Surya Kriya: Firing Up My Inner Sun!

I’ve Waited Months & Months!

My story with Surya Kriya dates back to almost 5 months ago. November 2019 is when I was supposed to take the class. In my mind the timing couldn’t have been better.

By November 2019 I would’ve done about 7 months of twice a day Shambhavi Mahamudra Kriya (practice taught in Inner Engineering), so in terms of preparation I was more than ready for this next step, or so I thought!

Life has a funny way of unravelling itself as I was about to find out. Surya Kriya was scheduled for mid November 2019, and a week before I was enjoying 2 weeks of vacation in beautiful Bali! It couldn’t get more perfect right? Sunny beaches, delicious food in an island that places a great amount of importance on spirituality! As I returned back home to Canada, the excitement was reaching its peak.

A day before the program, a major setback would present itself…..a close family member was admitted to hospital.

I remember that Friday I left the hospital at about 11 PM reaching home at 11:30 PM, rushing to eat something for dinner and then quickly showering and hitting the sheets as the program began early morning at 8:00 AM.

“Beep, beep, beep!” my alarm bell sounds at 6:00 AM sharp!

Just enough time to get my morning Shambhavi done, have a shower, and then make my way over to the venue. I still vividly remember that morning. It was a cold morning but the sun was quick to rise….blue skies throughout the day.

It Was One Of Those Days - The Sun In All Its Majesty!
It Was One Of Those Days – The Sun In All Its Majesty!

 

But Then Things Changed….For The Worse!

As I parked my car, something within me felt uneasy. An intuition where it felt like this was not the right time. Whatever it was, I ignored it and proceeded on with the program. The day became much easier as soon as we started getting into the asanas (yoga postures) and doing the practices.

For those who don’t know, Surya Kriya is typically conducted in a single day over 2 sessions. The first is a morning session from 8:00-11:30 AM and then there’s an evening session from 4:00-7:30 PM. Attending both are mandatory.

The morning session was just about to come to a close when my phone started ringing. Unable to answer during the session, I let it go to voicemail but immediately grew concerned. Once we concluded the morning session I stepped into my car and rang up my family.

My gut feeling was correct, things had gotten more dire in the hospital and my family needed me to be there as soon as possible.

And so I drove to the hospital…..lunch would have to wait!

Being at the hospital with my family was the most important thing to me now. During those moments I needed to make a decision….

Continue with the afternoon session and complete Surya Kriya, or stay in the hospital with my family when they needed me most. The more I thought about it, the more my mind was made up!

So I stayed in the hospital. Isha (founded by Sadhguru) were super understanding of the whole situation, and told me that I would be transferred to the next Surya Kriya at no cost. Fast forward to March 2020, and here we are!

I’ve waited months and months to take this program, and with each passing day….my excitement was growing. Now more than ever I felt ready to take Surya Kriya.

It made me think…some times it’s better to feel the pain of waiting for something than having it when you want it!

Being Able To Simply Wait Is Something We Should All Works Towards!
Being Able To Simply Wait Is Something We Should All Works Towards!

It makes that thing even more valuable. Why am I sharing all of this with you? Well, it’s so you don’t take things for granted. These programs that Isha offers are incredibly powerful tools! Tools that can truly transform you if you let them. Don’t take them for granted!

It’s not just another yoga program you’ll learn!
It’s not just some physical stretching exercise!
It’s not just some mental clarity exercise!

Surya Kriya is a beautiful process. A process with so much intricate detail that it’ll blow you away. Amazingly even with all the details, anyone and everyone can do it.

I don’t expect you to understand everything what I’m saying. These are things you’ll only be able to relate to if and when you take the program.

Surya Kriya A 21 Step Process
Surya Kriya: A 21 Step Process

Alright, let’s get into the actual experience of the program! I’ll break down my experience into 2 parts: part 1 will be focused on the actual program experiences, and part 2 will be focused on the experience of doing my practice over the last 2 weeks. Now I know 2 weeks is hardly long enough to share experiences for, but I wanted to do it anyways because of how noticeable the changes have been!

