4 Days Deepen Your Personal Meditation and Yoga Practice Retreat in California, USA

Spiritual Personal Retreat in California

Expert tip: This is one of the most popular yoga retreats offered in USA.

Give yourself the gift of peace. Unplug from the daily grind and recharge your spiritual batteries! This is a serene retreat location with a high vibration where you may choose to be on your own and/or participate in any of our daily scheduled classes to help you deepen your personal, spiritual journey. The Expanding Light Retreat is a non-profit organization located at Ananda Village, a cooperative spiritual community founded on the teachings of Paramhansa Yogananda. Guests have visited here for almost 50 years, from all parts of the world, with many different spiritual perspectives, to learn more about meditation, Ananda Yoga for physical and spiritual healing, and the contemporary application of Yogananda's teachings to help people realize their true potential.

Retreat highlights

  • 2 guided Ananda yoga and meditation classes daily for all levels
  • Twice weekly tours of Ananda Village, a cooperative spiritual community
  • 1 guided class daily to learn tools and techniques to deepen your personal spiritual practice
  • 3 daily vegetarian buffet meals with gluten and dairy free options
  • Commune with nature on 700 acres of pristine country
  • 3 nights accommodation of your choice

Skill level

  • Beginner
  • Intermediate
  • Advanced

Yoga styles


4 days with instruction in English
Spoken languages: English
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Accommodation

Facilities

  • Outdoor shower

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.

Private and shared deluxe rooms

Harmony house

Each room has a private entrance, a private bathroom, air conditioning, a ceiling fan, and a hairdryer.

Private and shared standard rooms

Cabins

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

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.

RVs and tents

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.

Shower houses

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.

Program

Ananda Yoga® brings yoga back to its original spiritual essence. Above all, it seeks to raise your level of consciousness by reinforcing the natural effects the yoga postures. With this, it is also designed to harmonize your body, mind, and soul. The practice is gentle for beginning students, becoming more challenging with experience. It is an inwardly directed practice, and is never aggressive or aerobic.

Daily Schedule

Morning

  • 06:00 Wake-up bell
  • 06:30 - 08:30 Sadhana
  • 08:30 - 09:00 Breakfast (in silence)
  • 10:00 - 12:00 Scheduled program, class, group activity, or free time

Afternoon

  • 12:00 to 12:30 Meditation (5 minutes chanting, 25 minutes meditation)
  • 12:30 to 13:30 Lunch
  • 14:00 to 16:00 Scheduled program, class, group activity, or free time
  • 16:45 to 18:30 Sadhana

Evening

  • 18:30 to 19:00 Dinner
  • 19:30 to 21:00 Scheduled program, class, group activity or free time.

Sunday morning

  • 08:30 to 09:00 Breakfast (not in silence)
  • 10:00 Purification ceremony
  • 11:00 Sunday service

You may check in anytime after 1:30 p.m. on your arrival date. Check out is at 11 a.m. on your departure date. Your reservation includes lunch on your departure day.

Sadhana is Sanskrit for spiritual practice. This consists of energization exercises (20 to 25 minutes), yoga postures (60 minutes) and meditation (15 to 30 minutes)

Instructors

multiple hosts
All of our teachers/hosts are yoga and/or meditation teacher certified coming from diverse backgrounds and are devotees of Paramhansa Yogananda.

Retreat location

The Expanding Light Retreat is located at Ananda Village, a cooperative spiritual community dedicated to the teachings of Paramhansa Yogananda, founded by his direct disciple, Swami Kriyananda. Presently, over 200 residents of all ages live on 700 acres of land in the Sierra Nevada foothills of northern California. The Expanding Light Retreat is 90 minutes northeast from the Sacramento Airport. It is one of the most respected spiritual communities in the world, founded in 1969 by Swami Kriyananda, a direct disciple of Paramhansa Yogananda.

Nearby places

  • Healthy market or deli - 5 minutes
  • Lake Tahoe - 2 hours
  • Sacramento - 2 hours
  • Sacramento International Airport (SMF) - 1 hour and 30 minutes

This Yoga Retreat is vegetarian-friendly

Click to see more vegetarian-friendly Yoga Retreats

Food

Three delicious and satisfying vegetarian buffet meals are included with the cost of your stay. We offer vegan and gluten free options. The Expanding Light Retreat uses organically grown foods as much as possible, including certified organic produce from Ananda Village, and organically grown Fair Trade coffee offered at breakfast. There are a variety of teas and fresh fruit available all day. There is a small refrigerator for guests who are staying in Serenity House Lounge and a full size refrigerator outside the kitchen available for storing special foods guests might need during their stay. There is a market in Ananda Village if you would like to buy special items.

