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Kripalu Yoga: A Guide to Practice On and Off the Mat Paperback – December 27, 2005

4.6 out of 5 stars 41 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

For more than thirty years, Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health has influenced the growth of contemporary yoga in America; now this comprehensive guide brings Kripalu's uniquely accessible approach home to anyone, at any stage of practice.
KRIPALU YOGA
A Guide to Practice On and Off the Mat
Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health is the largest residential yoga center in the United States, introducing more than 25,000 guests a year to its gentle yet in-depth approach, which emphasizes individual growth over outward
perfection of form, making it accessible to people of all ages, fitness levels, and body types.
Even for those who have never done yoga, Part I of "Kripalu Yoga shows how to get started at home, with two complete, safe, and fully illustrated routines, including Kripalu's easy-to-follow "press point" instructions for each pose.
Far more than an exercise program, "Kripalu Yoga also teaches the awareness and energy techniques that make yoga a catalyst for physical healing, psychological development, and spiritual awakening. Part II builds step-by-step from simple breathing practices to deep concentration and relaxation, culminating in the remarkable experience of "meditation-in-motion" that is the hallmark of Kripalu yoga.
Part III provides a menu of additional warm-ups, postures, and exercises, allowing even advanced yoga students to keep their practice perennially fresh and satisfying.

About the Author

Richard Faulds, M.A., J.D., has practiced yoga and meditation for more than 20 years. A former president of Kripalu (1998-2001), he currently chairs the Kripalu Board of Trustees. As one of Kripalu's senior teachers, he has also incorporated the first-person experiences of many colleagues and long-time practitioners. For more information about Kripalu Yoga, visit www.kripalu.org.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam; 11/27/05 edition (December 27, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0553380974
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553380972
  • Product Dimensions: 7.3 x 0.9 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #62,130 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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A few years ago, I had the good fortune to take a class with a Kripalu teacher. I had heard of it but was very unfamiliar with the style. The class was a pleasant surprise - there was no ego in the class - not with the teacher or the students. We were all very different with various abilities and limitations - but rather than dwelling on it, we were encouraged to embrace ourselves exactly as we were. The emphasis was on acceptance - not some lofty physical goal.

"Kripalu Yoga" by Richard Faulds captures the spirit of Kripalu yoga in a beautiful manner. Kripalu means 'compassionate' and this is an apt description of this style of yoga. Named after Swami Kripalu, a guru whose teachings were brought to America in the 60's by disciple Yogi Amrit Desai, this gentle yoga form encourages breathwork, inward focus and meditation in motion.

Faulds gives clear instructions to help the reader begin to apply these principles to their own yoga practice. Breathing exercises are featured and here you'll find the ujjayi breathing (ocean breathing or "victorious breath") clearly explained. For some, this is a difficult breath to master - but the techniques in this book help anyone comprehend how to tap into it.

There are many pictures of poses along with good instructions. Routines are included as well. I also enjoyed reading the stories of other Kripalu student's experiences. It certainly will convince you of the benefits of yoga! Also featured in this book is information on chakras, fasting, yoga philosophy and spirituality, and meditation. While this may sound like a lot to process, Faulds explains everything an easy going and gentle manner. There is nothing here that feels intimidating at all.
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Along with affirming the other reviews on this book, I would like to add that I have recently begun teaching yoga and have found this book to be an excellent tool for developing my class formats and information sharing. There is a wealth of information, presented in clearly stated, understandable and comprehensive text, that I can quickly commit to memory to share with my students, or jot down in an outline to reference during class instruction. Having purchased and read volumes of books on yoga, this is the first I have come across that has been helpful in that regard. Kripalu is a beautiful form of yoga that brings the true essence of the practice to life.
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This is my second book on kripalu yoga, the first being Megan Garcia's MegaYoga. I also bought the companion DVD, and really enjoyed the poses. I bought this book to learn more poses, rather than as a guide for "off the mat;" I'm a practitioner of my own religion, so I admit to skimming some of those parts since I wouldn't practice them anyway. What I like best about the book (and kripalu yoga in general) is the recognition that not everyone is flexible enough to bend into a pretzel. In fact, the book emphasizes that it will not teach the plough, full-lotus, or full headstand poses, as those are not part of kripalu tradition in that they may cause injury. The photos and description of poses were helpful, even for ones I was already doing.

What I disliked was some of the pseudo-scientific explanations about disease, such as references to Candace Pert's discredited work (she left the NIH many years before the book was published; she pretty much left mainstream science for personal reasons but I digress), references to alternative medicine as if they provide cures (when they do, they are called merely medicine), and so forth. I thought yoga is its own discipline, and does not need to refer to anything else. In addition, some of the quotes from practitioners were pretty trite: "I was overworked and yoga changed my life" was the common theme. Yes, yoga is great (I wouldn't practice it nearly every day for an hour), but a little profundity, a little depth in the quotes chosen would have helped this reader understand more about what is special about yoga. My last problem is with revering Swami Desai, who was caught in a sex scandal with 2 female disciples (revealed in the Afterword). At least, exclude him and just include the quotes from Swami Kriplau; they actually had a lot of depth.
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Format: Paperback
I was fortunate to have the opportunity to practice yoga while attending college in the 70's; I never forgot leaving that hour and a half usually feeling the best I ever felt. Yes, it was a physical experience, but witout explaination or introduction, it went beyond the physical. Just recently (age 59), I decided to get reacquainted with the practice.

As I studied and searched, I came into contact with Stephen Copes fantastic book "Yoga and the Quest for the True Self". This fantastic book led me to learn about and come to understand the Kripalu yoga method [ yes folks there is much more than just the hatha yoga we all seem to come into contact with]; this great practice is a combination of the physical hatha yoga and meditation. Please don't be overwhelmed; it's, in my book, the perfect combination.

As one who finds himself progressing on a daily basis, I highly recommend these two books. I suggest the reader, searcher, learner to explore a basic hatha yoga book or experience while reading "Kripalu Yoga" and branching out to Stephen Copes book for the "icing on the cake".

Stephen Cope, by the way, is one of the Senior teachers at the Kripalu Yoga Center.

I'm pleased to make this discovery myself and even happier to share my experience.

Namaste ........
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