Paramhansa Yogananda (often spelled ‘Paramahansa’ Yogananda) was born on January 5, 1893 in Gorakhpur, India. He was the first yoga master of India to permanently live and teach in the West. Yogananda arrived in America in 1920, and traveled throughout the United States on what he called his ‘spiritual campaigns’. His enthusiastic audiences filled the largest ... Read More >
Swami Kriyananda (J. Donald Walters), who left his body in 2013, was a direct disciple of the great master, Paramhansa Yogananda, and an internationally known author, lecturer, and composer. Widely recognized as one of the world’s foremost authorities on meditation and yoga, he taught these principles and techniques to hundreds of thousands of students around the ... Read More >
While researching his book The Joyful Athlete, George Beinhorn performed 45 years of "road research," running distances from 100 yards to 100 kilometers (62.2 miles).
He started running on the advice of a senior monk who counseled him, "The thought occurs that you might not be getting enough exercise." It was typical of the spiritual teacher’s advice ... Read More >
Derek Bell (1935-2002) was the legendary harpist and orchestral arranger for the five-time Grammy award winning group the Chieftains. The classically trained Bell joined The Chieftains in 1972, after a career as harpist with the Northern Ireland BBC Orchestra. Bell has several solo albums to his credit, in addition to the more than thirty recordings of the The Chieftains. He ... Read More >
Barbara Bingham is the exceptional photographer and editor of the The Crystal Hermitage Gardens, and also contributed an extensive number of photographs to Space, Light & Harmony: The Story of the Crystal Hermitage. She has also worked for Ananda for many years as a graphic designer. Barbara is also a certified yoga instructor, a long-time staff member of ... Read More >
Satyaki Kraig Brockschmidt
Satyaki (Kraig) Brockschmidt is a former Microsoft design engineer. He offers precision, inspiration and an occasional dose of wit in sharing both his musical and technical experience with the Indian harmonium, its history and technical details on how to care for it and play it.
In his nearly nine years at Microsoft Corporation, he was highly respected throughout the software ... Read More >
Elana Joan Cara
Elana Joan Cara was born in San Francisco, California. When she was three years old, she was placed in a Catholic home for girls called Mount Saint Joseph’s. Thus began her early religious training. From a young age, she demonstrated an extraordinary musical talent and a fine singing voice. At the age of fifteen she was awarded a scholarship to the Juilliard School in New York City. Too ... Read More >
Author Sue Cooper was born in Liverpool, England in 1960.While raising her two children, Nicola and Matthew, she launched a successful career in horticulture and garden design. Fate soon played its hand when her husband, Michael, suffered a heart attack. His time in the hospital, observing Sue in the role of care giver, prompted him to nudge her back into nursing, a career she ... Read More >
Joseph Bharat Cornell
Joseph Bharat Cornell is an internationally renowned author and founder of Sharing Nature Worldwide, one of the planet’s most widely respected nature awareness programs. His first book, Sharing Nature with Children, “sparked a worldwide revolution in nature education” and has been published in twenty languages and sold half a million copies. He is the ... Read More >
Anandi is a wonderful teacher and a loving and insightful counselor who has been sharing the teachings of meditation for the last 30 years. An Ananda minister since 1980, Anandi has directed and taught in many of Ananda’s guest and outreach programs, including the Palo Alto Ananda Community, Ananda’s membership training program, and The Expanding ... Read More >
Nischala Cryer lives with her family at a remote meditation retreat in the Sierra Nevada Mountains outside of Nevada City, California. She is co-founder of Ananda University, a unique school offering “higher education for higher consciousness.” A former journalist and creative director, she has been a practitioner of Kriya Yoga for 35 years. She is author of The Four Stages of Yoga ... Read More >
Michael Nitai Deranja
Michael Nitai Deranja is the founder and overall director of the Living Wisdom Schools, now with campuses in California, Oregon, Washington, India, and Italy. He founded the first Living Wisdom School in 1972 and presently teaches at the Ananda Institute of Alternative Living in Nevada City, ... Read More >
Lila Devi (lee-lah day-vee) is the founder of Spirit-in-Nature Essences, the oldest flower essence line within the U.S. and globally outside the U.K. since 1977. An engaging seminar leader with over 38 years’ experience, Lila lectures nationally and abroad. Through experiential wisdom, humor, and music, she brings an expansive view of people, plants, and animals to her programs, ... Read More >
David Eby made his public debut as a cellist with the Pittsburgh Symphony at age 16. He studied at the Eastman School of Music where he received the Performer’s Certificate as well as his B.M., and continued his studies at Indiana University with Janos Starker. He has performed around the world with orchestras, ensembles, a musical storytelling troupe called Tales & Scales, and with ... Read More >
Gyandevi Fuller has been a member of Ananda Sangha for the past twenty-four years. She found the teachings of Paramhansa Yogananda after many years of spiritual search (while she pursued a career in experimental education in a number of different U.S.A locations). Photography and writing have also been lifelong pursuits. The project ending in the book, Good Morning, Great Souls, was ... Read More >
