Immerse Yourself in an Intentional Community

Are you looking for your next step? Are you feeling a stronger pull towards a spiritually integrated life?

Based on the teachings of Paramhansa Yogananda, the Ananda Karma Yoga Ashram Program provides a balance of meditation and joyful service within spiritual community. We offer inspirational classes to help you establish new habits, attitudes, and ways of living a joyful, victorious life.

“If you make a determined effort, you will no longer walk in fear and uncertainty on the path of life. There is a Power which will light your way, which will bring you health, happiness, peace, and success, if you will but turn toward that Light.” -Paramhansa Yogananda

Dates: Year-round, 2-week minimum

Cost: $500/2 weeks, $800/1st month, $680/month for 2nd & 3rd months

Traditional Karma Yoga

Dates: Year-round, 2-week minimum 

Cost: $325/2 weeks – $650/month through September! (Normally $800/month)

Age: 18+

Location: Expanding Light Retreat 

Karma Yoga with Farm Focus

Dates: June 1st to October 31st, 2023, 1 month minimum 

Cost: $650/month

Age: 18-35

Location: Expanding Light Retreat & Ananda Farm 

*Farm Karma Yogis will participate in traditional karma yoga for the first 2 weeks and afterward serve both at the Expanding Light and at Ananda Farm. 

**Be prepared to serve under the hot sun. 

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What is Karma Yoga?

Every action (karma) that we perform puts out a vibration of energyleading to happiness or suffering. The practice of Karma Yoga teaches us how to bring all our actions, thoughts, and feelings into harmony with our higher Self, helping us to feel that God is the doer.

As we learn to use our energy in service to others we become happier and live in ever greater joy and freedom! 

“Make service your goal, and you will see the entire plan of your life change.”

“Make service your goal, and you will see the entire plan of your life change.”

— Paramhansa Yogananda

— Paramhansa Yogananda


Why Join Ananda Karma Yoga Ashram Program?

Establish a Daily Meditation Practice

“I’ve tried to meditate before, but I find it so difficult to control my mind!” Does this sound familiar?

The meditation we teach is a universal scientific technique taught by Paramhansa Yogananda.

Practicing daily meditation helps you develop the resilience to rise above challenges in daily life and find happiness in every circumstance. Most of all, a strong meditation practice helps you establish a deep connection with the Divine.


Find Joy Through Serving Others

What is the difference between work and service? It’s a matter of consciousness. The consciousness of “work” can leave you exhausted, but if you act with the consciousness of “service” you may find you have more energy when you finish, than you had before you started.

Whether you are washing dishes, chopping vegetables, weeding a flower bed or vacuuming a carpet, you begin to see that the spirit in which you serve is more important than the service itself—and this acts as a vehicle for spiritual transformation.

Karma yogis are valued and indispensable members of our staff!


Experience Spiritual Community

Everyone needs the right environment in order to support positive changes.

Ananda Villagehome to the Ananda Karma Yoga Ashram Program has been a living laboratory practicing Yogananda’s teachings for over 50 years. Here you’ll have the interaction and support of devotees who have been putting these teachings into practice for decades. 


“I can’t begin to express in words how grateful I am for the past three months with you blessed souls. I am no longer alone, and I know what I am seeking. ”

“I can’t begin to express in words how grateful I am for the past three months with you blessed souls. I am no longer alone, and I know what I am seeking. ”

— Shana, past Karma Yogi

— Shana, past Karma Yogi


What Our Karma Yogis Do

“Service is ennobling. It is a way of offering our human littleness into the great Reality that is God. When we serve others in this spirit, we find our own spirits becoming freed from egotism.” – Swami Kriyananda


You’ll serve two shifts each day either at the Expanding Light Retreat or possibly at another department within Ananda Village. (10-11 shifts per week).

  • You’ll serve between 23-25 hours per week.
  • You will have 1.5 days off per week.
  • Most of your service will be at the Expanding Light retreat, but you might also be serving in other areas of Ananda Village such as the Ananda Farm, the Temple of Light and the Crystal Hermitage Gardens. At the Expanding Light you will be doing dishwashing, general cleaning, and various outdoor projects
"By the practice of meditation, you will find that you are carrying within your heart a portable paradise." – Paramhansa Yogananda

Spiritual Practices

Sadhanas (spiritual practices) are offered twice daily. They include Energization Exercises, Yoga postures, Chanting, and Meditation. You are required to attend at least 1 sadhana per day while in the program.

  • The Energization Exercises are a series of 39 energy-control techniques that Yogananda developed in order to help the practitioner increase, focus, and control the life-force.
  • Yoga posture practice in Ananda Yoga® is gentle for beginning students, becoming more challenging with experience.
  • Ananda Meditation® is for deep relaxation, stress reduction, and higher awareness. It can be a guiding light on the path to wholeness, and a powerful way to connect with the Divine. The first level of practice – the Hong-Sau technique – is for anyone seeking to feel more inner peace and express outwardly more compassion and joy.
Our practice at Ananda is best described as Raja Yoga, or the ‘royal’ yoga. Raja Yoga is the harmonious combination of several yogas — including Hatha Yoga — with meditation as the supreme guide.

