Advice from Swami Kripalvanandaji i,e, Kripalu a.k.a. Bapuji:
“The body is stimulated by proper exercise, which both strengthens and relaxes. We all must travel a long distance in this physical body. If we do not care for it,how can we reach our goal?”
So our primarily responsibility is to care for the body. It is the most valuable thing we have. It is not easy to get another one!
“Asanas performed with a deep sensitivity to the breath are ten times more beneficial than those without breath awareness.”
Have you ever been in a yoga class where the postures were just guided too quickly? It often takes many breaths in a pose for the deep tendons, fascia and muscle fibers to soften, lengthen and let go. So let’s move slowly with deep and deliberate awareness. Our Kripalu yoga methodology is in essence: Breath! Relax! Feel! Watch! and Allow! As we move from doing to being we enter the timeless dimension of yoga.
“The body benefits most when the postures are performed consciously and with full understanding. It takes time to accomplish difficult postures. Avoid forcing the body into them prematurely. Work into them gradually. Otherwise, the body can be harmed.”
The purpose of the asana is yes to open, strengthen and purify the body but that is only superficial. The deeper possibility is opening the prana nadis or energy pathways and to remove energetic blocks that keep us locked in dysfunctional or no longer appropriate mental postures. When the prana is freed and the flows uninhibited we approach the blissful being which is our birth right and natural condition.