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Sivananda Yoga Centre

This popular centre near London's Putney Bridge explores Sivananda - a Hindu-inspired form of yoga - at all levels throughout the year.

The Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centres are now firmly established throughout the world. Founded by Swami (monk) Vishnu Devananda on the instructions of his teacher, Swami Sivananda, their stated purpose is to teach the five points of yoga: Proper Exercise, Proper Breathing, Proper Relaxation, Proper Diet and Positive Thinking (meditation).

Most who visit this Putney centre are seeking instruction in yoga rather than anything else. The yoga practised is basic hatha yoga, with sun salutations, emphasis on the 12 main asanas, a great deal of relaxation between postures and 15 minutes pranayama (breathing exercises) before you start. For anyone who has tasted any other sort of yoga, you'll find it less physically demanding than ashtanga, although perhaps more spiritually charged.

Check out the centre's comprehensive website for the full timetable of daily classes - you'll find one suitable for all levels and ages (pensioners, pregnant women and kids included).

The Sivananda organisation is Hindu, and a visit to the centre makes this very clear. If you stay for a weekend evening session of satsang (a gathering for devotion and prayer), you'll find plenty of chanting in ancient Sanskrit. There's no reason to be alienated if you're not a believer: Sivananda preaches credence in a universal, non-denominational God, of which Shiva, Krishna, Rama et al are mere ramifications.

Sivananda Yoga Centre Information

When: Daily

Where: London

Cost: Various

Opening Hours: Daily (varies according to yoga timetable/workshops)

Address: 51 Felsham Rd, London, SW15 1AZ

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