Yoga Voluntourism : Karma Yoga

Are you waiting for India to reopen borders? Free evisas will be available on the gov website from 15th November 2021 for a limited time. Commercial flights will also resume. From that time, for a few very special Karma Yogis : there are 4 positions at SwAr Ashram. The Karma Yogi-s providing the following priority voluntary work 2.5-3 hours per day will get first preference bookings:

✨ online marketing, ✨WP website editing, ✨hardware / software tech, ✨Yoga teacher & ✨English with little of computer teacher. ✨🙏🏽✨kirtan wallas & retreat leaders including Yoga & other related teachers may join the profit share plan.

Join us as a Yoga Voluntourism Guest Sevaka aka be a Karma Yogi. Yoga Nomads, particularly of the tech skilled variety are much needed here. The key to a successful volunteer experience is communication. When you schedule an arrival & departure agreement, we will arrange everything for a mutually rewarding stay with us and all the teachings on site are for you to avail freely, however, there is a small payment for accommodation and meals required.  Please NOTE: We do not own any rooms of our own. It is necessary to make previous arrangements with us, so that we can prepare our home-stay hosts which are right on Ashram campus. Amma is engaged in hands-on full time local charity work. For this reason we are not able to assist travellers who just drop in unexpectedly. We will, however, joyfully plan accordingly for you, if you reach out and communicate. the above offer is from 15 November 2021 and ends 15 February 2022. Until this, we can not plan for March 2022, so please do reach out today.

You may structure your Seva / Karma Yoga (voluntary time) to your liking if you are doing computer work, but we request that you choose a routine and report to us on an agreed schedule. Kindly inquire here about an agreement for a Karma Yoga stay at SwAr Ashram. first priority will be given if you attach a cover letter, CV or Resume with your INQUIRY.

Karma Yoga does not mean work exchange. A true Karma Yogi pays their way and acts(Karma = Action) without any expectation of reward in exchange. In the strict sense, that is the definition of Karma Yoga, to do meritous deeds for no recompensation. Room and board is recompensation. However, for a limited time, because of the urgent need to get re-opened quickly for the short season, we are offering 50% subsidized stays, a deep discount with our deep appreciation.

If you are an Indian national or expat in India working mostly or entirely online right now on a valid longer-term visa (such as your own business visa) and can offer the above Karma Yoga priorities, this is a great opportunity to reduce your living expenses, get full Ashram Yoga access and still have plenty of time to do your own online business. This arrangement can be longer than 28 days as your visa situation allows and as this arrangement is valuable to both of you and our Ashram.

The Karma Yogi’s package for this immediate time period (above), covers our expenses for an Ashram room with all meals (vegan/ vegetarian). You will additionally get free yoga, agnihotra, satsang teachings, meditation, library access & wifi This subsidized rate is for 28 days work-study. This is approx half of a normal monthly Karma Yogi ie: Yoga Student rate.

For 28 day Karma Yogi-s, Amma will gift you an InnerYatra – an afternoon of Guided Teachings & Tours OR a pampering package of either Traditional Nimari Massage, Ayurvedic Facial or Yoga Therapy personal protocol.

Does this sound like YOU or anyone you know who can travel as soon as borders open? Please share this page with anyone who would find this useful. Contact me personally.

Meanwhile we also will be welcoming regular Yoga & retreat guests as the Yoga retreat/tourism resumes. All Yoga tourism income supports our charitable programs which you will see when you visit us – click the VISIT button YACEP applies for Yoga Teachers and RYTs may also inquire about Amma’s plug-n-play super easy relaxing profit sharing retreats when you bring your students as guests.

Sadhus & Saints journey as Parikramavasi, circumbulating the Narmada River with only a small bag, a stick and a tiffin, usually barefoot. This can take up to 3 years, 3 months and 3 days to complete the 700km each side.

view on the gallery page – charitable Initiatives at SwAr Ashram – manangement by NIWS

You may structure your Seva / Karma Yoga (voluntary time) to your liking if you are doing computer work, but we request that you choose a routine and report to us on an agreed schedule.  Please attach a CV or Resume with your INQUIRY. The skills that will get top priority placement are:

Online Marketer for Yoga / Retreats •  Hardware & Software Tech(s) •  WP Web Designer/editor • Copy Editor • Photo EditorVideographer(s) • Yoga Teachers • ESL/ English Teachers

If you are a Digital Nomad working from your home, whether on quarantine or on the road elsewhere, it is not necessary that you visit our physical location in order to volunteer your skills. You may develop a relationship with us online now that we have our website and some tools to teach you from afar & you may opt to visit sometime in the future.

