About Yoga & Meditation

What is yoga?

The Sanskrit root of the word “yoga” is yuj, which means to “yoke,” “bind,” or “join together” and also indicates “union” or “oneness.” There are many forms of yoga, so defining yoga in an all-encompassing way can be challenging.

At the spiritual level, yoga offers a means to purify our body and psyche, thus creating the conditions to reveal the True Essence of our Being, the Spiritual Heart. Ultimately, any path by which we realize that there is no separation between our deepest nature and the essence of the entire cosmos can be designated as yoga.

Therefore, yoga can be defined as both an empirical spiritual path and a philosophy, revealing the union between us (the individual consciousness or soul) and the Universal Consciousness or Spirit.

Apart from this ultimate aspiration, yoga also has countless “secondary” benefits on different levels. These include:

  • Better physical health
  • A calmer mind
  • Increased sensitivity to subtle energy
  • An enhanced ability to embrace and detach from difficult emotions
  • More harmonious relationships
  • More compassion
  • A greater sense of meaning and purpose

For more information about what yoga is, please visit this page.

What is meditation?

Meditation is a means of transforming and, even, transcending the mind in order to reveal a deeper dimension of our consciousness—pure awareness (which, according to the yogic tradition, is our real nature).

Meditation is, essentially, a contemplative practice by which the awareness of this pure awareness is emphasized.

Meditation techniques develop concentration, clarity, emotional purification, awareness, and a lucid insight into the true nature of things. Through a perseverant meditation practice we learn to witness and transcend the patterns and habits of the mind.

Cultivating the witnessing attitude we (re)discover the natural means to cultivate more positive ways of being.

With regular work and patience, these nourishing, focused states of mind can deepen into profoundly peaceful and expanded states of consciousness.

Like yoga, meditation is also a term that covers many practices, approaches, and visions under its umbrella.

Meditation is not just a trance state or a relaxation technique. It is not even a visualization practice. Meditation is essentially a commitment to Reality—an aspiration to be aware.

What is Hridaya Yoga?

The Sanskrit word hridaya means Heart. Hridaya Yoga is a spiritual path whose main purpose is to create the proper conditions for the revelation our Real Self, atman, or, the Spiritual Heart, as it is named in many traditions.

The Heart can be seen as the “meeting place” for all those who wish to live in a sacred manner. It was often affirmed that the Heart is our real home. Therefore, Hridaya Yoga is simply an invitation to be at home, trusting in what we really are, enjoying this centering and awareness.

The core of Hridaya Yoga consists in a specific form of meditation and the teachings about nonduality expressed in the Hridaya Silent Meditation Retreat.

The Hridaya Hatha Yoga practice and vision (as taught in the Hridaya Yoga Retreat: Module 1 Intensive is in complete coherence with these contemplative attitudes.

In Hridaya Hatha Yoga, the asanas (postures) are performed while maintaining the inner spiritual attitudes recommended in the traditional texts of Tantra, Hatha Yoga, and Kashmir Shaivism. They are oriented towards getting intimate inner knowledge of the physical body, of its bio-energies, and of our Real Nature, the Spiritual Heart.

Ultimately, a transfiguration of the body appears which helps us understand that spirituality is not about being free FROM the body, but about being free IN the body.

For more information about Hridaya Hatha Yoga, please visit this page.

What is Hridaya Meditation?

Hridaya Meditation is a practice inspired by the teachings of Ramana Maharshi.
It includes:

  • The awareness of the Heart Center
  • A very simple but powerful way to detach from thoughts
  • Self-enquiry as a way to let go of any identification with the body, sensations, emotions, thoughts, and mind

You can read more about Hridaya Meditation here.

What is the Hridaya Silent Meditation Retreat?

The Hridaya Silent Meditation Retreat is a unique immersion experience that focuses on accessing our real and essential nature, atman, through an artful integration of meditation and yoga techniques.

The retreat was specifically created to offer an understanding of what Self-enquiry meditation is and to open us toward the Consciousness of Oneness.

During this retreat, we address broad aspects of the Spiritual Heart from a variety of traditions, including esoteric Christianity, Sufism, and Kashmir Shaivism. The atmosphere is one of agape and strong spiritual support.

The retreat program and guidelines aim to create an experience that resembles a solitary retreat (such as one in a cave). Thus, the conditions are optimal to open toward deep states of consciousness, to amplify spiritual aspiration, and to support an interiorization that brings the awakening and blossoming of the soul.

In the advanced stages of their practice, all the paths of authentic spiritual traditions merge into the same ineffable Reality. The Hridaya Retreat refers to that same Spirit of Oneness and can be seen as a unique integration of Advaita Vedanta, Sufism, Tantra, Shaivism, and Dzogchen.

During the Hridaya Silent Meditation Retreat, you will be guided to this direct understanding, where the search for meaning ends in surrender to the domain of revelation.

No previous meditation or yoga experience is necessary as this retreat is designed for beginner and advanced meditators alike.

You can find more information about the Hridaya Silent Meditation Retreat here.

What is the Hridaya Yoga Retreat: Module 1 Intensive?

The Hridaya Yoga Retreat: Module 1 Intensive is a holistic course that presents the main aspects of traditional yoga. The course is held monthly and unfolds over 21 days, with morning and afternoon practices and an evening lecture daily.

