First-Timers' Weekend
Rejuvenate and explore sustainable spiritual practices to improve your life

  • Explore spiritual principles that will make your life work better
  • Learn why and how to meditate -- or take your existing practice deeper
  • Gain tips for greater health and harmony in your life
  •  Experience gentle yoga postures to improve flexibility of body, mind, and soul
  • Connect with our sustainable community - enjoy a dynamic tour of Ananda Village, one of the world's most respected intentional communities
  • Rejuvenate in our peaceful 700 acres of forest, farm, gardens, temples, and holy places
  • Relax in the company of other first-time visitors to The Expanding Light Retreat and Ananda Village 

View across the meadow

 For more details on the weekend, phone 800-346-5350, and ask to speak to your instructor.

First-Timers' Retreats are led by Mantradevi.

What our guests say:

“Thank you so very much for your kindness and guidance this past week on the First-Timers' Week. I truly came away learning so much and can't say enough about how beautiful and peaceful Ananda Village is. There is definitely a joyous and spiritual vibration. Even the animals feel it; I saw lizards playing with each other, deer relaxing in the shade under my porch, birds singing; it was all magical.
   "I got exactly what I hoped out of the retreat and then some; quiet time, a chance to do yoga and meditation twice a day, eat healthy food, and even a taste of bliss. The divine spirit is available when one taps into the source through positive and healthy focus.”   - K.M., San Rafael, CA

"The structure of the program was excellent for me. I came knowing very little about this strand of spiritual philosophy and practice, so the many introductory sessions provided a good first scaffolding for me, especially the stages of realization." J.M., Olympia, WA

First-Timers retreat guests meeting new friends

"All teachers and staff were inspiring. Everyone has joy and love in their hearts, and it radiates." Tara, Middletown, CA

"This program is beyond anything I imagined. I did learn how to do yoga and meditation, but beyond that, I learned that I am capable of self-love and devotion to God. Everything was so well done. Loved the accommodations, meals, cleanliness, and the organized approach."  Sri, Milpitas, CA

"I wanted to thank you again for a wonderful and insightful week at The Expanding Light. I really enjoyed being in your presence, and I'm grateful for the tools you've shared with me. I feel like I've finally caught a glimpse of the light inside of me—a light I've been chasing all of my life. As long as I can remember, I've sensed there was something very special and powerful inside of me, but I didn't know how to reach it. You have all truly blessed me with a deep and spiritual awakening. Ananda is a very special place, and I hope I can hold onto as much of it as possible."  —Shauna, Oakland, CA  —5-day program

First-Timers 
 group energization

"I was surprised by how the whole philosophy and practice made so much sense. Being skeptical of religion, I am also surprised that I am leaving with a spiritual practice/belief. The information I learned and the practical methods gave me confidence in taking Yoga home with me. A great 5 days—I am very thankful I found Ananda." —Elizabeth H.

"I had needs met I didn't even know I had! Every day was a new adventure, with something interestng and transforming. It almost felt like little miracles. The food was nutritious (begone cheeseburgers!) and very good." —P.T.

Moksha Mandir at The Expanding Light Retreat

"No matter the point in your life upon arrival, you will leave uplifted and take with you that which speaks to your soul." C.M., Danville, CA

"The perfect place to get to know yourself at deeper and higher levels. Everyone is welcoming and accepting of all. Don't miss out on the experience of getting to know yourself." F.V., Toronto, Canada

"When people ask me about the retreat, I say 'They are living it.' Meaning you all are truly living a spiritual life and creating spiritual community in every way."

Teresa, Kentucky - 5 day program

Mantradevi teaching class at The Expanding Light Retreat

"My friend said that her time in Ananda and Expanding Light was the best present she has ever had in her life! I guess that says it all.... me too!   We love you all and truly miss you!  At 10 am I wanted to head over to our classroom for another fascinating, laughter-filled, and inspiring class."

—Pam, Redding, Ca - 5 day program 

 

Dining in the Piazza of The Expanding Light Retreat, Northern California


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Nayaswami Mantradevi

Nayaswami Mantradevi

Ananda Minister and Counselor, Raja and Hatha Yoga Teacher, Spiritual Travel Host
What is a nayaswami?

Nayaswami Mantradevi teaches with insight, clarity and joy, gained from over 35 years of meditating and sharing yoga philosophy. Her concern for others is one of her key qualities, and she has the innate ability to communicate and apply spiritual principles to real life situations. Her classes are creative and experiential, with humor and discussions keeping them lively and interactive.

See programs, articles, and full bio.



Register Now

or e-mail or call us at 1-800-346-5350

Costs (FTW)
Costs are on a per person basis.

  • Jan 4 – 6, 2019
  • Mar 22 – 24, 2019
  • May 24 – 26, 2019
  • Nov 22 – 24, 2019
Tent 
RV
Standard
Shared
Standard
Private
Deluxe
Shared
Deluxe
Private
$200 $278 $406 $368 $540

Prices are all-inclusive and cover accommodations, meals, classes or activities, and course materials.

Check Availability and Costs

First-Timers' Retreat starts the afternoon of the first date listed and ends with lunch on the last date. Please see:

Pick up & drop off at Sacramento Airport. Click links for details.

You can add extra personal retreat days before and/or after your program. Check availability and costs for the days and accommodations that you require.

First-Timers' Retreat starts the afternoon of the first date listed. It’s ideal to arrive before 4 pm, if you are able to. That way, you can join in the afternoon session of yoga and meditation, which begins at 4:45 pm. Dinner is at 6:30. The first real gathering of your group is at 7:30 pm. If you need to arrive here after 5 pm, that’s fine, but it helps us if you let us know at 800-346-5350. We can also put aside a dinner for you if you need to arrive after 7 pm. The program ends with lunch on the last date. Please see our Daily Schedule.

See Transportation and Directions whether you are coming by plane, car, bus or train. Our Frequent Questions page answers many of the questions you might have about How to Go on Retreat.


Please send us a Question for more information:

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First-Timers' Photo Gallery





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Ananda is a worldwide movement to help you realize the joy of your own higher Self. It is based on the teachings of Paramhansa Yogananda and was founded by his direct disciple Swami Kriyananda in 1968.
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Joy is within you

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14618 Tyler Foote Rd
Nevada City, California 95959
Toll free 800-346-5350
Outside US 530-478-7518

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