What is Ananda Yoga?
Ananda Yoga is a classical style of Hatha Yoga that uses asana and pranayama to awaken, experience, and begin to control the subtle energies (prana) within oneself, especially the energies of the chakras. Its object is to use those energies to harmonize body, mind, and emotions, and above all to attune oneself with higher levels of awareness.
One unique feature of this system is the use of silent affirmations while in the asanas as a means of working more directly and consciously with the subtle energies to achieve this attunement.
“The yoga postures are designed to promote and to harmonize the flow of energy in the body. The perceptive hatha yogi, understanding this truth, will endeavor to become conscious of his energy, and will use the postures and breathing exercises as a means primarily to developing this awareness. For awareness is the first and most important stage towards gaining control.” Swami Kriyananda, Ananda Yoga for Higher Awareness
The Primary Goal of Ananda Yoga
Ananda Yoga brings the science of hatha yoga back to its original purpose: transcending the limitations of the physical body in order to enter into higher awareness as it brings the body, mind, and spirit into mutual harmony. The primary goal of Ananda Yoga is to increase our awareness and to raise our consciousness.
Intro to Ananda Yoga
“We find that the whole system of hatha yoga is a very important tool for reminding us of our inner nature, and for strengthening that nature. Through increased awareness, we gradually become aware of the body on a spiritual level. Eventually we become aware of spirit without the body“. Swami Kriyananda
How does Ananda Yoga expand beyond "Western" Yogic Practice?
Why are affirmations used in Ananda Yoga?
In Ananda Yoga, mental affirmations are combined with each posture. The affirmation is repeated throughout the posture, like a mantra, enabling the thought-seed to penetrate deeply into the mind. The physical stretch is thus enhanced by an expansion of mental outlook. The result is a gradual change of mental attitude that makes the physical benefits of yoga more lasting.
What are the spiritual benefits of Yoga?
Ananda Yoga brings us to our calm, inner center, where we find the wellspring of peace, inner strength, and mental clarity. Ananda Yoga sessions use the movements of the yoga postures as a means to relax the body and, more importantly, to bring the mind to a state of calmness.