In 2003, when I was travelling in India, I read the book "Autobiography of a Yogi". I was impressed by this book and immediately went to seek out great yogis who would know the secrets of Kriya Yoga...
An immortal Himalayan yogi known under the name of Babaji Maharaj brought knowledge of Kriya yoga to Lahiri Mahasaya in the last century. For ordinary people, this method is the fastest way of the evolution of consciousness.
The word Kriya is composed of two syllables, Kri and Ya. In Sanskrit, Kri means karma dhatu or action, and Ya means Soul or Atma. The word Kriya indicates action of the Soul or prana karma. The first and the most important action of the Soul is breath. The union of breath and Soul in each inhalation and exhalation is called Kriya.
The practice of Kriya yoga is based on breath, the brain and the spinal cord. Breath is a key factor in Kriya yoga practice. In our everyday life we are not conscious of our breath, we breathe automatically. Breathing is the main driving force while we are in this body. When we pay attention to our breath, when we study it, we make a close study of ourselves. When we start controlling our breath, we are born spiritually and start our way towards immortality. It’s a precious gift for us because only human beings can take advantage of this gift. Every person has a limited number of inhalations. When man slows down his breath, he prolongs his life. Practising pranayama and asanas regularly give concrete results namely body and mind healing.
A single physiological process, that we can control directly, is our breath. Breathing is regulated by two groups of neurons. There are neurons, which are responsible for spontaneous breathing activity. For example, for automatic breaths that occur because spontaneous neurons react to the gas concentration in the blood. Spontaneous neurons are connected to the alimentary center, vasomotor center (set of neurons located in the various levels of the central nervous system and carrying out regulation of vascular tone), etc. There are neurons, which are responsible for conscious activity too. In turn, conscious neurons affect on spontaneous neurons. So, if we observe the breath, or hold our breath, the influence from the cerebral cortex to the conscious neurons begins. It transmits the impulse to spontaneous neurons and the rhythm of breathing changes. Scientists have learnt that 42 days is enough to reboot the conditioned reflexes, which exist in our heads. Through deliberate practice of breath control the relationships of neural chains in the brain begin to change. So, characteristics of our mind change.