About Yoga, Service & Study Immersion (YSSI)
In re-evaluating our offerings this year, we have decided to put YSSI on hold. Please check back in 2018. Thank you!
Our YSSI program offers a complete immersion into an authentic yogic lifestyle – on or off the mat!
The Yoga Service & Study Immersion (YSSI) program offers both service and study components, providing the opportunity for participants to develop/enhance their practice and understanding of classical Ashtanga and Hatha Yoga: the diverse methods and philosophy, and above all, the personal integration of these timeless and authentic teachings within a supportive and nurturing environment.
The service component of the program is based on karma yoga, the practice of selfless service, one of the three main paths of traditional yoga, and is prescribed by our teacher, Baba Hari Dass, as the common background to all our daily activities. In selfless service, efforts are made to perform all actions without self-interest, but nonetheless wholeheartedly, with enthusiasm and focus.
Despite working toward an objective, the work is done without attachment to the fruit of the actions. These are high ideals – virtually all our actions contain some degree of self-interest. The task of karma yoga is to seek out and slowly remove self-interest, even as it gets more and more subtle. Over time this results in action that has, at its foundation, a deep peace and joy that are unaffected by adverse circumstances.
Those who stay at the Centre become guided by these principles, not as external rules, but through the understanding that they bring about he reduction of the ego, the “I-me-mine” concept as the motivating force of all our thoughts and actions.
The Centre’s mission is to pass on the teachings of
classical ashtanga yoga.
In support of our mission, we offer classes and workshops aligned with the teachings of classical Ashtanga and Hatha yoga as passed on to us by our teacher, Baba Hari Dass. We also rent our facility to like-minded groups to run their own programs and retreats.
Providing a supportive environment for these activities requires an organized infrastructure, those coming to the Centre as part of the YSSI program join with resident staff in supporting this work, and in so doing, benefit from this personal growth opportunity, the peaceful environment, a wide variety of classes, the natural lifestyle and immersion in a spiritual community, not to mention the delicious, primarily organic food.
We accept sincere applicants of all ages, nationalities and religious traditions who wish to further their spiritual development through selfless service.
What We Offer
The Yoga Service and Study program includes daily offering of many types of yoga classes, community service, as well as evening classes and discussion groups in yoga philosophy and community themes. The yoga service component of the YSSI program consists of working in various areas of the Centre, including kitchen, housekeeping, gardening, landscaping and maintenance. You will be serving in one or more of these areas for approximately 20 hours a week (approximately 4 hours per day).
Weekly offerings include:
- Classes in pranayama (breathing methods) and meditation.
- Daily classes in yoga asana (postures)
- Yoga philosophy, spiritual discussion, exploring community, and ethics
- Health benefits of yoga
- Ayurveda – practical methods for well-being
- Bhakti Yoga – devotional practices and rituals
- Group check-ins, discussion groups and community meetings.
- Various assigned readings/other studies to facilitate a deeper understanding of yoga theory and practice.
Other very popular weekly activities include evening kirtan (devotional chanting/singing) and Sunday satsang gatherings (kirtan, readings and brief meditation). These events are also open to the larger island community.
For the three-month session beginning May 31st- September 1st, 2017 the fee is $2,000 with a weekly commitment of approximately 20 hours work/service, 3 hours of weekly meetings, and 6 hours of instruction in yoga philosophy, pranayama and meditation; for a total of approximately 30 hours per week. YSSI fees include meals, camping accommodation and use of amenities.
The yoga service component of the YSSI program consists of working in various areas of the Centre, including kitchen, housekeeping, gardening, landscaping and maintenance. You will be serving in one or more of these areas for approximately 20 hours a week (approximately 4 hours per day). Individuals generally serve the basic needs of our community livelihood, and because kitchen, and housekeeping comprise a large part of running our retreat center, these make up the majority of YSSI service hours.
Required Program Meetings & Classes
These consist of:
- A weekly check-in circle.
- A themed class/discussion in the areas of yoga meditation philosophy, selfless service as a form of self-development, exploring community held twice a week.
- All YSSI participants are required to attend a twice-weekly, one-hour class on basic pranayama and meditation techniques as taught in our tradition held on two morning a week from 7:30am-8:30am.
Additional Optional Classes & Activities
- Yoga classes: Daily classes are offered in the morning and some afternoons or evenings.
- Yoga Sadhana class: breathing practices and meditation offered each day before breakfast. An introductory class from 7:30-8:30 am on some of the basic pranayama and meditation techniques that Baba Hari Das has taught the community.
- Wednesday evening Kirtan
- Sunday afternoon Satsang
- Special group gatherings and rituals
Daily schedules vary, but a typical day may look something like this:
Morning: Yoga sadhana class (breathing practices and meditation) offered each day before breakfast. Twice a week, all YSSI participants are required to attend an introductory class from 7:30-8:30 am on some of the basic pranayama and meditation techniques that Baba Hari Dass has taught the community.
Morning and daytime: Work service shifts average 4 hours a day (with a break at lunchtime) and may include shifts in the following areas: kitchen, housekeeping, garden, maintenance/landscaping or dishes.
Evening: Dinner, spiritual theme discussions, special events, community check in or free time.
5:00-7:00 am Personal Practice (optional)
7:30-8:30 am Pranayama and Meditation
8:45-9:20 am Breakfast
9:30-12:30 am Morning Karma Yoga Shift
12:30-1:30 pm Lunch
1:30-3:30 pm Afternoon Karma Yoga Shift
4:30-6:00 pm Yoga Asana Class
6:30-7:30 pm Dinner
7:30-8:45 pm Yoga Philosophy/Discussion
- Those wanting to begin, renew or deepen their spiritual practice and understanding of the classical teachings of 8-limbed Ashtanga and Hatha Yoga.
- Those wishing to experience the benefits of living, working and studying together in a spiritually based community.
- Those who will commit to abide by the guidelines for residents of the Centre, including the practice of vegetarianism and a drug and alcohol-free lifestyle.
- Those who may want to take a yoga teacher training program in the future and would like to have a strong foundation prior to that training.
- Those who are unable or not interested in taking a yoga teacher training but would like a more in-depth understanding of the yogic system.
- Those who are able to commit to the complete 3 month YSSI program.
The Centre is not a place for rehabilitation or recovery and is not the right environment for those seeking a therapeutic or rehabilitative program. The endeavours of our community keep us very busy, and they require enthusiasm and hard work.
Note: We can accept singles or couples, but we are unable, at this time, to accommodate children.
about karma yoga at the
Salt Spring Centre.