The Deeper Path of Yoga Healing

The Deeper Path of Yoga Healing

The Deeper Path of Yoga Healing

by Swami Sitaramananda


AUGUST, 2018

Swami Sivananda tells us that we are author of our own health and well-being. We often fail to realize that physical health depends on mental health.

As a matter of fact, we tending to view our physical ailments as something happening to us from the outside, and often suddenly. In fact, disease is frequently a wakeup call, a lesson about ourselves and an opportunity for self-transformation. Traumatic events or difficult karmic situations are often hidden and untold, leading to disease. The deeper path of yoga healing shows us that the spiritual element is ever-present but often overlooked and misunderstood.

Yoga Therapy Heals

Photograph by Ananda Mayi

Spiritual Health

We do not know that being spiritually healthy leads to mental and physical health. Also, we do not know that healthy relationships and emotional balance are part of the well-being equation. The holistic, therapeutic approach of Yoga addresses this complex issue of body-mind-spirit connection and interdependence.

In fact, mental or physical disease is a symptom of lack of connection to the spiritual aspect of our being. Connection becomes blocked, and there is a tendency to mis-identify or distort the idea of self. Moreover, conventional healing methods are often ineffective in these cases.

Regular Yoga practice and self-restraint regulate the emotional upheavals and bring contentment and peace.

Deeper Path of Yoga Healing

A classical Yoga practice brings the ailing person back to a natural, undistorted connected state. In fact, yoga has the capacity to counteract the forces within the individual that tend to lead him or her to extremes. Furthermore, these negative karmic patterns are frequently reinforced by upbringing and relationships, and it can take considerable time and constant awareness to re-establish healthy patterns.

Sometimes, after reaching the lowest point, the individual may catch a glimpse of reality but cannot sustain their efforts. Regular Yoga asana practice and the practice of self-restraint regulate the emotional upheavals and bring contentment and peace. In addition, yoga requires concentration and counteracts the tendency of the mind to wander, to escape into fantasy, to reinforce mistaken ideas. Finally, having attained health, the individual needs to needs to sustain this by regular sadhana, reinforced in a community situation, or satsang.

Yoga Health students at the Yoga Farm

Photograph by Ananda Mayi

In fact, it is difficult for an individual to maintain regular practice on his or her own due to deeply ingrained negative habits. The home environment often reflects the disease. However, spiritual community or satsang provides a healing environment.


In conclusion yoga methods are always the same:  understanding that the connection to spirit is the main key to healing. This connection will be attained by a return to conscious breathing, practice of asanas, deep relaxation, proper nutrition, positive thinking and meditation.  Also by attending Yoga retreats, moving out of isolation, and cultivation of devotion, trust, faith and detachment.

Upcoming two to 5 day Yoga Health Camps with specific health condition focus >>

Check out our Sivananda Institute of Health Yoga (SIHY) center with workshops and courses in many areas including Stress Relief and Relaxation >>

© Swami Sitaramananda 2018 – No part of this article may be reproduced in any form without the written permission of the author.

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Video – Yoga for Health and Healing

Video – Yoga for Health and Healing

Sivananda Yoga: Health Educator Training – Documentary film by Benoy K Behl

  1. A landmark event in the field of Yoga and of Health Management is the founding of the Sivananda Institute of Health and Yoga in California, USA. The institute’s first 2-year Yoga Health Educator Training Course was launched at the Sivananda Ashram Yoga Farm at Grass Valley in California in October, 2017.
  2. It was followed by the launch of this intensive training course at the Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Center in Dalat in Vietnam in January 2018.

Swami Sitaramananda, Acharya, Sivananda Ashram Yoga Farm, CA

  1. This yoga health education-training course, is a yoga therapy course. But we don’t use the word yoga therapy, because the idea that is that we are not talking only about disease and curing of disease, but we are talking about health and well-being…

Swami Sitaramananda, Acharya, Sivananda Ashram Yoga Farm, CA

  1. ….we are educating people to approach the person that has disease as a total person, that means their body, their mind, their emotions, the circumstances of their life ….

Swami Sitaramananda, Acharya, Sivananda Ashram Yoga Farm, CA

  1. In order to regain health, we need to think of the three levels of health. Our spiritual health, when we recognise the truth of our own nature, our mental health when we become very calm and be able to be concentrated.
  1. And our emotional health that comes with the mental health is when we have love in our heart. And our physical health, is when our body function properly, under the intelligent control of the mind.

