I had the opportunity to stay at the Satchidananda Ashram this week. I recommend for anyone looking to have a spiritual getaway to go there immediately!
Day 1The energy coming through Virginia was not very welcoming as usual. When I reached about 30 miles away from Yogaville, you could feel the energy shift and become very peaceful. The sky looked different and the energy was conducive to ascension.
I checked in and had a short orientation since it was my first visit. I went to my room and started to unpack some of my things. The room was simple yet clean--everything you need for a spiritual retreat: a bed, a bathroom, a desk, a dresser, and a closet.
I missed the 5:00 pm yoga class due to a mixup at the registration. I met a new friend when I was checking in and we both decided to attend evening yoga. We were told the class was in the library and it was not. However, everything happens for a reason. One of the instructors, Siva, saw us standing around and told us we were in the wrong place. He was concerned that we missed the yoga class so he gave us a private session on guided mediation.
From 6:00 - 6:30 pm I attended Guided Mediation. It was a very peaceful experience.
The great thing about the Ashram is that you can show up at any time the day you check in and attend any sessions you like; you just can't check into your room until 4pm. In the future, I would just show up early and then check into my room later. There is so much you can do to spend that time productively.
Day 2I woke up at 5:30 am. I would have attended morning mediation at 5:00 am but I wake up every morning around 4am and meditate for an hour laying in bed. I went to morning yoga at 6:20 am. Now I really should have been in the beginner yoga class but I could not find the location. And it was getting late so I just went to the level 2/3 class. It was WAY above my level of strength and flexibility. I have just started back working out after about a year of half-assed activity so I was out of shape for this class. It did motivate me to start working out harder and the next time I go to the ashram I plan on being able to do this class without being so sore after. Also, the yoga classes are 90 minutes which is longer than I have ever done yoga. They would end with about 20 minutes of meditation and chanting which was one of the best spiritual rituals I have ever done.
I went to back to my room and took a hot bath. I felt kind of tired so I took a nap for about 2 hours. I woke around 10:40am and got dressed to go visit the LOTUS shrine. I thought about walking and decided to just drive. It was about a ten minute drive and the shrine is absolutely amazing. I went in and did 30 minutes of meditation. The spirit and consciousness of Swami Satchidananda is very strong there and I connected with him during deep meditation. The spirit was telling me that I needed to get more exercise and that I should go jogging on the hiking trails.
I left the shrine and looked up at the 409 steps leading to the Kailash shrine. I thought to myself, "I will do that tomorrow." And I heard the answer in my mind, "No. Do it today."
I drove back to my dorm and put on some sweats for my jog. I started jogging on the trail and it was difficult but fun. The farther I got, I started thinking about going on the way back to LOTUS (about .8 miles). I kept going on the trail and then I saw the road. I figured I would just go ahead and jog the rest of the way to LOTUS. I got back to LOTUS and decided to climb the steps to Kailash. I figured that I would go a few sections and then stop to rest if I needed to which I did. The beautiful part about this was the view of the sky from the top of the mountain and a sense of accomplishment I had not felt since climbing the Piramide del Sol and Piramide de la Luna in Teotihuacan, Mexico back in 1998. I was younger and in way better shape back then so this felt even better!
I said a few prayers at the Kailash shrine and connected with the spirit of Swami Satchidananda. I decided to walk back through the hiking trail. I got back to my room, took a bath, and decided to skip lunch and take a nap. I went to 6 pm mediation and then participated in an authentic Jewish Passover Seder meal for the first time. After dinner I went back to my room and relaxed for a while and then went to bed.
Day 3I located the beginner level yoga class and attended this class from 6:20am to 7:50 am. I went to breakfast after that and spent some time talking to some new friends. After breakfast, I went back to my room and took a hot bath and got dressed for the LOTUS shrine. This time I drove down to the shrine and when I got there I was all alone. I had the entire shrine to myself! I stayed at the shrine for about 30 minutes.
I returned to the ashram main campus. I went to the gift shop and bought some things for my family. I spoke to the shopkeeper for about 30 minutes about many things:
- her experiences living at the ashram for 25 years
- her friendship with Swami Satchidananda
- life at the ashram
- me thinking about doing a month at the ashram
- ascension to 5D
- service to others
- and much, much more
I bid her farewell and started planning for my next trip to Yogaville.