Kripalu at a Glance
The largest and most established yoga and holistic retreat and educational center in North America, Kripalu offers a curriculum of 785 educational programs, guest presenters, seminars, and spiritual retreats attended by over 36,000 people each year. Kripalu’s program faculty includes world-renowned teachers along with prominent visionaries, authors, artists, and inspirational speakers. Also on the faculty are many yoga and meditation instructors, personal growth workshop leaders, holistic health experts, life coaches, and others. All of Kripalu’s programs are carefully designed or selected to serve the organization’s mission and meet the needs of a broad spectrum of people, ranging from beginners to professionals.
Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health is a nonprofit educational organization dedicated to empowering people and communities to realize their full potential through the transformative wisdom and practice of yoga.
- Healthy Living immersion programs led by Kripalu faculty
- R&R Retreats that include optional Kripalu-led workshops
- Programs led by guest presenters
- Professional Training and Continuing Education opportunities
Kripalu began as an ashram in Pennsylvania led by Indian-born Amrit Desai in 1972. Desai, a close disciple of a renowned Indian yoga master Swami Kripalu, offered a modest curriculum of yoga, holistic health, and self-discovery programs to the public. Over a decade, the ashram outgrew its location and purchased its current Stockbridge, Massachusetts, location, a former Jesuit seminary. Kripalu opened in December 1983, offering a varied curriculum of programs on yoga, health, massage and bodywork, personal growth, and spirituality. Current workshops and programs integrate yoga with contemporary discoveries in medicine, psychology, and science.
Visitors—about 36,000 per year
Professional students—about 570
Kripalu is located on 150 acres in a rural location in Berkshire Hills of western Massachusetts. Kripalu is 2.5 hours from Boston and 3 hours from New York City by car and is an hour from two international airports (Hartford, CT, and Albany, NY). Bus and train transportation is also available.
Retreat Center, Schools, a Research Institute
In addition to retreats, programs, and workshops for all visiting guests, Kripalu also offers the Kripalu School of Yoga Teacher Training and the Kripalu School of Ayurveda. Kripalu’s Institute for Extraordinary Living conducts research in adolescent, creative and military populations, studying the affects of yoga on issues of self-regulation. Aligned with Kripalu’s goal of extending guests’ personal transformation beyond its campus, Kripalu is now offering online learning programs.
Kripalu Yoga is an inquiry-based yoga methodology that promotes the awakening of the life force (prana) using classic asanas, pranayama, meditation, and relaxation techniques. Both on and off the mat, this inquiry-based approach encourages natural alignment and increased awareness-of thoughts, words, feelings, and actions. While honoring the body’s limits and strengths, Kripalu Yoga emphasizes the mechanics of yoga (proper breath and alignment) as well as the inner, spiritual dimensions of yoga practice. Because of its approach, Kripalu Yoga is compatible with all other styles and traditions of yoga practice.
Kripalu School of Yoga Teacher Training Each yoga teacher training has two primary teachers. During the training, however, other experienced teachers lead portions of the curriculum, so students benefit from a wide variety of expert skills, approaches, and techniques.
Find out more about our Yoga Teacher Training faculty.
Kripalu School of Ayurveda All faculty have either a bachelor of Ayurvedic medicine and surgery (BAMS) degree or five years of study with a qualified Ayurvedic scholar, and have been teaching or practicing Ayurveda for at least four years. The designation of RYT indicates that the individual is a Yoga Alliance-registered yoga teacher as well.
Find out more about our School of Ayurveda faculty.
Kripalu Healthy Living Programs Each of Kripalu’s Healthy Living Programs is taught by an outstanding team of skilled health and wellness professionals who draw on many years of experience working with people to turn their health around through integrated approaches to healthy living.
Find out more about Healthy Living Programs and their faculty.
Continuing Education Kripalu’s Continuing Education programs are led by some of the world’s most accomplished teachers in yoga, self-discovery, and holistic health. Programs are designed to help individuals integrate and access their greatest powers, skills, and leadership while providing the relevant, proven tools, and knowledge applicable in their professional lives. Kripalu currently offers Continuing Education for nurses (AHEC), social workers (NASW), certified counselors (NBCC), massage therapists (NCBTMB), athletic trainers (BOC), registered dieticians (RD), psychologists (PSY), acupuncturists (NCCAOM), and yoga teachers (Yoga Alliance).
Invited Guest Presenters
Programs at Kripalu are led by many of the world’s most accomplished teachers in yoga, self-discovery, and holistic health and are designed to provide people with tools they can apply in their daily lives. Topics include yoga, wellness, Ayurveda, nutrition, fitness, personal growth, relationships, meditation, spiritual practice, professional training, and much more. Yoga programs are offered for people at all levels, feature all yoga traditions and styles, and include therapeutic yoga, yogic anatomy, and trainings for teachers.
In the tradition of retreat-style housing, accommodations are simple, without the distractions of televisions or telephones. Both dorm-style and private rooms are available, in addition to family accommodations.
The Kripalu kitchen provides an array of natural, organic, and local foods, including vegetables, proteins, and nutritious grains, along with freshly baked breads and fresh fruits. Meals are served buffet-style and are primarily vegetarian; fish and poultry options are often available at lunch and dinner. Kripalu accommodates visitors with special dietary needs through a discussion with the Executive Chef prior to arrival.
In an effort to provide visitors with ongoing means of discovery, inspiration, and information, Kripalu offers a resources section on its website, which includes articles, recipes, publications, and links to related websites. Click here.
Retreat Costs, Tuition, and Financial Aid
The cost for a basic R&R retreat stay at Kripalu through starts at about $164 per night per person for a shared dormitory room including a hall bath, meals, yoga classes, R&R workshops, and evening events.
Program tuition ranges in price—for an overview of program subjects, browse our calendar by theme; the accommodations fee (room, meals, yoga classes) is additional and starts at $84 for a shared dormitory room with a hall bath.
Kripalu annually offers more than half a million dollars in scholarships for programs and Kripalu Schools of Yoga and Ayurveda through its General Scholarship Fund, Professional Training Scholarships, and Diversity Scholarships.
Volunteers play a vital role in supporting and creating a positive and transformative guest experience. Kripalu volunteers contribute 35 hours of service per week, 5 days a week, with 2 days off and often live on campus. Volunteers work in one of the following areas: kitchen, production support, facilities, office support, household, and others. Find out more.
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