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Press Releases
Yoga for both mind and body - Sunday Times (21st June 2009) By Megara Tegal
Our busy lifestyles can leave us feeling stressed and under pressure throughout the week. Yet by living such an unhealthy lifestyle, we often place ourselves at risk. Almost all common maladies can be pinned on stress- from heart diseases to a poor immune system to depression.

All these diseases can be fought against and kept at bay with the routine practice of yoga, says Guru Nanda Siriwardene, a 5th Dan black belt and yoga instructor for over 15 years who runs yoga training centres at Nugegoda, Borella, Thimbirigasaya and Kiribathgoda.Having learnt Hatha yoga in India to help enhance his capabilities in karate, Guru Nanda found that yoga helped him maintain a healthy body and mind. He says that to benefit from yoga it is important to have a spiritual understanding, be it Buddhism, Hinduism, Christianity or Islam. It is necessary to believe in a greater power.

While there are about 20 different types of yoga. Hatha yoga is about creating a balance between the body and mind. In fact, in Sanskrit, ‘Ha’ translates to sun which is associated with the body, while "Tha" translates into moon and is identified with the psyche, says Guru Nanda who specializes in this form of yoga

The fundamental part of yoga is discipline. To derive the most from yoga it is essential to be well disciplined in all aspects of life- how you eat your meals, practise yoga and other aspects of your daily routine. The practice eventually becomes a way of life.

"First there should be a regular meal-time. Have a balanced meal, respect your food and eat while relaxed. Also, fibre is most often sidelined, although it is essential in cleaning the bowels. If people made it a point to include fibre in their diet it would reduce their chances of developing stomach cancer."
"Another healthy habit that is practised in yoga is that after any meal, only 1/2 of your stomach should be filled with food, 1/4 with water and the remaining 1/4 with air."

"You need a strong foundation to build a house. Likewise, if someone wants to practise yoga they need to master the basic principles to gain the most out of yoga," he adds.

Becoming disciplined in your daily routine helps you to be disciplined when practising yoga exercises. The exercises must be done regularly if you want to get the most from the ancient practice that is relevant and functional in modern times.

"To maintain the postures in yoga you must be disciplined. To bend, to align yourself and to maintain that posture, you must be disciplined mentally and physically. If you can discipline yourself, you can master yoga easily. No matter what your build may be, you will be able to do the most complex and advanced postures effortlessly," he added.

Of course there is more to the postures than simply bending your body. Here again, if you want to gain the most from yoga, when assuming a position it is necessary to follow the proper breathing technique.

"We’ve established that 'Ha' is the physique and "Tha" is the psyche, together "Hatha" is the overall health, strength and coordination. Yoga is unity. Practising yoga helps to bring them together, making you physically and mentally healthy."

Breathing correctly is a vital part of yoga. It gives you universal strength. All humans have a link with the world. When we breathe we take in oxygen and release carbon dioxide, which is recycled and breathed in again. So we have a link with the world around us. Following a proper breathing technique we can utilize the most of our surroundings. If we practise the right way of breathing we can gain more energy from our surroundings," he added.

Breathing techniques are an indispensable part of yoga. So much so that another meaning that is derived from the word "Hatha" is that "Ha" means inhalation while "Tha" means exhalation. When you inhale you can activate your physique, and when you exhale you can activate your mind.

In Sanskrit, asanas refers to posture while pramanaya refers to breathing. The two must be coupled correctly or else the yoga exercises will not be as effective.

"When you practise the asanas, you can activate the inner body, for example the blood vessels and nerves. In the case of blood vessels the postures help in opening up arteries and veins making blood circulation better."

"Pramanaya is about supplying the maximum amount of oxygenated blood to your organs and muscles."

Yoga helps activate three vital aspect of an individual- the physical body, mind and energy. It keeps yoga practitioners, healthy in both body and mind, fit and energetic.

Guru Nanda has more tips on his website http://www.nandasri-hathayoga.com.

GURU FROM INDIA SAYS YOGA IS THE BEST WAY... - Sunday Leader (1st February 2009) By Ranee Mohamed
Dr. Abhay S. Keste is the personification of true Yoga. From the B.K.S. Iyengar International Yoga Institute in Poone, India Dr. Abhay S. Keste has come a long way to Sri Lanka at the invitation of his friend, colleague and student Nanda Siriwardene of the famed Hatha Yoga Institute in Nawala Road, and insists that Yoga is a way of life that will give us all complete enrichment of mind and body.  

