Steps to Learn Kriya Yoga
The Path of Kriya has five essential steps. The steps are described in various ways at the different Ananda teaching centers throughout the world. It takes about one year or more of study and practice to reach the point of initiation into the Kriya technique.
A person can prepare for Kriya either in-person, online, or through home book-study. If you are near one of our Ananda centers, we encourage you to learn the techniques in-person. If you are not near an Ananda center, they can be learned very effectively through Ananda’s online classes. We also offer a home book-study program for those who prefer that method of learning.
The five steps on the Path of Kriya Yoga, as presented through Ananda’s online courses are:
Step One: Lessons in Meditation
Right from the beginning, you will learn a simple yet effective technique of meditation, “Hong-Sau,” that was taught by Yogananda. You will also learn how to establish and maintain a sustainable meditation practice, and how to have deeper, calmer meditations.
In addition, you will learn Yogananda’s “Energization Exercises,” a unique set of exercises that will give you better health, more energy, and an ability to direct energy not only physically, but also in meditation. Step One also gives the basic philosophy behind the practice of meditation.
Step Two: Living the Principles of Self-Realization
Living the Principles of Self-Realization brings you the essential teachings and techniques of Raja Yoga that will prepare you to receive Kriya Yoga initiation. This course will streamline your process of preparing for Kriya Yoga and enrollment in this course follows your completion of Step 1: Lessons in Meditation.
Kriya Yoga is the sacred technique of meditation brought to the West by Paramhansa Yogananda.
The focus in this course is in three main areas: Yoga Philosophy, Breathing, and Meditation. The author Swami Kriyananda, clearly explains how these teachings, when correctly approached, can and will further our spiritual progress. He offers specific breathing and meditation exercises in each section. Through these exercises, you will personally experience the life-changing effect of Yogananda’s teachings.
Step Three: Course on Discipleship
The Guru-disciple relationship is the foundation of any true spiritual practice that can take one to divine freedom. Many people are surprised upon re-reading Yogananda’s Autobiography of a Yogi to find that much of the book is about that relationship and its importance. Step Three includes a discipleship ceremony that one can perform at home, for those who feel that Yogananda and this spiritual line are their Gurus. All of the teachings in the Path of Kriya are of universal benefit, even for those who don’t take that step of discipleship.
Step Four: Preparation for Kriya Yoga
In order to take Step Four, and to receive initiation into the Kriya Yoga technique, the student first must perform the discipleship ceremony mentioned above. Preparation for Kriya Yoga prepares the student for initiation into Kriya. Lessons include a step-by-step plan for the student to continue to develop their daily spiritual practices so that they can become eligible for initiation into the Kriya technique. This step also includes instruction in the AUM technique of meditation, one of four techniques that are central to the path of Kriya Yoga: Hong-Sau technique, energization exercises, AUM technique, and the Kriya technique.
Step Five: Initiation into Kriya
The technique of Kriya Yoga is traditionally given through personal initiation, and only after approval from Ananda Kriya Sangha. Ananda offers Kriya initiations throughout the world, and several times a year at Ananda Village in northern California.
It takes about one year or more of study and practice to reach the point of initiation into the Kriya technique.
Other Ways to Prepare for Kriya
At a Local Center
If you live near an Ananda Center, you can contact them for details on the Kriya Yoga preparation courses they offer. Preparing for Kriya Yoga at an Ananda Center is ideal if possible.
Home Book Study
This option is suitable for those who do not have easy access to a computer. The books are also a great secondary resource to both the online and in-person courses.