The Positive Effects Of Kriya Yoga On The Brain
Cover Photo By Ksenia Makagonova
By Lexi Faith
Although we have heard about the powerful effects of yoga and meditation now for years, what hasn’t been discussed in such length are the effects of Kriya Yoga on the brain. Kriya yoga is a style of yoga that works with mantras, pranayama, and repetitive movements to create a moving meditation which generates electricity and shifts our energy on the cellular level. Sound interesting? Well, it is.
Studies have shown that the practice of kriyas shifts our brainwaves, which results in allowing the unconscious to become conscious. In this process, we can awaken to our true nature through increased awareness and increased relaxation.
There are four types of brain waves researched in this study. First, we have beta waves, which are what we use for problem-solving and thinking, when heightened, can manifest as excitement or anxiety. Alpha waves are the alert attentiveness we experience in everyday, relaxed, waking life. Theta and Delta waves occur in deep relaxation, which gives us access to our subconscious mind. This happens in dream states, while experiencing strong emotions, and during deep meditative states.
This study shows that the brain moves into alpha and theta states during the practice of kriya yoga, which allows access to the subconscious mind. With access to the subconscious mind we can bring the light of awareness to our thought, emotional, and behavioral patterns otherwise missed. Along with asana and pranayama, which bring greater awareness to the body and the breath, one can master the self through these practices.
Here is a 4 minute kriya to get you started:
For those who are interested in experiencing the benefits of kriya yoga, I recommend Sattva Yoga. Sattva Yoga, founded by Anand Mehrotra in Rishikesh, India, offers the practice of kriya yoga. In what are called “yoga journeys,” Sattva Yoga integrates the use of kriyas, mantra, pranayama, meditation, asana, and freedom movement in an all-encompassing experience of yoga, allowing the student to drop into a deep state of awareness.
You can study kriya yoga around the world, here are a few Sattva Yoga teachers you can check out:
Sattva Yoga in India:
Anand Mehrotra, Sattva Yoga Academy - Rishikesh, India
Sattva Yoga in Europe:
Carina Jacobson - Sweden
Caleb Jude Packman - London, England
Valentina Limetti - Lecce, Italy
Paul Selvey - London, England
Beth Payton - Manchester, England
Sattva Yoga in North America:
Chad Woodford - San Francisco, CA
Deidre Norman - San Francisco, CA + Jackson, WY
Cathy Connors - Sacramento, CA (Owns a Sattva Yoga Studio)
Corrin Vecchitto - Hawaii
Adam Schomer - Santa Monica, CA
Jennifer Goodman - Chicago, IL
Somah Devi Ma - Castle Rock + Denver, Colorado
Erika Guerra-Todd - Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
Sattva Yoga Retreats Worldwide: