People come to yoga with various intentions: some wish to improve health and wellbeing, some want to de-stress and find peace and harmony in life, and others have spiritual aspirations. Many people begin their connection with yoga by practising asana, perhaps also with some pranayama, relaxation and meditation techniques.
The true potential of yoga and its capacity of transformation is discovered in the adoption of yoga as a complete way of life. This allows a balanced, integrated development of all the human faculties, including those of head, heart and hands, so that one is able to live well and manage all the challenges of life with balance, positivity and creativity. Such a person can live happily and with fulfilment, at the same time contributing constructively to others, their society and their environment.
A few decades ago, yoga was the subject of only philosophical debates and study, very few people knew the practical side of it. It was Swami Sivananda (of Rishikesh) who completely changed the approach towards yoga. He presented before the people the practical and more scientific aspects of yoga. Indian culture has always been rich in terms of philosophical ideas, but teachings of Swami Sivananda equipped the people with certain techniques and modalities through which they could lead a life full of health, creativity and mental, emotional as well as spiritual fulfilment. Swami Sivananda gave a very clear mandate to his disciples to propagate yoga in society. Swami Satyananda who was a disciple of Swami Sivananda; was given the mandate to spread yoga from door to door and shore to shore.