“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.
Kriya is only offered through initiation. Currently Kriya Yoga initiations are offered at Ananda Dallas once a year. In preparation for taking the initiation, one must complete all four levels of classes as a prerequisite
Level One (Learn to Meditate) is offered as either a four week course or as an intensive. Focusing on learning the subtle art of meditation. These classes are open to both beginner and advanced students. Students learn the specific technique of Hong Sau technique of meditation. Hong Sau is designed to increase powers of concentration and introspection while helping to still the mind and calm the heart
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.
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.
Level Three Attunement to the Masters: (Discipleship)
This two week course is for those who feel the calling to this particular ray of Self-realization offered through Ananda. The prerequisite for taking this course is to have completed the first two levels. We explore the Guru-Disciple relationship and learn the Aum Technique of Meditation. This technique helps one to listen and be absorbed by the mystical sounds that emanate from the chakras, awakening divine qualities such as inner calmness, soul expansion, unconditional love and joy. A Discipleship Ceremony is offered upon completion those who feel inspired and would like to continue on to take Kriya initiation.
Level Four (Kriya Preparation) is a four week course and the final level of the series is for those who want to take the Kriya initiation. We will review and practice Hong Sau, Aum and Energization and learn several preparatory techniques for the Kriya.
Once all of these levels have been completed, qualified students are welcome to take part in our annual Ananda Dallas Kriya Initiation.
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