Energization Exercises: A series of psychophysical exercises developed by Paramahansa Yogananda in 1916 to prepare the body for meditation. Regular practice promotes mental and physical relaxation and develops dynamic will power. Making use of the breath, life force, and concentrated attention, the technique enables one to draw abundant energy consciously into the body, purifying and strengthening all the body parts systematically in turn. The Energization Exercises, which take about fifteen minutes to perform, are one of the most effective means of eliminating stress and nervous tension. Practicing them prior to meditation is a great help in entering a calm, interiorized state of awareness.
The actual technique is given to students of the Self-Realization Fellowship Lessons after a preliminary period of study and practice of the three preparatory techniques taught by Paramahansa Yogananda.
Master wrote in the Autobiography: “Realizing that man’s body is like an electric battery, I reasoned that it could be recharged with energy through the direct agency of the human will…I therefore taught the Ranchi students my simple ‘Yogoda’ techniques by which the life force, centered in man’s medulla oblongata, can be consciously and instantly recharged from the unlimited supply of cosmic energy.” …
Master used to do the Energization Exercises with the monks every day. One day as they were performing them, one monk was thinking, “Master is doing them too fast.” They finished, and as they entered the chapel for meditation, Master turned to the monk and whispered, “That’s because I have more concentration than you do.” …
Some years ago I had the opportunity to spend two or three years with Brother Turiyananda at Lake Shrine. Perhaps many of you have heard numerous stories about Brother Turiyananda. One time he was to give a class on the Energization Exercises, and, typical of Brother T, prior to getting ready to teach this class he practiced the Energization Exercises eight times a day!! I was quite inspired by this, and so when I was asked to give this class I started practicing them three or four times a day…it really did have an effect on me; I felt calmer, more clear, more awake.
If for some reason you cannot do the exercises physically, then do them mentally. This has a wonderful effect. …
Master set an example by doing them twice every day. He didn’t need to. But no matter what time it was when he finished his work, even if it was midnight or in the early hours of the morning, he would go outside to do the Energization Exercises before meditation. Daya Ma said that she knew he didn’t need to do them, but that he was setting an example for the devotees.
One time Master was on a trip to Northern California with some of the devotees. They were going up the coast, and it was late at night when they finally stopped. They pulled the house car over, and he had the devotees get out and begin the Energization Exercises right there on the sidewalk. Two policemen came by and were looking at them, wondering what in the world they were doing. Some of the devotees got embarrassed and stopped. But Master told them, “No. Continue on.” When one of the policemen asked what they were doing, Master told them, “Oh, we’re just exercising.” Embarrassment was not an excuse for not doing them!
Master said, “The methods I teach show you how to recharge every part of your body with life energy coming direct from the omnipresent vibratory power of God that surrounds you and is within you. It is that power which has created your body and which sustains it. By practice of the Energization Exercises and especially by Kriya Yoga, you can enliven your whole being with Divine Life.”
excerpts from “Recharging the Body with Cosmic Energy” by Brother Naradananda, devotee notes