13 July, 2013

What is Kripalu Yoga anyway?

Today was Vinyasa yoga with Sara Helland.

I spent the entire class trying to understand what the difference is between Vinyasa and Kripalu yoga. When I arrived, I was a bit excited that I would discover a new style of yoga. It is going to be so interesting! Will I understand? Will I know all the poses? Will I recognize the difference between Kripalu and everything I have known before?

So, I was a bit baffled when we did modified Sun Salutations, Warrior series, Triangle, Tree, Dancer, Seated Tree, Bridge, Wheel, Lizard, Pigeon, Eagle... the list goes on... you know these. Because they're the same as what we do back home. She brought us into Ujjayi breath. We did boatloads of Chatturanga. It was essentially a Baptiste sequence, shuffled around a little bit.

At one or two points during class, she mentioned that we want to try to release the energy that we do not any longer need, and make space for what we do want. I thought "Maybe this is Kripalu? Maybe it's about energy?" In which case, I thought that it wasn't really distinct enough to be its own style of yoga.

The only thing in the class which was notably different is that she had us inhale during Cat and exhale during Cow pose. But I am going to go ahead and call that "A Mistake" because I don't think that is a different style of yoga. I opted not to heed that guidance, instead doing it the way I usually do it.

The class was good, though. I had a good workout.

At the end of class, I wanted to check her name, because I couldn't remember it. And I saw that it was Sara. The schedule said it was supposed to be Grace. Sara was substituting for Grace. So, in all likelihood, the reason that I didn't see any difference between Kripalu and what I usually do is that this was not Kripalu. This was whatever style of yoga Sara teaches.

I still don't know what Kripalu looks like. But if you want to read about it, you can go here. From what I read in that article, it sounds pretty much the same as what we do.

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