alleyCat Yoga Week of Mindfulness

March 12-18, 2017

 
In an age of constant acceleration,
nothing can be more exhilarating than going slow.
In an age of constant distraction nothing is so luxurious as paying attention.
In an age of constant movement nothing is so urgent as sitting still.
~Pico Iyer
 
 The practice of mindfulness is defined by Jon-Kabat Zinn as “the ability to pay total attention to the present moment with a nonjudgmental awareness of the inner and/or outer experiences.”  When practiced mindfully, yoga draws our attention from the outside world of continual thought and action and transfers that attention deep within. The result of practice is a renewed connection to our inner being and a quieter, less reactive mind.
 
A benefit of practicing yoga in a community is shared experience and intention. As we build practice together we support one another through our individual intention and our shared efforts. During this week of mindfulness, join us for your regular yoga class as we share this common focus of being in the now, sharing sacred space and quiet introspection. Leave the busy world behind and experience a time of reflection and contemplation. We invite you to use this time as an opportunity to soothe your mind and body and deepen your connection with yourself.
 
Class will be held at the regular time as usual and teachers will use guided instruction in each class as always. During this focused week of mindfulness, each teacher will bring their own practice of mindfulness, teaching and meditation to the class as we hold the common goal of greater attention to the moment. Please speak with your teacher before class as needed and limit social conversation to the lobby area during this week. You may choose to hold silence as you leave class and in other areas of your life to deepen your experience.
  
 Please enter the studio in silence before each class March 12-18. 
 

Kripalu Yoga

Many of the classes taught at alleyCat focus on Kripalu Yoga. Kripalu Yoga – more than just a stretch…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.

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Referred to as a “meditation in motion,” Kripalu Yoga is practiced through a unique combination of disciplines. Asanas (postures), meditation, devotion, and selfless service are intended to establish a conscious communication of body, mind, and spirit.

The practice combines moving through progressive stages of relaxation, absorption of sensation and movement, conscious 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. Read More »

Swami Kripalu

swami-kripaluSwami Kripalu (1913-1981) was a remarkable man, a bridge between the traditions of ancient India and contemporary Western society. A yoga master renowned in India for the intensity of his spiritual practice and the depth of his compassion, Swami Kripalu came to America in 1977 where he spent the last four years of his life in residence at the original Kripalu Center.

Maintaining his schedule of ten hours of Kundalini Yoga meditation per day, Swami Kripalu taught a small number of close disciples including Yogi Amrit Desai, the originator of Kripalu Yoga. He also made weekly public appearances that catalyzed the growth of the Kripalu Yoga community. In these ways, Swami Kripalu played an essential role in the transmission of a spiritually potent yoga tradition to a large community of Western practitioners.

An articulate speaker and talented musician, it was Swami Kripalu’s genuine love for people that set him apart. His singing stirred deep feelings of devotion within the hearts of listeners. Discourses were peppered with captivating stories, eliciting tears of sorrow and peals of uncontrollable laughter. A prolific writer, Swami Kripalu wrote books of practical spiritual guidance aimed at uplifting the lives of his many devotees.

Radiating a palpable energy of compassionate love and spiritual power, few came into Swami Kripalu’s presence without being touched, moved or changed in some way. Swami Kripalu returned to India in 1981 and died shortly thereafter. Held dear by a multitude of Indians and Westerners, Swami Kripalu’s death was honored as the passing of a humanitarian saint. His teachings on yoga practice and supportive lifestyle still form the basis of the Kripalu Yoga approach.

~Ila Sarley

Used with permission