Program Begins

Dec. 30

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New Year's Immersion Retreat

with Spiritual Director Swami Divyananda,
and Swami Asokananda, Swami Hamsananda, Swami Karunananda, Swami Ramananda, Swami Vidyananda, Rev. Paraman Barsel, Mazin Jamal, and Dr. Amrita McLanahan
Price: $125.00–$175.00 – Sliding Scale Tuition

Join us for the online New Year’s Immersion Retreat to reflect deeply, gather your strength, renew your inspiration, reconnect with your spirit, and restore yourself in the sanctuary and solace of the Integral Yoga community.

New Year’s 2021: a tumultuous year concluding and a fresh new year before us. We have learned a lot— lessons both bitter and sweet. What better time than New Year’s to reflect, renew, and restore ourselves through Yoga and set our sights on health and peace in the year to come.

This online retreat will be a two-track experience. For those yearning for the silent retreat experience which Integral Yoga has offered every New Year’s since 1970, we will guide you to transform your home into an ashram and dive deep into the waters of silent peace. For those who are busy householders for whom speech is required, we invite you to join the sessions and weave them into your daily obligations, using recorded sessions to create your own schedule.

Either way, the New Year’s Immersion Retreat promises to deliver on what every Yoga practice helps to cultivate: peace of mind. We will draw upon the most experienced of our Integral Yoga presenters from around the world to “Zoom in” their wisdom and guide us to revisit the profound teachings of Yoga with their famous wit and clarity.

This retreat provides:

  • Opportunities to experience inner and outer peace and tranquility
  • Instruction in pranayama (yogic breathing techniques), meditation, and Hatha Yoga for focus and rejuvenation
  • Inspiring talks by Integral Yoga senior practitioners, ministers, and swamis (monastics)

This time away from the demands of daily life is intended to invite deep reflection and help you to make inspiring goals for 2021!

Live sessions on Wednesday evening, Thursday and Friday all day, and Saturday morning, with breaks and optional videos and activities. 
Click here for the full schedule.
Live sessions are in bold and times posted are in ET.
Schedule may be subject to change.

You will have access to the video recordings for 8 weeks after the program ends, until February 27, 2021.

Swami Divyananda will also offer a 21-day meditation program following this retreat on January 3–23, 2021.

What to Expect

Experiential classes in:

  • Yoga philosophy
  • Meditation
  • Breathing techniques
  • Yoga postures
  • Deep relaxation

All Are Welcome

These retreats are open to everyone, from beginners to advanced Yoga retreatants. Those who are new to meditation or Yoga practices will receive full instruction, while those with experience will have the opportunity to deepen their practice.


Swami Divyananda was incredible! All throughout the retreat, she made me want to give up my outside life and dedicate myself to this practice just by seeing her peace and authenticity. — Emerald R.

Swami Divyananda is a national treasure. Fantastically knowledgeable—a terrific example of what a Yogi should be. I met Swami Satchidananda about 45 years ago and being in Swami Divyananda’s (online) presence is very much like being in the presence of Swami Satchidananda. Very very grateful to have had the experience. — Past Participant

I needed to re-ground myself in my spiritual practices. For the first time in months, I felt such peace and I began to hope and dream for a better future. I would say I’ve gotten more than what I came for because I have a plan for changing my life more powerful than ever before. — Megan Chandler


  1. 1
    • Welcome Letter from Swami Divyananda

    • Student Walkthrough – How to Navigate this Course

    • Welcome to the New Year's Immersion Retreat

    • Resources, Materials, and Assistance

    • Retreat Schedule

    • Retreat Schedule Download

    • Quotes on Silence

    • Dr. Amrita McLanahan's Handouts

  2. 2
    • Day 1 Schedule

    • RECORDING – Welcoming and Orientation with Swami Divyananda – 3 pm ET

    • RECORDING – Handling the Mind with Compassion and Skill with Rev. Rudra Swartz – 4:30–5:15 pm ET

