- Prana Yoga Ashram
- (est. 1975)Prana Yoga Ashram is one of several centers founded by Swami Vignanananda (Who Has the Bliss of Wisdom), who represents the lineage of Swami SHIVANANDA of Rishikesh.Swami Vignanananda (previously known as Swami Sivalingam), a devotee of Swami SHIVANAN DA Saraswati, was born in Thinnanore, Trichy Dis-trict, in Tamil Nadu on June 14, 1932. He stud-ied with Shivananda at his Yoga Vedanta Forest Academy on the banks of the GANGES River in Rishikesh, beginning his spiritual journey there with four years of intense study of HATHA YOGA, from 1959 to 1963.Upon leaving the academy, he began mission work outside India to disseminate the teaching and practice of Sivananda. In 1963, he left on a mission to Asia, establishing Sivananda Yoga Cen-ters in Japan and Hong Kong. After teaching in Japan for 10 years, he entered the United States in 1973 and founded the Prana Yoga Foundation in 1974, the Prana Yoga Ashram in Berkeley in 1975, the Prana Yoga Center in 1976, and the Ayodhy-anagar Retreat in 1977. During 1975 he traveled to Canada and established his work there. In all, he established nine centers in North America.Vignanananda has passed on the synthesis of yoga teachings he learned at the academy. His teaching centers on HATHA YOGA with its postures (asanas) and the practice of PRANAYAMA (regulation of breathing patterns). Through a prescribed pattern of breathing and bodily postures, prana or spiritual energy is generated and dispersed throughout the nervous system. The effect is cleansing, healing, and energizing to the entire body.The ashrams publish the periodical Prana Yoga Life through their headquarters in Berkeley, California.Further reading: Prana Yoga Centers, International. Available online. URL: http://www.proliberty.com/pranayoga/. Accessed August 16, 2005; Swami Sival-ingam, Wings of Divine Wisdom (Berkeley, Calif.: Prana Yoga Ashrams, 1977).
Encyclopedia of Hinduism. A. Jones and James D. Ryan. 2007.