Category Archives: Ashram News

A Life Filled with Precious Gems

By Lynn (Gurupremananda) Cattafi

Member, Svaroopa® Vidya Ashram Board of Directors

I choose a life filled with treasure.  Not treasures made of gold or silver, but of the most precious gems – Svaroopa®yoga gems.  

It is Gurudevi who lays before us this dazzling array of yoga practices and teachings.  So I support Gurudevi’s work in the world.  Please join me in offering your support during our Ashram’s current fundraiser: “Body, Mind, Heart and More.”

Our priceless Svaroopa® practices show us our inherent personal value plus how to make life meaningful.  The practices allow me to choose the treasures of an open heart and an open mind.  I choose the treasure of health and vitality.  

I choose a life of service to others and commitment to my own growth.  I choose to bask in the radiance of my own Self within.  All this is possible because of the precious gems of Svaroopa® yoga.  Miraculously, you can choose all of these amazing treasures, and more, and still live fully in the world.

My husband doesn’t really “do yoga.”  Yet he has chosen the gem of weekly Embodyment® sessions for the last 12 months.  He sees the benefit in his body.  And I see the shift in his state.  Just the other day, he experienced a sharp, unusual pain radiating through his torso.  When I came out of meditation, he calmly described, “I’m not saying it’s a heart attack, but…”  

Asked whether he wanted to go to the emergency room, he said yes.  We calmly got into the car and went.  My husband remained steady and calm throughout the check-in and tests.  They couldn’t find anything wrong, and sent us home after five hours.  Once home, we went on with our day.

I am showered with Svaroopa® yoga gems.  They light up my life with clarity, peace and joy. Please consider how Svaroopa® yoga gems have enriched your life.  Then I hope you will join me in donating to our Ashram in gratitude.

Donate today on our website.  You can call us at (610) 644-7555.  Or you can send your check to Svaroopa Vidya Ashram, 116 E. Lancaster Ave., Downingtown, PA 19335.  Thank You!

Shaktipat Changes Me

By Belle (Bhavani) Mann

Interviewed by Lori (Priya) Kenney

About 20 years ago, I spontaneously received Shaktipat in an advanced yoga teacher training.  It was like lightning struck me.  

I was suddenly filled with intense love.  It wasn’t regular human love; it was Divine love.  It was the most unbelievable experience of my whole life.  When I got home and walked in the door, my husband said, “You’re different.”  I kept that state for a few months.

Yet I was able to understand this only years later, after Gurudevi started teaching about Shaktipat.  Now I take Gurudevi’s Shaktipat Retreats, where she gives this initiation intentionally, both online and in person.  I love that just being in her presence changes me.  

I love the teaching talks given by our swamis.  I learn so much from our group’s questions and Gurudevi’s answers during the On-Site Q & A.  I love chanting, especially with the group at in-person retreats.  At the in-person retreats, I also get a chance to hang out in the bhav and Grace of the Ashram.  I have personal contact with Svaroopa® yoga friends and enjoy meeting others.  I can talk and laugh with them all.  

My many Shaktipat Retreats, in person as well as online, have been powerful in different ways.  In my last one, I felt veils of resistance falling away.  I hadn’t realized I had been resistant to becoming enlightened.  Now I could make a stronger commitment.

After each Shaktipat Retreat I feel changed, even when it takes a couple of weeks to discover how.  After one, I felt much closer and loving toward Gurudevi.  Another time, my love of chanting increased.  I deeply feel these subtle internal shifts.  I am grateful for all the ways Shaktipat has changed me.  All are gifts of Gurudevi’s Grace and teachings!

The Astounding Power of Dakshina

By Beth (Bhanumati) Cunningham

I am astounded at the power of dakshina.  Dakshina is the practice of supporting the financial health of our Ashram. For me, no other practice offers more tangible transformation.  If I didn’t give to the Ashram, what tremendous gems would I be missing out on? That’s why it’s important to me to donate.  I don’t want you to miss out either.  So I hope you’ll join me in donating to the Ashram’s “Body, Mind, Heart and More” fundraiser.

A year ago, my family and I were set for some travel.  I was also planning a yoga retreat in the summer.  Everything was funded.  Then, we had a large amount of money stolen.  We cancelled everything.  We even had to borrow to pay our taxes.  It was tough.  About two weeks later, I got a phone call to donate to the fundraiser going on at the time.  I had a good excuse not to, but it didn’t even cross my mind.  I re-assessed what we could offer and made a donation.

