The whole purpose of true exercise is to awaken the inner source of energy which we have ignored throughout our lives.
The purpose of the Energization Exercises is to learn to control the flow of energy throughout your body. When you can control your energy, you can also control your thoughts, and you will be able to direct your energy into your spiritual eye, helping you to achieve Self-Realization.
The Exercises are based on the principle of drawing the Cosmic Energy into the body through the medulla oblongata by the power of will. The medulla is located at the point where the scull joins the spinal column on the back of the head. 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 complete. 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.
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).
Throughout the exercises you will practice “double breathing” — a special breathing technique taught by Yoganananda, which helps to oxygenate and detoxify the blood.
To practice a double breath, begin by inhaling strongly through the nose with a short, sharp inhalation followed directly by a long, strong inhalation — completely filling your lungs. Then, without pause, exhale through the nose and mouth with a short, then a long exhalation—making the sound: “Huh, Huhhhhhh” (with the breath only; do not vocalize). Feel cosmic energy flowing into the medulla oblongata with the breath.
Here is a sample of the exercises included in the routine. Resources for learning the entire set are at the bottom of the page.
Begin with this prayer by Yogananda:
O Infinite Spirit,
Recharge my body with Thy cosmic energy,
My mind with Thy concentration,
My soul with Thy ever-new joy.
O eternal youth of body and mind,
Abide in me forever and forever.
Double Breathing (With Palms Touching)
With your arms straight out to your sides at shoulder level, double exhale as you bring your palms together in front, bending the knees slightly. Double inhale as you straighten up and bring your arms back out to your sides, with hands as fists, tensing the entire body in an upward wave. Double exhale as you relax in a downward wave.
Do this three to five times.
Body Recharging (First Phase)
Tense the entire body simultaneously: With a double inhalation, gradually tense all body muscles simultaneously (low-medium-high), vibrate the whole body strongly, and relax gradually with a double exhalation.
Double Breathing (without tension)
With elbows bent and hands in a relaxed fist position facing forward, draw your hands toward your upper chest and shoulder area. Close your eyes and focus your attention at the point between the eyebrows. Softly double exhale as you extend your arms and hands in front, and hold them there. Enjoy the pause between breaths. Softly double inhale as you bring your hands back to your chest. Enjoy that pause as well. Do not tense your arms during this exercise. Feel relaxed, peaceful, and energized.
Repeat 6-10 times.