Kripalu Guest Stories: Tom Shaffery
In the spring of 1985, I took a program at Kripalu called Transforming Stress. I was renovating a house I had just bought, and cost overruns had begun adding up. My stress levels were through the roof. The three-night program lived up to its name; I came home recharged and able to move forward in a profound way.
I have taken many excellent programs at Kripalu since then, including drumming, dance, hiking, and kayaking, all wrapped in yoga, both physical and spiritual. Kripalu has always fed my soul. Then, in 2009, I took the Nutrition and Cooking Immersion, and Kripalu taught me how to feed myself, literally.
What I took home from those five days is priceless—I have learned to cook for myself and others. The program was excellent. In a state-of-the-art teaching kitchen, my fellow classmates and I participated in preparing, cooking, and eating our daily creations. The enthusiasm and passion of the instructors was palpable. We picked up all kinds of tips—like how to turn a simple salad into a meal by adding sautéed sunflower seeds and almonds. We also took a field trip to a local organic farm that really inspired me. I now create wonderful meals in my own kitchen from produce from my vegetable garden and local farm stands. It is a rare day that I spend money on prepared foods. I like my own cooking best now.
Weight has never been a problem for me, but when I turned 50, I started to get that bloated stomach that many men have. One of the perks of eating my own cooking is that I effortlessly shed eight pounds without trying.
I now have a spring in my step, a greater sense of pride, and increased awareness of where my food dollars go. Kripalu has gone through many changes through the years and so have I. We’re like good friends for life.
—Tom Shaffery, solar consultant, Riverhead, New York