If you are a Booking Agent or Yoga Teacher wishing to contribute Teaching Time or to bring your own Guests or Students, see the GUEST TEACHERS PAGE...

Those planning to study Yoga with us for longer periods, may include optional 1 hour per day of Karma Yoga in any of these curriculums. See the pages:


For shorter stays:

Voluntourist Karma Yogi-s staying the full week (6 days) may be arranged if there are openings between the 28 day stays 15 Nov 2021- 15 Feb 2022.

Voluntourism is for Karma Yogi-s who wish to study / practice Yoga at SwAr Ashram for a short time, while taking an interest in our social work.  You experience an Ashram Yogic Lifestyle authentic to the ancient days while you are here in our heritage facilities. Our Yogacharini, Amma Niradhara is a Karma Yogi herself. She also pays her own way living here while working full time in tireless service over the past 14 years. She makes it her priority to assist and guide you, as she really understands and appreciates your commitment.

You will access Daily Ashram Yoga & Yajnya, Aarti & Puja, have time for self-study, as well as perform the duties of a pre-agreed Seva / Karma Yoga (Volunteerism) assignment. We will arrange a comfortable room and serve 3 healthy delicious Indian vegetarian / vegan meals per day for you. You can freely use the Ashram premises & front Ghat, Library, wi-fi and private garden. We thank you for taking the opportunity to serve our developing Community. We are very grateful for you & the skills you bring us.

Optional Local Massage, Ayurvedic Facials, Yoga Therapy, Sound Therapy & Reiki are available at very low cost on campus.

Please note that a full week is recommended because more frequent turnover reduces the effectiveness & efficiency of completing most tasks. Ideally, you have enough time for self-exploration, self-study and Ashram Programs as well as the time you invest in a voluntary project. The first day is often spent on just adjusting to your new environment and possibly with jet-lag. The last day is set aside purely for your enjoyment. For this reason, the cost of a shorter stay is not reduced significantly.

Additional days may be calculated with pre-approval of the local Foreign Registration Authorities.

It may be possible for a 4 week (or longer) Yoga Course built around certain larger video projects.  This arrangement includes a guided day trip to OMkareshwar on your last full day off. We may be able to make special arrangements for you, and perhaps your small video team of 2-4 persons. We are open to other video projects after these are completed.

We arrange your pick-up from Indore, either the Airport, Train or Bus Stations, your room & meals. The home-stays do not allow tourists unless they are registered by us as Yoga Voluntourists. They are on or very near to our campus. This is included in the total billable cost of your expenses to be here. So, let me use those facts to preface a reply to the #1 FAQ. SEE THE FAQ PAGE HERE…

Some people ask why they have to ‘pay to volunteer‘.  This is an excellent opportunity to explain how finances work in undeveloped countries, as well as what Seva/ Karma Yoga from a Yogic perspective really means.

If you are living in your own home, volunteering for any charity within your home-town, will they pay for your meals & housing while you volunteer there?  As it is here, you are not paying to volunteer, you are paying for your own living expenses as well as in this case some expenses incurred by us because of your visit. A small grassroots NGO in an under-developed country can not afford to pay for your hotel room and meals while you volunteer. We do not even have funds to pay a salary to a local person for the job that you are volunteering to do. The Voluntourist’s stay costs are 10-20 times what it would cost us to hire local people to do the same jobs. 

A Sadhu on the Narmada Ghat.

If we paid for your housing & meals, we would be doing a dis-service to the poor community that we serve by cutting out an available job for them, as well as the cost of housing a volunteer for a week is equivalent to an average of 2.5 months local wages OR could have funded 200 or more textbooks.  It is just not possible to treat our foreign guests as if you are the charity cases – as well as it is illogical.  We do not even own property to house you or a public kitchen or staff to feed and attend to you.  We are the local poor helping the local poorer — with our own free labor! For the books and materials we need to purchase for our students, and for the upkeep of the roof over our Ashram, we need income, and we need your help.

