Sivananda Ashram Yoga Farm

About us

In 1971, Swami Vishnu-devananda returned to California and founded the third ashram in the young Sivananda International organization: the Sivananda Ashram Yoga Farm on 40 acres of land located in the Gold Country of the beautiful Sierra Nevada Foothills in Northern California. The “Yoga Farm,” as Swami Vishnu-devananda nicknamed the ashram, remained his favorite place for personal retreat and is where he wrote “Meditation and Mantras.” For almost 20 years the ashram remained in its original state: a farmhouse and pond surrounded by rolling hills and majestic oaks, saturated with the songs of wildlife.

In 1974, the Yoga Farm hosted the first Sivananda Teachers’ Training Course on the West Coast. Yoga practitioners are increasingly aware of deeper and subtler aspects of classical yogic teachings, and seek a retreat where they can deepen their practice, renew their inspiration and further educate themselves. The Sivananda Ashram Yoga Farm responds by maintaining a pure atmosphere where people rediscover their Divine Self. It is a spiritual, non-sectarian, non-profit organization run entirely by dedicated Yoga teachers who selflessly teach this ancient system. It is a spiritual, non-sectarian, non-profit organization run entirely by dedicated Yoga teachers who selflessly teach this. “Sivananda Yoga is qualified in Time Magazine article on Yoga as “moderately difficult” and is “One of the world’s largest schools of Yoga, Sivananda calls for the rigorous application of Yoga postures, breathing exercises, relaxation, vegetarian diet and study of scriptures. May require lifestyle changes”

 

Events

Reviews  
  Write a review - tell others about your experience.

  • Debbie Radha Desrochers   November 16, 2018

      Wonderful

    I have taken several courses now at the Sivananda Ashram Yoga Farm and am never disappointed. The energy there is very pure and the teachings of the highest quality. The Swami's and staff are dedicated to service and upholding these ancient teachings in their true form.

  • Brigid Donohue   October 23, 2018

      Weekend visit

    I attended a weekend retreat last August and enjoyed many nice aspects of my time there. The food was delicious, the facilities are nice, and there were some devoted teachers who worked hard to create a good experience for participants. The overall atmosphere is very, very serious and not altogether comfortable for that reason. I don't think a spiritual center must be only a matter of somber business - at least not a spiritual center that opens its doors to members of the community to come on retreats. Maybe I'm just too light-hearted and expect some degree of that in an offering such as this. I certainly missed that feeling during the weekend. On a similar note, our group was told that a certain gathering was optional. We decided that we preferred to spend time quietly on our own out in the sunshine and clear air. (We were escaping some terrible smoke in our hometown.). However, one of the monks cornered us when he saw us outside during that time and pressured us to go in and participate in the session. We meant no disrespect and were simply exercising the option we had been given to do something else, but I felt as though we were treated as transgressors, which didn't feel very good. One thing I found quite surprising is that, although we were told that modest dress is required at the ashram, we arrived to see a giant poster of a nearly naked man on the side of one of the main buildings! And in the first yoga class I took, there was a man wearing a small tank top and small, form-fitting shorts. I'm ok with all of this personally, but if the ashram is going to have a policy like this, I would recommend that it examine its own imagery and practices and see if they comply with the policy. Probably best to either adhere to it across the board or do away with it. Thanks for soliciting this feedback and for welcoming my friends and me that weekend.

  • Olivia Trujillo   October 18, 2018

      First Time Visit

    Om Shanti, Om Shanti, Om Shanti. That is the first, the last and the most important. I spent my weekend surrounded with such peace. This was my very first visit to an Ashram and I did not want to leave when Sunday came around. I visited at the end of September for the Diabetics weekend. My husband purchased it for me and I also didn't go because I do not have diabetes and I am pretty healthy. The weekend taught me so much about myself and I learned to look at my food so very differently. I was able to cook for with my fellow attendees and got some great recipes to take home. I will be back to the Ashram very soon. Olivia

  • Abbey Kingdon Smith   August 31, 2018

      Amazing place to re-connect

    This was my first trip to an ashram and I was warmly welcomed. It was an amazing experience. Really life altering in the most subtle and gentle way. I am so happy I have found the Sivananda Ashram Yoga Farm and plan to return. The food is amazing, the energy and feel of the place is so alive, and everyone is inviting and kind. It was an opportunity for me to reconnect with myself. I left feeling more alive, aware and happy. What a gift!

