In Sanskrit, "Kri" means action, to do; and "Ya" is another name for Soul (or Atman). So, kriya means “action that leads us to evolution, expansion and liberation.”
Kriya is a technique or set of practices designed to create a specific evolutionary response; in other words, a set of practices that help us move from one state of consciousness to another. The practice of kriya enables subtle and direct changes in the body and mind of the practitioner. These techniques include combinations of specific types of breathing, sound, mantra and/or body movement.
These practices shift us energetically by unlocking the energy channels in our bodies, releasing stagnant energy and clearing old patterns while harmonizing and healing the chakras. They can help to shift our mood and strengthen and heal the physical body.
While practicing kriya, we can start to experience more space in our lives, more joy, more compassion and more peace. While karma is action that creates bondage, kriya is action that creates expansion and liberation.
The purpose of kriya is to take us into deeper states of "shunya," or stillness, void, emptiness. Kriya aids in strengthening the nervous system and helps us move into a state of cosmic intelligence and away from the ego.
As we begin to access this deeper wisdom through the practice of kriya, integration with totality occurs. This is when we move away from the isolated self into the connection with all. We experience the sense that “We are all one."
Kriya is also used as a tool for people to increase their ability to hold and sustain an increasing energy of kundalini. It helps to prepare the body and nervous system to handle or cope with the intensity of this energy.
Kriya is used in different traditions, like the Babaji tradition, Kundalini as taught by Yoga Bhajan, classical Hatha tradition and Ashtanga tradition of Patanjali. The common thread is that kriya is used for the purpose of evolutionary action – to shift the practitioner's level of consciousness. They all have practices and techniques of kriya to achieve the specific result of evolution.
In the past, kriyas were only taught one on one – in a guru to disciple relationship. And only where there was an intimate and worthy inquiry. This is why many kriyas are not found in written form.
Kriya is a very important practice but it does require one to have a whole practice, as yoga is an integrated practice not just one of the parts, to experience integration. Meditation, asana, self study, practicing and living the 8 limbs of yoga off the mat are all important aspects for this integration.
To experience kriya for yourself, check out any of my online courses. I incorporate kriya into almost all of my courses and events. I also offer Intuitive Coaching sessions, which is an action-oriented and collaborative discovery process that helps you grow on your healing path and get into alignment with your Higher Purpose and True Self. In these sessions, I offer a personalized meditation practices, which can include kriya, to help you strengthen your mind-body and dive deeper into yourself. Learn more about these coaching sessions here.
If you have any questions please feel free to reach out as I'd love to hear from you. You can send me a note from here.
Sending you blessings on your beautiful journey of the self, through the self, to the self.