Melody Hansen is the Director of Ananda Yoga® Teacher Training at the Expanding Light Yoga and Meditation Retreat in Nevada City, Ca. Melody is an extraordinary yoga teacher, who conveys her great knowledge of yoga asanas—from physical mechanics to spiritual upliftment—with a blend of graciousness, authority, and fun. One of ... Read More >
James and Colleen Heater
James and Colleen Heater have combined their interest in the lives of the saints and their love of travel to create a unique series of spiritual travel guides. As longtime practitioners of yoga, the Heaters teach classes on meditation and inspirational music as members of a spiritual community in Northern California. Their honeymoon to Italy in 1998 evolved into a journey of pilgrimage and ... Read More >
Playing guitar since the age of 13, Panduranga has performed and recorded in diverse styles over the past five decades. Though once a dyed-in-the-wool rock’n’roller, Panduranga has lived the last twenty-two years at Ananda Village in Nevada County, California, a spiritual community founded on the teachings of the great spiritual master, Paramhansa Yogananda, author of the classic ... Read More >
Catherine Kairavi is a yogi, minister, and was the Director of Fundraising for Ananda Sangha for nearly 20 years. For the past 10 years, she has done intensive, groundbreaking research into the lives and past lives of Paramhansa Yogananda and Swami Kriyananda. She currently resides in Seattle where she works with East-West ... Read More >
Lorna Ann Knox
Lorna Ann Knox, BSN, teaches education workshops for educators and parents and is the director of the Ananda Sunday School in Portland, OR. She has lived in Europe, Asia, and many parts of the United States. She is married to a former teacher and home-schools their three children. Prior to working in the education field, Lorna was a registered nurse and health educator for 15 ... Read More >
Mary Kretzmann has served for many years on the Ananda Healing Prayer Ministry, including extensive counseling, writing, teaching, and energy healing. Her experience has served to deepen her natural, intuitive understanding of spiritual healing, and her ability to guide others in taking their own powerful steps in self-healing.
Mary moved to Ananda Village in 1978, and with her ... Read More >
In 1933 in Washington, D.C., John Laurence met Paramhansa Yogananda, the great master of yoga. That meeting stimulated John to embrace more fully his inner search for God—a search he’d already partly explored through years in a Franciscan monastery, and through a study of Eastern teachings. In the midst of a busy life—John became a famous singer—he found time for ... Read More >
Nancy Mair is an accomplished cooking instructor and professional caterer with more than twenty-five years experience. She co-wrote the renowned cookbook, Simply Vegetarian!, is author of The Intimate Vegatarian and penned a cooking column in Clarity Magazine for three years.
A vegetarian for more than twenty ... Read More >
Diksha McCord (Blanche Agassy McCord) was the head chef at The Expanding Light Yoga and Meditation Retreat for seven years, where she now teaches vegetarian cooking classes. She also teaches meditation, yoga, and spiritual living classes. She grew up in Israel where she learned Kosher
cooking. She also lived ... Read More >
Nayaswami Gyandev (Gyandev Rich McCord, Phd) is the worldwide Director of Ananda Yoga and the Ananda Yoga Teacher Training programs at The Expanding Light Yoga & Meditation Retreat. He has a Ph.D. from Stanford University in Applied Mathematics and has taught internationally on the subjects of yoga, ... Read More >
Devi Mukherjee – a disciple of the great yoga master, Paramhansa Yogananda (1893-1952) – spent many years in spiritual retreat, walking through India’s spiritual richness preserved in forest ashrams, mountain caves, and in holy places and shrines. Throughout his years of travel, Devi meditated with some of India’s great souls and felt their transforming spiritual power. ... Read More >
Eric Munro worked in the electronics industry for over 20 years in Silicon Valley. He received a BS from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and an MBA from the Anderson School of Management at UCLA. Currently, he spends his time volunteering at Living Wisdom School Palo Alto, helping raise his two teenage sons, and starting a nonprofit business, WisdomScenes, which commissions ... Read More >
Bhagavati (Sharon Brooks) Nani received her Master of Music in flute performance from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. For many years she performed and recorded with a number of orchestras and chamber ensembles in the greater Bay Area, including the San Francisco Opera and The Women’s Philharmonic. She began focusing on music as a ministry after finding Ananda in ... Read More >
Ramesha (Fabio) Nani began his formal music training with classical guitar at the age of seven. After switching instruments at thirteen, he received his Diploma in violin performance from the Music Conservatory in Como (Italy). But by the time he finished his studies he had become disillusioned with music as a career and instead became a music teacher in his hometown of ... Read More >
Devi Novak is one of the founding members of Ananda having lived at Ananda Village and several of its branch communities since 1969. She has served in various functions of community life, including being a community correspondent and a teacher at Ananda’s Expanding Light retreat.
