Kripalu Guest Stories: Myriah Hagen
Coming to Kripalu turned out to be the best thing I could ever have done for myself. I have been struggling with Crohn’s disease for more than three years and have tried numerous medical treatments without success. Then I received a Kripalu catalog and, on a whim, I decided to flip through it, since I enjoy yoga. When I saw the description of the Digestive Health program, it seemed too good to be true.
I was a little nervous, coming for something so personal. Digestive health is not something that people generally want to discuss, because the symptoms are often very unpleasant. But the staff at Kripalu created a safe environment for everyone to share their concerns and problems. Nutritionist Kathie Swift answered tough questions, and John Bagnulo made awkward things seem comfortable and fun! I learned a great deal about various digestive diseases, their effects and symptoms, and many natural remedies.
In three years, none of my doctors had been able to tell me that 40 percent of Americans—and 90 percent of people with Crohn’s disease—have gluten sensitivity. I tried eliminating wheat from my diet while at Kripalu, and found it amazingly successful. I had virtually no stomach problems while I was there, and it was easy to feel satisfied with all the amazing varieties of food offered!
At Kripalu, I was nurtured, physically and emotionally, while I connected with other people with my same condition. We shared our struggles, learned from each other’s mistakes, and developed a pool of knowledge that benefited everyone. I left with great resources, whether it was changing my diet, educating myself, or finding local providers who embrace nontraditional methods of healing. I learned that you can question medical care and find out what is best for you.
My family is getting used to the idea of integrating new foods into their diets. I’ve become much less dependent on animal protein and am eating more rice and trying quinoa, which doesn’t seem to bother me. I’m having fun preparing and trying all the new foods!
I recently changed jobs and moved, and my home yoga practice has been the one thing that’s kept me centered. I don’t worry if I’m “doing it right”; I focus less on the end result and more on the process. This has helped me in other aspects of my life as well.
Kripalu is a safe place to heal, from illness and stress, and for your soul. Next I’d like to take the Kripalu Yoga Teacher Training, so I can share what I’ve learned with other people.
—Myriah Hagen, retail manager, Norwich, Connecticut