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Kriya Yoga Meditation

Updated on January 9, 2016

Kriya Yoga Meditation

What is Kriya yoga? This article will discuss all about Kriya yoga meditation – from its history down to its benefits. First, we will define the word “Kriya”. Kriya came from two combined Sanskrit syllables “kri” which means action of the elements and “ya” which means soul. When the two Sanskrit syllables are combined, it literally means action of the soul. This meaning captures the whole essence of yoga because the most important concept of yoga (which is union) is achieved by the soul through the action of breathing. Yoga came from the Sanskrit word “yuj” which means union.

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Uniting the Soul and Breath

With each breath you inhale and exhale in Kriya yoga, you are gradually achieving the goal of yoga which is to unite the breath and the soul. When this is achieved, you are said to have experienced true karma – a state wherein the individual’s sole and spirit becomes united.

Breathing is The Central Focus of Kriya Yoga

Breathing is considered to be the center of Kriya yoga. The breath is considered to be the one who is connecting the mind and soul. In terms of body parts, the spinal cord and brain is considered as the most important points.

The human brain is considered to be the mediator between the sense organs and the mind. The physical actions of all human beings are believed to be reflected in the sense organs that function because of the lower part of the brain located at the lower spinal end of the spine.

When senses receive a stimulus, it passes through the lower part of the brain, goes up to the higer mind, transfers to the breath and finally reaches the soul by means of breathing.


Chitta is considered to be the higher mind where the brain and lower mind are connected.  Most people picture the brain as one entity – one big lump or something like that.  However, the brain is not considered to be a single entity in Kriya yoga.  In fact, Kriya yoga has the brain divided into several “chambers” like the lower brain, higher brain, chitta, etc.  The chitta is considered to be the higher mind which consists of 5 actions that are also made up of 25 qualities or nature.  Each of these are said to create two general results known as the vrittis.


Chitta can produce 50 manifestations known as vrittis.  The vrittis are formed from the chitta by means of breathing.  The main goal of Kriya yoga is to control the actions and manifestations of the chitta through the art of breathing.

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Different Kinds of Breathing

In Kriya yoga, the human mind is considered to be in constant motion.  The actions of human beings are believed to change from time to time and the way a person breathes greatly manifests what is going on in his or her mind.

For example, when one is scared, breathing becomes agitated.  When a person is happy or excited, breathing comes out in a different way.  When someone is angry, jealous or in pain, the breathing pattern may become forced, compressed or distorted.  This just proves that the mind greatly affects the way a person breathes.  When the mind is calm, the breathing pattern is calm.  That is why Kriya yoga aims to teach people how to control breathing so that even when the mind is greatly stressed or agitated, the person can still manage to remain calm through breathing techniques.

When a person can already control his breathing, he is said to have reached the state of Nirodhah.

What is Nirodhah?

In Sanskrit, Nirodhah means to close or to lock with a key.  In relation to Kriya yoga, Nirodhah means to block all vrittis which can block the chitta so that the person can reach the meditative state of yoga in an easy manner.  When a person can be able to control the chitta, he or she can successfully impede all negative actions of the mind by controlling the way he or she breathes.

As you can see, the essence of Kriya yoga is simply achieved by learning the ways of breathing.  These breathing techniques can be done everyday so that one can practice and experience meditating until they can easily reach the state of Nirodhah.

Practicing Kriya Yoga

The Method of Kriya Yoga

Trying to cram all the techniques of Kriya yoga in one day or one session is impossible.  Learning Kriya yoga must be done slowly so that each technique is learned by heart.  Kriya is divided in six stages – first Kriya, second Kriya and so on.

Of course, a person must first learn the concepts of the first Kriya before proceeding to the second Kriya,  The first Kriya is the very foundation which opens the chakras and the spiritual path.  It doesn’t matter what religion a person has; everyone can practice Kriya yoga because it does not touch any touchy issues in religion.  It is simply a way for a person to be more in touch with himself or herself.

When a person has already mastered and learned by heart the concepts of first Kriya, he can then proceed to the second Kriya.  That process continues until the sixth Kriya is reached.

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What is the Aim of Kriya Yoga?

It aims to make people reach a state of mind where the only thing noticeable is the breath that is entering and leaving the body.  With constant practice, a person can easily arrive at this formless state.  When a person reaches this state, he is said to be basking in a divine light and for one to remain in the divine light, one must be in constant nirvana or achieve liberation in his lifetime.

Benefits of Practicing Kriya Yoga

Practicing Kriya yoga will open your chakras, making it susceptible to life force and vacuum.  Kriya yoga will help you in maintaining the life force inside you while preventing the vacuum from sucking the prana out of your body.

Kriya yoga will help you create an inner fire called the “tapa agni”.  This will allow you to burn your karmas – the result of your actions, thought, and other psychological issues.

Now that you have already learned all about Kriya yoga meditation, you now have a new way to achieve inner peace easily.  The breathing practices featured in Kriya yoga will not only help you achieve a constant feeling of serenity but you can also beat everyday stress with the breathing techniques.

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  • rcisophie profile image

    rcisophie 8 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal

    Hi thanks for the information. Some time ago I was researching different kind of yoga and practices, trying to understand a bit what yoga is. And of course, I found a lot of different yogas and lines - huff. I also saw some references about Kriya Yoga but by that time I didn't understood it very well. Now thaks to you it is much more clear to me. For what I saw it has similarities with Vipassana Meditation - both focus in breath.

    Until next time :)