Meditation > Ananda Course in Self-Realization

Ananda Course in Self-Realization
A Comprehensive Home Study Course in Yoga and Meditation, Based on the Teachings of Paramhansa Yogananda

How can one find lasting happiness? Remain calm in the face of challenges? Maintain physical and emotional well-being?

The Ananda Course will give you practical tools to solve these, and many other problems of the daily life.

Paramhansa Yogananda, author of Autobiography of a Yogi, introduced a simple, step-by-step program for transforming every aspect of one’s life. Thousands of people around the world have studied the Ananda Course and experienced its benefits.

The Ananda Course consists of five steps, leading up to learning the technique of Kriya Yoga. The first four steps can be taken as an online course, or a home study course. If you choose to take the home study course, the materials will be mailed to you.

Step 1: Lessons in Meditation

Right from the start, you will learn a simple yet effective technique of meditation. It will help you to be focused and calm, and to obtain direct inner experience of the divine realities within. You will also learn how to create and maintain a sustainable meditation practice, and feel the joy that is always within you.

In addition, you will learn Yogananda’s “Energization Exercises”, a unique set of exercises that will give you better health, more energy, and an ability to direct the energy in the body at will.

Take Step 1 Online
If you take this step as a online course, you will receive:

  • A PDF textbook
  • Online videos
  • Live online guided meditations
  • Online forum discussions

Sign Up

Take Step 1 as a Home Study Course*

If you take this step as a home study course, you will receive:

  • A book, 102 pages
  • 2 CDs with guided meditations and relaxation techniques
  • A DVD with instruction and guided practice of Yogananda’s Energization Exercises

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*If steps 1 and 2 of the home study course are ordered together, you will also receive Metaphysical Meditations CD by Swami Kriyananda, featuring 13 guided meditations based on the mystical poetry of Yogananda, set to background music.

Step 2: The Art and Science of Raja Yoga

This is by far the most comprehensive manual on yoga and meditation available today. You will gain a thorough understanding of how to live in ever-new joy through all of life’s challenges.

You will learn how to apply the ancient principles of yoga to every aspect of your life: affirmations, healing, philosophy, lifestyle, meditation, and diet.

In addition, you will learn a system of yoga postures appropriate for any age or physical condition, which will help to prepare you for meditation.

The meditation instruction in Step Two includes ancient breathing exercises (pranayama) that can be used as remedies for specific mental and physical conditions, along with advanced meditation techniques.

Take Step 2 Online
If you take this step as a online course, you will receive:

  • A PDF textbook
  • Online videos
  • Live online discussions with instructor
  • Online forum discussions

Sign Up

Take Step 2 as a Home Study Course*
If you take this step as a home study course, you will receive:

  • The Art and Science of Raja Yoga book

Order Now

*If step 1 and 2 are ordered together, you will also receive Metaphysical Meditations CD by Swami Kriyananda, featuring 13 guided meditations based on the mystical poetry of Yogananda, set to background music.

For additional support you can order our audio companion set: 21 hours of compiled classes by Swami Kriyananda specifically selected to be used in conjunction with your study of the Ananda Course.

Step 3: A Handbook on Discipleship

Step Three features lessons on discipleship and the Guru–Disciple relationship, the main theme of Yogananda’s Autobiography of a Yogi.

Those lessons are universal to all truthseekers. The Handbook is also available independently of the Ananda Course, without any requirement to study the first two steps.

The following subjects are covered at length:

  • Does one need a living guru?
  • The role of divine grace in spiritual progress
  • How to follow a guru
  • How to draw on the guru’s power
  • The importance of attunement and magnetism

In addition, there is a section on what it means to become a disciple of Paramhansa Yogananda and the Ananda line of Gurus.

Those who are interested can take part in a home Discipleship Initiation ceremony, joining thousands of other disciples who are part of Ananda.

Take Step 3 Online
If you take this step as a online course, you will receive:

  • A PDF textbook
  • Online videos
  • Live online discussions with instructor

Sign Up

Take Step 3 as a Home Study Course
If you take this step as a home study course, you will receive:

  • A Handbook on Discipleship
  • Online access, on request, to a guided home Discipleship Ceremony and other recorded talks on discipleship

Order Now

Step 4: Preparation for Kriya Yoga

Preparation for Kriya Yoga is available by permission to those who have studied the first three steps, and have performed the Discipleship Initiation ceremony in Step Three.

It gives instruction in the Aum technique of meditation, one of the four principle techniques that are part of the path of Kriya Yoga (the other three are the Energization Exercises and Hong-Sau technique given in Step One, and the Kriya technique in Step Five), as well as other practices to help prepare them for initiation into Kriya Yoga. It also includes lessons in deepening the practice of those techniques, and in deepening one’s meditation.

Please email us for permission to take this course.

Take Step 4 Online*
If you take this step as a online course, you will receive:

  • A PDF textbook
  • Online videos
  • Live online discussions with instructor

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Take Step 3 as a Home Study Course*
If you take this step as a home study course, you will receive:

  • Preparation for Kriya Yoga book.

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Step 5: Kriya Yoga Initiation

Paramhansa Yogananda stated that Kriya Yoga is the most advanced technique for reaching the goal of Yoga, or union with the Divine.

Those who have completed the first four steps of the Ananda Course, which typically takes about one year, are eligible to apply for initiation into Kriya.

If you would like to inquire about your eligibility to receive Kriya Initiation, please email us.

Ongoing support

premdas-ghirlaNayaswami Premdas

Study of the Course comes with individual support from the Course Director Premdas Ghirla, and other Ananda ministers.

Premdas is an Ananda minister and teacher of meditation and yoga. A resident community member at Ananda Village, he served for many years as the Head Chef and Culinary Instructor at The Expanding Light Retreat. He is known for his joy, devotion and hospitality.