Yoga and Volunteering in India
Rejuvenate your mind, body and soul with our yoga and volunteering program in India. You will be living in the stunning and charming town of Fort Kochi in Kerala, voted by the Lonely Planet in the Top 10 Cities to visit in 2020. An absolute gem of a destination in South India, popularly referred to as ‘God’s Own Country’, Fort Kochi has a rustic colonial era and laid back vibe, tropical backwaters lined by coconut trees, gorgeous beaches, serene tea plantations, rich culture and delightfully sumptuous cuisine.
Not only will you learn or practice yoga from experienced yoga teachers who will help you discover or rediscover your spiritual side, but you will also spend your time giving back to local communities and helping sustainable and rewarding volunteer projects arranged by our team here at Volunteering Journeys. Our volunteer projects that you can choose from include women’s education and teaching children, so you can find something that fits in with your skillsets and personal interests.
Designed for yoga lovers or beginners alike, our yoga and volunteering program will help you deepen you understanding of yoga and will help you find your true self on both a physical and spiritual level. With the guidance of our expert teachers, you will learn importance techniques to improve your yoga practice forever. And all the while, you will also get the opportunity to travel and help others.
During your time on our yoga and volunteer program you will receive daily lessons in ‘Hatha or Ashtanga yoga’, a type of yoga which combines physical postures (asanas), breathing techniques (pranayama) and meditation with various cleansing practices. Our local yoga gurus will work closely with you to help you connect spiritually and help you get more from your everyday yoga practice. Each morning and evening session is usually 1 hour. Yoga classes are generally in a group however there are times when you may get a private lesson.
In addition to the daily yoga classes, you will also take part in a rewarding community based project. You could be teaching in local schools and community centres or helping women’s empowerment projects where you will teach English and other life skills,or helping disabled children with basic games and activities. Volunteer projects will be spread between mornings and afternoons and our local project coordinators will help you prepare for these sessions.
Weekends are free for your leisure and it would be a sin to miss out on an overnight stay on a traditional houseboat on the backwaters or visiting the lush tea plantations of Munnar. If you choose to stay in Fort Kochi you can always get a relaxing Ayurveda treatment or massage that is so popular here.
All The Details
Kochi, Kerala, India
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For 2021 Please select any Saturday arrival date of any month of your choice. Our programs run year round.
USD $ per person
The below includes 2 classes for Yoga per day
|NUMBER OF WEEKS||1||2||3||4||5||6||7||8||9||10||11||12|
|Program Fee USD $||$795.00||$945.00||$1,095.00||$1,245.00||$1,395.00||$1,545.00||$1,695.00||$1,845.00||$1,995.00||$2,145.00||$2,295.00||$2,445.00|
We also have the option for you to pay for just the volunteering and you can pay for the Yoga classes directly to the yoga teacher. The rates below are for the program without the yoga classes
|NUMBER OF WEEKS||1||2||3||4||5||6||7||8||9||10||11||12|
|Program Fee USD $ without yoga class fees||$720.00||$870.00||$1,020.00||$1,170.00||$1,320.00||$1,470.00||$1,620.00||$1,770.00||$1,920.00||$2,070.00||$2,220.00||$2,370.00|
- Pre-departure guide – to prepare you for your trip
- Pick-up and drop from the nearest airport or train station in Cochin
- Yoga classes Monday to Friday
- Shared Room in volunteer house*
- All Meals (Except on Sunday)
- Location orientation
- Project training with the local Program Manager
- Project resources
- Project Travel
*You have to walk to the yoga class daily
Whats Not Included in your program fee :
- Flights to the program destination
- Medical and travel insurance
- Visa costs
- Personal shopping and gratuities
- Local excursions
- Project materials that you personally need
- Yoga Mat
- Yoga Travel Cost
Local Team On Ground
Geetha Raj: Kerala Program Manager
Geetha is the backbone of our programs in Kerala. Her friendliness, generosity and warmth towards every volunteer will leave you feeling extra special. Having worked as local journalist for almost 10 years, Geetha grew a passion for community development work, and is very forward thinking. She is instrumental in Kerala Program development. A born leader, Geetha will give you the direction you will need to succeed as a volunteer. Her team will look after all your needs from the time you enter Kerala to the time you leave. In her spare time Geetha loves taking our volunteers to the temples to get a taste of Keralan culture.
