Posture by posture, breath by breath, the mind/body integration that is Kripalu Yoga awakens the deepest levels of self-awareness. For it is through such recognition that a new level of caring and compassion is attained. Kripalu means compassion and this is a yoga of consciousness, practiced not only on the mat, but just as importantly “off the mat,” as well.
Referred to as a “meditation in motion,” Kripalu Yoga is practiced through a unique combination of disciplines. Asanas (postures) and meditation are intended to estab- lish a conscious communication of body, mind, and spirit. The practice combines moving through progressive stages of relaxation, absorption of sensation and movement, attunement to experience, and free expression of released energy.
Kripalu Yoga begins with listening to the wisdom of your body and then focusing your mind on the awareness of the posture and your internal state, taking into account sensations, emotions, and thoughts. A method of “press points” aids you in attuning to your body, so that your mind can relax and allow your body to align itself to its full potential. Focusing your mind with non-judgmental awareness allows for proper, safe, body alignment in a relaxed way, without force. The emphasis is not on perfecting postures, but rather tuning into your body’s wisdom to allow the posture to reveal insights to your mind and spirit.
Kripalu Yoga postures are not static, but alive. A tool for self-empowerment and personal growth, Kripalu Yoga teaches you to tap into an inner-knowing. While you stay open to learning from others, the self-awareness that comes from Kripalu Yoga gives you the power to reason and make solid decisions for yourself.
The confidence gained through Kripalu Yoga then overflows into your life, encouraging you to embrace every experience and to let life flow without resistance. The intimate and nurturing relationship you establish with your own body makes every sensation sacred. Such wisdom enables you to adapt and meet life’s challenges with a clear, open mind. Free from insecurity, fear, and ignorance, life is lived with compassion.
By Sudhakar Ken McRae