Satyananda Yoga

Satyananda Yoga

Calm your mind and open yourself up to the present

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How can Satyananda yoga nourish you?

Developed by Sri Swami Satyananda Saraswati in the 1960s[1], the yoga style that now bears his name began as the Bihar school of yoga[2]. It is a gentle and holistic combination of practices intended to benefit the body, mind and spirit. Satyananda is often referred to as a yoga of ‘head, heart and hands’[3], symbolising the way it draws on the many branches of yogic tradition to support the different aspects of the human experience.

Unlike varieties of yoga that focus mainly on specific poses (asanas) and breathing exercises (pranayamas), Satyananda yoga is known for also emphasising cleansing practices, meditation and guided deep relaxation[4]. As a discipline that is known for including yoga Nidra, Satyananda specifically encourages profound rest[5] as an important aspect of overall health.

One characteristic of Satyananda yoga is the school’s encouragement of gradual and steady progress[6]. The initial sequences of asanas easy for beginners to master, and accompanied by an introduction to pranayamas and various meditation techniques[7]. Over time, as you become more proficient in Satyananda, Kriya yoga and other advanced practices[8] are taught when the instructors believe you are ready to learn them. 

Benefits of Satyananda yoga

Evidence suggests that the deep relaxation achieved through guided Nidra exercises may lead to a significant decrease in perceived levels of stress and anxiety[9]. Satyananda yoga has been studied as a way of alleviating anxiety and depression[10] in stroke survivors with a disability, and preliminary findings indicate that it may be a safe and effective treatment.

It has been reported that Satyananda yoga may be a viable way to manage fluid retention related to breast cancer treatment[11], but further research is recommended. There is evidence to suggest that Satyananda yoga meditation may enhance brain function[12], particularly in key areas of the right hemisphere. It has also been reported that yoga Nidra may reduce the impact of psychological symptoms[13] in women with menstrual disorders.

Satyananda yoga may assist in relieving symptoms related to:

Anxiety Back pain Balance, stability and coordination Brain fog and clarity Breast cancer Circulation and cardiovascular conditions Concentration, focus and problem solving Depression Energy and vitality Flexibility, endurance and strength Immunity issues Insomnia and sleep disorders Mobility and movement Muscle spasm, tightness and cramps Nervous system and neurological conditions Posture and spine issues Relaxation Respiratory and breathing issues Sadness Stress and tension Stroke Weight control and obesity Show all

What to expect from a Satyananda yoga session

A Satyananda yoga session usually lasts for about 90 minutes, and starts with a relaxation or grounding exercise to bring your attention to the present moment, followed by a series of relatively mild asanas. In keeping with Satyananda’s emphasis on developing physically as well as spiritually in a systematic, progressive way[14], you will be introduced to more vigorous sequences once you are ready for them.

Your teacher will then guide you through pranayamas, and as you become more proficient, increasingly advanced practices that encourage your application of yoga principles to various aspects of your daily life. The class will also include a meditation session, typically concluding with guided deep relaxation[15].

As with any exercise or wellness program, please consult your medical professional before commencing Satyananda yoga. If you have an injury or other health issue, or any concerns at all, also speak to your Satyananda yoga instructor. 

Satyananda yoga teacher training is uniquely challenging and rigorous, with instructors required to undergo 1500 hours of education[16] in order to receive their diploma. This means your teacher will be well-equipped to adjust the session as needed to suit your individual requirements. 


  1. 1963-2013 Yoga from shore to shore | Bihar School of Yoga
  2. Practice |
  3. Satyananda Yoga | Australian Yoga Life
  4. What is  Satyananda Yoga?  | Natural Therapy Pages 
  5. Origin of Yoga Nidra | Big Shakti 
  6. The Development of Satyananda Yoga or Bihar Yoga | Serbian Yoga Union
  7. What is the Satyananda System of Yoga? | Satyananda Yoga Teachers' Association
  8. Kriya Yoga |Yoga Journal
  9. A study on the impact on stress and anxiety through Yoga Nidra | Indian Journal of Traditional Knowledge
  10. Yoga and Exercise for Symptoms of Depression and Anxiety in People with Poststroke Disability |
  11. Yoga management of breast cancer-related lymphoedema | BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine
  12. Oscillations of distinct right cortical networks are progressively enhanced by medium and long term Satyananda Yoga meditation practice | Frontiers in Human Neuroscience
  13. Psychological effects of yoga nidra in women with menstrual disorders | Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice
  14. What to expect in a Satyananda Style class | Satyananda Yoga Teachers' Association
  15. #1 Free Meditation App for Sleep | Insight Timer
  16. About the Teachers |

Frequently asked questions

Satyananda yoga, developed by Sri Swami Satyananda Saraswati, is a holistic yoga style that encompasses practices for the body, mind, and spirit. Unlike some yoga styles that primarily focus on specific poses and breathing exercises, Satyananda yoga incorporates cleansing practices, meditation, and deep relaxation.

Satyananda yoga originated in the 1960s as the Bihar School of Yoga under the guidance of Sri Swami Satyananda Saraswati. It draws from various branches of yogic tradition to provide a comprehensive approach to well-being.

This description signifies that Satyananda yoga integrates practices from different aspects of yogic tradition to address the holistic nature of the human experience, benefiting the mind, heart, and hands symbolically representing action.

Satyananda yoga is distinctive for its emphasis on more than just physical postures and breathwork. It places importance on cleansing practices, meditation, and guided deep relaxation. Additionally, it encourages profound rest as a crucial component of overall health.

Satyananda yoga is designed to be accessible to individuals of various fitness levels. Its holistic approach allows practitioners to engage in practices that cater to their individual needs and capacities.

Satyananda yoga includes the practice of yoga Nidra, a form of guided relaxation. Profound rest is emphasized as it is believed to contribute significantly to overall health, providing deep rejuvenation for the body and mind.

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