Holiday Retreat: Love and Mysticism - the Christmas Message

Presented by Swami Sankarananda, Swami Jnaneswariananda, Swami Vashistananda, Swami Dharmananda, Manik Khan, Swami Adi Parashaktiananda, Swami Sivasankariananda, Priyadharshini GovindarajanFriday, December 22 – Tuesday, December 26, 2017Tuition : $85.00
or $30 per day
plus accommodations (see below for prices)












The Christmas season is a time for reflection and renewal, family, friends and love. It is a time of happiness and joy, and it symbolizes for us birth and rebirth - being born into the Spirit, and the strengthening of the bonds of Love - extending Love to all in the world. The great Christian tradition is a tradition underpinned with love, devotion and mysticism, and this is the theme of our Christmas holiday program for 2017, "Love and Mysticism - the Christmas Message". Mysticism is the path of union with the Absolute - also called Yoga in Sanskrit. Jesus the Christ and the saints of the tradition are all great mystics; they, as well as the Prophets, Saints, Yogis, Buddhas and Avatars of all of the great traditions, enlighten the Goal of Life and the Path - Happiness, Joy, Bliss of the Absolute. 

Please join us this holiday season as we study and honor the Christ in all with joy in our hearts. The Christmas and New Year's Holidays are an amazing time to visit the Yoga Farm - from the natural beauty and stillness of early winter to the dedicated karma yogis who are here to serve and support your path, to the Ashram animals that welcome you and the wonderful vegetarian organic fare - including our Christmas Feast! The program this year is full of all of these, with programs focusing on Love and Mysticism, an amazing special guest in concert offering classical Indian devotional music, caroling, and a special visit by Santa Claus. And, of course, twice daily Satsangs and Yoga Asana classes to help us all to manifest the joy from within. Bring your family or come alone and enjoy with us this greater family of Joy and Love.

Daily Schedule

Friday, 12/22

04:00PM   Yoga Asana Class   
06:00PM   Dinner   
07:00PM   Orientation  
08:00PM   Satsang - Mysticism and Christ -Swami Sankarananda

Saturday, 12/23

06:00AM   Satsang - Christian Mystics -Swami Sankarananda
08:00AM   Yoga Asana Class   
10:00AM   Brunch   
11:00AM   Karma Yoga
12:00PM   Sermon on the Mount  -Swami Dharmananda
02:00PM   Workshop Devotional Chanting -Swami Vasishtananda
04:00PM   Yoga Asana Class 
06:00PM   Dinner   
07:00PM   Peace Chanting  
08:00PM   Classical Indian Music Concert - Manik Khan

Sunday, Christmas Eve, 12/24

06:00AM   Satsang: St. Francis - Embodiment of Christ  -Swami Sankarananda
08:00AM   Yoga Asana Class   
10:00AM   Brunch   
11:00AM   Karma Yoga
12:00PM   Workshop: Kirtan and Caroling  -Swami Sivasankariananda
02:00PM   Sermon on the Mount    -Swami Dharmananda
04:00PM   Yoga Asana Class   
05:30PM   Christmas Feast   
07:00PM   Peace Chanting   
08:00PM   Christmas Satsang: Christmas Carols and Santa Claus   -Swami Jnaneswariananda

Monday, Christmas Day

06:30AM   Christmas Morning Puja with Swami Vasishtananda
08:00AM   Yoga Asana Class   
10:00AM   Brunch  
11:00AM   Karma Yoga
12:00PM   Workshop: Kirtan and Caroling  -Swami Sivasankariananda
02:00PM   The Lord's Prayer as taught by Jesus Christ  -Swami Sankarananda
04:00PM   Yoga Asana Class
06:00PM   Dinner   
07:00PM   Peace Chanting   
08:00PM   Satsang: Classical Indian Dance - Priyadharshini  Govindarajan

Tuesday, 12/26

06:00AM   Satsang: Christmas Stories  -Swami Adi Parashaktiananda
08:00AM   Yoga Asana Class   
10:00AM   Brunch   
12:00PM   Bringing the Christmas Spirit Home  -Swami Sankarananda

Arrival and Departure

Arrival: The Holiday Retreat will begin at 4pm on the first Date of the course with an Ashram Orientation at 7pm followed by Satsang at 8pm. 
Departure: The Hoilday Retreat will conclude at 2pm on the Final date.

We encourage you to arrive by 4pm on Day 1, making the most out of the afternoon by joining us for the Asana class and dinner. You are always welcome and encouraged to extend your stay to any length before or after the course. Please indicate your desired arrival and departure dates on your registration form.

What to Bring

slip on shoes, loose comfortable clothing, writing materials, meditation shawl or blanket, yoga mat, flashlight.  All books and materials are available in our boutique.

