Kitchen Learning Residency

Yasodhara Ashram Kitchen Learning Residency is intended for individuals who want to broaden and deepen their understanding of food preparation and the practice of Karma Yoga. Karma Yoga is the practice of selfless service, and is an essential part of life at Yasodhara Ashram.

In the summer, many of our vegetables, fruits and berries come directly from our garden and orchards.

Each day the kitchen team is responsible for feeding 50-130 people two nutritious, organic, mostly vegetarian, buffet-style meals. (Breakfasts are prepared by karma yogis and residents.)

Working alongside our Red Seal trained chef, your role will be to help create beautiful, nutritious meals made from fresh, organic food. We serve a whole foods diet, including grains, vegetables and fruit with occasional use of dairy, eggs, fish and chicken. The three-fold goal is to create meals that are:

  1. Healthy and nutritionally balanced
  2. Seasonally-responsive
  3. Simple and well-presented, honouring the nature and flavour of the foods
  • A curiosity and openness to explore living in a spiritual community
  • Willingness to learn
  • Interest and knowledge about food and sustainability
  • Ability to oversee both big picture and day to day tasks
  • Communication skills for reporting, cooperation and instruction
  • Ability to prioritize and adjust plans easily
  • Organizational skills (records, tools, people, supplies)
  • Ability to work independently and as part of a team
  • Ability to work in a changing environment
  • Keen observation
  • A desire to bring care into all actions

Some of these can be acquired through the program, however previous experience is an asset:

  • Some experience or knowledge of quality food preparation and nutrition
  • Experience in a commercial kitchen
  • Understanding of vegetarian and vegan principles
  • Baking experience
  • Ability to prepare foods according to prescribed recipes or to follow lead cooks’ instructions
  • Knowledge of methods, materials and practices of volume food preparation (helpful but not essential; you will learn this!)
  • Knowledge in the use of standard food preparation equipment and utensils
  • Ability and desire to learn through hands-on experience, oral instruction and observation, as well as through written materials.

Physical requirements

  • Ability to work hard physically (chopping, lifting, moving bags of food etc)

Interpersonal Leadership and Communication

  • Ability to make work meaningful by encouraging an atmosphere for reflection and spiritual practice, embodying the spirit of Karma Yoga
  • Ability to prioritize and oversee daily, weekly and seasonal activities
  • High level of personal motivation and self-management
  • Desire to work in and help maintain a harmonious work environment
  • An attitude of service, a positive disposition and an interest in living and learning within a spiritual community.


This is a three-month position, with the opportunity to extend. See Pathways to Living and Serving in the Ashram Community for more information. We are happy to discuss possibilities with you.


While these are not paid staff positions, they are spiritual and career/life development opportunities. Learning Residents receive complimentary meals and accommodation for the length of their stay, valued at $1400 per month.
Seasonal and primarily locally sourced meals are provided, with our kitchen able to cater to numerous dietary requirements.

Intake Dates and Application Process

Applications for learning residences close one month ahead of each intake date. Early applications are encouraged. Intake spots may be limited to one resident per intake period.

The three month residency dates for 2020 are:

  • Apr 28 – Jul 20
  • May 26 – Aug 17
  • Jun 23 –Sep 14
  • Jul 21 – Oct 12
  • Aug 18 – Nov 9
  • Sep 15 – Dec 7

To apply, please fill out and submit the application form. Please email if you have any questions. Applications are accepted any time.

Download Learning Residency Application

Return to the Learning Residencies page.


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