Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras are a stirring cry to us to transcend all religious differences. Their basic message is, “Here are methods that can be tested and proved. You can know what God is from personal experience.”

Demystifying Patanjali, by Swami Kriyananda

Be a channel of higher consciousness for those in need

Experience the very essence of Yoga with Ananda’s unique approach to the Yoga Sutras. Under the expert guidance of Nayaswami Gyandev and Nayaswami Diksha, you’ll go beyond philosophy to understand more deeply how to access the higher realms of consciousness—and begin to do it. Paramhansa Yogananda’s action-oriented teachings will give you the practical tools to get there.

This course is an empowering blend of step-by-step methods, deep insights, clear direction, and support from both faculty and classmates.

You will learn how to:

Take steps toward a direct experience of the highest states of awareness: Samadhi, Oneness, Divine Union.

Get beyond the kleshas: the five causes of suffering and spiritual stagnation.

Unlock the subtle keys of successful living—and successful spiritual striving—within Ashtanga Yoga, the Eightfold Path.

Overcome the nine obstructing distractions and traps that plague the mind and hold you back.

Experience directly the truths of Patanjali through meditation and pranayama (energy-control) techniques taught by Paramhansa Yogananda and Swami Kriyananda.

Understand the subtler dimensions of “feeling” — some impede your progress, some help you, and some are blissful beyond words.

Integrate the essence of Yoga into your daily life in ways that are profound and powerful, yet down-to-earth and practical.

Take your practice of meditation to a deeper-than-ever level.

Develop the attitudes—some will be familiar, some might not—that are essential for success in the spiritual life.

Share with others the practical gems of wisdom from the Yoga Sutras.

People talk about calming the mind in order to meditate. Although that’s true, it’s not the main thing. It’s the heart that needs to be calmed in order to meditate. It’s the desires of the heart that agitate the mind.

—Swami Kriyananda

Course activities

You can engage in course activities at times that are convenient for you, although you need to keep up with all coursework on a week-by-week basis. Each week includes:

  • Video, audio, and reading assignments that give you a variety of perspectives on important topics in the art and science of Yoga.
  • Activities in which you’ll learn how to apply the Sutras’ principles and techniques effectively in your meditations and in your daily life.
  • A “live” webinar each Saturday morning (Pacific time), with presented material as well as discussion and Q&A. The webinars will be recorded for the benefit of those who cannot attend.
  • Class discussions (written, not “live”) that explore more deeply how to apply the course material in your life, and in the lives of yoga or meditation students who seek your guidance.
  • Review exercises that highlight—and help you absorb—the central points of the week’s lessons.
  • Guided sadhanas (spiritual practices, mostly meditation-related) that will bring Patanjali’s wisdom to life through your own inner experience.

Course materials

Your main textbook is Demystifying Patanjali, by Swami Kriyananda, who is Ananda’s founder and a close, direct disciple of Paramhansa Yogananda. You’ll also receive special articles, audios, and videos by Paramhansa Yogananda, Swami Kriyananda, and other Ananda teachers.

Demystifying Patanjali is highly readable: clear, concise, practical, and deep. It will give you new insights into the universal truths that underlie all spiritual traditions, and how to experience them through the nonsectarian tools of Yoga.

We recommend that you buy Demystifying Patanjali before the course begins (the book is not included in the course tuition), and read as much of it in advance as time allows. With this link, you’ll receive a 30% discount on your preferred version: ebook or paperback.

Patanjali was an enlightened master, writing from a state of realization as well as practical knowledge. Far more than mere philosophical speculation, the Sutras come from revealed knowledge and serve as a road map for those who would explore the realm of Self-realization.

How to Meditate, by Nayaswami Jyotish

Meet Your Instructors

Nayaswami Gyandev, PhD, E-RYT 500

Gyandev is director of the Ananda School of Yoga & Meditation. A Certified Online Instructor, he has been teaching online for more than 10 years. He is also director of Ananda Yoga worldwide and co-directs the Ananda Meditation Teacher Training programs (online and in person). He has been training teachers of yoga and meditation for more than 25 years.

Gyandev is a Kriyacharya (teacher of Kriya Yoga), and he is known for his clarity of presentation, deep insights, high energy, kindness, and humor. He has shared the yoga teachings for more than 35 years with people from all walks of life, and from all over the world. Swami Kriyananda asked Gyandev to write the forward for this course’s textbook, Demystifying Patanjali.

A co-founder of Yoga Alliance, Gyandev has authored four books (including Spiritual Yoga: Awakening to Higher Awareness) as well as numerous video and audio products. From his base at The Expanding Light Retreat in Northern California, he also teaches across the U.S., and in Canada, India, and Europe.

