Kripalu Yoga Personal Growth Program

Kripalu Yoga Personal Growth Program.png

This package includes six Kripalu Yoga themed-classes in a program that spans six 75-minute sessions. This program is designed to encourage personal growth through the practice of yoga.

When the mind is steady, we can see a little truth. When the mind is disturbed, we can’t see anything.
— Swami Kripalu

Program Description

Life continually presents us with feedback on our ways of being. With awareness, we can see our patterns, our strengths and weaknesses, and the places where we may need to grow. Even when we feel settled within ourselves and our current state of affairs, things within us and around us are constantly changing:  every day we are aging; others are reacting to and affecting us, and environmental conditions shift around us constantly. All of this requires that we grow, evolve and adapt, or be stuck in stagnation that results in misery. Yoga, and Kripalu Yoga in particular, provides a framework for personal growth through the union of movement and breath; it is done in a state of observation of the self without judgment. This positions us to be ready to grow and, through yoga practice, tune into the larger wisdom of our beings.

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.

Centered Presence, Ltd.’s Kripalu Yoga Personal Growth Program

Centered Presence, Ltd.’s Kripalu Yoga Personal Growth Program has been designed for people who have realized that they must engage a pathway of personal growth to move beyond merely surviving, toward thriving in life.  It is for those who are in a stage in their lives when they are ready to grow and commit themselves to their own journey.

The program consists of personal growth essentials -- concepts and practices to get moving along your own pathway of personal growth. Six 75-minute themed Kripalu Yoga classes explore the practices necessary to invite and sustain personal growth through the practice of yoga.

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.

This program assumes that participants have basic experience in the practice of yoga. For those entirely new to yoga, the Beginner’s Tutorial Program may be a better fit initially.

Each class builds upon the foundation of the proceeding

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

Session 1 – Kindness & Compassion

This class 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.

Session 2 – Embodiment

Once we are able to be with what is from a state of observation without judgment, we can get the “lay of the land” by opening further to ourselves. Reaching deeper into ourselves and reaching outward to our limits, we feel the space we occupy. This is about experiencing all that we are – whether we think it good or bad – just as it is. It is about welcoming all of ourselves and moving toward the parts of ourselves that we may have forgotten about. For many of us, our awareness is primarily mental, where the body is something that just carries the head around. We can awaken to and discover ourselves through the body.

Session 3 – Rooted & Grounded

Being able to see ourselves with kindness, having surveyed all of ourselves, it is time to dig in. It’s time to feel our connection to the earth, to our core, and to nurture ourselves with the innate richness we already have. This is our connection to our natural rhythms; to our sense of security. This is our connection to what is solid within us. In the practice, we rely on the floor and the yoga props as a means to connect more fully with our ground.

Session 4 – Experimentation

From a place of security and confidence, we are able to experiment. We can launch from our home base and confidently explore the unknown with an ever-widening range; we can return to our ground as needed. We are able to leave the familiarity of the poses as we know them and explore doing them differently. We don’t need to commit to new ways, just see the possibilities of what can be different. We can also do this in our lives. We can try on different ways of being – temporarily – without committing to them, simply as experience. We can stay where we are if it still is the best option, but we may discover something new that we may call upon in the next life moment.

Session 5 – Spaciousness

Having experimented with different options in yoga poses, this is where can we slow down enough to listen to our inner voice. To allow the myriad of options, which may seem equally viable, to coexist. We let the inner wisdom to do its work and as a result, the right action, avenue, or pathway emerges. We know how to be and what to do next. This may be a new experiment in being.

Session 6 – Riding the Waves of Life

Beginning from a place of self-compassion, exploring the space we inhabit, grounding ourselves, being free to experiment and be with the stillness of possibility, we are ready for life practice. This is the most important stage of personal growth because this is where it goes from theory to practice. When life challenges us, we have the option of jumping off through avoidance, distraction and addiction, or we face it head on, riding it to breakthrough and transformation. That is growth!

When the mind is steady, we can see a little truth. When the mind is disturbed, we can’t see anything. Growth allows a portion of the mind to remain an objective witness even in the face of disturbance. The witness is always there, if one can keep a wakeful attitude.
— Swami Kripalu

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.

The witness is always there, if one can keep a wakeful attitude.
— Swami Kripalu

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.

In this program, the principles of Kripalu Yoga are introduced and practiced. Six 75-minute classes lead participants through essential components of embodied personal growth through the practice of yoga. Each class segues into the next, building a foundation upon which to grow in the practice of yoga.