April 28, 2024 Live from the road

Yogaville, Virginia - Abilene, Virginia

Reported by Arpan DeAngelo 55.0 mi

Yesterday we were invited to visit and stay for the night at Yogaville, a spiritual Ashram, or community, in Virginia. This very peaceful and spiritual community was founded by Swami Satchidananda in the 80's and has developed into a true refuge of peace and harmony, welcoming guests from all over the world.

Our accommodations last night in the Yogaville campsite dormitories were quite comfortable, clean and lovely. We are so grateful to everyone here who offered us this opportunity to enjoy their idyllic grounds here in the countryside. A good night's rest in a peaceful location is always helpful in maintaining a strong and peaceful consciousness as we run and travel on the roads many miles each day.

This building, called Sivananda Hall, was where the workers here at Yogaville work extremely hard at feeding everyone. They supplied our Peace Run team as well as all those who live here incredibly delicious and nutritious meals.

An early morning walk from the main campus of Yogaville, led by our dear friend Swami Dayananda,  eventually took us to the small mountain they call  Kailash.

It was truly a spectacular view from the Kailash mountain. The beautiful LOTUS Shrine is in the distance behind us.

At the top we visited the Nataraja shrine, also called 'The Dancing Shiva'. The glass encased shrine turns 90 degrees from north to east to south and to west at various intervals during the day.

Swami Dayanda offers us a wonderful description of this spectacular landscape surrounding Yogaville.

From the top of the small mountain there is a set of stairs with about 400 steps leading down to the Chidambaram Shrine and the LOTUS Shrine beyond that. This beautiful landscape also includes Lotus Lake, trails, campsites, pools, schools, a conference center and other very practical and spiritual structures as well as other scenic locations.

The Lotus Shrine is currently under construction and repair but will eventually look like this when completed.

Some of our running team followed Swami Dayananda down the long staircase to visit the Chidambaram Shrine, the sacred place where Swami Satchidananda is entombed. There is a very powerful and peaceful statue of the Swami shown seated in deep meditation and situated directly over the tomb of Swami Satchidananda's physical body.

Ascending the 400 steps to Mt. Kailash was no easy task, but the women's team and myself finally made it back up to the top. It was a great way to start the day with some anaerobic training.

We stayed on the uphill path until we finally reached our destination.

Back at the main campus or campsites, after breakfast with many of our new friends, we had a short meditation before leaving for our next destinations of the day. Swami Hansananda, who is very excited about our events. Sharing the Peace Torch with Harita, she offers her prayers and good wishes for our safety.

Starting a short peace walk to the road where our women's team with begin running on today's route towards North Carolina. We are so grateful for all those here at Yogaville who were involved in any way in these events of the past day and this morning as well. We will carry their prayers and well-wishes for peace and harmony wherever we go on this long peace journey.

Swami Dayananda enthusiastically carries the Peace Torch down the road to get our team started on today's run as we travel south and west. We are very grateful for her kindness, enthusiasm and energetic spirit of oneness with the Peace Run.

Nastya from Ukraine is enjoying an idyllic and peaceful run as we head south in rural Virginia.

Uugana from Mongolia smoothly striding down this rural Virginia road for peace.

She looks very happy as she runs for peace in America for the first time.

Sweta from Nepal looks very happy after our experiences at the Yogaville Ashram.

Preetidutta covering a long stretch of rural Virginia roads. These idyllic and scenic roads are a peaceful break from the busier areas of the earlier runs at the start of our journey just one week ago.

We usually meet very welcoming locals who stop to hold the Peace Torch and offer their own hopes and wishes for peace for us to carry to our next destinations.

Pransukh, originally from North Carolina, is getting closer and closer to his state with each step in this scenic section of Virginia.

Jozsef from Hungary is enjoying his life 'on the road' as. he carries the Peace Torch in his first time in the United States.

We met this gentleman at the end of our morning run today. On my team today were our two Hungarian runners, Jozsef and Puroga. This gentleman, who happens to live in this very beautiful rural area of southern Virginia, happens to be from Hungary as well! It's a small world after all.

The people in Virginia so far have been very friendly and accommodating. In this naturally peaceful part of Virginia it seems evident that peace and nature are valued by most people. We are so grateful to meet so many nice people as we carry the Peace Torch from state to state.

Torch carried by
Arpan DeAngelo (United States), Harita Davies (New Zealand), Jozsef Dicso (Hungary), Nastya Konova (Ukraine), Pransukh Marks (United States), Preetidutta Thorpe (New Zealand), Puroga Theobald (Hungary), Salil Wilson (Australia), Sweta Pradhan (Nepal), Uugantsetseg Otgonbayar (Mongolia).  
Arpan DeAngelo
The torch has travelled 55.0 mi from Yogaville, Virginia to Abilene, Virginia.

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