Yoga Sabbatical – Your sabbatical at Yoga Vidya

Sabbatical, taking time off, gap year, dropping out of the rat race to focus on your yoga practice…. Who doesn´t dream of it?

Travelling, volunteering, escaping into an ashram, writing a book – perhaps these are your dreams. If you are thinking to take a break from your working life, why not spend time at Yoga Vidya?

Yoga Vidya sabbatical programmes

If you would like to:

  • avoid burn-out
  • recollect and slow yourself down
  • get further training in Yoga and Ayurveda
  • volunteer and do service
  • feel the urge to embark on the quest of self-study
  • want to use your Sabbatical for intensive Retreat.

….. then Yoga Vidya is a good choice

The ashram and seminar house Yoga Vidya Bad Meinberg is the biggest yoga facility outside of India. It is located at the edge of the Teutoburg Forest near a vast and beautiful park.

We offer Sabbatical Programmes that encourage you to be part of our community. They are designed to support your goals and enable you to recharge and energize yourself.

The various options, each with different advantages, include:

Option 1: ‘Gurukula’ yoga teachers’ training

­This is a professional yoga teachers’ training course lasting two month and involving karma yoga for enhanced spiritual growth. You spend your Sabbatical living in an ashram, doing karma yoga (selfless service) and taking part in a 4-week yoga teachers’ training course. If you choose, you may prolong your stay doing karma yoga after the two months have passed.

Karma yoga helps to remove obstacles on your spiritual path, makes you more receptive to higher vibrations and enhances your ability to receive spiritual knowledge.

The yoga teachers’ training connects you to an integral yoga, as taught by Swami Sivananda, Swami Vishnu-devananda and Sukadev Bretz. At the end of the training, you will receive a 400-hour yoga teacher certificate.

This option of Sabbatical is for people with only 2-months free and little money. If you have a deep interest in spiritual growth via service or just wish to support the spread of yoga, the Yoga Vidya Family is looking forward to meeting you!

Option 2: Karma yoga sabbatical internships

We offer two models (either 50% or 100%) of spending your sabbatical as a karma yogi doing voluntary selfless service.

You become part of a spiritual community and constructively employ your talents and abilities. Simultaneously, you practice and learn about yoga and meditation in its many aspects. Maximise the benefit of your sabbatical in the energetic atmosphere of Europe’s largest Yoga Ashram.

The 50% karma yoga sabbatical internship consists of 3-hours of selfless service daily. You join one of the working teams in the ashram, but help out as needed in other sections as well. The rest of the day is yours for yoga practice, walks, attending lectures and relaxing. You pay half the normal daily rate.

This option is suitable if you wish to contribute to the goals of the ashram, but still want to have the personal time and space to slow down, relax and perhaps pursue some other dreams come true during your time off.

The 100% karma yogi sabbatical programme includes 6-hours of work daily, organic meals, room and free access to the open classes and lectures during your stay. This is for you if you would like to take time off, but have little money but want to live yoga deeply. In this programme, you stay free of charge. It is an opportunity to support the goals of Yoga Vidya, spreading the teachings of yoga.

Benefits of the karma yoga sabbatical internships

  • You get a profound insight into yoga from both theoretical and practical point of view.
  • You enrich every day with chanting and meditatio.
  • You have the time and space to evolve spiritually, mentally and physically.
  • You experience a spiritual community whose members put their heart into living together in a loving and mindful manne.
  • You engage in useful servic.
  • You get to stay in a shared room for free.
  • You enjoy 2 healthy organic vegetarian meals daily.

Pre-requisites for taking part in the karma yoga internships

Participants must provide proof that they are currently fully covered by their own medical insurance. In addition, you should have taken part in an introductory seminar covering the basics of yoga and meditation in one of the Yoga Vidya ashrams to make sure this programme resonates with your plans.

Option 3: 3-Months Sadhaka programme at Yoga Vidya

The Sadhaka programme is a three-month-stay in the ashram. If you feel a serious urge for spiritual development and wish to do intensive practice under the guidance by an experienced mentor, the Sadhaka programme may be right for you.

