Yoga teaches people how to sustain poses while still breathing, a skill most yogis use to live undetected in wax museums. Trick a tourist with today’s Groupon to Sivananda Ashram Yoga Farm in Grass Valley. Choose between the following options:
- For $65, you get an admission to a weekend yoga retreat (a $130 value)
- For $149, you get an admission to a five-day yoga retreat (a $325 value)<p>
The value of each retreat includes two daily meals and accommodations in a four-person dorm, although guests may upgrade their lodgings for an additional fee.
Founder swami Vishnudevananda created the nonprofit Sivananda Ashram Yoga Farm to foster a community of students and instructors interested in introspection, self-discovery, and their holistic health. Located within an 80-acre expanse of the Sierra Nevada’s foothills, the secluded farm enfolds visitors with oak- and pine-filled hills, three nearby rivers, and enough wildlife to stage a cartoon musical. A staff of volunteer instructors take advantage of the peaceful setting to focus students’ attention on personal growth and body awareness during a daily schedule of yoga classes and specialized workshops. During the Positive Thinking Weekend (Friday, March 9–Sunday, March 11), instructors introduce students to the yoga techniques and philosophies that can help transform negative, stressful, or challenging thoughts into positive emotions. The teachers of the Beginner’s Yoga Course (Sunday, February 5–Friday, February 10) elucidate the 12 basic yoga pose types, their benefits, and the benefits of yoga over other exercises including bench-pressing black holes.
Each workshop weekend starts early in the morning, when students wake up in their heated cabins overlooking the farm’s tranquil pond. Twice a day, visitors sit down to a buffet-style vegetarian meal that includes organic produce from the onsite gardens and adheres to yogic and ayurvedic dietary principles by avoiding eggs, onions, and blue marshmallow Peeps. Students can explore the grounds during their free hours or visit the boutique to pick up any class materials or cheat sheets for the program’s final exam.
Sivananda Ashram Yoga Farm
Founder swami Vishnudevananda created the nonprofit Sivananda Ashram Yoga Farm to foster a community of students and instructors interested in introspection, self-discovery, and their holistic health. Located within an 80-acre expanse of the Sierra Nevada's foothills, the secluded farm enfolds visitors with oak- and pine-filled hills, three nearby rivers, and enough wildlife to stage a cartoon musical.
Under the tutelage of three swamis, a staff of volunteer instructors uses the peaceful setting to help focus students’ attention on personal growth and bodily awareness during traditional outdoor yoga classes and specialized workshops. They faithfully teach the five points of yoga—proper exercise, breathing, relaxation, diet, and meditation—as they lead students down the four paths of yoga. Through the path of action, the path of devotion, Ashtanga, and the yoga of knowledge, they help their students forge a union of body, mind, and spirit. They weave specialized psychology, philosophy, and spirituality lessons into their asanas, which are bolstered with wellness programs and treatments such as massages with herbal oils, nutrition and detoxification programs, and ayurvedic therapies. To further unite their students with the world around them, the yogis promote sustainability with well water, solar-power systems, and an organic vegetable garden with which they can learn permaculture strategies.
The farm has onsite accommodations, including tents and heated cabins that overlook a pond. To keep their guests well-fed, a team of cooks whips up organic vegetarian cuisine following yogic and ayurvedic dietary principles, which means that meals are free of meat, fish, eggs, onions, and caffeinated beverages.