Tapah Svadhyaya Ishvara-Pranidhana Kriyayogaha––
Yoga in the form of action (kriya yoga) has three parts: 1) training and purifying the senses (tapas), 2) self-study in the context of teachings (svadhyaya), and 3) devotion and letting go into the creative source from which we emerged (ishvara pranidhana). - Yoga Sutras 2.1
Who doesn’t want a clear mind, that is relaxed, brilliant, and good natured?
Tense, anxious, and worried minds plague the best of us. In today’s world, stress management has become a crucial skill to develop and everyone is on the hunt for the cure.
So, what is the prescription for a tranquil, clear and peaceful mind? There are two parts: having a desire and having a practice. If you have the desire to say, “That’s enough! I deserve more!” and adopt a practice that will turn your desire into reality you have everything you need.
There is a universal practice that everyone can use no matter who you are—one that is independent of religion, culture, race or financial status.
In the yoga tradition this practice is called Kriya Yoga. The word “Kriya” means actions. These actions make up a triadic formula, that when practiced together transform an individual to a better place.
Maybe you’ve heard echos of this kind of practice before? "God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference,” describes it perfectly in the famous Serenity Prayer.
The actions, or Kriyas, are as follows:
Kriya yoga aims to extract the essence of who we really are and who we are meant to be, but there are hindrances to this aim that are often hidden.
As you begin to study yourself and initiate new disciplines remember to make them realistic and be gentle with yourself. Watch as the hindrances that previously blocked your light become revealed. You will begin to understand yourself from a different vantage point and surrendering becomes less about “defeat” and more about flowing with life’s natural currents. Every moment will be a chance to acknowledge a new power within you and engage with it in order to up-level your life.
Remember, as long as you have a desire to change and the practices that facilitate those changes, a field of infinite possibility surrounds you.
We will be diving into each Kriya and how to practice them over the next few months. Stay tuned…
A Yoga Unplugged collaboration - written by Jennifer Reuter, edited by Sarah Burchard