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“Great experience”

Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Dhanwantari Ashram
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Santa Barbara, California
Level Contributor
16 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
“Great experience”
Reviewed 18 March 2014

Stayed here with a friend for 4 nights on their "yoga vacation" program. Wonderful experience, 4 hours of asana every day, enjoyed the chanting and meditation at morning and evening satsang, unfortunately the 2pm lectures/conversations were awful, karma yoga was enjoyable and varied, and it's fun to take a break and hang out at the health hut. Meals were yummy. Dorms were super basic but pretty clean. Delicious tea and snack breaks. Lovely, helpful volunteers and staff. Beautiful grounds and temples. Met some wonderful people. I hope to go back, and highly recommend to anyone.

Visited February 2014
Helpful?
8 Thank Mary F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Los Angeles, California
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“Good basic intro to asana practice and overall a fun experience, but not without a few points for improvement...”
Reviewed 19 February 2014

I went to this place expecting to get a good, basic intro to asana practice, and I got it. Other good things about this place: it's a great opportunity to meet travelers from everywhere, and the price that they ask for the accommodation and instruction is very reasonable.

Now for the stuff that isn't so great. Let me be the first to complain about the meals. No, the food itself is pretty good, but I can't see any real good reason for having only two meals a day. Call me a complainer, but being constantly hungry for two weeks is no fun. My advice, if you come here, is to bring your own breakfast food and eat it on the sly. Hopefully you'll stay healthier than the people in my Yoga Vacation group - I'd say about half of them had colds. The staff said something about bad energy, but I think the explanation lies with fatigue and unwashed cups - another unwise health practice.

Oh, and chanting. If you don't like it, I wouldn't come here. The chant book had a quote from Swami Sivananda to the effect that chanting can make you immortal. I took that with a grain of salt, but decided to give chanting a try. I only stopped at lines that said something like "I throw my wretched body at the feet of Swami Sivananda" or something like that. Maybe it's just me. I also tuned out at the daily theory classes, as most others seemed to. I heard someone say they felt skipping the class and meditating for a while would be more beneficial, and I can't say I disagree... maybe your experience will be different.

Oh, the weekend trips are great. Take the boat across the lake to the jungle if you get a chance. Raw nature is at least as relaxing as savasana...

Another suggestion would be to bring an Indian cell phone if you truly need to use the internet. The ashram is supposed to have wireless, useable in common areas, but I beleive it was up for a grand total of about two hours while I was there (not an exaggeration). There is an internet cafe in the village below, but take my word and don't rely on that either.

I hope I don't sound like I'm complaining too much. I should also say that I entered the ashram having never attempted to stand on my head and left it able to stay for a wobbly thirty seconds or so. Huge sense of accomplishment after many painful crash landings - and of course I have the instructors here to thank.

I should probably also comment on the dorms. They are basic, especially if you end up having to stay on the roof, which you may in high season, so be prepared. Another thing to be aware of is that you need a pass to leave the ashram. This will not be granted except during free time, of which you won't have much. People come to check the dorms during class time and you might get in trouble if you are playing hooky.

Overall, I did enjoy the two weeks I spent here, and if you're willing to deal with the flaws I've mentioned above, I think you'll enjoy it, too.

Visited March 2013
Helpful?
11 Thank nothing002
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Perth, Australia
Level Contributor
7 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“One of the best Indian experiences”
Reviewed 18 February 2014

I regrettably only stayed a week at the ashram, but will certainly return and left wishing I was there for longer. It's very hard to explain the impact of the experience to anyone that hasn't attended, but it's an incredible journey. I made some wonderful friends, came away feeling totally refreshed and happy. If you're prepared to commit to the strict daily routine and are open to the spiritual journey then it's likely you'll love it.

Visited December 2013
Helpful?
3 Thank Sarah L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Brisbane, California
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“No confirmation or answering of phone calls but taken money”
Reviewed 11 February 2014

I have been trying to get confirmation for two weeks for my teacher training at Madurai no one answers the phone. in Madurai and India head office. I am going to have to turn up without confirmation. Also emailed Canada about very poor service.This is the danger of online registrations. I thought this was a professional place.

Visited February 2014
Helpful?
6 Thank Roz32112
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Ayurveda wellness course attended”
Reviewed 25 January 2014 via mobile

Really nice stay.

This wonderful ashram is for those wanting to experience classical yoga techniques. The teachings of swami sivananda and swami vishnudevananda include proper exercise, proper breathing, proper relaxation, proper diet, positive thinking and meditation, but for me it was the karma yoga (e.g. setting up the dining hall at dinnertime) & bhakti yoga (attending daily puja at the temple) that worked wonders and I had a fabulous time on the ayurvedic wellness course.

Helpful?
3 Thank Lucy C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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