The Yoga Development Course (YDC) offers yoga in the deepest sense of the word, a path leading to liberation. 2021, with all its uncertainty, presents an ideal time to focus inward on your own personal development while being held by the support of the Ashram community. Your explorations will also be nourished within a group of equally courageous and curious people.

2021 will be a special year for the Yoga Development Course. To ensure your safety, we are limiting the intake for the course to comply with BC coronavirus requirements. Each person will prepare for the course by participating in a two-week guided private retreat with reading materials. This will also act as a quarantine period, prior to the launch of the classes and workshops from January 18. The YDC includes morning Hatha Yoga classes, daily workshops and evening satsangs in the Temple of Light.

Come and expand your understanding. Heal. The program, set in the Ashram’s pristine forest and lake during the quiet winter, offers a balance of self-inquiry and group work in community, a process that leads to new discoveries and purposeful change.

Course Dates:
2021: January 3 – April 19 in two parts:
Jan. 3 – 17: Private Guided Retreat (quarantine)
Jan. 18 – April 19: Yoga Development Course
To apply, Contact us.

Immerse yourself, with the option to stay on for up to five months of Karma Yoga after the three-month YDC to put your learnings into practice. Join the 10-day Hatha Teacher Certification course to open further to the richness of your own potential. Whether you are interested in a three-month program or a nine-month immersion – this is a unique experience of a lifetime in our safe and nourishing environment.

Enter the Journey of Self-Discovery with Yasodhara Yoga Practices

During the YDC, spiritual practices such as mantra, dream yoga and Light meditations help you access hidden levels of mind. And three months of reflection supports a process of clarification. Who are you now and how do you want to live your life? Which old patterns are limiting? Where have you created a helpful foundation?

Learn to understand the language of your personal symbolism through listening to your body, your dreams, your mind and your heart. This is an opportunity to see your life in a new perspective and to open to the richness of your own potential. Change that starts with yourself has a deep effect and will ripple out to touch others. Change yourself, change your world.

Started in 1969, the YDC is based on Swami Radha’s original vision which is kept vibrantly alive at the core of this program.

The YDC is the prerequisite for all of our Teacher Certification programs. If you want to do extensive work on yourself within the safety and beauty of a dedicated spiritual community, please contact the Program Advisor to begin the YDC application process.

Expand into the YDC 9-month Immersion Program

Stay at the Ashram after completing the YDC for our 10-Day Hatha Yoga Teacher Certification course. Participate in our extended-stay program for up to five months:   this is an opportunity of living in our community putting your learnings into action and is offered at no extra charge! The focus for the extended-stay program in on Karma Yoga – the yoga of service and action.   It includes daily hatha, reflection time, evening satsangs and weekly classes with your peers. This is a unique experience of a lifetime in our safe and nourishing setting.

We also encourage you to consider whether an even longer-term stay would be a good next step anytime. See Pathways for Living & Serving in the Ashram Community for more information.


Find Out More: Online Information Sessions

New this year, we are holding online information sessions to provide details and answer questions from prospective participants. Register to join in the discussion. And share these dates and times with friends who may be equally inspired!

Read more details in the sections below.

An Invitation from 2020 Participants

Graduates of this year’s course speak about their experience – and invite you to join this life-changing program.

Niamh – “Participating in the YDC I feel I was given the opportunity to learn the true meaning of self-acceptance in an environment where I felt completely safe and supported. This encouraged me to be open and work with the most vulnerable parts of myself.”

Elina – “One of the most valuable experiences I have had in my life. I have never taken so much time to invest in myself and it has paid off. Physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually, I feel that I have grown.”

Jason – “Ever since I took the YDC, I’ve found I’m much more capable of exploring the roots of my emotions, to know what to do when things are tumultuous or unsettled. A key learning I took away was that I can bring clarity into all aspects of my life, that nothing is unchangeable.”

Xue – “The YDC was an intensely explorative and nourishing journey for me. I got a glimpse of the depth of lightness and darkness within myself that I was totally unaware of. It taught me to connect with my real essence, in so many simple yet miraculous ways. The process was not always easy, but it has definitely been emancipating.”

Delta – “Marvelous, worthwhile, whole, deep, challenging, unexpected, transformative, different, personal, growth and a gift. Just come!” 

Read more testimonials


The Yoga Development Course provides a framework to help deepen self-understanding and expand awareness in order to move toward greater liberation. We begin with a two-week guided retreat and quarantine period that is followed by a three-month seven day a week, full time, residential intensive, totaling 675 hours of class time. The course consists of a series of integrated workshops one to five days in length.

Every day begins with Hidden Language Hatha Yoga. Morning and afternoon workshops are interactive with work in large and small groups. The daily schedule includes time for reflection and personal practice. Each evening the whole community gathers for satsang. One day a week is reserved for Karma Yoga.

Being in residence during the course allows you to be fully present. We take care of daily concerns such as shopping, cleaning and food preparation—you focus on your own growth.

