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“inspiring experience” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Sivananda Ashram Yoga Retreat

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Sivananda Ashram Yoga Retreat
Paradise Island | PO Box N7550, 4777, New Providence Island   |  
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Ranked #1 of 14 hotels in Paradise Island
NY
1 review
“inspiring experience”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 14, 2013

Although short (5 days), my stay at the Sivananda Yoga retreat has proven to be one of the best experiences I have had in the last 10 years. I enjoyed everything: the yoga classes twice a day, taught by experiences instructors, the meditation and chanting done early in the morning and in the evening, the food prepared with care by the staff, and the communal atmosphere reigning at the ashram. The staff is composed of those who are at the ashram on a more or less permanent basis and those who participate in the karma yoga program for a variable number of months; they are all great people, fully devoted to make life at the ashram for the guests an exquisite experience, on the mental, psychological and spiritual level.

Even if the day is quite structured, starting at 6AM and ending at 9:30/10PM, guests have some hours for themselves in the afternoon, during which they can enjoy the beautiful beach adjacent to the ashram. This is not your typical vacation at the Bahamas—for typical I mean getting up late, drinking, dancing, partying etc.—so do not go to the Sivananda Yoga retreat if you are looking for any of the things I mentioned above.

Being at the Sivananda Yoga retreat allowed me to find a physical and psychological equilibrium that I had tried to achieve for quite some time. It also provided me with insightful tools for keeping my equilibrium once immersed back in the hectic New York life, in the form of interesting informal conversations with staff members and other guests and of reflections offered by the permanent staff members at the end of each satsang. I sincerely look forward to going back to the Sivananda Yoga retreat soon, and I wholeheartedly suggest it to anyone who is interested in gaining physical, psychological and spiritual advantages from a full yoga experience.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (134)
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English first
1 review
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 11, 2013

The experience of being a Karma Yogi at the Sivanada Ashram has been one of the most rewarding experiences in my life so far. It challenges you mentally, physically and spiritually in ways which are unexpected. I was also privileged to take the beginner yoga course while participating in the Karma Yoga program. The introductory course provided a comprehensive overview of the five pillars of yoga, diet, asanas and much more! The practices introduced to me have already impacted my life in a positive way and the staff at the Ashram were helpful in showing how each of us could adopt simple changes in our lifestyles to impact our lives. I will always treasure both the personal connections I made and the new world of yogic practices in my life.

Om Namah Shivaya

Room Tip: Rooms near the beach are the most beautiful and comfortable.
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York, New York, United States
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 16, 2013

We went here for 5 days a few months ago and I got concerned with the negative reviews on this web site. After spending 5 days there I realized that the people who write negative reviews here have no idea where they are going. This is NOT a resort. This is a true Yoga Ashram with people who are living there. People who come are there for spiritual renewal and a relaxing yoga and spiritual retreat, not a spa vacation or something like Atlantis.

The accomodations are on different levels and much like you are going to camp. Be prepared. Even if you are in the most expensive accomodations remember to bring your own toiletries including soap (I forgot soap). This is not a resort or even a hotel. I am NOT a yoga person although I am into fitness and the yoga classes were wonderful. They have various theme weekends/weeks and you should take full advantage of the classes as they are varied and excellent. Remember, it is like camp so the food is communal and you do your part. Really.

Ignore the "yellow shirts". They are not employees but they are taking part in an intense teacher training program. They are sleep deprived, learning and studying their As___ off and they are not there to help you out even with questions. The staff is there for that.

Remember you are at a religious Ashram. Period. Have respect for the dress codes as you would in any house of worship - your own or others you are familiar with. When in Rome, do as the Romans do and you will have a great time. There are certain dietary restrictions so if you do crave caffine, the Starbucks is a 15 minute walk up the beach to Atlantis. I did this daily and met a number of other participants and had a great time there as well.

They have a boat that leaves ever hour to the mainland if you want to explore or just see what is there. I went twice and got my fill.

Bottom line - I would DEFINITELY come back and come remembering that this is not a resort. The staff is nice and helpful but you are at camp. This is a religious Ashram and the staff lives there year round so it is their home and you are a guest at their home. Be respectful and just join in and you will have a great time.

