Kripalu Yoga is one of the many styles of yoga that have equal importance on the mind, body, and soul. Most styles of yoga include pranayama, asanas, and meditation all equally. But Kripalu Yoga teaches that with a compassionate approach you must learn to accept your body as your best teacher i.e. to follow your thoughts without judgment and learn to accept yourself as the body is the center of your existence. You should practice the same way as to how you should live your life.
This style of Yoga emphasizes the great spiritual and mental transformation as well as physical health that flows from the yoga mat into daily life.
This yoga practice is a new and gentle variant of hatha yoga, perfect for those who want to improve their overall health and the way they live daily life. It teaches you to learn and accept your body. However, it gives equal importance to breathing exercises, yoga asanas and meditation.
What is Kripalu Yoga?
Kripalu yoga practices with a compassionate approach are similar to the gentle style of hatha sequences. Over time, that begins with accepting and understanding yourself, which entails moving on at your own pace, self-acceptance and adaptability, as all bodies are different.
Like many forms of yoga, Kripalu Yoga is ideal for people facing life’s challenges. However, Practitioner need to be kept for longer than usual.
This modern style of yoga involves a sequence of non-specific body postures with breathing exercises and relaxation.
A very popular style for beginners, it is acceptable and adaptable to all body types, ages, abilities, fitness levels, and interests. Kripalu classes usually take into account the personality and individual expression of people and different physiques.
To fully immerse yourself in this yoga style, you need to focus on your ‘press points’, which are attached to your body. Then you have to find a way to do the poses that best suit your body.
Kripalu Yoga Practice
Kripalu classes are usually divided into three phase outlines. Which begins with pranayama practice and light stretches, followed by asana practice and final relaxation. However these steps are not necessarily linear.
Each Kripalu yoga class actually begins with a practice of pranayama practice, then moves on to the practice of asanas and ends with relaxation postures.
Mudras are held for short periods for beginners because the effect of prana on the student’s body is quick and deep.
However, once students reach an advanced class, they need to incorporate longer hold times and, eventually, fluency in more advanced classes.
At the end of the class, the gracious teacher has to say ‘Jai Bhagwan’ instead of Namaste. The two words have essentially the same meaning, but the first is in Hindi and the second is in Sanskrit.
History of Kripalu Yoga — Yogi Amrit Desai
In ancient yoga texts and literature, the Kripalu Yoga style was developed in the 1980s by two individuals, Amrit Desai and Swami Kripalvanandji, also known as Kripalu.
Amit Desai, a native of India and disciple of Swami Kripalu, who started an ashram in Pennsylvania. Kripalvananda gave several lectures to senior teachers of Kripalu Yoga in this ashram.
During meditation, Kripalvanandji experienced various movements which were a mixture of hatha yoga techniques, breathing exercises and hand gestures.
Kripalu Yoga Benefits
Kripalu Yoga is a modern style of yoga that aims to raise a deeper awareness of mental and emotional states by focusing on the flow of prana, or life force energy. There are many physical, mental and spiritual benefits of practicing this form of yoga.
- Kripalu Yoga provides philosophical spirit which is a wonderful way to harmonize the mind, body and spirit with each other.
- This modern style of ancient hatha yoga practices aims to guide the yogi’s awareness of the inner self and inner wisdom.
- Since it is generally so gentle that yoga postures can be performed according to the capabilities of the body and even by the elderly.
- A pilgrimage to the Kripalu Center will help improve your mental health by reducing depression and anxiety.
- As a result, the practice of Kripalu Yoga will also improve blood circulation in your body and better flow of oxygen.
- Finally, it will also make you more aware of your body and help in the overall functioning of the body.
Kripalu Yoga Poses
This is the Kripalu yoga sequence that you can follow. Eventually, you will become aware of your body’s limits and capabilities.
- Mountain (Tadasana)
- Half Moon (Ardha Chandrasana)
- Standing Squat (Utkatasana)
- Eagle (Garudasana)
- Warrior (Virabhadrasana)
- Side Warrior (Parsva Virabhadrasana)
- Standing Wide Angle (Prasarita Padottanasana)
- Triangle (Trikonasana)
- Tree (Vrikshasana)
- Upward Boat (Urdhvanavasana)
- Bridge (Setu Bandhasana)
- Knee-Down Twist (Supta Matsyendrasana)
- Cobra (Bhujangasana)
- Boat (Navasana)
- Symbol of Yoga (Yoga Mudra)
- Downward-Facing Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana)
- Pigeon (Kapotasana)
- Head to Knee (Janu Shirshasana)
- Posterior Stretch (Pashchimottanasana)
- Seated Spinal Twist (Matsyendrasana)
Kripalu Yoga is a modern style of yoga that is different from most other yoga styles. In addition to breathing exercises and relaxation, it also focuses on your body, mind, and spirit. Since it is generally so gentle and adaptable and acceptable to the capabilities of the body, Kripalu yoga postures can be performed by anyone.
It inspires you to understand and become aware of your body and also teaches that everyone’s body is different. It is not possible to practice yoga mudra or pose in a similar way, so one should practice yoga in a way that is suitable for one’s own body.
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