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Enriching Mind and Spirit Through Spiritual Yoga Practice

Updated on January 9, 2016

Importance of Spirituality in Yoga

When people hear the word 'yoga', they often think of demanding physical exercises. Truth is, spirituality is the real essence of yoga. All other stages involved, such as breathing and exercises, are used as medium towards that much coveted spiritual progress. To avoid confusion, you need to understand that spirituality is the same as self-realization or self-actualization known in yoga.

To put it in perspective, spirituality in yoga is building a relationship with a divine power. Thus, this really is an intimate and personal journey that you will undergo in yoga. You can achieve this by creating awareness to open up different dimensions of your mind and spirit.

Kriya Yoga Meditation

Kriya Yoga: Alchemy of Total Transformation Kriya Kundalini

Introduction to Kriya Yoga

There are several forms of spiritual yoga, with each one differing on their objectives and methods. However, Kriya Yoga is one of the most well known spiritual yoga styles and is ideal for anyone to practice if you aspire to gain higher spiritual and mental consciousness. Therefore, it is responsible for offering more than just the physical and psychological benefits that most people associate with yoga.

Kriya Yoga has close ties with the concept of Kundalini Yoga. Hence, meditation is a vital component and must never be without it. After all, if you intend to gain nourishment on your spiritual side, then you need to dig deeper into the self and find ways to nourish that. When dealing with spirituality, of course, it involves your mind and spirit; hence, the emphasis on meditation as part of practicing this style of yoga.

Origin of Kriya Yoga

Kriya Yoga has existed for several centuries but was not widely practiced until it was revived in 1861, courtesy of Mahavatar Babaji's efforts. Ever since then, Kriya Yoga has been taught as a method for creating a spiritual link between your physical body and other aspects of your body.

Eventually, Kriya Yoga was introduced into the west during the 1920s and gained a following. It has been most popular in the west during the recent times as people has realized that the spiritual aspect of yoga practice has enabled them to cope with everyday stress and anxiety.

Meditating With Kriya Yoga

Death, Karma and Kriya Yoga Meditation - Yogiraj Siddhanath

Role of Breathing

Breathing or pranayama is an essential component during yoga practice. In fact, it is one of the first few stages that you will learn before you move onto the execution of asanas and other meditation practice involved. On the other hand, the ability to be in touch with your breathing and to gain a deeper state of consciousness on how breathing mechanisms work is one of the benefits that can be derived from yoga.

According to yogic experts, harmony with your yoga postures and breathing pattern is a key factor in attaining the benefits to your mind and spirit. A common observation that yoga students have is that their attention to breath has been heightened, even when they are outside of their yoga classes. To be specific, they tend to be more conscious of how their breathing pattern works when subjected to stressful situations. The knowledge of that tendency to hold your breath enables you to break the habit. When you allow your body to go through normal breathing patterns, you will noticeably feel less tensed and your body will exert less exhaustion.

Role of Meditation

The ability to free your thoughts is something that can be achieved through meditation. In spiritual yoga practice, there is more emphasis on meditation and breathing as compared to other forms of yoga that focus on poses and exercises.

A common belief in yoga is that your mind and the thoughts it create can produce a sense of contentment and overall health. Execution of yoga poses that relax your body also plays a vital role as it sends out signals to your brain to assume a relaxed state. One does not necessarily undergo deep meditation as regular form of meditation will do. During meditation, your objective is to experience conscious relaxation until whatever thoughts that are present in your brain is no longer capable of taking over your body. After all, these thoughts and worries cause anxiety and tension, among other negative responses.

Path Towards Kriya

The techniques used in Kriya Yoga to attain spiritual benefits involves three other yoga techniques. You have to remember that regular practice of these techniques is important as one cannot be assured of instant spiritual progress. These different techniques represent different stages toward that higher spiritual consciousness that you aim for in practicing Kriya Yog and the concept of discipleship. The idea with discipleship in Kriya Yoga is basically to accept your yoga instructor as your spiritual guide in your journey towards the ultimate goal of this yogic experience.

The other three paths include the following:

  • Energization Exercises
  • Concentration
  • Meditation

Spiritual Benefits of Yoga

Depending on the intensity and level of your yoga performance, the spiritual benefits that can be derived through the practice of yoga is different as well. To help you better understand, these benefits are outlined as follows:

*Basic

Performance of basic meditation techniques in yoga can offer a wide range of benefits depending on a wide range of factors such as specific methods used, duration of meditation, and the frequency of meditation. Spiritual benefits for basic to moderate meditation routines include increased ability for concentration, better mind clarity, and regulation of breath.

*Advanced

For a more intensified approach to yoga and meditation, an individual becomes more capable of achieving elevated form of spiritual benefits including ability for thought control, a firmer will power, and improved psychic control.

*Ultimate Spiritual Benefit

This will serve as the highest form of spiritual benefit that one could aim for in the performance of yoga techniques. When a person has reached a deep enough spiritual consciousness, s/he comes to a realization of his existence as part of a larger universe as a form of liberation and purification.

Spiritual Yoga For The Modern World

Yoga offers a lot of benefits to the spiritual aspect of the body, which makes it an ideal tool for everday healing. Healing is the key word here. Engagement in yogic activity produces healing in your body, soul, and overall psyche, which eventually restores basic aspects of what it is that make humans capable of living.

There are different methods used in targeting specific aspects of the human spiritual restoration though. Yoga exercises are beneficial in restoring and rejuvenating essential life forces that extend your life span.

Comments

Submit a Comment

  • Greenheart profile image

    Greenheart 

    8 years ago from Cambridge

    Thanks Theresa for the hub!

    There are so many forms of yoga.

    And perhaps some of the most important are about linking

    oneself up with The Divine.

    This may be what you mean by combining spirituality and yoga for the sake of connecting with 'God'.

    In this light,i would be grateful if you had a look at my Guru,Adi Da.He once called the practice of his way,Ishta Guru Bhakti Yoga.

    See him at http://hubpages.com/hub/AdiDa.

    With love.

    Gavin

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