Your Day at Ananda

Whether you visit for a day, a week, or longer, your Ananda experience will include lessons and guided practices in the basic techniques of Self-realization as taught by Paramhansa Yogananda. Whatever your religious background, these practices can help you. Yogananda taught meditation to Mahatma Gandhi, to agnostics, and to Catholic priests alike, as well as to those interested in following the spiritual tradition of yoga.

Meditation Practices

Meditation is a simple practice that brings one to the direct, intuitive experience of the higher realities present within each of us. It is a cornerstone of spirituality that creates harmony in one's life and a growing sense of inner peace.

Each day there are two meditation sessions, during which you will learn effective breathing exercises, correct meditative postures, and an ancient technique of concentration, whose purpose is to calm and clarify the mind and bring you to higher states of awareness. This practice is also beneficial for your general health and is recommended by doctors as an aid to healing stress, high blood pressure, and many other physical and mental ailments.

Energization Exercises

Each day you can attend lessons on Yogananda's Energization Exercises, which strengthen the body, mind, and central nervous system. The daily practice of this set of thirty-nine simple exercises strengthens the aura and the body's ability to prevent and cure disease.

Ananda Yoga

Ananda Yoga, developed by Swami Kriyananda, is a unique system of traditional yoga postures which incorporates the use of affirmations along with the postures. These easily practiced positions offer an effective way to prepare the body and mind for meditation, and are also helpful for relaxing muscular tensions and for mental calmness, clarity, and focus.

Presentation of the Course Theme

Classes begin at 11:00 and include practical exercises and group discussion as well as a presentation of the philosophy and principles upon which the course is based. During the weekend programs, the first presentation is on Friday evening at 20:30, and continues on Saturday morning at 11:00 and Sunday morning at 10:00.

Five-day programs include classes on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday mornings; seven-day programs in July and August include a class on Saturday as well.
Our intensive courses (2, 5 or 7 days) include afternoon workshop and study material, if applicable.

Karma Yoga

Our daily activities can either enhance or impede our health and happiness. The Ananda Experience includes a brief “karma yoga” session during which you will have the chance to bring new attitudes, energy and enthusiasm to common daily activities. During these session the teachers and guests work together to create a clean and uplifting atmosphere in and around the Temple of Light.

Evening Activities

Evenings at Ananda are relaxing and uplifting, with a variety of spiritual activities that give you the chance to relax and enjoy being together with members of the community and other guests.

A Typical Day at Ananda

The Ananda experience is unique because every moment of the day is part of your learning experience. There is a unifying thread which connects the lessons, meditations, yoga practice, service projects, meals, singing, relaxation, and the time you spend with others.

Your experience includes:

  • Morning spiritual practices from 7:00 to 8:45. The main techniques of energization, yoga, and meditation are taught and practiced at this time. Each session builds upon the previous sessions, bringing you to the point where you have a daily routine that you can practice at home.
  • Breakfast in silence. One of the reasons that we get out of balance is that we are constantly being distracted by a plethora of outward stimulation. At Ananda, there are brief periods of silence after the morning and evening meditations, during which your mind and soul have the chance to rest and to integrate what you are experiencing.
  • Karma Yoga. Between breakfast and the morning class, there is a brief period for the practice of “karma yoga.” This “yoga” teaches us how to remain focused, relaxed, and receptive (the qualities we achieve through meditation practices) during times of outward activity. During this period, guests and teachers together share the tasks of maintaining a clean and uplifting atmosphere in and around the Temple of Light.
  • Morning lessons begin at 11:00 and include practical exercises, theoretical presentations, and group discussion.
  • Lunch is at 13:30 (not in silence) with free time afterwards.
  • Ananda Yoga sessions are offered most afternoons and are also integrated into the morning practice sessions. The sessions are led by highly qualified teachers and the practice is suitable both for beginners and for those with experience.
  • Workshop and afternoon classes if you partecipate to an intensive course or a course of the Yogananda Academy (Ananda Yoga School, Ananda Raja Yoga School, and Ananda Life Therapy School).
  • Dinner is at 19:30, in silence.
  • Evening activities include a variety of relaxing and inspiring presentations such as:
    concerts given by the World Brotherhood Choir or The Ananda Singers;
    presentations, including slides, about the lives of Yogananda, St. Francis,
    Swami Kriyananda, Ananda World Brotherhood Village, and the Ananda movement;
    practicing Yogananda’s method for sending healing vibrations to others; and
    Kirtans—singing devotional chants.

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  • The spiritual hatha yoga based on the teachings of Paramhansa Yogananda
  • "The secret of meditation is… relinquishing outward attachments and affirming divine freedom within." – The Secrets of Meditation, by Swami Kriyananda
  • Kriya Yoga is an advanced technique for spiritual evolution that comes down from higher ages of spiritual enlightenment.