12 Things You Need To Know Before Staying at a Yoga Ashram:
(Sivananda Ashram Yoga Retreat Bahamas)
~guest post by Katie Papo
- It’s an ashram, not a resort. An ashram is a spiritual community where people gather to practice discipline, meditation, yoga, selfless service, and good health. Accommodations are simple, there are no TV’s, and you will have to walk a good distance down the beach before you see a cocktail waiter.
- It’s the perfect place to travel solo. Believe it or not, people at the ashram are going to love you exactly as you are. Traveling to the ashram by yourself is an amazing opportunity to make lifelong friends and to meet other solo travelers.
- “Modest dress” means cover your shoulders and knees. For many places, “modest dress” just means keep your clothes on. But bear in mind, this is a place where monks live. You can flaunt your bikini on the beach, but pack lots of t-shirts for when you’re not working on your tan lines.
- A wake-up bell will greet you at 5:30am. Don’t say I didn’t warn you. (But never fear…you can nap on your beach towel later!)
- “Ommm…” Prayer, chanting, and singing are all part of the ashram experience. Most of the words are in an ancient language, but don’t let that send you running—it’s all for peace, love, and good health.
- You will detox. Even if you don’t have detox queen Grace Van Berkum at the ashram to help you cleanse that precious body of yours, just being in the ashram’s purifying atmosphere will initiate some level of detox. There are no meat, eggs, caffeine, tobacco, or alcohol allowed on the property. Don’t panic! The first day or two might test your will-power, but your rejuvenated body will thank you.
- You will see lots of people wearing…yellow? Many of the staff (who are also volunteers) at the ashram wear yellow, because in the Sivananda tradition, yellow is the symbol of knowledge, and the ashram is all about learning. The Swamis (monks) wear all orange, symbolizing the fire that burns away their attachment to worldly things.
- Tent life is the norm. Try it! It’s the least expensive form of accommodation, and you might be surprised by the joys of sleeping in nature. You won’t be alone…you’ll find yourself in a mini tent-city!
- Bring a water bottle. Save the environment and skip the plastic bottles. The ashram lovingly bought a filtered water dispenser so you can fill your own bottle for free.
- Your schedule is designed for you. Don’t let the mandatory full day daunt you…everything in the ashram’s schedule is arranged for your optimal health, happiness, and peace of mind. Take advantage of all the workshops and classes. And even when you do everything on the list, you’ll still have plenty of lounge time.
- You will be exposed to many different religions. The ashram displays statues and paintings of many different gods, goddesses, saints, and sages. This does not mean you have entered a cult! These images are intended to represent qualities and ideas that we already know and love. Like Ganesha, the elephant-headed deity, is a metaphor for removing obstacles and overcoming life’s challenges.
- Your life will be changed forever. You may not notice the changes until you return home, but they will definitely be there. Whether it’s changing your diet, taking up meditation, or learning something new about yourself, your life will never be the same!
**7 BONUS TIPS FOR TTC STUDENTS! (Yoga Teacher Training Course)**
7. Smile!! Because your world is about to be rocked!
Check out the ashram website & photos HERE.
JOIN A TROPICAL GRACIOUS LIVING LIFESTYLE RETREAT.
It will change your health. And your life!
Katie Papo develops holistic wellness programs in the United States and Bahamas for adults, young adults, and children. Specializing in stress and weight management, Katie is a certified yoga instructor, sports nutrition specialist, holistic life coach, and personal trainer. Her passion is to help others let go of negative habits, cultivate self-awareness, and inspire new choices that promote an energized lifestyle, calm mind, and conscious living. You can find her on Facebook HERE.
You are what you eat.
You are what you think.
~Gracious Living Lifestyle XO