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“A healing and rejuvenating ashram”

Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Dhanwantari Ashram
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Reviewed 3 weeks ago

I have been to this ashram many times. The teachings and Yoga are most authentic and as close to the original as it can get. The ashram environment is so very healing, the programs very immersive and the teachers and staff are very learned and friendly. It really helps a person go deeper inside themselves and understand themselves better. The food is fabulous if you like authentic south Indian food. I am very grateful for the experience at the ashram. Om Namah Shivaya.

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Thank VenkatRao1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Nataraj 1, director at Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Dhanwantari Ashram, responded to this reviewResponded 1 week ago

Dear Venkat ji Om Namah Sivaya Thanks for your positive and inspiring words. We look forward to your next visit.

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"teacher training"
in 6 reviews
"sit on the floor"
in 4 reviews
"daily routine"
in 8 reviews
"physical aspects"
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"met wonderful people"
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"minimum stay"
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"living conditions"
in 2 reviews
"beautiful natural setting"
in 2 reviews
"healthy snacks"
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"banana cake"
in 2 reviews
"sattvic food"
in 2 reviews
"half weeks"
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"quiet space"
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"purified water"
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Reviewed 3 weeks ago

This place is a must visit and a go to place to recharge/reboot yourself. The real meaning of yoga with all four paths combined in form of a daily routine is truly amazing. Wonderful Yogi's who are all volunteers bring this place. Love the food and all the vibe. Would like to go as many times as I can.

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Thank Anuj S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Nataraj 1, director at Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Dhanwantari Ashram, responded to this reviewResponded 1 week ago

Dear Anuj ji
Om Namah Sivaya
Thanks for your rave review. _/\_

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Reviewed 6 June 2018

I booked a two week yoga vacation at Sivananda and left after 5 days. I was not impressed by the rigid, regimented methods employed and quite frankly, outdated attitudes towards women that verge on 1950s-style sexism. Not only that there was subtle manipulation and control being meted out by the staff to coerce me into "fitting in" to their regimen despite the fact that I did not require it.
Apart from that, some of the yoga teaching staff are lovely and good yogis and the surrounding nature is indeed beautiful and the food is healthy vegetarian fare but the environment created by the institution is unhealthy to say the least.
I was "monitored" by staff and chastised for not performing my Karma yoga duties well enough despite doing them quite well. On top of that I was made to feel ashamed of my "female body" one day when sitting on the ground quietly in a secluded area, using my laptop when my skirt had fallen down and I was showing my legs.
To quote the staff member who spoke to me, I was told that the local men who worked there had gathered around because of me and that they were "loitering around because I was showing my legs and that it was improper". However, the staff had gathered in the spot where I was sitting to avoid the heavy monsoon downpour. There were both local men and women in the space who had moved there when the rain started.
If the men were also looking at my legs lasciviously, then that is their problem. The men at the institution should be held responsible for their behaviour towards women and told not to ogle. Besides, their legs were showing in their lungis which were above the knee. What a double standard! Get with modernity Sivananda. It's not the 1950s anymore!
I had been traveling around India for 8 months and I am well aware of social mores and how "some" although not all Indian men behave and I am not naive. My month in Kerala had not created any untoward stir amongst the men I had come across.
I was also approached in the morning before meditation with a knock on my door to ask whether I was going or not to meditation despite it being a few minutes before it had actually started. It was not a friendly wake up call, rather it was designed to "make" me attend. I was clearly being monitored. It felt like "Big Brother!" Mind you this is a "yoga vacation".
I might add, I am an experienced yoga practitioner and have taught yoga myself.
Furthermore, the western teacher of theory became frustrated and dismissive when an Indian man attending corrected her about her incorrect explanation of Indian deities. She more or less told him to be quiet despite the fact that he was right and she was wrong. She also dismissed my queries with a hiss saying I could speak to her later regarding my "rational questions" even though they were pragmatic and relevant to the teaching. Frankly, she seemed afraid of any real, meaningful philosophical inquiry. Overall, many of the staff seemed uptight and brainwashed, although not all and some were friendly and inspirational.
Needless to say, I would not recommend Sivananda. There are plenty of great yoga teacher training and vacation places you can attend within India that have a more contemporary and friendly outlook. Oh, and the wi-fi rarely worked. I know it's India but other places can provide better wi-fi.

Thank sparklingocean
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Nataraj 1, Director at Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Dhanwantari Ashram, responded to this reviewResponded 8 June 2018

Blessed Self
Thank you for sharing your observations. If I may add the ashram's expectations for guests regarding dress code and attendance are clearly stated in our website. Some of your comments involve individual members. I am sharing your feed back for their awareness.

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Reviewed 7 May 2018

Two friends recommended this Ashram and I had been wanting to visit for the past five years. Finally I got my act together and had the time, and then became so focused preparing for the trip (my first to India) that I forgot about expectations -- other than the chance to practice lots of yoga in a supportive environment. It was that and much more, and I am very happy I stayed for 2 and a half weeks. What I appreciated most was the chance to be immersed in the whole of yoga, not just the physical postures. I felt that the staff struck a healthy balance between the fully daily structure and some R&R time if that's what you need. The Sivananda style is more rigorous that it looks. The food, for me, couldn't have been more perfect (fresh, non-processed, ayurvedic, with a little spice) and the twice a day meals synced well for me with the asana and pranayama practices also held twice a day. It was nice to be able to eat the salads and fresh fruit, and not to have to worry about the drinking water - they don't sell bottled water but do have purified water available from large dispensers all day.
I had been unsure about timing my visit (from Scandinavia) at the start of the hot season, but even though it was 30-35 degrees C, there was usually a nice breeze. The non A/C rooms all have ceiling fans that make it easier to sleep at night. The only thing I will be more aware of for next time would be to take better care of my knees. Most surfaces are either concrete or hard marble-type flooring. Doing karma yoga (cleaning the women's dorm) in bare feet was a killer (after years of running my knee cartilage is about gone ). It was better after I asked to keep my flip flops on while mopping and sweeping, and even better after doctor prescribed some ayurvedic oil (This walk-in clinic is another plus).
Fridays are days off and the Ashram arranged an absolutely wonderful day trip to the Kerala Backwaters and Varkala Beach. Overall I was blown away by the beauty of the setting, the friendliness of everyone I met, the teaching quality and the helpfulness of the staff. I have already been recommending this Ashram to my yoga-enthusiast friends.

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Thank lauracastor
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Nataraj 1, Director at Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Dhanwantari Ashram, responded to this reviewResponded 8 May 2018

Dear Laura
Thank you for your glowing review.
We hope to have you back soon.

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Reviewed 26 April 2018 via mobile

This Ashram offers learning of Yoga and meditation to all age groups..it is so so beautiful where you can see lush greenery around with coconut trees and flower garden..nearby is one lake too..one can enjoy the environment while doing Yoga..loved the place..

1  Thank Khyati K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Nataraj 1, Director at Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Dhanwantari Ashram, responded to this reviewResponded 27 April 2018

Thank you. Please come again.

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