Swami Sitaramananda, Acharya, Sivananda Ashram Yoga Farm, CA

  1. So our soul quality, is remembering who we are, that means remembering our essential nature, that is good, that is pure, that is true, that is brilliant, that is knowledgeable, that is eternal, that has no fear, no worry, no anxiety, there is no comparison, no conflict to anybody, that is pure love, so this is a quality of life.

Swami Sitaramananda, Acharya, Sivananda Ashram Yoga Farm, CA

  1. Happiness is within, but we are looking for it outside. So the idea of yoga, is to look for it at the right place, by looking within.
  1. Instead of like a person that lost her needle and go outside looking for it, because it’s bright outside, there is light. And inside the house where she lost it is too dark.
  1. So we all the time running, running, running……..looking for our happiness outside…..
  1. So now we need to calm the illusion down and looking inwards. So that’s the process of yoga.

Swami Sitaramananda, Acharya, Sivananda Ashram Yoga Farm, CA

  1. Swami Sivananda was a medical doctor and he always concerned about health.
  1. He wrote about 30 books on health itself and about two-three hundred books on different topics of yoga philosophy and yoga life.
  1. Because he was a medical doctor and he helped people to heal. Then he realised the people suffer from something else.
  1. He can cure from the physical ailment, but because suffer from something else. That’s how he became a monk and he became the doctor of the soul.

Swami Sitaramananda, Acharya, Sivananda Ashram Yoga Farm, CA

  1. Swami Vishnudevananda ji, he came to this country in 1957 in USA, San Francisco….
  1. …And he realised that the people are not healthy and that’s how he has to start to teach health. And he combined the teaching in a five points called five point’s yoga lifestyle for health and peace of mind.
  1. So proper exercise, proper breathing, proper relaxation, proper diet, means vegetarian diet, positive thinking and meditation…. that we call the five points yoga life, that the health educator will be based their teaching on, the five points how to get back to your true nature of health.

Sat Bir S. Khalsa, Harvard Medical School, MA

  1. I think modern medicine, has some gaps. Modern medicine is largely focussed on treating symptoms, treating outcomes and not as well focussed on prevention of those outcomes.
  1. And also not focussed on the interface between, the mind and the body. Modern medicine tends to be, a bit divided between psychiatry in one hand and physical medicine on the other hand.
  1. And the two really don’t talk to each other and yet obviously the mind and body are inextricably linked. So yoga addresses that, that link between mind and body.

Landon Gallant, Student, Sivananda Yoga Teachers Training Course

  1. I played soccer for 28 years and the last half of that time was a very high speed, very aggressive, very physical nature game that I played and

  1. In 2013 me and two guys ran across entire United States in 157 days and we did this to help our………….cancer families.

  1. When we went across the United States, we visited over a 120 hospitals and cancer research facilities.
  1. And I would go and sit with these doctors, some of the best ……..doctors on this planet. And I would sit with them one and one and I asked the questions, the families never got a chance to ask.
  1. All these doctors that I have talked to, don’t really have a holistic background, don’t have nutritional background, don’t have a lifestyle enhancement background.
  1. Scientifically they are brilliant, but when it comes to how to live and how to heal without chemo, without radiation, without poisons, without toxins, you know 100% of the time, that just wasn’t there, heart breaking to see that, very heart breaking to see these families are so desperate for a better way to heal as opposed to these poisons are being offered to them.

Swami Sitaramananda, Acharya, Sivananda Ashram Yoga Farm, CA

  1. Swami Sivananda say that we are the, author of our own health or disease.
  1. So what that means, that means that we have the power in our hands, to heal ourselves. So we need to know and be more aware, of our thoughts and mind and know, have the basic knowledge of the connection between the body and mind.

Swami Dharmananda, Sivananda Yoga Farm, Grass Valley, CA

  1. The yoga health educator and the medical system can work together, to provide real lasting health and wellness and actually what we talk about is a positive state of health.
  1. Not simply in absence of disease, but just knowing that what I am eating, how I am going about my day, my definite working relationships even the kind of work that we are doing in our lives that’s it’s a positive state in every aspect.



Swami Dharmananda

Sivananda Yoga Farm, Grass Valley, CA

Clip 4465

  1. When we talk about yoga practice, for instance it’s not simply for young fit bodies.


  1. But it’s for people of all ages, or all physical capabilities. In fact it’s not really about limitation as it were, but actually expanding inner selves, our own view of ourselves, that we are not actually limited.


