Ananda is a global movement based on the teachings of Paramhansa Yogananda. Ananda was founded in 1968 by Yogananda’s direct disciple, Swami Kriyananda.

Our Lineage

Paramhansa Yogananda, 1893 – 1952, was the first yoga master of India to take up permanent residence in the West. Yogananda’s teachings embrace the truths that underlie all the great religions. People from all faiths and backgrounds are welcomed at Ananda.

Swami Kriyananda, (J. Donald Walters) 1926 – 2013, the founder of Ananda, was a direct disciple of the great Indian master, Paramhansa Yogananda, author of Autobiography of a Yogi. Swami Kriyananda has founded intentional, spiritual communities in America, Europe and India, which have grown and flourished, offering hope for a better world.

What is Ananda?

Ananda members and students tend to be compassionate, and ardent supporters of conscious, healthy, sustainable, spiritual living. Differing points of view, backgrounds, and nationalities can be found here and are typically expressed articulately, respectfully, thoughtfully, and, perhaps most importantly, with a desire to both share and learn. Expand the sense of harmony in your life through ancient and effective techniques including meditation, Kriya Yoga, spiritually oriented Hatha Yoga, community, and divine friendship. We invite you to join us online and in-person for yoga, meditation, classes, and Sunday service, to experience the joy of your own being.

About Ananda Monterey Bay

Our Guru, Paramhansa Yogananda, inspired some of the members of a Santa Cruz meditation group to become the seeds of our budding Ananda community in Boulder Creek in the 1990s. Our small group of devotees became Ananda Sangha of the Redwoods in honor of the divine creative force surrounding us in the beautiful Santa Cruz Mountains. We attempted to open a second location eight miles down the mountain in Scotts Valley, but in 2007, we knew we needed to focus our energies and we left Boulder Creek. We changed our name to Ananda Scotts Valley in early 2017.

Early in 2020, none of us intuited the changes awaiting us. COVID-19 prevented us from meeting safely indoors for our Sunday services, our yoga classes, and all our other community-based activities.  We were unable to renew the lease for our physical space, so we blessed those rooms in gratitude and bittersweet farewell on September 30, 2020. We also lost our long-time minister in 2020, as well. Undeterred and careful to follow health-preserving guidelines, we then offered chanting and praying in parks under the trees, in a member’s backyard, or online as we discover new technical skills. We met online on Wednesday evenings for meditation and satsang. We also developed connections with other Ananda groups to offer a full range of services for our devotees and students of meditation, yoga and spiritual inspiration.

As we reformed our group into Ananda Monterey Bay, our devotees moved forward together in faith and trust in God despite the changes. Today we are blessed with two shining souls who offer sermons to our Sangha once a month, plus we host monthly guest speakers join us at Mid-County Senior Center, in-person and online Sunday services. We hold our weekly group meditation on-line, and we offer yoga and meditation classes throughout the year.

Expansion and inclusion are qualities we are working to embody. In that spirit we have embraced a broader area for our Guru’s work from greater Santa Cruz to the Monterey Peninsula, as we are embracing the entire Monterey Bay.

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