Paramhansa Yogananda brought Kriya Yoga to the West in 1920, although yogis and great masters have taught it for thousands of years, usually in secrecy. In his Autobiography of a Yogi, Yogananda wrote that the technique of Kriya, or a similar technique, has been practiced by many masters and prophets, including Krishna, Christ, Kabir, Arjuna, and Patanjali. Because of its effectiveness, Yogananda referred to the Kriya technique as “the airplane route to God.”


Ananda Portland teaches Kriya Yoga just as it was taught by Yogananda, as a comprehensive spiritual path. There are five steps on the path of Kriya Yoga, including initiation into the Kriya technique. These steps may be described differently at various Ananda teaching centers, but the overall process is similar:

1. Learn How to Meditate:

Learn Paramhansa Yogananda’s  Hong Sau technique of concentration; learn how to establish a daily practice of meditation and energy control and begin to develop a philosophical understanding of the practices.

Our Learn to Meditate course is divided into two parts:

Part One includes all the essentials for beginning a practice of meditation.

  • Posture
  • Breath
  • Relaxation
  • Yogananda’s technique of interiorization and concentration – Hong Sau
  • Introduction to astral anatomy, energy flow, consciousness and going within.

Part Two is about the importance of energy.

  • Energization Exercises introduced by Paramhansa Yogananda
  • More pranayam (energy control) techniques
  • Introduction to the power of affirmations
  • Opening the heart and focusing the mind
  • Going beyond technique to expansion

more about meditation classes

2. The Art and Science of Raja Yoga:

This is a comprehensive course on yoga philosophy and living the teachings for those who desire to go deeply into how yoga helps you spiritualize your entire life. The yoga teachings explain that this world is a school, where we are sent to develop our “spiritual muscles” by learning the many lessons life teaches us. This is the second step on the Path to Kriya Yoga for those who are on the track to initiation into Kriya.

Topics in this course include:  

Hatha yoga, pranayam, affirmations, healing aspects of yoga, 8-fold Path of Patanjali, the astral and causal planes, qualities of consciousness (gunas), chakras, guided meditation, energization exercises, magnetism, yogic diet, qualities of food, cycles of time, yoga as a way of life.

Completion of Learn to Meditate is needed before the Art and Science of Raja Yoga.

March 2024: This course is being offered through Ananda Portland, in-person, at the Portland Temple. Learn more about the details and how to register on the event page HERE.

3. Exploring Discipleship:

Through discipleship we are able to achieve a balance of self-effort and divine grace that is essential to spiritual progress. Swami Kriyananda’s life shows us a beautiful example of the importance and practice of the Guru-Disciple relationship. The timeless teachings of yoga are a roadmap to Self-Realization through the combination of spiritual practices and the eternal bond of disciple and guru.  If, after completing this course, you feel ready for this level of commitment, you may receive discipleship initiation to Paramhansa Yogananda and this line of Masters of Self-Realization.

This course is for those actively seeking initiation into Kriya Yoga and who have completed Learn to Meditate and The Art and Science of Raja Yoga.

4. Preparation for Kriya Yoga:

This course is for those who have completed the Learn to Meditate classes, The Art and Science of Raja Yoga course, and who have taken discipleship initiation and wish to continue the preparation for Kriya Yoga initiation.  Kriya Yoga is a spiritual path, not just a single technique. Preparation for Kriya after discipleship includes the AUM technique and deepening all the practices taught thus far. This course will help you to put all your previous training together into a comprehensive daily practice.

5. Kriya Initiation:

Initiation into Kriya is given to those who have completed the first four steps and established a daily sadhana (spiritual practice) incorporating the main techniques that are part of the path of Kriya. You must also receive approval from Ananda Kriya Sangha or a qualified Kriya Yoga teacher (kriyacharya).

Kriya initiations take place at Ananda Portland twice a year and are also regularly scheduled in other centers and the Ananda Village in California. Remote initiation is possible if the student cannot attend in person. Each student receives spiritual counseling and initiation is discussed in relationship to each student’s personal spiritual growth. Please contact us with questions.


The process leading up to Kriya initiation, beginning with Step 1, usually takes one year or longer, depending on the student. In order to receive Kriya, students must have a regular daily practice of the main three techniques taught in the first four steps: Energization Exercises; Hong Sau technique; AUM technique. Students should also be working toward establishing a twice daily practice of meditation, with a total daily focused sitting meditation time of approximately one and a half hours, including the practice of the Hong Sau and AUM techniques.


We hope that during the time of preparation before Kriya initiation, you become involved in the many aspects of Ananda Portland and come to feel that you are a part of a supportive spiritual family. Discipleship and service to a line of Self-realized masters will change your life, but your life is a unique expression and won’t look exactly like anyone else’s. Kriya is a deep blessing—if it is used. We are here to support your ongoing spiritual journey.

More about support for Kriyabans (those who have taken Kriya initiation)