Kripalu yoga is an internal-directed approach developed by Yogi Amrit Desai. Desai was influenced by an Indian master who practiced kundalini (the freeing of energy) and focused on pranayama (breathing techniques). Desai came from India in the 1960s to study at a design school in Pennsylvania. He taught yoga to make extra money.
Kripalu Center Box 793
Lenox, MA 01240 (800) 967-3577
Kripalu yoga has three stages. The first stage is the actual, steady practice of the postures and their basic mechanics. Good body alignment is coordinated with breathing and movement. In this stage, one works with his or her own strength and weakness in the postures. The postures are generally held for a short period of time.
For more information regarding kundalini yoga contact:
3HO International Headquarters P.O. Box 351149 Los Angeles, CA 90035 (310) 552-3416
During the second stage, the postures are held longer and the teacher addresses the students’ mental and emotional states while doing the postures. In this stage a teacher will encourage the student to feel what is going on in the body both emotionally and physically. For example, the mind might be concentrated on a feeling of not really wanting to do the posture or on a thought such as “I might break my neck if I try this posture.”
The third stage of kripalu surrenders to the body’s own wisdom As in Desai’s own experience, this means actually doing postures spontaneously. Desai calls this “meditation in motion.”
The atmosphere in kripalu is noncompetitive, and it is also taught one-on-one. Kripalu offers a strong teaching certification program at their headquarters in Lenox, Massachusetts. For the moment, there are no other kripalu centers in the country, although there are teachers elsewhere who teach kripalu.
Nidhi Adhiya grew up in India where she practiced hatha yoga as a child. While modeling and acting in New York, someone suggested she try kundalini yoga. “I loved the energy and calmness it gave me; I’d never experienced anything like it before. It altered my life direction. I’m now a yoga teacher, and I commute between Los Angeles and New York teaching kundalini.”