The program is for anyone interested in deepening the art of listening and solution orientation. This is an essential tool for anyone but this can be especially helpful for yoga and meditation teachers as advisers for their students. This program includes specialized exercises, introspection, practice counseling, and instructor feedback.
Part of the training is focused on learning about oneself, strengths and weaknesses, and one’s reactions to different situations. This self-introspection helps to remain even-minded and neutral when counseling others. The aspect of faith and trust in a higher power is also being presented and discussed, to help participants in this program clarify their own relationship with the divine. This is a beautiful and inspiring time of honestly sharing our experiences and challenges in trying to help others.
The accommodation options are for single or double occupancy. A single guest may choose to share a room with another guest of the same gender or occupy a room privately. Two guests traveling together may occupy a room privately.
Each guest room includes two twin beds, heat, air conditioning, towels, and bedding. A limited number of queen-sized beds are available. King conversions are available for an extra charge upon request. Fresh linens and towels are available weekly with no daily maid service. Wi-Fi is available for all guests. Guests who stay in a tent or RV have access to free Wi-Fi in Serenity Lounge as the Wi-Fi does not extend to all tent or RV sites. The Expanding Light Retreat has a computer lounge with two computers and a printer. Please be aware that the Expanding Light has limited handicap accessibility.
Each room has a private entrance, a private bathroom, air conditioning, a ceiling fan, and a hairdryer.
Each cabin has one room, which is larger and more private than other standard rooms. Cabin occupants share separate men's and women's shower houses a few paces away and the path is lit after dark.
Serenity house is an inn-style house with twelve rooms and four hall bathrooms. Serenity House lounge is available for all guests. It is equipped with a small refrigerator for personal items, hot tea and a microwave.
The Expanding Light Retreat does not provide tents or RVs. Please bring your own camping gear and be sure that tents are water tight in the case that it may rain. RVs are welcome year round, however, the property does not have RV facilities or hookups.
Tent spaces do not include facilities for cooking or picnicking. There is a high fire danger in the summer so no campfires are allowed, as well as candles, kerosene lamps, or anything with an open flame.
Because of animals, no food is allowed in the tenting area. The Expanding Light Retreat has a refrigerator behind the main kitchen which is available for guests.
For those staying outdoors, guests have access to separate men and women shower houses. Facilities have flush toilets, plenty of hot water, and shower and toilet partitions for your comfort and privacy.
This one-week program includes specialized exercises, introspection, practice counseling, and instructor feedback. Deepen your knowledge and understanding of how to counsel others effectively and bring out their divine nature.
During this course, you will learn how to:
This is a beautiful and inspiring time of sharing honestly our experiences and challenges in trying to help others.
Included in your course materials is the book Intuition for Starters by Swami Kriyananda.
Members are disciples of Yogananda and students of Kriyananda: we are Kriya Yoga meditators, vegetarians, and represent many nationalities, races, and ages. This course is open to all and is also part of Ananda's Yoga Therapy Training. In this Course Syllabus, certain parts apply only to those seeking certification as an Ananda Yoga Therapist.
Spiritual Counseling Training starts the afternoon of the first date listed and ends with lunch on the last date
Below is a typical daily schedule. Schedule may vary depending on course or event. All activities are optional, you decide how much to enjoy.
12:00 Meditation (5 min. chanting, 25 min. meditation)
14:00 Scheduled program, class, group activity, or free time
16:45 Sadhana (spiritual practices) which consists of: Energization exercises (20 - 25 min,); Yoga postures (45 - 60 min.); Chanting (5 min.); Meditation (15 – 30 min.)
17:15 Lahiri Shrine Meditation (alternative to regular sadhana)
Home to The Expanding Light yoga and meditation retreat, the Ananda community is situated on 700 acres of meadows and forests amidst the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains in northern California just outside Nevada City. It is approximately two hours east of Sacramento and two hours west of Lake Tahoe.
Ananda is organized like a village, with member-operated businesses, a school system, a market, homes, and temples. Expanding Light guests are offered tours of the village and are welcome to walk the acreage as you wish. The energy and vibration of kindness and respect for every guest are tangible. “Come as you are” and be welcomed. Here, the guest is God, and we see God’s love, peace, hope, and energy in everyone who comes.
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Three delicious and satisfying vegetarian buffet meals are included with the cost of your stay. Some of the dishes contain eggs and dairy. The Expanding Light uses organically grown foods as much as possible, including some organically grown eggs and produce from right here at Ananda Village, and organically grown fair trade coffee. They have a variety of tea and fresh fruit available all day.
The Expanding Light can accommodate some special dietary needs with non-dairy, non-wheat, and egg-free choices. If you have other dietary needs, it may be that they will not be able to accommodate them.
A small refrigerator for guests who are staying in serenity house lounge and a full-size refrigerator outside the kitchen are available for storing special foods guests might need during their stay. There is a market in the Ananda Village if you’d like to buy special items.
At crystal hermitage, guests can enjoy the spiritual heart of Ananda. Tour the beautiful gardens, small chapel, and the Shrine of the Masters, a small museum and gift shop housing holy relics from India and Ananda's line of yoga masters.
A unique architectural building that houses longer morning meditations for Ananda residents. If some guests are experienced meditators and would like a 90-minute meditation, they are welcome to join. Ask for times at the front desk.
A healing prayer, on an individual basis, is offered through the healing prayer ministry for a suggested donation between 40 to 100 USD. Session lengths vary based on individual need.
Receive assistance and guidance tailored to your needs with counseling available from the Ananda ministers for a fee of 75 USD per hour. If you are interested, contact the front desk to schedule a private session.
This is a small chapel on the path to Lotus Lake. A sacred space ideal for meditation, Lahiri is open all the time for quiet reflection and meditation.
This lovely lake fills with water lilies and lotus flowers in summer. It is a beautiful area ideal for walks where you can often see wild birds. A path around the lake includes outdoor altars to the line of masters.
A natural foods market with a deli, bakery, and cappuccino bar that also features homemade pizza on Friday nights, a local favorite!
This is available to everyone Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday at 10:00 or at other times by appointment. Even if you currently meditate, it is encouraged to take the class which includes how to focus your mind, how to sit comfortably, when and where to meditate, and more.
Personally tailored to your body and needs, these classes are available with one of the certified Ananda yoga teachers for a fee of 75 USD per hour. You can focus on classical Hatha yoga or Restorative yoga. Contact the front desk to make an appointment.
A complex that houses a number of Ananda businesses including the management offices for the community; the healing prayer ministry, with 600 members worldwide who do healing prayers for those in need; and Crystal Clarity publishers, which produces books, DVDs, and CDs by Paramhansa Yogananda, Swami Kriyananda, and others on topics related to yoga, meditation, and self-realization.
This is a homey room located in the Serenity building. When not in use for a class, it is open to guests for relaxation, reading, yoga, meditation, watching videos, listening to music, or just socializing. Serenity lounge is also stocked with tea and coffee and equipped with a small refrigerator, microwave, and electric teapot for guest use.
The boutique is located in the guest services building and is open from 09:00 to 17:00 daily. Full of unique treasures, The Expanding Light boutique is a favorite destination shopping stop for guests and locals alike.
This temple, located just off the dining room, is a beautiful space, in which daily practice of yoga postures and meditation is held, as well as classes and evening programs. When not in use for a scheduled class or event, it is open for meditation and Hatha yoga.
Just across the meadow from The Expanding Light Retreat is The Center for Radiant Health. The Center offers massage, body and energy work, emotional freedom technique, career coaching, and astrology consultations. It is an independent cooperative of qualified Ananda health practitioners, available by prior appointment seven days a week.
Prices for massage sessions are 75 USD for a one-hour long massage and 95 USD for a one and a half hour long massage. They are a healing center rather than a spa, have treatment rooms but unlike a traditional spa, they have no pool facilities.
Please book your flights to arrive at Sacramento International Airport (SMF). Another option is Reno-Tahoe International Airport (RNO) but it's less preferable. The Expanding Light Retreat can organize transfers for an extra price and based on availability. Please request this service from them once you have booked your plane tickets.
Greyhound bus offers service from available cities to Colfax, approximately an hour from Ananda. To get to Ananda from Colfax, you will need to take a cab.
Amtrak offers limited bus service from available cities into Colfax (if coming from the East) and Auburn (if coming from the West), each about an hour away from Ananda. To get to Ananda from Colfax or Auburn, you will need to take a cab.
Amtrak offers train service from available cities into Colfax (if coming from the East) and Auburn (if coming from the West), each about an hour away from Ananda. To get to Ananda from Colfax or Auburn, you will need to take a cab.
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