Connect with us

Yoga

Bhakti Yoga: 9 Principles To Heart-Centered Life

Published

on

What Is Bhakti Yoga Image

Bhakti yoga is one of the main yoga paths that can lead you to full awareness of your true nature. It is the path of devotion that is based on the service to God. The path of Bhakti yoga allows us to use all of our senses, emotions, and actions to express love in our daily interactions and offer it to God. This path involves total dedication and surrender.

In this article, I will introduce you to Bhakti yoga and its 9 principles following which will help you to live a heart-centered life.

What Is Bhakti Yoga?

The Sanskrit word bhakti comes from the root bhaj, which can be translated as “selfless service” or “devotion”. Bhakti yoga is often described as “love for love’s sake” and “union through love and devotion.” This yoga path is the path to self-realization, to having an experience of oneness with everything through reconnection with the Divine forces.

Religion sees the manifestation of love for God through strict submission to his higher powers, because (according to almost any religion) God is wiser and more enlightened than any representative of humanity. In Christianity, the highest spiritual knowledge was possessed by Jesus; in Judaism – by Moses, in Islam – by Muhammad. Bhakti yoga has a different approach: there is no need to be afraid of God because God is the highest intelligence that understands and loves everything and everyone. And anyone can communicate with God through unconditional love, kindness, and gratitude.

Thus, we can say that Bhakti yoga is a spiritual path of divine love mysticism, that focuses on an intimate understanding of oneness and harmony of the eternal individual with the Divine and all creatures, is a constant delight. This is the yoga of a personal relationship with God.

As you tap into universal love, you naturally develop a sense of trust that this benevolent, wise universe provides everything you need. This understanding helps you relax so that you can’t help but generate positive energy for others.

9 Principles Of Bhakti Yoga

Bhakti yoga principles Image

One can attain clear and pure love to God through the nine principles of Bhakti yoga.

Principle #1: Sravana

This is the Sanskrit term for listening to sacred texts, sincere praise to God, poems, or stories about God’s virtues and mighty deeds. This principle cannot be practiced in isolation. The devotee must hear the stories from a wise teacher and seek the companionship of holy people.

Sravana is the first and obligatory principle of devotional service that cannot be circumvented. If one does not listen to the descriptions of God, one cannot clearly understand the other methods of devotional service.

This principle teaches us to turn our spiritual practice into sound. It teaches us listening and understanding of what we hear.

The person who demonstrated how this principle works is Maharaja Pariksit. He listened to Srimad Bhagavatam for seven days and attained transcendental realization through practicing the Sravana principle.

Principle #2: Kirtana

This principle refers to the singing or chanting of God’s praises. This is what Ram Dass said about this principle, “When you are in love with God, the very sound of the Name brings great joy.”

Kirtana is considered the main principle that should be practiced in Kali Yuga. However, it is impossible to practice Kirtana without Sravana, since these two principles are related. We can imagine Sravana as the inhale and Kirtana – as the exhale. Exhaling is impossible without inhaling.

The person who demonstrated how this principle works is Sukadeva Goswami. He recited Srimad Bhagawatam and achieved perfection by practicing the Kirtana principle.

Principle #3: Smarana

This principle refers to remembrance of God at all times, or keeping God in the forefront of your consciousness. In Christian terms, Smarana is what the French monk Brother Lawrence meant by “the practice of the presence of God.”

Smarana is a natural result of the Shravana and Kirtanam principles practice.

Smarana requires regular meditations. Therefore, it is very important to learn proper meditation in order to practice Bhakti yoga principles.

A person who has attained perfection through the Smarana method is Prahlada Maharaja.

Principle #4: Padasevana

Padasevana is gaining the opportunity to serve God, after mastering the previous three principles. This Bhakti yoga principle expresses love toward God through service to others.

Lakshmi Devi was the one who demonstrated how this principle works.

Principle #5: Archana

This Bhakti yoga principle refers to the worship of God through such external images as icons or religious pictures or through internal visualizations. The purpose of Archana is to purify the heart through the love of God.

Worshiping takes place under the guidance of the guru and in accordance with the instructions of the Pancharatra.

Prithu Maharaja was the one who demonstrated how this principle works. By performing austerities Prithu became steadfast in spiritual life, worshiping the Supreme Personality of Godhead 24 hours a day. In due course of time, Prithu Maharaja was able to fix his mind firmly upon the lotus feet of Krishna. Practicing the mystic yoga system, he raised his soul to the top of his skull.

Principle #6: Vandana

This Bhakti principle refers to prayer and prostration (lying face down on the ground with arms outstretched). Vandana is intended to curb self-absorption and self-centeredness through prayers and worship of God with love and devotion.

