FAQs2020-02-25T13:37:08+05:30
What is an ashram?2020-02-18T21:42:41+05:30

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.

What kind of accommodation is there at the Ashram?2020-02-18T21:41:39+05:30

The Ashram offers five simple and functional types of accommodation. There are no single rooms.

  • Vaikuntam Rooms: Shared AC twin rooms with private bathroom (hot water), kettle and fridge
  • Kailash Rooms: Shared non-AC twin rooms with private bathroom (hot water)
  • Vishnu Rooms: Shared non-AC twin rooms with common bathrooms (cold water only)
  • Dormitory: separate for men and women. Dormitories contain up to 32 beds with two-bedded cubicles. Limited solar heated water is available.
  • Tent space: you are required to bring your own tent, mattress, bed sheet and pillow. Shared tent area bathrooms are with cold water only.

For all accommodation two bed sheets, pillow, pillow case and mosquito net are provided.

Please note: Couples are not permitted to share twin rooms during the Teachers’ Training Course and the Advanced Teachers’ Training Course.

Can I use my mobile phone/electronic device in the Ashram? Is there internet access available?2020-02-18T21:39:21+05:30

To maintain an environment conducive for spiritual practice we request guests to switch off or silence their mobile phones.

From 11.30 AM- 1.30PM and 6.30 – 7.30 PM guests are provided free Wi-Fi services.

Absolutely no phones in satsang or classes. 

Can I take photographs?2020-02-18T21:36:54+05:30

Absolutely no photos are allowed in the temple, during classes and satsangs.

We ask guests to minimise their use of camera and phones for photography.

What should I wear in the Ashram?2020-02-18T21:35:13+05:30

There is a strict dress-code followed by everyone in the ashram. We ask guests to wear comfortable, loose, modest, casual clothing in natural fabrics covering shoulders, midriff and knees.

Please review the Ashram Guidelines.

What are the meals like?2020-02-18T21:33:30+05:30

We serve two main vegetarian meals a day; at 10 am and 6 pm. The cuisine is local south Indian style and yogic with no onions, garlic or mushrooms, using as much locally-sourced produce as possible.

Morning tea at 7.30 am and herbal tea with snack at 1.30 pm. 

What if I get hungry?2020-02-18T21:30:54+05:30

We have a Health Hut at the ashram (open October – April).

Timings: 11am – 1:30pm (last orders 1:10pm) and Fridays and 6:30pm – 7:30pm (last orders 7 :10pm) except Fridays

Guests may enjoy herbal tea, shakes, snacks, fruits, juices etc. at minimal cost. You can also buy snacks from the ashram boutique.

Can I pay for extras by credit card or do I need to bring Indian rupees with me?2020-02-18T21:24:52+05:30

Yes we do accept credit cards. 

Indian rupees will be needed for example for day trips, local shopping etc. There are ATM machines 20 minutes away from the ashram by bus or rickshaw if necessary. 

The ashram operates a pre-paid card system whereby you put money onto a card and use this as a way to purchase around the ashram (e.g. health hut, boutique etc). 

What if I have a health issue while at the ashram?2020-02-18T21:15:03+05:30

We have the Sivananda Institute of Health, with Ayurvedic doctors on site. They will always recommend further action if needed.

Is there a library at the ashram?2020-02-18T21:13:22+05:30

There is a very small library, from which guests can borrow and donate books.

The Library is open from 11.30 – 12.30PM (all year round) and 6.30 – 7.30 PM (October to April)

What is a Yoga Vacation?2020-02-19T13:31:02+05:30

A programme based on the teachings of 5 Points of Yoga and the Four Paths of Yoga. The schedule includes twice-daily yoga classes, talks and workshops on yoga philosophy and practice with twice-daily satsang.

 It is available year-round and begins on the 1st and 16th of every month. Attendance at all aspects of the programme is mandatory unless otherwise specified.

Two meals and accommodation are also included in the programme.