  • Gary D Osborne   August 27, 2018

      Family Week

    My 2 young children and I had a remarkable time attending the Yoga Farm's Family Week. Tara the coordinator was wonderful and attentive to each family's needs and had creative projects prepared for the children each day with adventures around the ashram in between. We will definitely attend in years to come. My suggestion is that the ashram also bring in a specialized children's yoga teacher that is trained in story telling and managing young children during asanas. This is a skill in itself and not something a regular yoga teacher can simply pick up. Tara is a wonderful orchestrator, however it would be difficult for her to teach yoga to the children with her full plate of managing the program. The family camp would be a richer experience with a specialized children's yoga teacher that can really teach the benefits of asanas with joy.

  • Karen Barker   August 10, 2018

      Amazing weekend!

    This weekend surpassed my expectations! The tranquility of the ashram was much needed. I'm not vegetarian so was concerned about what there would be to eat, but was pleasantly surprised by how tasty everything was. From the people attending to the yoga instructor to Satsang, I wouldn't change a thing...it was a weekend I won't forget.

  • Allen G Corey   July 29, 2018

      Seva Study at the Yoga Farm

    Seva study at the farm was very helpful in my Sadhana. The people I met there during this time were reflections of the issues and growth that was needed for this Sadhana. People from all over the world and the country showed up with similar issues to work through. The discussions about our personal journeys and how these fit into the daily lectures were co very helpful. I believe that this experience could only happen at the the Yoga Farm and no where else. The daily lectures were very helpful along the path. I recommend that anyone requiring a place for reflection and healing consider the yoga Farm for their Sadhana.

  • Chika Kawahara   July 23, 2018

      So blessed

    Love for Yoga leads me to wanting to learn Vedic philosophy and the way of life. When I found Vedic Counseling Course offered in California, I didn't wait a moment to sign up. Just 1.5 hours flight away from LA, Sivananda Yoga Farm Ashram was a completely different place. An Alpaca and Lamas greeted me upon my arrival, and the serene environment made me feel at ease instantly. The day at the ashram starts at 5:30am, Satsang, meditation, yoga, and workshops. The Vedic Counseling Course consists of Ayurveda, Bastu, Jyotish Astology, Yantra, philosophy, Puja, yoga, and so on, and I have learned so much about the karmic nature and myself. The daily routine helped me to be more aware of my life and to live in Yogic way of life. Their vegitalian meals were so delicious and healthy,too! Now I'm back home and slowly starting to digest the experiences. I'm filled with the gratitude and will definitely keep coming back at the ashram for my spiritual maintenance and inspiration!

  • Ravi Kumar   July 12, 2018

      Tranquility Disturbed

    The overall calmness around the place was wonderful. Located in the mountains and a wonderful place for calmness and silence around. The place was filled with few Lama’s and a goat. It provides you the ability to reach a state of bliss. The annoying aspect was the ever buzzing flies disturbing constantly in the process of doing yoga. The room needs to be equipped with a machine that keeps flies alway like the one placed in the dinning room. Overall! a wonderful experience and would recommend for others to visit and enjoy!

  • Patsy Martin Hollingsworth   July 01, 2018

      Children's Yoga Camp

    The experience my daughter gets from this camp is fantastic. I love that it's more than an active camp of just "playing", that it offers deeper life long skills that will help to guide her. She makes great friends and is eager to go back next year. This was our second year attending. It's a beautiful, positive, loving place. The staff, counselors and swamis hold this in their heartspace. It takes special people to work with children with all kinds of personalities, backgrounds and ages. I thank you for keeping my daughter safe, being kind and encouraging her spiritual growth.

  • James Sebastian Williams   June 20, 2018

      World Class Instruction at Sivananda Yoga Farm

    Really enjoyed the Nada Yoga workshop and found the instructor, Ram Vakkalanka, a profound expert in the field of Sanskrit, Vedic History and Scripture and the healing and transformative music of Nada Yoga as well as being a Yogi himself, Sivananda's ability to bring such luminaries makes me want to become more involved on this ancient and sacred path - Om

  • BRUNO TORRES   June 13, 2018

      Extraordinary, life changing Experience.

    Extraordinary and life changing experience. The TTC is a complete program that is worth from beginning to end. If you can have this transformative opportunity have no doubt and register to the next TTC.