Tara Durga Devi

Gentle Yoga Teacher, Grass Valley, CA

Clip 4649

  1. ­Gentle yoga, is a way of practicing the asanas which are the postures, that move the energy through the body, in a more gentle way, so that it becomes accessible to people who may have an illness, who are lack of strength or lack of mobility, or aging process and just starting to want to move their bodies.


Tara Durga Devi

Gentle Yoga Teacher, Grass Valley, CA

Clip 4650

  1. When we are stressed our immunity system goes down and our digestive go down. And so gentle yoga, gives people a chance to calm the mind and to move the energy, through the body in such a way that it………..the relaxation response, which then aids in the healing.


  1. And also aids their mind, through accept things as they are and then work with themselves in a better way.


Tara Durga Devi

Gentle Yoga Teacher, Grass Valley, CA

Clip 4652

  1. The gentle yoga class again like, it affords us the opportunity to learn about how our mind is working against us.


  1. How we are pushing ourselves and it really takes courage and I think when people come to gentle yoga, they are looking for something different than just exercise.


  1. They intuitively know something is not working and they are also yearning for some more information beyond just the physical body. Especially if there is any illness and you are working with that.


  1. And also in ageing we start to as you age you start to notice, the people around you, they are not there anymore, they are lost. Since you start to question what is life about? how do I deal with death, these bigger issues? How do I deal with my own ageing?


  1. And so when they come to a gentle yoga class, we give an opportunity to slow down and have time to reflect. And like I said, the teachers sets an atmosphere of love and compassion and it’s not about doing, it’s about being.




Silvia Nakkach

Nada Yoga Teacher, CA

Clip 4475

  1. As I going back to the source of, who we are as pure vibration. So the more we connect with sound, pure sound it feels like we are connecting with the true self. The ancient traditions they all and alter in memorial times and traditions and worlds being using sound to heal as a gateway to expand consciousness, going beyond the confinements of personality.


  1. Sound is a most intuitive form of psychology, it change you immediately.



Swami Sitaramananda

Acharya, Sivananda Ashram Yoga Farm, CA

Clip 4636

  1. So in this course we put together the yoga philosophy, yoga psychology in relation to health. We also teach the health educator into Ayurveda and the process of healing of Ayurveda that is also the Vedic science, it’s based on that ancient wisdom.




Mary Thompson

Ayurvedic Practitioner, CA

Clip 4696

  1. I was very excited, when I was approached by Swami Sita,

in working with the development of the Sivananda yoga health education course….


Mary Thompson

Ayurvedic Practitioner, CA

Clip 4694

  1. Ayurveda is often said to be a sister science yoga. You can think of them as twins, they come from the same parent. Where yoga works with balance of the mind and helps one to achieve their spiritual goals, Ayurveda focuses more on balance of the body, to help one have the strength, the stamina, the endurance to achieve their goals.


Swami Jnaneswariananda

Sivananda Yoga Farm, Grass Valley, CA

Clip 4528

  1. I was trained as a bio medical engineer. I have a doctorate in bio medical engineering.


Swami Jnaneswariananda

Sivananda Yoga Farm, Grass Valley, CA

Clip 4529

  1. So my contribution to the yoga health educator’s training is the anatomy in physiology, some of the study of the pathology.


  1. We have other doctors that are discussing medical interventions, standard medical interventions. My purpose is to provide the students with enough backgrounds, in anatomy, in physiology that they have a real understanding, of the traditional medicine, terms and procedures.



Brendan Keogh M.D.

Ontario, Canada

  1. I am a family physician in Norwood which is a small town in Ontario….


  1. I tried physio, I tried chiropractitioners, tried massage therapist, all whom I knew, all whom are good people. But they didn’t fix my back. Somebody said just try yoga. And it did fix that. So that was the proof for me personally. So here I am, about 15 years since I start the yoga and increasingly I am being attracted personally to the Sivananda Yoga.


  1. I am seeing and meeting people, it’s a remarkable thing. I am not talking about just fixing the back and body but yes that. And now I am studying that the future, our whole world looks much better with Sivananda Yoga. So I am here to stay, I will recommend for anybody who wants to ………. There is a physician program starting up. ­


  1. There is lot of failure in western medicine. So much obesities, so much diabetics, high cholesterol, mental health, depression, addiction stuff. And I send them to the services that available. But increasingly I find I personally convinced we can save the healthcare system …… and make people feel better if we can introduce them to Sivananda Yoga.