Akrura was the one who demonstrated how this principle works.

Principle #7: Dasya

This principle focuses on becoming God’s tool by opening yourself to God. In order to do this, you need to meditate on the words of God, caring for people, and helping to clean or repair sacred buildings or places.

By practicing Dasya, you dedicate your every action to God. Your life becomes a service to God, planet, and humanity.

Hanuman was the one who demonstrated how this principle works. A characteristic feature of his dasya bhava (devotional mood to serve) for the Lord, as mentioned in the Hanuman Chalisa, is his keenness in working for Rama.

Principle #8: Sakha-bhava

This Bhakti principle is the attitude of a friend, looking at the master as your friend, and delight in companionship with God

Sakha-bhava is the discovery of deep and sincere feelings for God, based on a friendly attitude and a transition to a higher spiritual level.

Arjuna was the one who demonstrated how this principle works. Bhagavad Gita and other scriptures praise Arjuna for his close relationship with Krishna. Not only is Arjuna known as Krishna’s friend, but Krishna is known as Arjuna’s friend. In Bhagavad Gita (9.29) Krishna tells Arjuna, “I envy no one, nor am I partial to anyone. I am equal to all. But whoever renders service unto Me in devotion is a friend, is in Me, and I am also a friend to him.”

Principle #9: Atma-nivedana

This principle focuses on the complete self-offering or self-surrender to God.

Bali Maharaja was the one who demonstrated how this principle works. He did not do anything extraordinary. He simply gave to Krishna whatever he possessed. By giving to God, by serving God, by loving God, nobody is a loser, everyone is a gainer. So therefore we should immerse ourselves in this process.

How To Practice Bhakti In Daily Life?

Devotion Image

If you are a beginner on the path of Bhakti Yoga and don’t know what to start your practice with, try to simply keep your focus on Divine love no matter what you’re doing.

However, you should keep in mind that Divine love is different from human love. Human love tends to be grasping and self-serving, whereas Divine love is selfless and giving.

Start with transforming the relationships in your life by offering whatever you do as service to the Divine Light within them. In this way, you deepen your spiritual connection to your own inner light.

The Bhakti Sutras say that by cultivating and deepening virtues, such as non-harming, truthfulness, purity, compassion, faith, and humility, in our worldly relationships, we refine them and make them more harmonious, so they become a clearer reflection of the Divine.

If this is still too much for you, start with simply treating others the way you would like to be treated. When you see that someone is having a hard day, offer to help, say a prayer, or just listen with an open and compassionate heart.

Put some extra love into your relationships with others. Heal and nurture your spiritual connection with others. If someone has hurt you or upset you, try to see the situation through the eyes of this person and offer your forgiveness silently. Learn how to accept the apologies that you’ve never received and forgive people with an open heart.

Find your own ways to serve your family, friends, and community. Let it be natural and spontaneous. Let all your actions be inspired by love, reverence, and devotion.

Katya Ki is the Founder of SOLANCHA Magazine, a Metaphysical Expert, a Reiki Master, and Human Rights Attorney. She has been studying Eastern metaphysics, cosmology, and esotericism for almost 20 years now. And she's still discovering new knowledge, which is hidden in ancient teachings. During her pilgrimage to the monastery of Saint Catherine in Egypt, she discovered the SOLANCHA System. This is how the SOLANCHA journey started!

Awareness

Kundalini Awakening Symptoms Everyone Should Know

Published

on

Kundalini awakening symptoms image

From Sanskrit, the word “Kundalini” can be translated as “twisted” (like a snake or a steel spring), and traditionally the snake is its symbol. In ancient Indian manuscripts, Kundalini is described as a form of biological energy dormant in the human body. It is regarded as the basis of life, as the main form of energy that can be concentrated in the brain, and without which neither genius nor inspiration can exist. If you are engaged in any spiritual practices, then you need to understand clearly what Kundalini is and what Kundalini awakening symptoms you may experience.

What is Kundalini?

According to the ancient texts, the Kundalini energy is present in the whole body but is concentrated mainly in the lower part of the spine, that is, in the genital area, transmitting vital energy to the offspring. This “snake energy” can be woken up, and through the spine and chakras transferred to the brain.

kundalini spine image

Kundalini is extraordinarily powerful. A key to eternal youth and flourishing mental abilities is hidden in it. Indian Kundalini specialist Gopi Krishna said that Kundalini, being awakened, can be a source of mental strength, genius, artistic talent, and scientific achievements. That is, all that is characteristic of a high level of consciousness. According to Gopi Krishna, the process of awakening and ascent of Kundalini expands the range of hidden human abilities.

