Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Dhanwantari Ashram

Once I got to Trivandrum I had to take a two hour bus ride to the Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Dhanwantari Ashram set in Neyyar Dam National Park. When I finally arrived it seemed really unorganized and the people were not very helpful. It was just my personal first impression shared by other travelers I met there. Granted the Ashram runs mainly on volunteers and sometimes things can get crazy.

The Ashram was beautiful and huge. The daily MANDATORY schedule was:

0520 hrs WAKE UP BELL
0600 hrs SATSANG
0730 hrs TEA TIME
0800 hrs ASANA CLASS
1000 hrs BRUNCH
1100 hrs KARMA YOGA
1230 hrs COACHING CLASS (optional)
1330 hrs TEA TIME
1400 hrs LECTURE
1600 hrs ASANA CLASS
1800 hrs DINNER
2000 hrs SATSANG
2200 hrs LIGHTS OUT!

I decided to pay for first three nights to get a feel for the place before I committed the full two weeks. As I was walking to my dorm room I heard a group of people chanting away, which sent that, “oh brother” thought into my head. I’m not much for chanting or meditation, but I was willing to give it a try. After the first day I was ready to leave…

It wasn’t the simple small meals only twice a day or getting up before dawn everyday or doing yoga four hours a day, but the singing/meditating for four hours each day that killed me. I had to escape!

So, I suffered the two extra days that I already paid for and headed back to Trivandrum. I was hoping to find a decent place to stay and maybe find a yoga studio. No luck on either, thus I took an auto-rickshaw to Kovalam Beach the following day.

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