 "We are happy to be in Sri Lanka," said the lean, freshfaced Dr. Abhay.

Perhaps it may be his long journey with Yoga that has given him a look of total peace and wellness of body. Dr. Abhay S. Keste does not need to speak out about the multitude of benefits that this ancient art of Yoga offers to a human being - his clear perception and his looks seem to say it all. Dr. Abhay S. Keste and his wife Usha Keste are professional instructors of Yoga     
And as he wraps himself in the most intriguing asanas, this amazing art of Yoga seems to enrapture us.

But Yoga is not about complicated asanas, stressed these veterans of Yoga. "Yoga is for the young and old, able and disabled, the fat and the thin..anyone can do Yoga," insist both Dr. Abhay S. Keste and Hatha Yoga instructor Nanda Siriwardene.

Stress and strain

"In all metropolitan cities, stress and strain are penetrating the mind and body. People are leading a fast life and the mind seems to be going away from the body and that creates a gap between the body and mind. And when the mind goes away from the body it is akin to a baby going away from the mother," observed Dr. Keste.

Attributing the mind being separated from the body as the reason for conditions as diabetes, high blood pressure, insomnia, and psychological problems, Dr. Abhay S. Keste said that Yoga brings the body and mind as close to each other as possible.

"The mind is like a mercury, it goes from one thing to another - to different thoughts. The practice of Yoga slowly traps the mind into the body and it is then that tranquility, satisfaction and thus freedom are realised," said Dr. Keste.

"With the blessings of the honoured Professor B.K.S. Iyengar in 1997, I began professional teaching of Yoga at two centres. I have practised Yoga with my father who was a retired high school teacher who practised this ancient art form to get rid of the piles he was suffering from. I began a greater practise of Yoga in 1994," explained Dr. Keste.

"I met Nanda Siriwardene several years ago at the B.K.S Iyengar Yoga Institute. He studied with me," said Dr. Keste.

Revered ancient art form

After taking blessings from the respected guru of Yoga Prof. B.K.S. Iyengar, Dr. Abhay Keste and Nanda Siriwardene went their own ways to teach this revered ancient art form - Yoga. Dr. Abhay S. Keste's quest to teach saw extended years at Professor B.KS. Iyengar's Institute in India and Nanda Siriwardene's total devotion to this ancient art form saw the setting up of the Nanda Sri Yoga Institute.

"I have been to his centre and have seen the props and equipment therein. These are useful aids to Yoga for aged and differently abled and disabled people who are students of Yoga. Yoga equipment ensures the ageing and disabled students get the maximum benefit of Yoga without any injury," explained Dr. Keste.

"Yoga is perhaps the only medium where one does not have to spend a fortune to acquire total well being. Modern medicine requires the intake of different medicinal drugs and there is also the risk of one not getting the total benefit of the money spent. Besides, medicine does not work on or assure of the psychological well-being," pointed out Dr. Keste.

Related to the mind

According to Dr. Abhay S. Keste, almost all conditions are related to the mind. "Take gastritis as an example. It is common knowledge that it is a condition of acidity of the stomach; what we fail to grasp at once is that it is also due to a psychological imbalance. No proper food, no proper sleep, no proper disgestion and above all stress and tension, are all associated factors. Yoga can remove the disease from the root. Be it a structural problem as a backache, arthritis, piles, hernia and spondylosis - conditions where modern medicine may not be as effective.

In conditions caused by disalingnment of the body, Yoga helps to tone the muscles and hold the tissues inside. This is also true of piles, where Yoga will tone the muscles around the piles to keep it inside, it is also true of hernia - hold the muscles to keep the tissue inside. Yoga also helps to correct disc problems, said Dr.Keste.

Looking young

Looking young and being healthy, according to Dr. Abhay S. Keste are by-products or good side effects of the practice of Yoga. For Yoga has been found not only to tone the muscles and enhance the condition of the skin, but also to balance the hormones, for the benefits of Yoga not only work from bones to skin, but also in the reverse of skin to bones," said Dr. Abhay.

