"Ananda Yoga for Higher Awareness", or simply Ananda Yoga, is a style of yoga that equally combines Hatha Yoga (or the art of doing asanas or poses) and the traditional, meditational, and philosophical teachings of yoga. And even though the emphasis of Ananda Yoga is on the spiritual essence of yogic practice, the asanas still form a huge part of its overall practice.
Who Can Do Ananda Yoga?
Anyone with a genuine interest in the physical and philosophical traditions of the ancient Indian practice can do Ananda Yoga. Some think their bodies are too "stiff" for yoga, or they are too busy to slow down and focus on their spirituality. But see that's exactly the reason why many are turning to Ananda Yoga - to calm the mind and senses and bring harmony to your mind, body, and soul, so you will be better equipped to deal with the daily stresses of life.
Benefits of Ananda Yoga
In addition to better stress management (as mentioned above), other benefits of Ananda Yoga include increased flexibility, energized sense of being, and increased awareness. As we've said, Ananda Yoga isn't just focused on the asanas branch of yoga - more than anything, it is about spirituality, meditation, and how these further enhance your experience of progressing through the different levels of asanas or poses.
Ananda Yoga poses
Ananda Yoga poses do not differ from the other poses used in other types of yogic practice. The only difference is the utterance of positive affirmations as you do the poses and move on to the next. Some of the asanas used as Ananda Yoga poses are the Child's Pose (Balasana), Tree Pose (Vrkasana), and Chair Pose (Utkatasana). The Child's Pose involves sitting on your mat with your legs folded underneath, shins touching the mat. Bend forward until your forehead touches the ground, and you can stretch your arms out in front of you, or let them relax and fall to your sides so that the back of your hands are touching the floor.