The Power Of The Integrated Practice Of Sattva Yoga
Cover Photo By Jen Armstrong
By Lexi Faith
What is Sattva Yoga?
Sattva Yoga is an integrated practice of Yoga, which comes from Kriya Yoga from the Babaji Lineage of Paramahansa Yogananda, through Anand Mehrotra. In Sanskrit, “sattva” means lucidity, lightness, happiness, tranquility, and non-attachment. "Kriya" means "action that leads us to evolution, expansion, and liberation." In Sanskrit, "Kri" means "action, to do;" and "ya" is another name for "Atman," or Soul. Kriya is a Himalayan Kundalini technique or action designed to create an evolutionary response. The purpose of kriya is to get access to deeper states of shunya, or unity consciousness. Kriyas work to generate electricity by combining repetitive movements and mantras to create a moving meditation. This movement of electricity helps to awaken and transform ones' energy to create a physical, psychological, and spiritual shift in one's being. Kriyas can prevent injuries and assist in healing at the cellular level as prana is awakened and heat is ignited from the inside out. Whereas it takes 30 minutes for asana to have a deep, penetrating effect, with kriyas it takes just minutes. Kriya is used in different traditions, such as the Babaji Lineage, the Kundalini Tradition, and the classical Hatha tradition. Although the practices vary according to the tradition, the common thread and purpose of Kriya is for evolutionary action.
The Sattva Yoga practice is an integration of Hatha Yoga, meditation, prānāyāma (Yogic breathing), Kriya, mantra, freedom movement, and transcendental wisdom. More specifically, it incorporates the five main threads of Yoga:
Raja: asana (physical yoga poses), meditation
Tantra: pranayama, Kriya, naad (yoga of sound), Himalayan kundalini, Laya movements
Jñāna: satsang (Q&A), wisdom talks, study of ancient yoga texts
Bhakti: sacred rituals, kirtan, sangha (community), partner work
Karma: seva (selfless service); ayurveda; and conscious eating, consumption, conversation, and parenting
A practice of Kriya is a tool for people to increase their ability to hold and sustain rising energy of kundalini. This practice is great for those who have had an awakening, and are looking for a holistic practice to integrate and guide their own shakti energy. Sattva Yoga is a method that strengthens the energetic body for a smooth transition into awakening as well. We use Sattva Yoga to prepare ourselves physically, mentally and spiritually for the transformative experience available through accessing the deep reservoir of intelligent energy of the universe. Although Kriyas work to generate electricity, asana and freedom movement work to integrate the generated energy into the body, making sattva yoga an incredibly grounding practice.
Kriyas are a technique that teach us to master our own energy field. Each Kriya connects with a different energetic frequency, some leading us to the heart intelligence in a meditative manner, called laya movements, some invoking transcendental states, some move energy through voice, others through mantra and breath. Together in a guided experience, each journey is taught with a specific intention, combining the transformative practice of Kriya, pranayama, asana, mantra, ecstatic dance, and more in an integrative yogic experience.
In a study conducted by Stanford University, it was found that Kriya Yoga was able to bring down hypertension in patients. Studies have also found that the Kriya exercises aim at calming a patient’s mind and reducing anxiety and depression by almost 67%. In the practice of Sattva Yoga, the entire human system is energized in a very short amount of time. All of the internal organs are activated as they secrete necessary hormones and enzymes to keep the body fit. As well, with this practice there will be sufficient blood circulation to the brain and spine for balanced supply of oxygen to every party of the body. Although Kriyas produce incredible health benefits, Sattva Yoga is particularly designed for transformation, personal growth, and a steady awakening into our full potential.
For thousands of years Kriya Yoga from the Babaji Lineage was only offered from guru to disciple, however with the worldwide interest in awakening, the practice is slowly beginning to be offered in more settings by initiated teachers. This practice was passed down to Anand Mehrotra, who has taught myself and other Sattva Yoga teachers the fully integrated practice of yoga.
If you would like to join SF Yoga on a Spiritual Pilgrimage to India and visit the home of Sattva Yoga, click HERE.