We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Simple, Unique and Enjoyable Experience”

We can't find prices for this accommodation
Our online travel partners don't provide prices for this accommodation, but we can search other options in Woodbourne
Check In dd/mm/yyyy Check Out dd/mm/yyyy
Sivananda Ashram Yoga Ranch
hikeusaf
Level 3 Contributor
12 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“Simple, Unique and Enjoyable Experience”
Reviewed 11 February 2013

I recently stayed here for a weekend retreat as a surprise birthday gift from my friends. As it was a surprise, I didn't have much of an idea as to what to expect (I was only given directions and a packing list). Upon arrival, the volunteers enthusiastically greeted me and showed me to my very simple but comfortable single room. It reminded me of staying at my grandmother's house: I felt welcome and at home, but it's definitely not the Ritz. The buildings are old, but comfortable. I imagine most people who research before coming here aren't expecting anything fancy anyway. The schedule is rigid and repetitive, but nothing is mandatory - only "highly encouraged." There are no drill sergeants telling you what to do, but since you made the trip all the way out here, you can expect to get the most of the experience if you participate in everything or almost everything. The two meals a day they provided were made by the volunteers and were strictly vegetarian. That being said, there was a significant amount of variety, and I found the food to be delicious and satisfying (mostly with an Indian flare, but there were some other varieties as well). Serving buffet style added to the comfortable (staying with a relative) vibe. There are no dining tables, most choose to sit at benches along the wall, but there are a limited number of TV trays available if this is more comfortable. The twice a day meditation and chanting were new to me, but were ultimately rewarding and educational. For anyone who feels uncomfortable chanting, you can always observe and/or sit silently. Even if the silent meditation is uncomfortable for anyone (sitting cross legged for 30 minutes) - there are modifications one can do to make it more comfortable (e.g. sitting in a chair) - though I recommend against doing what one person in my group did - sprawling out on the floor and snoring. The twice a day yoga was intense yet relaxing. I have never done 4 hours of yoga in one day before, and left the retreat a little sore - but a good sore. The instructors were varied but kept to the same basic Sivananda sequence. This is not your typical local health club yoga class. If you are new to this, I recommend reading up on it. The only aspects I was unfamiliar with were the breathing techniques. I do find myself missing the sequence and will likely buy a DVD to practice at home since there is no Sivananda center nearby. The sauna was nice and like no other I have ever visited, although the one time I went, the inside temperature had dropped (it's wood fired), so I didn't stay long. In discussions with other guests, they highly recommended it, especially before the yoga sessions. The karma yoga was an opportunity to give back a little and was merely helping out with dishes, sweeping, etc. immediately following the meals. Even that was optional and didn't take much time. I do recommend anyone who is not sent here as a surprise trip take the time to thoroughly read/review their website. If you do, there should be few surprises. Overall, I had an amazing time, and believe you get out of this experience what you put into it. I would recommend it to anyone with the following caveats:
Do go if you -
Are open minded
Are already familiar with ashrams and/or Sivananda OR willing to learn and experience new things (I still recommend reading a little on it before you go)
Are wanting to escape the day-to-day, challenge yourself and fully immerse yourself in the experience
Are willing to talk to other guests and volunteers/staff to learn about their experiences
Can "rough it" a little

Don't go if -
You are expecting a four or five-star resort
Are frightened or made uncomfortable by new/different experiences

Room Tip: They have several different options depending on your preference. You can share a room - dorm style...
See more room tips
  • Stayed February 2013, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank hikeusaf
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Write a Review

85 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
    57
    18
    4
    2
    4
See reviews for
6
3
52
3
Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (19)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • English first
  • Any
English first
New York City, New York
Level 3 Contributor
11 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 November 2012

Stressed out NYer here. Needed a few days away to chill out in a beautiful setting, do some yoga and delve for the first time into meditation -- and I didn't want to travel too far from the city. I spent four lovely days at Sivananda and left relaxed and happy.

