Essence of Art and Science of Raja YogaEssence of Art and Science of Raja Yoga brings you the essential teachings and techniques that will prepare you to receive Kriya Yoga initiation. This course is an abbreviated version of The Art and Science of Raja Yoga Full Course*. Essence of Art and Science of Kriya Yoga will streamline your process of preparing for Kriya. Kriya Yoga is the sacred technique of meditation brought to the West by Paramhansa Yogananda.

The focus in this abbreviated course is in three main areas: Yoga Philosophy, Breathing, and Meditation. The author Swami Kriyananda, clearly explains how these teachings, when correctly approached, can and will further our spiritual progress. He offers specific breathing and meditation exercises in each section. Through these exercises, you will personally experience the life-changing effect of Yogananda’s teachings.

*The Art and Science of Raja Yoga Full Course includes in-depth study of Yoga Postures, Diet, and Healing.

Who is This Course For:

This course is especially for those who have completed Lessons in Meditation and are on the learning track to eventually receive Kriya Yoga initiation. Essence of Art and Science of Raja Yoga provides eleven core lessons and meditation exercises, covered over a period of thirteen weeks.

If the timing of this course does not work for you, or you simply would like to take this course at your own pace, we invite you to join, The Art and Science of Raja Yoga Full Course, which can also serve as step 2 on the Path of Kriya Yoga.

Student Reviews

Tuition for 13-Week Course: $69.95

Upcoming Courses:

  • March 25th to June 24th
  • June 24th to September 23rd
  • September 16th to December 16th

Or enroll in The Art and Science of Raja Yoga Full Course anytime.

What You’ll Receive:

  • In-depth instruction to help you prepare for for Kriya Yoga.
  • Textbook sections: Philosophy, Breathing, and Meditation (downloadable pdf format).
  • Over 26 hours of downloadable audio learning tracks with Swami Kriyananda (mp3 format).
  • Live webinars* every Wednesday from 3:00 to 4:00 pm Pacific Time**, which will include:
    • Yogic philosophy and how it applies to daily life.
    • Instruction on ancient yogic breathing techniques and meditation.
    • Interactive discussion with plenty of time for Q&A.
  • Interactive forum and weekly assignments for deepening your practice.
  • Personal support from instructors (via email, telephone, or live chat).
  • Certificate of Completion.

*All webinars will be recorded and available for later viewing.
**Calculate your local time here.

Course Instructor

Dhyan Garcia-Davis

Dhyan Garcia-Davis grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area and moved to Ananda Village back in 2010. Immersing himself in the teachings of Paramhansa Yogananda, he finally discovered what had always been missing in his life: inner joy. Through the power of Kriya Yoga and service to others, Dhyan has dedicated his life to spreading the universally applicable teachings of yoga and meditation to other truth seeking souls. Being a certified Ananda Yoga and Meditation teacher, he has lived and taught these liberating techniques of yoga both in America and India. Earnest in his search for truth and in his love for others, Dhyan extends his friendship to soul friends everywhere.

More About Course

Essence of Art and Science of Raja Yoga“Most important to the mission of this great line of avatars was the revival of the highest of ancient yoga techniques, to which they have given the somewhat unassuming name, Kriya Yoga. Kriya means, simply, action. Any number of yoga practices may be, and are, called kriya yoga. In the present case, the action referred to is of a particular sort; its special purpose is to awaken energy in the spine and brain, by means of which the Kriya Yogi can attain enlightenment by the shortest possible route.” — Swami Kriyananda
Essence of Art and Science of Raja Yoga will give you the necessary knowledge, but more importantly, the experience and attunement as you prepare for Kriya Yoga. Yoga is often thought of in terms of yoga postures. In truth, the postures give only a fraction of what the ancient teachings of yoga have to offer. In this course, you will learn the deeper philosophy of yoga and how it can be applied to every aspect of your life. You will also learn ancient breathing exercises (pranayama) that can be used as remedies for specific mental and physical conditions, along with advanced meditation techniques.
There are several methods for student engagement. Along with the downloadable reading and audio assignments, you will be given breathing and meditation techniques in each lesson. Each section ends with a quiz, which has two parts: direct questions on the reading assignment and an opportunity to share your experience from practicing that weeks lesson. This allows for interaction and personal support with the course instructor. There is also an interactive forum where you can post questions or inspiration to be shared with your fellow students as well as instructor.