    • RECORING – Integral Yoga® Hatha - Level 1 with Krishna Howeth – 5:30–6:30 pm ET

    • Integral Yoga® Hatha - Level 2 with Swami Asokananda

    • RECORDING – As You Like It: Creating a Practice Plan You Will Enjoy with Swami Vidyananda

  3. 3
    • Day 2 Schedule

    • Morning Sadhana

    • Lunch Talk

    • RECORDING – Integral Yoga® Hatha with Swami Arivananda – 7:45–9:15 am ET

    • RECORDING – Taming of the Shrew: Managing the Mind Using Raja Yoga with Rev. Rudra Swartz – 10–10:50 am ET

    • RECORDING – Meditation Workshop with Swami Asokananda – 11 am–12:30 pm ET

    • RECORDING – Measure for Measure: Setting and Achieving Realistic Goals with Swami Vidyananda – 3:15–4:15 pm ET

    • Gentle Yoga with Rukmini Ando

    • RECORDING – Integral Yoga® Hatha with Sridevi Jones – 4:30–6 pm ET

    • RECORDING – Sound Bath with Lakshmi Scalise – 6–6:30 pm ET

    • LIVE – The Year Ahead of Us with Mazin Jamal – 8 pm ET

    • RECORDING – The Year Ahead of Us with Mazin Jamal – 8 pm ET

    • Tea Break - 8:45 pm

    • RECORDING – Kirtan with Astrud Castillo – 9–9:45 pm ET

    • RECORDING – Joint Freeing Series with Hope Mell – 10–10:45 pm ET

    • Tea Break - 10:45 pm

    • Maha Mrityunjaya Chant

    • RECORDING – New Year, 2021 Celebration program – 11pm - 12:15 pm

  4. 4
    • Day 3 Schedule

    • Gayatri Mantra Chant


    • Morning Sadhana

    • RECORDING – Make Peace Your God with Swami Ramananda – 11–11:50 am ET

    • Meditation

    • Lunch Talk

    • RECORDING – Q&A with Rev. Paraman Barsel – 3–4 pm ET

    • RECORDING – Pranayama Workshop with Diana Meltsner – 4:15–5:15 pm ET

    • Integral Yoga® Hatha - Level 1 with Rukmini Ando

    • RECORDING – Integral Yoga® Hatha with Swami Arivananda – 5:30–6:30 pm ET

    • RECORDING - Health Inspirations with Dr. Amrita

    • DVD of Sri Gurudev - Love without Expections

  5. 5
    • Day 4 Schedule

    • Morning Sadhana

    • Program Evaluation – Help us create amazing experiences

    • RECORDING - Closing Session with Swami Divyananda

    • Congratulations!

Spiritual Director

Senior Sannyasi, E-RYT 500

Swami Divyananda

Swami Divyananda Ma, E-RYT 500, has had a wealth of experience teaching Integral Yoga around the world since 1973. She has taught at corporations, universities, the Commonwealth Cancer Center, and for the Dr. Dean Ornish Reversing Heart Disease programs. She has also served as one of Integral Yoga’s Basic Hatha teacher trainers.

Swami Divyananda Ma took monastic vows in 1975 from the great saint and yogi, Sri Swami Satchidananda. Over the years she has served as the director of the Integral Yoga Institutes in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and as Ashram Manager at Yogaville. She also served for ten years as the director of the Integral Yoga Institute in Coimbatore, India; this immersion into the South Indian culture has given depth to her understanding and practice of Yoga.

Now an itinerant monk, Swami Divyananda is constantly “on the road.” She leads the annual Sacred India Tours to sacred sites in India in addition to international Yoga retreats and trainings. See more at


Senior Sannyasi, E-RYT 500

Swami Asokananda

Swami Asokananda, a monk since 1975, is one of Integral Yoga’s® (IY) foremost teachers—known for his warmth, intelligence, and good humor. His teaching comes out of his own practice and experience while absorbing the wisdom of his Guru, Sri Swami Satchidananda.