It offers a life-changing journey in which fundamental spiritual topics are introduced in both a practical and theoretical way. The practice of hatha yoga provides intimate inner knowledge of the physical body, bio-energies, chakras (energy centers), emotions, and mind. It creates the conditions for the revelation of our ultimate nature, and therefore, a contemplative mindset and the witnessing attitude are an important part of the practice.

Another important part of this journey consists in enjoying the experience of a sincere and heart-opening community that has represented for many students a revelation in itself, an (unfortunately, too rare) example of harmony, integrity, authenticity, and humbleness. Community activities include daily morning meditations, showings of documentaries and yoga-related films, bhajans (devotional singing evenings), pujas (traditional Indian devotional ceremonies), and evening lectures and Q&A sessions with Sahajananda or other experienced teachers. The Hridaya community expresses the kindness, the supportive attitude, and the strength of connections found in a spiritual family or an ashram.

You can read more about Module 1 here. For more information about the vision of the Hridaya community, please visit this page.

Do you have drop-in classes?

For those who do not wish to participate in Module 1, we usually offer drop-in classes Mondays-Saturdays from 8:30-10:30 am at our Mazunte location. Drop-in classes are by donation and feature Spanish translation as needed. Please note that drop-ins are not held during Hridaya Silent Meditation Retreats. To make sure drop-ins are being offered when you would like to visit, please email info@hridaya-yoga.com.

There are yogic terms I don’t understand, where can I find their explanations?

Many yogic terms used throughout this website and in many of our meditation retreats and yoga classes are defined in our “glossary.” Either visit the glossary page or hover your cursor over words you do not understand to bring up definitions.

Our articles page and blog also provide a lot of useful related information.

I would like to know more about meditation, yoga, and spirituality.

The science of yoga is very vast. The literature dedicated to these topics is immense and, although there are a few gems, many books are irrelevant. For a greater understanding of yoga and meditation, we have organized some of the available information for you.

Can my children attend yoga courses?

We do not currently have yoga classes designed for children.

Children aged 7 and over may attend drop-in yoga classes free of charge as long as an adult accompanies them and they do not disrupt the class.

Children ages 13 and over may attend the Hridaya Yoga Retreat: Module 1 Intensive. For those under the age of 13, permission to attend must be granted by the Hridaya teacher who is responsible for that group, on an individual basis.

For those under the age of 18, attendance at workshops and Hridaya Silent Meditation Retreats requires the approval of Sahajananda or one of the experienced Hridaya teachers.

For more information about children attending classes please email info@hridaya-yoga.com.

Do I need to follow any ethical and moral guidelines?

Yes. According to Classical Yoga, the very foundation of yoga consists of some common sense guidelines called yama and niyama. They are:

  • Ahimsa – non-violence
  • Satya – truthfulness
  • Asteya – non-theft
  • Brahmacharya – sexual continence
  • Aparigraha – non-attachment
  • Saucha – purity
  • Santosha – contentment
  • Tapas – inner determination
  • Svadhyaya – self-study
  • Ishvarapranidhana – self-offering to the Divine

Apart from inspiring you to follow these traditional guidelines, at Hridaya Yoga we suggest that you cultivate 14 Fundamental Attitudes as a way to create the proper conditions for Self-Revelation: Aspiration, Compassion, Courage, Enthusiasm, Generosity, Goodness, Gratitude, Humbleness, Love, Patience, Perseverance, Pure intention, Sincerity, and Wisdom.

“Live your life as though your every act were to become a universal law.” -Immanuel Kant

Is practicing yoga dangerous?

Hatha yoga practiced in a forceful and pushy way, without a loving awareness of the body, can be harmful. Some advanced techniques of hatha yoga can be dangerous if practiced without proper preparation and the guidance of a qualified teacher. Some forms of so-called meditation in which people are looking for trance-like states or are just lost in imagination can be dangerous as well. This is the reason that yoga should be learned only from competent teachers, such as those at Hridaya, who always support you in developing awareness, lucidity, and common sense.

How can I integrate my yoga practice into my daily life?

Actually, in Hridaya Yoga we speak about the integration of daily life into spirituality, since a real spiritual practice should change the old, selfish paradigms associated with daily life. Thus, yoga and meditation are not just a means to be more efficient in our daily tasks while we maintain old patterns. Rather, they encourage us to create a coherence between our spiritual intuitions, aspirations, and daily lives. During our Module 1 course and in the Hridaya Silent Meditation Retreat this topic is elaborated upon and practical advice is offered.

How do I connect with Hridaya Yoga around the world?

The Hridaya Yoga approach is relatively new, but our school is expanding quickly in many places around the world. There are a number of centers and international locations where Hridaya Meditation and Hatha Yoga is offered. Click here for a page listing our current possibilities. From this page, you can find the contact details of our international centers.

For a list of Hridaya teachers worldwide, please click here.

Hridaya Silent Meditation Retreats

Why should I do a Hridaya Silent Meditation Retreat?

We do a silent meditation retreat especially when we feel an intense calling towards the depths of our being. Or, we do a retreat when we feel the need to stop our ordinary activities for a while in order to objectify the nature of our impulses and see the reasons behind our decisions and actions with more clarity and detachment.

In this way, we purify our subconscious mind and start to more clearly see what is false in our lives. We also get closer to the real meaning of existence.

