Sivananda Yoga Ranch

Holiday Greetings from New York!

The Sivananda Yoga Ranch is 90 miles northwest of New York City, making it an easy retreat center for urban residents. I arrived here in November for a 3 month work exchange program. In exchange for work in the kitchen, laundry, and housekeeping departments, I get room and board and the availability of  6 hours per day of Yoga Sadhana. Sadhana is the Sanskrit term for practices aimed at developing one’s spiritual potentials. It is valuable to me to live in a community that shares and supports my interests in yoga and Eastern philosophy. With the practice time and the work time, there is very little “free” time, thus blog posting becomes a bit problematic.

In these photos you meet some of the fellow residents with whom I share many hours of work and study. As most of them are in their early 20’s, I feel rather fortunate just to keep up! Living in close proximity with others is never easy, therefore the lifestyle provides a groundwork for the development of patience and allowing. I feel very blessed to have a lifestyle that can afford me such an opportunity.

As we have safely navigated the Mayan Calender and will soon be celebrating the New Year of 2013, I send to each and everyone blessings for a joyful and loving holiday. We have so very much for which to give thanks. As we bustle about in our celebrations, be sure to include a few deep breaths of thanksgiving.

Happy Happy Holidays! You can click back and forth on the photos for a better view.


Niagara Falls, New York

Many persons traveling across the Northeast US will make a stop at Niagara Falls. The Falls are actually a combination of three different waterfalls, and mark the boundary between the US and Canada. Combined, the three falls make for the highest flow rate of any waterfall in the world. They were also the sight of early developments in generating hydroelectric power, hence the acknowledgement of Nikola Tesla.

As you can see in the pictures here, it is possible to stand inches from the edge of the Falls. This is a truly awe inspiring experience! After a summer of white water rafting, my appreciation of the beauty of moving water is co-mingled with a humility for its power. The availability of authentic New York Italian cuisine in conjunction with the Falls makes this a noteworthy visit, even if slightly off the main route.

Next stop for me, the Sivananda Yoga Ranch in the New York Catskill Mountains.

Mackinac Island, Michigan

The autumn season finds me in a beautiful State Park in upper Michigan; Mackinac Island.  For those of you in southern California, envision Catalina Island off the coast of Los Angeles. One of the attractive points for tourism to Mackinac Island is the prohibition of motor vehicles. The only modes of transport are horse draw carriages and bicycles. The island is approximately only 8 miles in circumference, but as a State Park it is riddled with biking and hiking trails. I have been surprised at the volume of tourists. Apparently it is a must see adventure for the North Mid Eastern United States.

The autumn season has brought cool to cold weather, autumn colors for the foliage, and a very pleasant number of  tourists. In the summer months the population can swell to 15,000. Year round it is 500! I have appreciated the cool weather after a summer in Georgia. The biking and hiking have been wonderful ! And the seasonal job income will allow me to spend the winter months at the Sivananda Yoga Ranch in the Catskill Mountains of New York.

I hear of a heat wave from my friends in southern California. Sounds like October Santa Ana winds? Wherever October finds you, I wish that there is happiness and fulfillment in your life. Remember to count your blessings. They are ever present, but do need to be acknowledged.

This is a very scenic area. Do click back and forth on the back arrow to get the full viewing of the photos.

Blessings for an autumn season full of light!