About Us

 About the McCords

Gyandev and Diksha are two of the main teachers at Ananda Village, a renowned intentional community in Northern California. Together, they offer 50 years of experience teaching Ananda Meditation, Ananda Yoga, healthy lifestyle, spiritual life skills,  stress management and resilience—and nearly 70 years of meditation experience. They teach across North America, in India, in Israel, and online—most often at Ananda’s retreat center, The Expanding Light. Their services also include personal spiritual counseling.

As for their names, see Why Take a Spiritual Name?

At the core of what they offer is the ancient science of yoga—not merely physical postures, but yoga’s entire scientific, practical, proven approach to successful living, of which the postures are but a small part. They support this with modern research in medicine and psychology. Their tradition is that of the great yoga master, Paramhansa Yogananda, author of the spiritual classic, Autobiography of a Yogi, and his direct disciple, Swami Kriyananda.

Gyandev (Rich) McCord, PhD, E-RYT 500Gyandev Rich McCord

Gyandev is the worldwide director of Ananda Yoga® and Ananda Yoga Teacher Training. He also co-directs Ananda Meditation Teacher Training and co-founded Yoga Alliance, the nonprofit organization that sets standards for training yoga teachers in the United States. Gyandev has a PhD in Mathematics (Operations Research) from Stanford University.

Gyandev says: “The supreme practicality of yoga appeals to my scientific nature. I love its emphasis on direct experience, not mere belief, as the criterion of truth. And it works—I’ve seen yoga offer a solution to every problem I’ve faced. Sharing these solutions with others is both a joy and a privilege.”

Before beginning his service with Ananda, Gyandev was a management consultant in San Diego and in Silicon Valley, California. He has managed two businesses, and is also a professional storyteller.

Diksha (Rina) McCord, E-RYT 500

Diksha co-directs Ananda’s Meditation Teacher Training and Spiritual Counselor Training programs. She has a BS in Biology from Jerusalem University, where she was part of a Neurobiology department research team that explored the influence of drugs on the brain. She also earned a BA in Art from Bezalel Academy of Arts, and received a prestigious scholarship from the Japanese government to spend 3 years at the Art University of Kyoto, studying and producing/exhibiting her art work in the university’s Masters degree program.

“The yoga teachings have changed my life in many profound ways, and I feel great inspiration from sharing that wisdom with others. There is such satisfaction in seeing people deepen their own self-understanding, get clearer on what they really want from life—and begin to attain it.”

In addition to her extensive teaching background, Diksha has managed a large retreat center kitchen, written two very successful vegetarian cookbooks (see below) and has expertise in nutrition and Ayurveda (the ancient Indian science of health and healing).