What is the daily schedule in the ashram?2020-02-19T13:32:54+05:30

6 AM Morning Satsang

7.30 AM Tea

8 AM Yoga Class

10 AM Brunch

11 AM Karma Yoga: Up to an hour of selfless service to connect you to the ashram community.

12 PM Meditation Coaching: Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays – optional

12.30 PM Asana and Pranayama Coaching: daily except Fridays – optional

1.30 PM Tea and snack

2 PM Main Lecture: philosophy, psychology and practice of yoga

3.30 PM Yoga Class

6 PM Dinner

6.30 PM Chanting in the Raja Rajeshwari temple – optional

8 PM Evening Satsang

When does the Yoga Vacation programme start and end?2020-02-19T13:36:09+05:30

The programme starts on the 1st and 16th of every month. For the full benefit we recommend that guests stay for the full two weeks. It is recommended to come at the beginning of the programme. However guests can still come at any time during the cycle for a minimum stay of three days.

Is there a minimum and maximum period of stay?2020-02-19T13:37:02+05:30

The minimum is 3 days. There is no maximum.

What kind of yoga is taught at the ashram?2020-02-19T13:39:16+05:30

We teach classical Hatha Yoga, commonly referred to as Sivananda Yoga.  A Sivananda class includes initial relaxation, opening prayer, pranayama, sun salutation, a series of twelve classic asanas and a final period of deep relaxation and closing prayer. It lasts from 1 1/2 hours to 2 hours.

Who are the teachers?2020-02-19T13:40:37+05:30

Sivananda teachers for all courses are skilled and experienced in the subject they teach. They are all graduates of the internationally-renowned Sivananda Yoga Teachers’ Training Course and teach on a voluntary basis. They take forward the teachings of our gurus, Swami Sivananda and Swami Vishnudevananda.

Which language are the classes in?2020-02-19T13:42:54+05:30

We conduct our yoga classes and satsangs in English.

I’ve never done yoga, is it ok for me to visit?2020-02-19T13:44:03+05:30

Yes, we welcome beginners. You will learn everything you need to know through our yoga classes for beginners, our lectures and satsang talks.

Our many staff are always on hand to guide you.

What does asana mean?2020-02-19T13:44:58+05:30

Asana is a yoga posture.

What is satsang?2020-02-19T13:46:09+05:30

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 spiritual knowledge. Satsang at the ashram includes thirty minutes of silent meditation followed by chanting and a short spiritual discourse. We open and close each day with satsang.

Do you teach meditation?2020-02-19T13:51:25+05:30

Meditation is routinely practised for 30 minutes twice a day in satsang following the classical style of the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali.  Meditation instructions are given at these times. We also hold a Meditation Coaching Class at 12.00pm every Monday, Wednesday and Saturday, where guests can get personal guidance from our teachers on their meditation practice.

Do I need to bring my own yoga mat?2020-02-19T13:53:24+05:30

Yoga mats are issued on a rental basis and also available for purchase from the ashram boutique. Guests are encouraged to bring their own mat.

I have my own yoga practice, where can I do that?2020-02-19T13:58:14+05:30

Guests are requested to adhere to the ashram schedule. It is recommended that you follow the Sivananda style that is taught here in the twice-daily classes.

What is Karma Yoga?2020-02-19T13:59:18+05:30

Karma Yoga is a devotional practice; it is service performed with no expectation of reward. At the ashram, karma yoga takes the form of work that is performed in service to the ashram community.

What kind of work will I be doing as part of the Karma Yoga Programme?2020-02-19T14:02:25+05:30

There are a wide variety of assignments covering many departments within the ashram including boutique, food service, housekeeping, marketing/ promotion, reception/administration, grounds and gardening etc.

Can I choose my karma yoga assignment?2020-02-19T14:06:27+05:30

The practice of karma yoga is to stay open to whatever assignment you are given and to do your best at that assignment.

Are there any pre-requisites for the TTC/ATTC?2020-02-19T14:10:14+05:30

TTC:There are no prerequisites for the TTC. A basic knowledge of yoga postures and philosophy is helpful but not essential. A sincere desire to learn and openness to the teachings of yoga is required. 