Yoga Philosophy

Our course curriculum of yoga philosophy is based upon the book The Art and Science of Raja Yoga written by Swami Kriyananda, based on the teachings of Paramhansa Yogananda.

You will also have classes and/or discussions on:

  • The practices and attitudes of Karma Yoga
  • Yogananda’s “How to Live” Principle
  • The core teachings of the path of Self-Realization
  • Sharing Nature exercises for experiencing the divine.
“Whether one becomes a saint or a sinner is to a great extent determined by the company he keeps.”
Swami Kriyananda

Spiritual Community

Karma Yogis have opportunities to experience spiritual living at Ananda Village, access our sacred meditation temples and connect with community members.

There will also be personal time to explore our 700 acres of peaceful forests, meadows, and lakes.

During the year, Karma Yogis are invited to participate in: 

  • Kirtans (Devotional Chanting) 
  • Satsangs (spiritual friendship gatherings) with community members
  • Holiday Celebrations, such as yearly Fourth of July Parade
  • Dinner in Community Homes
  • Special Community Events
  • Group meditations and ceremonies in our sacred meditation temples and shrines

Ananda is also here to offer divine friendship and support on your spiritual journey!

Typical Daily Schedule

6:30 – 8:15 am

Sadhana (Energization Exercises, Yoga postures and Meditation)

8:15 – 9:00 am

Breakfast in silence

9:00am – noon

Breakfast clean up and class/activity/service shift (varies daily)

12:00 – 12:30


12:30 – 1:30 pm


1:30 – 3:30 pm

Karma Yoga service shift (or free time)

4:45 – 6:30 pm

Sadhana (Energization, Yoga postures and  Meditation)

6:30 – 7:30 pm


7:30 – 9:00 pm  

Karma Yoga service shift (or free time)

“Working with people who are here to serve God and the collective whole is truly inspirational.”

“Working with people who are here to serve God and the collective whole is truly inspirational.”

— Michelle, past Karma Yogi

— Michelle, past Karma Yogi


Meet the Staff


Aramati is the co-director of the Karma Yoga Ashram Program.

Joining Ananda in 2018, Aramati’s first job with a community experience program, called ‘Building with Spirit,” set the precedence for eventually joining the Karma Yoga staff where she now serves as co-leader. She excels in working with people, along with having first-rate organizational skills, both of which are needed for her role as co-manager. Aramati’s sense of respect for each person she meets, along with a deep, heartfelt warmth and compassion for everyone are qualities that make her shine in her role.

From Aramati: I’m thrilled and it’s my joy to serve the many beautiful souls who come to the Karma Yoga Program.


Dhananjaya first encountered the spiritual teachings of Paramhansa Yogananda in 2009. Since then his spiritual life has progressed steadily. 

It was during Dhananjaya’s first stay in the karma yoga program in 2013 that he became a disciple of Paramhansa Yogananda and he also received initiation in Kriya yoga during that same visit.

He is a certified Ananda Meditation Teacher. 


Nayaswami Krishnadas teaches a weekly Raja Yoga class for the Karma Yogis. At the Expanding Light, he oversees visiting groups to the Expanding Light and also leads groups to spiritual hot spots on Pilgrimage.

A long-time resident, teacher, and minister of Ananda Village, Krishnadas has co-directed Ananda Centers and communities in Seattle, Portland, Dallas, and Los Angeles. He has a vibrant zest for life that comes out in a warm, personable nature and serviceful disposition. 


Nayaswami Mantradevi serves as the main spiritual counselor and is the disciple class teacher for Karma Yogis. 


Arya serves as support staff for the Karma Yoga Program and Ananda Yoga instructor at the Ananda School of Yoga & Meditation. It’s been a joy for her to share the powerful teachings of yoga and meditation, that have profoundly transformed her life. She has also immensely enjoyed leading our summer youth program, Ananda Village Internship Program and teaching sadhana at The Expanding Light Retreat.


We ask that you Apply Here. After you’ve sent in your application and medical form, we’ll set up a time to do a Zoom Interview to get to know each other better, and talk with you more in depth about the program. It would also be helpful for you to read Autobiography of a Yogi and The New Path to get better acquainted with our spiritual tradition before you arrive.

Two weeks is a first time minimum, so you can settle into the program. While you can technically stay for up to 3 months, we go month by month (checking in every two weeks) to make sure that the program is a good fit. 

Upon acceptance in the program, we will ask you to pay a $200 deposit.

  • Your shared room in Seva House.
  • Three wholesome vegetarian meals per day.
  • Comprehensive course in yoga philosophy, which includes the books, The Art and Science of Raja Yoga and Lessons in Meditation.
  • Twice-daily sadhanas. Our sadhanas include Paramhansa Yogananda’s Energization Exercises, Ananda Yoga, and Ananda Meditation.
  • Opportunity for 1-on-1 spiritual guidance and support.
  • We’ve found that it hasn’t worked well for people to work remotely or do other side activities while in our program. Between sadhanas, service, and classes, your daily schedule will be fairly full, but not overly so. 
  • During your stay, you will find that you have free time to enjoy Ananda Village’s 700 acres of scenic beauty; including our quaint “downtown” Ananda, our local farms, goat dairy, and Crystal Hermitage Gardens. You may also enjoy taking time to experience local hikes around the scenic Yuba River and explore historic Nevada City.