While he enjoys sharing the practical wisdom of yogic philosophy (especially the great Indian scripture, the Bhagavad Gita), he also loves his practice of Hatha Yoga. He is one of Yogaville’s primary instructors for Intermediate and Advanced Hatha Yoga Teacher Trainings.

He presently serves as president of the IY Institute in New York City. Before this position, he served as the President of Satchidananda Ashram–Yogaville and Integral Yoga International.

See more at

Senior Sannyasi

Swami Hamsananda

Swami Hamsananda is a senior disciple and sannyasin of Swami Satchidananda since 1975. She compiled The Golden Present, one of the most known books of Gurudev’s teachings. Swami Hamsananda is currently living and serving at Satchidananda Ashram–Yogaville where she often shares her humor and wisdom in inspirational and spiritual talks. Her advice to all is to, “Just have faith, and identify with the true self. That’s it!”

Senior Sannyasi, E-RYT 500

Swami Karunananda

Swami Karunananda, is a senior disciple of Sri Swami Satchidananda. In 1975, she was ordained as a monk into the Holy Order of Sannyas. She has been teaching all aspects of Yoga since 1971, and specializes now in workshops, retreats, and teacher training programs that focus on the science of meditation, the philosophy of Yoga, personal transformation, and Yoga breathing techniques for better health and wellbeing. In 1989, she developed and has taught, the Integral Yoga® Teacher Training programs in Raja Yoga and in Meditation.

Swami Karunananda served as president of Satchidananda Ashram–Yogaville in Virginia and in California, as well as director of the Integral Yoga Institutes in San Francisco and in Santa Barbara. She currently serves on the Board of Trustees, and as the chairperson of the Spiritual Life Board at Satchidananda Ashram–Yogaville, VA.

Interested in fostering interfaith understanding and harmony, she is featured in the interfaith documentary entitled, With One Voice. She also compiled and edited the Lotus Prayer Book, a collection of prayers from various faith traditions, and Enlightening Tales as told by Sri Swami Satchidananda. She served as contributing editor for The Breath of Life: Integral Yoga Pranayama, as well as a senior writer for the Integral Yoga Magazine. A publication of hers, Awakening: Aspiration to Realization Through Integral Yoga, describes the spiritual path and provides guidance for the journey.

Senior Sannyasi, E-RYT 500, C-IAYT

Swami Ramananda

Swami Ramananda is the Executive Director of the Integral Yoga Institute in San Francisco and a greatly respected senior teacher in the Integral Yoga tradition who has been practicing Yoga for over 40 years. Ramananda offers practical methods of integrating the timeless teachings and practices of Yoga into daily life and transforming the painful aspects of human experience into steps toward realizing one’s full potential.

He leads beginner, intermediate, and advanced level Yoga teacher training programs in San Francisco, and offers a variety of programs in many locations in the US, Europe, and South America. Ramananda trains Yoga teachers to bring Yoga into corporate, hospital, and medical settings and has taught mind/body wellness programs in many locations. He is a founding board member of the Yoga Alliance, a national registry that supports and promotes Yoga teachers as professionals. His warmth, wisdom, and sense of humor have endeared him to many.

See more at

Senior Sannyasi, E-RYT 500, C-IAYT

Swami Vidyananda

Swami Vidyananda has been practicing Yoga since 1969, and teaching Integral Yoga internationally since 1973. She has served as a Yoga Therapist since 1979. She co-developed the Integral Yoga Stress Management Teacher Training program with Swami Ramananda.

Vidyananda has taught in many therapeutic programs, including Smith Center Cancer Retreats, and Yoga for persons with eating disorders. She has taught Yoga for Stress Relief around the world. She trained as a hospital chaplain at the University of Virginia Hospital in Charlottesville.

