Yogic Holidays and Their Meanings
Have you ever wondered about the history and culture behind yoga? Beyond asana classes, yoga has a rich cultural history, including many holidays that signify many important elements of yoga and its Vedic roots. At the ashram, in addition to honoring important holidays in the Christian and Jewish calendars, we celebrate these sacred holidays with prayer, pujas, prasad, and vigil.
Join us at the ashram to celebrate one of these auspicious yogic holidays
Maha Sivaratri (February 28, 2022)
Maha Sivaratri is the night of Siva and the most important celebration in Kashmir Shaivism that is celebrated throughout India, as well as in meditation centers and ashrams throughout the world. Maha Sivaratri represents Siva’s cosmic dance of creation, preservation, and destruction. It is also celebrated as the anniversary of the marriage of Siva and Parvati, signifying the eternal union of the two primal aspects of consciousness. For spiritual seekers, Maha Sivaratri is a night of introspection, vigil, meditation, and prayer, during which every repetition of the mantra Om Namah Sivaya carries the power of 1,000 repetitions.
Adi Shankaracharya Jayanthi (May 5, 2022)
The birthday of Adi Shankaracharya is observed on the 5th day during waxing of moon in the month of Vaisakha, generally in April or May. Adi Shankaracharya is an important part of the Sivananda yoga lineage, as he is considered to be an incarnation of Lord Siva, and the reviver of the Upanishads.
Guru Purnima (July 13, 2022)
Guru Purnima is a festival dedicated to spiritual and academic teachers. This festival is celebrated by Hindus, Jains and Buddhists, to pay their respects to their teachers and express their gratitude. The ashram honors the Masters of our lineage, namely Swami Sivananda and Swami Vishnudevananda, on this day. “Purnima” means “full moon,” and is celebrated in the Hindu month of Ashadha, which falls in June or July.
Krishna Jayanthi (August 18, 2022)
This annual Hindu festival celebrates the birth of Krishna, the eighth incarnation of Lord Vishnu. It is observed according to Hindu calendar in the month of Bhadrapada, tending to fall in August or September. It is an auspicious Hindu holiday that often includes puja, fasting, and festival.
Ganesh Chaturthi (August 30, 2022)
The Hindu festival that reveres god Ganesha, Ganesh Chaturthi i a ten-day festival that starts on the fourth day of Hindu calendar month of Bhadrapada, which typically falls in August or September. Ganesha is considered to be the remover of obstacles, and observations for this holiday include chanting, prayer, puja, and prasad.
Vijaya Dasami (October 4, 2022)
Vijaya Dasami is a major Hindu festival that is celebrated at the end of Navratri every year and is observed on the full moon day in the Hindu calendar month of Ashvin, which typically falls in September or October. This holiday marks the end of Durga Puja and generates reverence for aspects of the goddess Devi, such as Durga or Saraswati.
Gita Jayanthi (December 3, 2022)
Gita Jayanti is the birthday of Bhagavad Gita, the sacred text of the Hindus and an important scripture for yogis everywhere. It is celebrated on the Shukla Ekadashi, 11th day of the waxing moon of the Margashirsha month in the Hindu calendar. Aspirants and spiritual seekers study the Bhagavad Gita especially on this day.
Get Inspired! View our program calendar to see upcoming Hindu holidays and other events.