Kripalu Yoga

Beginner's Guide to Kripalu Yoga

Ever heard of Hatha yoga? It is the most gentle style of yoga. One of the forms of Hatha yoga is Kripalu yoga. This is a gentle Hatha yoga practice that includes meditation, physical healing, and spiritual transformation. But, that is not all. There is a lot to know and understand about this yoga style.

To help you do this yoga experts have come up with a small guide.

Guide to Kripalu Yoga

The Kripalu yoga style was brought into existence by Yogi Amrit Desai. This yoga style has its roots in the ancient Vedic scriptures. It is based on the ancient teachings of Yoga Sutras and the Eight limbs of yoga. Kripalu yoga integrates mind, body, and emotions through gentle and meditative postures.

The word Kripalu means “compassion”. This yoga style acknowledges and honors every person's uniqueness. Practicing Kripalu yoga helps you get in tune with inner wisdom.

Let us now understand the philosophy this yoga style works on.

Philosophy of Kripalu Yoga

The main goal of traditional yoga style is to help you attain the highest spiritual state known as self-realization. The end goal of Kripalu yoga is to help you develop a healthy and strong body, an open heart, and a peaceful and clear mind. This yoga style makes you realize that you are divine and capable of accessing the true spiritual nature.

Do you know about the rich and interesting origin story of Kripalu yoga? Let us find out a bit about its founder and history.

Kripalu Yoga – Foundation and History

As stated above, it was Amrit Desai who brought this yoga style into being. That is not all!

Yogi Amrit Desai, known as Gurudev was born in the village of Halol in India. Yogi Amrit received his inspiration from the life and teachings of his guru, Swami Kripalvananda.

Swami Kripalvananda

Swami Kripalvananda was a highly renowned master of Kundalini yoga. He was also a prolific writer, musician, and speaker. His name Kripalvananda means – the compassionate one.

Kripalvananda was born in Dabhoi, Gujarat in 1913 and his guru was Dadaji. After becoming a guru, Kripalvananda gave up all worldly attachments and traveled throughout Western India.

Amrit Desai and Kripalvananda - The Connection

Amrit Desai convinced Sri Kripalvananda to come to the US. He spent 4 years in practicing intense Sadhana (10 hours a day) at the Kripalu Center. Sri Kripalvananda later went back to India where he died in 1981.

Kripalu yoga center has been named after Sri Kripalvananda. His teachings still serve as the foundation of Kripalu yoga approach to a yogic and spiritual life. At present, Amrit Desai owns the center in Florida.

This is everything about the origin and history of Kripalu yoga style.

Do you know about the three stages of Kripalu yoga practice? Yoga experts have come up with the complete explanation.

3 Stages of Kripalu Yoga

The Kripalu yoga comprises of three different stages.

1. Body & Breath Awareness

The Kripalu yoga style helps you practice classic Hatha yoga postures. It also includes deep breathing and proper alignment. Focusing your mind on the flow of breath and alignment helps develop your concentration. This also helps you prepare for deeper yoga practice.

You hold yoga poses for a short time. It helps stretch and strengthen your body, release muscle tension, and promotes relaxation. Here the goal is to promote a smooth flow of prana throughout your body. It helps you develop mental concentration.

2. Holding the Posture

Now you focus your attention on inner sensations, thoughts and emotions while holding the poses for longer duration. The Kripalu yoga teaches you about Prana that has an impact on the functioning of your body and mind.

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The purpose of this stage is to help you get attuned to the flow of Prana. In this stage you learn about witness consciousness – the ability to observe the interplay of body and mind.

This stage deepens with meditation and by holding yoga postures for extended periods. It strengthens your muscles, develops concentration, and helps release emotional tension.

3. Meditation-in-Motion

This is a deep and unique aspect of Kripalu yoga style. Deeper practice activates the Prana energy and helps your body move with ease. In this stage you offer your body to the Spirit and consider the sacred Prana as its guide.

Do you want to unlock your true mental and spiritual potential? Learn this yoga style from experienced yoga teachers.


Want to evolve on a mental and spiritual level? Join a certified yoga school to learn Kripalu yoga from highly experienced yoga teachers.

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