By the end of the evening, Grace showered the returns upon me.  I discovered a great compassion for the people who had stolen the money.  Then, I had a powerful karmic clearing.  I realized that throughout the entire ordeal, I was still Me.  My Self was still there, whole and untouched.  What had the thieves stolen — really?  Nothing that I would not have freely given for such priceless gifts.  

These gifts continue to unfold.  Soon after, I got a significant raise.  Within six months, I was earning double what I had been.  Somehow, with little effort on my part, we’ve quickly recuperated the money we lost.  I’ve also been able to take Ashram courses that I couldn’t afford before the theft.

Yes, I am astounded at the power of dakshina.  Please join me in donating and be astounded yourself.

Donate today on our website.  You can call us at (610) 644-7555.  Or you can send your check to Svaroopa Vidya Ashram, 116 E. Lancaster Ave., Downingtown, PA 19335.  Thank You!

NEW Telecourse:  Leaps & Bounds

By Gurudevi Nirmalananda

I remember getting leg pains in my adolescence.  I felt a deep inner ache that had a sharp edge to it.  The doctor called them growing pains.  He offered no treatment, no help whatsoever, saying I’d outgrow the growing pains.  It’s true; I did.  You will outgrow your growing pains, too.

The leg pains are caused by muscular tension.  The bones are growing faster than the muscles.  The muscles are holding tight while the bones attached to them are growing longer, stretching the muscles and tendons to a new length.  

If my childhood doctor had simply recommended some gentle massage, or maybe some yoga, my growing pains would have disappeared.  Nowadays, maybe they even recommend yoga?  Looking back, I can see that it would have helped me grow into myself much more smoothly:  on all levels, body, mind, heart and spirit. 

Everyone wants to get a boost.  Like a child sitting on daddy’s shoulders, you want to see beyond where you’re stuck. You’re hoping to bound into the next level, leaving this one behind.  Of course, you can do things to move that along.  However, your ability to discern what to do, as well as to actually do it, is part of what you’re growing into.  

The biggest boost is Shaktipat, the initiation into Self-Knowingness. Yet Shaktipat doesn’t give you the ability to avoid your growth processes.  Instead, it gives you the clarity of knowing what you need to do, why to do it and where you’ll be when you’ve done it…

Body, Mind, Heart and More

By Kristine (Dhairyavati) Freeman

The Svaroopa® Sciences are all about yogic growth.  This encompasses your body, mind, heart and more.  My daily yoga practices support this growth in a slow and steady way.  

Then when I travel to our Svaroopa® Vidya Ashram for onsite, immersion programs, I experience yogic shifts as a more rapid spiritual growth spurt.

My experience of dakshina follows a similar pattern.  Dakshina is the yogic practice of offering financial resources to support the Source of Grace and knowledge.  It sustains our Ashram as well as promoting its growth.  And dakshina does the same for us donors.  So I am inviting you to join me in this profound practice.

As a monthly donor, I consistently support the Ashram in a slow and steady way. Regular monthly and predictable financial support from us monthly donors helps sustain our Ashram.  Yet I benefit even more from offering the Ashram this ongoing support.

I also support the Ashram’s twice-yearly fundraisers with a larger donation.  Then I am doing a dakshina immersion!  It gives me another spiritual growth spurt.  And it provides essential financial support for the organization that supports me and so many others.

All your yoga practices open you to an inner flow that makes you want to share.  Dakshina is an organic extension of this inner flow. Gurudevi says, “You love to give.  Making a difference for others matters to you.”  It isn’t about how much you give.  It’s about the place inside from which you give.  As Gurudevi explains, when you settle into your own Essence and Beingness, you feel less needy and anxious. 

Giving from the depths of your being, you feel generous, organically. Open your body, mind, heart and more. Please join me in giving to the organization that gives us so much in return. Give to the organization that gives so much so freely to the world.

Donate today on our website.  You can call us at (610) 644-7555.  Or you can send your check to Svaroopa Vidya Ashram, 116 E. Lancaster Ave., Downingtown, PA 19335.  Thank You!

My First Shaktipat

By Todd Correa

Interviewed by Lissa (Yogyananda) Fountain, Yogaratna

I signed up for the New Year’s Shaktipat Retreat to explore my humanness and understand myself better. I wanted to feel more connected to the cosmic Consciousness of the universe. I did not know what Shaktipat was, but I trusted the recommendation of my local Svaroopa® Vidya Meditation and sutras teacher.

