Core Values

Kripalu is dedicated to upholding the core values  at the heart of our mission:
Inquiry. Presence. Integrity. Service. Practice. Compassion.
Our values have shaped us and continue to guide us toward the future.

INQUIRY. We look within to ask ourselves who we are, where we came from, and what we hope to achieve. Inquiry allows us to contemplate our history and to reflect upon our journey to where we are today. Swami Kripalu taught that all contemplative practices are designed to foster what he called self-observation without judgment. Through self-observation, we look within and ask ourselves who we are, how we show up, and how we want to move ahead.

PRESENCE. Present-moment awareness is at the foundation of mindfulness and yoga. When we are fully present, we can actively engage with the truth of our experiences, and the truth of who we are. The first inhabitants of the land on which our retreat center sits, the Stockbridge-Munsee Tribe, model presence by how they live, attuned to the cycles of the seasons and with deep reverence for all living things in the natural world. As stewards of the land, we aim to honor the presence of these original inhabitants.

INTEGRITY. The integrity of our teachings—and the integrity of those who embody them—carried us through a challenging period when revelations of misuse of power led Kripalu to transition from a guru-centered ashram (1972–1994) to a secular nonprofit educational center. We live in integrity by acknowledging our vulnerabilities as well as our strengths, honoring the wisdom within, and engaging with others with honesty, respect, and nonjudgmental awareness.

SERVICE. Kripalu’s mission—to empower people and communities through the transformative wisdom and practice of yoga—is rooted in service. Service is an uplifting tool for personal growth, and Kripalu has a rich history of philanthropy and volunteerism, dating back to the Jesuits, who lived on this property from 1922–1970, and continuing to the Kripalu ashram and our present-day community. In the spirit of service to others, Kripalu offers scholarships to make our offerings—through our schools and programs such as RISE—available to as many people as possible.

PRACTICE. Practice not only connects us to specific methodologies, but also to our innate wisdom. As the largest center for yoga and holistic learning in North America, Kripalu specializes
in practices that address all levels of the self—the body, the mind, the heart, and the soul. Kripalu has been training yoga teachers for more than 40 years; the Kripalu Schools also provide
empowering certification programs in Ayurveda, Integrative Yoga Therapy, and mindful outdoor leadership.

COMPASSION. Compassion is Kripalu’s namesake. Swami Kripalu (1913–1981) was a yoga master renowned not only for the depth and dedication of his practice but also for his humor and heartfelt approach to self-exploration. Kripalu translates as “compassion” or “one who is compassionate.” Swami Kripalu’s approach to the teachings of yoga helped make them applicable to contemporary life. Through compassion, we embody our values, and with compassion we embrace everyone who comes through our doors seeking a welcoming environment for connection, learning, and retreat.

Learn More About Kripalu

Kripalu in Stockbridge

  • As the largest center for yoga, health, transformational learning, and professional training in North America, we host more than 40,000 guests a year.
  • We award $500,000 annually through our Scholarship Programs so that those with financial need may experience Kripalu.
  • Kripalu’s green Annex building uses half the energy consumed by a conventional building of the same size, and its design elements minimize its carbon footprint.

Kripalu in the World

  • Kripalu has trained more than 8,000 yoga teachers and Ayurvedic Health Counselors, who share a wealth of knowledge and techniques with their communities.
  • Kripalu’s international network of more than 2,000 yoga teachers brings the benefits of yoga to thousands of students every week, including inner-city children, the elderly, and cancer survivors.
  • We reach out to more and more people every day as we develop programs in medical, therapeutic, and academic settings; partner with institutions of higher learning; and embrace new technologies for digital and blended learning.
  • Groundbreaking research conducted through RISE (formerly the Kripalu Institute for Extraordinary Living), in collaboration with scientists at Brigham and Women's Hospital, is tracking the effects of yoga on healthcare professionals, educators, and community safety professionals.