Even though there may be difficult times during retreat, we have the feeling that we are going deeper down a path of truthfulness, clarity, love, and detachment from old patterns.

Often, this process may appear completely new to us. To follow its call, we feel the need for discipline and dedication.

In every Hridaya Meditation we are invited to let go of our ego. We have the feeling of entering a path on which we cannot move forward other than in sacred solitude. It is like we decide to quit our personal world of fears, worries, traumas, thoughts, impulses, reactions, etc., in order to explore a new dimension—a world of awareness, peace, joy, and freedom. Thus, we start an inner journey into our Real Nature, feeling that we step forward on a path that we may have never stepped on before.

During a silent meditation retreat, the tendency of looking outside for fulfillment shifts to exploring ourselves from within. This shift of awareness makes us discover the space of Stillness in which all thoughts arise and dissipate. It is what we name “the awareness of awareness itself.”

Awareness also brings more sensitivity to the mind, emotions, and body. In this openness, old, painful memories and patterns emerge, are embraced without judgment and with awareness and love, and, thus, are released. The abandonment of what we were identified with (stories, dramas, fears, etc.) brings the happiness of pure existence, the freedom of awareness. Meditation becomes an always-new, conscious surrender into the unlimited, unknown “land” of our inner universe, into the secret infinity that dwells in us.

This inner path can be compared with facing death. The letting go of attachments has the same significance as evoking death in any genuine initiating ritual. In initiations, death (which is a death of the ego) symbolizes the fundamental spiritual path that starts from the individual, limited consciousness and ends in the Consciousness of Oneness.

Most often, it can be a long process with different stages. But the fundamental and fascinating phase is the conscious step from personal to transpersonal, from limitation to absolute freedom, from manifestation to transcendence.

The program and the guidelines of the Hridaya Silent Meditation Retreat are meant to create the proper conditions to experience the calming of the mind and the blossoming of the Heart—the inner organ of direct Spiritual Knowledge.

It gives us the taste of the essential “dimension” of our being—Stillness.

Why are the meditation retreats silent?

In a silent retreat it is much easier to free ourselves from the countless distractions of daily life. The mind becomes calmer and we rediscover the beauty of simplicity, of nature, of pure presence. The retreat offers us the space and time to stop and meet ourselves in a deeper way.

Silence and solitude open us to the Stillness that is our Real Nature. The genuine touch of Stillness brings regeneration, clarity, strength, rest, and trust.

Stillness exists beyond the layers of words, thoughts, and emotions. Stillness is the ocean in which all sounds and movements appear as waves. Sound and silence, movement and immobility are inseparable in the embrace of awareness and Stillness. Thoughts depend on the Stillness of pure awareness exactly as waves depend on the ocean.

Through the power of time, everything returns to Stillness. Being settled in this center—Stillness—brings significance, vigor, and enthusiasm to any aspect of life. When we lose our connection with Stillness we become inefficient and weak.

When agitation ceases in our being, we can know this directly, in an intimate and obvious way. Through Hridaya Meditation, the awareness of the difference between thinking and just Being emerges in a natural way.

If thoughts and activity is formative for the personality, Stillness is trans-formative in the sense that it reveals to us the uniqueness and beauty that it is, that we are.

“In silence the lines of the mouth are like the closed wings of a butterfly. When the word starts moving, the wings open and the butterfly flies away. […]

Silence reveals itself in a thousand inexpressible forms: in the quiet of dawn, in the noiseless aspiration of trees towards the sky, in the stealthy descent of night, in the silent changing of the seasons, in the falling moonlight, trickling down into the night like a rain of silence, but above all in the silence of the inward soul,—all these forms of silence are nameless: all the clearer and surer is the word that arises out of and in contrast to the nameless silence.” -Max Picard

It is in the sanctuary of nature’s silent places, with mindful attention, that the true liberation of the heart can be obtained.” -Buddha

What if I have never meditated before?

Hridaya Silent Meditation Retreats are designed for everyone, from those who have never tried meditation to advanced meditators.

The daily schedule starts gently, with meditation sessions broken into short, one-hour (or less) segments, increasing to longer sessions by the end of the retreat. In addition to meditation sessions, each day’s schedule includes a 1.5 hour morning hatha yoga class, lectures, and time for questions and answers (with written questions).

In meditation, there should be no effort or difficulty, because all that we have “to do” is to remain in the center of our being, and each time we observe that we are taken away by thoughts, sensations, emotions, etc. we simply come back, again and again and again, without reaction, frustration, or tension, but with serenity and patience.

The great jnana yogi Nisargadatta Maharaj speaks about the naturalness and simplicity of meditation, which is essentially a Self-awareness.

“Q: … there must be a way for all to tread—with no conditions attached.

M: There is such a way, open to all, on every level, in every walk of life. Everybody is aware of himself. The deepening and broadening of Self-awareness is the royal way. Call it mindfulness, or witnessing, or just attention — it is for all. None is unripe for it and none can fail.

What should I expect from this retreat?

During the retreat you will learn techniques to:

  • Still your mind in order to open to the background of Pure Awareness
  • Engage in introspection, going beyond the psychological realm, into the Real Self
  • Explore the echoes that the question “Who am I?” creates in your being
  • Experience the unfolding, eternal NOW
  • Live with an Open Heart
  • Come into more intimacy with the True Self
  • Expand your consciousness into Cosmic Consciousness

Our aspiration is to support you in a genuine journey meant to bring a profound understanding of the real nature of existence.

