Swami Vishnudevananda, a master Raja and Hatha yogi, was a spiritual leader and teacher. After entering the Sivananda Ashram in Rishikesh in 1947 at the age of 20, he spent nearly his entire life tirelessly promoting and teaching yoga and Vedanta philosophy to both Western and Indian students. Appointed as the first Hatha yoga professor at the Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Forest Academy in Rishikesh, India, Swami Vishnudevananda was known for his contemporary style of teaching that emphasized five main principles of yoga: proper exercise, proper breathing, proper relaxation, proper diet, positive thinking and meditation. These principles are designed to promote radiant health, peace of mind and harmony.
The unique teachings of Swami Vishnudevananda serve as the basis for all programs and courses at Sivananda ashrams and centers around the world. There are more than 70 of these centers that were founded on his inspiration, and the Master’s teachings are seen in yoga classes at gyms, wellness hotels, and fitness centers throughout the West.
Beyond that, he wrote Meditation and Mantras, along with the now-classic yoga work The Complete Illustrated Book of Yoga. Swami Vishnudevananda was also responsible for establishing a Kids Camp in 1972 that introduced children between the ages of 7 and 16 to his five principles of yoga.