Swami Durgananda was born in Cologne, Germany in 1943. After a period of spiritual study in Rishikesh and various ashrams in India, she met Swami Vishnudevananda in 1973 at the Sivananda Yoga Centre in San Francisco. She received sannyas initiation on New Year’s Day in 1976. Following the wish of Swami Vishnudevananda, Swami Durgananda established the Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centres Europe in 1975 and was appointed director of the European Sivananda Centres in 1984. She is the acharya for the centres in Europe.