What is Kriya Yoga?
Kriya Yoga is a powerful dynamic aspect of modern yoga. It is more physical and mental and less focused on spirituality. The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali describes three kinds of kriya: Sattva, Tamas, and Raja. “Sattva” is not often translated but refers to the resistance to all forces and difficulties. The word is derived from the Sanskrit term “Sattva” which means harmony or order.
The term Kriya Yoga first appeared in the Sanskrit language somewhere around 1200 B.C., although its exact origin is not known. There’s no question that the original practice was in yoga terms, not in Christian terms. Most people today would interpret Kriya Yoga in terms of either the physical body or the spiritual body. While the physical exercises are a major part of this kind of yoga, it should not be confused with the Hatha Yoga. Hatha Yoga, also sometimes called the “old style” or “old religion,” consists of nine limbs, whereas Kriya Yoga places seven (or seven limbs) as the focus.
Major aspects of Kriya Yoga
The goal of kriya yoga is to develop self-empowerment through developing internal strength and integrity. It is a powerful way to connect the mind, body and spirit. This spiritual path is different from the Hindu path of Sanatana Sadhna. Instead of following a divine path to attain Nirvana, kriya yoga practitioners follow a spiritual path that purifying their mind.
Kriya Yoga began in the ancient state of India, sometime around 500 B.C. With the evolution of kriya yoga, the original practice of yoga was transformed into what we know today as Raja Yoga or the path of the warrior. According to the legends, Lord Krishna himself practiced yoga and established the five arches (chakras) on the tip of his finger. This symbol was used by the Hindus as a visual symbol for the celibacy of their beloved Lord Krishna.
Kriya Yoga combines the physical and the mental aspects of Yoga. It uses breathing techniques, meditation and relaxation techniques, as well as the yoga asana or positions. The original kriya yoga began with eight limbs or chakras. The first two chakras were the Muladhara Chakra or the throat and the third Chakra was the Sahasrara Chakra or the anus. These were thought to be inactive until the awakening of Kundalini. From then on, the mantras and asanas of kriya yoga spread throughout India and from there it’s popularity spread globally.
In order to master kriya yoga, it is important to have strong control over the energy, body and mind. A student can become adept at raja yoga techniques through careful study of the sutras. There are many important techniques in this discipline including eight limbs and cobra techniques, gross and subtle techniques, energy, and the three Gunas.
Things to be taken care of
Many people who practice kriya yoga are surprised by the fact that it can be done without any kind of external discipline. This kind of yoga can benefit anybody regardless of age, physical condition, or religious affiliation. It is an extremely spiritual path with very little emphasis on physical exercise, and this is what makes it so appealing. A lot of people mistakenly think that kriya yoga is a kind of personal fitness practice. Although it’s possible to use this type of practice as an effective workout routine, it should never replace actual spiritual practice.
Another common misunderstanding is that kriya yoga is simply about the type of clothing worn.In fact, it’s one of the fastest growing types of yoga, and its practitioners don’t all wear comfortable clothes. Instead, they often choose to wear a dress made of natural fibers, or even some very loose fitting, cotton pyjamas. This kind of attire allows participants to get their poses down faster, which means faster spiritual awakening. Wearing loose clothes and practicing yoga in all forms can help you get in the mood for the spiritual awakening that kriya yoga is all about.