Yoga Vacation Program
December 27, 2021 — January 1, 2022

Christmas & New Year Unity in Diversity Symposium

Towards a Bright Future

Swami Swaroopananda, Swami Brahmananda, Jetsunma Tenzin Palmo, Daniel Matt, Jeffrey Lloyd, Shaykh Abdul Haqq, Lama Karma Chötso, Acharya Mangalananda, Krishnan Namboodiri, Swami Paramananda, Rukmini Chaitanya, and Jnaneshwari Chaitanya

Register for the Free Online version of this program

Join us this holiday season for a joyous celebration during our annual Christmas & New Year Unity in Diversity Symposium. World-renowned spiritual leaders, musicians and artists from different religions and spiritual traditions will inspire us and help us navigate this time of change and new beginnings as we move forward towards a bright future. Through live lectures, workshops, concerts, and performances, we will deepen our understanding of the spiritual path and how we can march forward towards a bright future for ourselves and humanity. We will reflect on the past year and establish a new, enlightened vision for the coming year.

The teaching of Unity in Diversity was at the core of Swami Vishnudevananda’s mission. According to yoga and Vedanta philosophy, the one God or Ultimate Reality manifests as a multiplicity of names, forms, shapes, and colors. There is an underlying unity which supports our manifested diversity. “Unity” and “diversity” are one and the same and their essence is our own essence: pure existence, pure consciousness, and pure bliss.

Join us for this spiritual gathering and gain a direct glimpse of this truth. Through talks, concerts, spiritual practices, discussions, and more, we will participate in breaking down artificial barriers and experience the unity in our diversity.

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.

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.

Jetsunma Tenzin Palmo became a Buddhist while still in her teens. At the age of 20, she traveled to India and become one of the first Westerners to be ordained as a Tibetan Buddhist nun. The international best-seller Cave in the Snow by Vicki Mackenzie chronicles Tenzin’s 12 years of seclusion in the Himalayas. In 2008, the head of the Drukpa Kagyu lineage gave her the rare title of Jetsunma (venerable master). Deeply concerned with the plight of Buddhist nuns, Jetsunma Tenzin established Dongyu Gatsal Ling Nunnery in India. She has written two books: Reflections on a Mountain Lake and Into the Heart of Life.

Daniel Matt is a scholar of Kabbalah, who taught for many years at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley. His books include The Essential Kabbalah (translated into eight languages), God and the Big Bang, and his nine-volume annotated translation of the Zohar, The Zohar: Pritzker Edition, which has been hailed as “a monumental contribution to the history of Jewish thought.”

Recently, his biography of Elijah (Becoming Elijah: Prophet of Transformation) was published by Yale University Press in their series Jewish Lives. Daniel lives in Berkeley with his wife Hana and teaches Zohar online.

Jeffrey Lloyd was born in New Providence, The Bahamas. He is the former Minister of Education in The Bahamas Parliament. He is a leader in Christianity and an active member in his Roman Catholic church. He is also a practitioner of Siddha yoga. Mr. Lloyd is married to the former Michelle Donna Marie Mitchell. He is the proud father of 5 daughters and also has 5 grand children.

Shaykh Abdul Haqq is the national director of the Naqshandi Haqqani Sufi Order of America. He is a disciple of the famous Sufi Master, Shaykh Nazim Adil Al-Haqqani from Cyprus. He travels all over the world teaching Sufism and Islamic mysticism in universities, churches, synagogues, temples, and spiritual centers of diverse faiths.

Lama Karma Chötso is a Buddhist nun and has been practicing within the Kagyu lineage for more than 35 years. She is the resident teacher of the Open Awareness Buddhist Center in Miami, and she practices as a meditator, teacher, writer, singer, and painter. Her sangha has built four Tibetan stupas at the Lama Residence in South Florida, and she is now helping in the building of a stupa for her sangha in Peru.

Acharya Mangalananda is a direct disciple of Sri Anandamayi Ma, a venerated Indian saint of the 20th century. Though an American by birth, a lifetime of Indian culture has given him a deep immersion into the traditional spiritual music of India. He is now a kirtan singer well-versed in the traditional kirtan style of India’s rural villages.