Swami Sitaramananda

Acharya, Sivananda Ashram Yoga Farm, CA

Clip 4638

  1. ….the scientific medical discoveries and advancements can help, can join together with that wisdom, teaching of ancient classical yoga and meditation systems.


Prof. Dr. Andreas Michalsen

Charite University Hospital, Berlin

Clip 3547

  1. We are here in Berlin at Charite University and since many years, we do research in yoga in the application of yoga, for patient care….


  1. …So in fact, I think yoga is a very important part of modern medical care for a lot of patients, that is what our research data imply.



Prof. Dr. Andreas Michalsen

Charite University Hospital, Berlin

Clip 3549

  1. We are here, a general hospital with a lot of patients and all the cost of the treatment is reimbursed by the insurance company. It is not a private hospital, it is a standard university hospital.


  1. ….we now have in the hospital three full time yoga teachers, as part of our therapist team.


  1. And I think this is very nice, so that we just regard yoga as a standard treatment and it is just included in the professional staff.



Suprabha Jain MD

Mt. Diablo Medical & Wellness Center, CA

Clip 4699

  1. As I started to practice medicine, I realised that the health care model, which we are so used to is, so much deeply rooted in disease management only. So the wellness side or the healthy side of the person is, completely or pretty much ignored.


  1. So I always looking for a system of medicine, system of health which will address the healthy side of the person as well.


  1. ….And in the allopathic model, the western medicine model as we know, that we have sort of divided the human body and we have specialised the care depending on different body parts.


  1. So there are so many specialities and super specialties. So it’s time now to bring everything all together in one unity and empower the individual, because the healing powers really are, well within the person.


  1. So science of yoga and Ayurveda, they are traditionally designed that way, to keep a person totally healthy and not only healthy but mentally peaceful.



Suprabha Jain MD

Mt. Diablo Medical & Wellness Center, CA

Clip 4700

  1. Sivananda Yoga Ashram, produces lot of yoga teachers and they have done hundreds and thousands of them over the years. But I realised that these yoga teachers, they need to become more familiar with the traditional health care system as well.
  2. So that they can be useful with their expertise, with their training for medical establishment, for medical doctors. So this particular course, allows them to learn academically, as well as practically to be part of the health care system, to work with the doctors hand in hand in the care of the patient.



Suprabha Jain MD

Mt. Diablo Medical & Wellness Center, CA

Clip 4702

  1. So the patient gets to have the medical care he or she needs, but along with that he learns the philosophy and the science and the wisdom of yoga and Ayurveda as well to stay healthy and to promote more wellness in him.



Priya, Student

Sivananda Yoga Health Educator Training Course

Grass Valley, CA

Clip 4485

  1. Both my parents were physicians, my mother was a family practitioner and my dad was a general surgeon.


  1. My father actually was diagnosed with lymphoma, when he was 54 and he passed away five months later.


  1. And I remember, when he was first diagnosed, his immediate reaction was, I don’t want chemotherapy, I don’t want any of it.


  1. I think I was 19 at the time and I was upset and I cried and said please go and get treatment and everything.


  1. And so he did, he went through the chemotherapy and in the end he was hospitalised, he was breathing artificially, he wasn’t conscious, he didn’t look like himself, we couldn’t really communicate with him.


  1. ….that’s the kind of death he had and I think in his heart, he knew that he didn’t want that and he knew, that there must be some other way.


  1. And I noticed the same thing with my mother towards the end of her life. Though she took medications and she had surgeries and treatments. But I think she didn’t want to die in the hospital. And I think it was much the same thing, she knew that wasn’t the way, she knew it wasn’t ultimately going to heal her. But she didn’t know what else to do.



Priya, Student

Sivananda Yoga Health Educator Training Course

Grass Valley, CA

Clip 4489

  1. ….so, a few years ago I think it was four years ago, I was planning to have an ……. procedure that, at the time I was convinced, I needed and I needed to have.


  1. One night I dreamed that my father called me…and this point my fathers has been dead for many years, but in my dream he called me and he said Priya no hospitals, there is nothing wrong with you, no hospitals….



Priya, Student

Sivananda Yoga Health Educator Training Course

Grass Valley, CA

Clip 4486

  1. I think that I have been led to yoga and I am being led to the Sivananda health educator program for a reason, because I think there is something there, that’s is missing that a lot of people are craving and not getting. So there is something, there is something here that people need.



