Learning & Outreach
Yasodhara Ashram is a spiritual centre, active learning centre and residential community.
We offer learning and personal development opportunities – including courses, Teacher Certification, three-month Yoga Development Course, Karma Yoga programs, opportunities for young adults, Learning Residencies, and short and long-term residencies and retreats, including Artist & Professional Retreats. Our teachers also travel to offer workshops and to participate in conferences.
Our teaching is based on a tradition of practice, experiential learning and study. We also continue to open our facilities to learn from others and to host educational and cultural events.
YOUNG ADULTS IN THE ONE-MONTH KARMA YOGA PROGRAM
Our One-Month Karma Yoga Program (no fee) welcomes people of all ages interested in experiencing life in a spiritual community, developing skills and studying yoga. This live-and-serve program focuses on the practice of Karma Yoga, the yoga of action. Karma Yoga supports participants in learning how to work, how to work together and how to understand themselves in relation to others. Many stay longer than one month, attending courses and exploring opportunities in the Ashram community. For over 25 years, the Ashram has particularly welcomed young adults (ages 18-30) to the One-Month Karma Yoga Program. We continue to support them in their self-discovery so that they can build the life they want to live and bring effective change to their world. Many participate in fundraising initiatives to support their Ashram experience.
COURSES, TEACHER CERTIFICATION & RETREATS
Yasodhara Ashram offers a full slate of courses, including a three-month intensive Yoga Development Course and three teacher certification programs. Popular courses and retreats include 10 Days of Yoga, Yoga & Healing, Stilling the Mind, Relaxation and Light in the Centre with Swami Lalitananda. New course offerings are created to respond to participant requests and global needs. Examples include: Mother’s Day Renewal and Yoga and Nature. View our full program calendar.
Learning Residencies at Yasodhara Ashram are spiritual, career and life development opportunities. The participants enter different areas in the Ashram community and are provided room and board, weekly courses that cultivate self-inquiry and awareness, daily Hatha Yoga class and reflection on work. Each resident determines an area for further study specific to their field and publicly presents their learning at the end of the program. Some participants stay on to become leaders in the program while others go forward to test their skills in the world.
Even though we strive to keep our course, retreat and program fees affordable, some people do not have the financial means to afford a stay at the Ashram. Keeping alive the spirit of generosity, we offer bursaries and stipends to those who are in need. For the past several years, we have granted approximately $60,000 annually to support applicants on a limited income who want to experience the transformational power of living in a spiritual community.
“I got so much from the Life Seals weekend that I would like to share that with others. Can you use this donation to have young adults like the ones who were in the group with me take part in a similar experience?”
ARTIST & PROFESSIONAL RETREATS
This program, which began as an experiment in 2013, is filling a need for those who want to be in a supportive spiritual environment while working on artistic, personal or professional projects. The program, which ranges from two weeks to one month, offers the support of community, while giving participants needed privacy to concentrate on their projects. Participants come from a wide range of professional and artistic fields, including art, science, not-for-profit organizations and creative writing.
Since Yasodhara Ashram’s inception in the 1960s, teachers have always travelled widely to offer programs. In 2013, Outreach was established as an integral part of the Ashram’s annual program planning and currently includes cities in Canada, the US and Europe.
Hosting lectures, offering dance and musical performances and opening our space to other traditions are ways we welcome in diverse perspectives, as well as enriching ourselves and our neighbours – culturally, socially and intellectually.
“This is more than a workshop for me. It is a process of integrating the practices and the learning into my life – knowing that I can choose to accept all parts of me..” Clint Evangelista, guest
“Living in a spiritual community has proven to be fertile ground for growth, both personal and professional. Being a learning resident gave me the time and space to explore, to question and to challenge myself. ” Molly Askey-Goldsbury, Learning Resident
“Please have my donation support the Young Adult Program. What a honour it is to give back to the program that gave so much to me. It’s neat to see how the work as a karma yogi – repairs and maintenance – has evolved into my current construction work. I continue to bring the teachings into my life as much as I can and I look forward to the next time I will be able to visit the Ashram.” Cy Scofield, Karma Yogi
“I feel held here by the deeper, unseen levels: the structure and pacing of each day, week and season. Hatha, silent meals, Karma Yoga, satsang all join my body with the collective body and with the lineage. This brings me back to myself so I can go out into the world.” Vanessa Reid, writer and Artist Retreat guest