Pranakriya classes and programs are based on the Hatha Yoga teachings of Swami Kripalu. Swami Kripalu was an ascetic yogi whose intensive practices led him to a very deep understanding of yoga, which he passed on to his students.
The teachings of Swami Kripalu are also the inspiration behind Pranakriya Yoga. Pranakriya Yoga was developed by Yoganand Michael Carroll, a long time student of Amrit Desai, Swami Kripalu, and other teachers in Swami Kripalu’s tradition.
During his fifteen years as a resident of Kripalu Ashram and Kripalu Center, Yoganand dove deeply into the renunciate practices of Swami Kripalu. In 1989 he was initiated into the vows of Sannyasa and joined Kripalu’s Monastic order. In 1994, after 14 years of intensive practice, he received Shaktipata initiation from Yogi Amrit Desai and began practicing the advanced yoga that Swami Kripalu himself had practiced for over 30 years. Under the guidance of Amrit Desai, Yoganand was instructed to pass on the deeper teachings to Kripalu practitioners as he felt appropriate. In 1998, Yoganand became a director of the Kripalu Yoga Teacher Training program, and later in the same year became the overseer for Kripalu Advanced Yoga Teacher Training.
In 2003 Yoganand left his teaching position at Kripalu Center. He continued to study the teachings of the yoga tradition and to practice Hatha Yoga techniques from Swami Kripalu’s renunciate path as a householder living and working in the world. Many students gathered around him attracted to his approach which he refers to as a hybrid path: mostly householder living a sattvic lifestyle with a core of renunciate teachings and practices.
“Our body mind container must be strong and stable. Then we can fill it with energy from our practice and carry that energy everywhere we go as a heightened state of aliveness.”
With the blessing of the current directors and developers of Kripalu Yoga, Yoganand gave name and expression to his understanding of the teachings of Swami Kripalu under the title of Pranakriya Yoga.
Pranakriya classes and programs are true to the ancient tradition Swami Kripalu lived and taught, and have been adapted by Yoganand Michael Carroll for western students living active lives in the world.