Anu Ramaswamy

Sivananda Yoga Teachers Training Course

Grass valley, CA

Clip 4444

  1. I have this condition that’s called the restless leg syndrome, its also called Willis-Ekbom disease. It’s an nerve neuromuscular pain in the leg and I had it for but 15 -20 years.


  1. And a since it is the neuromuscular condition, the medicines are neurological invasive to the nervous system….


  1. ….meditation and pranayama actually helps me, keep the pain either in control or pretty much not experience it all, which helps me also not take the medicines that’s one.


  1. The second is for diabetes,


….I used to take the highest dose of ………its about six months ago, now I don’t take them at all. Again about six months ago, I was diagnosed with early onset of retinopathy, which is because of the combination of the high blood pressure and high sugar.


  1. And the last time I went for my test, about two months ago the doctor kept looking, kept looking she said I can’t find your retinopathy. She said you have pretty much reversed it….



Anu Ramaswamy

Sivananda Yoga Teachers Training Course

Grass valley, CA

Clip 4448

  1. So my doctor, who has been treating me for the last year or so is so excited, that she wants me to finish my training, come back and start teaching her yoga. She said she would be looking forward to it.


Swami Narayananda

Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Center, Vietnam


  1. In this course, there is a particular emphasis on the health aspects. So promoting health, on all levels physical health, mental, emotional health and spiritual health.




Swami Narayananda

Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Center, Vietnam


  1. So we say that, that in many cases there are the, health systems that were in place, the medical systems that were in place that are very much focused on dealing with people symptoms and that are very much focused on usage of a, different usage of drugs and surgery.


  1. And we see that, there are many problems there and in many cases that there is not working. And we know that there is a whole body of knowledge, of how to live, how to conduct your life and how to interact with the world, how to interact with each other. If we follow it, this can along promote health, can avoid health problems.



Durga Leela

Ayurvedic Practitioner, CA


  1. I think there is a great usefulness for Ayurveda in the modern world especially in modern site, modern medicine, because we need to be able to recognise, our own self.


  1. And Ayurveda gets us, first strongly with this idea of constitution. The modern medicine, tends to emphasize this one size for us all and certainly its based on, very efficient research in science. And yet we also have to be able to recognise what’s true for us, so that becomes more of a recognition of our own inherent nature….


  1. So we have an appreciation for the unique self, that we are and we can take measures to balance that.

Durga Leela

Ayurvedic Practitioner, CA


  1. So the need of the view of the self, is most important today. Especially in a world of, where attention is taken by the media, by externals distractions increasingly so more and more.


  1. And so the training of the Ayurveda in Yoga, within the health education process is for us to take the attention within and become more aware, pay more attention to what’s happening within us.


  1. As we engage in the modern world,


….And then we can remain intact even with the demands of the modern life.




Clinical Psychology PHD Student, New Mexico University

Sivananda Yoga Health Educator Training Course, CA

Clip 4475

  1. One of the things that, I have been really drawn to, about yoga is that, it has higher standards for health.


  1. Whereas modern medicine, the modern psychology, the focus is on absence of disease. But there is very little focus on, flourishing on happiness, on bliss, on enjoying life.


  1. And yoga, on other hand says that health, is being happy, experiencing bliss, experiencing love, being in touch with yourself. So it’s a higher standards for what we need to accomplish in order to really live our lives fully.




Clinical Psychology PHD Student, New Mexico University

Sivananda Yoga Health Educator Training Course, CA

Clip 4455

  1. One of the powerful aspects of this training is, Swami Sita…in the energy that she brings to this course.


  1. …. Its clear that the knowledge that flows from her head, she is not really reading from anything, there is so much knowledge and organisation and understanding in her mind that comes out so clearly .


  1. We also need to bring that same strength, that same energy in order to help, to heal those we are working with.



Prof. Dr. Shani Robins

Stanford University, USA

Clip 4585

  1. My name is Shani Robins. I teach at several universities, including Stanford University for Health College. And it has trans………psychology and I am a psychologist and I am clinical counsellor as well….



Prof. Dr. Shani Robins

Stanford University, USA

Clip 4596

  1. ….just the healthy body helps tremendously. And so if we can help that, with the exercise part of yoga that alone is wonderful. But then of course, we can go way beyond that, in terms of calming down the mind.


