Spiritual New Year Yoga Retreat in California

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 .

Meet the instructors

Gyandev & Diksha
Read more

Highlights

  • Purification practice
  • Light-hearted entertainment
  • 2 daily yoga and meditation practices
  • Ananda’s uplifting New Year’s Ceremony
  • Chanting a powerful ancient mantra 108 times to bring in the new year
  • Serene walks through the beautiful, peaceful hills of Ananda Village
  • 3 delicious vegetarian buffet meals per day
  • 5 nights accommodation

Skill level

  • Beginner

Yoga styles


4 days with instruction in English
Spoken languages: English
Hide all

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.

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.

Typical daily schedule.

Morning

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

Afternoon

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)

Evening

  • 06:30 p.m. Dinner
  • 07:30 p.m. Scheduled program, class, group activity, or free time

Schedule but may change due to special events

Instructors

Gyandev McCord
Yoga Alliance E-RYT 500 (Yoga)
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.
Diksha McCord
Yoga Alliance E-RYT 500 (Yoga)
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.

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
  • Whole food
  • 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

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

What's not included

  • Transportation to and from the Expanding Light retreat

How to get there

Recommended Airports

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

  • A reservation requires a deposit of 30% of the total price.
  • The deposit is non-refundable, if the booking is cancelled.
  • The rest of the payment should be paid on arrival.
Rated: 5/10 31 reviews

Value for money
Accommodation & facilities
Food
Location
Quality of activity
Overall impression
5 days / 4 nights
from --
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.

Tuesday January 1, 2019
(5 days / 4 nights)

Select your package:

For this organizer you can guarantee your booking through BookYogaRetreats.com. All major credit cards supported.

Why choose BookYogaRetreats.com

Best Price Guaranteed
6797 Yoga Retreats Worldwide
Friendly and Fast Customer Service
Offers for every budget
Don't miss out, join our mailing list and get updates & special offers!
Served by www01 - 8001