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Kripalu Yoga


Kripalu Yoga: Looking Inside Yourself

There are many kinds of yoga practices, and one of which is known as Kripalu Yoga. This is a form of Hatha practice, which puts emphasis on meditation, inner focus, breath work, and standard yoga poses to develop a quiet mind.

The Kripalu Yoga History

Unlike other forms of yoga which are hundreds or thousands of years old, Kripalu is quite new. It was founded in 1965 by Amrit Desai. It was initially called the Yoga Society of Pennsylvania and was later named Kripalu yoga after the guru Swami Kripalvananda.

Kripalu was created to provide yoga classes for the general public and training for yoga teachers and teaching aspirants.

By 1983, Kripalu acquired a 160,000 square foot facility in Stockbridge, Massachusets. Known as the Kripalu Center, the venue continues to operate as a yoga retreat center and is the largest facility of its kind in America. It can house 650 people and features a wide range of amenities like yoga classrooms, pools, open grounds and hiking areas.

The Center offers hundreds of yoga programs and is visited by as much as 25,000 people yearly. Many yoga workshops are short courses, but there are semester-long programs that focus on healing, music, weight loss and stress support, too.

The Kripalu Yoga Experience

The Kripalu exerpience is more than just a yoga class. There are different programs in the center that focus on many things. Apart from yoga practice, there are programs focused on wellness, creative expression, fitness and outdoors, spiritual practice, professional development and self-discovery.

There are healthy living immersion programs that incorporate yoga, fitness and outdoor activities and proper eating. However, the most popular program is the signature R and R retreat, where visitors can choose what they want to do throughout their whole stay in the facility. All Kripalu programs include accommodations, all-natural meals, daily yoga classes, evening events and the use of the amenities inside the facility.

The Kripalu Yoga Practice

The practice itself is a very gentle form of hatha yoga that emphasizes on physical healing and spiritual transformation. Classes usually begin with gentle stretches and deep breathing execises. This is then followed by slow movements and poses. The class then ends with final relaxation. Usually yoga classes end by saying “namaste” but Kripalu teachers say “jai bhagwan” instead. The two terms mean the same, but in different languages. Kripalu does not really focus more on the physical aspect of things.

Students are encouraged to work on their own level of practice. Instead of being dependent on the guidance on teachers or authorities, students tap on their inner-knowing so that they learn to discriminate and decide on their own. The practice promotes an intimacy within the self and treats the body as a temple.

Is Kripalu Yoga for You?

Kripalu yoga is a good option for those who want to improve themselves, spiritually and physically. The individualized and gentle approach is a good idea for those who want to start slowly such as seniors, overweight people and those suffering from arthritis. A visit to the Kripalu center is also a good idea for those who want a new approach to relaxing and rejuvenation.

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