Become an MVP!
Join us for an extended stay in our Meditate and Volunteer Program (MVP)
This program is a special program for highly motivated spiritual seekers who want to delve deeper into the traditional practices of yoga for a long period of time but lack the money for our retreats or courses. So, we created the MVP (Meditation and Volunteer Program) to allow participants to volunteer in the ashram to cover the cost of their room and food.
In exchange for free accommodation in our hostel, free food, and free classes we request a few hours of work every day. We require a minimum of 2 weeks stay which will be the initial trial period but if it is a good fit and if we have the availability then we may welcome you to stay for up to 3 months. We only allow a few people at a time to be in this program so you are encouraged to apply early.
In exchange for free accommodation, food, and daily classes, we ask that you work for around 5 hours in the day for 5 days of the week, but this can vary depending on the amount of work needed to be done. Two days per week are guaranteed off for relaxing and exploring the beautiful mountains in the area or visiting the nearby city of Rishikesh. Some of the work you can help us with consists of gardening, painting, construction, web design, online advertising, photography, cooking, cleaning, and any other projects that may arise in the ashram. However, if you have any special skills that you can offer to us please inform us of that in your application.
Anyone who is interested in becoming an MVP must first submit an application by email. Instructions for the application are provided below.
What do we do?
One of the main parts of yoga is called ahimsa. Ahimsa is the principle of non-violence. At Shiva Priya Yoga Ashram we promote this principle through many of our charitable activities.
Shiva Priya Yoga Ashram offers a variety of programs aimed at community service and helping the disadvantaged. Our main program is our Meditation and Volunteer Program (MVP) that allows disadvantaged students an opportunity to learn yoga in a traditional ashram for free, in exchange for some light volunteer work in the animal sanctuary or to help maintain the ashram.
Shiva Priya Yoga Ashram also promotes sustainability by banning plastic packaged food on the property, using locally made furniture and materials, composting all food, growing organic food on the property, and using energy-saving technology wherever possible. Presently, we are fully supported by a renewable solar-powered energy system and our hot water is powered through a renewable solar system as well. In the future we hope to establish a renewable water source to become fully off-grid.
A portion of the profit from Shiva Priya Yoga Ashram goes towards a selected mission each year. This year’s mission is to create an animal sanctuary where any street animals or injured animals can come and live with us at the ashram so they can be safe from the busy and dangerous streets of Rishikesh where they face certain death and disease. We are currently only housing dogs and cats but we hope to add cows and goats as well in the near future.
By joining our activities at Shiva Priya Yoga Ashram you are helping us to achieve our goal to help more disadvantaged people and animals. So we thank you for supporting Shiva Priya Yoga Ashram and helping us complete our mission.
What will you learn?
In the Patanjali Yoga Sutras, the primary text of yoga, it says “sthiram sukham asanam“, which means to sit in a position which is comfortable and steady. The goal of yoga is to find this steadiness and comfort, physically, mentally and spiritually. Through the practice of the physical yoga postures (asana), you can heal your body and soul and find stillness within.
We currently offer Hatha and Restorative yoga asana.
Prana is the sanskrit word for “life force”. The practice of pranayama involves the use of particular breathing practices which are aimed at manipulating this “life force”. The practice of pranayama cleanses and calms the body and mind, allowing you to go deeper into your yoga practice.
The practice of meditation is food for the body, heart and soul. Meditation evokes your childlike innocence and helps you to become more in touch with your true state. There are numerous practices of meditation. We will teach and practice Yoga Nidra (Yogic Sleep), Vipassana (Buddhist Meditation), Transcendental Meditation (TM), and Osho Meditation.
Shat means six and karma means actions. Shatkarma consists of the 6 groups of purification practices. These purification practices help to heal your body to help deepen the practice of pranayama and asana. Shatkarma creates harmony between the two major channels (nadis) in the body, ida and pingala, and creates harmony and balance in the body.
Yoga is a practice that is thousands of years old. One of the first texts on yoga, and the most foundational text, is the Patanjali Yoga Sutras which was written around 400 CE. Some of the other key texts of traditional yoga are the Bhagavad Gita, written around 200 BCE, and the Hatha Yoga Pradipika, written around the 15th century CE. These texts are the primary sources of the philosophy of yoga and will be explored more deeply in our courses.
**Philosophy is only offered in our courses because it requires a methodical approach. In our Foundations of Yoga course, we will cover the Patanjali Yoga Sutras as well as an overview of yoga and the 8 limbs of yoga. In our Yoga In-Depth Course, we will cover the Patanjali Yoga Sutras, the Bhagavad Gita, an overview of yoga and the 8 limbs of yoga, the different types of traditional yoga and how to practice them, an overview of the chakras, and how to do yoga sadhana.
Mantras are short phrases that are repeated or chanted alone or in a group setting. The chanting of mantras calms the mind and is a practice of meditation commonly known as Transcendental Meditation (TM). Mantra chanting will be be incorporated into the asana and meditation classes.
Mudras are the hand or body gestures commonly used in asana and meditation practice. Different mudras cause different affects on the body and mind and can be used to help direct energy flows in the body. Mudras help link the individual pranic force with the universal force.
Bandhas are the various body “locks” used in asana, meditation and pranayama practices. These locks help direct the flow of prana in the body to particular areas and redirect the flow of prana into the sushumna nadi for the purpose of spiritual awakening.
6:00am – Morning Bell
6:30am – Shatkarma (Cleansing)
7:00am – Pranayama & Meditation
8:00am – Hatha Yoga Asana
9:00am – Breakfast
10:00am – Free time to rest, trek in the surrounding mountains, or get an Ayurvedic or Yogic Treatment
12:00pm – Lunch
1:00pm – Digestive Breathing/Meditation Self-Practice
3:00pm – Philosophy (only for courses)
4:00pm – Hatha or Restorative Yoga Asana
6:00pm – Dinner
7:00pm – Digestive Walking
7:30pm – Evening Program (movie/kirtan/bonfire)
9:30pm – Lights out
Comfortable Hostel Room
Peaceful Yoga Hall
Fresh Yogic Food
Volunteering in the Garden
Beautiful Himalayan Mountains
Relaxing Yoga Practice
What our Students say
Please send the following information to us by email to: [email protected]
- A short introduction about who you are.
- Why are you interested in practicing yoga?
- How much experience do you have with yoga?
- Do you have any special skills you can offer?
- What dates are you interested in coming?
- Can you stay for a minimum of 2 weeks?
- Do you have any health problems that prevent you from doing any physical work? (We still accept people with any health issue, we just want to be aware so that we can accommodate you properly)
- Any additional information we should know about you.
We will reply to you within one week of receiving your application to inform you of your acceptance. If you do not receive a reply then you can try sending the message again through our Contact Us page or on Facebook.