Personal Retreat

Personal Retreat

at The Expanding Light Retreat

Reconnect with Inner Joy

Step away from your busy life for a few days; take time to be still and refresh your soul. Come almost any day of the year and stay as long as you like.

Our retreat is part of Ananda Village, a cooperative community on the foothills of The Sierra Nevada Mountains.

The land has lots of beautiful walking or jogging trails, still meadows with magic sunset viewing points and clear skies for stargazing

Dates: Year-round, apply anytime

Cost: $48 per day + Accommodations

“Within a few days I began to experience a peace and joy that I had never felt before in my entire life. What was unique and wonderful about this vacation was that the new level of peace I felt was a direct result of the yoga lifestyle I was living at The Expanding Light Retreat.”

Annalisa Cunningham, Author,
Yoga Vacations: A Guide to International Yoga Retreats

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What is a Personal Retreat?

A true personal retreat is much more than a vacation—it can be a time of conscious, spiritual opening, of making an enjoyable effort to rise to an entirely new state of awareness.

It’s a time for you to clear your mind, worry less, and mindfully experience your environment. 

An opportunity to reconnect with your true Self. In our busy life, it’s easy to be on automatic mode and go about our day unmindful, focused on getting things done ignoring how we feel.

When was the last time you paused and checked in with yourself? 

That is why it’s so important to take some time to look after yourself, to refill your cup so you can feel better and be better for your loved ones. 

“It is so beautiful here – serenity abounds. The staff was friendly, helpful, but not intrusive – wonderful! I like the openness of the community, and the “take what fits, leave the rest” attitude. A wonderful experience. Loved sadhana. Thanks!”

Alline, CA

Included in your stay

2 daily yoga and meditation classes

Practice Energization Exercises, Ananda Yoga®, and meditation.

3 vegetarian meals

Delicious meals from our own Expanding Light cookbooks. Our meals include fresh organic produce from Ananda Farms, as well as other organically grown ingredients, homemade breads, gluten and dairy-free options.

Access to Spiritual Classes

Every morning you’re invited to participate in 

Nature all around

700 acres of beautiful rolling meadows and forestland in the Sierra Nevada foothills for long walks.

Visit our temples

7 temples

“I could not have envisioned a more perfect personal retreat experience. Or perhaps I should say, it was the personal retreat experience I envisioned and needed and more.”

Pamela, Santa Barbara, CA

While you're here you might also enjoy...

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FAQs

We are located in Ananda Village, one of the world’s most successful spiritual communities. Situated in the Sierra Nevada Foothills in Northern California, we are approximately two hours east of Sacramento and two hours west of Lake Tahoe. See our transportation and directions and map pages for more.

We practice Ananda Yoga®, which was created by our founder Swami Kriyananda based on the teachings of Paramhansa Yogananda. Ananda Yoga is distinct from many other forms of hatha yoga in that it is first and foremost a spiritual practice rather than an exercise regimen. In keeping with the ancient roots and original purpose of hatha yoga, Ananda Yoga® is a powerful yet gentle practice designed to prepare the body and mind for deep meditation. As such, it is a perfect blend of spiritual upliftment and physical energization suitable for everyone – all ages, all body types.

Ananda Yoga is also a pioneer in the world of yoga and one of the founders of Yoga Alliance, the international organization which sets the standards for yoga certification.

You may choose from two types of accommodations: indoor or outdoor. For indoor accommodations we 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.

Morning
6:30 amWake-up bell
7:00 – 8:00 amSadhana (spiritual practices) which consists of:
  • Energization Exercises (20 – 25 min)
  • Chanting (5 min)
  • Meditation (15 min – 30 min)
8:00 – 9:00 amBreakfast (in silence Monday-Saturday)
9:00 – 9:30 amHost check-in
10:00 – 11:30 amScheduled program, class, group activity, or free time

Afternoon
Noon – 12:30 pmMeditation (5 min chanting, 25 min meditation)
12:30 – 1:30 pmLunch
2:00 – 4:00 pmScheduled program, class, group activity, or free time
4:45 – 6:30 pmSadhana (spiritual practices) which consists of:
  • Energization Exercises (20 – 25 min)
  • Yoga Postures (45 – 60 min)
  • Chanting (5 min)
  • Meditation (15 min – 30 min)
5:15 – 6:30 pmLahiri Shrine Meditation (alternative to regular sadhana)

Evening
6:30 – 7:30 pmDinner
7:30 – 9:00 pmScheduled program, class, group activity, or free time

Three delicious and satisfying vegetarian buffet meals are included with the cost of your stay. Some of our dishes contain eggs and dairy. We use 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. We have a variety of teas and fresh fruit available all day.

We can accommodate some special dietary needs with non-dairy, non-wheat, and egg-free choices. If you have other dietary needs, it may be that we will not be able to accommodate them.

A small refrigerator for guests who are staying in Serenity House Lounge and a full size refrigerator outside our kitchen are available for storing special foods guests might need during their stay. There is a Market close to Ananda Village if you’d like to buy special items.

Yes, they are. Just across the meadow from The Expanding Light Retreat is The Center for Radiant Health.

The Center offers massage, body and energy work; Emotional Freedom Technique; career coaching; and astrology consultations. It is an independent cooperative of qualified Ananda health practitioners, available by prior appointment 7 days a week.

Plan ahead and include a treatment in your retreat by calling 530-478-7518.

