The Expanding Light Retreat is a 700-acre spiritual and vegetarian community that shares yoga and meditation teachings of Paramhansa Yogananda since 1969.
Yoga Retreats (24)
Nayaswami Mangala has an impressive background in yoga teacher training, Ayurvedic training and practice, and in-depth medical training and practice. She holds a master in nursing and has won awards as nurse practitioner of the year in 1982, and for outstanding achievement in teaching when she was a lecturer at The University of Washington School of Nursing in 1987.
Maitri’s name means “friend” in Sanskrit and well describes her kind and supportive nature. She is a calm, high-energy person who approaches her many interests with enthusiasm and talent. Maitri was drawn to doing yoga postures and living a yogic lifestyle in the early 70’s. A certified meditation teacher, yoga teacher and AIYT certified yoga therapy teacher. Maitri's special interest is yoga therapy for body, mind and spirit. With another nurse, Maitri created the successful MS study at The Expanding Light, for which she created a video of energization exercises and yoga postures for MS.
Barbara is a Hatha yoga teacher, a registered physical therapist, and a former gymnast. She brings all of her training together in her yoga teaching and helps people enjoy using their bodies in the healthiest way possible. Barbara teaches the anatomy and physiology classes of the Ananda yoga teacher training and can show clients and students how to adjust yoga movements to their particular limitations, whatever those might be. Known for her playful, approachable style, Barbara also brings compassion and sensitive awareness to her yoga teaching.
Doctor Shanti Rubenstone
Nayaswami Krishnadas Lo Cicero
An exceptionally knowledgeable and gifted meditation teacher, Nayaswami Krishnadas shares his passion for meditation with dynamic enthusiasm. Over three decades he has taught thousands of people, from all over the world. His classes are filled with information and valuable meditation techniques. In a down-to-earth and humorous way, he emphasizes helping you understand the basics. He has a vibrant zest for life that comes out in a warm, personable nature and serviceful disposition. He has the ability to deeply inspire and motivate people to pursue a life-long meditation practice.
Yoga Alliance E-RYT 500
Combining a fun-loving spirit, keen insight into the spiritual life, and genuine warmth, Nayaswami Gyandev makes the inner quest seem both natural and doable. Since 1983, he has taught Ananda Yoga to thousands of students and trained hundreds of teachers around the world, often forging deep and lasting bonds of friendship and inspiration. Gyandev’s devotion to sharing wisdom shows through the many resources he develops, like online newspapers and forums, videos, and new courses to help students deepen their experience of yoga, and give teachers more tools, and insights for their own classes.
Nayaswami Diksha has been a popular Expanding Light teacher since 1997 as well as the director of the meditation teacher training program. She is a native Israeli who came to the U.S. in 1990 and is a powerful and dynamic woman who has shared yoga postures and yogic teachings across the United States, Canada, and Europe. She teaches many different courses at The Expanding Light. Diksha is also an outstanding chef and very knowledgeable about the yogic diet and Ayurveda, an Indian system of natural health and healing.
Yoga Alliance E-RYT 500 (Ananda School of Yoga and Meditation)
Badri Matlock is a dynamic young teacher and program leader. His dedicated practice of yoga and meditation began at age 17, and he has lived and taught at Ananda since 2009. He holds a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Kinesiology from California State Long Beach. Badri serves as director of the level one Ananda Yoga Teacher Training. While dedication to the spiritual life is his greatest passion, he loves family, community, music, surfing, and sports. He is known for his energetic presence and his love of service and having fun. He lives at Ananda Village with his wife, and two children.
Nayaswami Mukti Deranja
Nayaswami Mukti, or also known as Mukti Deranja, moved to Ananda Village in 1992 and has been a key member of the Ananda Music Ministry since then - including singing in the choir, performing Swami Kriyananda's piano solos and music ensemble, and accompanying him on the piano. She often teaches chanting workshops and performs in kirtan groups. She has used chanting as an integral part of her spiritual practice as a powerful tool for personal transformation.
All of our teachers/hosts are yoga and/or meditation teacher certified coming from diverse backgrounds and are devotees of Paramhansa Yogananda.
Melody has been living as a yoga teacher since she was very young. She became a certified teacher in Ananda Yoga and Meditation in 2006. One of the main instructors for the Ananda Yoga Teacher Training program, Melody is registered at the highest level through Yoga Alliance, and she also teaches Restorative and Prenatal yoga. Melody is also a dancer who finds great joy in practicing the movement of yoga and guiding the beginner through advanced students into the stillness of meditation that follows yoga. Melody’s loving nature shines through her ability to take care of all of her.
