Kriya Yoga is a style of yoga that was first introduced to the West in the 1920’s by Paramahansa Yogananda. This yoga style focuses on removing obstructions involving the mind and body. Kriya Yoga incorporates a wide area of techniques, including meditation and mantras for control of the life which brings calmness and control to your mind and body. Yoga teacher training is starting to grow in this style so that more people can enjoy the benefits of regular practice.
What is Prana or Life-force?
Yogis call it Life-force of Pranas but what they are referring to is the energy of Awareness. Those that follow Kriya Yoga believe that energy and awareness are the two things that make our universe whole. When we have destroyed all matter the energy is what remains in its place. Energy is the raw and original form of all matter. Awareness is the other piece of the puzzle since energy cannot be found but awareness exists and it also holds its own power. Yoga teachers will learn to adapt their yoga teaching styles to include this belief system.
Techniques of Kriya Yoga
The main purpose of practicing this style of yoga is to unite with the pure Awareness (God).
- Prepare your body- To be able to promote good health and have control over your body functions most people practice hatha yoga. For those that are not quite as flexible or have the time to practice they can practice a 15 minute program of easier exercises which are full of stretching and bending that were designed according to Kriya Yoga practice.
- Prepare you mind- Kriya yoga uses many traditional yoga techniques. Kriya yoga teaches the law of general conduct which includes harmlessness, non-stealing, truthfulness, etc. It also promotes the teachings of metaphysical principles, mental and physical health, purity and cleanliness.
- Practice makes perfect- While practicing meditation include mantras. Lessons will teach the student how to use mantras such as So-ham, Hong-so, Ham-sa and OM.
- Pranayama/Life-force control- This is the point in which Kriya Yoga will stand out and be different from the traditional styles. Kriya pranayama is not focused on increasing your breath retention, but rather to use the energy to move through the spine and direct it to the brain to refine the nervous system and brain.
- Transfer of Energy- When the student is ready the transfer of energy may occur from the outside or the inside. To experience energy on its way to the spine is an amazing experience which could change the way you think and function.
- Mudras-The mudras are applied to give the student even more control over the flow of energy.
- Higher Kriyas-There are even more skilled techniques for those that are more advanced in the practice. However, you may have already gained a strong awareness by practicing Mantras through regular meditation.
Meditation Techniques on the Kriya Yoga Journey
Meditation techniques give the practitioner the ability to achieve the greatest benefits and divine goal from the ancient yoga science.
- Energizing Exercises-These exercises take about 15 minutes to move through and is one of the best was to get rid of stress and nervous tension. Using breathing techniques and meditation you can create a calm awareness.
- Hon-Sau Technique of Concentration- this technique will help you develop powers through concentration and be able to withdraw thought and energy from distractions to redirect them to focusing on goals or problems to be solved.
- Aum Technique of meditation-gives you the tools to use concentration to discover and develop divine qualities of your true self.
- Kriya Yoga Technique- Reinforces and revitalizes your life energy in your spine and brain. Through your stillness and focus through practice you are able to experience a deepening interior peace and connection with God.
Allowing us to be creative, wise, secure, and happy and find unconditional love- this is what Kriya Yoga teachings want to offer us. Who would not want to jump up and down and agree to this? More and more people are looking to fulfill their love of yoga and go through yoga teacher training to spread this idea and experience.