My journey to Surya Kriya: The Sunshine of my Soul


This weekend I attended an Isha Hata Yoga program to learn the powerful spiritual process of Surya Kriya.

The heart of yoga

I have deep respect for the beautiful flexibility and the many physical benefits of maintaining a yoga practice.I believe that the physical aspects of yoga frees us by allowing our body to reach our natural, light, flexible, strong, powerful, pain free state.

I love that yoga enables us to not be trapped by our body because if I want to sit a certain way on the ground, and I cannot because my ankles twist and my legs burn – in that way I am trapped. If I want to sink into a deep split, or allow my wrists to carry me the same way my ankles do and I can’t, in that way, I am trapped by my body. So by practicing yoga, I move my body in ways that bring me back to my natural state.

Despite this, I always had a feeling that the heart of yoga was more than the physical benefits of it. I always had a sense that yoga was a tool for something more. I have been searching for ways to use yoga as part of my spiritual practice, a way to energize my subtle body and not just my physical body.

Isha Hata Yoga has given me a direction.

I was so excited to hear that this course was becoming available in Ireland for the first time, and I knew I had to go. I was a little bit worried about making the trip on my own, but my husband told me that I should take it as an adventure, and so I did.


I spent the night back in Galway with my princess friend Abi. She picked me up from the bus station and made me dinner with hot water and lime back at her apartment. We took some silly pictures and got into bed, where Abi kept me up waaaaay past my bedtime with her sweet conversation :D.


The next day, I began my journey to a quaint, grey skied town called Castleisland. I watched the sunrise from the bus.

tHE suN

The energy of the sun has great influence on us. It acts on us every day. If the sun is taken away, we would not be able to survive for long.

When we are able to align with the sun, we will naturally fill up with vitality, good health, and energy.

All our physical processes and capabilities start to open up and align. Surya Kriya is a method of activating the energy of the sun within us, we begin to stabilize our body and mind.

From Surya kRIYA to Surya Namaskar

Surya Namaskar is a yoga sequence that is known by many. I, too, would practice this daily as part of my morning routine, to honour the gorgeous solar energy that warms my life.

Surya Namaskar is a mostly physical process to honour the subtle nature of the sun, whereas Sura Kriya is a spiritual process that moves you towards a certain direction. Surya Kriya is a powerful and potent yogic practice that must be taught carefully and learned with involvement and awareness. Surya Namaskar is a sequence derived from Surya Kriya, but that is available to all.

Hotel interiors are always so
Hotel interiors are always so “unique”

The course was conducted over two 3 hour sessions. Before the first session, I spent 30 minutes in meditation in my room and I had the most peculiar experience where I was able to feel a strange sensation in the space between my eyes. I had never experienced this before, though I had always longed to! Every day, I sit in meditation and focus on this spot and wish to feel something. Sometimes I found it hard to even imagine my “third eye”, I just felt as though nothing was there. Eventually, I just stopped thinking about it.

But then, it happened! The only way to describe the sensation was as though there was a finger pressed against it, slowly pulsating. I sat with the feeling, unsure of what it means for me, but I am open, and I am ready.

The course itself was indescribable. It is something you have to experience for yourself. As I have said before, your spiritual awakening is a private and personal experience – You can listen to others about their experiences, but ultimately you must have your own. 

Greeted by this beautiful almost-full moon on my return home.

Making time for spirituality

I am ready to incorporate Surya Kriya into my daily practice. It was recommended to complete Surya Kriya twice a day for 40 days, and if that is not feasible, then once a day for 6 months. I am going to try for the 40 days.

I will wait till the 1st of October to begin, as I am just 2 days away from completing my 30 day yoga challenge!

It certainly is getting more and more difficult incorporate my spiritual practice in my day. Up till now I have spent 30 minutes in the morning and 30 minutes in the evening towards yoga and meditation, and even that has not always been easy – but it has been doable. There were some evenings when I would only get home at 10:00pm from the hospital and go straight to my mat.

Changing this to around 45 minutes morning and evening will be challenging, especially when I sometimes feel guilty that I should be studying instead.

I guess these are some of the challenges that a person faces when trying to spiritually orient your life without living in an ashram.

How about you? I would love to hear about how you incorporate your spiritual practices into your day, especially when you have other responsibilities like school, work and family.  

Life can be so magical sometimes. I am left with a feeling of awe. I have been so dedicated to my spiritual journey for the last month or so, and I was shown the next step to take. I was given everything I needed.

It teaches me – your spiritual journey begins now, today, exactly as you are. Be dedicated and pour your heart into your life, do what you need to do right now, and the next step will be shown to you.

It was such a wonderful experience and I have been blessed with an opportunity to deepen my spiritual practice. If this calls to your heart, find a Isha course near you, and have an adventure!




  1. Hi,
    It is comforting to read your process. In terms of building a personal practice, I suggest you build one for your life. I struggled to keep up with all the 40 days and x mins a day meditations until I realized I’m creating more stress in my life. That feeling between your eyebrows will be there in its own time, even if you do your full schedule or do just enough to keep you grounded throughout the day. And the best part is, once it’s there, it never goes away. The path to yourself unfolds in its own time. It’s good to be disciplined, but also good to give yourself time and compassion. I also recommend retreats at least once in a year as they get you deeper in the process. Sat nam.


