Monthly Archives: September 2014

Celebrating A Milestone – by Amala (Lynn) Cattafi Heinlein

amala-photoThis weekend, the Ashram celebrates its fifth birthday!  Our beautiful bouncing baby is growing up so fast!

I remember when Swamiji asked me to serve on the Board.  The Ashram had not even been born, but my joy in expectation of the big event was so powerful!  Then came the purchase of our Ashram’s home building, and that night we held a small puja (ceremony) to install Swamiji as the Guru. All present wept with joy at the miracle of this powerful birth, and of course, there was cake.  Many sevites who so lovingly transformed the building into the space that grounds Her Shakti, by painting, stripping wallpaper, building and cleaning, framing and hanging the pictures of our lineage, most important, creating community through Grace. So amazing!  In the last 5 years we have changed a lot of organizational diapers, nurtured our baby, given it all our love.  It has returned that love and Grace in spades.

Fast forward to today: we now have 9 Board members, an amazing group of sevites and dedicated staff, an amazing new website and a sustainable business model to carry us well into the future. We have realized our goal of a second building, creating a more public space with plenty of room to keep growing, and to serving all.

Yet we have so much more growth ahead! The Grace that flows through our Guru to all is the sustaining force.  On this five year anniversary, I am reminded again of how blessed we all are to have found this path, found our Guru, and that we are all together sharing this amazing journey to live in the knowing of our Divinity.

Happy Birthday Dear One….today, we all celebrate OUR birthday as one.

OM svaroopa svasvabhava namo namah

Getting to Know SVA’s New Website by Matrika (Marlene) Gast

Marlene Gast

Marlene Gast

Visit today, your new source of information about our generous offerings, all finally linked in one consolidated location. Enjoy our captivating new design that integrates the Ashram and Master Yoga websites. With our redesigned Teacher Directory and a web-wide search engine, our new site interweaves all of the rich threads of the Svaroopa® Sciences into one exquisitely complete tapestry. Once you’ve visited, it will become crystal clear that our Board, sevites and designers have succeeded in providing you with a site that is well-organized, user-friendly, and easy to navigate.

The new website expresses the personalized nature of the Svaroopa® Sciences, giving you multiple entry points; you choose the “Pathway” that will lead you to your own Self. Just as you are drawn to practice the pathway most inviting to you, our new site is organized into three main interest areas: Svaroopa® Yoga, Teacher Training and Meditation. And it is designed to support newcomers, as well as long-time yogis, on the path to discovering what you seek, at all levels.

I collaborated with other sevite writers on the site’s content this summer, so I could possibly be prejudiced. Yet I recommend the site to you as a virtual portal to inspiration, as well as information, simply because it is so easy to use. Our homepage layout is clear, colorful and appealing. And most any topic that interests you is just a click or two away, with no need for labyrinthine searches. You will find the Ashram’s entire library and free services still hosted on its original site, a familiar access point to the wealth of teachings already familiar to you.

We sevites on the team hope that you enjoy the new site. As with any new piece of software, you may encounter a previously unseen glitch. If you do come across any malfunctions, please let us know by emailing with a detailed description of the problem. Issues will be passed along to the web developers, and they’ll do their best to address the error in a timely fashion. Word from them is that changes and edits to the new site are quite straightforward.

I look forward to hearing from you, whether you’ve encountered a problem to be solved, or you’ve discovered something particularly delightful as you find Svaroopa® Sciences information and inspiration through this new portal.

Taking Yoga on Vacation by Antarajna (Deborah) Mandel


Antarajna (Debbie) Mandel

I have three levels of vacation yoga packing, depending on what type of trip I am going on. If I’m flying, I take wallet-size pictures of Swamiji, Muktananda, and Nityananda and my meditation journal; also, I wear my rudraksha beads. I set up a small puja in my room, to which I will add flowers or candy. I mostly meditate in bed and do some bed poses as well.

Level two is going on a short vacation in the car, to a relatives or the Ashram. On these vacations I bring a framed picture of Swamiji, Muktananda and Nityananda and a small Ganesha. I also pack my meditation asana and shawl, my meditation journal and The Nectar of Chanting. Again, once at my destination, I set up a puja and meditate in bed, unless there is a good chair available. At the Ashram, or any Svaroopa® yoga workshop, I use the blankets provided. Otherwise, I do what I can in bed.

The third level is when I go on vacation by car to stay somewhere for a longer period. Then I bring everything for a level 2 trip as well as my blankets. This approach has proven to be very beneficial. I am more likely to do my whole practice of pranayama, poses, and meditation as well as chanting the Sri Guru Gita.

I know that packing for yoga and meditation practice really pays off. Last summer, on a level three trip, I got up at 5:00 AM to do my practice, but I had to do some physical therapy exercises first. In the process of those exercises, I fell and broke both bones in my right wrist. I had nowhere to go at that early hour. So with ice on my broken arm, I gracefully and gratefully moved into my practice (less asana) and was able to meditate for 90 minutes, broken bones and all.

The power of yoga. I need to remind myself of this when I fall out of practice. The proof, as they say, is in the pudding.

Who is the Guru? by Jyoti (Rebecca) Yacobi

Jyoti (Rebecca) Yacobi

Jyoti (Rebecca) Yacobi

“Meditate on the Sadguru,
embodied form of consciousness,
knowing, being, illumining,
giving me That which is my Self”

Thus says one of the introductory verses in the Shree Guru Gita, the ultimate song to the Guru.

