Kriya Yoga is an ancient meditation technique of energy and breath control, or pranayama. It is part of a comprehensive spiritual path, which includes additional meditation and yoga practices along with ethical living.
The Kriya technique was hidden in secrecy for many centuries. It was revived in 1861, when the great yogi Mahavatar Babaji taught the technique to his disciple Lahiri Mahasaya. Lahiri then taught the technique to his disciple Sri Yukteswar, who taught it to his disciples, including Paramhansa Yogananda.
We are blessed to have our advanced Kriya Yoga teacher, Robert Henderson (Gonesh Baba), who continues in this line of disciples. Gonesh was initiated into Kriya Yoga by Paramahasma Hariharananda, who received initiation from Sri Yukteswar Giri and Paramhansa Yogananda.
According to Yogananda, Kriya Yoga is the most effective technique available to mankind today for reaching the goal of Yoga: union with the Divine. Kriya Yoga is so effective because it works directly with the source of growth – the spiritual energy deep in our spines.
All yoga techniques work with this energy, usually indirectly. Yoga postures, for example, can help open up the spinal channels, and balance the energy in the spine. Yoga breathing exercises or pranayama, can help to awaken that energy.
However, Kriya Yoga is more direct. It helps the practitioner to control the life force by mentally drawing that life force up and down the spine, with awareness and will. According to Yogananda, one Kriya, which takes about a half a minute, is equivalent to one year of natural spiritual growth.
Kriya Yoga can help people in every facet of their life, including emotionally, cognitively, physically, and gives you a sense of divinity. Kriya Yogis find that it enhances their ability to focus and concentrate, experience calmness and joy in their life, become more effective in business and in family life, eliminate bad karma, and become better people in every way.
Kriya Yoga is a scientific technique that provides those who practice it with all around development. Kriya is not about Hinduism or any religion; but is about the expression of a person’s aspiration to God. Kriya Yoga enhances the practice of any religion.
According to Yogananda, Kriya Yoga is an instrument through which human evolution can be quickened. The ancient yogis discovered that the secret of cosmic consciousness is intimately linked with breath mastery. The life force, which is ordinarily absorbed in maintaining the heart-pump, must be freed for higher activities by a method of calming and stilling the ceaseless demands of the breath.
If the person has the desire, they can experience the benefits of Kriya Yoga. On the day of initiation into Kriya, people are able to experience meditation, and experience an activation of the crown of their head, and are able to see inner light and hear inner sound.
Everyone has some type of emotional issue that affects them in some way, and certain patterns in their life that don’t serve them well. Through the practice of Kriya Yoga, people are able to release these traumas and change these patterns. Research has shown that the regions of the brain which cause depression and stress, decrease with meditation and that the regions that allow concentration, cognitive ability, and self-control, increase. Kriya Yoga is a science based on neuroplasticity; it helps the brain reorganize to allow people to function in a more optimal way.