Ananda’s Karma Yoga Ashram Program functions within an ashram environment. We ask that you help us to maintain our peaceful, uplifting atmosphere. To ensure an enjoyable experience for all we ask that you follow these guidelines during your stay:

  • No recreational drugs or alcohol of any kind while in our program.
  • Dress modestly. Please check out our “What to Bring List” for clarification on clothing.
  • Smoking is permitted only outdoors and only on the paved parking lots both out of consideration for our guests and to reduce fire hazard.
  • No pets on the grounds (with the exception of service animals).
  • Quiet hours are from 9:00 pm to 9:00 am. (If listening to music in your room, please use headphones.)

We have various resources and directions to help with getting to the Expanding Light Retreat. Please check them out here. If you have more questions about getting here, please contact the Karma Yoga Ashram Department and we will be happy to advise you.

During your stay, we require that you have medical insurance. Travel medical insurance can be an inexpensive insurance option during your stay with us. We recommend checking out this website for more information on travel medical insurance.

We ask that you attend at least 1 sadhana (yoga and meditation session) per day, all morning classes and your daily seva shift(s).

During your stay we encourage you to get into the ashram vibration and this includes the devotional chanting and music of Ananda. We’d be happy to teach you how to play our chants on harmonium or guitar.  Please refrain from playing other music at the Retreat. If you would like to play your instrument, we ask that you do so quietly away from the main retreat facility.  We can suggest areas where you can do this.

All of your meals will be provided for you during your stay. You will have access to a fridge to store some personal food.  

The chefs and cooks provide a variety of delicious and nutritious vegetarian fare that satisfies most dietary needs. Gluten free and vegan options are available at every meal. If you have special dietary needs, please talk to us personally. It is not possible for karma yogis to use the kitchen for personal cooking.

If you cancel or reschedule at least 7 days before your scheduled arrival, we will refund your payment, less a $55 processing fee. If you cancel or reschedule with shorter notice, your deposit amount will be held for one year as a credit for a future stay, less a $55 processing fee. If you’ve paid more than the deposit, we will refund the surplus amount to you. If you have any questions about this, please don’t hesitate to contact us!


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“I feel that the greatest blessing of being in the Karma Yoga program was the opportunity to attune more deeply to Ananda’s lineage of great masters, to have fellowship with devotees, and to be able to practice the presence of God through service.”

“I feel that the greatest blessing of being in the Karma Yoga program was the opportunity to attune more deeply to Ananda’s lineage of great masters, to have fellowship with devotees, and to be able to practice the presence of God through service.”

— Steven, past Karma Yogi

— Steven, past Karma Yogi


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Ananda’s Karma Yoga Ashram Program at Ananda's Expanding Light was one of the most positive, life-changing experiences of my life. I am deeply grateful for the opportunity to be a part of such an inspiring spiritual community-and now family
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I can’t begin to express in words how grateful I am for the past three months with you blessed souls. I am no longer alone, and I know what I am seeking. This is certainly the greatest blessing, and I can’t thank you enough.
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Before I came to Ananda, I knew that I wanted to devote my life to God. Being in the Karma Yoga Program helped me to develop a daily practice of meditation, and to realize that all activities when done with an attitude of non-attachment and self-offering become a very important part of sadhana. I feel that the greatest blessing of being in the Karma Yoga program was the opportunity to attune more deeply to Ananda’s lineage of great masters, to have fellowship with devotees, and to be able to practice the presence of God through service.
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Working with people who are here to serve God and the collective whole is truly inspirational. It has given me the opportunity to feel the flow of this amazing community. I'm indebted to this place
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I began meditating when I was 16 years old and never stopped. The Expanding Light’s Karma Yoga Program has been a way for me to deepen my meditation practice. Stillness, meditation and yoga are powerful tools to self-awareness and reflection to develop inner peace. I love being a Karma Yogi!
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I came to Ananda’s Karma Yoga Ashram Program to deepen my sadhana (spiritual practices) and to spend more time at Ananda Village. I would say the most important thing I learned was how to serve God and my Guru, Paramhansa Yogananda in everything I do. No matter how menial the task, every action can be done with devotion and care, and Divine Mother is always with us.

Transform Your Life with the Teachings of Paramhansa Yogananda

Ananda Karma Yoga Ashram Program

Dates: Year-round, 2-week minimum 

Cost: $500/2 weeks, $800/1st month, $680/month for 2nd & 3rd months

  • Upon acceptance in the program, we will ask you to pay a $200 deposit. This deposit is fully refundable up to 7 days prior to your arrival date. If you cancel within 7 days of your arrival, we will charge a $55 processing fee.
  • If you have any questions please call us at (530) 478-7523 or fill out this form and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.