What To Expect In A Sivananda Yoga Session

If you have an interest in yoga and are looking to pursue this worldly, intensive experience, then a Sivananda yoga session might be just what you need. With roots ingrained in the practice of Hindu spirituality, Sivananda yoga, a form of Hatha yoga, emphasizes relaxed breathing and natural remedies for health and well-being.

The Five-Points Of Sivananda Yoga

The Sivananda philosophy is categorized into five basic principals, which are:

  1. Exercise (asanas): yoga poses that increase your flexibility, circulation and overall strength
  2. Breathing (pranayama): deep and proper respiration to reduce your stress and release bodily toxins
  3. Relaxation: eases both your body and mind of anxiety and fatigue
  4. Diet: maintaining vegetarian eating habits to benefit your body and nature
  5. Positive Thinking and Meditation (vedanta and dhyana): finding peace, tranquility and freeing your life of hindrances caused by negativity.

Basic Asana Postures (Stretches)

When you attend a Sivananda yoga session, you will likely learn to perform some of the 12 basic asanas. These include:

  • Bow: During this pose, you lie on your stomach, bend your knees back and grasp your ankles with your palms.
  • Cobra: After laying down and pressing the tops of your feet against the floor, extend with your arms and lift your chest off of your yoga mat.
  • Crow: Place your knees against the backs of your arms, then lift up your feet.
  • Extended Triangle: Spread your legs apart and reach down to one of your ankles. Then, extend your other arm toward the ceiling.
  • Fish: Lie on the floor, put your legs and arms against your mat and extend your chest.
  • Locust: Lie down and face the floor, then lift your your head and legs.
  • Standing forward bend: Extend your legs from the standing position, and try to bring your head down toward your yoga mat.

Remember, achieving these positions on the first try is not important, it’s the effort that counts.

What Should I Bring To a Sivananda Yoga Session?

You should bring a yoga mat and also wear comfortable athletic clothing. Baggy clothing can become somewhat of a hindrance during a yoga session, so consider wearing yoga pants. Some studios provide a mat for you, but it’s beneficial to purchase your own. This way you can perform yoga poses anywhere you choose.

If you’d like to vary your routine with a newer yoga style, you can try Iyengar yoga.