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Kriya Yoga

Kriya Yoga is also known as the yoga of extreme purification. It is often taught as a system of practices for physical cleansing and purification. The purification process in this form of yoga occurs on different levels, including the mental, energetic, and higher psychic dimensions. Common purification techniques known as kriyas include practices meant to purify the subtle channels and energetic systems of your body. These techniques actually fall within the discipline of Hatha Yoga.

The word Kriya is composed of two syllables which, in Sanskrit, mean action of the elements (kri) and soul (ya). The word therefore indicates action of the soul, and the most important action of the soul is breath. The practice of Kriya Yoga is a method of attaining the union of breath and soul with each inhalation and exhalation. This form of yoga is based largely on your breath, brain, and spinal cord.

Kriya Mediatiors: The Breath and The Brain

Your breath acts as mediator between your mind and soul. Your brain is the mediator between your mind and sensory organs. And all of your physical movements are reflected on your sensory organs through the lower part of your brain which can be found in the spinal cord. From this location where your lower mind is found, you pass to your higher mind, then to your breath, and lastly, from your breath to the soul and then inversely.

Kriya Yoga: Its Objectives

The brain is said to be connected to the mind and the mind connected to the chitta, which is your higher mind. Chitta is composed of five actions which, in turn are comprised of 25 natures, with each creating two results referred to as vrittis. In total, therefore, there are fifty different types of inner and outer results, which are all manifestations of chitta. All of the vrittis are created by chitta directly from the soul by means of breath. The object of Kriya Yoga is to gain control over the actions of chitta.

Take note that your mind is in constant motion. Your inner and outer actions constantly change – a truth that’s reflected by your breath. When you’re afraid you breathe in an agitated manner and when you’re joyful you breathe differently as well. You also breathe differently when you’re angry or when you have any other kind of emotion. When you’re breathing calmly, it’s safe to say your mind is calm as well. Therefore, it is only through breath during Kriya Yoga that one can control chitta and arrive at the state called nirodhah, which means to stop all actions. This makes it a lot easier for you to reach the meditation state of Kriya Yoga.

Purification At The Higher Levels

In essence, Kriya Yoga refers to a process of purification at the higher levels of your mind. In relation to the Ashtanga Yoga system of Patanjali, this form of yoga relates to the first two limbs – yama and niyama, which refer to morals and ethics. Thus, this form of yoga, as it pertains to the re-organization of your attitudes and beliefs, is said that Kriya Yoga is indeed one of the first steps towards the ultimate union of your individuality with the universe.

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