Ananda Yoga® brings yoga back to its original spiritual essence
Exercise and stress relief are only the beginning; the higher purpose of Ananda Yoga practice is to uplift your consciousness. To accomplish that, you’ll work not only with the physical asanas, but also with pranayama (breathing and energy-control techniques), yogic meditation techniques, and applied yoga philosophy.
What Is the Practice Like?
Yoga posture practice in Ananda Yoga® is gentle for beginning students, becoming more challenging with experience. It is an inwardly directed practice, and is never aggressive or aerobic. The primary emphases are:
- Safety and correct alignment
- Being relaxed at all times, even during the midst of effort
- Working directly with the body’s subtle energy via the yoga postures
- Using the power of the mind to increase and direct subtle energy
- Adaptation – modifying each yoga posture to fit the needs and abilities of the practitioner
What Gives Ananda Yoga Its Transformative Power?
1. The Energization Exercises of Paramhansa Yogananda
The Energization Exercises are a series of 39 special energy-control techniques that Yogananda developed in order to help the practitioner increase, focus, and control the life-force.
2. Asana affirmations
Each yoga posture is paired with its own affirmation, which one practices silently while in the posture. The affirmation is designed to reinforce the posture’s natural effect on one’s state of consciousness, bringing the mind actively and directly into one’s practice.
Half Spinal Twist
“I radiate love and goodwill to soul-friends everywhere.”
3. Ways to develop valuable spiritual life skills
Ananda Yoga offers creative ways to awaken and apply your two most valuable faculties—willpower and intuitive feeling—to develop a wide range of skills for the spiritual life: from reducing stress and enhancing health, to improving effectiveness and raising consciousness.
“I am free! I am free!”
4. Classical yogic meditation techniques
Meditation is—and always has been—the central technique of yoga, and it plays a key role in Ananda Yoga practice. The adjacent video introduces a simple, classical yoga meditation taught by Paramhansa Yogananda. You can dive even deeper into the practice through this online course. And if you already meditate and would like to offer classical yoga meditation to others, consider Ananda Meditation Teacher Training.