Meals are taken in the dinning room with other guests and staff. You may choose to visit with and enjoy the company of others or find a quiet spot to enjoy your meal with yourself.

The following meals are included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
  • Snacks
  • Drinks

The following dietary requirement(s) are served and/or catered for:

  • Vegetarian
  • Organic
  • Other dietary requirements on request
If you have special dietary requirements it's a good idea to communicate it to the organiser when making a reservation

Things to do (optional)

  • Astrology consultations
  • Body and energy work
  • Spiritual Counseling
  • Emotional Freedom Technique
  • Massage
  • Visit the Crystal Hermitage Gardens
  • Walk the pristine 700+ acres of Ananda Village

What's included

  • 3 nights accommodation
  • All meals
  • All classes and activities
  • Course materials as appropriate

What's not included

  • Transportation to and from the Expanding Light Retreat.

How to get there

Arrival by airplane

Please book your flight to arrive at Sacramento International Airport (SMF). Transfer from and to the airport is available upon request. There are scheduled rides for pick-up and drop-off on certain days, not every day. For “on-demand” rides, the Expanding Light Retreat cannot guarantee that they can pick you up or drop you off at any time. However, they are able to fill most "on-demand" requests. If you would like to request a ride, please contact them directly and tell them when you would like a pickup or drop off at Sacramento International Airport (SMF). The cost per person is 85 USD - 150 USD one way.

Driving directions from Sacramento

  • Take I-80 (E) towards Reno; go about 25 miles.
  • At Auburn, turn left on CA-49 (N) toward Grass Valley / Nevada City; 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); go about 5 miles
  • Turn left on Ananda Way and left again (almost immediately) on Expanding Light Way.

Driving directions from Reno

  • Take I-80 (W) towards Sacramento - go 55 miles.
  • Take CA-20 (W) - go 27 miles. *Turn right on CA-49 (N) towards Downieville - go 10.5 miles.
  • Turn right on Tyler-Foote Road (immediately after the sign for Malakoff Diggins State Park) - go about 5 miles.
  • Turn left on Ananda Way and left again (almost immediately) on Expanding Light Way.

Driving directions from the Northwest

  • Take I-5 (S) to Williams, California.
  • Take CA-20 (E) to Nevada City; go 77 miles.
  • Turn left on CA-49 (N) towards Downieville; go 10.5 miles.
  • Turn right on Tyler-Foote Road (immediately after the sign for Malakoff Diggins State Park); go about 5 miles.
  • Turn left on Ananda Way and left again (almost immediately) on Expanding Light Way.

Arrival by bus

Greyhound bus offers service to Colfax.

Amtrak bus offers bus service to Colfax (if coming from the East) and Auburn (if coming from the West), each about an hour away from the Retreat.

Arrival by train

Amtrak offers train service to Colfax and Auburn. -A shuttle provided by the Retreat to and from the Sacramento Airport and the Colfax or Auburn stations may be available upon request for an additional cost. Alternate transportation may be requested via ride apps, cabs or renting a vehicle.

Cancellation Policy

  • The deposit is non-refundable, if the booking is cancelled.
  • The rest of the payment should be paid on arrival.
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Retreat information

Please request or book your reservation at least 24 hours prior to your desired arrival date. For CEU programs please provide your Yoga Alliance member number or the name of your Yoga Alliance certified school.

Check in after 1:30 p.m. and enjoy the buildings and grounds. Your room will be ready no later than 3:00 p.m. We strongly recommend that you arrive by 5:00 p.m. Wed-Fri and 4:00 p.m. Sat-Tues; it makes for a more relaxing start for your visit. Please call us if you plan to arrive after hours. If you arrive after hours, there will be no staff at the front desk to greet you, but we will leave you a key, map and welcome packet so you can get to your room.

Check-out time is 11:00 a.m. and your reservation includes lunch at 12:30 p.m. Please have your items out of the room by 11:00 a.m, prior to lunch. You may keep your luggage at Guest Services if you did not drive here. If you arranged transportation, they will pick you and your luggage up at Guest Services.

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