It is in this context that the duo - Dr. Keste and Nanda Siriwardene took a break to speak with admiration of the skin of their 90 year old Professor B.K.S. Iyengar, describing it as 'glowing' and making a comparison to a baby's skin.

"Yoga practice builds the strength of the muscles and alignment of the bones and once the energy is thrown out by these Sookshama (fine) acts, the benefits spread all over, including the skin.." is the belief of these gurus.

Immense benefits

There are two types of classes in Yoga - the general classes and the medical classes. And it is the belief of these acclaimed Yoga instructors that anyone can practice Yoga with the proper guidance and even those people who have not even 'bent down to pick up a pen.'

"The basic poses give immense benefits and they are felt almost immediately," they said. "The medical classes require the students to lie on instruments and the instructor works on achieving wellness like a doctor working on an operating table," said Dr. Keste.

"The general classes are for everyone and they are for those who want to 'look young and feel young and beautiful and handsome, relieve stress and fight fat and obesity," say these teachers of Yoga who insist that Yoga is the only cure for all our ills, especially in fighting the conditions caused by stress and our modern day sedentary, yet fast life-styles.

EMBRACE HATHA YOGA AND LEAD A FULLER LIFE - Sunday Leader (16th March 2008) By Ranee Mohamed

Shihan Nanda Siriwardene, guru of Hatha yoga, has transformed and changed lives. Everyday, he breathes in and breathes out yoga, he thinks yoga and he lives yoga, and warns us that fashionable gymnasiums with young instructors, fat blockers and happy walks down Independence Square are not the ways to fitness and fight fat... The proven way to complete fitness is Hatha yoga he says. One can start it at 65, for age is no barrier and the postures will only help ward off the ailments and pain, claims this Yogi.

Nanda Siriwardene sits opposite me. His muscles ripple, his hard body and his youthful looks arouse amazement and envy. This Fifth Dan, Black Belt, instructor of  Martial Arts - the maestro of Kyokushin karate is also the revered guru of Hatha Yoga.

The average person may go to office everyday or run a business but Nanda Siriwardene's life is about wellness and well-being. His hundreds of students revere him. Many long to be like him. But for Siriwardene the path has been long and hard, and he has emerged the victor. Today, he is so totally dedicated to his job - promoting wellness and physical fitness in others and the side effects are not stress and tension, but total well-being in his own self.

His home near the Kohuwala Police Station is an aerobics sweatshop, but here too Nanda Siriwardene winds himself in different, difficult asanas. Passers-by stare in disbelief, yet they know that if one man can do it, so can all others.


Siriwardene speaks with love, respect and great reverence of his master of Kyokushin karate, Masutatsu Oyama. Siriwardene is Sri Lanka's branch chief of Kyokushin karate.

Today, however it is not about his 25 years of martial arts that he speaks out. He speaks out about yoga - the Hatha Yoga he began in 1974 which he says has changed his life and the lives of all those who come to him.

"Yoga means unity. It means connecting with the universe. It enables one's mental and physical self to tune up and draw strength from the universe," said Nanda Siriwardene. And Siriwardene has been connecting to the universe with world famous gurus as Dr. Babu Sri Kanth. Having been at the B.K.S. Aiyanagar Institute in India, and with Swami Maharasta and several other gurus, Siriwardene is an authority on this revered art.


Nanda Siriwardene said that when one passes youth, one needs to take care of his or her organs. "Violent exercise that tax the heart ought to be avoided." He went on to warn about the impact of violent exercise and haphazard, unguided jogging and running, and the strain it can have on one's knees. It can have a devastating impact on one's joints, especially on the knees.

"Hatha Yoga on the contrary cures ailments. It cures arthritis, back pain and diseases caused by stress. It soothes one's very being," said this respected guru of yoga.

The pillars

"Hatha Yoga is a deep-rooted subject. It is a science, its is a philosophy and it is an art. It involves asanas (postures) and breathing techniques. It involves prana yama. It means prana plus ayama meaning stretching the energy, extending the exercise with air. Hatha Yoga develops both the mind and body and involves eight pillars, namely Yaama, Niyama (self concentration and discipline), Asana (postures), Pranayama (breathing techniques), Prathihara (determination), Daharana (dedication), Dihana (meditation) and Samadi (deep meditation).

