the four paths of yoga and pranayama, practice meditation, chant mantras, study Vedanta, Anatomy & Physiology, and attend workshops hosted by various speakers.  They are taught a specific format of instruction, so that classes are taught with consistency.  Classes begin with relaxation, followed by pranayama, then twelve asanas and stretching, relaxation, the chanting of Om, Universal Prayer, and the praising of Gurus.  During a beginners’ class I attended, the teacher chanted mantras before and after class and the students repeated “Om” when she chanted it.  The teacher focused the class on breathing exercises and repetition of the sun salutation.

Aside from yoga classes, the center has daily satsangs that are free and open to the public.  Satsangs are held in the Durga room, a small yoga room that houses an altar on which appear deities from different faiths surrounded by candles and incense.  These deities include Krishna, Shiva, Ganesh, the Mother Goddess, and garlanded photos of Jesus.  The first half hour to forty five minutes of the satsang is silent meditation with the lights off in the room.  The people attending sit on cloth mats in meditation pose with their eyes closed as the Swamiji, who is leading the satsang, tells them all to relax, breathe, and let their awareness center.  After the meditation is over everyone chants “Om” about six times.  Then there is the singing of bhajans, devotional songs, to various Hindu deities.  The prayers and songs are contained in a book, Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Center Kirtan Book, copies of which are distributed to attendees.  When I went to a satsang, Swami Srinivasananda, the director of the Yoga Ranch, the Sivananda regional retreat center in the Catskills, was conducting the session.  He led the devotional singing and played the harmonium as everyone repeated the lines after he sang.  Interestingly, only two or three of the attendees, including myself, used the book as a guide.  The others simply knew the words and sang along with their eyes closed.   I gathered from this that most of these people must be regular attendants of the satsangs. 

After the singing, Swami Sri read a passage from the book called Sivananda Upanishads.  The book is composed primarily of letters by Swami Sivananda.  He read a letter and then explained the significance, line by line.  Swami Srinivasananda later told me he sometimes picks this reading ahead of time and other times he will ask Swami Sivananda a question and open to a random page for the answer.  When I conducted an interview with Swami Srinivasananda, he had me do this as well and the letter I read from the book was very inspiring.  At the conclusion of the satsang, there is the chanting of the mantras Om Namo Narayan and Om Tryambhalam and then peace chants.  The satsang ends with the universal prayer and the singing of Arati.  Then prasad, the food offered to God during prayer, is distributed to everyone. 

At Sivananda Yoga, there is tremendous emphasis placed on the importance of meditation and positive thinking. Meditation is incorporated both in asana classes and satsangs, as well as in separate classes held only for mediation and positive thinking.  Both Swami Sivananda and Swami Vishnu-devananda have written works on the mind and meditation.  Swami Sivananda has explained that without mediation a person cannot obtain knowledge of the self.  In his work Mind–Its Mysteries and Control, Swami Sivananda defines meditation according to Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras.  In Patanjali it says, “Dhyanam nirvishayam manah–When the mind becomes Nirvishaya (free from thinking of sense-objects and their enjoyments), it is meditation.”[20]  These techniques are used to free the mind of attachment, control anger, and have good thoughts.  Swami Vishnu outlines fourteen techniques for meditation, including vocal repetition and daily practice at a regular time.[21] Daily meditation and chanting of mantras helps lead an individual to divine vibrations and peace of mind.  

Upon examining the multifaceted elements of Hinduism prevalent throughout the center I realized that this was not just a religious practice but there was an element of spirituality prevalent.  Students, including myself, felt relaxed, calm, and uplifted after yoga and satsang.  There is a type of strength and tranquility that builds within. Swami Srinivasananda told me, “Yoga at Sivananda is a universal approach to spirituality that embraces all religions. Swami Sivananda said, ‘The paths are many, but Truth is one.’ People are encouraged to practice their own religions, aided by an often deeper understanding provided by Yoga and Vedanta”.[22] During my interview with Aimee, she pointed out that many students feel a spiritual connection to God through the chanting, breathing, and meditation, as opposed to worshipping God through ritualistic practices of organized religion.[23]  Many members of the Sivananda Yoga Center see religions as different institutions that all lead to the same path. 

