What is a Kriya Practice and What are the Benefits?

You may have heard me talk about using kriya (pronounced CREE-YAH) in yoga practice or when I talk about my upcoming 100-Hour Beyond the Asana Training, but what actually is kriya?

Kriya means evolutionary action.

In yoga it is a repetitive breath, mantra, and/or movement designed to create a specific energetic impact. There are kriyas for everything: Kriyas that help you align with compassion, find strength or get grounded. There are kriyas that help you let go, to open and so many more! Mantra kriya, for example, helps one to come into their voice.

AND Kirya is fun to practice! In my experience, kriya helps you feel truly empowered!

The Benefits of Kriya

There are many benefits to this practice, depending on what kriya you are doing, but overall these practices:

  • Calm the mind and shift limiting thought patterns

  • Impact the subtle body: releasing bio-memory in the cells and awakening dormant energy.

  • Reset the nervous system

  • Rewire the brain and increase activity in the pre-frontal cortex.

  • Shift the neuro-chemical environment of the brain with the potential to produce serotonin, oxytocin and dopamine

  • Cultivate self-empowerment

  • Live in flow state

  • Raise your consciousness

  • Awakens intuition and higher states of consciousness.

When you practice daily, you are creating a new pattern in your life; and when you do that, the habits that are not serving you will naturally drop.


Creating New Patterns in Your Life by Rewiring the Nervous System

Here’s an example for how Kriya can rewire the nervous system, so you can get a feel for how the practice works.

Say you grew up with a lot of stress, busyness, overwhelm and/or traumas in your household. This tends to lead to our sympathetic nervous system being turned on all the time. Over time, this can become your baseline, where you are on high alert and in that fight or flight pattern, and carry that pattern through your life.

When you practice kriya consistently, you are turning on and tapping into the parasympathetic nervous system and can begin to rewire your old tendency to hold the body in high alert.