Self-Realization Fellowship Blog

“The Secret of Vitality” by Paramahansa Yogananda

April 01, 2024


In his books and Lessons, Paramahansaji shows how each of us can learn to maintain tremendous vitality in our bodies and minds — through wise use of both external physical sources of energy (proper diet, right breathing, sufficient sunshine) as well as internal sources (the divine life forces and consciousness flowing from the soul and Spirit).

He speaks of these principles in the following excerpts from “How to Work Without Fatigue,” a talk in the second volume of Collected Talks and Essays by Paramahansa Yogananda, The Divine Romance.

Food is only a secondary source of energy supply. The greatest flow of energy into the body comes from the intelligent cosmic energy that is all around the body and omnipresent in the universe….

It takes hours for the body to convert [solid] food into energy, but anything that stimulates your will generates energy instantly.


The system of Energization Exercises that Self-Realization Fellowship teaches is based on the principle of using will to draw energy from the cosmic source, and to distribute that energy by will to the trillions of cells in the body.


Energy is continually wasted in useless activities, unrestrained emotions, and improper living habits. When you are at peace you use little energy, but when you are angry or hateful or otherwise emotional, you use a great deal of energy. Proper care is necessary in operating a delicate machine; the same consideration ought to apply in using the body-machine….

The secret of vitality, therefore, is to conserve the energy you have and to bring new energy into the body by will power. How?

First, you must act willingly. If a thing is worth doing, it is worth doing willingly. When you work willingly, you have more energy because you not only draw upon the reserves in the brain, but also attract a greater flow of cosmic energy into the body….

We draw most of the current for our actions from the physical supply of the body battery — energy distilled from food, oxygen, and sunshine. We don’t draw enough energy from the invisible cosmic source, through the conscious use of will.

Will and Energy Go Hand-in-Hand

There is a difference between consciously applied will and imagination. Imagination is a conception of something that one desires to manifest.

By imagining day and night that you are feeling more vitality, you will gain some strength, because imagination requires at least a small degree of will. By contrast, when one wills vitality, the energy is actually there at once.

Suppose you are angered and strike at someone violently; the will, stimulated by emotion, draws energy for that action; but immediately afterwards the energy is cut off, and your vitality is depleted.

But if in a positive way you continuously will energy into your body and apply the principle of the Self-Realization Energization Exercises, conscious life-force control, you can draw, by the use of will power, unlimited energy from the cosmic source.

Since the body is simply a cluster of cells, if it lacks energy and you thus energize the whole body with will, those cells are recharged instantly and continuously. Will is the switch that lets more energy into the body from the divine source.

Will is thus a potent factor in maintaining youth and vigor. If you convince yourself you are old, the will becomes paralyzed and you do become old.

Never say you are tired; it paralyzes the will and then you are tired. Say, “My body needs rest.” The body must not be allowed to dictate its limitations to your soul. The soul must rule the body, because the soul is neither caused by nor dependent on the body. In the soul’s will lies all power.

God willed, and there was light — the cosmic creative energy that condensed into the heavens, into our bodies, and all other forms. Will is light, for light was the first manifestation of God’s will. And He saw that this light, or electrical energy, was a satisfactory unit out of which life forms could be created.

The scientist ponders whether matter is light or whether light is matter. Light came first, and constitutes the essential structure of matter.

Therefore, we must realize that energy and will go together. It is a very simple formula. We have been so conditioned to the idea that energy comes only from material sources, that we fail to believe in and draw upon the cosmic source, which responds instantly to will.

If you learn the Self-Realization method by which you use your will to draw energy directly from the boundless cosmic source, you will not suffer from fatigue anymore.


To learn Paramahansa Yogananda’s SRF Energization Exercises and the complete science of meditation taught as part of the Kriya Yoga path, we invite you to read about and consider applying for the Self-Realization Fellowship Lessons — a comprehensive home-study course from Paramahansaji that shares his in-depth how-to-live teachings for creating vitality and maximum well-being of body, mind, and soul.

“Through gradual and regular increase of the simple and foolproof methods of Kriya Yoga,” he wrote in Autobiography of a Yogi, “man’s body becomes astrally transformed day by day, and is finally fitted to express the infinite potentials of cosmic energy.”

Leave a comment

I had terrible planar fasciitis in my right foot for over a year. Nothing helped. I hated to get up and walk on it. Started the energization exercises and with a couple weeks the pain was gone. I can't explain it other than the exercises -- a true gift from the Master.

Carolyn Thomas

My husband has been recovering at home from a long illness beginning with a 5 month hospital stay in 2022 at which time he nearly died. He performs Energization lying down everyday before meditation, Kriya, and talking to the Masters. He thanks me for suggesting that he do the exercises in the hospital as best he could even if only mentally. He is slowly regaining his strength. He has setbacks but the Energization Exercises, his will and indomitable spirit are pulling him through. Our gratitude to the Masters and to SRF cannot be adequately expressed in words. We bow to all of you.

Vishwajeet Jharia

Practicing Energization exercises, added with Kriya Yoga for last 25 years ,I made it a part of my daily routine, it gives me untiring willingness and success in all my works . Jai Guru Dev

Mala Samaroo

Jai Gurudev, thank you for everything you are giving to all of your chelas. I cannot live in this world with my divine Gurudev’s guidance and protections🙏♥️🦢✨🪷

Martin Madsen

Such powerful truths! Just reading this makes one feel energized. Jai Guru!


The Energization Exercises are so very wonderful! They have been the source of my energy and strength for decades. Throughout the inevitable tests of life - caring for my children and my parents… I am so grateful for this wonderful technique!

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