Many spiritual communities view the Covid pandemic as the beginning of shifting in the energy dynamic of the Earth. This phase is challenging and we all are going through it. A soulful travel experience is needed now than ever before. For a quiet getaway and also for a spiritual uplift Sivananda Asharam is a perfect option.
Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Dhanwantari Ashram,Neyyar Dam(Kerala,India) offers many course options designed to bring us more close to Yoga and Vedanta. For more details https://sivananda.org.in/neyyardam/
Yoga Vacation is perfect for anybody who wants a soul recharge. It is from a minimum of 3 days to any number of days you can extend. The quality of the classical Hatha-Yoga they teach is good. The main factor that attracted me the most is the global nature of the Ashram and the way they see everyone above all the differences. My heart was truly drenched in love to see all these people sharing so much love and building a beautiful community.
Though I had my practices,4 weeks of Yoga teachers training course from the Ashram perfected everything. These are my observations about the ashram experience.
A community of warm and welcoming people.
As most of us are living disconnected and are unable to socialize, ashram can be a solace. Not only that you get to meet amazing people, but you also get an environment that encourages a healthy way of introspection. As an empath, if I am with a group of people most of the time I ended up drained and exhausted. Here in the ashram, my energy levels were soaring high most of the time. I took lots of time immersing myself in this energy. If you are struggling through these days and you can afford to make a journey I encourage you to visit
A deeper understanding of Vedanta and Bhagavad Gita.
Though I am a Hindu, I have always tried not to identify with Hinduism or any religion. Here I have got to learn in-depth about Yoga, Vedanta philosophy, and the Bhagavad Gita. The core teachings are so pure and sacred. It is about you you alone. The scriptures are meant to free us from everything and to lead us home. Unfortunately, it has now become another tool for attachment in many people.
Purification in all levels.
Sadhana practices are to prepare us for the higher goal. Daily practices of pranayama, meditation chanting, and yoga will help in physical and emotional level purification. Purification is required to clear the mind to help you focus.
Introduction to Karma Yoga.
Karma yoga is one of the four paths of Yoga. For a Karmayogi all actions are offerings to the Brahman or the unmanifested. All actions are performed with love and without the expectation of reward. The essence of karma yoga is to release us from the grasp of the ego. The Ashram is run by volunteers thus the tenants are also expected to perform different duties or karma yoga. I found this experience grounding and taught me to develop a practice where everything I do is an act of love and intention.
Nature at its best.
The Ashram is located in the foothills of Western Ghats. You can enjoy the rawness of nature’s beauty.
Taste of simple living.
This was huge for me. Though I had decided to change my lifestyle into more sustainable and minimalistic I wasn’t quite there. The Ashram is far from city province and you have a supply of only necessary items in the store, you will learn to live with that. Shockingly you will realize how much less is required for you to live fully.30 days of ashram life has enabled me to identify the fine line between want and need.
Yoga is much more than physical exercise. Though it is widely taught as a physical exercise the real purpose of yoga is self-realization, which is the highest goal according to Vedanta. As mind and body are related through yoga, you are gaining mastery over the physical body and mind. Yoga is developed by the ancient sages in India, it has more depth to it and the beauty is through daily practice you can experience it. Learning classical Hatha-Yoga from the actual masters is empowering. When the teachers teach with reverence to the masters you will also have that feeling of becoming part of something sacred.
I have never experienced a Ashram life before. This retreat from the normal life has been the best thing happened to me in the recent years. Though the teachers training course is really intense I was at ease and found myself in a state of flow.
Sivanada Ashram is a perfect place to experience the traditional spiritual practices in India.