About the Ashram

Summer 2020 Update: Ananda Ashram remains closed to the public until the fall. Please stay connected!

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.

Ananda Ashram is also the location of the International Schools of East-West Unity (Gurukula), Inc., established by the Founder in 1992. The workshops and courses offered throughout the year cover the various aspects of Yoga, the creative arts and natural health, and East-West cultural performances highlight summer weekends and special celebrations. Guest teachers and artists from a variety of traditions are regular contributors. The Ashram philosophy is nonsectarian with an emphasis placed on Self-awareness and meditation.

Guest and student accommodations provide dorm and semiprivate rooms with around sixty beds. Facilities include classrooms, meditation room, program halls, temples, memorial shrine, gift shop, seasonal swimming pool, and publication center. The inspirational Ashram environment is well suited for a meditative retreat, holistic studies and exploration of the deeper aspects of life. Ananda Ashram is easily accessible by car, bus or train.

Historical Perspective

Ashrams have existed in the East from the earliest period of civilization as places of meditation, spiritual practice and research, higher learning and culture, where teachers and students lived and worked in togetherness. Ananda Ashram was dedicated as a universal center following that same tradition, for the exploration and application of the principles of Yoga and Vedanta through East-West philosophical and cultural exchange. Since its beginning, the Ashram has introduced and hosted many outstanding teachers, guest lecturers and artists from various disciplines. A preferred platform is given to those who focus on the underlying unity of all. In its core program, Ananda Ashram strives to maintain a distinguished, nonsectarian spiritual and educational standard throughout.

Universal Teachings

Yoga is understood here to be the essential harmony and union of individual existence with cosmic existence, as well as the physical, mental and spiritual practices leading to its realization. Nondualistic Vedanta philosophy declares the oneness of all beings in the Supreme Spirit and the ultimate freedom of the Self as Pure Consciousness, referred to by Shri Brahmananda Sarasvati as the "I-Am" beyond the body and mind. These and related teachings are studied at Ananda Ashram both through English sources and through the original Sanskrit texts, with emphasis on the Upanishads, Yoga Sūtras, Bhagavad Gītā, and Shankaracharya's writings.

Special advantage is taken of Shri Brahmananda's translations, commentaries, books, essays and recordings, recognized as a comprehensive and authentic modern synthesis of the classical teachings. The truths expressed by the great masters, the realized sages and thinkers of various world religions and philosophies, as well as of the sciences and arts, are incorporated and honored in the light of Vedanta.

Note: The contents of specific lectures and workshops taught by guest teachers at Ananda Ashram are not necessarily endorsed by the Yoga Society of New York, Inc./Ananda Ashram. These programs are offered for the purpose of information and education only, and the Yoga Society of New York, Inc., is not responsible in any manner for the opinions, philosophy or teachings expressed by said individuals.