Apart from these daily prayer sessions, the center has holiday celebrations for various religious holidays including Mahashivratri and Easter.  The Mahashivratri celebration includes devotional singing and chanting throughout the night followed by a feast in the morning.  The Easter retreat is held at the Yoga Ranch in the Catskill Mountains.  Members of the New York City center are always encouraged to go up to the ranch for a yoga vacation or simply a weekend getaway.   The Yoga Ranch is a place of tranquility and beauty located in the wilderness, away from the haste of city life.  It serves as an ashram and a site for teachers’ training.[24]  The two sites have a joint membership available and many students from the city attend programs at the ranch.  The New York center also hosts classical Indian dance and music concerts, Sanskrit classes, vegetarian cooking classes, positive thinking workshops, and lectures on Ayurvedic healing throughout the year. 

Why Yoga? Why Sivananda?

            In spite of the countless yoga centers available in New York City, Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Center continues to retain committed students and dedicated teachers. Like any organization, people leave and new faces arrive, however numerous individuals remain connected to this center and the teachings of Swami Sivananda for many years. 

Why do students practice yoga and what inspires them to take classes at this center? Is there something that sets Sivananda apart from the other big names like Jivamukti and Bikram?  I spoke to a few members of the center in an informal manner and discussed these inquiries with Aimee, a former teacher and current student of the center during an interview. 

Aimee was first introduced to Yoga in 1998 but she was not particularly interested in it.  After losing her brother to the AIDS virus five years ago, a friend of hers recommended that Aimee practice yoga to understand death and life better.  She spent a weekend the Sivananda Yoga Ranch.  At first the aspects of Hinduism made her feel a bit awkward but after immersing herself at the center she found that the yoga and spiritual connection she felt helped her better understand her Catholic faith and religion in general.[25]   She related the Hindu deities to Catholic saints and began to respect the Hindu traditions.  She comments on her experience at Sivananda in comparison to another center where she took classes. 

“It was a night and day difference from the energy that would vibrate from what I did at Sivananda. When I first took my classes at Sivananda I walked out on air. My first class I actually cried during sitting forward bend mainly because it was a posture of surrender. It wasn’t even something I could control. It just happened.”[26]

 Aimee chose to take a spiritual name, Pranava, during her teachers’ training induction ceremony.  She told me that most teachers take spiritual names, although it is not required, and they go by those names at the center. Aimee noticed not only an improvement in her physical health from practicing yoga, but also uplift in her emotional state and a better understanding of her brother’s death. 

At one point in our conversation I asked Aimee why she stopped teaching. This involved the politics of the center and discrepancies that exist at any organization. Aimee pointed out that Sivananda Yoga could be perceived as a type of cult where people are “brainwashed.”  She asserted that the leaders of the organization do not like outspoken people who challenge “a grain of what is being taught in classes.”  She also felt that the organization is used as escapism from being wealthy by several of the permanent residents of the center, who come from upper class families.  Aimee believes that these individuals put on the façade of being involved in a spiritual path; however they miss the true purpose of letting everything go and relinquishing attachments.  While the direction of Sivananda Yoga claims to be in achieving a humanitarian purpose, there are those in the organization that have no connection to this principle.[27]  A sense of artificiality and conflicting interests prevents Aimee from going back to teach at Sivananda.  Speaking to Aimee was very valuable because she was able to provide me a well-rounded and balanced perspective.

During my conversation with Swami Srinivasananda I discovered why he personally joined Sivananda and he discussed his path to becoming initiated in the Sanyasa order, to become a Swami.  Each time I met with Swami Sri, he was dressed completely in orange clothes, just as many Hindu Swamis normally would be.  Swami Sri was first exposed to yoga in 1969 on Earth Day in high school in California. He said, “It was a time of great opening in this country and the first real renaissance of yoga that was taking place and my teacher Swami Vishnu-devananda was a major part of that spreading of yoga.”[28] 

This was also during the Vietnam War and Swamiji felt he needed to discover who he was spiritually.  The first class he took helped him relax the mind and experience peace and relaxation from the suffering the mind creates.  It helped him make sense out of time when he was experiencing a lot of confusion.  After college Swami Srinivasananda decided he wanted to do something not for money but to help others and to be detached from worldly desires.  He found his way to the Sivananda base in Canada and took Sanyasa within two years. Swamiji told me that before this he was an emotional mess.  After joining the organization he saw physical and mental improvement within himself and an increase in happiness.  After being married for twenty years, raising a daughter, and being actively involved with Sivananda, Swami Sri has renounced householdership once again and rejoined his order, while his wife has become a Buddhist nun. Even after all the time that had passed and the choices he made, Swami Sri remained dedicated to the practice of yoga.  He follows a path of dedication to the Sivananda mission and serves as an important leader in Sivananda Yoga community.           

