Kriyas in yoga refer to yoga for bodily consciousness. The ancient meditation practice uses pranayama, mudras, and mantra to speed up spiritual growth. The fundamental goal of yoga kriyas is to attain spiritual awakening and enlightenment.
What Are Kriyas?
Kriyas in yoga are a series of techniques that purify the body. These have been practiced by yogis in ancient times, now becoming more popular around the world. Kriyas improve digestion, boost energy levels, reduce common illnesses and bring about greater bodily awareness. There are many different types of kriyas in yoga.
Benefits Of Kriya Yoga
Kriyas are the earliest ayurvedic practices that you can use to cleanse your body. These can help enhance yoga practice, diminish various diseases and bring liveliness to your life. When it comes to the benefits of kriya yoga, it is the flawless path to ultimate purification and holistic health.
Some of the myriad advantages of kriyas in yoga are:
- A tonic for your well-being: Committed practitioners acknowledge the incredible properties of kriya yoga. It can rapidly detoxify, revitalize and uplift your mind, body, and soul.
- Utmost weapon against diseases: When you regularly practice yogic kriyas, you have an excellent ability to fight illnesses from within. That means battling certain diseases is easy.
- Be in charge of your mind: The human mind is prone to get distracted and distressed. Certain types of kriya yoga allow complete control of your mind. Deep breathing techniques also enhance focus and memory.
- Stimulate your Kundalini energy: Kriyas in yoga help the practitioner activate Kundalini energy in the shortest time. It prompts your spiritual growth and helps attain the ultimate goal of spirituality.
- Accelerate your personality and intellectual growth: Kriya yoga enhances circulation in brain cells resulting in less tiredness and a sharper mind. Regular practice helps you avoid negativity, supporting and sustaining complete personality transformation.
- Strengthen your concentration and willpower: Yogic kriyas alter your perceptions for the better. The techniques expel negative feelings such as anger, fear, resentment, low self-esteem, and doubt that may be prowling deep inside you.
- Vanish your ego: Practicing different types of kriyas yoga melts your ego and brings the light of bliss. You feel truly being yourself, more connected to your inner self and with the infinite.
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6 Kriyas In Yoga For Complete Purification
Practicing kriyas on a regular basis can significantly enhance your yoga practice and complete well-being. The number of yogic kriyas are six that you can practice.
Here we have enlisted 6 effortlessly approachable kriyas in yoga with the least paradoxes. These are purifying methods known as Shat Kriyas. Practicing them cleanses your internal organs balancing pranic flow between key energy centers of your body. The balance helps you achieve mental and physical purification.
1. Kapalabhati – Energizing Brain Cells To Purify The Brain
It is a breathing technique that purifies the front area of your brain, purifying the nasal passage and respiratory system. This yogic kriya is practiced to purify the brain cells and polish the mind.
Begin this yogic kriya by sitting in a laid-back straight posture. Place your both hands on the lap or you can also place your one hand on the lower abdomen. Placing one hand on the abdomen can make you experience this yogic kriya.
Deeply inhale with your nose using your abdominal contractions and exhale. Keep exhaling rapidly. Exhale slowly in the first round and then increase the exhaling speed. It is excellent for stimulating abdominal organs and improving digestion.
Kapalabhati kriyas in yoga involve intense breathing that removes respiratory blockages detoxifying the whole lymphatic system. This energizing breathing practice should be practiced in the morning on an empty stomach, for maximum benefits. While practicing this technique, make sure you do not exceed 150 to 200 repetitions at once.
Kapalabhati kriyas in yoga are not recommended for people with eye problems, high blood pressure, and pregnant or menstruating women. It also generates heat in the body which is why it is recommended to practice in the morning.
2. Neti – Purify The Nasal Passage And Nostrils
Neti kriyas in yoga involve 4 different techniques where various mediums including water, ghee, milk, or a thread are utilized to purify and clear the nasal passage. Nostril cleansing helps avoid irregular breathing and associated nasal ailments.
This yogic kriya is extremely advantageous for a youthful glow. It releases tension from facial muscles. It also relieves depression, anxiety, and other mental congestion balancing the whole nervous system. Neti kriyas in yoga improve energy and clarity.
The device used to cleanse nostrils is called a neti pot. You can buy neti pots online as well as offline. It is recommended to use a ceramic neti pot. To begin with, neti kriya, fill your neti pot with boiled water and add a full spoonful of pink Himalayan salt or sea salt. Let it cool down. That means warm but not extremely hot.
Now blow air through each nostril lightly finding which one is least blocked. To start, slightly incline your body towards the sink and carry the jet of the neti pot to the least blocked nostril. Make sure your mouth is open and tilt your head down.
Gradually, start pouring water into one nostril, so that it is coming out from the other nostril. The water may pass through the other nostril quickly or slowly depending on the flow and the blockage of your nostrils. Once it’s done, wipe out the extra water and repeat on the other side.