  1. And so the more calm we are, the more open we are to others. So the empathy and compassion starts coming up around that. So as a psychologist empathy, mindfulness, compassion those are highly correlated skills, that with lot of good things in life, positive relationships, success in a workplace, getting along with others, health.



Kumari, Student

Sivananda Yoga Health Educator Training Course

Clip 4470

  1. I have suffered from anxiety and depression all my life, starting in my adolescence.


  1. And I never, really got the healing that I needed from the conventional psychiatric care. The healing that I got from the ashram, was really holistic and overwhelming sense of relief.

Esther Seegers

Ayurvedic Practitioner

Sivananda Yoga Farm, Grass Valley, CA

Clip 4546

  1. I have just seen the chaos, that’s basically going on, among teenagers and especially the ……..abuse that is going on in the high schools.


  1. And they need help, they have no idea where to turn to and they are all basically numbing their feelings, they are numbing their true nature, because they have the feeling they are not able to be who they are and yeah there is not enough compassion or it just, they need help, they need help at the end of the day and I think yoga can give us that.



Sarahjoy Marsh

Yoga Teacher & Therapist, Portland, USA

Clip 4661

  1. …..when we use yoga now, in the addiction field we actually, trying deliberately to help people built new skills to tolerate the impulse to use the old skill, so build that skill they can come into and use, such as getting comfortable feeling, uncomfortable about growing and evolving.


  1. That’s actually a life skill, we overlook at all the time but, with an addiction is preventing us from growing. So we need yoga to teach us, how to get comfortable feeling and feeling uncomfortable even about joy and recovery and expansion and possibility…..


  1. ….And the addiction ends up actually, falling away as a resource that’s now out-dated and was once over-used. And yoga becomes the stabilising force, in our lives.




Dr. Fred Luskin

Director, Forgiveness Projects, Stanford University

Clip 4578

  1. I am a psychologist, I have a PhD from Stanford in counselling and health psychology.


  1. Then I did a both a pre-doctoral and post-doctoral fellowship in preventive cardiology at the Stanford School of Medicine…..



Dr. Fred Luskin

Director, Forgiveness Projects, Stanford University

Clip 4581

  1. Most people have no idea, what actually causes health.


  1. Most people don’t think about health, until they get sick. And most people have very little understanding of the role of their mind and their emotions in anything, like they are just basically doing in their life with not that much sort and awareness and when their physical being is impacted, they feel second sometimes they try to get help.


  1. So a health educator, would be very important in reminding people of the multiple ways, that people can be healthy of the multiple channels with which they can work on themselves….


  1. ….a training like this brings a spiritual element to it, but brings a tangible reminder that the yogi tradition has three thousand years of practice, in helping people be well.



Hamsa Chaitanya

Director, Sivananda Center, Los Angeles, CA

Clip 4610

  1. First of all health is our birth right. Health is not absence of disease, it’s our natural state.


  1. Once we have established that, diseases is when we forget that fact and we get other balance than the manifestations could be disease or other discomfort.


  1. ….yoga can show us ways to reconnect. And to reclaim our heritage and turn back to ourselves, back to our natural state of health.






  1. In the recent past, science and technology had been separated from spirituality. However, much scientific research done in the last four decades has confirmed the far-reaching benefits of Yoga and Ayurveda.
  2. The world is today reaching out to integrate this ancient wisdom with the modern developments in medicine and psychology.


  1. The intensive 2-year Yoga Health Educator Training Course is an exciting initiative of the Sivananda Institute of Health and Yoga. Here, scores of students are working with doctors, to learn to contribute to the mainstream health care system.


  1. They are learning to add the dimension of holistic health promotion, through ancient wisdom, through the science of Yoga and Ayurveda.






Sivananda Yoga Health Educator Training Career Professional

Sivananda Yoga Health Educator Training Career Professional

Question:  Why is the Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Center just now offering this program?

Sivananda Yoga Vedanta has been teaching Classical Hatha Yoga with a full spectrum of health benefits to practitioners, but now offers this 800 hour yoga health educator training program to cater to the needs of many Yoga teachers wanting to delve deeper into the health and healing benefits of Yoga. Yoga is becoming more appreciated as a powerful practice in dealing with stress and is becoming more recognized as an alternative approach to health care and prevention.

Question:  How will Teachers graduating from another Yoga lineage benefit from this course?

