The Energization Exercises of Paramhansa Yogananda
The whole purpose of true exercise is to awaken the inner source of energy which we have ignored throughout our lives.
The Exercises are based on the principle of drawing the Cosmic Energy into the body through the medulla oblongata by the power of will. Located at the back of the head, the medulla is the point where the scull joins the spinal column. It is referred to in the scriptures as “the mouth of God,” and is considered by yogis to be the portal through which the energy enters the body.
The full set of Energization Exercises is comprised of 39 individual exercises. Once you become familiar with the routine it takes about 10 – 12 minutes to practice.
It is best to learn the Energization Excercises from an Ananda Meditation Teacher, or through our video, book and audio resources (see links at the end of this page).
For now, however, we can learn three of the exercises from the set. Practicing them will give you increased energy, an awareness of its flow in the body, and a sense of well-being.
Doing these exercises before you meditate will also help to release any stored bodily tension and enable you to sit still longer and more comfortably.
Throughout the exercises you will practice “double breathing” — a special breathing technique taught by Yoganananda, wich helps to oxygenate and detoxify the blood.
To practice double breath, begin by inhaling strongly through the nose with a short, sharp inhalation followed directly by a long, strong inhalation — completely filling the lungs. Then, without pause, exhale twice through the nose and mouth with a short, then a long exhalation — making the sound: “Huh, Huhhhhhh.” Feel cosmic energy flowing into the medulla oblongata with the breath.
Begin with this prayer by Yogananda:
“O Infinite Spirit, recharge this body with thy cosmic energy, this mind with thy concentration and this soul with thy ever-new joy. O eternal youth of body and mind, abide in me forever and ever.”
1. Double Breathing (With Palms Touching)
With your arms straight out to your sides at shoulder level, exhale with the double breath, bend your knees slightly and bring your arms to the front until your palms touch. With a double inhalation, bring your arms back out, straighten your legs — and tense the entire body upwards in a wave. Relax the body down in a wave in reverse order with a double exhalation. Repeat 3 – 5 times.
2. Body Recharging (First Phase)
Stand upright. Inhale slowly, and gradually tense the whole body (with low, medium, and then high tension) to the point where it vibrates. Gaze upward at the point between the eyebrows, and with concentration feel the energy flowing into the body through the medulla oblongata. Hold the tension for a few moments, and consciously fill the whole body with energy. Then exhale and slowly relax (medium, low, completely), feeling the energy as it withdraws from the body parts. Always tense with will, then relax and feel. Repeat 1-3 times.
3. Double Breathing (without tension)
Relax completely. With elbows bent, draw your hands towards your upper chest and shoulder area. Exhale with a slow, relaxed double breath, and let your arms extend slowly in front of you with the breath. Enjoy the pauses between the breaths, and with a slow double inhalation draw your hands back in. Close your eyes and bring your attention to a focus at the point between the eyebrows. Feel relaxed, peaceful, and energized. Mentally affirm: “I am free, I am free!” Repeat 6 – 10 times.
Video, Audio, and Book Resources
All products are ordered through Crystal Clarity Publishers.
- Ananda Course in Self-Realization, a home-study course. Includes the full set of Energization Excersises, and much more!
- Energization Exercises DVD with Swami Kriyananda $16.95
- Energization Exercises Poster $9.95
- Energization Exercises Booklet $5.95