Kripalu Yoga is more than a style of yoga or a state of mind
Kripalu (http://www.kripalu.org/) is North America’s largest and most established retreat center for yoga, health, and holistic health.
Western Massachusetts attracts more than 25,000 students annually, train more than 5,000 teachers, and has 40 affiliated students worldwide 🌎.
Plus other aspects of better living, including spirituality, lifestyle, nutrition, healing arts, and new methods of looking at the world. Students can learn ways to calm and enhance their minds, bodies, and hearts, reduce stress, detoxify their systems, lose weight, and if they’re willing, return home to teach the methods to their own communities.
The center also offers free hour-long online yoga videos for those unable to visit the center. Each topic split into three styles:
Gentle is slow and peaceful with basic breathing exercises, plus a variety of sitting, standing, and on-back positions.
Moderate which includes foundational poses and deeper breathing exercises, and a low-key workout deep restoration.
Vigorous which are designed to develop strength and endurance while attempting more advanced postures.
Although the program uses ancient Eastern principles and techniques, the location is more modern. It’s been only 40 years when it was founded as a practical and accessible approach to yoga.
Founders included Don Stapleton, a professor of art education with an interest in creativity; Devarshi Steven Hartman, who tries to connect individuality and personal expression into teachings, not just physical stamina; and Kate Feldman, MSW LCSW, a psychotherapist with a background in yoga, meditation, Gestalt, Imago and family systems therapies and the current director of Colorado’s Conscious Relationships Institute.
Amrit Desai, who teach ashram in Pennsylvania with Stapleton’s help; and his instructor Swami Kripalvanandaji, a yoga master from India’s Gujarat province.
During meditation, Kripalvanandaji, or Kripalu, experience a variety of motions. And, he realized they were hatha yoga postures as he explores it. His lessons blended certain movements, breathing exercises, and hand gestures.
In addition, the original ashram and guru have evolved into the current nonprofit educational center. As it grew, Desai and Stapleton focused less on rigid established methods and more on individual expression.
Today, Kripalu offers a blend of classic asanas, but not specific sets or routines, plus breathwork/pranayama, and various techniques of relaxation and calm.
Organizers developed an approach that emphasizes following a flow of energy, observing the mind without judgment, practicing compassion and other positive introspection.
Kripalu has three main areas:
🔵 Posture alignment and coordination of movement and breath. Postures are not held long, but they still help the body’s endurance and release tension.
🔴 Inner experience, which includes mental focus and the ability to hold postures longer. Related to this is being aware of internal tensions that may be affecting mental clarity.
🔵 Relaxation of body and mind, which allows the body to move without prompting to various postures.
Students practice in sessions of various intensity and listen to other areas about their lives, such as what foods the body wants.
Duane Hendricks, who offers Kripalu yoga in the Houston area, offers a guide to Kripalu postures, which are similar to ones you’d find in common yoga classes, such as Downward Dog, Cobra, and Child, plus dozens more.