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 more than 35 years of experience teaching meditation, Ananda Yoga, healthy lifestyle, spiritual direction, and stress management—and more than 60 years of meditation experience. They teach across North America, and in Europe and India—most often at Ananda’s retreat center, The Expanding Light. Their work also includes life coaching and personal spiritual direction.
At the core of what they offer is the ancient science of yoga—not merely physical postures, but yoga’s entire scientific and practical 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, and his direct disciple, Swami Kriyananda.
Gyandev (Rich) McCord, PhD, E-RYT 500
Gyandev is the worldwide director of Ananda Yoga® and Ananda Yoga Teacher Training. He also co-founded Yoga Alliance, the organization that sets standards for training yoga teachers in the United States; he currently is on the Alliance’s Board of Directors. 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 work 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.
• Yoga Therapy for Headache Relief, with Dr. Peter Van Houten (book)
Diksha (Rina) McCord
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 exhibiting her art work while participating in the 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).
• Meditation for Inner Peace (CD)
Gyandev (Rich) McCord
Diksha (Rina) McCord