The Bhagavad Gita teaches every important aspect of the spiritual path: during activity, Karma Yoga (the yoga of right action); during thinking and discrimination, Gyana Yoga (the yoga of wisdom and discrimination); when feeling and experiencing emotion, Bhakti Yoga (the yoga of devotion). There is a central teaching in the Bhagavad Gita, however, which unites all paths even as subsidiary streams unite in a larger river.

“That river,” Yogananda said, “is the energy flowing in the spine. The subsidiary paths of yoga offer guidance to people of different basic temperaments: the active, the discriminating, the ‘heartful.’ The central river to enlightenment, however, is shown by Raja Yoga, the royal yoga: the pathway of the spine.

The Essence of the Bhagavad Gita, explained by Paramhansa Yogananda, by Swami Kriyananda

Be a channel of higher consciousness for those in need

Experience the very essence of Yoga with Ananda’s unique approach to the Bhagavad Gita. Under the expert guidance of Nayaswami Gyandev and Nayaswami Diksha, you’ll go beyond philosophy to understand more deeply how to access the higher realms of consciousness—and begin to do it. Paramhansa Yogananda’s action-oriented teachings will give you the practical tools to get there.

This course is an empowering blend of step-by-step methods, deep insights, clear direction, and support from both faculty and classmates.

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You will learn how to:

Take steps toward a direct experience of the highest states of awareness: Samadhi, Oneness, Divine Union.

Overcome mental and emotional traps

Rise above the law of karma

Create an outer life that feeds your inner life

Identify what really works in the spiritual life, and what doesn’t

Take your practice of meditation to a deeper-than-ever level.

Deepen your relationship with God

Harmonize your spiritual quest with your own unique needs and aspirations

People talk about calming the mind in order to meditate. Although that’s true, it’s not the main thing. It’s the heart that needs to be calmed in order to meditate. It’s the desires of the heart that agitate the mind.

—Swami Kriyananda

Course activities

You can engage in most course activities at times of day that are convenient for you; only the webinars are at fixed times. Activities include:

  • Video, audio, and reading assignments that give you a variety of perspectives on important topics in the art and science of Yoga.
  • Activities in which you’ll learn how to apply the principles and techniques from the Bhagavad Gita effectively in your meditations and in your daily life.
  • “Live” webinars with presented material as well as discussion and Q&A. The webinars will be recorded for the benefit of those who cannot attend.
  • Class discussions (written, not “live”) that explore more deeply how to apply the course material in your life, and in the lives of yoga or meditation students who seek your guidance.
  • Review exercises that highlight—and help you absorb—the central points of the week’s lessons.

Course materials

Your main textbook is The Essence of the Bhagavad Gita, by Swami Kriyananda, who is Ananda’s founder and a close, direct disciple of Paramhansa Yogananda. You’ll also receive special articles, audios, and videos by Paramhansa Yogananda, Swami Kriyananda, and other Ananda teachers.

The Essence of the Bhagavad Gita is highly readable: clear, concise, practical, and deep. It will give you new insights into the universal truths that underlie all spiritual traditions, and how to experience them through the nonsectarian tools of Yoga.

We recommend that you buy The Essence of the Bhagavad Gita before the course begins (the book is not included in the course tuition), and read as much of it in advance as time allows.

Meet Your Instructors

Nayaswami Gyandev, PhD, E-RYT 500

Gyandev is director of the Ananda School of Yoga & Meditation. A Certified Online Instructor, he has been teaching online for more than 10 years. He is also director of Ananda Yoga worldwide and co-directs the Ananda Meditation Teacher Training programs (online and in person). He has been training teachers of yoga and meditation for more than 25 years.

Gyandev is a Kriyacharya (teacher of Kriya Yoga), and he is known for his clarity of presentation, deep insights, high energy, kindness, and humor. He has shared the yoga teachings for more than 35 years with people from all walks of life, and from all over the world. Swami Kriyananda asked Gyandev to write the forward for this course’s textbook, Demystifying Patanjali.

A co-founder of Yoga Alliance, Gyandev has authored four books (including Spiritual Yoga: Awakening to Higher Awareness) as well as numerous video and audio products. From his base at The Expanding Light Retreat in Northern California, he also teaches across the U.S., and in Canada, India, and Europe.

Nayaswami Diksha, E-RYT 500

Diksha is a senior faculty member of the Ananda School of Yoga & Meditation and E-RYT 500. An experienced online instructor, she directs both the online and the in-person versions of Ananda Spiritual Counseling Training, and she co-direct Ananda Meditation Teacher Training.

Diksha has been practicing and sharing the yoga teachings for more than 30 years, and training meditation and yoga teachers for more than 20 years. A powerful and dynamic woman of great warmth and humor, she is gifted in both intelligence and intuition. In addition to teaching online and at The Expanding Light Retreat in Northern California, she has shared yogic teachings across the U.S., and in Canada, India, and Europe.

A native Israeli, Diksha moved to the U.S. in 1990. She brings a broad background to her teaching—from physical wellness to Ayurveda to profound spiritual understanding. Above all, she awakens in her students their own inner wisdom and the will and clarity to make positive changes in their lives.


More Questions? Please email us.

Take your spiritual life to the next level

Living the Bhagavad Gita: Powerful, Practical Keys to Spiritual Growth
Online Course

(Tuition does not include the course textbook)

Six-week course

Week-by-week experience for those seeking to dive deep into the Bhagavad Gita

  • Open to anyone. Ananda Yoga® and Ananda Meditation® teachers who seek Level 2 certification, and Ananda Yoga® Therapy trainees, must choose this version.
  • This course offers up to 30+ hours of continuing education credit for Yoga Alliance RYTs.
  • 50% discount for past attendees of The Essence of the Bhagavad Gita at The Expanding Light Retreat.

Tuition: $399 (early-bird) $450 (regular)

For early-bird Tuition: Apply by Sept 21, pay by Sept 23

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