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“Israelis stop being sabras and be nice, that is YOGA!”

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Sivananda Ashram Yoga Retreat
Ranked #1 of 14 Hotels in Paradise Island
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed March 14, 2014

I have been at the Ashram quite a few times, before the Israeli Swami took over and I do see a bunch of changes before he arrived and after. First before they were more generous no doubt now they charge you for everything even the mat!!! At the same time, before it was not as organized as it is now. Food is very good still but now they serve less of it compared to before. Now here comes the main problem: I HAVE HEARD WITH MY OWN EARS AND SAW WITH MY OWN EYES AT THE SWAMI (the Israeli big shot) who is supposed to be a calm person SNAP at another Israeli guy (an important guy in the Ashram, the second in command), the second guy did not respond and really acted like a real Yogi. In my last trip, I saw another Israeli employee snap at a volunteer (who was not Israeli) I HEARD AND SAW HIM screaming his lungs out and scolding at the poor guy who was a volunteer and quite adorable. I love Israelis but quite honestly, you guys are not in Israel, you are in a very calm and relaxed Island and a beautiful place. You should not be leaders there unless you act and live the YOGA LIVE and I cannot forget seeing the Swami out of control. That to me was very shocking!!! To me he seems like a great manager of the Ashram rather than a real spiritual guide.

  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled solo
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11  Thank barredani
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ShankarBr, Guest Relations Manager at Sivananda Ashram Yoga Retreat, responded to this reviewResponded March 21, 2014

Hi barredani,

We, at the Yoga Retreat, try to learn from any review on TripAdvisor how we can improve our service and create a perfect experience for our guests, trainees, and staff. Reading your review didn't leave me with any insight on what exactly we could have done to improve your stay.
You've visited us several times which shows that you love the Yoga Retreat enough to return again and again. This pleases me greatly and I hope to see you with us again soon.
I do have to say that I don't quite appreciate your obsession with nationalities. Our staff are ALL volunteers who come (at present) from not less than 17 different countries. Anyone who wants to join us and serve our fellow beings is welcome here without discrimination of any kind. It is unfortunate that you make the country-of-origin of the director of the Yoga Retreat the center of your review.
Besides, knowing the people involved, I'm sure you've misunderstood the situation you've witnessed. Moreover, during your visit in May 2013 (as you mention) our director was not present in the Yoga Retreat.

I wish you all the best, and please let me know how we can serve you better in your next visit.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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349 - 355 of 706 reviews

Reviewed March 14, 2014

If you do your research and are honest with yourself about where you're headed, it is impossible to leave the place unchanged.

I was there over Christmas. The food was excellent, the yoga classes great (love the option of levels depending on how I was feeling I could do intermediate or beginner), the atmosphere is incredible. My "tent" room was adorable, just right for a week's stay somewhere warm. I thought all the facilities were very well maintained, especially the main bathroom/shower building.

There were things to get used to: long meditation, kirtan – but again, if you know where you're headed, these should not be obstacles. It took a couple of days of some adjustment, physical, mental and spiritual, but in the end, I didn't want to leave.

Can't wait to return.

Oh, and the location is amazing. The beach is great, the yoga beach platform is lovely, the fact that there is Atlantis, love it or hate it, not too far away for some basics also helps. *I got a bit sick, so it was nice to take a walk to grab some cough meds without going to the mainland.*

  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled solo
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3  Thank riaskaya
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 11, 2014

I took the "yoga for beginners course" of 5 days. Loved the teacher, loved the group, loved the approach and everything I learned on the yoga life. I would recommend this course to anybody who`s new to the yoga practice and who wants to learn how to develop in the wonderful world of yoga.

I am so happy to have discovered this place!

Room Tip: Choose the beachfront rooms.
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  • Stayed: February 2014, traveled with family
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3  Thank LStArnaud
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 11, 2014

The ashram was great for what I needed; a getaway with no distractions to clear my head. The food was delicious, it's right on the beach and people are friendly.

