Yoga Vacation Program
June 2 — 9, 2024

Swami Swaroopananda's Birthday Celebration

Swami Swaroopananda, Dr. John Douillard, Amoda Maa, Swapan Chaudhuri, Pankaj Mishra, Swami Paramananda Giri, Menas Kafatos, Suzanne Bryant, and Senior Staff of the Yoga Retreat

We invite all new, returning, and longtime members of the Sivananda community to come together for a joyful celebration in honor of the Sivananda lineage and the celebration of the birthday of the ashram’s director and acharya, Swami Swaroopananda.

We will enjoy a special Q & A on Yoga and Spiritual Life with Swami Swaroopananda, talks on Ayurveda, musical offerings, and Sivananda teachings from senior ashram staff and other special guest presenters.

With a special birthday puja on the morning of June 7, a birthday feast, gift-opening ceremonies, addresses by Swamiji’s devotees from the ashram and around the world, and a most amazing birthday cake… we encourage you to be with us during this joyful time.


The vision behind this symposium is to celebrate Unity in Diversity by gathering spiritual leaders from all traditions, musicians, artists, dancers, scientists, philosophers and scholars. We gather these variety of minds to expand our knowledge and horizons. Doing so is in accordance with the mission of Swami Sivananda and Swami Vishudevananda. This mission of Unity in Diversity is now the foundation of the Sivananda organization, of which Swami Swaroopananda-ji is one of the most senior spiritual leaders.


Discover the 8 days and nights of wonder and see what the ashram has in store for both in-person and virtual attendees of the symposium held in celebration of Swami Swaroopananda’s birthday and the Sivananda lineage.

June 2-5: Suzanne Bryant

June 6: Dr. John Douillard

June 5: Menas Kafatos via Zoom

June 6: Swapan Chaudri and Pankaj Mishra

June 7: Swami Paramananda Giri

June 8: Swami Swaroopananda

June 9: Swami Paramananda Giri

June 9: Amoda Maa

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.

Dr. John Douillard, DC, CAP is a globally recognized leader in the fields of natural health, Ayurveda, and sports medicine. He is the creator of LifeSpa.com, where ancient Ayurvedic wisdom meets modern science. LifeSpa.com is one of the leading Ayurvedic health and wellness resources on the web with over 11 million views on YouTube and over 130 thousand newsletter subscribers. LifeSpa.com is evolving the way Ayurveda is understood around the world, with thousands of free articles and videos published weekly.

Dr. John is the former Director of Player Development for the New Jersey Nets NBA team, author of 7 health books including his newest Amazon bestseller Eat Wheat and a repeat guest on the Dr. Oz show, He directs LifeSpa Ayurvedic Clinic, the 2013 Holistic Wellness Center of the Year in Boulder, CO.

Amoda Maa offers a profound invitation to all those who wish to embody the truth of awakened consciousness in the midst of everyday life. Her teachings are free of any ideology and are not affiliated with any lineage or tradition, and yet the luminous truth expressed through these teachings is the same nondual understanding at the core of many spiritual traditions. Arising from her own direct experience and expressed in a contemporary language, these teachings are relevant and accessible to all people from all backgrounds and cultures.

She has been a speaker and guest teacher at a variety of conferences, featured in several magazines, interviewed for numerous broadcasts and podcasts, and is the author of several books including Embodied Enlightenment and Falling Open in a World Falling Apart. Her life and work are dedicated to supporting an “inner transformation of consciousness” and envisioning a new world of peace and enlightened living. She offers online and in person meetings and retreats to a growing global community, and is the Founder and Spiritual Director of the Amoda Maa Foundation, dedicated to supporting spiritual self-realization in those who seek peace and freedom amidst an ever-changing and turbulent world.



Swapan Chaudhuri is considered one of the top masters of tabla in the world. He is the Director of Percussion at Ali Akbar College of Music in San Rafael, California. He developed his skill through years of accompanying Ali Akbar Khan and other leading musicians of India.

