Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras are a stirring cry to us to transcend all religious differences. Their basic message is, “Here are methods that can be tested and proved. You can know what God is from personal experience.”

Demystifying Patanjali, 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 Yoga Sutras. 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.

You will learn how to:

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 Sutras’ principles and techniques 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.

Choose between 2 versions of this course

You can choose between two versions of this course, self-paced and a six-week, in-depth course.

Both versions share some basic materials (handouts, pre-recorded videos and audios, and quizzes) created by Gyandev and Diksha, offer live webinars with an instructor, and focus on how to “live” the Yoga Sutras. Participants in either version get lifetime access to the recorded audios and videos, and the extra reading materials.

The two versions have some differences as follows:

  1. Self-paced version: This more relaxed experience is designed for a general audience. The six lessons will open at the pace of one lesson every two weeks. Once open, the lessons and activities will stay open so that you can peruse the course material at your own pace.
    Live webinars and forum interactions in this version will be facilitated by Brahmachari Sagar and other Ananda instructors (not by Gyandev and Diksha). The flow of this version will be similar to such other courses as The Yoga Teachings of JesusKarma and Reincarnation and Awaken Your Intuition.
  2. Six-week, in-depth version: A deeper, more personal, week-by-week exploration of the Yoga Sutras and Paramhansa Yogananda’s teachings. This version includes substantially more content and a broader range of activities, plus a correspondingly higher tuition. All discussion, Q&A, and live webinars will be facilitated by Gyandev and Diksha. The flow of this version will be similar to Gyandev’s and Diksha’s other online courses such as Ananda Meditation® Teacher Training and Ananda Spiritual Counseling® Training.

Ananda Meditation® teachers and Ananda Yoga® teachers must choose the six-week, in-depth version if they seek Level 2 certification.

No prior familiarity with the Yoga Sutras is required for either version. You can make your choice at the bottom of this page.

The self-paced version is open year-round and you can enroll anytime.
The in-depth version is only offered every other year and the next offering is in October 2023.

If you are seeking certification and do not want to wait until the in-depth version is offered again, we invite you to take the self-paced course first to familiarize yourself with the concepts. It will not count for certification, but you can use the course fee less $40 as credit towards tuition for the six-week, in-depth version when it is offered next.

Course materials

Your main textbook is Demystifying Patanjali, 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.

Demystifying Patanjali 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 Demystifying Patanjali before the course begins (the book is not included in the course tuition), and read as much of it in advance as time allows. With this link , you’ll receive a 30% discount on your preferred version: ebook or paperback.

Patanjali was an enlightened master, writing from a state of realization as well as practical knowledge. Far more than mere philosophical speculation, the Sutras come from revealed knowledge and serve as a road map for those who would explore the realm of Self-realization.

How to Meditate, by Nayaswami Jyotish

Meet Your Instructors

Nayaswami Gyandev, PhD, E-RYT 500

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.

Special Guest Instructors

Nayaswami Pranaba and Nayaswami Parvati

Two of Ananda’s most widely travelled and experienced teachers, Pranaba and Parvati will each present briefly on a Yoga Sutras topic that they find particularly helpful or inspiring. They taught the in-person version of this Yoga Sutras course for a number of years, and we’re delighted that they will also share some of their penetrating insights in this online version.

Nayaswami Mangala

An excellent teacher loved for her wisdom, sensitive listening, and compassion, Mangala is also director of Ananda Yoga® Therapist Training. She will teach two “live” webinars for the six-week, in-depth version, in which she will take the Ananda Yoga and Ananda Meditation teachers, Ananda Yoga Therapy trainees, and other interested participants deeper into several applications of the Yoga Sutras, including how to help students and clients bring the power of the Yoga Sutras into their own lives.

FAQs

More Questions? Write us at gyandev@expandinglight.org

Take your spiritual life to the next level

This course is open to everyone; no prior experience with the Yoga Sutras is required. Some meditation background is recommended, because both Patanjali and Yogananda placed strong emphasis on meditation. You can choose the type of course experience you want. For details, please see Choose between 2 versions of this course.

The self-paced version is open for enrollment year-round.

The six-week in-depth version will next be offered in October 2023.

If you are seeking certification and do not want to wait until the in-depth version is offered again, we invite you to take the self-paced course first to familiarize yourself with the concepts. It will not count for certification, but you can use the course fee less $40 as credit towards tuition for the six-week, in-depth version when it is offered next.