Ultimately, there should be no expectations, because what we really are cannot be reduced to some physical or mental effects. The spiritual journey is not like a mathematical equation in which when doing the same operations you always expect the same effects.

Nevertheless, what we are “doing” in a retreat is simply creating proper physical and psychological conditions in order to let the Divine Reality be revealed in our Heart.

It may be quite possible that you will experience some profound energetic or psychological effects during meditation. Do not cling to them. In the openness of your being, much more than that is happening.

Are there guidelines for the retreat?

There is an Orientation Session held the day prior to the start of the retreat where all the guidelines are outlined. Hridaya Silent Meditation Retreat participants must attend the retreat Registration and Orientation Session. It is not possible to register for retreats after this session. For more information, please visit our Retreat Guidelines and Administrative Details pages.

Who leads the retreats?

Retreats are lead by Sahajananda or other experienced Hridaya Meditation teachers. Please email info@hridaya-yoga.com for information about who is leading each retreat.

When and where are Hridaya Silent Meditation Retreats offered?

3- and 10-day Hridaya retreats are offered monthly in Mazunte, Mexico. For a complete schedule of events in Mazunte please visit our Calendar.

Sahajananda also gives retreats elsewhere in the world. For a complete listing of his events please visit Sahajananda’s Calendar.

What is the meditation retreat schedule?

The daily program may differ according to location.
An example of the daily schedule in our Hridaya center in Mazunte:
Morning session:
7:00 – 9:00 Meditation
9:00 – 9:45 Breakfast
9:45 – 11:00 Lecture
11:00 – 12:30 Hridaya Hatha Yoga
12:30 – 13:00 Meditation

Afternoon session:
15:30 – 18:30 Meditation
18:30 – 19:00 Individual practice
19:00 – 19:45 Dinner
19:45 – 21:00 Questions & Answers and Lecture
21:00 – 21:30 Meditation

More information may be found on our Retreat Schedule page.

What if I want to extend from 3 to 10 days?

If you originally joined the retreat for just 3 days, you are welcome to extend your stay to complete all 10 days of the retreat. Just send a note to the Retreat Coordinator by the afternoon of day 3 so that proper arrangements can be made.

If you think you might want to extend from 3 to 10 days, please check with the Registration Office prior to the retreat to inquire about additional fees for the course, accommodation, and food. If you decide to extend, you can give the Retreat Coordinator the additional amount required and s/he will make sure that your registration is complete.

What is the price of a meditation retreat?

At our Center in Mazunte, Mexico a 3-day Hridaya Silent Meditation Retreat is 1,600 Mexican pesos and a 10-day retreat is 4,000 pesos. We offer a low-income price for those with financial constraints and a supporting price for those who have the resources to make a donation to the school. For more information about these pricing levels, please visit our Registration Policies page or contact info@hridaya-yoga.com.

Does the price include food and accommodation?

The retreat course fee does not include food or accommodation, but both are available at the Hridaya Yoga Center. Please email info@hridaya-yoga.com for any food or accommodation questions.

When should I register?

It is best to register as soon as possible as spaces do fill up quickly. We allow registration up until the Registration and Orientation Session held on the day before the retreat.

Where can I find out more about the 49-Day Retreat?

For more information about the 49-Day Prathyabhijna Retreat, please see this page. For answers to frequently asked questions about the retreat, please visit the 49-Day Retreat FAQ.

Yoga Retreats (Modules)

What is the Hridaya Intensive Yoga Retreat: Module 1?

The Hridaya Intensive Yoga Retreat: Module 1 is a holistic course that presents the main aspects of traditional yoga. The course is held monthly and unfolds over 21 days, with morning and afternoon practices and an evening lecture daily.

It offers a life-changing journey in which fundamental spiritual topics are introduced in both a practical and theoretical way. The practice of hatha yoga provides intimate inner knowledge of the physical body, bio-energies, chakras (energy centers), emotions, and mind. It creates the conditions for the revelation of our ultimate nature, and therefore, a contemplative mindset and the witnessing attitude are an important part of the practice.

Another important part of this journey consists in enjoying the experience of a sincere and heart-opening community that has represented for many students a revelation in itself, an (unfortunately, too rare) example of harmony, integrity, authenticity, and humbleness. Community activities include daily morning meditations, showings of documentaries and yoga-related films, bhajans (devotional singing evenings), pujas (traditional Indian devotional ceremonies), and evening lectures and Q&A sessions with Sahajananda or other experienced teachers. The Hridaya community expresses the kindness, the supportive attitude, and the strength of connections found in a spiritual family or an ashram.

You can read more about Module 1 here. For more information about the vision of the Hridaya community, please visit this page.

What teachings does Module 1 include?

The Hridaya Intensive Yoga Retreat: Module 1 aims, through its vision, methods, and attitudes, to make the teachings of the Consciousness of Oneness resonate more deeply within each of us. Our highest priority is to keep the universality of the message, beyond dogma and biases.

