Polestar Gardens FAQs
We can pick you up at the Hilo airport for $45; the Kona airport pick-up is $160.
Yes but it is as cheap (after you add the higher pickup cost) and more convenient to fly into Hilo. Unless you are planning to spend time on the west side of the island, the cost savings of flying into Kona instead of Hilo will generally be offset by the increased pick-up fees and inconvenience.
Yes, our vision of community is for all ages to come together in Spirit. There is currently a newborn here at Polestar! We very much support the reality of families and children needing the ‘space’ to be themselves which includes a certain amount of noise and boisterous energy.
We also ask that you help us observe quiet times especially around the temple during our daily sadhanas: meditation 6-7:30am, 12-12:30pm, and 5:30-6:30pm. Our large Community Center, which is always open for use, includes games, basketball, climbing wall, rope swing and more.
The best way to participate in the Raja Yoga Internship Program with work trade, is to have one parent participate in the work trade hours or to split the hours between the two parents. Doing the program without work trade is also available and there are opportunities for families to upgrade from a tent to cabins or indoor spaces if needed.
Getting around the island: to the warm ponds or for an ocean swim; to the local farmer’s market there are a couple of options:
Rent your own car from the airport or from local renters near Polestar.
Also, we drive into Hilo town on errands a few times a week and you can often jump in with us for errands or touring. Residents with cars will also sometimes provide transportation for guests on various outings.
The local town of Pahoa is 7 miles away. The local swim spots are about 4 miles away. Hilo town is 30 miles from Polestar Gardens.
All deposits for guests or interns are $100. You can get a refund if you cancel your reservation 72 hours before your arrival date.
Our peak season is December 15th through January 6th. Please add an additional 30% to your rate for dates between 12/15 and 1/7.
NO. Polestar Gardens is an alcohol and recreational-drug free community. If you are participating in a program here we ask that you abstain from alcohol or drug use on or off the property during your entire stay.
This is non-negotiable. If you are unable to respect this policy you will be asked to leave.
Opportunities for a longer stay are explored after your first month here.
We provide a covered tent with a twin bed and all of its bedding. The tent is 10 feet x 10 feet and is quite comfortable. A picture of the tent can be found on our website on our ACCOMMODATIONS page.
Yes, personal laundry can be done on most days between peak sun hours (solar power) and at no additional charge.
Yes, in the main house, but not in the tents, and is included in the cost of your stay.
The weather is very unpredictable here with significant dry or wet spells any time of year. Generally speaking though, rainy season can be anytime between November and March! It never lasts very long but it’s nice to have some clothes you can wear in the rain anytime of year.
Polestar is an educational non-profit and is not affiliated with any other organization. Many of our members are from SRF, Ananda, other Yogananda communities, and many other diverse spiritual backgrounds. We appreciate and invite people of all faiths who are interested in our ideals and way of life.
We supply yoga mats, meditation pillows and kneeling benches in the temple.
Our emphasis is on “Raja” Yoga, the ancient science of self-realization as taught by Paramhansa Yogananda, which includes daily meditation as our core practice. We also have a beautiful space for postures and host guided Hatha yoga practice 2 times per week. (For those who rise early before Sadhana, we also have a brief daily Hatha session). Also, our temple is open many hours each day for personal practice.
Participants are asked to arrive on Thursday before the appointed start date so that they may land and have Friday to rest and setlle in before Saturday morning Orientation and Classes. The first week is especially important and includes getting to know each other, becoming acquainted with teachings and practices of our path of Raya Yoga, and learning how the community operates.
We do not accept late arrivals. We appreciate your understanding in this matter. Everyone starting at the same time is important to the cohesiveness of the group
We try as best we can to accommodate the variety of diets that come through the Polestar kitchen. Being on an Island we have learned to cope with the availability of produce and trimmings when they are available. The cost of food is much more expensive here, as you can imagine, so we are as resourceful as we can be from our garden. With all this said, the majority of food that comes out of the kitchen is a lacto-vegetarian diet, with vegan options for guests who make that request. In any case, if you find that you need to supplement your diet with additional items from a local health food store, we do have a spare fridge so you can label your own private stock of goodies.
What exactly do we eat at Polestar?
Here is what a typical day looks like:
Hot grain (most often oats but sometimes polenta or amaranth)
with all the fixings – nuts, raisins, honey, etc.
Fresh fruit (papaya, banana, lilikoi, soursop from the land)
Sometimes eggs + potatoes + toast
LUNCH: (Best meal of the day in our opinion!)
Lentils or beans
Roasted or sauteed veggies from the land
Grain (rice, quinoa, etc.)
Salad w/ avocado, sprouts, dressing
Coco kimchee or Coco-kraut (our specialties)
Can be as simple as soup
Sometimes it’s a casserole and half is left without dairy
Most Friday’s we make our own sushi veggie rolls, sometimes pizza!
We do not have an ongoing straight work exchange arrangement here. After two or more months of the Internship Program however, further work trade options can be explored.
The intern rate begins on the Thursday before the first day of the program. If you need to arrive earlier, our guest rate of $65 per night (tent rate which includes meals) is always an option for you until your program starts. It’s also possible to stay at a hostel in Hilo or elsewhere until your start date. We can arrange to pick you up from wherever you end up.
Of course, we recommend staying with us!
Though the Internship Program is a somewhat rigorous schedule and definitely includes demanding work, we will try our best to make it work for everyone. Housekeeping, cooking, some gardening, and even computer skills are often needed.
It is also possible to pay more and work less hours as well as to participate in the program as a guest.
Yes, you may upgrade your accommodations from an Intern tent to a:
TENT CABIN add $90 per week more
INDOOR ROOM add $180 per week more
The first step is to come for a visit either as a guest or an intern. We need to spend some time together to see if this is a fit for both you and the community. If you spend a month then all of your questions about an extended stay can be answered during your time here.