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Kripalu Guest Stories: Paul B.

Paul B.

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Kripalu helped me come to grips with my life and build a bridge to a healthier, more stable one. Three years ago, my wife and I separated. We went through a long, difficult divorce process, and I received primary custody of my now five-year-old son.

Sleeping became a real problem, and eating well was a challenge since I barely had the time and energy to cook. I’d been doing my yoga practice steadily up until the separation, but couldn’t continue it on my own. I knew I needed to take more time for myself. During this time, my therapist said, “You might like to go to Kripalu.” So I signed up for a weekend of hiking and yoga in the late spring.

I knew Kripalu would be great, but it was an even better experience than I’d imagined. We spent the weekend hiking and doing yoga in some of the nature preserves in the area. The teachers, Randal Williams and his assistants, were great people. The weather was beautiful, and the food was really good. I had been very tightly wound for a while, and for this whole weekend I was totally at peace. And I slept better than I had in months.

I had a room by myself, which was just what I needed; I was able to have solitude and also be with people. There was a nice age range and mixture of people in my group. I had wonderful conversations about single parenting and divorce. I took walks, went to the lake, and reconnected with a friend who works there.

Coming back from Kripalu so relaxed, I realized the value of doing yoga regularly. I bought Randal’s gentle yoga CD, which helps me in my home practice. Since nature has always been a way for me to keep my peace of mind, I’ve also made more time for hiking and gardening and am leading some day hikes around New York again with the Appalachian Mountain Club.

Learning to be a single dad was a challenging transition. A year ago, I thought, “I can’t do this!” But now I’m able to find time to establish routines for myself and my son. I feel much less frantic in life when I am able to prioritize time for myself and my mental, physical, and spiritual well-being. Kripalu was something for me to look forward to after a really bad time. I can’t wait to come back again. I told my son we’re going to go to a place where you can do yoga and be in nature.

—Paul B., city planner and gardener, Flushing, New York