- The nearest airport for this program is Cochin International Airport (COK)
- We recommend you apply for Tourist Visas before you arrive.
- Travel Insurance is compulsory on this program.
- We recommend you visit your local travel clinic to find out what vaccines you should take.
Arrival Weekend: After getting picked up from the airport our driver will bring you to the volunteer house in Fort Kochi where you will be greeted by the local team and get to meet the other volunteers staying in the house. We usually give you some time to relax and unwind but on your arrival weekend you will get a culture orientation and area tour as well as basic project training so you are all set.
Monday to Friday:
- 7.30 am to 8.30 am Yoga Class that starts at 7:30 am.
- 8.30 am to 9.30 am Breakfast time, freshen up and prepare for the volunteer projects
- 9.45 am to 12 pm Volunteer Project
- 12:00 to 13:00 pm. Lunch time and preparation time for the next volunteer project
- 14:00 to 15.30 pm Volunteer Project
- 16:30 to 17.30 pm Evening yoga class.
- 18:00 to 19:00 pm Dinner at the volunteer house
*Volunteer sessions are subject to change. During holidays in April, May and December we work only in the mornings. Please note that our volunteer programs are evolving constantly and we may change programs timings based on community needs and place you on projects where we have availability.
What Happens When I Arrive?
Arrangements for Yoga Volunteers:
You will be living in our very own private volunteer house in the heart of Fort Kochi, a quaint little town in Kochi (or Cochin) in Kerala. The house is a wonderful new built with a gorgeous rooftop, lounge area, dining area and ample space to relax and unwind. Our office is also on the ground floor so we are always around incase you need us. Rooms are shared with other volunteers and this makes it easy to develop new friendships. If you need a private room we can arrange this at an additional cost.
Tasty meals will be cooked by our chef who prepares this fresh everyday. Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner are Keralan style dishes made with locally available ingredients. South Indian specialities like masala dosa, puttu, and idlis will certainly be on the menu as will rice or chappati and a curry for lunch /dinner. Western meals are not cooked at home by our chef but if you require this there are a lot of restaurants and cafes in the neighbourhood and within walking distance that serve this.
Everyday you will walk to your yoga class. Transport to the volunteer projects will be in tuktuks which is a great way to get around in Kochi. Your airport pick up and drop from the airport will be by AC car.
With such a beautiful setting at your fingertips, you’ll find plenty of amazing places to visit in Kerala to find your own personal sense of peace. We highly recommend exploring the tropical vibe of Kerala which can be felt easily when you visit the backwaters of the Allepey. If you like the mountains you can head to Munnar for serene stay amongst the lush tea plantations. For beach relaxation head to Varkala Beach or Marari Beach which are open best during November to May. If you decide to stay in Fort Kochi you can always goto the antiques market in Jew Town or enjoy the laid back vibe at one of the trendy art cafes.
If you are unsure of when to visit Kerala, we recommend joining us between December 2020 and March 2021 as this when the ‘The Kochi Biennale Art Festival’ will also be on. This contemporary modern art event is world famous and brings in international and national artists to install their work in large rustic warehouses around Fort Kochi.
Most excursion can be booked on arrival. If you need advise or would like to book any excursions prior to arrival we would be happy to connect you to our local team.
Volunteers Love Us!
‘My experience in India was absolutely fantastic. Having never done anything like this before, Volunteering Journeys made sure I settled in well and supported me throughout my time. Being placed with an amazing family gave me the chance to experience Indian culture first hand. I was part of the Disabled Childcare Programs for two weeks. Although short, I felt the time I spent was so valuable for the children. If this is something that you are interested in I would 100% recommend it. The memories, friendships and experiences you will develop will be ones that you will never forget.’
‘The teaching experience was second to none. I was overwhelmed by the respect and politeness all the children have, which made it some much easier to work with them, even with the language barrier. The amazing thing about the schools I visited was that all the children are like little sponges, they absorb everything you say, teach and do! It’s quite outstanding how much they gain from just a small conversation in the playground or in the class room.
So in general if you are questioning whether you want to volunteer and you don’t know what company to go with, it has the be Volunteering Journeys. You will be well looked after, gain an immense experience and make friends for life!!!’
