Ads By Google

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Kripalu Yoga - Learn the Benefits

By Michael Russell

The word "Yoga" is derived from the Sanskrit word "yuj" which means "to yoke". This roughly translated means "the union of the Individual Soul with the Universal Soul". Yoga is an ancient spiritual practice originating in India more than 5000 years ago. Its practice can be viewed either as physiological mastery (exercise), spiritual mastery, or both. There are four major branches of yoga.

*Bhakti Yoga ~ The yoga of devotion to a deity.

*Jnana Yoga ~ The yoga of intellectual endeavor and knowledge.

*Karma Yoga ~ The yoga of action in the world.

*Raja Yoga ~ The yoga of meditation.

There are many sub-branches including Anahata, Hatha, Kriya, Anusara, Kundalini, Anuyoga, Iyengar, Mahayoga, Ashtanga, Natya, Sivananda, Ati, Krishnamacharya, Pranava, Swara, Bikram, Kripalu and many more. The goals of yoga are expressed differently in different traditions. Kripalu Yoga is one of the many styles of teaching Hatha Yoga and is the style we'll be discussing here.

Kripalu Yoga can be described as the reciprocity of mind, energy and physical body. The prana or life force is the subtle current of rhythmic energy pulsations within the physical body. Every single act of the physical body is strongly affected and accompanied by emotional and mental conditions. Imbalance or even disease can be created by the most infinitesimal thought which disrupts or obstructs this crucial flow of energy.

The practice of Kripalu Yoga includes deep relaxation, breathing techniques, physical postures and meditation. Through the practice of this form of Yoga, you can release pain by eliminating layers of stress and resistance lodged in your physical body. This experience can dissolve blockages, free energy and actual healings can occur on all levels. Energy levels can be improved, anxiety reduced, blood pressure levels normalized, greater flexibility, more strength, increased levels of endurance and general well-being.

There are natural healing processes awakened to improve your mental clarity, emotional stability and your overall physical well-being. When emotional and mental disturbances are dissolved, huge amounts of prana are released to affect healing. The regular practice of Kripalu Yoga can have profound effects on the emotions, mind and physical body.

Kripalu Yoga teaches you to tap into your own inner-knowing instead of being dependent upon any guidance of external authorities. It's okay to be open to what others suggest, but you don't need to give away your powers to make your own decisions, your powers to reason and to be discriminatory. At all times during the practice of Kripalu Yoga you are establishing a nurturing and intimate relationship with your physical body.

Physical discipline alone will not provide the benefits of this practice in which your body becomes a temple, which you invoke with the presence of the divine. Each sensation you experience becomes sacred. Sensations are responded to with much tenderness and compassion. Every session is approached with an attitude of prayer.

The practice of Kripalu Yoga can take you to new spiritual and physical levels in your life. This form of Yoga practice may be an extension of your search for meaning in self and integration of the different aspects of being. For the average person still far from enlightenment, this particular practice of Yoga can be a way of increasing one's spiritual awareness, or cultivating insight and compassion. Yoga in itself is not a religion, but contains practical steps, which can be found in the spiritual practices of all religions, as well as those who do not consider themselves religious. No matter what your goals, Kripalu Yoga can be a method of improving your life on all levels.