The energization exercises of Paramhansa Yogananda are a unique contribution of Yogananda to the science of yoga. They are a system of exercises that teach us to use the power of the will to control the conscious life force (prana) that flows through us at all times.
By consciously directing the life force to parts of our body, we can awaken the body cells and revitalize the systems pertinent to our energy and quality of life. We can begin to awaken each cell in our body and access the natural healing life force all around us, bringing it within.
“The whole purpose of true exercises is to awaken the inner source of energy which we have ignored throughout our lives.” –Paramhansa Yogananda
So what can energization do for you?
Here are some of the cited health benefits of these magnificent yoga exercises:
The practice of energization exercises:
- resurrects dying tissue cells and worn our mental faculties,
- helps form billions of new cells,
- circulation, respiration, digestion, and all other involuntary processes of the body are harmonized and invigorated,
- and clarifies the mind.
These exercises are unique to yoga practice because they can be done anytime, anywhere, by any individual level of health or physical ability. They are easily and naturally brought into one’s daily yoga or exercise routine, just ten minutes daily practice will give results “unequalled to most other forms of exercise.”
To practice these exercises, you will be focusing on each muscle group by tensing and relaxing with the breath. For example, you may focus first at the stomach, then the biceps, then the neck, then the calves, while sending energy and will to the center of each body part.
This video goes through all the steps and gives clear instructions for how to practice energization:
To do the breath, double inhale breath through your nose (first breath is short, second breath) and tense all the muscles in your body. Then hold and tense, vibrating with will for a few moments and visualize all the energy going through your body cells as gold healing light. Then double exhale through your mouth: first short, then long– it will make the sound of Ha Haaaa. As you exhale fully relax all the muscles in your body.
Repeat this exercise 2-3 times and release as much tension as possible with each exhalation.Try after each exhalation to draw the energy upward toward the point between your eyebrows (the frontal lobe area of our brain responsible for higher consciousness).
Now that you have an idea of how to perform the breath, you may practice focusing on different muscle groups at a time.
Another important part of these exercises is to smile, so don’t forget!
If you are wondering what these exercises do to your muscles– you can try an experiment to see the difference in energy and sensation between a side of the body that you have “energized” and the side you have not. For example, tense your left forearm (from low, medium, to high tension) with a double inhale… then relax with a double exhale (from high, medium, to low tension). Repeat 2-3 times. Then hold up both forearms out in front of you and feel how the right forearm feels in comparison to the left. Do you notice any difference?
Some people say that one side feels lighter, more invigorated, full of energy! Now imagine doing these exercises throughout your body, or even practicing them more than once per day to recharge all the different muscle groups and revitalize your cells with oxygen and positive energy. Think of all the positive affects both mentally and physically that it could have! Learning to train your mind to send energy and revitalize the cells in different parts of your body at will is an extremely valuable skill. The cumulative effects over a lifetime of practicing these exercises the recommended two times a day has incredible potential!
…Running faster, healing arthritis, preventing sickness, relieving back pain… Can you imagine how great it would be if more people knew how this simple practice could change their life without the use of harsh medications or surgeries?