There will be weekly live classes, the first eleven weeks of the course presented by the instructor and special guest speakers. All of the live classes are recorded for students unable to attend live.

The recommended pace of this course is one lesson per week and you will have thirteen weeks to complete the eleven lessons. If you have extenuating circumstances and are unable to complete the course in the given time, we offer a one-time free enrollment in the course immediately following the current course you are enrolled in.

34 reviews for Essence of Art and Science of Raja Yoga

  1. 5 out of 5

    I can’t say enough how much this whole discovery of Ananda and the Raja Yoga Course have meant to me.

    When I reached a point in my life where I felt I was lost and had no direction, I was fortunate enough to discover Ananda Village and it’s teachings which have given me so much hope. A rebirth in every sense. And being able to share it with so many like minded, wonderful people is an added pleasure.
    Much Love to all of you who teach, and those like me who are here to learn and discover a path to a better life.
    I look forward to the next level in the path to Kriya Yoga.

  2. 5 out of 5

    I am no longer the same man as I was when I began this course. There has been a minor transformation. I am no longer at the mercy of entrenched mental and emotional patterns (ego). The knowledge, exercises, and meditations, have clarified my outlook on life. This is an ongoing process and a journey I look forward to. The tools I have learned in this course have given me the ability to move forward instead of reacting to the curves life send my way. My ego is being subjugated by my efforts and desire to merge with divine consciousness.

  3. 5 out of 5

    The skill and love displayed by the teacher of this course has been an inspiration to me. The master Jesus tells us by their deeds you will know them. The lessons are skillfully put together in a way where the students can bring them together to experience Dhana for themselves. Thankyou

  4. 5 out of 5

    This course was simply excellent. The book was both substantive and challenging. Its fine organization drew one through progressively deeper insights and vistas. I gained a tremendous amount from the readings, breathing exercises and meditations. I experienced significant change in my awareness of mental moods, and my ability to alter these habits with breathing and reflective meditation. My attachment to ego is certainly less than at the beginning of the course. Maria and Dhyan were superb instructors, and both offered thoughtful and insightful responses to the questions I asked throughout the course. Their support and love for all of us was palpable. I leave this five-star course quite inspired to continue and deepen the spiritual quest for inner realization so beautifully outlined by the instructors, as well as the many others in the Ananda Community. ‘Heartfelt thanks.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Thank you for the commitment and inspiration on the path of Raja Yoga, which prepares the student for the next step to Kriya Yoga. My practice has deepened with this course and looking forward to the next step.

  6. 5 out of 5

    I am truly blessed to be a learning the Raja Yoga. This course is awesome, a lot of questions in my life were answered through this course.
    Thank you.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Thank you to our teachers! Your sacred and loving approach to your students is remarkable and very welcome. I am learning more and more. I am a long-time meditator, but last year I had felt stuck. It was similar to what Swami Kriyananda talks about when he questioned everything and watched himself critically, but found himself in a place he hadn’t been. I was told about Raja Yoga some time ago and made an attempt in my readings, then found myself looking online more
    and was led to these courses. My heart chakra is opening again and I am happier and mellower. My meditations have become deeper and greatly uplifting. I feel
    more centered. I read and reread the book and the lessons with devotion and eagerness to hear and experience more. I am enthralled by this great lineage.
    Thank you for your seva. Thank you for your kind instruction. With great love, Rose Ghilardi

  8. 5 out of 5

    This class was a blessing. My practice has improved and progressed significantly.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Where can we learn about our purpose in life? And, more importantly, where can we learn HOW to actually achieve this purpose? The joy that we find in this world is temporary and unfulfilling. The current state of our world is in chaos and people are filled with deep emotional pain and suffering. One only needs to turn on the news.

    What a sense of relief that Ananda – and in particular this course – presents. Before Ananda, I believed that God existed and that we needed to cultivate our relationship with Him to find joy. But I was entirely lost as to how to develop this relationship and get closer to Him. It seemed that the more I tried, the farther I got. Ananda and this Raja Yoga course presents the student (or devotee) with the essential tools (and weapons) to fight the “good fight” and become soldiers of the light. What other way can we find joy?

