Volunteer Program

PLEASE NOTE: The Centre is still currently closed to residential programs. Sign up to receive information and updates about when residential retreats will be open again.


While we recommend those new to the Salt Spring Centre of Yoga to come through our Residential Karma Yoga Program (RKYP), we understand that not everyone is able to make this commitment. Our Volunteer Program allows people a taste of what it’s like to live at the Centre in a two-week period.

The SSCY Volunteer program is for those who are interested in experiencing what it’s like to live in community and practice karma yoga (selfless service) on beautiful Salt Spring Island, British Columbia. The volunteer program consists of a work exchange where volunteers are asked to contribute a weekly total of 20 hours per week which includes work in various departments, chores and cleanups, work projects, and staff meetings. In exchange, they receive 3 meals a day and access to our ongoing public classes and offerings.

Volunteers are subject to approval through an application process and it is dependent on factors such as work area needs.


The Centre will not be accepting any Volunteer Program applications until further notice.


We ask participants in the volunteer program to commit to 20 hours each week of work in the Centre’s daily operation. Your work shifts will be focused within one or two of the following areas:

  • Landscaping
  • Housekeeping
  • Kitchen
  • Maintenance
  • Farm

If you have a special skill to contribute, such as building, renovation, vehicle maintenance, plumbing, information technology, etc., you may be asked to focus your time in that area. Our needs vary with the time of year and the type of programs we are hosting.

In return, program volunteers are provided with:

  • Accommodation in our forested, well-maintained campground
  • Two hot vegetarian meals per day and self-serve breakfast
  • Access to ongoing public yoga classes at the Centre
  • Chances to participate in weekly gatherings for kirtan and satsang, as well as traditional rituals like āratī and yajña
  • On-site laundry facilities
  • WiFi connection and desktop computer and printer access in our designated karma yogi common space
  • Time to explore the unique and beautiful environs of Salt Spring Island


Who applies for the Volunteer Program?

  • People of all ages, from all walks of life and from many different countries, and all are welcome
  • People that wish to experience living in a working yoga community
  • People with a desire to selflessly contribute their skills and life energy to the Mission of the Centre
  • Those who will commit to abide by the Centre Guidelines for residents of the Centre, including the practice of vegetarianism and a drug- and alcohol-free lifestyle
  • Those who may want to apply for the Residential Karma Yoga Program or take a Yoga Teacher Training Program in the future and would like to have a strong foundation prior to that training

The Centre is not a place for rehabilitation or recovery and is not the right environment for those seeking a therapeutic or rehabilitative program.  The endeavors of our community keep us very busy and they require enthusiasm and hard work.

We can accept singles or couples but we are unable to accommodate children.

What should I bring?

Please refer to our What to Bring document.

A car is not needed, but you are welcome to bring a car to the Centre.  Your vehicle will need to be logged in with our office and you will need to provide proof of registration and insurance.

The Centre is a scenic 40-60 minute walk to the island’s main town, Ganges.  There is an island bus service, approximately a 10-15 minute walk away.  We also find it quite common for residents to carpool for outings.

Additionally, we have a bike rack for those residents who wish to bring their bicycles.  You must bring your own lock and helmet.

Will I have Internet access?

Yes. We have high-speed internet with two communal desktop computers available for residents to use.  Some people choose to bring their own laptops as wireless internet access is available within our main program building.

As a courtesy to guests and other residents, use of laptops or cellphones is not allowed in the dining area.

Can you tell me what to expect in regard to the food served at the Centre?

Two hot meals (lunch and dinner) are served each day.  In addition, a variety of fixings available in the resident community kitchen for a self-serve breakfast. During programs, a full breakfast may be served. 

Our diet is lacto-vegetarian, which does not include meat, fish or eggs.  As practicing yogis, we do not cook or serve garlic or most onions, as they can over-stimulate the mind.  While gluten-free and dairy-free/vegan options are available at all meals, those with serious food allergies should consult with us before committing to the Volunteer Program.  Where possible, most of our produce comes directly from our organic farm.

The Centre has a reputation for high-quality, nutritious, well-balanced and tasty cuisine.

How do I get to the Centre?

We have posted detailed directions on our Getting Here page.

Is there anything else I should know about?

Please read our Centre Guidelines for more information about what to expect at the Centre.