Living the WHY in Yoga

So often in Western culture, we ask what? and how? when it comes to the practice of yoga. At Kripalu, we ask why, and our why springs from our vision of a world united in service toward well-being, peace, and justice. Yoga’s core understanding is that each of us is a unique expression of an undivided whole. As we follow our individual paths of healing, we can connect in compassion to create transformative change, both personal and societal, in a world that needs it more than ever before.

CHANGEMAKERS | Stories and Conversations

As we’ve focused our work on access for all, amplifying diverse and marginalized voices, and serving those who serve others, we’ve been privileged to share this journey with so many inspiring changemakers. Listen below to their stories, and the ways that they are uplifting others and shifting the culture. Their why is our why, and we are living it together in community. We invite you to join us.

A Conversation: Shirronda Almeida and Jeffrey Thomas

The sharing between this duo of inspired nonprofit leaders sheds light on the power of community, and the transformative results that can take place when your why is to bring your passion to those who need it most.



Our CEO Robert Mulhall with Eset Rose, Director of Creative Strategy and Programming

Hear how Robert’s personal path to transformation has intertwined with Kripalu’s why; the kind of changes that have been happening since the pandemic; and where Kripalu’s future is headed.

Junauda Petrus and Sonya Renee Taylor

Listen to these two accomplished authors/activists discuss and compare their roots, the way that working with young people has inspired their life paths, and what they would envision for Kripalu’s future.

Kripalu’s Director of Creative Strategy and Programming

Learn about our very own changemaker, Eset Rose, whose why helped bring a brand new focus to our mission—providing greater access, amplifying diverse voices, serving the caretakers, and ushering in a new era of transformation at Kripalu.

Staff Bio

Author of  The Body Is Not an Apology and Kripalu Activist-in-Residence

Hear one of the most prominent voices of the radical self-love movement talk about what it means to promote the dismantling of systems designed to capitalize on self-doubt, and how yoga is directly related to this shift in the culture.

Social worker, yoga teacher, and Kripalu School of Integrative Yoga Therapy graduate

When this dedicated social worker discovered yoga therapy as a student at Kripalu, a whole new world of healing opened up for her students with developmental disabilities and neurological impairments.

Founder of ‘Mandela Yoga Project’, Kripalu Nonprofit Leader scholarship

After losing his sister, to diabetes, Jeffrey was inspired to create a welcoming space where curvy, black women could find a path to healing through yoga. Hear him describe the profound effects of participating in a retreat for black men on campus.

Suicide Prevention Expert and Educator, RISE Facilitator Scholarship Recipient

Of all the expert tools that this mental health expert has used to bring unity and connection to those who are deeply struggling, yoga is the one she comes back to again and again. Listen to Doreen’s story.

Director Mel King Institute for Commmunity Building, R&R Scholarship Recipient, Activist-in-Residence

Listen to this devoted public servant share her story of how yoga has helped inspire and energize her work of building community in the city of Boston. We are also proud to announce Shirronda’s recent appointment to the Kripalu Board of Directors.

Board Member Bio

Founder, MINKA-Brooklyn, Healing Practicioner, Activist-in-Residence

As a practitioner who is well-versed in many healing modalities, Aki explains the unique ways that yoga enlightens her mission to assist others on the path to transformation.

Presenter Bio

Founder of “Active Peace Yoga”, Activist-in-Residence

The place between activism and spirituality is where Reggie has found his why. Hear him speak about the importance of making yoga accessible to all, and not just the privileged few.

Presenter Bio

Public School Teacher, Kripalu Yoga in the Schools Teacher Training Scholarship

What happens when a high school English teacher uses yoga to reach adolescent students on a much deeper level? Johnna shares the profound effects that yoga has had on her students.

Children’s Book Author, Performance Artist, Artist-in-Residence

This inspired artist and author centers healing for others in everything she creates. Listen to her describe how important safe spaces have been to her journey, and how she has found deep rest at Kripalu.

Presenter Bio

Our Three Pillars of Impact

As a leader in yoga, working alongside our peers, Kripalu endeavors to take on the shared responsibility of healing and regeneration in the field of health and wellness. We are listening and learning as we increase access to yoga for all, support those who serve our society, and center the people who historically have been marginalized and/or appropriated.



Kripalu is greatly expanding our reach and access by reducing financial barriers to participation. We make yoga more accessible through scholarships, free programs, and community outreach.



Kripalu aspires to center the lived experiences of diverse, historically marginalized and appropriated communities who haven’t been adequately supported in our field. We amplify by sharing our platform, gathering in affinity circles, forming and nurturing cohorts and councils, conducting listening tours, providing bespoke training, and offering grants to support their work.



Kripalu delivers transformational programs to those who serve—including first responders, frontline workers, activists, artists, and nonprofit leaders—as well as to the vulnerable populations they support.

A Lineage of Compassion

All of this work flows out of our lineage, which begins with a man whose very name means compassion. We honor Swami Kripalu’s lineage and core teachings of love through our dedicated faculty members who integrate ancient wisdom with contemporary thought in our signature programs. To all those who have joined us on this path over the past 50 years, we thank you and we invite you to unite with us as we live our why in service.



“Serve with a full heart…the key to your heart lies hidden in the heart of another.” – Swami Kripalu. The act of giving is integral to yoga’s path. It is the practice of dana, or sacred service. As an educational nonprofit, our ability to give depends on gifts from community members like you. Please consider a donation to help us continue this important work.