The one thing that drove me nuts was that the bathrooms were filthy. I know it's an ashram (I'm Hindu so I'm quite familiar with the concept) but still it was disgusting. The problem is the bathrooms are cleaned in the morning and by afternoon, there are filthy towels on the floor, tampons strewed about, skid marks in the toilet, hair everywhere.

Also if you're looking for spiritual guidance, forget it. I took a tour of the ashram with "Arjuna" (a white guy from Canada) who seemed consistently annoyed with us the entire time. First he snapped at someone for looking at their watch, (she was trying to make a note of the sun in accordance with the time, not because she was bored), then he became irate when we asked a question about something he mentioned in the tour, (that the ashram has a 99 year lease). He then became annoyed when someone else asked about the meaning of the different colored robes. I found it odd that someone who has been practicing yoga and meditation for 30 years could be so rude and snippy.

I also went to take a Bhagvad Gita class. I peeped my head in and asked if I was in the right spot and he just grunted at me. This was someone training to be a priest. I've gone to a million pujas and have been to Hindu camp as a child and the priests are always warm and friendly so I was pretty surprised.

Interestingly the only person with a bright personality and energy was Dr. Amit Goswami who was simply dropping in to lecture about quantum physics.

If you're looking to just be by yourself and clear your head (not being able to drink, smoke, have caffeine, or go out helps) this is a perfectly good spot. Just don't depend on the ashram itself on helping you with that spiritual awakening. If you have the money spring for the rooms with private bathroom.

  • Stayed: February 2014, traveled solo
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10  Thank R K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 10, 2014

I needed a place to get away on short notice and my requirements were simple - reasonably priced and warmth plus either yoga or meditation. This was the first place I found. I was there 9 days and found the experience to be what I needed. The yoga was strenuous with 2 classes a day. There could have been more meditation. The people I met - both staff and guests - were warm, friendly and informative. The food was plentiful and tasty.

  • Stayed: February 2014, traveled solo
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2  Thank Christopher O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 5, 2014

This yoga retreat feels very safe and supportive. It is clearly well managed. My favorite thing are the pujas, which are special spiritual events in which blessings are given and received. There is ample opportunity to chant, sing, and do meditation and yoga. The food is deliciously vegetarian. Presenters vary but generally most are enjoyable.

Room Tip: some rooms are on the ocean and in tents one can sometimes hear noise (I like tenting, though)
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  • Stayed: February 2014, traveled solo
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Thank Louise R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 4, 2014

If you are looking for a spiritual get-away…a place to reflect and come home to your heart, this retreat center is for you. For me it was heaven to wake early for group mediation, chanting and yoga. There are wonderful workshops and programs to take during the day (check their catalogue or go on-line for events) or stroll on the beach or nap... then in the late afternoon more yoga, meditation, concerts and lectures on the yogic lifestyle. Loved it!

Keep in mind, this is an Ashram, steeped in the authentic sivananda yoga lineage so modesty is the key and it's a time for self- reflection rather than wanting a club-med resort experience. Great to come alone and just chill. There are two levels of yoga classes offered in the sivananda style, i would suggest taking the beginners class if you are new to yoga or to their distinct style and its important to always respect your body and your limitations.

The property is lovely, the food is abundant, tasty vegetarian buffet served in Tablas. The dining area is large picnic tables under rafters and by the beach and the people are very kind and friendly. The accommodations are from lux (only a few available) to nice and simple, the tent-huts are comfortable and large with electricity, a dresser, lamp and little closet. Shared bathrooms that are clean and simple. (My only complaint would be the shower mats, they got very sandy and muddy :( and needs to be changed more frequently.)

Overall, I had a deeply relaxing and spiritual experience. I would highly recommend this retreat center if you are looking for some R&R away from the normal crazy vacation mode. This is simple and sweet and steeped in an ancient yogic lifestyle.

Happy Yoga Girl….

Room Tip: Book very early as accommodations are limited, especially the ones next to the ocean….but all the te...
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  • Stayed: February 2014, traveled solo
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Thank pritiyoga
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: 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 Best Value Hotel in Paradise Island
#1 Family Hotel in Paradise Island
Price Range: $69 - $158 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 60
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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