Practicing Kriya with Spinal Challenges


Hello, I once read, and it was years ago and don’t remember which book it was, that if someone who practices Kriya Yoga has a spine operation, that could interfere with the spinal energy when doing Kriya Yoga. Is there anything that you

can share that can clarify this question?

Thank you,

Frank Mitchell

—Frank, USA


Dear Frank,

As a young monk Swami Kriyananda spoke with Yogananda about Kriyananda having a deviated septum (nose) and wondering if a surgery to repair it was okay. Yogananda commented that it is generally best not to operate (surgically) on the centerline of the body. I know that Swami Kriyananda (“Swamiji”) would periodically answer questions like yours, such as what is the relationship between the physical spine (especially its health or lack thereof, such as in scoliosis) and the astral spine. Essentially, and like so many other physical issues, this can be overcome with effort and grace.

No physical disability can absolutely deny us our spiritual awakening and progress. One reason yoga emphasizes health is so that we eliminate those disabilities we can which together can be a formidable challenge to one’s ability to meditate, whether at all or for more than just a few minutes.

So you see, it’s something of a both-and response. On balance, however, it is clear that injury or abnormality of the physical spine is not a “deal-breaker” to one who meditates and practices kriya yoga. Comfort and sustainability of focus and time may require some compromises in achieving the ideal of, for example, keeping the spine away from the back of a chair, but ultimately our attention on kriya, practiced with devotion and as correctly as our condition allows, will yield the advancement promised by the masters. Okay?

May the airplane of kriya take you high and far towards Self-realization.

Nayaswami Hriman