    Swami Kriyananda provides the Raja Yoga teachings in a simple but electric way. Dhyan Garcia-Davis helped me understand the teachings in a more clearer, practical and formidable way. Every question that I had, Dhyan was able to answer with an impressive understanding. His wisdom was just natural. I was very comfortable speaking with him and sharing my personal experience with him. He inspired me to become the person that I really want to be.

    Anyone who takes this course, not only will learn about the ancient teachings of Raja Yoga, but more importantly, will develop a deep relationship with Paramhansa Yogananda and Swami Kriyananda, which will take the student (or devotee) into different and higher levels of joy that he or she is unable to reach by himself or herself. What this course really offers, in other words, is Paramhansa Yogananda and Swami Kriyananda’s grace. As the Bible states, “But to all who did receive him, he gave the right to become children of God.”

    We need to “receive” God’s grace and, I sincerely believe that Master Yogananda and Swamiji Kriyananda, are emissaries for this grace. Through Ananda – and courses like these – we can find the Eternal Joy that we are all seeking. And if it’s not in our destiny to find it in this lifetime, then we can certainly make a great leap towards it.

    Take this course – it will change your life!

  10. 5 out of 5

    Very thankful to have been a part of this course. I am able to participate in the course whenever there are open moments in my life, and there was enough to keep me growing and learning, but not too much to interfere with obligations, jobs, responsibilities, etc. I appreciated connecting with Brother Dyhan, the teacher, and being free to discuss anything. This course went a little further in depth and taught me many more breathing techniques and meditation postures. I look forward to further spiritual adventuring since finding Master Yogananda’s Autobiography one year ago. Blessing to all!

  11. 5 out of 5

    If you are considering being a part of this class in Raja Yoga, I recommend it highly. The lessons, materials and insights are nothing short of priceless. Wherever you may be on your journey there are teachings within that will resonate with you deeply, as they did with me. Swami Kriyananda’s writings and lectured classes were reviewed and discussed with great wisdom and love by instructor Dhyan.

    Take the Course
    Dive Within
    Spread the Peace


  12. 5 out of 5

    I came to this course at just the right time in my spiritual development. This experience has brought me through a journey that has sometimes been difficult, often reassuring and always enlightening. There was much individualized support given by the instructor which helped my understanding. Ananda Church of Self-Realiztion is a place, physically and spiritually, of loving guidance. Remember always, as I strive to do, that we are drawn here for a deep purpose. This is true whether you’ve been connected to Ananda for years or for a moment. We are loved.

  13. 5 out of 5

    I continue to be amazed about the depths of the experience in all Ananda online courses. Certainly, this course on Raja Yoga has been full of wisdom, giving me a much greater understanding of both the ancient teachings of Yoga and the new expression that Paramhansa Yogananda gave to them. But much more than that, the course has been an experience of spiritual growth. Because Ananda, as I have experienced it, is obviously not only about teaching the techniques and philosophy but primarily about giving you everything you need to grow. Our teacher Dhyan went to great lengths to give very individual feedback, and he helped me tremendously with every little question I had. But above all, he gave me a lot of inspiration and joy – which made me think: Ok, we are all in this together as friends, helping each other, sharing our experiences, caring for the spiritual welfare of our sisters and brothers. And this is truly invaluable!

  14. 5 out of 5

    I highly recommend the Raja Yoga course. The course is well written with weekly lessons to illustrate the teachings. The course is augmented with audio recordings from great masters and from the instructors at Ananada. Personally, I felt this course helped to deepen my meditative/spiritual practice. Dhyana’s comments were insightful, wise, and supportive. Another outstanding online course offered by Ananda community.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Excellent, excellent, excellent… This course was absolutely amazing! The level of knowledge and wisdom given through the literature as well as the teacher Dhyan was life changing. I have to compliment the way in which the lessons are given. The flow is so east to follow and the written lessons are exact and easy to inner stand. Following up with the lessons with the audio of Swami was a brilliant idea. The Ananda School gives you an array of different avenues to make sure you are grasping each lesson thoroughly and in every way you can. Now on to the teacher Dhyan, what can you say about someone who is SELFELESS and ALWAYS has a willing heart to help in anyway that he can. I apprecialove him so much for his patience and guidance. Ever attentive when he noticed that I wasn’t participating in the way I normally do and he contacted me immediately to make sure that all was well. He never lost faith in me and always kept me motivated. There are really no words to express my gratitude. I only can send him and his family an abundance of Love and Light. Thank you so much for helping me on my journey, my gratitude is endless! Om Shanti

    Sumer Mullen

  16. 5 out of 5

    Great course! Many insights, a lot of awareness, many behavioral patterns coming out of the surface, a lot of changes for the better, a lot of joy, a great teacher!