Room Tip: The cabins are the best. Even if you are sharing go for a private bathroom.
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Minneapolis, Minnesota
2 reviews
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 4, 2013

Just returned from my second visit to the Sivananda Ashram. Having been there before, I knew what to expect as far as the ashram life and environment - as TXbeachbum76 wrote in his review - this is not, by any means, a resort. And I love that about it. Going there is a wonderful gift to be able to give to myself. I find the daily schedule to be a supportive environment for the habits and practices I am working to develop in my everyday life. Loved the food, loved the daily yogic immersion, learned so much. Even though I have been practicing yoga for a couple of years, I took the Beginner's Course, which was offered while I was there. Sivakami was an amazing teacher. I learned so much - not only about the asanas, but about the lineage, and the philosophy, and ultimately, about myself. I am so glad to have had the community of my fellow participants in the course while I was there; all of the people I met were pretty wonderful. I plan to return in the future, and will plan my visits around courses from now on. This was a wonderful experience. You cannot find a more beautiful location than this one. The ocean there is truly stunning, and you are right on it.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 3, 2013

I Recently visited the retreat and was not sure how I would adjust to the schedule but was pleasantly surprised how my time just flowed and the schedule became effortless. I found myself tearful at times for no reason and calm and content. I would highly recommend the introduction courses with sivakami. The introduction to meditation course helped me with my sitting posture and focus, and the yoga for beginners course is perfect if you are new to shivernanda yoga or have not practiced in a while. overall my days were spent learning, helping, and blissful thank you shivernanda Bahamas

  • Stayed July 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Alief, Texas
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 2, 2013

I booked 5 nights at the ashram and it was an experience I will never forget. I read reviews on Tripadvisor before going so I knew what I was getting into. Sivananda is not, by any means, a resort. You can definitely go there to unwind but there is a regimented schedule to follow. Honestly, however, the schedule is not as bad as it may sound. There is morning and evening meditation followed by satsang, a joyous ceremony in which the yogis sing and play instruments. Then there is yoga after the morning satsang and before the evening satsang. The yoga classes are pretty much the same but it's a really good workout and they tend to rotate teachers so you get a slightly different flavor from each one - even though it's the same series of poses. The meals are twice a day, buffet-style but very tasty. There is no meat, onions or garlic as they adhere to a sattvic diet, but everything is delicious!! I took snacks but ended up leaving them behind as the meals are filling and after a couple of days, you get used to eating twice a day. The beach is spectacular. Sivananda is a spiritual place that welcomes people of all faiths. I found the staff to be kind and knowledgeable but not overly-friendly. They are not hoteliers... they are yogis very much dedicated to their faith and practice. If you're looking to disconnect, unwind, detox and do a little soul searching in a no frills kind of place, this is definitely the place for you. If you're looking for a fancy resort that happens to offer yoga classes, look elsewhere. You'll definitely be disappointed.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 1, 2013

I just spent a week at the Yoga retreat (Ashram) and it was a life changing experience for me.
It's not only the Yoga exercises, but you get to experience the whole yogi lifestyle (the sattic food, the meditation, the chanting and the great theory behind it all). Which makes it so much deeper and inspiring. I attend the yoga beginners course and it was very effective and inspiring. The teacher, and the whole staff, where very devoted and again inspiring. Besides all that the location is just paradise with great rooms and facilities. I would say: just go for it and your life will not be the same anymore......

Sander Maas, Amsterdam The Netherlands

Room Tip: I had a oceanfront double room, but had it for myself the whole week....
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Sivananda Ashram Yoga Retreat

Address: Paradise Island | PO Box N7550, 4777, New Providence Island
Phone Number:
Location: Caribbean > Bahamas > New Providence Island > Paradise Island
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi )
Hotel Style:
#1 Family Hotel in Paradise Island
#1 Best Value Hotel in Paradise Island
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Yoga Retreat is a spiritual center & retreat place offering courses and workshops and yoga vacation. The daily schedule includes two yoga classes, two Satsangs (meditation sessions) and two vegetarian meals. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Sivananda Ashram Yoga Retreat Hotel Paradise Island
Sivananda Ashram Yoga Retreat Bahamas/Paradise Island

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