Welcome to the Sivananda Yoga Camp. Located in the beautiful Laurentian mountains, it is an ideal place to come and take time out and recharge yourself by attending yoga classes and meditation, following a specially designed daily schedule based upon the traditional teachings of yoga.
On arrival, make your way to the Reception situated in the Lodge building. This unique structure made of straw bales and ecological materials is warm and welcoming. Also located in this building are the shared rooms, the dining area, the Library and roof terraces.
The Camp was founded in 1962 by Swami Vishnudevananda, sent from his native India to the West in 1957 by his master, Swami Sivananda, to disseminate the teachings of yoga and Vedanta. Their portraits are found in many places in the ashram as a way to remind us of their teachings and the legacy they left behind by sharing the knowledge of yoga.
Let’s go for a walk around the ashram. On the large wooden platforms, we teach the yoga classes in the summer, next to the swimming pool, also open then. A little further down is the traditional wood burning sauna which is available for the ashram guests. The neighbouring two-floored dormitory and wooden cabins are open between June and October to students and guests.
The small pond, that hosts a statue of Master Sivananda, is dotted with tents on its surroundings during the warm months as the community expands to welcome more guests and the students of the teachers training courses and Kids Camp.
Up against the edge of the forest is the large Yoga Hall where we meet for meditation in the high season. The nearby Peace Plane Museum is open to guests and day visitors alike, it recounts the peace missions around troubled war zones by our teacher Swami Vishnudevananda with various photographs and newspaper articles. Hanging from the ceiling is the two-seater Apache which he flew throwing flowers and peace pamphlets. It was decorated by 60`s American artist Peter Maxx.
Walking towards the lawn we pass the Annapurna building which is used for yoga classes and workshops, and the home of the Kids Camp in July. Next door is the Swami Vishnudevananda Ayurvedic Clinic where the highly qualified ayurvedic doctor and the masseurs and masseuses from South India are in residence during the summer months. The Clinic is open for consultations, traditional ayurvedic massages and treatments to the guests of the Camp and to people living outside.
The Krishna Temple, at the heart of the Ashram, was designed according to the ancient science of Vaastu Shastra, the traditional Indian rules of design and architecture based on harmony with the elements and becoming one with nature. This peaceful place is used solely for meditation, chanting and some lectures.
Across from the Temple, the Registration building houses more rooms and the administration. The Ashram Boutique opens daily after brunch (by request in the low season) and sells books on yoga, ayurveda, CDs, clothes, natural healthcare products, items for altars etc. The Health Hut sells fruits, juices and snacks in a convivial atmosphere.
Samadhi Estates across the road, where Swami Vishnudevananda lived until he left his body in 1993, is a serene area with beautiful gardens, shrines and a water stream. The house, overlooking a small pond, is open daily for guided tours from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm.
When you walk around the grounds of the ashram, you will be surprised to see many shrines and statues nestled here and there amidst the vegetation, inviting us to pause for a moment and turn inward.
Any time of the year is good to come, the nature changes with the seasons from the vibrant green of Summer to the fiery red of the Laurentian Fall, the whites of silent Winter and the awakening of the Spring.
The many forest trails all around the Camp invite you to walk through the forest, either in organised group with a member of staff, or by yourself in your free time. They are of easy access by foot in the summer and with snow-shoes in the winter. The air is pure and the forest tranquil.
The Peace Trail, inaugurated in 1999, links the Yoga Camp with the Subramanya Ayyappa Temple up the hill. The walk is about 10 minutes. This traditional South Indian temple is open to all from April to November for visits. The South Indian priests are well versed in the scriptures and traditional forms for worship, and conduct daily rituals (pujas). From June to October, the Temple hosts large festivals, open to all.
Around the grounds, you can sit on the grass or the many wooden tables and chairs, and relax in the stunning multi-coloured gardens. The beautiful flowers of the Laurentians follow each other in sea of everchanging shapes, textures and colors.
The Yoga Camp is a haven of peace, ideal to take time out, relax and recharge. You can come for a class or a day, stay for a weekend or a month, you can join one of our many courses on yoga and spirituality or train to be a teacher of yoga by enrolling on the Teachers Training Course. Browse this site and find out the many ways in which you can make use of the Yoga Camp.
For more information, email, phone, or even better come and see us.