A recent discipline, born in the 1960s, Sivananda Yoga is a variant of Hatha Yoga, founded by Swami Vishnudevananda according to the teachings of Swami Sivananda. This practice proposes to work on 5 aspects or points of yoga, which concern both exercise during the yoga session but also daily life.

These 5 aspects are :

Breathing (pranayama): each posture must be rhythmed by the breathing, which is done through the nose, and relaxation, which is practiced with deep and conscious breathing, at the level of the belly.

The exercise (asanas): the postures must be practiced regularly and gently. They allow to systematically work all parts of the body and to stretch muscles and ligaments as well.

Relaxation (Savasana): this practice in particular requires a calm mind. It is necessary to succeed in relaxing the body and mind in order to obtain a feeling of deep and intense well-being.

Diet: Sivananda Yoga strongly encourages vegetarianism and recommends avoiding alcohol, tobacco and drugs for a healthier life.

Meditation: Through meditation, the yogi learns to be tolerant and to live in the present without worrying about the past or the future. Positive thinking is useful for eliminating fears and calming the mind.

This holistic practice works on all aspects of the yogi's life! For those looking for a gentle and complete approach.

On a physical level:
Increased oxygen uptake through breathing techniques
Improved quality of sleep through relaxation and meditation
Makes the body lighter and more resistant to disease through healthier eating

On a mental level:
Practice of non-violence and tolerance
Positive thoughts and calming spirit
Stress reduction

How your first class will go:
A Sivananda session lasts about 90 minutes.

The session begins with relaxation to allow you to settle into the practice and the present moment. This is followed by breathing exercises. Then the more physical part of the session is followed by a series of the 12 asanas of Sivananda Yoga.

As is often the case in yoga, each teacher brings his or her vision of yoga to the session. In Sivananda yoga, the beginning of the class is often classical and it is during the asana sequences that variations may appear.

What you need to practice :
As Sivananda is a variation of Hatha yoga, you will have the same equipment needs:

A mat: Choose a comfortable mat that is at least 5mm thick.

Stockings: Any item of clothing such as shorts, pants, or pants, made of cotton or an elastic, breathable material that allows for movement, is perfect.

Top: Choose a tank top or T-shirt that will follow you in your movements. It can also be useful to have a sweater or blanket for the relaxation phases.

Equipment: Your mat is the most important thing, but you can also use yoga bricks or a yoga strap to help you perform certain postures.

Enjoy your discovery of Sivananda Yoga!

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