An Integral Yoga® Based School

Integral Yoga, as taught by Sri Swami Satchidananda, synthesizes the various branches of Yoga into a comprehensive lifestyle system. The aim is to promote the harmonious development of every aspect of the individual so we can be easeful, peaceful, and useful. Integral Yoga is also based on interfaith values. As such, at Yogaville the community is multifaith and multicultural. We embrace the idea that all faiths share essential universal principles and we enjoy diversity while recognizing the underlying unity.

We are a community dedicated to the “Truth is One, Paths are Many.” At school, we study all major world faiths and as many differing cultures as we can. We want to teach everyone to respect every path, to learn to live and work together. We wish to develop future citizens interested in sharing peace, joy, love, and light together.

With this focus, we incorporate all branches of Yoga practice within the daily schedule. These branches include Karma Yoga, or service to all; Raja Yoga, the path of concentration and meditation; Jnana Yoga, the path of wisdom, self-analysis and awareness; Bhakti Yoga, the path of love and devotion and respect of a Higher Power; Hatha Yoga the practice of postures, breath control, relaxation, and vegetarian diet; and Japa Yoga, the repetition of a mantra or sound vibration.

Reading – Writing – Arithmetic

A full curriculum is in place, in conformance to state regulations, and taught by certified teachers. The goal is to teach to the interests of the students, by their age and growth needs. Using a thematic approach, such as “weather patterns” or “Native American Culuture,” students of all ages are given assignments and projects appropriate to their needs and interested. We try to plan events starting with questions raised by students.

In addition, we use workshops other tools, to add to the retention of basic knowledge. A strong emphasis is placed on action. For example, in the past, the older children built a playhouse for younger children on the playground. Also, all students help in the garden to plant, nurture, and grow items that, eventually, are used in their meals.

To make sure our students are “getting academic basics,” teachers incorporate testing tools in subjects. This is done in a non-competitive way, so that students are not stressed, but teachers have a good idea how the students compare to other children at their age and skill level.

The school day starts with a quiet, centering circle, focusing on what is important to each individual. This is followed by some group practices that help the body and mind become focused on the day. Activities take place individually and as a group, in and out of the physical classroom. Together, the group eats a healthy, vegetarian lunch and the day continues. At the end of the day, chores are done and the group gathers again for some quiet time. Within this structure, every student is considered, and we work to develop our children’s community.

One-room Schoolhouse

Students develop individually and as a group. Different ages can help one another, and at the same time a peaceful classroom helps develop individual study skills. By having two skilled adults in the classroom at all times, individual study needs can be attended to. Adding to that, individuals with special knowledge can always be brought in to teach, which adds to the curriculum and addresses specific needs of curriculum or of student interests. With this approach, students get individual attention, while still attending to group needs and interests.

We think of the classroom as a microcosm of society, with everyone having individual and groups needs, and training all of the time. Whether we are reading or climbing trees, we work together to develop each person and the group as a whole. We live, work, and grow together.

I was raised in a one-room schoolhouse from what is now kindergarten through third grade. We had one teacher for about 20 children from our rural area, grades K-6. It was a great experience. I especially remember playground experiences such as building things together, and classroom experiences where I developed a strong interest in history, science, and math by seeing what older children were studying. I could also see how my younger brother was doing and we could do homework together. We all enjoyed bringing wood in to stoke the central stove in the classroom.

~ Swami Sarvaananda
Head Priciple of Yogaville School

We are the Vidyalayam, the Temple of Learning. This school is in the style of a Gurukulum, a school of the guru; at the Vidyalayam, the guru is Sri Swami Satchidananda. During classes, we incorporate the teachings of Integral Yoga, along with the regular school subjects (reading, writing, arithmetic, science, history, social skills, physical health, etc.).