Accommodation Prices and Photos

Tenting: $50/night

Om Cabins
 - Dorm: $65/night per person
 - Double: $85/night per person
 - Single: $130/night

Siva Cabins
 - Double: $120/night per person
 - Single: $170/night

Deluxe Shanti Cabins 
- Triple: $120/night per person
- Double: $160/night per person
- Single: $240/night
- Family of two: $280/night per family
- Family of three: $320/night per family

Accommodation Discounts: Seniors (60+) 10% & Students 10%

Click here for detailed information on accommodations


Swami Sankarananda

Swami Sankarananda is a simple pilgrim. Not finding peace in a life of business success he turned inside, became a disciple of Swami Sivananda, and in 2013 he began to walk across and through the USA in a pilgrimage for peace, completing this in early 2016. He now travels from town to town in the "Yoga for Peace" rv. He strives to serve the divine in all and support our universal journey to find the happiness and peace for which we search. This service includes living a peaceful life, offering kindness and inspiration, and sharing the ancient and universal teachings of Yoga as well as the path of pilgrimage through talks, workshops and practices.

Swami Jnaneswariananda

Swami Jnaneswariananda joined the Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centers in 1995 and has been director of centers and ashrams in Canada and Italy. She teaches Hatha Yoga, Meditation, Anatomy, and Vedanta at Teacher's Training Courses in North America, Italy and India. Swami Jnaneswariananda took vows of Sannyas in 2001.  She is currently a senior teacher at the Yoga Farm in Grass Valley.  She teaches with great enthusiasm and humor.

Swami Vashistananda

Swami Vashistananda comes from the Namboodri lineage in Southern India, Kerala. He was the personal priest of Swami Vishnudevananda and has been a long-time teacher of bhakti and vedanta in the Sivananda organization ever since. He has been at the Yoga farm since October 2014.

Swami Dharmananda

Swami Dharmananda is one of the main teachers of Hatha Yoga and Meditation at the Ashram. He took sannyas vows in 2013 and is assistant director of the Sivananda Ashram Yoga Farm. Swami Dharmananda is keenly interested in yoga psychology and philosophy, presenting the classical teaching in a practical and accessible way to people of all faiths and backgrounds.

Manik Khan

Manik Khan is the youngest son of the late maestro, Ustad Ali Akbar Khan. He began his training on the sarod with his father at the age of 13. He is currently teaching, performing and working to preserve his family’s legacy – helping to keep this tradition of India’s rich cultural history alive and flourishing. Alongside a solo concert career, he has worked with various ensembles to present his father’s music in a way that has seldom been heard before. This includes working with local high schools to bring Indian Classical Music to their youth orchestras, and performing with the conductor Michael Morgan and the Fremont Symphony Orchestra to present a ‘West Meets East’ collaboration. He resides in the San Francisco Bay Area, where he continues his musical studies with his elder brother, Alam Khan.

Swami Adi Parashaktiananda

Swami Adi Parashaktiananda is a dedicated Sadhak and Hatha Yoga practitioner and teacher, graduated from Sivananda Teachers Training Course in 2007 at the Sivananda Ashram Yoga Farm in Grass Valley, CA. He took the first monastic vow from Sivananda lineage in 2011. He has been traveling yearly to Vietnam as Swami Sitaramananda's assistant and has been teaching the Hatha Yoga classes for the Teachers Training Course. He has also been traveling to Chengdu, China to help teach the Teachers Training Course there.  He also teaches a 7-day Hatha Yoga Sadhana course and the 14-day Sivananda Sadhana Intensive course, whose emphasis is on individual practice of pranayama.  He took sannyas vows in 2017 and received the name Swami Adi Parasahktiananda.

Swami Sivasankariananda

After 18 years of teaching and service at the Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Center in Los Angeles, Swami Sivasankariananda joined staff at the Sivananda Ashram Yoga Farm in May 2014. She has served as director of the San Francisco Center since February of 2015. She completed her TTC at the Yoga Farm in 1997 and ATTC there in 2008. She has been on yatra in north and south India and Mount Kailas. She loves to teach and is particularly fond of the Bhakti Yoga practices. She took sannyas in 2017 and is a certified yoga therapist.

Priyadharshini Govindarajan

Priyadharshini  Govindarajan  is a disciple of Guru Sri.A. Lakshman after having been trained in Bharatanatyam by Guru Sri.J. Suryanarayana moorthy in her formative years. She is an alumnus of P S B B S S – K K Nagar and has been a regular performer for her school. She was a Bharath Kalachar Scholarship awardee from 2004 to 2012, received the Best Dancer award in her school in 2004, has performed on the Bharath Kalachar stage in group programs.