Kripalu Guest Stories: Lauren Hider
The thing that struck me most about Kripalu was how everything feels so from the heart. Being a single parent of three teenage boys can leave you a little frazzled. My oldest son had a traumatic brain injury when he was four, and I’m his primary caregiver, so coming to Kripalu was a big deal for me—after 15 years of having hardly any time to myself, I decided to take a week off from everything.
In the Retreat and Renewal program, I met wonderful people from all walks of life—two doctors, a businessman, a phys-ed teacher. What we had in common was why we were there. I wouldn’t say we were all “searching” necessarily, but we all had a desire to keep growing as people. We came to connect.
Most people out in the world aren’t looking to give you their full attention. At Kripalu, people look you in the eye—the person is there, and there for you. The yoga classes had great intention—the teachers were so generous with their knowledge. They are all very wonderful, supportive, heartfelt people. One of my favorite things was the YogaDance class at noon, and I went every day. Dancing freely is the kind of thing I do in my living room by myself, and there I was doing it with a whole group of people—it was amazing!I’ve had some traumatic things happen in my life, but I don’t tend to live in the past. I try to keep moving forward, but sometimes I go too far forward. I worry about what’s coming, what’s out there. What I learned at Kripalu helped remind me of the bigger picture and realize that I need to just accept exactly where I am, to be right in the moment.
When I came home, I felt so much more connected—to myself, to life, and to other people. I’ve been bringing that sense of heartfelt connection out into world, wherever I go in my day, to the yoga classes I teach, and to my massage therapy clients. I’m also bringing more breath awareness into my work. Being at Kripalu was like looking in a big mirror, and everything resonated.
—Lauren Hider, massage therapist, energy worker, and yoga teacher, Fairport, New York