is designed to integrate and harmonize all levels of your being:
physical, mental, and spiritual. Above all, it seeks to raise your
level of consciousness by reinforcing the natural effects of certain
special bodily positions (the yoga postures) on your state of consciousness.
is a classical approach that includes:
- Asana (yoga
(special breathing and energy-control techniques)
yoga meditation techniques
Ananda Yoga comes from the renowned Raja Yoga/Kriya Yoga tradition of Paramhansa Yogananda, author of Autobiography of a Yogi. Yogananda was the first great master of yoga to make his home in the West. Ananda Yoga arose from his teachings and was developed into a definite system of practice by his close, direct disciple, Swami Kriyananda, the founder of Ananda.
What Is the Practice Like?
in Ananda Yoga is gentle for beginning students, becoming more challenging
with experience. It is an inwardly directed practice, never aggressive
or aerobic. The primary emphases are:
- Safety and
constant relaxation, even in the midst of effort
- An ever-increasing
awareness of – and
active participation in – the
inner aspects of the practice: energy movement and states of mind
arising from the practice
each asana to fit the needs and abilities of the practitioner
rather than trying to force the practitioner into some "ideal"
What Makes Ananda Yoga Unique?
Two unique aspects
of Ananda Yoga are Energization Exercises and asana affirmations.
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.
Each yoga posture
is paired with its own affirmation, which one practices silently
while in the asana. The affirmation is designed to reinforce the
asana's natural effect on one's state of consciousness, bringing
the mind actively and directly into one's practice.
You can view
a calendar of upcoming
Ananda Yoga programs at The Expanding Light, Ananda's year-round retreat center in Northern California.