  17. 5 out of 5

    The Ananda on-line courses keep surprising me with how effective and personal the on-line study can be. The reading and audio/visual assignments, weekly webinars, and a seemingly 24-access to support one’s study are just wonderful in their scope of knowledge and heart. My life keeps expanding with this interaction of the community, fellow participants, and the instructor(s).

  18. 5 out of 5

    I truly feel that I was led by a God to the study of Raja Yoga. I live in rural America where it is unlikely that I would have found this beautiful path. In this class I’ve been given practical as well as well as mystical techniques to undeniably commune with God. This has fulfilled a long held yearning. From these practices I am gaining strength and steadiness! And a deeper understanding of who I am, and what my relationship to God is and can be.

    Dhyan has been a patient, empathic guide through this class and was the exact person I needed to give me courage to continue when I thought my busy mind would not let me. Now I have a practice! Thanks God!

  19. 5 out of 5

    An awesome course to get to know the depth of yoga and what it means to live the spiritual path. This stuff just fascinates me! Dhyan did a fantastic job guiding us throughout the course 🙂 Thank you Dhyan!

  20. 5 out of 5

    This course is one of the most profound experiences in my life. Is not just a dry philosophy course but a education for life. The clear and strength forward approach of Swamiji is a blessing. The way the information is presented is very clear. And brother Dhyan makes the most obscure topics clear and easy to understand. The meditations are wonderful to add.
    This course will give you tools to deepen your practice and tackle life with an actively calm attitude. The principles of raja yoga are the pinnacle of yogic though and the aim of yoga is presented in this course and made me feel is within anyone’s grasp. After all we are enlightenment we just have to imprime our knowing. I feel closer to God, Guru and Ananda through this course.

  21. 5 out of 5

    This is the second Ananda online course I’ve taken with Dhyan and I’ve found him to be consistently supportive , accessible and ready to help with any personal or technical issue. For those wish to delve deep into the depth and breadth of Raja Yoga, I doubt you’ll find a more clear or concise course. I’ve very grateful to haveaccess to these wonderful online teachings and look forward to taking my next step on the path of Kriya Yoga ~ Namaste

  22. 5 out of 5

    Raja Yoga as offered online with Ananda has been such a blessing that has surpassed every expectation. It turned what could easily have been a merely intellectual exploration into an experiential one by providing a wonderful structure, gentle support, and energy to the teachings and practices. It was for me a direct connection to this beautiful lineage of Enlighened Masters who have filled my heart with music and only just begun to help me awaken the eternal spring of joy, gratitude, devotion, and immeasurable love within. Don’t hesitate to open to the profound gift of this offering.

  23. 5 out of 5

    All online courses with Ananda were profound and enriching experiences.
    In particular, this course of Raja Yoga was a deep experience of spiritual growth.
    The course is very well organized and all material provided: texts, audios, videos, as well as the live seminars and morning meditations are outstanding. Dhyan has been exceptional in guiding us in this spiritual journey. We have been practicing yoga and meditation for many years but with Ananada and this course in particular, our spiritual life has taken a sharp turn. The way the teachings are conveyed renders them easy to apply to our daily life and so, opens the way to extremely enriching deep experiences of Masters’ guidance.

    Patrizia and Umberto Banderali

  24. 5 out of 5

    Really enjoying the whole Kriya Yoga process, glad I signed up!

