“You can be in a room twenty years, trying to get out through the walls, the ceiling, the floor. It is when you finally discover the door that you find your way out. That’s how it is with the soul. The average devotee may struggle his whole life trying to escape the bodily limitations by unscientific means, and by the paths only of devotion or discrimination. Kriya Yoga takes one to God by the universal highway: the spine.”
– Paramhansa Yogananda, from Conversations with Yogananda
The Technique of Kriya Yoga
Kriya Yoga is so effective because it works directly with the source of spiritual growth – the energy pathways of the spine.
All yoga techniques work with this energy, usually indirectly. Yoga postures, for example, can help open up the spinal channels, and balance the energy in the spine. Yoga breathing exercises can help to awaken that energy.
The Kriya technique is much more direct. It helps the practitioner to control the life force by mentally drawing it up and down the spine, with awareness and will. According to Yogananda, one Kriya, which takes about a half-minute, is equivalent to one year of natural spiritual growth.
How Can I Learn Kriya Yoga?
Level One: (The Path of Kriya Yoga OR Learn to Meditate Series) Those interested in gaining a greater understanding of Kriya Yoga are encouraged to first take the 4-week class series The Path of Kriya Yoga. In this class, they read and study Autobiography of a Yogi as well as learn the Hong Sau meditation technique. They also receive instruction on the Energization Exercises. Learn more about The Path of Kriya Yoga
In the three week Learn to Meditate series or in the Meditation Intensive Workshop they will learn the Hong Sau technique in depth.
Students will also receive many tips on how to meditate effectively, establish a daily meditation routine, and how to integrate the benefits of meditation into your daily life. Learn more about our Learn to Meditate Series.
Level Two (The Art and Science of Raja Yoga), is an eight week course offered to beginner and advanced students. Prerequisite: level one or permission.
This comprehensive course draws its inspiration from Swami Kriyananda’s excellent book, the Art and Science of Raja Yoga. Raja Yoga is an in-depth study into all aspects of yoga philosophy and practical application: developing positive magnetism, affirmation, the chakras (spinal centers), diet, and healing techniques. Gentle hatha yoga postures, more advanced pranayama techniques, affirmations, and visualizations are also included in these classes to assist in preparation for more effective mediation experiences, In addition students will learn Yogananda’s Energization Exercises, which help them to become more aware of subtle energy so that they can direct that energy with will power to deepen their meditations and empower their lives. These exercises have been examined by doctors and health practitioners and have been given the highest endorsement. Each student will receive not only an in-depth understanding of the complete science of yoga but also a complete “toolbox” to take into their lives and their particular spiritual inclinations. Learn more about our Raja Yoga series.
Level Three; Attunement to the Masters: (Discipleship Explored and AUM: the Sacred Sound of Creation)
The Guru Disciple relationship is explored through the two-week class Discipleship Explored. At the end of the course for those who feel the calling to this ray of Self-realization offered through Ananda, discipleship is offered. Learn more about Discipleship Explored. The workshop AUM: the Sacred Sound of Creation is offered to deepen the yoga practitioner’s understanding of Aum and the mystical sounds emanating from the chakras. Aum technique is offered once discipleship is taken and a firm meditation practice is established. Learn more about AUM: the Sacred Sound of Creation.
Level Four (Kriya Preparation)
Kriya prep is the final class prerequisite before Kriya initiation. In this two week course, we will review and practice Hong Sau, Aum and Energization and learn several preparatory techniques for the Kriya. Contact our Spiritual Director, Supriya Chadwick for registration and more information on this final course.
Once these levels have been completed, qualified students are welcome to take part in our annual Ananda Dallas Kriya Initiation.
Kriya is only offered through initiation. Currently Kriya Yoga initiations are take place at Ananda Dallas once a year. In preparation for taking the initiation, one must complete the following requirements which are offered through class series throughout the year at the Ananda Dallas Center. On average, it typically takes one year to fulfill all these steps.
- 6 months or more of daily Hong Sau meditation practice
- Learn and practice of daily Energization Exercises
- Raja Yoga study and course completion
- Learn and practice the Aum technique
- Learn the Kriya Prep exercises
The secret of inner peace is loving God, and striving to be worthy of His love for you. — Kriya, controlling the mind directly through the life force, is the easiest, most effective, and most scientific avenue of approach to the Infinite.
In contrast to the slow, uncertain “bullock cart” theological path to God, Kriya may justly be called the “airplane route.”
— Paramhansa Yogananda