COVID-19 Updates

Updated April 6, 2021

With the COVID-19 pandemic case numbers coming down in many areas, and vaccinations on the rise, we are ready to share our campus and programs with guests in-person again.

We are committed to providing a healthy and safe campus for our guests and staff. Be sure to review our comprehensive approach to the COVID-19 pandemic outlined on this page. Guests coming from counties with high cases will be asked to visit at another time, up to the day before their arrival.

The Institute is open by program reservation or appointment only at this time; no drop-in visitors yet. We open with care, and with a ‘new normal’ on campus. We invite you to join us, and experience opportunities to grow, relax, find inner peace, and share with like-minded souls on our beautiful campus.

The Himalayan Institute holds the wellbeing and safety of our guests, staff, and community as our topmost priority. We invite you to come and enjoy our vibrant, friendly environment with the understanding that we all have a shared responsibility to follow best practices at the Institute and in our personal lives, for everyone’s health and peace of mind.

Our extensive safety protocols along with specific protocols for our PureRejuv Wellness Programs and visits, along with our commitment to the Pocono Promise—a shared commitment by large and small businesses in our region to protect the health, safety and well-being of employees and customers—provide a safe, secure and supportive environment for guests to resume their study and practice of yoga, meditation, wellness, and holistic health.

Highlights of our COVID Protocols

For more, see our extensive list of protocols here

We ask that you incorporate best practices for COVID-19 mitigation in your lifestyle for at least the 14 days before you visit the Institute. This includes avoiding eating and drinking inside restaurants, cafes and bars (take-out food and drink are fine), avoiding gyms, and avoiding large gatherings.

Our COVID Response Team monitors the average number of reported COVID-19 cases over a 14 day period, in the counties our guests are coming from, up to the day before they arrive. We use the New York Times coronavirus cases tracking data published on their website.
https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2020/us/coronavirus-us-cases.html

We then use a CDC metric, based on the number of cases per 100,000 people, to determine whether the level of community transmission is high in those counties.

At this time, the Himalayan Institute considers 40 or more cases per 100,000 people to be a hotspot, too high for visits to our campus. We may use other data as well in determining a hotspot.

We highly recommend reading our extensive list of protocols used to keep you safe here:

Maintaining a good physical distance is important to keeping you and our staff safe. We ask that you maintain a 6′ physical distance away from other guests and staff while in lines, bookstore & cafe, classrooms and interacting with staff & guests.

Face Masks Are Required in All Public Spaces on Campus:

  • You need a face mask to enter the campus. Please bring your own face mask. The Institute will normally have cloth face masks available for purchase.
  • Use a face mask to adequately cover your nose and mouth in all public spaces on campus.
  • Wear your mask when you enter and exit the dining areas. You may remove your mask, of course, while you are seated to eat or drink a beverage.
  • You may remove your mask outdoors, provided you keep at least 6 feet away from anyone else. Remember to wear your mask on your way outdoors, and put it on again when you come back inside.
  • You may remove your mask in your room and in the shower.
  • Reserve N95 masks for health care workers only, unless you have a vulnerable health condition.

We highly recommend reading our extensive list of protocols used to keep you safe here:

We are operating at a reduced capacity for overnight guests.

  • All rooms are available on a first come, first served basis.
  • We will not pair guests in shared rooms. Shared rooms are only for those guests who choose to room together.
  • Rooms are ventilated for 24 hours before cleaning staff enters to prepare for the next guest.
  • Rooms are cleaned and sanitized after each occupancy.
  • All bed linens, blankets and towels are washed after occupancy.
  • Pillows have a sanitary inner covering. Outer pillow case is washed after occupancy.
  • Disinfectant cleaner and paper towels are available in each room for use on surfaces by guests in their rooms.

We highly recommend reading our extensive list of protocols used to keep you safe here:

  • Showers and restrooms are cleaned and sanitized daily.
  • Ventilation has been increased where possible.
  • We recommend guests use our ‘shared restroom strategy.’

To use the restroom, use the paper towel method to open doors, flush toilets, turn on water. Here’s how that works:

    • Push the bathroom door open with your shoulder.
    • Grab a paper towel from the dispenser.
    • Use the paper towel to open/close stalls and flush the toilet. Use the paper towel to turn on/off faucets. Throw it away.
    • Dry hands with a fresh paper towel and use that paper towel to open the bathroom door on your way out. Throw it away.
  • Disinfectant spray and squeegee are available for guests to use in each shower stall before/after use.
  • Clean bath mats are available for each guest in each shower room.

We highly recommend reading our extensive list of protocols used to keep you safe here:

Wear your face mask through the dining areas until you are seated with your meal. Please put your mask back on when you move away from the table.

  • Our dining area tables and chairs are arranged with physical distancing of 6 feet apart in mind. Please do not move chairs and tables from their locations.
  • Please adhere to physical distancing while waiting in line at the food service area. If the line is long, please leave the area and return at a later time.
  • Guests will move through the food service area one at a time, where they will be served meals by our staff, and then take a seat in one of our dining areas inside, or picnic areas outside.
  • At the end of your meal remove your used dishes and cutlery to the ‘dish buddy’ station in your dining area.

