On October 13 – 15, 2023, a sister’s retreat was held at Ananda Dhiira Master Unit in Penn Valley, California. Avtk. Ananda Acira Ac., Avtk. Ananda Aparajiita Ac., Avtk. Ananda Radhika Ac., and Avtk. Ananda Kalyanmitra Ac. were present and coordinated activities, which included Paincajanya, asana classes, Svadhyaya, games, Dharma Cakra, cooking and clean up, Avarta Kiirtan, and more. A diverse group of eleven women (and two German Shepherds) flew in or drove up from Texas, Los Angeles, Arizona, and around the Bay Area. Two sisters were newly initiated at the closing of the retreat. Welcome, Krsn’á, to the Margii family!
Didi Ananda Apaparajiita taught an interactive class on Yama and Niyama and a workshop titled “Empowering Women: Strategies for Managing Emotions.” Didi Ananda Kalyanmiitra led Kiirtana on the guitar and gave a class on “The Power of Saying NO.” Two other participants also contributed their guitar playing for Kiirtana. “Ayurveda and Women’s Health” was a class offered by Didi Ananda Radhika. The kitchen was run by Didi Ananda Achira, who, as always, fed and filled many happy bellies. “This is the best food I’ve ever eaten in my life.” “I didn’t know vegetarian food could taste so delicious!” were some comments shared by the women. The Acaryas all took turns teaching Asanas, answering individual questions, offering life guidance, and pointing the women toward higher growth. One afternoon was spent walking to the South Yuba River. A few brave souls entered the cold water; some napped, and others sang Kiirtana. On the final evening, a special multicultural “talent show” and art exchange was held, in which every person shared a poem, song, dance, or story from a culture in her background. All weekend long, the atmosphere was filled with laughter, tears, hugs, positive vibrations, Baba and bonding.