In February 2013, after witnessing life in Ganeshpuri, whose heart is Bhagavan Nityananda, I found that I had many questions: What is my relationship to the Guru and how is it deepening? How did the yatra to India affect this relationship to my Guru, Swami Nirmalananda? What effect did this pilgrimage to the fountain of spiritual energy have in me?

Devotion and love of the Guru is the core of life there, and the Nityananda temple in the town square is a true testament to this.  Ceremonies are performed several times every day to the enlivened murti (statue) of Nityananda. In our yatra to Ganeshpuri, we were fortunate to accompany Swami Nirmalananda to witness these devotional ceremonies.

Every morning, at 4:00 AM, the temple came alive with chanting, beating of the drums and ritual bathing of Nityananda’s life size murti.  The two-hour ceremony was absolutely spellbinding.  We were riveted by the affectionate way the Brahmin priests engaged in their tasks. When they concluded with the waving of lights to Nityananda, we all joined in the chant of “Jaya, jaya Arati, Nityananda.” The temple was transformed into a powerhouse of spiritual magic and mystery.

At Her daily satsangs, Swamiji interwove tantric teachings into our experiences of the day.  Thus, Her satsangs facilitated self-reflection, contemplation and integration of what was unfolding in our bodies, minds and hearts. Each evening concluded with a Svaroopa® yoga class bringing the busy day into a tranquil repose.

The yatra with Swamiji is no ordinary trip to India.  It is a voyage of self-discovery that is guided and assisted by Swami Nirmalananda, who is a living embodiment of the Gurus of the lineage that preceded Her –Baba Muktananda, Bhagavan Nityananda as well as the sages prior to them.

The devotion and love of Bhagavan Nityananda’s devotees was very tangible, and it made it clear to me how my relationship to Swami Nirmalananda was evolving. The effects of the yatra are unfolding to this day in many subtle ways.

The yatra opened my eyes to what is possible – “the human capacity” was made more palpable, more real.  I know I am changing at the core of my being – I am not who I was; I am in a constant process of “becoming and being.” And in every moment I am guided by the immense Grace bestowing power of the Guru.

All I need to do is think of Her, say Her name and allow the Grace to carry me through the darkest, most difficult steps of the journey to the core of my Heart, to the stillpoint of existence.

As I delve more deeply into myself, naturally and organically my relationship with the Guru expands.  The Guru is outside of me as Swamiji and inside of me as my Self.  As I reach for the Self, as I sit at my Guru’s feet – the boundaries dissolve, expanding into deeper states of awareness.

Guru is a person who lives in a constant state of knowing of Divinity – their Presence, word and action are infused with Grace that opens the doors to the core my being.

Where can you go in this world that the Guru is not?  What can you see, hear and know that is not infused, pervaded and sustained by the Guru?

Where can you go that you do not experience the Presence of the Guru?

What can I say about the Guru that has not already been said? Yet the words flow through my being and from my heart and their expression is a testament to the evolution and revelation that I experience through my Guru’s Grace.


Who is the Guru?
In the black, velvety darkness
The path is hard to see
Yet I have a guiding light
That sits in the centre of my skull
At first – invisible, hidden
The steps are muddled, frantic
As I sit in the silence of my heart
The light begins to shine
Very distant, dim, elusive
It begins to grow and pulse through my blood
Shimmering crystal light
Effulgent sapphire blue
As it fills the chidakasha
Deeper and deeper I go


Who is the Guru?
What do I see?
She is the light and the Sun
The sky and the stars
The flame that kindles my soul
As she lifts the sadness from my heart
To reveal the stillness beyond


She is the Grace that guides my path
She opens the door and I float
Beyond knowledge and knowing
Beyond sound and word
My eyes are opened
To the infinite vastness
That is yet unborn

Taglines (Installment #7)

Svaroopa® Yoga: Consciousness Yoga

Experience yoga’s promise – the knowing of your own Self as Consciousness-Itself. Beyond the poses or stress relief, the true goal is the bliss of your own being, named svaroopa in the ancient texts. Svaroopa® yoga reveals your own Divinity.

Svaroopa® Yoga: Purposeful Practice

Our poses and practices are doorways to the Self. They lift you out of your suffering and reveal the blissful ocean of consciousness within. This is the purpose for which you were born.

Svaroopa® Yoga: Divinity Yoga

The point of human life is to know both realities: the whole of your infinite Beingness (the formless) and the Divinity of your form (your body and your mind). Svaroopa® yoga reveals the Divinity hidden within and make you able to see it in everyone and everything.

Svaroopa® Yoga: The Ultimate Practice

Our sophisticated methodology works with distinctly human abilities to cultivate the ultimate human experience – the knowing of your inherent Divinity. This is called freedom. beginning with wholeness, Svaroopa® yoga is the ultimate practice that yields the ultimate benefit.

Svaroopa® Yoga: A Sublime Path

Yoga recognizes the Divine in every form, from the expanse of the sea to the infinity in a grain of sand, from the light of the noonday sun to the light in another’s eyes. Follow the path of Svaroopa® yoga to find that in your own Self.

Svaroopa® Yoga: Seeking & Finding

You have an ability to get lost in things – events, situations and other people. It is your own Divine Self that you are losing. Svaroopa® yoga opens you up to your own Self again and gives you the tools to find and live in the inner knowing.