Selfless Giving is the Art of Living
Hridaya’s Karma Yoga Program is an opportunity for all those who want to deepen their practice of volunteer service. It is a residential program that allows a full immersion into the Hridaya Yoga Center and its community life by participation in our yoga and meditation program and our internal operations. Learn more about the Hridaya Yoga vision here.
The program spreads over a 3 cycle period (1 cycle equals around 5 weeks so the total length of the commitment comes to a little less than 4 months). It provides accommodation (dormitory or camping; tents can be provided), food served 6 days per week, participation in our Hridaya Yoga Retreat: Module 1 Intensive (or any module following the most recent one you have graduated) and one 10-Day Hridaya Silent Meditation Retreat, daily meditations, and many extracurricular activities such as evening lectures, bhajans, and movie nights.
Karma Yoga Retreat
During the Karma Yoga Program, you will fully participate in one 10-Day Hridaya Silent Meditation Retreat and serve in two other retreats. We call time spent serving during retreats the “Karma Yoga Retreat.” In the Karma Yoga Retreat, you will be immersed in the retreat environment and experience the best conditions for service by maintaining noble silence while at the Hridaya Yoga Center. The stillness that this cultivates profoundly supports both the 10-day retreat participants and those serving them.
To deepen this process, the Karma Yoga Retreat includes daily Hridaya Meditations and Hatha Yoga, live audio streaming of the silent retreat, and hours of Karma Yoga supporting the silent retreat participants. Also, throughout the retreat you will be introduced to specific topics related to the practice of Karma Yoga, applying them during your time spent serving.
The Karma Yoga Retreat is a beautiful way to practice awareness, detachment, and love not only in formal meditation and Hatha Yoga, but also through action—which is the core of Karma Yoga. In this way, what is cultivated through meditation and Hatha Yoga is integrated into all aspects of your life. Serving in the Karma Yoga Retreat, you can connect with the natural love and joy that arises from offering yourself and your actions for the benefit of others and all of existence.
Karma Yogis can expect to serve 5 hours per day, 5 days per week in one of the following fields: Kitchen, Maintenance, Reception, Accommodation, Marketing, and Audio and Video editing. In addition to formal working hours, Karma Yogis play an integral part in welcoming new students and holding a friendly space in the community.
We now ask all Karma yogis to send us proof of valid travel medical insurance valid though the end of their stay in Mazunte.
Morning Meditation at the Hridaya Yoga Center
Hridaya Yoga aligns with the traditional yogic view that inner transformation is based on consistent spiritual practice. Hridaya Meditation is a form of Self-Enquiry, and in our school, it is the main tool to reconnect with the infinite depth and intimacy of our being.
While living in our joyful Hridaya Community in itself may appeal to you, we strongly believe that without a daily spiritual practice of meditation and Hatha Yoga—on a background of awareness—the purification of the subconscious mind, psychological healing, and spiritual freedom cannot happen.
Therefore, daily (Monday to Saturday) participation in our one-hour morning Hridaya Meditation is an important part of your commitment as a Karma Yogi. This shouldn’t be seen as a compulsory rule but as a support for your commitment to inner transformation. When the reconnection with the Heart happens, such commitment becomes effortless and natural, bringing stability and trust in your real being.
Without constant Self-awareness (and the meditation practice that leads to it), there cannot be any real success in any field of life. Such fulfillment ultimately means performing a harmonious and efficient action, without being bound by it.
Being a student and serving at the Hridaya Yoga Center is a unique opportunity to learn authentic approaches to meditation and Hatha Yoga in a very safe, nurturing environment. If you don’t feel a calling for inner transformation, please don’t apply. It would be a pity to take the place of someone who is genuinely longing for such a path. Similarly, if a contemplative style of Hatha Yoga doesn’t resonate with you, please don’t apply.
In order to support Self-awareness, we honor noble silence at the Hridaya Yoga Center every morning until 11:00 am. This means avoiding both inner mental chatter and outer talking. Of course, sometimes speaking is necessary in order to harmoniously perform our tasks. In such cases, we whisper.
Work Exchange versus Karma Yoga
Please note that there is a big difference between work exchange and Karma Yoga. Karma Yoga means the yoga of action done with awareness, detachment, and Love. You will be honored and served at the school (by teachers, Karma Yogis, and other community members) and you should feel inspired to serve with the same spirit and dedication.
Before applying to the Karma Yoga Program, we strongly recommend you learn more about the path of selfless service by reading this page.
If you have contemplated your commitment and are interested in joining the program, please fill out the application form. We will process your application and contact you if there is a suitable position available. Please understand that we receive many applications and there may be some delay in the response.
Also, please note that we have limited spaces available in the Karma Yoga program. While we value and thoroughly consider every application we receive, we tend to have a preference for those who have practiced Hridaya Hatha Yoga and Hridaya meditation, and ideally have already completed our Module 1 Intensive Course and/or a Silent Meditation Retreat with us. In our experience, we have found it harmonious to experience the philosophy and practices offered at Hridaya before immersing in the Karma Yoga program.