Om Namah Sivaya,
Blessed Friends and Family,
We wish you, your family and your friends the warmest possible holiday greetings!
Upon reflection on our journey last year 2016, we are happy to say that the Ashram Yoga Farm kept up with the ideals and the services of the past 45 years and has improved greatly with your support. We believe that the Joyful, Peaceful, and Healthy Lifestyle of the Ashram and the teachings of harmony, strength, and balance in a chaotic time is more and more needed.
With gratitude for your past support, we would like to report the following accomplishements in 2016:
- Complete the rebuilding of two cabins with bathrooms (now named Krishna cabins by the pond ) . The Siva cabins at the Siva foothill are very popular.
- expansion of the animal pen - they are happy!
- building of the wall around the Krishna temple to strenghten the energy according to Vastu principles.
- renovating the Lord Ganesha shrine at the entrance to give him more space fitting to his size .
- complete repainting of the kitchen and Yoga Hall and remaking the meditation coussins and sitting pads and the curtains.
- Initiating the new dhanwanthari shrine (to pray for the sick and to bring in health and vitality) - the murti of Lord Dhanwanthari has been purchased through a donation of a gentleman who wish for the health of his son.
- continuing to serve the Bay Area community with actively supporting the SF center mortgages.
- giving scholarships to deserving students with low income so they can join programs and in some cases become Yoga teachers.
- cleaning the pond during the summer
- rehauling the septic system.
- planting new trees
- ploughing new plots while maintaining the vegetable gardens.
- helping to bring Yoga to countries in the far east by opening new centers in Vietnam, China, Taiwan, Japan.
This is the vision of this upcoming year.
- re building of another cabin (Krishna 3) with bathroom and if possible renovate the other original OM cabins as well. We would like to attract even more new guests and students and offer them better accommodations.
- permanent roof for the Krishna temple in the valley. After exploring many option, we will keep to the theme of a barn as Shri Krishna took care of cows (the people who he protect) in the Vrindavan Farm. This has been long due, as everytime there is large winds in the valley our temporary canvas roof blew away!
- starting a lavender farm to produce Sivananda Essence, hydrosol and Yoga mat spray, from locally grown lavender. Bring peace and Calmness to all with Sivananda Essence!
- start the Sivananda Insitute of Health to train more grass root Yoga Health Counsellors to bridge the needs of our health care system dealing with chronic diseases and stress with the not so largely known benefits of Yoga in health and healing.
- keep working in permaculture and ayurvedic agro farming.
- build more tent platforms for more people to enjoy nature and yoga and get better prana.
Also, importantly, we continue with our mission of daily bringing health and peace by supporting hundreds of new students in their journey, and each day we experience the bliss and grace of Swami Sivananda's and Swami Vishnudevananda's teachings flowing through each person in contact with the ashram. Please see some touching testimonies:
- "This place is awesome. It's an actual Ashram so be prepared and read the webpage ahead of time. First of all, bring more modest clothes then you'd normally wear. No tight yoga pants or tank tops. Second, you're meant to attend all chanting and yoga sessions. I opted out of one or two, but they encourage you to attend to keep the spirit of the place. Third, everyone greets you with "om nama sivaya" or similar. It may feel weird at first but you get accustomed and it's wonderful. Fourth, it's not really an atmosphere of questioning, more of adhering to their devotional practice. This is not the place to go to argue about religious values. There were things said that I don't agree with, but that's okay, they've offered me a beautiful space and I'm taking it on their terms. Fifth, it is quiet and cleansing for mind and body and I came back more centered and less anxious than I've been in years. I'm going back soon!" - Megan Stevenson, Dec. 2016
- "In the midst of a fast-moving world it is so wonderful to come across an island of courtesy and gentleness. Ancient Indian traditions of the philosophic understanding of life are continued here, with the gentleness and warmth which go with them. The natural beauty of this location is amazing. Wild life, including timid deer, come within surprisingly close distance of you. Families of turkey stroll by nonchalantly. A stay here would be naturally invigorating in a long-lasting and meaningful way." - Benoy Behl, Aug. 2016
We would like you to be a part of this pure intention of Peace and Beauty in our stressful and uncertain world. We would like to upgrade the Ashram and have you be a part of it as benefactor and well wisher. Let's help bring world peace through concretely supporting this ongoing venture for Peace. The Masters tell us that Peace starts from within and with one person at a time. Please support our 3 key projects for this coming year:
- Building another Krishna cabin with bathroom,
- permanent roof for the Krishna temple,
- lavender farm
and support us in the launching of the Sivananda Institute of Health and Yoga, further expanding the reach of classical Yoga from the studio to the home and care facilities. Yoga is the science of finding perfect health by bringing mind, body and spirit into alignment. This next step has the potential to help so many, with your assistance.
All of these require resource and manpower. We sincerely appreciate if you would consider us in your end of year plans for charitable donation. To donate now, please go to the bottom of this page and choose one of our projects or you can go to our Pledge Coupon form to make your intention to pledge. Sivananda Ashram Yoga Farm is a 501C3 certified charity, all of our staff serve on a volunteer basis with not one taking a salary. We are here simply to serve you. Your donation, regardless of the amount, will help us and will go directly to support these and other projects.
We will provide a receipt for any donation which you make, anything will help us to serve you better and to serve others. Thank you in advance for your consideration, we wish you God's blessings always for this new upcoming year. May all that you plan come to you, may you know the supreme peace which is to be found inside through the practice of Yoga, and may you make resolve to join us in this new year to participate in one of the many programs which we offer to you. January is a beautiful time of year to visit us, so please select an upcoming program and we hope to see you soon.
Wishing warmest joy and peace from our family to yours,
Swami Sitaramananda and the Yoga Farm Staff