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Kripalu Guest Stories: Maya B.

Badge of Honor

A longtime community member taps into her true essence within her many roles at Kripalu.

Maya S.

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In recent years, Kripalu has put the number of times guests have visited on their badges. Each time I look down at mine, I smile. I’ve visited Kripalu 145 times over the past 24 years. During these years, I’ve learned many things, and chief among them are how to love and care for my body, mind, and spirit, and how to bring Kripalu (or compassion) to others. Not all of those 145 visits were dedicated to my own rest or renewal. Many included teaching and serving on the Board of Trustees. I now have the honor to also serve on a committee to help raise awareness and support for Kripalu’s outreach efforts to bring yoga and other healing tools to underserved communities.

When I first discovered Kripalu in the 1980s, it was an ashram led by guru Amrit Desai, and it was well on its way to becoming the holistic yoga retreat center it is today. When I first walked through the doors, I recall feeling that I was “home again”—like I had been there before. The yogic teachings and the compassion I encountered felt familiar on such a deep level that I intuitively knew this was a place where I could heal.

My first visit also awakened an indescribable feeling that started me on a path to re-create myself and learn the steps to live a holistic life. I began to practice and study yoga and after several years, I joined other Kripalu community members to travel to Swami Kripalu’s ashram in the village of Kayavarohan in Gujarat, India.

My Kripalu journey taught me how to weave together ancient yogic teachings and Kripalu philosophies to create the Yoga Retreat for Women of Color, which is now in its twelfth year. It enriches my life and deeply moves my heart to offer this program at Kripalu, where so much transformation has occurred. Today, the surroundings are teeming with youthful energy, a highly skilled faculty, seekers, and teachers—all in a dance with Kripalu to provide health, well being, self-love, and compassion.

Recently, after the death of my son, Marco, I was given an R&R Retreat by Kripalu. During this visit, I sat quietly in the Sun Room, walked the halls, shared with others, and received a bounty of warmth and love from the staff and my friends at Kripalu. I remembered why I started the journey to wholeness and became a Kripalu Yoga teacher. The compassion of Kripalu has transformed itself into a thriving yoga center offering contemporary tools and practices for those seeking health, wellness, and balance of body, mind, and spirit. After 24 years and myriad transformations, Kripalu is still a place where compassion reigns and where one can come home to heal.
—Maya B., Warwick, Rhode Island