The word yoga means “union,” the harmonizing of body and mind with Spirit. Hatha Yoga, what is commonly thought of as yoga in the United States, is the physical branch of the vast and ancient science of yoga.
Yoga is rooted in thousands of years of exploration of how we can regain wholeness, or “union.”
Ananda Yoga is spiritual Hatha Yoga, based on the teachings of the yoga master Paramhansa Yogananda (author of Autobiography of a Yogi and one of the foremost proponents of yoga in the United States), and developed by Swami Kriyananda, a direct disciple of Yogananda.
Ananda Yoga returns yoga to its original spiritual essence: raising an individual’s level of awareness and aiding spiritual growth, in addition to benefiting the body and mind.
Using this more inward practice, combined with affirmations, you will experience an awakened harmony and well-being for a more joyful life.
Above all, Ananda Yoga helps to raise your level of consciousness by reinforcing the natural effects the yoga postures, harmonizing your body, mind, and soul.
Ananda Yoga practice is included in the daily retreat schedule at Ananda Center at Laurelwood.
The Ananda Yoga courses and retreats give you an understanding and experience of Ananda Yoga techniques.
Ananda Yoga includes:
- Asana (yoga postures)
- Pranayama (breathing and energy-control techniques)
- Yogic meditation techniques
- Applied yoga philosophy
What Is Ananda Yoga® Practice Like?
Ananda Yoga® posture practice is gentle for beginning students, becoming more challenging with experience. It is inwardly directed – never aggressive or restlessly aerobic.
The primary emphases are:
- Working directly with the body’s subtle energy via the yoga postures
- Using the postures to raise your consciousness
- Being relaxed at all times, even during the midst of effort
- Safety and correct alignment
- 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?
What makes Ananda Yoga unique is the focus on awareness of inner movements of energy and awakening consciousness. Two unique aspects of Ananda Yoga include:
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 reinforces the posture’s natural effect, activating the power of the mind in support of one’s practice.
Ananda Yoga® Retreats
You will experience yoga’s original spiritual essence, and its many scientifically proven physical and psychological benefits.
Ananda Yoga is gentle, yet powerful in its healing impact. It’s an invaluable aid for deeper meditation and higher consciousness.
Whatever your age or body type, we can guide you into poses to help you feel relaxed, revitalized, and uplifted.
Go beyond physical exercise into the deeper realms of Yoga. It’s a life-changing experience as you experience Ananda’s unique, integrated approach to working directly with the body’s subtle energies for spiritual growth and wellness on all levels.
Restorative yoga is a popular way for beginning through advanced yoga students to experience true relaxation – often the most difficult skill to master. As stress and tension are released, healing and upliftment are promoted in body, mind, and spirit.