Profile of a Cross Trainer
by Tresca Weinstein
Bart Staub has always been passionate about saving the world. At age 19, he traveled to Africa with an aid organization, then earned his bachelor’s degree in International Studies at Millersville University in Pennsylvania. Next came a stint in the Peace Corps, stationed in El Salvador, after which Bart enrolled in a meditation course in his hometown of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.
Somewhere along the way, Bart realized he needed to nurture and heal himself as well as others. That desire led him to Kripalu, where he got a job in the kitchen. In the winter of 2004, he took a course in Sanskrit offered free to staff and volunteers. “I became enchanted by Vedic science and art,” Bart recalls. “I love nature, I love working with people, and I love science, language, and mythology. I never thought I would find something that encompassed all of that.”
That Sanskrit course was the first step in a path that Bart says “just unfolded, and it’s still unfolding.” Four years later, at age 34, he is a Scholar-in-Residence with the Kripalu School of Ayurveda; a graduate of the 500-hour Kripalu Bodywork and Massage Training; and a certified Kripalu Yoga teacher.
“From all those perspectives, I get a greater understanding of what health is, and why it’s different for different people,” Bart says, noting how the trainings complement each other. “What Kripalu teaches is that your life is actually a tool with which you can become healthy. We’re teaching people how to use their lives as an approach to health, from sunup to sundown.”
For example, his bodywork practice, he explains, is deepened by his understanding of the five koshas (sheaths or layers) of the self-physical, energetic, mental, wisdom, and bliss—as elucidated by yogic and Ayurvedic philosophy. Each asana can be broken down into those same elements.
“You can’t separate it-ultimately you bring the other sciences in,” he says of the three disciplines. “We’re working with all these layers simultaneously, and it’s amazing to see how it all comes together. Every client is different and a multi-pronged approach is so effective.”
As Scholar-in-Residence, Bart assists teachers and administrators at the Kripalu School of Ayurveda while pursuing his studies there; this spring, he’s spending three months in India studying yoga and Ayurveda at the Jiva Institute. He also plans to complete his 500-hour Kripalu Yoga Teacher Training certification by 2010.
“I feel very lucky to have trained in the Kripalu tradition, which enables me to keep evolving,” he says. “As I become more aware, I can bring more and more to my practice. I never thought there was anything that could contain my diverse interests, affirming that every part of me is okay and that I can bring it all to the table-the skeptic as well as the mystic. I’ve been able to explore new parts of myself and define my health in new and expanding ways.”
New referral incentive for KYTA members supports cross training and the Kripalu School of Massage