What is Ananda Yoga?

What is Ananda Yoga?

Ananda Yoga is a form of Yoga that was started by Swami Kriyananda. Swami Kriyananda is an American born in Romania who then studied under Paramahamsa Yogananda.. He was a close disciple of Pramahamsa. It is derived from Raja Yoga and Kriya Yoga.

It does not concentrate on any one aspect of our being but rather tries to bring harmony between the physical, psychological and spiritual aspects of being. Most importantly, it tries to help practitioners to consciously feel the effects some Asanas (Postures) naturally have on the body and mind.

What does Ananda Yoga include?
It includes everything that is part of classical Yoga practice. It covers a range of practices for the body, mind and spirit, for complete holistic development.

  • Asanas (Postures)
  • Pranayama (Breathing techniques)
  • Meditation and chanting
  • Study and application of Yoga philosophy to life

How is Ananda Yoga practiced?
Ananda Yoga includes practices that are subtle, never aggressive, forceful or vigorous. It starts off with simple and gentle practices, slowly moving on to more complex practices. Its focus is on some main factors.

  • Proper alignment and safe practice
  • Being relaxed even during complex practices
  • Active consciousness towards the internal effects of practices – on the flow of energy and changed in mental activity
  • Practice according to individual abilities rather than trying to reach an ideal

The prime focus is on two main factors that distinguish this form from all other forms of Yoga. One is exercises for energization, that help control the flow of energy in the body. They also help in controlling the mind to an extent. The second is Asana affirmations, that help keep the mind focused on the particular practice that the individual is into. They help in unifying the physical and psychological realms.

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