Yogananda emphasized the apparent unity of the major religions and taught ancient Kriya yoga as the most expeditious way to attain spiritual growth and Self-realization. In Kriya yoga, which is traditionally learned exclusively through the direct relationship with a guru, the practitioner mentally directs life energy to the six spinal centers.
In 1920, Yogananda arrived in the U.S., becoming the first yoga guru from India to live permanently in the West. He traveled the country on spiritual campaigns, filling large halls in major cities. Even well after his death, his impact has continued through his writings, the work of his disciples and the influence of the organizations he founded, which include the Self-Realization Fellowship and the Yogoda Satsanga Society of India. One of his many writings include the top-selling spiritual classic, "Autobiography of a Yogi."