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California Yoga Retreat

In this modern world, life will continually offer you choices. Usually, there is no simple way to decide, which leads to doubt or confusion, and in the end, clarity becomes even more difficult. Intuition is a human faculty deeper than thought, which is the clear inner knowing of what is true. Intuition is one of the most important faculties, and is so very often undeveloped. This retreat will show you how to know and trust your inner guidance.

Retreat highlights

  • Daily meditation sessions
  • Twice daily sadhana classes
  • How to listen to and trust your intuition
  • Easy-to-use practices for intuitive guidance
  • Daily delicious vegetarian meals
  • 2 nights accommodation

Skill level

  • Beginner

Yoga styles

3 days with instruction in English
Spoken languages: English
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All guests will be staying at Ananda Village. Each guest room includes two twin beds, carpeting, heat, air conditioning (except for the cabins), towels, and bedding. A limited number of queen-sized beds are available. Fresh linens and towels are available weekly; there is no daily maid service. Wi-Fi is available for all guests except those in cabins or tents.

Guests who snore need to reserve a private room unless they are coming with a roommate who doesn't mind. There have been incidents where guests who reserve a shared room have to be relocated because of snoring. Room relocation will require the guest to pay for a private room.

There is a high fire danger rate in the summer, so no campfires are allowed, no candles, kerosene lamps, or anything with an open flame.

Harmony house

Each room has a private entrance, a private bathroom, air conditioning, a ceiling fan, and a hairdryer. Harmony house is dedicated to expressing Yogananda’s expansive approach to religion and his belief in celebrating God through beauty. Simple and elegantly appointed, each room is decorated in the theme of one of the great world religions. Available rooms are the Yogananda room, Buddhism room, Saint Francis room, Madonna room, Taoism room, Islam room, Judaism room, and the Hinduism room.

Serenity house

Serenity house is an inn-style house with twelve air-conditioned rooms and four hall bathrooms. It has a comfortable lounge-classroom equipped with a video player and a library of inspirational videos. The lounge-classroom also has a small refrigerator.


Each cabin has one room, which is larger and more private than other standard rooms. Cabin occupants share separate shower houses, about a minutes’ walk away.

Tents and RVs

If you would like to stay in a tent or an RV, please bring your own. Tent camping is available from April through October on level, shaded campsites. RVs are welcomed all year-round. However, there are no RV facilities and hookups at this time. Tent spaces do not include facilities for cooking or picnicking.

The camping area has a sink with running water and an outhouse. All outdoor accommodations have access to separate shower houses, an easy two or three-minute walk across the meadow. Facilities have flush toilets, plenty of hot water, shower, and toilet partitions for your comfort and privacy.

The Expanding Light Retreat Yoga Retreat California Program

You will receive two marvelous resources with this program. The “Intuition for Starters” book by Swami Kriyananda, and a CD "How to Know and Trust Your Inner Guidance," created by Diksha McCord, which includes specific exercises from the teachings of Paramhansa Yogananda and his disciple Swami Kriyananda.

The exercises on the CD will help you learn to cooperate with the uniquely personal ways in which intuitive guidance comes to you. You'll learn how to focus your mind to draw guidance and use your heart to test the validity of your guidance. You will learn how to live in the divine flow of your higher self.

This retreat starts in the afternoon of the first date listed and ends with lunch on the last date. The itinerary may vary depending on course or event. All activities are optional, and it is up to you to decide how much to enjoy.

Sample daily itinerary

  • 06:00 Wake-up bell
  • 06:30 Sadhana, energization exercises, yoga postures, chanting, and meditation
  • 08:30 Silent breakfast
  • 10:00 Scheduled program, class, group activity, or free time
  • 12:00 Meditation
  • 12:30 Lunch
  • 14:00 Scheduled program, class, group activity, or free time
  • 16:45 Sadhana, energization exercises, yoga postures, chanting, and meditation
  • 17:15 Lahiri shrine meditation (alternative to regular sadhana)
  • 18:30 Dinner
  • 19:30 Scheduled program, class, group activity, or free time


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.
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.

Retreat location

Home to The Expanding Light yoga and meditation retreat, Ananda Village is one of the successful spiritual communities in the world, and is part of the worldwide organization of Ananda.

Ananda Village was founded in 1969 by one of Paramhansa Yoganandas foremost disciples, Swami Kriyananda, to fulfill Yoganandas vision of world brotherhood colonies and spiritual communities based on the twin principles of plain living and high thinking.

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.



