|[ Excerpt from The Science of Yoga, page 96 ]
Jnana is the Sanskrit word which means "wisdom." It is pronounced "ge-yaa-na," or even sometimes simply "yaa-na" and also written as gnana.
The jnana yoga kriyas are a powerful group of practices for relaxation, which belong to the branch of yoga called jnana yoga, "the yoga of the intellect." The jnana yoga kriyas begin to take us into deeper levels of relaxation.
The term jnana yoga kriya implies that the mind as well as the body is employed to achieve a harmonious state free from both conscious and sub-conscious tension.
This relaxed state can be obtained within virtually any posture, whereby the consciousness is withdrawn into a deep place of relaxation, allowing the body to achieve levels of tonus approaching the area of 38% or less, where true relaxation is said to begin.
The jnana yoga kriyas serve, then, to primarily facilitate the release of tension and promote deep relaxation in preparation for other phases of yoga practice.
You have already been introduced to the jnana yoga kriyas earlier with the nishpanda jnana kriya (the progressive relaxation), and hopefully by now have begun to feel this deeper state of relaxed consciousness.
Throughout this Science of Yoga course you will be instructed in several other jnana yoga kriyas. These practices may appear on the surface to be quite simple techniques, but I encourage you to practice them with astute attention.
There is much more than may meet the eye within this group of practices and they will be an invaluable asset in the deepening of your consciousness and furtherance of your yoga practice...
NOTE: This yoga article is an excerpt from The Science of Yoga, an online yoga training program with streaming yoga videos and 600 pages of step-by-step yoga instruction.
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