Browsing all posts tagged with wellness Archives - Eco-Chick Escapes
Kripalu is many things, but really it is just one. It’s one of those rare places where you get to explore just ‘being’. Because that’s not an easy place to get to – between taking care of ourselves and our families, doing our best at our workplaces, not to mention the myriad random details life throws at the modern person, it’s no wonder the Monkey Mind* sometimes seems like he’s taking over.
Because our lives are so full (sometimes wonderfully, sometimes frustratingly) finding the space to be quiet with ourselves doesn’t happen as easily as we would like. Places like Kripalu offer us a variety of tools by which to better understand our own processes and habits, whether they be mental, physical, psychological or spiritual. And it is only by being able to both look and learn to modify those things that we are able to make the true changes in our lives that we really need to move forward, live more consciously, feel healthier, and love more openly.
In other words, Kripalu rocks. (Because yes, all of the above can be plenty of fun too!)
Last month I was lucky enough to be invited to Kripalu to check it out – I had never been. I signed up for the “R&R Retreat“. The center offers both open-plan visits like the R&R as well as retreats and programs around a specific focus, like yoga (at all levels), couples communication, heart health care, chanting and dancing, and more.
The R&R program includes three meals a day (more on that below), and yoga classes three times a day (at three levels each time – so one can take a Beginner class in the morning and a more advanced one later in the day) as well as open classes in ecstatic dance, meditation, nutrition, mind-body communication and other health and spiritual topics. (Check out a sample schedule here.) There are also live music performances, films, and lectures, and plenty of on-your-own activities like hiking the grounds, going for a canoe ride, or napping (I can’t imagine any kind of getaway that doesn’t include at least one nap a day).
Upon check-in, after a lovely and leisurely ride from my home in coastal Connecticut to the Berkshires of Western Massachusetts, I organized my things in my Standard Plus room (this always makes me feel more relaxed), which was relatively spare and not gigantic, but cozy in a modern sort of way (see my photo below). The bathroom’s tub was deliciously deep and I definitely enjoyed it one evening post-yoga. My room was located in the newly-constructed annex, an impressively green addition to the main building, and it was extremely quiet every time I was in my room, which is a necessary part of being able to truly relax.
Wanderlust is a yoga-arts-music (and general awesomeness) festival that takes place in various locations around the United States and Canada every summer. I heard from a few friends about how much fun they had last year, and so I’m really looking forward to this year’s festivities. While I would like to attend them all, I’m keeping it local (and my carbon footprint lower) and will be celebrating the summer solstice by heading to Stratton, Vermont from June 20-24th But there are also Wanderlusts in Colorado, Whistler, Canada, and California.
My Top 10 Reasons I Can’t Wait for Solstice at Stratton:
1. Being surrounded by (and inspired) by hundreds of yogis, health-food lovers, locavores, earth-lovers and spiritual folks who value what I do.
2. I consider Vermont to be one of my spiritual homes, and celebrating a solstice in the Green Mountain State with enlightened people will have to be amazing!
3. I have been to Stratton Resort in the winter to snowboard, and it is a beautiful locale and accommodations there are top-notch. It will be fun to enjoy the mountain in the summer.
3. My wonderful boyfriend, who is a yoga teacher and writer, will be accompanying me. I love sharing the things I care about with him.
4. I’m going to be staying with my good friend that I’ve known since High School, the healing arts extraordinaire, Cara Joy, who specializes in ThetaHealing, Sound Therapy, Human Design readings, and Ashiatsu massage. She’ll be working in the Healing Sanctuary tent for the duration of the festival.
5. I’m going to be reporting on all the fun to Eco Chick and Eco Chick Escapes readers (as well as our Twitter and FB friends).
6. I can take outdoor yoga classes! As you might remember, I LOVE to practice outdoors.
7. I love learning new things when I’m ‘on vacation’ – I’m not much for lying on the beach and doing nothing, and Wanderlust has a number of amazing speakers I’m looking forward to hearing from, including Tim Walsh, who is not only the husband of a former Eco Chick contributor (Kim Jordan Allen), but an amazing teacher and wilderness guide.
8. Ani DiFranco will be performing! I have loved Ani since I was 18 years old and have seen her live shows several times. She’s a powerful, soulful singer and an amazing guitarist. I will be front row center cheering and hooting when she comes on stage!
The thing that I love most about yoga is how flexible it is; I practice to focus energy during the workday, to relax at the end of the day, and in the morning when I feel tight or have slept weirdly. I do 10 minutes of yoga to cool off and loosen muscles at the end of a good run, but can also rely on it as my workout on the days I don’t want to run or cycle.
But I especially love to do yoga when I’m travelling (and, as you can see here, especially on beaches or near bodies of water). But also on mountaintops in the midst of a hike, or in a city park during a day of walking around. Not a full-on, yoga-outfit situation, but a few poses, ideally sans shoes, to just connect to the moment and the world around me more fully.
One of the best ways to keep up your practice while on the road (or if you are sojourning somewhere without a yoga studio or teacher nearby) is to keep a few podcasts saved in your phone or mobile-music device. And some hotels, like those in the Kimpton family, provide yoga mats and blocks for your room, so you can practice there or in their gym with your own mat that’s cleaned for you. There’s nothing like a focusing practice before I begin a day of walking, or post-flight (even five minutes of yoga before you pass out, exhausted, is amazing! It will help you sleep better and you’ll wake up more refreshed).