Personal Retreats can be scheduled whenever you want and for as long as you want. It’s simple: you decide what you want to do each day, and we’ll do our best to help you make it happen!
Many people choose to simply relax in the peaceful surroundings and fresh air, far from the noise and stress of city living. Meals and group meditation times form the foundation of our daily activities here, but there are plenty of free hours in the daily schedule as well.
A Typical Daily Schedule
Breakfast, initially in silence with soothing music
Evening Meditation Session
Optional Spiritual Video(s)
Note that the above schedule is somewhat flexible. Always our desire is to do whatever will best serve the mixture of guests who are present.
The “Free time” slots listed above can be filled in many ways. Below are some of the most popular options.
Books are available featuring the teachings of Paramhansa Yogananda and his disciples, to help you uplift virtually every aspect of your life. Pick any book(s) most interest you from our library, and read it in your room or wherever you want. If you’re dealing with some particular issues, we’d be happy to guide you to the right gemstone from the treasure-house of Yogananda’s teachings, that can most help you with whatever issues you’re dealing with. Most of the books in our library are also available for sale. We also have a section filled with books for children, so that your whole family can better enjoy their time here.
Audio and Video Recordings are also available, from the literally thousands of discourses that have been recorded by Swami Kriyananda and the many gifted teachers from Ananda centers all over the world. Once we know what you’re after, we can often load up one of our tablet computers (subject to availability – we don’t have so many!) with the talks you most need, and let you borrow the device while you listen or watch them. We can often load you up with public-domain discourses that you can take home with you on your smartphone, so that you can continue enjoying the inspiration as part of your daily routine when you get back home.
“The soul loves to meditate, for in contact with Spirit lies its greatest joy.”
As shown in the above schedule, we offer group practices twice a day. We also regularly offer guided retreats that include this. For anyone doing a personal retreat, if you’d like to learn to meditate, we’ll do our best to schedule a class in this, subject to availability and timing constraints. These classes are free for our overnight guests, but for drop-in visitors we ask a one-time course fee of Rs 500 for a full class in how to meditate. Guests who’ve been here before and paid that one-time fee can sit in on other classes free of charge, and they can also send the acharyas questions on issues that come up in meditation, whenever they come up – for the rest of their lives!
Ananda Yoga brings hatha yoga back to its spiritual essence, reinforcing the postures with affirmations harmonising body, mind, and soul. We regularly offer guided weekend retreats featuring Ananda yoga sessions, but we’ll be happy to include them in your stay, subject to availability. At this point we don’t have a resident yoga teacher, but we can arrange one on weekends with prior intimation.
Silence is essential, if you want to hear the whispers of your higher Self above the noisy details of your life. This is a place of deep silence, surrounded by the songs of birds rather than the noise of city traffic. Many of our guests have found the deep inner guidance they were seeking, the clarity to help them take their next steps forward in their lives. To make things easier, we offer badges that you can wear, which say “I’m in Silence.” Whenever you put it on, that lets everyone else know your intentions, so that they can honor your wishes.
Seclusion is a powerful spiritual practice that’s been recommended by the
Saints and teachers of many religions. It’s been aptly described as “the joyful art of spending quality time with God.” By spending a few hours in silence and alone, you can get a small taste of what seclusion is all about. You’re welcome to spend your time in full or partial seclusion, according to whatever you feel will be most helpful to you, and also whatever you’re ready for. You can find out much more about this practice on our Seclusion Retreats page.
Walking and Trekking is a very popular option here, because of the beautiful valley that surrounds our retreat centre. A morning trek can start from your door step. Popular trails lead to the nearby waterfalls (which are only flowing during the monsoon season), or up side of the adjacent mountain, where the views get better and better as you climb!
Babaji’s Cave is another popular destination, and only about 15 minutes from the retreat center. This man-made cave was blasted into a cliff face, creating a space large enough for a group to enter, while also exposing natural crystals in the rock walls. During monsoon season, a natural waterfall flows over the cave entrance. We’ve dedicated the cave to Babaji with a photograph and a small murti. This has become a very popular meditation spot, partly because no matter how hot (or cold) it gets outside, the cave remains more or less the same comfortable temperature.
We’ve recently added more Activities for kids of all ages, including platforms in the trees, a challenging Burma bridge: “Lakshman jhoola” between them, an even more challenging climbing rope, and a new rope swing. All of these were lovingly designed and built by devotees. Other games include Table Tennis, & Badminton, and we also have a new Carrom board. Naturally kids can also participate in any of the things adults might like, such as trekking, and there’s a special section of our library with books for children.
At night, Star gazing is a popular option here, and with prior intimation we can arrange a bonfire for you and your group of friends.