Yoga, Tantra and Meditation in Daily Life
by Swami Janakananda Saraswati
Third Extended and Revised Edition
Bindu Publishers 2015
128 pages, more than 200 photos and illustrations
What is yoga and meditation really?
Through the original yoga, human consciousness is expanded. The body becomes strong and supple and the mind calm. You become conscious of your life patterns and acquire a firm basis for self-reliance and inner contentment. By strengthening your ability to relax and let go, and by sustaining a high level of energy, you give your life a totally new quality.
Yoga, Tantra and Meditation in Daily Life differs from most other books on yoga and meditation; it has its fundament in the tantric tradition - that is, the authors intention and interest is to offer you the possibility to achieve tangible results, rather than to present philosophical explanations, create dreams or follow the fleeting fashions in the yoga of today.
By following the simple procedures in this book, you can set up your own daily programme of exercises and meditation in a way that is comfortable for you and your present way of living. Step by step you are guided through the subject, so that you can use it and benefit from the different poses, breathing exercises, meditations and the tantric sexual yoga. And, as a bonus, you will get an understanding of what yoga is really about.
This yoga and meditation book, firmly rooted in the tradition, has become a modern classic.
In it, you will find:
- The eight steps in yoga and the different spheres of the yoga tradition; Hatha, Swara, Raja, Bhakti, Karma, Jnana, Tantra and more.
- The various yoga programmes, which make up the main part of the book, with thorough and easy to follow instructions:
* Yoga poses (Asana), both dynamic and serene poses
* Breathing exercises (Pranayama); for energy, clarity and tranquillity
* Yoga for the eyes
* Energy attitudes and -locks (Mudra and Bandha)
* Meditation poses
- The original sexual practices of tantra yoga
- Chakra and Kundalini yoga
- Calmness of mind - Letting go - To have a relaxed relationship to influences
- The deep relaxation Yoga Nidra
- The meditations: Inner Silence and the preliminary Kriya Yoga
- Concentration methods
- Yoga in daily life
Written and said about the book
I can highly recommend this book by one of the best living teachers in the world today.
This yoga book, which introduces the reader to various traditional yoga methods, was published in the early 1970's. But the timeless teaching of the book is of course as valuable and up to date now as it was then. Swami Janakananda, founder of the Scandinavian Yoga and Meditation School, explains the different branches of yoga and then describes many techniques, ranging from numerous Asanas (including several ways to use the Sun I Greet You) and breathing exercises, to Pratyahara and meditations from the tantric Kriya yoga. The sexual tantric ritual is also described. There are programs for different purposes, ranging from eye exercises to a program for the back. In addition, the book is an interesting and credible source of explanations and guidance for many elements on the path of yoga. Something that you don´t find, to the same degree, in many of the newer yoga books.
I am writing this letter to tell you how pleased I am with the book Yoga, Tantra and Meditation in Daily Life.
I have also recently bought the CD Experience Yoga Nidra.
I am very pleased of what I saw and heard. I have read many yoga books and tried to follow them, but they were not filled with much information.
Your book tends to go into more detail about each asana, breathing exercise and meditation.
Many of my friends didn’t understand yoga until I showed them your book and they found it very fascinating.
Personally, I have tried different kinds of exercises such as weight lifting which afterwards made me feel very tired and sore.
I also tried Tai Chi, which is similar to yoga and meditation, but I found out that yoga gives a better overall relaxing effect than Tai Chi.
I have only been doing yoga for about eight months, but I am inspired by yoga more and more each day.
I have been doing the classical poses in the ‘Yoga, Tantra and Meditation’ book now for a few months.
In closing, I would like to thank you for the wonderful material and some day I would like to travel to Sweden and go to your school.
I love this book! It has a highly serious and traditional, yet pure, honest, light and heart-full approach to yoga.
I attended the Scandinavian school for Yoga and Meditation for several years, founded by Swami Janakananda. I always felt their approach to yoga was fully spiritually devoted yet very down to Earth and I'm happy that became my entrance to yoga. Down to Earth is a good place to start ;)
I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in yoga, whether you are beginner or advanced you will find something in it to inspire you and help you go further!
Without lofty promises, without prohibitions or prejudices, everybody learns what is essential. The result is up to the individual, but the contents of the book might very well mean a transformation for the reader.
For a long time I have had a yearning to take up yoga, but have been put off by the narrow scholarly and religious approaches that often seemed apparent. Your approach, and the convenient inclusion of tantra and kundalini was so refreshing, and just what I had been looking for. I could thoroughly identify with everything you said; not only that, but I felt that the way in which you communicated your knowledge and beliefs was perfect.
Yoga, Tantra and Meditation in Daily Life is an inspiring and, above all, refreshingly practical book. It has been written by a man who understands his trade and knows what he is talking about - you feel this when reading it. Even people who already know something about yoga will be surprised at how much this book offers. The last four chapters exclusively treat the theme of meditation and belong to the best of what I have read on the subject.
Tantra means liberating oneself by expanding inside one's own world. It is the philosophy that instead of changing one's whole life to become ´spiritual´, one can simply begin to appreciate every part of life as spiritual. This book by Swami Janakananda is a classic text among the first generation yoga practitioners in the West that explains the whole thought behind yoga practice from asanas to meditation to philosophy, all within the framework of a tantric approach to life.
The pictures and style of the book offer a peek into the world of yoga in the 70s when it was just beginning to formulate itself within Western culture. Fortunately, yoga ages like wine. Passed down for generations of teachers to students, older texts can show us clear glimpses of the original intention and timeless wisdom. This one doesn't go back as far as the Bhagavad Gita, but a lot has happened to yoga since it was first brought across the ocean. Swami Janakananda was a direct disciple of Swami Satyananda Saraswati, and his thorough knowledge of all aspects of yoga comes through in his practical and open-minded approach to the teachings.
High Praise for Yoga, Tantra and Meditation in Daily Life
Swami Janakananda doesn't hide the problems, on the contrary he illuminates them and shows us how to deal with them… With this openness, the book provides us with a solid foundation for self-reliance in such contexts. As far as I know this unusual quality of Swami Janakananda is quite unique among yoga teachers in the West.
I just read your wonderful book on Yoga and Tantra. The presentation of the information is so clear, straight forward and unpretentious. I am amazed at how effective some of these methods of meditation are. The simple act of sitting motionless and experiencing the body, breath and mind is very powerful. I have worked out my little morning routine of yoga, some breathing and some quiet meditation. It is so refreshing and makes my entire day wonderful.
I have recommended this book to many friends, beginners as well as more experienced practitioners, because it serves as a good introduction and a refresher for those who have practiced for quite awhile.
I wish this would have been the first exposure I had to this tradition. I would have wasted a lot less time.
Of four good yoga books I've read, this one is the best.
Though many books are available on Raja Yoga, Yoga, Tantra and Meditation in Daily Life by Swami Janakananda is recommended. It is well organized and written in a clear, simple and down-to-earth manner.
In Swami Janakananda Saraswati the West has been given a teacher capable of uniting thousand year old science with a creative, reality-based life for everyone. This book is a milestone in European culture.