Ever hear of Kriyas?

Kriyas are ancient purification exercises called the Shat (six) Karmas (actions) or Kriyas.There are 6 purification practices were mentioned in many ancient yogic texts. They are meant to purify the whole body, as well as open the energy pathways of the body which are called nadi’s. These practices are very powerful and advanced and should not be attempted without an experienced Teacher. Originally kriyas were all taught as part of The Hatha Yoga tradition, but unfortunately they are rarely part of a Yoga Teacher Training program here in the west. I have been blessed to have studied and practiced at great lengths with some very knowledgable teachers here in town (Shakti Mhi and Bernie Clark). I learned first hand (and through much practice), how to safely practice them, and safety is key. The few that I do quite regularly are: Neti-(nasal cleansing), Nauli- (abdominal massage), and as some of you practice with me, Kapalabhati (purification of frontal lobes and lungs). Kapalabhati is a kriya as well as pranayam technique. Some kriyas I wouldn’t even try personally (no matter how much instruction I had and no matter who the Teacher was) but for the most part, some of these kriyas may change your life. You may find yourself feeling better, with more vitality than you have in years! Neti in particular is worth trying and is safe for most folks. *Check with your Doctor* Neti pots are for sale literally everywhere these days. When I was taught neti it wasn’t with a neti pot. It was with a full cup of saline using both nostrils at the same time. I was basically drinking (sucking) a full cup of saltwater up both nostrils at the same time as it poured out from my mouth. I know, it sounds so strange, and gross! hahaha.. But it really isn’t bad at all (as long as you have the salt water ratio down) *and the technique was being passed down to me by my teacher*. Neti has been used by practitioners of yoga and Ayurveda in India for hundreds, if not thousands of years. And like so many other yoga practices it has gone mainstream with Doctors widely recommending it to their patients for nasal issues, allergies and colds, sinusitis etc. I’ve never really had any ongoing nasal issues (other than the common yearly cold) but I love how it makes me feel. Purification is a central theme in yoga, and from an energy standpoint the practice cleanses the energy channels and helps to balance the right and left hemispheres much like nadi shodana.

There are more advanced techniques using various herbs and oils, but the simplest technique known, is jala neti. Jala neti uses water (jala) for the cleansing process. Above is a pic of my neti pot I snapped this morning before embarking on my morning neti. Neti isn’t part of my daily routine but I do it a few times per month (and it is best to lubricate your nostrils with sesame oil after doing neti as it can dry out the nasal passages). With all the dust, pollen and other irritants we breathe in we can get really clogged up and not even realize it. Neti is a good place to start kriya-wise. And with cold/flu season being here it is an inexpensive, holistic and drug free way to breathe freely. Like anything, you should do your research and speak to your caregiver, and as far as any of the other kriyas out there. Only practice under the guidance of a VERY qualified teacher. After all, we are playing with the energy body and that is powerful stuff. Namaste.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s