In ancient manuscripts of Tibet, Egypt, and Greece, as well as in other cultures, there is evidence of the Kundalini Energy existence. Even the first Christians knew about its existence. The headdress of the Pharaoh, and feathered snakes from Mexico and South America – all indicate the acquaintance of the ancient initiates with the energy of the Kundalini snake.

No one can predict who, when, and how this energy will awaken. However, one should know that only people with a pure mind, heart, and body can experience the awakening. For the Kundalini awakening, you should have as few psychological and emotional conflicts as possible. Moreover, your body should be as free as possible from the blocks and tensions. It is also good to have fewer attachments and idealizations defined by everyday concerns.

Kundalini’s awakening can occur in the form of an unexpected surge, like a dam break, sharp and, above all, uncontrollable and therefore – dangerous. For the time being, this energy is in a kind of preserved, dormant state. However, under certain conditions, it begins a spontaneous awakening and rises from the spine to the head. During this process, the energy transforms the physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual systems of the person experiencing its rising.

What Is Kundalini Rising?

The process of Kundalini rising is an evolutionary process of transformation of the human personality. Your physical body, consciousness, and subconsciousness go through a big transformation. You’re changing your view and attitude toward life. Moreover, you’re developing unusual abilities.

kundalini yoga image

Kundalini is vital energy. Its thin stream always flows through us, through our bodies as long as we are alive. Some people have more of it, and they are successful in their life. And others have less of it, and they are less successful.

Kundalini needs to circulate freely in our bodies. But most people clog their path with various mental blocks, attachments, and conflict events that burden them. By eliminating these blocks, we free the path for the free flow of energy transformation. And when Kundalini flow can overcome these mental blocks it starts a rapid process of rising. And only then, when it clears us in its movement from the bottom up – it’s hot energy begins a cold downward flow from the top down, the flow of divine cosmic energy. That’s when the extraordinary miracles begin.

Kundalini awakening can be considered the most important and greatest event in the life of every person. Only from this moment does your true rebirth, awakening, and spiritualization begin. Only from this moment, a person starts the real path of improvement. And the beginning of the Kundalini rising is the first real step into a completely different, fabulous world of high energies, unusual phenomena, and new opportunities.

How Does Kundalini Awakening Happen?

Many spiritual practitioners have come up with different stages, or other indicators to specify their apparent progress in the process of evolution. However, it must be admitted that until you have experienced the transformation of personality in the fire of Kundalini, all other manifestations of enlightenment are only temporary success and lie only in the plane of the mind.

Some people can awaken the Kundalini energy consciously, following the methods developed by various spiritual schools. Others unconsciously, intuitively build their lives and change their views and beliefs by the Universal laws. Commonly, people experience spontaneous Kundalini awakening, even if they’ve never heard anything about it.

From Vedic texts, it is known that the flow of Kundalini energy rises through the energy channel located along the spine vertically. Until the awakening, this channel is usually closed. The fire of Kundalini gradually clears and opens this energy channel. As the Central channel is opened (cleaned), the Kundalini energy activates the chakras located along the spine, which, in turn, also begin to produce energy intensively. So it gradually opens up the entire Central channel and chakras.

chakra test image

When the Kundalini reaches the last and highest 7th chakra in the crown, you become ready to perceive the subtle and higher energies from the Cosmos. Each chakra can receive cosmic energy and send its own to Cosmos. You become able to assimilate cosmic energies, which immediately turn on the process of transformation. In the course of it, you acquire that great power for which anything is possible. By using this power you can do amazing things, which, from the point of view of the laws of the physical world, are considered miracles.

As your Kundalini awakens, you begin to experience a number of strange phenomena. That’s why you need to know what Kundalini awakening symptoms are.

Kundalini Awakening Symptoms

Body Symptoms

  • Involuntary twitching, trembling, vibration, spasms.
  • Muscle contractions, especially in the anus, abdomen, and throat.
  • Sudden movements of hands, feet, or head.
  • Twitching of the whole body when a strong flow of energy rises inside, starting from the toe, foot, or base of the spine.

