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“Relaxing, Refreshing, Rejuvenating” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Sivananda Ashram Yoga Retreat

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Sivananda Ashram Yoga Retreat
Ranked #1 of 14 Hotels in Paradise Island
Certificate of Excellence
Baltimore
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Relaxing, Refreshing, Rejuvenating”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 19 May 2014

I spent 10 days at the Ashram in May, and had an absolutely wonderful stay. I think this is most relaxed and centered I have ever returned from a vacation.

The yoga classes are excellent. They are not as physically-challenging as the vinyasa classes I am used to at home, which is perfect because it meant I could attend 4 hours of yoga per day without too much trouble. The classes include a lot of meditation and breathing work, and focus on holding poses in order to achieve the maximum benefit from each pose. It was a bit too warm to use the beach platform (which is not shaded) during my stay, which was not a big deal because there are two beautiful platforms on the other side of the island (it's a very skinny island) facing the "bay" and Nassau. It doesn't get much better than practicing yoga with a steady ocean breeze.

I ended up liking the Satsangs (meditation, chanting, lecture/music/dance) more than I was expecting to. It is a very nice way to start the morning, and great practice at staying focused during a long (usually 25 minute) meditation. In many ways, the Satsangs were a cultural experience - it was interesting to gain exposure to additional components of the yoga tradition. The afternoon workshops were a nice complement to the Satsangs, as they provided an opportunity to learn more about these traditions.

I stayed in a tent hut (clean, relatively private, great to have a fan and bed frame). The communal bathrooms were generally very clean, and others on the tent platform were quiet and respectful. The food (all vegetarian) was excellent.

I am going to end with a quick reminder - I had a wonderful (5 star) trip, but this is not your typical vacation. The day is relatively regimented (although you have a bit more flexibility as a yoga vacationer), and most people come to have quiet, reflective, spiritual time. I do a lot of camping and traveling, so did not actually find the ashram to be too rustic (the showers have hot water, etc.), but keep in mind that the amenities are rather simple. If you are looking for a vacation that will help you take a step back, relax, and meet others with similar goals, this a perfect vacation for you!

  • Stayed May 2014, travelled solo
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
6 Thank Kerry S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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642 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (214)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 19 May 2014

My daughters and I went to the Ashram on a Yoga Vacation and it was absolutely amazing! What a beautiful place - scenery, accommodations and spirit. It was an excellent value with clean rooms (I did not see one bug except for the flying ones!) and good clean healthy food. The true value was in the yoga and meditation practice that was available with a wonderfully supportive and helpful community. I had not done yoga before and I was a little intimated for about a minute! Then I felt so welcome and so supported that I was able to really expand my knowledge and practice and feel totally comfortable. Bring sunscreen because the beach is beautiful and leave the computer, etc at home. There is wifi which I used for periodic check ins with home but aside from that, prepare to leave the world behind and become a part of something amazing!

Room Tip: If you usually need the bathroom in the middle of then night, chose a room close the bathrooms!
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  • Stayed May 2014, travelled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Hollie M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Tel Aviv District, Israel
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 17 May 2014 via mobile

I have been there twice so far and can't wait to the next time.
This place always reminds me that our world is beautiful and relaxing me from the daily routine.
I highly recommend any one who wants a peaceful vacation to consider this amazing place!
Can't wait to my next visit that will probably be to the Teachers Training Course.
See you there :)
Gal

Stayed May 2014
Helpful?
5 Thank Galagadi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 16 May 2014

Been there for 2 weeks on july. stayed a the dorms. I was there on a vacation and wanted to get away, practice yoga and relax.The place has a great atmosphere, enjoyed all the yoga and meditation classes, very good food (vegetarian) and excellent value for money. very suitable for people who come to relax and practice yoga, not for people who look for the regular 5 star hotel experience. The rooms are basic but you have everything you need. Recommended!

  • Stayed July 2013, travelled solo
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank giladha
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Zagreb, Croatia
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 11 May 2014

I have been to the yoga retreat 4 times for the yoga vacation and for other courses as well. I have been in many ashrams around India and Europe. This is a place where you can really get deep relaxation, spiritual progress and unwind from everyday stress and activities. I find that the energy here is very warm and welcoming. The staff are very nice and friendly, the ocean is beautiful, and the water is clean with great healing properties. The daily lectures are given by highly advanced healers and spiritual practicioners and everyone can join and benefit from the intresting information and tools. All daily activities such as yoga exercises , pure vegeterian food, mediation, chanting, selfless service, etc. are directed towards discovering your true Self and Self realisation. I really recommend the ashram for any person who wants to relax and enjoy themselves.

Tip: Plan to stay at least 10-14 days to get full benefits!

  • Stayed May 2014, travelled solo
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank GoranThetaHealing
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Tel Aviv, Israel
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 10 May 2014

I visited the yoga retreat with my family last month.We had a great time enjoying the ocean, the daily yoga classes, and the food! The staff were very kind and helpful especially to my 15 months baby,
I felt very inspired and grateful for the rich program and interesting speakers. The place is so beautiful and the birds literally eat from your hands.
I"ll definitely return to the yoga retreat which already feels like home!

