Kriya Yoga is an Indian meditative practice that was revealed in 1861 by Mahavatar Babaji. Babaji taught it to his disciples and one of them, Lahiri Mahasaya, introduced it to the world. Another disciple of Mahavatar Babaji, Paramhansa Yogananda described the techniques of Kriya yoga in his book “Autobiography of a Yogi”. This wonderful book made Kriya yoga a world-wide phenomenon.
Kriya Yoga encapsulates the main dogma of yoga, which is to get closer to the Divine through meditation. It is constructed around the achievement of the unity of breath and mind. The goal of Kriya yoga is to attain perfect control over your breathing because it is based on a premise that the mind has a strong influence on breathing, and the breathing has a strong influence on mind.
When a meditating person reaches a high level of self-control, he has achieved mastery over the breath and, therefore, over his own self. The breath is the essence of the Kriya yoga. Exercises will lead you to a point when you will be a master of yourself through perfect breathing.
Kriya Yoga is also trying to infuse our body with energy and means to promote that energy. You can achieve the above by special exercises that are designed to open up the channels of energy in our spine and promote better breathing.
It’s good to point out here that when a person practicing Kriya to another human being, the “teacher” is getting purified further and will be blessed with even better/deeper meditation.
Going back to the Yogananda’s book, we should note that it explains other important things like what is the path to becoming a Kriya Yoga specialist or guru?
The first step is to go through the techniques recommended in the book.
Secondly, you need to open both your mind and heart, which will open up many possibilities and widen your horizons.
Then the book goes forward and describes a process called Ananda or pure joy. Those could be attained by using some yoga poses. Ananda is a form of energizing technique in Kiya yoga.
The book also shows how to enhance your meditation with a certain vibrating sound (the Aum step). It is followed by concentration using the Hong-Sau technique and the Kriya technique.
It is important to remember that the effects of Kriya Yoga will not be immediate. The success will depend on the individual qualities of the person and other things. But it will most likely depend on how engaged and committed that person is.
The Kriya Yogi needs to be mentally, physically, and spiritually prepared for the teachings. It’s not an easy and fast jorney, but a very fulfilling one.