Physical Symptoms

Physical Kundalini awakening symptoms are:

  • Feelings of ecstasy and bliss, average in intensity or strong, lasting several minutes or several months.
  • A feeling of intoxication, detachment, a slight feeling of being outside the body. Falling into a trance, a fixed gaze directed into space.
  • Heart rate increase.
  • The feeling like you’re touching the electrical outlet, tingling, itching.
  • Unbalance, tension, and pulsation, sometimes replaced by lethargy.
  • Nausea, abdominal pain.
  • Chest pain, like a heart attack.
kundalini awakening symptoms chest pain image
  • Persistent or temporary pain throughout the body that cannot be diagnosed.
  • Aching back pain and sharp pain along the spine.
  • Headaches, a feeling of buzz in the head, tingling, itching, or goosebumps on the scalp.
  • Electrical sensations in the head, feeling like the skull is opening.
  • Numbness of the arms and legs in General, or the hands or feet.
  • Pain or a feeling of electrical tingling in the big toes, darkening or falling off the toenail.
  • Intense sexual arousal, spontaneous orgasms experienced in the genital area or described as “covering the whole body” or “brain orgasms”.
  • Vibration and energy coming out of your ears.
  • The increased activity followed by exhaustion.
  • Hair stands on end.
  • Protruding the abdomen, as if during pregnancy.
  • Spontaneous filling of the lungs with air.
  • The taste of sweet nectar flowing from head to throat.

Diseases Or Pseudo Diseases

  • Imaginary heart attacks are usually a false alarm; complaints that the heart is not beating.
  • A person’s sincere belief that he or she is dying, accompanied by vague pains and complaints.
  • The manifestation of other hidden diseases: wandering pain, hyperemia, digestive problems, and other complaints about the various organs of the body, disappearing without any treatment.

Visual Symptoms

The variety of visual Kundalini awakening symptoms is striking: it’s like lightning rays of light in your head, visions, or hallucinations (by the way, they can be quite frightening!). There were cases when there was a small sparkling point in the Third eye area. Tibetan monks call it ”the seed of light”, but it is not necessary that it arises in the area of the forehead. The sparkling point can arise between you and the object, or arise during meditation, and even when you are in a normal state, and it does not matter — your eyes are open or closed at this moment.

kundalini awakening symptoms light image

You may also become extremely sensitive to light or experience sudden vision – all colors seem very bright. Some people even start being able to see the aura.

Other visual Kundalini awakening symptoms are burning eyes and twitching in the area between the eyebrows.

Temperature Change

One of the most common Kundalini awakening symptoms is a temperature change. The sensation of it occurs in the following ways:

  • Waves of heat, sometimes with sweating.
  • The heat may flow from the body or feel like intense burning.
  • Night sweating.
  • Waves of icy cold, sometimes followed by waves of heat.
  • Feelings of heat or cold in different parts of the body, especially in the hands or at the base of the spine.

Emotional Symptoms

Emotional Kundalini awakening symptoms are:

  • Depression.
  • Anxiety.
  • Anger.
  • Guilt.
  • Temporary confusion of thoughts and difficulties with the performance of work tasks.
  • Insomnia.
  • Uncharacteristic of the person’s strong sexual desire.
  • Temporary problems with sexual identity.
  • Visions or hearing sounds.
  • Disorderly thoughts, indecision,
  • Bombast and arrogance.
  • Easy entry into a trance or semi-conscious state.

Increased Psychic Or Empathic Abilities

  • A vision or a sense of aura.
  • Seeing and understanding the signs from the Universe.
  • The ability to heal certain diseases with the energy of hands.
  • Involuntary recollection of past life experiences.
  • A better understanding of spiritual Scriptures.
aura image
  • Feeling the ability to influence another person’s thoughts.
  • Instinctive-intuitive knowing what needs to be done.
  • A sense of the presence of a luminous being or teacher from another dimension.
  • Psychokinetic phenomena (interference in electrical devices, moving objects, destruction of objects, etc.).
  • Out-of-body experiences.
  • Extended panoramic perception of everything.

Detachment

Another Kundalini awakening common symptom is a feeling like you’re outside of your own body. Sometimes this is manifested as a detachment from the daily routine or even detachment from everything material.

Food

We all know that the food we eat affects not just our physical bodies and health but also our energy. That is why when we’re experiencing Kundalini awakening symptoms we also notice that our eating habits change dramatically. The most interesting thing is that the changes in our eating habits are effortless. They happen naturally. It feels like your body itself tells you what you need to eat.

Conclusion

It is the Kundalini that opens the gates of further human evolution and gives us the power to understand and fulfill our life’s mission. And if you are in the process of reading this article felt unusual or similar phenomena – do not be afraid of what is happening! Take everything as it is, do not resist what is happening. Now you know and understand what is happening or what may happen to you in the future. I hope that the knowledge contained in this article will give you confidence, protect you from possible troubles and open the door to a great future!

Namaste!