‘I took a short sabbatical from work in November 2013 and decided to come to India. I was helping at a small school in Fort Kochi, teaching English, Maths, Science and the odd nursery rhyme. The school where I volunteered had amazing teachers and the kids were great. Ridhi and the team organised everything brilliantly – from cycling tours to the backwaters, to hosting me with a family that made my stay feel like home. If you’re going to volunteer in India then I highly recommend Volunteering Journeys’
“J’ai passé deux mois formidables à Kochi en travaillant comme volontaire avec Volunteering Journeys. Deux mois de ma vie que je n’oublierais jamais. J’ai rencontré des gens incroyables et participé à des projets qui me tenaient vraiment à coeur. J’ai pu voir l’aboutissement de mes efforts et le sourire sur le visage des enfants. Une expérience magique que je recommande à tous. Merci Rainbow”
‘I spent 3 wonderful weeks with the Volunteering Journeys team in Kerala, it marked the beginning of almost 2 months adventuring through India, and I can say without a doubt it was one of my favourite experiences of my time spent in incredible India! From the moment my plane landed and I was greeted by a friendly face and whisked away to a wonderful home, the local staff were incredibly welcoming, helpful, supportive and great fun to be around!
I spent my time volunteering in 2 local schools, assisting with English studies. The enthusiasm and joy with which the children approach their days will ensure you never want to leave!I cannot recommend Volunteering Journeys highly enough, it was such a joyful introduction to India – it’s culture, people and crazy beautiful way of life. You will leave with some fond memories and firm friendships’
‘I volunteered by teaching English both at a school and at an all girls’ orphanage for two months. It has been the best experience of my life so far. I really got to know the children I was teaching and seeing the children’s English improve over my time was an incredible feeling. From being introduced to yoga to tasting delicious flavoursome Indian cuisine and living in “God’s own country”, has left me eager to return. I have made friends across the World who made my time spent in Kerala unforgettable. I highly recommend volunteering with Volunteering Journeys; Kerala is beautiful and you will gain fun memories.’
‘I spent two weeks running an art workshop which was absolutely fantastic. The children were so enthusiastic and bustled about with paste and paint, putting together the most amazing creations. They were not used to producing collaborative work and were thrilled when their individual efforts achieved a glorious whole. Their personalities really shone through and I became very fond of them in the short time I was with them. Thank you to Volunteering Journeys for enabling me to have such a wonderful experience!’
‘There is some kind of magic that happens when you’re in India. The climate, the people, the warm welcome, the happiness in every person, the culture, it’s simply inspiring. On top of that having a group of friendly, thoughtful organizers guiding me through the program made my time volunteering with Volunteering Journeys one of the most memorable moments in my life.
If anyone reading this is considering becoming a volunteer, don’t hesitate, become a volunteer. It will be the most rewarding experience and adventure of your life. I assure you that you will have a vital impact on the community, the place and the children. I would recommend Volunteering Journeys without hesitation. Well organized and hassle free adventure. You get help and guidance with everything you need. Kerala was my destination. Safe, beautiful and very friendly. Just do it and have an adventure of your life!’
“Volunteering at the schools was one of the most incredible experiences of my life. Once again the friendships you create are irreplaceable. Admittedly, the first few days were scary, in the sense that my partner and I were only 18 & 20 yrs old and we were teaching women and children a language that was not their first. However the persistence and willingness of Indians is not to be tested. Each of our students put in 100% and naturally we became very personal with everyone and these women and children taught us much more. We came out of this experience with more than we had ever anticipated. It can’t be put into words just how much we learnt from volunteering. Ever aspect of our lives and mindset has changed.”
‘I think it was quite an eye opening experience to kind of see how people live and enjoy their lives very differently to what we do probably in UK. Even though comparatively they didn’t have as much, the children still came to school with a smile on their face and they were really keen to learn. They were ever so happy and always had a smile on their face regardless of the circumstances that they are living in, and I think that was an amazing experience for us to take back. We have comparatively much more wealth in the UK and we have much more available at our fingertips. Yet we were quite not so happy’
‘We decided to volunteer as part of our family vacation. It was the perfect balance: making a contribution but not being asked to do too much, with Volunteering Journeys staff with us every step of the way to help, support, clarify, etc. I was also impressed that they didn’t feed us a line about how we were changing the world in a week; I knew going in that *we* would be the ones most changed, and the staff’s perspective’s was the same: we were making an impact by showing we cared and sharing experiences, which hopefully meant something to a lot of people.’