"Hatha Yoga is not about complicated postures. There are three stages to choose from - for the beginner, for the intermediate and for the advanced Hatha Yoga. I have students who are 60 years old. There are no barriers to Hatha Yoga. It is for total wellbeing and it is for all," said Siriwardene, showing the equipment that he uses for some of the asanas.

"In fact Hatha Yoga is ideal for those ageing, for it is for both mind and body. We see many senior citizens in temple, they are in search of purity of mind. Meditation is common among the ageing. Hatha Yoga gives strength of mind and mental clarity till the last stages of life," explained Siriwardene.

Yoga for all

"But this does not mean that yoga is only for senior citizens. In fact the younger one begins, immense are the rewards. If one begins yoga at a younger age it slows down the process of decay. I am ageing, but my body does not show it, my body, just like anyone else's is deteriorating but the process is very, very slow," said a confident Siriwardene.

"Hatha Yoga slows down ageing and adds a radiance," assures this guru of Hatha Yoga.

Siriwardene who went on to say that the mind is the secret of physical strength and well-being added that this is why one must protect one's mind with Hatha Yoga.

Many systems

"Do not forget however that there are many systems of yoga. Some meditate with a few postures (asanas) and this is called Raja Yoga. Some others do so with love and compassion and also give away one's possessions and call it Bhakthi Yoga, which is akin to being closer to the deities. Yet others use their wisdom - through meditation they find truth and get connected, and thus call it Gnana Yoga.

"There are others who try to ascertain their origin, happiness and the reasons why some are born without limbs, eyes and are deprived in various ways and call it Karma Yoga," explained Nanda Siriwardene.

"Today however there are many kinds of yoga shops everywhere. This is why one must be careful. Yoga ought to be practiced under the guidance of a qualified guru," advised Siriwardene.

Yoga guru Nanda Siriwardene said that our modern lives have given us many ailments and one ought to give priority to oneself before anything else. "Physical well-being is of great importance. Lord Buddha has said Arogya Parama Laba, which means good health is a great profit," said Nanda Siriwardene who strives to achieve good health for all beings and has unknowingly benefited from his compassionate gesture.


"Beware of yoga and aerobicsboutiques that have mushroomed all over the city today," warns Shehan Nanda Siriwardene. Siriwardene, the professional martial arts instructor who practiced martial arts for 25 years and simultaneously blended his yoga and became and guru of hatha yoga for over 30 years. He has today returned to Sri Lanka with the newest yet ironically the most ancient way of yoga. It is yoga with the help of equipment made just the way the ancient yogis did.

"This equipment will help those who need help to do the asanas," explained Guru Siriwardene who has brought honour to Sri Lanka by being the first ever to bring this ancient art in an advanced form, yet with equipment to help the not so perfect.

Returning after practicing advanced yoga from the Professor B.K. Iyangar Institute in India, Siriwardene has worked closely with an associate with Professor Iyangar - Dr. Srikantha. "My life at this advanced institute was one of practise, practise and more practise," explained Siriwardene. "It was 10 hours of practise everyday.

"There were practices in the morning and evening," recalled Siriwardene, placing a protective hand on his newest equipment.

"This equipment is to help people who need help with the different asanas. They are for people who want to burn fat or perfect their bodies. More importantly, this equipment is for people suffering from various different diseases and ailments," said Siriwardene.


This guru who is so dedicated to hatha yoga said that it is important that our bodies are aligned properly. "This is why we ought to practice to make our asanas perfect. Wrong postures and imperfect alignment will not bring any benefits. On the contrary it will bring about bad results," explained Siriwardene.

"In Sanskrit, it is called Isthira. We ought to align our body. An Isthira body will not fall. Achala - which means not to shake, is also important. Hence if our body is Isthira and Achala, then our asana will be suka or comfortable," he said. "Today to attain all this I have brought this equipment which are exact replicas of the ancient equipment of the yogis. We use ropes and this equipment is made from wood and iron to perfect the asanas. Thus there is no struggle, no difficulty. It is the only way to achieve good health"he said.

Only way

"This is the only way to practice yoga properly. It will enhance the four factors in our body. In yoga we have our physical body which consists of skin, flesh and bones. Then we have our fine body which consists of organs, glands and nerves. These are a very essential part of our body. Next is the psychological body which consists of our thinking power and our power of concentration and fourthly we have the spiritual body which we cannot see but is a great invisible strength," said Siriwardene.

