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“Wonderful yet somewhat sad”

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Sivananda Ashram Yoga Farm
Reviewed February 17, 2012

I spent a week at sivananda last week, It was wonderful, I am no stranger to yoga, but still found out the experience unique. The teachers are knowledgeable, experienced and passionate about what they do. The senior teachers have the depth of knowledge about the culture I was born and brought up. I felt very peaceful, something I have not experienced in a long time. The food is served only 2 times a day but still I like the concept, it is all veggie and delicious. I loved swami omkaranadas lectures. I lived in a cabin with no email and Internet no tv, which is what I asked for, it is an ashram.

No comes the not so good part, the trainees, I don't know what thier problem is, during karma yoga they are pushy and authoritative. They feel that volunteers are their subordinates, they neither appreciate the help no manage work properly. As an other person mentioned I spent more time than needed doing karma yoga, the last day I took off a few minutes early(literally 10 minutes). I was questioned and warned, if it was not an ashram I would surely smacked him. I lost some respect but no institute is perfect. The yoga and meditation classes are priceless. I would still highly recommend, but if only people like can bring it to the mgmt attention.

I am planning to return sometime next year.

  • Stayed: February 2012, traveled solo
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15  Thank Tobypandu
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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36 - 41 of 41 reviews

Reviewed April 28, 2011

I stayed at the Yoga Farm for 2 weeks and I had an excellent time -- taking asana classes, reading, resting, chanting, meditation and lectures.
Everything was great, it was easy, it was an inwardly rewarding experience.
I highly recommend the Sivananda Yoga Farm. It's not a hotel, it's an ashram, so you will get what you put into it.
I will go back again and recommend it to others who want to truly experience an authentic yoga practice here in the states.

  • Stayed: October 2010
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7  Thank cgkamala
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 23, 2010

While I have been to other yoga retreat centers before, none quite compare to the Sivananda Yoga Farm in Grass Valley. Others may be larger, have more amenities, etc., but that is not why I, and I suspect many of you are interested in visiting or reading this review. From my conversations with other visitors at the Farm, it seems we are all seeking some of the same things: mental peace and clarity, positive direction, techniques for physical, mental, and spiritual advancement. Well, the Yoga Farm delivers big time on all the areas that distinguish a spiritual retreat center from any other vacation spot.

While I could easily go on and on about the program I participated in -- they have so many I would love to take -- I would rather use this space to tell you about another part of my experience.

What has most profoundly impacted my about the Yoga Farm is the positive energy that overflows the boundaries of their expansive plot in the beautiful, rugged Sierra foothills. Unlike the world outside the Yoga Farm, I encountered nothing but deeply positive vibes during my stay -- except for my own inner resistance to being peaceful, mindful, and accepting. lol.

It is really hard to put into words, but after a short time of adjusting and tuning in to my surroundings and the unifying ideals underlying the purpose of all things at the Farm, I began to settle and clarify, not unlike how if you shake up some soil in a glass of water it slowly settles into clearly distinct layers. I became removed from myself and my life -- in a good way -- which allowed me a unique perspective. I came to see the difference b/t myself and all the "stuff" that is my life and occupies my time and energy. I came to see that some of those things are wonderful, some are hindrances, and some are just taking up space. With this view, I was able to make informed decisions about how to move forward in terms of what I would retain, get rid of, and seek to acquire. I credit the Yoga Farm, its' staff, and its' amazing director, Swami Sita -- you gotta sit in on one of her lectures ... BRILLIANT! -- with this rare experience I had while visiting.

The Yoga Farm is an amazing place that you really should visit. I doubt, if you have lived a "normal" American life that you have felt this kind of peace and clarity many, if any times before. 2 thumbs up, 5 stars.

The Farm

  • Stayed: November 2010, traveled solo
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5  Thank CASeeker108
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 19, 2010

I recently visited the Yoga Farm in Grass Valley California and can honestly say I would never return. It was wonderful to experience the life of a yogi. The yoga classes were relaxing and I often felt recharged and grounded in my spirit after each session. I am not a religious person but I am a very spiritual individual. I found the ashram to be clean and the meals were delicious. The rooms were tidy and for the most part comfortable. The visitors to the ashram were kind and friendly, sharing stories of were they traveled from during meals. The challenges I faced during my time were welcomed with my open heart. It can be difficult to set aside the things we use to distract ourselves in the busy world we live in and removing these distractions can bring up some uncomfortable emotions. However I found spiritual strength made it possible for me to understand and move beyond what was troubling me. The experience during my stay that has left me a little heart broken came during interactions with and observations of the staff at the ashram. At first I was uncertain about what I was experiencing, thinking maybe I was over thinking things or projecting my personal discomfort on to others, but I heard from five other visitors during this time who had similar experiences. It was not uncommon for me to over hear staff speaking poorly about other staff and on some occasions guests as well. There was no warm welcome and no introduction. On my first day I was approached aggressively by a staff member to make sure I was doing my karma yoga. It had gone unnoticed that I had all ready without any direction or request contributed 2.5 hours of my day to cleaning in the kitchen. As a guest I was required to contribute one hour per day to do karma yoga, but as I am the kind of person who thinks nothing of helping in anyway I can I often contributed much more time than this. It was never noticed and most days I would be accosted by staff. There was a very strong sense of hierarchy and a kind of clique like environment. It was unsettling how stressed and over worked the staff who were there for work/study felt and openly expressed to me each day. On my finally day at the ashram as I was checking out there were two staff members openly fighting with raised voices about money. Leaving the ashram I felt sad and confused and because I openly felt this way I was passively told I should stay because I hadn't learned enough. However during my time there I was never once spoken to by staff to ask questions to expand my understanding. Rather I was barked at to do more "karma yoga". I can't say the entire experience was negative, because it wasn't. The goodness came because I sought it out and actively worked to avoid the conflict between staff. I will however never return to this place.

  • Stayed: September 2010, traveled solo
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35  Thank SeaSam
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Berkeley, California
17
Reviewed March 27, 2006

My visit to the Ashram in Grass Valley was for me not unlike returning to South India. This is the full and authentic experience of Yoga in all of its ancient and traditional dementions. There one chants, walks, meditates, and lives the life of the Soul and sings the Song Divine. The food is wonderful, the atmosphere one of contemplative peace, and the schedule is alive with both regularity and variety. I loved the structure and the method of teaching. This is the yoga of Sivanada who inspired Visnudevadanda to found the farm and retreat on this quiet and sacred ground. Even a brief visit has for many proved to be a life changing event. There is much to learn, pleanty to enjoy, and a whole lot to take home with you from this comfortable, well maintained, healthful and supportive setting. I loved every moment of it!
Yogi Adi Jon Kurma

  • Stayed: August 2005
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7  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 6, 2015
Google Translation

  • Stayed: June 2015, traveled solo
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Thank 20,150,811
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 Farm

Address: 14651 Ballantree Lane, Grass Valley, CA 95949
Phone Number:
Location: United States > California > Grass Valley
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 7 Specialty Lodging in Grass Valley
Number of rooms: 22
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Sivananda Ashram Yoga Farm is a world class retreat which offers guests and students a comprehensive learning experience in classical Yoga and Meditation. Set on 80 acres in the Sierra mountain foothills of California, in gold country, guests are treated to amazing views, clean and spacious accommodations and a dedicated all volunteer staff here to help you. Whether you are on a journey of self discovery, self improvement, or simply want to learn how to practice Yoga Asanas and Pranayama to improve your physical health, Sivananda Ashram Yoga Farm is here to help you. Please join us and be amazed. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Sivananda Ashram Yoga Farm Hotel Grass Valley

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