By closely observing the lifestyles and needs of people in the West Swami Vishnu-devananda synthesised the ancient wisdom of yoga into five basic principles that could easily be incorporated into one’s own lifestyle to provide the foundation for healthy living. It is around these five principles that the activities at the Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre are based.
Proper Exercise(Asanas) acts as a lubricating routine for the joints and muscles and other parts of the body by increasing circulation and flexibility. The asanas not only produce physical benefits, but are also mental exercises in concentration and meditation, promoting optimum good health.
• Proper Breathing (Pranayama) connects the body to the solar plexus, where tremendous potential energy is stored. Through specific breathing techniques this energy is released for physical and mental rejuvenation.
• Proper Relaxation (Savasan) is a vital part of keeping the body and mind healthy.
Yoga teaches three levels of relaxation – physical, mental and spiritual.
• Proper Diet (Vegetarian) is eating with awareness. A yogi takes food which has the most positive effect on the body and mind and the least negative effect on the environment.
• Positive Thinking and Meditation (Vedanta and Dhyana) relieves stress and replenishes energy. Meditation is well-known to improve concentration and to bring peace of mind and spiritual strength. Meditation is beneficial for everyone, especially those with a hectic, stressful life.