Northern California is a place many people dream of going to, so why not lead a yoga retreat there? The weather is beautiful and dry year-round. The people and communities of Northern California are very open and accepting of many different lifestyles. This acceptance has in turn lead to an abundance of centers open to hosting yoga retreats. The options for hosting yoga retreats are limitless in this area, so read on for more information.
14618 Tyler Foote Rd., Nevada City, CA 95959
The Gaia House Retreat is a part of the larger Ananda Village intentional community near the Sierra Nevada mountain range. It is a private and peaceful environment with several facilities available for different purposes. It best accommodates up to 12 guests and is a great environment for smaller group retreats. The grounds are complimented with gardens and beautiful views of the surrounding area. Gaia House is known for being like a large social community home for those who gather here. It is an alcohol, smoke, and drug-free environment.
There is a Learning Suite that can be used as a spacious yoga studio, with chairs available as needed. The Gaia House itself has a large living room area for intimate gatherings, a comfortable dining room, full service kitchen, and 6 unique bedrooms. There is also outside seating for meals and meeting outdoors in addition to a fire pit.
The accommodations are all double occupancy, with private or shared bathrooms. Meals can be provided or the kitchen is available for use. The meals are strictly vegetarian and any cooked meals must adhere to this policy. Meals range from $10-28 per person depending on how many per day, and must be picked up at the main dining room, a 5 minute drive away. The costs for accommodations to bring groups of 12 start at $1395 for 1 night, up to $895 per day for 14 nights. They are currently running a special 10% discount through December of 2015. If you wish to host a day only retreat, the Gaia House can be rented for between $295-375. All rentals are subject to a 10% tax. http://www.gaiahouseretreat.com/
14618 Tyler Foote Rd., Nevada City, CA 95959
The Expanding Light is also a part of the Ananda Village, and is like the big sister to the Gaia House Retreat. This center can accommodate large groups, and can be used as overflow accommodation for Gaia House if needed. The Ananda Village was founded 40 years ago by Swami Kriyananda, a disciple from the descent of Paramhansa Yogananda. It is located a short drive from the Gaia House. Classes in yoga and meditation are offered regularly and can be incorporated into retreat schedules if desired. Additionally, there is an abundance of accommodations, facilities, and grounds available for use. The Lotus Lake is a beautiful area for walking and is filled with lily pads and surrounded by outdoor altars to their lineage of Masters. There is also a small chapel for meditation, and a temple for yoga classes and other programming. The Guest Services Lounge serves as a space to relax, in addition to the Serenity Lounge which can also be used for yoga or social events. There is also a computer lounge and laundry facilities. Massages and other healing modalities can also be added on at the Center for Radiant Health at an extra cost.
There are several choices when it comes to housing. There are deluxe rooms with private bathrooms, standard rooms with shared bathrooms, cabins, and tent and RV options. Tent camping is available April-October. There are shower and outhouse/bathroom options for the campers as well. The meals are all vegetarian, mostly organic, and served buffet style three times a day. They can accommodate some special needs diets; however, refrigerators are available for use as well. There is also a market in the Ananda Village if anyone needs to purchase a special item.
18424 Harbin Springs Rd., Middletown, CA 95461
Harbin Hot Springs is made up of 5,000 acres of beautifully wooded, private and intimate settings. They are located just north of Napa Valley, which is rated as having some of the cleanest air in the nation. This center is known for its communal hot spring soaking pools and is clothing optional. There are a variety of healing modalities such as energy work, spa treatments, regular massage and Watsu (water massage) that are offered here as well. The center is run by over 100 residents who care for the needs of the land and the guests; therefore, Harbin has a huge variety of offerings and accommodations. Housing ranges from cottages, private rooms, dormitories, unique domes, tent cabins, regular camping, and a sleeping bag deck! There are various private and communal bathrooms for these accommodations.
There are two buildings that can be used for workshops and yoga sessions. They can hold between 15-150 people. As a bonus, these buildings each have their own full service kitchen and facilitator bedroom. They are rented on a per-person basis, with lower rates during the week. The Conference Center is the larger of the 2 spaces and can hold 45-150 participants. It has a wood floor with a sound system and high ceilings. There are also 2 outdoor pools in this center which can be adjusted to different temperatures depending on the desired activity. The Meadow Building is best suited for groups of up to about 40 people and has a 26’ x 30’ workshop space all on one floor with decks overlooking the Harbin creek. Meals can be catered and can accommodate any request. There is also a Harbin Market where items are available for purchase, and cafes on site as well for additional meal needs.
445 Summit Rd., Watsonville, CA 95076
The Mount Madonna Center is located on 355 mountain-top acres between Monterey and Santa Cruz. They are a community inspired by the work of Baba Hari Dass to nurture creativity and spirituality. There are several amenities offered here that make this location unique outside of the traditional retreat center, such as volleyball, tennis, and basketball courts. Additionally, there are numerous hiking trails and bodywork sessions available.
