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

The Art and Science of Raja Yoga

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.

Step One: 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.

Included in Step One:

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

Order Step One
Online Class: Step One

Step Two: 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.

Included in Step Two:

  • Book, 471 pages

Order Step Two
Online Class: Step Two

Step Three: 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.

Included in Step Three:

  • Book, 158 pages
  • Online access, on request, to a guided home Discipleship Ceremony and other recorded talks on discipleship

Order Step Three
Online Class: Step Three

Step Four: Preparation for Kriya Yoga

Preparation for Kriya Yoga is available 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).

It also includes lessons in deepening the practice of those techniques, and in deepening one’s meditation.

The student will also learn practices to prepare them for initiation into Kriya Yoga.

Included in Step Four:

Step Five: 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 are eligible to apply for initiation into Kriya. It typically takes about one year, or more, beginning with Part One of the Ananda Course.

For more information on Kriya Yoga, click here.

If you would like to inquire about your eligibility to receive Kriya Initiation, please email kriyayoga2@ananda.org.

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.

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