 

Part 1: Surya Kriya Program Experience!

I’m astounded by how exemplary of a job Isha do at organising programs! Every single detail and I mean every single detail is taken care of with utmost precision. It’s actually ridiculous to think a program could run this way with absolutely zero flaws!

My experience with Surya Kriya was pretty much a reflection (or an extension) of what I’d already experienced during the Inner Engineering program.

For those who don’t know, Inner Engineering is a much longer program in terms of duration. 4 days for Inner Engineering compared to the 1 day for Surya Kriya (held in 2 sessions as earlier mentioned).

If I had to share the 3 biggest things about the Surya Kriya program, it would be these!

#1 The Course Structure!

By course structure I mean the way everything was made to flow. If you’ve seen someone doing Surya Kriya, you probably think it’s something you can learn pretty easily. At first glance, there’s nothing inherently complex about it right? Wrong!

One of the beautiful things about Surya Kriya is that it’s so intricate, so nuanced, that every asana requires your complete focus and attention!

It’s incredible how the course structure was so coherent! Step by step, posture by posture in a manner where not a single person is left behind. In a way the Kriya is imbibed into your internal system, and you quickly come to realise this when you’re doing the practices solo at home.

#2 The Instruction & Delivery!

Instruction and delivery comes to down to the teacher. I don’t have enough praise for the teacher who delivered this program so i’ll just say this:

If every single program/class was delivered in such a manner, there would be no failing students!

So much care, so much patience! Yet very direct and very concise. Then again i’m hardly surprised as this has become my expectation with Isha programs. Inner Engineering was just as beautifully delivered. When you leave these programs, you’re left in awe, and that’s because these are human beings just like you who are doing such a fantastic job at spreading Sadhguru’s vision.

As Sadhguru always says “It is not how much you do – how you do it is what makes life beautiful.”

These instructors are very much an example of this. Seeing them inspires me to do the same in whatever it is I may be doing in my life!

#3 The Energy During The Program!

The Surya Kriya I took 2 weeks ago happened on a Sunday morning at 8:00 AM. When the weekends come around, I usually go to bed pretty late (2 or even 3 in the morning). Not because i’m out partying, it’s just I enjoy the nights and being awake for the early morning hours.

Needless to say I hardly got any sleep on Saturday night! All things considered probably 3 hours of actual sleep!

When I was driving to the program on early Sunday morning, I was yawning and pretty tired. At the time I didn’t know how i’d get through lunch time, let alone half the day!

But yoga is soooo weird! It does something to your body, to your energies!

By lunch time I was buzzing! I didn’t feel at all hungry even though I hadn’t eaten anything all day. Even still my energy levels were just off the roof. Hard to describe, but have you ever had those days where you’re “in the zone”? This is what it felt like!

Surya Kriya Energy Levels
Surya Kriya Energy Levels

The evening session was the same. When the program concluded I wasn’t tired at all. In fact that night I slept at around 1 or 2 in the morning and woke up at 6 AM the following morning with zero difficulty.

Again, I’m not sure about the science behind this or why this happens. Not sure I care either, but yoga if taught in a proper manner can do incredible things to the human body!

 

Part 2: Surya Kriya Practice Experience!

I’ve now been doing Surya Kriya twice a day for about 2 weeks. I do it once in the morning and once in the evening, both times before my Shambhavi practice.

Over the 2 weeks these are the most notable experiences I can share with you:

#1 Surya Kriya + Shambhavi = Mind Blown!

No better way to say it than that! Combining both yogic practices will blow your mind. Yes it does take a chunk of time to complete both practices, but trust me when I say it’s well worth the time and effort.

If you don’t believe me, set your alarm clock to wake up half an hour to 40 minutes earlier and try it for yourself!