Initially, use a half-filled neti pot for each nostril, and then you can use a full neti pot for each side. When you do it the first time, you may feel a strange feeling in your head just like a brain freeze. It’s normal so stay calm and keep breathing with your mouth. Neti kriya eliminates pollutants from your nostrils and also prevents common cold and flues easing allergy symptoms.
After practicing neti kriyas in yoga you can also perform kapalbhati kriya, it will help expel the excess stuck in the nostrils. You can practice neti pot kriya once or twice a week at your convenience. Try not to lie down or inhale polluted air for at least an hour after you practice this technique.
3. Trataka – Cleanse Your Visual System
Trataka kriya is an eye technique. This kriya in yoga promotes healthy eyesight, develops focus, and boosts physical and mental dedication. It involves fixing your stare slowly at an object and continuing without blinking your eyes. This practice activates tear glands cleansing your visual system.
Trataka Kriya improves eyesight and increases concentration. It includes two types of kriyas Jatra and Jyoti. While practicing it, make sure your eyes are relaxed throughout the process. It secrets tear glands that contribute to the purification of the visual system.
4. Nauli – Cleansing Of Vital Internal Organs
It is also called stomach churning. Nauli kriyas in yoga cleanse and reinforces your imperative internal organs. It stimulates the functioning of the liver, spleen, and other internal organs relieving constipation and other digestive issues. This essential kriya is practiced in order to purify and tone the internal organs placed inside the abdomen.
To perform these types of kriyas, you must stand straight, keeping both feel wider. Slightly bend forward from your hips, keeping your back straight. Take a deep breath, exhale, pull your navel towards the spine, draw the stomach in, and form an abdominal energy lock or Uddiyana Bandha. Hold it as long as you can with ease, without forcing your body. Repeat the same technique twice again.
Once you feel that you can do it comfortably you can jump to the next version. Stand in the same position, relax and contract your stomach, practicing the same movements as kapalbhati kriya but without inhaling. Do it as many times as your body allows. Repeat the same twice again.
Nauli kriyas in yoga can be practiced once a week Learning this practice offers a better understanding of Energy lock that aids various other extents of yoga practices. It is not recommended for menstruating or pregnant women. It’s better avoided when your stomach is upset.
5. Dhauti – Purification Of The Intestine
There are three types of dhauti kriyas in yoga which are extremely helpful to relieve acidity, gastric issues, and asthma. It is particularly performed to cleanse the upper intestine. Dhauti is the most demanding yet tremendously beneficial yogic kriya after Nauli. It is performed to induce vomiting in order to clear obstructions or impurities in the intestine.
Three types of dhauti kriyas are Jala, Vastra, and Danda Dhauti. These are particularly advantageous to treat bile disorders and gastric troubles. It also improves renal functions and removes harmful worms from the liver.
6. Vasti – Clean The Rectum With A Yogic Enema
Our abdomen has three parts: upper, middle, and lower abdomen. Vasti kriya is practiced to cleanse your lower abdomen including the bladder and pelvic zone. It is also called a Yogic Enema as it is inclined to remove the impurities from the colon.
Vasti kriyas in yoga are highly beneficial for curing and avoiding urinary disorders, and digestive issues, preventing irregular bowels, eradicating diseases such as bile and flatulence, etc. It also tones lower abdominal muscles.
Kriya yoga is the ultimate path to purification and spiritual awakening. Everyone can practice them without any limitations regarding age, gender, or anything. You just need to devote 30 minutes a day to practicing kriyas in yoga. Make sure you learn and practice these yogic kriyas under the guidance of a yoga professional. Once you feel you can perform perfectly, you can continue without any supervision.
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Frequently Asked Questions
Question 1. What is a kriya in yoga?
Kriya in yoga refers to a set of practices or techniques designed to purify the body and mind. These practices may include physical exercises (asanas), breathing exercises (pranayama), and meditation techniques. Kriya yoga is a form of yoga that emphasizes the practice of kriyas as a means of spiritual development.
The goal of kriya yoga is to awaken the dormant spiritual energy (kundalini) within the individual, leading to self-realization and enlightenment. Kriya yoga was popularized by Paramahansa Yogananda in his book “Autobiography of a Yogi.”
Question 2. Is kriya yoga dangerous?
Kriya yoga, when practiced correctly and under the guidance of a qualified teacher, is generally safe and beneficial for most people. However, like any form of yoga or exercise, there are risks associated with practicing kriya yoga, especially if done incorrectly or without proper preparation. It is important to approach kriya yoga with caution and respect for your body’s limitations.
Question 3. How to practice kriya yoga at home?
If you have received proper instruction and are comfortable practicing at home, find a dedicated space, establish a regular routine, follow the prescribed kriya yoga techniques mindfully, listen to your body, and seek guidance from a qualified teacher or instructor when needed. However, it is always recommended to learn kriya yoga from a qualified teacher to ensure safety and proper technique.