As we move to tie up the loose ends of 2010 and to celebrate the holidays and the coming year, I wish that all of you may find a moment for yourselves to reflect on the beauty and joys of life. That we are free to enjoy holidays and each other is a wonderful blessing. Friends, Family, Community, and the Planet are good reasons for the season!
I have spent the past weeks at the Sivananda Yoga Farm in Grass Valley, CA. Grass Valley is some 75 miles northeast of Sacramento in the rolling foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. The Yoga Farm is an “ashram” , a word which translates from Sanskrit as House of God. In the photos you will see the daily schedule which is full with practice and study as well as work. Thus far my work includes feeding the animals, laundry duty, and assisting in the kitchen.
The master Sivananda was a Hindu teacher who sent his student, Swami Vishnudevananda to the States in 1959. Swami Vishnu was the first asana teacher to arrive in the West. Most early western yoga practice was influenced by Vishnudevananda. As he was a Hindu monk, those classes had a decidedly religious flavor. My first Yoga Teacher Training Course was here at the Yoga Farm in 1980 with Swami Vishnu. After 30 years I have come full circle through the mainstreaming of yoga as fitness, to return to my interest in yoga as an aid in the explanation of life. This obviously is a personal decision. The use of yoga for fitness and therapy is entirely appropriate. The day to day living in a community dedicated to furthering spiritual development is a 24/7 growth experience for me. I am tremendously grateful for this opportunity.
Here are a few pictures to give you the flavor of the Ashram. As it has been steadily raining since I arrived, I will plead weather as a determining factor in the sharing of photos. Click back and forth for the full images. To be continued in 2011!!
Happy Happy Holidays! Love and Blessings in the New Year.