About SEVA

Since 1971, the Himalayan Institute has relied on the spirit of selfless service (seva) to enhance its day-to-day operations and to nurture and support the growth of its mission to help and serve others.

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Seva is a Sanskrit word that means “selfless service.” It refers to actions performed with a sense of gratitude, compassion, respect for others, and a heartfelt desire to benefit humanity. The spirit of selfless service promotes a gradual realization of our full inner potential, and, as we gain more self-confidence in our ability, we can build a better world.

The Himalayan Institute’s SEVA program is a rare opportunity to live and serve in a vibrant spiritual community with like-minded people of all ages and backgrounds, while studying with expert teachers, deepening your spiritual journey, and being a part of something greater than yourself.

The SEVA program is looking for dedicated and motivated volunteers who are excited and passionate about the idea of selfless service. Participants can make a one-to six-month commitment. The first month is a trial period: it will give you a chance to see if community living suits your needs, while giving us the opportunity to get to know you. If, after the first month, you would like to stay longer, you can either extend your stay in the SEVA Program for up to six months, or apply to transfer to our year-long Residential Program.

Meet the Community

Meet Donta, Timothy, Darlin, and Florence, a few members of our vibrant residential community. Our residential community, with its talented, spiritually inclined seekers of all ages and backgrounds, is one of the unique features of the Himalayan Institute. The collective spirit of kind-heartedness and selflessness makes the institute vibrate with an energy that is incredibly peaceful and alive, and creates an ideal environment for self-study and self-transformation.

Want to meet the rest of the community? Check out the Community Spotlight.

Benefits & Responsibilities

In the SEVA program, participants serve in some capacity in the community four hours a day five days a week.

Possible duties for SEVA Program participants include:

  • Food services: meal serving, dishwashing, veggie prepping
  • Housekeeping: cleaning guest rooms, laundry, and other similar duties
  • Operations: support of day-to-day operations
  • Maintenance: general maintenance of facilities and grounds

Benefits of the SEVA Program:

  • Live and serve in a community of like-minded people dedicated to serving others.
  • Enjoy the beautiful natural surroundings of the Pocono Mountains.
  • Have a private room with shared bathroom down the hall.
  • Eat three freshly cooked vegetarian meals daily.
  • Attend weekend seminars and yoga classes open to SEVA participants.*
  • Participate in the Yogi Living® Residential Immersion program. (See description below.)
  • Enjoy SEVA + Health: discounted sessions at the Wellness Center. (See description below.)

*as your work schedule allows

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Hear From a Few Participants

This sacred and special place has all the amenities, support, wisdom, and history needed to make everyone’s time here a truly restorative and transformative experience.
Valerie, Wyomissing, PA

The SEVA program at the Himalayan Institute was a wonderful opportunity to get some distance from my life, which helped me to move forward.

Richa Eland, Athens, Ohio
I enjoyed my SEVA time tremendously! There were many opportunities to further my practice and expand spiritually. Getting to converse with individuals who share a common mindset of growth and positivity was so valuable to me. A unique experience in a special place!
Deepali, Atlanta, GA
I have learned more about myself than I could have ever thought imaginable. The Himalayan Institute truly cultivates an environment that provides an immeasurable amount of love, support, and healing that I have felt every single moment I have been here.
Erin, Waconia, MN
Living at the Himalayan Institute allows for deep personal exploration. Being fully immersed in a community of mindful people centered around health and personal growth is an experience I hope everyone has a chance to take part in.
Emma, Cedarburg, WI
The program was one of the most spiritually bonding experiences I’ve ever been through. Our conversations during veggie prep were so enlightening. We would discuss religion, yoga, meditation, and just overall life. Me being new to all these concepts had me wanting more. The more I learned, the stronger I became.
Josh, Dallas, TX
The SEVA program is a very enriching experience in many aspects: an opportunity to retreat from the distractions in the world and focus on the inner aspects of life; an opportunity to learn from master teachers who embody the teachings; an opportunity to re-charge with the energy of the Himalayan Institute in the company of kindred souls.
Maria Luisa, Santo Domingo, DR
The Himalayan Institute has an authentic yoga experience that has transformed me emotionally, spiritually, and intellectually.
Patricia, West Palm Beach, FL
Staff and all the residents were extremely kind and caring. Community meals and events were fun, and we were welcome to participate in many activities.
Maura Doran, Brooklyn, New York
Spiritually uplifting. Soul healing. I really enjoyed being with nature in this part of NE Pennsylvania, especially Tanners Falls, after the Blue Trail’s end.
Larry, Wapwallopen, PA

The Himalayan Institute is the automobile garage for the human being. Complete “tune-up” from top to bottom, inside and out!!! I feel like a shiny new car (ha ha ha). A truly magical place.

Paul, Auburn, New York
I deepened my yoga practice and created a more balanced life for myself. I left with a much deeper sense of humanity.
Daniela, Santo Domingo, DR

SEVA + Health Program

SEVA + Health program includes all the opportunity SEVA has to offer for spiritual growth, self-study, practice with senior HI teachers, and commitment to a community, WITH additional support for your own health. This program provides services at the PureRejuv Wellness Center that support you on every level: body, energy, and mind. These treatments focus on unwinding physical tensions and mental patterns through yoga, breathing, and relaxation training, as well as massage and steam treatments.

We invite you to make the most of your extended stay at the Himalayan Institute—and take good care of You!

SEVA + Health program provides:

  • 2 60-min therapeutic massage sessions
  • 2 steam sessions
  • 1 60-minute private yoga therapy session
  • 1 60-minute private building resilience/biofeedback session

We are offering these therapies to SEVA participants at a 30% discount, for a total cost of $299.

All SEVA + Health participants are encouraged to come to PureRejuv Wellness on arrival to set up their appointments.

Appointments are available Sunday afternoon through Friday morning. Please respect the SEVA work schedule when making your appointments.

Yogi Living® Residential Immersion Program

Yogi Living® Residential Immersion is a four-week program sharing essential teachings of the Himalayan Tradition. Designed specifically for participants of the Himalayan Institute’s Residential and Seva programs, this immersion will create a solid foundation for your residential experience at the Himalayan Institute, offering a clear road map for how you can optimize your study, practice, and community living. This program includes 2 to 3 one-hour educational sessions each week for four weeks, organized around the three pillars of the Yogi Living® curriculum: yoga practice, yoga wisdom, and yoga lifestyle.

SEVA Program Registration

Registration is by application only. One to six month stay. Space is limited.

  • Nov 1 to Feb 28: $899 a month
  • March 1 to June 30: $1099 a month
  • July 1 to Oct 31: $1199 a month

The SEVA program starts on the first of every month. (The Yogi Living® Immersion program will start the first Monday of each month.)

Apply below, or, for more information, please email seva@himalayaninstitute.org or call (570) 253-5551, press 1, and ask for the SEVA Program Coordinator.

Apply Now