Hatha yoga Guru Siriwardene also went on to say that the most important of all is the power of concentration. If this is strong then we will not give up - our determination will be strong too..we cannot see our spiritual body but it will give us invisible strength and when we get this invisible strength our brain gets activated to its highest state.

In this state the brain is able to produce important, rare enzymes which results in the fine body getting activated - thus our glands, our organs and our nerves. He also said that with the correct and determined practice of asanas our thinking power reaches high levels and our spiritual bodies get activated.

"When our fine body is perfect then our physical body automatically becomes well and we are able to live long, healthy lives," advised Siriwardene.

Speaking of life today in Sri Lanka, this guru said that many Sri Lankans today are plagued with mental and psychological problems. "But all these problems would be wiped out of the mind when the fine body gets activated. It is important that we maintain our fine body - when our fine body is well then we would not have stress and enjoy long life too," he said.

Think fast

"Thirty years ago it took one week to send a letter to the USA and another week or so for us to get a reply. Today it takes a second to send mail to the USA and we get a reply the same day. Thus our minds need to work faster. There is no time to relax. In the days gone by psychiatrists were not so busy. Today psychiatrists seem to be much engaged and several institutions have come up to help people in different kinds of distress," pointed out Siriwardene. Shehan Nanda Siriwardene, 5th Dan, is also the branch chief of Kyokushin Karate in Sri Lanka.

Speaking of aerobics, Siriwardene said that it is a form of exercise that is solely restricted to the physical body. "It is not that I am casting aside aerobics. On the contrary, I have my own aerobics which I have. It is a mix of martial arts and yoga. It is my own technique and I have not even imparted these secrets to my general instructors. This is power aerobics formulated to attack the fat and is a 100 per cent effective way out of the fat menace," said Siriwardene who has practised both yoga and martial arts in Singapore, Japan, Australia and India.

Shehan Nanda Siriwardene advises women to practice yoga or aerobics daily. "Otherwise there would be problems very soon. People have a notion that yoga is difficult. Anyone could think anything they want, but equipment which also includes sand bags and cotton would give a fuller life to all. It would help one to achieve beauty by way of a healthy system sans fat and sans disease," he said.

Much can be achieved

"When one is 80 or 90 years old and experiencing ailments or disease then too one would find it difficult to do asanas; but today with the ancient equipment all the Isthira asanas can be achieved - they would help our joints, our backbones, muscles and improve our flexibility. The equipment would also help the disabled to achieve the perfect asana," explained Siriwardene.

Shehan Nanda Siriwardene who has been training hundreds of men and women in aerobics at his 'powerful' yet very down to earth studio at Kohuwala today has two training centres - one in Thimbirigasyaya and a more recent one in Nawala.

Engaged in a profession that is becoming more and more important with today's stressful existence, Siriwardene advises all on the way out of the modern dilemmas of diabetes and hypertension.

"Do not let these conditions destroy your fine body, that is, your organs as the pancreas and the heart. Be aware of the physical side of life.so get up and get moving," advises this man who has a mental and physical stamina that is unmatched.

Able to break a moving sword with his bare hands..Shehan Nanda Siriwardene is not about physical strength.. He takes the longer and more intelligent route of physical strength with the power of the mind combined.

UNDERSTANDING A YOGI'S BODY LANGUAGE - Sunday Leader (27th July 2005) By Ranee Mohamed

Shehan Nanda Siriwardene portrays the wonder of yoga in his home garden with a signboard. It depicts the wonders of Hathayoga. To those passing Dutugemunu Street, Kohuwala, near the police station, this signboard is merely a landmark to reach a destination. But to Nanda Siriwardene, Hathayoga is the destination

"There are many types of yoga; raja yoga, karma yoga, jaana yoga and bakthi yoga. What I practice is the system of hatha yoga. The common meaning of hatha yoga is the quest to improve the body and the mind. Ha means chiththa, and chiththa means mind, tha means physique, hatha yoga concentrates on the development of both these factors," said Siriwardene.

"The yogis of hatha yoga practice to develop their bodies and mind and reach a goal,"explained Siriwardene, showing me mind baffling variations of hatha yoga.

