Most of us have no trouble holding on…it’s the letting go that kicks our asana.
If you’re feeling stuck in your life right now, or just need some extra energy, then Kriya yoga might be just what the doctor ordered. If you’ve set goals and struggled to reach them, look around. What does your physical environment look like?
In this easily disposable world, before you know it, you have more stuff than you know what to do with. Those extras keeping piling and stacking until you feel like your head might explode. Then you wonder, why can’t I get to the next level?
People tend to hold on to useless items, add on more to what they already have . . .and rarely think about clearing out the old stuff.
Let Me Introduce Kriya
When you clean up and clear out your surroundings (decluttering), you’re practicing this ancient form of yoga called Kriya. (See told you there was more to yoga than poses.)
This is the form of yoga I love best. I may practice yoga-postures off and on, but I never stray too far or too long from Kriya. Because when I do. . .look out. . .I go bat-shit crazy.
I believe so strongly in it, I use it as the basis of all my teachings. Every client I work with must practice Kriya in some way. I love it so much I wrote a book taking the ancient practice and updating it for the work-at-home mommies.
Stage 1 :: Burning Impurities
The first stage is called “burning impurities.” This is where you want to clear out all that’s not working. These are actions you take to create your healthiest mind, body and spirit. Consider the process of refining gold. To become valuable, gold must first be mined from ore then heated up and the impurities removed.
The first stage of the renewal process is all about identifying—and eventually letting go of—the things that are driving you crazy and dragging you down. These “impurities” can show up in your life as negative thoughts, energies, false beliefs, and cluttered environments.
The universe likes to withhold the next revelation until the current situation is ready, and the best way to prepare for new developments is to make space for them.
Stage 2 :: Self-Study
The second stage is called “self-study.” In traditional Kriya yoga, this is the study of spiritual and intellectual texts in order to help seekers understand the world around them, and gain deeper insights during their own spiritual awakenings.
Giving the second stage an update, this is the practice of “studying your true self,” an opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of what makes you unique.
The first stage of burning impurities works directly with the second. When you remove the clutter, or distractions, confusion leaves too, making it easier for you to listen to your inner guide.
Stage 3 :: Surrender to the Divine
The third and last stage is “surrender to the divine.” Surrender means understanding that something bigger connects us all, and then trusting this higher power to provide exactly what you need, when you need it.
Surrender DOESN’T mean letting go of your dreams and desires. It means having them and trusting the Universe to provide them or something better. It also doesn’t mean waiting around for results to happen. The root of kriya is action, and for the process to be at its most powerful, you must learn to balance both action and letting go.
Just as self-study works hand-in-hand with burning impurities, the third stage provides value to the first two. Without surrendering, the other two stages are simply knowledge without freedom (something I know many of us are seeking).
You can also view this video where I explain Kriya yoga in a bit more detail.
Put it All Together
When you combine the three stages, Kriya becomes simply: “I need to train my senses, explore within, and let go of my attachments and aversions.”
In the individual stages, you’ll experience amazing results. Put them all together and that’s where the magic really happens. Kriya doesn’t discriminate. It works if you do the work, and it doesn’t matter why you choose to do it, whether you want to lose weight, follow your purpose, or have better work/life boundaries.