Program Description

You are invited to the first-ever Yogic Studies Summer Camp, hosted at the exquisite 200-acre wellness retreat center, Mandala Springs in the mountains of northern California. This unique retreat will offer students a special opportunity to step out of the Zoom classroom, to gather in person and in nature, for a study and practice immersion into the depths of the yoga traditions.

Join Yogic Studies faculty Dr. Seth Powell, Dr. Varun Khanna, and special guest yoga instructor Nikki Costello. Over the course of 4 days, we will immerse in yoga history and philosophy, study and chant Sanskrit texts, practice āsana, prāṇāyāma, and meditation, eat delicious vegetarian meals, commune in nature, swim and relax poolside, enjoy evening campfires, kīrtan, and more! 

The curriculum for this year's camp will focus on selected teachings from the Upaniṣads and a close reading of the Yogatārāvalī–a short Sanskrit treatise on Haṭha and Rājayoga.  


Camp Schedule

Day 1 – Thursday

3-5pm – Arrivals, settling in

5-6:30pm – Welcome Lecture/Orientation

6:30-8pm – Dinner

Days 2-3 – Friday + Saturday

7:30-8:45am – Morning Āsana with Nikki

9-10am – Breakfast

10-12pm – Upaniṣads with Varun

12-1pm – Lunch

1-2:30pm – Free time (swimming, hiking, games, rest, etc.)

2:30-4:30pm – Yogatārāvalī with Seth

4:30-5pm – Tea break

5-6pm – Prāṇāyāma/Meditation with Nikki

7-8pm – Dinner

8-10pm – Evening activity (campfire, kīrtan, talent show)

Day 4 – Sunday

7:30-8:45am – Morning Āsana with Nikki

9-10am – Breakfast

10-12pm – Closing Lecture/Ceremony


Mandala Springs

Mandala Springs is a wellness-focused, vegetarian, substance-free retreat and event center nestled high in the majestic Mayacamas Mountains of northern California. The private property provides picturesque backdrops, onsite accommodations, vegetarian catering, and uncompromising service.

With over 200-acres of land, you’ll cherish the natural beauty and tranquility that Mandala Springs offers—it feels like stepping into another world. Yet, still only about two and a half hours from the San Francisco Airport, two hours from Sacramento, and around an hour from the wine country of Sonoma & Napa.

A range of private and shared accommodations will be available for participants, including camping, yurts, cabins, cottages, or shared lodges. 

Video Poster Image


Dr. Seth Powell

Founder & Director, Yogic Studies

Seth Powell is a scholar of Indian religions, Sanskrit, and yoga traditions, who earned his PhD in South Asian Religions at Harvard University. His dissertation comprised a critical edition, translation, and detailed study of a 15th-century Sanskrit yoga text from south India known as the Śivayogapradīpikā—which uniquely combines yoga, ritual, and devotion. He also works extensively on the visual and material culture of yoga in premodern India, uncovering yoga's past through temple sculptures.

As an educator, Seth is passionate about sharing the latest academic research on yoga's vast history and philosophies and is gifted in his ability to present the ancient teachings of yoga clearly in an accessible, light-hearted, and inspiring manner—while maintaining a rigor and sensitivity to traditional Indian knowledge systems. He founded Yogic Studies in 2018 as a way to bridge academia with the broader yoga world. 

Dr. Varun Khanna

Visiting Professor, Classics and Asian Studies, Swarthmore College

As a pre-med undergrad student, Varun Khanna accidentally stumbled into Sanskrit when he tried to learn Āyurveda during a study abroad program in India. After learning to speak and becoming fluent in the language, he changed direction and became a full-time student of Sanskrit and Indian philosophy. He then traveled through various jungles and cities in India to learn from different Sanskrit gurus, specializing in Pāṇinian Sanskrit grammar. Varun later earned both his master’s degree in Sanskrit and his PhD in Hinduism (studying consciousness in the Upaniṣads) at the University of Cambridge. He has been teaching spoken Sanskrit, Pāṇinian Sanskrit grammar, and topics in Indian philosophy since 2008, and is now a Visiting Assistant Professor of Classics teaching Sanskrit at Swarthmore College.

Varun’s research interests lie in the intersection of Sanskrit grammar, Vedānta philosophy, and social justice. His latest work centers on the perspectives that ancient Sanskrit literature offers for thinking about equality, freedom, and justice. He is also working on a new Sanskrit primer that incorporates Pāṇinian grammar in order to help students learn the exact boundaries of the rules of Sanskrit.

Varun has been teaching Vedānta and spoken Sanskrit in camp settings to youth and adults all over the world since 2008.

Nikki Costello

Yoga Instructor

Nikki Costello is an educator with 30 years of teaching and training experience in the Yoga and Wellness industry. She works at the intersection of social justice and Yoga with a focus on facilitating new models of embodied leadership. Nikki is a Senior Iyengar Yoga Teacher (Level 3-CIYT) and a Certified Yoga Therapist (C-IAYT). In 2013-2014, she was a contributing editor at Yoga Journal, writing the magazine’s “Basics Column,” and in 2016, Nikki was named one of the 100 Most Influential Teachers in America. She is the featured Iyengar Yoga teacher on GLO.

Nikki holds an MA in Traditions of Yoga and Meditation from SOAS, University of London and is currently a PhD student in Anthropology and Social Change at the California Institute of Integral Studies. Since 2020, Nikki has taught weekly online Yoga and Meditation classes at Nikki Costello | The Practice. To learn more, visit Nikki's website.

