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Kripalu Guest Stories: Cheryl K.

Cheryl K.

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I’m down to one pill from three and I’ve lost 16 pounds—and continue to lose weight. Overall, I feel better about myself and my life. At Kripalu, I had a physical, spiritual, and mental experience of what hope feels like. I got in touch with who I really am. And positive changes are happening as a result.

I came to Kripalu two years after I had been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes at 44 years old. I’d been struggling for years with my weight and with mood and energy issues. I’d found ways to cope, but I still felt powerless to ever achieve my goals, and scared. And I definitely wasn’t happy.

The immersion aspect of the program is what made the difference. The whole time I was there, in addition to the classes and workshops with amazing teachers, I was doing yoga, going on hikes, and eating really good food. Now, even if I have a “bad” day or week, I can get back on track a lot more quickly. I can hear Mark Pettus (the on-site medical doctor) or John Bagnulo (the nutritionist) encouraging me. They did way more than just give me information, they believed I could change. I remember this one four-mile hike we took. It was hard for me, and I struggled, but I made it. At the top, John, who has climbed Mt. Everest, said, “The sky’s the limit, Cheryl.” The whole time, everyone reflected back nothing but encouragement and love. That day, I knew that anything was possible.

This “yogic” lifestyle works for me: I’ve noticed that I have a much better day when I do 10 Sun Breaths in the morning. I’m eating and sleeping better, practicing yoga poses, going for short cardio walks. I also find that I listen to more music, experience more self-compassion, and feel the unconditional connection of spending time in nature. I know now, deep inside, what it feels like to be kind to myself, to really accept myself.

—Cheryl K., freelance journalist, Chatham, Massachusetts