Photo: Julia La Roche for Business Insider
Located in Buckingham, Virginia along the banks of the James River is a unique community called Yogaville. When you drive through the pink gates tucked away off of the forest-lined back roads, it’s almost as if you are entering a different world.
And in many ways you are.
Yogaville, like its name implies, is a community dedicated to the teaching and practice of yoga. It was founded by the opening speaker at Woodstock music festival and guru Sri Swami Satchidananda.
One of Yogaville’s gems is its massive pink Light Of Truth Universal Shrine (LOTUS)–a temple resembling a lotus flower that honours all religions of the world.
Yogaville also has an ashram and it’s considered one of the world’s premier living yoga communities offering meditation sessions, yoga retreats/workshops/teacher training/and residential programs as well as vegetarian meals served from its community kitchen.
We decided to stop by for a visit this week and now we’re going to take you on a photo tour of this yoga destination.
You have to drive slowly down a narrow road winding through the forest. There are a lot of hiking trails, too.
Yogaville was founded by guru Yogiraj Sri Swami Satchidananda where his teachings of Integral Yoga still continue. He was also the opening speaker at Woodstock music festival in 1969.
He died in 2002 at the age of 87 after suffering an aneurysm during a peace conference in Madras, India.
The Light Of Truth Universal Shrine (LOTUS), which resembles a lotus flower, is 'dedicated to interfaith understanding and the Light within all faiths.'
Satchidananda was the one of envisioned the massive pink shrine's design. It took four years to build and was dedicated in 1986.
Fun fact: Gemstones known to 'retain positive vibrations' gold, silver, holy water and holy soil from sacred sites around the world and even a rock from the moon were mixed in the concrete at the centre of the shrine's foundation.
Before entering the temple, shoes have to be removed. People are supposed to dress modestly meaning no shorts.
On the lower level of the LOTUS is the All Faiths Hall, which contains artifacts for all of the world's major religions.
The LOTUS is located along the banks of the peacefully flowing James River. We hear that there are sometimes tubing outings there.
There are two other sacred sites up this hill. The closest is the Chidambaram open for prayer and meditation. It's the final resting place of Sri Swami Satchidananda. The one at the top is the Lord Siva Nataraja Shrine featuring a seven-foot tall sacred statue.
There's also a gift shop at Yogaville where you can shop and pick up more information about retreats and classes at the ashram.
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