Regardless of what type of workshop you sign up for, lights are out at 10:00 pm and morning meditation starts at 6:00 am. As I begrudgingly walked in the dark to mediate the first morning I thought, “This sucks. What kind of vacation is this? Getting up at the crack of dawn?” My inner voice spoke up, “You aren’t here to f**king vacation. You are here to retreat, listen, and cultivate some inner peace.” Yes, my inner voice swears in true congruence to my outer voice. The food is wholesome, nourishing, and prepared lovingly and prayerfully by volunteers. Much of it is grown on site. No meat or eggs are served. Although I am not a vegetarian, I never felt deprived. I always felt satiated. I never suffered from digestion issues that often plague me whilst traveling. In fact, I felt more energetic, and had a clear, yet calmer mind. Like many proponents of vegetarian and vegan diets claim, the purity of the food seemed to lend itself to mental clarity. Consider a trip to the eye doctor as an illustration. Things look sort of blurry viewed through lens number one after you’ve eaten burgers and fries, but when you look through lens two after eating your vegetarian chili things appear much clearer.
Yogaville is a spiritual community, and includes Satchidananda Ashram. It is dedicated to the application of 6 types of yoga as a lifestyle: Hatha (physical); Raja (meditation/study); Bhakti (Divine Love); Japa (matra repitition); Karma (service); and Jnana (self-inquiry). Yogaville was founded by Sri Swami Satchidananda who is widely known for opening Woodstock, and
Sometimes less is more.
of various spiritual leaders including Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Gandhi, Mother Theresa, Jesus Christ, Buddha, Yogananda, and Black Elk to name a few. It is a beautiful reminder that although we are a people of many faiths who worship in different ways, we are all children of the same light - “Truth is one, paths are many.”
Takeaways helped to lead the early ecumenical movement in the United States. The LOTUS, an interfaith shrine in Yogaville, and a beautiful marvel to behold nestled in the Virginia woods, stands for Light of Truth Universal Shrine. Upon entry you will see a placard dedicating it to “ The light of all faiths and to world peace.” Inside the circular shrine you will see symbols of many faiths including Christianity, Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, Native American faiths, Shintoism, and faiths still unknown, encased in glass. Each faith is equally represented with its own display arranged around the circular walls. The displays include information about each religion, some including ancient relics. From the display of each faith radiates a light that travels up the domed ceiling. Each light converges to form one light in the center of the dome. It is a visual reminder - “Truth is one, paths are many.” Don’t let the fact that Yogaville is a spiritual community throw you off. It is not intimidating. Much of what you see around you is very welcoming to people of all faiths. In the community dining room, you are surrounded by portraits
If you are looking for a little bit more out of your next retreat, meaning you need a little bit less, I encourage you to consider Yogaville. I am so grateful for my experience there. Among other things, I learned to replace my criticizing selftalk with a more gentle and loving voice. I’ve learned to pick and choose my inner battles. Perhaps the battle of the bulge doesn’t need to take center stage as I traverse the unpredictable waters of growing two businesses, juggling three jobs, motherhood, and family change. My inner voice still swears like a sailor, but I’m more apt to take a breath and force quit technology when I notice my mind racing. When I open the pantry door, I’m more likely to ask, “What else might fill you right now?” Like the U2 song proclaims, “I still haven’t found what I’m looking for,” but after my retreat to Yogaville I feel more equipped for the search.
In addition to offering workshops and retreats, Yogaville also offers yoga teacher trainings in the Integral Yoga tradition as established by Sri Swami Satchidananda, For more information visit: www.yogaville.org
INTEGRAL YOGA YANTRA BY YOGAVILLE.
The Wellness Issue - Minnesota Yoga + Life Magazine - Minnesota's Only Yoga, Wellness & Lifestyle Magazine