How to Pick a Kriya in Kundalini Yoga

Harnam Singh in Bound Lotus

I have always admired the introspection, self-awareness and commitment to personal development that comes from the teachings of Kundalini Yoga and from the people in our dear community. In a world where people are always looking for an escape, it is refreshing to find people that are willing to look at parts of themselves and work on it over an extended period of time. Kundalini Yoga is an amazing tool for personal development and transformation. There are kriyas and meditations for just about anything you can think of. With the 1,000’s of kriyas and meditations that Yogi Bhajan taught in Kundalini yoga, how do you pick the right one for your own personal sadhana? Here are some tips:

1. Use Your Intuition

The best way to find the kriya you need to work on is to meditate on it. Sometimes in the Kundalini Yoga world, we can be too logical in our approach with reading too much into what the title says about the kriya.

Ask the question and sit in silence until the answer will comes to you. Your intuition may not always speak directly so pay attention to what you immediately hear, see and feel. Those are your clues. If you don’t get an immediate answer or don’t understand, the answer will reveal itself in another form. If you are still having trouble with being able to connect with your intuition, don’t fret! It comes with time and experience. Continue reading…

Editor’s Note: One great way to develop your intuitive capacity is to practice the Indra Nittri Meditation.  Visit to learn about the Spirit Voyage Global Sadhana: Expand Your Intuition.

2. When in Doubt

So you don’t know what to work on? When in doubt pick a kriya that works on the third chakra/navel. Think anyone likes navel chakra kriyas? No, but they are what most people need. They give you the biggest bang for the buck and most long term return. Who can’t improve their sense of self, confidence, self-esteem or power? If you feel called to work on this aspect, try Nabhi Kriya for Prana Apana (Kundalini Experience) or Abdominal Strengthening (Sadhana Guidelines). Long term practice with these kriyas will also help improve your intuitive “gut” feeling.

The Kundalini Yoga Experience by Guru Dharam S. Khalsa and Darryl O'Keeffe

Kundalini Yoga Sadhana Guidelines by Gurucharan Singh Khalsa

3. What’s in a Name?

Some of the titles of the kriyas are very specific while others are not. Owners Manual for the Human Body is a great overall manual with specific titles such as To Relieve Inner Anger, Colon Cleanser and Maintain the Spleen. When picking a kriya, it can be as simple leafing through a manual and finding the title speaks directly to you.

Owner's Manual for the Human Body by Yogi Bhajan

4. Evaluate Your Family History

In many families there can be health issues that get passed down from generation to generation. If it has been a challenge in your family, it will be a challenge for you too. Work on that specific issue so you can heal yourself and not pass it to your children.

Heart Disease is the #1 killer in the World, if this is true for your family as well, try working with strenuous heart kriyas such as Eliminate Gastric and Heart Problems (Infinity and Me) or Exercises for the Heart Center (Reaching Me in Me). If stress management is an issue in your family, try Building the Nervous System (Physical Wisdom).

Infinity and Me by Harijot Kaur Khalsa

Reaching Me In Me by Harijot Kaur Khalsa

Physical Wisdom by Harijot Kaur Khalsa

Of course only practice these if you really feel called to do so. Just because it is an issue you need to work on, doesn’t always mean it is the kriya you need right now. Remember don’t be too logical here. Ask yourself and come from a your intuition.

5. Get Outside Inspiration

Going to a yoga class or a workshop can be a great opportunity to experience a kriya that you are not familiar with. Yoga classes can be the best sources of inspiration. If you have a deep experience in a class, ask the teacher which manual the kriya was from and buy it.

Trusting your intuition is extremely important, but sometimes it is also good to get an outside perspective from a teacher or energy worker. We are not always aware of our blind-spots, that is why they are called blind-spots. If your intuition is validating their suggestion, then go for it!

When picking a kriya, challenge yourself to come from your intuition and not from logic. When you have resistance to practicing a specific kriya, ask yourself if this is your resistance or intuition? Deep down you can tell the difference.

