KRIYA YOGA – What is it and how to learn the practices
20 KRIYAS – with Alakh Analda
These are the 20 Kriyas I was initiated into. Kriyas can be a single practise which takes a few minutes. In my case, it was a series that produced complete stillness of mind at the end of each practise of 90 minutes to 2 hours long. I does involve dedication.
– Kriya means “action”
– Kriya Yoga is a practise or series of practises which involve a lot of activity practised in a seated position over two hours or more.
The combination is of
– pranayama/yogic breathing techniques,
– mudras/gestures and body movements that produce subtle changes in the brain,
– bandhas/locks and contractions of certain points,
– rotation of consciousness around the psychic centres/Chakras,
– mantras/sacred sounds ,
– visualizations and awarenesses
At the end of the practise. the mind is captured into focus, and thoughtlessness, no matter how busy it has been.
Kriya Yoga is a set of practices that produce thoughtlessness, step by step through 20 practises. It ends with a state of focused focus – and inspite of one’s self (no matter how busy the mind is), a state of no mind or vastly reduced mental activity.
Kriya means “action” in Sanskrit. Kriya Yoga and the practise of its core elements reduces thoughts within a series of directed movements and actions rather than passive meditation approaches. This usually requires systemic long term preparation. Kriya Yoga is a practise or series of 20 practices that are repeated in a varied number of times. The mind is so busy being directed by this series of 20 that there is little or no thought at the end of the series – a provoked stillness. In truth, this empty no mind can happen at any stage during the series of 20 Kriyas also, and can also occurs just in the preparation practices – the core elements of each of the 20 in the series, which is stage 1.
Kriya Yoga accelerates spiritual evolution by processing subconscious material energetically. It is one of the quickest ways of speeding personal spiritual evolution.
This is invoked through asana and mudras – subtle body movements, conscious breathing, bandhas – locks in the body and inner visualizations through the Chakras, along with mantra, kumbhaka, (retention), pranayama (psychic breath) and changes in breathing, and more. Because these are all done in quick succession in the series of 20 Kriyas, the core elements need to be learned separately and be moved into within a few seconds after a string of one word instructions to perform each of the 20 practices that make up the full practice – the final stage 3.- Alakh Analda
WHO CAN COME
you are welcome to invite who ever is interested to attend. It is better if they have done long term yoga practise and/or that they are self developed/aware in the sense of personal development work.
WHAT IS THE CORE ELEMENT, Stage 1 PRACTISE LIKE ?
Think of stage 1, the core element class training as a class in itself AND a training. People can attend just for the experience of the class AND/OR to prepare themselves for being facilitated through the 20 Kriyas. Therefore there is no need to attend each class and each person can choose how often they want to come in the future after these intro sessions.
In stage 3, when the 20 Kriyas are being facilitated, however, the only way people will be able to stay in tune with the instructions is if they can perform the whole practise of each core element exercise from a one word command.
Each class of core practises will be beneficial in itself anyway. Remember these are high gradient evolutionary practises. The first half hour of each session is devoted to answering questions and hearing about experiences. It is not just a class as it is also a training.
In relation to stage 2 – Course in Breathwork Mastery – the breathwork units 1,2 and 3 will be available as12 five hour trainings in breathwork mastery on a rotating basis in sydney, each few months. They are also available as live-in intensives in byron bay.
They can all be co-currently undertaken – Kriya stages 1 & 2.
Re stage 3 – 20 Kriyas – No one will want to start stage 3 until there is quite a bit of expertise with the other stage1 – core elements. Stage 3 can be as a retreat of six days or by attending regular facilitation which is planned as monthly two hour sessions in Sydney – whenever there is a body of participants who are prepared to take this stage 3.
* Alakh is providing Kriya training in Sydney and Byron Bay in 2007 to facilitate:
Stage 1 – core element practices and
Stage 2 – how to self clear training, (optional yet highly recommended) and
Stage 3 – 20 Kriyas facilited on a regular basis and as a retreat
People can participate at their own pace.
Swami Satyananda Saraswati, Alakh’s yoga master, says in his book “Kundalini Tantra” that in terms of ten ways to awaken kundalini, Kriya Yoga is one of the three fastest, (along with pranayama and tantric sexual union). He advises care with the practice and sound preparation.
STAGE 1 – essential training
• Kriya Yoga core elements – High Gradient practises,
including Mahabandha –the great lock
These are advanced high gradient practises. They produce a quickening of energy in spiritual development that produces two results by-products.
One is that the practises process and clears unresolved material – emotional or psychological blocks, energetically, without any of the material being brought to the surface of conscious awareness or experience.
The other phenomena is that the practises explode unresolved material – emotional or pschological blocks into the practitioners external world. This externalisation can be in a form that can range from very mild to intensely cathartic. In spiritual terms it can become a psycho-spiritual crisis. It may interrupt day to day life for a period of time and involve symptoms of transformation of consciousness.
Transformation of consciousness in daily work and living – post 2000
These areas are still being charted in Western life and are still being defined. Traditionally ashrams and the long term initiates – those who have trained with a living Master of Yoga have been specifically in service to support this sort of phenomena in spiritual life.
The Kriya Yoga practises have been traditionally taught to practitioners of yoga who have been in long term and systematic training and have been monitored by an Acharaya, or Master teacher of yoga for some time.
Therefore, the full Kriya practise is to be undertaken only by those who can be responsible for handling, or getting support in handling, any energy experiences that can come into daily experience as a result of the practises.
Very important to note!
This training is for personal practise only and is not training to teach others. Understand that Kriya core practise and the Kriyas clears or externalises energy blocks. These can be physical, mental or emotional. Once core element practises are commmenced on a daily or weekly basis, the externalisation of these blocks can comes as unusual physical discomfort or unexpected psycho-emotional release or expressions. This is actually what is required in the deep levels of clearing for spiritual evolution. However we need to be able to function in day to day life.
