• Our Sivananda Lineage

NYC Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Center
(Est. 1959)

The Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Center is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization run by voluntary staff and dedicated to the aim of disseminating the knowledge of Yoga. We have been in continuous operation at its present location on West 24th Street in New York since 1964 and have been teaching in NY since 1959. We are part of a world wide organization, the International Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centers, founded by Swami Vishnudevananda.

Swami Vishnudevananda
(1927-1993)

Recognized worldwide as an authority on Hatha and Raja yoga, Swami Vishnudevananda founded the International Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Center in 1959. After spending 10 years with his guru, Swami Sivananda, Swami was sent to the West to disseminate the teachings of yoga and Vedanta. He was a visionary, dynamic leader for world peace, and he wrote the practical classics Complete Illustrated Book of Yoga and Meditation and Mantras.
Swami Vishnudevananda

Swami Sivananda

Swami Sivananda
(1887-1963)

One of the great saints of modern times, Swami Sivananda is the inspiration behind the International Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Center. Born in India, he served for many years as a medical doctor before renouncing worldly life and establishing the Sivananda Ashram and Divine Life Society in Rishikesh. A prolific writer, he authored more than 300 books that offer knowledge and spiritual guidance to millions around the world. His mission can be summarized by his saying: “Serve, Love, Give, Purify, Meditate, Realize.”
  • “The positive always overcomes the negative.
    The more we sweat in peace the less we bleed in war.”

    – Swami Vishnudevananda

The Flying Swami and Peace Missions

Swami Vishnu

Throughout his whole life, Swami Vishnudevananda was deeply concerned about the well being of the world and the constant disaster of wars. This led him to learn to fly and then personally pilot a small plane over several troubled areas of the world. Not only did he create discussion and awareness in the news media, but he also “bombarded” these war-torn areas with flowers and peace pamphlets while repeating the peace mantra Om Namo Narayanaya.

“I have given you all I have with all my heart and love. It is for you to give to others. Sometimes I may not know all the answers, and I know that I have a long way to go. If you didn’t get anything, that’s because of my lower emotional nature. If there was anything good you got, it came from my great Master Sivananda. I don’t say that I’m an unemotional person. I scolded and talked endlessly. I acted like a dictator. If I were like my master, or like Jesus, I could wash the feet of my disciples. But for that one must be very high. It can only be done when the ego is gone.

If I were to do it, it would be hypocrisy. I’m not that high. Once, some years ago, I prostrated myself before a man to whom I had been rude and impatient. As I was doing it, I was thinking ‘How humble I am.’ So don’t look for an easy way to overcome your ego. For years I’ve tried. I watch myself as my ego manifests itself. I analyze. But it clings like a leech. When we can’t control ourselves, we should offer it to the Lord: ‘Oh Lord, I offer it to Thee!’ And now, if in any way I hurt your feelings, I ask you with all my heart to pardon me.”


– Swami Vishnudevananda

Our Vision

The vision of the NYC Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Center is to model the Yogic lifestyle, and provide a disciplined, compassionate space for practicing the tenets of simple, healthy living and high thinking. Yoga self-culture provides a holistic approach to body, mind and spirit, care for the individual, the community and the planet, living in peace, health and sustainability. Through healing our own bodies and minds, we unfold the capacity to play our part in the healing and caring for the whole planet.

Our Teachings: The Five Points of Yoga

ASANA
Proper Exercise

The asanas not only produce physical benefits, but as exercises in meditation they provide deep and powerful inner benefits as well.

PRANAYAMA
Proper Breathing

These specific breathing techniques align us with our natural energy, creating physical and mental rejuvenation and promoting optimum health.

SAVASANA
Proper Relaxation

Yoga teaches three levels of relaxation: physical, mental, and spiritual. Savasana is a vital part of keeping the body, mind, and spirit healthy.

VEGETARIAN
Proper Diet

A yogi eats with awareness, choosing the food that has the most positive effect on the body and mind and the least negative effect on the environment.

VEDANTA AND DHYANA

Positive Thinking and Meditation

Life is evolving and accelerating. With Vedanta and meditation, the mind becomes calm and steady. It is especially helpful for those with stressful lives.

  • “An ounce of practice is better than tons of theory.”

    – Swami Sivananda

Our Teachings: The Four Paths of Yoga

Karma Yoga

The path of action and selfless service.

Bhakti Yoga

The path of selfless love and devotion.

Raja Yoga

The path of meditation, asana, and pranayama.

Jnana Yoga

The path of philosophical knowledge.

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