Kriya yoga having great meditative powers has also some potential risks if not done correctly. In order to get the full benefits of kriya yoga without being prone to it’s dangers you need to take these risks into consideration. So, if you are curious about these potential risks of practicing kriya yoga then don’t fret at all. In this blog post, we’ll explore the question of “Is kriya yoga dangerous?” and what precautions you might need to take before diving into this ancient practice. So please sit back, relax, and let’s delve into this important topic together.
- What is kriya yoga?
- 6 types of kriya yoga
- Is kriya yoga dangerous?
- Potential problems of kriya yoga
- Downside of kriya yoga
- How to avoid danger while practicing kriya yoga?
- Is kriya yoga the same as kundalini?
- Purpose of kriya yoga
- What does it involve?
- The three pathways
- Pillars of kriya yoga
- Kriya yoga and religion
- How does kriya yoga work?
- Should you really practice kriya yoga?
- Who should do kriya yoga?
- Why is kriya yoga given as an initiation?
- How long does it take to learn kriya yoga?
- Benefits of kriya yoga
- Sacred tips for you
- 8 Fun facts about kriya yoga
What is kriya yoga?
Kriya is a yoga practice that is a combination of breathing and meditation exercises. It was kept secret for a long time, but was reintroduced in 1861. Lahiri Mahasaya learned the practice from Mahavatar Babaji, a renowned yogi whom he met in the Himalayas. Lahiri Mahasaya eventually became Babaji’s disciple and went on to teach Kriya yoga to others. Kriya yoga meditation, mantras, pranayama breathing exercises, yoga postures, and hand gestures are all part of Kriya yoga. This practice is based off the ancient text, The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. It is said that practicing Kriya yoga daily can help bring practitioners closer to god-consciousness or their higher self. However, it is important to note that this practice may not be suitable for beginners, as the ultimate goal is to achieve spiritual enlightenment.
6 types of kriya yoga
Kriya Yoga utilizes six kriyas to cleanse and balance the human system. Here is an overview of each one:
1. Kapalabhati (skull shining breath)
This breath of fire purifies the respiratory system and nasal passages, promoting the flow of energy. It is believed to benefit health by clearing obstructions and removing toxins and negative energy.
How to do it:
- Sit comfortably with your back straight.
- Take a deep breath in and exhale forcefully through your nose, pulling your abdomen inwards. This exhalation should be short and quick.
- Follow the exhalation with a passive inhalation (do not actively inhale), allowing your lungs to fill up with air.
- Repeat steps 2 and 3 for several rounds, gradually increasing the speed of your exhalations.
2. Trataka (gazing without blinking)
This practice involves focusing on a point without blinking. It activates the tear glands and cleanses the visual system, and can even improve eyesight.
How to do it:
- Choose an object to gaze at, such as a candle flame, a picture, or a symbol.
- Sit in a comfortable position with your spine straight and your head aligned with your body.
- Place the object at eye level and at a comfortable distance from you.
- Focus your gaze on the object without blinking or looking away.
- Try to maintain your gaze for as long as possible, ideally for a few minutes.
- When you are ready, close your eyes and visualize the object in your mind’s eye.
- Repeat the process for a few more rounds, gradually increasing the duration of your gaze.
This technique washes out the nasal cavities with salt water, milk, ghee, or a waxed thread to purify the nostrils.
How to do it:
- Fill a neti pot with lukewarm water and mix in a small amount of salt.
- Tilt your head to one side and insert the spout of the neti pot into the upper nostril.
- Begin to pour the water into the nostril so that it flows through the nasal passages and out through the opposite nostril. Keep your mouth open and breathe through it.
- Once all the water has been poured through, exhale firmly through both nostrils to clear them out.
- Repeat the process on the other side, tilting your head to the opposite side and inserting the spout into the upper nostril.
This kriya rids the intestine of impurities, toxins, and negative energy.
How to do it:
- Sit on the floor with your legs stretched out straight in front of you.
- Slowly bend forward and grab your toes with your fingers.
- Inhale deeply and pull your abdomen inwards as you lift your head up towards the ceiling.
- As you exhale, pull your abdomen outwards and push your head down towards your toes.
