by guest author Amrita
…a daily life of hatha yoga, meditation, pranayama, chanting, deep philosophical discussions.
…absorbing the positive energy and inhaling fresh air in a quiet and idyllic environment surrounded by nature and then sharing delicious vegetarian meals and sleeping in simple dwellings.
The Ashram feeling is one of community, people coming together from all walks of life and every corner of the world to begin or to deepen their own personal yoga journey, living alongside their teachers who have been through the same journey and who have continued on the yogic path of selfless service and devotion.
Immersing yourself in this way of life allows you to let go of the outside world and to tune your awareness to your inner world.
Focussing your mind on your personal and spiritual development and in turn welcoming a gradual progression towards inner peace and contentment.
If this description brings a smile to your dial, or even awakens some small yearning within, then maybe you are ready for a taste of Ashram life.
There is an array of different ashrams worldwide, all offering something unique.
Some focus more on chanting, meditation and devotional practices while others are primarily dedicated to the physical aspects of yoga.
For a holistic experience, Sivananda ashrams offer a daily schedule based on the principle of the synthesis of yoga which encompasses Karma Yoga (selfless service), Bhakti yoga (devotional), Raja Yoga (Mind control) and Jnana Yoga (philosophical).
You can fully experience a taste of the ashram life for yourself without traveling overseas and living in an ashram by going to one of the retreats offered by the Sivananda Yoga Centre in New Plymouth.
The most recent retreat was held in central New Plymouth, on a large property next to a beautiful river.
It followed the schedule of the Sivananda Ashrams worldwide:
- Everyone woke to a morning bell at 5:30am to prepare for meditation and chanting (Satsang), followed by a two hour morning Asana class.
- After that, the first meal of the day was enjoyed and then duties were allocated for Karma Yoga.
- Then some free time for participants to mingle and get to know each other.
- At 2pm was the workshop focussing in depth on studies of Yoga and Yogic philosophy.
- The two hour afternoon Asana class was next and at 6pm the tasty evening meal was enjoyed.
- To cap off an already inspiring day, the evening Satsang further uplifted our spirits with everyone coming together to meditate, chant and make music, creating an amazing vibe together.
The next Sivananda weekend retreat looks to be as awesome as the last.
It’s held on February 12th – 14th this year and follows the same schedule as the last retreat, but this time set out of town at the Te Wera Valley Lodge (Taranaki), a spacious property set amongst native bush and birds. What is striking about the location is the peace and quiet.
It will be an amazing opportunity to retreat from hustle and bustle and turn your mind inwards.
Yoga means union. It shows us how to unite all our life-forces by directing them inward.
The goal is happiness and happiness lies within. – Swami Vishnudevananda
The upcoming Sivananda weekend retreat starts at 6pm on Friday 12th February 2010 and goes through until 6pm Sunday 14th. Te Wera Valley Lodge, 3560 Ohura Road, R.D 25, Stratford.
To register or for more information contact 06 753 8234 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Prices start at $200 (all inclusive)
Missed this retreat? Keep checking in with Sivananda Yoga Centre in New Plymouth as they hold various retreats through out the year, as does Anahata Retreat down in the South Island just outside of Nelson.