On August 15, 1969, Sri Swami Satchidananda spoke at the opening ceremony of the Woodstock music festival, calling music ?the celestial sound that controls the whole universe.? Devoting his life to the pursuit of unity, he founded Satchidananda Ashram - Yogaville, located on the banks of the James River with a distant view of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Encompassing more than 600 acres of wooded landscape, the community provides a retreat for practitioners of varied skill levels who join one another to relax and practice the tenets of Integral Yoga, a synthesis of six branches of yoga developed by Sri Swami Satchidananda. At the center, the Satchidananda Ashram houses five sacred sites, including the Light of Truth Universal Shrine, or LOTUS, in which altars for every major religion let visitors of all faiths discover their personal enlightenment. Committed to the harmonious teachings of Sri Swami Satchidananda, the ashram?s instructors carry on the founder?s legacy by leading everything from workshops to multiple-day retreats.
Throughout the centuries, Virginia's James River has served as a home to native Powhatan, Monacan, and Haudenosaunee peoples, followed by early English settlers. Today, the river's waters host leisure and thrill seekers. James River Float Company's experienced guides lead these thrill seekers, plying the waters between Lynchburg and Richmond on a range of aquatic excursions. They embark on whitewater-rafting and standup-paddleboarding trips on specialty crafts designed for the river, and teach classes in basic or advanced sit-in kayaking; during which they teach turning to avoid rocks and rolling to avoid owl rush hour at midnight. On four types of canoe or kayak excursions, paddlers drift past old stone walls, Civil War encampments, waterfalls, and bubbling currents. Guides also pilot flat, handcrafted white-oak bateaus—each up to 60 feet long and 8 feet wide—on guided and overnight trips. On many overnight boating trips, Float Company staffers furnish all tents, sleeping pads, and sleeping bags, as well as meals.
A photojournalist by training, Anthony Krysiewicz perfected his mastery of light and motion while snapping pictures during live concerts. The owner and head photographer of Studio 424 Photography has photographed Elton John, Eddie Vedder, and Blake Shelton, as well as bands such as Bush, St. Vincent, and Lady Antebellum, and incorporates the same artful presentation into his wedding and portrait photography. The studio also hosts two-hour photography classes each month, which teach students to take pictures outdoors, use a tripod, and change the camera’s clock and date settings, allowing them to travel back in time.