I admittedly came at an unusual time (right before Thanksgiving 2012) so my experience might be slightly different in that I was the sole guest, but the staff couldn't have been lovlier.

The 5:30am wake-up call via a huge gong outside your room is tough, especially the first day or so, but honestly by the third day it was fine. I was really surprised how much I loved the meditation - never thinking I could sit still for that long - but it was so soothing and I will definately continue the practice at home. I personally wasn't as into the chanting that immediately followed, but I did rediscover that I have mad tambourine skills.

The food was plentiful, much of it grown right there on the property, and delicious. The yoga classes were nice (in a beautiful new building, as is the dining hall and temple) and would make both a novice or a pro feel at home. The property was pretty to walk around and I typically got a fun companion in their husky Sheeba (she loves to play fetch). I also enjoyed the sauna, which overlooks a pond.

Honestly the only thing I didn't love (and this is not even really a complaint because it's very clear from all the reviews what you are getting) was the accomodations. I didn't mind that the room was small, as the linens and the room were clean, it's just very basic and offers little to no privacy. I was on the top floor and the womens communal bathroom is downstairs so as a girl who drinks a lot of water that meant a lot of up and down and up and down during the night. The house where all the rooms are is admittedly old so it's got that musty smell to it that's typcial of houses of that age, and the walls between the rooms are paper thin so privacy is somewhat of an issue, and could be troublesome if you're a light sleeper and not cool with ear plugs.

Sivananda may not be for everybody, but for less than $400 total (including transportation and all food) I got 3 1/2 days of just what I needed. Note to coffee/tea lovers: There is zero caffine here so pack a few Starbucks and your favorite tea bags!

Room Tip: I would just say if you're a girl ask for a room on the first floor and if you're a guy, the...
See more room tips
  • Stayed November 2012, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Kim F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New York City, New York
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 November 2012

This Ashram has evolved so much in the past few years and is only getting better and better. My last visit was summer 2012 and the current staff seemed to be very committed, devotional and grateful for being there.
The ashram recently added a new big Yoga hall and has been working on Permaculture projects that have really added a great touch to the overall landscape.
The food is great and very good Yoga classes.

Just as the ashram transforms with the years, than also I find a transformation in me with each time I go, and every time it seems to be positively different.
Come with an open heart and I most definitly recommend!

  • Stayed August 2012, travelled solo
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Sophi108
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Newark, New Jersey
Level 4 Contributor
37 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 June 2012

Looking for some introspection and to jumpstart my lapsed yoga practice, I recently went to the Sivananda ashram in upstate NY after reading an archived NY Times article. The staff were friendly, helpful & informative (very different experience than the reviews in Jan-2011). The setting was serene & natural. The healthy vegetarian food was delicious and plentiful (did not lose weight!). The dorm lodging had no frills but was comfortable and clean.

Yes, karma yoga is expected of everyone - it IS an ashram afterall, NOT a spa. But I never felt "forced" to do it. This ashram accepts all-comers, regardless of whether they've previously attended a Sivananda style yoga class and charges only $70/night (dorm) for 2 yoga classes and 2 meals - I felt happy to contribute to the maintenance of this place.

The yoga sessions are ~ 1hr 45 min long - they emphasize pranayama more than what I was used to and the sun salutations repetitions go very quickly. There are also 2 daily satsangs (which involve chanting/singing in Sanskrit and silent meditation). You can choose to participate (or not) in any asanas and other practices, depending on your comfort level.

My stay coincided with a teacher training course - approximately 20 students from all over the country, of both genders, and various ages and ethnic backgrounds had just completed a 1-month long program. Every student I spoke to seemed genuinely happy with their experience and several were planning to stay on.

If you're interested, go with reasonable expectations (check out their website) and you'll have a rewarding experience.