Nayaswami Mantradevi LoCicero
Nayaswami Mantradevi teaches with insight, clarity, and joy, gained from over 35 years of meditating and sharing yoga philosophy. Her concern for others is one of her key qualities, and she has the innate ability to communicate and apply spiritual principles to real-life situations. Mantradevi combines yoga philosophy and inherent creativity for dynamic and interesting classes. Mantradevi teaches courses in relationships, emotional healing, chakras, recreate yourself, and in transition. She authored the study book, “Achieving Inner Peace and Tranquility.”
Ananda Meditation teacher, Ananda Yoga Instructor, E-RYT 200. Jaidhara started his journey with Ananda in late 2004 and served in various international Ananda locals ever since. He spent 7 years in India as a monk with Ananda’s Monastic Order, teaching meditation and helping to develop Ananda's work. He was kitchen manager at the Ananda Assisi retreat center and then served as Swami Kriyananda’s personal cook in the last year of his life. He now lives at Ananda Village with his wife and son, and is helping develop new online programs for the Ananda School of Yoga & Meditation ®.
Kamran Matlock has a B.A. in English Literature with an emphasis on archetypal psychology. He has spent the last ten years designing spiritual curriculum and leading classes, workshops, and spiritual retreats on personal transformation, integral growth, and self-discovery through yoga principles. He is a founder and director of Inner Adventure Camps, transformational programs for teens based on rite of passage and vision quests in nature. Kamran also teaches and serves as a board member for Ananda College, which offers gap-year and spiritual travel programs for adults.
from United States, January 2019
"A Lovely Setting with Good People"
The Expanding Light Retreat and Ananda Village are a nice escape from the stress and clutter of everyday life. The staff and other attendees were warm and welcoming and the food was great!
We did a great deal of mediation, reflection, and goal-setting on this New Year's Retreat.
from United States, November 2018
"Truly a joyous and life enhancing experience!"
The Learn to Meditate Weekend really starts at the beginning. With how to sit in meditation comfortably. No one has ever taught me that before and it's so valuable. Mukti is just a joy to be with and an excellent instructor. I enjoyed it so much I brought my staff back two weeks later for another weekend retreat! They loved it too!
from Malaysia, October 2018
"Beautiful location a peaceful and tranquil retreat centre"
I was on a personal retreat but there were a lot of things to do each day.
from United States, September 2018
-Reasonably priced and cute shop
-Energy based yoga
-Close to river
from Canada, June 2018
"Very particular teachings"
from United States, June 2018
The center is beautiful. Melody is a wonderful, caring instructor and has put together a helpful binder with a lot of information. The format was also excellent. I learned a great deal in a short time.
from Japan, May 2018
Very peaceful, great way to get away from the world for a few days and recharge!
from United States, May 2018
"Short But Satisfying "
The property was beautiful and the entire staff was wonderful. The Village is self-contained with everything you would need or want. There are more affordable options than booking a room. You can plan a day experience or visit the tourist places there.
from United States, April 2018
The people were awesome, a great energy and everyone was so kind, caring and lovely. They make it difficult to go back to the "normal world" outside Ananda!
from United States, March 2018
"Beautiful place "
Excellent location, great food, great experience
from United States, February 2018
"This is the real thing!"
The instructor was knowledgeable relaxed positive and grounded in the truth values of yoga.
from United States, January 2018
"Wonderful experience "
The energy, the people/staff, the site, the activities, the food
from United States, December 2017
"A great place to reconnect with your own light"
The personal retreat was a great experience. The staff provides as much structure and activity as you like and there is also plenty of time to reconnect with nature. It is a beautiful place filled with great energy for healing and centering.
from United States, November 2017
"Not a Yoga Retreat "
The people who work there and people who were staying at the commune were very nice and helpful.
from Brazil, July 2017
"Perfect opportunity to connect in an amazing place "
Food was very tasty, and prepared with care and creativity. Everything organic and healthy was a plus.
Double room was nicely decorated, towels and sheets were clean and well arranged.
During meals it was great to meet other people, also some employees who shared their experience at Ananda. The place and scenery was fantastic and the overall energy really inviting to dive into a meaningfull and profound experience.
from United States, July 2017
The sehedule, the teachers and the wonderful attitude that permeated.
from United States, June 2017
The entire experience was life-changing. The schedule was lovely, the people were lovely, the village is on sacred ground and you could feel the peaceful energy, the food was outstanding, the classes were mind-altering... the experience was lasting and I am excited to go back again!
from United States, June 2017