The Essence of the Sutras Online

  • Oct 6 – Nov 17, 2021

with Nayaswami Gyandev and Nayaswami Diksha


The Essence of the Yoga Sutras

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.”

Patanjali brings to mankind more than a fresh breath of truth: he brings the wind of a new reality, redolent with fresh drafts of hope—hope not only for a better, but for a perfect future!

— from Demystifying Patanjali, by Swami Kriyananda


The Yoga Sutras are much more than philosophy. They offer a specific, action-oriented way to delve into the inner reaches of your consciousness, and understand more deeply who you are, who you can be, and what stands between you and that shining goal. Above all, they give you the tools that will help you achieve that goal.

You will learn:

  • How to spot the obstacles to Yoga, the factors that hold you back spiritually, and how to overcome them.
  • What the state of Samadhi – Oneness, Divine Union — actually is, and how you can move toward a direct experience of it.
  • How to unlock the subtle layers of meaning within Ashtanga Yoga, the Eightfold Path, and use it to enhance both your spiritual practices and your everyday life.
  • Meditation and pranayama (breath-control) techniques taught by Paramhansa Yogananda and Swami Kriyananda, to help you experience inwardly the truths that Patanjali taught.
  • How to develop the attitudes — both familiar and, perhaps, unfamiliar — that are essential for success in the spiritual life.
  • Practical applications of the Yoga Sutras for everyday living. You will learn how to integrate the essence of Yoga into your daily life in ways that are both profound and down-to-earth.
  • How to recognize and avoid the distractions and traps that can delay, divert, and or even prevent spiritual growth.

Course activities

Each weeks’ activities will include:

  • Viewing videos and listening to audios, that give you overviews of the course reading material as well as to go deeper into some course topics.
  • Exploring reading assignments in Swami Kriyananda’s book, Demystifying Patanjali, as well as a number of supplemental articles. (We will cover the entire book in the course; you’ll gain even more if you read the book in advance.)
  • Attending a “live” webinar each Saturday morning (Pacific time). The webinars will be recorded for the benefit of those who cannot attend “live.”
  • Participating in discussion forums to explore more deeply how to apply the course material in your life, as well as in the lives of others who might seek guidance from you.
  • Completing journaling assignments in which you introspect on your personal application of the Sutras’ principles in your life.
  • Engage in guided Sutras sadhanas (sessions of spiritual practices: Energization Exercises, pranayama breathing techniques, chanting, and meditation) by following pre-recorded audios and videos.


Patanjali, (the author of the Yoga Sutras) 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.

from How to Meditate, by Nayaswami Jyotish


Attention: Ananda Yoga and Meditation Teachers

Graduates of Level 1 Ananda Meditation Teacher Training who seek certification as a Level 2 Ananda Meditation Teacher must participate fully in all of the above activities. Additional requirements include making videos of yourself presenting material from this course.

Graduates of Ananda Yoga Teacher Training or Bridge to Ananda Yoga who seek certification in Ananda Yoga Therapy or as a Level 2 Ananda Yoga Teacher must meet the same requirements as those seeking Level 2 Ananda Meditation Teacher certification. In addition, they will be required to attend special sadhanas/workshops that focus on asanas beyond those covered in Level 1 Ananda Yoga Teacher Training.

Meet Your Instructors

Nayaswami Gyandev

A dedicated meditator since 1974, Gyandev is known for his clarity of presentation, deep insights, high energy, kindness, and humor. He has taught meditation for more than 35 years to people from all walks of life. Swami Kriyananda asked Gyandev to write the forward for his book, Demystifying Patajanli.

Gyandev is a Certified Online Instructor, and director and a senior faculty member of the Ananda School of Yoga & Meditation in Northern California. He is also director of Ananda Yoga worldwide and co-director of the Ananda Meditation Teacher Training programs. From his base at The Expanding Light Retreat, he also teaches across the U.S., and in India and Europe.

Gyandev is a Kriyacharya (teacher of Kriya Yoga), co-founder of Yoga Alliance, and an E-RYT 500. He is the author of three books (including Spiritual Yoga: Awakening to Higher Awareness) and numerous audio and video products.


Nayaswami Diksha

Diksha is a senior faculty member of the Ananda School of Yoga & Meditation in Northern California. She directs the Ananda Spiritual Counseling Training and co-directs the Ananda Meditation Teacher Training programs.

Diksha has been meditating for more than 30 years, and training meditation teachers for more than 20 years. A powerful and dynamic woman of great warmth and humor, she is gifted in both intelligence and intuition. She has shared yogic teachings across the U.S., and in Canada and Europe.

A native Israeli who moved to the U.S. in 1990, Diksha 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 to make positive changes in their lives.



Q: What are the prerequisites for this course?

A: Anyone can participate. Some specialized activities, however, are only for graduates of Ananda Yoga Teacher Training, Bridge to Ananda Yoga, and Ananda Meditation Teacher Training.

Q: Does everyone have to complete all the assignments?

A: Those who are not seeking an Ananda certification need not complete any of the assignments if they don’t wish to—although doing so could certainly benefit them. However, those who do seek certification as Level 2 Ananda Meditation Teacher or a Level 2 Ananda Yoga Teacher need to complete all assignments in a timely manner.

Q: Is the course self-paced, or does everyone move through the course together?

A: Everyone moves through the course together, week by week. This makes for quality interactions with classmates and builds a dynamic learning community that you’ll enjoy immensely. However, those who are not seeking an Ananda certification can participate totally at their own pace, if and when they wish to participate, until the course website closes one month after the course concludes.

Q: Are there specific times when I will need to be online for, say, a webinar?

A: All coursework can be done at times that are convenient for you. It’s ideal to attend the weekly “live” webinars (usually on Saturday mornings, Pacific time), but they are recorded for those who cannot attend.

Q: How much schedule flexibility do I need to have?

A: You will be free to do your coursework at whatever times of day suit your schedule. Those seeking an Ananda certification must participate on multiple days each week (often just 15 minutes), plus they will need to make time to meet with classmates for practice teaching. Everyone else is free to participate as they wish.

Q: Will I get to interact with other students and instructors in the course?

A: Yes, you'll have lots of interactionn—in discussion forums, Q&A forums, and the webinars. Plentiful interaction is a best practice in online learning, and this course is based in best practices. You’ll love being part of the supportive learning community that forms.

Q: I want to get a head start. Is there a way I can begin the coursework early?

A: Yes, and we recommend it! Buy your textbook (Demystifying Patanjali, by Swami Kriyananda) early, 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.

Q: I am concerned about some of the technological elements of the course: I’ve never done an online training, or used Zoom, or made a video of myself and posted it online.

A: The course web page is easy to use and intuitive, plus it offers “how to” instructions to help you. You can also attend a special “tech help” webinar early in the course. Making videos is required only for those seeking an Ananda certification, and these days, everyone knows someone who can help them make and upload videos to the web. If you think you will need such help, we recommend that you find a helper/tutor prior to the course.

Q: Will I need to have a paid Zoom account?

A: Anyone who does not seek an Ananda certification needs only a free Zoom account. Those seeking certification will be required to video-record certain Zoom-based teaching assignments, which they can do with a computer and a free Zoom Basic account. With a mobile device, one can record only to the Zoom cloud, which requires a paid Zoom account ($15/month) for about one month of the course.

More Questions? Write us here

Gain insights that will help you in every area of life

6-week Online Course

Tuition: $295 (Until Sept 22) After that: $350

Your textbook, Demystifying Patanjali, is not included in the course fees. We recommend that you buy the book well before the course begins, and read it.

Dates: October 06 to November 17, 2021


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