  25. 5 out of 5

    Yoga will never be the same — after years of tiptoeing around the edges – practicing hatha yoga, meditation, off and on — I discovered in this course the cornerstone, the “backbone” of yoga, a world so deep and large and high that in any other context, I am not sure I would have undertaken the journey. This course, though, is accessible and has opened a new world to me, invited me on a path which I have long been seeking in the deep respect of my soul, for which I am ever grateful. The readings are dense but illuminating. And Dhyan has been a good shepherd with great intuition, whose webinars seemed to speak to the very questions about the path, about the readings, that were in my mind at the time (despite the thousands of kilometers that separate us). I am ever grateful for the course, for Dhyan’s honest, gentle wisdom and I will continue on the path that Ananda offers now, with humble and joyful anticipation.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Thank you for this wonderful course ! I really loved it to dive deep into the theoretical part, as well as into the practical part.
    This had a transformational effect on my daily attitude towards myself aswel as towards others.
    One of the signs I remarked is that I’m becoming more kind. My character is to be “passionated” by what I’m doing, to be “intense”, and so a consequence of that is that I am sometimes also “intense” in my reactions when things are not going like I (ego) want, and then I become like we call it “agressif” but not in a bad way. Well that kind of reactions I have less, and together with the fact that I become more “kind”, I become also more patient (patience is something that I didn’t had at all). So thank you for this beautiful adventure together, and also for the “eye-opening” (little pun) guidance during the whole journey.

  27. 5 out of 5

    I once again have benefited deeply from the teachings and personalized guidance of another on-line Ananda class! It was a perfect follow up to lessons in meditations. Even if it is an overview of the whole of raja yoga both the written materials and audios are great at sharing its essences and was exactly what I needed!
    I also took advantage of the help offered by Dhyan and asked questions as they came up. His kindness and knowledgeable answers were greatly appreciated! I would encourage anybody who has any questions to not hesitate and ask them, because it helps to the clarification you seek and Dhyan is a a beautiful soul quite able to help you in this area!

  28. 5 out of 5

    When I was taking this course, my life went through many changes, it made me very busy and frustrated, almost wanted to quit this course due to not enough time to learn. After two weeks delay of my Quiz, I allocated whole day to catch up. When I was going through the reading and writing my delayed quiz, I gain the high energy from the reading material. I reflected a lot on my life experience with the learning material, and it’s perfect. I was able to regain my inner strength and will power to deal with the life challenges. Special thanks to teacher Dhyan, his feedback and email to me had provided me with very positive energy. He helped me to see the challenges I was facing was good learning material for me to achieve another height of the spiritual development. I am very happy I didn’t quit in the middle of the course. I will go for the third one now.

  29. 5 out of 5

    My eyes have been opened. Many thanks and blessings to everyone at Ananda and especially to Dhyan for sharing true teachings and revelations to seeking souls.

  30. 5 out of 5

    I have had very much a feeling of ‘coming home’ through this course and the previous one. So much of what I have read or heard over the years, often from vastly different sources, (and often forgotten) seems to have come together. I remember reading once that a definition of good writing is that, when you come to the end of one paragraph, the questions in your mind are answered in the next paragraph. So it has been with these courses, that what I was wondering about was explained in the next lesson. I have been very impressed by the simplicity and clarity of the teachings, but also the range of cover from basic meditation techniques, which attracted me in the first place, to deeply philosophical explanations of the fundamental origins of the world (also simply and clearly expressed).
    Having begun by wanting to improve my meditations, I have found this course has deepened my experience and understanding of meditation and brought to the forefront the need to spend more time and energy on spiritual practice. I have no hesitation in recommending it very highly to anyone seeking to follow the spiritual path.

  31. 5 out of 5

    This class was an inspiring journey of self reflection and devotion. The instructors are always available to clarify and offer support. Leave yourself enough time to absorb each chapter and especially the additional resource of Swami’s advice and guidance offered each week by recording.

  32. 5 out of 5

    This course was as expected-amazing. All the teachings for me are like building a fence so that we can meditate without bothering too much about the outside world. Dhyan has been excellent in providing guidance and answers. For me this course is the stepping stone to learn Kriya Yoga and not just a recreational activity. Paramhansa Yogananda’s teachings are practical in as much as worldly people can co relate to them and see why spirituality is so important for all of us.

