Sivananda Ashram Yoga FarmIn 1971, Swami Vishnu-devananda returned to California and founded the third ashram in the young Sivananda International organization: the Sivananda Ashram Yoga Farm on 40 acres of land located in the Gold Country of the beautiful Sierra Nevada Foothills in Northern California. The "Yoga Farm," as Swami Vishnu-devananda nicknamed the ashram, remained his favorite place for personal retreat and is where he wrote "Meditation and Mantras." For almost 20 years the ashram remained in its original state: a farmhouse and pond surrounded by rolling hills and majestic oaks, saturated with the songs of wildlife.
In 1974, the Yoga Farm hosted the first Sivananda Teachers' Training Course on the West Coast. Yoga practitioners are increasingly aware of deeper and subtler aspects of classical yogic teachings, and seek a retreat where they can deepen their practice, renew their inspiration and further educate themselves. The Sivananda Ashram Yoga Farm responds by maintaining a pure atmosphere where people rediscover their Divine Self. It is a spiritual, non-sectarian, non-profit organization run entirely by dedicated Yoga teachers who selflessly teach this ancient system. It is a spiritual, non-sectarian, non-profit organization run entirely by dedicated Yoga teachers who selflessly teach this. "Sivananda Yoga is qualified in Time Magazine article on Yoga as "moderately difficult" and is "One of the world's largest schools of Yoga, Sivananda calls for the rigorous application of Yoga postures, breathing exercises, relaxation, vegetarian diet and study of scriptures. May require lifestyle changes"
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Sadhana Intensive is a two-week program devised by Swami Vishnudevananda based on his own hatha yoga sadhana in the Himalayas. He said that six months of this intensive practice gave him the energy to carry out his mission of spreading the teachings of yoga in the West for next 40 years.
This course is based on individual self-practice divided into two or three sessions per day. The emphasis is on intense and prolonged pranayama. Students work towards eight hours of hatha yoga per day which is balanced by the study of classical scriptures.
The course demands a high level of self-discipline and students are guided according to individual needs. Students are expected to remain within the ashram premises throughout the course with no free days, no access to telephone or email and a strict sattvic diet (salt, spice, tea and sugar free).
The highly controlled environment is vital for this type of practice.
The course requires some preparation from the student. Interested students are advised to prepare by following a regular daily hatha yoga practice and a sattvic lifestyle. Sound physical and mental health is a pre-requisite.
Sadhana Intensive affords a unique opportunity to extend the limits of our capabilities, strengthen our stamina and develop self-confidence with long lasting effects.
- Explanation and practice of advanced pranayama, bandhas (locks) and mudras (seals). - Daily self practice of asana. - Practice of shat kriyas (cleansing techniques). - Meditation and chanting. - Keeping spiritual diary. - Mouna (at certain times of the day) to conserve the vital energy Study of: - "Viveka Chudamani" by Sankaracharya A standard text on Vedanta philosophy which describes the practical methods towards realizing the Self and the necessary preparations for it. - "Hatha Yoga Pradipika" by Yogi Swatmarama with commentary by Swami Vishnudevananda. This classical text on Hatha Yoga explains in detail asanas, pranayama, Mudras, Bandhas and the process of awakening the Kundalini. - "Srimad Bhagavatam" by Vyasa Maharishi is one of the most important works on Bhakti Yoga. Listening to these stories fills the mind with universal love and opens the heart, which is the key to experiencing the deepest levels of Hatha Yoga and for the practice of Bhakti yoga. Sadhana Intensive course manual (supplied)
The daily schedule includes:
- Practice of kriyas. - Morning and evening satsang with meditation and chanting. - Two or three practice sessions of asana and advanced pranayama incorporating bandhas and mudras. - Study of Hatha Yoga Pradipika / Viveka Chudamani / Srimad Bhagavatam. - Morning almond milk drink, brunch and dinner. - Participation in entire daily schedule is mandatory. The course director may change the schedule according to the need of the students.
Sadhana Intensive courses are open only to Sivananda Teachers Training Course (TTC) graduates. Good physical and mental health as well as a high degree of self-motivation are required due to the very intensive nature of the course.
An internationally recognized certificate from the International Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre organization (ISYVC) is awarded on completion of the course.
WHAT TO BRING
Copies of the texts, personal toiletries, towel, asana mat, meditation cushion, comfortable footwear, warm clothing and shawl are useful. The ashram boutiques stock most of these items including books, stationery and clothing.
Remember to take your TTC uniforms and a copy of your TTC diploma. Students are expected to wear their uniforms during satsang and lecture times.
Uniforms are not provided for the course but are usually available for purchase at the ashram boutique.
Swami Sitaramananda is the Director of the Sivananda Ashram Yoga Farm in Grass Valley, California, and a direct disciple of Swami Vishnudevananda. She has many years of experience teaching meditation, Yoga philosophy and positive thinking all over the world. She has authored a Positive Thinking Manual and is an expert in the art of teaching positive thinking and how to deal with the mind and emotions.See more photos and other events by this presenter
Swami Pranavananda took the vow of Sannyas in 1995. He is a gifted teacher who is the main hatha yoga teacher at the ashram and teaches the Anatomy and Physiology section of our Teachers Training Course. He co-directed the San Francisco Center for five years. A talented musician, he enjoys leading kirtan and bhajan chanting sessions during satsang.See more photos and other events by this presenter
Ananta Chaitanya graduated TTC in 2009 and has remained Staff since then. He served in Los Angles Yoga Center in 2010 and in San Francisco Yoga Center in 2011. In 2012 and 2013 he traveled to Vietnam as Swami Sitaramananda's personal assistant helping teach the Hath Yoga classes for the TTC. Ananta ch. also assists Durga Leela in teaching the 12 days Ayurveda and Yoga Wellness Certification course integrating ayurvedic principles onto the yoga mat. Ananta ch. has called the Yoga Farm in Grass valley his home now for the past 4 years. He loves living in a community close to the land and has helped assisting the Permaculture Design course and overseeing the blossoming vegetable garden.See more photos and other events by this presenter