Remember that it is human nature to seek pleasure over pain, but the purpose of our daily practice is to push beyond our comfort zones. A kriya that you really like may be a safe choice, but not one that will challenge the status quo inside. I find that the kriyas I don’t initially like that are the ones I really needed to work on. Just remind yourself why you are doing this practice: to releasing old habits, thought patterns, toxicity and stuck emotions. This effort is uncomfortable, but rewarding in the end.

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Nihal Singh

Nihal Singh is an IKYTA Kundalini Yoga & Meditation Teacher, Craniosacral Therapy Practitioner, Reiki Master/ Teacher, Sat Nam Rasayan and Celtic Shamanic Healer. He specializes in emotional consciousness, personal development and inner body awareness. Nihal is also a writer for Spirit Voyage’s blog, a career consultant and corporate trainer. He resides in Philadelphia, PA.


  1. Hi,

    I used to practice kundalini yoga on a regular basis and I am looking to restart my own personal practice again. I live a very busy life in a big city. I work in alternative therapy and I would like to improve my grounding, palpating, focus and intuition to help with my work. Please can you recommend Any kriya or meditations which will help with this.
    Thank You

  2. Thanks for your kind words Priscilla! Out of all the kriyas, there isn’t one I can immediately think about that would be good for aches and pains from working out. More of the kriyas I know are more for a specific energetic affect. Although you should look into Yin Yoga for what you are asking for. It is an amazing restorative practice and helps stretch the muscles. Feel free to research on your own. In the meantime, you can also check out this Yin Yoga book:

  3. As usual, an excellent, clear, helpful and well-written article. Thanks for the book suggestions; I ordered a couple. I’m cross-training right now with Pilates and so-called Boot Camp and needed some yoga inspiration, since I am dividing up my exercise time and don’t have as much time (or energy) for yoga. Any suggestions for kriyas for muscle aches and pains?

  4. Thank you, Nihal!

  5. Sat Nam Nicole,

    I would suggest starting with a DVD class because it would give you more exposure to Kundalini Yoga and also you are lead by a qualified teacher. The books are good too. Shakta Kaur’s Kundalini is a good book to start out with. Some of what people may hear about kundalini energy can be more of an urban myth as kundalini yoga as a practice is just becoming more aware of your body and consciousness so that you can heal. Building and extending your nervous system with yoga can be a good practice and can help. Here are 2 good DVDs you can look into:–Healthy-Body-Fearless-Spirit/Gurmukh/DVD-002463.aspx

    Let me know if you need anything else or have any other questions!

  6. Hello. I am new to kundalini yoga, although I have done some hatha yoga practice in the past, as well as fairly extensive Sanksrit mantra practice. I am interested in kundalini yoga for chronic illness. I have been struggling with moderate to severe adrenal fatigue and complex post-traumatic stress disorder for some years now. I have moderate to severe exhaustion, weakness, muscle and joint stiffness, muscle wasting and atrophy, occasional severe insomnia, cardiac stress (weakness, palpitations, and occasional hollow chest pain), hormonal deficiencies (mainly estrogen and DHEA) and dysregulation, and a fragile/sensitive nervous system. I am working with a talented energy healer to heal my energy system, but my physical body is currently demanding attention. Where do I start with physical asanas (you call them kriyas, right?)? I’m not even familiar any books on kundalini yoga. I’m very physically compromised, and so need gentle restorative, stabilizing, and strength-building exercises; nothing strong or destabilizing, and nothing that will awaken massive amounts of kundalini quickly. Thank you.

