You are here: English / About us / 

Swami Sivananda 1887-1963

One of the great Masters of yoga of the 20th century, Swami Sivananda is the inspiration behind all Yoga Vidya centres. Born in South India, he attended mission school and learned, at a young age, to integrate Indian and Western knowledge. He then studied medicine and emigrated to Malaysia where he managed a hospital.

At the age of 37 he returned to India to do intensive practice of Yoga and Meditation in Rishikesh (Himalaya). Swami Sivananda attained Samadhi, self-realisation, the aim of all yoga practice. Drawn by his personality and loving aura, many students came to live and study with him. Swami Sivananda dedicated his life to the integral practice Yoga and to spreading the teachings to his students from the East and the West alike.

Swami Sivananda's most famous books are "Bliss Divine“, "Sadhana“, "Commentary on the Bhagavad Gita“ and "Japa Yoga". His motto was: Serve, love, give, purify, meditate, realise. Some of his students: Swami Vishnudevananda, Swami Chidananda, Swami Satchidananda, Swami Satyananda, Boris Sacharow and André van Lysebeth, were the initial messengers of Yoga to the West.

Yoga Vidya e.V.

Yoga Vidya is a non-profit organisation whose aim is to spread the knowledge ("vidya"), practice and techniques of classical, holistic Yoga. Founded in 1992 in Frankfurt, seated now in Horn-Bad Meinberg.

The Yoga Vidya Retreat Centre in Westerwald (close to Cologne) opened in 1996 and Yoga Vidya Retreat Centre Bad Meinberg opened in 2003. There are Yoga Vidya Centres in more than 50 major German cities and Vienna, Austria. We teach yoga in its many aspects, in a vast variety of courses and seminars.

Yoga Vidya is Europe’s leading and largest yoga educational organisation. All fees for courses directly support the trust. Donations are tax-deductible.

Yoga Vidya Teachers Association

The members of the Yoga Vidya Teachers Association are committed to the ideal of classical integral Yoga. In cooperation with Yoga Vidya, the Association offers teachers trainings and advanced courses, publishes Yoga literature, cooperates with other Yoga associations and supports its members in their work.

The "Berufsverband der Yoga Vidya Lehrer/innen e.V. (BYV)“ (Professional association of Yoga Vidya Teachers - registered association) is Europe’s leading institution in the education of Yoga Teachers. It offers an extensive range of continuing education, advanced training and courses in Yoga and related issues to teachers regardless of their tradition. Examples of this programme include in-depth training courses in teaching Yoga to children, Yoga during pregnancy, Yoga Therapy, Yoga Psychotherapy, Relaxation Trainer, Breath Trainer, Meditation Course Leaders' training, Ayurvedic Consultant and many more. This amazing range of courses is enabled by the close cooperation with the Yoga Vidya Association of Health Consultants, a member of the European Federation of Yoga Teachers´ Associations (EFYTA). Upon receiving your certificate you may become a member.