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Common Mistakes in Kriya Yoga

There are a few common mistakes in Kriya Yoga related to breathing that can impact one’s practice. These include the use of upper chest breathing, not exhaling fully before Kriya Pranayama, and holding too much air in the lungs. Using simple pointers to remediate these mistakes can improve your Kriya Yoga practice considerably.

What is Kriya Yoga?

Kriya Yoga is one of the most effective methods for getting into a deep meditative state. From its origins in the 1860s in India as taught by Yogiraj Lahiri Baba (Lahiri Mahasaya), Kriya Yoga has spanned the globe to bring this powerful yoga sadhana (yoga meditation practice) to millions, allowing them to have direct experience of their inner spiritual nature. Embracing students of all faiths and all backgrounds, Kriya Yoga continues to empower its practitioners in their spiritual development.

Practice Your Kriya Yoga

Some students are interested in the theory behind Kriya Yoga as supported by esoteric terminology. While this provides a mental concept or map of the experience of meditation, it is sometimes more confusing than it is helpful. Students who are overly preoccupied with their mental maps may neglect their actual practice. This is a mistake because it is the actual experience of meditation as supported by Kriya Yoga sadhana that will produce results.

Kriya Yoga, Dhyana, and Bhakti

There are some schools of Kriya Yoga that teach students to develop practices of bhakti (devotion) by stirring up one’s emotional fervour and projecting that feeling outwards. However, this is not the way the Lahiri Baba taught Kriya Yoga. Instead, he advised students to follow the process of meditative absorption and have a natural experience of bhakti through one’s inner experiences.

Kriya Yoga and the Wandering Mind

Distraction or the wandering mind is a common occurrence in meditation. Those who try to suppress or fight with mental distractions end up creating a more difficult situation for themselves in meditation. There is a simple and effective method that you can use to deal with the wandering mind and help induce deeper states of absorption.

Accessing the Shamatha Jhanas

Accessing the Shamatha Jhanas, or concentration states, can often be challenging for students. While some students are told to increase their concentration to achieve these states, there is a better solution. Students who practice a form of intentional breathing, such as Kriya Yoga, can learn to slow down their breath and start to experience the Shamatha Jhanas very quickly. Kriya Yoga is a best practice approach for efficiently attaining deep concentration states.

Kriya Yoga and Mastering Meditation

Many Kriya yogis think that mastering meditation is completely about attaining perpetual states of bliss, but this is incorrect. While it is important to induce and sustain meditative states, it is also equally important to have a true perception of what those states entail in terms of the arising and disappearing sensations that make up those states. Taking such an approach will allow one to develop skills for going into deep meditation and also clarity of perception, both of which are essential for spiritual development.