  2. Surya kriya cycle not be done twice.
    Either once or thrice or 6,7,9,11,12
    Talk to your hatha yoga instructor.
    I can send you the sheet which I have received from the session if you want.


      1. Sorry for the wrong information. You can do it any number of times with 4 hours gap. But you can’t repeat a cycle(42 steps). You need to do it thrice(according to instructions) if you want to do it more.


      1. Please do not forward the notes of Surya Kriya to people who have not been taught it. It is a powerful process that needs to be learnt under proper conditions from a qualified teacher, not just picked up from brief notes. There is so much more to it than can be put down in a few notes.


        1. I agree with Andrew. Aniruddh, I completely understand your desire to learn this Kriya, however I encourage you to find an Isha course that may initiate you to the powerful process of Surya Kriya. It is not something that you can or should learn from someone else notes.


      1. Hi Vasu, I’m afraid I can’t give you the handout. I would advise you to contact the instructor of your Surya Kriya course and see what they can do for you…


    1. Hi Harsh,

      One cycle of Surya Kriya should take around 21 minutes. But sometimes, if you really go deep into the practice, it can take longer.


  3. Please can you share – What was your experience after the completion of 40 days of Surya kriya. Any key changes or experience you would liek to share?


    1. Hello,

      Unfortunately when I attempted to practice Surya Kriya for 40 days, I was interrupted and did not complete it. Once I have done that, I will of course share my experiences on this blog. I am currently in the process of my 40 days of Shambhabvi Maha Mudra Kriya.

      Do stay in touch and revisit the blog, I will share my experiencs soon.



      1. Hi I lost my practice and started it again I just wanted to ask in the 9th step of ashwa sanchalana which leg comes forward first? Is it the same leg we took backward in the 4th step or the next one?


  4. Hello Altruis. Help needed!!
    I am Shoumik. I started to do upa yoga for two and half month then i tried to do surya namaskar watching some youtube videos regarding surya namaskar. After two and three days i felt a heavy headache in the left side of my head and it’s hurting me couple of times these two/three days. I just tried it a bit and firstly without the breathing concern. I can’t get wheater this bad headache is for trying surykriya/namaskar iaas it might try in wrong way or not.
    It would be a great help, anybody/any yoga teacher please give me any information regarding any way to cure from this headache.
    Many thanks! Namaste.


  5. Hello Altruis. Help needed!!
    I am Shoumik. I started to do upa yoga for two and half month then i tried to do surya namaskar watching some youtube videos regarding surya namaskar. After two and three days i felt a heavy headache in the left side of my head and it’s hurting me couple of times these two/three days. I just tried it a bit and firstly without the breathing concern. I can’t get wheater this bad headache is for trying surykriya/namaskar iaas it might try in wrong way or not.
    It would be a great help, anybody/any yoga teacher please give me any information regarding any way to cure from this headache.
    Many thanks! Namaste.


    1. Shoumik, I am not sure I am the right person to advise you on this. Why don’t you contact Isha on their website and see what they think?


  6. Thank you for sharing! Surya kriya is coming near my place. Since you have done both Shambhavi and Survya, I was wondering if you could help clear the air for me. I already completed the 40 day cycle of shambhavi. I am now in the middle of my 6 month, once a day cycle of Shambhavi. Can I interrrupt shambhavi and start doing survya kriya? Can both of them be done together? If I have limited time, which should I select? Your thoughts would be greatly appreciated 🙂


    1. Hi Krish,

      Let me share with you what I would do if If I were in your position. For a more accurate answer, perhaps you should contact the Isha volunteers from their website. Personally speaking, I would certainly not stop my shambhavi cycle, and do my very best to complete the 6 months. Once initiated into Surya Kriya, I would probably attempt to begin my 40 day SK twice a day cycle along with Shambhavi once a day, if I felt I had enough time. This would mean my morning sessions would take about an hour (Shambhavi + Surya Kriya), and my evening sessions just half an hour (Just Surya Kriya). Once my 40 days of this had elapsed I would do one session of Surya Kriya in the morning and one session of Shambhavi in the evening.

      It is a large time commitment. But worthwhile.

      Personally speaking, it has been a couple of years now since I was initiated into Surya Kriya, and now only practice Shambhavi – as there are restrictions on practicing Surya Kriya while pregnant.

      Both are extremely powerful processes. If I had to prioritize and choose just one, I would choose Shambhavi.


    1. I haven’t practiced Surya Kriya in a long time (it is not advised to practice during pregnancy, or for some weeks after the delivery), but when I did, I would do just one cycle.


  7. I need all the steps of surya kriya showing how to do them how many times in a day, is this practice to be done every day please guide


    1. Sanjeev, check out Isha’s website to find a Surya Kriya workshop in a location near you. That is where you can be initiated into the process. And yes, it can be done every day.


  8. Hello Malavika
    Please let me know in detail about surya kriya step wise along with how many times and for how many days to do this kriya, I am just a beginner.


  9. After 2 years, how has your Surya kriya and Shambhavi evolved? Do you still practice them? What are the changes they have brought to your life?


    1. That’s a great question. I have not practiced Surya Kriya in a very long time – as I have been pregnant (twice) for the large part of 2 years – and it is advised not to practice during pregnancy and shortly after delivery. Shambhavi however, has continued to change and transform myself and my life in so many beautiful ways. You may be interested in my latest sharing, where I have written about my latest experience with this kriya


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