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Kripalu Guest Stories: Elaine B.

Stepping into a Healthy Life

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At my last physical, everything was high: my weight, cholesterol, and blood pressure. I’d tried every diet and weight-loss program without success, and now my health was at serious risk. Excess weight and joint stiffness made me very sedentary—I was a real couch potato, spending four or five hours watching TV after work. I had gestational diabetes 16 years ago, and I’m significantly overweight. These risk factors classified me as pre-diabetic, and I seemed headed for full onset of the disease.

When my next-door neighbor (who’s younger than I am) had his leg amputated due to diabetes, I got scared stiff and was ready to take action. I knew I needed guidance, and when I found out about Kripalu Healthy Living immersion programs, I felt that it was exactly what I had been looking for.

I cannot stress strongly enough how much Kripalu has changed my life. This was my first time doing yoga, and I was rather skeptical. But trying it there totally changed my mind. I felt so at home! My diabetes group was made up of educated, professional people, all struggling with a plethora of information about the disease. We were quickly put at ease by the informed faculty, who led us through physiological and emotional aspects of managing our conditions in a clear, step-by-step manner. The most surprising thing was that the word “diet” was never used, yet all of our eating and lifestyle habits were reviewed and revamped for the better.

It was one of the best weeks of my life! By the second day, I was able to go up and down the stairs without pain—something I haven’t been able to do in years.

I left with a firm grasp of the power of this disease, and my power to change its course. I can see the connections between food, breath, and life—and terms like “glycemic load” and “glycemic index” are no longer strangers to me. The peace I found at Kripalu enabled me to go home and implement new practices and build new habits for healthy living, in addition to healthy eating.

I remember how I felt at this time last year, and I don’t want to go back there. I now use my stationary bike and walk 3.6 miles a day, and if I can’t do that, the whole day just seems off. I’m also looking for a local yoga studio. And, boy, am I drinking water! I finally kicked the Diet Coke habit. I should be off my blood pressure meds at my next doctor visit, and my “bad” cholesterol is down. I will continue to visit Kripalu, and it will always be a magical place for me—it will be like going home.
—Elaine B.