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In your physical body, the spine is the channel through which nerve impulses flow. In your astral, or energy body, the astral spine is the channel through which your life force flows. Within the astral spine lie the seven centers of energy - the distribution points for prana (life force). These astral centers, the chakras, send energy outward for daily activities, or redirect energy inward and upward for deeper spiritual awakening. During this special weekend course, you will enjoy a deep and focused practice of Ananda yoga postures to help you tune into and awaken the energy in the chakras. In one short weekend, you can be profoundly recharged and inspired.
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.
Each room has a private entrance, a private bathroom, air conditioning, a ceiling fan, and a hairdryer.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
You will practice Ananda yoga, which was created by the 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 up-liftment and physical energization suitable for everyone, all ages, and 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.
The retreat starts in the afternoon of the first date listed. It’s 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., that’s fine, but please 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 date.
Below is the typical day in The Expanding Light Retreat center. Schedule may vary depending on the course or event. All activities are optional so you can decide how much to enjoy.
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.
Three delicious and satisfying vegetarian buffet meals are included with the cost of your stay. Some of the dishes contain eggs and dairy. Organically grown foods are used as much as possible, including some organically grown eggs and produce from Ananda Village itself, and organically grown fair trade coffee. There are a variety of teas and fresh fruit available all day. The Expanding Light Retreat can accommodate some special dietary needs with non-dairy, non-wheat, and egg-free choices. If you have other dietary needs, they may not be accommodated.
At Crystal Hermitage, guests can enjoy the spiritual heart of Ananda. Tour the beautiful gardens, small chapel, and the Shrine of the Masters, a small museum and gift shop housing holy relics from India and Ananda's line of yoga masters.
Hansa temple is a unique architectural building that houses longer morning meditations for Ananda residents. If some guests are experienced meditators and would like a 90-minute meditation, they are welcome to join. Ask for times at the front desk.
A healing prayer, on an individual basis, is offered through the healing prayer ministry for a suggested donation between 40 to100 USD. Session lengths vary based on individual need.
Receive assistance and guidance tailored to your needs with counseling available from the Ananda ministers for a fee of 75 USD per hour. If you are interested, contact the front desk to schedule a private session.
This is a small chapel on the path to Lotus lake. A sacred space ideal for meditation, Lahiri is open all the time for quiet reflection and meditation.
This lovely lake fills 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 the line of Masters.
A natural foods market with a deli, bakery, and cappuccino bar that also features homemade pizza on Friday nights, a local favorite!
This is available to everyone on Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday at 10 a.m. or at other times by appointment. Even if you currently meditate, it is encouraged to take the class which includes: how to focus your mind, how to sit comfortably, when and where to meditate, and more.
Personally tailored to your body and needs, these classes are available with one of the certified Ananda yoga teachers for a fee of 75 USD per hour. You can focus on classical Hatha yoga or Restorative yoga. Contact the front desk to make an appointment.
A complex that houses a number of Ananda businesses including the management offices for the community; the healing prayer ministry, with 600 members worldwide who do healing prayers for those in need; and Crystal Clarity publishers, which produces books, DVDs, and CDs by Paramhansa Yogananda, Swami Kriyananda, and others on topics related to yoga, meditation, and self-realization.
This is a homey room located in the Serenity building. When not in use for a 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.
The boutique is located in the guest services building and is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Full of unique treasures, The Expanding Light boutique is a favorite destination shopping stop for guests and locals alike.
This temple, located just off the dining room, is a beautiful space, in which daily practice of yoga postures and meditation is held, as well as classes and evening programs. When not in use for a scheduled class or event, it is open for meditation and Hatha yoga.
Massages can be a wonderful, healing addition to your stay. The massage practitioners are Ananda members and work through the Center for Radiant Health. The center offers a variety of types of massages, as well as craniosacral therapy, Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT), astrological readings, career coaching, and more. Prices for massage sessions are 75 USD for a one hour long massage and 95 USD for a one and a half hour long massage. There are treatment rooms, but unlike a traditional spa, The Expanding Light Retreat have no pool facilities.
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.
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.
Amtrak offers train service to Colfax and Auburn.