For many years she traveled with Sri Swami Satchidananda serving as his translator into French. She lives in Yogaville, Virginia, where she teaches Meditation and all branches of Integral Yoga.

Rev. Paraman Barsel

Reverend Paraman Barsel has been a disciple of Sri Swami Satchidananda since 1970. He has served as president of Yogaville West, the Washington D.C. IYI, New York IYI, and Yogaville East in Connecticut and has served on the Board of Trustees and Spiritual Life Board at Satchidananda Ashram-Yogaville, Virginia, and was co-coordinator of the LOTUS dedication. Paraman was the editorial consultant on Inside the Yoga Sutras by Rev. Jaganath Carrera as well as several of Sri Swami Satchidananda’s works including the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. He helped to design the first Integral Yoga Hatha Basic Teacher Training program and has taught Jnana Yoga, Raja Yoga, and the other branches of Integral Yoga for many years. He was ordained into the Integral Yoga Ministry in 2007. In addition to teaching, he currently helps with the Ashram Prison Project and, with his wife, has co-hosted the Yoga Sutra study gatherings in their home for many years.


Rev. Sam Rudra Swartz

Reverend Rudra was introduced to Integral Yoga and the teachings of Sri Swami Satchidananda in 2001. Since that time, he has been active in the Integral Yoga organization, living at Yogaville and the Integral Yoga Institute of New York. He recently completed Accessible Yoga Teacher Training offered through Integral Yoga Institute in San Francisco. Rudra graduated from Boston University’s College of Fine Arts and is an active musician. He leads Kidding Around Yoga (KAY) teacher trainings and has served as a Camp Yogaville director for 7 years.

Rudra is a graduate of the All Faiths Seminary in New York, where he received ordination from the late Rabbi Joseph Gelberman as an interfaith minister. He is also an Integral Yoga Minister.

Mazin Jamal

Mazin Jamal is the founder of Holistic Underground, a leadership and organizational development agency for social movements and businesses. He honed his craft working with leaders and teams around the world, from Malaysia, Ghana, and Sudan to the urban heart of the San Francisco Bay Area.

From capacity building and strategic planning to communicating across differences, Mazin has cultivated a unique approach based upon experiential skill-building, values and integrity alignment, and compassionate space for learning.

As visionary tech start-ups and socially conscious businesses, dissatisfied or overwhelmed by traditional diversity and inclusion training began to call upon his work, Mazin has developed a unique approach that calls forth the integrity, creativity, and wisdom of each participant, empowering them to apply concepts and insights into authentic action.


Dr. Amrita Sandra McLanahan

Dr. McLanahan is a graduate with high honors of Swarthmore College, and she has an M.D. from Wayne University and a family practice specialty from the University of Massachusetts.

For twenty years, she served as director of stress management for Dr. Dean Ornish’s research, using Yoga and lifestyle changes to reverse heart disease and cancer. She now practices integrative medicine at Yogaville.

Dr. McLanahan has made multiple study trips to India and Asia, where she visited centers that use Yoga and other natural means to prevent and treat disease. She is the co-author of the book, Surgery and Its Alternatives and helped to write the books, Dr. Yoga and After Cancer Care. She also appears in two DVDs, Living Yoga and Health, Yoga, and Anatomy.

For twenty years, she served as director of stress management for Dr. Dean Ornish’s research, using Yoga and lifestyle changes to reverse heart disease and cancer. She now practices integrative medicine at Yogaville. Dr. McLanahan has made multiple study trips to India and Asia, where she visited centers that use Yoga and other natural means to prevent and treat disease. She is the co-author of the book, Surgery and Its Alternatives and helped to write the books, Dr. Yoga and After Cancer Care. She also appears in two DVDs, Living Yoga and Health, Yoga, and Anatomy.

Register Now

Join us for the online New Year’s Retreat to gather the spiritual wisdom and strength needed to face day-to-day surprises with the guidance of your own inner light. This retreat offers support to handle all of life’s challenges.