3 Month Yoga Development Course (YDC)

Event Highlights

  • - Located in incredible natural beauty on the shores of Kootenay Lake
  • - Newly constructed Temple of Light
  • - Multiple Yoga studios
  • - Many natural paths to explore
  • - Large organic garden


The Yoga Development Course provides a framework to help deepen self-understanding and expand awareness in order to move toward greater liberation. The YDC is 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. Spiritual diary and written reflection are incorporated into each workshop. Daily and weekly written summaries are often suggested, in order to capture your insights. Four books are assigned during the YDC, with a book report on each to be completed over the course of your studies.

There is an optional post-course component of continuing study, in which each student has one year to complete a personalized reading list with written reports on 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 over twenty years of teaching experience. Resident sanyasis provide education program oversight and advisement during the course.

About This Event

The Yoga Development Course (YDC) offers three months of yoga in the deepest sense of the word, as a path to Liberation. Come and expand your understanding. Heal. Give yourself the spiritual nourishment you need. Challenge yourself to evolve.

This program, set in the Ashram’s pristine forest and lake during quiet winter, offers a balance of self-inquiry with group work in a community of like-minded people, a process that leads to new discoveries and purposeful change.

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.

2019 marks the 50th anniversary of the Yoga Development Course (YDC). Swami Radha’s original vision is vibrantly alive at the core of this program while Swami Radhananda’s experiential learning approach updates the teaching process.

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.

We also offer an extended-stay program after the YDC for up to five months at no charge to support students in the work they have done during the YDC.

The YDC is the most incredible experience I have given to myself. It has given me the tools I need to explore and deepen my understanding of my purpose and direction in life. It has also given me first hand experience of my own healing and practices

What's Included

  • - All delicious, organic meals (many products come from our garden)
  • - Accommodations
  • - All workshop fees

What's Not Included

- Course materials (books)
- Transportation


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.

We do not have camping facilities on the Ashram grounds. And we are sorry, we cannot accommodate pets.


  • Free Wifi
  • Towels
  • Free Parking
  • Coffee/Tea
  • Yoga Studio
  • House Keeping
  • Ceremony Space

Menu Types

  • Vegan
  • Vegetarian
  • Meat
  • Organic
  • Gluten Free
  • Dairy Free


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.

Cancellation Policy

100% deposit refund for cancellation 30+ days before event.
50% deposit refund for cancellation 15-29 days before event.
0% deposit refund for cancellation 0-14 days before event.
The remaining balance (total price minus deposit) is due upon arrival.
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  Write a review - tell others about your experience.

  • Leigh Monette   April 19, 2018

      Held 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, 2018

      spiritual 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, 2018

      Paradise 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!

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Balance my life to be mentally and physically healthy. Dianna

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We believe human beings are innately wise, strong and kind. This wisdom, although not always experienced, is always present. Going on retreat is a beautiful way to reconnect to our basic sanity and health. Our aspiration at Retreat Guru is to inspire people to experience authentic retreats and reconnect with their innate wisdom, strength and kindness.

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