UNITED KINGDOM, October 17, 2019 (The Guardian, by Jane Sill): My friend and teacher Swami Shivapremananda, who has died aged 94, was a monk and yogi who spread the teachings of Sivananda yoga throughout the world. A regular visitor to the British Wheel of Yoga's annual congress, he led many retreats and yoga seminars in the UK and also in mainland Europe. He was also the author of a number of books in Spanish and English, including Yoga for Stress Relief (1997), and a regular contributor to Yoga & Health magazine, of which I was the editor from 1990 to 2013.
In 1945, at the age of 19, he travelled to Rishikesh, Uttarakhand, where he met Swami Sivananda, the founder of the Divine Life Society. He was to stay there for more than 16 years, changing his name to Shivapremananda when he was ordained and studying the major branches of yoga, comparative religions and philosophy while serving as Swami Sivananda's personal secretary.
From 1949 he taught at the Yoga-Vedanta Forest Academy, based at the ashram in Rishikesh, and was editor of the Divine Life and Wisdom Light monthly magazines. He also took part in social work under the auspices of the Sivananda Eye Relief camps and visited monasteries in the Himalayas and Tibet.
In 1961 he became a director, first of the Sivananda Yoga-Vedanta Centre in Milwaukee and then, from 1964 to 1970, of a similar centre in New York. After moving to South America he founded Sivananda Yoga-Vedanta centers in Buenos Aires, Montevideo and Santiago, sharing his time between those places while also traveling to Europe and India every two years.
Erudite but never pompous, Shivapremananda will be remembered by those who knew him as an outspoken, insightful voice, full of practical common sense. His honesty and personal integrity were unwavering and he did not suffer fools or hypocrites gladly. He was kind and generous with his time and resources, and made a large bequest to the children's hospital in Buenos Aires, where a wing has been named in his honor.