Kripalu Guest Stories: Kristen and Mike
Bonding Over Backbends
The self-reflective environment at Kripalu is conducive to teaching you valuable lessons about yourself. But it’s also an amazing experience to share with someone else. The first time I came to Kripalu, I brought my boyfriend, Mike. He’d only done yoga once, but he had gotten a glimpse of its potential to improve his well-being and was eager to learn more. He embraced learning more about his body and his breath as we spent a rejuvenating weekend together eating well, practicing yoga, and enjoying the peace. We were happy to find that Kripalu emphasizes a balanced approach to wellness, not just yoga. I remember the two of us being out on the lake, kayaking, and participating in what we called a floating meditation. It was just beautiful, with the quiet mental space that we cultivated together out on the water.
That weekend inspired us to begin a regular yoga practice together. We found a studio near our house in Boston and made an effort to take weekly classes, making room in our lives for a healthful and rewarding routine. Going to yoga as a couple gave us the extra motivation we needed to keep up a regular practice. We also decided we would like to continue going to Kripalu for R&R retreats when we could fit it into our schedules.
A few days into our 2009 stay, we were relaxed and centered, and decided to hike a nearby mountain. Once we got to the peak, Mike dropped down on one knee and proposed. Even though I secretly suspected that he might pop the question—he kept patting his pants pocket as we climbed—it was still overwhelming and so emotional to hear him ask me.
I got down on one knee to join him and said “yes.” Mike told me afterward that he decided to propose during our Kripalu trip because we always feel so different after a retreat. Instead of the hustle and bustle of normal life, we are more quiet, more open. At Kripalu, we create more time for each other, which helps us feel more connected.
Now, more than two years later, Kripalu is even more special to us than it was before, because we associate it with that weekend. It offers us a shared language about yoga and health. On our ride home, we process with each other what we learned on that trip, and what we are taking away. The lessons we learn—about breathing, stress relief, techniques for living a whole, balanced life—we take home together.
—Kristen S. and Mike K., Ethiopia