The Yasodhara Ashram is located on the East Shore of Kootenay Lake near Riondel.

The Yasodhara Ashram is located on the East Shore of Kootenay Lake near Riondel.

Kootenay Bay’s Yasodhara Ashram hosting annual Strawberry Social

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Yasodhara Ashram in Kootenay Bay invites you to its 17th annual Strawberry Social on June 23 from 1-4 p.m. Come and meet with friends and neighbours while enjoying delicious strawberry shortcake — on the house! You can also listen to the Many Bays Band and shop at the massive used book and garage sale. Proceeds from the sales will support the Riondel Community Hall re-roofing project.

The ashram, founded in 1963, is celebrating its 50th anniversary next year, making it one of the longest-running spiritual centres in North America. Called Canada’s best yoga retreat by Reader’s Digest, the ashram is innovative and educational. Attracting students from as far away as Australia and Europe, the ashram is also active locally — contributing to youth initiatives, school mentorship programs and food security projects, as well as buying and hiring locally. Winner of the 2009 Environmental Tourism Award, the ashram is a leader in environmental initiatives with a goal to be carbon neutral by 2013.

Upcoming programs include a teen retreat, and “Living the Practice”, a four-day program led by the ashram’s spiritual director, Swami Radhananda, based on her new book with the same title. Retreats and workshops varying from two days to 10 days in length are available year round. Instead of flying to Thailand for a retreat, a recent Nelson visitor said she found everything she needs right here!

The Strawberry Social started in 1996 to celebrate completion of Mandala House — a beautiful bookstore, teaching room, dining room, kitchen and office complex. Local builders, tradespeople and businesses were honoured at the first event, when the ashram opened its doors with free strawberries and an invitation to find out what this place is all about.

The tradition continues — come eat, schmooze, tour the beautiful grounds and the Temple of Light. Enjoy the sweet taste of summer with friends and neighbours. And help build community!

The Yasodhara Ashram is at the north end of Walker’s Landing Road, off the Riondel Road, five minutes from the Kootenay Lake ferry landing. For more information, call 250-227-9224 or 1-800-661-8711, or visit