She is ... Read More >
Jyotish (John) Novak has studied, practiced and taught meditation around the world for over 40 years. He came onto the spiritual path when he met Swami Kriyananda in 1966. Jyotish was a founding member of Ananda Village in Nevada City, California in 1968.
For its first ten years Jyotish served as General Manager of Ananda Village. He and his wife Read More >
Jyotish and Devi Novak ... Read More >
Jon R. Parsons
Jon R. Parsons, founder of the Jon R. Parsons Law Firm in Palo Alto,
California, has provided legal services in the San Francisco Bay Area for
over thirty years. Mr. Parsons has extensive experience advising both
charitable and for-profit organizations, and has represented many reli-
gious entities in the U.S. and overseas. With an academic background
in ... Read More >
Lisa Powers is a certified Ananda Yoga Teacher and has taught yoga, meditation, and chanting seminars for over 18 years to professional organizations and private groups. She is also a teacher for the Ananda Yoga Teacher Training Program at the Expanding Light Yoga and Meditation Retreat. She has a BA in Television ... Read More >
Sometimes the course of a lifetime is determined by a single moment. For Asha Praver, it was her first meeting with Swami Kriyananda in November 1969 at a lecture he gave at Stanford University. Soon after, she moved to the fledging Ananda community in Northern California where Swami Kriyananda lived, to study with him full-time.
Working closely with Swami Kriyananda ... Read More >
Naidhruva Rush graduated from Harvard Law School in 1964, and then worked in the Civil Rights Movement as a staff attorney for the NAACP Legal Defense Fund. She later served as Director of Community Law Offices in New York City.
While working as a law professor in the mid-1970s, Naidhruva read Paramhansa Yogananda’s classic Autobiography of a Yogi, and a year later, moved to ... Read More >
Richard Salva is a 35-year expert on reincarnation and yoga philosophy, and has lectured in the United States and in Europe. He has appeared on television and NPR, Clear Channel, and CBS radio. He recently addressed the annual conference of the International Association for Past-Life Regression Research and Therapies. He is a longtime member and minister of Ananda Sangha. ... Read More >
Joseph is a founding member of Ananda, a worldwide spiritual organization which includes eight communities and scores of teaching centers and meditation groups. He shares the principles of yoga and meditation as a Lightbearer, teacher, and writer. He has taught and lectured for over 35 years in America and Europe and is a co-author of The Yugas: Keys to Understanding Our Hidden Past, ... Read More >
As a teenager, Kamala Silva met and attended lectures given by the great spiritual master and world teacher, Paramhansa Yogananda. For twenty-seven years Kamala continued her close association with her Guru, receiving a great deal of personal instruction, serving often in Yogananda’s headquarters, and eventually becoming a minister of Self-Realization ... Read More >
Savitri Simpson has taught classes and workshops on the chakras, yoga, meditation, and many other related topics for over 30 years. She has served as a counselor, minister, and teacher at The Expanding Light Retreat Center, where she also served as the director of the Ananda Yoga Teacher Training Program and founder/director of the Ananda Meditation Teacher ... Read More >
David’s background includes 40 years of scientific work, including astronomy at the University of Arizona and optics at Xerox Palo Alto Research Center. Currently, he teaches about the yugas, ancient world cultures, astronomy, and physics at the Ananda College of Living Wisdom. He has been writing and lec-turing on the topic of the yugas for more than a decade. David lives with his wife ... Read More >
Dr. Peter Van Houten, MD
Dr. Peter van Houten, known by his friends and patients as “Dr. Peter,” was trained in medicine at UC San Francisco, which is considered one of the top medical schools in the US.
He founded, as a family practice, the Sierra Family Medical Clinic in 1982, a rural community medical clinic in the foothills of the Sierra Nevadas in Northern California, which also serves ... Read More >