My sister and I went on a little yoga retreat to Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health, thanks to birthday gift certificates from our wonderful brothers and sisters. You can go for a specific program, or you can go for “retreat and renewal” or R&R, where you take whatever yoga classes and other daily offerings they have. In addition to the daily yoga classes, we went to a posture class, a cooking demonstration (two kinds of sweet potato cakes with accompaniments), a pranayama class, an element yoga class (the elements being earth, fire, water, air, and ether), and a yoga-off-the-mat class which was essentially about paying attention to your own intuition.
The pranayama class was my favorite. I’ve been trying for some time to establish a regular pranayama practice, and so this was very helpful.
It was interesting to go to the yoga classes. I was afraid I would be too stiff and old and injured to do the poses, but it turned out to be no problem. The first class I went to was an early morning gentle class, and it was reeeeeeeelllly gentle. Practically a sleeping class. I realized I could do more, so the next day I went to the moderate class. I’m pretty sure the vigorous class would have been very uncomfortable for me.
Deb and I had an excellent time. I’d go back, but I’m pretty sure I’d go for a specific program, where you’re in class with the same small group of students, rather than with whoever wants to show up. Kripalu is a huge place. The dining room serves 400-650 people a day. This means that it can be rather impersonal, and when you’re there for R&R nobody is guiding you in any direction.
The location is just beautiful, nestled in the Berkshires in western Massachusetts, and the leaves were just turning for fall. The food is excellent, locally sourced when possible, fresh, and thoughtfully prepared. No dessert in the cafeteria though! Take chocolate if you go.
Now I’m on my way out the door to my regular Yoga Center class, and so looking forward to seeing familiar faces around me.