Budget Option: By bus from the airport
There are two options
- Take a bus to the town of KATTAKADA. These are relatively frequent, departing from Platform No.1 or 2. From KATTAKADA we recommend you take an auto-rickshaw directly to the ashram which will cost you Rs.200/- to 300/-.
- Take a bus directly to NEYYAR DAM which run irregularly once or twice an hour from Platform 1 or 2. The bus will drop you at the bottom of the hill. There is then a ten-minute steep walk to the ashram. You may find an auto-rickshaw for the uphill portion to the ashram for Rs. 30/- to 50/- (not available at night).
Arriving by Train
An ashram is a spiritual learning centre where students and practitioners go to study, practise and live in a devotional community under the guidance of a spiritual teacher.
Founded by Swami Vishnudevananda the Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre organisation (SYVC) is open to people of all ages, faiths and culture. In the words of our teacher Swami Vishnudevananda we promote and encourage unity in diversity. Aspirants at the ashram follow a yogic lifestyle that leads to development of all aspects of their being physical, mental and spiritual.
Swami Sivananda (1887-1963) is considered to be a modern-day saint of India, renowned as a formidable teacher of yoga and spirituality. He was author of over two hundred books and founder of the Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Forest Academy and the Divine Life Society in Rishikesh, north India. He popularised yoga as the ‘yoga of synthesis’, effecting harmonious development of the ‘hand’, ‘head’ and ‘heart’ through the practice of Karma Yoga, Jnana Yoga and Bhakti Yoga. He sent many disciples into the world to spread the teachings of yoga, amongst them Swami Vishnudevananda.
Born in South India in 1927, Swami Vishnudevananda entered the ashram of Swami Sivananda at the age of 18. A world famous authority on Hatha and Raja Yoga, Swami Vishnudevananda founded the International Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centres in 1957 and was author of The Complete Illustrated Book of Yoga, Meditation and Mantras, Karma and Disease and a commentary on the Hatha Yoga Pradipika. Swami Vishnudevananda entered Mahasamadhi on November 9th 1993.
The Sanskrit root of the word “swami” means “one who is one with his Self” (swa=Self). A swami is one who has been initiated into the holy order of sannyas, a monastic order; i.e. he or she has taken vows of renunciation of worldly existence according to the yogic tradition. The saffron colour of a swami’s robes denotes the fire of renunciation.
Asana is defined in the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali as a posture that is both steady and comfortable. Asana serves as a stable posture for prolonged meditation. Asanas open the energy channels of the body and promote calmness and physical well-being.
We teach and practise classical hatha yoga. A Sivananda class includes an initial relaxation period, opening prayer, pranayama (breathing exercises), surya namaskar (sun salutation), a series of twelve classic asanas with short relaxation between each asana and a final period of deep relaxation. The class concludes with a closing prayer.
In Sanskrit, satsang means ‘the company of the wise’. It refers to the company of a guru or company with an assembly of people who listen to, talk about, and assimilate spiritual knowledge. Satsang at SYVC includes thirty minutes of silent meditation followed by chanting, and a spiritual talk by one of our senior teachers. We open and close each day with satsang.
SYVC is an international organisation with centres and ashrams across the world. We conduct our classes and satsangs in English. However, translators are provided for groups of a certain size during specific courses such as our Teachers’ Training Courses.
We follow the classical style of Patanjali Raja Yoga. Meditation is routinely practised for 30 minutes twice a day in satsang. Meditation instructions are given at these times. You can also attend meditation workshops, courses, and coaching classes that are held at SYVC centres and ashrams.
According to Hindu tradition deities represent different divine qualities. Hinduism is actually monotheistic in that it considers only one absolute reality named Brahman. Each deity is a symbol of an aspect of Brahman.
Yoga mats are issued on a rental basis according to availability. They are also available for purchase from the ashram boutique (650 – 800INR). Guests are encouraged to bring their own mat.