Kripalu Guest Stories: Gina K.
Kripalu became a catalyst for change from within. I have struggled with my weight since I was a young child. It was the first thing I thought about when I woke up in the morning, and it occupied my thoughts throughout the day. Over the years, attempts to control it always led to failure. Last year, I found myself thinking, “I’m 57—when will I ever get over this?”
A friend of mine who practices yoga suggested I take some classes. One day, I went online just to see what Kripalu offered, and I ended up pulling out my Visa card! And instead of getting away for a couple of days to try some yoga, I signed up for the Kripalu Approach to Diet: An Integrative Weight-Loss Program. It was exactly what I needed.
The faculty and information in the program were impressive. It was a revelation to hear how food is capable of making physiological changes in our bodies. In a nutritional consultation, we designed a food plan for me to follow for lasting changes, not only in my weight but in my overall health. Aruni’s mindful-eating exercise was very helpful. Now when I eat, I know when I’m satisfied. In my life-coaching session, I realized I needed to take the time to see my friends, even if it’s only for 15 minutes over a cup of tea. I went to both morning and afternoon Kripalu Yoga classes and was thoroughly absorbed in the yoga.
My visit to Kripalu has had a huge impact on my life. I’ve lost 40 pounds and four inches from my waist. My blood pressure is down 10 points and my cholesterol is down 25. But that isn’t the whole story. Being at Kripalu made me examine what brings me joy and what was missing from my life. It helped me focus.
My Kripalu food plan is now a way of life. I went from thinking I had to “diet” in order to lose weight, to simply making good, healthy choices. Now I take the time to prepare foods that I enjoy. I also take time for myself in other ways, like bringing my yoga mat with me on vacation, and setting the tone for the rest of the day first thing in the morning. The “old me” never thought like this.
Kripalu made me more compassionate toward myself. On my last day in morning yoga class, my instructor read from a book of poems. She spoke the words, “forgive yourself,” and I filled up with tears.
—Gina K., telecommunications technical support, Schenectady, New York