In the time I spent at Sivananda Yoga, I noticed an evident change in overall behavior and demeanor as students enter and leave the yoga center.  There is a disjunction between who these people are in satsang and asana class and who they are outside of the center. During the satsang everyone is geared towards building a community and feeling spiritual vibrations in unity. However, when they come down the stairs, change their clothes, and the shoes go on, the person changes.  When I approached a couple of people for interviews and they told me “I am very busy right now” or “I can probably speak with you for a few minutes after my regular yoga class. Can you be here then?”  The calmness and peace that was resonating in the Durga room had vanished in the reception area.  Aimee concurred, “This is an escape for some people. When they go to satsang they’re there and then when they leave they turn into who they were.”  For many students, the center is a getaway from the frantic worries of reality.  Even during yoga class the teacher encourages her students not to worry about who they are having dinner with tonight or to forget about their grocery list and to concentrate on being aware and present.  Sivananda Yoga offers a meditation CD and a CD of the yoga class, so students can practice on their own at home or while traveling.  While certain students do carry what they learn and experience at Sivananda to the outside world, the center is a place of community and a type of spiritual haven, hidden away from the harsh city milieu.          

Yoga Misconstrued as an American Fad

The increasing popularity of yoga in America society has raised the issue of whether the practice of yoga in the United States is often a misrepresentation or misconstruction of older yoga traditions.  For instance, during the course of my study on yoga, I came across an article on yoga merging with hip hop music in order to expand its appeal to wider audiences.  Hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons is putting out a video that “promotes weight loss, flexibility, relaxation and toning through yoga, and adds original hip-hop music”.[29] Is this really still yoga according to the members of the Sivananda Yoga community? (Aimee recalled that Simmons practices yoga at the ultra-chic and exclusive Jivamukti Yoga Center in Manhattan.)  Both Swami Sri and Aimee agreed that when artists get involved with something they make it a posh and culturally diverse thing to do.  People become interested in the practice because of who is doing it, not necessarily because they want it for its own sake.  Members of the Sivananda community that I spoke with felt that many people only do yoga for exercise and to get their daily workout; some yoga centers use this to their advantage to make money.  Aimee asserts, “We are still Americans in a Hindu Yoga Center.  You can’t take the American out of the person.”[30]  Sivananda attempts to break this American commercialism and tries not to exploit yoga.  Aimee pointed out that while no center is perfect, she does not feel rushed in or rushed out at the Sivananda center as she did at other centers.  People are overall more patient and looking for a spiritual experience.

Swami Srinivasananda had a very positive and optimistic outlook on the “Americanization” of yoga. He felt that while the commercialization belittles the practice, there are benefits to spreading the message.  In our conversation on March 30, 2005 Swamiji told me,

America has the ability to commercialize anything this is beneficial and valuable be it art, religion, or health.  However, the commercialization brings a mass exposure to knowledge, art and spirituality.  People are attracted to these cultural gifts at the level that they are ready to access them. In the case of yoga asanas and exercise that has developed from the asanas, the postures not only promote health and well-being they also open energetic pathways that can help awaken the higher consciousness for people to seek more serious spiritual practice and enquiry. The mass introduction of yoga concepts into the culture is also opening transformation towards non-violence, karmic responsibility, and global unity. Vegetarianism, proper exercise, proper breathing and deep relaxation have made there way into many aspects of daily life, even if not in their purist traditional yogic forms.

 While yoga continues to be commercialized as an exercise technique, Sivananda Yoga remains dedicated to the mission of Swami Vishnu-devananda and his teachings.

