Kundalini Yoga Vs Kriya Yoga

Written By Emma White

An experienced yoga enthusiast who has been practicing yoga for 8 years. In addition to her passion for yoga, she is also an avid traveler, having explored various parts of the world.

Reviewed By: Alan Thompson
Edited By: Reuben Lane

Vs Kriya Yoga: What's the Difference?


Both Kundalini Yoga and Kriya Yoga are ancient practices that originated in India and are designed to awaken spiritual energy within the body. While they share some similarities, there are also significant differences between the two practices.

Origin and History

Kundalini Yoga is believed to have originated in the Tantric tradition of Hinduism and was first introduced to the West by Yogi Bhajan in the late 1960s. Kriya Yoga, on the other hand, was introduced to the West by Paramahansa Yogananda in the early 20th century and is based on the teachings of the ancient sage Patanjali.

Focus and Goals

The focus of Kundalini Yoga is on the awakening of the Kundalini energy that lies dormant at the base of the spine. The goal of the practice is to raise this energy up through the chakras, or energy centers, of the body to achieve spiritual enlightenment. Kriya Yoga, on the other hand, focuses on the purification of the body and mind through a series of specific techniques and practices.

Techniques and Practices

Kundalini Yoga incorporates a wide range of techniques and practices, including asanas (postures), pranayama (breathing exercises), meditation, and chanting. Kriya Yoga, on the other hand, is a more structured practice that involves a specific set of techniques, including pranayama, mudras (hand gestures), and bandhas (energy locks).

Physical Demands

Kundalini Yoga can be physically demanding, with a focus on dynamic movements and holding postures for extended periods of time. Kriya Yoga, on the other hand, is generally less physically demanding and focuses more on internal practices such as breathing and meditation.

Philosophy and Beliefs

Kundalini Yoga is based on the belief that the Kundalini energy is the source of all spiritual energy and that its awakening is essential for spiritual growth and enlightenment. Kriya Yoga, on the other hand, is based on the philosophy of Patanjali's Yoga Sutras and emphasizes the importance of self-discipline and the control of the mind.

Teachers and Lineages

Kundalini Yoga is often taught by certified Kundalini Yoga teachers who have completed a specific training program. Kriya Yoga, on the other hand, is typically taught by teachers who have been initiated into a specific lineage or tradition.

Benefits and Risks

Both Kundalini Yoga and Kriya Yoga have been shown to have a range of physical, mental, and spiritual benefits. However, as with any practice, there are also potential risks and it is important to practice under the guidance of a qualified teacher.


While there are similarities between Kundalini Yoga and Kriya Yoga, there are also significant differences in terms of their origins, focus, techniques, and beliefs. Ultimately, the choice between the two practices will depend on individual preferences and goals.

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