Ananda Yoga® brings yoga back to its original spiritual essence.
Above all, it seeks to raise your level of consciousness. Every posture has a natural effect on the consciousness as well as a physical effect on the body. With affirmations and focused awareness, we can magnify the upliftment of consciousness. With this, it is also designed to harmonize your body, mind, and soul.
Ananda Yoga includes:
- Asana (yoga postures)
- Pranayama (breathing and energy-control techniques)
- Yogic meditation techniques
- Applied yoga philosophy
Ananda Yoga is not workout yoga; it’s work-in yoga: it’s about using the postures to go inside and uplift your consciousness.
Each posture has a different effect on the flow of energy in your body, which in turn affects your state of mind. You weave them together to bring energy to the brain, so you can enter a state of calm, vibrant awareness, and expand your sense of who you are.
Of course, body positions alone can’t do that. So in Ananda Yoga, we add the power of the mind. One way we do that is through affirmation. Each asana has its own affirmation, designed to amplify the natural effect of that physical position on your state of mind. As you hold the posture, repeat the affirmation silently, over and over, going ever deeper into that state of mind.
Ananda Yoga not about athleticism; there’s a version of the practice for anyone. . .
Director of Ananda Yoga® Worldwide
From the film Finding Happiness
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 postures to raise your consciousness
- Adaptation – modifying each yoga posture to fit the needs and abilities of the practitioner rather than trying to force the practitioner into some “ideal” position
What Makes Ananda Yoga Unique?
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 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.