Kriya - Sat Kriya

(KRI Level One Yoga Manual, p. 348)


Sat Kriya is an essential key to the processes of Kundalini Yoga. It is one of the few exercises that is a complete action in itself. That is the connotation of the word, “kriya;” an action or series of actions that completes a process and has a predictable outcome. Most kriyas consist of a series of exercises that synergize. Sat Kriya can stand alone like a precious gem. The main effect is a control and balance of the lower three chakras or energy distribution centers in the body. It does this by mixing the prana and apana at the navel center. This generates a heat in the system and opens the inner channels to the upward flow and rotation of energy. Sat Kriya also rejuvenates the sexual system and helps the brain and body to recover from toxicity and memory loss due to drug abuse. It is good for removing energy imbalances in the lower three chakras and, as a result, is good for problems in the lower back and alleviating mild depression.


A beginning student should start with 3 minutes of this every day as part of a personal practice. The times can be built up from that base.


Posture: Sit on the heels (Vajrasan asana). The heels are straight up into the buttocks, stimulating two acupuncture pressure points, one in each buttock. The knees can be slightly open. Lock-in the chin (neck lock).


Mudra:  Stretch the arms over the head until the elbows hug the sides of the head. Interlace all the fingers except the index fingers which are together and pointed straight up. Cross one thumb over the other.


Focus: The eyes are closed and focused at the third-eye point.  


Mantra: The mantra is “Sat Nam.” Chant the “Sat” from the navel point. As you chant “Sat,” pull the navel point in with an obvious jerking motion. Imagine you are receiving pranic energy from God / your higher source through the navel point. Chant “Nam” and send the energy back out into the cosmos through the third-eye point.


End: Inhale, hold the breath and apply root lock, squeezing the energy up from the buttocks up the spine and out the top of your head through the “crown” or 7th chakra. Exhale, release the lock and repeat two more times. Relax in corpse pose for at least as long as you’ve practiced Sat Kriya. (Ideally, the relaxation is twice the length of time as you practiced this exercise.)


The rhythmic contraction and relaxation produces waves of energy that circulate, energize and heal the body. While chanting, the spine stays still and straight. This is neither a spinal flex nor a pelvic thrust. You stay firmly seated on the heels through all the motions of the kriya. The abdominal contraction is focused at the navel point. There is an automatic contraction of the rectum and the sex organ areas as in the lower body lock called “root” lock or mulabandha, but the lock is not forced and is pulled naturally from the navel.


To build Sat Kriya in time and effect, start with rotation cycles: 3 minutes of Sat Kriya with three minutes of relaxation. Repeat this cycle 3 to 5 times. Build gradually. Then switch the cycle to 5 minutes Sat Kriya and 5 minutes rest. You can then add 3 to 5 minutes to the kriya time as you are comfortable until you are able to do an entire 31 minutes.

© The Teachings of Yogi Bhajan - All Rights Reserved

All teachings, yoga sets, techniques, kriyas and meditations courtesy of The Teachings of Yogi Bhajan. Reprinted with permission. Unauthorized duplication is a violation of applicable laws. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. No part of these Teachings may be reproduced or transmitted in any form by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying and recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, except as may be expressly permitted in writing by the The Teachings of Yogi Bhajan. To request permission, please write to KRI at PO Box 1819, Santa Cruz, NM 87567 or see www.kriteachings.org

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