Ananda yoga is your gateway to bliss. And, how is that? Let me tell you. Wouldn’t you rather be in a continuous state of happiness than experience it once in a while?
The way the world is running now, there might not be too many reasons for you to stay cheerful. But you cannot let that get to you, right?
Ananda yoga is a worldwide spiritual movement to find joy. How you ask? Well, to know more you must keep reading.
What Is Ananda Yoga?
Ananda Yoga comes from the Paramahansa Yogananda school of teachings. Paramahansa Yogananda is a renowned Indian yogi who went to the West to teach the intricacies of Kriya yoga.
Yogananda’s teachings, thoughts, and practices were systematized definitely by his close disciple Swami Kriyananda and termed it as Ananda yoga. Ananda yoga comes from the tradition of the renowned and ancient Kriya yoga tradition.
Ananda yoga system is the concept of awareness, consciousness, and affirmations. It beautifully attaches spiritual and meditational aspects to yoga asanas and enhances your flow and progress in life.
Ananda yoga brings together your body, mind, and soul reinforcing the original concept of yoga which is not just physical movements. It is an inward experience that combines the goodness of yoga asanas, pranayama, meditation techniques and yogic philosophy.
Ananda yoga emphasizes inner awareness and energy control. It trains you to use the subtle energies of your body through yoga asanas and raise your consciousness through it.
The purpose of Ananda yoga is to facilitate a powerful inward and upward flow of energy in your body in a safe and balanced manner.
In that attempt, Ananda yoga brings together individual asanas, pranayama, and techniques that are in sync with its philosophy and combines them to attain the ultimate goal of being blissful.
Let me briefly take you through the process of Ananda Yoga to help you understand the concept better.
Ananda Yoga—The Process
1. Energy Channeling Exercises
We are made of and surrounded by cosmic energy. In our human capacity, we can get rid of the blocks in our mind and body and take in the infinite energy surrounding us.
Energy exercises conceptualized by Paramahansa Yogananda systematically energize your bodies and tune your mind to understand the origin and purpose of the energy.
The exercises help in controlling the life force that runs through your body. THey channelize the energy received and send it to various parts of the body revitalizing the cells and renewing your mind, body, and soul.
The exercises are a combination of pressurizing and relaxing moves incorporating the double breath. These exercises cleanse your blood and oxygenate it.
There are 49 energization exercises in total. Check the video below to learn them.
2. Yoga Sequence
The yoga asana sequence is crucial in Ananda yoga. You need to follow a routine that helps you to channelize the energy inwards and then push it upwards.
You need to begin with the standing poses. They help you to tune into the energy and focus on your spine.
Next comes the floor poses which release energy from the far corners of the body, help you open up the spine and stretch it and induce energy into the spine.
Follow it up with inverted poses that use gravity to help energy flow into the brain. Then relax to let the energy sink in the mind and internalize it.
Finally, meditate to become aware and conscious of all that is taking place in your body and help consciousness dawn upon you.
To help you understand better, check out an example sequence we charted out below-
- a. Vrikshasana (Tree Pose)
- b. Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose)
- c. Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward-Facing Dog)
- d. Savasana (Corpse Pose)
- e. Meditation
a.Vrikshasana (Tree Pose)
Vrikshasana or the Tree Pose is an asana that resembles the steady and grounded nature of a tree. While in Vrikshasana, keep your eyes open to help you balance better in the pose. Also, keep your stomach empty while practicing Vrikshasana.
To know more about the asana, click here—Vrikshasana.
b.Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose)
Bhujangasana or the Cobra Pose is an asana that resembles the raised hood of a cobra. It is an energizing backbend and is also part of the Surya Namaskar sequence. It is best to practice Bhujangasana on an empty stomach and clean bowels.
Cobra Pose is repeated 8 times in Ananda yoga accompanied by deep breathing and silent affirmations.
To know more about Bhujangasana, click here—Bhujangasana.
c.Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward-Facing Dog)
Adho Mukha Svanasana or the Downward-Facing Dog is an asana that resembles a dog that is bending forward. It is an inverted pose that you can easily learn and try. Just make sure your stomach is empty when you practice Adho Mukha Svanasana.
To know more about Bhujangasana, click here—Adho Mukha Svanasana.
d.Savasana (Corpse Pose)
Savasana or the Corpse pose is an asana that requires you to sleep still without moving. It is a perfect relaxation pose helping you to understand the energy flows in the body and contribute to making sense of them.
To know more about Bhujangasana, click here—Savasana.
In Ananda yoga, hatha yoga practice and meditation go hand in hand. Ananda yoga implements the Hong-Sau method of meditation which is an ancient Sanskrit mantra that induces spiritual power when pronounced correctly with repetition.
Mentally say ‘Hong’ as you breathe in and ‘Sau’ while you breathe out. Let the inhalation and exhalation flow in and out naturally. Breathe in deeply and exhale out completely. Observe your breath while you do so.
3. The Use Of Affirmations
Affirmations are unique to Ananda yoga. They make it easier to reach higher consciousness. They encourage and support your goal. Affirmations help you understand the asana better and feel its movements more while practicing them.
There is a particular affirmation for each asana. For example, it is “Calmness radiates from every fiber of my being.” for Adho Mukha Svanasana, “I rise joyfully to meet each new opportunity.” for Bhujangasana and “I am calm, I am poised.” for Vrikshasana.
It is best to learn the Ananda yoga practice from certified Ananda yoga centers and teachers. The centers are in India, the United States, and Italy. For more details, click here—www.ananda.org.
Now, let’s answer some common queries on Ananda Yoga.
Expert’s Answers For Readers’ Questions
Is Ananda yoga religious?
No, Ananda yoga is purely a spiritual process.
How is Ananda yoga different from Hatha yoga?
Ananda yoga is an extension of Hatha yoga. It took the elements of Hatha yoga and added particular frills to elevate the experience of the practitioner.
Ananda yoga helps you turn inward, increases your awareness and channelizes your energy flow. You gain control over your mind and body with Ananda yoga and travel towards a higher consciousness. When you are conscious and aware, you are happy and content. That’s what you need, right? So, sign up for Ananda yoga classes and get started.