Yogoda is a type of meditation-based yoga (called Raja yoga) that is practiced to purportedly achieve self realization and enlightenment. Raja yoga involves psycho-physical meditation techniques to experience what proponents refer to as "the truth." In essence, yogoda combines spirituality, meditation, and yoga to purportedly help people reach higher levels of consciousness and live balanced lives.
In the early 1900s, a famous swami (a yogi) named Paramahansa Yogananda created the idea of yogoda. He first started practicing yogoda in India, but he soon built an American following by giving frequent talks and lectures about his form of yoga. Yogananda welcomed individuals from all cultural, racial, and spiritual backgrounds to practice yogoda.
His followers bought a retreat house outside of Los Angeles so that yogoda could be taught and practiced. This place later became known as the Self-Realization Fellowship, or SRF (known in India as the Yogoda Satsanga Society or YSS). According to the group, SRF/YSS is devoted to the spiritual uplifting of mankind.
Although Yogananda died in 1952, he still has an international following. He is also famous for the book "Autobiography of a Yogi."
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