Gajananam and lotusRetreat Days

Retreat days are a wonderful opportunity for retreating from our daily activities and lives and immersing ourselves in reflective practices. The programs are designed to refresh body and mind and lend inspiration to our spirit. During the program we engage in various aspects of yoga and Vedantic theory and practices - asana, pranayama, relaxation, mantra chanting, positive thinking, meditation and Self-inquiry, the latter being the subtlest and most important, the others prepare the spiritual aspirant for inquiry. In each retreat day, a chosen theme is focused on in order to delve deeper into our understanding of the topic, immerse ourselves in its practice, and gain insight into its application in daily life.

Japa Yoga

Sunday November 1, 7:30 AM - 5:00 PM

Everything in the world is made out of energy. Everything is vibration. Some vibrations are more disturbing to our systems, others resonate better with us. Certain vibrations bring us in tune with the world around us and ourselves, other ones bring discord. Certain vibrations enhance health, others disturb our well-being.

Japa yoga is the practice of mantra repetition. Mantras are divine energies in sound form which were revealed to Rishis or seers in their deep meditation. These seers passed them on to humanity to help us in our fine tuning our meditation and in recognizing and connecting to the higher vibrations of the universe. Repetition of mantras helps uplift the mind, literally cleanse our psychic body, and is a great aid to the practice of meditation.

In this retreat day, we’ll introduce the practice of japa yoga and its many benefits. We’ll learn some of the mantras that one can chant and use during worship and meditation. And we'll get a taste of the uplifting experience of focusing on these holy sounds.

Schedule for the day

7:30 AM Mantra Chanting, Meditation and Talk - "Mantras – Divine Energy in Sound Form".
10:00 AM Yoga Asana and Pranayama class
12:00 PM Vegetarian Brunch
1:30 PM Workshop - "Practice of Japa Yoga".
3:00 PM Workshop - "Ishta Devata – One’s Personal Connection with the Divine"
4:30 PM Conclusion

- Please pre-register by email
- The program is on a donation basis


Intermediate Yoga and Meditation Course

Yoga is a complete system, as it is designed to balance body, energy and mind, it offers tools for coping in a balanced, stress-free way with life, it shows us ways of understanding ourselves deeply, and it helps us find our center. With a little effort and regular practice, one receives many benefits.

This 8-session course includes both practice of yogic techniques and an introduction to meditation practice. Each class consists of one and a half hours of yoga Asana (postures), Pranayama (breathing exercises), relaxation, and meditation theory and practice, guidance in establishing and deepening one's personal yoga and meditation practice, as well as introduction to various aspects of yoga philosophy and their application in our daily lives.

Whoever you are and whatever is your life-style, incorporating some yoga practice into your daily life can do wonders!

Sundays 10:00 - 11:30 AM, Starting October 11, 2015

Sliding scale donation: $80 - 120
Pre-registration Required

Bhagavad Gita Class

The Bhagavad Gita is a conversation between Krishna, who represents our higher nature, the teacher, or God, and Arjuna, an individual like you or me. The discussion takes place on the battlefield, when a large war between cousins is about to start. The battlefield symbolizes our inner struggles as well as the battle of daily life. Arjuna has great difficulties in facing his elders, relatives, and friends in the battle, just as we have a hard time shaking off old habits that have become very near and dear to us, even though they cause us havoc! Krishna leads Arjuna step-by-step through the various aspects of yoga philosophy, giving him tools and encouragement to boldly face the battle, i.e. face the world and himself.

The Bhagavad Gita is the major scripture on yoga philosophy and its application in daily life. The title literally means The Song of God or The Divine Song, and chanting it is quite enchanting. Mahatma Gandhi used to study this scripture on a regular basis, and Albert Einstein claimed that "When I read the Bhagavad Gita and reflect about how God created this universe everything else seems so superfluous."

The philosophy and practical application or the teachings are introduced and discussed in each session.

Sundays 9:00 - 10:00 AM

By Donation

Tattva Bodha Course

Introduction to Advaita Vedanta

Wednesdays 8:00 - 9:00 PM
Introduction - September 9, 2015
Course Starts September 16, 2015

The study of Vedanta is the study of ourselves. Each and every one of us is searching, knowingly or unknowingly, through all of our thoughts and actions, for happiness and contentment. We also foster deeper, unresolved questions in our hearts such as "who am I", "where do I come from", and "is there a God". Vedanta study helps clarify these and our other deep queries, and in a methodical, step-by-step manner. It demonstrates that I am not this small limited, suffering being, but that which is looking through these eyes and thinking through this mind is no other than the infinite, unchanging, limitless universal consciousness.

In the text Tattva Bodha is written by Sri Adi Guru Sankaracharya, who is considered as the greatest teacher of Advaita Vedanta (non-dualism) history has seen. He lovingly answers these and many other questions and introduces aspiring students to the basic principles of Vedanta. This preliminary text is presented in the form of a dialogue between the Guru and the disciple. The disciple asks with genuine eagerness and the Guru answers with patience, depth and precision.

Personally, I am looking forward to this wonderful opportunity of starting a deep and methodical study of Vedanta at our center in Fremont. It will offer a thorough introduction to the principles of Advaita Vedanta, and should be a good stepping stone for those interested in gaining an understanding of and pursuing the path of Self inquiry.

The course will take around 3 to 4 months.
There is no fee for the course. Donations are welcome.


Beginners Yoga Course

Step-by-step instruction in the practice of Yoga Asanas (postures), Pranayama (breathing exercises) and Relaxation. Sivananda Yoga is a traditional practice, where yoga postures are held still while focusing on the breath. The practice is meditative, it balances the physical and energy systems, and prepares one for meditation. 8 sessions.

Wednesdays 6:30 - 8:00 PM, Starting September 16, 2015

Sliding scale donation: $80 - 120
Pre-registration Required

Avyaktaadeeni bhootaani vyaktamadhyaani bhaarata
Avyakta nidhanaanyeva tatra kaa paridevanaa.

Beings are unmanifested in their beginning, manifested in their middle state,
O Arjuna, and unmanifested again in their end! What is there to grieve about?

- - Bhagavad Gita II 28

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