We do not own guest rooms or a kitchen. We have our Ashram’s Teaching Facilities and we have home-stay arrangements which include meals & we have affiliation with the local cafe. These rooms and meals are billed to us at a rate comparable to a no-frills backpacker hostel, but are more attractive, hygienic and safe in all regards. If you prefer to stay at our Heritage Gatehouse Lodging affiliate (part of the cafe), that may also be arranged by us for its additional cost. The home-stays do not allow tourists unless they are registered by us as Yoga Voluntourists. They are on, or very near, to our campus.

We do not own a car.  We hire independent drivers and pay the same as you do, however, we can arrange it on our end for less than you would pay on the Indore side.  It is a 2.5 hour drive or 3 – 4 hours by bus. Experienced travellers may opt for the bus to reduce your costs, this is not recommended for the inexperienced. For this reason, we ask for your arrival and departure time in Indore but calculate the car costs separately. You pay this direct to the independent driver we send for you.

Factor in the cost of our time spent arranging rooms, meals and airport transfers, supervision and co-ordination of the work you will be doing for us and translators need to be hired to manage the fact that we would have a volunteer on site.  So we actually incur costs of ad hoc staff by inviting volunteers – over and above the cost of our normal operations and of course, your room and meals. All this is factored in to the rates we require for your time with us.

Please consider that we DO have Yoga to offer you and we Love and Appreciate YOU. We very much need Digital Nomads & on-site Tech Volunteers to maintain our student’s computers, WP Web Designers & Editors of both photos & content, to upgrade our site and organize our e-files, as well as Social Marketers to attract more Guests who might come to this remote place and pay for Yoga to fund more and growing Charitable Initiative Programs each year. With the help of a few Voluntourists each year, potentially we improve our outreach communications and attract more Yoga Tourism Guests to fund and expand our charitable initiatives.  BOOKING AGENTS may inquire similarly to GUEST TEACHERS….

All Yoga students have the opportunity for offering seva (service) – usually simple chores. This is done casually, on an honor system basis and is different from the Karma Yogi aka: Voluntourist agreement. The offering of deep discount for specific skills at this immediate time is a required contracted agreement. It is vital for our Ashram’s re-opening. It is a great value and still you get all the basic teachings & use of facilities! In this caring environment you have time to self-study, explore & participate as a Karma Yogi reaping the personal spiritual benefits of supporting our Ashram charities.

Parikramavasi along the shallow tributaries in hot season.

Karma Yoga – the right-actions of a Yogi / the work of recognizing that there are no ‘others’, that as we serve each other, so we serve ourself.

The fastest track of innerEvolution towards Self-Realization / Enlightenment is to serve others. When you open your heart by giving your time to someone in need, particularly in an environment that is under-served and under-developed as a whole, the expansion of your soul-consciousness is immense.

We regret that we can not pay your expenses to volunteer here, but in fact, Amma Niradhara herself is unpaid and has been spending her modest life savings to pay her Ashram’s rent, utilities and her own meals to live here for the last 12 years.  This is the definition of a Sevaka.  Seva (self-less service) aka Karma Yoga. By definition, this means to give your time without expectation of anything in return.  Out of your recognition that you are blessed with more than needed for basic survival while others struggle to survive, you become grateful enough to give that time or that extra few dollars. You give out of that gratitude simply because you have it available to give. This is service that is truly Blessed.

If you want the marvelous & rewarding experience of immersion in the daily life of rustic, rural, real India while volunteering for an Ashram that gives 100% of its income to its poor & needy community – and you want a meaningful and economical use of your vacation time & money with all the perks of living like a Yogi in Ashram environment, this is your place! CONTACT US TODAY….

 नर्मदे हर   NARMADE HAR! ༺🔥༻ – is a regional greeting in and around the Narmada River route among locals, parikramavasi-s and tourists. When we say this we recognize the Divinity of Narmada in you.


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