What Is Kriya Yoga & The Origins Of This Spiritual Practice

Yoga has become more and more popular in modern day among those looking for a way to wind down, exercise, and relax.

While there are a plethora of physical benefits to be attained through yoga, the true roots of the practice derived from spiritual philosophies and beliefs. 

Kriya yoga, particularly, is an ancient meditation technique that exists within an overarching spiritual path.

Kriya technique is designed to target the life force energy that resides in our brain and spinal centers, the primary source of growth in our bodies.

Keep reading to learn more about Kriya Yoga.

What Is Kriya Yoga?

Kriya Yoga is a deep spiritual practice consisting of various levels of pranayama, mantra and mudra designed to spur one’s spiritual awakening and state of divine consciousness.

The practices that are done in Kriya Yoga focus directly on the spiritual energy deep in the spine.

While all styles of yoga nurture spinal energy, the Kriya technique concentrates on it very specifically.

For example, many of the postures in a typical yoga class are meant to open up the energy in the spine while the breathing exercises work to awaken that energy.

In a Kriya Yoga class, a Kriya yogi mentally directs their life force energy up and down the spine with intent.

Yogananda, one Kriya yogi, just 30 seconds of this yoga practice is equivalent to one year of natural spiritual growth.

Ancient yogis unveiled that through Kriya Yoga, the process of human evolution can be accelerated.

They believe that the mystery of cosmic consciousness is intimately linked with breath mastery.

Sounds pretty cool, right?

However, if you’re wondering how you can get yourself in to one of these classes, you might be out of luck.

In his Autobiography of a Yogi, Yogananda states that Kryia Yoga is of the more exclusive variety.

The Kriya technique in its entirety is not something that can be embraced through a book for the general public.

It can only be taught by a Kriyaban or Kriya Yogi.

The History Of Kriya Yoga

For many centuries, Kriya Yoga was one of the universe’s best kept secrets.

It was brought back to life in 1861 by Mahavatar Babaji when he mentored his disciple Lahiri Mahasaya through the technique when they came together in the Himalayas.

Paramhansa Yogananda would later go on to sanction his disciple Swami Kriyananda to initiate anyone who was qualified to learn the practice.

To this day, the practice has been succeeded by those who are initiated.

Discipleship And Kriya Yoga

To follow the truth spiritual path of Kriya Yoga, one must accept Paramhansa Yogananda and his lineage of Kriya masters as his or her’s Gurus or spiritual guides.

In order to attain such a high state of human evolution, it is imperative to be guided on the path of Kriya by someone who has reached God realization.

When it comes to Kriya yoga, these Gurus are the only one who can lead us to the true inner peace found through the path of Kriya.

Ananda Kriya Yogis accept Paramhansa Yogananda as their Guru along with the rest of his spiritual lineage which includes:

  • Babaji
  • Jesus Christ
  • Lahiri Mahasaya
  • Sri Yukteswar

Kriya Yoga Practice

In Kriya Yoga, devotees mentally send life force energy up and down the six spinal centers, which correspond to the twelve astral signs of the zodiac.

Practicing Kriya Yoga is said to purify the blood in such a way that allows the life force to pull back into the spine.

The blood is believed to decarbonize and become replenished with oxygen.

This excess oxygen evolves into life current, renewing the brain and spinal centers.

This process halts venous blood from gathering in the body, which rapidly delays the break down of tissues.

Elijah, Jesus, Kabir are among some of the prophets that were said to be Kriya masters, allowing for their bodies to materialize and dematerialize when they intended.

In essence, the body can become cleansed and restored to its natural state through a series of  kriyas (Shat-kriyas):

  • Kapalabhati: Purification of the brain.
  • Neti: Purification of the nasal track.
  • Trakata: Purification of the eyes.
  • Nauli: Purification of the stomach muscles.
  • Dhouti: Purification of the intense.
  • Vasti: Purification of the rectum.

If you are interested in benefiting from the spiritual tranquility and self-realization that can be attained through Kriya Yoga, consider searching for a Kriya yoga retreat offered in the magical city of Rishikesh.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)

Here are some of the most common questions people have about Kriya Yoga:

How is Kriya Yoga different?

Kriya Yoga is a deep spiritual practice that can only be taught by Gurus once you have been initiated.

What does Kriya mean?

Kriya is a Sanskrit term for “completed action.”

What are the steps of Kriya Yoga?

  1. The Art of Meditation
  2. Energy and Focusing the Mind
  3. Devotion: Opening the Heart
  4. Disciple to Guru Relationship
  5. Expanding Your Awareness
  6. Kriya Yoga Preparation
  7. Kriya Initiation

What are the three components of Kriya Yoga?

The three components of Kriya Yoga are asceticism, recitation, and devotion.

What happens when you do Kriya Yoga?

It is said that the practice of Kriya Yoga can rapidly lead you to the highest form of divine consciousness, self-realization, and spiritual awakening.