- Repeat this breathing technique for a few rounds.
- Release your toes and sit up straight.
- Take a deep breath and hold it in.
- While holding your breath, contract and relax your abdomen several times.
- Exhale completely and repeat the cycle 3-5 times.
- After completing the cycle, relax and sit quietly for a few minutes.
This kriya fortifies and detoxifies the internal organs.
How to do it:
- Stand straight with your feet hip-distance apart, and place your hands on your thighs.
- Inhale deeply through your nose, and exhale either through your mouth or nose.
- Hold your breath, and pull your stomach inwards and upwards towards your ribcage.
- Hold the contraction for a few seconds and then release gently.
- Relax for a few breaths and repeat the process.
This technique cleanses the rectum, similar to a yogic enema, to purify the colon.
How to do it:
- Begin by finding a quiet and peaceful place to practice where you will not be disturbed.
- Sit in a comfortable cross-legged position and place your hands on your knees with your palms facing up.
- Take a few deep breaths and relax your body.
- Close your eyes and visualize your root chakra, located at the base of your spine.
- As you inhale, visualize energy flowing up from your root chakra and out through the top of your head.
- As you exhale, visualize the energy flowing back down from the top of your head and into your root chakra.
- Repeat this visualization for several minutes, focusing on the feelings of peace and calm that come with it.
- When you are ready to end your practice, take a few deep breaths and slowly open your eyes.
- Take a moment to reflect on the experience and notice if you feel any different than before you began.
Is kriya yoga dangerous?
Although kriya yoga is an ancient practice, the way it’s practiced today is different from ancient times. Ancient yogis practiced in the forest away from society, which was safer and less distracting. However, today’s kriya yoga is more advanced with different hand gestures and practices. It can be dangerous for those without proper knowledge or preparation. Kriya yoga works directly with energy, which is amazing but also risky. The standard kriya yoga practice is not dangerous, but beginners should be careful and understand what they are doing. It’s important to know how to properly ground yourself after the practice. Don’t be afraid of kriya yoga, find an experienced yogi who can teach you the techniques.
Potential problems of kriya yoga
Practicing kriya yoga may pose certain risks, and it’s important to understand them.
Firstly, one needs to comprehend the theoretical principles and underlying logic of the practice as well as its potential downsides.
Secondly, kriya yoga is a powerful and intense form of yoga, capable of bringing life-altering results in as little as two to three months. This requires one to be skilled and precise in their practice.
Thirdly, kriya yoga demands a high degree of self-awareness during the course of its practice, from its early stages to its end. It also has equally potent downsides as it is a powerful form of yoga. Fourthly, kriya yoga demands significant discipline and self-control for spiritual awakening and enlightenment to be achieved.
Finally, it needs a firm commitment from the practitioner before beginning the practice. In summary, while the dangers of kriya yoga are not as scary as some portray, one needs to be aware of these risks to practice it correctly.
Downside of kriya yoga
Confronts with past
Kriya yoga is a very powerful and effective form of yoga. It not only helps in exploring oneself but also in self-exploration which is essential for everyone. However, before opting for this form of yoga, one should be aware of its potential dangers like confronting one’s past. It is a difficult process but working through it can be an amazing experience.
Requires high level of self awareness
Another major concern with kriya yoga is the need for the person to be highly self-aware throughout the entire course of the practice.
Involves intense practice
The physical practices can be strenuous and potentially harmful if practiced incorrectly. Kriya yoga is an intensive form of yoga which can both open and hurt a person, hence, it is important to be aware of which practices are helpful and which are not.
Learning and practicing correctly with a trained teacher can be challenging.
How to avoid danger while practicing kriya yoga?
If you’re considering kriya yoga, it’s important to know that it’s not an all-or-nothing practice. You can start with just a few minutes of focused breathing each day and gradually increase the duration. Once you have a regular meditation practice, you can explore the different techniques of kriya yoga. It’s important to find what works for you, as kriya yoga is different for everyone. If you’re new to yoga, it’s best to start with simpler practices and work up to kriya yoga over time. Remember that everything is an experiment, so try different techniques and find what works best for you. While it can be an intense practice, don’t be afraid to try advanced techniques and stop if they don’t work for you. It’s important to have guidance from an experienced yogi or guru throughout your practice.