I had enjoyed my local teacher’s three-part Learn to Meditate course. I recognized I could go deeper — something was happening inside. I even joined the Ashram’s Meditation Club. Without realizing it, I was preparing myself for my first Shaktipat experience.

Being brand new to an Ashram retreat, I was surprised by so much chanting and meditation. I was amazed I could sit for such long periods of time. I loved it!

When Gurudevi walked into the room, I felt there was something special about her. She looked at me and “saw me.” I felt accepted, as if I belonged there. She knew who I was and am: Shiva.

Sometimes it felt a bit overwhelming, with my senses bursting open. I felt like a deer caught in headlights! Yet I wanted this new experience to feel like mine, fully authentic. I accepted it, as it unfolded.

It was weird, but I embraced it. I wrote in my journal: “My whole being is opening up, in a burst of life. My head is opening up like a flower. I feel intense emotions, while being bathed in bliss.”

My first initiation by Gurudevi’s touch, my whole body went into hers, opening up to receive her Grace. I did not want this feeling of Oneness to stop. Afterward, I felt exhausted, my body depleted. I did not know how to put my experience in perspective. However, the retreat talks helped me understand what was going on. So I did some restorative Ujjayi breathing during our breaks.

When Gurudevi gave us Shaktipat by will, I was still right there, having an amazing experience. I wondered: “How does she do that from way over there?” Yet I knew in my core that it was real. Something beautiful and amazing had happened, and I am so grateful.

Before, I understood the theory of “One-ness.” But now I have experienced it because I was with a Self-Realized Being. I feel more empathy and the ability to be present to my therapy clients and students. I can go deeper within myself and assist others to go deeper as well. My work is my calling, so I am going to do Shaktipat again!

Opening Your Mind, Body & Heart

By Ruth (Rama) Brooke, Member

Svaroopa® Vidya Ashram Board of Directors

I love all the Svaroopa® practices.  So I also gratefully engage in dakshina.  It’s the ancient yogic practice of financially supporting the teacher and the teachings.  Please join me in expressing your gratitude for our great good fortune.  Together, we honor all that flows and all that we receive from this yoga.  Make your financial gift to our fundraising campaign “Body, Mind, Heart and More.”

What an apt title!  The Svaroopa® Sciences divinely support each facet of my being.  Asana (poses), Ujjayi pranayama (yogic breathing) and Svaroopa® Yoga Therapy heal my body.  Our devotional practices, including chanting and arati (candle waving ceremony), illumine my heart.  Vichara (guided self-inquiry), sutra studies and japa (mantra repetition) clear my mind. 

And, as Gurudevi says, I find the most reliable practice of all is meditation.  It showers Grace-filled benefits on the deepest dimensions of my being.  Then I get more!  I experience Self — the One Being All.

You, too, are so much more than you think you are.  You are a yoga gem, a diamond glistening with the light of Consciousness.  As a Svaroopi, your practices have honed and polished the facets of your being: body, mind and heart!  You know how it feels to shine with this light that arises from within.  You know upliftment, openness, and clarity.  You know how to settle deeper into your own Self.  You feel more like You.

Dakshina is not about the amount of your contribution.  Dakshina is the yogic practice of giving financial resources from your Capital-S Self.  All your yoga practices open an inner flow that makes you want to share.  Dakshina is an organic extension of this.

Donate today on our website.  You can call us at (610) 644-7555.  Or you can send your check to Svaroopa Vidya Ashram, 116 E. Lancaster Ave., Downingtown, PA 19335.  Thank You!

Radical Transformation

By Marlene (Matrikaa) Gast, Yogaratna

Body, Mind, Heart and More — this phrase resonates with me on all levels.  It’s the title of our current Svaroopa® Vidya Ashram fundraising campaign.  It’s also where I’ve received profound, beneficial change all the way to the roots of my being.  And this deep shift orients me to what I always wanted.  That’s why I gratefully donate to our Ashram each month as well as in the twice-yearly campaigns.

I invite you to join me in this glorious yoga practice: dakshina.  Practicing dakshina, we give back in gratitude to the source of the transformative yogic teachings.

For two decades, the Svaroopa® Sciences have unraveled the roots of my mental and physical pain.  Already a yoga teacher in another style, I accidentally discovered Svaroopa® yoga and meditation.  My main reason for pivoting to the Svaroopa® practices was wanting to teach them.  They gave me the previously unknown experience of Consciousness arising from within — pure bliss.  The Svaroopa® poses and meditation reliably opened me inward to this experience.  