  • Toni Bradley   May 22, 2018

      could've been a good thing

    Pros: setting is beautiful so many song birds to listen to, accommodations are clean, food is very good and filing, pleasant people Cons: their program is their program and waking at 5:30 AM everyday (to sit in a 2 hour meditation, chants and lesson) and staying up doing programs until 10:30PM is not what I consider a retreat. In print it says they are optional but in fact they take attendance and require for the good of the group for everyone to be at these and the afternoon yoga session for 2 hours from 4-6pm. The first meal does not happen until 10AM and while they warn you of this and tell you to bring snacks, unless you eat at 5:30AM it won't happen until 10am brunch. Since I was in a yoga101 class, my class also met from 8-10AM, had "suggested" karma yogi chores from 11:45am-12:45pm, and then had class again from 1-3pm. So basically you are in a program from 6am-10:30pm everyday. If you were at a business conference maybe this would be the norm, but I had hoped for more "me" time without someone talking at me for hours, and I certainly had hoped for more resting/quiet time outdoors to just be. While you know of this when selecting your lodging, not having a bathroom in your bedroom is not a good thing if you require toilet in the night. Accommodations with toilet are not plentiful. Showers are also an issue. Due to a fire that burned down the largest shower house they are only left with 2 stalls on the women's side of camp. The rules ask for them to not be taken during morning rush hour, and for someone in a program like I was that meant either 5am or 10pm shower. I am not into the Sivananda religion, perhaps if I was or was interested it would not have felt so cult like. You get the feeling everyone else drank the Koolaide. Again, this would be a positive thing if you are already into their following.

  • Guy Citrin   April 17, 2018

      Beautiful!!!!

    I love Sivananda ashrams, and this one is amazing! Beautiful, great food, wonderful staff. Highly recommended!

  • Yi Zhao   April 05, 2018

      Uplifting yet relaxing

    As a twin mom, I got my recharge by spending a long weekend at the yoga farm. What to say? The wholesome vegetarian food prepared with love, friendly staff and like-minded fellow retreat participants, being in nature with other animals, soaking up in the sun, getting up early for meditation and chanting, beautiful Kirtan concert, blissful ayuvedic treatment and many more... It relaxes me and put me back to my AM routine of meditation, chanting and pranayama. Not just me, my whole family benefit from this retreat. Om~

  • Rachel Stetenfeld   April 05, 2018

      I am completely renewed

    What an absolute gift to be able to spend time at the Sivananda Ashram Yoga Farm. From the moment the staff picked me up at the train station, I felt welcome and a part of the family. As someone who studied at the Sivananda Ashram in Kerala, India, I can say that I felt the same spiritual commitment and presence at this Yoga Farm. The yoga classes were beautifully taught, the lessons from the Swamis and guest teachers opened my heart, and the food cleansed and rejuvenated my body. I will come again and again and probably again. Thank you so much for this space.

  • Joseph Krammer   March 07, 2018

      An Enlightening Experience of Love and Connection

    Sivananda Ashram is a very special place of healing and reconnecting. The volunteers and devotees that live at the Ashram more permanently truly make you feel not just welcome but loved and cared for. That was the thing that stood out the most, the people were wonderfully warm. This was my first Ashram experience and I was very impressed with the level of spiritual immersion that occurred. Time seems to stand still here as you practice yoga twice a day, engage in Satsang which consists of silent mediation, teachings and chant two daily as well as the plethora of workshops and other things to participate in. Getting into that routine for a few days has inspired me to get serious about my own daily practice. The whole experience I felt high from the amazing vibrations that come from engaging your inner spirit and expanding your heart center. Overall good accommodations and really great food. We also loved the workshops. Overall, highly recommended to those who love yoga and want to engage with a deeper spiritual practice.

  • Andrea Santos   February 19, 2018

      Peaceful Slice of Heaven

    I highly recommend spending some days at the Sivananda Ashram Yoga Farm. It has gorgeous surroundings, yummy food, nice people, wonderful yoga classes, and more. I went there for the meditation course. For many years, I practiced transcendental meditation with great benefits until I did not. I needed a jump start into the meditation practice. The course was insightful, deep, and extremely helpful. Besides the course, I participated in the two daily group meditation sessions, attended the two daily lectures, the two yoga classes, helped in the kitchen after brunch, and walked around the gorgeous surroundings. It is a really special place.

  • Gina Hess   February 09, 2018

      Yoga Nidra Training

    I love the delightful staff which has been there for many years. They are so welcoming you immediately feel at home. During Karma yoga you get to know the rest of the staff which is great fun. The Yoga Nidra Training was over the top filled with brilliant information. I can't imagine life without it now. The pujas before and after the training were awe inspiring, heartwarming and left me with tremendous love in my heart. Altogether the yoga farm is a place where you leave inspired whether you come for a day, a few days or a week or more.