The atmosphere at The Expanding Light is casual. For yoga postures and meditation, bring loose-fitting casual attire like sweat clothes, comfortable pants, and T-shirts. If you plan to attend Sunday Service, it’s ideal to bring something a bit less casual.

We suggest a good pair of walking shoes so you can enjoy our nearly 700 acres of beautiful grounds. You also might want to bring a bathing suit in summer to be able to enjoy the beautiful Yuba River (just a 20-minute drive from The Expanding Light).

We remove our shoes when entering the Temple and also the living quarters, so slip-on shoes are nice to have. In cold weather you might also enjoy having a pair of slippers for your bedroom.

Our elevation is 2500 feet, and while snow is rare, it can be chilly and rainy in the winter. We suggest you bring layers so you can be comfortable in a variety of temperatures.

Sorry, we are unable to accommodate pets at this time.

We can house about 50 people. This number does not include campers.

A shared room is usually two per room.

Our deluxe accommodations in Harmony House have rooms with private bathrooms.

Serenity House and Friendship House residents use shared bathrooms located in the hallways. Each hall bathroom has a shower, toilet, and sink, with a locking door to insure privacy. Cabin and tent residents use a shower house (one for men and one for women). The shower houses feature plenty of hot water, electric heat, and toilet and shower stalls for privacy. Our accommodations page has more information.

You should bring your own toiletries.

Yes. We have an internet room off the dining room with computers in it available exclusively to guests. We also have two internet access cables into which guests can plug their laptops. In addition, we offer wireless service in both Harmony House and Serenity House rooms.

No, there are not refrigerators in the rooms. Guests in Serenity House have the use of a single half-fridge, a kettle, and a microwave in the Serenity House Lounge. This is not for meal prep, just for a cup of tea or similar. You also can get tea at any time in the Dining Room.

Prior experience isn‘t necessary for most of our programs; our instructors will be able to adapt the poses for your own body. If you have serious physical limitations (heart disease, history of stroke, glaucoma, even very high blood pressure), please speak with one of our instructors when you arrive to determine how you should participate in the yoga postures.

For our longer-term guests, we have coin-operated washers and dryers at the back of Serenity House. Walk around the building outside to reach it. There is a keypad code needed to open the laundry. See Guest Services for the code. Some machines take quarters. You can get some from Guest Services. For other machines you pay Guest Services. Laundry powder is provided. Please make sure the door is locked when you leave.

Because The Expanding Light has several buildings at some distance from one another, it can be difficult for those with mobility challenges. The ground can be uneven. We do have a Deluxe room in Harmony House that is wheelchair accessible with a wheelchair shower. Our dining room and our teaching temple have ramps from the outside. The dining room ramp is around the back of the building. We have portable ramps to help when needed, for example, to go up or down several steps between the teaching temple and the dining room. Please give us a call if you would like to talk about this.

If you cancel or reschedule at least 7 days before your scheduled arrival, half of your deposit remains as a credit for one year and half is forfeited. If you cancel or reschedule with shorter notice, the entire deposit is forfeited.

For Yoga Teacher Training: If you cancel or reschedule at least 14 days before your scheduled arrival, $200 of your deposit remains as a credit for one year, and $100 is forfeited. If you cancel or reschedule with shorter notice, the entire deposit is forfeited.

To actually cancel your reservation call Guest Services at 800-346-5350 or 530-478-7518

Any policies specifically listed for a program override policies stated on this page.

Kshama
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The Expanding Light Retreat is a touch of heaven on earth! Accommodations are simple and refined, vegetarian meals are delicious and healthy, and the staff and guests quickly become lifetime friend. I am joyfully anticipating my next visit!
Sheri
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EL is my "home away from home"-- such great energy, welcoming staff, amazing food, wonderful offerings in terms of classes and retreat options. I love being in the beautiful, natural setting, with hawks flying overhead, deer roaming the meadows (carefree and unafraid of people!), and chattering squirrels chasing each other through the tree branches. At night, you can hear bullfrogs croaking boastfully in lotus lake. The views on sunset ridge-- a short walk up the hill from Expanding light-- are exquisite. All in all, it truly is a bit of heaven! I go as often as I am able.
Karry
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This is a beautiful place. The gardens are lovely. There is so much peace and beauty here. We visited the gardens twice during the tulip bloom. We had a wonderful vegetarian lunch. I would highly recommend a visit. We are definitely going to make this a regular place to visit.
Sofi
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My two weeks at Ananda were transformative beyond my hopes. The energy, the landscape, the people, the classes, the rituals, the meals, the accommodations. I will definitely be returning and encourage anyone on a path to self-realization to spend precious time at Ananda. Give yourself the best gift available in 2022. A Personal Retreat for healing. Exposure to people and energies you haven't imagined. What are you waiting for? Sofi, Santa Rosa, CA
Argie
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The Expanding Light Retreat is the best place I have ever been. The people were warm and helpful in every way. I look forward to taking my wife to have the same or better experience. I cannot way to go back again myself. Peace and blessing to all the people there that touch my spirit in the most profound way of pleasure.
Andre
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I had a wonderful time at the Expanding Light Retreat. Everything was top shelf and above. The staff was helpful, friendly and warm. The food was delicious. The room was quiet and clean. Because of the ambiance at the retreat my meditating there was deep and devotional And I got a one of the best night sleep in quite a while. I highly recommend you stay at the retreat.
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