|The Yoga of Technique : Kriya Yoga
The third of the these paths is the Yoga of technique or inner action
(Kriya Yoga). Kriya means action in Sanskrit, particularly the internal
actions done on the body and mind to aid the process of meditation. This term is found in the Yoga
Sutras as its definition of the practice of Yoga. It is said to consist of three parts; tapas, the
energization of the will, svadhyaya, self-study, and Ishwara-pranidhana, surrender to God or the
Self-existent power. This definition of the practice of Yoga includes all
three methods of jnana (self-study), bhakti (surrender to God) and technique
(energization of the will).
All Yoga involves some sort of practice, system or discipline. In the Yogas of Knowledge and
Devotion, however, the techniques are subordinated to a more primary
self-observation or self-surrender. In general, technique is always secondary in Yoga, because Yoga
aims at the realization of the Self or Spirit which is beyond form and
action. Technique applies only to the realm of nature or matter. Pure
spirit or pure consciousness is beyond all techniques. Technique can help balance our outer nature to
bring us to the point of inner awakening, but technique cannot work by itself.