The Art and Science of Spiritual Counseling (AYYT level 2 accredited 55 hour course):

Who should take this course?

This course is designed to be accredited with the Yoga Alliance for 55 hours in Level 2. It is also a certification course in the Ananda Institute of Living Yoga. This course is valuable for all who seek a deeper understanding of their human nature, and how to integrate our inner lives with the world around us. Whether you find yourself needing to assist friends, students, co-workers, family members or clients (if you are a therapist), this course will provide you with tools and techniques to bringing one’s physical, intellectual, emotional and spiritual natures into balance.

What is Spiritual Counseling?

Spiritual counselors are not therapists. In this course we will learn to distinguish people and situations that require professional therapists’ assistance. As spiritual counselors we serve individuals and/or groups of people by offering insights and wisdom from the great wealth of the teachings of meditation and yoga as it relates to the inner life. We will learn to apply these insights to situations and relationships in life, in order to be the most helpful spiritually to those we interact with, as well as to ourselves.

In helping others, we discover that we, too, grow in self-awareness. A personal commitment to self-awareness through meditation is the only prerequisite, so to speak, to this course and to this enlightened method of counseling.

Course Description:

This course is open to everyone (see prerequisite below) but all students must enroll in the Institute of Living Yoga either for the purposes of receiving a certificate of completion, or, for qualification as a Yoga teacher who is seeking Level 2 accreditation by Yoga Alliance.

Dates: 6 Saturdays: Sept 17 & 24, Oct 8 & 15, Nov 5 & 19  Hours: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. each day

  • By Swami Kriyananda: Intuition for Starters, Affirmations for Self-Healing, In Divine Friendship
  • By Paramhansa Yogananda: How to Have Courage, Confidence and Calmness
  • Course Manual

Instructors: Nayaswami Padma will lead this course, joined by Nayaswami Hriman, Murali Venkatrao, Nayaswami Jamuna, Zach and Hailey Abbey, Samara Spitzer and Shubatani Grubbs, Ph.D.

For students seeking Yoga Alliance accreditation for Level 2, each Saturday will begin with Ananda Yoga with Murali Venkatrao. This is then followed, for all students, by a 45 minute meditation. The late afternoon will include Paramhansa Yogananda’s Energization Exercises with Samara Spitzer. Two breaks and a lunch are built into the day. Two videos will be shown (Dr. Peter Van Houten on the brain and Swami Kriyananda on Spiritual Counseling). There will be theory on the subjects listed below, as well as case studies and ‘practice’ counseling. Homework will be assigned based on the course texts and manual, as well as in-class information.

Prerequisite: All students must successfully complete (whether previously or simultaneously) the Raja Yoga course for credit in the Institute, and have a regular meditation practice. [Note: for those who are not Yoga teachers seeking Yoga Alliance accreditation, you must at least take the raja segment of the Raja Yoga Intensive for credit in the Institute.) The Raja Intensive begins the week of Labor Day so if you haven’t taken this for credit, enroll right away! Costs and text for the Raja Intensive can be found

Cost: For AYTT level 2 for credit the cost is $750.00. For credit in the Institute (alone), the course cost is $695.00. (These costs do NOT include the cost of the Raja Yoga Intensive [prerequistie] or its text.)

Registration: To register, please contact Ananda Washington, 23305 Bothell-Everett Highway, Bothell, WA 98021, tel: 425-806-3700 or email

Click Here for a downloadable Registration Form

You must also complete a registration form and enrollment with the Ananda Institute of Living Yoga (if you have not already done so with prior Institute Teacher Training courses). There is a $50 nonrefundable, lifetime enrollment fee for all students.

Overview of Course Content:

This is a comprehensive course that covers the spiritual principles which help one find balance in a complex world, and how to assist others in applying these principles to their lives. Key areas will include:

  • How to develop and apply intuition
  • Meditation and developing the Art of Listening
  • The place for affirmation
  • Relationships and marriage
  • Death and dying
  • Overcoming fear and negative emotions
  • Purpose and function of dreams
  • Building strong character:
  • Yamas and Niyamas
  • Gunas
  • Ego transcendence
  • Levels of consciousness
  • Keys to happiness
  • The role of health and vitality
  • Physiology:
  • Of the brain
  • Of meditation
  • Pranayams
  • Energization exercises
  • Hatha Yoga
  • Recognizing the signs of those needing professional therapy
  • Case studies and practice counseling
counseling leaders

Nayaswamis Padma and Hriman, Murali Venkatrao, Samara Spitzer, Shubatani Grubbs, Nayaswami Jamuna Snitkin, and Zach and Hailey Abbey