All you need to know about Isha Kriya meditation

Avatar for Declan Davey and Mish Khot By in Guided meditation, meditation, mindfulness, wellbeing, yoga on 01/12/2020
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12-18 minutes, twice a day… yes, that really is all it takes to master Isha Kriya.

Inviting more tranquility, peace, and joy into your life doesn’t need to be difficult. A week-long meditation retreat may work for some people but not everyone has the time (or desire!) for that.

So how can you look after your mental and physical wellbeing at home in a practical, natural way? Ahh, we’ve found an answer. Read on to discover the magic of Isha Kriya and how it can benefit you today.

Key Highlights

  • Created by Sadhguru, the most renowned yogi in the world today, Isha Kriya is a “simple yet powerful tool to move from untruth to Truth”
  • This special meditation focuses on three pillars to calm the body and mind: awareness, breathing, and thought
  • You can search for the best meditation experts in Australia on Avaana

What is the Isha Kriya school of thought?

Isha Kriya was designed by the world-famous spiritual guru, Sadhguru, to bring the ancient knowledge of yoga into a modern context.

The word Isha means The source of all creation and Kriya means Internal action.

Joined together, it means taking actions that allow you to connect with the source of your existence. It is meant to empower you to understand and process the bigger picture so you can redesign your life as you see fit.

isha kriya meditation

This is an extremely simple process but it is a powerful tool to help deal with the stressors and pace of modern living. It includes the following practices:

  • Physical postures (Sadilaja and Yoga Namaskar)
  • Nada Yoga
  • Isha Kriya Meditation
  • Breathing techniques (Kriya)

Daily practice is said to provide you with a plethora of benefits.

Want to see what people who’ve tried Isha Kriya say about the experience?

Feel free to check out this review of a 40-day experience with Isha Kriya. Here is a snippet from the review:

“It took around two weeks for me to feel grounded, and more established with the practice. I noticed that my meditations were more deep, hardly any thoughts or images would crop up, and all that was left was a tranquil dark blank space.”

How is this different from other yoga and wellness programs out there?

You’ve probably heard of many types of spiritual and wellness programs, but this form stands out from them in a number of ways. Here are some of its features:

The primary focus of this practice is on the three pillars of breath, awareness, and thought. It shows you how they can be used in the right combination to channel the mind and body effectively. Hence, this enhances your ability to live creatively and effortlessly.

Creating space between body and mind

This practice allows space to open up between your body, mind, and the real essence of who you are. It enables you to toss aside all karmic baggage i.e. your past, future, and the unconscious mind.

When you let go of these things, they no longer have any influence over you. Free from being held back by the limiting aspects of yourself, you can unlock a life of immense potential.

The programs are focused on a mixture of yoga, Isha Kriya meditation, and energy transformations. There are no physical requirements and no prior knowledge is required. Neat, right?

All programs are uniquely tailored to every individual, no matter the social and cultural backgrounds they come from.

What are the goals of Isha Kriya meditation and yoga?

isha kriya classes

This school of thought believes that with our regular lives, we cannot all do meditation as it should be done but we can certainly become meditative. Instead of primarily viewing meditation as an action, Isha Kriya looks at it as a quality.

So, what’s the goal here?

That meditativeness will come to you naturally once you possess the necessary skills, maturity, and experience

Did you know? Approximately 200-500 million people meditate around the world.

What is Kriya yoga?

When you think of yoga, you’re probably thinking of people in Bikram yoga poses or stretching to try to achieve certain postures. But it’s important to note that the physical aspect of yoga is merely one side of a multi-dimensional science.

Different from other paths of yoga, Kriya believes yoga to be a form of practice that can unlock the complete and true potential of mind and body. It is a thorough system that translates the core of yoga into a modern context.

Of course, all yoga programs allow you to take steps to fuel your inner growth. But with Kriya, everything there is to learn is taught in its complete depth and simplified for you to action immediately.

How do I get started with the practice?

isha kriya class

Both meditation and yoga are taught through workshops in Isha Centres that are spread out all over the world. This is what you need to know about the workshops:

  • Anyone over seven years of age can take part in the workshops
  • There is absolutely no requirement or limitation in terms of fitness level or knowledge of meditation or yoga
  • The duration of the workshops varies between 45 minutes, 60 minutes, and 90 minute sessions with the option of consecutive sessions any day
  • Each practice within the workshop lasts from a minimum of five to a maximum of 21 minutes
  • You continue to receive support digitally and otherwise on conclusion of the workshops

The origins of Kriya yoga and Isha Kriya meditation

This practice was developed by Sadhguru, a famous yogi and mystic who is also a poet and author. With a following of over 4 million on Instagram and over 3 million on Twitter, Sadhguru is a modern spiritual leader who uses multiple platforms to connect with his followers.

Part of his appeal lies in his ability to make spirituality and wellbeing accessible to all and easy for anyone to implement in their own lives. He offers Isha Kriya meditation and yoga to allow everyone to receive ‘one drop of spirituality’ in order to transform and their lives and take charge of their destiny.

Based on ancient yogic sciences, his method is touted as being simple yet potent. It is available freely and is easy to practice.

You can find instructional videos and downloadable instructions for guided meditation, or you could participate in live sessions that last on an average of 12 minutes a day.

What is the Isha Foundation?

The Isha foundation is a non-profit organization that runs completely on a volunteer system. It was created by Sadhguru to offer harmony and progress on an individual and global level.

The foundation has a number of spiritual programs to enable you to transform yourself, including yoga. It allows you to explore the ancient science of yoga in its entirety and offers a number of programs for your overall sense of wellbeing.

