About Kripalu Yoga

Another new section for my book – thoughts?


I could easily write a massive tome about the history of yoga and the many branches of styles. I’ll keep this brief, because the book’s focus is on my personal routine, not on a history spanning thousands of years. Still, I think it’s good for a person to have an inkling of what they are doing.

Yoga’s roots began in India in around 500BC. To simplify, it is about helping your mind focus and your body be healthy. It is not a religion – yoga is practiced by a wealth of different cultures. It is simply about helping the body and mind be as healthy as they can be.

Yoga is practiced by Christians, Buddhists, athletes, CEOs, stressed parents, and just about anybody else who seeks calm and focus in their life, along with a healthy body.

Kripalu yoga in particular is a sub-branch of Hatha yoga and traces to an Indian who, in 1965, founded a yoga society in Pennsylvania. He named his practice after his guru, Swami Kripalvananda. The core tenets of this style are gentle acceptance and relaxation.

When you watch yoga on TV or in videos you’ll see some styles are wildly energetic or involve extreme contortions. They have practitioners sweating in saunas or exhausted after dancing around for hours. Those are all wonderful styles of yoga – but they aren’t what Kripalu is about.

Kripalu is intended to be slow and gentle. It’s about developing flexibility and core strength, rather than cardio. Typically in Kripalu there is no sweating at all. The heart rate is not rising. Instead, it’s about relaxation. About gently becoming aware of your body’s strengths and capabilities. About slowing down and relaxing. About stretching and developing core strength.

I do recommend also having a cardio aspect to your weekly routine. Each human body needs three main types of exercise – flexibility, strength, and cardio. Kripalu yoga helps you build the first two. Add in some fun cardio activity during other parts of your week, and you’ll have an ideal weekly routine to sustain your health for years to come.

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