On April 15, 1972, the first Satchidananda Ashram–Yogaville opened in Siegler Springs, Lake County, California. For several years, Swami Satchidananda expressed his dream of having a true Yoga village, that could be a model “heaven on earth.” There, yogis from every walk of life could live together in the spirit of Yoga, of peace, harmony and cooperation. This first experiment in intentional community based on Integral Yoga values and practices thrived for a time, but then was not sustainable on the property that had been purchased for Yogaville West. So, in January of 1973, land for Satchidananda Ashram–Yogaville East was purchased in Pomfret, Connecticut. Better facilities and more land created the perfect environment for Swamiji’s dream to take root. The Ashram flourished for over seven years, when the decision was made to find more land for more families and a milder climate than the harsh northern Connecticut winters offered.
Another milestone took place in February of 1973. Inspired by Swamiji’s example and aspiring to live a life dedicated to spiritual practice and selfless service, 14 of Swamiji’s students requested that he initiate them into pre-Sannyas: Brahmacharya Diksha, pre-monastic vows. The initiation was held at Yogaville West.
Also in February of 1973, PBS (Channel 13, New York) aired the documentary “Swami Satchidananda, Yoga for the City.”
Throughout 1973, Swamiji continued to make inroads in broadening the West’s understanding of the importance of Yoga and Lifestyle Medicine. He participated in a biofeedback and meditation study at Duke University (North Carolina). And he was invited not only to medical schools but also to Palmer Chiropractic College, one of the earliest schools of chiropractic medicine.