M. Patricia D.

I went to Kripalu to celebrate life on my 30-year anniversary of being cancer free.

I’ve always wanted to complete a yoga teacher training to get deeper into my practice. This year was just the right milestone to check this item off the so-called bucket list.

Kripalu was the perfect fit because the program seemed to have all the elements of my yoga practice: health-focused, gentle on the body, wellness lifestyle practices, and spirituality. What I found in the program not only refined my yoga technique, it connected me with that happiness that only comes from living in the here and now. It revealed the beauty that comes from being present for myself, and for my amazing fellow students. It was the best way to celebrate my life, surrounded by like-minded people who saw, and got me, just like I am.

One of my favorites aspects of the program is the focus on ahimsa (nonviolence) and self-care. This, on its own, differentiates Kripalu from other programs. Peppered throughout were reminders that self-care was a priority. Another highlight was the community of like-minded people in the class. We came from different backgrounds, experiences, races, genders, and cultures. There was so much diversity of thought and richness in the group. During the four weeks, manifestations of our uniqueness showed up in different forms, yet we remained united by our love of yoga and our respect for one another. Our laughter, our tears, our conversations, and our struggles are precious experiences engraved in my memory. My sangha—our yoga community—is present for me today through small details and daily yoga practices that we all learned together.

The instructors, assistants, staff, and the program are simply top of the line. It is a very well-designed curriculum that truly emphasizes embodying the asanas from the ground up, experiencing depth through pranayama, and focusing on the present. In a matter of four weeks, I went from being nervous about leading a peer through Tadasana (Mountain pose) to leading 60- and 90-minute classes. I felt supported by the entire team, and especially by my peers.

Truth is, I did not want to leave Kripalu. There was so much joy in the whole experience that I wanted to capture it in a small box and store the memories and the feelings in my heart, to be accessible at all times. To my surprise, my return has been smoother than I thought it would be. Those emotions are as alive as they were when I left. That love for yoga, for other humans, for the earth, is stronger than ever. If I had to summarize it all, my Kripalu experience gave me tools to integrate my reality. I can’t wait to continue to witness life as it manifests itself through my next adventures!