More about Sivananda Ashram.
Ashram is a very special place. Buuuut on the other hand it’s a very normal place. Most people probably think it’s strange religious voodoo place where people drink blood and go into trans. Well, not exactly but if you hear someone singing Hare Krishna, you go across the street and avoid them. At least in my hometown. And who would have thought we’re going to be chanting these songs for 11 days, twice a day. Not me 🙂
This ashram’s is dedicated to two gurus. Swami Sivananda and Swami Vishnudevananda. They were men paying forward the wisdom of yoga and peace. There’s lots of literature on the internet if you want to read more.
For everything included you pay Rs 580 (10 $) per day. Our day looked something like this:
- Wake up bell was at 5.30 am when it was still dark outside.
- At 6 am to 7.30 am was the morning Satsang, that means meditation (gradually from 10 to 30 min), chanting daily mantras and a lecture from chubby Ms. Swami. She is ok, she comes from USA and is only a temporary Swami at this ashram (she resides in Italy). I guess they have exchanges from time to time. At the end of the concluding prayers we got a bit of fruit or dates. Twice a week we did a meditation walk to a farm close by and chant under a big tree.
- 7.30 am was time for morning tea. Best meal ever! I put extra jaggery (unrefined sugar) in so my blood sugar went a bit higher 🙂 Two cups!
- 8 am to 9.45 am morning Asana class (or yoga class). We stuck to beginner’s class and we trained 12 basic asanas (postures) to perfection. Almost 🙂 We started with short chanting followed by breathing exercises, sun salutations and then asanas. We relaxed a lot in between and snoozing was hard to avoid. It felt soooo good 🙂 In the video you can see some of the class before the battery died. And i made a headstand all by myself!
- 10 am was brunch. So actually lunch. Food was delicious, vegetarian courses in so many varieties. Nooooom! And yes, I gained weight. Mic, on the other hand, found his appetite only 3 days before we left. I did have a minor food poisoning but i killed it with antibiotics (that reminds me-I need to make a medications post). Drugs FTW!
- 10.45 am was Karma yoga or selfless service. Everybody has an assignment to do. Mine was working in the Health Hut, making juices and fruit salads. I loved it 🙂 Because of KY everything is very clean.
- 12 to 1.45 pm was lecture time by Mr. Swami. He’s an ex business Indian man with heavy accent. He also studied psychology in his fifties and is interested in astronomy. His lectures were interesting (although he did pepper them with many stories. Too many.) and very logical. We went trough 5 points of yoga: proper relaxation, proper breathing, proper exercise, proper diet and positive thinking & meditation. I won’t go into details but let’s just say it was all very logical. Yoga is not an exercise but the whole package.
”Man’s life is measured by the number of breaths he makes.”
- 2 pm Coaching class was optional and it was meant to be one on one yoga questions for the teacher. This is nice as they help you make a perfect asana posture.
- 4 to 5.45 pm was evening Asana class. The same as in the morning.
- 6 pm dinner time. Super hungry by then. Not so many different dishes here but still good.
- 8 pm evening Satsang. Same as in the morning, only different chants. And we did see movies about both gurus.
- 10 pm lights out. The days were so full we usually fell into our beds 🙂
There is limited internet in the ashram and phones are not forbidden. As you can see the schedule is quite tight. You can come to Yoga vacation at any time (they recommend 1. and 16. of the month) but there is another program going on the same time – Teacher Training Program (TTC) for future yoga teachers or just advanced yoga people. Their schedule is even tighter and couple of them dropped out because it was too much for them (they have to pay 1500 eur for one month).
Girls and boys have different dorms in which you have to be barefoot. Sometimes the electricity goes out or even water because it’s so dry but they work things out quite quickly. They have their own filtered water and a little boutique where you can buy toiletries and cookies. Coooookies.
You can read my overall experience with ashram here.
I want a chocolate. And it’s my birthday today! We’re going for a nice dinner in the evening and the manager of Lake and paddy is insisting on a cake with name 🙂 We’ll see how that goes 😉