A Little Paradise in VA: Yogaville

 Namaste! I had a bout of writers block but am feeling much better now.  It started out as wanting to just have more experiences to share then there was a moment over summer where I felt as though my life went through a lull and there wasn't a whole lot of interesting things happening.  Netflix may be partly to blame.  I actually researched it a little and found that I'm not the only one who has watched the entirety of an 8 year running show over a couple of months.

A couple weeks after my marathon of Grey's Anatomy,  I decided that a trip to Yogaville might be the cure all.  I was in need of some spiritual atmosphere, nature, vegan food, and exercise.  So along with my husband,  my two youngest boys and the two dogs we agreed an adventure was in order.   We rented a quaint 700 sq. ft. cabin and ventured out towards the quiet, yogic community nessled along the James River in Buckingham County, Virginia.

On our way!

I visited Yogaville a handful of times in the past, always on my own, so it was a nice deveiation to bring the family along.  I was unsure how the boys would handle the isolation, down time, and sattvic a.k.a. somewhat bland menu.

When we arrived we settled in our cabin and then took a quick tour around.  Nathaniel brought his bicycle and Christian brought his skateboard.  There aren't a whole lot of families that live there with children of the same age, so I knew them palling around someone wasn't an option.  So it turned out great that they had their toys, they used them the whole time.

Upon arriving to dinner, we realized were the first one's.  This is not unusual, I really love to eat.  We waited patiently in the sitting area outside the dining hall doors.  There is a little gift shop there with a small eclectic variety of gifts of everything yogi, from books, incense, bells, miniature statues, postcards, magnets, to tunics and jewelry.  We browsed through the gifts and books.  After ten minutes or so the sofas filled up with other early birds.  Yogaville is the best place to people watch because it filled with the most part by very expressive free spirits who are dressed in vibrant colors and patterns, who's hair is slightly disarrayed from attending an asana class, and that has a certain glow to their skin or personality that shines through.

A dinner volunteer comes out of the heavy double wooden doors, and hits a gong to signal that dinner is ready.  We all file in and gather for the reciting of the meal prayer:

Om Annapoorne Sadaapoorne
Shankara Praana Vallabhe
Jnaana Vairaagya Siddhyartham
Bikshan Dehee Cha PaarvatiMaataa Cha Paarvati Devee
Pitaa Devo Maheswaraha
Baandhavaah Siva Bhaktaaha
Swadeso Bhuvana TrayamHari Om Tat Sat BrahmaarpanamastuLokaah Samasataah Sukhino Bhavantu
Om Beloved Mother Nature.
You are here on our table as our food
Your are endlessly bountiful,
benefactress of All.
Please grant us health and strength,
wisdom and dispassion
to find permanent peace and joy and to share
this peace and joy with one and all.
Mother Nature is my mother,
my father is the Lord of all.
The whole creation is my family,
The entire universe is my home.
I offer this unto OM
that truth which is Universal.
May the entire universe be filled with
Peace and Joy, Love and Light.May the light of Truth overcome all darkness.
Victory to that light!Jai Sri Sadguru Mahaaraaj Ki!
- Hear an audible reading of the prayer at: http://www.yogaville.org/2013/02/yogaville-meal-prayer/#sthash.nCrCbFfv.dpuf

During the coarse of the week we ate a lot of salads, cooked greens, protein in the way of soy, beans, and whole grains, zucchini, miso soup, apples, bananas, rice cakes, peanut butter, cereal, and vegetable mixtures of things like casserole or soups.  Of course I loved it, Rob did well too, the little ones struggled a bit but did ok.  There is a little coffee shop that sells chips, drinks, and snacks.  Nathaniel was so delighted that they offered wifi, he rode his bike there several times a day to check his Instagram and FaceTime his friends.    He could of stayed there and survived off juice and salt and vinegar chips.

Yogaville is not without its challenges.  But without challenge we don't grow.  Challenges we encountered were probably food for the boys, not because it wasn't there but because they are picky meat eaters.  And an infestation of chiggers.  Yeah, it was rough.  Wandering with my pup through the woods in a flowing skirt, not the best option.  But we are in the middle of wilderness and there is no killing of any kind on the holy grounds....what are you gonna do? Oh, and Nathaniel dropped his iPod and cracked the screen.  You would of thought he lost a friend.  We had a full out serenade for the iPod.   We took the bad with the good, it was definitely worth the high points.

Spiders and Chiggers....Oh MY!

The best parts of Yogaville besides the people and the meals is the Lotus Temple,  it's one of the most beautiful places I've seen.  There is a museum of artifacts from all religions around the world and a meditation space that would blow your mind! I love participating in the daily puja at Kailash, this is where Swami Satchidananda is at rest.  There is a full size wax statue of him there, it's pretty amazing. The views are amazing and the land and waters are beautiful.

The best part of being there with my family was the quality time we spent together playing outside, riding bike, walking, laying in the hammock, playing board games, and writing songs on the guitar namely "Shattered Reflections" in honor of the iPod.

Hari Om Tat Sat

We went early for meditation and had the whole place to ourselves.

Swami Sivananda and Swami Satchidanada

Swami Satchidanada at the opening ceremony at Woodstock

Truth is one, paths are many.

Nathaniel and Gurudev :)

Happy to be home and chigger free!


  1. thanks for your great account of your stay in Yogaville. We're across the street, but plan to walk and eat over there. Thanks for a preview!


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