The Sanyas tradition in India goes back more than a thousand years. In the 8th century AD, Sri Sankaracharya, a great yogi and teacher of Vedanta, founded the monastic order of the Swamis (monks). Even today, the monastic tradition of India still plays an important role in preserving the teachings of yoga and as a way of living spiritually. It was Swami Sivananda who reformed the Sanyas tradition by – for the first time – initiating women and persons of non-Indian origin as Swamis. Swami Vishnudevananda continued this practice in the West.
Spiritual aspirants who wish to dedicate their life entirely to the classical Indian yoga practice are being prepared step by step for initiation into Sanyasa (vow of renunciation) under the personal guidance of experienced Swamis in the Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centres.