Written by Shobhan Richard Faulds with the help of Kripalu's senior teaching staff, Kripalu Yoga: A Guide to Practice On and Off the Matis a comprehensive statement of Kripalu's unique approach to fostering health, psychological growth and spiritual transformation. Set for release later this year, the book is primarily a "how-to" guide, written in simple and contemporary terms. The text is divided into three sections: Essentials of Practice, Deepening Your Practice and Evolving Your Practice. The following excerpt appears as a sidebar in the first chapter.
What distinguishes Kripalu Yoga from other yoga traditions?
The practice of Kripalu Yoga
- Begins gently with an emphasis on breath, relaxation and self-acceptance. Deepens as each person chooses the level of physical intensity right for him or her. Encourages learning to love and nurture your body, not whip it into shape.
- Recognizes that everyone's body is different. Sees yoga postures not as ends in themselves but as tools to release chronic tension, stretch and strengthen the whole body and increase self-awareness. While emphasizing safety through proper body alignment, encourages modification of postures to meet individual needs.
- Acknowledges that each person's body is the ultimate authority on what promotes health. Teaches how to use a balanced yoga routine to turn off stress and turn on the relaxation response crucial to self-healing. Teaches that yoga is best practiced as part of a holistic lifestyle supportive of health and well-being.
- Offers practical tools to facilitate psychological growth and apply the principles of yoga off the mat in daily life.
- Is not guru-based. Uses a model of experiential education that empowers the student progressively to awaken the capacity to learn from his or her direct experience.
- Is taught in three stages that awaken the life force of the body that yoga calls prana, and acknowledges that depth practice goes beyond rote technique and into the realm of spiritual attunement.
- Recognizes that the experience of meditation can occur in moments of inner stillness or flowing movement, and that depth practice is a highly personal expression, an inner dance of energy and awareness that has many outer forms.
- Includes sensible spiritual teachings that demystify the process of spiritual awakening and make it accessible to contemporary people living active lives.
- Views human development as a natural process of growth and transformation. By nurturing the body and soothing the mind, removes the obstacles that often inhibit growth and leave us feeling less than fully alive.