Swami Samvidaananda Saraswati
As the mother of three children, Samvidaananda’s first yoga teacher training was in children’s yoga. Friends gifted her some Svaroopa® yoga classes and private yoga therapy sessions. After the closing Shavasana of her first class, she experienced a bliss she had never felt before. Soon after, she had her first private Svaroopa® yoga therapy session, and “knew she was home.”
A month later, Samvidaananda told God, “I’ve been asking a question, but I haven’t been ready to hear the answer. What should I be doing, in addition to being a mom?” The answer came clearly: “Teach yoga.” She was ready to listen.
Samvidaananda says, “Once you know, you know, and everything changes. The Svaroopa® Yoga Teacher Training (YTT) doors just flew open.” Beginning in 1999, she has been training in and teaching Svaroopa® yoga and meditation. Once she was a full-fledged yoga teacher, she continued her job at a bookstore café, yet her focus had changed. She oriented her life around teaching yoga, leading her to become a swami, a yoga monk.
"Samvidaananda was very clear, personable, understandable, patient and kind. Very approachable and easy, she also has a good sense of humor. I enjoyed the Intro to Meditation class very much, even though I have been meditating for a year." — Elizabeth Rives
"Samvidaananda skillfully guided us through a full day of meditation and supportive practices. Her fine-tuning of my blanket stack helped me settle into Sukhasana better and dive deep quickly. The day was blissful and has made my home meditations deeper." - Lori (Priya) Kenney
In 2003, she became a DTS Mentor for the distance learning component of Svaroopa® YTT. She continued her yoga training through Advanced Bliss Yoga and Advanced Yoga Therapy, and now she is also a Meditation Teacher and Teacher Trainer.
Becoming a sannyasi (renunciant) also sprang from an inner arising. It happened during a Svaroopa® Vidya Vowed Order Retreat several years ago. Samvidaananda describes, “Unexpectedly, the words ‘I am sannyasin’ (renunciant) arose within. And with the arising words came a tangible, undeniable energetic shift. I felt an alignment of mind, body, heart and being. It was a calling. I love what I do. There’s nothing else I’d rather do. Being a sannyasi is a joyful dharma and karma for me. With Gurudevi as a living example of what it means to respond to this calling, I can’t imagine making any other choice.
“Now that I am a swami, I do what I’ve always done. The difference is that I’m doing it from a greater depth. I can do guruseva with a clearer mind, more heart, more fearlessness, more patience, more stamina — and more appreciation for everything, especially for Gurudevi. I will apply these greater capacities in service to Gurudevi and to everyone who is interested in these teachings.”
"Samvidaananda took our whole group into deep experiences within. The whole program was luminous. The openings I received continue to support me in sadhana. I know, thanks to Samvidaananda, this is a gateway to more evolution on the path going forward." — Marlene (Matrikaa) Gast
"Samvidaananda always delivers a thoughtful program and is so very responsive to participants needs and meets all where they are at the moment." — Su Lee (Vacharini) Chafin