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Kriya Yoga

Kriya yoga is an exercise system in which yoga poses and meditation are use to encourage spiritual growth. Kriya yoga consists of three exercises: "tapas" (the physical body), which is performed through asana and pranayama to produce relaxation and energy flow; "svadhyaya" (the mind), is performed through mantra and yoga scripture; and "ishvara pranidhana" (the self), which is performed through the devotion of the self to God. Kriya yoga cannot be formally practiced until an individual has completed an initiation ceremony, before which they must spend time participating in self-study and meditation to learn the teachings of this form of yoga and different meditation techniques. Like other forms of yoga that have grown in global popularity, it has become increasingly available as a commercialized form of exercise and now carries diverse meanings, both spiritual and secular, in various communities - although Kriya yoga retains an explicit spiritual emphasis.

Is this activity known by any other names?


What are the origins of the activity abroad and in Canada?

Yoga is estimated to originate during 5th Century BCE, as part of Hinduism and Buddhism, and was introduced to Europe and North America by Indian yoga gurus during the early 20th century. Kriya yoga was introduced to North America at this time, and it eventually spread to the GTA.

Who takes part?

Males and females of diverse ages and ethnocultural backgrounds.

When does it occur / How often do you take part?

Kriya yoga occurs year round during regular classes in the GTA.

Are there any organized clubs, groups, organizations or leagues?


Cultural Significance

Historically, yoga has significant cultural significance in Buddhism and Hinduism. Today, yoga has become a popular mainstream form of exercise that may or may not carry spiritual significance, although Kriya yoga has an explicit spiritual emphasis.

Is there anything else we should know?



Exercise System
  • Toronto Centre of Self-Realization Fellowship
    2510 Yonge St., suite 207
    Toronto, ON M4P 2H7

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