Fifty years ago, in January 1968, Swami Vishnudevananda founded the Sivananda Ashram Yoga Retreat in the Bahamas. Since then, tens of thousands of people have traveled to the ashram to visit, teach, study, live, and serve, immersed in the Sivananda lineage and practices.
This week, we celebrate the birth of the ashram and honor its rich history as a gathering place for spiritual practice, conversation, and exchange and the teachings of yoga and Vedanta. We also look forward and invoke the next 50 years and our vision to serve as a beacon of light for the world.
We welcome you to this auspicious event. Throughout the week, there will be:
• Ceremonial pujas
• Sharing of stories
• Enlightening presentations
• Inspiring performances.
We bring together people from the Sivananda community who worked closely with Swami Vishnudevananda. They will share their firsthand accounts and stories of his teachings, courageous humanitarian actions, and dedication to bringing yoga and Vedanta to the world. We also welcome new and longtime friends of the ashram who join us in advancing our mission and contribute to the ashram’s growth and impact.
We are also proud to welcome The Bahamas’ Minister of Education, Hon. Jeffrey L. Lloyd, and Hon. Dionisio D’Aguilar, MP, Minister of Tourism and Aviation, who will be participating in this auspicious event.
Swami Swaroopananda is a senior disciple of Swami Vishnudevananda. A practicing yogi from a very young age, Swami Swaroopananda has dedicated his life to the practice and teaching of yoga. He taught in Yoga Teacher Training Courses around the world and is currently teaching advanced yoga philosophy courses and lectures internationally. He is Director of the Sivananda Ashram Yoga Retreat and acharya (spiritual director) for the Sivananda centers and ashrams in the Bahamas and the Middle East. He is a member of the Board of Directors of the International Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centres.
Srinivasan is a senior disciple of Swami Vishnudevananda, a member of the Board of Directors of the International Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centers, and a practicing yogi for over 35 years. He is Director of the Sivananda Ashram Yoga Ranch in Woodbourne, New York, and the acharya (spiritual guide) of the Sivananda centers and ashrams of the eastern region of the US. Srinivasan is an instructor in the Sivananda Yoga Teacher Training Course and the Advanced Yoga Teacher Training Course and offers various programs throughout North America.
Kanti Devi is an advanced Sivananda Yoga teacher and direct disciple of Swami Vishnudevananda. She is the director of the Sivananda Centers in South America, as well as Teacher Training Courses in Argentina, Brazil, and Colombia. She received the title of Acharya of the Sivananda centers of South America in 1990, and she organized the first Teacher Training Course in Uruguay. She has taught in many international Teacher Training Courses, translated several books of Swami Sivananda, and organized various symposia and retreats.
Suba Ramesh Parmar, Founder, Shubanjali School of Performing Arts, NJ is a highly sought after dancer, teacher, and choreographer, and a proponent of the vintage Pandanallur style of Bharatanatyam. She is the recipient of many prestigious awards including the Presidential Scholar’s “Most Influential Teacher Award” (2015) by the Obama Administration and the most recent “Lifetime Achievement Award” by Spandana, NJ. She has received rave reviews for her exemplary original dance productions, including ‘Santa N’ Shiva,’ Rendezvous with Shubanjali’, ‘Splash the Wonder,’ ‘Tales of Krishna,’ ‘Chauladevi,’ ‘Beauty and the Beast,’ ‘Lured by the Myths’, ‘Oneness’, ‘Tribute to the Legends’, ‘Tattva Tapas Tejas”, TATHASTU, among many others. She has been regularly performing for the Sivananda Organizations worldwide for over 29 Years in US, Canada, Bahamas, South America and Europe. She is an excellent storyteller and through the medium of Indian classical dance, brings to life the philosophy and stories from Mythology making them understandable to global audiences.
Ramesh Parmar is a successful entrepreneur with a history of establishing, operating, and selling mobile software companies. He is a graduate of the Sivananda Yoga Teacher Training Course and a regular practitioner of Jain Preksha meditation.
Kamala is a long-term disciple of Swami Vishnudevananda and an experienced Sivananda Yoga teacher with a profound knowledge of yoga philosophy. She is the editor of the books Vishnudevananda Upadesha and Samadhi. Kamala is from Australia and directs a yoga school in the Blue Mountains.
Alan Ginsberg (Dr. Gopala) is a licensed acupuncturist and was the personal acupuncturist for Swami Vishnudevananda. He is a longtime friend of the ashram and provided acupuncture treatments for the staff for many years. He was elected “Best of Boston” in acupuncture by Boston Magazine. Dr. Gopala has studied extensively with many masters, including Dr. So, who began the first acupuncture graduate program in the United States. He also studied with Tao Master Mantak Chia, Qigong Master Ou Wen Wei, and Master Yogi Bhajan. Dr. Gopala also provides lifestyle counseling to diverse people from around the world.
Tanya and Paul Hanna are Bahamian music icons as well as producers, songwriters, musicians, and vocalists. They have toured in the Caribbean, the United States, Canada, and Hong Kong. Paul and Tanya have performed with top R&B artist Jeffrey Osbourne, as well as Grammy winners Jeff Haynes, Gary Haase, Roger Ryan, Stan Getz, and Chick and Gail Corea. Recipients of many awards, they are also wellness advocates and are actively involved in their local community.
Swami Brahmananda is Manager of the Sivananda Ashram Yoga Retreat and senior staff of the Sivananda organization. A long-time practitioner of yoga, he regularly teaches yoga philosophy and meditation for the Sivananda Yoga Teacher Training Courses as well as meditation immersion courses. He is a much-loved, inspiring, and knowledgeable teacher.
Arjuna is a direct disciple of Swami Vishnudevananda and the director of Yoga Sivananda, an affiliated-Sivananda Yoga Center in Gatineau, Quebec. He has been a professional vegetarian cook for 25 years and has been teaching family yoga programs in Sivananda centers and ashrams for many years. Arjuna’s approach is dynamic, personal, and inspiring, and includes many instructive stories from his time spent with Swami Vishnudevananda.
Krishnan Namboodiri is a Tantric priest from South India, trained in the classical tradition of mantras (sacred sounds), pujas (prayer ceremonies), homas (fire rituals), and yantras (sacred geometric designs). He performs many daily and special rituals for the ashram.