  • Hiking
  • Massage
  • Shopping
  • Swimming nearby


  • Air-conditioned rooms
  • Dining area
  • Environmentally friendly
  • Garden
  • Kitchen
  • Lake
  • Lounge
  • Meditation garden
  • River nearby
  • Yoga studio


  • Free Wi-Fi
  • Internet access
  • Laundry
  • Local market
  • Meeting room
  • Wireless internet

This Yoga Retreat is vegetarian-friendly

Click to see more vegetarian-friendly Yoga Retreats


The price of this retreat includes three delicious and satisfying vegetarian buffet meals. Some of the dishes contain eggs and dairy. Organically grown foods are used as much as possible, including some organically grown eggs and produce from Ananda Village itself, including organically grown fair trade coffee. There are a variety of teas 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, they might not be accommodated.

Because of animals, no food is allowed in the tenting area. There is a refrigerator behind the main kitchen, which is available for guests.

The following meals are included:

  • Breakfast

Things to do (optional)

Crystal hermitage

At Crystal hermitage, guests can enjoy the spiritual heart of Ananda. Tour the beautiful gardens, small chapel, the shrine of the masters, a small museum, and gift shop housing holy relics from India and Ananda's line of yoga masters.

Hansa temple

A unique architectural building that houses longer morning meditations for Ananda residents. Experiences meditators are allowed to join in the sessions.

Healing prayer

A healing prayer, on an individual basis, is offered through the healing prayer ministry for a suggested donation between 40 USD to 100 USD. Session lengths vary based on individual need.

Individual spiritual counseling

Receive assistance and guidance tailored to your needs with counselings 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.

Lahiri Mandir

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.

Lotus lake

This lovely lake is filled with water lilies and lotus flowers in the summer. It is a beautiful area, and ideal for walks where you can often see wild birds. A path around the lake includes outdoor altars to the line of masters.

Masters market

A natural foods market with a deli, bakery, and cappuccino bar that also features homemade pizza on Friday nights. A local favorite!

Rajarshi park

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.

Serenity lounge

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 Expanding Light boutique

The boutique is located in the guest services building and is open from 9.00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m. daily. Full of unique treasures, The Expanding Light boutique is a favorite destination shopping stop for guests and locals alike.

The temple

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.

Spa treatments

You can book a massage session for an extra cost. Massages can be a wonderful and healing addition to your stay. The massage practitioners are Ananda members and work through the Center for Radiant Health. The center offers a variety of types of massages, as well as CranioSacral therapy, emotional freedom technique (EFT), astrological readings, career coaching, and more.

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. The center is more of a healing center than a spa. There are treatment rooms, but unlike a traditional spa, they do not have pool facilities.

What's included

  • 2 guided yoga classes and energization exercises (sadhana)
  • 2 nights accommodation
  • 3 daily vegetarian meals
  • All classes and activities described in the program
  • All appropriate course materials
  • Many options for daily meditation

What's not included

  • Airfare
  • Extra activities
  • Spa treatments
  • Transfers

How to get there

Driving directions from Sacramento

  • Take I-80 towards Reno and go about 25 miles
  • At Auburn, turn left on CA-49 toward Grass Valley or Nevada City and go 38 miles
  • Just past Nevada City, turn left at the 49 to Downieville sign
  • Follow this road for 10.5 miles (watch your odometer), it's a curving mountain road that crosses the Yuba River
  • Turn right on Tyler-Foote road, immediately after the sign for Malakoff Diggins State Park, and go about five miles
  • Turn left on Ananda Way and left again, almost immediately, on Expanding Light Way
  • This journey will take about one hour and 30 minutes

Driving directions from Reno

  • Take I-80 towards Sacramento and go 55 miles
  • Take CA-20 and go 27 miles
  • Turn right on CA-49 towards Downieville and go 10.5 miles
  • Turn right on Tyler-Foote road, immediately after the sign for Malakoff Diggins State Park, and go about five miles
  • Turn left on Ananda Way and left again, almost immediately, on Expanding Light Way
  • This journey will take about two hours

Driving directions from Seattle or Portland

  • Take I-five to Williams, California
  • Take CA-20 to Nevada City and go 77 miles
  • Turn right on CA-49 towards Downieville and go 10.5 miles
  • Turn right on Tyler-Foote road, immediately after the sign for Malakoff Diggins State Park, and go about five miles
  • Turn left on Ananda Way and left again, almost immediately, on Expanding Light Way
  • This journey will take about 15 hours

Arrival by airplane

Please book your flight to arrive at Sacramento International Airport (SMF).

Arrival by bus

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 taxi.

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 taxi.

Arrival by train

Amtrak offers train services 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 taxi.

Cancellation Policy

  • A reservation requires a deposit of 20% of the total price.
  • The deposit is fully refundable if the booking is cancelled up to 7 days before the arrival date.
  • The rest of the payment should be paid on arrival.
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