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.
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 (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.
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