Devoted to Sri Anandamaya Ma and her direct disciples, he helped establish a spiritually-based school for local village children after living in her ashram. After teaching in the school for twelve years, he toured internationally to give kirtan presentations and spiritual workshops. In 2013, he returned to the United States and now hosts a small ashram in the San Francisco Bay area, sharing kirtan and classes.

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.

Swami Paramananda is the manager of the Sivananda Ashram Yoga Ranch and longtime teacher of Sivananda Yoga Teacher Trainings in the Bahamas, New York, and India. A much-loved teacher admired for his humor, warmth, and devotion to the practice, he seamlessly weaves classical yoga teachings into modern daily life.

Rukmini Chaitanya is a senior staff member of the Sivananda Ashram Yoga Retreat Bahamas, and the personal assistant to Swami Swaroopananda, the Acharya, or spiritual director of the Ashram. She regularly teaches the Bhagavad Gita during the Sivananda Yoga Teacher training as well as other courses on the Bhagavad Gita, Vedanta, positive thinking, meditation, and yoga philosophy.

Rukmini Chaitanya is known for her enthusiastic and inspiring teaching style as well as for her devotion to the lineage and the scriptures. She is dedicated to each of her students and has an innate desire to share knowledge with them. She brings a great deal of clarity to every topic and is highly appreciated for her capacity to unfold complicated topics and present them in a coherent and pure way.

Rukmini Chaitanya was interviewed on The Spiritually Inspired Show

Jnaneshwari Chaitanya is a senior staff member and teacher of the Sivananda Ashram Yoga Retreat. An experienced and devoted practitioner, she is an inspiring and insightful teacher of Yoga and Vedanta in Yoga teachers training courses and many of the ashram programs. Jnaneshwari Chaitanya is known for her clear and pure way of communicating the knowledge and its application in daily life, and is especially known for her skill in teaching the Bhagavad Gita.

June 2
evening satsang
Science, Reality and Everyday Life | Menas Kafatos

June 3
morning satsang
Cultivating Willpower Through Yoga | Jnaneshwari Chaitanya

noon workshop
Creating a Yogic Practice and Lifestyle at Home | Pranava Chaitanya

evening satsang
The Big Questions of Physics | Prantik Kundu

June 4
noon workshop
Creating a Yogic Practice and Lifestyle at Home | Pranava Chaitanya

2pm workshop
Free Your Voice Workshop | Silvia Nakkach and Joss Jaffe

evening satsang
Neuroscience, the Brain, and Consciousness | Prantik Kundu

June 5
morning satsang
The Teacher, the Student: The Merging of Science and Spirituality | Menas Kafatos

noon workshop
Creating a Yogic Practice and Lifestyle at Home | Pranava Chaitanya

evening satsang
Musical Offering |Silvia Nakkach and Joss Jaffe

June 6
morning satsang
Who Am I: The Practice of Vedantic Inquiry | Rukmini Chaitanya

noon workshop
Pranayama Workshop | Swami Shambhudevananda

evening satsang
Musical Offering |Silvia Nakkach and Joss Jaffe

June 7
morning satsang
Swami Swaroopananda’s Birthday Puja | Shri Mukundabhattar Santhanam

noon workshop
Pranayama Workshop | Swami Shambhudevananda

evening satsang
Bharatanatyam Dance Performance (Classical Indian Dance) | Suba Ramesh Parmar with Sapna Rajesh and Sanjana Rajesh

June 8
noon workshop
Bharatanatyam Dance Workshop (Classical Indian Dance | Suba Ramesh Parmar with Sapna Rajesh and Sanjana Rajesh

evening satsang
Yoga and Christianity | Jeffrey Lloyd

June 9
morning satsang
How to Deepen Your Practice with Daily Sadhana | Jnaneshwari Chaitanya

noon workshop
How to Cultivate Virtues and Eradicate Vices | Swami Paramananda

evening satsang
Questions and Answers on Yoga and Spiritual Life | Swami Swaroopananda

June 10
morning satsang
How to Purify the Mind with the Practice of Yamas and Nyamas | Swami Brahmananda

noon workshop
How to Cultivate Virtues and Eradicate Vices | Swami Paramananda

evening satsang
The Power of Prayer | Swami Hridyananda

June 11
noon workshop
Positive Thinking in Daily Life | Swami Shambhudevananda

evening satsang
When You Fall Into the Sea | Music Concert with Paul and Tanya Hanna

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