For the duration of your stay, a mentor will be on hand with help and advice. Weekly meetings provide the opportunity to have your questions answered regarding spiritual practice and development.

This option can be an intense experience that will enrich, transform and profoundly change your every day life.

The programme starts on the 1st Sunday of every month.

The 3-Months Sadhaka programme includes:

  • 1-2 yoga classes daily
  • 2 x Satsang (meditation, chanting, lecture, Arati) daily
  • Daily talks
  • 4 ½ hours karma yoga daily
  • Weekly individual support and advice from an experienced yoga mentor
  • 3 full-weekend seminars of your choice (check with your advisor as to which might provide greatest benefit for you)
  • 1 five–day introduction seminar to the sabbatical experience

Benefits of the 3-months Sadhaka programme:

  • You are in a protected environment with like-minded people.
  • Healthy, organic meals are cooked for you and shelter is provided.
  • You experience and live yoga and spirituality 24/7.
  • There is time for contemplation, for going within and concentrating on higher values.
  • Many participants undergo deep and profound spiritual and personal experiences.
  • Karma yoga opens your heart and a helps you to develop a strong connection to the divine.
  • You get personal advice and guidance from experienced yogis.
  • The combination of karma yoga and intense spiritual practice can lead to enhanced progress on your spiritual pat.

Prices 2017 for the 3–months Sadhaka programme, with organic wholesome meals, room and everything listed above included

Room with 4 people 1,571 €; double room 2,082 €; single room 2,594 €; dormitory or tent 1,169 €

also payable in three monthly installments: room with four people 549 €; double room 728 €; single room 907 €; dormitory or tent 409 €.

Option 4: Becoming a Sevaka at Yoga Vidya

In this option, you sign up to live in the Yoga Vidya spiritual community for at least one year and give your support to its projects and purpose. You’ll need a certain mental stability, motivation, a strong sense of responsibility, flexibility, friendliness and the willingness to immerse yourself in the integral yoga as taught by Swami Sivananda.

This time can be one of the most intense and beautiful experiences in your life. You will be presented with the opportunity to dive deep into spirituality and learn to integrate it into your daily life.

Who can partake of a sabbatical at Yoga Vidya?

Anyone who needs time off and wishes to tune to the yogic way of life is welcome. Yoga Vidya is a non-commercial association and an ashram that provides the ideal environment for deep contemplation and a quest for meaning. Here you’ll find silence, strength and clarity. An ashram is a refuge for people who are searching for the deeper meaning of existence and want to retreat from the market values of modern society. It is a safe harbour for people to embark on a quest for the higher reality of existence.

To maintain a high vibration, it is important for visitors as well as residents to maintain certain basic rules:

  • vegetarian diet: no meat, fish or eggs during your stay,
  • no alcohol, no recreational drugs, no tobacco,
  • regular attendance at meditation and chanting sessions,
  • daily practice of yoga postures (asanas) and breathing exercise (pranayama,
  • willingness to carry out different types of work as service and spiritual practice; helping out wherever necessary,
  • inner flexibility and open-mindedness,
  • deep interest in spiritual work and using your time out as a quest for meaning,
  • service to humanity,
  • mindfulness in dealing with fellow beings.

Preparing for your Sabbatical

If your longing to take time off has become intense and you are ready to act, plan carefully to make the most of your adventure.

  • Talk to your employer: it is usually a good idea to announce your intention at least one year in advance, so your employer can plan for someone to fill the gap.
  • Be aware that dropping out of work and into the unknown means a major change in your life – as well as a probable loss of income.
  • Think deeply as to which option of Yoga Sabbatical would work best for you.
  • Talk to your family and friends: find out who will support you, who will take care of your flat, your mail etc. Does your family agree with your undertaking or are there objections?
  • Take care of your maintenance during the Sabbatical: check your finances and ensure there is enough. The range of models at Yoga Vidya can make your sabbatical quite affordable.

Conditions of participation

For more information click here

Yoga Vidya is a non-profit association and Europe's leading provider of education and training in yoga, meditation, Ayurveda, massage, holistic health and spirituality.

Why Yoga Vidya?

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