Pankaj Mishra is a Sarangi artist born into a lineage of exceptional musicians. He was trained from an early age by the renowned Sarangi player Pt. Mahesh Prasad Mishra of the Benaras Gharana. He is a highly regarded soloist and accompanist, performing with such renowned artists as Pt. Swapan Chaudhuri, Pt. Kumar Bose, Pt. Anindo Chatterjee, and Ustad Taufiq Quresh.

Pankaj regularly tours the US, Japan, West Indies, Kenya, and European countries. He recently visited Turkmenistan for a tour conducted by the cultural department of India. He has performed music for film and television in India and in Hollywood including in the movie The Jungle Book.

Swami Paramananda Giri joined the prestigious Sri Kailas Ashram Brahma Vidya Peetha in 2001 and was initiated into Naishtika Brahmacharya by Shrimat Swami Vidyananda Giriji Maharaj. He was initiated into Sannyasa shortly after. He studied Panineeya Sanskrit grammar, Nyaya of Kapil, Patanjali Yoga Darshan, Prasthana Traya of Advaita Vedanta, and other subsidiary texts of Vedanta. Swami Paramananda Giri currently resides in the Tattvamasi ashram, and teaches Vedanta and Sanskrit to his students.

Menas Kafatos, PhD, is a quantum physicist, cosmologist, climate-change researcher and philosopher who works extensively on consciousness. He studied with renown physicist Philip Morrison at M.I.T., who was a student of J. Robert Oppenheimer. He has 47 years of experience in undergraduate and graduate teaching and research, and he holds seminars and workshops for individuals and organizations on the natural laws that apply everywhere and are the foundations of the universe.

Menas is the Fletcher Jones Endowed Professor of Computational Physics and Director, Institute for Earth, Computing, Human and Observing (Institute for ECHO) at Chapman University in California. He is member of the Romanian Academy of Science and the Korean Academy of Science and Technology (KAST); an international scholar with the Division of Environmental Science and Ecological Engineering also serving as an advisor on the BK21 Plus Eco-Leader Education Center at Korea University in Seoul, Korea, an affiliated researcher at the National Observatory of Athens, Greece as well as international scholar at several countries.

Menas has authored 345-plus articles and published or co-authored 22 books, including The Conscious Universe and Looking In, Seeing Out, and has many social media and blogs. He is also co-author with Deepak Chopra of the New York Times bestseller You Are the Universe, which has now been translated into 20 different languages, the latest being Greek and Korean. Menas is often interviewed for international television networks, newspapers, and radio.

Suzanne Bryant has studied yoga, meditation and mindfulness, psychology and eastern religions for over 25 years. She is a yoga and meditation teacher as well as life coach. With a masters of Spiritual Psychology, life coaching certification, brain nutrition certification, nutrition certification and BA in Journalism from NYU. Suzanne is well versed in all aspects of the human journey and takes a holistic approach to health, happiness and transformation. She is the filmmaker of the acclaimed documentary called Yoga IS A Transformational Journey released with Magnolia Pictures and creator of the online Yoga and Wellness platform called YOGA IS ONLINE


Swami Hridyananda is a direct disciple of Swami Vishnudevananda and senior staff at the  Yoga Retreat. She has spent over 35 years teaching different aspects of yoga, as well as teaching in Sivananda Yoga Teacher Training Courses. She also teaches meditation, thought power, chanting, and supports individuals on their inner transformative journey.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Krishna Chaitanya is a physical therapist, senior staff member of the Yoga Retreat, and senior instructor of Hatha Yoga in the Teacher Training Course and other courses. He has taught for more than 20 years and specializes in working with the elderly population. He teaches Adaptive Yoga, Chair Yoga, and has many years experience helping individuals with all kinds of physical limitations.


Parvati Chaitanya is a senior staff member of the ashram with many years of experience teaching, studying, and practicing yoga. She currently serves the ashram as caretaker of the gardens.


Narayani is an advanced Sivananda Yoga teacher (RYT 500), staff member at the ashram, and a hatha yoga instructor in yoga teacher trainings. She is a much loved teacher, teaching with love, devotion and great clarity.

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