Nayaswami Diksha, E-RYT 500

Diksha is a senior faculty member of the Ananda School of Yoga & Meditation and E-RYT 500. An experienced online instructor, she directs both the online and the in-person versions of Ananda Spiritual Counseling Training, and she co-direct Ananda Meditation Teacher Training.

Diksha has been practicing and sharing the yoga teachings for more than 30 years, and training meditation and yoga teachers for more than 20 years. A powerful and dynamic woman of great warmth and humor, she is gifted in both intelligence and intuition. In addition to teaching online and at The Expanding Light Retreat in Northern California, she has shared yogic teachings across the U.S., and in Canada, India, and Europe.

A native Israeli, Diksha moved to the U.S. in 1990. She brings a broad background to her teaching—from physical wellness to Ayurveda to profound spiritual understanding. Above all, she awakens in her students their own inner wisdom and the will and clarity to make positive changes in their lives.

Special Guest Instructors

Two of Ananda’s most widely travelled and experienced teachers, Pranaba and Parvati will each present briefly on a Yoga Sutras topic that they find particularly helpful or inspiring. They taught the in-person version of this Yoga Sutras course for a number of years, and we’re delighted that they will also share some of their penetrating insights in this online version.
An excellent teacher loved for her wisdom, sensitive listening, and compassion, Mangala is also director of Ananda Yoga® Therapist Training. She will teach two “live” webinars: one for all students, and one only for Ananda Yoga® Therapy trainees.
Gifted with a special ability to help others discover the inner practice of yoga, Melody directs Level 1 Ananda Yoga® Teacher Training. She will teach several special “live” asana workshops for Ananda Yoga teachers.
Karen is an Ananda Yoga teacher trainer and Ananda Yoga Therapist. Upbeat and articulate, with infectious enthusiasm, she will teach several special “live” asana workshops for Ananda Yoga teachers.


This course is open to everyone; no prior experience with the Yoga Sutras is required. Ananda Yoga® and Ananda Meditation® teachers who seek advanced certification will have extra assignments of practice teaching of Yoga Sutras material; the yoga teachers will also have weekly asana workshops (and higher tuition). Aside from those extras, everyone will have the same course experience.
Everyone moves through the course together, week by week. This leads to enriching interactions with classmates and builds a dynamic learning community that you’ll enjoy—and benefit from—immensely.
Those who seek advanced Ananda certification can expect to spend 5–7 hours per week. Everyone else can spend as much or as little time as they like—although you’ll certainly benefit from full participation, which we estimate will take 4–5 hours per week.
You can do most of your coursework at times that are convenient for you, provided you stay up to date with all assignments. Although the “live” course events will be recorded for the benefit of those who cannot attend, everyone is expected to attend at least some “live” events:
  • Webinars each Saturday morning, Pacific time (plus one more at a time to be announced)
  • For Ananda teachers: practice teaching Yoga Sutras topics with classmates via Zoom at mutually convenient times
  • For Ananda Yoga teachers: asana workshops each Sunday morning.
Plentiful interaction is a best practice in online learning, and this course is built upon best practices. You’ll love being part of the supportive learning community that forms, as everyone interacts via discussions, Q&A forums, and webinars. Those seeking an advanced Ananda certification will also practice teaching classmates online.
Yes, and we recommend it! The course website will open two weeks before the official start of the course. You can also buy your textbook, Demystifying Patanjali, by Swami Kriyananda (see “Course materials” above), and read as much of it as you can before the course begins. Pre-course reading is not required, but you’ll be happy that you did it.
The course website is easy to use, plus it offers “how to” instructions to help you. There is also a special “tech help” webinar early in the course. Only Ananda teachers who seek an advanced Ananda certification need to make and upload videos; that’s not difficult, but if you think you’ll need help, we recommend that you find a helper/tutor prior to the course.
You will need a paid account only if you are seeking an advanced Ananda certification and have no computer (only a tablet or smartphone). A paid Zoom account costs $15/month, and it would be needed during only one month of the course.
Yes, it offers 30+ hours of continuing education for Yoga Alliance RYTs.

For those who have already received Level 1 Ananda certification, satisfactory completion also earns credit toward certification as a Level 2 Ananda Yoga Teacher, Level 2 Ananda Meditation Teacher, and/or Ananda Yoga Therapist (and therefore Yoga Therapist certification via the International Association of Yoga Therapists).

More Questions? Write us at

Take your spiritual life to the next level

Living the Yoga Sutras: Practical Steps to Higher Awareness
6-week Online Course

Dates: October 06 to November 17, 2021

Early-bird Tuition: $395 ($595 for Ananda Yoga teachers seeking Level 2 certification)
(Early-bird Application deadline: September 20, Payment deadline: September 22)

Regular Tuition: $450 ($650)

Tuition does not include the course textbook.

This course offers 30+ hours of continuing education credit for Yoga Alliance RYTs.

Apply Now