Rocklyn Ashram in Victoria (Satyananda)

»Yoga and personal healing in a forest filled with birdsong«


Welcoming families, couples, groups and individuals, Rocklyn Ashram does not impose routine but instead encourages rhythm to harmonize the day and the inner spirit. From morning yoga to evening Satsang, this is a place to reconnect in many ways: Reconnect with yourself, reconnect with nature, reconnect with your children, and reconnect with other people, far from the ‘false faces’ of the modern world.

  • What we love
  • The true ashram approach to yoga - spirituality, not just physical flexibility
  • Australian bush setting
  • Volunteering means being able to live on the ashram for up to two months
  • What to know
  • If driving to the ashram, GPS will not work. Write down the directions beforehand
  • Ashram life is quiet - not many external distractions
  • Karma yoga means working hard and requires some degree of physical fitness
  • Why go
  • Authentic ashram experience
  • Range of yoga styles
  • Sustainable living encouraged

Rocklyn is a true ashram. A community of devoted souls bringing Satyananda yoga into every aspect of their daily lives, the residents of Rocklyn ashram welcome spiritual seekers for a day, a weekend, a week, a month or even longer. All are welcome here, even children, which is not always easy to find in the world of yoga retreats. From the early morning yoga and pranayama sessions to the evening chanting and early nights, Rocklyn is a place to breathe.

The yoga style practiced at Rocklyn ashram is Satyananda. In a nutshell, Satyananda yoga incorporates multiple branches of yoga into an easily adaptable one. That’s not to say that it blends styles. It blends branches. One branch of yoga is concerned with the physical body, another with hard work, and yet another with enlightenment. Satyananda blends them so that an individual can first work on the part of themselves that most needs it, with the goal being to create a positive experience of yoga, encouraging a continuation of the practice.

There are a plethora of retreat options at Rocklyn. From open-days to take the mystery out of the word ‘ashram,’ right through to the semi-permanent volunteer program that allows people to live the yogic life for up to two months at a time. Most folk opt for something in-between, with weekend retreats, mid-week retreats and personal retreats being the favorite options.

Working backward through the list, a personal retreat includes accommodation, meals, and yoga classes, but is deliberately not a structured experience. The idea is to let guests choose their own activity or inactivity, and wandering through the State Forest, or snoozing in the afternoon are pretty common pastimes.
Weekend and mid-week retreats are more structured and usually have a particular theme. For instance, a weekend retreat may be called Cleanse And Detox (light fasting with an ayurvedic bent and plenty of clean air and yoga) or even Astrology And Art for an educational insight into practicing yoga in harmony with the movement of planets and stars. When checking the full range of programs on Rocklyn’s website, a red asterisk next to a retreat name indicates if it is suitable for a first ashram experience. Children are always welcome (not only on designated Family Days). The conditions of their stay include the booking of a private room and full parental responsibility taken at all times as child-care is not offered here. Most children enjoy their time here - there is something about a natural environment and community-living that appeals to little folk, and many families make Rocklyn a recurring part of their vacation time.

All retreat fees include yoga, accommodation and meals. In the spirit of ashram living, these tend to the moderate side. No-one here owns a Rolls Royce, and it seems unlikely that anyone desires to own one. There is an emphasis on simultaneously simple and higher needs. A bed to sleep in, a nourishing meal in the belly, and oneness with the Universe. Forming a bond with the Divine is in the hands of the individual, but cooking is in the hands of many. Meal-times are communal, the preparation work is shared - although anyone here on a short retreat is not expected to pitch in - and the menu is vegetarian with an emphasis on inner cleansing and health.

Karma yoga is encouraged (lending a hand with the work of running the community), to bring focus to the moment and remember that there is dignity in all things, if the individual brings dignity to it. Karma yoga has slightly Buddhist overtones. The emphasis is on the work, with no attachment to the end result. In this way, it is very much about living in the moment and detangling the ego from personal ‘achievements.’ This may seem like a simple concept, but it is not until you’ve tried building something without feeling pride or disappointment at the results that it becomes apparent how difficult an exercise this actually is.

Being located as it is, in one of the untamed areas of Australia, Rocklyn Ashram’s environment offers a unique metaphor for life. A strange and beautiful landscape, filled equally with dangers and delights, all of which live in an ever-changing but perfectly poised balance. And balance is the goal here. A combination of selfless service, quiet introspection, yoga, and a natural environment work together to clear away the internal ‘chatter’ of a hurried daily life, leaving space for simply being.

About the area: Rocklyn

Rocklyn is close to Daylesford, a well-known and well-loved destination in rural Victoria, Australia. The area is known for its natural beauty including thermal hot springs and an abundance of National Parkland. While the last few years have seen an influx of well-heeled tourists and an upswing in the number of luxury resort-style getaways, the large majority of the area is still populated with Mom-and-Pop Bed-and-Breakfasts, sleepy side-towns, and the gentle hippy vibe that cultivates an air of ease. Although this is part of southern Australia where the climate is not so relentlessly hot as it’s northern counterparts, things still get pretty warm in summer. A refreshing overnight low of 10 degrees C (50F) in February mid-summer can give way to a daytime high of 37C (99F). Being fairly high above sea-level means that winters commonly bring a dusting of snow, with July temperatures sitting in the 0 - 9 degrees C range (34 - 48F)

Image credit: Rocklyn Ashram

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