Karma Yoga is the Yoga of Action and the path chosen primarily by those of an outgoing nature. It purifies the heart by teaching you to act selflessly, without thought of gain or reward. By detaching yourself from the fruits of your actions and offering them up to God, you learn to work from your heart, not your ego.
It’s not what you do that counts, it’s the attitude while doing it that determines if a job is a karma yoga job, i.e. a liberating job, or a binding job. “Work is worship“ according to Swami Sivananda, who advises us to “give your hands to work, and keep your mind fixed at the lotus feet of the Lord.”
Each job is a teacher of some sort. You can learn different skills by doing different jobs. Each job has different requirements in terms of time, degree of concentration, skills or experience, emotional input, physical energy, will. Try to do whatever job you are doing, well.
The Sivananda Ashrams and Centers around the world are open to receive volunteers, who wish to spend a period of time immersed in a lifestyle that is conducive to the practice of yoga and meditation, and that also provides the venues for practical spiritual learning on a day to day basis. Being part of the staff means one learns not only how to share and live in peace and harmony with others, but most of all, how to respect everyone and everything as a manifestation of our very being.
The Sivananda Yoga Camp offers two different ways for those who wish to come and experience life at the Ashram depending on their commitment.
The Work Study Program provides an easy way to approach situation, is suited for those who are new to this experience and who have not lived in an Ashram or taken any courses such as TTC. Participating on the regular schedule will provide a good insight of the different ashram practices and also a few hours daily of karma yoga (selfless service) will help in the integration and understanding of life in a spiritual community.
The Temporary Staff Program fits those who wish to spend up to 3 months at the Ashram. Aside from the daily satsangs and one Yoga class, days are spent more actively involved in the practice of karma yoga. In this program there will be a better sense of service and also of commitment that in turn provides a good learning ground in the field of disciplining oneself and improving confidence and self-esteem.
Any program is valid and full of insightful learning. The tools taught by Yoga and Meditation are to be applied in a daily life, whether the stay is a week, a month or a few years. Swami Vishnudevananda set the structure with the view that once people leave, they could still practice in some way or another what they have learned at the ashram. The ashram in turn would kindle that flame of change and growth from within each individual towards peace and perfection in their lives.
For more information about the different programs please check the links below: