A brief history of Sivananda yoga

At The Purple Room, we create wellbeing experiences through yoga. Yoga, according to the Sivananda tradition, is a particularly holistic system, that offers more than just a way to bend and stretch the body.

Sivananda yoga is not a ‘style’ of yoga.  It refers to a way of teaching yoga.  These teachings were established by Swami Sivananda (pictured left). He was born in 1887 in South India.  He was a medical doctor, who came to the realisation that optimum wellbeing cannot be achieved by only treating the body.  For optimum wellbeing, the mind, body and soul need to be healthy. He studied the ancient and complex texts on yoga.  Yoga is a sanskrit word, that means union of the mind, body and soul. Through his translations, he was then able to teach yoga in a way that people could easily understand,  and practically apply in their everyday life.  In 1932, he opened the first Sivananda Ashram. 

One of his students, Swami Vishnudevananda (pictured right), further simplified the teachings into the five points of yoga. 

5 Points of Yoga

  1. 1.Proper Exercise

  2. 2.Proper Breathing

  3. 3.Proper Relaxation

  4. 4.Proper Diet

  5. 5.Positive Thinking and Meditation

He established a 90 minute class which synthesised the teachings.  It is this class that is taught in Sivananda centres and ashrams all over the world.  Classes are taught by qualified Sivananda yoga teachers who have completed an intensive teachers’ training course, developed by Swami Vishnu-devananda, covering the classical four paths of yoga -  Karma yoga (charity), Raja yoga (body+mind), Jana yoga (philosophy) and Bhakti yoga (love).

Traditional yoga classes

Venue: Yoga Pavilion, Level 1 studio, 15 Elizabeth St, Artarmon 2064.

Time: Private classes by appointment

Cost: $120 for up to 8 people.

Information for new students - please read before attending the class.

Sivananda yoga student information.pdf

The class is paced for intermediate level, and we include variations for more advanced students.

We encourage a non-competitive practice of yoga. This includes not competing with yourself!  We encourage students to focus within, and balance physical effort with mental effort.   This is achieved by coordinating breathing, with movement.  The more the mind is peaceful, the deeper the body will naturally relax and flow into the postures. Happily accepting what your body cannot do, is a yoga practice in itself. However, no matter what your level, the postures are designed to provide you with the same holistic benefits.  

A Sivananda yoga class is based on classical hatha yoga that aims to naturally achieve a union of the mind, body and soul.  A typical class is 90 minutes and is structured as follows:



    Opening meditation

    Kapalabhati breathing (abdominal breathing)

    Anuloma viloma breathing (alternate nostril breathing)

    Sun salutation   

    The 12 basic postures

    Guided relaxation

    Closing meditation

We suggest that you do not eat up to two hours before the class. Wear comfortable, light, loose clothes.  Bring your own yoga mat or towel, a meditation pillow, and a light blanket or something warm to wear for relaxation exercises.  Please advise us in advance of any special needs, conditions or injuries.

Note to beginners

Sivananda Yoga is a complete wellbeing system.  If you have never done yoga before we encourage you to book in for a beginners course, which includes private tuition, and admission to open classes. Tuition covers the five points of yoga - proper exercise, proper breathing, proper relaxation, proper diet, positive thinking and meditation. See below for more details.

Wellbeing lifestyle beginners course

Cost: $450

One to One - Private tuition

Discounts apply for groups.

The course is held at 15 Elizabeth St, Artarmon.

Yoga is not just an exercise, it’s a wellbeing lifestyle.  This course will establish a personalised daily practice for you covering exercise, diet, breathing, relaxation, positive thinking and meditation.

The course includes:


  1. -4x90 minutes private tuition (once a week), held at the Yoga Pavilion in Artarmon.

  2. -Yoga Home Practice Companion reference book from the Sivananda Yoga Vendanta Centre.


  1. -The basic principles of yoga for integral health

  2. -Yoga philosophy

  3. -Basic anatomy


  1. -Abdominal breathing, deep breathing and pranayama

  2. -Better flexibility through the Sun Salutation

  3. -Basic postures with preliminary exercises and deep relaxation

  4. -Instruction for concentration and meditation

Sivananda Yoga

Sydney activities

“The world is a great gymnasium, where we come to make ourselves strong” Swami Sivananda