Yoga is universal. The Yoga teachers mostly differ from their approaches to physical postures, sequences, priorities, outlooks, what to include in a Yoga class and what to exclude. Sivananda Yoga is integrally including breath work (pranayama), relaxation (savasana), vegetarian lifestyle, and mental, emotional  and philosophical work (positive thinking, dhyana and vedanta).

Teachers from other Hatha lineages would especially benefit from the Yoga philosophy section and also the Yoga psychology. The (2) ten-days intensive retreats in an ashram will benefit the Yoga teachers with the experience of immersion in the Yoga life and all its aspects.

Question:  How do I find a job after graduating and becoming a Sivananda Yoga Health educator?

The course is constructed following the curriculum of IAYT and your certificate will be accredited by IAYT.  With this and the credibility of Sivananda Yoga organization itself, you will be able to carve yourself a place and a role in the alternative health field, mediating between the health care providers and Yoga services, either referring to existent Yoga classes and courses or providing the classes themselves.

Question:  Where will I get “clients” and who will I serve?

Many possible venues:  Yoga studios, your own office, an existent  department of a health care facility, references by nurses or services after medical interventions who want to give you a reboot to your immune system, as well as preventative care. Of course the health educator service can not replace the existent services of prevalent health care system – it only supports and complements the health services received.

Question:  How is Yoga helping/complementary to what is already existing within health care?

Yoga is impactful especially in cases of immune system restoration, and building up resilience in situations of stress. Yoga addresses deeper issues that can be related to aspects of human life such as karmic issues, pranic flow, relationship between thought and emotions and prana-energy-vitality, relationship between consciousness, the sense of meaning and zeal to live and to heal, relationship between belief system and healing.

Question:  What if clients do not believe in the astral body or the connection between mind-body-spirit ?

There are countless modern scientific researches on the therapeutic effects of Yoga in specific incidences of disease, bringing light to such relationship between body-mind-spirit.  It is not question of belief, but a question of seeing the person as a whole, and practically, how to help the healing process .

Question:  What about liability as a health educator?

The health educator would have to follow the protocol of any health institution he or she will be affiliated with , and in case they will work independently, they need to cover themselves with Yoga teachers insurance. They can be considered as Yoga teachers with an extended and broader knowledge who can counsel people before or after a Yoga class.

Yoga Shows the Way to Positive Health

Yoga Shows the Way to Positive Health

Positive Health

Positive health is that state in which all the internal organs of the body function optimally under the intelligent control of the mind.  There is an interdependence between body and mind.  The Yoga scriptures tell us that the influence of the mind on the body is far more powerful than the influence of the body on the mind. Therefore, mental exercises form the bulk of the Yoga practices, although physical exercises also have a definite place. The physical exercises (asanas) form the third limb of the Yogic path of raja yoga.

Yamas (inoffensiveness or no-killing, truthfulness, non-stealing, continence and non-receiving) and Niyamas (purification, contentment, mortification, study and complete self-surrender to the Lord) form the foundation of the Yoga practice because, without these asanas will not give the desired result.

Physical Body

Hatha Yoga teaches how to keep the physical body in positive health so that the Jiva (individual soul) can reach safely the goal of life, Self-realization. It teaches a natural mode of living. A Yogi should have a thorough knowledge of the physical body and its functioning.

The Yogis believe that the real man is not his body. They know that the immortal “I”, of which each human being is conscious to a greater or lesser degree, is not the body, which it merely occupies and uses. They know well that the body is but as a suit of clothes which the spirit puts on and off from time to time.

Physical mastery

The Yogi develops the body knowing it to be but an instrument for the use of the real part of himself, and solely that he may perfect the instrument to the end that it be used in the work of soul growth. The physically motivated person contents himself with mere mechanical movements and exercises for developing the muscles.

The Yogi throws mind into the task, and develops not only the muscles, but every organ, cell and part of his body as well. Not only does he do this, but he obtains control over every part of his body and acquires mastery over the involuntary part of his organism, too.

When man runs contrary to the law of that great intelligence who has created his body, disharmony and disease result.

Body intelligence

It is the same intelligence which presides over each and every function of the body. That intelligence, the manifestation of which we call ‘nature’, ‘the life principle’, and similar names, is constantly on the alert to repair damage, heal wounds, knit together broken bones, to throw off harmful materials accumulated in the system and in thousands of ways to keep the machine in good running order. Much of what we call disease is really a beneficent action of nature designed to get rid of poisonous substances which we have allowed to enter and remain in our system.