The teachings of Module 1 unfold over four stages:
Week 1 – Introduction – Subtle Structures
Week 2 – Purifications
Week 3 – Spiritual Transformations and Grace
Week 4 – Integration In Daily Life

The curriculum of the Hridaya Intensive Yoga Retreat: Module 1 includes:

  • Hridaya Hatha Yoga principles and the stages of doing an asana. The comprehensive explanation of both the practice and the symbolic significance of more than 40 asanas, yogic techniques, and warm-up exercises
  • The yogic system of chakras – yogi psychology
  • About nadis (subtle energy channels), the 5 subtle bodies, and the polarity of energy
  • Ramana Maharshi’s Self-Enquiry Method
  • The infinite tenderness and power of the Spiritual Heart
  • Diet recommendations for yogis; proper diet for a healthy life
  • Yogic purification techniques
  • Cultivating proper attitudes for a Hridaya life (a life lived with an Open Heart)
  • Overcoming laxity and excitement in spirituality
  • Yoga Nidra – The Yoga of Sleep/Lucid Dreaming (The Yoga of Sleep in the Tibetan tradition)
  • Yogic Practices for the sublimation of energy
  • Bhakti Yoga – The yoga of devotion
  • The concept of Karma and Karma Yoga – The yoga of action done with detachment
  • Pranayama – the control of energy using rhythmic breathing
  • Simple concentration and meditation techniques

Is the training in hatha yoga intensive?

Yes. The Module 1 course meets for 20 days, plus an additional day when we join together to perform a traditional yogic purification practice. Each day of the course includes two hatha yoga classes, an optional hour of meditation, and an evening lecture. The program is designed both to stretch your body and to expand your consciousness.

Although the schedule is intensive, the Hridaya Yoga approach is contemplative. The asana sessions are geared to bring relaxation and happiness rather than effort or strain. Because of this, Hridaya Hatha Yoga is perfect for all levels of practitioner, and every student is encouraged to honor the limits of his or her physical body while going deeper in awareness.

What is the schedule of Module 1?

7:00 – 8:00 am: Hridaya Meditation (optional)
8:30 – 10:45 am: Hatha Yoga
3:30 – 5:30 pm: Hatha Yoga
6:30 – 8:30 pm: Lecture

Schedule subject to change. Please contact info@hridaya-yoga.com for the up-to-date course schedule.

Do I need experience to join Module 1?

No, the Module 1 course is a good fit for both beginners and advanced practitioners.

Do I need to reserve in advance to join Module 1?

It is best to reserve your spot as early as possible to avoid the disappointment of the course being fully booked when you would like to attend.

However, if space allows, you are welcome to join the course at any time.

When can I start Module 1?

If space allows, you are welcome to join the course at any time. However, in order to enjoy the coherence of the theory and the gradual unfolding of the yoga practice, it is best to start with the first day of the module, as announced in the Calendar.

How much does Module 1 cost?

Please see our Price List for up-to-date course fee information.

We offer a low-income price for those with financial constraints. For more information about pricing levels, please visit our Registration Guidelines page or contact info@hridaya-yoga.com.

What does the course fee include?

The course fee includes attendance at all class sessions (meditations, hatha yoga practices, and lectures) for the 20 days of the course. It also includes a 225-page course booklet, personal guidance, weekly Q&A sessions, group meetings, and the opportunity to join a 1-day traditional yogic cleanse.

Food and accommodation are charged separately. For food or accommodation questions, please contact: info@hridaya-yoga.com.

What courses do you offer after Module 1?

After Module 1 finishes, we strongly recommend that you start a 3- or 10-day Hridaya Silent Meditation Retreat. You are also very welcome to continue to deepen your hatha yoga practice by joining higher Hridaya Yoga Modules.

Can I repeat Module 1 classes?

Yes. Once you have completed the course you are welcome to repeat any Module 1 classes free of charge. Please note that this benefit is contingent on space being available in the yoga hall.

What is required to graduate from Module 1?

In order to graduate from Module 1 you must complete at least 16 of the 20 days of the course. Please note that a “complete” day means attendance at all 3 class sessions (morning and afternoon hatha yoga practices and the evening lecture).

Is it possible to attend Module 1 on a drop-in basis?

Yes. You are welcome to join the course for as long as you desire. However, students receive the greatest benefits when they commit to the entire course. The Module 1 Intensive can be seen as a spiritual journey in itself. In addition to the practice sessions and teachings offered an important element is the presence in a community that treasures awareness, love, and truthfulness…

Practically, there is a substantial discount offered for signing up for the entire course. And, you will not be able to move on to higher Hridaya Modules without first completing at least 16 full days of Module 1.

I am already a yoga teacher. Can I start in advanced modules?

To make sure that all students receive the most benefit, we require that all students start with Module 1 regardless of their past experiences. Comprehensive traditional hatha yoga theory and practice in coherence with the jnana yoga approach of meditation is not offered in other yoga schools, as far as we know…

Also, we know that the manner, accuracy, depth, or completeness of information, techniques, and methodology taught by other yoga teachers can be very relative.

Hridaya teachers have a responsibility to provide you a proper foundation, to explain fundamental yogic concepts, and to gradually guide you towards both Self-enquiry meditation and more advanced forms of hatha yoga that involve the intense arousal of Kundalini Shakti.

Is Hridaya Yoga associated with any other yoga schools?

Hridaya Yoga offers a unique and coherent approach in which meditation and hatha yoga are used in synergy to reveal the Consciousness of Oneness. There are many similarities (but also some differences) to the way hatha yoga is taught by Agama Yoga.