  7. Thank you so much for the in-depth reply! I really appreciate it. Yes you are right, the surgery went well, but since the recurrence rate of this type of cancer is rather high. I keep thinking about it day and night and it really scares me, makes me negative and drains all my energy. And all this affects my daily life. I cant concentrate at work, I get overwhelmed by all the work load and then I start feeling I might lose my job and the whole negativity ball starts rolling.
    I have none of the books you mentioned above but I will buy them online. I have previously tried to find kundalini books/cds here in Norway but never found anything. I will try doing the kriyas you mentioned above, hopefully I will find some peace of mind and my every day life will be more positive and prosperous.
    I really wish there was a kundalini institute in Norway :)
    Thank you very much once again!!! :)

  8. Sat Nam Roop,

    I am so sorry to hear about your condition there. I will definitely send some healing prayers your way. So it sounds like you had the surgery and that is ok, you are just dealing with some emotional, energetic fall-out as a result? You may still need to connect to what the root cause of the issue was and that is why you may be experiencing what you are. For most, the liver has a lot to do with anger, emotional chaos, power, 3rd chakra, etc. In Chinese medicine, the liver is the highest organ to God. To answer your question about the liver, there is a great kriya for the liver called, “Let the Liver Live” and you can find it Owner’s Manual for the Human Body or Sakta Kaur Khalsa’s Kundalini Yoga. I feel that is one of the best liver kriyas. Try it, but be honest with yourself if you cannot physically do it.

    I had to sit with your meditation question there. There is a meditation in the Prana, Pranee, Pranayam manual on pg. 156 called, “Two-Stroke Breath to Connect the Subconscious and Intuition.” Let me know if you do not have that book. It helps make you free from the attack of the subconscious or at least allows you to escape it through transcending. You always want to have strong intuition at the moment of subconscious suggestion, that is our only defense. I would try to practice this meditation with the intent to connect with the root cause and try to integrate. This meditation may at least put you in a strong place where you can be the observer and then bring it to consciousness. You want to do it until you are in a better place with it which may take you well over the usually recommended 40, 90 and 120+ days.

    I would also highly suggest that you seek out some energy work from a Sat Nam Rasayan or Reiki practitioner or Acupuncturist in addition to your practice.

    I hope that helps! Please feel free to email me if you need anything else or have any additional questions!

  9. Hi there!
    Im pretty new to kundalini yoga and need some help. I am 29 year old female, born in India, living in Norway. Been healthy all my life, no history of any serious diseases in the family either. Always been conscious about my diet and work out. Recently finished my medical studies and started working as an inter-doctor at a hospital. A month later I was diagnosed with liver cancer (HCC). It all came as a shock, and my life was completely changed. I was told that the tumor has been growing over few years and is very big in size, it would be hard to operate because of the location and If they didn’t operate there would be 75% chances that I will live for another 2 year, and if they do operate they were not sure if would survive the surgery. I was a very tough decission, but I was keeping positive and strong, praying a lot. My whole family and every one I ever knew prayed for my wellbeing. I have never been a very strong person but I felt like a higher power protecting me, giving me strength.
    Now its been 5 months since my surgery. I have had 2 clear MRIs now. I have been extremely positive and strong during all those months. My whole family and all my friends are surprised how positive and mentally strong I have been. But now when things seem to going ok, I have started feel scared and negative. I have had sleepless nights and when I do sleep I have terrible nightmares, where I find myself waking up in middle of the night and I do not know here I am or who I am. Its a terrible feeling, its hard to explain how it feels. I started working 50% 3 months after the surgery because I didnt want to be home alone thinking about all that had happened and go into a depression. But it seems like I am doing that now. And I feel like I have no reason to do that now, since God has been so kind to me so far. If I even feel a little pain in my stomach or anywhereelse I get hysterical. I do still have physical complaints but according to my surgeon they will reduce with time. When am at work, I find it hard to concentrate, it gets very stressful because I have been away from work for a while because all this and I feel I have lost confidence and faith in myself.
    I dont really know if you can help me, but if you could that would mean a lot to me. Suggest me some yoga kriyas/mantras for my psychological wellbeing and something for my liver.
    Thank you so much! :)


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