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Kripalu Yoga "Kindness & Compassion" Personal Growth Yoga Session

  • Gardenalia 3709 Butler Street Pittsburgh, PA 15201 United States (map)

This session explores the theme of Kindness and Compassion as a means to encourage personal growth.

It is part of Centered Presence, Ltd.’s Kripalu Yoga Personal Growth Program and is offered as an individual session.

These sessions are not your typical yoga classes. They go much deeper, drawing on other rich resources to lay the foundation for personal growth. As your guide, I readily share from my own experiences along my personal growth journey." — Michael Patrick

Designed to be taken in sequence, each session in the program builds upon the foundation of the proceeding, although each stands on its own.

“Kindness & Compassion” Session Description

This yoga session explores the theme of Kindness & Compassion as a means to encourage personal growth.

This session is all about observation of the self without judgment; to see the self as is, to practice acceptance. Through practicing acceptance, we can develop kindness and compassion for the self. This allows us to grow from a place of rest. When we judge ourselves with harshness, it is a form of attack and activates the “fight or flight” nervous system response. We cannot grow in this state. Learning to rest in acceptance of what is allows relaxation to occur, and activates our “growth and healing” nervous system response. Thus, we are creative, generative, and can heal and grow. This is the foundation of personal growth.

The highest spiritual practice is self observation without judgment.
— Swami Kripalu

Many of us have attended yoga classes that seemed more like aerobics classes with Sanskrit flavorings -- merely exercises void of the inward journey of awareness and the power of transformation that yoga offers. Kripalu yoga emphasizes personal growth and transformation through the practice of yoga. As a result, it is slower paced and more introspective.

Based on the principles of Kripalu Yoga – safety, personal responsibility, observation of the self without judgment - the practice of yoga in this program serves as a physical model for personal growth that can be applied to the yoga practice of life.

Kripalu Yoga emphasizes personal growth and transformation through the practice of yoga. Safety, personal responsibility and witness of the self without judgment are hallmarks.

It is accessible for all levels (beginners through advanced), where modifications and the use of props help each person find their ideal expression of the poses when they are doing them. While other forms of yoga certainly result in personal growth and transformation, Kripalu Yoga hones this focus in a gentle and accessible way.

This is not “work out” yoga, but rather “work in” yoga.

From the outset, a Kripalu Yoga class has the same elements as other yoga classes:  breathing techniques, warm ups, yoga postures and final relaxation, and it results in strength, flexibility and peaceful feelings. However, Kripalu Yoga is done at a slower pace. This slower pace invites practitioners to fully explore the poses and be just at the edge of physical sensation in a safe and secure way. Each person determines how deeply they want to go into the practice. Kripalu Yoga also supports pausing periodically to integrate the positive effects that yoga brings, progressing at a manageable pace. The practice can be made more challenging by sustaining the poses for longer periods of time or with expanded expressions, but this is invited as skill and experience gradually develop.

One feature that characterizes Centered Presence, Ltd.’s yoga classes is the opportunity to explore “meditation in motion” near the end of the class. This allows the mind to make sense of and integrate the new awareness that yoga has brought during the session. This is a key element in harnessing the power of transformation that yoga can foster.

Kripalu Yoga encourages practicing yoga both on and off the yoga mat. Adapting to the yoga practice becomes a metaphor for adapting to life; indeed, concepts transfer in broader ways. For example, safely being at the edge of physical sensations that may arise while in the postures, observing them, feeling them, breathing with them, watching what happens and allowing it to happen has parallels to being with emotions that arise in everyday life and applying the same approach.

Kripalu Yoga is great for those who have not found the right fit in other yoga classes, because classes may be too vigorous, too fast paced or overwhelming.

About the instructor

Michael Patrick, LMT, KYT, CPC

Michael Patrick, LMT, KYT, CPC

As a Licensed Massage Therapist, Kripalu Yoga Teacher, Certified Professional Coach and former Scientist, I bring all the gifts of who I am to my work. Driven by the desire to elevate others, my career initially spanned the biotech industry, interdisciplinary research and laboratory safety. Over the past decade, it evolved to wellness and now I work in my own company, Centered Presence, Ltd. As a presenter, my workshops are characterized by elements of touch, intimacy, authenticity, embodiment, grounding, presence, spiritual practice and cultivation of inner awareness, which result in personal growth and empowered movement forward.