About the Answerers


Nayaswami Diksha

An Ananda Minister, Counselor, Hatha and Raja Yoga Teacher and Co- Director of the Ananda Meditation Teacher Training. Diksha teaches many different courses at The Expanding Light Retreat. She is also an outstanding chef and very knowledgeable about the yogic diet and Ayurveda, an Indian system of natural health and healing.

Diksha has created and hosts Online Vegetarian Cooking for Health and Vitality, a 4-season video series. She is the author of Global Kitchen and Vegetarian Cooking for Starters.


Nayaswami Gyandev

Gyandev McCord is an Ananda Lightbearer and the director of Ananda Yoga and the Ananda Yoga Teacher Training Program. He teaches at The Expanding Light Retreat and worldwide.

Gyandev is also a founding board member of Yoga Alliance, the non-profit organization which ensures professional standards for yoga teachers in the U.S.

Prior to embarking on the yogic path, Gyandev received a Ph.D. in Applied Mathematics from Stanford University. After deeply contemplating the purpose of life, he decided to relinquish the outer science of math to explore the inner science of yoga.


Nayaswami Hassi

Hassi is a Lightbearer at Ananda Village where she has lived for 35 years. During her time with Ananda, she has raised 4 children, taught at Ananda Living Wisdom School and now serves in many aspects of the community.


Nayaswami Hriman

A long-term teacher and minister, Hriman is one of the founding members of Ananda. He combines keen intellect and insight with a lively sense of humor, which makes his perspective on spiritual topics down-to-earth and practical. He is a Kriyacharya (authorized Kriya Yoga teacher).

Hriman and his wife Padma are the spiritual directors of Ananda Seattle, where they have lead the work since 1994.


Tyagi Jayadev

Director of Ananda Yoga Academy in Italy, Kriyacharya, author of 5 yogic books in Italy, husband, loves the Himalayas where he guides a yearly pilgrimage, happy to have lived for the last 25 years at Ananda as a disciple of Yogananda, with fantastic brothers/sisters on the path.


Gurupriya has been practicing the teachings of Self-realization since 1984. She was part of the Ananda community in Seattle prior to moving to New England in 1989, and since that time has been instrumental in starting and leading the Ananda center in York, Maine as well as other programs in New England.

Gurupriya received her doctorate in naturopathic medicine at Bastyr University of Natural Health Sciences. She provides holistic medical care with 4 other doctors and a nurse in Portsmouth, NH. Through her service as a naturopathic doctor and Ananda center leader, Gurupriya has discovered the joy of selfless service and feels a spiritual kinship with all life.


Mary Kretzmann

Mary Kretzmann, a Lightbearer and Ananda Village resident, serves in the Sangha Office as Director of the Ananda Healing Prayer Ministry. She is the author of Divine Will Healing, a complete handbook of Paramhansa Yogananda’s teachings on healing. She has also written a free online e-book, Finding God in Your Family.

Nayaswami Pranaba

Pranaba has been an Ananda member and minister for over 35 years. During this time he has served in many Ananda communities in the U.S., and in Assisi, Italy.

Pranaba has directed the membership training program at Ananda Village and has coordinated Ananda's Meditation Centers and Groups. He now manages Ananda Sangha Worldwide, Ananda's outreach ministry. He also travels frequently, bringing Yogananda's teachings and inspiration to Ananda devotees nationwide.


Nayaswami Savitri

Savitri has been an Ananda minister for the past 30 years. She is a counselor and staff teacher at The Expanding Light Retreat, where she directs the Meditation Teacher Training program, and offers seminars on the chakras and other aspects of yoga philosophy.

In addition to her devotion to the spiritual path, Savitri is a musician, herb gardener, gourmet vegetarian cook, and nature lover!


Nayaswami Seva

Seva is a founding member of Ananda, and has lived at Ananda Village and other Ananda colonies since 1968. Her many years of service included taking charge of the fledgling community's finances, helping start new Ananda centers on the West Coast of the U.S., in Europe, and in India. Seva is a true pioneer!

Currently she resides at Ananda Village and directs the Ananda Course of Self-Realization. Unfailingly cheerful and loving under all circumstances, Seva has a deep understanding of the spiritual path, born of a lifetime dedicated to God.

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