Even if I can’t get to Kripalu and that chair – my favorite for meditation – I try to imagine myself there in my daily meditation practice. It’s that daily repetition that creates healthy habits and ultimately, a wonderful sense of well-being that follows you through your entire day.
After class the other day, someone asked how many days it takes to create a healthy habit. The typical answer is 21 – but that doesn’t mean you have to come for a class every day (as much as we’d love to see you!). It means that every day there’s at least a moment where you follow your breath, or you wake up and remember to do shoulder rolls, or you get down and do a few dog/cat tilts and maybe one down dog before you go to work or go wake up your kids.
It’s just having at least a moment of awareness that carries over into what you choose to eat for breakfast, whether you take that morning walk, and how you interact with your entire day.
Fall for me is always the time to recommit to very specific habits – in my case, attending the 8:45 am Saturday (3 weeks in a row, I’m trying to keep the streak going!) and adding at least one other class. This week I was lucky enough to attend both Laura’s 5:45 pm After-Work Flow (a lovely, extremely gentle Kripalu class) and Michele’s new Beginner’s, where it was wonderful to see so many brave souls trying Yoga for the first time or returning after a long hiatus.
For the full schedule, including new classes and continuing ones, keep reading here …
Someone asked the other day, “What’s that ‘Kripalu’ you have listed after your name, anyway?”
Oops – sometimes we forget that something that is so familiar to us that it’s like breathing, is totally unfamiliar to someone else.
So – Kripalu Yoga is a lineage of Yoga – it’s named after a person, Swami Kripalu, who inspired his followers to start an ashram in Pennsylvania in the 1970s. Over the years the ashram moved to its current home in Stockbridge, MA and has become a retreat center where you can go for just a weekend or (like me) for a month of training and 17+ years of continuing education! And lots in between.
If you haven’t tried Kripalu Yoga classes, you are in for a treat! I think there’s a special feeling in each Kripalu class, as if you’re coming home to your own body, mind and spirit. Kripalu Center trains us to help you develop mind, body and spirit in a compassionate, non-judgmental way. You are guided to move at your own pace, honoring your body’s needs in each moment. You will stretch and tone muscles, and leave feeling energized and refreshed. All classes include pranayama (breathing exercises) and deep relaxation; some include seated meditation and Yoga Nidra (a deep Yogic sleep practice). All Kripalu classes at the Prana Center include suggestions for modifications as needed.
If you’re interested in reading more about Kripalu Yoga, highly recommend the book Kripalu Yoga by Richard Faulds. I’ve had the pleasure of assisting him at a workshop at Kripalu and he is a lovely, very knowledgable Yoga teacher with lots of insight into the practice.
I’ve also been a student of Kripalu yoga teacher Steven Cope, who has written several wonderful books, including Yoga and the Quest for the True Self.
Most importantly, come in and try a class. All the reading in the world can’t duplicate the feeling of being led by an experienced teacher into an experience of deep compassion for your mind, body and spirit.
Fun fact: “Kripalu” actually means compassion in Hindi!
(That’s a picture of me at Kripalu Center. I’m facing the building with the beautiful lake in the background)