Our Lineage & Teachings
The Sivananda Yoga Ranch
The Yoga Ranch was founded in 1974 by Swami Vishnudevananda to provide a peaceful retreat structured around a full immersion into Yogic living and nurtured with the natural beauty of the lush mountains.
The simple living close to nature quiets the mind and prepares it for meditation and the high thinking of the Vedanta philosophy. Asanas (yoga postures), Pranayama (breathing techniques), vegetarian meals, chanting, and working together in Karma Yoga help complete your Yoga experience.
We are a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization committed to the propagation of classical Yoga teachings. Experience the empowerment to transform health, relationships, and attitude through practices focusing on the body, mind, and spirit. Awaken a deep inner appreciation for dharmic (sustainable) living. The Yoga Ranch invites you to come explore this adventure in healthy living.
One of the great saints of modern times, Swami Sivananda is the inspiration behind the International Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Center. Born in India, he served for many years as a medical doctor before renouncing worldly life and establishing the Sivananda Ashram and Divine Life Society in Rishikesh. A prolific writer, he authored more than 300 books that offer knowledge and spiritual guidance to millions around the world. His mission can be summarized by his saying: “Serve, Love, Give, Purify, Meditate, Realize.”
Recognized worldwide as an authority on Hatha and Raja yoga, Swami Vishnudevananda founded the International Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Center in 1959. After spending 10 years with his guru, Swami Sivananda, Swamiji was sent to the West to disseminate the teachings of Yoga and Vedanta. He was a visionary, dynamic leader for world peace, and he wrote the practical classics Complete Illustrated Book of Yoga and Meditation and Mantras.
“The positive always overcomes the negative.The more we sweat in peace the less we bleed in war.”– Swami Vishnudevananda
The Flying Swami
Swamiji's Peace Missions
Offering the Gift of Compassion & Awareness
Throughout his whole life, Swami Vishnudevananda was deeply concerned about the well-being of the world and the constant disaster of wars. This led him to learn to fly and then personally pilot a small plane over several troubled areas of the world. Not only did he create discussion and awareness in the news media, but he also “bombarded” these war-torn areas with flowers and peace pamphlets while repeating the peace mantra Om Namo Narayanaya.
If I were like my master, or like Jesus, I could wash the feet of my disciples. But for that one must be very high. It can only be done when the ego is gone. If I were to do it, it would be hypocrisy. I’m not that high. Once, some years ago, I prostrated myself before a man to whom I had been rude and impatient. As I was doing it, I was thinking ‘How humble I am.’ So don’t look for an easy way to overcome your ego. For years I’ve tried.
I watch myself as my ego manifests itself. I analyze. But it clings like a leech. When we can’t control ourselves, we should offer it to the Lord: ‘Oh Lord, I offer it to Thee!’ And now, if in any way I hurt your feelings, I ask you with all my heart to pardon me.”
– Swami Vishnudevananda
A Letter from Our Director
For over 40 years, this sacred space has been held and maintained for you by dedicated volunteers who have discovered the healing properties of Karma Yoga, the practice of selfless service. Together, we strive to make the Yoga lifestyle experience easy for you with our focused daily schedule of meditation, Yoga classes, and healthy meals.
We are committed to service, peace, and sustainability as a direct practice of Yoga. We focus on sustainable gardening to grow the freshest, purest food, our solar energy project to model clean, sustainable energy living, as well as our prison project, which is bringing Yoga into prisons with free books, Yoga classes, and our Yoga Teacher Training Course.
The Yoga Ranch is dedicated to Yoga for the people and Yoga for the Earth, and your vacation stay supports these efforts. We also welcome you to participate in loving service if you have the time and inspiration. May Yoga bring health and happiness to you and all of your relations.
Om and Prem,
Director and Senior Teacher
The Five Points of Yoga
The asanas not only produce a strong, healthy body, but as exercises in meditation they provide deep and powerful inner benefits.
These specific breathing techniques align us with our natural energy, creating physical and mental rejuvenation and promoting optimum health.
Yoga teaches three levels of relaxation: physical, mental, and spiritual. Savasana is a vital part of keeping the body, mind, and spirit healthy.
A Yogi eats with awareness, choosing food that has the most positive effect on the body and mind and the least negative effect on the environment.
Life is evolving and accelerating. With Vedanta and meditation, the mind becomes calm and steady. Meditation is especially helpful for those with stressful lives.
“You can have calmness of mind at all times by the practice of yoga. You can have restful sleep. You can have increased energy, vigour, vitality, longevity, and a high standard of health. You can turn out efficient work within a short space of time. You can have success in every walk of life.” – Swami Sivananda