Atmaram (Eric Papadimitriou)
Although I was born in France, my spiritual path as a yoga practitioner and a yoga teacher started in Montreal, Canada where I began to take Yoga classes in 1988. In 1989 I took the Sivananda Yoga Teachers Training Course in Val Morin, near Montreal and later, the Advanced SivanandaTeachers Training Course in 1990.
The years 1991 – 1993 were years of deep training as a yogi. I took the vows of Sannyas (monastic vows) and served as the personal assistant of Swami Vishnudevananda - a direct disciple of Swami Sivananda and famous Hatha and Raja Yoga teacher and founder of the Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centers.
Under the direct supervision of Swami Vishnudevananda I learned many life lessons and I put in practice the knowledge of Vedanta philosophy, Raja Yoga, Bhakti Yoga, and Karma yoga. From my teacher, I imbibed the spirit of service to humanity which would become the keynote of my life until this day. It is also in this period that I discovered India, following and serving Swami Vishnudevananda during several Yatras (pilgrimages) in different parts of India until Swamiji‘s death in November 1993.
In the following period of 20 years, I have continued to serve humanity as a Swami (monk) and leading staff member in the Sivananda organization. I was the director of the Sivananda Yoga Vedanta centers in Montreal, Delhi, Paris, Berlin, Vilnius, and Madrid and have been teaching numerous Sivananda Yoga Teachers Training Courses worldwide.
In the last 10 years, I was put in charge of the development of the Sivananda Yoga movement in Eastern Europe and of setting up the Teachers Training Course for Eastern Europeans in Poland where it has been taking place for the past 7 years.
Early in 2014, my life took a turn and I have taken the life-changing decision to leave the Sivananda organization and to pursue my yoga teaching path in an independent way.
It is in the same spirit of serving the message of classical yoga which I learned from my Teachers that I am offering Hatha Yoga classes in the Sivananda tradition. For me, the yoga practice in all its forms, including Hatha Yoga, must serve to harmonize the body, mind and soul, thus helping us to lead a more peaceful and fulfilled life. In my experience, the classical yoga system with its subtle mix of asanas, Pranayama (breathing techniques), and relaxation offers a very efficient and complete method helping people to face the challenges of modern life.