Outdoor Picnic Areas:

  • Maximum of 3 people at each picnic table, with no one sitting directly across from anyone else, unless you are members of the same household.
  • Please maintain 6 feet distance if you are enjoying a meal seated in our lawn chairs unless you are members of the same household..

We highly recommend reading our extensive list of protocols used to keep you safe here:

  • Classrooms will be set up with appropriate physical distancing in mind. Please do not move chairs from their original locations.
  • For larger programs, guests will rotate between the room with the live presenter, and other classrooms with simultaneous live video transmission.
  • Ventilation to circulate fresh air has been increased in all classrooms.

Yoga Classes:

  • Masks are required for both students and teachers.
  • Physical distancing of at least 6 feet is required.
  • Do not exceed the maximum number of occupants in the classroom

We highly recommend reading our extensive list of protocols used to keep you safe here:

  • Meditation spots are designated inside the Shrine. Please do not move chairs or sit anywhere else.
  • Please observe physical distancing in the Shrine.
  • Please bring your own meditation cushion. No shared meditation props will be available in the Shrine.
  • When we gather for group practice, prayers and recitation, recite silently to yourself while wearing your mask.
  • Sign-up for Shrine seating during larger programs may be available at our Guest Services desk.

We highly recommend reading our extensive list of protocols used to keep you safe here:

  • If you have an emergency, call 911.
  • Contact our Guest Services team at the front desk or call 570-253-5551 #1 and let them know. After hours call 570-216-8249 answering service.
  • Isolate yourself.
  • Contact your healthcare practitioner or local urgent care provider, and follow their guidance.
  • Have a plan in place to get home as soon as possible if you are ill.

We highly recommend reading our extensive list of protocols used to keep you safe here:

The Himalayan Institute has in place preventative measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19. However, COVID-19 is contagious, and traveling outside your home and gathering with others has risks. We cannot guarantee that you will not become infected. The waiver agreement found here needs to be understood and signed by our guests before they come to our campus.

We highly recommend reading our extensive list of protocols used to keep you safe here:

Please view our upcoming online educational programs here.

We are thrilled to be able to welcome you to the Himalayan Institute again, and look forward to seeing you soon!

In Service,

Greg Capitolo, Mission Programs Director
Brian Fulp, Retreat Center Director

COVID-19 Care Package

Our care package to you—meditations, classes, and inspirational messages for building mental, emotional, and physical resilience in these unprecedented times. Free for everyone—share with your loved ones.

