Yay! I've waited for a Sivananda Centre to open in Australia for the past 10 years! The very popular international Yoga organisation opened it's doors in South Melbourne just a few months ago and are offering Classical Hatha (in the Sivananda style) Yoga classes, cooking courses, retreats, meditation courses ... and the list goes on.
Sivananda Yoga has been around for a very long time. It's one of the oldest Hatha Yoga Schools and was one of the first to offer Yoga teacher training courses in the west. This is a guru focused organisation. Two gurus actually. The first, being the 'Grandfather Guru' of many Yoga styles around today, Swami Sivananda, who was a Yoga teacher, Vedanta teacher and Hindu Spiritual teacher. His vision was to take Yoga to the west so, in the 1950's he instructed his disciple, Swami Vishnu Devananda (and many others like him) to leave India and spread the word.
This is when the Sivananda Yoga Ventanta centres were born.
The Hatha Yoga class consists of a chant to begin, 2 pranayama exercises, a vigorous sun salutation warm up, 12 main postures (with their variations depending on level of class), a long savasana and final chant.
Expect to do the same sequence every time.
Although quite a social centre, the Sivananda centres are certainly not a hip, trendy, power, sweat kind of Yoga centre so leave your ego and stylish Yoga clothes outside the door. They are serious about all paths of Yoga and encourage everyone to live by 5 basic principles:
1. Proper exercise - Asana (postures)
2. Proper breathing - Pranayama (breathing exercises)
3. Proper relaxation - Savasana (corps pose)
4. Proper diet - Vegetarianism (Ahimsa - non violence)
5. Positive thinking and meditation - Study of Vedanta and Meditation
So if you're after traditional and classical - this is certainly a centre worth trying.
Check out the link to the organisation here: http://www.sivananda.org/
Check out the Melbourne centre details on my 'Yoga Centres we love' page. /yoga-studios-we-love.html
The Yoga Social Team