The Kriya Yoga Technique: Six Stages to Mind-Body Connection

kriya yoga techniqueDeveloping a connection between your mind and body takes work. The Kriya Yoga technique is specifically crafted to create a deep mind-body connection.  Whether you’re taking up yoga for the first time for your personal fitness, for pregnancy , or wishing to develop a yoga training focused on enlightenment, Kriya Yoga can help you!

How and Where It All Started

Generally, the practice of yoga stems from connecting with what some call the “original source.” In other words, the creation of mankind.  As we age, many of us detach ourselves from that source.  Yoga breathing and poses enable us to be still and connect with what’s inside.

If this sounds too abstract, then you’re probably one of the ones who need yoga the most! Udemy’s course on Yoga for a Total Mind Body Transformation effectively addresses this concept of connecting with what is our true source.  By connecting our mind to our body, we let go of the distractions and fillers of everyday life. Because yoga is based on prana shakti (life force together with oxygen) with subtle breath, it incorporates this very connection.

Yoga has been transmitted through the centuries from master to master and then recorded in sacred texts. Throughout this passage of knowledge, Kriya Yoga appears to have been forgotten. It is said that Kriya Yoga in the 19th century was revitalized by a Himalayan Yogi known as Mahavatar Babaji Maharaj. It was then passed down to his disciple Lahiri Mahasaya at the end of the last century (kriya-yoga.com).

Kriya Yoga is well known in India and has spread considerably in the West since 1920. Paramahansa Yogananda moved to the United States and had an important role in spreading the teachings of Kriya Yoga to the rest of the world.

The transmission of this teaching has been continued without interruption ever since. Masters have come and are still coming to Western countries to teach Kriya Yoga in its original form so that it is available to everyone. Today, Swami Shankarananda Giri transmits these teachings in the same way that he received them from his masters to any person who desires to receive instructions in this path as a means for spiritual evolution.

What is Kriya Yoga?

kriya yoga techniqueThe word Kriya  is composed of two syllables, kri and yâ. In Sanskrit, kri means karma dhatu – action of the elements, and yâ means Soul or Atma. The word Kriya indicates action of the Soul or prâna karma. The first and most important action of the soul is breath. (kriya-yoga.com)

The word yoga comes from Sanskrit yuj which means union. The union of the individual soul with Spirit. Kriya Yoga is a method to attain the union of breath and soul in each inhalation and exhalation. Expressed in other words: the union of the individual soul with Spirit is called Kriya Yoga. This is true karma.

The practice of Kriya Yoga is based on breath, the brain and the spinal cord. Breath is the mediator between the soul and mind. The brain is the mediator between the sense organs and the mind. All our physical actions are reflected on our sense organs through the intermediary of the lower part of the brain located in the spinal cord. From this lower part of the brain where the lower mind is situated, we pass to the higher mind, then to breath, and lastly from breath to soul (and then inversely).

The mind is in constant motion. Our inner and outer actions change constantly and this is reflected by our breath. When we are afraid our breath is agitated, when we feel joy our breath is different, it is also different when we are angry or have any other type of emotion. When the breath is calm, the mind is calm. So, it is only through breath that we are able to control chitta and come to the state called nirodhah. Nirodhah means to close, to lock with a key – which means to stop all actions (vrittis) of chitta and thus have easy access to the meditation state of yoga. The control of chitta, stopping the actions of the mind is obtained by controlling the breath. (kriya-yoga.com)

Since Kriya Yoga is based on breathing, you can utilize this technique anywhere and at any time.  Practicing yoga at home can be just what you need!

The Technique

According to kriya-yoga.com, the teaching of Kriya Yoga is done in stages. It is sectioned into six stages referred to as First Kriya, Second Kriya and so on. The beginner starts with First Kriya. First Kriya is the root, the very foundation which allows for progress through the spiritual path for followers of any religion. It gives access to knowledge of the body, of the Soul and the chakras. Once mastery of the first stage is completed, then you can progress to the next step.

Kriya Yoga needs to be practiced to be understood.  So long as one knows that it is about breathing and connecting our mind to our body, anyone can reap its benefits.

Kriya Yoga’s Benefits

Prana shakti (life force) flows from the top to the bottom, then inversely from the bottom to the top, of the spine. In this way all the chakras (centres) are touched by life force and by vacuum. The first and second techniques are called pranam and correspond to Yama in Patanjala’s Yoga Sutra. Yama means to obtain inner control or sâmyam. Nothing can be controlled from without because the root is found in our spine. This is why we during the practice of Kriya Yoga bend the spine forward allowing the magnetic life force to flow in the spinal cord. The vacuum is always at the top of our body, this is why we retain equilibrium. So when we bend our spine, the vacuum magnetizes the spine.

Shûnya dhaur bhavet prâna: The vacuum element is our life force. When the vacuum leaves the body, life also leaves.

By practicing Kriya Yoga, we create an inner fire called tapa agni. In the same way that the outer fire, drabya agni, burns whatever we put into it, the inner fire, tapa agni, allows the practitioner to burn his karmas, the results of his past actions, his thoughts as well as all his mental or psychological hurdles.  Kriya Yoga is a valuable asset for everyone!