I Started It: a 40 Day Kriya

bkriya

Kriya is a Sanskrit term. Essentially it’s a set of exercises to help move energy throughout the body. Although there is some resemblance to “normal” Yoga asana, it’s quite different too.

Fairytales and Fitness

I am definitely no expert in either Kriyas or Kundalini Yoga, which is the type of Yoga Kriyas are often associated with. I have dabbled a bit, though, taken a course here and there and read a few books. So I am not doing a deep dive here — if your interest is piqued, I will point you to my teacher, Brett Larkin. She has a YouTube channel here (just search Kundalini), and also an app which is amazing, but not free.

Often when you start a Kriya, you do the same set of exercises for 40 days. The exact same exercises in the the exact same order. I did one last December I think. I haven’t done another one since then . . . until the other day when on a whim I picked up one of my books and just did one. I did it the next day, and the next . . .

According to the “rules”, if you skip a day, you have to go back and start from day one until you complete forty days straight. Many Kundalini practitioners practice in the morning — for the same reason many runners run in the morning. Get it done before the day gets away from you!

So it’s sort of like a run streak, except that there are consequences if you skip a day — unlike a run streak, which you can break at any time. Of course you could just stop doing your Kriya; I don’t think you’d be struck down by lightning or anything.

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That’s all my AM Yoga that you see on my weekly run downs!

Kundalini is different
There are many different types of Yoga. Kundalini was shrouded in mystery for centuries. There were few books, and of course way back when no Internet. Generally it was passed down from Guru (teacher) to student. In fact, for thousands of years that’s how all Yoga was taught.

Now we do have Internet, and the veils have been pulled aside. In Kundalini Yoga asana, pranayama, and meditation are all bundled up together. “Regular” Yoga, for instance, has you practice asana, then pranayama, then meditation. Kundalini may have you do asana, pranayama, and meditation all in one pose.

Many poses have movement in them, or involve holding your legs or arms up for fairly long periods of time. It can be very challenging physically, and sometimes triggering mentally. It can also help tone your body all over — especially in areas we don’t get to as much as we should, like our core, lower back, and hamstrings.

Why am I doing a 40 day Kriya?
I didn’t really have that intention when I picked up my book. I guess my intuition guided me to try something different. You can practice Kundalini Yoga without doing a 40 Day Kriya.

I settled on a Kriya for energy. Because I feel as though I’m always lacking energy. You know what? I definitely felt better after I practiced that particular Kriya! That’s why I decided to just keep going with it.

My teacher advises not judging a Kundalini pose/Kriya on how you feel during, but how you feel after (sound familiar, runners?).

Final Thoughts
I don’t really recommend that you just search YouTube for Kundalini videos. You can trust Brett’s videos.

Committing to something — much like running a long distance race — can give you such a sense of accomplishment when you finish. Some days you’ll be excited and some days you really won’t want to do it, but in the end, you just know that you’re going to come away a changed person — in a good way.

Does this just sound really bizarre to you or interesting?

When have you committed to doing something for some amount of time (not running!)?

What did you gain from that commitment?

11 thoughts on “I Started It: a 40 Day Kriya

  1. Good luck with this.

    No to all your questions. I’ve never done any kind of streak. I don’t even run or walk in the same place two days in a row. I crave variety. But that’s me.

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  2. This does sound interesting although really I need to get back into my ordinary yoga (I have however, cleared a space in the spare room through having a day off in the week!).

    I committed to taking and posting a daily photograph and am in my seventh year now. It does not get any easier, though I do have little tricks, like always trying to take a placeholder photo early in the day!

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    1. It’s a very different style of Yoga. The first time I committed to this sort of thing last year, it felt like more of a chore.

      I think I’m about a third of the way through. Maybe it’s just the right time of year for me to do it! It does get me up & moving first thing in the morning, where before I’d meditate first, then sit and read, then finally check email — too much sitting! I still do those things, but I’ve definitely moved my body & actually broken a sweat before I sit more.

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  3. I have not heard of this type of yoga. I do know that some other disciplines do the same poses in the same order daily. I know many people find comfort in this and love the routine. Good luck w your challenge. Look forward to hearing how it goes!

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    1. Ashtanga & Bikram (especially Bikram) are the same poses.

      Kundalini has many Kriyas, and you can change it up & not do the same thing all the time. It’s actually very different & really kind of interesting (and sort of woo-woo too, LOL!).

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    1. Supposedly the reason for the 40 days is that’s how long it really takes to create a habit!

      But you don’t have to do the 40 day thing, either, to do this type of Yoga. I’m not sure why I decided to do it right now, maybe because it’s cooler and I don’t have to get out early to run anymore.

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