Kriya means cleansing. Kriyas entail special yoga techniques to cleanse the internal organs. It is series of posture, breathing and sound to purify the body’s energy channels. It also brings harmony between our major breathing flows, and helps attain physical and mental purification and balance.
Among the several kriyas available in the yogic lore, the six major kriyas, termed shat kriyas are quite comprehensive. They are:
- Trataka (for eyesight)
- Kapalabathi (from nostrils to lungs)
- Neti (from nostils to throat)
- Nauli (management of abdominal muscles)
- Dhouti (for upper gastrointestinal tract)
- Basti (for lower gastrointestinal tract)
Benefits of Kriyas
- Purifies the body from toxins
- Balance the glandular system
- Cleanses the inner tract, mainly the optical path, respiratory tract and gastrointestinal tract
- Increases the flexibility of the spine
- Develop an inner awareness
- Progression towards the spiritual path
- Helps to attain self-realization
- Build stamina and tolerance capacity
- Improves focusing and concentrating capacity
- Awakens the kundalini
The following Kriyas are taught and practiced at Yoga Central, to enable all round health and wellness.
Trataka is nothing but eye exercise in which one has to fix the mind by gazing steadily at a small object, black dot or candle flame without blinking. While practicing, relaxation of the eyes is important and one should avoid undue strain to the eyes. Jatra trataka and jyoti trataka are the two types of trataka. In that, jyoti trataka is very effective as the flame produces the best after-image that helps in easier visualization of the flame even when eyes are closed.
Preparatory exercises for the eyeball are necessary before gazing. During eye exercises you must keep your head still and move your eyeballs alone. You must sit in any of the meditative posture with the spine erect. The facial muscles, eyebrows and eyelids should remain relaxed with a smile on the face.
- It cleanses the tear gland, purifies the optical tract
- Improves memory power
- Develops intense concentration and will power
- Relieves nervous tension and insomnia
- Helps improve eyesight
The word kapala means skull and bhati means shine. So kapalabhati is a breathing exercise which cleanses the skull. It is a breathing technique to purify the frontal region of the brain and cleanses the nasal passage.
By sitting in a comfortable meditative pose with the adoption of mudra, you have to inhale deeply and practice rapid, active and forceful exhalation through both the nostrils with passive inhalation. Inhalation should be short and spontaneous by relaxing the abdominal muscles while exhalation is done with blasting out the air by vigorous flapping movement of the abdomen.
- Carbon dioxide is eliminated on a large scale
- Keeps the face young, shiny and wrinkle free
- Removes drowsiness from the body
- Strengthens the nervous system and respiratory tract
- Removes distractions from the mind
Neti is intended for cleansing the upper nasal tract from throat to nostrils. The two main netis are JalaNeti using saline water and SutraNeti using string or rubber catheter.
Ay Yoga Central, the students are taught JalaNeti, which they are then encouraged to practice at home on a regular basis.
- Removes cold, hypersensitivity and sinus
- Clears the nasal passage and pharynx
- Helps improve eyesight
Agnisara and uddiyana bandha are the preparatory phase for nauli. Nauli is an abdominal kriya which cleanses and massages the whole abdomen and stomach by contracting and rolling the abdominal muscles.
- Improves digestion and relives constipation
- Activates the function of liver, spleen and pancreas
You would have heard your breath. Have you ever heard your heart?