Self-paced version: Participants can move through the course at their own pace. The lessons will open once every two week with live webinars, but you can choose to move slower.

Six weeks, in-depth version: Certified Ananda teachers seeking Level 2 Ananda certification must stay current, week by week, throughout the course. Everyone else can participate at any pace or level that they prefer. Those who wish to go at a pace slower than “one unit per week” will not be part of the small-team discussions or receive faculty feedback on journal entries, but everything else is the same. If you wish to do this in-depth version of the course at a slower pace, please be sure to indicate that on your application.

All participants (in either version) get lifetime access to the recorded audios and videos, and the extra reading materials.

Self-paced course: We estimate that full participation will take 2–3 hours per week. Six-week, in-depth course: Certified Ananda teachers who seek Level 2 Ananda certification should expect to spend 5–7 hours per week; some of that time is guided sadhana practice. For all others, full participation should take 3–5 hours per week, although as they are not seeking Level 2 certification, they can participate as much or as little as they like.

No, the course is always open. The only “live” events are webinars. For the self-paced course, there will be a welcome webinar on Wednesday, October 06 and six webinars (one per lesson) with Sagar and other teachers will on Tuesdays of Oct 12, Oct 26, Nov 9, Nov 30, Dec 14, Jan 04. All webinars will be from 5:30 to 6:30 PM, Pacific Time.

Webinars will be recorded for the benefit of those who cannot participate “live.”

Yes, plentiful interaction is a best practice in online learning, and this course is built upon best practices. You’ll love being part of the supportive learning community that forms, as everyone interacts via discussions, Q&A forums, and webinars. Certified Ananda teachers who seek Level 2 Ananda certification will also practice teaching classmates online.
Yes, and we recommend it! The course website will open two weeks before the official start of the course. You can also buy your textbook, Demystifying Patanjali, by Swami Kriyananda (see “Course materials” above), and read as much of it as you can before the course begins. Pre-course reading is not required, but you’ll be happy that you did it.

The course website is easy to use, plus it offers “how to” instructions to help you. There is also a special “tech help” webinar early in the course. Only certified Ananda teachers who seek Level 2 Ananda certification need to make and upload videos; that’s not difficult, but if you think you’ll need help, we recommend that you find a helper/tutor prior to the course.

No, not unless you are a certified Ananda teacher seeking Level 2 Ananda certification, are taking the six-week, in-depth version, and you have no computer (only a tablet or smartphone). A paid Zoom account costs $15/month, and it would be needed during only one month of the course.

Yes, for RYTs who are taking the six-week, in-depth version: Certified Ananda teachers seeking Level 2 certification can receive 30+ hours of continuing education credit. Other RYTs can also receive credit, depending on the level at which they choose to participate; please discuss this in advance with Gyandev.

(This FAQ is relevant only for those who are taking the six-week, in-depth version and seek credit toward Level 2 Ananda certification.)

The six-week, in depth version of Living the Yoga Sutras is required for Level 2 certification; we plan to offer it every second year. (The self-paced version for the general public is available anytime.) Here is how it fits with Level 2 requirements for certified Level 1 teachers:

For Level 2 Ananda Meditation® teacher certification

This course is required unless, prior to 2021, you graduated from Level 1 MTT and you completed either Ananda Meditation Solutions or Ananda Spiritual Counseling. More details here.

For Level 2 Ananda Yoga® teacher certification

Requirements include both the six-week, in depth version of Living the Yoga Sutras and the concurrent asana-oriented course: Asanas for the Yoga Sutras. If personal circumstances won’t permit you to take Asanas for the Yoga Sutras in 2021, please write to Gyandev.

Living the Yoga Sutras: Practical Steps to Higher Awareness Online Course
(Tuition does not include the course textbook)
If you are seeking certification and do not want to wait until the in-depth version is offered again, we invite you to take the self-paced course first to familiarize yourself with the concepts. It will not count for certification, but you can use the course fee less $40 as credit towards tuition for the six-week, in-depth version when it is offered next.

Self-Paced Version

for a general audience

Enrollment always open

Tuition: $139

Six-week, in-depth version

Week-by-week experience for those seeking to dive deeper

This version will be offered again in October 2023

  • 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 Yoga Sutras at The Expanding Light Retreat.

Tuition: $450