Ananda's Karma Yoga Ashram Program
Serve, learn, grow, and deepen your inner life

Our low-priced program includes a balance of selfless service (karma yoga), daily class/ discussions, opportunities to learn and practice yoga and meditation more deeply, and spiritual fellowship with like-minded friends. Our extended-stay, ashram program is based on the spiritual teachings of Paramhansa Yogananda, the well-loved author Autobiography of a Yogi.

karma yoga ashram video

Our karma yoga program will help you:

  • Learn to meditate or to deepen your meditation through classes and daily practice of techniques brought to the West by Paramhansa Yogananda.
  • Experience greater strength, health, and soul connection with the option of twice-daily Ananda Yoga® classes.
  • Study the practical teachings of Raja Yoga, and practice them as you serve—to help you feel more centered, calm, and happy in all parts of life.
  • Explore the steps to the ancient, liberating technique of Kriya Yoga.
  • Build your relationship with God through chanting, prayer, and inner communion

About Kriya Yoga Meditation

Kriya Yoga is a meditation technique that quickly accelerates one’s spiritual growth. It was first made widely known by Paramhansa Yogananda in his Autobiography of a Yogi. Kriya Yoga is a meditation technique that directs one’s life force inward and upward for God-realization, a technique of pranayama or energy control. It is also a comprehensive spiritual path that includes four specific techniques, two of which are taught to you during your stay at The Expanding Light, as well as right living and attunement to Yogananda and our line of enlightened Masters. During your stay you can ask to learn the steps involved in preparing for Kriya Yoga initiation.

About Raja Yoga

Yoga literally means “union”—everything from self-integration to union of the soul and God. Raja Yoga, the “royal” yoga, takes the meditator to the central river to enlightenment, the pathway of the spine. It combines meditation along with Bhakti, Karma, and Gyana Yogas. Hatha yoga is an aspect of Raja Yoga.

About Spiritual Community

Karma Yoga spiritual interns at the Expanding Light

Yogananda used to say, “Environment is stronger than will power.” This statement is an important encouragement to a seeker to find others of like mind, who will support you in your upward journey, and will inspire you by their examples.


Learn and Grow in an Ashram Environment

We offer the depth of nonsectarian Eastern spiritual teachings applied to practical, energetic living. You are invited to join in the Sunday Services and other uplifting spiritual events with members of Ananda Village. As a thriving spiritual community for almost 50 years, Ananda has much to share.

“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

Experiential Internships

We are now able to offer Karma Yoga Internships in the summer to those who complete four weeks of Karma Yoga and wish to serve in various creative ways in the larger Ananda community—in permaculture, animal husbandry, gardening, and much more. More information...

A Day in the Karma Yoga Program

As a Karma Yogi you serve 5 or 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.

Karma Yoga spiritual interns in the Expanding Light kitchen

Service includes kitchen and dining room cleanup, dishwashing, housekeeping, and other projects—giving you the opportunity, as well as the guidance in how to maintain your spiritual practice in the activity of daily life.

Participants in our Karma Yoga program contribute to the positive energy at our 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 shifts 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 yummy treats at “downtown” Ananda’s little whole foods store, Master's Market.

Here is sample Karma Yoga schedule:

6:30 - 8:30 amDaily Sadhana* in EL Temple
8:30 - 9:00 amBreakfast in silence
9:10am Inspirational discussion and scheduling for the day
9:45 - 12 noon Karma Yoga or Free Time
12:00 - 12:30Meditation
12:30 - 1:30 pmLunch
1:30 - 4:15 pm Karma Yoga or Free Time
3:30 - 4:30 pmClass for Karma Yogis on Tuesdays and Thursdays
(we study Raja Yoga principles)
4:45 - 6:30 pmSadhana* in EL Temple
6:30 - 7:30 pm Dinner
7:30 - 10:00 pm   Karma Yoga or Free Time

*Sadhana consists of Energization Exercises, yoga postures, chanting, and meditation, based on the teachings of Paramhansa Yogananda.


Karma Yoga on ridge

Cost

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.)

Karma Yoga spiritual interns at the Expanding Light

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.

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Testimonials

“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


Karma Yogi's Photo Diary...

Karma Yoga spiritual interns during guided morning sadhana

Guided morning sadhana


Karma Yoga spiritual interns blessings the kitchen

Blessing the kitchen


Karma Yoga spiritual interns in the Expanding Light kitchen

Morning scheduling fun


Karma Yoga spiritual interns in the Expanding Light kitchen

Breakfast clean-up


Karma Yoga spiritual interns during guided morning sadhana

Short Meditation before ...


Lunch menu at the Expanding Light

Lunchtime


Karma Yoga spiritual interns helping with housekeeping

Afternoon service with joy


Karma Yoga spiritual interns during class

Sadhana - spiritual practices


Karma Yoga spiritual interns during dining room service

After dinner service


Karma Yoga spiritual interns during dining room service

Evening fellowship