To date, Alakh teaches these practises to people who practise Rebirthing Breathwork, have access to Rebirthing Breathwork, or have done a lot of long term regular yoga practise. It will be recommended to undertake breathwork sessions with an experienced practitioner in Breathwork Mastery if extreme experiences result from the practise of core elements or the Kriyas, and to cease from practising until the experience is manageable and your life is balanced.
The only reason Alakh is willing to facilitate the core elements and the Kriyas on a monthly basis and as a retreat, is that she feels that in the years since her return in 1986 from living for nine years in the Indian ashram of Swami Satyananda, she has built the external and internal energy systems to be able to support others with any of the possible consequences of regular practise of the Kriyas. The head of the Satyanandashram in India, first in 1988, and since then in discussion, also agreed to her offering Kriyas to specific groups or individuals. In those decades since her residing in India, Alakh has also created a support network of well experienced practitioners, including some overseas. Previously, Ashrams were available for integration of the consequences of spiritual practises. This is still the same and there are many people who are longing for their profound inner contact who cannot attend ashrams and other such supportive institutes.
Alakh is available for any more information about Kundalini Yoga and preparation for Kriya Yoga and Kriya Yoga Training.
REQUISITE FOR full Kriya Yoga practise of 20 Kriyas – systematic Training
pre-requisite to Training is Kundalini Yoga training in mahabandha and long term practise of the core elements as taught in stage 1. This is because each of the core elements needs to be performed within a second or so of a one word instruction, which will be in Sanskrit, because it is a sacred language.
If possible, but not essential – the ability to sit cross legged for two hours and in lotus for at least 5 minutes
More information about Alakh and the practises
I have completely changed my approach to Kriyas and decided to offer training to people, and then follow up with a group practice sessions that run every month, or as retreats, as the group members become more adept. This is what I am calling “facilitated Kriyas”.
Basically in the sessions monthly and in the yearly retreats, I will take all the participants through the 20 Kriyas all together by giving the verbal instructions for each Kriya.
To date, the Kriyas have been taught to practitioners of yoga to practise at home – as sadhana – regular spiritual practise. This of course is also highly recommended, bearing in mind that it is a real commitment as it is an approximately two hour practise per session for the whole 20 Kriyas.
However, I feel the regular facilitated sessions and retreats will support participants in creating reference points for stillness within and a sense of spiritual strength to draw upon in their lives, whether the facilitated group is the only time they practise the full 20 Kriyas or otherwise.
I feel and think there is a quickening in the times now that is asking for this sort of experience, inspite of the long honoured tradition of sadhana – meaning own regular spiritual practise – daily.
History of Kriya Yoga
Since Paramahansa Yogananda has published the international best seller of many years “Autobiography of a Yogi”, many many people have come to hear about Kriya Yoga and the Immortal Yogi Babaji. Alakh’s Yoga Master, Paramahansa Swami Satyananda lived with his guru, Swami Sivananda in Rishikesh in the years when it was still a jungle with tigers and scorpions, and they had to walk miles each day for food from householders kitchens for sadhus. Alakh heard it said in the Indian ashram, that his guru met Babaji at some time in the Himalayas and was initiated by Babaji into Kriya yoga. This Master, Swami Sivananda initiated Paramahansa Swami Satyananda, into Kriya Yoga, who initiated Alakh in India in 1976. Alakh practised each day for one year until she returned to the ashram in 1977.
“Kriya” means action and it is a combination of actions that have the mind captured into focus at the end of the practise. Alakh learned 20 Kriyas, which took from one and a half to two and a half hours to practise each day. Although certain Masters have been initiated in minutes, for us it takes weeks of practise preparation and many hours per day days to learn this series.
Babaji introduced the Kriyas out compassion for the needs of those living in these turbulent times, and that was the last century! He called it an express path to awakening.
I think interested parties need to be able to clear reactivity before they go fully into Kriya training – so I suggest they learn how to have self sessions of modern breathwork first.
STAGE 2 – training in breathwork mastery for self clearing and self mastery – optional
STAGE 3 – Facilitated 20 Kriya practice – practice monthly or in a small group six day retreat
After being initiated into Kriya Yoga in 1976, Alakh practised for two hours, each day for one year until she returned to the ashram in 1977. Alakh learned 20 Kriyas, which take one and a half to two and a half hours to practise each day.
Babaji, the Immortal Yogi, introduced the Kriyas out compassion for the needs of those living in these turbulent times, and that was in the 1900’s ! He called it an express path to awakening.
Last word on Kriyas
In Alakh’s experience, just the Kriya yoga core elements are worth learning just to support the diminished thinking process. They can be used as sense withdrawal practises before your regular meditation practice and only take a minute or two. In each session of Stage 1, you are likely to have a spontaneous wave of calm or focus overtake you at one or two points – no matter what core element you are practising.
Stage 3 produces a more long term, integrated result with the series of 20 facilitated Kriyas, as the practitioner has undergone clearing or processing, OR, sometimes, externalised a block as body sensations or emotions until balance is restored by taking a break.
Start at Stage 1 and see how you go! The core practises are profound anyway!
Do not go onto stage 3 unless you are sure of yourself – if in doubt do not go to stage 3 until you have no doubts about your capacities.
Please note that participants are fully responsible for creating professional support from those recommended by Alakh if there were any side effects from the practises that brought daily living into an out of balance situation. Participants are notified that the Kriyas may surface material that has been subconscious, suppressed or unprocessed before or if they are ready to deal with it on the conscious level. At any indication of imbalance on the physical, emotional or mental levels, participants are to cease practising until balance is restored.