The Center can hold from 5-500 guests, making it ideal for both intimate and large group retreats. It is a peaceful setting overlooking Monterey Bay filled with redwood forest and grassy meadows along with several facilities available for workshops, yoga classes, and housing. The Conference Center has 33 rooms that provide housing for guests and a huge 2,600 square foot meeting hall that can hold up to 400 people. It has a stage with full lighting and sound capabilities, some small conference rooms, and a courtyard. This building is best suited for those with larger retreat productions. There are 3 additional buildings that also host housing for guests and have meeting spaces. The Seminar House is all carpeted and would be ideal for non-yoga sessions. The Assembly Room has a high ceiling and wood floor with lots of windows and full lighting and sound capabilities. The Orchard House is the smallest of the bunch and can hold between 30-50 people.
Mount Madonna Center also offers an assorted range of housing accommodations. There are rooms in hotel-style buildings, cabins (without plumbing), restroom facilities, specialized set up tent sites, and camping options. All beds on site are twin beds. There is also room for vans and campers with some access to electricity. Rental fees include cost of housing and meeting spaces. They include 2 vegetarian meals and a snack per day for weekend rentals. For meals on non-weekend rentals, it is an additional $12 per meal. There are gluten and dairy free options available as well. Taxes, insurance, and use of all of the amenities are also included in the general fees. Rates range from $42 per person per day for a commuter to $161 per person per day for a single room with bathroom. Mount Madonna prides itself on being one of the most reasonably priced retreat centers in the region.
3975 Mountain Home Ranch Road, Calistoga, CA 94515 Mayacamas Ranch is located within an hour and a half drive of the San Francisco Bay Area and Sacramento. It offers unique facilities for both large and small group retreats. There are several meeting spaces and guest rooms that are both comfortable and warmly accommodating. Additionally, they offer a local, organic food service. The Chapparal Lodge is the largest building which can be used as a conference center. It has a 1,400 square foot room with video projection and sound systems available. There is a large deck overlooking a garden and a panoramic view of the property. There is also dining available in this center.
The Live Oak Lodge is more ideal for smaller group lecture sessions as it has a 400 square foot living room. However, it is also has a kitchen and other technologies available as well as a patio and indoor dining area. The Rock Rose Center is a 700 foot square foot room with wood floors and could best accommodate a 15 person yoga class. The Sunrise Garden and Deck is a beautiful outdoor space great for meditation and nature class settings. There is a fountain, gravel pathways, and seating with flowers and vegetables.
The unique signature of Mayacamas Ranch is the organic beds and bedding they use throughout the guest rooms. This eco-friendly feature is especially appealing to environmentally conscious yogis. There are several accommodations available on the property for both single and double rooms. The majority of the rooms have private baths. Mayacamas Ranch can host up to 46 guests total. The prices range from $189/199 per person per night for less than 3 nights and depending on whether there are 30 or more guests and double occupancy. The rates are $10 less for retreats of 3-6 nights, and again lower for weeklong bookings. For single rooms, add $120 per person per night. All rates include 3 meals per day and use of the facilities. When 20 or more guests are booked, a free room and meal will be provided, and 2 are provided for 30+ guests. A 20% deposit is required to hold dates requested.
18443 Macnab Cypress Road, Nevada City, CA
The Ananda Meditation Retreat is located in Nevada City, California. It is set on a hilltop that is known for being sacred space for the indigenous Maidu Indians. Lake Tahoe is 90 minutes to the east and Sacramento is 2 hours away. It lies in the Sierra Nevada Mountain Foothills. It holds space on 80 acres of beautiful land and has operated for over 45 years as a spiritual center. Within the land, there are 5 acres of gardens, ponds, and fountains to create a sense of serenity for all who visit. The facility is open year round and is one of the few places in the area where all 4 seasons can be experienced. There are a variety of trees and animals that nature lovers will adore, as well as hiking trails and sitting areas. Ganesha’s Pond is a particularly popular spot with shrines for meditation around the natural landscape. There is a domed Temple of Silence which can be used for yoga classes, meditation, workshops, and more.
Wilbur Hot Springs is a rustic retreat setting with a charming environment, perfect for any yoga event. They are located 2.5 hours away from San Francisco. As the name implies, the grounds feature natural mineral hot springs, as well as a sauna on an 1,800 acre nature preserve. The accommodations Wilbur Hot Springs offers include a hotel with 20 private rooms, a studio apartment, 11 bunk beds in a cabin, and 4 campsites. Their housing reflects their turn of the century origins, thus adding to the rustic charm. Therefore, this center can host small groups of 7-20 people, and larger groups of over 20.
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