What Is Kripalu Yoga – Sportskeeda

Kripalu yoga is a style of hatha yoga that values the mind, body, and spirit equally. It’s a rigorous style to asana practice that stresses meditation and breathwork and promotes inward focus plus spiritual alignment.

This yoga is affiliated with the Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health in Massachusetts, which offers yoga teacher training. It’s suitable for beginners and is welcoming and flexible to people of all ages, sizes, and abilities.

Many people incorporate kripalu yoga into their daily life, as it can be the source of profound spiritual and mental transformation plus physical wellness.

Read about why yoga is good for health and why you should begin a yoga practice.

What is Kripalu Yoga?

Kripalu yoga is a contemporary kind of yoga derived from old hatha yoga techniques. It comprises an arbitrary series of physical postures followed by breathing exercises and relaxation.

The purpose of kripalu yoga is to direct the yogi’s mind inward, concentrating on the flow of prana, or life force energy. It’s practice can establish a gradual process of bodily healing, psychological development, and spiritual enlightenment.

Kripalu attracts individuals seeking life transformation. This yoga form is accessible to people of all ages and fitness levels.


History of Kripalu Yoga

Kripalu yoga evolved primarily from the teachings of Swami Kripalvananda, whose origins can be found in ancient yogic scriptures and literature.

Amit Desai, an Indian native and follower of Swami Kripalu, introduced the teachings in the United States plus founded the first Kripalu ashram in Pennsylvania in the 1960s. Swami Kripalu spent four years in the ashram, where he gave a series of lectures in order to senior Kripalu yoga teachers.

Kripalu is gentler than hatha yoga. It includes asana, breathing methods, mudras, and meditation, which direct attention to the body, breath, and mind experiences. Kripalu includes three phases:

  • A concentration on correct alignment of the body where positions are held briefly
  • As the positions are held for longer, there’s a heightened awareness of feelings in the body
  • A deeper stage of meditation in which the practitioner is guided by their intuitive knowledge and moves in accordance with the particular flow of prana

Advanced Kripalu yoga asanas incorporate all three stages.

Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health

The Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health was established by yoga master Amrit Desai in Stockbridge, Massachusetts, in 1960s. In 1983, after outgrowing two Pennsylvania buildings, the Kripalu Center moved to its current location in the Berkshire Mountains associated with Massachusetts.

The particular Kripalu Center has expanded its class offerings to cover a variety of yoga styles plus wellness-related themes. It also began to promote itself as a retreat destinations with various offerings.


Currently, the center’s course calendar is quite broad. This frequently accommodates the most renowned yoga instructors, who give weekend and weeklong workshops. In addition to yoga and Ayurvedic teacher training, it also offers integrative yoga treatment and mindful outdoor leadership training.

It has become one of the United States’ most popular retreat places. Guests are usually welcome for day trips or overnight stays. In addition to bodywork, energy work, plus face treatments, several healing arts services are available.

How to Begin a Kripalu Yoga Practice?

The exercises of Kripalu yoga are comparable to the gentle hatha sequences. It begins with studying your body and determining how it performs in various poses, as all bodies are unique and must be taken into account at all times.

There is an emphasis on ‘press points’ that are adjusted to your body, so that you will gradually learn not to perform postures as taught by books and experts but rather in a manner that’s most beneficial to the body.


However , you may encounter difficulties when Kripalu techniques call for longer holds than usual, especially during profound meditation sessions.

Eventually, you will become conscious of the limitations and potentials of your body and be able to flow effortlessly through the positions. Other than dancer pose (natrajasana), pigeon pose (kapotasana), and spinal twists, the positions are essentially similar to those of other flow classes (Matsyendrasana).

Benefits of Kripalu Yoga

People who want to develop physically and spiritually to improve their health and sense of well-being are usually attracted to Kripalu. It’s an excellent option for pupils who would benefit from an individualized practice due to the tailored and mild approach.

That includes people suffering from arthritis and other chronic ailments, the elderly, and anyone who may be overweight. Kripalu is also an excellent practice for those who have never practiced yoga before.


Kripalu yoga is excellent for reaching into one’s inner, limitless self. This concept of self-empowerment and confidence in oneself and one’s body is what makes kripalu yoga so transforming with regard to both novices and experienced yoga practitioners.

The philosophical mindset Kripalu yoga conveys can help anyone who needs to understand and discover themselves better. In other words, kripalu yoga is an excellent approach to cultivate harmony between the mind, body, and spirit. You will acquire an awareness of your thoughts, actions, and emotions not only in your practice but also in your daily life.

If you’re interested in more yoga styles, read about the difference between power and Vinyasa yoga styles and how they can benefit you.

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Edited by Bhargav