Surya Kriya in many ways prepares you for deeper states of meditation, which is exactly what you need for Shambhavi. Some of the things I noticed were:

    • After doing Surya Kriya, my breathing felt a lot more stable and calm. There was a consistency with the inhalation/exhalation which before Surya Kriya was very sporadic and inconsistent. This alone helped me so much with Shambhavi!
    • I can sit in Ardha Sidhh Asana much more comfortably and with an erect spine. Before Surya Kriya, i’d slouch and my knees would hurt sometimes.
    • I’m less distracted. Doing Surya Kriya has enhanced my focus and attention, and this is something I directly notice when doing Shambhavi. My mind isn’t flooded with thoughts and my emotions aren’t all over the place (I do still have some thoughts and distractions from time to time though!).

#2 An Energy High!

Many people have experienced a reduction in sleep quota after doing Surya Kriya. To be honest, my sleep quote didn’t change by much at all (not yet at least). What did change is the energy.

I feel an incredible upsurge of energy after doing Surya Kriya in the mornings and evenings!

If I had to describe the feeling, it would be like this: imagine you slept like a baby at night, had the most amazing dream, and then woke up feeling totally refreshed and like a million bucks! That’s how I feel after doing Surya Kriya.

The really cool thing is seeing these energy levels lasting throughout the entire day. Even when I have a crazy busy 8-10 hours of work, I still feel pretty energetic by the end of the day. The evening Surya Kriya is a further boost!

This point is an extension of the experience I had in the program itself.

Surya Kriya Energised Throughout The Day!
Surya Kriya – Energised Throughout The Day!

#3 I’m Much More Conscious Of Breath!

In these last 2 weeks of doing Surya Kriya, I feel myself becoming more and more aware of my breath. Sometimes it becomes a beautiful love affair!

Just breathing in/out can feel so magical, so mystical, so incredibly beautiful!

It was rightly said that the most beautiful things in life are the most simple. To the logical mind, this seems like absolute hogwash. It’s because the logical mind is too busy focused on knowing. The moment you stop knowing and start experiencing is when you’ll truly understand what i’m talking about.

Surya Kriya is a beautiful reminder of how incredible the breath can be. The more you do the practice, the more you start to realise this!

Surya Kriya Conscious Of Breath
Surya Kriya – Conscious Of Breath

 

Surya Kriya Frequently Asked Questions

#1 How intense is Surya Kriya and can anyone do it or is it for those who are already physically fit?

Anyone can do Surya Kriya. Being physically fit is definitely not a requirement. I must tell you that I wouldn’t consider myself to be physically fit (i’m not unfit either). The only requirement is a deep desire to learn and to maintain discipline and devotion towards the practice.

Intensity levels in my opinion are moderate. There are some postures which can get fairly intense.

#2 Surya Kriya or Shambhavi? Which should I do first?

Shambhavi Mahamudra is the yogic practice you learn in Inner Engineering. I took the Inner Engineering program about 11 months before I took Surya Kriya. At the time, IE was way more of a priority for me than taking a hatha yoga class.

In hindsight, it would probably be best to take Surya Kriya before the IE program. This is purely my opinion. I think taking Surya Kriya will lay down a solid foundation and prepare you really well for receiving Shambhavi during IE. Your physical and mental body will be better prepared by doing Surya Kriya a couple months in advance.

#3 When’s the next program happening!?

Concerning upcoming programs, your best bet is to check with your local Isha center. Here’s a link that will show you upcoming programs in your area!

 

Hope You Enjoyed Reading!

I hope you found this post informative and enjoyed reading about my experiences with this beautiful yogic practice. If you have any questions, please leave a comment below.

If you’ve done Surya Kriya, please please please share your own experience below! Remember, your story might inspire someone else to consider taking the program. Let’s transform the world one day at a time!

Disclaimer: The opinions and views represented in this post do not necessarily reflect those of Isha foundation. The above experiences are my own. This post is not endorsed and I will not receive any commission if you take the program. I wrote this post because I wanted to share my positives experiences with the world!

About Eve

Just an average bloke intrigued by massage and its incredible benefits. Oh, did I mention I also own a massage chair? More on that in the blog posts!

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