How to Experience Fall at Kripalu

This year, experience autumn in the Berkshires with all five senses—at the retreat center and in the beautiful landscapes and picturesque towns that surround our campus.

Feast your eyes on foliage.

Take in the colors from our Front Terrace—with one of the best panoramic views in the county—or from nearby Olivia’s Overlook, at the center of the 734-acre Yokun Ridge Reserve and accessible to miles of trails maintained by the Berkshire Natural Resources Council. If you’re moved to capture the beauty in words or images, try an R&R workshop focused on creative expression, or take a writing or visual art program. “When we tap into our creativity,” says Julia Cameron, “we deepen our spirituality and experience a sense of strength and well-being.”

Listen to birdsong.

Our faculty includes experts from Mass Audubon, who offer a unique window into the lives of the warblers that can be heard around our campus—and a unique window into mindfulness practice. “During quiet moments in nature, we can feel the pulse and breath of the planet in birdsongs and frog calls and the wind in the trees, and know that there is something much larger than ourselves, a rhythm of life that transcends millennia,” says Dale Abrams, education coordinator for Mass Audubon’s Berkshire Sanctuaries, who coteaches outdoor programs at Kripalu.

Taste the bounty of the county—and bring it home with you.

Visit local farmers markets; stop by the annual Lenox Apple Squeeze in September; and enjoy whole-foods meals from the Kripalu Kitchen—including a special Thanksgiving feast during our Thanksgiving R&R week, which features a buffet of gratitude-themed workshops. While you’re here, check out an evening cooking demo with Executive Chef Jeremy Rock Smith, and then pick up his new cookbook, so you can try making your favorite Kripalu recipes at home.

Nourish your body with the healing power of touch.

Research shows that touch has an incredible ability to boost mood and health. In one study, students were more likely to participate in class when they received a supportive pat on the arm or back from a teacher, and research also shows that a massage from a loved one can relieve pain and reduce depression. Tap into the wisdom of your own body in a Kripalu Healing Arts session; choose from acupuncture, bodywork, energy balancing, and a wide range of other modalities.

Stop and smell the roses—metaphorically, that is.

“At this time of year, our natural rhythms are calling us to slow down, reflect, go inward, and contemplate where we’ve been and where we want to go,” says coach, speaker, and author Renée Peterson Trudeau, who offers Women’s Self-Renewal Retreats at Kripalu in both fall and winter. Going inward may also mean reinvigorating your practice, whether that’s yoga or meditation, or an off-the-mat practice of gratitude and mindfulness that supports you in savoring the many gifts of autumn.