Kripalu Yoga is a very open and flexible system that is sometimes known as the yoga of devotion or meditation in motion. The intention is to awaken awareness through a beautiful balance of effort / yin and relaxation / yang. It is a natural yoga practice which heals and integrates the body and mind, develops awareness and awakens the heart.
“the uniqueness of Kripalu Yoga is that postures, pranayama, introversion, concentration and meditation are all happening simultaneously. In the beginning postures are primary and other aspects secondary. As you progress, meditation becomes the primary experience.”
~ Swami Kripalu
Although yoga traditions vary widely in their approaches, most teach the same basic yoga postures.
Here is what is unique about Kripalu Yoga:
Practice begins gently with an emphasis on being present in your body, sustaining a flowing breath and warming up. The overall experience is one of learning to love and nurture your body, develop a sensitivity to it, rather than pushing or forcing it into shape.
The practice allows you to choose the level of intensity that is right for your body and teaches you how to listen to your body and honour it’s needs. Kripalu Yoga can be gentle, moderate, vigorous or restorative.
It recognizes that every BODY is different. It views postures as tools to release chronic tension, stretch and strengthen the body and increase self awareness. Rather than forcing the body into the classical form postures are modified to meet the needs of students. Kripalu Yoga places an emphasis on safe practice for all bodies.
It activates the life force that yoga calls “prana”. Rhythmic breathing charges the system with energy. A balanced sequence of yoga postures encourages breath to flow evenly and easily to all parts of the body. As your practice deepens, your life force becomes more active and can be felt as warmth, tingling and currents of energy.
It encourages you to create a lifestyle supportive of your health by listening to your own body. Kripalu Yoga considers that your body is the ultimate authority on what promotes health and teaches you how to access your body wisdom to live with more vitality.
It is a yoga that you can practice off the mat. You can discover that the same principles that bring out the best in you on the yoga mat can be applied to daily life. You can learn how to meet the challenges with a sense of relaxation, self acceptance, strength, courage and openness to change.
It offers practical tools to foster psychological and spiritual growth. By teaching you how to fully feel strong emotion and compassionately observe the activity of the mind, Kripalu Yoga fosters emotional healing and facilitates psychological growth. As a result, your ability to express yourself, listen to others, and be in relationship deepens. Kripalu Yoga also includes sensible spiritual teachings that demystify the process of spiritual awakening and make it accessible to contemporary people like you living active lives.
It acknowledges that regular yoga practice is designed to initiate a process of personal transformation. By nurturing the body, opening the heart and clearing the mind, Kripalu Yoga removes the obstacles that that so often stifle and stunt the natural progression of human development. Regular practice stimulates an ongoing process of positive change that inspires you to realize your full potential.
The development of these poses must be credited to B.K.S. Iyengar of Pune, India who has been teaching yoga for more than 75 years.
His early teaching experience showed him how pain or injury can result from a student straining in a yoga pose. He experimented with props – blankets, blocks, cushions, bolsters – to modify poses so that students could practice without strain. He also explored how these modified poses could help people recover from illness or injury.
It is because of his creativity that the restorative poses taught to me by my teacher Judith Lasater are such powerful tools to reduce stress and restore health.
Restorative poses can be referred to as “active relaxation”. By supporting the body with a variety of props it is possible to stimulate and relax the body to move toward balance. All poses create specific physiological responses that are beneficial to health and can reduce the effects of stress-related illness.
Restorative poses specifically reduce stress by:
- Using props to provide a supportive environment for relaxation
- Moving the spine in all directions to create a healthy spine
- Reversing the effects of gravity by doing inverted poses
- Stimulating and soothing the organs
- Balancing the energy of the body
If you feel weak, fatigued or stressed from your activities of daily living I encourage you to give restorative yoga a try.
Divine Sleep Yoga Nidra
Yoga Nidra is a guided meditative practice. Translated as “yogic sleep” this type of extended savasana focuses on the systemic relaxation of the body while the mind enters a state of deep meditative awareness – like dreaming while fully awake.
Brenda studied with Jennifer Reis who designed Divine Sleep Yoga Nidra.
is meditative and soothing
is heart opening
cultivates self compassion
activates our dormant healing energy
evolves one toward self awakening
For more information about this amazing process see Brenda’s teacher’s website –
Round / Curvy Body Yoga
You will have a chance to explore yoga in a way that suits your constitution and anatomy best. Classes will include deep relaxation and modified poses and mindful movement. Absolute beginners and other “levels” welcome.
This class is not about weight loss but rather it gives you the opportunity to quiet your mind and move your body in a safe, comfortable supportive environment. You will be expected to bring some of your own props to make yourself comfortable and at ease.
See the websites of Brenda’s teachers for more information:
Chair yoga is for those people with mobility issues who still wish to enjoy the benefits that yoga can bring into life. If you want to age gracefully Brenda encourages you to check out chair yoga options.
All poses are done in seated or standing positions. There are no pretzel like contortions and no getting up and down off the floor in this class! Poses are modified for aging / infirm bodies and the class is taught at a slower pace.
Brenda uses an assortment of props for ease and comfort including pillows, small blocks and most importantly the chair. You will be encouraged to listen to your own voice and go at your own pace.
Doing a serene and meditative practice helps us all move through the aging process with grace and comfort.
If you are experiencing separation and divorce and you are feeling stuck Brenda encourages you to move your body in gentle yoga poses to support yourself through the dark times. Using Brenda’s divorce recovery book – Uncoupling: Lessons on Configuring an Intimate Relationship as a guide, you will be encouraged to learn to use your separation / divorce to enhance your personal growth.
These sessions are best done 1 on 1 in the comfort of your own home but group work can also be done.