Continue Reading

Yoga

Raja Yoga: The 8 Steps to Self-realization and Liberation

Published

on

Raja yoga Image

There are two types of spiritual teachers. Those that tell you, “I have experienced God and for you to tap into this experience you must follow me.” And those that say, “I have experienced God and you can have this experience too.” The latter is where you need to belong. And Raja Yoga aims at facilitating you to experience this higher realm. 

Naturally, human beings are meant to be in a state of higher consciousness to function optimally. See, the human brain is rather restless and therefore we do not see the truth. To experience the higher realm, we need to be focused and concentrate. And we cannot argue with personal experience, can we? So let us share with you how to tap into this path. 

But first;

What is Raja Yoga?

Raja Yoga is one of the oldest yoga systems practiced in India for centuries and now in other parts of the world. It’s simply the path of experience. 

Raja Yoga proposes growing your spirituality without prior faith or belief. This means you can experience God at any time and place without mantras or rituals irrespective of your age or ethnicity. However, this is a branch of yoga that requires a really strong personality as we will discuss below. 

The Eight Stagesto Self-realization and Liberation  

When you practice Raja Yoga, you free the soul (atma), from the bondage of illusions (maya) and unite with your prime soul (paramatma). Below is a step by step experience:

Stage 1: Yama

Meditation in Solitude Image

Yama is a set of ethical norms that teach us to communicate with others in the right way. To be brief, it means one thing: treat people the way you want them to treat you.

There are five Yamas:

  1. Ahiṃsā (अहिंसा): Nonviolence, non-harming other living beings.
  2. Satya (सत्य): truthfulness, non-falsehood.
  3. Asteya (अस्तेय): non-stealing.
  4. Brahmacharya (ब्रह्मचर्य): chastity, marital fidelity, or sexual restraint.
  5. Aparigraha (अपरिग्रहः): non-avarice, non-possessiveness.

Stage 2: Niyama

This step of forming the self-discipline and uplifting spirituality. Niyama involves regular visits to temples, meditative practices, a study of nature, thinking, and walks.

Five Niyamas are:

  1. Śaucha (शौच): purity, clearness of mind, speech, and body.
  2. Santosha (सन्तोष): contentment, acceptance of others, and of one’s circumstances as they are, optimism for self.
  3. Tapas (तपस): austerity, self-discipline, persistent meditation, perseverance.
  4. Svādhyāya (स्वाध्याय): a study of self, self-reflection, introspection of self’s thoughts, speeches, and actions.
  5. Īśvarapraṇidhāna (ईश्वरप्रणिधान): contemplation of the Ishvara (God/Supreme Being, Brahman, True Self, Unchanging Reality), attunement to the supreme consciousness.

Stage 3: Asana

Asana means ‘posture’ or ‘pose’. So by saying ‘asanas’ we mean body poses. In any Yoga, we need to maintain a steady pose to be able to concentrate and control external and internal energies. By performing certain asanas, a person learns concentration and self-discipline.

Stage 4: Pranayama

Next we engage breathing exercises that directly affect the mind or what we call control of prana (vital energy). See, in today’s hustle and bustle, most people have forgotten how to breathe properly. We simply breathe because our body demands of the oxygen to function. It’s important to always remember that life is breath. And when we exercise control over breath, we can control the subtle Prana inside us. That means having control over all the forces in our universe, both physical and mental. 

Pranayama practice allows you to rejuvenate the entire body and prolong your lifespan. We can practice pranayama as a separate type of yoga technique, or use it as a component of the complex of yoga practice.

Stage 5: Pratyahara

Deep Meditation Benefits Image

Pratyahara means ‘gaining mastery over external influences’.

At this stage, we have to withdraw our senses from objects consciously.

If you have ever engaged in the Savasana (Corpse pose) you must have unearthed your five levels of mental sheaths. These are: 

  • The physical body (food sheath)
  • Prana sheath (subtle energy channels) 
  • The emotional reactions level (mental sheath)
  • Consciousness sheath (the ego)
  • And the causal sheath (the karmic record of your soul’s experiences). 

These mental levels are in order of increasing layers of consciousness. The second stage represents pratyahara. You’re basically leaving the external world but still maintaining contact with it. At this stage, describing from personal experience, you feel trapped in the bottom of a well. You can identify with the surrounding sounds, yet these noises don’t bother you (mentally or physically). You’re in a state of non-reaction. Some Yogi teachers will explain this stage as being in the world yet not of it.

