“Yoga is a discipline to improve the quality of life; a philosophy to attain peace. If you want to experience health, if you want to experience peace and to evolve, make yoga a part of your lifestyle.”

Swami Satyananda

Swami Satyananda structured the vision of Swami Sivananda, the philosophy, practices, applications and lifestyle, into a practical and scientific system. As a tribute to his efforts, this system of yoga is known worldwide as Satyananda Yoga or Bihar Yoga.

The Satyananda Yoga system is a complete science of harmonious living, suitable for everyone, regardless of age, gender, mental condition and level of fitness. Addressing the whole person, not just the physical body, Satyananda Yoga provides a systematic method of integration of mind, body and spirit, and process of developing the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual faculties in life.

Integral Yoga

Swami Satyananda did not focus on any particular branch of yoga; rather, he developed a holistic or integral yoga system in which the tools can be found to integrate the entire personality and fine-tune the different aspects.

The different yogas become the means of attaining this personal harmony and integrated expression.

Hatha yoga is used to balance the physical and mental flows of energy. Raja yoga is used to adjust and fine-tune the mental behaviour, attitudes and involvement in the material world. Yamas, restraints, and niyamas, disciplines, become methods of mind management. The practices of pratyahara and dharana engender development of faculties of the intellect. The qualities of the heart are awakened by combining the attainments of the meditative process with karma yoga, allowing pure, unconditioned feelings and sentiments to be expressed.

Yoga for head, heart and hands

Satyananda Yoga seeks to awaken and integrate the faculties of head, heart and hands.

The head represents intellect, mind, wisdom, understanding, knowledge, awareness and observation.

The heart represents emotions, feelings and sentiments.

The hands represent the ability to act, to perform and to create.

Integral development cannot be attained if one or the other of these aspects of the personality is neglected. To become harmoniously balanced in all directions is the ideal of yoga.

Swami Sivananda Saraswati (1887 -1963)

was a spiritual teacher and a propagator of yoga and vedanta. Born in South India, in the state called Tamil Nadu, he studied medicine and served in Malaysia as a physician for several years before taking up Sannyasa.

He lived most of the later part of his life at Rishikesh. He is the founder of The Divine Life Society (1936), Yoga-Vedanta Forest Academy (1948) and author of over 200 books on yoga, vedanta and a variety of other subjects.

He established Sivananda Ashram, the location of the headquarters of The Divine Life Society , on the bank of the Ganges Rishikesh.

Sivananda Yoga, the yoga form propagated by him, is now spread worldwide. Swami Sivananda created a synthesis of yoga teachings which promoted a harmonious development of the head, heart and hands through the practices of jnana, bhakti and karma yogas.

Swami Niranjanananda Saraswati

was born in 1960 in Rajnandgaon (Central India). From birth he has been guided by Swami Satyananda Saraswati and at the early age of four he came to live with him at the Bihar School of Yoga (Munger) where he received training in spiritual sciences.

In 1971 he was initiated into Dashnami Sannyasa, and afterwards, for eleven years he travelled and lived abroad, understanding the needs of people from different cultures and helping establish Satyananda Yoga centres in Europe, Australia, North and South America.

He returned to India in 1983 to guide the activities of Bihar School of Yoga, Sivananda Math and the Yoga Research Foundation. In 1990 he was initiated as a Paramahamsa Sannyasin and in 1995 he was chosen spiritual successor of Swami Satyananda Saraswati.


He established Bihar Yoga Bharati, the first university of yoga, in 1994 and the Yoga Publications Trust in 2000. Combining tradition with modernity, Swami Niranjan is a charismatic source of wisdom in the philosophy, practice and lifestyle of yoga.

Swami Satyasangananda Saraswati

was born in 1953, in Chandornagore (West Bengal). Although from childhood she had received a modern education, at the young age of 22 she chosed the sannyasa way of life after having a series of inner awakenings. In 1982, she was initiated by Swami Satyananda Saraswati into the Dashnami sannyasa tradition and started a life of service to her guru.

Accompanying Swami Satyananda on several world tours, Swami Satsangi gained a deep insight into his teachings. She also did extensive research into the yogic and tantric traditions, as well as modern sciences and philosophies. An inspired teacher, speaker and gifted writer, she is the author of several major texts on yoga and tantra.

Since 1989, Swami Satsangi has resided at Rikhiapeeth dedicating all her efforts for the upliftment and empowerment of the neglected and impoverished villagers in the surrounding rural areas. She continues to positively transform the lives of the people in this region, creating in the same time a dynamic centre of spirituality and education.

Swami Suryaprakash

was born in 1982, in San Francisco, to Indian parents. His birth took place with the blessings of Swami Satyananda when Swami Niranjan was touring in the USA and was a frequent visitor to his home. Swami Suryaprakash was raised in an environment that encouraged a deep sense of spiritual commitment, his grandfather and family members being dedicated disciples and associates of Swami Satyananda.

In 1999, after completing his education in the USA and Spain, he came to India to join the ashram and serve in the guru’s mission. On 15 January 2000, he was initiated into Dashnami sannyasa by Swami Niranjanananda. After undergoing intense training in ashram and spiritual life, he was appointed president of Bihar School of Yoga on 11 February 2008.

Swami Suryaprakash oversees the management of ashram activities and is a shining example of unswerving commitment to the guru’s mission. He represents the new generation where the classical spiritual tradition easily blends with the latest technical knowhow. Fluent in English, Hindi and Spanish, he has a flair for many languages including Catalan, French, Italian, Greek as well as Sanskrit. He is also a gifted musician and orator.