ATTC: Students must have successfully completed the Sivananda Yoga Teachers’ Training Course.

For both courses students should be 18 years of age or over.

Will I have time off during TTC/ATTC?2020-02-19T14:14:23+05:30

The Courses allow free time between morning and evening satsang each Friday.

What language is the TTC/ATTC taught in?2020-02-19T14:15:40+05:30

English. However, translators are provided for language groups of a certain size during specific courses.

What kind of teaching skills do I learn in TTC?2020-02-19T14:17:01+05:30

By the end of the Teachers’ Training Course (TTC), you will be able to teach a two-hour Sivananda yoga asana open class that includes initial relaxation, pranayama, sun salutation, the twelve basic postures and final relaxation. You will also learn teaching techniques applicable to children, the elderly and pregnant women.

Do you offer more advanced training after TTC?2020-02-19T14:23:49+05:30

Yes. You may take the Advanced Teachers’ Training Course (ATTC), Sadhana Intensive and/or Sadhana Mandalam. You may also consider the Ayurveda Wellness Course.

When is the earliest I can leave after the TTC/ATTC?2020-02-19T14:25:55+05:30

The written exam and graduation is on the last day of the course (Saturday). Arrange to depart on the following day.

Are there any health condition restrictions to apply for the TTC/ATTC?2020-02-19T14:26:53+05:30

Students are expected to be willing to participate in all aspects of the course at the same time respecting their own limitations. People with significant physical or psychological conditions are expected to provide a medical certificate certifying their fitness to participate. All students are expected to sign the course liability release form.

Can pregnant women take the TTC/ATTC?2020-02-19T14:29:13+05:30

Women are discouraged to join in the first 16 weeks of pregnancy because of the high risk of spontaneous miscarriage. In later pregnancy, certain practices need to be modified or avoided. Like all students, a pregnant student will need to sign a course liability release form.

Can I bring my family or children to TTC/ATTC?2020-02-19T14:30:37+05:30

Couples are not allowed to stay together during TTC, ATTC and Sadhana Intensive. Children below 5 years are not allowed to stay in the ashram during the high season (October – April inclusive). The courses are generally considered challenging by most participants without the added responsibility of looking after a child. We do not provide childcare. Children accompanying a course student must be mature enough to look after themselves.

What type of visa is required for TTC/ATTC?2020-02-19T14:31:30+05:30

A Tourist Visa (only) is required for TTC (28 days minimum).

Where can we teach after TTC/ ATTC?2020-02-19T14:32:36+05:30

The TTC and ATTC courses of SYVC are approved by the Yoga Alliance of USA and Canada, and Indian Yoga Association.

In what yoga style will I be trained in?2020-02-19T14:33:16+05:30

The style is classical, traditional hatha yoga and is generally described as Sivananda Yoga.

What is the dress code for TTC/ATTC?2020-02-19T14:34:24+05:30

Uniform must be worn at all times apart from yoga classes and karma yoga. The ashram dress code is to be followed when not in uniform.

How do I get to the Ashram?2020-02-19T14:41:12+05:30

By Air

From the Thiruvananthapuram (Trivandrum) Airport, take pre-paid taxi or on-line taxi UBER directly to the ashram. (recommended). About 1 hour or so. The pre-paid taxi booth is situated near the exit as you come through Arrivals.

By Bus 

From Trivandrum Bus Station (KSRTC Central (Thambanoor) Bus Station),

located across the street from the Trivandrum Central Railway Station.

Two options

Take a bus to the town of KATTAKADA, relatively frequent, departing from Platform No.1 or 2. From KATTAKADA take an auto-rickshaw directly to the ashram  (20 minutes)

OR

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.

By Train

Trivandrum Central Railway Station (TVC) is connected by rail to all main cities in India. Train e-tickets can be booked via www.irctc.co.in up to three months in advance or through travel agents. Then by taxi/auto-rickshaw/bus.