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This perennial favorite is the perfect way to take stock of the past year and prepare inwardly to achieve your goals in the coming year, all in a relaxed, supportive environment of other spiritual seekers. Leave behind the ho-hum (or raucous!) atmosphere of New Year’s at home, and let Diksha and Gyandev McCord lead you through a New Year’s Retreat that’s joyful and rejuvenating, giving you a powerful boost for your peace of mind. Join Ananda’s uplifting New Year’s Ceremony, which includes purification practices, prayers for world peace, meditation, and a very special tradition: chanting a powerful ancient mantra 108 times to bring in the new year .
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.
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.
New Year Renewal: Relax, Recharge, Refocus starts the afternoon of the first day. It is ideal to arrive before 4 p.m., if you are able to. That way, you can join in the afternoon session of yoga and meditation, which begins at 4:45 p.m. Dinner is at 6:30 p.m. The first real gathering of your group is at 7:30 p.m. If you need to arrive here after 5 p.m., let The Expanding Light Retreat know. They can also put aside a dinner for you if you need to arrive after 7 p.m. The program ends with lunch on the last day.
06:00 a.m. Wake-up bell
06:30 a.m. Sadhana (spiritual practices) which consists of: Energization exercises (20 - 25 min.), Yoga postures (60 min.), Chanting (5 min.), Meditation (15 min. – 30 min.)
08:30 a.m. Breakfast (in silence Monday-Saturday)
10:00 a.m. Scheduled program, class, group activity, or free time
12:00 p.m. Meditation (5 min. chanting, 25 min. meditation)
12:30 p.m. Lunch
02:00 p.m. Scheduled program, class, group activity, or free time
04:45 p.m. Sadhana (spiritual practices) which consists of: Energization exercises (20 - 25 min.), Yoga postures (60 min.), Chanting (5 min.), Meditation (15 min. – 30 min.)
05:15 p.m. Lahiri Shrine meditation (alternative to regular sadhana)
Schedule but may change due to special events
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.
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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.
Sacramento International Airport
Transfer not provided
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.
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.
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.
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