Health of the Body

Endocrine glands are perhaps the foremost to react and cause functional reactions. It has been found that the endocrine secretions very powerfully affect the nervous system. If these secretions suffer, pathological conditions in different parts of the body are rapidly established.

When the thyroid secretion suffers, the cells of the most distant part of the body slowly begin to undergo a change. The hair begins to grow grey, the nails have a tendency to be brittle, fatty degeneration starts in the arteries, the face tends to be wrinkled, weakness creeps over the brain and many, many other symptoms begin to appear. Yoga aims are to restore the internal secretions to their normality by securing the health of the endocrine glands through Yogic practices.

Balance of Body functions

We have learned from physiology that there are two processes going on in our system: catabolism, or the process of waste, and anabolism, the process of repair. Both these processes put together is called metabolism. When the anabolism (that is, the process of repair) is more active than the catabolism (that is, process of waste), then the body grows.

In a growing child, anabolism is more active and makes up for the waste materials brought by the catabolic process. In a healthy adult, catabolic and anabolic processes balance themselves and thus keep up the body unimpaired. In old age, catabolism takes the upper hand and leads to steady degeneration of the tissues.

Yogic exercises reduce the catabolic activity to its minimum and thus the body is kept in a healthy condition.

Courses in Asanas and anatomy

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Sickness and Health Have No Name

Many years ago, I did not know that every activity has its own value in terms of energy taxing the body. I thought seeing God in temples is exempt as it gives you new energy and recharges you. Pilgrimage is seeing God, not only in temples, but in every encounter met. I was on pilgrimage in India for more than 2 months and had criss crossed the land in trains, buses, planes, seeing everything, contemplating everything. I was high on God. But when I came back to the San Francisco yoga center to continue with my duty there as the director and main teacher, I fell sick and did not understand why. I just could not operate the same way, as if my mind was not able to compute and make decisions as it used to do so well, to be a leader of a group.

I went to the doctor and showed my lymph node swelling into a bump. She measured it up with a pen and ruler and said, “Oh, maybe it is cancer?” I felt terrible. More tests needed to be done, but hearing these words brought fear to my heart. I could not understand.

The second doctor I visited, seeking a second opinion, on hearing that I had just come back from a trip to India, said, “Maybe it is tuberculosis?” Again, my mind panicked, I imagined being on quarantine and not being able to teach. I decided to look for acupuncture – Chinese medicine’s help. The doctor, an old Chinese man just said, “It’s ok, just relax.” I felt good after the treatment but was wondering why he did not tell me what I got when the other doctors had ready-made names to explain my conditions. I wanted to have a name, a label, even though the other names heard created shocks.

The scenario kept repeating. I went to the doctor in the hospital and came back sicker and depressed. I went to the Chinese doctor who kept saying nothing, and felt better. I decided to cut my medical card, quit going to the doctors and only go to the Chinese doctor. I have to keep listening to my inner voice and affirm my wellness and do the right things, including daily keep up with meditation and asanas, pranayama and especially not accepting that I am sick.

One or two weeks later someone told me to have a consultation with an Ayurvedic doctor, a man from India. It was my first time visiting an Ayurvedic doctor. His first question was, “What do you eat?” “Tofu and noodles,” I answered. “Tofu is not food and noodles are not good,” he replied. He gave me some rose tea and asked that I sip the tea. That was it. I sipped the tea and realized how often times my mind was worried and ungrounded. It took the drinking of tea and an Ayurveda consultation to realize I had suffered from what is called a Vata imbalance caused by too much travelling and too much feeling high on God.

The daily routine of yoga and meditation, the tea, the ayurveda herbs, but most of all the awareness of my anxious mind and the conviction that I am well, solved my disease and the lump on my neck disappeared. I just had an infection and the body was just telling me that, no cancer or tuberculosis.

I learned that wellness is our birthright and positive thinking instead of fears and anxieties are essential for health. I also learnt that wellness and disease are part of life, difficult to be labelled. Wellness or disease are not static and not opposing to each other but are dynamic manifestations of the constant movements body-mind and spirit are going through daily.

Spirituality is directly related to wellness as the body is an instrument of the spirit. The body is however limited, even though it is a powerful instrument. Changes in the spirit download higher energy to the body and mind, and sometimes the body needs to collapse to renew and readjust itself to the new journey. All diseases are not bad and sometimes necessary.

~Sharing from Swami Sitaramananda