He said that in hatha yoga one should practice six important aspects. They are the relaxing exercises, breathing exercises, postures, locks, (bandh in Sanskrit ) inner strength, purification exercises and meditation

Siriwardene explained that Mudra or sealing exercises are important. But stressed on the fact that yoga is not only for the young and flexible. He said that infact, yoga is meant for all - especially the ageing and the ailing. "We are able to achieve flexibility. For patients with high blood pressure there are yoga techniques to give them good health and exercises which will ensure their well being, there are exercises for every ailment," pointed out this great yogi.

"There are relaxing exercises, breathing exercises and these are for the ageing. In fact it is for all. Yoga has no age barriers," he said.

Speaking of the modern world he said that it is important that we improve our body and mind in this rat race existence. "We have to have a healthy life, without a healthy life we will not be able to do our day to day activities. Today people are working like machines. A rest means, resting one's mind and improving one's physical status by looking after our physique with some sort of exercises," he said.

"There are many kinds of exercies today. But Yoga is different from all this. Because there is no exercise in this world that will exercise the organs in one's body, joints, tendons, skin and nerves. But Yoga surpasses all the other kinds of exercises by being able to exercise from organ to skin," stressed Siriwardene.

"Every part of one's body is exercised with this technique of hatha yoga. One who practices hatha yoga is always active. He is able to face the day to day problems of life," said Siriwardene.

Stress buster

He said that hatha yoga is able to fight stress. "When one is overworked and is having family problems, and even if one has problems in one's health - then a great amount of stress sets in. Hatha yoga is able to eliminate all this stress. In fact, it can wipe away all stress clean from one's life," he assured.

By clearing one's mind and showing the truth, one is able to face a better life - combat problems said Siriwardene. This yogi also said that the human body has the spinal cord, but according to yoga philosophy there are two more lines in the sides called Ida and Pingala. These two cords, according to yoga philosophy, controls one's emotions - make one a sadist, a cunning person etc. These weaknesses arise from these cords. The main cord is called Shushumna. When yoga balances these cords, one's life is balanced and one is able to realise the truth. "The bad feelings leave the body and we get the real picture. And we realise the truth. Thus, we are able to improve our minds and body. To achieve this one must practice hatha yoga," said Siriwardene.

"I have been practicing yoga for 20 years - I have learnt from several swamis in India. I have been practicing Kyokushin karate for about three decades, but I have been practicing yoga on a great scale. From martial arts, I changed to yoga. I had an Indian instructor called Swami Vivikananda and instructors from Singapore - especially Swami Gautama, while I was practicing martial arts there," said this Yogi

All the expertise of the masters and the swamis are with Shehan Nanda Siriwardene today. He is imparting this knowledge to over 200 students

"I hope to advance my knowledge by gaining access to the techniques of yoga of ancient yogis. Like advanced raja yoga meditation and breathing techniques. I hope to go to Swami Vinod who has invited me several times to his abode in India," said Siriwardene who swears by the system of hatha yoga. He says that one should practise hatha yoga to improve one's respiratory system and circulatory system. "If one's breathing is functioning without any problems, then the circulatory system gets in proper order and at once one achieves good health," pointed out Siriwardene.

Understanding truth

In religions we believe what our teachers have taught us. When one gets a healthy mind and body, one is able to go into the great depths of one's religion and understand the truth. That is because our minds get so developed, said Siriwardene.

According to Shehan Nanda Siriwardene yoga is the answer to all ills of life. He said that yoga is for beauty, for health and for developing one'spiritual powers

"One important factor is that yoga fights obesity. The postures of yoga burns off the excess fat. According to yoga philosophy it is because of the joints that the muscles work, it is because of the muscles that the tendons work. Because of both these parts that the organs work and because of the organs the glands work. And because of all these the nerves work. The nerves are important because they distribute the energy. A person may be strong or weak but appear the same - the secret is the activation of the nerves," explained Siriwardene.

He said that when one practices yoga every nerve begins to work. He said that the inner strength and the physical strength both develop together.

