“The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.” Mahatma Gandhi

The Seva Yoga Ashram Program is a low-cost program which allows you to stay at the Ananda Meditation Retreat while serving either 20 or 30 hours per week in joyful fellowship with other truth-seekers.

Duties range from serving in the kitchen, gardens, and housekeeping.

Exquisite natural surroundings of the 72 acre Meditation Retreat and the peaceful atmosphere of 50 years of deep meditation are just the beginning of what you will find here. There are miles of wooded trails for hiking and biking. Lodging for our Seva Yogis is a comfortable Bungalow or private room during their stay.

Learn from those that have been living this way of life for many years and gain the support to meditate and to practice the art of joyful service in all your activities!

*Note that during the COVID pandemic, we are accepting applications from fully vaccinated individuals. Availability is limited and COVID protocols are in place, which may include a quarantine period before you can join group activities.  We will contact you after receiving your application to discuss current guidelines and availability.


There are two pricing options:

  • 30 hours of service per week is $600 a month.
  • 20 hours of service per week is $750 per month.

Activities Include

  • Daily sadhana (chanting, meditation, hatha yoga, energization)
  • Weekly classes in Raja Yoga
  • Daily inspiration at our morning Seva Circle
  • Delicious vegetarian meals
  • Joyful community with fellow truth-seekers
  • Opportunities to attend Meditation Retreat weekend programs
  • Optional events at Ananda Village to experience life in a large-scale spiritual community
  • For more information, see sample schedule

The program is tailored to an individual’s needs and aspirations; it may last from 2 weeks up to 3 months.

For more information, call our office at 530-478-7557, or email us at meditationretreat@ananda.org.

Apply Now
Ananda Meditation Retreat Karma Yoga Program Seva Yoga

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) for Seva Yoga

What is housing like for Seva Yogis?

Each Seva Yogi has a private room or bungalow. There are rare exceptions, but normally each Seva Yogis has his/her own private room.

I have limited-to-no experience with yoga or meditation, can I still come?

We will teach you! Education is an important component of the Seva Yoga Program. During your stay we will teach you Hatha Yoga postures, meditation, and yoga philosophy.

I have my own spiritual and religious beliefs already. Will that be respected?

Definitely! Our goal is to support your personal growth, however you conceive of it.

Is there a typical Seva Yogi?

Seva Yogis come from around the world reflecting a variety of cultures and ranging in experience from beginner to advanced. Ages range from 18-70+. We welcome all with open hearts.

Will I get any days off?

Yes. Seva Yogis normally have 1 1/2 days off each week. We support a balanced schedule so everyone has ample time for service, yoga, and meditation. Often Seva Yogis use their time off to take trips to nearby hiking trails, Lake Tahoe, or downtown Nevada City, or simply explore the beautiful gardens here.

How do I become a Seva Yogi?

First, submit the application online which takes about 20 minutes to complete. After your application is received, the Seva Yoga manager will contact you for a brief phone interview.

What Others Are Saying

I’ve got to thank you for giving me the tools I needed for this chapter of my life. I’m so grateful you helped me grow to be the person I am now, my time at the meditation retreat seriously changed my life in the most amazing way.
Nick, St. Thomas, Virgin Islands
“I enjoyed participating in the Seva Yoga program. During this time I ate great food and met amazing people, and was provided a beautiful environment to grow spiritually.”J.B., Oakland, CA
“This program exceeded my expectations. The work and free time balance was just right and the staff was very helpful and welcoming. The support here is incredible and I loved the meditations.”
“My experience at Ananda Meditation Retreat was everything I had hoped for. From the moment I walked through the front gate I felt a peace and calmness I had never felt before. I felt at home within myself and within this community. I am so grateful for the staff, the land, and this seva opportunity. I will continue to practice all that I have learned here throughout my journey. Thank you Ananda Meditation Retreat for all of the love, support and guidance!”
“I came to Ananda Meditation Retreat Center because I was looking for a place to volunteer. This volunteer trip, however, turned out to be much, much more than just volunteering my time. Seva is an amazing way to experience the retreat center. Not only do you get a chance to meditate, meet those who are on the path, and be a part of a loving community, but you also get a chance to give back in a very meaningful way.” Rastika Prasad, Oakland, California
What a welcome step to serve and learn in such a beautiful, natural and meditative setting. I’ll definitely be back.Mike Fuller
The Seva Yoga program was an amazing lifechanging surprise for me. I didn’t really know exactly what to expect. So I went in open to all I could learn about myself. I did come with a desire to get to know myself further and deeper than I already thought I did. I received much more than that. The entire staff was open and willing to help me in every way possible to make me feel welcome and at home. They were there for me every moment that I needed them. Cheerfully and lovingly showing me the ins and outs of retreat living. I stumbled and they lifted me time and again. Every one of them nurturing me along my path of learning who I was. I cried. I laughed. I had proud moments. I had embarrassing moments. I had many many very deep moments. The heart connections I made are priceless. Mostly the moments of peaceful lovingness on my spiritual path have forever changed my life.
Netti, Rivas, San Diego, CA

Thank you for all the love, warmth, generosity and experiences I cannot put into words. I have learned so much in this short amount of time and I cannot wait to return to learn more. I share my stories of Ananda with every person I meet and they are speechless at the fact that a place like this is available. It is a gem. I keep thinking to myself “How fortunate am I.” Nishi Munshi, Los Angeles

Nishi (left) in retreat dining room with guests.

I appreciate the balance of friendship, work and meditation.Scott, Nevada City, California

A program to live with positive, joyful, solution-oriented, and wise people; to learn and experience the true meaning of yoga and meditation. Yingbing You, Guangzhou, China

Participating in the Seva Yoga Program is a full immersion in the warm embrace of spiritual community. I instantly felt at home, thanks to the kindness, openness, and humbleness of all the beautiful souls who live and serve here. The majestic natural beauty of the physical and energetic environment is profoundly supportive. The energy is peaceful, serene, and uplifted. It is a gift to serve here, and I have grown in my ability to be fully present.Megan

Delphie arrived by plane and bicycle from her home in Montreal, Canada. After flying to San Francisco, she biked and camped the rest of the way here.

Ananda meditation Retreat is a very special place, filled with powerful energy and beautiful souls. The Seva Yoga Program is a great way to expereince it, being the best of two worlds; staff and guest. You get to serve along with staff, while deepening your meditation practice. The staff members are adorable people and make you feel at home right away. i would definitely recommend it to anyone looking for an extended stay with their inner self. Delphie, Montreal, Cananda