The emphasis in the YDC is on personal reflection. Keeping a spiritual diary and writing reflections are an integral part of each workshop. Daily and weekly written summaries are often suggested, in order to capture your insights. Several books that are on your reading list have been selected for in-depth reflection over the period of your retreat.

After the completion of the YDC, there is an optional mentored component of continuing study, in which each student has one year to complete a personalized reading list with written reflections of a total of thirty books. These reports must be completed before taking the Hidden Language Hatha Yoga or Kundalini Yoga and Dream Yoga Teacher Certifications.

All of our staff teachers are Yasodhara-trained, and our senior teachers are disciples of Swami Radha, each with twenty to thirty years of teaching experience. Resident sanyasis provide education program oversight and advisement during the course.

The YDC includes instruction and practice in all aspects of Yasodhara Yoga.

Each day starts with Hidden Language Hatha Yoga, which combines listening to the body and reflecting on the symbolism of the asanas. This approach allows insights to gently emerge. The benefits of daily practice build over the three months, creating more freedom, strength, flexibility and relaxation in both body and mind.

The underlying structure of the YDC is based on the symbolism of the Kundalini system, with exploration of the senses, the mind and speech. Programs like Life Seals and Transitions give the unconscious an opportunity to speak directly through drawings, while Dream Yoga opens access to an inner teacher through examining the personal message of dreams. Observing the images arising from these deeper layers of mind informs us about how we’ve handled major transitions in our lives and opens options for change.

Instruction in spiritual practices such as mantra, the Divine Light Invocation, various meditation and visualization practices, silence and speech awareness are given throughout the course. These practices can clear and uplift the mind, creating a strong foundation that provides new perspectives and the courage to move toward your ideals or heart’s desire.

Study of sacred texts, such as the Bhagavad Gita and the Yoga Sutras, is approached through personal reflection on key verses, exploring what is personally meaningful and can be applied to your life now. Karma Yoga is taken out of the book and put into action, with one day a week focused on work as selfless service.

To complete each day, the whole Ashram community gathers to chant, listen to inspiring readings, and to send out positive vibrations to those in need.

Momentum builds over the three months with a rhythm that balances relaxation, movement, reflection, work, spiritual practice and study. The YDC gives time and support to take a good look at your life and tools to help you renew, heal and evolve.

Please see Our Practices for additional information on the core Yasodhara Yoga practices.

Course Dates:
2021: January 3 – April 19 in two parts:
Jan. 3 – 17: Private Guided Retreat (quarantine)
Jan. 18 – April 19: Yoga Development Course
To apply, Contact us.

This year we will accept 15-20 students into the Yoga Development Course.

Prior to application we recommend that you take an online course or have experienced a retreat or Karma Yoga at Yasodhara Ashram. Attending classes or online offerings through a Yasodhara Yoga Centre is another option to ensure an understanding of the type of program you would be entering.

Each applicant will have an entrance interview with the Program Advisor. This process is individually tailored to take into consideration personal circumstances. We ask applicants to thoroughly explore their reasons for taking the course and what their focus would be.

The fee for the course, which includes accommodation and meals, retreat and course time:

  • Private room sharing a bathroom with 1 person – $9550
  • Private room with ensuite – $11,500
  • Partners sharing an ensuite – $8050 per person

After admission, a deposit of $850 is required to reserve your space. The remaining payment can be made at the beginning of the course or in three equal installments over the three months.

Bursaries for young adults 18-30 are available on application for those who have financial need and have spent time at the Ashram.

Post YDC Extended Stays

After the YDC we offer an extended-stay program for up to five months at no charge to support students in the work they have done during the YDC. The program is focused on Karma Yoga and active engagement in the Ashram community. It is designed to help students put their learning into action and develop a deeper understanding of what it means to live in a spiritual community.

Participants take part in the daily Karma Yoga, morning Hatha Yoga classes and evening satsang as well as a post-YDC weekly reflection class.

The Yoga Development Course has been given each year since 1969. Originally called the Yoga Teachers Course, it was created by Swami Radha in response to the need for skilled teachers of yoga. It was revolutionary for its time, offering aspiring teachers in-depth self-study before teaching others. Now open to all who would like to develop their yoga practice, the YDC is still the first step on the path to becoming a Yasodhara certified teacher.

We encourage you to consider whether an even longer-term stay would be a good next step anytime. See Pathways for Living & Serving in the Ashram Community for more information. We are happy to discuss possibilities with you.

Our full Teacher Training and Certification program looks like this:

675 hours of instruction and practice
Ten-day certification plus post-course practicum
Prerequisite: completion of the Yoga Development Course
Learn more
Fourteen-day intensive
Prerequisite: completion of the YDC and Book Reflection Project
Learn more
Fourteen-day intensive
Prerequisite: completion of the YDC and the Book Report Project
Learn more

Teachers are required to be re-certified every three years.

Please contact the Program Advisor to begin the YDC application process.

Thank you!

Please contact the Program Advisor to begin the YDC application process.