What are the benefits?

benefits of isha kriya

This form of spiritual practice is said to provide the followings benefits:

  • Boosts a general sense of wellbeing
  • Enhances vitality by boosting energy
  • Stabilizes the spine mitigating back pain and muscular tension
  • Provides relief from chronic illnesses and ailments
  • Improves physical tone and conditioning of the body

As you continue this practice on a daily basis, you begin to notice certain benefits and effects that go beyond the physical such as:

  • Enhanced levels of relaxation and dynamism
  • A lingering sense of joy, tranquility, and appreciation
  • Ability to enjoy harmony and quietness
  • Improved focus and a sense of clarity
  • Ability to hold the mind and body quiet for longer stretches of time
  • Ability to cope with distressing and unpleasant episodes
  • A better understanding of teamwork and communication
  • Improved emotional health by management of stress, anxiety, and sadness
  • Understanding the joy of conquering oneself as a personal quest

The simplicity of Isha Kriya meditation

While there are countless guided meditation techniques available both offline and online, this practice manages to differentiate itself from the rest. Its simplicity and effectiveness are the two attributes that make it most popular.

easy accessible meditation

You don’t have to go through training or participate in a program to learn this form of meditation. With a short 12-18 minute duration, it is easy for anyone to add to their daily routine. It makes space for the pressures and responsibilities of modern life and lets you enjoy the benefits of meditation without making you feel as if you have to give up anything.

Can it be practised by anyone?

Both Isha Kriya meditation and yoga can be practised by anyone, from any social or cultural background. There are no restrictions when it comes to practicing Kriya, except age. You need to be a minimum of seven years of age to be eligible for meditation and yoga.

There are no risks involved with the practice and it is largely safe for most individuals suffering from various physical ailments and chronic conditions. In fact, it is said to benefit your health and physical wellbeing. All that is required of you is to be able to sit comfortably for the entire duration of the Kriya, either in a cross-legged posture or on a chair.

How do I practice Isha Kriya meditation?

meditate at home

To practice Isha Kriya meditation, here are some simple steps:

  • Choose a space that is as silent as possible, where you will not be disturbed or distracted. It is perfectly okay to do this in your bedroom or garden, but do make sure that nothing takes place to break the 12-18 minute session.
  • Sit comfortably in a cross-legged position with a straight, relaxed spine. If you cannot adopt a cross-legged position, you may sit on a chair or a bench. You can use a backrest if needed, but definitely not a headrest.
  • Try facing eastwards when meditating to derive maximum benefits.
  • Place your hands on your thighs with the palms facing upwards.
  • Turn your face ever so slightly upwards. Keep your eyes closed at all times and keep a mild focus between the eyebrows.

Three stages to follow

The meditation should occur in the following three stages:

Stage 1: Breathe easily and gently. During each inhalation remind yourself of two phrases – I am not the body. I am not even the mind – during each exhalation. Repeat for 7-11 minutes.
Stage 2: Make the sound Aaah seven times. Keep your mouth wide open and exhale with each sound. Take note of the vibrations that pass through your body as you utter the sound.
Stage 3: For the last phase, sit comfortably for 5-6 minutes with the face turned upward and maintain a soft focus between your eyebrows.

There are multiple guided meditation practices online for those who would like it. This can help beginners because it creates a structure and helps you achieve your goals. For those who are more advanced in the practice, guided meditation can provide freshness and teach new techniques. Read about using a guided meditation for healing.

The minimum recommended time is 12 to 18 minutes. Do this twice a day, once in the morning and the evening for best results.

Top tip: Don’t have time to practice twice a day? Protect just one 12-minute slot first thing in the morning or before you go to bed.

The 48-day rule in Isha Kriya meditation

Meditation takes time to develop into a regular practice and it can take even longer to make a lasting difference. It also requires some perseverance and determination to integrate it into your life as a healthy habit. For this reason, it is recommended that you practice it for 48 days at a stretch.

The prime reason is that the period of 48 days is a mandala. It takes this long for your system to undergo a certain cycle. If you want an action to have an effect, you have to practice it for 48 days.

the mandala of 48 days

This is also the reason why Ayurvedic medicine is prescribed for 48 days. This gives the herb time to root itself into your system and benefit you. The same applies to Isha Kriya meditation.

Before you begin

There are a few things you should bear in mind for an effective kriya practice:

  • Don’t focus on all that arises within the mind and the body. All that happens within the two are mere distractions; ignore them and continue with your meditation
  • You should not take breaks during a session. This interferes with the organization of your energies which is a direct result of the kriya practice.
  • It is okay to take breaks between two sessions and is, in fact, highly recommended.
  • While it is not mandatory, kriya is best done on an empty stomach as you might fall asleep after eating.
  • There are no specific recommended times but avoid doing the practice around midnight.
  • It is recommended to do the kriya for at least 12 minutes a day for each session.
  • It is recommended to do it twice a day for a period of 48 days or once a day for a period of 90 days to allow the practice to have its desired effects

If you’d like to find out more about the closest meditation center near you, Avaana can help.

Reviewed by Declan Davey (Health Writer) on 15/06/2021

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Health Writer | + posts

Declan Davey is a health writer with a background as a psychological therapist. He has provided therapies for a range of NHS health services and wellbeing charities. Website: https://www.declandavey.com/

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Mishana Khot is a fiction author and co-founder of The Great Next, an adventure travel company. She has been featured in National Geographic, Forbes magazine, and other publications, and has over 15 years of experience with health, travel, and lifestyle brands.

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