What is integral yoga®?

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An easeful body, a peaceful mind, a useful life, and, ultimately, the realization of one’s true Self.
Swami Satchidananda was born in 1914 in South India. When he lost his wife, he turned his attention to full time spiritual practice and pursuits studying with many great Yoga masters, including Sri Ramana Maharshi. Finally, in 1949, he met his Guru—H. H. Sri Swami Sivananda, founder of the Divine Life Society, Rishikesh—from whom he received initiation into monkhood.

Soon, Swami Sivananda sent Swami Satchidananda to serve in various parts of India and Sri Lanka. That led to Swami Satchidananda’s service in other countries, and in 1966—at the insistence of his many American students—to his moving to the United States.

In 1979, the international headquarters of the Integral Yoga organization was established at Satchidananda Ashram–Yogaville, Virginia. Today, classes, workshops, and trainings in all facets of Integral Yoga are taught at Yogaville, Integral Yoga Institutes, and Centers around the world. Integral Yoga trained teachers have also developed a wide range of programs and organizations to serve special populations through Yoga, such as Dr. Dean Ornish’s Program for Reversing Heart Disease, Dr. Michael Lerner’s Commonweal Cancer Help, program, and Sonia Sumar’s Yoga for the Special Child.

Swami Satchidananda’s message emphasized love, compassion, and harmony among all people. His motto was: “Truth is one, paths are many.” Not limited to any one organization, religion, or country, for over fifty years, he received invitations from around the world to speak about the way to peace. He served on the advisory boards of numerous Yoga, interfaith, and world peace organizations. He established the first interfaith shrine in America, the Light Of Truth Universal Shrine (lotus.org) and inspired LOTUS-India. He is the author of numerous books on Yoga and is the subject of the documentary, Living Yoga: The Life and Teachings of Swami Satchidananda.
Integral Yoga Lifestyle and Practices
Integral Yoga is a comprehensive system aimed at the harmonious development and integration of every level of the individual—physical, emotional, intellectual, social, and spiritual. To accomplish this, it provides a synthesis of the main branches of Yoga—Hatha, Raja, Japa, Karma, Bhakti, and Jnana. This includes classical Yoga philosophy, practices for the body and mind, and methods to incorporate Yoga principles into daily life.
The six branches of Integral Yoga are each powerful tools to gain self-mastery:
Hatha Yoga
The physical practice of Yoga, which includes asanas (postures), pranayama (breath control), mudras, kriyas, yogic vegetarian diet, and deep relaxation. These practices help to purify and strengthen the body and mind.

Raja Yoga
The path of meditation and self-discipline, based on ethical principles. Practicing the eight limbs of Yoga described in the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali helps to purify, strengthen and harmonize all aspects of the individual culminating in Self-realization.

Bhakti Yoga
The path of love and devotion. Through prayer, kirtan, puja, and practices that help transcend the limited personality or ego, one attains union with the Divine.
Karma Yoga
The path of selfless service. By engaging in one’s duties without attachment to the fruits (or results) of the action, one becomes a pure channel of love and service.

Jnana Yoga
The path of wisdom. By study, analysis, and the cultivation of greater awareness, one ceases to identify with the body and mind, and realizes the eternal, unchanging Witness within.

Japa Yoga
The practice of mantra repetition. The concentrated repetition of a mantra (a sound vibration representing an aspect of the Divine), leads to awareness of and attunement to, this cosmic vibration.
The goal of Integral Yoga, and the birthright of every individual, is to realize the spiritual unity behind all the diversities in the entire creation and to live harmoniously as members of one universal family. This goal is achieved by maintaining our natural condition of a body of optimum health and strength, senses under total control, a mind well-disciplined, clear and calm, an intellect as sharp as a razor, a will as strong and pliable as steel, a heart full of unconditional love and compassion, an ego as pure as a crystal, and a life filled with Supreme Peace and Joy.” –Sri Swami Satchidananda

Swami Satchidananda: Milestones

1966: Founds Integral Yoga Institute of New York, one of America’s first Yoga centers.
1969: Opens Woodstock Music Festival. 
1969: Founds Integral Yoga Magazine, America’s first Yoga magazine. 
1970: Integral Yoga is incorporated into prison therapy programs across the USA. 
1972: Opens New York’s first vegetarian food store. 
1972: Dr. Dean Ornish begins working with Swami Satchidananda, developing groundbreaking research on Yoga-based heart disease prevention and reversal.
1975: Establishes Integral Yoga Teacher Training Certification program. 
1979: Establishes Yogaville, Virginia, a unique residential Yoga ashram, teaching center, and community in America.

1981: Co-founds, with Rabbi Joseph Gelberman, the first interfaith seminary (New York City) in the USA.

1983: Serves as advisor to Unity in Yoga, which brings Yoga teachers and organizations together for the first time. Leads to founding of Yoga Alliance.

1986: Builds LOTUS, the first interfaith shrine in America, located in Virginia.
1993: Establishes the Integral Yoga Teachers’ Association. 
1999: Integral Yoga becomes founding member of the Yoga Alliance.

Integral Yoga teachers trained: more than 5,000

Unique training programs offered: 72

Continuing Education training hours offered: 2,013

Integral Yoga centers worldwide: 30

Years Integral Yoga has been training teachers: 45

Number of teacher trainers: 63

Overview of Integral Yoga’s Worldwide Programs

Integral Yoga’s holistic and gentle approach is offered in programs:
Hatha Yoga (beginner, intermediate, advanced levels)

Classes in Prenatal, Postnatal, Flow, Restorative, and Gentle Yoga

Courses and workshops include meditation and breathing practices, health and nutrition, as well as Yoga scripture study, kirtan, and satsang

Classes and programs are also available to meet the needs of any population: those with chronic illness, the physically challenged, the elderly, veterans, and more.

Yoga teacher training programs

Residential Yoga immersion and internship programs

Youth programs including youth classes, yoga at school ™ , and Camp Yogaville
Overview of Integral Yoga’s Worldwide Services
Interfaith Services:

The Light Of Truth Universal Shrine (USA and India)

Lotus Center for All Faiths

Integral Yoga Monastic & Ministry Orders

Service in Satchidananda

Natural Foods:

Integral Yoga Natural Foods

Satchidananda Farm

Teacher Services:

Integral Yoga Academy

Integral Yoga Teachers Association

Community/Worldwide Sangha Services:

Integral Yoga Global Network

Yogaville Community Association



Satchidananda Jothi Niketan

Fine Arts Society


Integral Yoga Multimedia/Shakticom

Integral Yoga Distribution

Integral Yoga Publications

Integral Yoga Magazine

Integral Yoga Archives/Starchive Project

Swami Satchidananda Special Collection at the University of Virginia

Living Legacy Project
Quotes from notables
It is through the work of pioneers such as Swami Satchidananda that Yoga has gained acceptance and recognition across the world.”

Sri Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of India

None of my work would have been accomplished were it not for Sri Swami Satchidananda’s inspiration, for which I remain deeply grateful.”

Dr. Dean Ornish, President, The Preventive Medicine Research Institute, California

Swami Satchidananda was one of the early pioneers in bringing the knowledge of Yoga and Vedanta to this country. Had it not been for his contribution we wouldn’t have seen the popularity of Yoga that we see today, which is mainstream. I salute him for helping to change the course of the world.”

Dr. Deepak Chopra, spiritual teacher, author

I consider Swami Satchidananda one of the greatest spiritual teachers of our time.”

Richard Gere, humanitarian and actor

Of all my most memorable guests, there have been so many, but I really liked what Swami Satchidananda told me. He made a lot of sense. There was a wonderful peace about him. He was fascinating to listen to. I never forgot that.”

Larry King, former CNN news host

We would like to pay tribute to one of the most revered Yoga Masters of our time. Sri Swami Satchidananda, founder of Integral Yoga, is known worldwide as a spiritual teacher whose teachings embody the truths found in all the great wisdom traditions. We, the Yoga community, are deeply indebted to Sri Swami Satchidananda for his substantial contributions toward bringing the ancient teachings of Yoga into our modern context. His teachings will live on in the hearts of millions, and continue to influence the evolution of world peace, to which he dedicated his life.”

The Board of Directors and Staff of the Yoga Alliance

Swami Satchidananda’s influence on integrative medicine, the interfaith community, the peace movement, and the daily lives of millions of people, including mine, has been profound. I often talk about how the softness and kindness with which Swami Satchidananda spoke to people inspired me. The Yoga influence and the philosophy came into all my pores—I soaked it up like a sponge and began incorporating it into my work.”

Peter Max, Pop artist icon

Swami Satchidananda has been a spiritual friend to countless thousands, catalyzing their transformations, and a clear, consistent, and peaceful voice for honoring the many paths to the One.”

Ram Dass, author, Be Here Now

I’ve have been a great admirer of Swami Satchidananda for as long as I can remember. He helped me to raise my consciousness to a place of being more peaceful, more loving….He was a being of love, in all of his life’s work and all that he represented and all that he stood for.”

(the late) Dr. Wayne Dyer, author

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