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Kripalu Guest Stories: Pasha M.

Pasha M.

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I came to Kripalu after each significant change in my life, including my hip replacement, my divorce and remarriage, and the birth of my third child. I take time at Kripalu to reflect and process, away from life’s distractions.

Whenever I visit Kripalu, I walk the labyrinth. It is challenging to take a slow and purposeful walk, to sit with your pain or your current situation, to be patient. But with patience comes many opportunities for growth and awareness. My husband and I established our vows walking that labyrinth together. It gave us a thoughtful time to talk about our feelings and our expectations of marriage. In our wedding ceremony, we created a labyrinth, inspired by the one at Kripalu.

After my hip replacement, my surgeon warned me against practicing yoga, and especially teaching. When I went back to Kripalu, I was nervous about taking yoga classes. At that time, I didn’t know whether I would ever return to teaching. I took the gentle yoga classes. The instructors were not only knowledgeable, they were compassionate. It felt really good practicing the simpler postures and returning to the basics of yoga, such as the breath.

I’m a better instructor because of Kripalu. When I take classes with other teachers, I gain compassion for what it’s like to be a student. I notice the simple ways an instructor can make students comfortable, such as establishing a noncompetitive environment, being approachable, using eye contact, and encouraging patience.

At Kripalu, you can participate in any level yoga class or simply sit in the back and breathe. You are encouraged to listen to what your body needs, and are welcomed whatever you do. In those gentle yoga classes, I realized that my yoga was simply showing up and taking care of myself. You don’t have to be standing on your head to do yoga!

—Pasha M., yoga teacher, Moultonboro, New Hampshire