Yogoda: The Healing Legacy of Paramhansa Yogananda


Published:

Some 90 years ago, Paramhansa Yogananda, the great master of yoga and the author of the spiritual classic, Autobiography of a Yogi, introduced a unique system for reducing stress and improving one’s ability to manifest better health, prosperity and spiritual power. He called this revolutionary technique Yogoda, meaning “yoga or union with God.”

From his autobiography, Yogananda describes the evolution of his health philosophy:

“Realizing that man’s body is like an electric battery, I reasoned that it could be recharged with energy through the direct agency of human will. As no action, slight or large, is possible without willing, man can avail himself of this prime mover — will — to renew his bodily tissues without burdensome apparatus or mechanical exercises. In the simple Yogoda techniques, the life force, centered in man’s medulla oblongata (located in the brainstem which regulates the heart and lung functions), can be consciously and instantly recharged from the unlimited supply of cosmic energy.

“Yogoda is based on the principle, ‘The greater the will, the greater the flow of energy.’ By tensing muscle groups gradually with will — low, medium, high, and vibrating with tension — then relaxing slowly and feeling the sensations, Yogoda establishes a harmony between the working of the voluntary muscles and the involuntary processes of healing. This gives wonderful health and strength. Yogoda teaches that the body is a reservoir of infinite strength and life energy. It keeps the muscles and tissues and the whole body disciplined and will prove to be one of the greatest boons ever conferred upon mankind!”

It is recommended that after the practice of Yogoda to sit still for a short time, center yourself, and focus with eyes closed at the point between the two eyebrows. You will feel a wonderful sense of relaxation and energy flowing through the chakras to the brain, magnetizing your brain cells. This process of awakening, if done regularly, will take you into a deep spiritual state. Enlightenment comes as you become one with the energy of the Inner light.

Yogoda Energization Exercises for Reducing Stress and Promoting Healing (from the original Yogoda text of 1925)

  1. Gently tense and relax each body part from 1 to 20, mentally saying: “My children, wake up.” Hold the relaxation for half a minute without moving.
  2. Start with the left foot. Place your attention on the center of the instep of the left foot. Slowly tense the left foot — low, medium, then high, drawing the toes under. Keep the foot tensed.
  3. Continue adding tension — low to high — with willpower in the above mentioned manner for all 20 body parts from feet to head (1 to 20), in slow rhythmic succession.
  4. Gently re-tense and vibrate the whole body, holding all 20 body parts tensed, breath held, mentally counting 1 to 6, and noting whether all body parts are tensed or not.
  5. Exhale and slowly, relax the chain of tensed parts, head to feet in inverse order from 20 to 1. If while relaxing the parts above the waist, you find that you have also unintentionally relaxed the parts below the waist, then simultaneously tense again all the parts below the waist and relax from the waist down, one by one.
  6. Repeat the technique once lying on a bed, and twice out of bed, standing.
  • yogoda-smallThe technique can be practiced lying down, sitting in a chair or while standing.
  • Always practice this technique with eyes closed and very slowly.
  • Do not tense quickly, but gradually
  • Tense low any diseased or weak body part
  • To heal any body part, gently tense and relax that part. Then tense low and hold that tension, counting 1 to 10 mentally, electrocuting the disease with recharged energy. Then relax. Repeat 10 times, three times a day, or as often as you desire. Practice the healing of any body part in the lying posture.
  • By exhaling or throwing the breath out, you relax the lungs, diaphragm and abdomen. Any time you feel tired or nervous, tense the whole body gently, then relax; that is, withdraw the energy and consciousness and active will power, and quickly exhale. Keep still; enjoy the calmness of the body.

Master this highly practical technique of recharging by faithful and regular practice for your own knowledge and benefit. These exercises will give definite, satisfactory and invigorating results in body and mind that you can experience for yourself if you are regular, faithful, attentive and correct in your practice.

Paramhansa Yogananda was one of the first great masters of yoga to live in America and teach for an extended period of time, from 1920-1952. On March 7, 1952, Yogananda went into “Mahasamadhi,” an advanced yogi's conscious transition for the body into the omniscient spirit. After his passing, Yogananda demonstrated what regular Yogoda practice can do. Workers at Forest Lawn Mortuary of Glendale, CA wrote a testimonial letter about the incorruptibility of Yogananda's body after his death, citing, "The absence of any visual signs of decay in the dead body of Paramhansa Yogananda offers the most extraordinary case in our experience....No physical disintegration was visible in Paramhansa Yogananda's body even twenty days after death."

Robert Ram Smith is the director of Ananda-Self Realization Center of Kingston, RI, a vibrant spiritual community offering meditation, yoga, philosophy classes and satsang (fellowship). He has been a Yogoda practitioner for over 30 years and is offering a Kriya Yoga retreat April 30-May 2. He can be reached at 401-218-5858 or visit www.anandarhodeisland.org.

Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags

We invite you to comment on our articles and the issues they raise. Comments are moderated for offensive language, commercial messages and off-topic posts. Some comments may be chosen for inclusion in the magazine on the Feedback page, if name and city are included.

Add your comment:
Edit ModuleEdit ModuleShow Tags

Daily Astrology

September 3, 2015

What we resist, persists. The Taurus Moon's morning square with Mars drives this point home. Energy feels blocked, desires frustrated. Travel delays and other minor annoyances grate on nerves. Relax. An attitude adjustment can make a positive...
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Alternative Health Directory

Browse all listings »

Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow Tags

Calendar

August 2015

You may have heard of speed dating. It’s a practice in which people looking for dates meet a lot of people quickly and without commitment. We’re going to do something similar—but...

