Sivananda is known as one of the greatest Yoga masters of the 20th century, Swami Sivananda, is the inspiration behind the Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centres. He was a prolific writer and author of over 200 books on yoga, Vedanta and other subjects.
He was trained in the medical profession and served as a physician for ten years before taking up monasticism following tutelage from his guru Vishwānanda Saraswati. It was Vishwānanda who initiated him into the Sannyasa order, and gave him his monastic name. Sivananda was a spiritual teacher who went on extensive pilgrimage to meditate at holy shrines and meet with spiritual teachers in India.
He established the Divine Life Society (DLS), and later the Sivananda Ashram which became headquarters for the DLS. The Sivananda lineage is based on classical yoga focussing on six aspects – serve, love, give, purify, meditate and realise. It is a complete healing system designed to help the body maintain a natural healthy state and was passed to Sivananda through Swami Vishnudevananda. The core teachings of this system are Proper exercise, Proper breathing, Proper relaxation, Proper diet, and Positive thinking and meditation.
The teachings of Sivananda and those that continue the Sivananda Yoga tradition are based on a spiritual path encouraging a life of peace and love.
N.B This is just a short extract of the history of Sivananda and by no means an exhaustive biography.