Registration is OPEN

Registration includes accommodation for 3 nights, all meals, classes, and activities. Does not include transportation to and from Mandala Springs. 

UPDATE: If there is an accommodation option you would like that has sold out, it might be possible that we can add more. Please contact us before booking. 

Reserve your spot today with one of the following payment options:

Camping Sites (4 available)


Single campsite  •  shared public bathroom


Camping (3x monthly)

Single campsite  •  shared public bathroom

$366 x 3

Yurt Standard Single (SOLD OUT)

Yurts are glamping tents with basic necessities. Shared public bathrooms.

Yurt Standard Single

Private single yurt  •  twin bed  •  shared public bathroom


Yurt Standard Single (3x monthly)

Private single yurt  •  twin bed  •  shared public bathroom

$466 x 3

Yurt Deluxe Double (1 available)

Yurt Deluxe Double

Shared deluxe yurt  •  2 queen beds  •  shared public bathroom


Yurt Deluxe Double (3x monthly)

Shared deluxe yurt  •  2 queen beds  •  shared public bathroom

$400 x 3

Private Cabin (3 available)

Cabins are accommodations with basic necessities, queen beds with extra bunk beds. Shared public bathrooms.

Single Cabin

Private single cabin  •  queen bed  •  shared public bathroom  •  non-AC


Single Cabin (3x monthly)

Private single cabin  •  queen bed  •  shared public bathroom  •  non-AC

$500 x 3

Konocti Lodge (3 available)

Konocti Lodge is an intimate and inviting 3,000 square foot, eight bedroom three bathroom house perched above Kelsey Creek. Konocti Lodge comes equipped with a fully functional kitchen, brand new appliances (including washer/dryer) and a living room with a wood burning cast iron fireplace.

(SOLD OUT) Konocti Master Bedroom w/ Private Bath

Large private room  •  queen bed  •  AC  •  private bathroom  •  shared kitchen + common rooms


(SOLD OUT) Konocti Master Bedroom w/ Private Bath (3x monthly)

Large private room  •  queen bed  •  AC  •  private bathroom  •  shared kitchen + common rooms

$600 x 3

(SOLD OUT) Konocti Single 
Room Queen 

Private room  •  queen bed  •  AC  •  shared bathroom  •  shared kitchen + common rooms


(SOLD OUT) Konocti Single 
Room Queen (3x monthly) 

Private room  •  queen bed  •  AC  •  shared bathroom  •  shared kitchen + common rooms

$566 x 3

Konocti Single 
Room Twin

Private room  •  twin bed  •  AC  •  shared bathroom  •  shared kitchen + common rooms


Konocti Single 
Room Twin (3x monthly)

Private room  •  twin bed  •  AC  •  shared bathroom  •  shared kitchen + common rooms

$533 x 3

Mandala Hall (1 available)

Mandala Hall is a four bedroom two bath accommodation that is in the same building as the meeting hall. Each bedroom has a queen and a twin bed, and shares a large bathroom with the adjecent room.

Mandala Single Queen

Private room  •  queen bed  •  AC  •  shared bathroom


Mandala Single Queen (3x monthly)

Private room  •  queen bed  •  AC  •  shared bathroom

$533 x 3

Alder Lodge (3 available)

Alder Lodge is a 1,500 square foot two bedroom one and a half bathroom structure with a loft also known as “The A-Frame” because of its distinctive architectural design. The downstairs is split into two main areas -- the bedrooms/bathrooms and the living area which consists of a connected kitchen, dining room, and living room.

(SOLD OUT) Alder Single Room Twin

Private room  •  twin bed  •  AC  •  shared bathroom  •  shared kitchen + common rooms


(SOLD OUT) Alder Single Room Twin (3x monthly)

Private room  •  twin bed  •  AC  •  shared bathroom  •  shared kitchen + common rooms

$533 x 3

Alder Shared Room Queen

Shared room  •  2 queen beds  •  AC  •  shared bathroom  •  shared kitchen + common rooms


Alder Shared Room Queen (3x monthly)

Shared room  •  2 queen beds  •  AC  •  shared bathroom  •  shared kitchen + common rooms

$500 x 3

(SOLD OUT) Alder Loft Single Twin 

Upstairs loft  •  twin bed  •  AC  •  shared bathroom  •  shared kitchen + common rooms


(SOLD OUT) Alder Loft Single Twin (3x monthly)

Upstairs loft  •  twin bed  •  AC  •  shared bathroom  •  shared kitchen + common rooms

$466 x 3

Private Cottage (3 available)

Each 400 square foot cottage has an open floor plan. The master room has a queen bed with an ensuite bathroom with a tiled walk in shower and vanity. The secondary room doubles as either a living area or a secondary bedroom. Equipped with a kitchenette, mini fridge, small dining table, stovetop, and cooking necessities, each cottage is supplied with all of the must haves for a comfortable and unforgettable stay.

Private Cottage

Queen bed •  AC  • ensuite bathroom  •  living area  •  kitchenette  •  mini fridge  •  private deck


Private Cottage (3x monthly)

Queen bed  •  AC  •  ensuite bathroom  •  living area  •  kitchenette  •  mini fridge  •  private deck

$733 x 3

Shared Cottage (4 available)

Shared Cottage

2 queen beds  •  AC  •  ensuite bathroom  •  living area  •  kitchenette  •  mini fridge  •  private deck


Shared Cottage (3x monthly)

2 queen beds  •  AC  •  ensuite bathroom  •  living area  •  kitchenette  •  mini fridge  •  private deck

$533 x 3


Questions about the retreat?

For all questions or retreat inquiries, please contact us at


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