Kripalu Guest Stories: Josh W.
Choosing a life of passion
A young adult finds direction at Kripalu.
As a college graduation present, I was offered the chance to attend the Quarter-Life Calling program with Coby Kozlowski at Kripalu. There is no word to describe the experience except transformative.
The program was focused on finding a life of passion in your twenties. The group, composed of young people, took part in different exercises designed to push us outside of our comfort zones. We were encouraged to explore uncharted areas of ourselves. During the most intense exercise, we paired up and stood 10 feet away from each other. We approached our partner, got really close, and yelled in his or her face for about 20 seconds. Then we switched roles. Different things came out for different people. Afterward, we hugged for what seemed like an eternity. I felt an incredible emotional release.
During another empowering exercise, we sat with our eyes closed and raised our arms with our fingers extended toward the ceiling. We didn’t know how long we were going to do this. After 15 minutes, when we were finally told to release, I had intense bodily feelings that really took me out of my head.
The program was deeply emotional, perfect for what I was ready for at that time. I felt powerful and filled with gratitude. I left Kripalu crying in appreciation for the magic of being alive and was inspired to pursue more self-exploration and practice. A lot of my ideas started to come together and I became clear about what I wanted to do.
After a year in graduate school pursuing a degree in exercise and sport science, I came back to Kripalu for yoga teacher training. I was grateful that my college allowed this training to serve as an internship. I think that the benefits of yoga and the mind/body connection are becoming more recognized in the West. I currently teach tennis, and I had ideas about combining yoga, tennis, and sports psychology into a business.
The training really opened me up to looking at yoga differently. I know now that it’s so much more than just doing asanas. The yoga philosophy is now embedded in me, and I know that the skills I’ve learned, such as conscious communication and reflective listening, will be helpful in all of my endeavors. I feel lucky to be a young person who has been exposed to such powerful tools to help me conduct myself with awareness and direction. I feel well prepared for life.
—Josh W., Hermon, Maine