The purpose of this stage is to achieve a state of the distraction of the senses from the surrounding reality and the circulation of the gaze and consciousness inside of you. In other words, pratyahara is the ability to concentrate and not be distracted by various external stimuli. This step gives you the vision of the internal systems, understanding what can stop your personal and inner growth.

Stage 6: Dharana

Dharana means ‘concentration’ or ‘single focus’. Once we eliminate object attachment, we progress in concentration. This is at the mental sheath stage. You can practice this stage in your daily tasks by choosing to perform just one task at a time or achieve the same during meditation by focusing your thoughts at one particular object, idea or place.

By concentrating, we get distracted from external ‘noise’.  This is how we can calm down our minds, which distracts us from knowing more than we are able to understand. It helps us to see the limitless of our possibilities. At this stage, we gain a skill to slow down the thought process by focusing on sound, image, energy, or body.

Stage 7: Dhyana

Dhyana means ‘contemplation, reflection’ and ‘profound, abstract meditation’. 

It’s the meditation practice where you come face to face with your ego. You tap into your self-awareness or soul. This stage is similar to Dharana, however, here you go in deeper. You choose to concentrate on your point of reference until this thought becomes a part of your consciousness.

Conscious inhibition of thought processes allows to calm the mind, to feel serenity, not to give rise to new thoughts. To reach this stage, you need endurance and strength. For achieving this, you have to put in a lot of effort and time.

Stage 8: Samadhi

Japa meditation image

Finally, at this stage we achieve a super conscious state. See, once you go past your ego, past your senses and past the wandering mind, you can transcend to any levels you imagine of, with complete control over your mind. In other words, you, your mind, and your chosen object of meditation merge together into one. However, most people experience this level based on their soul’s past.

The Benefits of Raja Yoga

Medical benefits

Recent research has seen Raja Yoga as an important therapeutic and prophylactic modality in several health conditions.

Happiness

Raja Yoga enhances positive thinking which increases self-satisfaction and consequently happiness in life. This applies irrespective of your age or the period of time you have been practicing this yoga.

Positive inner transformation

Well, this is obvious since Raja Yoga works on the principle of meditation with an aim to free the soul.

Physical and mental relaxation

With continued practice, Raja Yoga will change your attitude and transform your lifestyle. Eventually, you experience great transformation in your overall wellbeing.

Better control over addictions

Remember we mentioned before that this yoga aims at freeing the soul from the bondage of illusions. Addiction is simply an illusion that clouds your judgment and takes control of your mind. Once you free the soul and experience a higher realm, you will be the only one making your life decisions. 

Conclusion

In Sanskrit texts, Raja yoga was both the goal of yoga and a method to attain it. Nowadays, many people on spiritual path choose to integrate this practice into their lives. By doing so they are able to silence their minds, deepen the meditation practice, take control over their thoughts, and achieve the higher level of consciousness.

Continue Reading

Yoga

Kriya Yoga: The Benefits and Principles of Practice

Published

on

Kriya Yoga image

Are you on a spiritual path to self-realization? If so, what meditation techniques do you practice? In this guide, we will introduce you to Kriya Yoga, a sacred technique that requires both leading an ethical life and practicing yoga and meditation. That way, you can improve your focus and concentration and live a calm and joyous life. So, what does Kriya Yoga entail? Let’s start with the definition.

What is Kriya Yoga?

Kriya Yoga is a yogic practice that focuses on the spiritual benefits rather than the physical benefits of yoga. Hence, it is a spiritual practice that aims at developing your spirit into leading a more conscious and fulfilling life. That is, you aim at enhancing your current life in such a way that your physical, emotional, and psychological survival is no more a concern to you. 

Moreover, unlike hatha yoga that requires hard work and physical exercise, Kriya Yoga relies on growth and expression. 

The Origin and History of Kriya Yoga

“Kri refers to action, and “ya” means indwelling soul. Hence, the term Kriya stands for becoming aware of the power of the inhaled soul. It is about gaining self-realization while also appreciating the mechanics of human life.

The practice of Kriya Yoga dates back to ancient times when advanced Himalayan yogis practiced it in meditation caves. Still, its first mention in modern times is in 1861 when Mahavatar Babaji, the yoga master, passed the practice to Lahiri Mahasaya. More so, it is the spiritual master Paramahansa Yogananda who later brings Kriya Yoga practice to the west, sparking a spiritual revolution. Kriya Yoga continues to impact the lives of millions of people seeking spiritual enlightenment

The Philosophy and Principles of Kriya Yoga

Gyan Mudra For Deep Meditation Image

The practice of Kriya Yoga is split into three key components as follows: –

#1: Meditation

Kriya Yoga advocates for a life of discipline. It requires setting sometime every day to allow your consciousness to clear. Indeed, society bombards our minds with lots of distractive thoughts. It could be from social media, local politics, or family demands. Whatever the source of the cloudiness, Kriya yoga requires us to practice breathing awareness meditation every day to refine our nervous system. 