According to this great yogi, one need not bend backwards to achieve good looks and good health for yoga is the only way to battle and defeat the ills of these modern times

Personal experiences and comments
HATHA YOGA CHANGED MY LIFE - Dr. Ramya Pathiraja, Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist.
"I am a very busy professional and before I attended classes in Hatha Yoga conducted by Nanda Siriwardene I always felt tired and was not happy. It seemed like something was always missing, but I didn’t know what," says Dr. Ramya Pathiraja,
Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist.

"One day a good friend told me that Yoga postures and relaxation will do me a world of good and I decided to give it a try,’ says Dr Pathiraja.

"I arrived at the class and positioned my mat in a way that I would be able to have a good view of what was going on and made myself comfortable. The atmosphere in the room was very calm and peaceful and I instantaneously felt at ease.  Mr. Nanda Siriwardene who is a wonderful Yoga teacher with many years of experience walked in gracefully with a loving and accepting smile. He took up his position at the front of the class and began to explain what Yoga as all about," recalls Dr. Pathiraja.

"Training Hatha Yoga under the able guidance of Mr. Nanda Siriwardene changed my life. Physically, I felt comfortable and stronger and relaxed too. Mentally I felt an inner calm and a connection with the universe. Through various practices of Yoga and diet changes, breathing and postures as well as the application of basic moral and ethical principles, I gained a greater understanding and acceptance of my life and the world around me," says Dr. Pathiraja.

"Today, I am a happier person. Life still continues to throw its challenges at me – there are ups and downs, but Hatha Yoga has certainly given me the tools to deal effectively with life," says Dr. Ramya Pathiraja.
FREE OF AILMENTS AND MORE ALERT - Shiromi Perera, High Court Judge,Kegalle
"When I came to Guru Nanda Siriwardene to learn Hatha Yoga, I was finding it difficult to even bend. I was suffering from High Blood Pressure and Diabetes. But after I began Hatha Yoga under the guidance of Guru Nanda Siriwardene I felt a remarkable improvement. I found myself mentally alert and experience much pleasantness,’ says High Court Judge  of Kegalle, Shiromi Perera.

Judge Shiromi Perera also went on to say that today she is 90 per cent free of all ailments and said that Mr. Nanda Siriwardene is an exceptional guru who imparts the correct practice of Hatha Yoga.

‘I have gone for these classes for about six months and have observed that not only is Mr. Nanda Siriwardene very qualified and knowledgeable but also very devoted to Hatha Yoga.

"I will not hesitate to recommend the practice of Hatha Yoga to anyone who wants to live life to the fullest.
"I consider myself fortunate to have joined the Hatha Yoga classes conducted by Mr. Nanda Siriwardene which I have followed regularly for the last six years. I feel that Yoga is both an art and a science which any human being can make use of. All human beings are naturally concerned about safeguarding their health and I would rate Yoga as the best forms of exercise to keep yourself fit," observes Business Executive Mr. Lal de Alwis.

Mr. Lal de Alwis goes on to say that Yoga is a unique form of physical exercise in which the entire body and its organs are given an opportunity to normalize performance.

"This leads to a tremendous improvement in our organs and in our general physical health. I have been a very busy business executive for the last three decades. I also hold many positions in social organizations. This has naturally forced me to work in a very stressful environment. I also found during a medical examination that I was mildly diabetic. Therefore on the advise of my family I commenced Yoga classes and I got very attracted to it as my health conditions improved and my stressful lifestyle saw a relaxation set in making my health condition reasonably sound," says Mr. Lal de Alwis.

"There is ample evidence to show that following scientific Yoga classes conducted by Mr. Nanda Siriwardene who is a qualified Yoga Instructor can stabilize one’s health and also ensure longevity provided one practices it well and regularly. I have enjoyed the Pranayam (breathing) classes of Yoga which will also one to maintain good health," says Mr. Lal de Alwis.


PROFESSIONAL SKILL, MASTERY AND PROPER GUIDANCE - Jayantha Gamage. Senior Deputy Inspector General of Police, Ranges IV.

"It is privilege for me to express my views and comments on Yoga exercises which have helped to maintain a very satisfactory physical condition. I have been practicing Yoga exercises everyday for the past five years and this practice has helped me to develop my capabilities and improve my professional attitudes," says Senior Deputy Inspector General of Police Mr. Jayantha Gamage.