Swami Vivekananda and Sahajananda, the founders of Agama and Hridaya, respectively, are very old friends and, in their youth, studied with the same teacher and practiced a similar form of yoga in Romania.

I have completed Agama Level 1. Can I start in advanced classes?

To make sure that all students receive the most benefit, we require that all students start with Module 1 regardless of their past experiences. We do have special pricing available for students who have graduated from Agama Level 1.

For inquiries regarding this, please email info@hridaya-yoga.com.

Can I take Hridaya Module 2 or 3?

In order to enroll in Module 2 you must have graduated from Module 1, completing at least 16 full days. In order to attend higher levels, you must have graduated from the preceding level. Successful completion of Module 2 requires attending at least 10 full days of the course. For Modules 3 and higher, attendance at a minimum of 8 classes is required to move on to the next level.

How do I register for Modules 2 and up?

You can register in person at the registration kiosk at the Hridaya Center in Mazunte or you can register via our website by visiting the Calendar and choosing the course you prefer.

What is the Module 2 Schedule?

Module 2 meets 13 days over the course month. The daily schedule includes a hatha yoga practice (8:30-11:30 am) and a lecture (12:15-2:15 pm). As the meeting days are subject to change each month, please email info@hridaya-yoga.com for the current course schedule.

What is the Module 3 Schedule?

Module 3 meets 10 times over the course month. Each class runs from 8:30 am-12:30 pm. As the meeting days are subject to change each month, please email info@hridaya-yoga.com for the current course schedule.

Workshops

What workshops do you offer?

The Hridaya Center in Mazunte offers workshops every month on a variety of topics. Workshops supplement our course program by allowing students the space to go deeper into different aspects of the teachings.

Metaphysical workshops:

Tantra workshops:

Practical workshops:

Please visit our Calendar for a comprehensive list of current workshops.

When should I register for workshops?

It is best to register as soon as possible as spaces do fill up quickly. We allow registration at the Registration Kiosk up until the morning of the first day of the workshop.

Can I repeat a workshop?

Yes. You are more than welcome to repeat any workshop for 50% off the original price.

What is the price of a workshop?

Workshop prices are as follows:
2-day: 1,650 MXN
3-day: 2,500 MXN
4-day: 3,300 MXN
5-day: 4,000 MXN

We offer a low-income price for those with financial constraints and a supporting price for those who have the resources to make a donation to the school. For more information about these pricing levels, please visit our Registration Policies page or contact info@hridaya-yoga.com.

Does the price include food and accommodation?

The price of the workshop covers only the course fee. For inquiries about food and accommodation during your stay, please email info@hridaya-yoga.com.

Hridaya Teacher Training Course

Please refer to the HTTC FAQ.

Dark Retreats

What is a dark retreat?

Dark retreats are meditation retreats in rooms completely devoid of light. They have been known in many religions, traditions, and medical systems (Hinduism, Tibetan Buddhism, Taoism, Christianity, Ayurveda, Hermeticism, ancient Greek medicine, etc.) to induce profound shifts in consciousness and to bring many beneficial effects.

In India, they are called Kaya Kalpa (“body transformation”) and are known as a highly regenerative practice on the physical level. But, since the purpose of such a retreat should be more than just bodily rejuvenation, we prefer the name “Dark Retreat.”

We invite you to deepen your meditation practice by experiencing a private retreat in our Dark Room, a suite especially prepared to admit no light and designed with a proper ventilation system and air conditioning. During the retreat, we can provide meals and other support for your spiritual practice.

You may choose the length of your dark retreat. However, for those doing their first dark retreat we recommend an experience of no more than 3 days.

For more information about dark retreats please visit our Dark Room Retreats page.

Are there any requirements for doing a dark retreat?

Having a previous meditation practice (such as having attended a 10-day Hridaya Silent Meditation Retreat) is strongly recommended before starting a dark retreat.

For those who have not practiced Hridaya Meditation before it is compulsory to have a meeting with Sahajananda or another experienced Hridaya teacher for a short psychological evaluation and to receive advice about the proper attitude for such a retreat.

Those who want to do a dark retreat for more than 7 days must meet with Sahajananda or another experienced Hridaya teacher for approval.

I have never done such a retreat. How long do you recommend staying?

We suggest starting with 2 or 3 days.

What is the price of a Dark Retreat? Does the price include food?

Dark Room Fees
1 Night: $550 MXN
2 Nights: $1000 MXN
3 Nights: $1350 MXN
4-6 Nights: $425 MXN per night
7 Nights: $2700 MXN
8-29 Nights: $325 MXN per night
30 Nights: $8100 MXN
31+ Nights: $265 MXN per night

Nightly rates do not include food, but this can be arranged separately. Check in is at 7:00 pm and check-out is at 6:45 pm unless other arrangements have been made.

Please email info@hridaya-yoga.com for more information or to make a booking.

Pratyabhijna Retreat (49-Day Silent Meditation Retreat in Solitude)

What is the 49-day retreat?

Pratyabhijna is a Sanskrit word that means “recognition” and, in a spiritual context, refers to the recognition of our divine nature.

The “Pratyabhijna Retreat” is an invitation to all those who have the calling to take their existing meditation practice to a deeper level. It is an opportunity for those with a profound aspiration to deepen their spiritual understanding and to stabilize in the Consciousness of Oneness.

