What are the effects of Prana Kriya Yoga on you and your students?
I practise Prana Kriya Yoga most days because it just makes me feel so good. When I practise, I have better energy levels for the rest of the day, I feel calmer, more relaxed, more aware and it allows me to feel connected to my Self on a much deeper level. It also increases my lung capacity and my capacity to accept life’s uncomfortable situations. I see similar effects in my students who often come to class for the first time with issues such as anxiety, depression and fatigue. It’s very evident to see how they transform through a regular practice of Prana Kriya Yoga, becoming calmer, more vibrant and more self-aware. The more they practise, the more they want to practise as they start to realize that they can find peace and happiness within themselves.
“I practise Prana Kriya Yoga most days because it just makes me feel so good. When I practise, I have better energy levels for the rest of the day, I feel calmer, more relaxed, more aware and it allows me to feel connected to my Self on a much deeper level.”
Can you share with us your favourite kriya? How do you do this kriya and what are its benefits?
Svana (dog) kriya. In this kriya, you kneel down on top of your hands, with your palms down, fingers pointing out to the sides. The hands are approximately as wide as the mat. Your feet are together with the toes in flex and your buttocks on your heels. Engage the knees into the wrists to engage the inner thighs. The spine is straight and the neck in line with the spine. Stick the tongue out like a dog, look at the tip of the nose and pant like a dog. I love this kriya because of its benefits. It helps to clear and detoxify the lungs and is excellent for the respiratory system – I feel like I can breathe easier after it. It makes me feel pleasantly light in the head and calm. On a cold day, it heats the body up nicely. It also tonifies the abdominal and pelvic floor muscles.
Who should give Prana Kriya Yoga a try?
Oftentimes people feel afraid to try yoga because they don’t think they are flexible enough, or have the patience, or be able to focus. None of this is true. My philosophy is that if someone can breathe and move, they can practise. A good teacher will always be able to offer modifications when required. And with dedicated, regular practice the practitioner starts to develop the qualities they believed they were initially lacking and much more.
What tips do you have for a person who has never practiced Prana Kriya Yoga or is new to the practice?
I remember my first Prana Kriya Yoga class with Yogi Ashokananda. It was very different to some of the practices I had been more accustomed to such as ashtanga vinyasa and other hatha yoga practices. And maybe some of the kriyas seemed a little odd or uncomfortable the first couple of times. However, the more I persevered with the practice, the more enjoyment I had. Little by little I started to notice positive changes in all aspects of my practice, including the knock-on impact it had on my asana and meditation practice. In addition, I started to notice positive changes in my life in general.
So, the best advice I can give to new practitioners is to stick at it even if they find it hard or weird or uncomfortable in the beginning. If they practice regularly with awareness, they will start to feel new and pleasant sensations in their body and many positive changes in their life such as calmness, more energy, more sharpness of mind and eventually it may lead them further on the path of self-discovery.