Ananda's Karma Yoga Ashram Program
Spiritualize Your Daily Life. Service is Joy
Karma Yoga is working with the thought that it is God within us, serving God within all.
Learn to spiritualize your daily life in an ashram environment, with a community of like-minded individuals practicing meditation and living a spiritual life. Our karma yoga ashram program is held at Ananda’s spiritual retreat, The Expanding Light, nestled among 700 acres of the Sierra Nevada Foothills of northern California.
Transform your consciousness and awaken your infinite potential.
Our program includes a balance of selfless service or karma yoga, fun, and lessons in meditation and Raja Yoga, based on the spiritual teachings of Paramhansa Yogananda. Yogananda is well-known and loved worldwide, for his best-selling spiritual classic, Autobiography of a Yogi.
Our karma yoga program is unique in its focus to help you:
- Deepen your meditation and discipline through daily practice of the Hong-Sau meditation technique and Energization Exercises of Paramhansa Yogananda.
- Affirm your soul nature with twice-daily Ananda Yoga® classes
- Explore the steps to the ancient, liberating technique of Kriya Yoga
- Develop a tangible relationship with God through chanting, prayer, and inner communion.
Ashram Amidst Spiritual Community
“The Karma Yoga Program has been a pivotal point in my life. 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.” – Michelle M., Eugene, OR
We offer the depth of nonsectarian Eastern spiritual teachings, blended with a Western ashram environment. As program participants, you are invited to attend uplifting spiritual classes and events and connect with our worldwide spiritual family. We also offer experiential internships to discover what it takes to have over 40 years of harmonious and cooperative living.
A Day in Karma Yoga
As a Karma Yogi you serve 6 hours a day, 5 1/2 days a week and become an important part in the day-to-day functions of The Expanding Light Retreat.
Service includes kitchen and dining room cleanup, dishwashing, housekeeping, and other projects to help us serve our guests at the Retreat while giving you the opportunity to maintain your spiritual practice in the activity of daily life. Your service could also include preparing food in the kitchen, gardening, or special spiritual internships through the Ananda Institute of Cooperative Living (natural building, permaculture, goat shepherding, leadership training, education and teaching, music, and more).
Participants in our Karma Yoga program have the opportunity to contribute to the positive energy at the retreat. The Karma Yoga schedule allows you to attend most of the sadhanas (morning and afternoon periods of guided Energization Exercises, yoga postures, and meditation). Karma Yogis generally serve one or two of the karma yoga times every day (11 shifts per week), and have time free for other activities, such as reading, exploring the property's 700 acres of scenic beauty, visiting the historic Yuba River or Nevada City, or enjoying some great treats at “downtown” Ananda’s little wholefoods store Master's Market.
|6:30 - 8:30 am||Daily Sadhana* in EL Temple|
|8:30 - 9:00 am||Breakfast in silence|
|9:10am||Inspirational discussion and scheduling meeting|
|9:45 - 12 noon||Karma Yoga or Free Time|
|12:00 - 12:30||Meditation|
|12:30 - 1:30 pm||Lunch|
|1:30 - 4:15 pm||Karma Yoga or Free Time|
|3:30 - 4:30 pm||Class for Karma Yogis, Tuesdays and Thursdays|
|4:45 - 6:30 pm||Sadhana in EL Temple. Monday-Sunday|
|6:30 - 7:30 pm||Dinner|
|7:30 - 10:00 pm||Karma Yoga or Free Time|
*Sadhana: is Energization, yoga postures, chanting and meditation, based on the teachings of Paramhansa Yogananda.
The Karma Yoga Program fee is $500 for a two week to one month stay. (This fee includes the cost of Lessons in Meditation by Jyotish Novak and The Art and Science of Raja Yoga by Swami Kriyananda, both used as study guides during the program, and yours to keep.) Additional time in the program – up to three months – is possible upon approval at an additional $500 per month.
We request a $100 deposit to make your reservation. (This is included in the $500 program cost.)
Cancellations: 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.
The Karma Yoga program is not able to accommodate families with children. Families who wish to explore being at Ananda Village are welcome to attend our annual summer Family Camp or to stay at the Ananda Meditation Retreat at selected times.
If you have questions please contact us online or call 800-346-5350 or 530-478-7518 ext. 7090.
Apply for Karma Yoga Program
Have questions? Please don’t hesitate to contact us.
What aspect of the Karma Yoga Program has influenced your life most deeply?
“The Karma Yoga program has been a profound blessing on my life, imprints of which will nurture my soul till the time of my departure from this world. Feelings of compassion, thoughtfulness, devotion, kindness, and love that were masked by worldly delusions have suddenly resurfaced.
“Healthy and delicious vegetarian meals infused with divine love have done a miracle on my perennial health problems of migraines, heartburn, and fatigue. Yoga postures and meditation have been an immense source of inspiration and joy.
“I came to Ananda absolutely confused and leading a reckless life, typical of many people in present society. Three weeks later, I feel renewed strength and courage, a body in harmony with mind, and a vision for a glorious path. Now I truly understand my purpose in this life.”
– Aditya J., San Jose, CA
"I'm so grateful to have the opportunity to join the Karma Yoga family. Not only was this the spiritual adventure I was seeking, but it has been so much more! I am forever changed by the peace, the connection with God, the meditation, the community, and so much more that I will forever carry in my heart." – Jeremy