Kripalu Guest Stories: Chrisanne Douglas
I live only two hours from Kripalu, but in my 10-plus years of living in Massachusetts, I had yet to visit. Then, after a long New England winter and a family trip to Disney World, I was ready for a quiet break. A friend and I decided to come for an R&R weekend.
Before I had children, I attended yoga classes three or four times a week at a hot-yoga studio near my office in Boston. Making time for myself was easier then, and guilt-free. Now, with two young children to take care of, making time for myself not only seems like a challenge but an indulgence. As a mother and a woman, it’s easy to get caught up in the daily routines of caring for my family, making sure everyone else is happy. This yoga retreat was about taking time for me again.
Walking in the door to Kripalu, I felt completely at ease. The space was inviting and open, the people friendly and warm. The beauty of an R&R weekend was that our schedule was completely up to us. There were no demands or expectations on me or my time. I could focus on taking care of myself for two whole days!
My friend and I took yoga classes at 6:30 am, noon, and 5:15 pm. In between vigorous and moderate vinyasa classes, I escaped into my book, relaxed with a Vitamin C facial, and sank into cozy reclining chairs that looked out upon the beautiful Berkshire mountains. As a recent vegetarian, I was especially looking forward to the food. While I would probably say that anything I don’t have to make myself is wonderful, the food at Kripalu really is as delicious as it is healthy.
Since the R&R weekend at Kripalu, I have made a point to carve out more time for yoga, and more time for me. To spend an hour and a half doing yoga and not feeling guilty about it (or thinking I should be doing something else) was a welcome change.
I hope to return yearly to Kripalu, for some hiking and to see more of the beautiful grounds. Having the opportunity (and luxury, really) to be in a space that allows us to breathe freely and to detox from whatever we need detoxing from, whether it be a relationship, an anxious mind, or a long, dark winter, is an extraordinary thing.
After my Kripalu experience, I felt rested and still. This feeling of peaceful mindfulness stayed with me long after my brief visit. It makes me a better, more mindful mother and a more aware, whole person.
—Chrisanne Douglas, mother and writer, Westford, Massachusetts