The classical 49-day period begins with participation in a 10-day Hridaya Silent Meditation Retreat led by Sahajananda, followed by 39 days devoted to intensive meditation practice in seclusion. During the weeks of solitary meditation Sahajananda will continue to provide personal supervision, guiding each practitioner through the retreat via written communication.

This Individual Silent Meditation Retreat suits seasoned Hridaya practitioners and adepts of other practices alike and requires strong determination and an attitude of surrender to the Spiritual Heart, Divine Consciousness.

The place in which the solitary retreat happens is Ambarina Hotel, which is on a remote and quiet beach about 40 minutes west of Mazunte.

Are there any requirements for participation?

In order to enroll in the 49-day Pratyabhijna Retreat, you have to submit an application form, which you can download from our 49-Day Retreat page. Sahajananda will review all applications and, of course, there are some considerations regarding physical and mental health.

To prepare for this retreat, Sahajananda recommends 2 hours of Hridaya Meditation daily.

What is the price? Does the price include food and accommodation?

For more detailed information, please read the 49-Day Prathyabhijna Retreat FAQ. You can contact 49days@hridaya-yoga.com for current pricing details.

General Orientation Information

Are there any attractions in the area?

      • Discover the magical coast of Oaxaca and the three coastal fishing villages of Mazunte, San Agustinillo, and Zipolite.
      • Relax by the calm bay in nearby San Agustinillo, where local cafés line the beach, sheltering under a multitude of coconut palms swaying in the breeze, or take your surfboard down to Mazunte or Zipolite for more action-packed surf.
      • Take the 30-minute walk from the Hridaya Center to Punta Cometa, the southernmost peninsula on the Pacific side of the North American continent. Here the sunsets are spectacular, with the fading light bouncing off the sand and cliff faces.
      • Join an early morning ocean tour where you will encounter a sea swarming with life. Whales (seasonal), dolphins, turtles, stingrays, and flying fish are often there to behold.
      • Leave at first light for the nearby ecological reserve of Ventanilla, a mangrove swamp where you can see crocodiles, deer, iguanas, countless birds, and more.
      • Join one of Ola Verde’s expeditions. They offer fantastic half-day river rafting excursions on the Río San Francisco, just north of Tonameca.
      • Visit the museum and aquarium of the Mexican Turtle Center in Mazunte and get to know the life of one of the greatest species in the world: the sea turtle.
      • Head to the breathtaking waterfalls of the Cascadas Mágicas de Copalitilla. Only 2 hours distant, but a world away.

What is the closest airport?

The closest airports are Huatulco and Puerto Escondido. Both are approximately one hour’s drive from Mazunte. For more information about getting to our Center, please visit our Finding Us page.

How do I get to Hridaya Center?

For more information about getting to our Center, please visit our Finding Us page.

Our phone number is +52 1 958 100 89 58 (inside Mexico, just dial 958 100 89 58 from a cell phone or 045 958 100 89 58 from a landline). Please call if you need any assistance.

Do you have a map of your location?

Please visit Google maps for a map of the entire area.

Do I need a visa to travel to Mexico?

For a list of countries that do not require a visa for tourist travel see this page.
For a list of countries that do require a visa for tourism visit this page.

Do I need to have health insurance?

Although health care in the area is generally affordable, it is always advisable to purchase travel insurance before any trip. There are many travel health insurance plans available online. Please do some research before leaving on your trip.

I have a young child. Do you know how I can arrange childcare?

Unfortunately, we are not able to assume responsibility for your children at this time, as we do not currently have facilities in place for childcare. However, we have had students with children who were able to find reliable local nannies and/or schools to accommodate them. To receive the most current childcare information, please email info@hridaya-yoga.com.

Is it safe there?

The area around our Center (the villages of Mazunte and San Agustinillo) is generally safe. Violent crime is extremely rare, although petty theft can happen. We do our best to provide a safe environment at the Hridaya Yoga Center, however we ask that all students exercise awareness in regards to personal safety and in the care of belongings. All personal belongings left in rooms, dormitories, and camping spaces are left at your own risk.

For added security, residents of the Center may store valuables in our safe. You can store cash (up to $3000 MXN, $200 USD, or equivalent), credit cards, and passports. Although we offer safekeeping of your valuables, we do not assume liability if they are lost or stolen.

We would also like to warn you about some scenarios in which trusting foreigners often find themselves vulnerable to crime, and to provide you some common-sense suggestions.

      • Please lock your backpack and luggage when you are traveling. Unlocked baggage may be subject to search and theft by unscrupulous people working or traveling on buses, trains, etc. While you are separated from your luggage, i.e., when it is the luggage compartment of a bus, while you are sleeping, etc., use zipper locks. The same goes for purses and daypacks when you are sleeping and traveling.
      • Do not leave your cabaña door or windows open or unlocked while you sleep at night. Similarly, lock your windows and door while you are away from home.
      • As theft can happen any time you travel, we strongly recommend that you take out an insurance policy before beginning your trip so that all valuable items are covered.
      • Please do not walk alone after dark. We strongly advise that if you walk the streets of Mazunte or San Agustinillo late at night, you should do so in a group. Please use a flashlight and take nothing of value with you. If you need assistance finding someone to walk home with after evening classes, please speak to your teacher who will make an announcement.

What is the quality of the food in the area?

