Continuing Education & Professional Credits

The Yoga Retreat offers a unique learning experience for participants, combining instruction with an immersion into the daily practice of a Yogic lifestyle. Individuals attending courses at the ashram are given the opportunity to apply the material gained from coursework through the support of the ashram environment.

main banner

College Credit Study Abroad Program

Florida International University’s (FIU) renowned Religious Studies Department is partnering with Sivananda Ashram Yoga Retreat Bahamas to offer an innovative Study Abroad program from March 7-15, 2014. Students enroll in either an undergraduate or graduate course for college credit at FIU instructed by Religious Studies faculty member Dr. Andrea Mantell Seidel.

Through a concentrated study of yoga asanas (postures), meditation techniques, pranayama (breath control), guest lectures, and philosophical and religious scriptures and dialogue, students will engage in both the theory and practical applications of yoga and related spiritual disciplines within the concentrated environment of a traditional yoga ashram. The 7- day study abroad component includes lectures by world renowned speakers from a variety of traditions, daily Yoga classes, a morning and evening satsang (meditation, chanting, and lecture), delicious vegetarian meals, and some recreational time for swimming and meditative beach walks. The pre- and post-departure curriculum includes seminars, daily journaling, reading assignments, take-home essay exams, and term papers for graduate students.

Students outside of South Florida may register for one of the classes below as an out-of-state, transient student and participate in the pre- and post-departure seminars via internet. For further information about enrollment for in-state or out-of-state students, contact FIU’s Office of Study Abroad below.

Arrival Date: March 7, 2014    •    Departure: March 15, 2014

COURSE OFFERINGS

  • REL 3020 Meditation, and Spiritual Development
  • REL 5937 Special Topics: Yoga and Spiritual Development Abroad, Bahamas

CONTACT INFORMATION FOR STUDENT INQUIRIES

FIU Office of Study Abroad: http://studyabroad.fiu.edu
Susy Gomez, OSA Assistant Director: phone: (305) 348-1913; email: sugomez@fiu.edu
Faculty: Dr. Andrea Mantell Seidel, Dept. of Religious Studies, seidela@fiu.edu

FACULTY

Andrea Mantell Seidel is Associate Professor of Religious Studies, Professor of Dance, founding director of the Intercultural Dance and Music Institute and former Senior Director of Academic Programs in the Latin American and Caribbean Center (LACC) at Florida International University (FIU). Additionally, she serves as trustee of pioneer modern dance choreographer Eleanor King’s choreographic legacy and as artistic director of the critically acclaimed Isadora Duncan Dance Ensemble. Her forthcoming book on the Art and Soul of Isadora in the 21st Century will be published by McFarland Press in 2014. Dr. Seidel has lectured, presented papers and workshops, and performed at prestigious national and international conferences, festivals, universities and other institutions throughout the US, Canada, Latin America, Russia, Europe, and Asia, including the Internationales Tanzfestival in Germany; the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington; Hong Kong International Conference and Festival; NYC Lincoln Center Festival Out-of-Doors; and the International Goethe Festival in St. Petersburg, Russia, among numerous other venues. She holds a doctorate in dance from New York University and at FIU teaches courses in Native American Religion, Yoga and the Art of Meditation, and Sacred Dance/Sacred Ritual, among other topics.

Dr. Seidel is the recipient of a Fulbright Senior Scholar award, the Visionary Award from the National Dance Education Organization (NDEO), and of over 70 national, state, and local grants. Dr. Seidel describes herself as an artist/scholar whose primary career focus has involved a process of listening to the wisdom of the body, informed by scholarly investigation into the intersections between movement and spirituality from a global perspective. She is a certified yoga teacher with strong roots in the Sivananda tradition, having studied for 24 years with Dr. Shyam Kashap, ayurvedic physician and former manager of the Divine Life Society in Rishekesh, India, as well as with Swami’s Vishnudevananda, Chidananda, and Venkatesananda in the l970’s. See http://spiritdanceart.org

*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  * 

STUDENT TESTIMONIALS

Words cannot explain how much I've learned in a week. I've gotten so much out of such little time. My greatest take away has to be acceptance and love. Acceptance and appreciation of different cultures, beliefs, people, and myself. I didn't think that I would be able to be so honest with my peers and professor about my personal beliefs, and get the same honesty back, with no judgment, and everyone having something so different to share. I'm so grateful for this gift and an experience I will cherish for the rest of my life.

— Jen Fullman, Student, DePaul Department of Psychology

I haven't quite reached self-realization yet, but there was definitely a spiritual awakening ~ and it didn’t come from a sacred text or drinking any kool aid. It doesn't matter which "spiritual container" you use, or even if you don't believe in a divine power, there is something for everyone at Sivananda Ashram Yoga Retreat. You cannot be surrounded by that much beauty and good intention without feeling something! Add some required reading, papers and journaling for academics and to lay the foundation, and there is opportunity for real learning and personal growth. I've been going to school a long, long time and I've never found anything like this in a classroom.

— Marcia Leonard, MA Student, Recreational Therapy, FIU; MS, Logistics (USAF Institute of Technology); BS, Accounting & Bus Mgmt (University of Chas, SC)

The Study Abroad Program to the Bahamas Sivananda Ashram was an incredible trip. I learned from Dr. Seidel, my peers, the guests, the speakers (which might have been my favorite part of my days), the instructors that run the ashram, and even from myself. Your mind doesn't really have much time to just sit back and relax; it definitely made me appreciate the art of meditating a whole lot more, among so many other things. The best part is that all this new knowledge and wisdom you get back with is so much more useful than anything you could learn in a college classroom. They're things that can be used on a daily basis, now and in the future. Everything I learned stuck with me. You get back home with a completely new way of looking at the life you've been living.

— Maria Rivas, Psychology Major, FIU

I am so grateful to have taken up the opportunity to do this Study Abroad program in the Bahamas. It was by far, the greatest experience of my life. It is incredible how one week in the Sivananda Ashram gave me so much clarity and peace as a person, a student, and a spiritual seeker. The people I met and the students I bonded with during my stay I will cherish for the rest of my life. Not only did I enjoy the beach and free time, but I was even more excited to attend the lectures, workshops, yoga sessions and dinner! There was such profound wisdom in the messages the lecturers and karma yogis gave to me. I definitely left my heart in the Bahamas, as well as all my worries and burdens. As a college student and future graduate here at FIU, my outlook on life and career goals has completely transformed.

— Anthony Paz, Religious Studies Major, FIU