It also requires that we change the functioning and structure of our brains for clarity of thought. In turn, meditation gradually changes the energy system within our body (Kundalini) and makes us attune to higher consciousness and vibrations. Only then can we become aware of our true selves.

#2: Self-Inquiry/Self-Study

The second stage in Kriya Yoga is Vichara or self-inquiry. Here, we examine our current lifestyles against the true self that we strive to become. It is a journey of introspection and discernment, letting go of false perceptions of self and people’s biased opinions. In turn, we ask ourselves questions such as: –

  • Who am I?
  • What is my true purpose in life?
  • What are my values?
  • How do I define my energy level? What affects it?
  • Can I express the boundary between self and the world?
  • What comes to mind when I inhale and exhale during meditation?
  • Which yoga pause feels most expansive?
  • What inspires me, brings me joy, or matters to me the most right now?
  • How do I feel when I nourish my body with healthy food?
  • What grounds me?
  • What is my definition of success beyond money?
  • From what do I want to detach?
  • How do I express my creativity?
  • Where is my favorite spot for practicing yoga? Why is this spot special to me?
  • What does surrender mean to me?
  • How do I feel when I clean out or de-clutter my workspace?

Self-study makes us contemplate on ourselves. We inquire about our perception of reality versus the true reality. That way, we seek to understand our sole purpose in the world. 

#3: Surrendered Devotion, Isvarapranidhana

Finally, Kriya Yoga is about ethical living, a life of devotion to seeking spiritual enlightenment. The practice helps us make sense of that unease we have when things don’t turn out the way we want. You know that feeling of groundlessness that goes against our societal norms. 

Our communities require us to hold on to a career, family, or leadership to feel in control. Yet, in Kriya Yoga, we let go of our desire for dominion and surrender all effort.

Benefits of Practicing Kriya Yoga as Part of Your Spiritual Journey

Meditation Quotes 5 yamas Image

#1: Attaining a Spiritual Awakening

The ultimate goal of Kriya Yoga is experiencing a spiritual awakening. This awakening takes place by doing four fundamental actions: –

  • Daily Spiritual Meditation – Kriya Yoga relies on the techniques in Raja Yoga to activate higher consciousness. It is a highly individual experience where the participant can hear voices, see visions, lose or absorb a sense of separateness and have a sense of awe or transcendence.
  • Spiritual Contemplation – Here, we observe our thoughts without being judgmental. The practice helps us discover that our feelings reflect how our minds interpret those beliefs. Likewise, we notice that negative emotions arise from our interpretation or judging of thoughts with negativity. 
  • Spiritual Reflection  Spiritual reflection refers to studying and reflecting on the Vedic scriptures. Here, we aim to unlock the secrets of leading a peaceful and prosperous lifestyle. Hence, we want to live our lives with sincerity, knowledge, and compassion.
  • Spiritual Exploration – Finally, Kriya Yoga allows us to explore different spiritual practices to discover what works for each one of us. 

#2: Physical Benefits

Apart from a spiritual awakening, anyone practicing Kriya Yoga shall experience the following benefits: –

  • Improves our moods and overall well being
  • Assists in dealing with depression 
  • Improves our tolerance to pain
  • Helps in managing stress and anxiety
  • Lowers high blood pressure and hypertension levels
  • Soothes, stimulates, and clarifies the mind and soul
  • It helps us regain our self-confidence
  • Improves our concentration and memory power

Conclusion

Kriya Yoga believes that when we enhance our roots, we will see the fruits in the form of a spiritual awakening. In turn, this spiritual practice emphasizes coming to an ideal state that determines the quality of our lives. It is about growing beyond our needs and concerns and becoming a karma yogi.

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Advertisement

Health

what is rasayana image what is rasayana image
Health2 weeks ago

Rasayana: The Secrets of Ayurvedic Rejuvenation Therapy

Rasayana is one of the 8 fundamental disciplines of Ayurveda, which is focused on rejuvenation therapy. This discipline puts the...

chakra frequencies hz image chakra frequencies hz image
Healing3 weeks ago

Chakra Frequencies: 7 Powerful Tones For Sound Healing

Our chakras play an essential role in how we feel and function mentally, physically, and emotionally. When we align the...

