What is Kriya Yoga?
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.”
How Can I Learn Kriya?
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 (Med 1): Learn Paramhansa Yogananda’s Energization Exercises and the Hong Sau technique of concentration; learn how to establish a daily practice using the techniques; begin to develop a philosophical understanding of the practices. more about meditation classes
2. The Art and Science of Raja Yoga (Med 2): Learn the science of yoga that guides the Kriya Yoga teachings, along with the additional practices of meditation, breathing, yoga postures, and more. more about Art and Science of Raja Yoga
3. Exploring Discipleship (Med 3): Learn the importance of the Guru-Disciple relationship, and why attunement and discipleship to a true guru are essential to spiritual progress. For those who are ready for discipleship, a discipleship initiation ceremony (Med 4) takes place after the class, in which one becomes a disciple of Paramhansa Yogananda and the line of Kriya Gurus: Mahavatar Babaji, Jesus Christ, Lahiri Mahasaya, Swami Sri Yukteswar, and Paramhansa Yogananda.
4. Preparation for Kriya Yoga (Med 5): Learn the AUM technique of meditation; deepen your understanding and practice of the other central techniques; learn more about the importance of discipleship and attunement to the guru as it relates to the path of Kriya; learn and practice techniques that will prepare you for initiation into the Kriya technique. (Prerequisites: Exploring Discipleship and initiation)
5. Kriya Initiation (Med 6): 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). At Ananda Portland we have two kriyacharyas, Nayaswami Daiva Glazzard and Nayaswami Gangamata Glazzard.
How long does all this take?
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.
Kriya initiations take place at Ananda Portland 2–3 times per year. Each student receives spiritual counseling from a kriyacharya and initiation is discussed in relationship to each student’s personal spiritual growth. Please contact us with questions.
What happens after I take initiation?
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)