90-minute Sivananda Yoga All Levels Asana and Pranayama Class

90-minute Sivananda Yoga All Levels Asana and Pranayama Class


This podcast is a recording of a Sivananda Yoga Class.  Please listen to the class and practice along.  You can see our website for more details on the practice.  Enjoy!

1. Beginning prayer and a short relaxation (savasana)
2. Breathing (Pranayama) (15 – 20 minutes)
3. Sun salutations (Surya namaskar)
4. The 12 basic yoga poses (asanas)
5. Some additional yoga poses (asanas) and variations
5a. An example of a properly sequenced yoga practice session
6. Final Relaxation (15 minutes)
7. Ending prayers
8. General Guidelines to follow in a Yoga Class
9. Benefits of the Yoga Poses and Pranayama practice

General Guidelines

Place & Setting

  • Eat at least 2 hours before the asana session.  It is difficult to perform asanas with a full stomach.  Also, do not eat or drink half an hour after the session.
  • The best time is early morning, after meditation.
  • Find a cool and ventilated, quiet place with an even, level floor.  The best place is a space reserved for Yoga and meditation, with an altar.  It is suggested not to do Yoga in the bedroom as the energy is more tamasic.
  • It is better to practice in silence without music or chanting.
  • Group performance of asanas brings about awareness of collective energy.
  • Wear light and loose fitting cotton clothing for better efficiency of movement.
  • Use a sticky Yoga mat for better grip.

Order, Timing & Rythm

  • Perform the sequence of the postures in order.  This will ensure the proper flow of energy.
  • Try to hold each posture for at least one minute to three minutes.  It is said that holding for three minutes is the minimum time required to get all the benefits of the postures.
  • The sequence of the postures follows the chakras, stimulating the chakras from the top down.
  • The headstand cycle goes first and the standing cycle goes last because of the spiritual principle of turning inward first to find inner balance (headstand inverts all energies, stimulating the highest chakra, going against normal tendencies, after which the energy is flowing properly) then tuning the mind outward and trying to achieve balance and composition with worldly activities (standing postures are performed with the focus on external object to ground oneself).
  • Practice daily, or at least 4 times a week, for 1-2 hours for maximum benefit.

Breath & Mind Awareness

  • Breathe consciously during the performance of postures.  When holding the posture, the breath becomes calm and the mind focused.
  • When holding, know where to concentrate for the specific posture.
  • If there is tension, focus your attention on the tension, breathe consciously while focusing on the area, sending prana to the muscles or ligaments, and during every exhalation try to progress a little more.
  • Keep the mind inspired by being aware of the physical and mental benefits of each posture.
  • Yoga is not a competition, so try to do what you can but observe your limit.  Always try to feel comfortable.  Never push yourself to the point of pain, strain or exhaustion.
  • Do not compare or compete with each other when perform in group.

Body Awareness

  • Gentle modifications, adjustments and variations can be included if you experience any pain or strain while holding an asana. Some accessible examples include chair yoga, gentle yoga and restorative yoga. Click here to learn more about specialized yoga practices.
  • Be aware of your body throughout the session.  Keep your mind focused inward and enjoy the practice.
  • Always relax in between the postures, with deep breathing to restore the prana and avoid fatigue.
  • If there is no time, stick to the basic 12 postures without variations, you will still get the maximum benefit.

Asana Considerations

  • For beginners, take the time to practice headstand by preparing your arm strength with Dolphin.
  • Achieve balance through posture and counter posture, on both the right and left sides, holding the postures on each side for an equal length of time.
  • If you do variations, make sure that you have time for the basic postures first.  Do not skip postures.
  • Try to practice asanas with eyes closed, creating an inner focus.
  • If possible, it is better to perform the asanas without any props.  It is a very natural way of exercising.
  • To maximize the benefit of the session, keep the energy internalized and calm and do not rush right away into worldly activities.
  • Always spend at least 10 minutes in Savasana at the end; it allows you to integrate all of the benefits.
  • Do not take a bath right away but allow the prana to remain for some time.

Listen in for Divine Wisdom

Recipe for Medu Vada

Recipe for Medu Vada

Recipe for Medu Vada

Medu vada is an Indian fritter made in a doughnut shape, with a crispy exterior and soft interior. A popular food item in South Indian and Sri Lankan Tamil cuisines, it is generally eaten as a breakfast or a snack.
1:  one pound Urad Dal
      Soak the dal in the morning for 5-6 hours. 
      Grind the dal with Food Processor in batches with no water
2:  Salt to taste
3:  one teaspoon whole pepper corn, Pinch of hing 
4:  cilantro, fresh shredded ginger, Chili peppers may be 1-2
5:    Lemon juice 
Mix all the ingredients well. 
6:  take small portion of mixture , pour little lemon juice and pinch of backing soda; mix it well and fry in a medium to high flame. 
7:  Eat with green chutney, Tamarind chutney and coconut chutney 
Eat warm. ENJOY
A close-up shot of some fresh baked vegan coconut banana bread.

