We all know the power of yoga when it comes to healing our body, mind, and soul. Kriya yoga is a form of yoga that will not only provide the benefits of other types of yoga but will take your spiritual journey to the next level.
Kriya Yoga (Yoga of Practice)
A practice that has been around for many centuries, Kriya Yoga is an ancient yoga technique that was revived in 1861 by Yogi Mahacatar Babaji. Kriya Yoga was found to be a hidden secret for many centuries until it’s revival in the Himalayas, then later brought over to the Western world by Paramhansa Yogananda.
The word ‘Kriya’ translates to internal action. When you perform an internal action, you do not involve external elements such as the mind and body. Mastering the technique of performing an action using your energy is the performance of Kriya.
In a more traditional sense, ‘Kriya’ implies an action that provides feelings of freedom and release.
Benefits of Kriya Yoga
Kriya Yoga provides multiple benefits to your physical and mental well-being. Some of the added benefits are mentioned below.
- Helps to reduce hypertension
- Lowers blood pressure levels
- Helps to reduce and treat depression
- Helps to reduce feelings of anxiety
- Helps you manage your stress
- Provides soothing and calming effect on the mind
- Stimulates the mind
- Improves the mood and overall mental well-being
- Helps to improve pain tolerance
How Is Kriya Yoga Performed?
The following are the steps to perform Kriya Yoga:
- Start by sitting in a comfortable position on a low stool or cushion, with your knees below your pelvis.
- Place your arms wherever you feel comfortable. Traditionally, arms were placed in the lotus position where the fingers are intertwined and your thumbs lightly touch.
- With your spine straight and your back upright, allow yourself to feel relaxed and let the calmness and relaxation take over your mind and body.
- Slowly close your eyes or lower your gaze to the floor and focus on a particular spot of your choosing.
- After you are comfortable in your position, spend the next five minutes allowing your body to feel more relaxed.
- Slowly start to relax all your muscle groups and put your focus on something that will put your mind at ease. It’s okay to have many thoughts coming in, but as you allow them to drift through your mind, come back to your initial relaxing thought and concentrate on that.
- Continue this practice for about 20 minutes, and as you become more comfortable with this pose, you can gradually start to increase the time spent in this practice.
Precautions to Take with Kriya Yoga
Kriya Yoga is a safe practice for individuals of all ages as long as it is practiced under the supervision of a certified professional yoga trainer. Other precautions to take with practicing Kriya Yoga are mentioned below:
- Do not practice if you are under the influence of alcohol.
- Consult your doctor before practicing Kriya Yoga if you suffer from a chronic condition and have been taking medication.
- Consult your doctor and yogi if you are pregnant to ensure you are able to perform this exercise.
If you are interested in Kriya Yoga, consult your yoga teacher to learn more and to have them guide you in the right way to perform the asana to avail the benefits of spiritual enlightenment.
Updated by Siya Rajan on 05/14/2018
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S. (n.d.). The Origin of Kriya Yoga. Retrieved from https://www.ananda.org/kriya-yoga-5/what-is-kriya-yoga/the-origin-of-kriya-yoga/