  • Stayed April 2014, travelled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Einatef
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Keene, New Hampshire
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 9 May 2014

5 stars because if this specific kind of experience is what you are looking for, you will find it relaxing and uplifting, possibly even transforming. The overall experience far exceeded my expectations.
But first, BE WARNED.
If you are looking for a cheap boutique hotel on the beach, this is most definitely not it. As one strolls 400 yards west from the massive "Las Vegas" style Atlantis hotel, on Paradise Island in the Bahamas, you'll see the Shivanda Yoga Retreat presenting a number of cottages within 100 feet of the beach. There is even a large yoga platform almost on the beach. 'Sure looks like a fine boutique hotel. But traveler beware; it's very far from it. But remember, I give this experience 5 stars, so if you don't check out in the next couple of paragraphs (for good reason) you'll see why.
More like a cross between a Hindu monastery and an adult summer camp. This a great blend if you don't require a private bath with your room or tent (some rooms do have private baths however), don't mind or even enjoy exclusively vegetarian cafeteria-style communal meals at picnic tables. They even offer "mandatory", "semi-required", or "suggested" (I never figured out which, and made my own choice to attend most, but not all of the sessions) meditation and Sanskrit chanting sessions at 6 AM and 8 PM.
Did I mention: no alcohol, no tobacco, no drugs? Yes, that too. No beach chairs, cabanas, or beach bar.
On the other hand, where can you go and observe/participate in the "real deal" Hindu and yogic spiritual and temple rituals, learn yoga and meditation in an immersion context from professional, patient and caring guides, and engage with other spiritual seekers from many different paths from all over the world; all at various points on their journey. And all within a very accepting and upbeat context.
Here's my example:
In early January, I asked my friend Richard (who has travelled widely) where I could go for some beach time without becoming a complete slug; eating, drinking too much, getting sunburned and vacating virtually everything. Doesn't sound bad, but this time I wanted to maintain, or even enhance my "inner work" without completely indulging every whim. He suggested this place, which he has visited a couple of times with his wife. His wife was expecting 4-5 star accommodations and service, so she gives the food and accommodations 2-3 stars, the yoga 4 stars; the beach 5 stars plus.
I enjoy tent camping, and actually prefer to sleep that way rather than in a small confined room. My tent was pitched on a platform, had a light, fan, bedside table, open dresser, bed with foam mattress, wardrobe with hangers. Altogether most elegant for tent camping. My only complaint about the "room"? The bed was too short for my 6-1 frame, and the mattress too thin for my 280 lbs. Yes that's me, XX Large. With multiple sports and career injuries on every limb. I considered requesting another mattress (they are thin) and placing 2 directly on the floor, but was pretty well accustomed by the time my visit ended.
The Yoga: My only prior exposure to yogic practice was a couple of local beginner classes taken a few weeks before my trip. I enrolled in the in 5 day Beginners Class for the first part of my retreat. Our class met for 1 hour of lecture, consisting of a well-presented introduction to the larger context of yoga as a spiritual discipline; the place of asanas (the unusual poses that some might describe as tortuous), pranayama (breathing exercises), and meditation, and lifestyle choices. The point for me was that the asanas are part of a larger practice.
We also met for a 2 hour "yoga" class which focused on gradually learning the 12 poses and the breathing exercises. During these classes our very capable and experienced instructor showed us numerous modifications to accommodate our specific physical challenges. What was important about the modifications was that the quality of the "perfect pose" was stressed much less than the intent of the pose (both inner and outer). This allowed someone like me, whose physical limitations and injuries required a modification for just about every pose, to gain most of the benefit of the practice. I couldn't imagine a better way or place to learn about or participate in a yogic practice.
The Beach: Oceanside. Almost deserted. Lots of trees along the beach provide excellent shade. Did I say almost deserted?
The People: Many guests; over 200 (including staff and monks) which at times felt a bit crowded. Although I could always find a spot away from it all (often the beach. such hardship). I definitely did not take this trip to meet people, but in spite of myself, I did meet a number of kindred spirits and deep souls.
To summarize: I've been fortunate enough to vacation in several of the finest resorts in the world, spending $20-30k for an amazing, pampered, and "vacating" week or two. Excepting self-guided wilderness camping trips, my week at Shivanada Bahamas was one of my least expensive vacations, but one of the most enriching. I will definitely return. 'Might even take the Beginners Yoga Class again.

Room Tip: Top floor, corner of tent platform units most private of this style. Newest beachside units seemed...
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  • Stayed February 2014, travelled solo
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
7 Thank john w
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

Property: Sivananda Ashram Yoga Retreat
Address: 4777, New Providence Island
Phone Number:
Region: 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 (Based on Average Rates): £
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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