Am I Ready for Kriya Yoga Initiation?


Hi, very soon I will have my first Kriya initiation and I’m so happy. However, because of an illness in this first year of discipleship my daily practice got interrupted so many times, also for many weeks. I always did my best to practice devotion, and to follow Guru’s teachings, but now I’m scared that I might not be really ready for Kriya because of that. How can I understand if this is the right moment? Thank you, with love, Riccardo.

—Riccardo, Italy


Dear Riccardo,

I hope the illness is gone now. Interrupting for “many weeks” sounds like something rather serious. All the best to you.

Concerning taking Kriya now: I don’t know your level of practice after one year, so I can’t tell for sure. But if you are in doubt, it might be wise to wait. There should be no rush in taking Kriya initiation. A good preparation is gold. In other words: with insufficient preparation Kriya won’t be the same.

Here are a few guidelines you might want to consider:

  • Once you are healthy you need to establish a meditation morning and evening, regularly, daily, and feel comfortable with Yogananda’s Hong Sau technique. You don’t need to be perfect (who is?), but comfortable with going inside daily, holding inner concentration at least to a certain degree.
  • Your body needs to have learned to sit comfortably and straight in meditation. A straight spine is essential. Otherwise, Kriya will not be very effective. You also need to have learned to keep the body motionless (at least for some time), or else your inner energy will always go to the body and you can’t really go deep during Kriya.
  • You need to have practiced Yogananda’s energization exercises regularly, daily, feeling some degree of energy awareness and energy control. Otherwise, Kriya Yoga will be superficial. Kriya is done with energy.
  • Your breath needs to be long. If it is not, you may practice some pranayama. Kriya is done with long breaths, or else it’s not really Kriya.
  • I don’t want to give you specific techniques for preparation, as I do not want to interfere with the channel who has given you training so far. But try to do something that brings your awareness toward to the spine, as Kriya is practiced in the spine.
  • Your devotion and attunement to Yogananda seems sincere, that is great. Actually, this is the most important ingredient. Keep it alive, every day.

There is a useful book on Kriya Yoga which you might want to study, containing many teachings of Yogananda and Kriyananda on Kriya. It’s in Italian (available also in English), called Kriya Yoga, by Jayadev Jaerschky.

To sum up: our spiritual director at Ananda Assisi, Kirtani, prepared for three years before taking Kriya initiation and was glad she did. It pays.

Guruji bless you and guide your decision,