We are the Himalaya Shanti Ashram for Yoga, Meditation and Healing located by a beautiful river in the foothills of the Himalayas near Dharamshala in Himachal Pradesh. We run Organic Farming to grow all kinds of fruit and vegetables and keep cows for milk. The project is in its infancy right now, we have been working hard for a year and are making excellent progress but we are ambitious and would like to be able to provide all the food needed for the guests on the Yoga Retreats from our own cultivation. Therefore, we need some more help from motivated, hands-on people with a passion for working outdoors who can help us to create and implement new gardening projects.
We are looking for enthusiastic, hardworking people with a love of nature. We would especially like to host people with experience in gardening, farming, animal handling, Permaculture and eco-building, but if you are prepared to work hard, be flexible and accommodating then you would be welcome. We would like volunteers who will appreciate our beautiful natural retreat space and treat it like home, taking responsibility and initiative accordingly to ensure the smooth running of the place.
We are ideally looking for long-term volunteers who can stay upwards of three months.
We offer shared accommodation in a beautiful community space with shared bathroom. We offer two vegetarian meals per day; lunch and dinner. If there are leftovers, they will made available for next day's breakfast. You may also bring your own breakfast things or purchase them on the day off.
The project is on the grounds of the Yoga Ashram, which runs spiritual retreats throughout the year. During the time retreats are running we ask volunteers to be mindful of the students’ personal and spiritual growth, respecting their silence and space.
An interest in yoga is helpful but not necessary. However you should at least have an appreciation of the spiritual way of life. We ask that you respect the rules of the Ashram and not smoke, drink alcohol or eat meat in the grounds. We also ask that you respect local custom by dressing appropriately around the Ashram and not swimming naked in the river.
We work hard and start early so it is good for you to cultivate a personal rhythm that is suited to this way of life.
We are located in the vicinity of Dharamshala Airport (20 minutes by taxi) and McLeodganj (about 40 minutes by taxi or 1.5 hours walk and bus ride). This is the site of the exiled Tibetan community and the residence of HH the Dalai Lama.
We are in a very secluded location but there are plenty of trekking opportunities nearby and the Ashram grounds offer plenty to do on days off including walking, swimming in the river and enjoying the beautiful nature around.
Cultural exchange and learning opportunities
If you are interested in Yoga spirituality then you will find this a very rewarding exchange. The Ashram practices and teaches an evolution of the Iyengar Yoga method, as devised by our Master Teacher [Sharat Arora]. We recommend if you wish to study yoga that you familiarise yourself with our practice by first attending at least one of our 5-day courses at our Himalayan Iyengar Yoga Centre in Dharamkot so that you can then continue a self-practice in the Ashram. We offer a volunteer exchange for the course in Dharamkot of 3 hours per day for the five days of the course, not including food or accommodation at the Dharamkot Centre.
Volunteers work alongside local workers so you will get a taste of the local Himachali culture. Indian culture in the area is here also mixed with the Tibetan because of the exiled community in nearby Dharamshala. Many people come here to study Tibetan Buddhism, language and culture.
You will increase your experience and get a chance to share skills in gardening, organic farming and animal handling.