Is kriya yoga the same as kundalini?
Although both kriya and kundalini are referred to as the “Yoga of Awareness,” they have different goals. Kriya yoga is a style of yoga widely touted by Paramahamsa Yogananda that aims to achieve spiritual growth. With pranayama techniques, kriya yoga practitioners can speed up spiritual growth. Kundalini yoga, on the other hand, is a more physical and mental practice that aims to cleanse the body and mind to attain a state of spiritual immersion. Finding an experienced teacher online or in-person is the best way to safely learn kriya yoga techniques. If kriya yoga piques your interest and you’re ready to dive in, take a look at my 40-day kriya class and workshop for more information on how to get started.
Purpose of kriya yoga
Kriya yoga may seem outdated, but it still has many benefits in today’s world. Aside from its intended purpose of spiritual awakening, practicing this technique has proven to detoxify and rejuvenate the body, mind, and soul. By stimulating the mind, Kriya yoga can improve mental clarity and concentration while also increasing the energy levels of the body. Moreover, it releases toxins and stagnant energy from the body and clears and opens up chakras. Practicing Kriya yoga can also strengthen the immune system, protect against common illnesses and ailments, help gain control of negative emotions and thought patterns, and aid in spiritual growth while also attaining inner peace.
What does it involve?
Kriya Yoga is a very old yoga method that uses meditation, pranayama, mantra, and mudra to help yogis prepare for awakening. People practicing this type of yoga aim to free themselves from their mind’s inner conflicts, and to be continuously connected to the true nature of reality. Kriya Yoga’s practice is derived from other yogas, including Bhakti Yoga, which focuses on expressing unconditional love and devotion for the divine, Karma Yoga, which emphasizes rightful action and separation from the results of that action, and Jnana Yoga, which aims to gain knowledge of one’s true self.
The three pathways
The body has pathways called Nadis where prana travels, according to yoga teachings. Three main channels give rise to all other nadis. These channels are Ida nadi (left), Pingala nadi (right), and Sushumna nadi (center). We can awaken our energy and distribute it throughout these pathways with the help of pranayama and other techniques in Kriya Yoga.
The Ida nadi has negative magnetic energy and is responsible for mental and nervous system processes.
The Pingala nadi has positive magnetic energy, and it is heating because it is related to solar energy. It manages all essential active life processes. Together, the Ida and Pingala signify the duality of life-force energy.
The Sushumna is the central pathway that connects the root chakra to the crown chakra. Many yoga schools, including Hatha Yoga, use the concept of Nadis to balance these channels. Kundalini energy rises through Sushumna, making it essential for spiritual evolution.
Pillars of kriya yoga
Kriya yoga is about actions. To practice it, we need to purify our actions, study ourselves and surrender to the divine. There are three things that describe it.
First is Tapah which is about being dedicated to purifying our body and mind, and not letting any impurities enter. It takes discipline and determination to follow this path. This means doing things that we dislike and accepting that pain leads to our purification. It is important to practice it daily, even when we don’t want to.
Second is Svadhyaya which means self-study. It is practiced through mantra japa (meditation) and studying important yogic texts. It helps us to take ownership of and still the mind. Mantras are sacred sounds that hold divine vibrations and can dissolve our ego and reduce our over-identification with it. Repeating mantras, such as “Om,” can help connect us with our higher self and deepen our understanding of ourselves.
Lastly, Isvarapranidhana is about surrendering to the divine. It means accepting that we don’t have control over everything and letting go of our desires and attachments. This allows us to connect with the divine and experience unity with it.
Kriya yoga and religion
Prayer is a way to connect with God and receive blessings, but it might not work immediately if our minds are unfocused. Kriya Yoga meditation, however, can be quicker and more powerful. It can strengthen our connection to the Divine and make our prayers more effective. Kriya Yoga can bring peace and joy that is greater than physical pleasures. By focusing less on worldly distractions, we can get closer to God and have a more meaningful spiritual practice. Practicing Kriya Yoga meditation is more effective than regular prayer, particularly when the mind is distracted. The practice of sitting quietly in meditation allows us to increase the force of our prayer. It’s beneficial to withdraw from external distractions and focus on inner awareness. Kriya Yoga can lead us to a state of deep peace and bliss that transcends physical pleasure. Experienced Kriya Yogis can even experience otherworldly spheres and connect with God. Those who prioritize their spiritual practice will inevitably reach the Divine.