Final Thoughts

            In the time that I spent learning about Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Center, I discovered that it is only one branch of a larger organization committed to promoting the practice of yoga and spreading the teachings of Swami Vishnu-devananda and Swami Sivananda. While the center may not appear to be the typical place for religious worship in New York City, this is a site of spirituality experienced through ritualistic Hindu traditions, yoga practice, and Vedanta philosophy. The focus on the four paths of yoga the five proper points of yoga are central to the mission of Sivananda Yoga.  The members of this community aspire to achieve realization of the self and a sense of inner calm through their all encompassing practice of yoga, satsang, and meditation.  In his final work before his death, Elixir Divine, Swami Sivananda wrote, “There is a power, invisible and universal, immortal and original, ineffable and transcendental.  That power is God.  To serve Him is thy life. To love Him is they aim. To merge in Him is thy goal.”[31]  The Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Center accentuates this message of Swami Sivananda: dedication to yoga and meditation is the path to reach divine bliss and salvation.

Works Cited

Eck, Diana. A New Religious America. New York: Harper Collins, 2001.

Hartranft, Chip. The Yoga-Sutra of Patanjali. Boston: Shambhala, 2003.

“Hip-hop to a higher power,” Los Angeles Times, 21 March 2005.

Interview with Aimee, March 28, 2005.

Interview with Swami Srinivasananda, March 30, 2005.

Malhotra, Ashok Kumar. An Introduction to Yoga Philosophy. Burlington, VT: Ashgate,

2001.

Swami Sivananda. Elixir Divine. Himalayas, India: Divine Life Society, 2003.

Swami Sivananda. Mind-Its Mysteries and Control. Himalayas, India: Divine Life

Society, 2001.

Swami Vishnu-devananda. The Complete Illustrated Book of Yoga. New York: Three

River, 1998.

Swami Vishnu-devananda. Meditation and Mantras.  New York: Om Lotus Publishing,

2000.

www.sivananda.org

www.sivananda.org/ranch

www.sivananda.org/teachings/asana/101tips.html#1

“Yoga at a Glance,” Fit Facts San Diego, CA: American Council on Exercise, 2002.  Yoga Life, Fall 2003.

Yoga Life, Spring 1994


[1] “Yoga at a Glance,” Fit Facts San Diego, CA: American Council on Exercise, 2002. 

[2] Malhotra, Ashok Kumar. An Introduction to Yoga Philosophy. Burlington, VT: Ashgate, 2001, p.4.

[3] www.sivananda.org/teachings/asana/101tips.html#1

[4] www.sivananda.org/teachings/asana/101tips.html#1

[5] Malhotra, Ashok Kumar. An Introduction to Yoga Philosophy, p 17. 

[6] Hartranft, Chip. The Yoga-Sutra of Patanjali. Boston: Shambhala, 2003, p. 10.

[7] Eck, Diana. A New Religious America. New York: Harper Collins, 2001, p 99.

[8] Eck, Diana. A New Religious America, p. 100.

[9] Yoga Life, Fall 2003.

[10] Yoga Life, Spring 1994

[11] Interview with Swami Srinivasananda, March 30, 2005

[12] www.sivananda.org

[13] www.sivananda.org

[14] Swami Vishnu-devananda. The Complete Illustrated Book of Yoga. New York: Three River, 1998, p.5.

[15] Swami Vishnu-devananda. The Complete Illustrated Book of Yoga. New York: Three River, 1998, p.11.

[16] Interview with Swami Srinivasananda, March 30, 2005

[17] Interview with Swami Srinivasananda, March 30, 2005

[18] Swami Vishnu-devananda. Meditation and Mantras.  New York: Om Lotus Publishing, 2000, p.67.

[19] Swami Vishnu-devananda. Meditation and Mantras.  New York: Om Lotus Publishing, 2000, p.67.

[20] Swami Sivananda. Mind-Its Mysteries and Control. Himalayas, India: Divine Life Society, 2001, p.229.

[21] Swami Vishnu-devananda. Meditation and Mantras.  New York: Om Lotus Publishing, 2000, p.10.

[22] Interview with Swami Srinivasananda, March 30, 2005

[23] Interview with Aimee, March 28, 2005

[24] www.sivananda.org/ranch

[25] Interview with Aimee, March 28, 2005

[26] Interview with Aimee, March 28, 2005

[27] Interview with Aimee, March 28, 2005

[28] Interview with Swami Srinivasananda, March 30, 2005

[29] “Hip-hop to a higher power,” Los Angeles Times, 21 March 2005.

[30] Interview with Aimee, March 28, 2005

[31] Swami Sivananda. Elixir Divine. Himalayas, India: Divine Life Society, 2003, p.21.

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