Intro to Kriya Yoga & Why We Practice
Updated: Mar 19
I was introduced to the world of Kriya many years ago, through a conversation with one of the local Miami yoga teachers. I asked what kind of yoga she teaches. “Kundalini,” she answered. I asked: “What pose is that?” “It is not a pose – Kundalini means Energy, we practice Kriyas, not poses.”
Years later, I found myself sitting on the grass in the Himalayas, at the Sattva Yoga Academy, listening to my Yogi Master explain what Kriya really is.
You see, when you ask a question, your life becomes an answer to it. Your authentic curiosity will always lead you to your destiny. And my destiny was the path of personal transformation through Kriya Yoga.
What is Kriya?
There are two ways to define Kriya – as a specific yogic technique and as an evolutionary action. Both are designed to create an evolutionary response within the field of our awareness.
The purpose of Kriya is to get into a deeper state of Shunya – silence, stillness, refine your nervous system and release karma. Kriya helps us let go of things that are no longer serving us and take a spontaneous correct action.
It helps us transcend the karma, and move from karma to dharma, from bondage to expansion. When we infuse our life with Kriya, the learning process quickens and the lessons that may have taken many lifetimes to learn, are learned much faster. “The half-minute of Kriya equals one year of natural spiritual unfolding.” (Yogananda, Autobiography of the Yogi).
The Practice of Kriya
In the yogic tradition, when we practice Kriya, we work with our energy body. The word means “to work with energy, to generate electricity.” The technique combines posture, repetitive movement, mudra and mantra to create a moving meditation. Kriya generates a movement of energy that helps facilitate evolution in the body, mind and spirit. Kriya awakens, transforms and combines all levels of energy available to create a desired physical, physiological and/or spiritual shift in one's being.
Through this practice, healing happens at the cellular level as prana (life force) is awakened and heat is created from inside out. Where it takes 30 minutes for an Asana to have a deep, penetrating effect, with Kriya it only takes minutes.
Why We Practice
Kriya is a gift for the evolution of your consciousness!
Yoga goes beyond practice in the studio or a virtual class. We must bring the practice into real life situations. That’s how Kriya becomes a powerful active change that we commit to. Change that leads us in the direction of greater wisdom and alignment within. Through certain action we begin to change our behavior. And that moves us from a karmic vicious cycle to freedom and liberation of old patterns.
When the energy is low, and you are caught up in conflict and drama of fragmented reality you must choose for yourself to raise awareness and move into the direction of wisdom through learning, experiencing and practicing Kriya. It takes courage, persistence and sincere interest to create a shift at the deepest level of your being towards vitality and creative flow of energy.
You are not your body but your body is an expression of you!