March 2021 Update
As the seasons are changing, bringing with them new uncertainties, Ananda Ashram remains closed to the public for daily visitors as well as for short-term (weekend or week-long) guests and retreats. We still have residents and staff who reside here year-round. We continue to extend our invitation to anyone wishing to take a personal retreat for one to three months: consider applying for our short-term residential program! We find that we can more efficiently manage screening and safety concerns for these lengths of time.
Participants enjoy use of our facilities plus morning and evening meditation programs with chanting and selected readings, yoga classes, meditative virtual offerings, and special classes and events scheduled from time to time. For more details please click here.
We continue to monitor events, along with the Governor’s guidelines, regarding when to reopen to all guests. We take the responsibility of protecting our guests, teachers, residents and staff very seriously.
The revenue traditionally received in the summer months, needed to help sustain us through the quieter winter season, was extremely impacted last year.
Please explore our offerings of virtual classes and events on topics including Yoga, Sanskrit, meditation, Dance, Music and Ayurveda. Our traditional daily meditation and fire ceremony program, generally followed by a Sanskrit hymn or verse with explanation, is still being offered free to all at 9 am via Ananda Ashram Live on Facebook. We are supported through your generosity. If you can, please consider helping us through this extraordinary period of time. Please click below to donate. Thank you!
Ananda Ashram in Monroe, New York, is a Yoga retreat and spiritual-educational center just over one hour from New York City, founded in 1964 by Shri Brahmananda Sarasvati (then Ramamurti S. Mishra, M.D.) as the country center of the Yoga Society of New York, Inc.
Located in the foothills of the Catskill Mountains, the Ashram provides a serene, natural environment with woods and meadows surrounding a lake. Accommodations are simple and meals are vegetarian.
We offer daily meditation programs with Yoga-Vedanta studies, chanting and readings, and daily yoga and Sanskrit classes, plus classical Indian dance and music instruction and a variety of weekend workshops and special events. The Ashram is open year-round and welcomes guests from all origins, faiths and cultural backgrounds.
Shri Brahmananda Sarasvati
(Ramamurti S. Mishra, M.D.)
Ashram Founder Shri Brahmananda Sarasvati, also known as Ramamurti S. Mishra, M.D., was a highly respected spiritual teacher for countless students and devotees from all walks of life. A prolific author on the science and philosophy of Yoga-Vedanta, he combined the universal message of these teachings with his deep knowledge of both Eastern and Western medicine and psychology. His areas of specialty ranged from Ayurveda to modern psychiatry and neurosurgery.
Shri Brahmananda Sarasvati is the Founder and Spiritual Director of the Yoga Society of New York, Inc. (1958) and its country center Ananda Ashram (1964). He also established the Yoga Society of San Francisco, Inc. (1972), known as Brahmananda Ashram, and inspired several other centers of meditation in the United States and abroad.
In Memoriam ~ George Bailin
Mahamuni George Bailin was a founding member of Ananda Ashram (1964) as well as an original signatory to the charters of the Yoga Society of New York, incorporated in 1958. George was the first disciple of our Guru in the West, going back to 1956. He stayed in close contact with Shri Brahmananda Sarasvati until his mahasamadhi and remained actively involved with the Yoga Society for several years thereafter. In more recent times, his life became increasingly contemplative. He passed away peacefully on December 2, 2020, at age 92 in his home near the Ashram.
A prolific poet and published author, George Bailin was a high school English professor in New York City for three decades. He was also co-editor of many of the Guru’s writings and later published numerous articles about him in his monthly Newsletters, as well as a book titled Sage of Ananda. Two additional books of his are waiting to be published.
George was also the first president of the International Schools of East-West Unity (Gurukula), Inc., established at Ananda Ashram by Shri Brahmananda Sarasvati. In 1993, the Guru wrote about him: “George Bailin is the symbol of unity on all levels. He is working with me since 1957 day and night. He is beyond all religion, a poet, scientist and linguist. ‘Beyond all religion’ means that he has love for every religion – in fact, for all of existence.”
A memorial celebration hosted by Ananda Ashram is planned for the spring.
An Appeal for Extraordinary Times
*sapadi (सपदि, Sanskrit)- immediately, quickly.
The Ashram is but a small player on this large world stage, but our mission is big: to keep Guruji's legacy thriving. For those whose lives have been changed by their Ashram experiences, know the Ashram needs you now. Through these unique times your giving will help us meet our ongoing financial obligations. As these extraordinary world events continue to unfold, your gift will make a great difference.
• The Yoga Society of New York, Inc., is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit tax-exempt organization. Your gift is tax deductible to the extent permitted by law.
Please click here to visit our PayPal donation page
Watch our fire ceremony and other teachings online,
beginning at 9:00am daily.
Daily Online Yoga Classes
Classes are taught according to several yogic styles (vinyāsa, ashtānga, restorative, yin, nidrā) incorporating traditional postures (āsanas), breathing exercises (prāṇāyāma), deep relaxation and meditation. All classes are currently taught on Zoom.
It is with a heavy heart that we announce the passing of our dear friend and teacher, Joan Suval. She peacefully left her body on April 24, 2020. Joan dedicated her life to Ananda Ashram and to the teachings of Yoga and Vedanta. We were so fortunate to have had her in our lives for so many years. Guruji's blessings are surely with her. Our sincerest condolences to her family, especially Marvin and Bret Suval.
As of this time, January 2021, a memorial service for Joan is being planned for the end of August at Ananda Ashram. Hopefully the timing will permit us to eliminate the current obstacles such as limits on the size of the gathering, social distancing, wearing of masks, and potential quarantining.
The Board of Trustees of the Yoga Society has approved the creation of the Joan Suval Memorial Fund for the Shri Brahmananda Sarasvati Audio Visual Retreat space. Joan had been planning this project as part of her move to the Ashram. Discussions have now begun to implement this wonderful project. Your support, as always, would be appreciated.