I wanted it!  I wanted teaching it to be my life’s work.  Unlike in previous styles, Svaroopa® yoga and meditation reliably, consistently opened me inward to bliss — even in home practice.  In teaching, I see my students experience the same.

My heart opens.  My relationships improve — with myself as well as others and the world!  The most radical shift has been in what I want.  While I did get teaching Svaroopa® yoga and meditation as my life’s work, I got more.  I got “ME.”  This is the experience of the One Self Being All.  In the beginning, I had a vague awareness that was what I longed for.  Now it’s clear.  What I’ve always wanted is to be rooted in Self.

What do you yearn for?  What do you receive from our Svaroopa® Vidya Ashram?  I hope your answers guide you to join me in practicing dakshina.  Allow your beautiful generosity to unfold from gratitude.  Be ready to experience even more of the bliss of knowing yourself as the Ever-Existing Self.

Donate today on our website.  You can call us at (610) 644-7555.  Or you can send your check to Svaroopa Vidya Ashram, 116 E. Lancaster Ave., Downingtown, PA 19335.  Thank You!

Dakshina – A Magical Practice 

By Beth (Bhanumati) Cunningham

As a child, I was often accused of “expecting the world on a silver platter.”  I learned that I had to work hard to get anything.  Then, I stumbled into Svaroopa® Foundations.  
Behold, the Silver Platter!  

It spilled over with the gems of yoga: “Body, Mind and Heart and More” — the theme of the Ashram’s current fundraiser.  It reminds me of how full and rich yoga has made my life.  It reminds me of all the different ways inside to the Self.  It reminds me that “There is nowhere there is not Shiva.”  

For that teaching alone, I support our Ashram, Gurudevi and her teaching swamis.  Please join me in donating to the Ashram in gratitude for all you receive.

In supporting the Ashram, I have benefitted from another of yoga’s gems – dakshina. Dakshina is a precious and magical yogic practice. It is the practice of giving selflessly through financial contributions.  While this helps the Ashram, it helps me far more. 

Dakshina has sanctified my relationship with money, and with the work I do to make money.  I work hard, yes, but it is no longer drudgery.  I welcome the easiness of life and appreciate what comes to me.  I want to give and give freely.  I give in gratitude for teachings and the teachers who have given me my Self.  Every time I give, my silver platter gets bigger and fuller.  Grace is truly generous beyond measure.

I invite you to join me in sharing this gem of a practice – dakshina.  Give what you can and get more than you can imagine.

Donate today on our website.  You can call us at (610) 644-7555.  Or you can send your check to Svaroopa Vidya Ashram, 116 E. Lancaster Ave., Downingtown, PA 19335.  Thank You!

A Yoga Breakthrough

By Lynn (Gurupremananda) Cattafi

Board Member, Svaroopa® Vidya Ashram

Sometimes you really need a breakthrough.  Yet you can’t get there doing what you’ve always done.  For me, it required a “yoga rescue.”  The Svaroopa® practices are a Consciousness-based rescue kit for my body, mind, heart and more.

This is why I support our Svaroopa® Vidya Ashram.  Please join me in offering your loving donation today during our 2023 fundraiser – Body, Mind, Heart and More.

In January, I initiated my “yoga rescue” at the five-day Yoga Healing Retreat.  Each and every day included all of the Svaroopa® Sciences practices.  I fully experienced how the practices all work together.  They provided multi-dimensional healing, on every level of my being.  I got my breakthrough, the inner freedom I was longing for.  And the deepening inward continues.

Gurudevi Nirmalananda, our living Yoga Master, curated the ancient, time-tested practices into a full yoga system.  I turn to the asana (poses) and breathing practices to decompress my spine.  They release the physical tensions that cause me pain. 

I schedule a vichara session to unravel the suffering caused by the crazy, limiting ways I use my mind.  Our chanting and meditation techniques propel me inward and open my heart.  I dive deeply into the ocean of my own Beingness.  This is the source of all healing and transformation.  I am able to experience the freedom of knowing and being my own Self.  This is inner freedom!

Your own breakthrough is so close.  You don’t have to search the world over, testing out various styles and modalities.  The Svaroopa® system frees you from all the guesswork.

Your financial support of the work Gurudevi and her teachers offer to the world is so important.  The world needs their work more than ever. 

Donate today on our website.  You can call us at (610) 644-7555.  Or you can send your check to Svaroopa Vidya Ashram, 116 E. Lancaster Ave., Downingtown, PA 19335.  Thank You!