Sports FAQ
Home / Yoga

Need guidance to choose Yoga tradition

Portugata2010-07-04 21:22:11 +0000 #1
Dear friends,

I feel very blessed I came accross to this forum, as this community seems to show its willingness to share.

I´ve been practicing Hatha and Ashtanga Yoga for a few years now and I´ve finnaly decided to go to India to do some Yoga teacher´s trainings very soon.

I´ve been doing quite a lot of research in what kind of Yoga tradition to choose, but I feel 1st hand experience and advices would help me more in my quest.

I am mainly interested in 3 traditions, namely Sivananda, Bihar and Ashtanga. I do fortunately have the time to do short one month courses on the 3 of them. However, I am not sure if that is a wise decision. I mean, would it be wiser to choose only one tradition and follow that path or would it make sense to get experience and certifications on the 3 in a short period of time?

Also, I am still a bit confused about the main differences between Sivananda and Bihar Yoga. Can anyone clarify me on this?

In a nutshell I am looking for a tradition that offers a complete and holistic approach as I am working within the alternative health field and want to apply Yoga in that field. Also, I prefer very physically demanding types of yoga.

Can you please give me some guidance on this as I need to enrol in the courses asap, so I can travel to India in the end of February.

Thank you so much.

With light and respect,


Lars Rimböck2010-07-04 21:30:38 +0000 #2
Hello The difference between sivananda and bihar yoga is easy to explain. Bihar school of Yoga was foundesd by sri Swami Satyananda Saraswati, who was a student of Sivananda. He developed Yoga Nidra into the todays most known form. Also that Sivananda was a very tolerant man Sivananda schools (at least in Germany) have a tendency to be a bit dogmatic. The same is to be said about the Bihar school of Yoga. If anyone claims to have the responsibylity for my life like it has happende in the german brachnach of the bihar school of Yoga to me, I find it difficult to accept and to believe. But this just my oppinion. If you are looking for a possibility to choose, I´ld recommend you to go to rishikesh in India. Allmost all traditions of yoga are present there. In the lonley planet guide they recommend Swiss cottage for lodging in rishikesh, it`s run by Swami Brahmanda another student of Swami Sivananda. He is a very wise and loving guy that can help you to make a decicision where to study Yoga the best over there. All the best Lars
Nichole2010-07-04 21:54:53 +0000 #3
I just want to chime in on accommodations while in Rishikesh. My experience with the High Bank area and the Swiss Cottages specifically is that it is really packed with young, loud, hostel-style travelers. When I was in Rishikesh in the fall of 2005, there were also a lot of drugs there too. No judgment on the drugs or the loud partying; to each his own.

Also, it is a bit of ride or walk from the high bank to the Lakshman Jhula bridge and Swarg Ashram areas and that is where most of the good stuff is. We stayed in the Sant Seva Ashram Guesthouse, as this was part of a larger 5-month honeymoon and not a dedicated time for studies or retreat. It was really nice, quiet, clean with non-hostel-type travelers. It is also right at the bank of the Ganges where we watched Indian pilgrims bathing and doing aarti. It is also a beautiful and safe walk, even at night, to the Swarg Ashram area. I wanted to offer this place in case you do want to go Rishikesh before deciding where to study, rather than going directly to an ashram to stay like Pandara shared from his recent trip.

I have studied with Swami Muktidharma, a Satyananda Yoga Acharaya, and Swami Karma Karuna when they have been in Colorado and I can enthusiastically recommend studying with either of them directly. Swami Muktidharma is a superb and lovely teacher. Here is the link to the Bihar retreat lead by Swami Muktidharma in India, Anahata Yoga Retreat: www.anahata-retreat....w_india-retreats.php . It is only a month long, so maybe travel in addition to some of the pilgrimage sites? I have found when traveling in India that while it can be convenient to have some loose plans for your time there, it is even better to let India have her way with you. That is when all the magic happens!

Kind wishes in your search,
Rashmi2010-07-04 21:50:11 +0000 #4
Dear friend,


i would recommend astanga yoga taught by swami ramadeva, I have felt from inner of my heart that he has that spiritual emancipation :

He has founed Patanjali Yogapeeth, here you will get everything, Knowledge of Astanga yoga, Veda and ayurveda.Patanjali yogapeeth is in haridwar. Do a google search and you will get address. This yogi has made yoga popular in masses irrespective of caste creed and religion.

IInd I would recommend another realised yogi :Swami Ramswarup, Yoga acharya of Ved Mandir Ashram, yol, located in District Kangra of Himachal Pradesh.You can contact him at Vedmandir ::

He is going to conduct a yoga camp in april at yol. Further his proficiency in vedas, spiritual insight is unmatchable in presnt days.He is brahmachari and realised God by hard practice of Astanga yoga.

It is always better to learn yoga from a living yogi who has knowledge of astanga yoga, vedas and has realised God on this path.

Pandara2010-07-04 23:03:27 +0000 #5
Dear Portugata,

I am a bit confused about one thing you mentioned in your post and perhaps you can clarify it to me and other readers. The courses you want to follow, do they teach you to become a teacher in one month? Or is this complimentary to or part of a longer study programme to qualify as a yoga teacher?

With regards to what Nicole said in her post about Rishikesh, you can certainly follow her advice.
Lars Rimböck2010-07-04 22:53:41 +0000 #6

When i was in Rishikesh in 2001 there was no loud parties around.

It´s a couple of years ago since I stayed in Swiss cottage and things might have changed over there.

But still i consider Swami Brahmanda a person to see if one of you goes to rishikesh.

Since the informations Nichole gave are newer than mine they`ll obviously more up to date.

When I was there Dayananda Ashram was giving fantastic Vedanta classes.

All the best




Other posts in this category