  • Stayed June 2012, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
Helpful?
5 Thank Runster
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Charleston, West Virginia
Level 3 Contributor
14 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 April 2012

This is not a place for everybody, let's get that out of the way. It's bare-bones accommodations and a pretty big dose of the spiritual side of yoga. That said, I thought it was awesome. Even though the "wake-up" bell rings every day at 5:30 AM, I came back to the city feeling refreshed and revitalized. I really enjoyed Satsang in the AMs and the PMs (it includes Kirtan, which is musical chanting - I found it beautiful and inspiring, but it would have scared off some of my devout Christian friends as it is primarily Hindu mantras). The yoga was interesting, and unlike any style of yoga I have practiced. It's Hatha with a strong emphasis on pranayama. The yoga instructors were very good!

The food was awesome. You eat at 10 AM and 6 PM, but the food was very plentiful, wholesome and filling. I didn't mind doing Karma Yoga - I noticed some people complaining about it in previous reviews. Selfless service is a major part of the philosophy of yoga, so if makes sense they include it. It's also a nice way to get to know people at the ashram!

If you approach a stay here with an open mind, it can be a very rewarding experience! I came back feeling like I got more than my money's worth!

  • Stayed March 2012, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank megzilla
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ann Arbor, Michigan
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 17 July 2011

I went knowing that this experience would be basic amenities (no frills) simple healthy vegatarian food, that I would be asked to help each day (how much was up to me), and that there would be a focus on the Yoga lifestyle - which includes early rising, yoga classes, meditation, chanting and a non-denominational religious/spiritual service. The Sivananda tradition are like the Unitarians of the Yoga world - they encourage you to spend time on your spiritual development in whatever name and form you practice. People going just to relax or wanting to be pampered will likely not feel comfortable in the atmosphere. They do some amazing gardening/permaculture work and the classes were all really informative. The location is gorgeous and I met some lovely people. I did not use the other services, I took walks and laid out on my yoga mat and looked at the sky. :) I am training in Yoga and don't mind having just the basics, so it was great for me. It is not for everyone, though, so I would say try a Sivananda Yoga class at an affiliated center (which I did) first and you can see if the atmosphere is right for you.

Stayed July 2011, travelled with friends
Helpful?
6 Thank CindaH
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Long Island City, New York
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 January 2011

I stayed in dorm bldg. Their amenities are:
- Paper thin mattress,
- 3 female showers for 50people
- No lockers,
- 2 vegetarian meals (not even enough to serve for everybody) but there is no dining area beside outside. Since it was raining, we had to eat inside hallway. No tables no chairs. You have to place food on the floor where people walk by with bare feet... yuk

- Obligation to attend their religious service
- Stuff are overworked and stressed. They can be rude and aggressive
- Can not say no to karma yoga. They forced me to clean their bathrooms
- They talk into join their religion
- No refund for early departure

I'd never go back to this ashram but if you want to try, I'd recommend for booking just 1night and see if you like it. I booked for 3 nights but decided to leave after 2nights. They didn't refund for the 3rd night.

  • Stayed August 2010, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
9 Thank chow1225
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hotels you might also like...
Also consider these accommodations in or near Woodbourne
10.3 mi away
Ramada Rock Hill at Sullivan Center
10.2 mi away
Best Western Monticello
Best Western Monticello
#1 of 3 in Monticello
274 reviews
21.3 mi away
Mohonk Mountain House
Mohonk Mountain House
#2 of 5 in New Paltz
1,984 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices
13.3 mi away
Pinegrove Family Dude Ranch
19.5 mi away
Minnewaska Lodge
Minnewaska Lodge
#1 of 1 in Gardiner
328 reviews
8.4 mi away
Days Inn Liberty
Days Inn Liberty
#1 of 3 in Liberty
433 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices

Been to Sivananda Ashram Yoga Ranch? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Additional Information about Sivananda Ashram Yoga Ranch

Property: Sivananda Ashram Yoga Ranch
Address: 500 Budd Rd, Woodbourne, NY 12788-0195
Region: United States > New York > Woodbourne
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 Speciality Lodging in Woodbourne
Number of rooms: 25
Also Known As:
Sivananda Ashram Yoga Ranch Hotel Woodbourne
Sivananda Ashram Yoga Ranch New York/Woodbourne

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing