Thanksgiving Retreat: Dharma and Peace

Presented by Swami Sitaramananda, Swamini Svatmavidyananda, Stephen Longfellow Fiske, Ellen Grace O’Brian (Yogacharya), Peter Russell PhD, Steve Oda, Joss Jaffe, Swami Jnaneswariananda, Swami Vashistananda, Swami DharmanandaWednesday, November 22 – Sunday, November 26, 2017Tuition : $175.00
plus accommodations (see below for prices)










Join us for this uplifting Thanksgiving Yoga Retreat with spiritual leaders sharing about Unity in Diversity, Dharma and Peace.  Realize that the paths are many but the Truth is One.  Celebrate our diversity and commune in our common goal!  Learn to apply the sacred ancient wisdoms of Yoga and dharma practice in daily life, guided by teachers who have dedicated their lives to peace of mind and Self-realization. ~ Swami Sitaramananda, Organizer

Daily Schedule

Wed. 11/22  

  • 04:00 - 06:00 pm - Yoga class
  • 06:00 - 06:45 pm - Dinner 
  • 08:00 - 09:30 pm - Satsang: Meditation and welcome by Swami Sitaramananda 

Thu. 11/23  

  • 06:00 - 07:30 am - Peace Missions of Swami Vishnu with Swami Jnaneshwarinanda
  • 08:00 - 10:00 am - Yoga Class
  • 10:00 - 11:00 am - brunch break
  • 12:00 - 02:00 pm - Swami Adi "Prana and Pranayam for Peace"
  • 02:30 - 04:00 pm - "Yoga of Voice" Swami Sivasankarinanda 
  • 05:30 - 07:00 pm - THANKSGIVING DINNER 
  • 07:30 - 09:30 pm - Meditation and Concert with Steve Oda and Joss Jaffe

Fri. 11/24  

  • 06:00 - 07:30 am - Satsang: "Transforming Karma to Dharma" Swami Sitaramananda
  • 08:00 - 10:00 am - Fiske, Stephen Longfellow 
  • 10:00 - 11:00 am - brunch break
  • 12:00 - 02:00 pm - Swamini Swatmavidyananda "Passion to Compassion" 
  • 02:30 - 04:00 pm - Reverend Uma on "Guidelines of Yama and Niyama"
  • 04:00 - 06:00 pm - Yoga class
  • 06:00 - 07:00 pm - dinner 
  • 08:00 - 09:30 pm - Meditation and Peter Russell "Effortless Being"

Sat. 11/25 

  • 06:00 - 07:30 am - Fiske, Stephen Longfellow 
  • 08:00 - 10:00 am - Peter russell on " Effortless Being "
  • 10:00 - 11:00 am - brunch break
  • 12:00 - 02:00 pm -  Swami Sita - "Bringing Peace to Relationships"
  • 02:30 - 04:00 pm   Panel on Dharma with all the participants moderated by Rev. Uma
  • 04:00 - 06:00 pm - Yoga class
  • 06:00 - 07:00 pm - dinner 
  • 08:00 - 09:30 pm -  Swamini Swatmavidyananda "Peace according to Bhagavad Gita"

Sun. 11/26

  • 06:00 - 07:30 am - Homa Fire Ceremony with Swami Vasishtananda
  • 08:00 - 10:00 am -  "Sivananda Yoga Peace Video" new documentary by Benoy Behl
  • 10:00 - 11:00 am -  Brunch 
  • 12:00 - 02:00 pm -  workshop :" Karma Yoga workshop" by Sw Dharmananda 
  • 04:00 pm - end of program.


Arrival and Departure

Arrival: The course will begin at 7pm on the first Date of the course with an Ashram Orientation followed by Satsang at 8pm. 
Departure: The course will conclude at 3pm 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.


To Register for this course click the "Register" Button.


Accommodation Prices

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 Sitaramananda

Swami Sitaramananda is a senior disciple of Swami Vishnudevananda, who is a direct disciple of Swami Sivananda. She was nominated acharya by him in 1989 and is presently acharya of US West coast Centers and Ashrams as well as Asia, especially Vietnam and China. She has been director of the Sivananda Ashram Yoga Farm for more than 20 years and has taught many international Teachers Training Courses in California, Vietnam, China, Taiwan and India and is also teaching regularly at Sivananda Ashram Yoga Retreat, Nassau Bahamas. She is the author of Positive Thinking Manual, Essentials of Yoga Practice and Philosophy (translated in Chinese, Japanese and Vietnamese) and Swamiji Said, a collection of teachings by Swami Vishnudevananda in His Own Words as well as two poem books. She is responsible for the Vietnamese translation of The Completed Illustrated Book of Yoga by Swami Vishnudevananda. Some of her audio lectures on Yoga Life, articles and webinar presentations can be found on the website.