How does kriya yoga work?
Kriya yoga is a practice that involves different exercises such as breathing, meditation, and concentration techniques. This practice teaches us that our breath affects our physical, mental, and spiritual states. When our breath is in control, we can achieve inner peace and improve our relationship with ourselves. Kriya yoga uses prana, which is energy that flows through our body and the universe, to help maintain proper health and balance. Negative thoughts and emotions disrupt the flow of prana and can cause us to become ill. Kriya yoga helps to restore this balance and increase our vitality, leading to improved physical, mental, and spiritual well-being. By cleansing the body’s energy systems, kriya yoga can lead to spiritual awakening. Its main aim is to restore the natural flow of prana, which promotes a more subtle yet profound level of awakening.
Should you really practice kriya yoga?
If you have just started practicing yoga, then Kriya Yoga may not be the best choice for you. It is important to focus on different techniques until you become more comfortable in your routine. Before exploring this yoga technique, it is recommended to get advice from a yogi or guru. If you are still interested in Kriya Yoga, there are online videos available to help you learn more. Always listen to your body and do what feels good for you!
Who should do kriya yoga?
Kriya yoga can be practiced by anyone interested in attaining enlightenment and improving their overall well-being. It is a spiritual practice that can help individuals connect with their inner selves and achieve mental, physical, and emotional balance. However, it is recommended that individuals consult with a trained practitioner before starting the practice to ensure that they are performing the techniques correctly and safely.
Why is kriya yoga given as an initiation?
Kriya Yoga is traditionally given as an initiation because it is considered to be a sacred and powerful practice that requires proper guidance and preparation. The initiation process is designed to ensure that the practitioner is mentally and spiritually ready to receive and practice kriya Yoga. During the initiation, the teacher imparts special techniques and teachings that are kept from those who have yet to undergo the initiation process. This allows the practitioner to establish a deep connection with the instructions, the lineage, and the spiritual path of kriya Yoga.
How long does it take to learn kriya yoga?
It is challenging to give an exact timeframe for learning kriya yoga, as it can vary based on individual factors such as dedication, previous experience with yoga or meditation, and natural abilities. However, many practitioners report feeling significant benefits after just a few weeks or months of consistent practice. Working with a qualified teacher to guide you through the practice and monitor progress is recommended.
Benefits of kriya yoga
Kriya yoga has many benefits that are related to unique techniques.
Purifies the body
One benefit is that the kriyas purify your body, which releases energy blockages that can cause diseases like cancer.
Awakens you spiritually
Another benefit is that it can help you have a spiritual awakening, meaning you recognize that you are a spirit, not just a human being. Combining these benefits makes kriya yoga a fantastic practice that can heighten your spiritual practices and take you further on your journey.
Eliminates body impurity
Improving your health is yet another advantage of kriya yoga since it helps to rid the body of impurities, balance its energy, and make you feel good.
Kriya yoga has been found to be beneficial for people who suffer from hypertension. It has been proven to reduce diastolic blood pressure, serum urea, and plasma MDA levels, which causes oxidative stress in individuals who regularly practice Kriya yoga.
Helps with anxiety and depression
Moreover, Kriya yoga techniques have been found to significantly help people who have anxiety and depression issues.
Calms the mind
Practicing Kriya yoga grounds the mind and calms individuals down. Regular practice of Kriya yoga has a significant positive impact on mental health.
Kriya yoga has been found to be beneficial for overall health. Patients who suffer from stress have benefited from Kriya yoga as it improves their stress threshold.
Increases coping mechanism
Therefore, individuals who face daily stressful situations can practice Kriya yoga to cope better with the pressure.
Enhances brain cell
Additionally, kriya yoga enhances brain cell circulation, leading to a sharper mind and personality transformation.
Expels negative feelings
Furthermore, practicing yogic kriyas expels negative feelings such as anger, fear, resentment, doubt and low self-esteem and strengthens your concentration and willpower.
