In this post I'll provide my thoughts and analysis of the eN-Kriya technique, so if you have not already done so, please read my previous two posts that explain the technique.
Since I first discovered yogic techniques that involve breath retention back in 2001, I quickly realized the power they held and have focused on them ever since. If you've downloaded my yoga course, you would've noticed that breath retention is a core part of the practice, and many of the Kundalini Kriyas also involve breath retention. So the fact that eN-Kriya steps 3 and 4 involve breath retention was a key point for me.
The instructions for step 4 involve blocking the breath right to the point of fainting. Sounds crazy? You bet! That's why you must be fit, healthy and strong before you even try it. But if you do, you very quickly overcome all fear, anxiety, addictions, frustrations, and any other negativity in your life. Can you imagine what's required to block your breath to the point of fainting? And as soon as you recover - doing it again, and again for 21 times! You come out of that process feeling absolutely invincible, fearless, powerful, yet incredibly calm, at peace, and in oneness. You are almost guaranteed to have a spiritual experience, either a psychic sound, vision or physical sensation.
Every day you keep practicing, it takes more and more time to reach that fainting point, and the more time spent without breathing takes you deeper and deeper into the core of your being. Your awareness of spiritual reality and spiritual truths expands rapidly. As Nithyananda says "instant enlightenment".
Step 1: Nadi Shodhana is a simple and straight forward practice. It should be done daily regardless of which yoga practice you are following. It is the most basic and most essential pranayama practice there is and can be done by anyone regardless of your age or state of health. Here, it is practiced for 11 rounds.
Step 2: Bhastrika seems to have gained popularity in recent years. However, Nithyananda's description and demonstration doesn't quite match what I'm familiar with. There are three distinct practices that involve moving the abdomen. The first is Agnisar Kriya where the breathing is either through the mouth or the breath is held out. The abdomen is moved in and up, then out and back in repeatedly. The second is Kapalbhati where the breathing is through the nose. The abdomen is rapidly pulled in (not up) causing a forceful exhalation through the nostrils, then it is relaxed and expanded for a full gentle inhalation, then forceful exhalation and so on. The third is Bhastrika where breathing is again through the nose, but in this case both exhalation and inhalation are done forcefully and rapidly. I practice Agnisar Kriya and Nauli daily prior to my eN-Kriya practice, so here for step 2, I practice Bhastrika as described for 21 rounds.
Step 3: Samana Kriya is a new practice I haven't seen before that sort of combines Kunadalini Kriyas 6 (inner retention) and 7 (outer retention) in a single practice without the complexity of the bandhas/locks and rotation of awareness. My main comment here regards the instruction to do each of the four parts as long as possible. If you do this, your second round will be much shorter than your first, which I don't think is the purpose of this particular practice. I think you should choose a length of time for each of inhalation, holding in, exhalation, and holding out that you can maintain for all 21 rounds. I would recommend something like inhale for 10 sec, hold for 20 sec, exhale for 20 sec, hold out for 10 sec. Basically, pick values that are less than half of what your maximum is such that it can be maintained for the entire practice.
Step 4: Samburi Mudra is a slightly modified version of Shanmukhi Mudra, where rather than closing the nostrils with the middle fingers you use the ring fingers instead. This is the main Kriya. In this case, you want to hold your breath as long as you can, for all of the benefits I described at the beginning of this post. It is repeated 21 times.
Step 5: Maha Mantra is described as intense humming with no further description, but I would guess it is similar to Bhramari, except the ears are not plugged and the hands just rest on the knees. For more description, I would say keep the eyes and mouth closed, but keep the teeth slightly separated. Inhale deeply through the nose and while exhaling as slowly as possible create a smooth and continuous humming sound. Allow the vibration to be heard and felt distinctly in the brain. At the end of exhalation, inhale again and repeat. Continue for 7 minutes.
Step 6: Shakti Dharana is a practice I haven't seen taught by any other yoga teachers, but similar practices are very common in New Age circles. Prior to learning about eN-Kriya I had been wanting to incorporate this type of practice into my daily routine as I believe it is critical for the smooth arrival of the Golden Age. There is severe weather and natural disasters being experienced all over the planet. This practice will reduce these calamities in the area where you live, and globally as well. You can choose to receive energy from any masters or spiritual beings you feel connected to, or even simply from the stars and planets as Anastasia would recommend. Then pour that into the Earth, or Mother Earth, Lady Gaia, Bhudevi, or any other image you feel most connected to. The picture above shows some in the receiving pose and some in the pouring pose. This practice is done 7 times in 7 minutes.
Step 7: Swasti Mantra is another practice not traditionally part of yoga but well known in the New Age community. This practice will reduce the crime, war and violence in the area where you live and all over the world. Another essential practice for creating the Golden Age.
That concludes my discussion of the 7 steps of eN-Kriya, but I also want to take a moment to discuss sitting postures. For steps 1 to 5, I sit in Padmasana as recommended by Nithyananda, but for those familiar with the Kundalini Kriyas, Siddhasana is the recommended pose. Siddhasana is designed to work in conjunction with Moola Bandha, which is a core component of the Kundalini Kriyas, but since it is not used in eN-Kriya, Padmasana is the recommended choice. However, if you are unable to sit in Padmasana, I would recommend Siddhasana second. The step 6 receiving pose is similar to Hasta Uttanasana except done from the knees, and the pouring pose is similar to Shashankasana. From step 6 it's easiest to assume Vajrasana for step 7 which is what I do rather than going back into Padmasana.
The next thing I want to talk about is the time spent on each step in the practice. Nithyananda indicates the whole practice should be completed in 42 minutes, however, it takes me over an hour to complete all 7 steps as after years of practice I can now hold my breath for quite a while, making steps 3 and 4 go on forever. So I began thinking if this was necessary, and decided that 42 minutes is probably enough. The far more important thing is to simply practice every single day without fail. So if 42 minutes is enough, then what should the time allotment breakdown be? This is what I came up with and am currently following.
- Nadi Shodhana (2 min) - 11 rounds takes me 4 min
- Bhastrika (1 min) - 21 rounds is fine
- Samana Kriya (11 min) - 11 rounds still puts me over
- Samburi Mudra (11 min) - again 11 rounds for me
- Maha Mantra (7 min) - counting rounds not required
- Shakti Dharana (7 min) - 7 rounds as required is fine
- Swasti Mantra (3 min) - no rounds
- Total Time (42 min)
When looking at the number of rounds prescribed here and for the Kundalini Kriyas, it is always an odd number, so as my ability to hold my breath keeps increasing, I will likely reduce 11 to 9, then 7 and so on to keep the practice at around 11 minutes.
All things change with time, as does Kriya Yoga. Mahavatar Babaji has been overseeing it for thousands of years, and I'm sure it has continued to evolve over that time period. Now, at this point in time, I believe eN-Kriya is the next step in that evolution.