Swamini Svatmavidyananda

Arsha Vijnana Gurukulam is a 501 C 3 religious non-profit registered in the state of Georgia. Arsha Vijnana Gurukulam is a portal for the dissemination of the teachings of Sri Swamini Svatmavidyananda Saraswati, the disciple of Paramapujya Swami Dayananda Saraswati --an internationally renowned master and traditional teacher of Vedanta. In the Sanskrit language, the word “Arsha” means “of the sages.” “Vijnana” means direct knowledge of oneself as the whole that is well understood and assimilated. Arsha Vijnana Gurukulam is a sanctuary for the understanding of oneself as free of all limitations as unfolded by Vedic seers. Arsha Vijnana Gurukulam was founded in March 2005 by Pujya Sri Swami Dayananda Saraswatiji. In addition to Atlanta, GA, Arsha Vijnana Gurukulam has satelite centers in Eugene, OR, and Washington DC. Arsha Vijnana Gurukulam is also a virtual ashram and teaching portal open to all serious spiritual seekers regardless of nationality or religious background. It actively seeks to promote religious tolerance and respect for diversity. We have two main teaching portals for livestreaming classes and for storing archived classes.

Stephen Longfellow Fiske

Stephen Longfellow Fiske is a multi-talented individual whose dedication to peace, humanitarian, environmental and spiritual concerns finds expression through his artistic pursuits. An award-winning musician, recording artist and producer, Stephen has released 11 albums of his original music, and he tours widely as a singer/songwriter/performer, keynote speaker, author, poet, and Interfaith Minister. His latest CD, “Flow,” is a selection of original orchestrated, melodic guitar compositions with guest recording artists.

Stephen has also authored “The Art of Peace” (New Paradigm Books) and “The Call to Interfaith.” In collaboration with filmmaker Robert Corsini, Stephen has recently launched the non-profit “Jerusalem Prayer Project,” a music, film, and multimedia venture which is about “empowering peace building in Jerusalem and the world through prayer and the arts.” In February, Robert and Stephen visited Israel/Palestine filming the first segments of their documentary, “Warriors of the Heart,” telling the stories of courageous peacemakers on the ground who risk everything for the greater good of both sides of the conflict.

To discover or donate to the JPP project, visit:

Ellen Grace O’Brian (Yogacharya)

Yogacharya Ellen Grace O'Brian, M.A. (Uma), is the founder and Spiritual Director of the Center for Spiritual Enlightenment (CSE)  with headquarters in San Jose, California. CSE is a ministry in the spiritual tradition of Kriya Yoga serving people from all faith backgrounds who are seeking Self- and God-realization. She was ordained to teach in 1982 by Roy Eugene Davis, a direct disciple of Paramahansa Yogananda who brought the teachings of Kriya Yoga from India to the West. Over the years she has trained many disciples in this lineage of Kriya Yoga who carry on the teachings in various sectors of society, including the establishment of meditation centers and groups.

Peter Russell, PhD

Peter Russell is a fellow of the Institute of Noetic Sciences, of The World Business Academy and of The Findhorn Foundation, and an Honorary Member of The Club of Budapest.  At Cambridge University (UK), he studied mathematics and theoretical physics. Then, as he became increasingly fascinated by the mysteries of the human mind he changed to experimental psychology. Pursuing this interest, he traveled to India to study meditation and eastern philosophy, and on his return took up the first research post ever offered in Britain on the psychology of meditation.

In 1982 he coined the term "global brain" with his 1980s bestseller of the same name in which he predicted the Internet and the impact it would have. His other books in include -- The TM Technique, The Upanishads, The Brain Book, The Creative Manager, The Consciousness Revolution, Waking Up in Time, and From Science to God. His work seeks to distill the essence of the world's spiritual traditions and present it in ways relevant to the current times.

Steve Oda

Steve Oda is a sarod player, composer and teacher of the Hindustani classical music.  A Canadian of Japanese ancestry, Steve Oda, began his musical education at the age of seven, learning to play slide guitar and then jazz guitar. His love of creativity through musical expression led him to the classic music of North India and the sarode. His classical training started in 1971 under the guidance of Aashish Khan, and from 1973 under Aashish's father, Ali Akbar Khan.  In 1996, Steve received a Canada Council Artists Grant to pursue intensive studies at and advanced level with Ali Akbar Khan and moved to the San Francisco Bay Area in 1998. The demand for his playing, continues to increase in places like Chicago, New York, Paris, Amsterdam, Spain, Sweden, Australia, New Zealand and now in Japan.  He currently resides in San Rafael, California, actively teaching and performing music of North India.

Joss Jaffe

Joss Jaffe began playing guitar and writing songs at age 9. Introduced to the music of India through the chanting of his parents and their meditation teacher Baba Muktananda, he began studying tabla, sarode & vocal from Montino Bourbon at 15, & later, Ali Akbar Khan, Swapan Chaudhuri & Zakir Hussain. Joss has accompanied Jai Uttal, Steve Kimock, Alex Grey, Rachel Brice, Silvia Nakkach & Shimshai.

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.