The International Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centres is a non-profit organisation founded by Swami Vishnudevananda, and named after his guru Swami Sivananda, one of the most influential spiritual teachers of the twentieth century.
The underlying purpose of all practices of yoga is to reunite the individual soul with the Absolute or pure consciousness. Union with this unchanging reality liberates us from all sense of separation and allows us to realise our true nature. Following the teaching lineage of his guru Swami Sivananda and by closely observing the lifestyle and needs of modern society, Swami Vishnudevananda synthesised the ancient wisdom of yoga into five principles or points that could be easily incorporated into daily life; Exercise (asana), Breathing (pranayama), Relaxation (savasan), Diet (vegetarian) and Positive Thinking (vedanta) & Meditation (raja yoga). Without diverging from the time-honoured teachings of classical, traditional yoga based on the four paths of yoga (karma, raja, bhakti and jnana) he recommended the regular practice of the Five Points for optimal physical and mental health as well as spiritual growth. These five principles based on the four paths of yoga are the foundation of the teachings at the Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centres worldwide.