"Mr. Nanda Siriwardene is easily one of the more qualified instructors presenting Yoga in Sri Lanka. He conducts classes in Hatha Yoga classes very systematically and his professional manner helps one to develop skill and talent. Through his skill, mastery and knowledge Mr. Nanda Siriwardene has contributed immensely to help upgrade Yoga in Sri Lanka," says Senior Deputy Inspector General of Police


A GIFT TO MANKIND - N.R. Asoka de Silva Former Dean, Faculty of Applied Sciences, Wayamba University

"Hatha Yoga shows us how to discover for ourselves the ‘grace, case and lightness.’ It transforms our thinking. The result – radiant health and eternal bliss manifested through increased flexibility, strength, stamina, and a sound immune system,’ observes Former Dean, Faculty of Applied Sciences, Wayamba University.

Mr. Asoka de Silva goes on to say that ‘The congenital knack of Hatha Yoga guru Shihan Nanda Siriwardene to bring the above transformation in any person is a gift to mankind."


NANDA SIRIWARDENE – A MAN UNMATCHED - Ranee Mohamed, Features Editor, The Sunday Leader

I stand out here for giving my comments about Hatha Yoga conducted by Mr. Nanda Siriwardene because I have never practiced it. But having written several articles about Mr. Nanda Siriwardene, I know his inner thinking and his physical ability in Hatha Yoga which I firmly believe is unmatched. "There are several kinds of instructors in any subject. But I see Mr. Nanda Siriwardene as the complete instructor. He has his heart in Hatha Yoga. His mental calmness, his confidence and his strong physical being are the best advertisement for Hatha Yoga.

During my interviews with him down the years, I have learnt of the dreams, mission and vision of Mr. Nanda Siriwardene. To him Hatha Yoga is not a commercial enterprise. He is truly a spiritual being who is not only the guru that I admire, but a human being I admire for his humane touch. His master ability with Yoga only makes him more popular and more sought after. He is a man that amazes me. Infact what his students say about him during the interviews has not left my mind.

There was not a single person who spoke any ill effect of the Hatha Yoga that Mr. Nanda Siriwardene has taught them. . Everyone was benefited with Hatha Yoga. Though I do not practice Hatha Yoga, I am convinced that Yoga is for all. Every person I have spoken to about Hatha Yoga spoke of the immense benefits both to the mind and body through this ancient system.

In my opinion the best bonus point in the practice of Hatha Yoga with Mr. Nanda Siriwardene is that one gets to learn the subject from an instructor who is not only qualified but also is a human being with a great understanding and a good heart. There are but a few people in life one cannot forget and to me Mr. Nanda Siriwardene is one of them – both for his master ability in Hatha Yoga and the wonderful human being that he is when he is both in and out of the Yoga class.



"I for one have been having High Blood Pressure for about four years and was under treatment with medication but it did not come to normal for sometime. I followed Hatha Yoga and saw almost an immediate reduction and was able to maintain it at a lower level.

I had cervical spondilosis and was on a collar and the two fingers on my left hand was completely numb. Then Sir gave me some special exercises. He was very concerned and under his supervision the numbness went away and I do not wear a collar now and that is a remarkable happening," says Dr. Gurusinghe.


NANDASRI HATHAYOGA INSTITUTE - Dr. Upali Marasinghe, Senior Consultant (Gyn & Obs), Teaching Hospital Colombo south, Sri lanka

As a medical specialist, who joined Nandasiri Hathagoya institute few months ago, I am pleased to state the way a new vision created in my life with regard to mind a body medicine.

As a matter of fact, my whole intention in learning yoga as not to develop my muscle power and psyche, but also to see how I could help my fellow beings who has unbelievable mind-body disturbances.

I made the correct choice by joining this institute which already fulfilled my aspirations.

Teaching practical yoga is a formidable task. In the context your instructor or guru becomes key to your success.

By all means Mr. Nanda Siriwardane is a perfect guru who teaches what he preaches. His sound knowledge with a systemic practical approach to this ancient technique gave me tremendous hope in dealing with mind-body medical practice. At the same time his therapeutic tips, which are essential parts of modern life is an another area which is highlighted in the training sessions.

Anybody seeking the correct place with a perfect teacher, undisputable choice would become Nandasri Hatha yoga Institute.

I wish him and his institute every success.

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