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Kriya meditation stems from the practice of Kriya yoga, which includes mental and physical exercises designed to awaken life force and discover the divine power within the human body. Common meditation techniques such as deep breathing and visualization contribute to a Kriya meditation practice, as do relaxation exercises. This type of meditation also focuses on concentration of a central idea, usually the divine energy in the universe and the human spirit. Many times, yoga postures designed to calm the mind and body are woven into the practice, which is said to help energize the spirit and provide a easier path to divinity.
When beginning any meditation, it is essential for the mind and body to relax completely, as this provides the foundation for concentration within the practice. It is important to obtain a calm mind and body during Kriya meditation, as it is said that it helps the spirit of an individual transcend into a higher state of being. In some Kriya yoga traditions, meditations will follow with a breathing exercise thought to energize the spirit and provide oxygen to every tissue of the body. Sometimes it might be suggested to visualize pure light entering the body through the breath, helping the mind to centralize on the goal of aligning with divine energy.
Chanting is common to help relax the body and mind during Kriya meditation and usually involves the use of one or two repetitive words. Sometimes these chants will be simple syllables, helping the mind become as free as it can from all words and thoughts, which can distract the meditator from the desired goal. Relaxation can also occur through the conscious will of relaxing each and every muscle, starting from the head to the toes, or vice versa. It is believed that when complete relaxation occurs, the mind is open to receiving thoughts and messages from a higher source.
With Kriya meditation, certain yoga postures may be used during the practice to help align the chakras of the body with divine energy and to open the body up to receiving this energy. These chakras, or energy points, can be in the neck, spine, stomach, back and arms. The use of simple and calming yoga postures is often suggested, as intense types of yoga can be too invigorating for the practice. These yoga postures are often performed very slowly, with the eyes still closed so as to keep the meditator in an inward state of deep trance or relaxation.