Swami Sivananda Saraswati

The roots of Satyananda Yoga are in Rishikesh, India, where the yoga master Swami Sivananda Saraswati lived and worked to propagate an integral yoga.

Swami Sivananda was born in South India in 1887. After studying medicine, he served several years in Malaysia as a doctor. In search of a master, he returned to India in 1923 and settled in Rishikesh where he was initiated into the Dhashnami Sannyasa order by Swami Vishwananda.

During the following years he devoted himself to intense sadhana (spiritual practices and asceticism). The question, how personal spiritual development can be used for the upliftment of the underprivileged and the poor, would impact the rest of his life.

He travelled extensively through the whole of India in order to inspire people to live a pure and divine life.

In 1936, Swami Sivananda founded the „Divine Life Society“ in Rishikesh and over the next few years several institutions followed to support the underprivileged of society.

During his life Swami Sivananda accompanied thousands of students worldwide and wrote more than 200 books on the topic of yoga, spirituality and health.

Swami Sivananda is one of the most important and influential spiritual masters of the 20th century. He saw integral yoga as a suitable way to manage the problems of modern society and instructed Swami Satyananda to spread it from 'door to door and shore to shore'. Born out of this vision is what today is known as Satyananda Yoga - Bihar Yoga.