Arjuna has been studying and practicing eastern spiritual traditions in India, Thailand, and Europe for over 15 years. He started his path and deep soul journey in his early twenties when he discovered Theravada Buddhism and Vipassana meditation along with Sivananda yoga. Apart from practicing Hatha yoga and meditation, he is a fiery bhakta, immersed in devotional songs and chants most of the time. He aspires to bring awareness and love into every breath. From the heart, he would like to offer his deepest gratitude to all his beloved teachers across the world.
Arpita (MA Eastern Studies) is a dakini with many facets. Sometimes scholar, sometimes worshipper she combines wisdom traditions with devotional practices into One. In her late teenage years, she started a formal practice of yoga as a student in the Satyananda tradition, which inspired her with its traditional approach to the ancient science and wisdom of yoga. Her passion is to teach by example, to open her Heart to every moment and let it pass right through her until there is nothing left but Everything.
from United States, December 2017
"Love Love Love"
This was an experience of a life time. Arjuna and Arpita are beyond words fantastic. The ashram is beautiful and has everything you need to peacefully enjoy your retreat or yoga teacher training. Both Arjuna and Arpita are very knowledgeable and teach in ways that are easy to understand. The only problem was that I wanted to stay longer, maybe forever :)
from United States, June 2018
"“Rest and Radiance”"
The ashram itself is so beautiful despite the bugs and the food was delicious and vegan. I loved the Friday Kirtan which was quite a fun and unique experience.
from United States, April 2018
"Start of a wonderful yogi journey "
I have been practicing yoga many years but had never delved deeper into the spiritual side of yoga. This amazing retreat opened me up to all of the dimensions of yoga with discourse and practice while also letting me live like a yogi for a week. The most delicious vegan food was prepared with love daily and the ashram itself is on the most beautiful piece of land surrounded by nature. Arupita and Arjena are two of the most amazing souls who really make you feel loved and welcome. A wonderful experience.
from Canada, November 2017
"It will change your life ... "
This was an amazing experience. Arpita and Arjuna are both very special and they have created a beautiful and peaceful environment.
The karma yogis during my stay were great as well - Resa, Lauren, Carolyn, Chase and Jacob.
from United States, November 2017
"Let me lay it out for you"
if you're truly interested in being shaken to your core, are prepared to put forth an honest effort, are able to keep an open mind, and are apt to take what you learn in your short time abroad and apply it to your life long-term, then it is no coincidence you landed on this webpage. Mahadevi Ashram is a back-to-basics retreat center that removes all the distractions of the contemporary hustled life, and, under the guidance of two phenomenal, insightful teachers, Arjuna and Arpita, takes you on an internal journey to discover where you fit into this enormous, perplexing universe. By empowering students with the knowledge they need to develop all aspects of their yoga practice (as many as 8 branches if you're ambitious enough), the ashram takes you in wholeheartedly as a student, meets you where you're at spiritually, and gives you not just one, but a multitude of practices for you to experiment with and decide which customized combination best fits the unique person you are. Meanwhile, all this is done in a beautiful environment nestled away at the cusp of Lake Atilan complimented with positive energy from the karma yogi staff, delicious vegetarian food that you'll ask the recipe for nightly, and comfortable, living quarters that may or may not have the occasional insect visitor (nothing poisonous or unbearable). In a nutshell, if you're looking for long-term change more than a short break from the world, then this ashram may just be right for you.
Eva Van De Water
from Netherlands, May 2018
The ashram is a great place where you can find your rest.
Trip Advisor Website
I have a deep love for Mahadevi - I visited here, almost accidentally, and have since kept going back. For kirtan (devotional mantra singing), for my 200-hour YTT, and volunteering two months as a karma yogi. A testament to the loving, nurturing, intentional space Arjuna and Arpita have created. Allowing us to go deeper knowing we are among family. The 200-hour YTT follows a very traditional curriculum, grounding your understanding of Hatha yoga in the ancient principles often neglected by other schools. A fully immersive program, we were given the opportunity to experience a silent retreat, OSHO tantric meditation exercises, as well as a devotional mantra - alongside the traditional yoga techniques. I absolutely loved this approach. Providing teachers with the appropriate foundations and knowledge of the roots of this ancient philosophy can only make better teachers...and humans! Arjuna and Arpita are loving guides, sharing their experience, home, and humor with you. Such wise and wonderful souls, it was wanting to spend more time with them that I decided to stay an additional two months after my YTT. Daily routine would begin with heart-based meditation and yoga. Breakfast, lovingly prepared by one of the karma yogis (there is a rota, which includes a day off and time off in the afternoons) followed by a few hours devoted to the tasks and responsibilities we wanted to participate in. All meals are shared together, are delicious, and all vegetarian/vegan. The evenings would be spent in the community, usually singing mantra - but once a week we had a movie night, and even ecstatic dance nights :) The ashram is nestled in its own little tropical jungle. A volcanic crater lake is a backdrop, epic lightning, and star gazing to be expected. I love how alive everything is here. The facilities are quite a few notches up from 'basic'. However, I understand everyone's idea of basic is different. A hot shower (with good pressure) comfortable beds, good food, and carefully planned common areas, means you are always comfortable. It is a wonderful rustic refuge in the jungle. Enjoy.
