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

What Students are saying about The Art and Science of Spiritual Counseling…

Who should take this course?

All are welcome! Though this course is designed to be accredited with the Yoga Alliance for 55 hours in Level 2, and it is also a certification course in the Ananda Institute of Living Yoga, it is available to all. It is valuable for all who seek a deeper understanding of their own, or others’ human natures, 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), or simply to understand yourself better, 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 one of the prerequisites, 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 whether 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 in FALL 2024:

6 Saturdays: Sept 7, 17, 28, Oct 12, 19 & 26

Hours: 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. each day.

Location: Both IN-PERSON at the Blue Lotus Temple and ONLINE on Zoom.


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

Instructors: Nayaswami Padma will lead this course, with a team of Ananda teachers.

For students seeking Yoga Alliance accreditation for Level 2, each Saturday will begin with Ananda Yoga at 9am. This is then followed, for all students, by a 30 minute meditation. The mid-afternoon will include Paramhansa Yogananda’s Energization Exercises. One break and a lunch are built into the day. A video will be shown (Dr. Peter Van Houten on the brain). 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, and in mid January 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 [prerequisite] or any texts.)


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 of affirmation
  • Relationships and marriage
  • Death and dying
  • Overcoming fear and negative emotions
  • Building strong character:
  • Yamas and Niyamas
  • Gunas
  • Ego transcendence
  • Levels of consciousness
  • Keys to happiness
  • Physiology: Of the brain; Of meditation
  • Pranayams
  • Energization exercises
  • The place of Hatha Yoga
  • Recognizing the signs of those needing professional therapy
  • Case studies and ample practice counseling