Sivananda Vanadurga Ashram

About this project

OM! Hello! We are Nirmala-Cristina and Satyadev-Volker of Atman Yoga, an NGO affiliated  to the Sivananda Organization. We are a group of approximately 40 yogis who dedicate our lives to promote peace and healing for the planet and are very committed to the diffusion of the teachings of Yoga and Meditation in Medellín, Colombia. We created this campaign because we need financial support to finalize the construction of a Yoga Ashram in San Rafael, Colombia, By the way, it will be the first Ashram of the Sivananda tradition in South America. Do you want to know how to help and why? Here’s the whole story...

What is Sivananda Vanadurga Ashram?


Vanadurga literally means: The Universal Mother who protects the forest. And an Ashram is a sacred place for the practice of Yoga and Meditation. We are constructing the Sivananda Vanadurga Ashram Yoga Sanctuary in one of the places in Colombia where people suffered the most during the time of the conflict. This territory, located between the municipalities of San Rafael and San Carlos (three hours from Medellín and two from the international airport) was until recently unthinkable to go, but is now a place of peace with a resilient community. It is also a natural paradise rich in biodiversity but on which lies the threat of mining, deforestation and water pollution. We are facilitating a sustainable project for holistic healing for the community, preservation of nature, and  transformation for people from all over the world.

Sivananda Vandurga Ashram Yoga Sanctuary is an ideal place for serious and deep practice of Yoga and meditation, a space for philosophy, teaching and seclusion. We are building it under the principles of Feng Shui and Vastu (Sacred Architecture) and permaculture.




The three pillars we are planning for the Ashram are:

The practice and diffusion of yoga and meditation
Vedic ecology with permaculture principles
Health according to Ayurveda

Peace, cosmic love, education, culture and health of body and mind are our goals. We will also encourage experiences in organic agriculture, vegetarian cooking, yoga retreats, meditation, philosophy, ayurveda, local community courses, wellness weekends, yoga classes, kid camps and yoga teacher training courses (TTC). There will be an organic garden with fruits and vegetables to serve on the menu. In addition opportunity to become an active part of this project through Karma Yoga (volunteer service).

Various mystics and intuitive people confirm us that this place is sacred and has been through history a land for spiritual practices. Swamis, priests and teachers of our tradition have testified that you can feel the energy of Vanadurga (Divine Mother) very strongly in this place. Anyone who has been in the place knows that it is much more than a structure. This is a space for people to explore their gifts and develop their divine potential.

Why do we think this project is relevant right now?

Could you imagine… What would happen if we could create a place where the quality of life of those who live there and of the community that surrounds it would be improved; A place that would allow those who visit it and those who permanently live there to be infused with inspiration?

In this area of ​​Colombia its inhabitants were affected by more than a decade of relentless violence. The people suffered greatly, the confrontation of armed groups forced more than half of the population to move. The violence in this place became “normal”, but it is no longer a place of fear. The community has hope. At this historic moment in Colombia, with the ongoing peace process, the Ashram is manifesting as a vital project to restore values ​​and rebuild a more pure and loving social structure.
In addition, this Yoga Sanctuary is a special and auspicious place, because we are surrounded by an extraordinary natural beauty with forests and sacred rivers that we want to preserve. As it is located between two beautiful crystalline and sacred rivers (river delta) and being crossed by two mystical streams which originate within the Ashram territory, we also call it the "Promised Land".
With approximately 70 hectares of native forests , we only intervene 2 with an ecological and sacred construction and we take care of the others protecting the forests, the rivers and the environment . In some areas where there are still paddocks, we will reforest to take care of water, especially in vital areas such as the mountain edges where the water springs originate. The Ashram will be part of a network of local nature reserves to conserve the region’s great biodiversity and expand awareness of change through Yoga, where in total more than 300 hectares of land are being protected in one of the most vital areas of the planet..
This project belongs to everyone. The universe wants this project to manifest and we are only the facilitators to achieve it. We feel the support and divine presence every moment. Our teachers bless us with light and clarity to carry it out. We are putting our whole heart and everything we have into this project. We have come a long way, but to finish building it we need your support.

How did everything start?


We have been offering yoga classes, courses and workshops in our two main centers and in public places of the city for 12 years, with our philosophy to do all this on donation basis to reach as many people as possible. We have grown and learned. We are still learning!  Now we feel that we are ready to expand.

Atman Yoga began with a vision to plant seeds of peace and love in the hearts of Colombia and the world, in the spirit of our teachers Swami Sivananda and Swami Vishnudevananda, who taught "Inner peace for outer peace".

We started by teaching yoga and meditation classes to friends and family. We soon realized that it was essential that these practices reach as many people as possible and could be accessible to all. Therefore, we began to give massive yoga classes, teaching in public parks on Donation Basis, instead of a fixed price as is normally done. A great example of this is the Botanical Garden of Medellin, where every Sunday for eight years, between 250 and 500 people from all over the country, from all social backgrounds, and from all ages practice yoga together.


In addition, each teacher of the team also teaches in places with social challenges such as jails, orphanages, schools, nursing homes, and drug rehabilitation centers, in order to seek peace and healing in hearts of people from the country and the world.

Eventually we started renting a space in the Laureles neighborhood that is now our Padmavati center, and now we have a new center in Poblado called Sarada. Also for several years we have given retreats of yoga, ayurveda, and positive thinking and meditation, taking our students to special places in Colombia.


Why did we create this Campain?


We had been looking for land, for many years, when we found this place in San Rafael. Being aware of the fragile state of our world, we realized the need for personal action. To be the change we want to see. This project promotes a way of life that moves in harmony with nature, not against it. As well as the need for a quiet space to facilitate spiritual practices.

We are convinced that the potential of human beings is much more than just "achieving the least possible impact". If we are tuned into the source of creation through spiritual practice we can turn the earth into a paradise. And we want to be a living example.


In addition to mobilizing resources, we feel that on a spiritual level this project takes on much more power when it includes a more global community that aims at Universal Peace. Thus, this divine project will have infinite strength and positive impact in the country and the world.

With all the trust, gratitude and love, we ask you to make your donation!
You can also help us by spreading the word about the campaign and motivating others to support us.

We are ready for this.

This is taking more and more form, so it is requiring more and more energy at all levels.

Help us to make this project, which is also yours, reach as far as possible. Our commitment to your generosity is that you can finally create this great space of Yoga and Healing for the World!

This Ashram is part of a Mandala of Ashrams and Centers of the Sivananda Yoga family in the world.

Thank you. Really. Nirmala, Satyadev and the entire Atman Yoga team.

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Thank you...

We would like to express our special gratitude to our masters, Swami Sivananda, Swami Vishnudevananda, Swami Swaroopananda, Kanti Devi and Swami Brahmananda and other Acharyas, Swamis and teachers of the tradition. We owe special thanks to Felisa and Jorge for their time, dedication, support and adjustment of ideas to the campaign. Also to Milena and Felipe for support with photography and video!