Kriya Yoga

Yoga Sutra
II.1-2: Tapah svadhyayesvara pranidhanani kriya yoga.
Samadhi bhavanarthah klesa tanukaranarthas ca.


“Self-discipline (tapas), self-study (svadhyaya), and surrender to a higher power (isvara pranidhana), make up Practical Yoga (Kriya Yoga).
They helps us overcome the obstacles (klesas) and attain samadhi.”


Kriya Yoga as explained in sutra II.1 of The Yoga Sutra is a practice with three steps: tapas, svadhyaya, isvara pranidhana.  Sound familiar? Yes, these are the last three niyamas as well.

The three parts to Kriya Yoga provide a platform to practice Astanga Yoga (the 8 Limbs), and they are also linked to three of the main paths of yoga found in the Bhagavad Gita. The following chart* shows how all these paths of yoga are interconnected:


      Kriya Yoga             Astanga Yoga    Bhagavad Gita

 I. Tapas  Limbs 1-4 Karma Yoga
 II. Svadhyaya
 Limbs 5-6 Jnana Yoga
 III. Isvara Pranidhana Limbs 6-8 Bhakti Yoga
*addapted from:  Iyengar, B.K.S. Light on the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. Thorsons, 1993. (pg. 110).

    

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