Our Philosophy

White Swan Yoga, located in Manchester, New Hampshire's quiet North End, is dedicated to teaching classical Hatha Yoga in the tradition of the Himalayan International Institute.

While yoga has fortunately become widespread in the Western world, it often gets misunderstood as simply a set of exercises for slimming, strengthening, and toning the body. At White Swan Yoga, consistent with the ancient Indian yogic tradition codified by Patanjali and developed over more than two thousand years, yoga is a way of life that is aimed at bodily, mental, and spiritual well-being.

Classes are small, and care and attention is paid to each student. Our goal is to provide all students with the foundations of a yoga practice that can become a part of their daily life, and give to them not only physical health and beauty, but also a greater measure of tranquility and joy.

What's in a Name?

A white swan is the vehicle of the Hindu goddess Saraswati, whose name in Sanskrit means "essence of one's self."  Saraswati is the goddess of wisdom, art, music, nature, and knowledge. Thus, Saraswati can be thought of as the goddess who inspires our creativity as a means to self expression and self knowledge.  

Why a swan? Swans are said to be discriminating, so much so that they can separate and drink milk that has been mixed with water. The swan thus symbolizes the ability to distinguish between the good and bad, the true and false, and the permanent and impermanent. For us, there is further symbolism in the beauty and grace of the swan, including its ability to glide effortlessly and unruffled along the water amidst the activity that is occurring both above and beneath the water's surface. Just like Saraswati, we too can maneuver through the hustle and bustle of life with a white swan as our vehicle, with grace and ease on a journey of self-discovery.