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Sivananda Ashram Yoga Ranch
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Reviews (114)
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Reviewed November 18, 2012

This Ashram has evolved so much in the past few years and is only getting better and better. My last visit was summer 2012 and the current staff seemed to be very committed, devotional and grateful for being there.
The ashram recently added a new big Yoga hall and has been working on Permaculture projects that have really added a great touch to the overall landscape.
The food is great and very good Yoga classes.

Just as the ashram transforms with the years, than also I find a transformation in me with each time I go, and every time it seems to be positively different.
Come with an open heart and I most definitly recommend!

  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled solo
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3  Thank Sophi108
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 28, 2012

Looking for some introspection and to jumpstart my lapsed yoga practice, I recently went to the Sivananda ashram in upstate NY after reading an archived NY Times article. The staff were friendly, helpful & informative (very different experience than the reviews in Jan-2011). The setting was serene & natural. The healthy vegetarian food was delicious and plentiful (did not lose weight!). The dorm lodging had no frills but was comfortable and clean.

Yes, karma yoga is expected of everyone - it IS an ashram afterall, NOT a spa. But I never felt "forced" to do it. This ashram accepts all-comers, regardless of whether they've previously attended a Sivananda style yoga class and charges only $70/night (dorm) for 2 yoga classes and 2 meals - I felt happy to contribute to the maintenance of this place.

The yoga sessions are ~ 1hr 45 min long - they emphasize pranayama more than what I was used to and the sun salutations repetitions go very quickly. There are also 2 daily satsangs (which involve chanting/singing in Sanskrit and silent meditation). You can choose to participate (or not) in any asanas and other practices, depending on your comfort level.

My stay coincided with a teacher training course - approximately 20 students from all over the country, of both genders, and various ages and ethnic backgrounds had just completed a 1-month long program. Every student I spoke to seemed genuinely happy with their experience and several were planning to stay on.

If you're interested, go with reasonable expectations (check out their website) and you'll have a rewarding experience.

  • Stayed: June 2012, traveled solo
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5  Thank Runster
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 1, 2012

This is not a place for everybody, let's get that out of the way. It's bare-bones accommodations and a pretty big dose of the spiritual side of yoga. That said, I thought it was awesome. Even though the "wake-up" bell rings every day at 5:30 AM, I came back to the city feeling refreshed and revitalized. I really enjoyed Satsang in the AMs and the PMs (it includes Kirtan, which is musical chanting - I found it beautiful and inspiring, but it would have scared off some of my devout Christian friends as it is primarily Hindu mantras). The yoga was interesting, and unlike any style of yoga I have practiced. It's Hatha with a strong emphasis on pranayama. The yoga instructors were very good!

The food was awesome. You eat at 10 AM and 6 PM, but the food was very plentiful, wholesome and filling. I didn't mind doing Karma Yoga - I noticed some people complaining about it in previous reviews. Selfless service is a major part of the philosophy of yoga, so if makes sense they include it. It's also a nice way to get to know people at the ashram!

If you approach a stay here with an open mind, it can be a very rewarding experience! I came back feeling like I got more than my money's worth!

  • Stayed: March 2012, traveled solo
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5  Thank megzilla
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 17, 2011

I went knowing that this experience would be basic amenities (no frills) simple healthy vegatarian food, that I would be asked to help each day (how much was up to me), and that there would be a focus on the Yoga lifestyle - which includes early rising, yoga classes, meditation, chanting and a non-denominational religious/spiritual service. The Sivananda tradition are like the Unitarians of the Yoga world - they encourage you to spend time on your spiritual development in whatever name and form you practice. People going just to relax or wanting to be pampered will likely not feel comfortable in the atmosphere. They do some amazing gardening/permaculture work and the classes were all really informative. The location is gorgeous and I met some lovely people. I did not use the other services, I took walks and laid out on my yoga mat and looked at the sky. :) I am training in Yoga and don't mind having just the basics, so it was great for me. It is not for everyone, though, so I would say try a Sivananda Yoga class at an affiliated center (which I did) first and you can see if the atmosphere is right for you.

Stayed: July 2011, traveled with friends
6  Thank CindaH
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 24, 2011

I stayed in dorm bldg. Their amenities are:
- Paper thin mattress,
- 3 female showers for 50people
- No lockers,
- 2 vegetarian meals (not even enough to serve for everybody) but there is no dining area beside outside. Since it was raining, we had to eat inside hallway. No tables no chairs. You have to place food on the floor where people walk by with bare feet... yuk

- Obligation to attend their religious service
- Stuff are overworked and stressed. They can be rude and aggressive
- Can not say no to karma yoga. They forced me to clean their bathrooms
- They talk into join their religion
- No refund for early departure

I'd never go back to this ashram but if you want to try, I'd recommend for booking just 1night and see if you like it. I booked for 3 nights but decided to leave after 2nights. They didn't refund for the 3rd night.

  • Stayed: August 2010, traveled with friends
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14  Thank chow1225
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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