“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. By Kriya Yoga, however, if he is sincere, he can escape quickly. Kriya Yoga takes one to God by the universal highway: the spine.”
—Paramhansa Yogananda, from Conversations with Yogananda
What is Kriya Yoga?
It was first made widely known by Paramhansa Yogananda in his Autobiography of a Yogi.
According to Yogananda, Kriya is the most effective technique available to mankind today for reaching the goal of Yoga: union with the Divine.
Ananda has taught thousands of seekers the sacred technique of Kriya Yoga for more than 40 years. Its effectiveness has been proven in the lives of people from all walks of life, religion and nationality.
“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
The Technique of Kriya Yoga
Kriya Yoga is so effective because it works directly with the source of growth – the spiritual energy deep in our spines.
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.
The technique itself is taught through initiation. As Yogananda said in his autobiography, “Because of certain ancient yogic injunctions, I cannot give a full explanation of Kriya Yoga in the pages of a book intended for the general public. The actual technique must be learned from a Kriyaban or Kriya Yogi; here a broad reference must suffice.” See the steps to Kriya Yoga initiation.
You can learn more by reading The Science of Kriya Yoga in Autobiography of a Yogi.