Last weekend I was gifted the best early birthday treat: two nights at Kripalu’s center (haven) for health & yoga in the Berkshires of Massachusetts. As the pulse of NYC blurred in the background, a ton of weight came surging out of me. Driving into those green, tranquil parts of the world was a reminder of the earthly enchantment you just don’t find in big cities (as much as I’ve been loving these sweet 3 months in NYC). The peace that restores in the body at Kripalu is incredible.
The workshop, themed Divine Attention, was taught by the ever inspirational, calming, mama of truth – and mama of Jonah who was also there – Elena Brower. I could go on for many minutes about the material she covered, including advice with her work from the Handel life-coaching group. I feel like that could be the subject for another blog post - one that I haven’t quite been able to digest just yet. I’ve been blessed to spend quite a bit of time in Elena’s teaching presence over the last 2 ½ months, and often feel that way after her classes – they get deep to the core of real life. She’s honest about her struggles and clear about her path. It’s really truly something listening to her silver-tongued yogi prose.
Life chats with new friends
I connected with people from all health-oriented backgrounds, at many different posts of their life journeys. The “level” of yoga experience was no concern. Most everyone seemed connected on similar wavelengths, open to warm smiles and life exploration. One gal, Amy and I chatted both nights into the wee hours – I was the last to go to bed in my dorm (at 11pm) – rebel! We’ve since hung out in NYC…I love when interests and conversations collide flowingly.
I shouldn’t have been surprised when I saw the breakfast clause at check-in: eat in silence. Seems like something a yoga center would enforce, but it’s really quite special to start your day in a full cafeteria of silence – I’d never done it before. To close your eyes, fill your heart with appreciation, look down at the healthy, wholesome platter in front of you and taste every morsel of juicy, grainy, sweet breakfast goodness. I really don’t mind silence at all.
You all know how much I love beautiful, healthy, creative vegetarian eats. They do have occasional chicken & fish options and the buffet ranged from fresh vanilla soy yogurt with berries, to thai coconut curry tempeh to salads galore, mushroom portabello burgers, raw avocado-cucumber soup, warm chai and vegan/gf brownies for dessert which I added pure peanut butter to. Sigh.
4th floor lounge
A space with leather chairs facing the breezy windows; people with eyes closed to sounds of chirping birds, rustling leaves and views of the green hills and lake if you so choose to open them – magical.
Hiking trails, biking opportunities, many places to explore, wander and get lost. The whole surrounding area is gorgeous and they even have a labyrinth for meditation.
I’ll stop here for your boredom’s sake, but if you’ve been considering a visit to Kripalu drop me a message with any questions! Their website is great; they have a lengthy list of workshops or you could opt for a night or two on your own time, as the centre runs daily classes apart from the scheduled workshops. No, they did not pay me to write this ;)