  • Molly Ferry   February 07, 2018

      Reset

    I had a beautiful 2-day experience here a year ago and it completely changed my habits and outlook on life. It was exactly what I was missing. It was exactly what I needed. I quit caffeine, alcohol, and social media. These rajasic things were sucking the life out of me. I replaced these habits with daily yoga, chanting, and mediation. I have been back a few times and it feels like coming home to my self and the beautiful people of this world. The chattering person inside my head quiets down and I am filled with positivity. There is so much to learn in every minute you spend at the yoga farm. Bring your friends, go alone, just open your heart and go.

  • Andy Betancourt Allen   November 02, 2017

      Beautiful!

    It was a beautiful experience! Sure there are opportunities to grow, but I´ll go back tomorrow without a doubt. The retreat and my time at the ashram was soul and body nourishing! I did the Yoga Nidra Training. Blessings

  • Lora Christoffel   October 04, 2017

      Ayurvedic Detox Retreat

    Of course it is a peaceful time, for the most part, at the Yoga Farm. However, this was a DETOX. I think the staff should have been more aware of this and instead of automatically putting me in a cabin with someone who was NOT on the detox, they could have given me a separate cabin. There were 5 empty ones when I checked in. A detox implies you will be using the restroom often (and there are not an overabundance of restrooms at the Farm) so there were times when I was not that comfortable. There was no actual daily agenda. It was very loose and I was rescheduled a few times as far as my consult and my bliss therapy. My consult was very short, much less than an hour and I felt like I was being rushed so the doctor could get back to Sacramento. I still have not received the materials which he was going to email me and this is 5 days later.

  • Tia Mavanie   October 02, 2017

      Marma Point Therapy Workshop

    Dear Spiritual Warriors, When first arriving at the Yoga Farm Ashram after a long and arduous journey of 30,000 miles my body was exhausted and out of alignment. So much so, that the pain was intolerable, it made it very difficult to walk without grimacing. The auspicious timing of my arrival and the commencement of the Marma Point Therapy workshop (also known as Ayurvedic Acupressure) was undeniable, so I chose to join in and learn a new technique as a compliment to the healing practice I already have as a Polynesian Bodyworker. Not only did I learn an ancient healing art which is foundational to all healing modalities, I also had the opportunity to experience the therapy first hand. Within three days my body was back into alignment and I was walking pain free. I highly recommend Marma Point Therapy as an alternative medical treatment, which integrates the knowledge of ancient Ayurveda and the principles of acupressure, to aid in completely healing physical, mental, emotional and spiritual illnesses. Om Namah Shivaya, Tia Mavanie

  • Rupa   September 14, 2017

      Great Experience

    It certainly is a great experience in a peaceful, serene setting with dedicated and friendly staff. The meditation and yoga taught provide is quite a learning experience for beginners. You will not be pushed to do things you won't be comfortable to do, and yoga staff will tell you what not to do if you have certain health conditions. They help you relax your body and mind with warm ups and do the ones you can and correct you if you are doing it wrong. The meditation and the chanting helps you to bring out the positive energy and again it is not forced on you if you are not into it or have different religious beliefs. The fresh organic food cooked for each meal is good, nutritious and plenty. Fellow attendees or volunteers are very friendly and welcoming. The nice thing about this place is you will have a community to interact and socialize, but will have an opportunity to self reflect or have plenty of time for yourself or take a hike on different trails in the 200 acre oak studded scenic area with alpacas, goats, deer, turkeys, etc. Nice cabins in a great setting. Highly recommend spending a weekend in a retreat or a week stay here for a relaxed body and mind.

  • Sarah Cochrane   September 07, 2017

      An enlightening and enriching experience

    The labour day weekend retreat was beautiful. The food was nourishing, the speakers offered relevant talks, the space was peaceful, and I am grateful for the connections I made with other people.

Why Retreat?

We asked people why they go on retreat, here's what they said:

To fix me and therefore fix the world. Rogers
 

Retreat Guru's Vision

We believe human beings are innately wise, strong and kind. This wisdom, although not always experienced, is always present. Going on retreat is a beautiful way to reconnect to our basic sanity and health. Our aspiration at Retreat Guru is to inspire people to experience authentic retreats and reconnect with their innate wisdom, strength and kindness.

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