Yoga, both physical and mental (meditation), is not a religion. Yoga is a practical science that awakens intuitive intelligence and creativity. This latent intelligence, when awakened, benefits all aspects of our life from our mental attitude, to health and vitality, and creativity. These attributes in turn infuse daily life — our relationships, sports, arts, parenting, education, and career — with the vitality that leads to success and true happiness. Cooking, dieting, starting a new business or career, and overcoming illness are activities that are demonstrably benefited by the power of yoga.
The fundamental purpose of yoga is to help people find an ever expanding horizon of happiness, and, to learn how to cope and then transcend what we normally define as suffering. No part of our lives is too small or insignificant to apply the universal principles of yoga to achieve success and fulfillment. The “proof of the pudding” is the transformed lives of its practitioners.
The classes below are just a sampling of the subjects we offer. Some are offered regularly, others occasionally.
Yogananda recommended using daily self-reflection as a way to cultivate positive intentions and preserve positive memories– to consciously cut new “grooves” in the brain. Recent research bears out the notion that we really can help our brain to change in positive ways. New research also confirms the therapeutic benefits journaling.
Now teachers Rebecca Davis and Mona Williams combine forces to share fun and inspiring ways to use visual journaling–journaling that involves both words and images–to practice self-reflection in a way that fosters intention, intuition, and joy.
Deepen your experience of JOY with David Eby using the divine dynamic duo of Ananda Music and meditation. This workshop is perfect of music lovers, singers and instrumentalists of all abilities and experience. It features group singing specifically tailored to take you deep into an experience of your soul’s true nature of JOY. All music and lyrics to the powerful yet easy to learn songs provided.
Students will learn how to:
• access and sustain the profound presence of JOY
• enhance their singing and listening experience
• self-medicate with music for personal healing of body, mind, and spirit
• share their inner experience of JOY through musical expression
• inspire others through voice, energy, and spirit
Price for Class: Sliding Scale $30 – $50.
Swami Kriyananda wrote: “No good end is ever reached without devotion. No true success is achieved unless the heart’s feelings are involved. Will power itself is a combination of energy and feeling, directed toward fulfillment. Devotion is no sentiment: It is the deep longing to commune with, and know, the only Reality there is.”
In this workshop we will explore how the practice of asana, pranayama, and meditation can help us awaken the heart qualities of gratitude, surrender and devotion, tuning into using our practice as a dynamic self-offering of our spinal energies to the spiritual eye, the seat of higher consciousness at the point between the eyebrows.
Our stress response keeps us alive; our physical response to a real threat helps save us from danger. More often though, stress is a reaction to perceived rather than real danger. When this perception is so pervasive that we are constantly poised to avert danger, the stress response becomes chronic. Many health practitioners agree that this state of chronic stress causes over 90% of disease. Yoga can intervene to bring us out of chronic stress and back to a normal stress response and a life of health and peace.
In this workshop we will experience the effects of yoga on calming the central nervous system. We will gain techniques for altering our reactive patterns, shifting from chronic stress with sporadic periods of peace toward a life grounded in peace and calmness with a healthy response to real threats.
The ability to concentrate inner energy is central to success in meditation. In this workshop we will explore Ananda yoga techniques that help us overcome major obstacles to concentration: physical or mental tensions that block our energy; lack of awareness and control of energy; and energy that is dissipated by outward attachments, thoughts and emotions.
Our practice will include Yogananda’s Energization Exercises and yoga postures with emphasis on releasing energy blockages and relaxing body and mind. We will practice various pranayama (breathing exercises) to heighten awareness of energy and to concentrate it inwardly as further preparation for our ending meditation.
Look for these classes offered through the year.
Superconscious Living Presented by Krysta Gibson or Michelle Marshall. This foundational course shows us the practical value of positive attitudes. It is “hands-on” and provides weekly exercises in the “art of living” by which we can test and accelerate our progress toward true happiness. Learn how to transform challenges in marriage, home, parenting, relationships, money or career into priceless opportunities for self-understanding and expansion of sympathy to find a greater and lasting satisfaction.
Love Without Fear: How to Have Healthy Relationships Presented by Nayaswami Jamuna Snitkin. Relationships are a source of high expectation, but all too often end in crushing disappointment. What is going on? We will explore the spiritual meaning of relationships of all kinds. Discover the principles of courageous engagement, and understand the inner changes that bring deep fulfillment and joy.
Practicing the Presence of God Separating our meditation practice from our daily life simply doesn’t work! All of the joy that we have ever sought lies in our souls. Why should we ignore it during a large slice of our waking lives? That inner connection needs to be consciously nourished and strengthened. Join Nayaswamis Jamuna and Susan as we find inspiration in the example of the Great Ones, and discover time-tested ways to nurture a dynamic inner connection with God.
Looking to the Saints Swami Kriyananda says, “The true custodians of religion are the saints.” The saints are those who have walked much farther on the path to ultimate fulfillment than most. Thus, they alone – not books or dogmas – can show us how to change our lives and uplift our consciousness into ever-greater happiness and success. The saints draw our attention to God. We will walk with St. John of the Cross (spiritual director of Teresa of Avila), Brother Lawrence (author of the spiritual classic, Practicing the Presence of God), Clare of Assisi (“spiritual sister” of St. Francis), Giri Bala (the “non-eating saint” whose life is described in Autobiography of a Yogi), and Master Mahasaya (a disciple of the great 19th-century saint Sri Ramakrishna, chronicled in the Autobiography).
Spiritual Parenting Presented by Nayaswami Padma McGilloway & Tyagi Chandi Holliman.We all want our children to be happy and successful. Education for life, as taught in the Ananda Living Wisdom Schools, employs proven methods that help children achieve these goals. You will discover proven applications for using these skills as a parent. We’ll encourage discussion to tailor the information to each participant’s needs.
Scriptures of East and West From time to time, we offer classes in the yoga teachings of the Bible, and on the Bhagavad Gita and Yoga Sutras (of Patanjali). Taught by Nayaswami Hriman, these may be offered at either location: East West Bookshop, or, Ananda Meditation Temple.