Trip Advisor Website
The 200-hour YTC completely changed my life in so many positive ways. Rishikesh Kaivalya Yoga School was a really authentic experience. The training is really serious and they show you what yoga is all about. The yoga teachers are what made this experience so profound.
Lauren Scherloski Canada
Trip Advisor Website
I view Mahadevi Ashram as my home away from home, even though I only really spent about four months total there. I first visited in the summer of 2015 for my classical Hatha Yoga Teachers Training and was humbly welcomed by Arpita and Arjuna to their beautiful new land in Tzununa. The yoga taught here was unlike yoga I was used to back home, it was authentic and true to the discipline. Ever since the first day, I felt like I had walked into a sacred community space. The ashram is not a 5-star hotel, it is better, the energy and the vibes here are insurmountable. I loved the community of karma yogis, the San Marcos community, and the ashram pets Bhakti and Priya. The accommodations are simple and rustic which is the intention of the space, it is not of luxury, it is about sustainability and living with the land. The weekly cacao and kirtan gatherings changed my life, I have fallen in love with kirtan and can't get enough of it now! I made many lifelong friends while living at the ashram which I am so grateful for! I loved visiting and living here and would go back in a heartbeat! Thank you for everything Arpita and Arjuna, I love you.
A traveler Spain
Trip Advisor Website
I spent six weeks living here at the Mahadevi Ashram in Tzununa, Lake Atitlan, Guatemala from April to June 2016. I was living as a karma yogi (selfless service in a full work-trade position) devoting most of my time to the kitchen and preparing two of the three delicious vegetarian or vegan meals six days a week. Accommodation at the ashram was perfect for me. I was provided with a private room with electrical outlets, a single bed and side desk, and Wi-Fi access. There are many shared bathrooms on site and a solar heated hot water rain shower. Other accommodations are dorm style with a maximum of four people per room. These rooms are in a separate building that are of natural building materials and remind me of little fairy houses or something out of a movie like Lord of the Rings. It is not a 5-star resort but after spending time in India, it is more than other ashrams provide and made very comfortable. A typical day when I was staying at Mahadevi looked like this: every morning we started our day with an hour of heart based, silent meditation which then lead into an hour of yoga (when there were other teachers living on site). Next, we shared breakfast together, went into work flow, had lunch, a little break, more work flow, devotional chanting for 45 minutes, and then dinner with free time afterwards. At first, I didn't have much experience with kirtan and devotional chanting and found it frustrating as I didn't know the words and pronunciation as it is in Sanskrit. But after a few days, I found myself repeating the mantras and fully enveloped in the practice. They say that chanting is one of the easiest forms of meditation and I do concur as when I was focussed on repeating the mantras everything else melted away. And when my mind would start to wander, I would mess up and that would bring me back to focus as I am singing out loud and want to stay in harmony with the others. I also found it to be quite good for my self esteem and for using my voice. At first, I was a bit shy about singing or chanting out loud but this went away as you are not the only one singing so its not like the spotlight is on you. Because the day is quite structured, I also found it very easy to focus on the task at hand. One may experience that the worries of the outside world melt away because you are in such a safe, loving environment. They certainly did for me. The food. I had the pleasure of spending most my time in the kitchen. All the food provided is vegetarian (no meat, fish, eggs, mushrooms, onion or garlic). Guatemala has the benefit of being able to grow both tropical fruits as well as vegetables that we are accustomed to in the west (cauliflower, broccoli, spinach, green beans, etc.). Rice and beans are a strong reality in these parts of the world but they are made more fun with a plethora of spices which were available to be used for group meals. Also, if one needed personal items, they were allowed to purchase eggs, cheese and yogurt from the local community. If one absolutely needs meat in their diet, they can go out to eat at a restaurant in their free time. The ashram used to be located in San Marcos La Laguna next to a busier road but has since relocated to their own private property in Tzununa, located next to cute freshwater river (which is wonderful for cooling off in on hotter days). It is much quieter than their old location as the traditional Mayan village of Tzununa is much smaller, with much less tourists visiting compared to the craziness that is San Marcos La Laguna. You may hear church music on Sundays and the occasional loudspeaker of a passing by truck selling fruits, veggies or other goods but all in all, it is a quiet, peaceful sanctuary located in a beautiful, green valley. The village of Tzununa doesn't have as much to offer to tourists in comparison to the other towns around the lake but there are a few places to eat/buy basic food supplies and there is boat service as well as tuk-tuks available to hire to take you wherever you need to go. All in all, I have nothing but fond memories of my time spent at Mahadevi Ashram. I made some amazing forever friends there and I now consider Arjuna and Arpita as part of my family. I look forward to returning in the near future to continue my practice in a space which provides me the perfect opportunity to explore my spirituality.