62
COVID-19 Support / Inner Connection
Steering Through Chaos
This is not the first time that socio-political and economic forces have challenged humanity’s resilience. Now is the time to further nourish our trust in ourselves, and reflect on the deeper causes of chaos within and without. To restore our inner peace, safety and security in the world, we must learn the art of collecting the scattered pieces of our mind, and train it to hear and heed the voice of our heart. A thousand year old experience confirms that as soon as we conquer our inner enemies, the enemies in the outside world vanish. We are no longer victims of fear and insecurity. Confusion and chaos becomes history. Tune in as Pandit Tigunait explains how to steer through chaos by befriending your mind—becoming the sole creator of your destiny.
Pandit Rajmani Tigunait, PhD headshot
Pandit Rajmani Tigunait, PhD
66
COVID-19 Support / Inner Connection
Thriving in the Age of Kali Yuga
We are deeply steeped in the Kali Yuga, the dark age—it demands no proof. So much fear, anger, confusion, divisiveness, mistrust, lying, bullying—in one word, madness! Is this why we were born? Is this what we take with us? What a waste of the priceless gift that is this human life. Something has definitely gone wrong, both inside and outside us. The suffering caused by this “wrong” must be stopped. But how? Running away from the reality at hand is not a solution. The solution lies in the time-tested wisdom of Buddha and Patanjali, and with this livestream, Pandit Rajmani Tigunait shares with us how to put that wisdom into practice.
Pandit Rajmani Tigunait, PhD headshot
Pandit Rajmani Tigunait, PhD
67
COVID-19 Support / Spiritual Community
Year Long Meditation Closing Ceremony
Join us in celebrating the conclusion of the Year Long Meditation! Our global group practice has inspired nearly 9,000 meditators from 136 countries to come together with one common intention—to heal and nourish our connection to collective consciousness. This intention is more important than ever before and is the key to bringing forward the best of ourselves so that we can be a force for positive change. In this celebratory closing ceremony, Pandit Tigunait shares his reflections about what we can take away from the Year Long Meditation as we move forward in our personal practice and in our quest to create a bright and peaceful future. The closing ceremony features a guided group meditation followed by a special prayer by Panditji to officially conclude the Year Long Meditation.
Pandit Rajmani Tigunait, PhD headshot
Pandit Rajmani Tigunait, PhD
75
COVID-19 Support / Spiritual Community
The Power of Spiritual Community
Life is a journey to find the fulfillment our soul has been eternally seeking. As we progress on our path, we discover numerous sources of spiritual nourishment, yet often feel there is a deeper hunger that remains unsatisfied. The yoga tradition clearly tells us that spiritual community (sangha) can fulfill this longing. In this livestream we explore the role of inner connection, satsanga, service, and wisdom in creating spiritual community, and how this can nourish and protect us on deeper levels. Learn the art of using your personal practice to awaken a living experience of spiritual community, regardless of whether you are physically close to other seekers or able to practice together and share wisdom. The livestream concludes with a guided practice of shvasa-prashvasa pravahi pranayama. This unique preparatory practice for Vishoka Meditation brings a potent experience—the awareness of underlying pranic energy—that is the shared essence of spiritual community.
Ishan Tigunait headshot
Ishan Tigunait
65
COVID-19 Support / Inner Connection
Tantric Techniques for Unleashing Pranic Elixir
We are in the midst of an unprecedented storm of fear and grief. It is time that we override this storm and attain freedom from worry, anger, anxiety, helplessness, uncertainty, political bickering, and self-righteousness. It is time to discover our pranic elixir, nourish our body and mind, and extend that elixir to nourish the larger world we are a part of. Ancient masters have given us the tools. In this livestream, Pandit Tigunait shares with you what these tools are and how to use them wisely and constructively. Tune in to learn the tantric techniques for recovering and upholding our collective and individual well-being.
Pandit Rajmani Tigunait, PhD headshot
Pandit Rajmani Tigunait, PhD
5
Articles / Wisdom
Unconditional Gratitude: Finding Our Way in an Era of Fear
How do we retain our feeling of gratitude in the midst of a pandemic? How do we keep our gratitude and sense of interconnectedness from being swallowed up by fear, anger, selfishness, and isolation? Shiva Tigunait shares a Vedic mantra to remind us that we are guided and protected on every level by the divine forces, a mantra that calms our mind and fills us with hope.
Shiva Tigunait, PhD headshot
Shiva Tigunait, PhD
64
COVID-19 Support / Spiritual Community
Buddha & Patanjali’s Solution to a Pandemic
Drawing upon the time-tested wisdom of the Yoga Sutra and the Lotus Sutra, Pandit Rajmani Tigunait offers a yogic solution to the COVID-19 pandemic, which began as a health crisis and has grown into a humanitarian and economic crisis. This livestream offers us an opportunity to see this pandemic through the eyes of Buddha and Patanjali. Find out how their wisdom can help us to discover and utilize the spiritual resources inherent in all of us to overcome this crisis. Join us to find inspiration and support from the perennial wisdom of ancient masters.
Pandit Rajmani Tigunait, PhD headshot
Pandit Rajmani Tigunait, PhD
64
COVID-19 Support / Spiritual Community
Living Without Fear in the Era of COVID-19: Unleashing the Power of Healing and Service
COVID-19 is here. All of us have valid reasons to be concerned about the virus and its ramifications on many levels—health and well-being, social, and economic. The ethical and spiritual implications of this pandemic are beyond anyone’s comprehension. And yet, yoga gives us tools that will help us on every level. Now is the time to turn to the 5,000-year-old tradition of yogic wisdom and to put that wisdom into practice. By tapping into the pool of our inner healing force, we can eliminate fear and mobilize the time-honored power of service. Join Pandit Rajmani Tigunait for this timely livestream, and become a force of global healing and positive change in these troubled times.
Pandit Rajmani Tigunait, PhD headshot
Pandit Rajmani Tigunait, PhD
9
Articles / Meditation
The Real Meaning of Meditation
What is meditation? How does it work? Can meditation help us achieve genuine peace and happiness in today’s hectic, often chaotic world? Swami Rama explains the various aspects of meditation: how to turn inward, how to cultivate stillness, how to pay attention, and how to tell that we are making progress.
Swami Rama headshot
Swami Rama
4
Articles / Yoga Practice
Pranayama and the Autonomic Nervous System
Can we consciously change our heart rate and other automatic, or involuntary, functions of our body? Swami Rama explains how pranayama—controlling the breath—enables us to bring all the processes regulated by our autonomic nervous system under our voluntary control.
Swami Rama headshot
Swami Rama
11
Articles / Wisdom
The Yamas: Creating Harmony in Daily Life
It can be hard to change unproductive habit patterns. Yoga’s yamas (restraints) and niyamas (observances) help us to do just that. Learn how the five yamas alert us when our actions are out of sync with our spiritual aspirations and how they help us understand and manage the emotions driving our actions—allowing us to relate to ourselves and others in a more harmonious and balanced way.
Rolf Sovik, PsyD headshot
Rolf Sovik, PsyD
68
Classes / Meditation
Foundations of Meditation
When our body is comfortable and stable, our mind can flow peacefully inward toward a deep state of meditation. In this workshop, Luke Ketterhagen shares ways that we can refine our posture and breath to increase the length and quality of our meditative practice. Move through an exploration of sitting styles, a sequence of supportive asanas, and techniques of yogic breathing.Then tie it all together with a guided meditation, and experience the difference. Format: Multiple videos with audio download Length: 1 hr 8 mins
Luke Ketterhagen headshot
Luke Ketterhagen