the 20th century, the philosophy and practice of Yoga became increasingly
popular in the West. The first important organization for practitioners
in the United States was the Self-Realisation fellowship, founded by Paramhansa
Yogananda in 1920. Some 50 years later, instruction emphasizing both the
physical and spiritual benefits of Yogic techniques was available through
a wide variety of sectarian Yoga organizations, nonsectarian classes, and
television programs in the United States and Europe.
In recent times, one of the most prominent Yoga gurus is Himalayan Swami
Sivananda. Swami Sivananda served as a doctor in Malaysia and opened schools
in America and Europe in the 1960s and 1970s. Sivananda's Five Principles
of Yoga include:
He also wrote more than two hundred books about Yoga and Philosophy.
Swami Sivananda is the founder of the International Sivananda Yoga Vedanta
Centers through his disciple, Swami Vishnu-Devananada. Swami Vishnu-Devananada
also wrote the Illustrated book of Yoga.
- proper relaxation (savasana)
- proper exercise (Asanas)
- proper breathing (pranayama)
- proper diet (vegetarian)
- positive thinking and Meditation (dhyana).
Swami Sivananda's other notable disciples include: Swami Satchitananda
who introduced chanting and Yoga to Woodstock; Swami Sivananada Radha,
the woman who explored the connection between psychology and Yoga, and
Yogi Bhajan who started teaching Kundalini Yoga in the 70's. He also founded
the 3H Organization (Healthy, Happy, Holy), which now has around 200 centers
In conclusion, Yoga is the most diversified spiritual practice in the
world. Crossing over many cultures (including Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism
and the West), Yoga also extends over multiple languages such as Hindi,
Tibetan, Bengali, Sanskrit, Tamil, Prakit, Marathi and Pali. The Yogic
tradition continues to proliferate and spread its message of peace to
this very day.