Kripalu Guest Stories: Dan Kaplan
I’m an entrepreneur who has started a bunch of businesses. When I came to Kripalu, I had just sold one, after three intense years. Kripalu’s fitness and yoga program sounded like a great way to challenge myself—and decompress.
It was five really extraordinary days— the calm and mellow environment, the phenomenal food quality. Usually I am reading a newspaper or magazine every morning while I eat breakfast; at Kripalu, I tried the silent breakfast—without reading anything—just me and my food. I was able to be present in the moment and taste the food.
I had not done a lot of hiking before, and it was a big part of the fitness retreat. We went on three hikes, three to four hours each. They were challenging, and fitness levels varied, but by the end everyone was doing so well. We really came together as a group. One of our hiking guides, John Bagnulo, also a nutritionist at Kripalu, was really amazing. Here’s a guy who has climbed Mount Everest—and he’s calm and mellow and smart about nutrition. I really connected with John and learned a lot about nutrition from him—about antioxidants, the importance of eating organic, whether or not to eat eggs, and to be mindful of food quality and where it comes from.
Since the fitness program, I’ve dramatically increased the amount of yoga I’m doing. I’m more comfortable with the poses and postures now. And it’s having an impact on my life and relationships and things that might be stressful. Now I say to myself, ’Let me just try and experience this,’ and just let the experience be, rather than making a lot of judgments about it.
Overall, the attitude of the people working at Kripalu is supportive and nonjudgmental. I learned that Kripalu Yoga is about finding your own place. It’s about what my experience is as opposed to the way it’s ’supposed’ to be done. Kripalu has a different attitude, and it really works for me.”
—Dan Kaplan, entrepreneur, Keene, New Hampshire