What is Kripalu Yoga, anyway?

May 18, 2018
Yoga Prana Center Holliston MA

Someone asked the other day, “What’s that ‘Kripalu’ you have listed after your name, anyway?”

Oops – sometimes we forget that something that is so familiar to us that it’s like breathing, is totally unfamiliar to someone else.

So – Kripalu Yoga is a lineage of Yoga – it’s named after a person, Swami Kripalu, who inspired his followers to start an ashram in Pennsylvania in the 1970s. Over the years the ashram moved to its current home in Stockbridge, MA and has become a retreat center where you can go for just a weekend or (like me) for a month of training and 17+ years of continuing education! And lots in between.

If you haven’t tried Kripalu Yoga classes, you are in for a treat! I think there’s a special feeling in each Kripalu class, as if you’re coming home to your own body, mind and spirit. Kripalu Center trains us to help you develop mind, body and spirit in a compassionate, non-judgmental way. You are guided to move at your own pace, honoring your body’s needs in each moment. You will stretch and tone muscles, and leave feeling energized and refreshed. All classes include pranayama (breathing exercises) and deep relaxation; some include seated meditation and Yoga Nidra (a deep Yogic sleep practice). All Kripalu classes at the Prana Center include suggestions for modifications as needed. 

If you’re interested in reading more about Kripalu Yoga, highly recommend the book Kripalu Yoga by Richard Faulds. I’ve had the pleasure of assisting him at a workshop at Kripalu and he is a lovely, very knowledgable Yoga teacher with lots of insight into the practice.

I’ve also been a student of Kripalu yoga teacher Steven Cope, who has written several wonderful books, including Yoga and the Quest for the True Self.

Here’s a link to Kripalu Center itself. 

Most importantly, come in and try a class. All the reading in the world can’t duplicate the feeling of being led by an experienced teacher into an experience of deep compassion for your mind, body and spirit. 

Fun fact: “Kripalu” actually means compassion in Hindi!

(That’s a picture of me at Kripalu Center. I’m facing the building with the beautiful lake in the background)