What Is Betrayal Trauma Image What Is Betrayal Trauma Image
Healing3 weeks ago

What Is Betrayal Trauma? The Signs and Tips to Start Healing

When someone you love and trust betrays you, it can make you doubt your sanity. Betrayal can be so traumatic...

complicated grief image complicated grief image
Healing4 weeks ago

Signs of Complicated Grief and How to Overcome It

Grief is how we respond to losing our loved ones. It is a feeling accompanied by a lot of sorrow,...

High vibrational crystals image High vibrational crystals image
Healing2 months ago

10 High Vibrational Crystals For Raising Your Energy to a Whole New Level

Each crystal carries its unique energy and vibration. However, there are some crystals that vibrate at higher frequencies than others....

brain detox dopamine fasting image brain detox dopamine fasting image
Health2 months ago

Dopamine Fasting: Powerful Detox For Your Brain

Dopamine fasting has recently been gaining a lot of traction. Many people who have done it say it is an...

Radical self-care image Radical self-care image
Healing3 months ago

Radical Self-Care: The Essential Step On Your Self-Healing Journey

Radical self-care is about focusing on yourself before worrying about other people. We are often told, “you cannot pour from...

Emotional Exhaustion Image Emotional Exhaustion Image
Awareness3 months ago

Emotional Exhaustion: The Tell-Tale Signs & How to Deal With It

Are you in a state where you have no more energy to do the things you love? For instance, you...

Kundalini awakening symptoms image Kundalini awakening symptoms image
Awareness3 months ago

Kundalini Awakening Symptoms Everyone Should Know

From Sanskrit, the word “Kundalini” can be translated as “twisted” (like a snake or a steel spring), and traditionally the...

fluoride deception image fluoride deception image
Health4 months ago

Exposing the Fluoride Deception: Facts, Issues, and Tips

We all know most commercial tubes of toothpaste contain fluoride, right? Did you also know that since 1962 PHS (Public...

Advertisement

Awareness

Feng Shui Astrology for August Image Feng Shui Astrology for August Image
Astrology36 mins ago

Feng Shui Astrology For December 2022: What to Expect This Month?

Feng Shui astrology is based on the Chinese calendar. The dates of the beginning and the end of the months are...

Feng Shui Christmas Tree Placement in 2022 Image Feng Shui Christmas Tree Placement in 2022 Image
Abundant Living2 days ago

Feng Shui Christmas Tree Placement in 2022 + Decoration Tips

The holiday season has officially arrived, so it’s time to decorate your Christmas tree! In this article, I will share with...

financial anxiety image financial anxiety image
Awareness6 days ago

4 Signs You Have Financial Anxiety & How to Overcome It

According to the Mind over Money survey by Capital One and The Decision Lab, 77% of Americans feel anxious about...

July new moon image July new moon image
Astrology1 week ago

The November New Moon: Here’s How It Will Affect Us

The Moon is waning to a new moon on November 23rd at 2:57 p.m. PT (5:57 p.m. EST). This is when the Moon...

Pineal gland activation tips image Pineal gland activation tips image
Awareness2 weeks ago

Pineal Gland Activation: Opening Your Vision to The Spiritual World

The pineal gland is a small, pine cone-shaped gland located in the brain. In human beings, it is so tiny,...

What is Ego Death Image What is Ego Death Image
Personal Development3 weeks ago

What is Ego Death? How and Why Does It Happen?

Humans associate death with darkness, sorrow, and pain. It is just something many people are scared of. However, ego death...

Lunar Eclipse on November 8th Image Lunar Eclipse on November 8th Image
Astrology4 weeks ago

Lunar Eclipse on November 8th: Karmic Lessons, Unexpected Shifts, & Big Changes

The total Lunar eclipse will occur on Tuesday, November 8th. This lunar eclipse is going to be an extraordinary astrological...

10 stages of spiritual growth Image 10 stages of spiritual growth Image
Spirituality4 weeks ago

10 Stages Of Spiritual Growth & How To Recognize Them

Spiritual growth is not a religious concept but rather the process of becoming aware of your inner consciousness or being, which...

Feng Shui Astrology For September 2021 Image Feng Shui Astrology For September 2021 Image
Astrology4 weeks ago

Feng Shui Astrology For November 2022: What to Expect This Month?

Feng Shui astrology is based on the Chinese calendar. The dates of the beginning and the end of the months are...

self-limiting beliefs image self-limiting beliefs image
Personal Development1 month ago

Self-limiting Beliefs: How to Overcome Fear and Break Our Limitations

Earlier in life, I was always afraid of senior career positions. I used to apply for junior and entry-level jobs...

Advertisement

Daily Inspiration