As a fairly open-minded gal, I’ve always enjoyed learning about spirituality and different lifestyles. I’ve practiced yoga for several years and finally got the chance to visit an ashram this past weekend at YogaVille.
If you’re not familiar with Yogaville, it’s an ashram or a spiritual community based around Integral Yoga as taught by Sri Swami Satchidananda located in little ole’ Buckingham, Virginia.
We arrived later than scheduled on Friday evening, but dinner was saved for us. The food is all vegetarian and dairy is only allowed on weekends.
After dinner, we headed over to the Lotus for meditation. Talk about a gorgeous building.
Then it was time to check into our room and rest, but not before I took in the handbook.
Each day was jam-packed with events like meditation, yoga, life talks, and meals starting at 6:00am all the way to 9:30 pm.
We started our Saturday morning with meditation and Integral Hatha Yoga.
I got crafty with my yogurt bowl. Oh and just a few flavors of tea to choose from… 🙂
After filling our bellies, we attended a wonderful talk on “Yoga in Daily Life.” My favorite part was a story about a farmer who was asked about the weather. The farmer answered the weather will be great, even though he didn’t know the weather prediction because he chooses a positive outlook no matter what.
Following the inspiring talk, we headed through the trail to the Lotus for meditation.
Then it was time for lunch.
Next we got to tour the Ashram.
We attended another Hatha yoga class and then it was time for dinner.
That evening we watched a DVD of Sri Swami Satchidananda and one of the yoga teachers gave her story and tool kit for life. It was such a fun evening. We sang songs and all came together as one.
The next day we got to sleep in until meditation at 6:20 am. 😉
After meditation, we had Hatha yoga and then breakfast.
Afterwards, we attended another beneficial talk by Sr. Mukti called “Expanding Your Practice.” She was so energetic about her life at the ashram. Her spirit was truly infectious. She told us about the amazing health benefits of practicing yoga and that you only need 10 minutes out of your day to practice deep breathing or a few poses. It’s amazing how valuable deep breathing can be.
Next we headed to lunch where we listened to a reading from Satchidananda’s book.
We listened to a chapter on eating, which was really neat. He advises to eat for nourishment, not for the tongue. We are what we eat and it’s very easy these days to think we are hungry, when actually, we just want to eat for enjoyment. We should distract ourselves when this happens or drink water. If we’re still hungry, go eat, otherwise the feeling will subside. In actuality, we need a lot less food then we think we do.
After lunch we decided to walk around the Ashram a bit and then
practice attempt our headstands.
We attended our final yoga class, Joint Freeing Yoga. The benefits hit you the next morning, and boy, do you feel lose!
Before leaving the ashram, we grabbed a quick dinner. After we ate, we said “goodbye Yogaville” and everyone in earshot said so long. Such friendly, lovely people.
I can honestly say I enjoyed every moment at Yogaville. There was no pressure to follow their beliefs, move there or act any sort of way. I highly recommend anyone interested in calming the nerves, feeling more free, meditating, practicing yoga, or just seeing another side of life to attend Yogaville.
My posture has improved in just the short weekend I spent there and I feel so much more relaxed. (Believe me, that’s a HUGE accomplishment because I have the energy of a 5 year old sometimes- it’s weird.)
Thank you Yogaville for providing such a peaceful serene weekend.
Have you been to an Ashram before? Interested in going to one?
Om Shanti Shanti!