Kripalu is a gentle hatha yoga practice with a compassionate approach and emphasis on meditation, physical healing and spiritual transformation that overflows into daily life. In a Kriplau class, each student learns to find their own level of practice on a given day by looking inward.
The classes usually begin with breathing exercises and gentle stretches followed by a series of individual poses and final relaxation. At the end of class, Kripalu teachers say jai bhagwaninstead of namaste. The two terms have essentially the same meaning, but the former is in Hindi and the latter in Sanskrit.
The name Kripalu is associated both with a style of hatha yoga and a yoga and wellness center in Stockbridge, Massachusetts. Both were founded by yoga guru Amrit Desai, who came to the United States from India in 1960. Kripalu was named for Desai’s teacher, Sri Kripalvananda, a Kundalini yoga master.
The Kripalu Center has class offerings that include a wide array of yoga styles and wellness topics and has established itself as a multi-dimensional retreat destination. These days, the center offers an extremely diverse course schedule featuring some of yoga’s best-know teachers instructing weekend and week-long workshops as well as yoga, massage, and ayurvedic teacher trainings.