Vegetarian Thanksgiving and Kirtan Concert at the Yoga Farm

Vegetarian Thanksgiving and Kirtan Concert at the Yoga Farm

We will have our Thanksgiving Feast on Thursday at 5:00 pm.

Here is the Thanksgiving Menu –

  • Roasted Butternut Squash Soup
  • Shredded Kale Salad with Toasted Sesame Seeds and Orange
  • Green Salad with Cherry Tomatoes and Shredded Carrot, Sunflower Seed Dressing
  • Lasagne with Red Chard, Ricotta, Mozzarella and Parmesan (another half pan of vegan, too)
  • Roasted Brussel Sprouts with Lemon
  • Sage Stuffing/Dressing
  • Mashed Potatoes and Gravy
  • Cranberry Sauce with Orange Marmalade and Mint
  • Dinner Rolls
  • Pumpkin Pie and Apple-Oat Crisp with Whipped Coconut Cream and Regular Crea
  • Hot Apple Cider with Fall Spices

This will be followed by a concert with Karnamrita Dasi at 7:30pm. 

Everyone is welcome to stay for the rest of the weekend with a theme of –

Thanksgiving Retreat: Success In Life And Self Realization

With Swami Sitaramananda, Swamini Svatmavidyananda, Ellen Grace O’Brian (Yogacharya), Krishna Darshan

In this inspiring Thanksgiving Retreat: Success in Life and Self Realization, you will be learning the deep teachings of Vedic wisdom regarding the fulfillment of our purposes in life and at the same time achieving self realization.

This is an inspiring weekend retreat which will help you to readjust your personal purpose and recommit yourself to your Self Search journey with renewed energy. The teachers are extraordinary accomplished teachers in their knowledge who have pondered on the topics for a long time.

Announcement for Fire Victims

Announcement for Fire Victims

If you are victim of the recent California fires in Paradise and in Malibu, and have lost your property and home.

If you are distraught and upset in this crisis situation.

The Yoga Farm community and Ashram is established in the Sierra Foothills of Northern California for over 48 years, would like to assist you in this time of transition and we would like to open our home and community to you.

We would like to offer free food (vegetarian), free lodging (in simple cabins with bathhouse nearby), free daily Yoga classes and meditation, which are excellent to calm the mind and recharge you with positivity and energy. Furthermore, you can also consult with our senior teachers who are expert in the art of how to cope with crisis and transition. As part of community living you are invited to help in the daily chores of the community in good spirit. The number of cabins are limited. The free offering is on a first come, first serve basis.

If you are interested please look at the rules and regulations of the Ashram and fill in the application form for Seva Study. Also let us know if you agree to the rules of the Ashram as well as how we can contact you. The dates open for this one-month offer would be from Nov. 27, 2018 to Jan. 3, 2019.

Please spend the holidays with us. We are all good-will volunteers and Yoga teachers.

Om Shanti, Peace
Yoga Farm Board of Yoga Teachers

Swami Vishnudevananda Asana Gallery

Swami Vishnudevananda Asana Gallery

Swami Vishnudevananda Asana Photos

Swami Vishnudevananda was made the Hatha Yoga Professor at the age of 18 upon arriving at the Sivananda Ashram in Rishikesh, India.

He said that all of his past life knowledge of hatha yoga came back to him when Swami Sivananda initiated him and touched his third eye.

Enjoy these Swami Vishnudevananda asana photos of Swamiji as a young man in India performing asanas basic, intermediate, and advanced.

Savasana – Corpse Pose

Swami Vishnu lying in Corpse Pose



Sun Salutations


Headstand Cycle

Headstand, legs apart, Lotus Headstand, Scorpion


Shoulderstand Cycle

Shoulderstand variations, Plough, Knees to Ears, Wheel, One leg up, Lotus Fish


Sitting Forward Bend Cycle

Legs apart, one leg lotus, butterfly, ankle twist, frog’s pose, shooting bow, foot behind the head


Backbending Cycle

Cobra, King Cobra, Full Locust, Full Bow, Diamond, Pigeon


Twisting and Sitting Postures

Half spinal twist, Full spinal twist, Vajrasana, Padmasana


Balancing Postures

Crow, Side Crow, Peacock, Handstand, Tiptoe, Cock pose, One knee one foot pose


Standing Postures

Standing forward bend, Triangle, Twisting triangle, Head to foot pose, Nataraj Dancer pose


Savasana – Corpse Pose