3 Steps of Kriya Yoga: Goal Setting and Remembering the Future

Life is all about balance. That’s not to say that it will all work out. We have to put some work – ok, a LOT of work into keeping it balanced. And we have to count on everything getting unbalanced again and then putting in a lot more work. I always notice when I start to feel stressed out, stretched too thin or overwhelmed, that it’s usually because some aspect of my life has taken over and things have gotten out of balance.

And that’s probably one of the reasons I have always been drawn to yoga. Just the one little aspect of yoga called Hatha, which is the physical practice, can bring so much balance emotionally. And then to delve deeper into the other aspects of yoga such as pranayama and philosophy is to really uncover some valuable tools for finding and creating balance and also to focus on bringing the changes that you want to see in your life.

3 Steps of Kriya Yoga

In the yoga sutras we have Kriya which is a path to creating sustainable change. Kriya consists of three intertwining and never-ending steps:

  1. Tapas – a contrary action. Create a small change or goal that is contrary to what you are unhappy with in your current situation.
  2. Svadyaya – reflection. Learn to see the whole picture and be more accountable. How has your change affected your life? Did you get what you wanted from it? Re-assess if needed.
  3. Ishvara pranidhana – surrender, acceptance. Learn to understand and accept truths, surrender to the true nature of things.

Grant me the strength to accept things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference.

I feel like this quote perfectly sums up the three steps of Kriya. It takes strength to surrender to things you don’t have control over and courage to create real change.

You may recognize already how this process would be never-ending. And it applies to all aspects of our lives. If you have ever longed for change you have probably followed these steps whether you realized it or not.


Everything is in a constant state of flux. Learning more about ourselves is a way to find balance and peace when everything around us is changing. One way to do this is through Kriya yoga, the yoga of action and progress. We work to cleanse our minds and bodies, removing and setting aside what we do not need. We work to find out where we are, who we are, what we are. We observe our breath and our body, hoping to develop a deeper understanding of our current state. And even with this deeper connection/knowingness, we remain flexible so that we are able to react to changes in our expectations and realities – paying more attention to the spirit in which we act than what our actions may bring. May you find the curiosity to dig deeper, the focus to listen to the faint yet ever present voice within and may you have the faith to let it guide you with an open heart. #yoga #kriyayoga #change #flux #yogasutra #faith #meditation #yogalife #reflections #awareness #hollywoodreservoir #fitness #health #ODDdogging #downdogging #yogalife #veganyogalife #yogisofig

A photo posted by Vegan Yoga Life (@vegan_yoga_life) on

Remembering the future

All of that sounds great…so what is a Bhavana?

A bhavana is essentially goal setting, or visualization, and it gains its power by being clear, positive and measurable. The more specific your visualization the more you are realizing your future and the more comfortable you get with the process, the more it will become the concept of “remembering your future.”

So next time your life seems out of balance, try using the steps of kriya to remember your future the way that you want it to be. And don’t forget that this is a never-ending process of action, surrender and reflection.

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