Food is generally fresh and healthy, and many restaurants offer vegetarian and vegan options. There are many shops selling fruits, vegetables, juice, nuts, granola, cereals, etc.
Avoid eating from the street, as there is a high risk for getting bacteria and parasites.

How much does food cost in the area?

The Dining Room at the Hridaya Yoga Center offers breakfast and dinner during yoga courses and 3 meals per day during meditation retreats. Please see our price list for more information.

If you don’t eat at the Center, you should prepare to spend around 150 pesos per day. If you prepare your own food or eat at local comedores you may spend about 80 pesos daily. If you eat out at nicer places, have a big appetite, etc. you will likely spend more than 150 pesos per day.

What dietary recommendations do you have?

We strongly recommend that you maintain a vegetarian diet for the duration of your yoga courses, retreats, and/or workshops. Please also refrain from smoking cigarettes, drinking alcohol, and using drugs during your participation in our courses.

The yoga practice (both hatha yoga and meditation) helps tremendously in letting go off old habits and, even, addictions.

It purifies:

      • The physical body
      • The energy body (making it easier to perceive and activate the energy centers, chakras, and energy channels, nadis)
      • The subconscious mind, releasing and embracing emotions

Every module of the Hridaya Yoga Retreat is associated with an optional diet experience (juice cleanse, macrobiotic diet, fast, etc.) offered at our Center. Additionally, traditional yogic cleansing techniques (kriyas) are taught to accelerate this inner purification.

Traditionally, yoga practice always included a vegetarian diet. Practicing yoga with a different diet may be less efficient and even risky, especially when performing advanced hatha yoga practices that involve the awakening of kundalini energy.

Therefore, it is for your health and safety as well as for the efficiency of your spiritual transformation that you choose to adhere to these recommendations.

What restaurants do you recommend?

We have a vegan restaurant at the Hridaya Yoga Center. There are also numerous restaurants in the area that offer good food.

We recommend:

In Mazunte

      • Prasad (vegetarian)
      • Estrella Fugaz
      • Siddhartha
      • OceanoMar

In San Agustinillo

      • Luz del Sol (vegetarian)
      • Alejandro’s Restaurant
      • La Mora
      • México Lindo
      • La Termita

Is there internet access at the school?

There is Wi-Fi available free of charge for students staying at the Hridaya Center. Students staying off-site are welcome to purchase internet passes.

Internet access is now available in most hotels and resorts in San Agustinillo and Mazunte. There are also some internet cafés that offer cheap hourly rates. Many restaurants also offer Wi-Fi access so you can surf for free while you are there.

What do I need to bring with me?

For our suggested packing list, please see our What to Bring page.

How is the weather there?

There are two sharply defined seasons in Mazunte, the tropical/moist weather of summer and early fall, and the dry weather of winter and spring. In July, August, and September the increase in cloud cover can push the average daily temperatures below those of the warm late April, May, and early June. The advantage of visiting in the summer/fall is the lush, green landscape. During the winter/spring you will experience the green and brown combination of dry landscape.

You can find current weather conditions here.

Pricing & Payment

Why are your courses so cheap?

The main reason we keep our prices low is because our teachings are rooted in traditional yogic philosophy, according to which we should lead a simple life, respecting aparigraha, non-greediness. Both as students and teachers we learn to live in the spirit of yoga, in a decent, unpretentious, and natural way.

While the material aspects are not ignored, they are not our main focus. When we free ourselves from the obsession with material gain, the love and freedom of our being will naturally be emphasized and will blossom.

Another reason we are able to offer such reasonable prices is that many students and teachers support the community with their inspiration and natural gifts by working in different karma yoga (selfless service) activities.

We also have trust that life in itself is a generous and abundant offering when we learn how to honor and receive the gifts of existence.

While we offer “cheap” courses, we consider that the spiritual perfection that we essentially are should also be reflected in a high standard of quality for our teachings and services—there is nothing “cheap” about our offerings.

Why not just offer the courses exclusively on a donation basis?

While this option is not excluded in principle, we want to ensure the smoothness of our administrative operations—guaranteeing a fixed salary for our employees and honoring our other financial responsibilities (rent, etc.). Sometimes the donation approach is rooted in a mentality of offering something that may not be good enough, but assuming people will donate according to their degree of satisfaction. Thus, complaining is somehow avoided. We are fully aware of the quality of the teachings we offer and we are totally accountable for it.

On the other hand, we consider that any human being with an authentic spiritual aspiration should be able to learn meditation and yoga, no matter what his/her financial condition may be. Because of this, we offer scholarships and we are always willing to support students who really need help.

When is it best for me to pay?

Course fees may be paid at the Registration Kiosk (during open hours) before your course begins. All payments for Hridaya Silent Meditation Retreats must be completed by the end of the Registration and Orientation Session on the day prior to the retreat.

What currency are the prices listed in?

Prices on the website are listed in Mexican pesos.
We do not accept cash payments in dollars or other currencies.

Can I change money in Mazunte?

ATM machines in Mazunte are very unreliable and the nearest banks are in Pochutla, about 30 minutes away. We strongly suggest you change enough money before coming to Mazunte to avoid having to make a special trip to town. There are ATMs at the airports in Puerto Escondido and Huatulco, as well as in all major Mexican cities.

What is your refund policy?

Please see our Registration Guidelines for complete refund information.