Different types of kriya yoga can bring the light of bliss to your life by melting your ego, leaving you feeling more connected to your inner self and with the infinite.
Sacred tips for you
- Kriya yoga is a powerful practice that can lead to spiritual growth and self-awareness. Here are some tips to help you get the most out of your kriya yoga practice:
- Find a quiet place to practice where you will not be disturbed.
- Sit comfortably in a cross-legged position with your spine straight and your eyes closed.
- Focus your attention on your breath and allow it to become slow and steady.
- Visualize energy flowing up your spine and out the top of your head with each inhale.
- With each exhale, visualize energy flowing down your spine and back into the earth.
- Repeat this visualization with each breath, allowing yourself to become more deeply relaxed and focused.
- When you are finished, take a few deep breaths and gently re-enter the present moment.
8 Fun facts about kriya yoga
- Kriya yoga is a spiritual practice that originated in ancient India. Here are some fun facts about this fascinating practice:
- Kriya yoga is a form of meditation that is designed to enhance spiritual development.
- The practice involves a series of breathing exercises, meditation techniques, and other physical practices that are designed to help practitioners achieve a state of spiritual enlightenment.
- Kriya yoga is said to have been developed by the mythical figure of Babaji, who is said to be many thousands of years old.
- The practice was popularized in the west by Paramahansa Yogananda, who wrote a popular book on the subject called “Autobiography of a Yogi.”
- Practitioners of kriya yoga believe that the practice can help to open up the chakras and promote the flow of kundalini energy throughout the body.
- Many people practicing kriya yoga report experiencing profound spiritual insights and deep inner peace.
- Despite its relatively recent introduction to the west, kriya yoga has quickly become one of the most popular forms of spiritual practice in the world.
What makes kriya yoga so unique?
Kriya yoga is a unique spiritual practice for many reasons. One of the most significant aspects of kriya yoga is its emphasis on activating the energy within the body. By using specific techniques and postures, practitioners are able to awaken the dormant power at the base of the spine and direct it towards the brain. This process can lead to profound spiritual experiences and greater unity with the universe. Additionally, kriya yoga is often taught through a series of initiations, which helps ensure that students receive the teachings in a way consistent with the tradition. Overall, the unique combination of physical and spiritual techniques that make up kriya yoga help to create a truly transformative practice.
Why should you do kriya yoga?
Kriya yoga is a highly beneficial practice that offers its practitioners many physical, mental, and spiritual benefits. The effects of this powerful form of yoga can be felt in various aspects of one’s life, including increased energy levels, improved breathing, reduced stress and anxiety, and a greater sense of inner peace and well-being. Incorporating kriya yoga into your daily routine is highly recommended if you’re looking for a way to enhance your overall health and well-being.
How fast can you learn kriya yoga?
To master, kriya yoga takes a lot of hard work and dedication. However, the speed at which you will learn this practice depends on a variety of factors, including your natural abilities, previous experiences, and level of commitment. It is essential to approach the practice with an open mind and a willingness to grow and learn. With consistent practice and guidance from a qualified teacher, you can make progress on your journey towards mastering kriya yoga.
Is doing kriya yoga worth it?
Yes, doing kriya yoga is definitely worth it! This ancient practice has brought numerous benefits such as increased energy levels, reduced stress, improved mental clarity, and overall well-being. If you want to improve various aspects of your life, kriya yoga is the perfect solution. Give it a try and experience the transformative effects for yourself.
Is kriya yoga suitable for a yoga newbie?
Yes, kriya Yoga can be practiced by yoga newbies. It is a meditation technique that anyone can learn and benefit from. It helps to purify the body and mind and brings inner peace and spiritual growth. However, it is recommended to learn kriya Yoga under the guidance of a qualified teacher to ensure proper technique and safety.
While kriya yoga can have some potential risks and side effects if not practiced correctly, it is generally not considered dangerous. However, it is essential to consult with a qualified yoga instructor before beginning any new yoga practice and to always listen to your body and its limitations. Overall, with proper guidance and precautions, kriya yoga can be a safe and beneficial practice for many individuals.