So this past weekend Boyfriend Yogi, a friend and I all went out to Yogaville for the 25th anniversary celebration of the LOTUS Shrine.
Yogaville is kind of a bizarre place (Sorry IY folks, just my personal opinion, though I do love your natural foods store in town). The ashram is out in the middle of nowhere about 45 minutes to an hour away from Charlottesville. It was founded by Swami Satchidananda, a disciple of Swami Sivananda. Satchidananda was the swami who did the opening invocation at Woodstock, which is kind of cool and gives you some insight into the kind of followers he had. I remember going to the Sivananda ashram for a class and a short visit when I was in Rishikesh a few years ago. Although Sivananda was obviously Shaivite, he did teach a Universalist philosphy of sorts. Satchidananda defintely took this interfaith message and brought it to his followers in the US.
The LOTUS (Light Of Truth Universal Shrine) was built as an interfaith shrine and a hall for meditation at the ashram. In the center of the LOTUS is this huge white neon tube…kind of like a lava lamp. It humms and buzzes and makes this weird glow throughout the room. Not exactly what I would consider to be conducive to meditation, but hey, that was a different era! This is just one of the many things that makes this place feel like a time-warp and we are all stuck in the 70’s! Anyways, it’s kind of a fun place to go visit. You would never really expect to find it out in rural Buckingham County.
I think we also have to thank Yogaville for its presence here because I believe that without it, Charlottesville would not be as open and fertile an environment as it is, welcoming all sorts of yoga, meditation, and alternative therapies and conscious living ideas etc., etc.,. For a little Southern town, we have got it going on!
The LOTUS is spectacularly baby pink. Unfortunately this photo doesn’t really show it well. I think this is the first time ever that Hipstamatic took a NOT-COOL photo. Oh well….