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What Is Kriya Yoga

  • Author :
  • TATA AIG Team
  • Published on :
  • 04/01/2024
  • 2 min read

Keeping both your body and soul healthy and alive is what every person seeks in today’s world. And both these things can be attained by performing one magical yoga asana, “kriya yoga”. Kriya yoga meditation focuses on the spiritual growth of the person which ultimately leads to their overall development.

The process of performing kriya yoga involves using various breathing techniques and practising control over your energy. The continuous practice of kriya yoga meditation has various health benefits, however, doing kriya yoga also makes the person much more disciplined and aligned with their true self.

But before learning about the benefits of this yoga, let us understand what kriya yoga means.

What is Kriya Yoga

Kriya yoga meaning is the system of yoga which is practised for rapid spiritual awakening and growth. This was a lost ancient yoga technique that was revived by the Lahiri Mahasaya who learned this yoga technique from his guru Mahavatar Babaji in 1861.

Later, the kriya yoga techniques got recognition on a global platform through its mention in Paramahansa Yogananda’s book ‘Autobiography of a Yogi.’ Since then, kriya yoga has become a popular yoga form among yoga practitioners for attaining their spirituality and maintaining a healthy life.

Types of Kriya Yoga

There are a total of six types of kriyas, also known as “shat kriyas”. All six of these yogic kriyas have different techniques to perform them and the benefits that they provide.

These six kriyas are neti (nasal purification), dhauti (food & windpipe purification), trataka (eyes purification), basti (large intestine purification), nauli (strengthening abdominal organs), kapalbhati (frontal brain area purification). Let’s know about all these kriyas in detail.

Neti

Neti or cleansing of nasal passages is kriya yoga done for purifying nasal passages from any kind of impurities. The process is done through various methods, like using water, milk, ghee, or wax thread and a clean neti pot. Regular cleansing of nasal passages using this kriya helps in an uninterrupted flow of vital energy.

Dhauti

Dhauti, the word derived from Sanskrit, means the act of washing. Here in kriya yoga it means washing impurities from food and windpipe. This type of yogic kriya is done by vomiting out the impurities from the food pipe.

There are two ways through which dhauti is done, these are vamana dhauti (using lukewarm water) and vastra dhauti (using muslin cloth), for cleansing food and windpipe of any excess stomach mucus, acids, and impurities.

Trataka

The trataka kriya yoga meditation is the best yogic technique to increase your concentration power and keep your eyesight healthy. In this technique, an unmoving object, say a candle, is used for internal and external concentration.

You have to look at the unmoving object for as long as you can, thus increasing your concentration and eliminating any unnecessary thoughts.

Basti

If facing intestinal-related health issues, then practise basti yoga. This kriya yoga benefits the whole body by rejuvenating it from harmful impurities present in the large intestine.

As this kriya yoga meditation focuses on the lower abdomen, exercises, and yoga poses related to that particular region are performed.

Nauli

Nauli kriya is the technique used to improve the overall health of all abdomen organs. The vertical-horizontal movements done in this yogic kriya help in reviving the digestive fire.

It improves the functioning of all the organs like the intestines, bladder, spleen, etc., which are necessary for a healthy gut and good digestion.

Kapalbhati

The brain is an integral part of the body and practising kapalbhati helps keep the brain healthy. The quick and deep breathing practice in this kriya yoga meditation keeps the frontal lobe of the brain active and the lungs young.

Steps to Do Kriya Yoga

Performing kriya yoga regularly has several benefits, which we will discuss further in the article. Here is the process to do kriya yoga step by step.

Step 1: Sit in a comfortable position, either on a mat or a low stool. And take the position such that your knees should be below the pelvis.

Step 2: Put your hands in front of you in a lotus position, intertwining your fingers and be comfortable. You can also simply put your hands in front of you too.

Step 3: Now, sit with a straight spine and upright back, and relax your body and mind. It is important to feel peace and keep your mind relaxed.

Step 4: In this step, you need to find a point of focus. You can either close your eyes and focus on an imaginary point in the middle of your forehead. You can also keep your gaze on the ground and focus, the motive is to concentrate.

Step 5: Now, relax and let your body be at ease. You can choose to think of any peaceful or happy incident that relaxes you.

Step 6: Hold your position for 5 minutes and as you keep practising and become used meditate for at least 20 minutes. This will build your immunity and help you achieve your spiritual awakening.

It should be noted that as a beginner practitioner, you must perform every yogic asanas under the guidance of a trained and experienced guru or yoga teacher for safe and effective results.

Kriya Yoga Benefits

Kriya yoga is different from regular yoga, as unlike yoga it not only focuses on physical health but also spiritual health. Thus, it has several benefits, like:

Supreme Spiritual Growth: The foremost reason people indulge in kriya yoga is they not only want to get health benefits from this yogic technique but also help in spiritual awakening.

The meditation and various asanas help in connecting body and soul to the divine presence, thus helping in getting inner peace.

Improved Physical Health: The different types of kriyas like kapalbhati, nauli, basti, neti, etc., help in keeping the overall shape of the body great.

Regular practice of these yogic asanas flushes out all the toxicity and impurities from the body and keeps it healthy and glowing internally.

Emotional Stability: When you attain inner peace and your body and mind are aligned you feel emotionally stable and strong.

This helps in making integral decisions without any interference from unnecessary and negative emotions.

Better Concentration: Kriya yoga meditation like trataka helps in improving concentration which ultimately brings a better hold on the decision-making process, completion of tasks on time, and creating a better life for yourself.

Precautions to Take

Kriya yoga or any other yoga form is only beneficial if performed correctly and safely. And if you are new to yoga or kriya yoga meditation then it is suggested that you follow these precautions carefully.

  • Do not perform any form of yoga in a state of illness, discomfort, or exhaustion. It can lead to injuries.

  • Make sure to learn kriya yoga or any yoga form only from a certified or experienced yoga guru or practitioner.

  • Children and pregnant women are advised to perform yoga asana curated for them under supervision.

  • Patients suffering from chronic or serious diseases should consult their doctors before starting any new yoga practice.

  • People suffering from asthma or breathing problems should avoid performing kriya yoga types like kapalbhati and dhauti.

  • Discontinue practising yoga if you feel any major issues like discomfort, irritability, major weight fluctuations, etc.

Wrapping Up

Regular practice of different types of kriyas like trataka, dhauti, neti kapalbhati, etc., helps in keeping various organs and body parts healthy and working. Overall practice of kriya yoga not only benefits your body but also helps in spiritual growth.

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FAQS

Can a beginner do Kriya yoga?

Yes, beginners can learn kriya yoga. In today’s time, various offline and online institutions are certified to teach yoga. You can research and find the best place to learn yoga.

What are the 5 branches of Kriya Yoga?

The five branches of kriya yoga are kriya kundalini pranayama, kriya hatha yoga, kriya mantra yoga, kriya dhyana yoga, and kriya bhakti yoga. Practising these yogas is beneficial for both body and soul.

What are the three pillars of kriya yoga?

The three known pillars of kriya yoga are self-study, self-discipline, and absolute surrender to the divine. Anyone who practises these pillars can achieve the ultimate life goal.

What are isha kriya benefits?

Isha kriya yoga is a 15-minute meditation exercise that involves the mind as well as the body to help you get in touch with your inner self. It eliminates stress and works towards your overall well-being.

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