About This Center
Our purpose is to stimulate open intellectual and spiritual enquiry, supporting the potential of transformation in each person.
Yasodhara Ashram is a yoga retreat and study center founded by Swami Sivananda Radha in 1963, in Kootenay Bay, British Columbia, Canada.
Yasodhara Ashram is an enduring and vibrant spiritual community. Set in the beautiful mountains of southeastern British Columbia, we invite people of all ages and backgrounds to pursue their self-development and discover the promise of yoga.
We offer a wide range of yoga programs year round – from a three-month intensive, to private retreats, teacher certifications and introductions to yoga. Our popular Service and Study programs are for those interested in learning about Karma Yoga, or the yoga of selfless service, our main spiritual practice.
Yasodhara Ashram is also a residential community, with a small number of full-time residents, swamis and brahmacharis who make our homes here. We are the stewards of Swami Radha’s teachings and the caretakers of this sacred space. We are joined in our efforts by many long and short-term Karma Yogis, as well as teachers in training, course participants, guest teachers and retreat guests. We see over 1000 people pass through the Ashram in a year. The number of people living, working and studying at Yasodhara at any given time ranges from 50-120 people.
Living with awareness in both the inner and outer worlds, Yasodhara Ashram is deeply committed to participating in sustainable environmental practices. From the Ashram’s perspective, environmental action is an important part of our social responsibility and ecological integrity, a practice of the basic yogic principle of ahimsa.
With a lineage of leadership guided by women, our spiritual tradition emphasizes the nurturing and devotional qualities of the Divine Feminine. We are also home to the Temple of Divine Light, which recognizes the Light in all religions and the divine spark in each person. Our aim is to instill quality, care, awareness in all that we do, so that Yasodhara can truly be a spiritual home to all who come.
Yasodhara Ashram is the hub of a network of urban teaching centers known as Yasodhara Yoga Centres and the home of Timeless Books. We are a Canadian charity and educational institution.
As custodians of a precious set of yogic teachings, our commitment is to ensure that you receive them with the same thoroughness and care that they were given to us. Swami Radha’s reflective, spiritual approach to yoga integrates body, mind and speech.
By integrating yogic practices with personal development techniques, the yoga at Yasodhara encompasses the teachings of the East and translates them for our Western situation.
The practices you learn at the Ashram will help guide you to your own inner wisdom. The spiritual goal of yoga is self-realization, exploring the question, “Who am I?” We support students in creating a personal learning experience, building a foundation for the inner work necessary on the path of yoga.
On retreat, you will find space for reflection, relaxation and spiritual renewal. Enjoy a quiet oasis of inspiration, far from the busyness of daily life.
Choose the retreat that is just right for you. Our Guided Retreats offer both space and structure. Personal Retreats let you design your time in a way that suits your needs. And if you are an artist, professional or student our new Renewal Retreats may be what you are looking for. Group or Work Retreats give you access to the Ashram’s facilities while creating your own program.
Yasodhara yoga courses have been designed to emphasize the yogic tradition of self-discovery through reflection on the spiritual in everyday life.
Swami Radha believed that yoga is a path of liberation open to everyone. Her teachings, which are the basis of all of our courses, support students in building a foundation of character, courage and awareness – the inner work necessary on the path of yoga.
The Ashram guest accommodations overlook the lake, mountains and forest. Rooms are designed for comfortable, shared accommodation, although single rooms may be available upon request for an additional fee.
We have two primary guest lodges – The Barn and Saraswati Lodge – plus a number of other residences that house short and long-term residents, and dorm-style accommodations for young adults (seasonal).
There are separate women and men’s residences.
Families are welcome and will be accommodated together or in neighbouring rooms.
We have a limited number of options available for the elderly or people with mobility issues. Please contact the office if you have special accommodations needs.
Accommodation is included in your course, retreat or program fees.
Nourishing meals – breakfast, lunch and dinner – are served in the dining room or on the deck overlooking the lake in the warmer months. Vegetarian, vegan and wheat free options are always available. Organic or naturally sourced fish and poultry are occasionally served for those who include them in their diets. Organic fruit and vegetables from our gardens and orchards are used as much as possible. We are committed to buying local and organic products and our menus are designed around what is available seasonally.
All meals are in silence.
We cannot accommodate all special dietary needs, although there is a fridge and cupboard space for guest use. An ingredient list is posted at each meal for those concerned with food sensitivities. Please call ahead to clarify your options. If you have severe allergies, it is essential to check with us prior to registering.
As a guest, all meals are included in your fees.
Laundry - Laundry facilities are located in each of our residences.
Karma Yoga Social Space - a space for reading, writing and doing crafts as well as accessing the internet.
Library - The library holds copies of all books by Swami Radha and her disciples, as well as tapes and CDs, and many books by Swami Sivananda. In addition, it has an extensive collection specializing in spiritual thought and philosophy.
Limited Internet - There is a small fee per one-time use or a there is a monthly fee. This includes internet searches and the occasional Skype call. Wifi access is available in the Karma Yoga Social Space and in the Library and there are two computers in the Library for guest use.
Phone - there are pay phones for guest use, and long distance phone cards available at the bookstore.
Mail - sent three times per week and received Monday-Friday via Canada Post.
Gift Store - offers a collection of recommended titles from various spiritual traditions and disciplines.
Prayer Rooms - there are a number of dedicated prayer rooms for your personal meditation or mantra practice.
Beaches and Trails - it is a privilege to have our community in the natural beauty of the Kootenay region. We have beautiful waterfront with beaches and a crystal clear lake to swim in during the summer.
- Gluten Free
- Dairy Free
ReviewsWrite a review - tell others about your experience.
Leigh Monette April 19, 2018Held in the Light
Each time I go to the Ashram I come away feeling rejuvenated, full of Light and ready to enter my life at home with new understanding of myself. The days at the Ashram are filled with yogic practices, starting with Hatha Yoga in the morning, courses or Karma Yoga throughout the day and ending with Satsang in the Temple of Light. All these practices are done with reflection, with space given to understand how I act and interact in the world. I find new depths of my Light within. I feel so nourished on every level. The meals are excellent, the rooms are clean and comfortable and the grounds set in the mountains on the lake are so well cared for. When sitting in the Temple of Light I can feel how sacred this space is.
che burnett April 06, 2018spiritual home
A place of acceptance and warm invitation. A place I go to re-realize self-realization. People of many spiritual backgrounds are welcomed in the temple of the light. Courses are brought about to invite us to be in authentic ways. Meals ate in silence, and delicious/organic/buffet. Being from Alberta I feel lucky to have a spiritual home and community so close that calls and challenges me to live most high.
Joan Gamble April 06, 2018Paradise Found
Magic happens here at the ashram, this place so filled with light you literally feel it as you enter the property. There are many options of how to use your time here- taking classes to allow you to explore the meaning of your life; doing karma yoga to contribute to the daily flow of activities or simply retreat and do your own thing. This is a place to return to again and again!