What is Kriya Yoga?


Kriya Yoga is the yoga of energy. "Kriya" means "action that leads us to evolution, expansion, and liberation." In Sanskrit, "Kri" means "action, to do;" and "ya" is another name for "Atman," or Soul. Kriya is a specific technique or action designed to create an evolutionary response. The purpose of kriya is to get access to deeper states of shunya, or unity consciousness. Kriyas work to generate electricity by combining repetitive movements and mantras by creating a moving meditation. This movement of electricity helps to awaken and transform ones' energy to create a physical, psychological, and spiritual shift in one's being. Kriyas can prevent injuries and assist in healing at the cellular level as prana is awakened and heat is ignited from the inside out. Whereas it takes 30 minutes for asana to have a deep, penetrating effect, with kriyas it takes just minutes.

A practice of Kriya is a tool for people to increase their ability to hold and sustain rising energy of kundalini. This practice is great for those who have had an awakening, and are looking for a holistic practice to integrate and guide their own shakti energy. Kriya Yoga is a method that strengthens the energetic body for a smooth transition into awakening as well. We use Kriya Yoga to prepare ourselves physically, mentally and spiritually for the transformative experience available through accessing a deep reservoir of intelligent energy of the universe. Kriya is used in different traditions, such as the Babaji Lineage, Yogi Bhajan's Kundalini Tradition, and classical Hatha yoga. Although the practices vary according to each tradition, a common thread and purpose of kriya is for evolutionary action.

A Kriya is a technique that teaches us to master our own energy field. Each kriya connects with a different energetic frequency, some leading us to the heart intelligence in a meditative manner, some invoking transcendental states, some move energy through voice, others through mantra and breath. Together in a guided experience, each journey is taught with a specific intention, combining the transformative practice of kriya, pranayama, asana, mantra, ecstatic dance, and more in an integrative yogic experience.

In a study conducted by Stanford University, it was found that Kriya Yoga was able to bring down hypertension in patients. Studies have also found that the kriya exercises aim at calming a patient’s mind and reducing anxiety and depression by almost 67%. With the practice of Kriya Yoga, the entire human system is energized in a very short amount of time. All of the internal organs are activated as they secrete necessary hormones and enzymes to keep the body fit. As well, with this practice there will be sufficient blood circulation to our brain and spine for balanced supply of oxygen to every party of our bodies.

In traditional hatha yoga, kriyas are translated into “cleansing techniques.” these techniques are reminiscent of panchakarma methods that cleanse our physical bodies through the nose and internal organs. Jala Neti, otherwise known as using a Neti Pot, has become popularized in the West as a way to cleanse mucus from the nasal cavity and provide clear breathing once again. In yogic practices, this opens the nasal cavity for pranayama practices so yogis can increase their capacity to intake oxygen. Along with other physical cleansing techniques, these kriyas should only be practiced with a qualified teacher involved. Likewise, Kriyas from the Babaji Lineage should also only be practiced with a teacher that has been initiated into the practice. For thousands of years kriya yoga was only offered from guru to disciple, however, with the worldwide interest in spiritual awakening, the practice is slowly beginning to be offered in more settings by initiated teachers.

My teaching style emphasizes alignment, yoga therapy, and traditional hatha yoga, with the benefits of tantric breathwork and kriya yoga practices to integrate the movement of energy throughout the body so that it can flow freely with correct alignment. I incorporate ancient yogic techniques with my background as an artist, actor, and performer, by creating a playful and safe environment for her students to explore their consciousness by releasing any blocked emotions and holding space for each of us to experience our own true nature.

Lexi Faith