2016-2017 Welcome from Swami Swaroopananda
As we approach our 50-year anniversary, it is with deep gratitude that we welcome you to the Sivananda Ashram Yoga Retreat. Our mission is to continue to serve the legacy of our Guru, Swami Vishnudevananda, and our Master, Swami Sivananda, by spreading peace, health, and joy through the practice and philosophy of yoga and Vedanta.
The ashram here in the Bahamas is an active place — a spiritual home and sanctuary and a center for yogic living, learning, and training that runs 12 months a year, attracting thousands of people from all over the world each year. Every day, we welcome new faces to our shores: guests, students, Karma Yogis — here for a few days, a few weeks, or more. Our Teacher Training Course (TTC) also takes place regularly throughout the year, with students engaged in a deeply transformative 28-day yoga journey, one I recommend be undertaken by everyone who can. This year, we will surpass 40,000 graduates from the TTC since its inception. Swami Vishnudevananda called them peace ambassadors; he said they will go into the world and spread peace because they carry within their hearts the seed of peace.
Our lineage is based on a core principle of Unity in Diversity. As Swami Vishnudevananda did before us, we invite a wide range of religious and spiritual teachers, scientists, healers, medical doctors, thought leaders, sacred artists and performers, as well as yoga instructors. In coming together in our diversity and sharing our unique perspectives, teachings, and practices, we begin to discover the oneness that unites us — the oneness that is our true Self. This year, we are honored to welcome many esteemed presenters with much to contribute in sustaining this hope. Alongside our own swamis and senior teachers, we gather so that we can all learn, grow, and expand our own horizons.
These are challenging times in the world. Hope for the future lies in the elevation of human consciousness through individual transformation, and yoga provides a path for this transformation. In India in 1957, when Swami Vishnudevananda was given 10 rupees and told by Swami Sivananda, “Go the West, people are waiting,” yoga was practically unknown. Now, there are 800 million people throughout the world who practice yoga — and that number is only growing. This is because yoga changes peoples’ lives for the better in real, practical ways.
From our five and a half acres on Paradise Island in the Bahamas, we connect people from all over the world and all walks of life, religions, and backgrounds. We invite you to be one of them.
Om shanti, Om peace