About Swami Nirmalananda Saraswati

Swami Nirmalananda Saraswati leads Svaroopa® Vidya Ashram in Downingtown PA.  An American yogi, she is an inspiring teacher with a loving manner and a great sense of humor.  Before becoming a swami (yoga monk), as Rama Berch, she served the yoga community as the founding president of Yoga Alliance.  Traveling and teaching nationally and internationally, she is authorized to initiate people into deep meditation through Shaktipat, as did Swami Muktananda, her own Guru.  The Ashram website features extensive Freebies, including articles and audio recordings on the principles of consciousness as taught by the sages of India, as well as how to apply them in your life today.

All posts by Swami Nirmalananda Saraswati:

Yogis Got Gumption

That’s what I’ve always loved about yoga, that yogis have gumption. In all the different styles I’ve practiced, as a grad of 5 different Teacher Training programs over the years, I’ve found that yogis know how to keep going. Granted, a pandemic tests you to the limit, but you’re better equipped to handle it than […]

Yogis & Their Amazing Powers

Many Sanskrit texts describe how a yogi can fly, walk on water, disappear and change the weather as part of the classical ashta-siddhis (eight powers).  Making it through a pandemic is minor compared to these world-changing, life-changing abilities.  Yet your ability to make it through, and not merely to survive but to thrive, comes from […]

Pandemic Panic

At least this time, it’s familiar.  You’ve felt this panic before, triggered by the same pandemic, only a few months ago.  Here you are again, though this time you have more skills.  I’ve gotten so accustomed to wearing a mask that I sometimes forget to remove it. Plus now there is more information about the […]

How Are You?  Who Are You?

How are you doing?  How are you feeling?  How are you and who are you?  Yoga is about both, of course.  But when you deepen into your own inner essence, the “how” you are is taken care of automatically by the “who” you are. I was sitting in a chair with my laptop on my […]

How Long Will This Go On?

While you’ve gotten used to the pandemic lifestyle, your mind still asks about the future. You can look at the latest statistics, find out about the vaccines being tested and learn about different types of masks. But there’s still no way to know how long this will go on. For now, you’re stuck. Some say […]

Happiness & Bliss

Enlightenment will not give you happiness.  Instead you will abide in unending inner bliss.  This bliss is not the same as happiness, not even the same as lots of happiness.  Happiness is an emotion; bliss is a state of being.  Happiness comes and goes; bliss is constant.  Happiness is dependent on external things; bliss is […]

International Day of Yoga

“If yoga goes mainstream, I’m going to quit,” a passionate yogini exclaimed to me.  I was representing Yoga Alliance as its first President, traveling to yoga conferences to explain what we were creating — a self-governing body of yoga teachers.  She was more invested in being “alternative” than in doing yoga.  Yet yoga is mainstream […]

The Waiting Game

I remember high school dances, with us girls all lined up waiting for a teenage boy to come ask us to dance. Only once a year could the girl offer the invitation, on Sadie Hawkins Day. The rest of the time, it was a waiting game. It’s a waiting game again. How long will this […]

How Much Yoga?

When you decide how much yoga you are going to do, you are deciding two things:  (1) what to do with some available time (a simple thing), and (2) what your goal in life is (a really big deal!).  You are really choosing —do you want to be happy or do you want to be […]

Covid-19 Notification

Please note that many events on our calendar have been cancelled or moved to an online format.  Please check with the event organizer for more information.

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