The Prana of Paramahansa Yogananda

This lecture will examine the definition/s of prana as discussed by Paramahansa Yogananda, one of the great spiritual teachers of the 20th century. Drawing from his written and recorded materials, we will explore Yogananda’s earliest concepts of prana and how they were then formed into a unique, embodied practice which is known today as Kriya Yoga. The class will introduce the preliminary pranayama methods used by Yogananda to prepare for mediation along with a detailed explanation of the way the subtle prana of the body is affected. After foundational practices have been explored, there will be a discussion of the advanced techniques of meditation taught by Yogananda. These higher techniques include the Aum technique, the Hong-Sau technique, and the technique of Kriya Yoga. These techniques, which require years of preparation, have been practiced for centuries by those who are deeply determined to accomplish yogic success. While the specific technical methods cannot be revealed here, there will be an in-depth examination of each technique and their effects and implications on the individual and collective prana. The lecture will end with a look at the goal of yoga, termed by Yogananda as nirvikalpa samadhi, and what the attainment of this goal would require. To supplement Yogananda’s writings, the lecture will include sources from Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras, The Bhagavad Gita, and direct experiences collected by the speaker from his own practice and from other practitioners.

Cast

Jensen Martin
Speaker

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