Kripalu Yoga

Yoga pose

Yoga is a mind-body practice that combines stretching exercise, controlled breathing and relaxation. Yoga is considered a mind-body type of holistic and integrated medicine practice. Yoga brings together physical and mental disciplines to achieve peacefulness of body and mind, helping you relax and manage stress and anxiety.

The core components of yoga classes are:

  • Poses.Yoga poses, also called postures, are a series of movements designed to increase strength and flexibility.
  • Breathing. Controlling your breathing is an important part of yoga. In yoga, breath signifies your vital energy.

The potential health benefits of yoga include:

  • Stress reduction. A number of studies have shown that yoga can help reduce stress and anxiety.

  • Management of chronic conditions. Yoga can help reduce risk factors for chronic diseases, such as heart disease and high blood pressure, chronic conditions, such as depression, pain, anxiety and insomnia.

  • Improved fitness. Practicing yoga can lead to improved balance, flexibility, range of motion and strength.

Yoga is generally considered safe for most healthy people when practiced under the guidance of a trained instructor. But there are some situations in which yoga might pose a risk.

See your health care provider before you begin yoga if you have any of the following conditions or situations:                                                                                          
  • A herniated disk
  • A risk of blood clots
  • Deconditioned state
  • Eye conditions, including glaucoma
  • Hyperthyroidism
  • Pregnancy
  • Severe balance problems
  • Severe osteoperosis
  • Uncontrolled blood pressure                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    
The Pleasurable Secret of Yoga

There’s a reason yoga feels so good, better than, say, an intense cardio workout or shopping therapy.  Doing yoga reduces levels of the hormone cortisol, which typically rise in response to stress.  Researchers at the Center for Integrative Medicine at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia measured cortisol levels in 16 healthy adults before and after yoga classes during a weeklong series of classes.  Even after the first yoga class, levels of the “stress hormone” fell.

-The study was presented at the 85th Annual Meeting of the Endocrine Society in Philadelphia on June 21, 2003.


Kripalu Yoga

Kripalu yoga is a form of yoga that is based on the movements of hatha yoga.

Kripalu yoga offers a wide array of physical activities to choose from. The course schedule of yoga is extremely flexible and diverse, unlike some of the more recent yoga styles like Bikram yoga.

Catherine Dagon, the yoga instructor at NEHHC


Kripalu yoga offers a gentler kind of hatha yoga. The approach of Kripalu yoga is extremely gentle and compassionate. There is emphasis on physical healing, meditation, and spiritual transformation.

A typical kripalu yoga session is based on the rhythm and speed of the student.

There are gentle stretching exercises and traditional hatha yoga poses followed in a kripalu yoga session. Along with that, there are breathing exercises and relaxation poses to bring peace and tranquility to both body and mind. Kripalu yoga is one of the gentlest forms of yoga.

Kripalu Yoga is also a holistic lifestyle. In this style of Yoga all the principles of Yoga are applied in daily life, off the rug.

There are 3 stage in Kripalu Yoga. The first state concentrates on learning the poses, going into and learning the limits of one's physical abilities. The second stage has to do with retaining Yoga poses for longer perio

ds of time, building up concentration and inner awareness. The third stage is referred to as "Meditation in Motion." In this, movement from one Yoga asana to another comes about mechanically and automatically; in fact, spontaneously.


Vinyasa Yoga Class vs. Individual Yoga Session

Vinyasa, Sanskrit for “flow,” refers to a yoga class that seamlessly transitions through postures. This is the safest and most effective method of practicing yoga in a group. By smoothly moving through postures, your muscles stay warm and flexible, while allowing you to practice meditation in motion without having to consciously stop and start your body. Also, Cat offers a constant range of modifiers to allow you to move comfortably, easing into postures that are difficult or avoiding postures that are inaccessible.

On the other hand, if you’re brand new to yoga, or uncomfortable practicing in a group, Cat offers individual sessions to focus entirely on your body. This can take the form of a Posture Clinic, in which we spend the session working towards one muscle group or certain pose (such as an arm balance), or take the form of a Vinyasa Flow specifically tailored for your body without the pressure of a group.   


Appropriate Training

If you have a condition that requires knowledge of the physical body, like back pain or arthritis, find someone with substantial anatomy training. If you have a more serious medical condition--such as cancer, heart disease, or lupus-- you'll need a therapist who understands the disease, the effects of medications, and contraindications to yoga therapy. Dr. Leesa Sklover is a certified Yoga Therapist at our center. She is very experienced and knowledgeable about many health conditions and also has a consultative relationship with experts in the conditions above.                  




Yoga for health: An introduction. National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine  National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine. Accessed Sept. 26, 2012

AskMayoExpert. Yoga, Rochester, Minn. Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 2012

Smith C, et al. A randomised comparative trial of yoga and relaxation to reduce stress and anxiety. Complementary Therapies in Meidine. 2007:15:77.

Rakel D. Integrative Medicine, 3rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa., Saunders Elsevier; 2012. body/208746819-2/0/1494/0.html Accessed Oct 10, 2012.

Selecting a teacher. Yoga Alliance. Accessed Sept 26., 2012

Javnbakht M., et al. Effects of yoga on depression and anxiety of women. Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice. 2009, 15:102.

Concalves LC, et al. Flexibility, functional autonomy and quality of life (QoL) in elderly yoga practicioners. Archives of Gerontology and Geriatrics. 2011:53:158

Selecting a complementary and alternative medicine provider. National Institutes of Health, practitioner.htm. Accessed Sept. 26, 2012.

Krucoff C, et al. Teaching yoga to seniors. Essential considerations to enhance safety and reduce risk in a uniquely vulnerable age group. Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. 2010: 16:399

Selecting and effectively using a yoga program. American College of Sports Medicine. Accessed Sept 27, 2012