Yogaville is first and foremost and Ashram (residence of monks) and an intentional community of followers of Swami Satchidananda, also known as Gurudev. His image is everywhere, during lunch there are readings from his talks and on the Saturday Satsang (evening service) there is a video of his talks. These all serve as reminders of this great man, who was a leader in the interfaith movement, whose motto "Truth is One, Paths are Many" adorns the gates to the LOTUS shrine and meditation hall. It would be a benefit to read about Swami Satchidananda before going.
Those who visit are guests at this Ashram -- it is not a spa. There are a variety of meditation sittings, yoga classes, lectures, etc. on the daily schedule and if you are coming for a workshop, the staff is very professional.
For those who might like some spa-style treatment, the Ashram has a list of the many body workers in the surrounding area, from massage, to Thai Yoga, to Alexander technique, etc.
The facilities themselves are simple - Sattwic, is the Sanskrit word, meaning tranquil. Not too fancy, yet clean and restful. The accommodations range from campsites to dorms and private rooms. If there is anything amiss,Guest Services will gladly take care of it.
The Yogaville community is very gracious, but it is helpful to remember that they live at a different vibration level than those of us who visit from the big city. They are committed to a life lived in peace and tranquility, so be understanding when folks don't interact they way they do in the city.
The food is excellent - and it is mostly vegan, with a little dairy provided as yoghurt. The coffee shop, which has limited hours, is a blessing to some.
For me, the setting in the woods along the James River and its myriad of trails, is worth the trip. I've been there in the summer and swam in the river, in the fall and reveled in the changing leaves, in the winter in the snow and in the spring amid the beautiful flowers, birds and butterflies.
One poster noted to bring a can of bug spray: Horrors! The Ashram staff will gladly remove any critters that may venture into your room, but will not kill them. Ahimsa is the Yogic virtue of non-harming, and the community adheres to it. The setting is out in the woods, and there are many wondrous and fantastical bugs you've probably never seen before - enjoy!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Since 1980, Satchidananda Ashram-Yogaville has served as a year-round spiritual retreat center and residential community offering teacher trainings, programs, retreats, and guest stays. In addition, the center has facilities for teachers and groups who are interested in conducting their own private retreats. Yogaville is located in the peaceful rolling hills of Buckingham, Virginia, within view of the Blue Ridge Mountains. ... more less
- Also Known As:
- Satchidananda Ashram - Yogaville Hotel Buckingham