André Van Lysebeth, who he was

André Van Lysebeth, who he was

When yoga here was still a discipline to be discovered, André Van Lysebeth traveled to India by car from Europe to learn its secrets and become one of the first yoga teachers in the West.

André Van Lysebeth
  • André Van Lysebeth the pioneer
  • Travels to India by André Van Lysebeth
  • Books and yogic holidays
  • The masters of a master



André Van Lysebeth the pioneer

André Van Lysebeth is undoubtedly to be considered among the most important pioneers of yoga in Europe, being one of the first European practitioners and teachers. Of Belgian origin (born in Brussels in 1919), André Van Lysebeth spent many years working in a publishing house, where at the beginning of his career he heard about yoga and a certain Swami Sivananda from Tirunelveli .   


He immediately became passionate about the subject, reading all the material he could find, in the meantime putting aside all possible savings to pay for a trip to India , which he managed to do only after the end of the Second World War.


Travels to India by André Van Lysebeth

His first trip to India was a real adventure : a car trip with the whole family (wife and children). He reached Rishikesh and finally met with Swami Sivananda, taking lessons from him in person in what is now known as the Sivananda Ashram .


After this intense period of study and application, André Van Lysebeth returned to Europe where he opened his first yoga studio, setting out to teach . In the following years he continued to return to India (always adventurously by car) to continue studying with his teacher.


Books and yogic holidays

In 1968 he wrote his first book in French on yoga, published in Paris, with the Italian title “ I Learn Yoga ”, which immediately became a best seller and one of the most famous books on yoga . 


This basic text was followed by other books on various themes concerning the yoga universe , such as pranayama , tantra , rejuvenation , yoga for the mind , ending up even venturing into an encyclopedia of yoga . 


In addition to teaching yoga and publishing books on the subject, André Van Lysebeth became famous for his retreats or “yogic holidays” , in fascinating and inspiring places – including Italy – during which participants could practice twice per day under his direct supervision.


The masters of a master

Its main teachers are mainly two. The first is the aforementioned Swami Sivananda , yogi and Tamil guru residing in Rishikesh, a well-known master of Vedantic yoga who has more than 200 books on yoga and Indian philosophy to his credit. André Van Lysebeth spent about a dozen years with Swami Sivananda. 


The other teacher is  K. Pattahbi Jois , a disciple of Krishnamacharya together with BKS Iyengar , a yoga teacher from Mysore known in the West above all for having brought ashtanga yoga to the attention of the general public (especially the Western one) . 

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