Cost: Free

Where:
The Livingston Center
25 Orchard View Drive
Londonderry, NH  03053
View map »


Sponsor: International Coach Certification Alliance
Telephone: (603) 505-5000
Contact Name: Dr. Sharon Livingston

More information

Featuring local food prepared by Gather Farm Fresh Eatery and Frontier Cafe. Join us for a summer evening celebration of local food, farming and fun including a family-friendly meal, live...

Cost: $50/adults; $20/kids 4 & up. Ages 3 & under are free. Includes all food & drinks

Where:
Freeport’s Historic Mallet Barn at Wolfe's Neck
625 Wolf Neck Rd
Freeport , ME  04032
View map »


Sponsor: Wolfe's Neck Farm
Telephone: (207) 865-4496 x102
Contact Name: Events
Website »

More information

Our Barnyard and Organic Garden Tours introduce visitors to some of our sustainable agricultural activities. After meeting our cows, sheep, goats and chickens, you’ll ride in our haywagon to...

Cost: $5 per person (free for ages 3 and under)

Where:
Wolfe's Neck Farm
184 Burnett Rd
Freeport, MA  04032
View map »


Sponsor: Wolfe's Neck Farm
Telephone: (207) 869-5433
Website »

More information

Mixed levels Hatha Yoga classes are held on Sunday mornings from 10 - 11 a.m. at the Village at Waterman Lake.  Classes are held in the function room in the Chateau Building (side...

Cost: $12

Where:
Village at Waterman Lake
715 Putnam Pike
Greenville, RI  02828
View map »


Sponsor: The Yoga Workshop
Telephone: (401) 261-1060
Contact Name: Barbara Fetta
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Show More...
Show Less...

With Katie Ramaci Come utilize your healing crystals for crystal healing treatments. Each student will give and receive a treatment. Must have basic understanding of the general properties of...

Cost: $45

Where:
Women of Wisdom
118 Washington Street
North Easton, MA  02356
View map »


Sponsor: Women of Wisdom
Telephone: (508) 230-3680
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...
No Events

* Educational Class and Complimentary Light Sessions * Join Wes Burwell as he explains the science and history of LED light energy and the process by which it is delivered to various parts...

Cost: Free

Where:
Watertown Free Public Library
123 Main Street
Watertown, MA  02472
View map »


Sponsor: Opt For Light, LLC
Telephone: (928) 301-0717
Contact Name: Vivie Bishop

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Lorraine Murray, UK Author of the best-selling book 'Calm Kids' and founder of the worldwide teaching programme 'Connected Kids' invites you to a training event in Natick, MA...

Cost: $295 to $695

Where:
317 N Main St
Natick, MA  01760
View map »


Sponsor: Connected Kids Ltd
Telephone: (508) 380-7812
Contact Name: Lorraine Murray
Website »

More information

Intimate Puja Circles, created by Robyn, of Come Back to Love, will be the place to: • Be playful with other yummy, juicy, soulful singles, and couples • Learn and practice...

Cost: $35 via paypal or $50 at door

Where:
Watertown Ctr for Healing Arts
22 Mt Auburn Street
Watertown, MA
View map »


Sponsor: Come Back to Love Coaching
Telephone: 508-380-9254
Contact Name: Robyn Vogel
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Lorraine Murray, UK Author of the best-selling book 'Calm Kids' and founder of the worldwide teaching programme 'Connected Kids' invites you to a training event in Natick, MA...

Cost: $295 to $695

Where:
317 N Main St
Natick, MA  01760
View map »


Sponsor: Connected Kids Ltd
Telephone: (508) 380-7812
Contact Name: Lorraine Murray
Website »

More information

September 5, 2015 - May 7, 2016 In this 9 month school which will feature great guest mediums and speakers, we'll cover areas such as: Ethics of mediumship, how to be a healthy medium,...

Cost: $1199 (Early Bird by $ 1099 by 9/1

Where:
Women of Wisdom
118 Washington Street
North Easton, MA  02356
View map »

More information

September 5 - May 7, 2015 In this 9 month school which will feature great guest mediums and speakers, we'll cover areas such as: Ethics of mediumship, how to be a healthy medium, spirit...

Cost: $1199 (Early Bird by $ 1099 by 9/1

Where:
Women of Wisdom
118 Washington Street
North Easton, MA  02356
View map »


Telephone: (508) 230-3680
Website »

More information

Climb aboard our haywagon and travel through time as you hear stories of the ship captains, fishermen, farmers, teachers, and homemakers who have lived on Wolfe’s Neck over the past 250...

Cost: $6 per person, kids 12 and under are free!

Where:
Wolfe's Neck Farm
184 Burnett Road
Freeport, ME  04032
View map »


Sponsor: Wolfe's Neck Farm
Telephone: (207) 865-4469
Website »

More information

Pregnancy Program to connect with yourself and a supportive community through the journey of pregnancy, birth and parenting. With Dalilah Rain a KRI Certified Kundalini Yoga and Conscious...

Cost: See Website

Where:
195 Lake Ave
Worcester, MA  01604


Sponsor: Flowforms Yoga
Telephone: (508) 752-4700
Contact Name: Molly Jackson
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit Module Edit ModuleShow Tags