Kriya Yoga: The path to an awakened heart

Have you ever wondered what Kriya Yoga or a Kriya is? Many people are confused about Kriya and what the unique benefits are when practiced.

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Introducing Kriya Yoga

Kriya Yoga is an internal action, and a Kriya is a series of Asananas, Pranayama, Nada Yoga (usually mantra repetition is used) Mudra, Bhanda and Meditation. This series of actions is combined to create a specific outcome on an energetic level. Kriya Yoga is primarily about awakening the Kundalini. Simpler Kriyas are also taught, without Asana and Bhanda. In fact, a very core Kriya can simply be the Ujjayi breath carried out, with concentration on the energy travelling up and down the spine. Kriya is also interpreted as an outward physical manifestation of awakened Kundalini.

Hatha Yoga refers to the six Shatkarmas or six actions as Kriyas and many styles of Yoga teach basic Kriya, with the Ujjayi breath and then other hatha yoga features added. So most Yoga practitioners will have at some stage practised a Kriya or Kriya Yoga, even if unaware.

Most commonly taught are the Kriyas handed down from the Mystical Guru Babaji to his disciples. We are most familiar with those passed on from Yogananda and the Shivananda and Satyananda traditions.

My Name is Premaloka and I am a Yogi Passionate about bringing Joy and ease to your life through Yoga. Yoga has been a part of my journey since childhood. I have dabbled, explored, studied, doubted, analysed and immersed myself in it. Eventually I befriended it and we have been together ever since. What I know is that it is a system and it works. Like most systems it requires you to participate, and to follow the system.

Kriya Yoga is simply a system within a system, but there is no doubt about the benefits of working with your energy in this way. Once practiced you will find that it brings another dimension to your life. Internal activity releases you and this is exactly what happens when you incorporate Kriya in your yoga practise.

I came to Kriya yoga when I went in search of some deeper teachings attached to Shivananda Yoga and found a Swami in New Zealand. Swami Shantimurti Saraswati was teaching Yoga based on his own experience and his own personal teachings from Swami Satyananda Saraswati.

This changed the course of my Yogic Life. It is from this study, and what I have learnt in the subsequent years that the Aroha Kriya that I now teach evolved. What I have learnt is that we must look to our hearts, for Anahata Chakra is where purity of emotion resides and gratitude and Happiness are the keys – unlock the heart and your life will be filled with joy and ease. A grateful heart is a happy heart.

The Aroha Kriya is simply a system of techniques, from Hatha Yoga put together, with the intention of increasing the Happiness in the practitioners life, activating, even Awakening Anahata chakra. During the Kriya we Prepare ourselves – emotionally, mentally and physically. We Tune into the Bhavas (our body’s emotional response to asana), we breathe, we smile, we chant, we meditate and we purify. The way that we feel on an emotional level is linked to the chakra system. Each Chakra relates to different emotional states, and balancing and activating these chakras impact our sense of wellbeing. So, we release and activate the lower chakras in preparation for the work that we are doing on the upper chakras and Each time we practice the Kriya another petal of the anahata lotus starts to open.

An excerpt from the Aroha Kriya for you to try at home

Sitting in Ananda Madirasana (Intoxicating Bliss Pose) or Easy pose if this is more comfortable for you.

Closing the eyes, settling the body and bringing yourself to stillness.

The spine is straight.

Please chant Aum 12 Times, with an awareness of the A at Ajna, the U at Vishuddhi and the M at Anahata.

Opening the eyes Perform Khechari Mudra, with Shambavi Mudra and the Ujjayi Breath (if This is familiar to you silent repetition of the Mantra Aum can be repeated) x6

Release the tongue close the eyes and rest – 3 breaths

Half open the eyes, direct the gaze to the nose tip and focus all your concentration on Ajna x9 silently repeat the mantra AUM

Close the eyes rest 3 breaths

Opening the eyes Perform Khechari Mudra, with Shambavi Mudra and the Ujjayi Breath (if This is familiar to you silent repetition of the Mantra Aum can be repeated) x6

Release the toungue close the eyes and rest – 3 breaths

Half open the eyes, direct the gaze to the nose tip and focus all your concentration on Mooladhara x9 silently repeat the mantra LAM

Close the eyes rest 3 breaths

Opening the eyes Perform Khechari Mudra, with Shambavi Mudra and the Ujjayi Breath (if This is familiar to you silent repetition of the Mantra Aum can be repeated) x6

Repeat this pattern moving through the rest of the Chakras

Swadhistana -VAM

Manipura – RAM

Anahata – YAM

Vishhudhi – HAM

Ajna – AUM

Sahasarara – AUM

Then finish back at Anahata, before each Chakra, Repeat Your Khechari Mudra Practice. If you are comfortable with visualization, when in complete concentration on Anahata, you can visualize a 12 petaled smoky blue lotus flower opening and closing.

After finishing this rest for 3-9 breaths, with a gentle smile before Chanting AUM 12 times as you did to start.

This is one part of the Aroha Kriya that I hope you benefit from practicing at home.

I know that happiness lies within each and every one of us. It starts with a deep love and compassion for ourselves. Yoga is here to help us discover this love. We already have all the tools we need to engineer lives rich in health and happiness, Yoga simply shows us how to use them.

About the author

I am Premaloka – A Yogini and mother of 6 who teaches on the beautiful Island of Waiheke in New Zealand, Dublin Ireland and India. I am passionate about Yoga and Happiness and love to share with others this amazing science, by teaching the Aroha Kriya in both retreat and Workshop form. I have embraced a style of Yoga that resonates Authenticity, and combined with my experience of Yoga since childhood, the lineages of Shivananda and Satyananda and Ashram Yoga in New Zealand, I have created a Fusion that I hope is emotionally, spiritually, physically and mentally fulfilling. I have been teaching for many years now, and hold a E-RYT 500 hr Yoga alliance registration and am a YACEP provider.