Kriya Yoga

Altar at a Kriya Yoga Initiation


Kriya Yoga is a meditation technique that quickly accelerates one’s spiritual growth.

It became widely known through Paramhansa Yogananda’s Autobiography of a Yogi. According to Yogananda, Kriya is the most effective technique for reaching the goal of Yoga: union with the Divine.

Ananda has initiated thousands of seekers into Kriya Yoga for the last forty years. Its effectiveness has been proven in the lives of people from all walks of life, religions, and nationalities.

What is Kriya Yoga?

Kriya Yoga is an advanced technique for spiritual evolution that has been taught by enlightened sages for thousands of years. Part of the ancient science of Raja Yoga, it is mentioned by Patanjali in his Yoga Sutras and by Krishna in the Bhagavad Gita.

Kriya works by giving the practitioner Pranayama, or control of the life force. Through life force control, the yogi is able to overcome all the obstacles preventing union with the divine.

Paramhansa Yogananda taught Kriya Yoga as part of a spiritual path that includes other yoga practices and discipleship to the Kriya line of spiritual teachers, or gurus.

The Kriya technique itself is given after about one year of study and practice of the other techniques that are part of the path of Kriya Yoga. The Kriya technique is generally given through direct initiation from a qualified Kriya Yoga teacher, or acharya.

Origin of Kriya Yoga

Kriya Yoga is an ancient technique that was hidden in secrecy for many centuries. It was revived in 1861, when the great yogi Mahavatar Babaji taught the technique to his disciple Lahiri Mahasaya during their meeting in the Himalayas.

Kriya has been taught in an unbroken link of spiritual succession to this day. Paramhansa Yogananda personally authorized his disciple, Swami Kriyananda (founder of Ananda) to initiate qualified people into Kriya.

You can be in a room twenty years, trying to get out through the walls, the ceiling, the floor. It is when you finally discover the door that you find your way out. That’s how it is with the soul.

The average devotee may struggle his whole life trying to escape the bodily limitations by unscientific means, and by the paths only of devotion or discrimination. By Kriya Yoga, however, if he is sincere, he can escape quickly. Kriya Yoga takes one to God by the universal highway: the spine.

—Paramhansa Yogananda

The single most important event of my life was taking my first Kriya Yoga Initiation at Ananda…I have regularly and faithfully practiced Kriya since that time and I can say, without reservation, that all the promises that our Gurus make regarding Kriya Yoga and what it can do for your spiritual progress are very, very true!

—C.C.

As my Kriya practice deepens, I know in my heart I am on my way to becoming who I want to become and achieving the ultimate goal of Self-realization.

—P.K.

I have been experiencing such wonderful results.… There has not been a day that I have not felt God’s and Yogananda’s presence with me since I took my Kriya Initiation. WHAT A JOY!

—J.H.