How to Create Space at Home for a Kripalu Experience

May 26, 2020

What makes the Kripalu experience unique? Along with the wisdom and inspiration of our faculty and presenters, what our guests find most powerful about their time here is the container we create for growth and inquiry. It’s a space dedicated to learning, deep relaxation, and practice, both on and off the mat—and each person can shape that space and their time here in the way that best serves them.

“The Kripalu experience looks different for everyone,” says life coach and Kripalu R&R faculty Izzy Lenihan. “Some people love starting the day with yoga, others love Silent Breakfast. For some, it’s the simplicity of the surroundings, which allows them to focus just on what’s important to them, or the beauty of the campus. For others, putting electronics away is so refreshing.”

So while the retreat center is closed to support the well-being of our community, how can you create your own space to dive into our online programming—whether it’s a yoga video, Ayurveda lecture, or live Zoom session? While you might not have a lot of options as far as physical locations (Izzy has her two sons at home, and says she’s spent a lot of time talking on the phone in her closet over the last couple months), any room or corner of a room—or even a protected outdoor area—can be transformed into a place for inner focus and contemplation. 

Here are Izzy’s recommendations for making a distinction between your at-home Kripalu experience and the other aspects of your daily life.

  • Declutter: To create clarity within, it helps to create clarity on the outside. Sort through the mail, put away your to-do list, clean up any partially finished projects. If you’ll be in your bedroom, make your bed; if you’ll be at the kitchen table, do the dishes. “Our physical environment is a mirror image of what’s going on inside our heads: a crowded environment equals crowded thoughts,” Izzy says.
  • Unplug: On the day you’ll be participating in an online program, consider limiting your electronics use, as well as your exposure to news, as much as possible, just as you would while at Kripalu. Before starting the program, turn off devices and close down all other programs on your computer, so you won’t be interrupted by texts and emails.
  • Adjust light and temperature: If possible, practice by a window so you can receive natural light and see the sky; if that doesn’t work in your space, choose soft lighting—perhaps a lamp or flameless candles. Have a fan nearby or turn the AC on (or off) as needed to create an ideal temperature in the room, and dress in layers. 
  • Make an altar: Cover a box or a small table or bench with a scarf and place a few objects on it that are meaningful for you—perhaps something from nature, a picture of someone or someplace you love, flowers, a crystal, “anything that makes the space feel sacred for you,” Izzy says. 
  • Be present: Along with preparing an external space, prepare yourself internally for the experience. Just as you would before a program session at Kripalu, make sure you’ve done all the necessary tasks and self-care needed, so you can be fully present for the experience—rather than finishing your dinner or answering that last email once the session has started. 
  • Create boundaries: If you’re living with family or roommates, let them know that you’ll be in a program, and ask them to respect this time and space. Consider using earbuds or noise-cancelling headphones to minimize external distractions. “Give yourself permission to be selfish for this time,” Izzy says.
  • Gather what you need: Be sure to have a blanket, a pillow to sit on if you’re on the floor, tissues, tea, etc. Even though these things might be just a few steps away, keep them beside you so you don’t have to get up and go looking for them should you need them. 
  • Indulge in a mini R&R day: When possible, craft your own retreat to complement the online program session—do a morning yoga practice, spend part of the day reading and relaxing, take a walk or a nap, journal—all the things you might not make time for in regular life, but love to do when you’re at Kripalu. 

Find out more about Kripalu's online programming.