Due to the unpredictable twists and turns of life this programme has been postponed until 2016, exact date TBC. Please watch this space for more information.
Swami Nivedanananda was born and brought up in the Kottayam district in Kerala, India. At a very young age he joined the Sivagiri Sree Narayana Math Ashram in Varkala, Kerala and underwent a 7 year traditional training in Sanskrit, Vedanta, Yoga sutra, Gita, tantric poojas and rituals. This led him to take the sannyasa initiation (the vow of a monk) and he served the Sivagiri Sree Narayana Math ashram for many years.
Swami Nivedananda then formally trained in yoga at the Sivananda Yoga Vedanta centres in India taking the Sivananda yoga teacher training course and the Sivananda advanced yoga teacher training course. During his time at the Sivananda ashram in Neyyar dam, he taught Vedic chanting and hatha yoga. Many of Swamiji’s friends and students will fondly remember him as the priest at the ashram leading the daily ashram temple rituals for about 10 years. After leaving the Sivananda Ashrams in 2011, he is now based in Indai helping in the administration of Sivananda Yoga Vidya Peetham with Swami Govindananda as well as traveling the world, spreading the teachings of yoga, teaching hatha yoga classes and performing Tantric poojas and havans (fire rituals).
Navaratri is a traditional vedic festival in honour of the universal mother. Whilst we are not a religious studio we do use aspects of spiritual and religious practices from different traditions, religions and cultures, to assist our own practice of bhakti yoga. Bhakti yoga is a specific school of thought in yoga that uses a variety of devotional practices such as prayer, story-telling, ceremonies, singing and chanting, in order to open the heart and help us get closer to self love, self knowledge and the divine energy that is within us all. Navaratri focusses in on the energy of the universal feminine within. In the practice of Bhakti yoga any religious, spiritual or self-help practice can be used so long as it brings you closer to an experience of universal love and an open heart.
Durga symobolises the protective strength and power of a mother protecting her child. Durga both destroys our inner demons and protects us from them. To connect with our our own power we will pay attention to Durga at these 3 puja's.
Lakshmi symbolises beauty and prosperity. To draw all that is good to ourselves and to expand our generosity we will pay attention to Lakshmi at these 3 puja's.
Saraswati symbolises intuition, knowledge, wisdom and creativity. To tune into our own creativity, wisdom and knowledge we pay attention to Saraswati.
The day of victory we have destroyed our inner demons and found our power, strength, generosity, inner beauty, wisdom, knowledge and creativity. We bring all that energy to our daily lives in this final puja.