Yoga

Kriya Yoga Asanas and its Benefits

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Kriya yoga is a form of Yoga that was revived by His Holiness “Babaji Nagaraj””. It is a synthesis of 18 Siddha Traditions. The yoga form tries to blend together God, Truth and Union and Self-Realization.

Kriya in layman terms mean “action with awareness”. The asanas, pranayama, meditaion and mantras make the person aware of all his actions, dreams, desires and aspirations.  A person can benefit completely from Kriya yoga only if the willingness of body, mind and heart is in line with the soul’s desire to be perfect and pure. Traditionally, this yoga form was associated with religious activities. However, now it is mostly practiced for its health benefits.
The yoga form includes a set of techniques, i.e., “kriyas”, which are classified in 5 branches.

1. Kriya Hatha Yoga:

Kriya Hatha Yoga deals with asanas that aid a person in both mental and physical relaxation. There are 18 asanas under Kriya Hatha Yoga.

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2. Kriya Kundalini Pranayama:

Kriya Kundalini Pranayama helps to circulate energy to every nerve in the body. Its focus is on clearing the nervous system.

3. Kriya Dhyana Yoga:

Kriya Dhyana Yoga aids in developing the power of concentration. It also helps to connect the inner consciousness with the waking consciousness.

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4. Kriya Mantra Yoga:

Kriya Mantra Yoga focuses on awakening the intuition, intellect and chakras. The purpose of the mantra is to aid in accumulating great amounts of energy.

5. Kriya Bhakti Yoga:

Kriya Bhakti Yoga helps to stir the soul to reach for the divine, through devotional activities.

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Before performing any asanas, one can do these simple steps to get comfortable:

1. Sit on a cushion or low stool comfortably so that the knees are below your pelvis level.
2. It is preferable to sit in the lotus pose (padmasana), with the thumb and index finger making a circle and the other fingers pointed straight.
3. Keep your spine straight and stay relaxed.
4. Close your eyes and take as much as five minutes to relax your body and all major muscle groups.
5. Relax your mind by focussing on one thought. Even if other thoughts occur to you, let them pass and go back to the thought you want to focus on.
6. Do this for at least 20 minutes.
Here are some of the asanas with the benefits, so that you may perform them within the comfort of your home.

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1. Kriya Vanakam Asanam (Kriya pose of salutation):

Kriya vanakam asana strengthens the lower back, spine and shoulders. It can be practised by people of any age. It activates the crown chakra. It is the first and basic asana in Kriya yoga.

1. Stand with your heels together and toes apart.
2. Kneel down on the floor and bend your head forward so that the crown touches the floor. Rest your hand on either side.
3. Join your palms together in front of your head in prayer.
4. Raise your feet slightly up and chant the mantra “Om Kriya Babaji Namah Aum”
5. Lower your feet and go back to original position.

2. Meenasanam (Fish pose):

The asana helps to activate the digestive system by strengthening the stomach. Therefore constipation is reduced. The thyroid, parathyroid and adrenal glands are stimulated by doing this yoga. The spine is strengthened and cervical problems can also be reduced. It also strengthens the lungs; therefore problems like asthma can be healed.

1. Stand with your heels together and toes apart.
2. Sit cross legged, with the right leg on the outside and grasp your toes with your hands.
3. Lie back without letting go off the toes.
4. Arch your back, so that the crown touches the floor. Try to being your knees to the floor, making the back arch even further. Remain in this pose for 16 breaths.
5. Now sit up and lean forward and touch your head to the floor.
6. Roll backwards so the feet touch the ground above your head.
7. Repeat the last two steps for at least 10 times and return to original position.

3. Pambu Asanam (Cobra Pose):

This asana is believed to cure back pain. It removes gas from the stomach and intestines, therefore improving digestion process and regulating bowel movements. Problems like blood pressure, menstrual discomfort can also be cured by doing this asana.

1. Stand with your heels together and toes apart.
2. Lie down on your tummy with the hands on your sides.
3. Place your palms on the floor below your shoulders.
4. Pressing your palms firmly to the ground, push your torso up, with head facing the ceiling.
5. Arch your back and keep your hands perpendicular to the ground, pushing the torso further up. Your elbows must be close to the chest and the pelvis must be on the ground.
6. Slowly lower thechest, head and arms.
7. Relax and slowly go back to step 2 and then step 1.

4. Amarntha Kokkuasanam (Seated crane pose):

The spine is stretched to the maximum by doing this asana. The spinal muscles are also tonned by doing this asana. The abdominal fat on hips, thighs and buttocks can be reduced. It also aids in reducing blood pressure.

1. Stand with your heels together and toes apart.
2. Now lie on your back, with arms on the sides.
3. Stretch your arms above the head on the floor.
4. Now sit up trying to stretch your hands to touch the feet, gently moving back and forth. This would elongate the back.
5. Stretch your hands beyond the feet, or grab them at the ankles, extending your torso forward.
6. Go back to step 3 and repeat the steps for 6 to 10 times.
7. Then relax with arms on the sides.

Benefits of doing Kriya Yoga:

Kriya yoga seems to work wonders for the following health conditions:

1. Hypertension : Kriya Yoga brings down hypertension in patients. One can observe a significant decrease in diastolic blood pressure, serum urea and plasma MDA on performing Kriya yoga. Unlike medication, Kriya yoga only brings down higher values to normal range.

2. Depression: The breathing exercises under Kriya yoga have a very calming ad stimulating effect on the mind. There is a chance of great reduction in anxiety and depression. It also has a positive impact on the mood of a person.

3. Stress: A person practising Kriya yoga can improve pain tolerance. This can therefore help in overcoming stress.

A person, who regularly practices Kriya Yoga, would be able to relieve himself of all negativities making him a better human being.

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