Kripalu Yoga, also known as the Yoga of consciousness, is a meditation-oriented style of Yoga. With a focus on proper breath and alignment of breath and movement, Kripalu tends to be more spontaneous and flowing than other Yoga styles. There is also a concentration on “honoring the wisdom of the body”, which allows the individual to work according to the limits of his or her flexibility and strength.
Kripalu Yoga is comprised of the following three stages:
- Stage One: The individual learns the postures and proper breathing with a focus on posture alignment and the intertwining of breath and movement. This stage allows the individual to explore his/her body’s own abilities. Poses are typically held for a short period of time.
- Stage Two: Postures are held for longer, more extended periods of time. Individuals also begin mediation, developing concentration and an awareness of his/her thoughts and emotions.
- Stage Three: Postures and meditation combine to create what may be described as meditation in motion. Poses become a spontaneous, dynamic movement with a continuous flow in which movement from one posture to the next occurs unconsciously and spontaneously while in a meditative state.