Saturday - Kripalu Yoga Retreat Travelogue

Saturday dawned foggy, which was absolutely beautiful. The fog drifted over the mountains, catching on them, pulling out tendrils, and it was fantastic to watch. All too soon we had to head down for our 7am breakfast. It was again delicious. All sorts of options, fresh jams, delicious breads. Breakfast at Kripalu is silent. You can choose to go into another room if you want to talk, but it was wonderful to sit in a large, quiet room, just relaxing and starting your day.

We went back to nap until the seminar started, and then headed downstairs. This morning was the most active part of the weekend. We learned all the basic poses for yoga - the crescent moon, mountain pose, child pose, and so on. None of them were strenuous or difficult. They all helped us stretch and relax. We also learned different meditation techniques and breathing techniques. We did some exercises with partners, and others on our own.

As we learned, the teacher and assistants would come around and offer quiet advice. If I was slumped over, they might gently raise me up to show how that felt better on my spine. It was all uplifting and encouraging! I would be doing a warrior pose and the willowy blond assistant would come over and gently suggest I press my hips down, my stomach forward a bit - and sure enough it felt great!

Time flew by and it was time for lunch. Again, simply delicious. We sat with a pair of women who told us about their experiences and were interested in ours. Everyone was open to sharing and supporting. It was like being in a community of delightful friends who wanted you to succeed.

As we headed back upstairs, we went along the outside patio. Again I weakened and took out my cell phone to take a photo. It was simply so beautiful that I wanted to share it with my boyfriend.

Kripalu Photo

He wrote back saying, "Uh oh - the indoctrination has succeeded!" :) He knew I had been swept away by the place.

I sat in the sun room for a while, writing poetry and watching the clouds drift along across the lake. It was serenely beautiful. There are no TVs here, no radios, no people babbling on cell phones. They have special phone booths that people go into to have cell phone conversations so that their talk doesn't disrupt the quiet atmosphere of the building. Many people walk around in socks or barefoot. It's like being at a relaxing slumber party.

A note here on the group of people that attend. The instructor commented that there's a "boot camp" yoga up the road that tends to attract more men than women. From what I saw, at Kripalu which is compassion-based the mix is more along the line of 80% women to 20% men. There were a number of couples, and also a number of mother-daughter or pairs-of-friends groups. Most of the people were caucasian, which I found interesting - I thought there would be more Indians or Japanese or Chinese. I only saw one Japanese person and one African-American. There were definitely all ages, from teens through elderly. Most people were average weight - I only saw two morbidly obese people. So that gives some sense of the group that attends here.

So, on to the afternoon session. We began to connect our yoga poses together into moving sequences. We did walking meditations, and "metta" meditations where we focused on sending love out to people. We practiced fully breathing, filling our bodies with oxygen. Most people tend to breathe shallowly which only uses a tiny portion of their lungs. It feels so nice to breathe fully!

Then it was dinner time. Did I mention the food here was amazing? Delicious, so delicious. Again we sat with fascinating people, had delightful conversation. You can of course choose to sit by yourself too if that's your preference.

There was a fantastic concert afterwards but we headed to the room, we were just tuckered out! We wanted something more quiet. Bunny headed to bed, but I explored a bit.

First I went to check out the meditation room. This small room was on the 4th floor just down the hall from our room. Did I mention we had the absolutely perfect room? There were two people checking it out as I first came in, but they left and then I was all alone in there the entire time I stayed. It was peaceful, serene, and had a variety of cushions, chairs, and other items to use.

Kripalu Photo

I then tried out the whirlpool and sauna. Again our room was perfect - we had our own "back stairs" to go down right to the whirlpool area. They are same-sex and separated at the far ends of the building. So the men's area is at the far opposite end from the women's area. It is clothing optional and I was the only person in a bathing suit the entire almost-hour I was there. Most women choose to use it nude. The whirlpool is fairly large, and again this was a Jesuit retreat so it is more functional than sculptured-marble-with-goddess-statues. There is tile all around the room and the entire room is taken up by the very large whirlpool which I'd guess could hold 25 people. There's also - in the same room - a cold dunk, about 4 foot square - which you get into to cool off. I used to do this all the time as a kid - go into the sauna, run and jump into the frigid swimming pool. So I enjoyed that a lot.

Then up to bed, and a sound sleep!

Kripalu Photo Gallery - Saturday's Photos

Kripalu Yoga Retreat Travelogue - Main Page
Yoga Poses and Information
Meditation Poses and Information

Lisa's 2011 Travelogues Main Page
Lisa's Travelogues Main Page