  33. 5 out of 5

    This is really an inspiring course, very well built and a lot of tools are offered to guide thé students. The support of thé teacher is sublime, heartfelt expressions and compassionate words make this course all together blissfull. ❤️

  34. 5 out of 5

    I’m so happy to have found these lessons and Dhyan Davis is a true, living example of the teachings. I can honestly say that I’ve gained more tangible progress and confidence in both my physical and spiritual life with this path than I have in all previous years of seeking combined. These lessons and techniques match perfectly with my way of life and I feel like I’m on a wonderful, (yet often challenging:) battle against my inner enemies. It’s like being engaged in a delightful scavenger hunt of exploration and Self discovery in each moment. My doubts, fears and confusion are fading one-by-one and the understanding and connection to the Self is growing stronger and more powerful each day! I am so eager and ready to continue and can’t imagine my life without these Ananda lessons from the masters. I keep thinking how lucky I am to be alive and prepared right now in this era where all these teachings are available in digital format, allowing us to practice and train while still living in the world and going about our daily lives. Thank you!

Course Outline

  • Reading Assignment — The History and Paths of Yoga: Philosophy, Breathing, and Meditation
  • Audio File — First Steps in Yoga & Meditation, Part One and Two
  • Audio File — Pathways to God: Heart, Head, & Hands
  • Lesson One Quiz
  • Reading Assignment — Patanjali’s Ashtanga Yoga: Philosophy, Breathing, and Meditation
  • Audio File — Patanjali’s Ashtanga Yoga
  • Lesson Two Quiz
  • Reading Assignment — Yama: Philosophy, Breathing, and Meditation
  • Audio File — Weeding Your Garden of Self-Realization (Yama)
  • Lesson Three Quiz
  • Reading Assignment — Niyama: Philosophy, Breathing, and Meditation
  • Audio File — Watering Your Flowers of Self-Realization (Niyama)
  • Lesson Four Quiz
  • Reading Assignment — Life Is a Battlefield: Philosophy, Breathing, and Meditation
  • Audio File — How to Develop Good Habits
  • Lesson Five Quiz
  • Reading Assignment — Affirmations, Part One and Two: Philosophy, Breathing, and Meditation
  • Audio File — How to Control Your Subconscious Mind
  • Lesson Six Quiz
  • Reading Assignment — Energy and Energization: Philosophy, Posture, Breathing, and Meditation
  • Audio File — How to Become a Dynamo of Energy
  • Lesson Seven Quiz
  • Reading Assignment — Magnetism: Philosophy, Breathing, and Meditation
  • Audio File — How & Why To Develop Your Magnetism
  • Lesson Eight Quiz
  • Reading Assignment — The Guru: Philosophy, Breathing, and Meditation
  • Audio File — What Is a Guru?
  • Lesson Nine Quiz
  • Reading Assignment – The Anatomy of Yoga, Part One and Two: Philosophy, Breathing, and Meditation
  • Audio File – The Anatomy of Yoga, Part One and Two
  • Lesson Ten Quiz
  • Reading Assignment – The Yogic Scheme of Life: Philosophy, Breathing, and Meditation
  • Lesson Elleven Quiz
After completion of all eleven lessons and quizzes, you can receive your Certificate of Completion.

Frequently Asked Questions

Once the course ends, students no longer have access to it. You will have thirteen full weeks to complete the eleven lessons. The recommended pace is one lesson per week, so there are two additional weeks as a cushion. Additionally, you are able to download all pdf and mp3 material. If you find that you want longer access to the course material, you are welcome to enroll in Art and Science of Raja Yoga Full Course at a reduced rate. Contact admin@onlinewithananda for coupon code.
The classes are not at any particular time of day. One lesson is opened up each week. The content is available 24/7. Each opened lesson will remain open for the duration of the course. The only thing that is at a particular time are the weekly webinars* which are Wednesdays from 3:00 to 4:00 pm Pacific Time calculate your local time here.

*All webinars are recorded and posted within the course, available for later viewing.

The webinars which include: yogic philosophy, guided breathing and meditation, and discussions are every Wednesday from 3:00 pm to 4:00 pm Pacific Time calculate your local time here.
All live events are recorded for those unable to attend live. We send the link to the recording to everyone enrolled in the course.
If you have extenuating circumstances, and are unable to complete the course in the given time frame, you may request a one time re-enrollment in the next session at no charge.
The time commitment varies with each student and varies with each lesson. Some of the lessons may require a little more time. 1 to 1 1/2 hours a day would be average amount of time commitment.