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Offered by the Ananda School of Yoga & Meditation™, The Expanding Light Retreat welcomes yoga teachers of all traditions. Although Ananda Yoga follows a very specific system of yoga, the school and training programs recognize that all yoga teachers share the common interest of wanting to help others. Yoga can and should help people to feel healthier, uplifted, and ultimately happier. Thank you for choosing to serve the world in this way. If you wish to transfer to Ananda Yoga, this is the one of the only two chances offered in the entire year!
You may choose from two types of accommodations: indoor or outdoor. For indoor accommodations, they offer both standard and deluxe rooms housed in three different buildings, and four one-room cabins. For outdoor accommodations, RV camping is available year-round and tent camping is available from April through October.
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 - no daily maid service. Wi-Fi is available for all guests except those in cabins or tents. They also have centrally located guest computers.
If you would like to stay in a tent or an RV, please bring your own. They do not provide tents or RVs. Tent camping is available from April through October on level, shaded campsites. RVs are welcomed year round. However, they do not have RV facilities and hookups at this time.
Tenters are part of The Expanding Light meals and programs, so tent spaces do not include facilities for cooking or picnicking. There is a high fire danger here in the summer, so no campfires are allowed. Also, no candles, kerosene lamps, or anything with an open flame.
Because of animals, no food is allowed in the tenting area. They do have a refrigerator behind the main kitchen, which is available for guests. The camping area has a sink with running water, and an outhouse. Men and womens bathrooms are available with showers, toilets, and sinks, across the meadow from the tenting area.
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 for personal items.
Each cabin has one room, which is larger and more private than other standard rooms. Cabin occupants share separate mens and womens shower houses about a minutes walk away.
Harmony House has eight deluxe rooms. Each room has a private entrance, a private bathroom, air conditioning, and a ceiling fan. Harmony House is dedicated to expressing Yoganandas expansive approach to religion and his belief in celebrating god through beauty.
Simply and elegantly appointed, each room is decorated in the theme of one of the great world religions. Available are the Yogananda Room, Buddhism Room, Saint Francis Room, Madonna Room, Taoism Room, Islam Room, Judaism Room, and the Hinduism Room.
This is for those staying outdoors. All outdoor accommodations have access to separate men's and women's shower houses an easy 2 or 3-minute walk across the meadow. Facilities have flush toilets, plenty of hot water, and shower and toilet partitions for your comfort and privacy.
While some paths focus primarily on asana alignment, safety, and calisthenics, Ananda Yoga uses several techniques in addition to the asanas to raise ones level of energy and awareness so that body, mind, and soul are harmonized. Ananda Yoga has proven itself to be a practical and effective way to grow spiritually. Ananda Yoga practices include:
Asana modifications to suit individual needs
Energization exercises developed by Paramhansa Yogananda
Yoga philosophy and study
Therapeutic yoga (training in level 1 and 2)
Yoga teachers of other styles and paths often want to transfer into Anandas level 2 yoga teacher training or YTX / yoga therapy training after they have experienced the gentle power of Ananda Yoga. If you are a Yoga Alliance RYT (registered yoga teacher), you may transfer into these programs once you have completed Bridge to Ananda Yoga, which will give you a strong foundation in the practice and teaching of Ananda Yoga. Bridge to Ananda Yoga consists of the first 8 days of a Level 1 Ananda Yoga Teacher Training (Sunday evening through Monday morning of the eighth day), during which you will also enjoy several special classes designed specifically for Bridge students.
In addition to attending the Bridge classes, you will have five at-home assignments. The assignment involves preparing a class plan for another Ananda style yoga class that you will teach at home. This class plan then gets reviewed with other Bridge students and the main Bridge instructor, Mangala. Once you have received feedback on your plan, then you will teach it, write up your self-assessment of how it went, then participate in a conference call to discuss your experience.
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 and a Level 2 Yoga Teacher, Maitri's special interest is Yoga Therapy for body,mind and spirit, in which she teaches. 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.
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.
The Expanding Light is located in Ananda Village, one of the world's most successful spiritual communities. Situated in the Sierra Nevada Foothills in Northern California, they are approximately two hours east of Sacramento and two hours west of Lake Tahoe.
|Activities ||General ||Services|
Three delicious and satisfying vegetarian buffet meals are included with the cost of your stay. Some of the dishes contain eggs and dairy. The Expanding Light uses organically grown foods as much as possible, including some organically grown eggs and produce from right here at Ananda Village, and organically grown fair trade coffee. They have a variety of teas and fresh fruit available all day.
Guests are welcome to use the computer lounge in the main building; guests in deluxe room and most of the standard rooms can use Wi-Fi in their rooms if you bring your own computer.
The guest services lounge is a lovely room with a cozy fireplace located in the Gust Services Building. When not in use for a class, it is open until late at night for guests to use.
This lovely lake is filled with water lilies and lotus flowers in summer. It is a beautiful area ideal for walks, where you can often see wild birds. A path around the lake includes outdoor altars to Ananda Yoga's line of masters.
Serenity Lounge is a homey room located in the Serenity Building. When not in use for 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.
This temple, located just off the dining room, is a beautiful space in which they hold daily practice of yoga postures and meditation, as well classes and evening programs. When not in use for a scheduled class or event, it is open for meditation and Hatha yoga.
Massage can be a wonderful, healing addition to your stay. All massage practitioners are Ananda members and work through the Center for Radiant Health. The center offers a variety of types of massage, as well as Ayurveda counseling, CranioSacral therapy, astrological readings, and more. They have a coin-operated washer and dryer available for guest use.
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 is 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.
The best airport to fly into is Sacramento. Reno Airport is also an option but is less preferable due to inclement weather in the winter and higher transportation costs to Ananda. From the Sacramento Airport, there are a few options.
For a good value, they recommend The Expanding Lights regularly scheduled Sacramento airport pick-up and drop-off.
For more flexibility around days and times for pick-up and drop-off, a good option is Foothill Shuttle and Charter Service.
Yet another option is the Super Shuttle. Or, rent a car and follow the directions, or take the bus or train or public transportation.
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 cab or Foothill Shuttle and Charter Service.
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 from Ananda. To get to Ananda from Colfax, you will need to take a cab or Foothill Shuttle and Charter Service.
The Expanding Light recommends Foothill Shuttle and Charter Service. They are a locally run shuttle with excellent service. The cost (subject to change) from Sacramento Airport to The Expanding Light, it is 250 USD round trip, and 150 USD one way. From Colfax or Auburn, it is 160 USD round trip, and 80 USD one way.
You may take the Super Shuttle (advance reservations required). When making your reservation, put your destination as "Expanding Light" to get the accurate price. The cost (subject to change) from Sacramento Airport to The Expanding Light is 175 USD one way, and 350 USD for round trip. If you are part of a group, there is an additional fee of only 9 USD per person for the ride.
Amtrak train offers train service from available cities into Colfax (if coming from the east) and Auburn (if coming from the west), each about an hour from Ananda.
Contact Amtrak directly for routes, current prices, schedules and reservations at www.amtrak.com. To get to Ananda from Colfax, you will need to take a cab or Foothill Shuttle and Charter Service.