Our teachings form a living mandala of timeless wisdom and time-tested practices from the entwined traditions of yoga, advaita, and tantra, centered on helping people remember their own sacredness and the sacredness of all that exists.
Our aim is to present these teachings and practices in a way that retains their core emphasis while also making them accessible and relevant within the context of modern life.
A Living Mandala
The topics covered by our courses include many of the paths and practices of yoga, advaita, and tantra, whose complementary approaches often overlap in practice.
True to the spirit of these ancient traditions, our emphasis is on practice and direct experience more than on theory and intellectual understanding, although the latter does have its place in our teachings and courses.
Much of what we do is rooted in the Satyananda Yoga lineage, as our founder Swami Nishchalananda received his extensive training with Swami Satyananda himself in India. And yet the Ashram is not affiliated with Satyananda Yoga or the Bihar school. Our style of teaching, our approach, and our range of courses are uniquely our own, having crystalised out of over 35 years of experience teaching authentic Indian spirituality to a modern Western audience.
Our goal is to present an integrated body of teachings that embrace and enhance the full spectrum of human experience while aiming ultimately at the fundamental realisation of our essential nature.
We teach yoga as an integrated system of philosophy and practice designed to help develop the physical, psychological, psychic and spiritual aspects of our being. The ultimate goal of yoga is spiritual awakening.
Advaita, the Indian mystical-philosophical system of non-duality, is a core strand of our teachings, infusing our approach to spiritual practice and daily life with a recognition of underlying wholeness and fundamental unity.
The ancient system of tantra goes far beyond the common association with sacred sexualilty, encompassing a wide range of practices aimed at developing our full human potential while revealing our innermost essence.
The Path Of Union
Though many people still equate yoga with asana (physical postures) and sometimes pranayama (breathing practices), these practices are only the tip of the yogic iceberg. The essence of yoga as a spiritual path is the discovery and realisation of our fundamental unity with the sacred ground of existence.
Developed over thousands of years by countless dedicated practitioners (and still evolving today), yoga employs a wide spectrum of teachings and practices to bring about this realisation of unity.
In broad terms, yoga can be described as a holistic and systematic spiritual system which enables us to gradually develop, harmonise and purify every level of our being in a process that leads ultimately to transcendence of our sense of separation (the ego) and realisation of our essential nature.
This process includes every level of our being - body, mind and consciousness.
At the Ashram we teach yoga in the broadest and deepest sense of the term, as an integrated system of philosophy and practice designed to help us develop the physical, psychological, psychic and spiritual aspects of our being.
The core of advaita philosophy is radical unity, expressed in the doctrine which says that nothing whatsoever exists except the one fundamental reality. The implication of this doctrine is that all sense of individual separateness and the separateness of the things which form the world is illusory –an 'optical delusion of the mind', as Einstein aptly put it.
But more than a philosophy, Advaita is a state of being: the experience of oneness. Advaita insists that this experience is our natural state and essentially our only state: despite appearences we are never in fact separate from it. There is in this assertion a deeply revolutionary wholeness in which striving to achieve some longed-for divine union at the end of a process of spiritual awakening becomes redundant. There is nothing that can bring us closer to nor move us further away from our natural state.
But accepting this view intellectually, and embracing it at an essential level through direct insight are two very different things. This is one of the many paradoxes of advaita teachings.
Advaita is a core strand of our teachings here at the Ashram, infusing our approach to spiritual practice and daily life with a recognition of underlying wholeness and fundamental unity.
The Path Of Wholeness
The system of tantra is a vast and very practical system which views the whole of existence as irreducibly sacred. It says that no part of life is to be excluded or rejected, but instead everything -absolutely everything- can be experienced as a direct expression of the underlying intelligence playing out in manifest form.
Its focus is on the skillful expansion and fulfillment of our individual capacities, as the means to developing a fundamental realisation of our essential nature and our inseparable unity with the sacred ground.
In this way, tantra does not seek to transcend the ego or the world of individuality -as yoga has traditionally done- nor label it as mere illusion -as advaita is often thought to do- but rather to recognise the sacred nature of duality itself and to embrace every aspect of our lives as a potential doorway into the infinite.
In this way the ancient system of tantra goes far beyond the common association with sacred sexualilty, encompassing a wide range of practices aimed at developing our full human potential while revealing our innermost essence.
The Ultimate Goal
The basic premise of all the world's great spiritual traditions is:
1. There is a Fundamental Intelligence underlying and pervading the manifest universe,
2. Our essential nature as human beings is not different from That,
3. We can come to fully realise our inseparable unity with It, and
4. This realisation is the highest goal of human existence.
This premise is at the heart of yoga, advaita, and tantra, which each offer a slightly different approach to the goal of realisation.
Through our teachings we aim to support those seeking to walk the path towards this ultimate goal, providing an an authentic and integrated approach suited to a 21st century context.
Our residential retreats are rare opportunities to go deep into the mysteries of yoga in an environment of great natural beauty and focused spiritual energy. Set in 25 acres of lush gardens and grounds, nestling amidst beautiful, remote hill-country in Southwest Wales, UK, the Ashram has been a hub of spiritual practice for over 35 years. During that time it has been a place of profound learning and transformation for thousands of people from all walks of life. We currently offer fully residential retreat courses of between 2 and 10 days in length, as well as longer sadhana courses combining multiple residential retreats with guided home-study.Explore our residential retreats
Other Online Offerings
Join Swami Nishchalananda on Zoom for one-hour satsang sessions. These free sessions usually take place twice per month. Register below to receive invites.
Friends Of The Ashram
Friends Of The Ashram is our new online community, a hub for all those who feel a connection with the Ashram, its teachings, and its vibrant yoga sangha.