the word kriya means action – not just any old action, but one that leads to something specific.
just as a car transmission has a number of gears that have to be in place and used in a certain sequence, a kriya in yoga is a sequence of postures, breath, and sound (verbally or mentally repeated) that are integrated together to allow the manifestation of a particular state.
each asana or posture in a kriya is at the same time an exercise, a meditation, a connection to energy flow and a way of assessing yourself.
as an exercise the posture is used to pressurise specific points that act as reflex triggers to enhance the functions of the glands and organs, and to re-direct, flush or increase circulation; as a meditation, the posture links the body and mind, releasing emotional blocks; as a connection to energy flow the posture opens an energy pathway between meridian points; and as a self-diagnostic tool, postures may give you signals of pleasure or discomfort that indicate conditions of the musculature, glands, or emotions.
so with kriya, we do all of that, and ultimately, align with the divine flow of life, letting go of any unnecessary tension and let life flow through you. doing the best that you can with where you are in this body. today. now.
and you thought you were just trying to have a bit of stretch? 🙂