Intensive self-discipline, studious Self-inquiry, and surrender to God are the practices of Kriya Yoga. Yoga Sutras – Patanjali


As in all other spiritual disciplines, the teaching and guidance of a master is essential.

Initiation plays a very important role for the beginner in kriya yoga. The initiation in Sanskrit is called diksa: dik meaning direction and ksa meaning sky/heaven. Therefore diksa symbolizes direction to heaven or the opening of the third eye. The aim of this stage is to bring the disciple from life to Soul, from swara to iswara. The master’s role is to help his/her disciple to connect and open the third eye.

The initiation is a reference to our second birth. The first one being the physical birth, when only the body is born. We must be born a second time in order to understand the meaning of prana (life force).

The second birth, dvija, gives access to knowledge. dvi meaning twice and ja meaning manifestation of life. This will allow us to open and purify each of our chakra and liberate our karma.

The transmission of Kriya Yoga is based on the following key points:

  1. Theoretical knowledge, basic philosophical concepts and goals,
  2. Fundamental lifestyle principles.
  3. Yoga and meditation routines.

The teaching of the discipline is divided into 6 stages. The first kriya, second kriya, third and so on. The first Kriya is the foundation of the discipline and of all the other stages. It is the base of the spiritual path. It gives access to the knowledge of the body, soul and chakras.


The practice of Kriya yoga is based on the breath, the brain and the spinal cord. Breath is the intermediary between the Soul and the brain. The brain is the intermediary between the sense organs and the mind. The lower part of the brain ( spinal cord) transmits all our physical actions to the sense organs. Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras says that we should control the mind through the breath by practicing meditation.

There are 8 steps of Astanga Yoga described in Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras. The First Kriya covers these eight steps. The correlation between the two systems is as follows:

  1. Guru pranamyama, thorough inner control and self mastery.
  2. Ista pranam – yama, through inner control and self mastery.
  3. Hung Sa sadhananiyama, rules and regulations regarding inner life
  4. Mahamudraasana, “the great posture”
  5. Kriya properpranayama, based on prana-samjama (balance or control of breath)
  6. Paravasthapratyahara, dharana, dhyana, samadhi. Withdrawal of the senses- renunciation, concentration, contemplation. Going beyond the body.
  7. Jyoti mudra, mudra or asana for inner light.


While practicing Kriya yoga 3 points are really important:

According to Patanjali, a posture (asana) should be calm and pleasant beyond the physical plane.

For a complete and exhaustive understanding of the technique and the philosophy of Kriya yoga, we recommend the last edition of “Kriya Yoga Darshan“, (2014), a book originally written by Swami Shankarananda Giri and revised by his disciple Kunjan Kumar Chauhan.