For those of you who really want to get away from it all Yogaville, Virginia,
tucked deep in the woods of the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains
off of Rt 602, offers a really different kind of day trip. Like the name
implies, Yogaville is a community dedicated to the teachings of yoga.
Technically, Yogaville is located in Buckingham, Virginia, yet it stands
as a complete community unto itself. The biggest challenge of reaching
Yogaville is fighting the urge to turn back after you are convinced that
you have made a wrong turn as there is literally nothing but woods and
scattered homes on the last 20 to 30 minutes of your ride. Just as you
begin to feel as if you have left the world behind (which, coincidentally,
helps put you in the proper frame of mind for the destination) you will
see the signs for Yogaville.
The centerpiece of Yogaville is the Light of Truth Universal Shrine
(LOTUS), which is uniquely designed to resemble the Lotus flower (an aquatic
plant native to southern Asia), complete with large pinkish "petals" surrounded
by fountains and reflecting pools on two separate levels. From the very
first glimpse, one can not help but be struck by the stark contrast between
the Flamingo-pink "petals" and baby-powder-blue colors of the building
against the muted brown and green background of the surrounding landscape.
Over 1-1/2 million Italian mosaic tiles cover all 48 "petals" of the LOTUS,
which add to its spectacular appearance. The building was dedicated in
1986 and was the vision of Sri Swamiji as a place where people of all
faiths could come together in peace and harmony. Based on this mission,
the lower level of the shrine contains artifacts and information on all
the major religions of the world.
If you choose to investigate the shrine further, it is open to the public.
However, you must sign in at the gift shop first where the helpful staff
will answer any questions and explain what you can expect on your visit.
If you chose not to venture inside, you may like to visit the museum located
to the left of the gift shop for an in depth look at the actual process
used in the design and building of the shrine. For those of you willing
to take on a more strenuous challenge, there are 2 additional smaller
temples, high atop a nearby hill.
Yogaville isn't exactly the kind of place you would accidentally stumble
upon as it is by its very nature safely secluded from the rest of the
world. However, if a gentle ride ending in a one of a kind peaceful destination
is what you seek, a trip to Yogaville is the perfect choice. You might
even learn something new along your journey.